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Comment: Re:Here's MY test (Score 4, Interesting) 515

by Orgasmatron (#49329159) Attached to: A Bechdel Test For Programmers?

Sigh.

It is sad how many people don't get your point. It isn't that anyone is expecting much software to fail your test, it is that the test itself is foul. The original test.

Perhaps subtlety is no longer called for. Run the whole article through the translator.

I'm about fucking done with the SJW invasion of slashdot. Is it possible to take the site back?

Comment: two branches (Score 4, Insightful) 667

by Orgasmatron (#49265093) Attached to: Why There Is No Such Thing as 'Proper English'

Linguistics has two branches. One branch is descriptive linguistics which studies how language is used. The other is proscriptive, who describes how a language should be used. This divide is covered pretty often by language log (worth reading pretty often).

This article is just someone discovering descriptive linguistics for the first time and ecstatic that their prejudgments are backed up by a branch of something that sounds like a science. Congratulations. "Science" has "proved" that there are no standards for language and all those teachers that marked up your papers with red pens were just being mean.

There is no One True English, but there sure as hell is a Don't Sound Like a Moron English. Like it or not, people hear more than just what you say. They also hear how you say it, and they tend to figure out who you are, or at least, who you are similar to.

Same goes with clothes. People know who you are just by looking at you. They may be wrong occasionally, and you can feel smug for subverting their expectations, but it is a tool that is right most of the time, and it seems to be wired very deeply into us, so no one is going to stop doing it.

You can whine all you want about how unfair it is, but if you want your ideas heard, your best bet is to sound (and look) like someone worth listening to.

Comment: Re:HOWTO (Score 0) 1080

by Orgasmatron (#49259517) Attached to: How To Execute People In the 21st Century

Satire?

1. Murderers, by definition, disregard the rules of society. Executing a murder prevents (or "deters", if you prefer) their future crimes. Note that crimes in prison are crimes.

2. 4 rounds of .308 and a blank are cheaper than even a single day of prison.

3. No justice system is perfect, but I agree that it could be improved. Make prosecutorial misconduct a serious matter, with punishments similar to the punishment under consideration. We aren't exactly swimming in false convictions, but there are still way too many. With real consequences (prison, death, etc) for prosecutors (and maybe extend to official witnesses, aka police) sketchy convictions would diminish.

4. Most of us consider the time, place and method of death to be important. If we didn't, why would we consider murder to be a crime?

5 and 6. You must be the hippest atheist in the coffee shop.

7. Begging the question.

8. So?

9. Murder is not a synonym for killing. Please consult a legal dictionary, or a 10 year old child, if you need the difference explained.

10. Nice of you to expand on #4. Still rubbish, but overly wordy this time.

11. Gun owners tend to be responsible and have a keen understanding of the mechanics of civilization. We'd be happy to be judges, if you'd really like to exclude the gunless from consideration for judging capital crimes.

12. Restitution is rarely possible even under the best of circumstances. For capital crimes, it isn't possible even in theory.

Comment: Re:System worked, then? (Score 1) 163

by Orgasmatron (#49231375) Attached to: On the Dangers and Potential Abuses of DNA Familial Searching

It is a question of false positives. Fuzzy queries against huge databases give results. They are almost always false.

Given a large database and the ability to do inexact queries, the conditional probability that you are looking at the guilty party, given a hit, is damn near zero. Statistically speaking, a hit is indistinguishable from a miss. And in this case, no one in the database committed the rape, no one related to anyone in the database committed the rape, and yet, the query returned a hit.

If you start your investigation by throwing a dart at the phone book, you WILL find someone connected to the lucky name who also has some coincidental connection to the case. That guy didn't do it, and he should not have to surrender part of his body for you to figure that out. Dressing up the phone book and calling the dart a DNA test doesn't change anything.

My preferred outcome is not for the police to ignore evidence. To the contrary, I expect them to make full use of every last bit of it. But they also need to recognize that some things aren't evidence. The stakes are very fucking high for the public, so the police should make distinguishing between the two a very high priority.

(If anyone is interested in working it out for themselves, imagine a medical test for a rare condition. Say the test is 99.9% accurate, and the condition is one in a million. Given a positive test result, what is the probability that you have the condition? Surprised?)

Comment: Re:System worked, then? (Score 4, Insightful) 163

by Orgasmatron (#49224547) Attached to: On the Dangers and Potential Abuses of DNA Familial Searching

But they didn't suspect him at all. They found their suspect first, then constructed a circumstantial case (a, b and c) against him.

This is dangerous shit and the police should get slapped for it. And the public needs to step up and make it clear to judges that we won't tolerate them rubber stamping bullshit warrants. Just because there was a happy ending this time doesn't mean that we aren't playing with fire. This guy came one lab mistake away from from having his life ruined.

There was a time when most of us understood the dangers of working from desired conclusion to supporting facts. But now we celebrate people that work backwards, from cop shows on TV to "scientists" paid to push a political agenda.

