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Comment: Re:why the focus on gender balance? (Score 2) 568

by squiggleslash (#47783721) Attached to: Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

Why must everything be gender balanced?

Why should the fact that not everything need be gender balanced mean that you can't argue that a specific thing should be?

To put it another way: is Wikipedia helped or harmed by having only one gender contribute to it, given it's supposed to be a repository of human knowledge?


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Comment: Re:Discrimination (Score 2) 568

by squiggleslash (#47783707) Attached to: Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

Also why is it that WP should do more to appeal to females but FB doesn't need to do more to appeal to males?

Because Wikipedia is, for better or worse, intended to be a repository of human knowledge, while Facebook is a repository of cat photos, freemium games, and promotional potato chip coupon pages.

Having half the (intelligent, knowledgable) population under-represented in Wikipedia is a problem as it will impact the information Wikipedia makes available, and the usefulness of that information, and thus the usefulness of Wikipedia as a whole and its ability to be a repository for human knowledge.

Comment: Re:Now almost as useful as python was 5 years ago! (Score 1) 115

by squiggleslash (#47778857) Attached to: PHP 5.6.0 Released

It doesn't have a monopoly as such, but it's very hard to avoid. Many - maybe even most - of the major web apps you're likely to be contracted to change/extend are written in PHP for some reason. There appears to be no mainstream alternative to, say, Wordpress/Drupal/et al that's written in something more solid like Java or C#.

GNU is Not Unix

Journal: systemd 1

Journal by squiggleslash

Having read up on it, I don't think systemd is a bad idea. I rather like:

1. Doing away with shell scripts with huge amounts of redundant, and frequently badly written, garbage to manage starting and stopping system services.
2. Using cgroups to properly isolate, contain, and track system services.
3. Centralizing the services concept so it's network aware, rather than a separate inetd server

Comment: Re:I humbly believe the experiment is flawed (Score 1) 247

by squiggleslash (#47773473) Attached to: Fermilab Begins Testing Holographic Universe Theory

Please be aware that despite virtually every poster thinking otherwise here, the Holographic Universe Theory is not about simulations, the Matrix, or anything like that. Think back to what a Hologram actually is, rather than how the term is often used in science fiction - that is, a 2D object that, when hit by light at different angles, projects entirely different patterns. That's the definition of the word they were using when they came up with the phrase.

Now, if you're going to ask me to describe what HUT is, I'm the wrong person. Nobody understands a word I'm saying half the time, and in any case, I don't understand the concepts enough to be able to understand it, let alone explain it.

Comment: Re:The death of leniency (Score 1) 611

by squiggleslash (#47773421) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

I think you've missed the GP's issue with MI's solution which is that inevitably the result of jailing people for photographing rabbits is that people who photograph rabbits end up getting jailed.

That is, this "solution" has a hell of a lot of collateral damage. Entirely blameless people will get their lives turned upside down. Lots of people. Not one person who pissed off a policeman once in a blue-moon, but hundreds, may be thousands. These people will lose their jobs, have difficultly getting employment, may lose their home and worldly possessions, all because of they spend time in prison after violating a stupid law.

Worse still, MI assumes that the law will get repealed, and you assume the law will get repealed quickly. Both are statements without supporting arguments. It is reasonable to assume that if the act of arresting people over something so blatantly stupid causes a public outcry, that is, if it garners widespread media coverage, then the law might get amended. But it's NOT clear that the enforcement will get that outcry, and in some ways, it's more likely to get the outcry if the law is abused than if it isn't.

Outcry or not, the law will not be amended "quickly", because local and State governments do have a process for amending laws, do have an agenda they're trying to implement at the same time, and so are at best likely to take months to repeal an unpopular law. At worst, years, or never. If there's just one stupid law, then yeah, shortly before an election it's likely to be addressed. Dozens? Well, sure, shortly before an election one or two of those dozens, the one or two that the media is focusing on, will get repealed. Everything else? They may get repealed, if there's time, during the outcry itself. If the outcry dies down, then the law will get forgotten and continue to get enforced. It may even be that sympathy evaporates for the victims, as the lack of rationality of the law gets forgotten as the blame shifts to new victims for continuing to violate the law despite the fact everyone knows about it now because of the previous outcry.

It's a very bad idea. Everyone, police, prosecutors, judges, and so on, needs to use their discretion and decide when it's a good idea to enforce something and when it isn't. We've already denied judges that discretion with mandatory sentencing laws, and that's not done us any good at all. How is denying prosecutors and police discretion going to help?

Comment: Re:Not surprising (Score 2, Insightful) 505

by squiggleslash (#47759003) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

I've been wondering that too.

