Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Be careful of the term "terrorist attack" (Score 1) 721

by Mr. Slippery (#49344345) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

The fact that no attack occured gives the talking heads leeway to claim there was no "terrorist attack."

A terrorist is a person who attempts to bring about political change by "illegitimate" (i.e., non-state) violence.

Mass murder is only terrorism if it is an attack on a political entity, or is an attempt to scare a nation's population into something.

Unless someone says, "We're going to keep crash your planes until you do such-and-such", this isn't terrorism. There's no attempt to bring about political change involved, only murder, motive unknown.

Comment: Re:Hasn't been involved with Greenpeace since 1985 (Score 5, Informative) 572

by Mr. Slippery (#49310861) Attached to: Greenpeace Co-Founder Declares Himself a Climate Change Skeptic

Here is what is also true: greenpeace and other "green" organizations have been found to be taking millions of dollars in money from Russian oil interests, through shell corporations

Hey, you left out your link to a reliable source for this claim.

According to the GAO, $106 billion was spent by US government on climate research by 2010.

A total over an unstated number of years is meaningless. According to Forbes -- hardly a lefty source, and this is a denialist article -- the U.S. Government spent $32.5 billion on climate studies over 20 years between 1989 and 2009. That's $1.6 billion a year. About $5 per American per year. Accoridng to the GAO (notice the hyperlink, please starting using them, thanks) federal climate change acivities in 2010 were $8.8 billion, but that includes "technology to reduce emissions, science to better understand climate change, international assistance for developing countries, and wildlife adaptation to respond to actual or expected changes" -- so climate research is only a small part of that. Figure a quarter to a third of it is climate research. So we're looking at something on the order of $2 or $3 billion a year spent by the federal government on climate change research.

For comparison, the Iraq war was is estimated to have cost $1,100 billion in total.

Exxon Mobills's profits -- not revenues, profits -- last year were $32.5 billion. And that's just one company.

The Army's R&D budget -- not the whole military, just the Army -- is around $21 - 32 billion.Climate research funding is chump change. I kind of liked this line of bullshit better when it was "those scientists telling us smoking causes cancer are just riding the research gravy train!" At least it was a fresh and audacious sort of intellectual dishonesty then. Now it's just pathetic.

Comment: Re:Did we need the heart-tugging anecdotes? (Score 1) 498

by Mr. Slippery (#49224271) Attached to: Mental Health Experts Seek To Block the Paths To Suicide

Unless you are in a concentration camp, suicidal ideation and behavior is a mental health symptom.

Really? So, say, a terminal cancer patient who's in constant pain and wants to die is not of sound mental health?

Or maybe you'd like to revise that statement and say that there are other conditions besides "concentration camp" where suicide may be a rational response?

Comment: Re:Maybe in a different country (Score 5, Informative) 498

by Mr. Slippery (#49224137) Attached to: Mental Health Experts Seek To Block the Paths To Suicide

You don't need a gun at your nightstand, it's never going to be a matter of seconds that saves you.

You do realize that when you make a statement like that, it takes only a single counterexample to prove you wrong?

Like this: The mother tells 7 Action News she "didn't have time to get scared." When she heard the door to her home on Woodrow Wilson being kicked in, she immediately warned the three teenage intruders and then opened fire.

Or this: "Apparently the homeowner has been the victim of burglary recently so he was on alert, he was on edge, and as soon as he heard glass breaking he armed himself to protect himself and his 11-year-old child who was in the home."

Or this: "Police said Henry broke into the house and began to attack Moreno until her daughter, Jayda Milsap, 11, shot Henry twice with a handgun." Now there's a story about kids and guns you probably didn't see on the news. If this mom had kept her gun locked so her daughter couldn't get to it, they both might be dead now.

So I'm sorry to inform you of this, but when it comes to violent crime the world does not work the way you think that it does. When an armed person is suddenly and without prior warning in your home, you are in a combat situation. And in a combat situation, seconds matter.

Whether the risk of being prepared for such a situation does or does not outweigh the risks of having an unlocked gun around depends on your risk of home invasion, who lives in the house, who visits the house, and so on. A universal assessment is impossible. But in making the choice you need to be aware that there is a tremendous selection bias in the stories that are covered in the media: defensive firearms use does not receive nearly the coverage that the accidental shooting of a kid does, but is orders of magnitude more common.

Comment: Re:Yeah but why is this on Slashdot? (Score 1, Troll) 606

by Mr. Slippery (#49220471) Attached to: YouTube Video of Racist Chant Results In Fraternity Closure

Why would the college have any reason to discipline the students, especially if this is a public college

A fraternity is an officially recognized campus group. On some campuses they even have special housing. Yanking that privilege when the group behaves like a bunch of assholes is not censorship. It's not the same as belonging to Joe Bob's Gaming and Bar-B-Q society which meets every Sunday in Joe Bob's garage.

Chanting about lynching could be seen as a credible threat of violence against African Americans. It is a grey area and would depend on context.

