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Comment: Re:It makes sense (Score 1) 298

by Etyme (#36130656) Attached to: Western Washington Univ. Considers Cutting Computer Science

Google. Apple. Facebook. Oracle. Red Hat. Microsoft. Biggest names in tech...and all do their software development in the US. That should tell you something. You don't turn over development on your mission critical software to a bunch of people you don't know in a foreign country. It's just stupid, and the only people who seriously consider it are a bunch of idiot business majors who don't know any better.

Note, this is not meant as a slam on programmers from India; the reality is that there aren't enough good programmers on the planet to meet the demand for them. Outsourcing companies make up the difference by hiring crappy programmers, who inevitably end up being a net drain on productivity.

Comment: Re:Impact (Score 1) 125

by Etyme (#31646826) Attached to: A Look Into China's Web Censorship Program

It's the art of creating botnets made of human minds.

Computers can be turned into botnet zombies only because they have no will of their own to begin with. Arguing that humans can likewise be "programmed" presumes that people are purely deterministic, and cannot make independent decisions. Even if you believe that's true, it raises serious issues from an ethical standpoint; human rights are based on the assumption that humans have free will.

In other words, arguing that the media constitutes mind control is the same as arguing that there are no inherent human rights, and governments/corporations/the System/whatever are totally justified in exploiting people.

Comment: Re:Two sides of the same coin (Score 1) 122

by Etyme (#31646478) Attached to: It's Time To Split Up NSA Between Spooks and Geeks
I see two good reasons to split the NSA, neither of which is really discussed by the article: 1.)Computer security is not part of the NSA's mandate. Currently its stated purpose is just spying; it's being pressed into a cybersecurity role because it's the only agency with the talent needed. That means security is secondary to spying. We could change this, but the current system is not optimal from a security point of view. 2.)Perception. The NSA is widely known as a spy agency and that is intimidating. Companies need to trust an entity to seek network defense help from it and an agency that only handled security would probably be viewed as more trustworthy.

Comment: Re:devil's advocate (Score 1) 286

by Etyme (#31618012) Attached to: Beware the King of the Patent Trolls

Someone invented something which otherwise would not have existed, and in return they got paid money in a chain of payments which ended up with this company. That's how capitalism works - the free trade of commodities.

Yeah, but patents aren't just based on capitalism. They're based on intellectual property legislation, and the point of that legislation is to encourage technological development. The moment that patent laws no longer bolster innovation and research, they become illegitimate. Patent trolls are clear evidence that current law does not produce innovation. If software patents had any actual value, people would use them for more than just lawsuits.

Comment: Re:PC gamers think they should get games for free (Score 1) 1027

by Etyme (#31303488) Attached to: The Awful Anti-Pirate System That Will Probably Work
Compromise Solution: Why don't you guys put in nasty DRM for the first couple weeks (when games tend to make the majority of their money), and then just patch it out of existence once the game inevitably gets pirated? You'd still have the protection while it matters, and the gesture would help assure gamers that you aren't going to rip them off by remote deactivation.

Comment: Re:Science or Religion? (Score 1) 1136

by Etyme (#31164866) Attached to: A Warming Planet Can Mean More Snow

For a theory to be Science it must be falsifiable; so what would it take for one of you True Believers to reconsider your theory?

It would take a net decrease in the Earth's average temperature over an extended period of time. Cyclical climate variations should make that happen eventually, if human activities are not having an impact.

Theory is gray, but the golden tree of life is green. -- Goethe

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