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Comment Re:Surprised? (Score 1) 282

There's a strange type of inertia that applies to large companies. Even when they completely screw the pooch, they tend to hang on for years and years after the fact. RIM (or BlackBerry since they renamed themselves) are still around even though they haven't do anything relevant in years. Hell, even Real Networks is still around, seemingly stuck in some endless buffering state where they just can't die, and AOL still has 2 million dial-up subscribers. The technology graveyard is full of zombies.

Comment Re:Maybe a good thing (Score 2) 374

Still presents a security vulnerability in that someone who thinks their device is secure may be under false assumptions due to a sensor that is doing nefarious things. Slip someone a phone with a sensor that will function as normal, but also has the ability to store a print (or the input data to simulate one) and bypass the regular encryption methods later on command.

It's shitty that Apple hordes the parts and requires you to go through them for repairs, but even if they didn't, I can see why third party hardware would be outright rejected.

Comment Re:Cats & dogs living together (Score 3, Insightful) 163

What's so crazy about it? Google makes almost all of their money from advertising and Apple makes practically none of theirs that way. Is it that difficult to see that one company would rather sell you a cheap device that serves plenty of ads and the other would rather you pay a premium for a device that will block all the ads?

Comment Re:I think the problem is overstated (Score 2) 662

I never said it would be easy, which is why I also said it should be left up to trained experts. Further, pointing out that something is unhealthy is not belittling mental injuries. Suggesting someone get help for a debilitating condition is markedly different from referring to them as "psycho war vet" or dismissing them as a hopeless basket case. Acute mental injury still produces very really consequences whether anyone tries to place blame or not. Even if a person was wholly at fault (e.g. intentionally tormenting a dog until it lashed out at them) or it's completely no fault of their own, it still doesn't make it good to go through life suffering from that injury.

You are talking about someone with PTSD.

Is that any different than your example with the dog? Or someone who's been raped, assaulted, or experienced some other traumatic event? If so, why is it appropriate to label some potential triggers and not others? Who gets to decide what does and doesn't make the cut? The same goes for safe spaces. You can't use it outside of a specific professional setting without abuse or you get someone who decides that they're "triggered" by Muslims because of their own irrational fears and that their store is now a "safe space" where Muslims are not allowed. Even if someone legitimately believed all of that, it's still a horrible outcome when viewed objectively.

The problem is that the people who want all the trigger warnings are the same people who have no training and want to use them to actively avoid any exposure or to wield them like a club in order to effectively censor those things that they do not like.They want to live in a bubble walled off from the rest of the world and are demanding them everyone else accommodate their demands. If someone has had such a traumatic experience that they can't function in regular society, they need help and probably shouldn't be going to university until they can get to a healthier place. If something makes a person uncomfortable, they should seek the kind of professional help to get them beyond their past experiences. Demanding that anything which gives them discomfort be removed is ripe for abuse and history has shown no shortage of moralist busybodies who do exactly that.

Suggesting that the people at university who are clamoring for trigger warnings or safe spaces are using these appropriately is deluding yourself beyond all credibility. One group of students even published such in a list of demands that they presented to the administration. They directly state a demand for exclusive safe spaces on campus, which would be racially segregated. The idiots making these demands aren't using trigger warnings or safe spaces in the clinical and professional manner in which they might be helpful. Even in the case where individuals want (and it might even be a good idea to have) a private setting to discuss something, that does not entitle them to use public property and demand it be treated as a safe space where dissenting opinion is prohibited. Even less so in an institution where the youth of the world should be having their ideas challenged.

Comment Re:I think the problem is overstated (Score 5, Insightful) 662

Trigger warnings are part of the problem. If you're still having problems dealing with dogs years after being attacked or bitten, that's not healthy. Professionals even tell you that continuing in that behavior is not good for a person and that they need to work to get over that fear.

