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Comment Re:What about me? (Score 5, Informative) 268

So, how about people who like other movies and don't like getting spoilers? Or is this a Star Wars Master Race thing where everyone else are second class citizens that doesn't deserve protection?

Encountering new narratives is one of narrative's fundamental pleasures. Novelty is so important to narratives that in many cases entire classes of aesthetic effects and domains of hermeneutic structures depend on an audience's relative ignorance about what happens next.

So, it's not just courtesy to label narrative "secrets" spoilers if they are unexpected; doing so protects the value of narratives for future audiences, and the act of people coming to their own understandings about a narrative is worth protecting because, in many ways, our very identities are constructed from the kinds of narratives we encounter and the lessons we learn as we experience (and later reflect on) the things we experience as we discover a narrative that is new to us.

I take a pragmatic approach. If I'm on the web and writing about a recently-produced (within a year) narrative, I label my reveals with clear ***SPOILER ALERT***s. On the other opposite hand, if I'm writing for (say) a literary journal about Thomas Pynchon's _The Crying of Lot 49_, I don't bother with them because the target audience understands they are expected to have already read the narrative I'm discussing.

But most discussions which contain narrative "secrets" fall somewhere in the middle, like a 400-year old story called _Romeo and Juliet_ which is one of the cornerstones of Modern aesthetic culture. Or maybe you're discussing a 2500-year old story about a king searching for the cause of the plague across his kingdom called _Oedipus Rex_ (well, the spoiler comes up front in that play, but you get the idea). My habit is to label those middle-ground reveals as spoilers, too, something I think everyone should do to protect the value of those narratives for future generations.

In other words, be a good human being and care for those who come after you by labelling your spoilers and being sensitive to the audience who will encounter what you write perhaps in an entirely different context.

I applaud Reddit's decision to block (banning may be a little extreme) users who want to destroy the aesthetic and epistemological value of a long-awaited narrative. I wish Slashdot and all my other Internet favorites would do something similar not only for Abrams' _The Force Awakens_ but for ALL narratives.

For my part, I knowingly took a risk even coming here to post, given that Slashdot is (rightly) renown for allowing all speech to flourish (to various degrees subject to the moderation system). But that uncritical acceptance of all speech also means that I will not come back to this thread until AFTER I've seen Abrams' contribution to the Star Wars franchise.

See you at the movies!

Comment Re:Private sector will always do it better. (Score 4, Informative) 352

Socialize? I guess we should get rid of roads, police, military then... because by your definition, anything that the public requests of their government, and then pays for... is "socialist".

We need to be stopping the relentless growth of big corporations and monopolies, not giving them more power & money to control politics.

That's the whole point. Publicly funded "roads, police, military" are socialist and, even so, are perceived by many upstanding Americans to be good things.

In other words, using "socialism" and "socialist" as labels to demonize something or someone is mere rhetoric. A socialist approach to a problem should be evaluated on its merits against and in combination with other approaches.

The use of the word "socialism" as a label often stops thoughtful deliberation, and those who use such labels usually have something to lose if their listeners really think about the issues at hand. Better to stop further thinking by riling their emotions.

Comment Re:first (Score 5, Insightful) 508

The GP is definitely an example of a shibboleth.

Given the summary, however, it appears that Charllie Stross doesn't know how to use the word "shibboleth" correctly.

In particular, a shibboleth is simply an expression or signal used by someone that helps other members of the in group recognize the signaler's (shibboleth user) membership in that in group. It's not used as a pejorative.

While certainly people (in or out) can react negatively to a shibboleth (like judging people who, for example, "high five" each other), shibboleths are not negative in and of themselves. Designating improbable science fictional mechanisms "shibboleths" really doesn't make sense.

At all.

Comment I'm a little confused (Score 2) 12

I'm a little sheepish about having to ask a question to understand the nature of this bug. Hopefully someone is willing to provide an explanation.

So, I understand the content/markup could be loaded via JSON (I'm presuming an AJAX call) and that the vulnerability was a CSS class that allowed a link inside the JSON to be styled to cover the entire page, thus maximizing the likelihood of an unsuspecting user clicking on the target link (malicious or not).

