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Comment: Re:my thoughts (Score 1) 107

by hey! (#48218699) Attached to: NY Doctor Recently Back From West Africa Tests Positive For Ebola

That's because you use ridiculously vaguye language like "easy to transmit". You need to specify the conditions under which the potential transmission takes place. What peoiple don't realize is just how primitive conditions are in Africa, and what a difference it makes. These are countries where medical providers re-use latex gloves, sometimes even hypodermic needles. Granted, this guy was part a medical mission that probably had all the protective equipment, but you have to keep in mind that the primitive conditions that preceded them meant that there have been some TEN THOUSAND cases in the region.

It's immensely labor intensive to take care of an Ebola patient, especially with the precautions required by close contact., but the overwhelming numbers introduces yet another deadly risk factor: fatigue.

So yes, I suppose you could say the medical personnel who contracted Ebola are stupid because they made a mistake under pressure. But what about the rest of us? This epidemic should never have got big enough to pose a global concern. It was our choice to cut the CDC's emergency preparedness budget to a billion dollars below the FY 2002 mark.

Comment: Not so easy (Score 1) 137

by fyngyrz (#48217985) Attached to: Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin At Tsinghua University In Beijing

If the Chinese language is really such a notoriously difficult language to learn (and to speak) there ought to be no one using it anymore, right?


When we're young, we benefit from massive plasticity in our language learning skills, and of course any child who learns Mandarin (and sometimes Cantonese as well) is going to make a much better native speaker than I am ever going to make, despite the fact that I've devoted years to it and am highly motivated.

It's not just learning words. It is how things are said, references to metaphors and myths and such, and the fact that it is not a "spelled" language; the characters you're familiar with each represent a word part or a word that means one thing on its own, often something else in combination, and very few of them are used the way we use them in western speech. About 2000 of them constitute (approximately) high school literacy. But there are about 50 thousand of them. Bad enough? Oh no. A while back, Those In Power decided they were to o hard, so they "simplified" a bunch of them. Great, right? So you only have to learn the simplified ones, right? Wrong. The traditional ones are everywhere, and plus, some places in asia use the old ones, not the new ones. And then...

(Very) simple example. In English, I I ask you if you want soup, you might say "No." Easy, right? So you how to say no, (Bu Shi) Now you know what to say if I ask you about the soup and you don't want it, right? Wrong. In Mandarin, the question of if you want it is composed, literally, "want not want", (yao bu yao) to which you are expected to answer either "not want" or "want." (Bu yao) or (yao). And down the rabbit hole we go. :)

Trust me. As an adult English speaker, you go into learning Mandarin thinking it's easy, you're in for a serious encounter with your limitations.

Comment: Re:Lol... (Score 0) 133

by jedidiah (#48217963) Attached to: How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

...and you aren't helping the situation.

Ad homs are not an argument. They are just a sure sign that you have nothing meaningful to say.

I used to have Macs. For one brief moment, they were price competitive HTPCs. Then tech changed and I had Macs lying around. I could see for myself what they hubub was about.

It didn't inspire anyone to defect from anything else.

The reliability of the Minis wasn't anything to write home about either.

Comment: Re:Apple Hate (Score 0) 133

by jedidiah (#48217935) Attached to: How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

The poverty arguement. You're so funny. (not)

You need to take the blinders off and get out more.

Plenty of people who seem to have money to burn won't have any thing to do with Macs. There are entire affluent suburbs filled with people like that.

Unfortunately, Apple decided to discontinue it's only product line that wasn't a total joke designed for clueless rubes.

Even if I had 30 Benjamins I was ready to set on fire, there's nothing Apple has to sell me.

Comment: Re:It helps to actually use the thing. (Score 2) 133

by jedidiah (#48217907) Attached to: How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

High quality parts? Quit swimming in the Kool-Aid.

They use generic PC parts the same as the rest of the industry. Sometimes the same exact quirks exist between Apple's and Dells. They are impacted by the same bad engineering choices.

Except there are more options with PCs. You can avoid an inherently problematic form factor with Dell. There's something else to choose.

Been there. Done that. Not impressed at all.

You're just repeating the same nonsense as the original article which was marketing masquerading as journalism to begin with.

Comment: Re:Lol... (Score 1) 133

by jedidiah (#48217823) Attached to: How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

...except no one really uses the FreeBSD part.

All of the relevant end user interactions are with the proprietary non-FreeBSD part. MacOS is much like Windows in that it's a proprietary subsystem riding on top of some other core OS. Apple benefits from the generous free work of the FreeBSD developers while presenting what is pretty much a completely proprietary system.

Comment: It helps to actually use the thing. (Score 1, Interesting) 133

by jedidiah (#48217479) Attached to: How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

> Apple has taken the best of PC ecosystem, but avoided taking on the disadvantages.

This is such a joke. It's simply not true. WinDOS still has the "ecosystem" advantage. It's sad but true. What Apple has is perception driven by good marketing and IGNORANCE.

Macs are a mythical product that most people are unfamiliar with because the whole platform has a high barrier to entry. There are very few people in a good position to comment on Macs. You have to spend a great deal of money and have already swallowed all the Kool-Aid.

I bought into the myth too myself before a had a Mac to play around with.

Comment: To the face-in-phone generation(s): (Score 1, Insightful) 221

by fyngyrz (#48216325) Attached to: We Need Distributed Social Networks More Than Ello

You old people crack me up.

No, honestly, you arrived pre-cracked.

It may well, somehow, be our fault that you are cracked, but it an absolute certainty that our habits of actually talking to people are superior to yours of sitting at a table or walking down the street with your friends, looking only at your phones, as you busily talk to anyone but the people you're actually with.

