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Comment: Did religion or suppression of it have any role? (Score 1) 608

by Optic7 (#47510663) Attached to: Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

What an interesting coincidence. I was having a conversation with my dad this last weekend about just this subject. He proposed his theory that people in, for example, countries like Russia and China were less ethical than in other countries because of the purging of religion that happened in those two examples, within recent history. This surprised me because he's a fairly liberal-thinking person, although he has become more religious as he gets older. I think of myself as agnostic for the most part, but after giving it some thought, I wonder if he might have a point.

What do you think? Did the suppression of religion in those countries reduce the level of ethics? Can ethics effectively spread and be maintained among a large population without a broad system of organized religion?

Comment: Re:Faith in God (Score 1) 299

by Optic7 (#47378619) Attached to: Site of 1976 "Atomic Man" Accident To Be Cleaned

You forgot to add promoting comprehensive, real-world sex education from an early age, if you don't like abortions.

Although it has nothing to do with religion in general, but more with culture and what specific sub-type of religion people follow. Case in point being Scandinavian countries which are ostensibly Christian, but have the type of sex education I mentioned, a much healthier and natural attitude towards sex, and a much lower incidence of unwanted pregnancies as a result of both.

Comment: Re:T-Mobile's Reponse (Score 1) 110

by Optic7 (#47372509) Attached to: FTC Says T-Mobile Made Hundreds of Millions From Bogus SMS Charges

I had almost exactly the same experience as you did: $10 charges showed up on my t-mobile bill from some random bogus premium service. I called them up, they refunded me, and offered to put a block on those types of premium services on my account, which I accepted. Problem solved for me, but I feel bad for anyone who doesn't or didn't review their mobile phone bills. I would imagine that other carriers are subject to the same "premium" text service scams, by the way.

Comment: Re:One more blowout (Score 1) 348

by Optic7 (#47102929) Attached to: Why Snowden Did Right

Jack Devine is the subject of the sentence, so the article is saying that Aldrich Ames was Devine's former colleague, not Snowden's:

Jack Devine, a former CIA director of operations, said he did not believe Snowden had been a spy, but that he shared many psychological characteristics of American traitors such as his former colleague Aldrich Ames, who spent years betraying secrets to Russia and is now serving life in prison.

Comment: Re:I've had it with these motherfucking breaches! (Score 1) 193

by Optic7 (#47059759) Attached to: eBay Compromised

Thanks for the idea, and I'll check if my bank offers something similar for my credit card. But I'm going to stick with credit cards from now on. I realize now that there's a reason why banks seem to try to push us to use debit cards every change they get.

Here's an article describing why:

I say screw them, at least until they pull their heads out of their asses and give us secure cards (chip and pin).

Comment: I've had it with these motherfucking breaches! (Score 2) 193

by Optic7 (#47058031) Attached to: eBay Compromised

I'm getting so tired of these. It seems like every few months now I'm getting affected by one. Last year my bank replaced my debit card three times (Adobe breach, Target breach, and who knows what the third one was)! Consequently, I'm no longer using my debit card as a debit card, but only at ATMs. I use my credit card for any card-based purchases now. But it doesn't stop. You name it: zappos breach, dropbox breach, a breach at an old community college I attended years ago, and probably others that I've forgotten about in the last year or two. Fuck me running.

By the way, the stories about this breach claim that no financial data was compromised. That's fine, except that the data that was compromised may be used for identity theft: your name, date of birth, and street address. I'm pretty much getting ready to use the option that the credit reporting agencies offer to lock down my credit so that no one can obtain credit in my name without me unlocking it. It's a pain, but I don't think it's a choice anymore at the rate these breaches are going.

Comment: Re:Want to swim with dolphins? Better do it now. (Score 1) 194

by Optic7 (#47009439) Attached to: Orca Identified As 103 Years Old

I'm taking my wife on vacation to a resort. She has always wanted to swim with dolphins, and given the recent hate mongering about captive cetaceans I anticipate it the opportunity will be lost forever in the US within 15 years. So, we definitely made this a must-do activity on this trip. It's unfortunate our kids won't have the same opportunities.

