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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Re:Bill Nye, the Dogma Guy! (Score 1) 674

by Improv (#49111425) Attached to: Bill Nye Disses "Regular" Software Writers' Science Knowledge

Are you really going to be confused by the words that have been borrowed from other activities for lack of more appropriate terms? Look at the structure of how science happens - the interplay between research departments and funding sources, the role of reputation and qualification, the peer review system, the metrics of empiricism, testability, reproducibility, and follow-up studies, and reinterpretations of conclusions. It's a complicated, powerful, and beautiful process but it has no resemblance to debate.

Comment: Violating airspace is all the rage (Score 1) 175

by Improv (#49017777) Attached to: Hobbyists Selling Tesla Coil Kits To Fund Drone Flight Over North Korea

It doesn't seem prudent to be figuring out ways to violate another country's airspace unless wants to actually be at war with them. I wouldn't want to comment on the merits of war with North Korea per se, but at least from the perspective of maintaining peace and a normal international order, nations generally expect to have their borders respected, and they take responsibility to control their citizens enough to make sure they don't violate the borders of their neighbours.

Comment: Probably not... (Score 5, Insightful) 136

by Improv (#49011001) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is There a Web Development Linux Distro?

Not everyone configures this stuff the same way, and new versions of software would mean you'd need to change this tuning all the time. Plus, you'd likely need to know all the tuning anyhow in case you need to debug or adjust it. Your best solution probably is not going to hope for a distro so much as baking yourself an image (or install script, or chef/puppet/ansible recipeset, or similar) and using it to build these systems for you. A custom distro wouldn't make sense.

Comment: Wrongheaded pandering to statistically marginals (Score 3, Interesting) 389

by Improv (#48072343) Attached to: Is It Time To Throw Out the College Application System?

University efforts are best spent taking those who are ready and capable and stuffing their heads full of new ideas. There are people who are not ready or capable, but trying to find ways to slip them in and hoping they reinvent themselves in time to take advantage of the opportunity (if that's even possible) would be neglecting those who are ready - many of them would end up in remedial classes or just taking the easiest things possible to survive. Maybe they should wait a year and wander Europe, or otherwise take some time to get their life together first.

I was one of the C-B students who did all the gifted classes in high school but never had the grades. When I went to University, the first two years I loved the freedom and the content of the classes but was as lazy as I had been in high school on the grades. It was only later that I started taking things seriously. The first two years might as well have been wasted, plus I chose a university well below par for my abilities (wasn't even nearly the best one I got into). I think I turned out pretty well looking back 18 years later, but statistically, I was probably bad betting odds. Universities should focus on people who are actually ready to learn, rather than figuring out ways to churn out more people who are likely to drop out. Slashdot, in turn, should stop pandering to people who never learned to focus who drop out of university and console themselves by extolling the virtues of being an autodidact, of not knowing how to dress or clean themselves and paint themselves as "natural" or "different" or "fighting the system", and similar.

Comment: Arguing against a strawman (Score 2) 937

by Improv (#47898949) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

Author is arguing against a strawman (or at least a minority view) form of atheism which claims to be above value judgements. Of course one brings value judgements to the table, with philosophy. People've been doing that for a very, very long time. So what?

Author also seems to not understand Star Trek that well - while they're a planet of hat, more-or-less, Vulcans were known to live by a philosophy, and presumably like all systems of logic, the Vulcan one sits ultimately on a philosophical foundation, not some bs "a priori" claims that the author wants to warn us against.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (7) Well, it's an excellent idea, but it would make the compilers too hard to write.

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