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Comment: roundheads (Score 3) 128

by PMuse (#40523113) Attached to: Is the Google Nexus Q Subtraction by Subtraction?

fsck round! There is no value in sphericality to _the owner_ of this device. The shape is a marketing gimmick to make it look enticing to a purchaser. I don't mind a little marketing, so long as it stays out of the way of usefulness.

Please go back to building me flat, stackable, rectangular boxen.

Beige ones.

And get off my lawn.

Comment: Xanth (Score 1) 726

by PMuse (#40392367) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Science-Fiction/Fantasy For Kids?

OK, so Piers Anthony's Xanth doesn't qualify as literature, but I was as addicted to it as a teenager as I ever was to the Hardy Boys in grade school. It was _fun_, people. Admit it: you laughed, too. It's not like you can hand the boy Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson until he's at least thirteen. The thing is 500 pages long.

Come to think of it, I wouldn't hand him Xanth until then either. He might accuse you of trying to sneak in a kissing book.

Comment: Lloyd Alexander, Cressida Cowell (Score 1) 726

by PMuse (#40392249) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Science-Fiction/Fantasy For Kids?

Lloyd Alexander: The Chronicles of Prydain. All 5 are compelling, but book 4, Taran Wanderer, is a sneaky-wonderful coming-of-age story.

Cressida Cowell: How to Train Your Dragon and its nine sequels. The movie was great, but when I began reading the books to my then-3-year-old, I discovered a different, equally compelling story from that of the movie (both tales get props from me). We eventually read all 10 books together.

Both series are not too long, child-appropriate, and not childish. If your child has contended with Asimov, he/she can handle Alexander and might be able to read Cowell alone.

Comment: Re:Patents Versus Copyright (Score 1) 316

Slashdot hosts good debates on, e.g., whether a particular patent really describes something new or whether patents even ought to be available in particular technological areas.

But please justify, with citations, your position that the expiration dates of patents mean "jack".

Patents expire. They do not get arbitrarily big extensions at the end of their lives for no reason. The only extension a patent might get is tied to time spent getting regulatory approval and is measured in days. Wouldn't it be nice if any of those things were true about copyrights?

Comment: 'right' of arrest (Score 1) 270

by PMuse (#39492555) Attached to: Boston Pays Out $170,000 To Man Arrested For Recording Police

According to TFA, things should be better now that:

"There is no right of arrest for public and open recordings under this statute," a training bulletin instructs police.

Or maybe things won't be much better, since even the police trainers seem to think that laws confer a "right of arrest" on police officers.

Authority? Yes.
Duty? Yes.
A "right"? Never. That's severely twisted thinking.

Comment: Re:"I Heard Your Giant's Drink Game is Broken?" (Score 1) 1054

by PMuse (#39437399) Attached to: Teacher Suspended For Reading <em>Ender's Game</em> To Students

People don't want their kids exposed to things that'll make them think about sex.

A wise (and frequently stoned) man once wrote:

VAN DYKE
Show the average American teenage male a condom and his mind will turn to thoughts of lust.

TOBY
Show the average American teenage male a lug wrench and his mind'll turn to...

Comment: DDOS is made of people (Score 1) 897

by PMuse (#39335465) Attached to: How To Crash the US Justice System: Demand a Trial

A denial of service attack works best when you don't care about the packets or the machines sending them.

TFA is suggesting is that real people disregard their own best interests (plea bargains, lesser charges) for an experiment (jury demands) that is unlikely to achieve anything unless nearly everyone participates at once.

Comment: Re:Let me know when... (Score 1) 222

by PMuse (#39144919) Attached to: Obama's Privacy Bill of Rights: Just a Beginning

Dear Mr. President,

Howsa bout I vote for you again and then you introduce these proposals as actual Constitutional Amendments. You know--the kind that bind the executive branch.

Otherwise, your so-called "Privacy Bill of Rights" is not only a shallow gimmick, but also confuses the citizenry about what the real Bill of Rights used to be.

A computer scientist is someone who fixes things that aren't broken.

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