Comment: Not a feminist issue. (Score 2) 490

by fyngyrz (#48216257) Attached to: The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

Among the healthy and mature, there's no right "not to be offended"; not for men, and not for women. There is 100% equality here.

Such offense is subjective; every possible attempt to minimize it by law boils down to an unworthy suppression of freedom, something that is unhealthy for society no matter how you go about it.

Even when a particular mode of speech, or some consensual/personal action, is pretty much uniformly despised, it's far better to know who says, and therefore has motivation to say, or does, these terribly offensive things, than it is for society to repress these people and then jump up in stark surprise when they move from unseen and unheard to resentful action as a means of kicking back against said repression.

Speech, in many cases, serves as a moderately effective safety valve. You never want to close such a valve and walk away. Because you get this.

If something you look at offends you, look away. If something you hear offends you, stop listening. If something people do offends you, don't participate. Your subjective feelings of offense can never rise to the relevance required to legitimately regulate the behavior of others.

Until something breaks your bones, damages your property/finances, or impugns your reputation, or these things similarly directly affect those for whom you perform the role of parent or guardian, the correct action is to turn to managing your own sensibilities -- rather than trying to control other people's actions.

Now, as to the immature and incompetent, in particular, children: Parents and guardians have a dual responsibility here. In order to be able to execute that responsibility, your home should be a safe haven in the sense of you being able to completely control who, and what information, gets in, and when they get in, and when they must leave. Society owes it to you to see to it that this capacity is readily available to you. Your home should indeed be your castle. To the extent it isn't, society has either failed you, or you have failed your charges. Schools and/or any other situation requiring attendence must likewise be supportive and safe, or society has lost its legitimate right to force your children to attend.


On the one hand, it is your responsibility to see to it that your charges are not bullying, generally or specifically being an asshole to others. You are responsible for inculcating the understanding that immature and/or insufficiently abled minds can be taken to, and beyond, the brink by bullying, and then you must see to it that this understanding translates into reasonable behavior by your charges (which, by the way, will work to reduce many types of essentially pointless trolling later on.)

On the other, it is also your responsibility to see to it that your charges are not being bullied. You should know where your charges hang out, who they hang with, what the environment is like, and you should step in when that environment, in your estimation, becomes unhealthy. Stepping in may involve a note to someone else's parent or guardian, removing your charge from the harmful environment, or simply providing sufficient perspective so that the behavior is seen in the light of failure of the perpetrator, rather than any kind of lessening of the value or self-image of the target.


If your charge cannot be taught to healthily handle the speech, displays, or consensual actions of others, then it is your job to see to it that they are not exposed to those things. It is not society's responsibility to turn the entire planet into a padded room for your charge. If you need a padded room, you should build one of your own.

For every story I have heard so far of horrible consequences to bullying, my reaction has been "Where were the parents during all this?"

And I have to ask: If your charges are not being raised with healthy self-images and a strong sense of self, what the fuck are you doing? And why are you doing it? Why are you such a totally shitty parent or guardian? And why do you expect the rest of us to compensate for your failures?

Again, these people's abject failure at parenting does not rise to the level of telling everyone else they can't call someone something when, in fact, it is pretty apparent that something is called for.

Having said that, most online forums and comment sections are not public operations. They're private. And in that role, they have both the power and the right to monitor and control the content and activity on that forum. If you invite people to spend time in what pretty much amounts to an environment you created, then you'd better tell them up front what the limits, if any, are for that environment, and see to it that you are accurate about it. If (points at facebook) you allow your operation to get too large or otherwise out of your effective control, I really don't see how that absolves you in any way from being absolutely clear to all participants that you are not, in fact, able to guarantee any particular kind of environment or control what is going on. And no, burying such things in a veritable tar pit of legalese doesn't suffice. Be plain; be clear; let no user into your "thing" without a road sign that says "alligators!" or whatever else it needs to say. Because it does need to be said.

The very idea of freedom requires a concomitant effort to ensure a competent citizenry. If you create a nation of pearl-clutchers, you will have created an environment where repression is the always go-to of the regulators. To some extent, this is already happening, particularly in nations like England, which has pretty much fallen off the wagon of sanity and is busily engaged in chewing its own tail off. It would be lovely if the USA didn't follow them any (or at least much) further down that road.

Comment: Re:I delete things when I'm done using them (Score 1) 154

by jedidiah (#48214915) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Smarter Disk Space Monitoring In the Age of Cheap Storage?

I never run out of space. As disks get larger and larger, the risk of running out of space seems like the single least significant thing possible. The real issue is corruption.

Based on the headline, I would have expected this to be about content verification with all of the ZFS fanboys coming out of the work to extol it's virtues.

Comment: Re:Not just women (Score 1) 490

by jedidiah (#48212813) Attached to: The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

...except a job is a little bit more significant to your life than some meaningless Internet bulletin board.

If you interfere with someone at work, you are interfering with their livelihood. You are interfering with their ability to stay fed and keep a roof over their heads. You're probably also impacting one or more dependents.

It's an entirely different thing.

You have failed to demonstrate any actual harm. Laws based on zero demonstrated harm are always a bad idea.

Comment: Re:Not just women (Score 2) 490

by jedidiah (#48212715) Attached to: The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

I would describe it as differing distributions based on both genetics and social indoctrination. A person might be physically inclined towards a particular trait but actively discouraged from it based on how their gender is socialized.

An obvious caveat being that you can't attribute any characteristic universally (genetic or socialized).

This is how you end up with female members of Gamergate. They view the hysterical nonsense associated with their own gender as intolerable as many guys would.

They will also provide nice insights into the "enemy camp".

Not all women agree with these SJW ninnies and that's a very good thing. A number of us personally benefit from that fact.

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.