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Comment: Re:Got you, Mrs. Sampson (Score 1) 80

My 8th grade English teacher told us that books were written in the third person, and sometimes the first person. I raised my hand and asked about books written in the second person. She told me there was no such thing. The next day, I came in with "The Mystery Of Chimney Rock" and got a frown from Mrs. Sampson. She had what I found in later life to be a common reaction from the literati when they encounter an inconvenient truth: she disparaged it as garbage literature and said it didn't count.

Mrs. Sampson, you really disappointed me. Here was a chance to learn something new, and you refused because it threatened your existing view of what literature is.

Unfortunately, many teachers become interested in "education" not because they want to learn and explore but because they want to "master" a field of knowledge. They want to swallow truth whole and digest it so that it will embiggen them. They often don't consider that the domains which constitute knowledge will grow and change as long as there are things that can be known.

More directly concerning the question of second-person Literature-with-a-capital-"L" Literature, Jay McInerney's Bright Lights, Big City is written in the second-person and is well-regarded by many teachers of creative writing and professors of Literature.

Comment: Re:my thoughts (Score 1, Troll) 372

by MisterSquid (#48218541) Attached to: NY Doctor Recently Back From West Africa Tests Positive For Ebola

There is a huge difference between being in a room with someone with early stages of ebola for a few minutes and working in a hospital. Here are some factors when working in a hospital with ebola patients; 1. Much longer contact periods. Many health workers in Africa work 18 hour days. 2. Much closer contact. Health workers touch ebola patients much more often than the general public. 3. Contact later in the disease progression. Ebola is transmitted by bodily fluids. As the disease progresses more bodily fluids are secreted, it is a hemorrhagic disease, and more pathogen is present in the excretions.

If one works long hours and their suit is covered in ebola laden fluids it is quite probable that a small mistake can cause infection. Even the fatigue factor may cause errors in protocol.

The nurses in Texas who contracted Ebola from Duncan, do you believe that they had "prolonged" contact with him?

The Ebola virus spreads through bodily fluids including saliva (aerosolized when sneezing) and sweat. I think it is easier to spread than is currently believed, especially because fluids are more readily spread than is understood even by health experts.

Also, the Ebola virus apparently can live outside the body for several days if encapsulated in body fluids.

Anyone can verify these facts about about Ebola on the US CDC FAQ about Ebola.

Comment: Re:Just tell me (Score 1) 463

by MisterSquid (#48148871) Attached to: Positive Ebola Test In Second Texas Health Worker

So far we have a small handful of US infections - mostly related to one guy who brought it in the country and the healthcare workers who didn't follow appropriate protocols while working with him. (Some of that blame might lie on the CDC and the hospital's management - not all of it on the nurses.)

Contrast this with the 5% - 20% of people in the US who get the flu every year and the 200,000 who are hospitalized with flu-related complications. (Source)

Can we please stop comparing Ebola to the flu?

For starters, Ebola apparently has a 70% mortality rate. Additionally, Ebola kills people who are otherwise perfectly healthy. The flu does not.

The flu is a health concern, yes, but widespread infection of Ebola is a nightmare that would make (in Sierra Leone, "makes") most years' flu seasons look like a sneezing fit.

Comment: Re:Everybody Panic! (Score 2) 421

by MisterSquid (#48124661) Attached to: Texas Health Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

well no, I bet a dollar there was a tear in his suit. Simplest explanation is always right.

My favorite part about this is how it gives the lie to all the xenophobic rationalizations that people in various African nations were contracting Ebola because of $DANGEROUS_TRIBAL_FUNERARY_CEREMONY.

Ebola is transmitted through bodily fluids including sweat and aerosolized saliva (produced by sneezing). Containing bodily fluids in a social context—especially saliva and sweat—is virtually impossible and probably makes Ebola a lot more contagious than the talking heads are letting on.

Comment: Re:Shellshock is way worse (Score 1) 94

by MisterSquid (#48120693) Attached to: How Poor Punctuation Can Break Windows

So surprisingly few competently written applications do this; GNU dhcpd was one, I'll give you that if you can give me another.

A Leopard (Mac OS X v.10.5.8) web server (Apache) I admin was defaced a few days after the exploit was announced.

Totally my fault for not immediately securing BASH, but yeah, I'm pretty sure the cgi scripts authored by MovableType (3.x) make calls to /bin/sh.

