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Comment: Re:Marketable? (Score 2) 136

by bmo (#48943543) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Engage 5th-8th Graders In Computing?


They are so far away from the professional world that anything they learn that is specific to any kind of software or technology will be completely obsolete once they've left school.

They should be doing something fun. The best thing that can be done is to point kids in directions that make them want to do it on their own - self-directed study and show them resources where they can find out how to do things. And let them form groups to create projects and don't limit them to just glowing phosphors on a screen. Lego Mindstorms (and its descendants) comes to mind.

They need to learn that computers are tools for creation and creativity.

Absolutely do /not/ take out all the fun by teaching only fundamentals or just teaching them how to use Word and Excel, aka "marketable skills."


Comment: Re:whose payroll is the scientist on? It matters (Score 1, Troll) 436

... whose jobs are dependant on a federal grant getting renewed.

A recent GAO report said that $106 BILLION was spent by the US government through 2010 on global warming research. If you figure that was through the end of 2010, that was still 4 years ago, so the number is now much larger.

That number absolutely dwarfs even the imagined amount of money that fossil fuel companies have been accused of spending in campaigns against "climate change". I mean it's easily more than 2 orders of magnitude larger.

Even scientists are human, and they are smart enough to know which side of their bread the butter is on.

Comment: Re:Best way to block ads (Score 1) 201

by bmo (#48930427) Attached to: Adobe's Latest Zero-Day Exploit Repurposed, Targeting Adult Websites

Alex, your multiple repostings of identical content is spam.

I have used your software. It works as advertised. However, it doesn't justify multiple copies of the same message in the same thread. That doesn't do anything except make people tune you out as "mere noise" even if what you have to contribute might not be.


And you don't have to talk about yourself in the third person. OK?



Comment: Re:Well I guess it's a good thing... (Score 1) 201

by bmo (#48929683) Attached to: Adobe's Latest Zero-Day Exploit Repurposed, Targeting Adult Websites

They feel entitled to make a profit by any means necessary, while you feel entitled to their content or service by any means necessary.

The former is true

The latter isn't. If the "content providers" suddenly put all their stuff behind paywalls, I'd ignore them. I wouldn't even bother trying to "subvert" such paywalls. You know that "you've used up your free views for this month" BS that you run into with the NYT and such? My panties don't get in a twist, I just close the window and go elsewhere. I don't use bugmenot even today. I'm one of very many people who feel this way.

Let me reiterate: I block ads. They post their content and they take their chances. If they put up the paywalls, they "disappear" for me and I'm fine with it.

So let's ask the "what if everyone did that" evaluation of human behavior to examine what damage might be done if all that revenue disappeared from the Internet: Many "content providers" that depend purely on ad revenue would close (like Gawker Media, Dice, etc.,) and it would wind up like it was back in the mid 1990s shortly before the explosion of commercial "content."

Please, please let this happen.


Comment: Re:Obviously didn't work so well... (Score 4, Interesting) 103

by bmo (#48928673) Attached to: Snowden Documents: CSE Tracks Millions of Downloads Daily

That's the problem isn't it?

Collect everything means that all your intelligence is hidden by piles and piles of cat memes.

Because the Internet isn't a series of tubes, it's a single cat with infinite meowing heads and infinite tails to pull.

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat." -- Attributed to Albert Einstein.


Comment: Re:Well I guess it's a good thing... (Score 3, Interesting) 201

by bmo (#48928393) Attached to: Adobe's Latest Zero-Day Exploit Repurposed, Targeting Adult Websites

But the reality is, most sites with ads are infested with literally dozens of third party crapware, places which sideload junk into your system (specifically through crap like Flash), and which want to collect collate and sell your private information.


And you know what I've found out? The "serve ads" and "collate demographics to sell" industries have merged completely. There is probably nobody left that merely serves ads and doesn't track across websites. Go ahead and delete Adblock Plus and run /only/ Ghostery and Privacy Badger. You get nearly the exact same results as if you ran an adblocker that uses a popular list.

Why Privacy Badger on top of Ghostery? Because it gets the things whitelisted by Ghostery. You didn't think that Ghostery was pure as the driven snow, did you?


Comment: Re: Regulation? (Score 1) 336

The greatest income inequality in the developed world can be found in probably the least statist country, the US.

Just two comments here, though there are many I could make.

First, income inequality is NOT the real issue. Why should you care who is or is not rich? The PROBLEM is poverty.

Second, my whole point was that it is very easy to show that income inequality has become WORSE, the more statist the U.S has become. I'm not saying that correlation proves causation, but the existence of a correlation is indisputable.

Comment: Re:Heh... (Score 1) 99

by Jane Q. Public (#48918749) Attached to: Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain

hint: there's no such thing as a public domain "license"

This is a patently ridiculous assertion. A copyright holder can voluntarily place a work in the public domain (that's what GPL and Creative Commons are all about, for example). In fact that's what this whole discussion is ABOUT. Have you read any of it?

There is no law in the US that allows something to be appropriated from the public domain without modification

Another patently ridiculous assertion. There doesn't have to be a law "allowing" it. That's not how the law works. It would not be possible only if there were a law against it.

The FACT is, not many years ago Congress passed a law that put millions of works that were formerly in the public domain back under copyright. That is the incident that caused EFF to start pushing for a law that would make that no longer possible.

So you are WAY out in left field.

Comment: Re:That'll stop the terrorists! (Score 1) 235

by Jane Q. Public (#48918665) Attached to: White House Drone Incident Exposes Key Security Gap

Ummm. Are you saying that the peoples' will is to keep the skies over the White House open to drones of all sorts? Really?

Or are you just looking for any vaguely political story onto which to dump your anti-government bullshit...

Don't be a jerk. The question is whether all drones should be restricted just because the President is a candy-ass.

A Federal court has already ruled that the FAA does not have authority to regulate drones, except those that enter "navigable airways". REGARDLESS of whether their use is commercial. Their regulatory authority is limited to interstate commerce, which is the basis for the definition of navigable airways.

The solution to the Whitehouse problem is simply to make it illegal to fly drones THERE. Not to regulate them everywhere else.

The FAA has appealed the court's ruling, but based on evidence and precedent it is pretty clear the FAA will lose that appeal.

Comment: Re:Regulation? (Score 3, Insightful) 336

Now that they've got theirs, it's fine if regulations hold back everyone else.

I have nothing against people being rich, if they got there honestly and without coercion. Government lobbying, for example, is one form of coercion because it influences regulation of others via money.

But let's face it: most of them did not get there quite honestly or without resorting to coercion. And in fact, regulations helped to get them there. Not only is that obvious on its face, you can see it in the statistics: the more "statist" and regulatory governments have been, the less well economies have done and the more income inequality we've seen.

Now they're proposing to try to fix the problem they created, by doing more of what created it. Typical government idiocy.

And as for "unrest", they aren't going to be able to regulate that away. On the contrary: at least here in the U.S., if they don't start lightening up on Federal regulation, they're going to see far worse problems and more unrest than they have so far.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito