Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment Re: No it is not (Score 1) 351 351

Have you ever seen a kid when ice cream truck music starts playing? Those kids don't want a popsicle from the freezer - they want the exact same popsicle from the ice cream truck at three times the price. Adults get a little better at suppressing that kind of irrational act, but we're still susceptible to it. Even people who believe they make purchases only after coldly tabulating the marginal enjoyment of one more M&M against the penny it costs.

You can train that out of a kid. Mine still has the "OOH ICE CREAM" reaction, but unless Grandma is around she knows that we'll happily take her to the store to get a *box* of ice cream for the same price. But even pushing 40, I still have that "impulse buy" rush when I hear the music - and I've probably had less than 5 of them from the truck in my entire life. It's very memetic.

Comment Re:The real winners (Score 1) 165 165

That is an interesting side effect. If Google is actually manually nuking the true site, you would think they'd take the extra five minutes to go a bit deeper, rather than serve up malware.

In all honesty, I'd respect Google (and the folks who want Google to manage/censor results) if a search for that name came up with a box saying "Yeah, we know what you want, but we're not going to show it to you because [reasons]".

Comment Re:Not your bank balance, available credit (Score 1) 133 133

Can I reserve outrage for the fact that this was granted a patent in the first place?

Bank balance or available credit or hair color is just data. This is a patent on "looking something up", and is total BS.

Now, if/when someone tries to actually implement this, I think my response will be mockery, half to whatever company thinks people will give them access to their banking histories in order to improve advertising, and the other half to the idiots that will click "yes" to be entered in a free draw.

Comment Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (Score 1) 529 529

Yes:There is no reason to assume they have a real illness

Strictly speaking, there's no reason to assume they have a physical illness. There's many reasons to suspect they have a mental illness - namely, a fear of technology. Of course, you can't crusade for people to change their lives to help you when the problem is You.

Comment Re:Wow, just wow... (Score 1) 490 490

Maybe we should create a special girls-only class to teach girls about how to live in a world where they won't receive special treatment.

Please tell me you can create that world. I'd sleep much better knowing that my daughter isn't going to be treated differently from the boys around her.

No catcalling, far less risk of assault and rape, no body-shaming, no being told that liking something is wrong because "that's for boys"? Yeah, that works for me.

Comment Re:Equality (Score 1) 490 490

So what's the article trying to say? That a toy which inspires a child's interest in science and technology is BAD unless it inspires boys and girls in equal proportions? Get outta here.

I think they're asking why we feel that unless we wrap technology in comfortable gender roles girls won't get it? What's next, Blue and Pink IDEs?

And the article is pointing out that the Pink/Blue Divide is a modern advancement, because having gender-specific toys means that you have to Buy More Toys when you have a girl. (Because your girl can't play with Boy Stuff - that's just gross!)

Comment Re:Equality (Score 1) 490 490

However misguided, I think people are just trying to reduce the pressure everyone puts on young girls to pick interests that fit into their stereotype.

Well, as the father of a reasonably geeky eight-year-old girl, it would be marvelous if companies like Nerf and Lego could find a way to market to girls that didn't just paint everything PINK and girly. (Lego Friends is just Barbie Bricks, and somehow boys have survived using Nerf darts without Secret Coded Messages).

If pressure to conform is one half of the problem, lazy marketing is the other. Just walk through a toy-store and see the Pink Segregation. My kid is turning into a tomboy, but if a relative is getting a present, odds are the damned thing is pink and princess-themed.

Comment Re:Bill Hadley is going to be disappointed (Score 1) 233 233

Yes, this is all upside for the accused. However, there is a down side for society. If a powerful person who is offended by anonymous speech can penetrate the anonymity, then no anonymous speaker is safe from being revealed. Being able to engage in anonymous political speech is an important defense against tyrrany.

The conflict here is between the right of the accused to face his accuser, and the right of an accuser to remain anonymous if he wishes. I come down on the side of the anonymous accuser because I feel that anonymous political speech is important to society.

What you're overlooking is that the unmasking is coming after the court has essentially already declared that the speech in question is defamatory (which isn't a protected class of speech). There have been appeals, the anonymous person has sent lawyers to appeal on multiple occasions (which does make one doubt the "it's some random yahoo" hypothesis - Timmy's parents aren't likely to be footing the bills for lawyers to protect his identity). Reading the ruling, it's pretty clear that Mr. X has effectively *had* his day in court, and the judges are basing this ruling on the fact that they believe the posts in questions to be defamatory.

