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Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 102

by cayenne8 (#49622391) Attached to: How the NSA Converts Spoken Words Into Searchable Text

Why? Over most of history spying has saved lives more than taken them. I find it so odd that people on Slashdot sing the praises of the "Codebreakers" of WWII but are shocked and freaked out that they are still around today.

Because they spied on the enemy, the foreign entities that were trying to harm them.

The problem today is, this tech is being aimed domestically as well as on foreign enemies....without due process or proper warrants showing probably cause.

The objection is the broad dragnet of information being captured and analyzed, of presumable innocent citizens.

If this were ONLY being aimed at the enemy, not only would most folks here not have a problem with it, they'd whole heartedly support it!!

Comment: Re:Hmmm Tasty Whale Tongue (Score 1) 45

Were you trying to say:

"LOL, nei, (th)að var ekki augljóst að "here" ((væri?)) Ísland og að (th)ú værir íslensk. En ((??????)) Google Translate get ég látið eins og hálfviti á tveimur tungumálum. Ef gert er ráð fyrir auðvitað að Slashdot ((sé ekki að flækja Unicodeið?))"

That is:

"LOL, no, it wasn't clear that here is Iceland and that you were were Icelandic. But (????) Google Translate I can come across like an idiot in two languages. If one assumes of course that Slashdot isn't screwing up the Unicode"?

Comment: Re:Hmmm Tasty Whale Tongue (Score 1) 45

I'll reiterate: People here think it's a ridiculous product. The page is stupid marketing to foreigners. Yes, there are separate accent and apostrophe keys (in case you're curious, here's what an Icelandic keyboard layout looks like). Hákarl (the fermented shark you refer to) isn't eaten commonly, it's actually fairly rarely eaten (though some people do like it). Most of the foods you'd consider weird are rarely consumed, like sheep heads, skate, etc, often associated with a particular festival or whatnot. Probably the only things you'd find weird that are eaten fairly commonly are horse and fish jerky (harðfiskur). Lamb is commonly eaten here but you probably wouldn't find that weird. We also have a lot of dairy products you don't have but I don't think you'd find most of them that weird. Anyway, probably the most commonly-eaten food here is pizza ;) Hamburgers and hotdogs are common too (though our hotdogs are made of lamb).

Whale is eaten here but rarely. Nearly half of the catch consumed in Iceland is eaten by tourists (a large percentage of which, I should add, come from America). Also I'm continually surprised by the percentage of Americans who criticize Iceland for whaling but don't know that America whales too, and no small amount (producing thousands of tonnes of whale meat per year). Yes, they're "natives" whaling, but 1) it's no less traditional for Icelanders to whale than it is for Alaskan natives, 2) Alaskan natives use modern equipment for whaling too, including chasing them down in speedboats, killing them with modern equipment, and dragging them on shore with backhoes; and 3) Alaskan whales end up no less dead than Icelandic ones. None of the Icelandic whale populations are threatened.

Anyone who wants to discourage whaling over here, a few tips.

One, don't come out with the self-righteous stuff, because it doesn't fly. Not only does the US whale too, but receiving lectures on morality from a country where a majority of the population supports torture and who engages in all sorts of obscene human rights abuses and whose domestic livestock are mostly raised in factory farms in horrible conditions doesn't exactly come across well.

Secondly, know that any overt pressure is just going to cause backlash, and the more overt, the more the backlash. Many of you may see for example Paul Watson as a hero. Here he's seen as a ecoterrorist; he literally sent people in to sink ships right in the public harbour. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to distance yourself from these sort of people. You don't make friends by talking up people who come in and wreck up the place.

Third, understand the local perspective. It's not only that they've been eaten traditionally since Iceland was settled (indeed, the word for "beached whale" also means "jackpot" or "godsend", because in the old days it could mean the difference between life or death for a whole town). It's that they live free out in the open ocean, growing up their whole lives unhindered by man (except when, say, a NATO ship uses a super-powerful anti-sub sonar in the area or whatnot :P), living a pretty much idyllic life - and a single whale provides a vast amount of meat. Meanwhile, pigs for example - also highly intelligent animals - grow up in horrible squalid conditions in many of the countries that criticize Iceland .

Fourth, there are actual arguments you can make that have effect, and have on their own been discouraging whale consumption - but which foreigners who oppose whaling rarely make. Probably the foremost of these is the health issue. Whales, being top predators, tend to have dangerously high levels of heavy metal and organic pollutant contamination. If you want to make someone feel uncomfortable about eating whale meat, point out how much mercury and lead they're eating in that serving. There are also lesser arguments you can make that may or may not have effects on the person, depending on the individual - intelligence (but you better be well versed in the scientific literature, unbacked claims won't fly), for example, or how long it takes a whale to die versus other types of animals slaughtered for meat - but depending on the person, that may or may not be seen as a good argument. But the toxin contamination issue will have an effect on pretty much everyone.

(also, realize that not everyone here eats whale at all, and most people who do eat it only rarely)

Lastly, focus on the tourists. They come in for just a couple days and yet a large chunk of them order whale while they're here. Many of them oppose whaling back home, but it's as if when they come here their strict "morality" goes out the door, in the interest of "trying new things". I don't think they realize that they eat such a large percentage of the Icelandic catch, or that they somehow disconnect from where the meat comes from. There's a campaign here called "Meet Us, Don't Eat Us", encouraging whale watching instead of eating whale meat, and I think that's a very good strategy. The whale watching industry is economic counterpressure to the whaling industry.

(As a side note - I say all of this as a vegetarian).

Comment: Re:works differently in the states. (Score 2) 124

by ScentCone (#49621867) Attached to: USBKill Transforms a Thumb Drive Into an "Anti-Forensic" Device

"In case the police come busting in" is a condition typically followed by a hailstorm of bullets here in the United States

I see. You live inside a bad television episode? How many hacker apartment door breakdowns followed by "hailstorms of bullets" can you cite from this month, here in this country of over 300,000,000 people? Please be specific.

Comment: Re:I am a Republican voting Conservative. (Score 1) 313

The one arena that is is not contentious in is in the climatology community. Yes, there are a very small number of skeptics, but then again there are a small number of skeptics in the biology community who insist on some variant of Creationism (or Intelligent Design, as they like to market it these days). But all in all, the contention among scientists is over degree, and not over whether or not human-caused CO2 emissions are radically altering global climate.

Comment: Re:Lives be damned (Score 1) 200

Well great. I wager I can produce really cheap toys by manufacturing out of substandard materials. Sure, the materials might be toxic, might even be highly flammable, but hey, all that fucking counts is profits! We should just let companies fuck everything and everyone up because MONEY!!!! We should let them lie and distort and attack anyone who questions because MONEY!!!! Fuck every single human being on earth, because MONEY!!!!

Comment: Re:The Curve on Academic Courses (Score 1) 302

by meta-monkey (#49620735) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

It's critical, too. When you learn the low-level stuff, you develop a more intuitive sense of algorithms. Or you understand why "equality" becomes a contextual problem when dealing with reference objects. And dealing with character buffers and malloc calls in C gives you a better insight into why strings are immutable in Java, Python, .NET, others.

But when you've never had to think about how the code is represented at a lower level, well that's when you get the somebody writing horror shows like:

public static class Logger
{
        string log;

        public void AddToLog(string newEntry)
        {
                log = log + newEntry;
        }
}

The clothes have no emperor. -- C.A.R. Hoare, commenting on ADA.

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