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Comment: Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 1, Flamebait) 609 609

>NOMINATE scales people based on their choices relative to contemporaries

That's exactly *why* it works across decades. Because it allows a continuous chain of comparison even between people who never served together. (E.g, person A served with person B, person B later served with person C, person C later served with person D, etc)

Comment: Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 5, Informative) 609 609

> "JFK was more conservative than most conservatives are today"

BULLSHIT!

Keith T. Poole at the University of Georgia has built his career on quanitfying the liberality/conservativeness of politics.

I couldn't find his numbers for John Kennedy, but he gave John Kennedy a -.318 during the 83rd Congress, making him the 15th most liberal member of that body. By comparison, in today's Senate, he'd rank as the 31st most liberal senator, between Senators Wyden and Murphy, and more liberal than EVERY SINGLE Republican in Congress.

Comment: Re:I'm all for abolishing the IRS (Score 4, Informative) 349 349

> BTW, the deficit reductions under Clinton were the direct result of the policies of Reagan and Gingrich.

Bullshit. The Clinton surplus was created by the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, which every single Republican in congress voted against.

Comment: Re:if you want your day in court (Score 1, Insightful) 215 215

> Why does the legal system allow settling class action suits?

Because when all the basic facts are the same, it makes *a lot* more sense to have one trial covering 64,000 victims than it does to have 64,000 trials. The *only* people who benefit from having all those unnecessary trials are the lawyers. If anything, class actions are less profitable for lawyers than the alternative.

Furthermore, unlike this case (where each plantiff suffered substantial harm: tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars each), imagine a case where the harm suffered is small-but-nonzero. (For example, a few years back, the music CDs with the rootkits on them. For most people, the harm is the cost of the CD, around $15. Maybe twice to four times that if you want to include the cost of rootkit removal) In those cases, nobody in their right mind is going to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to file a lawsuit to recover $15. So the victim's choice is a class action suit or nothing at all.

Comment: Re:Too Bad. (Score 1) 40 40

I'm not a lawyer either, but FYI even if the judge had agreed to dismiss the charges, that would not be binding on other courts either. It would not have become binding unless one side or the other appealed and the circuit court and got a decision there. That decision would then become binding on *only* that circuit.

Comment: Re:Pitivi is such a POS (Score 3, Interesting) 79 79

Agreed - it's a POS.

I installed Pitivi .15.2 from from the repos. It literally took me less than 2 minutes to crash it. It died as soon as I imported an mp3 to use as audio. (NOTE: Their website says not to report .15.2 bugs. They are evidently not supporting it anymore)

Then, following the suggestions posted here, I grabbed the latest version from source (which through trial and error, I found required adding a source repo and installing build dependencies before attempting to install from source). I configured it, built it, and tried to run it. It immediately errored out, complaining that I need to install yet more missing dependencies (GES this time). I googled the problem, saw lots of people complaing about this, and found some vague instructions on the pitivi wiki (http://wiki.pitivi.org/wiki/Building_with_GES) explaining how to install it.

At this point, I threw in the towel.

Comment: Re:or stop hiding... (Score 1) 377 377

"Face it, the evidence is that the USA has no real interest in Assange." - that's bullshit. Even while denying that he's under indictment, the official who said it was only half-hearted in his denial: "Nothing has occurred so far," ( -- http://www.washingtonpost.com/... )

"So far" being the operative word. And that sounds like a lot more interest than none at all.

Comment: Re:or stop hiding... (Score 2) 377 377

"It would be easier for the US to get him extradited from the UK than from Sweden." -- except he isn't in the UK. He's in Ecuador. And when Whitehall floated the idea that they could violate the integrity of the Ecuadorian embassy to arrested him, it blew up in their faces. Doing so would effectively open up their embassies to similar retaliation by every other country in the world.

Comment: Re:"free" market solution (Score 3, Informative) 452 452

"Because the effect of that would be to push even more transactions into unregulated "dark pools". Why do you believe that HFT is harmful? Do you have any evidence, other than fear of something you don't understand?"

Yes - (1) HFT has the potential to cause extreme volatility swings. (2) HFT essentially introduces a tax on every other buyer and seller in the market (because it actually widens the difference between the post and the offer).

On point #2, I'll just leave this here: http://qz.com/95088/high-frequency-trading-is-bad-for-normal-investors-researchers-say/

Comment: Re:Why are you a vigilante? (Score 2) 161 161

I thought this worthy of just popping in to comment even before the real interview because the question is so ludicrously misinformed.

I am a strong supporter of personal privacy and freedom of speech. Based on everything that I have seen so far, Eric Snowden will go down in history as a hero. I have been reading lots about him, including his youthful posts to Ars Technica. I think it really interesting to think about the process by which the young man who made those posts became the man we see before us today facing down all the might of the US intelligence services based on a strong belief that mass surveillance is wrong and illegal.

My actions at Wikipedia around this were perfectly honorable and noble and did not violate any rules of any kind. I invited a discussion of information that is already completely public - the user accounts that he used at Ars Technica have been widely reported. I was curious (and am still curious) to find more of his past writings. I am working through various connections to try to talk to him - I had hoped to do so in person when I visit Hong Kong in August, but obviously he's gone from there now.

I think he needs strong support from people well positioned to provide that support. I think that what he did was illegal - quite clearly so. I highly recommend the book "Concerning Dissent and Civil Disobendiance" by former US Supreme Court justice Abe Fortas for a very interesting analysis of the ethics around breaking the law deliberately in the interests of justice.

The knee jerk reaction by some in the Internet community has been, as usual, annoying. They call it anonymous "coward" for a reason - it's easy to sling mud and pretend to have the high moral ground if you feel completely and utterly unconcerned about the facts of reality.

Comment: Re:Bad idea (Score 1) 53 53

It would be fairly easy to have DHS come up with a list of things (physical locations, services, etc) to designate as critical to national infrastructure. In fact, I'd be shocked if they don't already have such a list already.

The organization that runs these these locations/services would have to build into all of their software contracts a liability clause.

Problem solved.

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