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Comment: Not unthinkable (Score 1) 928 928

Of course SW's reaction shouldn't have been what it was (full-out spiteful), but the thought of calling someone out by name on the internet makes me cringe. To me--though I concede I might have spent too much time on a certain imageboard--you should only post somebody's full name or any other personal information if you're prepared to see that person burn in digital fire. We shouldn't underestimate how harmful it can be to have something critical said about someone on the internet. While Mr. Duff's complaint was valid and the reaction by the airline was wrong, I don't think he went through the proper channels to file a personal grievance. Employees have supervisors and managers for just this reason. I'm fine with complaining about whole companies online, or but sniping individuals can be incredibly injurious to their careers and lives. It's just not something I'd do, maybe I'm in the wrong.

Comment: What does it mean to us? (Score 2) 347 347

It means we can't trust people on the internet. This should come as no surprise. Experienced internet users already know not to take things at face value, not to feed trolls, and not to take anyone's "word for it". In civil, learned communities (like Slashdot, for example) a "shill" is fighting an uphill battle when trying to spread disinformation--anything that's posted here will be carefully examined. Even in volatile, less-learned sites (4chan's /b/, for example), they'll still have to trudge through a hundred miles of skepticism and snark to convince any sizable demographic of any one thing. I'm not saying "shills" can't be effective on the internet. I'm just saying I'm glad I don't have their job.

Comment: I feel like a hypocrite (Score 2) 409 409

because I caught myself thinking this is a good idea. It sounds fine. But any other type of surveillance of any other group of people I would vehemently oppose. Why is it that this doesn't bother me, and is this what it feels like to be a supporter of the NSA?

Comment: Merriam-Webster (Score 1) 488 488

The problem is that the court uses the dictionary definition of hacker: "computers : a person who secretly gets access to a computer system in order to get information, cause damage, etc. : a person who hacks into a computer system". Online (or at least in sites like Slashdot) we use the informal definition; "Someone who is good at programming." Apparently, this second definition does not appear in a Merriam-Webster dictionary. Dictionaries do, however, offer a secondary definition of the word: ": a person who plays a sport badly" To escape legal persecution, everyone on Slashdot should be prepared to testify that they're really bad at baseball.

Comment: Re:highest point of the series (Score 1) 77 77

True, most players usually don't get the very best guns. It can be frustrating trying to unlock anything when you're at a disadvantage to begin with, but (though this doesn't validate the system completely) there's a certain charm to holding your own against superior firepower, and if you stick around long enough, you'll see that there's charm in HAVING superior firepower, too. Sorta like a yin yang, but with tea-bagging.

Comment: Re:As a student in Guilford County.. (Score 1) 177 177

I agree wholeheartedly with your take on the internet as a source of information. I wouldn't be the man I am today if I didn't occasionally get lost in a string of delirious wikipedia browsing sessions. Frankly, teaching people how to use the internet is very important in our society. But there's a giant, pulsating asterisk attached to this issue. The internet is also a source of unparalleled distraction in a classroom setting. Lots of people don't use (or even THINK about using) the internet as a family encyclopedia. In middle school with personal computers, for every one student who benefited from having his or her own screen with which to follow along with the teacher's lesson, there were two or three students who missed days worth of material because they were dicking around online. Even in high school, teachers fight an uphill battle in prying students away from their keyboards during boring subjects or lectures. I have dysgraphia, so any work I produce on my laptop will be finished twice as thoroughly and three times faster than anything I hand write, so I couldn't tell you if laptops definitively improve students' education--I wouldn't know. I benefit in a different way than other students.

"Experience has proved that some people indeed know everything." -- Russell Baker