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Comment Re: So roll that into the Iraq war bill, and the r (Score 1) 528

I'm not French, but that's not fair. They did a lot of underground work to undermine the nazis. If you're talking about the policy of appeasement, then Neville Chamberlain -and thus the UK- is more culpable than France.

That's true. Plus the quick French defeat at the start of the war was more due to strategic errors than lack of effort. They relied on the imperviousness of the Maginot Line, the impenetrability of the Ardennes forest, and the neutrality of Belgium to protect their eastern border, and Germany invaded Belgium anyway and went through the Ardennes, rendering the Maginot Line basically useless.

Comment Re:Click Bait (Score 1) 47

"Largest Birdlike Dinosaur Ever" seems a more apt description.

I'd argue that's more misleading. Although the technical definition of "dinosaur" excludes pterosaurs, it's worth nothing that there were some rather large ones, notably Quetzalcoatlus which had a ~35 ft. wingspan, but wasn't feathered - it had wings of a thin fleshy membrane, like a bat.

So "dinosaur with birdlike wings and feathers" is an important distinction.

The Internet

How Bad User Interfaces Can Ruin Lives 288

Lauren Weinstein writes: A couple of months ago, in "Seeking Anecdotes Regarding 'Older' Persons' Use of Web Services," I asked for stories and comments regarding experiences that older users have had with modern Web systems, with an emphasis on possible problems and frustrations. I purposely did not define "older" — with the result that responses arrived from users (or regarding users) self-identifying as ages ranging from their 30s to well into their 90s (suggesting that "older" is largely a point of view rather than an absolute). Before I began the survey I had some preconceived notions of how the results would appear. Some of these were proven correct, but overall the responses also contained many surprises, often both depressing and tragic in scope. The frustration of caregivers in these contexts was palpable. They'd teach an older user how to use a key service like Web-based mail to communicate with their loved ones, only to discover that a sudden UI change caused them to give up in frustration and not want to try again. When the caregiver isn't local the situation is even worse. While remote access software has proven a great boon in such situations, they're often too complex for the user to set up or fix by themselves when something goes wrong, remaining cut off until the caregiver is back in their physical presence.

Comment Re:Interesting person (Score 4, Insightful) 284

Intolerant is baking a cake for a person that's on their fourth marriage while refusing to bake one for a lesbian couple that is finally able to marry after twenty years together.

"Intolerant" is defining "intolerant" as: "Intolerant is baking a cake for a person that's on their fourth marriage while refusing to bake one for a lesbian couple that is finally able to marry after twenty years together"...

No,it's not. It is intolerant to say to someone that you are not as important, not worthy of the same consideration as anyone else. How else would you define intolerant?

Forcing someone to act in violation of their personal convictions just because YOU think you are right is intolerance. Not accepting that somebody's views may differ from yours and deciding to make an issue about it to force them into submission to your view (no matter how right) is intolerance.

Tolerance is recognizing that others can be wrong and it's not your job to correct them; that you can choose to just walk away and let them be as wrong as they like, even if it's inconvenient for you. That's tolerance...

And it's important to remember that some intolerance is good: we as a civilized society do not tolerate murder or injustice for example (at least that's our goal - we often fall short but not for lack of trying). So "intolerance" should not be used an automatically dirty word; if an intolerant position is bad, it's not enough to label it so - you have to demonstrate why.

We as a free society NEED to tolerate differences of opinion, especially on important matters. It's sort of a prerequisite.


Microsoft To Release Low-Cost Windows 10 With Bing Branding 133

jones_supa writes: Linux-based Chromebooks have experienced a huge growth in sales during the last couple of years, so much that Microsoft is getting nervous. The company is working with partners to bring cheaper devices to the market, and part of this plan is Windows 10 with Bing, a special version of the new operating system that would only be addressed to original equipment manufacturers. This low-price basic version of Windows comes with hardcoded Bing branding, although the search engine can be changed by the user. Microsoft wants Windows 10 to be installed on as many devices as possible, and the company's roadmap expects 1 billion PCs, tablets, and smartphones to be running it until 2017. The build for Raspberry Pi 2 is still in the works as well.