So the system is working pretty much as intended - "Fuboy" (the alias of the person who posted) has had his identity protected through the entire process, and only after substantial judicial review (which includes the judges deciding if the case has merit and a reasonable chance of success - read: it's actually defamation), has authorized revealing the name. Not to mention that at each step, he's had the ability (and has availed himself) of legal representation to attempt to quash the subpoena.

To your root point, I agree that anonymous speech is valuable. But part of that value is that it can't be used as a shield to hide behind when doing actually illegal things.

Comment Re:Remember Oscar Wilde (Score 1) 233 233

So of course an anonymous comment is no reason to believe someone is a pedophile, unless corroborated by further evidence.

Today, it's an anonymous comment. In a week, it's something you heard from someone in the neighborhood (who may or may not mention it was an anonymous comment). Two weeks, everyone just "knows" that he is one, because everyone is talking about it.

Comment Re:Bill Hadley is going to be disappointed (Score 1) 233 233

Doesn't filing a court case do even more than a denial to make the original allegation more prominent?

Short term yes, long term no.

Making a denial is less noise now, but leaves the floor open for our little whisperer to continue throwing allegations around. That's what whisper campaigns and echo chambers are, after all - a continual drip of unsourced comments and allegations, until it becomes something common knowledge that everyone has heard somewhere.

A lawsuit brings attention to useful facts - that the commenter is anonymous (and thus Not Respectable), which damps down the early trouble. And now that he gets a name, there's someone who has to put up or shut up (probably on camera, if Hadley is any sort of good politician). But worst case, he goes from having to defend himself against shadows to having an actual person to rebut.

Comment Re:Bill Hadley is going to be disappointed (Score 1) 233 233

Accusing someone of molesting children is political speech now? Sure...

Isn't it right that people are careful what they say about other people?

I am a firm believer in free speech. The cure for bad speech (as the accusation apparently was) is not less bad speech but more good speech. If I were accused, anonymously, of pedophilia, I would not try to use the courts to find my accuser. Instead I would ignore the accusation unless it was repeated by an identifiable person, such as a reporter asking if it were true. I would answer the reporter by saying it was not, and offering to cooperate with the reporter's investigation into whether or not I was a podophile if he felt the accusation was credible enough to be worth the effort.

Except that now all *you're* talking about is whether you're a pedophile. And now you're on the road to "have you stopped beating your wife yet". Whisper campaigns work, unfortunately.

I don't think this even counts as "chilling free speech". Whomever this person is, they're free to repeat their claim once they're name is revealed. And if it's some punk kid in a library, that'll do far more to kill the story than anything he can do otherwise.

Presuming that he's not *actually* a child molester, getting a name to the quote is all up-side for him. Maybe it's a kid who backs down when the cameras ask him to repeat it. Or maybe it'll trace back to a political opponent, and now he's got a whole can of whoop-ass to unload.

Comment Re:In the real world... (Score 1) 255 255

...most companies use the Microsoft stack and Microsoft Office. So, yes, being well versed in them could actually help you get a job.

Except that to be considered an "expert" in Office (I have the certificate to prove that I am one, even! Yay professional development!) only required knowing the bare basics of PivotTables, and to know where the conditional formatting button was. And there's a lot of people in this office who got hired because they "know" how to use Office, and frankly that is not a high hurdle to jump.

So, forgive me if I don't tell my kid that being "good" at Office is any great achievement.

Comment Re:Learn to.... (Score 1) 255 255

2010's: ?????

Learn to learn.

Universities and trade schools have a hard enough time predicting the future for occupations in general, much less particular technologies. (I was taught C/C++ just in time for Perl and Java, for instance).

Trying to make that guess earlier? If someone was smart enough to know today what will be the hot new job seven years from now (so they can tell high-schoolers what to take), they'd be too rich to waste money telling them, don'tcha think? (And telling grade 7s what the job market will be in *10* years? Don't make me laugh.)

The killer app of skills is to learn something today to use tomorrow. Learn it when you need it.

It is not best to swap horses while crossing the river. -- Abraham Lincoln