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Comment Re:Raising questions about freedom of speech? (Score 3, Insightful) 298

There is also nothing in the constitution that says any entity must allow you to use their property at the exclusion of others in order to express your speech.

Correct. Only a government entity (such as the city) must allow you equal access to their public resources (such as this park) without using forceful intervention (such as sending in police) to suppress it.

the city said no if a wanted criminal and fugitive from law would be a party of it.

Free speech is about the speech, not the person speaking. Otherwise we should not have any problem, e.g., banning Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto. After all, Marx is dead -- and was never a citizen -- so surely his right to free speech would not be infringed by the ban.

Comment Content producers (Score 1) 141

Writing a joke is hard work. Sure, it's 140 characters, but it can take a long time of searching out inspiration, research, and then writing and rewriting to get it in its punchiest form. Most of us come up with good ones on our own every once in a while, but producing enough to sustain an online following can be a heavy investment. It's no surprise the producers are leaning on twitter for some protection of their reputation and/or livelihood.

As usual, though, it is misguided. The difference between a successful joke and a failed jokes is precisely that the former is likely to get repeated. It's half the reason people follow this accounts and watch comedians is so they can borrow material to entertain their friends and romantic interests. Maybe that's not 100% honest but that's a part of what's driving your traffic. Some jokes have to be told from your perspective -- a citation ruins the humor. (Or you've modified it and citing now would be entirely honest.) Sometimes you remember the joke but not where it came from. That's part of the life of a joke.

But it is strikingly dishonest when you have other accounts stealing material wholesale, morning radio programs running your material without credit, and traffic-generating pages copying it verbatim (except for the citation). Whether that should invite legal response I don't know, but it should certainly invite some shame.

Comment Re:The national average is 15.9 students per teach (Score 1) 162

Right, my point is that the average is 15.9. So if some classrooms have 30 kids and the average is 15.9, that proves the point that there are a lot of classrooms with less than 15.9 kids so that the average is 15.9.

That's the whole point of averages.

Every classroom could have 15.9 kids, but because we like paying people not to do anything, we have 30 kids in one room and (30 + x) / 2 = 15.9 which works to 30 + x = 31.8, x = 1.8

For every 30 kid classroom there can be a classroom with 1.8 kids and the average is 15.9

Which is my whole point that we have a lot of half empty classrooms with teachers collecting a full paycheck while other teachers have overflowing classrooms for the same pay.

Comment The national average is 15.9 students per teacher (Score 1) 162

When you talk about overloaded classrooms you're talking about STEM classrooms.

We have plenty of teachers. In fact, we could fire a lot of them and still be below 18-20 per class.

The issue is that we specialize in worthless teachers who collect full paychecks with empty classrooms because they're not competent enough to step in and teach a STEM period or two. As if the standards for becoming a K-12 math teacher are even particularly difficult.

As a bonus for firing a lot of worthless teachers and actually having full classrooms, we can give significant raises to the teachers we actually need. Which will in turn attract a lot more competent teachers who can solve other issues.

Comment Re:Mars is stupid (Score 1) 136

All very good points, but let's consider that colonization may involve a bit of compromise. Maybe in the best case we continue to need respirators and good shelters. Is that unacceptable? Doesn't mean it's not useful to increase the surface temperature, release certain gases, start some form of food production.

The stability and accessibility of Mars remains very important at our present stage of technology. We aren't going to wait for terraforming to complete before we start colonizing. It's a major advantage if the process is easy to monitor and interact with, if resources are easy to extract (mining), and equipment failure is less of a concern (no caustic substances at 500C).

In the end, it's probably better to get more practical experience at terraforming something else before we start on our #1 target anyway.

Comment Re:Project administrators held PRC passports! (Score 1) 142

Technically speaking, the previous elected administration was also the Obama administration. And however outdated the security practices might have been under Bush, they are at least 7 years more outdated today under Obama, which is not an equal failing. Notably, the cyber aspect of national security has become much more pointed in the years that he has been in charge. You can give Obama a pass if you honestly don't think it should have been a priority, but most would consider national security should be one of the presidents' top priorities. In any case, if you want to distribute some of the consequences to Bush, I suppose we can go egg his house or something, but the practical side is that however much accountability we are willing to assign to previous administrations is that much less incentive for the present administration to take this seriously.

Comment Re:Say Good By to the Rainforests .... (Score 3, Informative) 851

You can't (or at least you shouldn't) fry anything in Olive oil. It will smoke and degrade into potentially unhealthy chemicals.

This is only true for lower quality extra virgin olive oil. High quality extra virgin olive oil with low acidity has a high smoke point. Also, virgin olive oil has a smoke point comparable to refined canola oil (only slightly lower), at 199C vs 204C. For reference, there is a chart of smoke points here. Unless you are using extra virgin olive oil, you are safe frying in light olive oil at about 199C.

Comment Re:People need to settle down... (Score 4, Insightful) 206

...Of course, this being the internet, you have the usual suspects crying chicken little, the sky is falling.

They're also smugly saying "I told you so" - and doing so seemingly without understanding the situation. The situation hasn't changed since the beginning: don't use the service if you don't trust the encryption. If the service is breached and the (open source, peer reviewed) encryption stands up to attack, then the threat is astronomically minimal.

Comment Re:I want my old /. With BlackJack and Hookers. (Score 1) 145

Who's we white man?

