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Comment: Re:Pot, meet kettle. (Score 1) 397

by Dragoness Eclectic (#43161777) Attached to: European Parliament Decides Not To Ban Internet Porn

We have holocaust deniers and neo-Nazis over here in the US, too. They're considered fringe nutjobs--because they air their views in public, speak freely, and everyone can see for themselves what idiots they are. When you ban that kind of nonsense, you drive it underground--its adherents easily convince themselves they are a persecuted minority speaking Truth to Power, or otherwise onto something real and important, because they are threatening enough to the powers-that-be to be banned. That makes them more attractive to those who are disaffected and not used to dealing with fringe nonsense because it's all a big, underground secret.

Secrecy encourages this kind of nonsense; repeated public exposure reveals it in all its stupidity and vileness.

Also, we have a large category of people who trade in Nazi paraphenalia in the U.S. that have nothing to do with neo-Nazis; they are people who collect WWII and other historical memorabilia. Not everyone who has an SS dress dagger in their desk is a secret Nazi; more often, they or their parents fought in WWII and it's a part of their history. I see what Germany does as trying to suppress history, and you know what is said about those who forget history...

The Communist Party was banned in the U.S. because it advocated violent overthrow of the US government. Notice that the various Socialist parties over here, who advocate "let's get elected and change the laws legally", are perfectly legal.

Comment: Re:Cold War I was real; so is Cold War II (Score 5, Insightful) 124

"Cold War" is so 20th-century. In the 19th century, they called the same kind of schenanigans "The Great Game" -- it involved Great Britain, Russia, and Germany at the time. I have no idea what they called it in the 18th century, but it involved England and France, and a lot of hot wars between the periods of peace.

Now China is playing the Great Game with us, and Russia is playing it with Europe.

Comment: Re:If it really were only a few moments... (Score 1) 414

It can be argued that allowing hardback books but not allowing eBook readers to be turned on is discriminating against people with disabilities. There are a number of people with joint & muscles problems, arthritis, other physical disabilities that can read comfortably with lightweight eBook readers, but literally cannot read thick paperbacks or heavy hardbacks due to pain or muscle weakness. For people with poor vision, eBook readers provide instant "large print" editions (just increase the font size); again, disallowing them is discriminating against the disabled.

So the pretentious, ableist, privileged prat who wrote this article thinks a government ban should be extended because he can't figure out how to turn his iPad off without being ordered to? Gee, guess how much I respect his opinion....

Comment: Re:reminds me of blue laws in Massachusetts (Score 1) 414

I'm seriously confused by this, since last time I looked the power to regulate interstate commerce was reserved to the federal government, according to the U.S. Constitution. States don't get to regulate "imports" and "exports" across their borders--they aren't independent nations.

Comment: Check your contract (Score 1) 848

by Dragoness Eclectic (#38518208) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handing Over Personal Work Without Compensation?

Check your employment contract. If you weren't paying close attention, you may have signed something that said anything work-related you develop while working for the company, be it on the clock or off the clock, belongs to the company as a "work for hire". If you did, you don't really have a choice; either turn it over to them, or sit on it until after you've left the company for a certain period (depends on your state law and your contract) and then sell it/ release under GPL, whatever.

Me, I always look for those 'work for hire' clauses in my contract and strike through any reference to them owning my off-the-clock work. My employer has no claim on my off-the-clock time or effort, as far as I'm concerned.

Now, you probably should introduce the application to work and then use it as one of your arguments for a pay raise/promotion--"I go above and beyond requirements and make things work better around here, for example the Fleegleborg app for HR... ", add it to your resume, and if they don't want to negotiate better pay/perks, etc, look for another job. There are a lot of companies that appreciate employees that don't just "do the job", but make permanent improvements.

Comment: Re:To hell with it (Score 1) 1319

by Dragoness Eclectic (#38205618) Attached to: Muslim Medical Students Boycott Darwin Lectures

And this sort of discourse is why when someone self-describes as "atheist", I automatically think "egotistical, callous, rude, intolerant idiot that I want nothing to do with". I know that the other type of atheists exist ("civil, caring, intelligent people who don't share my beliefs") and I know some in other venues, but they don't seem to post on Slashdot in any topic related to religion.

