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Comment: Re:They are not liable. (Score 2) 277

by dell623 (#48945889) Attached to: Indian Woman Sues Uber In the US Over Alleged New Delhi Taxi Rape

There's a lot of ignorance about the incident and about India here. I don't know whether they are legally liable in the US, but their conduct is questionable. I am utterly amazed how they have avoided harsh criticism in the twittery world of people looking desperately for something to be outraged about.

In a country notorious for being incredibly unsafe for women, they made these claims (http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/in-mumbai-it-bragged-our-quality-checks-most-rigorous/):

"“Globally and especially in India, Uber is working towards making urban transit safer for women. Let me tell you, it’s one of our biggest concerns and we’re doing a number of things to drive that agenda. “In addition to their individual employers screening them, each of our driver partners are put through a rigorous quality control process, that is implemented religiously across the country even before a partner gets behind the wheel of your vehicle. In fact screening for safe drivers is just the beginning of our safety efforts. ”Our process includes prospective and routine checks of drivers’ license and vehicle records to ensure ongoing safe driving. Unlike the taxi industry, our background checking process and standards are so detailed, it is often more rigorous than what is required to become a taxi driver. Moreover, most of our partners are introduced to us via our preferred partners, which means that someone in the system has to vouch for their track record, creating a referral system of trust.”

They hired a driver with a long criminal record based on a forged police certificate. http://timesofindia.indiatimes...? No way in hell does an unverified piece of paper count as a comprehensive background check in India, and you would damn well know that before making claims like the ones above. Especially when you specifically claim to provide a safe option for women.

Then they ignored a complaint about the same driver by a female customer days before the rape: https://au.news.yahoo.com/worl...

I cannot go on about the kind of red flags this should have set off.

Also, http://www.dnaindia.com/india/...

"Uber users can see the name, photo and phone number of the driver when booking a cab. However, in this case, the driver's phone was not registered in his name making it harder to trace him."

Their GPS tracking works via the drivers phone and the customers phone with the app installed. It's worthless, anyone who wants to circumvent it can.

They came to a country where women desperately need a safe mode of transport, made explicit claims about providing a safe service for women, and were utterly callous and negligent and deceptive.

As I said, I don't know about legal liability, but please find out more before making 'cars don't rape people, people do' posts.

All the sources I have quoted are newspapers with very decent standards of journalism. Don't go by the page 3 stuff on their sites - major Indian newspapers often have tabloid page 3 crap comparable to the worst tabloids, but their journalistic standards while far from impeccable are way better than say Fox News.

Comment: Re:This is tragic! (Score 2) 335

by dell623 (#48842743) Attached to: Lies, Damn Lies, and Tech Diversity Statistics

I read these meaningless PR releases utterly devoid of any context (proportion of female applicants, proportion of female applicants meeting the skill requirements etc.) and find myself getting rather annoyed as they seem to suggest that employees in these companies, the whole industry, and by inference, I, did not get a job through merit but because of some kind of gender bias.

But then I read posts straight out of Mad Men like this one, purportedly written by someone who would have a say in hiring, and I think that maybe somewhere behind this whole misguided campaign, there is a very real problem.

- The reference to women as 'girls'. Do it in a bar, not in a professional context, not to a colleague, not in written professional communication.
- 'Brightening up the workplace'? Really?
- That running gag in your company - do the female employees share in it? Or there literally aren't any?

You can claim it's all bar chatter and you're all professional at work, but your office really does not sound like one where women would feel comfortable working.

Comment: Re:Muslims? (Score 1) 880

by dell623 (#48603713) Attached to: Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

Seriously? What do you call the gunning down of a civilian airliner carrying 270+ passengers from the flag carrier of a muslim country? Are you telling me that if muslim rebels in the middle east not attached to a government gunned down an Israeli El Al aircraft and then some claimed that they thought it was an American military Hercules or something, we would not be calling it terrorism. Can you even imagine a single media outlet in the west, anyone, who would not call that terrorism and the biggest terrorist incident since 9/11, 9/11 part II etc. You really think excuses of 'accidentally' shooting down a civilian airliner would wash in that situation?

Stop thinking with that blinkered attitude where terrorism is defined according to your cultural or social background, yet you consider that definition to be universal, sui generis, and a binary classification. A lone gunman is a lone gunman until he unfurls a muslim flag and then suddenly it's terrorism. I am not saying this isn't terrorism. But how much you identify this incident with lone gunmen going nuts posting hate online and then going on a shooting spree, and how much you identify it with a distant conflict in Syria that this guy was influenced by but had no direct affiliation with, is down to perspective. At least try to understand there is some fucking nuance involved.

To all the 'insightful' commenters about how Islam is inherently evil, and it is impossible to practice it without being violent, fuck you, Sydney will get through this, just stay the fuck away from my city. I am not going to tell the Turkish muslim lady who I get my lunch from, 100m (~110 yards) from Lindt cafe in Martin Place that her religion is inherently violent because some posters on a forum said so, that she is not practising it correctly by waking up at 5 am every day, getting her family to work and running a little hole in the wall shop all on her own that sells the cheapest and best lunch I can find, and that she needs to either un-convert (whatever the fuck that is meant to be) or leave this country. Or by sending her daughter to the best school she can afford and soon to university. No, she's doing it all wrong, this fucking nutcase is the one who is doing it right, and she needs to hand in her muslim card. Slashdot told me so.

I am not a fan of twitter, but I will gladly stand with the #illridewithyou crowd than be identified with you lot. There is a lot that needs to be figured out, and the way the IS ideology has appealed to hundreds of muslims in Sydney is clearly a serious issue. But no solution involve a suspension of basic human rights or officially classifying hundreds of thousands of residents of this city as inherently suspicious. Call it a cliche if you want, but that would be un-Australian.

Comment: It's really simple... (Score 1) 505

by dell623 (#44120255) Attached to: Hands-On With Windows 8.1 Preview

In Windows 7, I press the start button on the keyboard, type printers, and get a link to devices and printers and a list of printers. In Windows 8 it brings me to the goddam metro view and doesn't give the same results. Similarly, in 7, I want disk management, I type it and it shows up in results. Windows 8 search doesn't work the same way, and it shows results in the horrible Metro UI that suddenly covers the whole screen. I can't think of any explanation for why the type and find anything search doesn't work the same way in Windows 8 and it's a pain to find the right place to change any setting.

Comment: Re:New Poke (Score 1) 786

by dell623 (#43644239) Attached to: Microsoft's "New Coke" Moment?

Been using Windows since 3.1, and never needed to look up how to turn the computer off. Just never thought it was something you would need to Google, I thought I was missing something blindingly obvious.

Windows 7 Start Menu shows a list of recent applications with little sub menus listing all the files I opened with that program. Brilliant and simple. Also it's dead simple to navigate with a keyboard. Don't know how I can do the same on the stupid Metro desktop.

Comment: Re:New Poke (Score 5, Interesting) 786

by dell623 (#43640967) Attached to: Microsoft's "New Coke" Moment?

Windows 8 sucks at every single level. Even the Metro interface, while the design is interesting and unique, ultimately isn't all that use friendly. Very few applications have actually done something useful with live tiles, and the whole pastel colour thing goes to hell when other apps choose to make multi colour logos instead of the style Microsoft uses. Install a few apps and the whole metro screen looks dreadful and unwieldy and unusable. It's like Android widgets, clever idea but I haven't seen anything beyond weather widgets that you would really want on your home screen. And it's now so quick and simple to get to much used apps or Google Now, and sharing is so easy in Android, widgets seem pretty superfluous except as shortcuts to apps.

That is on top of the other issues. The one reason I haven't switched to Macs until now is that the easy familiarity and efficiency with using Windows will take some time to learn on a Mac. Windows 8 kills that argument, a few minutes with it and I realize if I am learning something new I might as well move to Mac. And maybe if Windows 8 followed Vista we would be more open to it. The problem is Windows 7 is so amazingly good at staying out of the way and letting you get things done, it makes Win 8 even more jarring.

Windows 8 is also being pushed out on the same cheap laptops with low res screens and awful touchpads, where a gesture based interface is no fun to use. I got one for my mother, and I regret not just getting a chromebook. As soon as Google get proper offline editing of MSOffice files, chrome will become a better option for so many people.

