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Crime

Two US Marines Foil Terrorist Attack On Train In France 467

hcs_$reboot writes: A heavily armed gunman opened fire aboard a packed high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris late Friday afternoon, wounding several passengers before he was tackled and subdued by two Americans Marines. The assault was described as a terrorist attack. President Barack Obama has expressed his gratitude for the "courage and quick thinking" of the passengers on a high-speed train in France, including U.S. service members, who overpowered the gunman. Bernard Cazeneuve, the French interior minister, paid tribute to the Marines as he arrived at the scene, and said "Thanks to them we have averted a drama. The Americans were particularly courageous and showed extreme bravery in extremely difficult circumstances."
Canada

Extortionists Begin Targeting AshleyMadison Users, Demand Bitcoin 286

tsu doh nimh writes: It was bound to happen: Brian Krebs reports that extortionists have begun emailing people whose information is included in the leaked Ashleymadison.com user database, threatening to find and contact the target's spouse and alert them if the recipient fails to cough up 1 Bitcoin. Krebs interviews one guy who got such a demand, a user who admits to having had an affair after meeting a woman on the site and who is now worried about the fallout, which he said could endanger his happily married life with his wife and kids. Perhaps inevitable: two Canadian law firms have filed a class action lawsuit against the company, seeking more than half a billion dollars in damages.

Comment Re:No love for Android? (Score 1) 83

Bumping AC's comment, because yeah, this is stupid. The whole article on email encryption for smartphones talks about exactly one app, available for the second-most-popular smartphone OS, and nothing else. It doesn't cover encryption support for other platforms, other apps, or other encryption methods. It talks about the need for platform support, without mentioning any platform support found on any smartphone platform.

There were smartphones before iOS, and there are still other smartphones. In fact, iPhones don't even have that a very dominant market share, no matter how much money they make for Apple. If you want to get the masses using email encryption, you can't focus only on a minority platform!

Comment Re:Yeah, right. (Score 1) 319

I've known a number of drunks who've done just that (none, thankfully, in *my* living room), and the consequences (of the peeing in particular, not necessarily of the drunkenness altogether) have generally been light. Admittedly, they were all passed out or close to it when the call of nature came...

In any case, though, it's a very false equivalency. People pee where they are *by default*, not *by preference*. Even animals often won't befoul their own nests unless sick, injured, or very young. Pissing where you stand is something children do until they learn better, and the old or sick (or drunk) do when they have no choice, but that the healthy and reasonably-aged essentially never do. Having multiple romantic partners is something you are taught not to do your entire life, and then (in many cases) do anyway when the opportunity arises and the urge becomes unbearable. Very, very different

Comment Re:Yeah, right. (Score 1) 319

That is indeed interesting. Pretty sure that's mostly an artifact of inheritance laws, though; in societies where men owned and inherited property (and women were little, if anything, more than that) it was a serious concern that a man's wife/wives have no other lovers, or some of his wealth would go to children not his. In modern society, while polyamorous marriage is not legal, anybody (regardless of gender) can split eir inheritance amongst multiple recipients and, if you particularly care to do so, you can determine genetic paternity relatively inexpensively and with excellent accuracy.

Comment Re:Yeah, right. (Score 1) 319

The first point I'll grant you, though if given a choice I'd undo the death of an uncle who I saw but a few times a year (who died at 50) over undoing all the bad breakups of my life and the reasons for them. Maybe that's unusual of me, but the fact remains that from my viewpoint, it's really, not the same when somebody hurts you and dumps you vs. when somebody is taken from you, and the latter hurts for much longer.

For the rest, though, no. You're taking my sentences out of one context and then trying to claim they're in another. That's gotten you a few mod points, but it doesn't actually address the point I was making in those sentences at all. The point was, in case you somehow failed to read the first sentence of the paragraph you're quoting from, that " humans aren't really wired very well for monogamy". They get away from it when they can, either by being powerful, or with the consent of their partners, or without that consent. I am by no means attempting to claim that these are morally equal, any more than I'm claiming you should look up to the powerful and vicious (which are *not* the same thing, though viciousness, like non-monogamy, is a thing that power can let you get away with and this appeals to many more people than you seem to realize). I'm not justifying a behavior, I'm simply highlighting the fact that it happens, and if society doesn't want it to happen the bad way (cheating) they need to legitimize it happening the good way (socially acceptable ethical polyamory).

As for my "ridiculous strawman", that's actually one of the core advantages of polyamory. Monogamous relationships require a tremendous commitment, not only to give up all the other relationships and partners you might have had, but to be there for your partner for whatever ey expect a partner to provide. Polyamory frees you from both obligations, allowing you and your partner(s) to get everything that is desired from as many sources as it takes. Of course, in practice it doesn't work out perfectly, but a lot of polycules can get closer to that ideal than the typical monogamous relationship.

