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Comment: Re:Hope it makes him feel better (Score 1) 362

by Fantom42 (#45046967) Attached to: 'Dangerously Naive' Aaron Swartz 'Destroyed Himself'

I think you are the only reasonable (modded) up contributor to this entire thread/article. I wonder how many of these knee-jerk responders even bothered to read his opinion piece, let alone the actual factual report. But hey they perused reddit for a while, clearly that's enough to formulate a complete opinion.

Take this excerpt from the piece people are bashing:

Other questions address our values. In reviewing the record for the report, I was struck by how little attention the MIT community paid to the Swartz case, at least before the suicide. The Tech carried regular news items on the arrest and the court proceedings. Yet in the two years of the prosecution, there was not one opinion piece, and not one letter to the editor. The Aaron Swartz case offers a textbook example of the issues of openness and intellectual property on the Internetâ"the kinds of issues for which people traditionally look to MIT for intellectual leadership. But when those issues erupted in our midst, we didnâ(TM)t recognize them, and we were not intellectually engaged. Why not?

The fact is that Abelson's conclusions are spot on. Imagine how much more Aaron Schwartz could have contributed to this world and to the movement of open publishing if he had exercised some discretion?

Yes, there was prosecution overreach. Yes, there was disengagement and enabling of this overreach by MIT staff. But that doesn't change the fact that what he did, in protest, did nothing but harm himself.

Comment: Re:Don't get it (Score 2) 449

by Fantom42 (#42463261) Attached to: Connecticut Group Wants Your Violent Videogames — To Destroy Them

i really REALLY don't get this obsession with linking violent video games to violent behavior.

I am probably going to get modded down for this... But the reason this is a topic of focus is due to the fact that there is significant research basis for it being true.

http://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2003/10/anderson.aspx

Comment: Re:Buddhism - the less abhorrent religion. (Score 2) 348

by Fantom42 (#41840331) Attached to: Researchers Crown Buddhist Monk the World's Happiest Man

What I'd really like to see is some good scientific research put in to this sort of thing, stripping away the associated mysticism and getting right to the core of it. Based on the rather limited article, it appears this might not be too difficult as he may already be keeping the mysticism to a minimum.

That's probably what these neuroscientists were likely doing. There has been a bunch of psychology research into the benefits of mindfulness meditation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulness_(psychology)
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110121144007.htm
http://nccam.nih.gov/research/results/spotlight/012311.htm

Comment: Re:Interesting, yet scary. (Score 1) 440

by Fantom42 (#37079264) Attached to: BART Disables Cell Service To Disrupt Protests

I think we are actually getting off topic here a little.

This has nothing to do with Free Speech. All Free Speech grants us is the right to the *opportunity* to speak freely to whomever can hear us. It says nothing that we shall be provided with communication capabilities to do so. Even, all the way back then, I don't think the Founding Fathers intended that every man shall have free and reasonable access to pen, ink, paper, a horse, and another man to effectively transmit your speech farther than the sound of your voice.

Except of course they did consider this notion by including in the same amendment the freedom of press. There is a big difference between free Wi-Fi at McDonalds and shutting off a utility. Yes, it is true that Verizon's networks are privately owned, but they also form a considerable portion of this nation's communication infrastructure, and it is reasonable to expect in a free society that something like this remains intact.

Comment: Re:No compiler? (Score 2) 255

by Fantom42 (#36724614) Attached to: Stanford CS101 Adopts JavaScript

cs101 without even seeing a compiler? Tragic :)

MIT's CS 101 course used to use a book called "Structures and Interpretation of Compter Programming" and was based on a LISP-variant called MIT Scheme. No compiler. Now, I think they use Python. Still no compiler.

Javascript isn't half bad of a language to use for an intro course, although I think it is far from ideal. Javascript as implemented in a browser, with the DOM and all is kind of a mess. Having examples to run in a browser is a nice perk though. You get to mess with a GUI without knowing much more than HTML.

Comment: Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (Score 4, Insightful) 599

by Fantom42 (#36599492) Attached to: The Enterprise Is Wrong, Not Mozilla

Right, as the article points out, the changelist for Firefox 5 is not much more expansive than the changelist for Firefox 3.6.

This may be true for this particular instance, but Firefox certainly isn't guaranteeing that going forward. What happens with Firefox 9 is released with a feature that breaks their enterprise, and Firefox 8 is suddenly no longer supported?

This whole attitude I hear parroted that "release numbers are irrelevant because they are just numbers" ignores a whole bunch of realities regarding how new features are introduced and developed to different classes of users. And in the case of Firefox, this new strategy sends a disturbing message to enterprise customers that new and potentially disruptive features will be introduced "when they are ready" and support for previous versions will be immediately dropped.

Comment: Re:Think of it as 4.0.2 (Score 1) 599

by Fantom42 (#36599248) Attached to: The Enterprise Is Wrong, Not Mozilla

If the version number were 4.0.2 instead of 5.0 Enterprises wouldn't be getting their panties in a bunch over this.

You are right, they wouldn't. And for a good reason. The problem with the model Firefox is adopting is that they are no longer guaranteeing support for a browser that is a few months old. It might be fine in this particular instance where they've made "minor" changes from 4 to 5, but there is no guarantee of this going forward. The versioning numbers are used as a signal to management to indicate feature stability and adoption risk, and Firefox has gotten rid of that. Now the enterprise is left with an unsettling possibility that Firefox 6, or Firefox 9, will suddenly introduce a feature which breaks compatibility with their stuff, without little or no warning or support from Firefox.

Comment: Facebook Facial Recognition (Score 1) 397

by Fantom42 (#36473210) Attached to: Using Crowdsourcing To Identify Vancouver Rioters

Yes, this people are dumb for rioting. Yes, I don't mind if they spend some time in jail or pay some fines. But this might be a good time to remove the facial recognition profile data from your facebook account.

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/06/how-disable-facebooks-facial-recognition-feature

Comment: Wrong Message (Score 1) 236

by Fantom42 (#35035312) Attached to: Challenger 25 Years Later

This is the wrong message to take from Challenger. While it is true that there are risks that were taken with the space program, lets not forget there was a civilian teacher on board that shuttle, and at the time the flight was considered to be reasonably safe. The major contributing factors to Challenger were due to management taking priority over good engineering. That is a lesson we can't afford to forget.

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan

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