The point of driverless cars is supposed to be a way to get us to that utopian transportation vision where we can go anywhere automatically by telling our transportation device where we want to go. This has been "possible" for decades but for one problem: all proposed systems required new tracks/roads be built that were separated from the current road system. That's prohibitively expensive. So in walks Google, and a few others, and says "We have all this technology, let's create something that interoperates with existing traffic on existing roads."

And they do some demos, and everyone thinks they've solved the problem.

Only they haven't. Google's cars, for example, have to drive on a "virtual track". There are holes in the track. Some of them are holes in the map, others are temporary detours and or obstacles that means the cars are unable to navigate them because it doesn't have enough information. To make driverless cars "work" as well as they appear to do at all across the whole country, Google is going to have to keep a constant, updated by the minute, map of the entire US road system, not just the official roads, but the private roads, the position of every driveway, etc.

So the DMV's comments aren't actually entirely out of order. Forget emergencies, you will have to take over every few hundred miles, assuming Google can update its databases to some decent compromise between up-to-the-second and "good enough", simply because the cars are going to have problems continuing.

Me? I'd prefer we look at our transportation system again and ask if this is really what we want and need. And if we're going to continue legally mandating suburban development and banning urban development, perhaps we need to look into improving PRT technologies and making them work.

Comment: To save you pouring through forum comments... (Score 4, Informative) 251

by squiggleslash (#47756757) Attached to: New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

If I'm reading the Neowin thread, followed by the Neowin articles, properly, the "two windows" speculation thing appears to be because of this:

- In September, Microsoft will release a preview of Windows 9 called "Threshold" to Enterprise customers. The idea is that Enterprises (large corporations) need some time to prepare for the upgrade.

- Threshold is mostly feature complete, but lacks the more significant UI changes that Windows 9 will bring.

- Windows 9 will be released much later and will have significant UI upgrades as well as everything in Threshold.

Because these two versions of "Next generation Windows" have been floating around, some have thought that there are two different versions of Windows.

Comment: Re:Like buying from a car thief (Score 2) 92

by squiggleslash (#47755997) Attached to: Early Bitcoin User Interviewed By Federal Officers

The problem is that very often someone who thinks he is (or is) completely innocent will talk to the cops, and as a result the cops decide he's committed a crime, prosecute him, and he goes to jail. Here's an example of the scientist Thomas Butler

For those who don't want to click on the link, it describes a situation wherea man was prosecuted for lying to the FBI, after he caused a major alert by pretending some vials of plague bacteria had been stolen that, in fact, he'd accidentally destroyed.

I'm kind of wondering if that's the example the parent poster actually planned to use, or if he cut and pasted the wrong link. I'd have thought Bulter would have been aware of the consequences of pretending someone had stolen such a thing, that it would result in a major investigation, with a lot of resources wasted.

Comment: Re:Urgh (Score 4, Insightful) 525

Hate to break it to you, but nothing about socialism has anything to do with "occupational licensing". Socialism is simply about people cooperating with one another to work for the public good, which might be via the government, but can equally be in voluntary groups - the cooperative movement, for example, is considered socialist by virtually everyone, be they rabid anti-socialist or red hippie alike, yet has nothing to do with government. And let's not get started on unions... Robert Owen, considered by most the "Father of Socialism", had no government role at all in what he was working on, he'd be admired by many libertarians if it wasn't for that damned dirty S word blinkering them.

Part of the problem with the US right now is the propaganda has gotten so ridiculous that the word "socialism" has been redefined here to the point of meaninglessness. Most Americans seem to use it to mean "Anything the government does (that I don't like)". That's a silly definition, and if we want a meaningful discussion of the way the world should work, we need to eliminate it. "Anything the government does" has a variety of words to describe it already. And nobody in their right mind worships prisons, oil subsidies, or indeed the military-industrial complex, as examples of cases where people come together to work for the public good.

Comment: Re:Waaah. (Score 1) 336

by squiggleslash (#47735793) Attached to: New EU Rules Will Limit Vacuum Cleaners To 1600W

Electric kettles sell poorly here, and when I got here - though this changed around five years later - it was exceptionally difficult to find an automatic kettle (one that shuts off when the water starts boiling.)

And yeah, they do seem to take longer, though it's too early in the morning for me to figure out why, my sleeping head is thinking the halved voltage should mean double the amps through the element for the same wattage, making it hotter. (Or is that the problem, and as a result US heating elements need to have a lower resistance for the same wattage, and thus don't output as much heat?)

"Well hello there Charlie Brown, you blockhead." -- Lucy Van Pelt