Now I'm white and a man?

I really hope that you were joking too. I don't know you, so just in case - here's the joke that I was referencing. :)

"We" is the people that actually do work in the tech industry & engineering. When I go to work in the morning I don't care if you're white, black, purple, gay, straight, trans-gendered, female, pierced, tattooed, et al. All I care about (those that I work about care about) is if you get your work done and if it's quality work. It's been that way for a while and it's been that way with most people I work with and know.

It's why a lot of similar industries don't care about your attire and you can get away with piercings, colored hair and tattoos

It's great that all you care about is results. I wish that there were more people like you. However, it doesn't mean that the tech industry is immune from the wage gap (or position gap) between men and women. It has and it continues to happen. There are some companies who are pioneers in this sense, too. However, these are not the norm. While I am optimistic about progress, we have a long way to go to establish equality. I welcome hearing about it on Slashdot, as the topic is worthy of discussion. To squelch discussion is being complicit with the status quo, which is a form of racism/sexism in and of itself. Please don't take that as me accusing you of anything. It's not my point. My point is to explain the merits of discussing it here.

That's the thing. I believe in social justice. And the way to get 'social justice' is to stop pointing out the differences and turning sides against each other. Women and LGBT have been in 'industry' for a long time. (Grace Murray Hopper graduated from Yale in the 30s) It's not an issue for most people. The only people that think it's an issue are the ones that are trying to grandstand it into something more than it is.

Tim Cook wasn't really deep in the closet before he came out, it's just that it was a non-issue around Apple.

I agree that the tech industry is diverse. However, it continues to be a male-dominated industry. If certain people feel alienated, or there is a wage/position gap - should they not be free to voice their opinion? Should they not be welcome to engage in discussion about it (it's not like anyone is forcing anyone else to participate in it)? What makes Slashdot the wrong place for it? I mean, if they're "nerds" in their field, should they head over to and discuss it there? Just because the CEO of Apple's sexuality was a non-issue, does it mean that others in other companies do not experience it on a wholesale basis? Another example: while I am a huge admirer of Grace Hopper, her story is an exceptional one, considering that she practically stands along among history's female computer pioneers.

With respect to how to achieve social justice, I don't know if I agree with you. There is really no way to point out how inequality within the status quo without someone feeling attacked. Every online discussion that I have ever read about gender equality or racism results in a person in the majority (who is usually white, male, and/or heterosexual) attacking back, or at least pushing back in a way that indicates that they feel threatened. This type of behavior is endemic to the status quo. An attempt at social change that will negatively affect the privileged will often result in a negative response. At best, activists of social justice are accused of being divisive or stirring the pot. Maybe they are being divisive, but maybe they're right to be if they've been living with inequality their entire lives.

I also understand your point about grandstanding. However, if we agree to stipulate that there are a few people who grandstand about race/gender/LGBT issues for their own purposes, I don't think that it is fair to dismiss or otherwise not discuss all other claims on that basis. Similarly, when you mentioned in the GPP that you didn't care about Gamergate - I really do. I mean, this was a case of gamers actively harassing outspoken women who wished nothing more than to change the status quo of what they believe is sexist industry and culture. Irrespective of the merit of the actual arguments, the community response was generally despicable, and I couldn't think of a better place for it than Slashdot.

I'm not trying to get into an argument with you here. I honestly respect your opinion - and I can see that we feel differently about this. That's fine. We live in a fairly diverse country, and the tech industry does not exist in the vacuum of a few companies who pioneer. My point is that I welcome hearing voices from all of these people here.

Comment Re:I want my old /. With BlackJack and Hookers. (Score 0, Flamebait) 145

I like a lot of what you had to say, but please forgive me for being pedantic on one point that you've made.

On 'Gamergate', 'sexual equality', 'gender issues', we don't care

Who's we white man? ;)

It's great for you that you're privileged enough to not have to care about issues of gender equality. However, to be clear, I do care about that stuff, and if you have any interest in social justice, I believe that you should too.

My last point with respect to your sinking ship comment, I believe that there is one major shortfall that you missed, and it's not /.'s fault. It's the /. user community itself. Seriously, commenters here are almost as bad as YouTube - going straight for the ad hominem jugular over something as minor as an error in punctuation (or worse, a technical error in a post). I suppose that it's endemic to any Internet forum, but some places are better than others...and this place is worse than many others. It's like a magnet for internet buttholes and tough guys. There isn't much that can be done about it, other than trusting the moderation system, but that kind of environment does tend to stifle productive and respectful dialog.

Comment Re:Follow the money. (Score 2) 234

This is brain dead capitalism. This is Scarlett O'Hara exploitative, short sighted, moocher stuff where you go in, get what you want and have no concern for the people or big picture view. When things fall apart you go cry and run off to the next batch of suckers.

This isn't Ayn Rand, understand your interdependencies, work together and support your highly competent support structure to build a larger ecosystem where everyone wins and improves in their core competencies to the benefit of everyone else.

Uber doesn't just need researchers. They need Google. They need Tesla. They need other car brands that are working on the problem. And they certainly could have used the money that the government and students were putting into the school to fund those researchers and give them access to other projects which may have given insights to the project they cared about. You can bet the government is interested in autonomous vehicles. Now that's gone because those researchers won't be given money or access to work already done in that area for the government.

Shortest distance between two jokes = A straight line