Be careful what you wish for. I'm guessing that you haven't seen one of the many videos of dolphins aggressively trying to have sex with humans? Some people even call it dolphin rape.
Here's one of those videos (for real, not a rickroll): (also look at the other related videos on that page of similar dolphin activities. I, for one, would not want to take my wife or any kids to swim with them.

Comment: Re:Age (Score 1) 466

by Optic7 (#47001009) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Minimum Programming Competence In Order To Get a Job?

That's really interesting. I've thought about doing the same if I were to find myself looking for a job, as I have premature grey hair. It's nice to know that it has the effect I guessed it might have. My question though is what happens after you get the job and you decide not to keep your hair dyed, or if your roots become noticeable? Has that happened to you, and did you get any weird looks or changes in attitude or treatment from co-workers or bosses?

Comment: Re:I'm assuming here... (Score 1) 769

by Optic7 (#46859391) Attached to: The Koch Brothers Attack On Solar Energy

I think it's well established now through various supreme court decisions that the only way left to enact real campaign contribution reform in the USA is through a constitutional amendment. Support one of the various organizations that are pushing for that:


Lots more links on how to address all facets of the problem here:

+ - Slashdot BETA Discussion-> 60

Submitted by mugnyte
mugnyte (203225) writes "With Slashdot's recent restyled "BETA" slowly rolled to most users, there's been a lot of griping about the changes. This is nothing new, as past style changes have had similar effects. However, this pass there are significant usability changes: A narrower read pane, limited moderation filtering, and several color/size/font adjustments. BETA implies not yet complete, so taking that cue — please list your specific, detailed opinoins, one per comment, and let's use the best part of slashdot (the moderation system) to raise the attention to these. Change can be jarring, but let's focus on the true usability differences with the new style."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Agreed (Score 1) 237

by Optic7 (#46167055) Attached to: Update on the March of Progress: How Slashdot's New Look Is Shaping Up

I also want to add my vote against this design. I'm not a web designer, so can't give detailed suggestions about the design, but I agree with what tooyoung described above and with what valdrax described below, along with a few others. I think it boils down to:

Too much white space - use the screen as much as possible for the relevant information.
Not enough information - where is all the info on replies, post numbers, relationship, uid number, etc?
Loss of functionality - how do I open an entire branch of a thread to read? How do I even change my account settings?

Achievements? Really? Is this an xbox fansite now?

Sorry, but the new design is pretty terrible.

PS: Why does my post lose the blank lines I added between paragraphs?

Comment: Re:See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (Score 1) 383

by Optic7 (#45957259) Attached to: Federal Court Kills Net Neutrality, Says FCC Lacks Authority.

Sorry, but I have to add one more vote for this "cause" of the crisis being right-wing propaganda.

The requirement to make loans to low-income people had little to do with how the sub-prime crisis went down. Instead it was mostly caused by greed in just about every sector. Here are a couple of links with a lot more details: - a great radio documentary, including first hand accounts of what was happening on the ground (i.e. people making money tons of money) when the whole bubble exploded. - all the details you could want.

Comment: Re:there's got to be a catch (Score 1) 138

by Optic7 (#45621081) Attached to: Patent Troll Bill Clears House With Huge Majority

I agree with a lot of what you say, but in the interest of correcting a misconception for those with short memories, Google created AdSense LOOONG before they bought DoubleClick (apparently 2003 vs. 2007). In fact, the US and EU governments had to analyze and approve the deal for fear of a monopoly, since Google was already an advertising behemoth (IIRC, the number one internet advertising company) by the time they became interested in DoubleClick. In other words, DoubleClick would just serve as icing on their AdSense advertising cake.

"Summit meetings tend to be like panda matings. The expectations are always high, and the results usually disappointing." -- Robert Orben