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Comment: Re:I know this! (Score 1) 349

by rwa2 (#48427395) Attached to: "Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

Heh, for one of the hack days at work I totally recreated that scene in minecraft... used the python plugin to attach switches to scripts, so we could turn services off and on and use glowstone to monitor health checks. Had a sheep dispenser hooked up to drop sheep into a glass-encased river every time user traffic hit the website.

Also was working on some kind of pipeline deployment visualization involving minecarts, but it was difficult to restock the carts and load livestock reliably at the time.

Comment: Re:How did your senator vote? (Score 1) 406

by rwa2 (#48418833) Attached to: Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

That's cool... is there some sort of OKCupid interface to it yet, so you can see which representatives match your interests the best, and alerts you when they vote against what you say you're interested in?

Comment: Re:Subsidies? (Score 1) 484

by Loki_1929 (#48415313) Attached to: Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

How many tax subsidies finance into your average power plant? ...long term storage costs for nuclear waste

Now that's just unfair. Long term storage costs for nuclear "waste" only exist because the government doesn't allow for the reprocessing of perfectly good fuel. If they did, we'd be more like France, where the total final long-term waste of a family of four's entire lifetime fits in a soda can. And as all the usable energy has been removed from it, it actually is waste, meaning there's no energy radiating from it and no danger from it. At which point, those costs look vastly easier to manage and all subsidies can come off with virtually no impact to costs.

Government created a problem (basically a tax) by disallowing the reuse of perfectly good fuel. It then partially solved the problem it created by generating a subsidy to offset the tax. In the meantime, good fuel is wasted, exposed, and dangerous. It's about the dumbest thing in the world, but then again, it was something our government came up with, so at least that makes some sense.

+ - Canadians fighting to share details of "Canada's Steubenville." ->

Submitted by o_ferguson
o_ferguson (836655) writes "Last year, Canada was rocked by allegations surrounding the suicide of Rehtaeh Parsons, a teenager from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, who killed herself after being raped and having images if the assault circulated on social media by her classmates. While she reported the crime, and the photos were widely available, she receiving no help or justice, eventually committing suicide. Once this tragic case became known, Canadians demanded action, and police eventually re-opened their instigation, charging one participant with manufacturing child pornography for his role in photographing the assault. He eventually pled guilty, and received a very lenient sentence (one year supervision, no criminal record.)

However, one bizarre offshoot this prosecutorial tactic is that it effectively made it illegal to publish Rehtaeh's name in Canada, as child pornography laws there explicitly protect the names of victims whose assailants have been prosecuted. Her name, which had become a rallying call for Canadian activists against online bullying and sexual exploitation, was effectively removed from the general lexicon overnight.

Needless to say, the reaction from regular people has been swift, with many tanking to twitter in an open defiance of the ban and others moving to US-based sites where they can freely publish not just Rehtaeh's name, but the until-now highly protected names of her attackers. As in the Steubenville case, the actions of Anonymous have played a central role."

Link to Original Source

+ - NYC to replace most of its payphones with free gigabit WiFi in 2015

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "NYC announced its plans: LinkNYC — a network of 10,000 gigabit WiFi hotspots that will line the streets of all five boroughs of New York City. The project will replace all but a small handful of historic payphones with "Links," small towers equipped with WiFi, an Android tablet with select city-service apps and, of course, the ability to make phone calls. What's missing? The word pay: it's all free."

Comment: Re:huh? (Score 1) 185

I don't understand... what would be unethical about this?

Forcing an Asian elephant to be a "mother" to another species, one that might harm her.

Forcing solitary existence on what appears to be a highly social species.

That, and often you'd need 100s of zygotes to create a few viable organisms that survive to adulthood.

Excerpt from

For example, the cloned sheep Dolly was born after 277 eggs were used for SCNT, which created 29 viable embryos. Only three of these embryos survived until birth, and only one survived to adulthood.[11]

I think it's still worthwhile... not getting 'ethics' confused with 'morality'. But anyone who was bothered by Rei from Neon Genesis Evangelion may have an issue with this.

Comment: Mod parent up (Score 1) 200

by rwa2 (#48386763) Attached to: Department of Justice Harvests Cell Phone Data Using Planes

Thanks for that... I'm surprised that people on slashdot are calling for political solutions to political "problems" instead of technological solutions that do more to guarantee security and privacy against surveillance, be it "legal" or illegal.

I'll reserve my outrage for when using strong encryption becomes regulated.

Comment: Re:About time for a Free baseband processor (Score 1) 200

by rwa2 (#48386623) Attached to: Department of Justice Harvests Cell Phone Data Using Planes

Of course, political involvment is the more adequate approach to a political problem. But why neglect the technical tools?

According to the US constitution, arms is the correct approach to governmental oppression.

But far be it for me to advocate the constitution, because that's illegal...

Why not both? The database of cell phone towers that shows you which tower you're connected to already exists:

It's more useful for trying to figure out where to go to get the best signal in your environment, but if you can use it to figure out when you're being oppressed, then all the more power to you.

Comment: Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 219

by rwa2 (#48379373) Attached to: Microsoft Losing the School Markets To iPads and Chromebooks

Ugh. Thanks for making me cry.

My kids have awful Dell netbooks running an absurdly locked-down Windows 7. It takes forever for them to do any of their work online, because they can only use the IE browser to run all these java and javascript -heavy sites (mostly because of the sidebar ads), like . Editing their work in their haiku wiki is painful... particularly dealing with images which they're required to use 2-3 per assignment.

The worst part is that they've figured out that even though they can't launch cmd.exe or install real programming languages, they've found they can save and execute .bat files. So yes, they're learning to program .bat *cry*

Parkinson's Law: Work expands to fill the time alloted it.