For a student to saying "I don't like black people" is asinine and ignorant...but certainly not a crime and should not be a disciplinary offense. (For a professor or a TA to express such bigotry is a different matter. Still not a crime but a bigot isn't qualified to do that job.)

Comment: Re:Can you Yak a fire in the Campus theater? (Score 2) 367

by Mr. Slippery (#49214573) Attached to: Yik Yak Raises Controversy On College Campuses

Not all speech is protected.

Yes. It is. It amazes me that people still cite Holmes's "fire in a crowded theater" bullshit from Schenck v. United States, where the SCOTUS trampled over Amendment I to criminalize an anti-draft protest.

If you shout "fire" in a theater when there is in fact a fire, you could be a hero. If you're on stage as part of the performance and fire is part of the plot of the play, you can shout "fire!". If shouting "fire" in a theater causes people to get trampled, the fault is on the architects or operators of the theater for not providing adequate exit routes, not the speaker. The only rightful liability someone falsely crying "fire" falsely has is civil, not criminal.

Comment: Re:Baking political correctness in society (Score 0) 367

by Mr. Slippery (#49214479) Attached to: Yik Yak Raises Controversy On College Campuses

Using anonymous speech to say things that are harmful to OTHERS is cowardly and generally speaking not protected by the First Amendment nor should it.

Speech can only harm a person if it is credible. (E.g., I start a credible rumor about you, your reputation is damaged.) Anonymous speech is not credible.

And there is no exception in the First Amendment for "harmful" speech. Nor should there be. Sometimes speech should be harmful to people. "John Doe broke the law!" is harmful to John Doe, but if it's true it should certainly be protected.

Comment: Re:Baking political correctness in society (Score 5, Interesting) 367

by Mr. Slippery (#49214437) Attached to: Yik Yak Raises Controversy On College Campuses

Liberal folks, this is your issue. The conservatives and libertarians are all over preserving the right to speech. Where is your support for the same?

Liberals are by definition "all over preserving the right to speech".

Authoritarian progressives are not.

Authoritarian progressives have taken over some of the political and social organs often associated in popular thought with "liberalism". I think this can be traced back to the 1988 Presidential campaign, when Bush attacked Dukakis as a "card carrying member of the ACLU", and rather than pushing back with "yes, I support civil liberties as enshrined in the Bill of Rights -- you don't? Shame on you!", the Democrats began a retreat from those values.

Comment: Re:Not at all surprising (Score 3, Insightful) 187

by Mr. Slippery (#49211317) Attached to: China's Arthur C. Clarke

Feel free to move to North Korea friend,

Right, because the only possible alternative to capitalism is Maoism.

Communism, we can all lounge around navel gazing our way through coffee table philosophy books as equals.

Sure, an economic system based on the value and dignity of labor and the idea that the system should be run by and for workers rather than a state-backed aristocratic capitalist class, leads to lounging around all day navel gazing. Obviously.

Comment: Re:Thank you, school monopoly... (Score 1) 591

by Mr. Slippery (#48960315) Attached to: Texas Boy Suspended For "Threatening" Classmate With the One Ring

But there is no such choice in the single most important sphere of all: the children education.

Really? There is no choice? No private schools, no charter schools, no home schooling?

I'm all in favor of arranging public education to grant more choice to students; smaller and more numerous schools and let a student go to any public school in their county/city/state (depending on how taxes are allocated) they like. Maybe even vouchers for secular private schools that take the voucher as the whole tuition (no public funds for religious education, no letting rich kids use tax dollars as partial payment at a school for the 1%ers), though I'm not sure on that point. But to claim that the current system offer no choice is simply inaccurate.

Since 1960-ies the per-pupil annual cost of public schools quadrupled (inflation-adjusted), while the quality of education remains the same (if it has not gotten worse).

Public schools have increased the array of services provided -- free and reduced-price meals, special education, vocational education, and services for disabled or ESL students -- in that time.

Overall, public schools have equivalent or better outcomes than private schools with the same level of spending per student.

And Texas's public school spending is near the bottom compared to other states, so trying to link this to some supposed overspending on schools does not fly.

Comment: Re:Fucking idiots in charge of schools. AGAIN. (Score 1) 591

by Mr. Slippery (#48958881) Attached to: Texas Boy Suspended For "Threatening" Classmate With the One Ring

If you're thinking of voting for any politician who takes contributions from the the NEA, then FUCK YOU.

...because the NEA is so strong in Texas. So very strong that per-pupil spending and teacher's salaries are near the bottom compared to other states.

As usual, union bashing is disconnected from reality.

Comment: Re:Simple solution (Score 3, Interesting) 431

by Mr. Slippery (#48895471) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

Are there any valuable functions mapped to a middle button anyway, that make it so important?

Yes. For people who use real computers, middle button = "paste selected text".

Who puts three fingers on the surface of a mouse?

People who use real computers but have not yet found the one true pointing device, the 4-button Logitech Marble Mouse Trackball.

There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence. -- Jeremy S. Anderson