Comment Re:Customer recourse (Score 1) 116

Say you sign up with a company when their T&C says they won't use your phone number for marketing, but then they change their T&C to state the opposite. Now they have your phone number. Are they bound by the T&C they stated when you signed up? But even if they are, what is a customer's recourse?

I imagine the legal route is: they can change the T&C and you have to agree *if you continue to use their service*. If you do not continue to use their service they don't have your agreement to the new T&C and therefore can't act on it.

I don't know about Paypal, but many TOS include a clause that the TOS may change at any time, and you agree to be bound by future changes (the "Vader clause"). The purpose of this is presumably to avoid having to keep track of which users have agreed to updated terms: even if simply visiting a site constitutes agreement (which most TOS say does) they'd still have to keep track of who's visited the site when. The danger of such an open-ended contract should be obvious (Lando knows), and as far as I know is untested in court.

Legally, it's probably valid, but I can't imagine people signing a mortgage with language in it like "you agree that we can change the terms of this contract at any time in any way without notice to you and you are still bound by them." Somehow people don't give TOS the same weight, they just click whatever button is necessary to allow them to upload bathroom selfies for the whole world to see.

Comment Re:that's what happens (Score 1) 124

That touches on a thought I've often had: if "ignorance of the law is no excuse", then I'd really like to see a physical copy of all the laws by which I'm required to abide - federal, state, and local. I'm sorta surprised no one's played this as a tactic - I would have expected some grandstanding politician to roll out wheelbarrows of paperwork to make a point.


Photo Printing Website Artisan State Allows Access To All User-Uploaded Photos 94

fulldecent writes: Popular photo printing website Artisan State, which specializes in bound photo books mostly for weddings or other events, unintentionally makes all its uploaded user photos available publicly for download. This case study shows how their photos are able to be downloaded and discusses the things vendors should think about when considering security of seemingly private user content. The case study also discusses how this flaw was reported to the vendor, but unfortunately never fixed. This follows other articles on Slashdot discussing security disclosure. How do you report vulnerabilities to vendors? Do you support publishing them if they are not fixed in a reasonable time?

Comment Re:Amplitude not Height (Score 1) 61

No. It's height. Wave height = 2 * wave amplitude. Internal waves do not occur at the surface, but they can affect the height of the surface (i.e. you can "see" internal waves on a ship's radar as the changes in sea surface height match the crests/troughs of the waves). Like a surface gravity wave, the main motion/movement of a water particle in an internal wave is circular/orbital, although there is also some along-wave direction movement (Stokes drift).

Also keep in mind that tsunami waves caused by earthquakes are mostly internal, and only become large surface waves when the water becomes shallow, and all that displacement has nowhere to go but up.

Comment Re:Aren't they called Currents? (Score 1) 61

Generally when talking about water, the definition of a wave specifies it is on the surface:"a disturbance on the surface of a liquid body, as the sea or a lake, in the form of a moving ridge or swell."

If you are using another definition of the word wave (such as that used by physics to refer to light, sound, etc.) when talking about water, you really should specify what you mean.

It's clear from the article they're using the latter meaning of "wave". The definition above is a visual description of what are generally caused by wind. You want definition 11 in your link.

One unexpected finding ... was the degree of turbulence produced as the waves originate, as tides and currents pass over ridges on the seafloor.

Watch the animation.


New Findings On Whale Tongues May Lead To Insight On Human Nerve Damage 47

An anonymous reader writes with this story about the discovery of stretchy nerves in whales. Drawing from the Globe & Mail's story: Researchers from the University of British Columbia have discovered that the largest animals alive – whales – have nerves in their tongues that can double in length and then recoil like a bungee cord. The researchers were studying specimens at a commercial whaling station in Iceland when they stumbled upon the discovery reported Monday in Current Biology. Researchers say it could have important implications for study into human nerve damage. "I had never seen a nerve like that," said Wayne Vogl, of UBC's Cellular and Physiological Sciences department.

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