My question is "Did this technique merely maximize the likelihood of clicking on a link already on the page?" From what I can understand the possibly malicious link has to already reside in the JSON, the CSS vulnerability simply took that link and expanded it to cover the entire page.

Am I missing something here? Thanks, in advance, for any clarification.

Comment Re:funny. (Score 2) 246

Having worked in several university settings, I know how small and undisciplined dev teams in academia can be.

Having moved to commercial web development, I also know how easy it is to set up a VCS for a small team.

Once any repo is managed in a VCS (like git and GitHub), it's fairly straightforward to check a project's history and discover when and where the project stopped working as expected.

If you're not using a VCS, you should seriously consider doing so given the small overhead of setting it up and the considerable security of deploying code so maintained.

Comment Re:Have an awareness raising conversation (Score 5, Informative) 278

Another problem is that driving in SF can can very confusing, draining driver attention. Try to make a left turn onto Market Street on a busy day.

A few months ago, SF made private vehicles turning onto Market Street illegal. Today, biking home, I saw half a dozen cars flout those new laws.

As part of Vision Zero SF, the SFPD have pledged to Focus on the Five (PDF, sorry) "violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking. These violations are"

  • Driving at unsafe speed given conditions of roadway
  • Red light signal violations
  • Failure of driver to yield to pedestrian at a crosswalk
  • Failure of driver to yield while making a left or U-turn
  • Failure to stop at a STOP sign limit line

I cannot tell you (yeah, yeah, anecdote) how many times I've encountered while riding my bike motorists speeding through the streets of SF as if they were Karl Malden in a 1970s era TV cop show.

So, I'm in perfect agreement with you, ShanghaiBill, that a number of downtown SF city blocks should be turned into pedestrian malls strictly controlled for public transportation only.

As a side note, the first week or so Market Street had SFMTA employees keeping private vehicles from turning onto Market Street was the day public transit drivers and cabbies started racing down Market at over 35 miles per hour and jockeying to beat every. Single. Light. and running them if they couldn't.

Comment Re:Ironically this was caused by slow XCode downlo (Score 2) 246

Some Chinese developers downloaded this tainted XCode because of slow download times of XCode from the Mac App Store.

Downloading XCode from the Mac App Store takes nearly a full day! I think this delivery mechanism of XCode is developers is very crummy and quite a nuisance.

Maybe it's an effect of the Great Firewall? My understanding is that Internet throughput in China (especially for inbound traffic) is very unpredictable with speed varying not only across time but also on physical location.

Comment Biking while intoxicated (Score 2) 696

As a cyclist between the ages of 35 and 54, these statistics directly concern me. That said, I'm a very experienced and highly-capable (not bragging) cyclist.

The is anecdata, I know, but a handful of people I know (~5) who took up biking and then stopped because of a serious accident have done so because they had an accident while biking after having drinks. I know biking wine tasting in Napa is also a thing.

In any case, my point is out-loud wondering what percentage of these accidents can be accounted for by drunken cyclists and/or cyclists with impaired/lowered motor skills.

Please, everyone, ride and drive safely and soberly. Commuting injuries and mortalities are just not worth it.

Comment Repressive State Apparatus Doubles Down (Score 5, Insightful) 608

He should come home to the United States, and be judged by a jury of his peers — not hide behind the cover of an authoritarian regime. Right now, he's running away from the consequences of his actions.

I received the email about whitehouse.gov's response and, to my mind, Monaco's statement doesn't veer one degree from goal of punishing Snowden as an warning to others, rather than protecting him as a whistleblower.

When Monaco and the rest of the Whitehouse talk about "hid[ing] behind the cover of an authoritarian regime" they all should look in the mirror.

Comment Re:No surprised in good ole Mass... (Score 4, Insightful) 155

In other words, "if you make the government pay for it, people will complain about raising taxes" is a feature, not a bug. That's the point--the government should make it obvious that it is taking the money, so the public can decide whether it's really worth it. And sometimes they won't.

The likely outcome of leaving a mostly able-bodied populace to decide whether providing transportation to the disabled is "worth it" is precisely why such matters are and should be handled by the government which, ostensibly, promotes the common good.

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