Comment: This is really getting ridiculous (Score 1) 318

by dell623 (#43340541) Attached to: Google Glass and Surveillance Culture

If I am under surveillance, I would be delighted if it's a nerdy guy with prominent conspicuous glasses with a blinking red light following me around. Does the writer really imagine Google Glass is the biggest threat to privacy, not the drone flying over your head. Do people really not realize that if someone wanted to put them under surveillance with a tiny camera, there are far better places to hide it in your clothes (buttonholes for example), not blinking at you at eye level? Hell I can stick my phone in my pocket with the camera facing outwards and filming and very few would even notice in a public location.
Google aren't even the only ones working on wearable eye-devices. The technology for clandestine ubiquitous surveillance is already here and around you, and it's not going away. The privacy issues facing us are serious but It's facile to single out Google Glass as some kind of turning point. It's already too late.

Comment: Some people are really underestimating this device (Score 4, Interesting) 619

by dell623 (#43180045) Attached to: Samsung Unveils the Galaxy S4

The sales will depend more on marketing as usual, but..

1) That display is awesome, AMOLEDs are getting better and we're finally beyond retina density for AMOLED displays (the S3 had a pentile display which lowers the effective dpi a bit)

2) The 5" screen is not what decides the dimensions. This is actually narrower than the S3. It's a milimeter wider than my Nexus 4, which I could live with. When I bought the Nexus 4 I was wary of a 4.7" screen but it's surprisingly usable and I don't have large hands. I wouldn't want to go back to a smaller display for anything. Narrower bezels are a long needed advance, and Apple hasn't caught up yet - the Motorola Razr M for example squeezes a 4.3" screen in an iPhone 5 sized device.

3) It is slimmer and fits a far higher capacity battery than the S3. The effect on power consumption from the screen and new processor/GPU isn't known yet, but I bet this will do better than the HTC One.

4) Forget the lame launch, there are some genuinely cool features in there.

5) Not launching a 4.3 inch S4 Mini with top of the line specs is a huge and stupid omission from Samsung.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 4, Interesting) 403

by dell623 (#41769943) Attached to: Microsoft Releases Windows 8

Wait how the hell did this get voted +5? Microsoft astroturfing out on a grand scale?

The Ars Technica reviews points to problems using multiple monitors: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/10/windows-reimagined-a-review-of-windows-8/5/

How the hell is the Windows store an advantage?? Programs like Chrome update just fine by themselves. The store is an excuse to close down the ecosystem and earn Microsoft more money, there is absolutely nothing about it that's good for users. I use Google for software discovery, I have never in my life wished there was an app store where I could find applications to try out jsut for the heck of it. You want an application to perform a specific task, you look up what's avaialble, try trial versions. Don't need no damn app store for that.

Microsoft Security Essentials is free and works just fine on Windows 7, Vista, and XP. Not a reason for upgrading.

The ability to use an account tied to Microsoft and their services for Windows? No thanks.

All changes that basically clamp down the ecosystem and tie you to Microsoft's services, now that anti-trust is off chasing Google.

Touch screens on desktops and laptops? Useless. Look up Gorilla arm. How many touch screen laptops and desktops did Apple, the pioneer of touch based devices, launch? None.

If I get a tablet someday I'll look at Windows RT/8, but not at the current price. No way in hell is it getting anywhere near my primary work machine.

Comment: Definitely seen this a lot (Score 1) 823

by dell623 (#41767859) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Rectifying Nerd Arrogance?

I think it's a misguided arrogance that comes from have a bit of knowledge about something that others are clueless about. The funniest thing is, arrogant computer science people don't get far due to their complete lack of social skills and empathy. They just can't create anything that would appeal to the average computer user.

How to avoid this? Stop hanging out in groups of comp sci people. A mutually reinforced sense of superiority seems to creep into those groups. In fact, avoid comp sci people altogether. Apart from the rare inspiring or brilliant individual, there is really little you will gain from hanging out with people who like and do the same things.

Try doing or learning something you know you won't be good at. Dancing? Public speaking? Sport? Do it for fun, do it to see what it's like to struggle at something you don't have a natural aptitude or talent for.

Meet some really smart and humble computer science people. I think everyone who thinks they are smart should experience this regularly, the feeling of talking to someone whose mind moves at a completely different pace to yours, so that you're struggling to keep up. Those people are rare, but I doubt you would be able to feel smug watching others struggle to use online banking for a quite a while after having your ego destroyed so comprehensively.

Wasn't there something about a PASCAL programmer knowing the value of everything and the Wirth of nothing?