Comment: Re:Police Ssurveillance (Score 1) 761

by Dragoness Eclectic (#38000362) Attached to: Two New Fed GPS Trackers Found On SUV

It's not "much cheaper" if the victim pulls it off and drops it in a barrel of motor oil. ("Look! Someone gave me a free gift attached to my car--I guess I'll dispose of it as I see fit") If you Read The Fine Article, one model costs around $450 a pop. Lose one of those every day and you'll break your departmental budget in a hurry.

It might also be amusing to call the police to report a suspected car bomb. Who knows that black box really is without opening it? Besides, it might be booby-trapped. Best let the professionals handle it.

Comment: Re:This kinda pissed me off (Score 1) 373

by Dragoness Eclectic (#37870998) Attached to: The RMS Tour Rider

  1. I'd much rather sleep on someone's couch and hang out with locals than be chauffeured around and entertained constantly.

The temperature must be perfectly modulated. If it climbs so much as 1 degree above 72, you must supply an electric fan. God help you if the temperature reaches 75.

Also, no using any internet access that requires him to log in. His preference is apparently for you to give him your credentials so that he may log in to your account whenever he feels like it.

Those were two that just jumped out at me. Not saying these are entirely unreasonable, he just doesn't sound like someone I would have any interest in dealing with. I'm glad I have absolutely no interest in inviting him to speak anywhere (or listening to him speak), I don't think I'd be able to resist screwing with him and taking his lists of don'ts as a list of to-dos.

I have a temperature range that I sleep comfortably at. Obviously, RMS has figured out from experience what his is, and would rather not spend his speaking tour feeling and acting like a zombie because he didn't sleep most of the night. This is entirely reasonable.

Then you shouldn't be inviting people for speaking tours and making the arrangements. RMS's list is entirely reasonable, and he even explains why each item is there, for the stupid out there. Any pro who does a lot of speaking & interviews probably has such a list; for another example, go to John Scalzi's blog ("Whatever") and check out his requirements for interviews and suchlike. They are done in a very similar style: firm requirements, plus explanations as to why.

Comment: Re:Should have gone with single payer.... (Score 1) 1019

by Dragoness Eclectic (#37558380) Attached to: Healthcare Law Appealed To Supreme Court

No, they refer you up to the department of the hospital that does chemo. Hospitals do not means-check you before they treat you--they just have you sign a piece of paper saying you are responsible for paying the bill. They are even pretty agreeable about letting you set up payment schedules for paying it back--they'd rather have you pay it back a little at a time than get zip because you default on the bill.

Now the fact that chemotherapy without insurance costs about as much as a high-end luxury car is an atrocity--but at least they don't require you to pay for it upfront. Or sign a contract for financing.

Comment: Re:They didn't say classified, they said restricte (Score 1) 304

by Dragoness Eclectic (#36838154) Attached to: Anonymous Hack One Gigabyte of Data From NATO

Well, it could be the local weather report / daily storm warning for the military base. Or the collected bulletins for "Generic Important Cause Awareness Day". Or the 9000 cc: All emails about the current status of the network repairs...

RESTRICTED does not mean CLASSIFIED; in fact, it specifically means UNCLASSIFIED but not for public release, aka FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY. Some of that is because it's Privacy Act information, as mentioned above. Most of it is mind-numbingly boring crap. What do you bet that Anonymous doesn't release the data because it's exactly that--privacy info or boring beyond belief?

Comment: Re:Not really new (Score 1) 201

by Dragoness Eclectic (#36635532) Attached to: Could Amazon Reviews Be Corrupt?

The shill reviews on books are pretty obvious: they are always 5-star paens of glory about how awesome and wonderful and life-changing the book is--but pretty vague about the actual content. Alternatively, they are copies of the back-cover blurb or the publishers press release. They are just so obviously PR-speak that I toss them from consideration.

For fiction books, I'm on Amazon to pick up books that I already intend to buy, so the reviews are not really of interest. For non-fiction books, such as various computer programming how-to books, I find the negative reviews that explain why the reader didn't like the book to be most useful, followed by positive reviews that explained why the reader liked the book. At least one book I bought because of a negative review: the reason the reviewer didn't like the book was exactly the thing I was looking for! (He was quite correct about it, too; I am happy with my purchase.)

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp