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Comment: Re:No, no. Let's not go there. Please. (Score 1) 903

by RyoShin (#47951053) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

If I can take a swing, I think the difference between American and EU (at least, UK) atheists is due to the respective theist groups. As far as I understand, while a large portion of the EU is religious to some extent it is far less common for religion to be the beginning and end of someone's character. And, despite our "Wall of Separation" in the states, it seems we have a lot more religious rhetoric and invocation in politics than the EU/UK. (Disclaimer: I don't follow politics in Europe closely.) Yes, the UK might have "God Save the Queen", but that doesn't seem any different than "God Bless America": it's rarely a religious invocation, just an expected stump line and a way to end a speech.

So the relative pervasiveness of religion in America, especially with things like the "War on Christmas" fueled by the likes of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, means that many religious folk don't see atheists as some fellow citizen with a different perspective but as a an all-powerful enemy seeking to destroy their religious beliefs. This mostly imaginary[1] threat puts them on the offensive towards theists, and some atheists--perhaps not even most, but a noticeable portion of American atheists--have gone on the defensive. You can look up things like "atheist congregations" and such Defense Leagues that are, as far as I can tell, simply about meeting other people without having to hear "Have you found our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?" (yes, he's in my closet, hiding from you) and having power in numbers.Some of it may also be those who have recently ended their faith but who are used to and enjoyed the sense of community, or maybe feel a hole without a tight community to belong to (not that this is inherently a bad thing). Though an atheist, I've not sought these out or read much about any specific group, so I could be way off here.

[1] I'm sure there are some atheist groups who seek complete annihilation of religion in America, but they're as representative of atheists in general as the Westboro Baptist Church is representative of protestants. Myself and atheists that I know don't give a shit so long as religion isn't being crammed into government or schools.

Comment: Re:Interesting, if optional (Score 1) 137

by RyoShin (#47893971) Attached to: New Usage-Based Insurance Software Can Track Drivers Using Smartphones

This seems like one of those situations where the "free market" would actually be useful. Want to sell your soul, er, data to save $5/mo? Go ahead. Or go with Company Y who have pledged not to institute such a requirement over privacy/security concerns.

States requiring car insurance does hamper the market, of course, so perhaps legislation now that would outlaw it is for the best.

Of course, even if companies make it mandatory, they won't actually make it "mandatory". That would lead to outcry and Congressional yapping. Instead, rates will raise across the board, but doncha know they have this whizz-bang device that will somehow save you exactly the same amount of money your rates just went up by...

Comment: Re:Um, no (Score 1) 322

by RyoShin (#47892521) Attached to: The Argument For a Hypersonic Missile Testing Ban

The "bad actors" tend to be the ones that have the least capability to do the testing and building themselves. Sure, sure, there's still potential for our frenemies China and Russia to do it, but if you think some sub-department in the US military won't also build/test in secret on a small scale, you're crazy.

I think the real goal might be to keep plans and results from the low-budget bad actors (North Korea etc.) Banning the testing means that they have far less to go on, and so won't be able to make any real progress themselves. If they do it now, while the weapons are still in their infancy and require heavy testing, they can avoid that.

Barn door and all that.

Comment: Re:I'll be honest (Score 1) 253

by RyoShin (#47892257) Attached to: Why Phone Stores Should Stockpile Replacements

Or else Slashdot just posts him because he's click-bait, baby

No skin off my back. Like korbulon, I see his name and click on the "articles" only to read the well-deserved rage. My karma grants me no ads, so it's not as if /. is making money off of me taking the bait. Even so, I rather wish they would stop, his "thoughts" are a waste of time.

Incidentally, I read the blurb before the submitter and thought "What kind of idiot thinks that this is feasible for any small store or..." and then I saw the name. "Oh, that kind of idiot."

He probably pays Dice for the privilege.

I wonder... I'm too lazy to look it up, but does anyone know when he started using Slashdot as his blog? If it was after the purchase by Dice (and I think it was), it could be that he's an employee of Dice, perhaps even the "corporate overseer" for Slashdot. And as long as he has to manage the corporate side of /., well, why not share some thoughts...

Comment: Re:For Classrooms Too (Score 1) 643

by RyoShin (#47867337) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

For a while I heavily considered a career in teaching (which I've since given up on), and one of the things that I thought of from very early often is that, if at all possible, I would keep a camera in the classroom, recording, at all times that someone was in there. If it wasn't possible, I would think twice about teaching there. While there are a lot of privacy implications, it would be known there was a camera there and recording which might even make the room a haven of sorts from those worried about bullying.

Aside from showing parents how much of a demon their little snowflake is, as a male educator (who doesn't like towing the line) I would be open to a lot of claims and complaints. If it was a he-said-she-said situation, even if the claim was completely false I expect I would be asked to resign (at best) and forced/hounded out and rumors spread that make it hard for me to get a teaching position elsewhere (at worst.) While a camera wouldn't be 100% effective against that, it would go a long way to preventing it.

Comment: Re:The death of leniency (Score 1) 643

by RyoShin (#47867295) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

only "the right" infractions

Not to mention "the right" people, especially in affluent areas where everyone's skin is pastel. Bobby Bucks can fly by a cop doing 100 in a 55 without the cop even blinking, but if someone who happens to have dark skin or Asian features meanders by at 58 then those lights go a-flashin'. Or a park is "closed" and a young couple happens to stroll through the middle and are ignored by a patrolman, who latter comes upon a haggard looking fellow sitting on a bench on the edge of the park and think he looks a bit suspicious...

This gives a lot of people, especially white voters who rarely have to deal with attempts to make voting hard, a mental barrier so that when they hear about new laws/restrictions being put in place (if they even pay attention!) they can think "well that law will never apply to me" or "they wouldn't catch me doing it, and even if they did I'd probably just get a minor fine". By the time the law does seriously impact them, it's too late and they've become part of the "others" (perhaps simply by being caught up in the law) and lose much of the power they had to change things...

Comment: Re:How to make a telephone solicitor mad (Score 1) 251

by RyoShin (#47843263) Attached to: TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers

I might have one worse on ya: During my latter High School years I worked for a telemarketing company. It was a depressing job, but it was also the only one I could ride my bike to in the farming town I lived in so that was that. At the time I was incredibly timid and couldn't sell worth beans. One of our "campaigns" (that sometimes overlapped) was Direct TV and I had a call where I went through my spiel and, to my delight, the guy seemed highly interested! He kept asking questions and I was happy to answer, but when we had run through pretty much everything and I tried to actually sign him up he stalled for time and I eventually asked "You aren't actually interested in purchasing the service, are you?"

His response, which I will always remember, was: "No, but you sure have a purty voice!" As a self-conscious teenage male who had already passed the majority of puberty, this was fairly devastating; I thanked him for his time and hung up.

I lasted at the job for three months total. I would probably use the same tactic myself these days, but since I haven't a landline I never get telemarketing calls.

Comment: Re:Sigh (Score 1) 341

by RyoShin (#47843103) Attached to: Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

Why do you think one of the fastest ways to become a millionaire in the US is to be elected to Congress or the Senate?

This comment pre-dated an extremely relevant example by a week, one I felt necessary to mention before the comments go into archive: Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has been hired by "small independent investment bank" Moelis & Co. "Moelis & Co.’s new vice-chairman and managing director will get a $3.4 million pay package between September and the end of 2015."

Dude lost the primary because he was too focused on federal matters (and that whole immigration thing...) and, as punishment, he gets a job where he will likely do jack all (to my knowledge he has no experience in investment banking)--except, perhaps, talking to the current crop of Congresscritters about how to best pass laws that help banks--for the tidy sum of $3.4 MILLION for just a bit over a year's work. Jon Stewart does a nice rip of him over this.

Comment: Re:Much ado about nothing (Score 1) 748

by RyoShin (#47724935) Attached to: News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

You have to be careful; if you browse at 5 you'll get a venerable circlejerk. +3 or +4 seem much better (if you set up a negative funny modifier) for getting worthwhile discussion that also has dissenting opinion.

Fark's style of moderation is more about control than actually taking care of jerks. IMO, if there are going to be specified moderators their only job should be to get rid of the outright spam and nefarious links (to malware sites etc.) I help moderate a 4chan offshoot, and my job as moderator has three parts:
1) Get rid of spam/illegal content (namely child porn)
2) Get rid of content that is not relevant to a board (posting about fighting games on a train discussion board, for instance)
3) Get rid of spammy trolls, the ones who will hop thread to thread posting irrelevant opinions or otherwise trying to derail every thread

That last part is censorship, yes, but is only done when something or someone seems to quickly fouling the entire community. I try to use it as rarely as possible; an IP or tripcode has to show a history of such antics before it's even considered.