Comment: Re:Overblown (Score 0) 366

I'm not sure if you understand this, but we are talking about people paid by the public. That's a euphemism for "with money taken from people against their will by threats of violence".

Surely the least they can do is limit themselves to saying only true things when they are speaking for the state (official reports). Seems like something that should be assumed, out of gratitude to the taxpayers.

That it has to be said suggests that a lot of people have forgotten that government is the servant of the people, not the master.

Hyperbole, like comparing it to book burning, is laughable. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Comment: Re:"an act of social provocation"? (Score 1) 367

by Orgasmatron (#49209249) Attached to: Come and Take It, Texas Gun Enthusiasts (Video)

At the time, it was assumed that all males of military age would show up to repel an invasion. Those males were the militia, and the founders thought it wise that they be competent in the use of their weapons.

So they made clear that the rights to keep arms and to practice with them (bear arms) were explicitly defended. And they used the strongest possible language. Not "Congress shall make no law", but "Shall not be infringed".

"Shall not be infringed" is not qualified in any way. The second amendment is not a grant of rights to the people. It is a command to all three branches of government to defend a pre-existing right of all free citizens against any and all that might try to infringe upon it.

English tradition was that the Lords had a right, and a duty, to be armed. In America, every citizen is a Lord. The right to be armed is in the constitution. The duty was in the Militia act from 1792 until 1903.

See Assize of Arms and English Bill of Rights (1689) for English context. And Militia Act for the US.

Comment: Let me clear a few things up... (Score 4, Informative) 367

by Orgasmatron (#49202233) Attached to: Come and Take It, Texas Gun Enthusiasts (Video)

There are a number of incorrect claims wandering around. Rather than answer each post, I'll summarize.

Like most machines, a gun is a collection of parts. For various reasons, one of those parts must (legally) be the gun itself, and the rest are just parts attached to the gun. For guns similar to (or clones of) the AR-15/M-16, the gun is the lower receiver.

The other parts are not restricted at all. Anyone can buy barrels, springs, sears, stocks, triggers, hammers, whatever they want, off the street, over the internet, or mail order. No ID, no registration.

If a dealer is selling a receiver, either alone, or as part of a completed firearm, they have to do the background check, fill out the paperwork, etc. A non-dealer doesn't need to do any of that, but the ATF will consider you to be a dealer if you act like a dealer.

The receiver is a complicated part. It takes a lot of work to turn a piece of metal into a receiver. At some point during that work, it changes from "piece of metal with some cuts" into a receiver.

Pieces of metal that have had some work done, but not enough to become receivers, are sold as "80% receivers". These are subject to no more regulation than any other random block of metal, because it is the end user that actually manufactures the gun.

Building your own gun is perfectly legal, by the way, as long as you are doing it for yourself. If you intend to sell it, or give it away, you need to get licensed and pay for a tax stamp. If you decide later to sell it, or give it away, that is perfectly legal too, but you need to make sure that you don't do anything that would make a reasonable person think that you had intended to pass it on when you made it.

The Ghost Gunner ONLY works on these 80% Receivers. They are not capable of milling a receiver out of raw billet. Nor could they work with a raw casting or forging.

Desktop milling machines don't have the power to spin up a heavy chuck, nor, generally, could they manage enough axis velocity to keep the feed rate up when using a large diameter tool. That means 1/8" or 1/4" chucks and tools. That limits the milling depth two an inch or two. That's plenty for milling out the trigger pocket, but nowhere near enough for the magazine well.

And if anyone is interested in the topic, there is a forum thread somewhere showing a guy making an AK receiver out of a shovel. The same technique has been used around the world. The Afghans made their AKs in caves, with hand tools.

Comment: Re:"an act of social provocation"? (Score 2) 367

by Orgasmatron (#49201357) Attached to: Come and Take It, Texas Gun Enthusiasts (Video)

The constitution charges the government with protecting the people's rights to keep and bear arms after noting that a free people need to be well practiced with their guns.

The Supreme Court has been upholding the plain language reading all up and down the country lately, much to the annoyance of those that wish it said something else.

Comment: Re:Lift the gag order first... (Score 1) 550

Do you want to come here and tell that to the president of the small local ISP that has been deploying its own fiber network in my area? I'm sure he'd get a good laugh out of it.

Before they showed up, the old cable company sucked, and charged an arm and a leg for coax service. One of the towns here got fed up and stopped providing an exclusive monopoly to the incumbent. A new company was formed and installed their new fiber network right alongside the old cable plant. After losing customers for a few years, the old company dropped their prices and upgraded their plant to match. Now, all of the towns in the area are dropping their monopolies, and everyone has the choice of at least 2 cable companies, both running fiber networks and providing great service at reasonable prices.

I live several miles outside of a small town (~3000 pop), and I've got three fiber networks in my front yard, all fast and reasonably priced.

So please tell us more. I'd LOVE to hear more about how no one can possibly deploy a competing cable network without more regulation.

Is it possible that software is not like anything else, that it is meant to be discarded: that the whole point is to always see it as a soap bubble?

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