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Comment: Re:Expensive and irrelevant - don't think so (Score 4, Informative) 213

by DoctorBonzo (#47573635) Attached to: Vint Cerf on Why Programmers Don't Join the ACM
I've been a member of both ACM & IEEE for several decades. As a dinosaur, I much prefer print versions of all their varied pubs to any of the lame digital editions. I come from the academic world, but have been out of it for a long time and still find ACM relevant, especially after their revamp of Communications a couple of years ago. Practitioners? The Kode Vicious column is nearly the worth the price of subscription. I've never been interested in the Digital Library at extra cost, but it's probably worth it to some.

IEEE? Their Computer Society is marginally OK, but only for the Hal Berghel articles, as far as I'm concerned. IEEE Spectrum has become an exercise in suckitude, the bastard child of Wired's graphic design and Popular Science's "in depth" examination of current topics. Tired of this and their pimping life insurance, I've lapsed on IEEE membership and may do so for the Computer Society too in the near future.

Comment: Re:CrAssphage? (Score 1) 100

by DoctorBonzo (#47548783) Attached to: Newly Discovered Virus Widespread in Human Gut
If I remember correctly, there is a fruit fly gene discovered in Japan that was named fushi tarazu, abbreviated ShiTz.

A temperature sensitive variant was subsequently named HotShiTz.

Just goes to show that biologists can be as sophomoric as us geeky guys 'n gals.

Someday, maybe, they'll get past 3-letter names for genes & proteins...

Comment: Shouldn't the IRS supply tax software? (Score 1) 237

by DoctorBonzo (#45472027) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can You Trust Online Tax Software?
Seems to me that the responsibility for supplying tax payment tools - i.e. tax software - should rest with the collection agency. Gripes about government incompetency aside, I'd expect a large majority of cases to be handled with fairly uncomplicated code.

Of course, as one poster mentioned, a lot of lobbying goes on to keep this software in the private sector.

Comment: Re:Entrapment (Score 1) 545

In the US, at least, there's a legal conceit called "attractive nuisance". This is used as the basis of prosecution of, say, the owner of a swimming pool that's not securely fenced. If a child happens to drown in such an un-fenced pool, the owner can be prosecuted for manslaughter.

I don't see much difference here. Call it "enticement" rather than "entrapment" if you wish since it's not conducted by someone with criminal authority, but it's very much like the un-fenced swimming pool. The "enticer" pretty clearly bears some responsibility.

On top of which, it's also clear that no actual crime is involved since there's no actual child. What's the charge? Abuse of computer graphics? Unless perhaps we're talking about "thought crimes".

This whole sting enterprise seems to me to be just as ethically scummy as pedophilia itself, if not more so.

You can measure a programmer's perspective by noting his attitude on the continuing viability of FORTRAN. -- Alan Perlis