Comment: Re:Not moderated on their pay site? (Score 1) 748

by RyoShin (#47724847) Attached to: News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

I was a TFer long, long ago for many years (ending in the year 2008/9 or so) and we had moderation on the paid side, too. I personally earned a (warranted) 24 hour posting ban for being a dipshit and submitting an inappropriate link. However, the moderation seemed to be more lax than on the "Lite" side, likely because advertisers didn't care about TF (and advertisers are often the source of a site implementing censorship of any kind). When it was applied it seemed a bit uneven, which is a reason I eventually let my TF account lapse.

I imagine this hasn't changed in general, and the rules will be applied there as well (though not as tightly.) I don't know that it would be necessary; back then TF was a fairly solid community and, while you would have cliques, a misogynist would be shouted down by members. I doubt this has changed much, either.

(Will Drew still allow Farkers to say "UFIA"?)

Comment: Re:Insurance rates (Score 1) 239

Once self-driving cars reach critical mass, I think that it will become uncommon to actually own a vehicle (why own something and deal with maintenance/insurance/etc. when it will sit around doing nothing for 10-20 hours a day?). Instead you'll be part of some sort of "Auto Club" or other, where you pay a monthly fee and are able to summon a car (the number of times and priority you get will depend on the level of service you purchase). Insurance companies will then charge these guys, who will pass on the cost to members. If someone manually controls their rented car (if even possible), the car would log this and they would likely pay an extra fee due to insurance premiums.

Until that point we'll have a lot of schisms with insurance and self-driving cars. This will probably be much like the early 20th century when cars were gaining broad adoption and were sharing the road 50/50 with horse-drawn wagons and so forth. Was there horse or auto insurance back then? If so, does anyone know how the companies reacted to the changing road?

Comment: Re:Problem already solved (Score 1) 457

by RyoShin (#47681783) Attached to: Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

Indeed. Things like "Ignore User" are only useful when it's one half-hearted troll. When you get a dedicated troll or, worse, a mob of trolls, it's a stop-gap measure you can use to plug holes in the dam as the wall falls down around you.

A better option would be to allow users to auto-ignore accounts that are under a specified age (perhaps with an option to exempt "verified" accounts). This doesn't completely preclude multi-account attacks--either through hacking existing accounts, buying botnet accounts, and/or creating a cache of accounts for future use--but will make it extremely prohibitive for trolls to attack in the heat of the moment, as they did Zelda Williams.

To deal with the zealous troll, then, you would have a final defense: an account lockdown where the only messages you see/receive are from users you've personally friended/followed. (So none of that bullshit like Pintrest making you a follower of a few thousand accounts; why is that even a fucking thing?) It would be nice to have a complimentary system where you can grant other accounts (either people you trust or, for larger celebs/businesses, paid staff) the ability to whitelist individual messages so you aren't completely cut off from fans/followers in general (and the morale boost they might bring.)

Comment: Re:Not Government (Score 1) 457

by RyoShin (#47681707) Attached to: Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

I've always thought that a way to curtail that would be to have some sort of "+0 Agree/-0 Disagree" modifier. It would be shown along-side the regular score and also give an idea as to how Slashdot (or just the moderators of that day) perceives an opinion without actually drowning out.

That won't stop people from using the Troll option to penalize those they disagree with, but hopefully it would decrease it a perceptible amount. (Of course, metamoderation should be helping the system choose people less likely to use "Troll" as "Disagree", but people are less interested in metamoderation than moderation and if the person metamoderating is of the same mind, it won't help the quality of moderators.)

Comment: Re:Gives new meaning... (Score 1) 178

by RyoShin (#47680719) Attached to: Hemp Fibers Make Better Supercapacitors Than Graphene

I believe the conspiracy theory goes that when marijuana was first banned, a farming industry (cotton? can't remember) lobbied/convinced Congress that hemp was also a massive part of this "drug craze" in order to shut down hemp farmers who were able to produce better quality textile material at a lower cost, thus making it harder for these farmers to sell their own crop.

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.

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