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Comment: Re:Nothing wrong with cheating the State (Score -1, Troll) 215

by mi (#49798483) Attached to: Chinese Nationals Accused of Taking SATs For Others

The SATs and GREs are not state tests. They are run by private companies.

Distinction without difference — in this case.

Besides, cheating private companies — if they are sufficiently omnipresent to be thought part of "the system" (you know, maintained by "The Man" to keep you down) — is part of Americana since, at least, the hippies.

If it is Ok to squat a bank-owned house or to loot and burn a pharmacy, then cheating on a nationwide standardized exam is Ok too.

Chinese students in particular can further legitimize their case by the racism of American college Admission Boards, which favour Whites over Asians (and Blacks over Whites). This article, for example, provides a table from this book, which calculates the SAT-points benefit/penalty for different races: if Whites are treated neutrally, being a Black gains you 310 points, while being an Asian penalizes you by 140 (out of 1600)!

Cheating to protect oneself from such mistreatment would seem rather acceptable...

+ - Russian internet trolls? Who'd have guessed?

Submitted by baegucb
baegucb writes: I rarely submit a story, but this might have some lively debate "The trolls are employed by Internet Research, which Russian news reports say is financed by a holding company headed by Putin's friend and personal chef. Those who have worked there say they have little doubt that the operation is run from the Kremlin."

According to

Comment: Nothing wrong with cheating the State (Score 1, Insightful) 215

by mi (#49797857) Attached to: Chinese Nationals Accused of Taking SATs For Others

People, who — like myself — have grown up under oppressive governments, see nothing wrong with cheating the State. They would not cheat a friend nor even a stranger, but government institutions are fair game. Moving to a free(er) country, we don't necessarily change that attitude.

Of course, the growing oppressiveness of American governments is not helping...

This is not meant to provide an excuse to the accused, but merely to explain, where they are coming from.

+ - FCC Proposes To Extend So-Called "Obamaphone" Program To Broadband->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh writes: The FCC's Lifeline program subsidizes phone service for very poor Americans; it gained notoriety under the label "Obamaphone," even though the program started under Reagan and was extended to cell phones under Clinton. Now the FCC is proposing that the program, which is funded by a fee on telecom providers, be extended to broadband, on the logic that high-speed internet is as necessary today as telephone service was a generation ago.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Will This Fight Ever End? (Score 0) 549

by mi (#49791223) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage

Well, Edison did have a point that AC is more dangerous. There is a dead elephant to prove it.

Topsy, executed for killing three men, was killed with the "evil" Alternating Current. But that, in itself, says nothing about it being less or more dangerous than the alternative (Direct Current). Edison realized it, of course, but the public — just as short on attention span as it is now — did not... Ehh, if only those people had the Internet! They would've argued with and trolled each other without having to bother with elephants or the like...

How funny is it, that the name Tesla will now be associated with the Direct Current, that Edison was pushing during the War of Currents?

+ - New Technique to Develop Single Molecule Diode

Submitted by William Robinson
William Robinson writes: Under the direction of Latha Venkataraman, associate professor of applied physics at Columbia Engineering, researchers have designed a new technique to create a single-molecule diode, that has rectification ratio as high as 250, and 'ON' current as high as 0.1 microamps. The idea of creating a single-molecule diode was suggested by Arieh Aviram and Mark Ratner who theorized in 1974, which has been the 'holy grail' of molecular electronics ever since its inception to achieve further miniaturization, because single molecule represent the limit of miniaturization.

+ - SourceForge grabs GIMP for Windows' account, wraps installer in Adware->

Submitted by rudy_wayne
rudy_wayne writes: SourceForge, the code repository site owned by Slashdot Media, has apparently seized control of the account hosting GIMP for Windows, and now anyone downloading the Windows version of the open source image editing tool from SourceForge gets the software wrapped in an installer with advertisements.

Jernej Simoni, the developer who has been responsible for building Windows versions of GIMP for some time, has maintained an account on SourceForge to act as a distribution mirror. That is, until today, when he discovered he was locked out of the Gimp-Win account.

A blog post by an unidentified member of SourceForge's community team claims that "this project was actually abandoned over 18 months ago, and SourceForge has stepped-in to keep this project current." But this is disputed by members of the GIMP development community.

Link to Original Source

+ - You destroy basic usability by hijacking the scrollbar

Submitted by Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace writes: Facebook vs the news media

Here’s an absolute fact that all of these reporters, columnists, and media pundits need to get into their heads:
The web doesn’t suck. Your websites suck.
All of your websites suck.
You destroy basic usability by hijacking the scrollbar. You take native functionality (scrolling, selection, links, loading) that is fast and efficient and you rewrite it with ‘cutting edge’ javascript toolkits and frameworks so that it is slow and buggy and broken. You balloon your websites with megabytes of cruft. You ignore best practices. You take something that works and is complementary to your business and turn it into a liability.
The lousy performance of your websites becomes a defensive moat around Facebook.
Of course, Facebook might still win even if you all had awesome websites, but you can’t even begin to compete with it until you fix the foundation of your business.

Comment: More than two sides (Re:more govenrnment waste!!) (Score -1) 387

by mi (#49784899) Attached to: Obama Asks Congress To Renew 'Patriot Act' Snooping

Those people who view one side as better than the other, because they are "less evil" are simply delusional.

There are more than two sides. Rand Paul — currently from the "Libertarian wing" of the Republican Party — may as well become a bona-fide Libertarian. At least, that would assure a Presidential nomination for him.

Whatever he does, his attempts to block the extensions of this "most unpatriotic law" gained him support from both sides of the traditional isle (as his other actions did before).

Libertarianism has been rising over the last few decades — one can see it from Slashdot's own poll as well as feel it in the increasingly shrill reaction Libertarian ideas get from Slashdot's resident Statists. Maybe, we'll have three major parties once again soon.

+ - A Ph.D thesis defense 77 years late-> 1

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: A story about a 102-year old lady doing her PhD thesis defense is not that common, but when the thesis defense was delayed by a whopping 77 years, that gotta raise some eyebrows

Ingeborg Syllm-Rapoport studied diphtheria at the University of Hamburg in Germany and at 1938, the 25-year old Protestant-raised, German-born Ingeborg Syllm submitted for her doctorate thesis defense

Ms. Ingeborg Syllm was denied her chance for her thesis defense because her mother was of the Jewish ancestry, making her an official 'cross-breed'

As a 'cross-breed' the Nazi regime forbidden the university from proceeding with her defense, for 'racial reasons'

She became one of the thousands of scholars and researchers banished from German academe, which at the time included many of the world’s most prestigious research institutions, on account of Jewish ancestry or opposition to Nazi policies. Many of them ended up suffering or dying in concentration camps

Rudolf Degkwitz, Syllm’s professor, was imprisoned for objecting to euthanizing children

Syllm, however, was able to reach the United States and earned her medical degree from the old Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

Eventually she married a fellow physician named Samuel Mitja Rapoport, had a family, and moved back to Germany in the 1950s, where she achieved prominence in neonatology

Syllm-Rapoport, who is now 102 years old, might have remained just a doctor (if a very accomplished one) had not the present dean of the Hamburg medical school, Uwe Koch-Gromus, heard her story from a colleague of her son, Tom Rapoport, a Harvard cell biologist

Determined to do what he could to mitigate this wrong, Koch-Gromus arranged Syllm-Rapoport’s long-delayed defense

Despite failing eyesight, she brushed up on decades of developments in diphtheria research with the help of friends and the Internet. Koch-Gromus called the 45-minute oral exam given by him and two colleagues on 13 May in her Berlin living room “a very good test. Frau Rapoport has gathered notable knowledge about what’s happened since then. Particularly given her age, she was brilliant.”

Link to Original Source

+ - Obama asks Congress to renew "Patriot Act"->

Submitted by mi
mi writes: President Barack Obama called on the Senate Tuesday to extend key Patriot Act provisions before they expire four days from now, including the government's ability to search Americans' phone records: "This needs to get done," he told reporters in the Oval Office. "It's necessary to keep the American people safe and secure."

The call came despite it being revealed recently, that the FBI are unable to name a single terror-case, where the eavesdropping provisions were of much help.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:I am amazed (Score 3, Interesting) 242

by mi (#49781829) Attached to: A Text Message Can Crash An iPhone and Force It To Reboot

Yes, technically there is a way to execute phone specific code with specially crafted text messages. This is not doing that. It's not executing a program.

Generally, if a carefully-crafted input can cause your application to crash, a similarly-crafted data may be able to exploit the same bug and cause an execution of malicious code. If — as is usually the case — the crash is due to buffer overflow and I can stomp over your app's memory, I may be able to place my code in the right place and it will be executed as part of the app...

There are ways to mitigate that — such as by declaring data-parts of memory non-executable — but the earlier successful exploits of buffer overflow in the image-parsing code suggest, Apple is not using this.

But this is not what I expect from Apple. This is just bad. Lack of sanity testing?

Security — as any good work in general — is hard. Disproportionally harder than the merely Ok work. The real measure is not the number of bugs, really, but the speed of the fixes, once the problems are discovered. Unfortunately, Apple seems to be slow at that too...

+ - FBI can not name a single big case helped by Patriot Act's snooping provisions-> 3

Submitted by mi
mi writes: “The agents we interviewed did not identify any major case developments that resulted from use of the records obtained in response to Section 215 orders,” the inspector general concluded — though he said agents did view the material they gathered as “valuable” in developing other leads or corroborating information.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Strangely mixed signals here (Score 0, Troll) 268

by mi (#49752629) Attached to: ESA Satellite Shows Sudden Ice Loss In Southern Antarctic Peninsula

Ha! The submissions can all be dismissed as "biased" without trying too hard. All of the Climate-scientists paid by the government and international institutions, for example, are inherently biased — should they conclude, there is no danger in global warming, their grants will dry out and they'll lose their jobs and influence.

Worse! Even if the scientists themselves are sincere, the people who run their departments and the international institutions are politicians and thus (far) less trust-worthy. And it is in their interest to only seek-out and hire scientists, who favour their agenda — sincerely or otherwise. A good scientist may still be able to find employment, but if the International Panel on Climate Change is closed, a lot of the currently-influential people will become nobodies...

The conflict of interest is so stunning, I'm surprised we can still breath in the room with this giant elephant. Compared to that bias, a blogger's personal agenda is nothing to speak of...

Comment: Re:Any materialized predictions? (Re:Sudden?) (Score -1, Troll) 268

by mi (#49752537) Attached to: ESA Satellite Shows Sudden Ice Loss In Southern Antarctic Peninsula

Here's the latest one.

Like I said many times before: once the result is known, finding somebody having "predicted" is too easy to be convincing. If you put 720 stalled clocks into one room, each set to a different minute, one of them will always show correct time.

No, please, link to a prediction published — anywhere, be it "peer-reviewed" publication or a tabloid — online before it materialized... And not just one, but at least two or three.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang