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Comment: Re:Bad idea (Score 3, Insightful) 446

by Rei (#49176087) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

The number of grammatical cases is irrelevant. Question: What's the difference between a grammatical case without stem changes and a postposition (opposite of a preposition? Answer: A space.

  That which is challenging, apart from stem changes, is the same thing that is challenging with helper words in general: when to use what with what. Picture a person learning English and trying to remember what to use with what. "I was scolding her.... over it? for it? about it? to it? around it?" "We were unhappy.... over it? for it? about it? to it? around it?" "She was dedicated.... over it? for it? about it? to it? around it?" And so forth. It's the same for people trying to learn which declension case to use in which context. But if the declensions are just suffixes without stem changes, then they're no different from postpositions. And often stem changes where they occur follow pretty predictable rules, often for pronunciation reasons.

Comment: Re:Bad idea (Score 1) 447

by hey! (#49175719) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

Well, this is the thing about civil disobedience. The classic formula is to keep up awareness of your issue by forcing the government to go through the embarrassing and drawn-out process of prosecuting and punishing you. I'll bet they had to drag Thoreau kicking and screaming out of that Concord jail cell when some joker finally came along and paid his poll tax for him. Holding court for his admirers in the town pokey no doubt suited his purposes nicely.

In that spirit, this announcement is very effective. When was the last headline you read about Edward Snowden? If he comes back for a long and drawn out trial that'll show he's pretty hard core about this civil disobedience thing -- if leaving a cushy, high paying job in Hawaii with his pole-dancing girlfriend to go to fricken' Russia wasn't enough.

It occurs to me, though, that this situation is a lot like what I always say about data management systems: the good ones are easier to replace than the bad ones. Likewise the better governments, the ones with at least some commitment to things like due process, are much easier to face down with civil disobedience than ones where being a political threat gets you a bullet in the head, like Ninoy Aquino or Boris Nemtzov. If Snowden *does* come back, and if he ends up "detained" in limbo somewhere, then it'll be time for everyone to go into the streets and bring the government down.

Comment: Re:Full blooded American here (Score 2, Insightful) 447

by NeutronCowboy (#49175569) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

Yes, because writing an opinion that differs from yours is clearly only possible by being paid to do so. *eyeroll*

Making public a lot of things that people suspected but didn't quite know did indeed damage relationships. Had he not released the documents, the relationships would have continued as before.

Whether or not the secret actions should have been authorized in the first place is an entirely different issue. From my perspective, having to stamp "secret" on an authorization to do things that you know would piss off your friends is a sign that you probably should not be doing these things, or make you re-evaluate who your friends are.

Comment: Re:Brain drain (Score 1) 166

by hey! (#49175549) Attached to: Marissa Mayer On Turning Around Yahoo

Everyone likes getting paid. And all things being equal, everyone likes getting paid *more*.

But one thing I've noticed is that the people who are most dissatisfied with their current pay also happen to be the most dissatisfied with their working conditions overall, particularly how they feel treated. The feeling seems to be that if they ought to get more pay to put up with this shit.

Now I wouldn't suggest to any employer, particularly in tech, to economize by offering low salaries. You want to attract and retain the best people you can. But this suggests to me that many employers would do themselves a favor by paying a little more attention to worker happiness. If you're paying people approaching (or even more than) $100,000, there's bound to be a lot more cost effective ways to goose worker morale than handing out raises they'll perceive as significant.

But oddly many employers seem to think paying someone's salary is a license for handing out indignities. This doesn't even qualify as penny wise pound foolish.

Comment: Re:What is Parody? (Score 1) 203

by hey! (#49175113) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

What is gasoline if not a liquid? And what is liquid but a fluid? Therefore I should be able to run my car on hot air. So not all fair use is parody, nor is everything an author has to put up with fair use.

Fan fiction falls into that last category. Some authors encourage it, which is gracious; others are paranoid about it, which is understandable. But ultimately no matter how they feel about fan fiction they're going to have to put up with it. A successful work of fiction fires peoples' imaginations, and in the Internet era that means they're going to share their imaginings with like-minded people. Trying to police fan-fiction in a world where anyone can set up a blog or social media account to share it is like spitting into a hurricane force wind.

But even though a successful author pretty much has to put up with fan fiction whether he likes it or not, it's ridiculous to think that any author is somehow obligated to promote it. That just a fan-fiction author's fantasy. Authors have lives too, and there is not enough hours in the day for an author to police the stuff, much less to negotiate business deals for the people who write it. It's considered bad manners to even ask an author for the name of his literary agent, because an agent is supposed to work for an author, which he won't be able to do if he's swamped with requests from wannabes.

+ - A paralyzed woman flew an F-35 fighter jet in a simulator — using only her->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Over at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, also known as DARPA, there are some pretty amazing (and often top-secret) things going on. But one notable component of a DARPA project was revealed by a Defense Department official at a recent forum, and it is the stuff of science fiction movies.

According to DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar, a paralyzed woman was successfully able use her thoughts to control an F-35 and a single-engine Cessna in a flight simulator.

It's just the latest advance for one woman, 55-year-old Jan Scheuermann, who has been the subject of two years of groundbreaking neurosignaling research.

First, Scheuermann began by controlling a robotic arm and accomplishing tasks such as feeding herself a bar of chocolate and giving high fives and thumbs ups.

Then, researchers learned that — surprisingly — Scheuermann was able to control both right-hand and left-hand prosthetic arms with just the left motor cortex, which is typically responsible for controlling the right-hand side.

After that, Scheuermann decided she was up for a new challenge, according to Prabhakar.

"Jan decided that she wanted to try flying a Joint Strike Fighter simulator," Prabhakar said, prompting laughter from the crowd at the New America Foundation's Future of War forum. "So Jan got to fly in the simulator."

Unlike pilots who use the simulator technology for training, Scheuermann wasn't thinking about controlling the plane with a joystick. She thought about flying the plane itself — and it worked.

"In fact," Prabhakar noted, "for someone who's never flown — she's not a pilot in real life — she's in there flying a simulator directly from neurosignaling.""

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Hillary is a divisive figure *among Democrats* (Score 2) 436

Well, it's an open question of who's living in a fantasy world. I'm actually old enough to remember these people. Show me a Republican today who'd be as aggressive as Nixon on regulation. Who would sign the Clean Water Act, or the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or appoint someone like Elliot Richardson the head of HEW. Nixon also took the single most intrusive act of economic intervention ever by an American president (including FDR): the wage-price freeze. It's fair to say that there's nobody in national politics anywhere on the spectrum that would undertake a step like that. For one thing it was hopeless; there is no way to stop incipient runaway inflation without restricting the money supply and reducing government deficit spending so as to induce a temporary contraction of the economy.

Comment: Re:Hillary is a divisive figure *among Democrats* (Score 1) 436

A generation ago, Hillary was on the left fringe of the Democratic Party. She has not moved right, the Party has moved left.

A generation ago, Paul Wolfowitz was on the left fringe of the Democratic party. People change.

Nelson Rockefeller was to the left of Hillary. So was Richard Nixon.

Comment: Hillary is a divisive figure *among Democrats* (Score 5, Interesting) 436

That may surprise people here. The Republicans have done a good job painting her as the quintessential ultra-liberal Democrat, but really she is no such thing. She is, in fact, from the right wing of the party and could have been an establishment Republican a generation ago. She is widely reviled by the left over her vote on the Iraq War Authorization of Military Force (although to be fair, Joe Biden voted for it too and he's seen as generally reliable on liberal issues, as long as he doesn't open his mouth).

On the other hand she's the first really plausible female presidential candidate for a major party, and I think a lot of people who want to see that milestone project a great deal of their hopes on her. But what makes her plausible in the first place is her acceptability to the establishment.

And what makes her acceptable to the establishment is her competence and personal accomplishments; being married to Bill helps. But the Ivy League education, experience in high profile NGOs and partnership in a major law firm mean she's seen as serious by "serious people". But in this case that should be held against her here. She's not like old Uncle Joe (Biden), whose heart is in the right place but who the hell can tell where his mind might go a-wandering; Hillary is someone you expect to have her head in the game. She knew damn well that conducting official business on non-government servers is exactly what people do when they're breaking the law.

I'm neither a Hillary partisan nor a Hillary hater. On the political spectrum I tend to fall a little to the right of the most vocal Democratic base and to the left of the establishment "DLC" wing that dominates the party at the national level. When the Secretary of State does something this fishy, that's a big deal. I think there should be something like a special prosecutor appointed, even though when the words "Clinton" and "special prosecutor" are uttered in the sentence the word "circus" can't be far behind. But then if the special prosecutor finds no indictable offense I'd be happy with that result.

Comment: Re:Crime (Score 2, Interesting) 436

Not really. The really one remaining significant difference between the parties is that public shaming is still a career-ender in the Democratic party. There's no post-scandal career phase as an evangelical preacher, Fox news commentator, or both waiting for guys like Anthony Wiener or William J. Jefferson (the freezer cash guy).

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