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Comment: Re:Fewer candidates to draw from... (Score 1) 580

by Coffeesloth (#48116741) Attached to: FBI Says It Will Hire No One Who Lies About Illegal Downloading
This person has a point. They are required to enforce the Federal Law, so everyone that is responding with some sarcastic remark about "young sociopaths" or "making themselves more out of touch" are missing the point. What did you expect them to say? "Hey we were all young once we understand?"

+ - Hong Kong protesters use a mesh network to organise->

Submitted by wabrandsma
wabrandsma (2551008) writes "from New Scientist:

Hong Kong's mass protest is networked. Activists are relying on a free app that can send messages without any cellphone connection.

Since the pro-democracy protests turned ugly over the weekend, many worry that the Chinese government would block local phone networks.

In response, activists have turned to the FireChat app to send supportive messages and share the latest news. On Sunday alone, the app was downloaded more than 100,000 times in Hong Kong, its developers said. FireChat relies on "mesh networking", a technique that allows data to zip directly from one phone to another via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Ordinarily, if two people want to communicate this way, they need to be fairly close together. But as more people join in, the network grows and messages can travel further.

Mesh networks can be useful for people who are caught in natural disasters or, like those in Hong Kong, protesting under tricky conditions. FireChat came in handy for protesters in Taiwan and Iraq this year."

Link to Original Source

+ - DARPA image technology would move way beyond X-Rays ->

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie (973519) writes "Getting a better view inside mostly dense objects like corrosion in aircraft wings and welds on ships or even gunpowder hidden in suitcases are just a few of the applications researchers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency are hoping to develop with a new program called Intense and Compact Neutron Sources (ICONS)."
Link to Original Source

+ - God, Darwin and My College Biology Class

Submitted by (3830033) writes "David P. Barash, an evolutionary biologist and professor of psychology at the University of Washington, writes in the NYT that every year he gives his students The Talk, not as you might expect, about sex, but about evolution and religion, and how they get along and how they don’t. According to Barash many students worry about reconciling their beliefs with evolutionary science and just as many Americans don’t grasp the fact that evolution is not merely a “theory,” but the underpinning of all biological science, a substantial minority of his students are troubled to discover that their beliefs conflict with the course material. "There are a couple of ways to talk about evolution and religion, says Barash. "The least controversial is to suggest that they are in fact compatible. Stephen Jay Gould called them “nonoverlapping magisteria,” noma for short, with the former concerned with facts and the latter with values." But Barash says magisteria are not nearly as nonoverlapping as some of them might wish. "As evolutionary science has progressed, the available space for religious faith has narrowed: It has demolished two previously potent pillars of religious faith and undermined belief in an omnipotent and omni-benevolent God."

The twofold demolition begins by defeating what modern creationists call the argument from complexity — that just as the existence of a complex structure like a watch demands the existence of a watchmaker, the existence of complex organisms requires a supernatural creator. "Since Darwin, however, we have come to understand that an entirely natural and undirected process, namely random variation plus natural selection, contains all that is needed to generate extraordinary levels of non-randomness. Living things are indeed wonderfully complex, but altogether within the range of a statistically powerful, entirely mechanical phenomenon." Next to go is the illusion of centrality. "The most potent take-home message of evolution is the not-so-simple fact that, even though species are identifiable (just as individuals generally are), there is an underlying linkage among them — literally and phylogenetically, via traceable historical connectedness. Moreover, no literally supernatural trait has ever been found in Homo sapiens; we are perfectly good animals, natural as can be and indistinguishable from the rest of the living world at the level of structure as well as physiological mechanism." Finally there is a third consequence of evolutionary insights: a powerful critique of theodicy, the effort to reconcile belief in an omnipresent, omni-benevolent God with the fact of unmerited suffering. "But just a smidgen of biological insight makes it clear that, although the natural world can be marvelous, it is also filled with ethical horrors: predation, parasitism, fratricide, infanticide, disease, pain, old age and death — and that suffering (like joy) is built into the nature of things. The more we know of evolution, the more unavoidable is the conclusion that living things, including human beings, are produced by a natural, totally amoral process, with no indication of a benevolent, controlling creator."

Barash concludes The Talk by saying that, although they don’t have to discard their religion in order to inform themselves about biology (or even to pass his course), if they insist on retaining and respecting both, they will have to undertake some challenging mental gymnastic routines. "And while I respect their beliefs, the entire point of The Talk is to make clear that, at least for this biologist, it is no longer acceptable for science to be the one doing those routines.""

Comment: Re:Fear of changing code.... (Score 1) 232

by Coffeesloth (#47928075) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

I have also seen/heard of circumstances where "doing the minimum to keep the thing working" is allowed but actually improving the code is not because improving the code counts as "new work" and comes from a different budget than maintenance. Seems stupid but that's how some shops operate.

"The minimum to keep the thing working" nearly always implies improving the code. All developers need to realize this and stop this silly false dichotomy between "maintenance" and "refactoring".

IMO, developers know there isn't a difference but management does not.

Comment: Re:"Accidentally" (Score 5, Insightful) 455

by Coffeesloth (#47770337) Attached to: Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?
I agree with you and frankly I think having the camera would be a good thing for the officers. If anything it would prove if they were being reasonable and were attacked first. I think it's easy for any incident to devolve into a "He said/he said" situation so a recording of the incident would make that harder. After all isn't that the reason we have dashboard cams in the police cars now?

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 1) 796

by Coffeesloth (#45846527) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Books Everyone Should Read?
Having read the bible several times I would have to disagree with including it unless you read it in the original language. Too many beliefs have crept in with the translations that corrupt the writings. And if you do include the bible then you should also include the koran and the torah to allow for a broader understanding of religion as a whole. I will agree with most of the rest of your list though... :-)

Comment: I was going to post a Serious reply... (Score 1) 1144

by Coffeesloth (#45062179) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Does the US Gov't Budget Crunch Affect You?
But the majority of the ones I see apparently don't care about those affected. As a Disabled American Veteran I am appalled that I gave my time and efforts for people like that.

Yes I'm affected by this, I will survive because I have a good job but I'll be loosing 1/3rd of my monthly income if this continues to the end of the month. Think about all of the disabled Veterans who will be struggling to survive because they rely on that income. The same Veterans that gave of themselves so that you can complain on this forum.

Comment: Re:What exactly is the point of the furlough anymo (Score 1) 1144

by Coffeesloth (#45062101) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Does the US Gov't Budget Crunch Affect You?
Are you serious? Do you realize that not everyone will receive back pay during this time?

You honestly see this as a vacation? Tell you what... Why don't you take all of your paychecks during this time period and send them to a charity. Because for non-essential personnel that's pretty much what's happened to them in the past and what will probably happen to them when this is over. Oh, and those same people you see as having a vacation were already not being paid for a few days a week before this whole thing started because of the budget issues.

Felson's Law: To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.