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Comment: Two Important Reasons. (Score 5, Funny) 183

by BlackHawk-666 (#49484695) Attached to: How Many Hoaxes Are On Wikipedia? No One Knows

In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Wikipedia has already supplanted the great Encyclopedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects.

First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words Don't Panic inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.

Comment: Re:This is fucking stupid. (Score 1) 278

by plover (#49467219) Attached to: Researchers Developing An Algorithm That Can Detect Internet Trolls

You barely survived bullying, so you should know better than most that many people don't. That's plenty of reason not to tolerate bullying.

Look at it this way: survival of the fittest is already being changed by modern medicine; would you withhold penicillin from a child with pneumonia because he's too weak to survive? By extension, we owe the same level of concern to people with psychological problems.

Comment: Re:just what we need (Score 1) 278

by plover (#49464765) Attached to: Researchers Developing An Algorithm That Can Detect Internet Trolls

No, it's pre-crime if they've done no harm at the time they're banned.

The triggers or flags the algorithm recognizes are not themselves the offenses. They are just attributes of posts from people who in the past have exhibited similar early behavior; this algorithm knows how to recognize that pattern.

Let's say that you categorize a thousand historical troll posts, and study their metrics (I'm going to make up some fake metrics here for example.) The average number of posts before they actually get to spewing the bile might be 15. Of those 15, an average of two of them might contain the misspelled phrase "your wrong". Another indicator might be writing five posts within the first hour of registering a new ID. None of those posts contain an actual troll message, but 75% of the time someone matches that behavior, they will have written a troll by their 10th-20th post.

Pre-crime would be banning people based on matching this pattern without waiting for the actual troll post to be made. It would ban 100% of pattern-matchers, but of those, only 75% would statistically have gone on to actually troll. The other 25% would be unfairly banned for their poor spelling and bad timing.

Comment: Re:This is fucking stupid. (Score 4, Insightful) 278

by plover (#49464593) Attached to: Researchers Developing An Algorithm That Can Detect Internet Trolls

While I believe that people who are less sensitive tend to thrive more than others, I don't agree that "thicker skin" is a workable solution. Too many people have fragile emotional states and simply don't have the neural hardware psychological capacity required to dismiss the hate and insults that often happen on line. There have been some high-profile suicides among teens who were attacked online, and who knows how many people remove themselves from public comment because of the hate they've received? For safety reasons I don't think society should completely abrogate the forums to the trolls.

Does that not mean some people are overly sensitive? Sure. But just as we shouldn't velour-line the internet to cater to absolutely every person with a psychological disorder; we also don't have to tolerate the diarrhea that spews forth from the trolls. We don't have to draw a hard-and-fast line on the ground, either, and define "these words are always 100% bad in 100% of situations". Instead, we should be welcoming humans in the loop, asking them to pass judgment when needed. That gets us to a more fluid state than full automation. It also lets the user choose. Don't like the judgment process on Slashdot? Don't hang out on Slashdot.

I know full automated filtering is the holy grail of internet forum moderation, but as soon as you deploy a filter it becomes a pass/fail test for the trolls, who quickly learn to adapt and evade it. Human judges can adapt, too, and are about the only thing that can; there are simply too few for the volume of trolls out there. A tool like this might help them scale this effort to YouTube volumes.

Comment: Re:Not my type of show either.... (Score 4, Interesting) 148

by BlackHawk-666 (#49463849) Attached to: Nearly Half of <em>Game of Thrones</em> Season 5 Leaks Online

Let me help you over the bridge. Science fiction is often just fantasy, but with lasers and pod racers instead of swords and horses. Star Wars itself would lose little if it happened in a medieval setting (storywise, special effects would have suffered, and sadly that was 80% of the cool factor for me). I mean they already have a princess who keeps getting captured and needs rescuing by a knight...uh, I mean jedi knight. Lucky the old master is there to train the young apprentice in the way of the sword...er...force! He struggles to become strong enough to take on the black knight...um, Lord Vader. But only once the old master is defeated can the new apprentice rise above his master and defeat the black knight...fuck it, I mean Vader.

There's an old saying, if it's fantasy the women are dressed in fur bikinis. If it's science fiction, they are wearing metallic bikinis.

So, just take any science fiction story, and if the storyline itself could play out just as well in medieval Europe, Middle Earth or some spell casting land (swap guns and gadgets for wands, staves and magic items) then it's really just fantasy.

Comment: Re:Double tassel ... (Score 1) 216

by plover (#49442541) Attached to: Senate Draft of No Child Left Behind Act Draft Makes CS a 'Core' Subject

Because too many people still associate coding with Computer Science, and are not taught Software Engineering.

Computer Science is all about the languages and the algorithms: how to make the computer count, how to make it sort, how to normalize data, etc. Software engineering is about the whys of design principles and design patterns. It's about testability, quality, readability, maintainability. It's about development methodologies. Almost anyone can write a sequential list of instructions, but unless they understand modularity, complexity, coupling, cohesion, they will not produce effectively maintainable code. They still think that because they passed a coding class that they're a coder, so they produce a crappy pile of hard-coded inappropriate dependencies, and then build more stuff that depends on the badly designed stuff, and then they wonder why programming sucks.

If we taught every child in the "Intro to Coding" class using Test Driven Development, we'd be teaching them to be the very first consumers of the code they write, and they'd quickly feel the consequences of making their own poor choices. They'd learn to course correct early, instead of struggling like so many of the questioners asking about homework problems on Stack Overflow. Instead of waiting to teach TDD as an advanced graduate level course, we'd have a lot more people who "get it". Or we'd quickly weed out the people who are incapable of ever getting it. Either way, everyone would be better off than we are.

Comment: Re:Interlacing? WTF? (Score 1) 113

by PotatoHead (#49423335) Attached to: Turning the Arduino Uno Into an Apple ][

C64 used a non-sequential scheme that mirrored it's character display.

8 bytes sequential on most machines means a linear series of pixels on the same scan line.

On the C64, those bytes got stacked up to form a character, each byte on a sequential scan line, assuming one starts at a character boundary.

Comment: Re:IoT (Score 1) 191

A heartbeat can theoretically be traced, at least to the last RF transmitter in the chain. If that's WiFi, it's a few hundred meters at most. If it's typical home automation, it's 20 meters or so. So, if the Evil Midnight Bomber is being watched, the messages originating from him could be noticed. It's definitely not the stealthiest of options.

Yes, a transmitter putting out a watt or two would lead to the needle in the haystack scenario, but the bad guys aren't doing that yet.

Dynamically binding, you realize the magic. Statically binding, you see only the hierarchy.