As for your last argument, I disagree. I'm not going to touch murder, except to point out you've hardly argued that it's not inevitably part of human society. Back on topic, though, cheating *is* inevitable, so long as society requires people to give up a relationship before starting a new one (and accept a huge stigma in the process), but sneaking around without your partner's knowledge is still frequently possible. Adjust the latter and you'll get less cheating, though you'll probably still get some because people are bad at weighing consequences, especially when their hormones are up. Adjust the former, and the rate of cheating will go *way* down, because the only reason to do it will be because you want to hurt your partner even though you don't want to leave them, and that's a really silly reason (especially if separations are made easy and relatively effortless).

Comment Re:Yeah, right. (Score 1) 319

For the record: my first personal experience with polyamory was when a girl I liked (but figured I had not chance with, because - among other things - she was married) told me she wanted to date *me* and wanted to know if I was OK with the fact that she had a husband. The relationship eventually ended, but I'm still friends with both her and her husband, and another of her ex lovers (from while she was married, with husband's consent), though I haven't met the new guy in her life yet.

My OKCupid profile says I'm in an open relationship and only interested in meeting people who are OK with that, and remarkably enough this has not made it any more difficult to find dates. Great thing about open relationships: they mean the dating pool doesn't shrink every time somebody starts a new relationship!

Comment Re:More social decay. (Score 1) 319

Legally-recognized poly relationships would indeed be legally complicated, and I expect that this is coming within the next century or so, but legally-unrecognized poly relationships will become (relatively) commonplace well before that. If gay marriage is just now crossing from the third to the fourth states of "first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win", polyamory is mostly still at the first stage.

Comment Re:More social decay. (Score 1) 319

Oh, bullshit. I realize you're probably just a troll, but whatever. Marriage *is* a legal agreement specifically to handle things like division of property (originally, specifically to handle inheritance).

Religion co-opted it as one of many way to separate the righteous (those who held to their vows, assuming they make them with the right kind of people) from the sinners (those who would do such terrible things as tempt somebody to break a vow). After all, nothing unites a people like having an outsider who is terribly wrong and will destroy all that you hold dear. If you don't have an enemy, invent one. History, both religious and secular, is chock full of examples of this behavior.

Back to marriage: marriage ceremonies have borne religious trappings (and often been conducted by religious figures) since long before Christianity or even Judaism - one wishes to bless the couple with health and fertility, to grow the tribe and make it stronger - but its core was always a secular agreement even back to the days before law was a concept. It was a declaration that the child of this woman is that man's heir, and often enough also that the woman was essentially now his property; she would serve him (and bear his children) and he would provide for her (and his children as she bears them). The requirement that they be his children (not those of some other man) is where the exclusivity of marriage comes in. By the time Abrahamic religions came along, people had enough property (and social expectations of how it is distributed) that a fledgling religion that tried top upset the system would be shunned or even destroyed, but by co-opting the system and making its rules *religious* rules, it emplaced itself as the enforcer of good laws... and, coincidentally, the keeper of marriage.

Comment Re:More social decay. (Score 1) 319

"I'm talking a group of people who live together, love each other, and all F* together as desired."
That's an extremely narrow class of polyamory. The term, as the communities I'm a part of use it, encompasses pretty much all forms of non-exclusive or more-than-pairwise relationships. There's some discussion over whether it applies to people who, alone or along with their regular partners, engage in casual sex outside of their relationship(s), though most people seem to count that too. Any form of "polycule" certainly counts, even though there may not be a single cycle within the relationship graph and there might not be any subgroup larger than two who live together. A man (such as a king or other important/powerful person) who has a harem of voluntary, non-coerced and non-captive members (OK, that may be idealizing things a bit) would count as poly, even if none of the women have other lovers themselves.

With that said... I don't really know how common it's been. The powerful have often had it, including in decidedly non-Judeo-Christian societies, but the powerful have always operated outside of social norms - it's one of the appeals of power, after all - but the more interesting question is how often everyday people have had it.

One thing to bear in mind, though, is that hetero sex used to near-unavoidably mean children, and children of uncertain parentage were a cause of inheritance nightmares (and by "nightmares" I mean anything from simple resent and abuse to full-scale civil wars). The institution of marriage grew out of a need to formalize inheritance by stating that the children of this woman were the inheritors of this man (and if the woman was caught doing something that could lead to bearing another man's child, she was trying to defraud her husband and thus adultery was a crime). Modern advances - like paternity tests, child support, birth control, and women owning property independent of their father or husband - have made this ancient system irrelevant, but it was the way an awful lot of the world worked for a really long time. In such a society, polyamorous relationships of any form *other* than multiple women exclusively with one man is obviously not acceptable.

Comment Re:More social decay. (Score 1) 319

While the precise way the term "polyamory" is used varies from one person to another, it's frequently used as a shorthand for "ethical non-monogamy" or similar. Swinging or bringing in temporary outside partners are very much forms of ethical non-monogamy and involve a person being amorous with more than one person at a time. I'd say the term fits.