I do consider MovableType to be competently written. The reality is that the Shellshock vulnerability was something no one was really thinking about and it took many admins and even highly technical groups of people by surprise.*

* Whatever you think of Yahoo! their engineers and admins are highly technical. Shellshock is just a very nasty bug.

Comment: Re:are you fucking kidding me? (Score 4, Interesting) 57

by MisterSquid (#48119085) Attached to: Flash IDE Can Now Reach Non-Flash Targets (Including Open Source)

Except they've pivoted and HAVE been making HTML5 authoring tools for the last 3 years. Edge, Muse, Flash (yes, it's been exporting to HTML5 for a while now), among others use HTML5 as their final output.

I went to a pitch-disguised-as-a-conference for one of Adobe's then-upcoming products (Edge?) and was fairly impressed about Adobe's recommitting to HTML5 authoring and a CSS/JS IDE.

Fast forward two years and many developers still haven't touched these products because they are avoiding Adobe's subscription-based licensing.

Adobe needs radically to change their corporate culture because a significant portion of the developers who would love to use their products are NOT going to start paying rent to even read the content they've created.*

* This sentence is a polite translation of "Adobe can go die in a fire."

Comment: Kids will be kids (Score 3, Interesting) 44

The whole domain of computer security is very serious and, well, I'm also wondering what kinds of things do you like to do that's just kid stuff that's not directly related to computing? You know, like riding a bicycle, going on hikes, playing tag (not trying to patronize as these are things I did when I was 8).

(This is the last question I will post in this thread. Thanks for considering.)

Comment: Security? (Score 4, Interesting) 44

Is security what you find most interesting in computing, or is there another area that interests you more? If security is what interests you most, what is it about security in particular you like?

I ask because it seems natural (as someone who was your age in the 1970s) that young people would either be interested in development programming (as I was) or games (which I sort of was).

(My apologies if you answered this in your talk, which I'm only just getting around to watching.)

Comment: Re:Depending on local ordinances... (Score 1) 488

by MisterSquid (#48044323) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

Kind of like laws that require my private residence built for me and my family to be fully-wheel chair accessible (no stairs to the ground floor, ground floor must have a kitchen, laundry room, and full wheel-chair accessible bathroom and at least one bedroom and all hallways and doors on ground floor must be 36 inch doors). Why? So that I won't be discriminating against a potential wheelchair bound buyer if and when I decide to sell.

Reasonable? Less so than requiring all housing to be hooked up to utilities.

Or maybe you will use your home's wheel-chair accessibility when you are old and infirm, or maybe your loved one will rely on your house's accessibility should he or she become injured. In those cases, your possible medical hardship won't be compounded with worries of how you're going to retrofit your home to the tune of $175,000 or more.

Comment: Re:Grim (Score 3, Insightful) 221

by MisterSquid (#47933099) Attached to: Obama Presses Leaders To Speed Ebola Response

Sure, it won't be pleasant, but the "Western" world shouldn't take anywhere near the damage Africa is taking.

You're doing that thing some of us call "skating to where the puck was" rather than "skating to where the puck will be".

EBV has already manifested several versions, some airborne (not yet contagious for humans), others with lower lethality (which is why this recent outbreak is so much more severe than previous ones).

If EBV is not contained now and stopped in its tracks, it will mutate/evolve and eventually be "successful" enough that you, I, and everyone else in the Western world will wonder what the hell happened.

Comment: Re:Grim (Score 5, Insightful) 221

by MisterSquid (#47931011) Attached to: Obama Presses Leaders To Speed Ebola Response

It is grim because we don't want to "offend" anyone with the proper response (quarantine the zone) . Political Correctness run amok is going to kill people.

How many dead or sick people before we stop worrying about feelings and sensibilities?

Don't be daft.

It is impossible to quarantine an area encompassing Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Congo, etc. Furthermore, a quarantine condition would likely lead to a humanitarian disaster, which I'm guessing the US government foresees and wants to establish a presence on the ground to "assist."

As the days go by I can't help but think of the way in which the military was deployed in 28 Weeks Later (sequel to 28 Days). Let's hope treatment production can ramp up and get to the sufferers before a tactical military response is even contemplated.

Also, I suspect one reason why the US is out in front of this is that they've run epidemiological simulations on EBV and have found that the whole world, including the US, in a shitload of trouble in short time.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.