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Comment: Re:Who is being taxed, exactly? (Score 2) 322

by cowwoc2001 (#47189109) Attached to: Fixing China's Greenhouse Gas Emissions For Them

I actually think that's a good thing.

The "disposable economy" will currently live in causes a lot of domestic waste, not to mention the havoc it wrecks on domestic employment.

Yes, we'll buy less widgets. But in return employment rates will rise, and we'll shift to higher-quality merchandise.

It's one thing to buy a poor-quality product when the competition is twice the price. It's another thing when the price difference is only 25%.

Comment: Re:Racism or Thought Police? (Score 1) 398

by cowwoc2001 (#47183177) Attached to: The Ethics Cloud Over Ballmer's $2 Billion B-Ball Buy

I actually sort of agree, in principle, that a private conversation should not be grounds for forcing an owner out of the league. However, this case is more than that. The NBA isn't actually penalising him for his racist views, they're penalising him for being publicly caught and therefore costing them money (if they don't punish him). If they tolerated his racism, they'd possibly face a player and/or fan boycott of the team, and potentially a larger one against the league for tolerating him. To make matters worse he said he didn't want black people in his arena or seeing his team. I suspect if he hadn't said that, and then gone on National TV and attacked one of the most famous basketball players ever instead of apologising and making nice, he would have gotten away with some token sanctions.

But he did what he did, and now the other owners have to choose between their money and a senile old guy they probably never liked in the first place. Is it any surprise they chose public acclaim and money over the angry old senile man? Particularly, when keeping him around would virtually guarantee a repeat performance and more lost money?

Right. So the NBA has the right to ask him to sell the company because regardless of due process the bad publicity will cost them money. What they do not have the right to do is fine him $2.5 million... because legally speaking he did nothing wrong.

Somewhere down the line, someone in the NBA thought they had the right to "fire" Sterling but in actually all they had the right to do is buy him out. That's not the same thing. The way they went about this is all wrong.

Comment: Re:Racism or Thought Police? (Score 1) 398

by cowwoc2001 (#47182805) Attached to: The Ethics Cloud Over Ballmer's $2 Billion B-Ball Buy

The recording of the phone call was illegal according to California law (which requires both parties to agree to be recorded), it was a private conversation and there is no proof that his beliefs have in any way translated to negative actions.

It wasn't a phone call. He was just yelling at his girlfriend because she was seen in public with her non-white friends.

You're right, but it was illegal nonetheless. If this kind of thing went to court (e.g. police smash down your door, find drugs) the evidence would be inadmissible.

What is said was wrong, but I think it should be emphasized the recording *is* illegal and the man is due no less legal rights/protection than anyone else. For the NBA or anyone else to penalize him based on this thought crime and an illegal recording is wrong in its own right.

Comment: Re:Racism or Thought Police? (Score 1) 398

by cowwoc2001 (#47180647) Attached to: The Ethics Cloud Over Ballmer's $2 Billion B-Ball Buy

Agreed. It's one thing to be racist in your mind. It's another thing to act on that racism. The recording of the phone call was illegal according to California law (which requires both parties to agree to be recorded), it was a private conversation and there is no proof that his beliefs have in any way translated to negative actions.

I am in favor of slapping the book at anyone who abuses their official capacity to spread racism but in this case Sterling actually *didn't* want these messages being spread, and yet he's being punished for them. The media only seems to care about money, not morality or justice.

Comment: Whatever (Score 3, Insightful) 56

Let me be the first one to congratulate them. So long as those idiots stick to keyboard attacks instead of suicide bombings I think we are moving in the right direction.

If anyone is dumb enough to connect nuclear power plants to the internet ... well, let's just say we'll learn that lesson and never make that mistake again.

Comment: Eye tracking + Swipe keyboard? (Score 1) 552

by cowwoc2001 (#47076373) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Communication With Locked-in Syndrome Patient?

I don't think this exists, but I could see it working:

1. Take existing eye-tracking technologies. (I'm not familiar with any but I know they exist)
2. Put up a virtual keyboard in front of your sister-in-law.
3. Track what letters her eyes trace over.
4. Use statistical analysis to guess which words they are trying to spell (like Swipe/Android keyboard).

This should allow her to spell words fairly quickly, although swipe keyboards can be frustrating at times.

Comment: It's all about the certification process (Score 1) 355

by cowwoc2001 (#46996723) Attached to: Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+?

Aside from the technical advantages that people keep on bringing up, one of the main non-technical advantages that Thunderbolt has is its certification process. Any USB chipset that is faster than USB2's theoretical speed is certified as USB3, whereas in order to get certified as Thunderbolt 1 or 2 you must actually reach the advertised speed.

When you buy a USB device (unless it's from a reputable manufacturer such as Intel), its actual speed is usually an order of magnitude worse than the advertised speed. That is a huge difference!

Comment: Re:"there's not much to indicate difficulty" (Score 1) 278

by cowwoc2001 (#46876409) Attached to: The Ways Programming Is Hard

1. "code works": Easy to say, hard to check. It might work today in some circumstances but fail tomorrow in other circumstances.
2. "is maintainable": That's a subjective criteria which is impossible to enforce.
3. "is to spec": Again, easy to check for common pathways, but hard to catch all the nuances (for the same reason that no one has 100% code coverage in their unit tests).
4. "passing a security audit": This helps, but as well all know by now it does not guarantee that the code is secure. Code usually depends on 100s of transitive dependencies. No one in their right mind includes transitive code in their security audits, unless you're the military and have that kind of money.

I'm not saying that building a house is any easier. I'd simply point out that we evaluate houses and bridges after a 30-year track record. If bad things happen, people get sued and there is some form of liability.

How many people behind software development (from the programmers up to the project managers) are liable for their work 30 years later?

Until we become liable for our work there will be no incentive to measure and improve some of these metrics. Just my 2 cents.

Comment: Re:Someone call Ben Affleck (Score 1) 165

No. It does not.

The Christian ethnically cleansed the region of Jews, then the Arabs came and did the same. The Arabs of 1946 are not natives of the region by any stretch of the imagination. They did the same in Egypt. Hint: Today's Egyptians have nothing to do with Egypt's native population from a thousand years ago. They are just Arab colonists who invaded the area and ethnically cleansed it of non-Muslims.

You don't have to know how the computer works, just how to work the computer.

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