You seem to have a fairly narrow view of polyamory, where if it's not full inclusion of everybody with everybody it doesn't count. That's absolutely a type of polyamory, but it's by no means the only one. In fact, I think it's relatively rare; most people that I know in poly relationships (warning: anecdote; warning: sampling bias) are at least open to the idea of either themselves or their partner(s) having a fling, without some or any of the other partner(s), without it being expected to become a long-term thing. Often (though not always) there's an expectation that the partners will meet the newcomer before things go past a certain point, and there are of course rules in place for things like STI safety, but real-world poly relationships are often just like normal pairwise relationships, except you're allowed to be in more than one at a time.

Sometimes they even form chains of considerable length. I have never met my girlfriend's (other) boyfriend's best-friend-and-fuck-buddy's girlfriend... and while it would be fun to do so at some point, it's no big deal to me. I'm not interested in my girlfriend's boyfriend as anything other than a friend, either, and to even call him that is stretching things a bit at this point as we've only met a handful of times.

Comment Re:Still kind of expensive (Score 1) 43

To take an example straight off the page I linked:
http://smile.amazon.com/BLU-Da...

$50 at current price, $60 list. That's new, in stock. What do we get for that?

Android 4.4 KitKat (not Jellybean; I don't know what the update story is though)
4GB of storage (not 512MB; still a bit low but adequate and good for the price. Expandable via microSD, of which Amazon will sell you 16GB for $6)
512MB of RAM (are you not clear on the difference between RAM and persistent storage? A little low but fairly typical for low-end devices)
Dual-core 1GHz CPU (decidedly low for a modern phone, but only because our standards are so high; quite suitable for a cheap device)
Dual-SIM with tri-band HSPA+ (up to 42Mbps, sometimes called 4G)
Front-facing camera and LED flash for rear camera (features often omitted from the cheapest of phones)

You are full of shit. GTFO, troll.

Comment Still kind of expensive (Score 1) 43

There are lots of people in Africa who can afford an $88 smartphone, but that doesn't make it a cheap smartphone. You can find brand new Android and Windows Phone devices for under $60 right here in the US. The Android devices probably don't have too great of an update story, but that's an OEM problem and one that Google can obviously avoid. It seems like Google could easily make a device that costs less than $80, and when you're targeting the developing world, I feel like it would be a lot easier to sell a smartphone costing nearly $50 than nearly $90!

Comment Re:Better keyboard?! What. (Score 1) 434

Function is technically a meta key, but practice it triggers special OS- or even hardware-defined functions (like screen brightness controls) rather than behaving like a traditional meta key that does things like turn the S key into the Save key.

Also, a real keyboard user can always find a use for more meta keys. For example, on Windows, did you know that you can hold Shift with the arrow keys to select text as the cursor moves, Ctrl to move by words (or paragraphs, for vertical) at a time, and Ctrl+Shift together with the arrow keys to select by the word or paragraph? I use this *constantly* - I literally used it once without even realizing what I was doing while writing this very paragraph, when I decided to re-write a sentence - and it drives me nuts when I don't have it.

With that said, I'm with you on Caps Lock. I technically use it more often than Scroll Lock, but unlike Scroll Lock (which very few laptop keyboards have anymore) it's completely replaceable with just a little user effort. But yeah, as Sowelu said, the lack of accelerator keys on Mac keyboards is fucking terrible. You can have my PgUp/PgDn/Home/End keys (and real Insert and Delete for good measure) when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.

Oh, and most 15+" non-Apple widescreen laptops have a numpad. Apple doesn't, and never has, even on their 17" laptops... which is just stupid. Without the numpad you just have a bunch of wasted space on either side of the keyboard; they put in speaker grilles there but they are neither necessary nor sufficient to produce sound quality that many non-Apple laptops achieve with much smaller speaker grilles while also making numerical entry really easy.

Comment Re:What about touch interfaces? (Score 2) 434

As you say, touch is very helpful even when not using a "touch-oriented" interface. When my girlfriend and I are watching Netflix on her machine, it's a lot easier to poke the screen where the play/pause button appears than to move the mouse pointer to that button, click it, and then move it off again so the playback controls vanish. When using a trackpad, it can actually be easier to do things like swipe up on a taskbar icon (check it out: this does the same thing as right-clicking on the icon, displaying the jump list; this feature was added in Win7) than to move the pointer down there and right-click it. When reading over somebody's shoulder, scrolling (in, say, a web page or PDF) with a fingertip is a lot easier than grabbing the mouse or keyboard, especially if you're standing.

There are a lot of places where touch is a win, even on devices that you aren't using like a tablet. Of course, that gets even more true with the increasing number of "2-in-1" Windows laptops that can detach or fold away their keyboards, becoming quite respectable tablets; my Yoga 2 Pro, for example, can easily be used on an airplane tray-table with the keyboard folded back 315 degrees and acting as a stand for the screen. Never mind that a Mac's hinge won't go even close to 180 degrees, it would be useless if it could unless you had some peripheral like a mouse (that doesn't fit on the small surface)

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