But let's pick an example to illustrate exactly why they're bad. Let's suppose we have a woman named Karen who was mugged. Her mugger was black. Can Karen demand a safe space that contains no black people because that triggers her? Can she demand a new cashier at a store or a new server at a restaurant because black people trigger her? How can you distinguish between someone who may have actually been mugged and someone who's just a racist prick that wants to use trigger warnings to harass others or be a jerk? Outside of a therapy group designed to treat such problems, trigger warnings or safe spaces have no reason to exist. Being used otherwise, only leads to further infantilizing individuals and reinforcing their negative and unhealthy stereotypes.

Karen might have well been mugged and now has an unhealthy attitude toward black people. I'm pretty sure anyone with half a brain can see why that isn't something to be coddled. The same goes for anything else, even truly horrific events. It might take a lot of help and expert therapy, but leaving someone in a state that prevents them from functioning in society, or perhaps even their daily lives is horrible. The people demanding trigger warnings and safe spaces are only making people worse, not helping them.

Comment Re:I think the problem is overstated (Score 3, Informative) 662

The problem is that it's a lot of isolated incidents that are piling up. There was a famous case from several years prior where someone was found guilty of racial harassment for reading a book about the KKK because some other prat found it offensive. It wasn't even a book praising the Klan, but rather one about how people had stood up to them. You see it in plenty of other areas where campuses ban something because some group found it offensive. A Canadian university canceled a yoga class because some precious fuckwit was whining about cultural appropriation.

If someone wants to protest against something, that's their right, but it's another thing entirely to capitulate to the demands of those who seem to be looking for new ways to be offended. Look at the Mizzou professor who shoved a student journalist who was attempting to report on the protests there. It's not just the students who are participating in the idiotic ideology that makes the Tea Party look sane by comparison. The people getting offended are the kind of rabid zealots that want to shove their views on everyone else, not the type of people who will politely disagree or engage in some kind of dialog.

Comment Re:Not enough content (Score 3, Interesting) 1822

I think there are other ways to go about getting more content. If you're going to have a paid staff, you could have periodic features, such as an article going into more depth about an open source project on a regular basis. Another thing I wouldn't mind seeing is more articles related to scientific research without the usual media misrepresentation (i.e., it probably didn't cure cancer, but that doesn't mean it's not interesting) that seems to go along with the stories. Again, if you're going to have paid editors, have them reach out to scientists and do some interviews related to their research to generate some original content. Perhaps a weekly article highlighting a DIY project that might be of interest to the community. You could even try having more reviews of science fiction media or such things. There's all kinds of things to try that seem more interesting than aggregating news stories from elsewhere.

Try a few things out and see what sticks or what people respond to. At worst, something doesn't gain traction and you move on to something else instead.

Comment Re:You must be new here (Score 5, Insightful) 1822

I don't want to toot the site's horn too much, but have you looked at other communities on the internet lately?

Slashdot might not be objectively good, but compared to plenty of other places it may as well be the pinnacle of internet civilization.

If there were honestly something better in a general sense, there would be far fewer people here.

Comment Re:What a retarded concept (Score 1) 246

Given that Scratch can be used through a web browser (which does allow kids to continue toying with it from home) you could probably get by with a few weeks of basic instruction in school which is enough to introduce the basic programming concepts and to pique the interest of some students enough that they'll stick with it and likely self-learn.

If they're going to throw $4 billion at something, I'd prefer a formal logic course. Introduce kids to basic logic, Boolean algebra, and simple set theory. It's different enough from the typical elementary mathematics that some kids who are otherwise math averse might not dislike it and it's also a great precursor to an eventual computer science course for those who are interested.

Comment Re:What a retarded concept (Score 3, Interesting) 246

While that's true, computer science is a good way to teach problem solving skills that are going to be useful no matter what you do.

I don't think they need to go too in depth. Just give the kids some guidance and turn them loose with Scratch or something similar where they can be creative. You're not going to turn everyone into a programmer, but you might get a few more kids interested who might otherwise not be.

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Is it possible that software is not like anything else, that it is meant to be discarded: that the whole point is to always see it as a soap bubble?