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Comment: Re:Scarlet Letter (Score 1) 252

by JackOfAllGeeks (#37854702) Attached to: New York State Releases Sex Offender Facebook App

Because there's a reason people become sex offenders.

Yeah, we have to remember that these are the sort of people that molest children and rape young women. Or, you know, send sexting messages in middle school, sleep with their high school girlfriend, or get plastered and take a piss in an alley. "Sex Offender" has become so dilute as to be almost entirely useless.

Comment: Re:Easy (Score 1) 515

by JackOfAllGeeks (#37748324) Attached to: Are You Prepared For the Zombie Apocalypse?
Outsmarting the zombies has never been the problem. How long can you run for? How many bullets do you have? How long can you keep swinging that crowbar? That they're individually stupid is irrelevant; it's their relentless march and unending numbers that are the problem. You need food. You need sleep. You will run out of ammo.

Comment: Re:Not saying I don't care...but... (Score 1) 316

by JackOfAllGeeks (#35471174) Attached to: DNA samples should be on record for...

I think it depends on the specific serious crime. Intuitively, it seems to me that serial raping is more likely than serial killing (normalizing the relative frequency of both types of events).

That may well be true, but my point was that a one-time rapist is far more likely than a serial-rapist, or a one-time murderer is far more likely than a serial-murderer, rather than that different crimes have any relation to each other. Petty crimes might have a higher rate of repeat offense, but do we really need a DNA database for those?

Comment: Re:Not saying I don't care...but... (Score 1) 316

by JackOfAllGeeks (#35471128) Attached to: DNA samples should be on record for...

The problem with collection on an as-required basis is...

IMHO the best option is to allow police to take DNA samples of people they can show reasonable suspicion of.

I guess you have a different definition of "as needed" than I do. These sound the same to me, and any definition of "needed" that doesn't include "can show reasonable suspicion" is problematic, I think.

To be fair, though, even in the case you presented...

if the police ask for your DNA and you refuse you instantly become a suspect

... do you mean to tell me you weren't already a suspect when they asked before you refused? Do you expect that the police will just swab the whole metropolitan area whenever any crime is committed? If they have no reason to believe you were involved why would they swab you, and if they think you might have been involved how is that different from being a suspect?

Comment: Re:Not saying I don't care...but... (Score 3, Insightful) 316

by JackOfAllGeeks (#35452906) Attached to: DNA samples should be on record for...

Except that when that laws gets passed around in congress, "rape" will be transformed to "convicted sex offender", which currently means a whole lot of people who really don't belong in that category, unfortunately. Examples abound of minors doing perfectly normal minorly-things and ending up labelled as a sex offenders for life.


Also, why do we need a record? That's only useful if you believe they'll be a repeat offender, and anecdotally it seems like most serious crimes are one-off incidents. I think DNA evidence can be useful in many situations, but why can't that be collected on an as-needed basis? That avoids this whole issue.

Comment: Re:Human touch is seen as empathetic (Score 2) 137

by JackOfAllGeeks (#35444666) Attached to: How Do People Respond To Being Touched By a Robot?

Humans anthropomorphize *everything*.


My brother attributes a personality and identity to his iPod, I'm sure people will be able to empathize with a robot. The fact that the robot doesn't empathize back is irrelevant -- even in human-to-human interactions, my perception of your intent is far more important than your actual intent, which is recognized in the original comment:

Even if we know it's disingenuous, or that it's part of a person's job, there is still something in the back of our minds that responds to it as a genuine human connection.

Comment: Re:Use aliases. (Score 1) 323

by JackOfAllGeeks (#35431916) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Privacy Paranoia

But it's never a specific rejection letter - it's always a simple mass-mailing to everyone who applied and failed. Even if you went to an interview, they won't say why you're being rejected, just that you are.

So you have no reason to believe you were rejected based on anything you said or did, only that you didn't get the job. A job is a very nice thing to have -- one might argue necessary -- but I'm not going to self-censor before I see evidence that people are losing their livelihoods based on "remotely political" comments they've made, if then.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming