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Comment Medical reasons (Score 2) 550

I have a condition called Keratoconus, a weakening of the structure of the cornea. I cannot have LASIK done. Unfortunately this condition is often asymptomatic until you are in your 20's, for some it will stay asymptomatic (correctable with glasses) but they still risk serious damage to already weakened corneas if they undergo LASIK. So have it done, sure, but please get your eyes examined by a professional beforehand.


Ask Slashdot: Minimum Programming Competence In Order To Get a Job? 466

First time accepted submitter Wisecat (3651085) writes "So we all know that computer programming jobs are hot right now. Heck, even President Obama has been urging Americans to learn the skill. But all of us in tech know that not everyone can hack it, and what's more it takes a while to learn anything, and keep up your skills as technology changes. Add to that the fact that companies (and their hiring managers) are always looking for 'the best of the best of the best' talent, and one starts to wonder: just how good does one actually have to BE to get hired? Certainly, there must be plenty of jobs where a level 7/10 programmer would be plenty good enough, and even some that a level 5/10 would be enough. And perhaps we can agree that a level 2/10 would not likely get hired anywhere. So the question is: given that we have such huge demand for programmers, can a level 5, 6, or 7 ever get past the hiring manager? Or is he doomed to sit on the sidelines while the position goes unfilled, or goes to someone willing to lie about their skill level, or perhaps to an H1-B who will work cheaper (but not necessarily better)? I'm a hardware engineer with embedded software experience, and have considered jumping over to pure software (since there are so many jobs, so much demand) but at age 40, and needing to pick a language and get good at it, I wonder whether it would even be possible to get a job (with my previous work experience not being directly related). Thoughts?"
United States

Kerry Says US Is On the "Right Side of History" When It Comes To Online Freedom 261

An anonymous reader writes "Addressing the audience at the Freedom Online Coalition Conference, Secretary of State John Kerry defended NSA snooping actions saying: 'Let me be clear – as in the physical space, cyber security cannot come at the expense of cyber privacy. And we all know this is a difficult challenge. But I am serious when I tell you that we are committed to discussing it in an absolutely inclusive and transparent manner, both at home and abroad. As President Obama has made clear, just because we can do something doesn't mean that we should do it. And that's why he ordered a thorough review of all our signals intelligence practices. And that's why he then, after examining it and debating it and openly engaging in a conversation about it, which is unlike most countries on the planet, he announced a set of concrete and meaningful reforms, including on electronic surveillance, in a world where we know there are terrorists and others who are seeking to do injury to all of us. And finally, transparency – the principles governing such activities need to be understood so that free people can debate them and play their part in shaping these choices. And we believe these principles can positively help us to distinguish the legitimate practices of states governed by the rule of law from the legitimate practices of states that actually use surveillance to repress their people. And while I expect you to hold the United States to the standards that I've outlined, I also hope that you won't let the world forget the places where those who hold their government to standards go to jail rather than win prizes.' He added: 'This debate is about two very different visions: one vision that respects freedom and another that denies it. All of you at the Freedom Online Coalition are on the right side of this debate, and now we need to make sure that all of us together wind up on the right side of history."

Comment Re:Should Be Illegal (Score 2) 85

Unfortunately, the only way to fight this is with a customer boycott. That is to say that Verizon (and others) will not cease such clandestine activites without their advertisers pulling out.

The only way advertisers will pull out is with customer backlash, and that means we have to stop buying from companies who use such advertising.

Comment Re:All publicly funded research needs public relea (Score 2) 348

That's a valid point, but it doesn't apply in the case of a university email address (as opposed to a personal email address), especially when the data can be significant to future discussion of the process used today. Historical correspondence between scientists is more often harolded for its benefits to the scientific community than for any fear of political backlash.

Comment Re:All publicly funded research needs public relea (Score 1) 348

The US constitution stands on it's own merits. The daily tos and fros of negotiating the thing over those 4 months are irrelevant.

And yet, for decades after that original publishing of the US Constitution, those very tos and fros of negotiating were slowly trickled out, leading to some of the most foundational Supreme Court rulings which have preserved our country's freedoms.

Dismissing the process for the results is like missing the trees for the forest. Just as in politics, in the scientific method, the ends do not always justify the means, and pretending otherwise can lead to atrocities like eugenics. Apologies for invoking Godwin's law, but it does sufficiently demonstrate the point.

Comment Re:All publicly funded research needs public relea (Score 2) 348

In my government place of business we have a warning before login that we are required to accept which states that all our activities are subject to monitoring. Business email is for business use. Personal email is for personal use. It's not difficult for me to understand that and I'm a mere Computer Engineer. Certainly a respectable climate scientist of doctoral status should be able to understand such a social limitation.

VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email 348

RoccamOccam sends news that the Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that Michael Mann, a climate scientist notable for his work on the "hockey stick" graph, does not have to turn over the entirety of his papers and emails under Freedom of Information laws. Roughly 1,000 documents were turned over in response to the request, but another 12,000 remain, which lawyers for the University of Virginia say are "of a proprietary nature," and thus entitled to an exemption. The VA Supreme Court ruled (PDF), "the higher education research exemption's desired effect is to avoid competitive harm not limited to financial matters," and said the application of "proprietary" was correct in this case. Mann said he hopes the ruling "can serve as a precedent in other states confronting this same assault on public universities and their faculty."

A rock store eventually closed down; they were taking too much for granite.