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Comment: Re:Fox News? (Score 1) 443

by ShakaUVM (#48022903) Attached to: Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans

>False equivalence. Although equal airtime for all views is silly, Fox intentionally distorts facts and dialog to fit their agenda. WMD's in Iraq? A certainty, well after all the other news outlets have given up on that

This is a meme that unfortunately puts you on the wrong side of the truth. WMDs were found in Iraq - their old chemical weapons stores were not all destroyed, as promised.

'On June 21, 2006 the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released key points from a classified report from the National Ground Intelligence Center on the recovery of a small number of degraded chemical munitions in Iraq. The report stated that "Coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent." All are thought to be pre-Gulf War munitions.

These munitions meet the technical definition of weapons of mass destruction, according to the commander of the National Ground Intelligence Center. "These are chemical weapons as defined under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and yes ... they do constitute weapons of mass destruction," Army Col. John Chu told the House Armed Services Committee. The munitions addressed in the report were produced in the 1980s, according to Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples. Badly corroded, they could not currently be used as originally intended, though agent remaining in the weapons would be very valuable to terrorists and insurgents, Maples said.' -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction#Chemical_Weapons_Recovered

Comment: Re:Fox News? (Score 1) 443

by ShakaUVM (#48022791) Attached to: Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans

> Eight committees investigated the allegations and published reports, finding no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct.

Sure, there was no fraud or scientific misconduct.

However, the commission findings did confirm a lot of shitty things they were doing, such as coming up with arguably illegal tricks to avoid having to complete FOIA requests, strongarming journals that publish dissenting views in climate science, and a general lack of transparency in a field that requires data openness.

Comment: Re:It's sad (Score 1) 400

>This is effectively Google's response to OEMs (especially Samsung) putting on atrocious crapware that was ruining the Android experience for many users. e.g. "this is why OEMs can't have nice things".

You have it backwards. The Samsung bloatware is a response to Google's strong-arming vendors on their apps.

Ever wonder why Samsung installs a fucking duplicate app on your device for everything Google does? Samsung Calendar, Samsung memo, Samsung voice, Samsung Apps Store, Samsung Translator, etc?

It's so that they have leverage over Google when Google threatens to remove their apps and force a vendor to use the stone age equivalents. Having duplicate apps means that the threat carries a lot less teeth.

The only people hurt by this conflict are the customers, who have to deal with the shitty situation of two sets of competing apps on the same device.

Comment: Help. I am trapped On Beta: Addendum (Score 3, Informative) 185

by ObsessiveMathsFreak (#47958083) Attached to: NY Magistrate: Legal Papers Can Be Served Via Facebook

P.S.

Timothy and other Slashdot Editors,

I am afraid that I must post an addendum to my previous call for assistance. The difficulty of the interface appears to be more considerable than I had initially realised.

Unfortunately, the interface does not load all comments on the page. In fact, only one comment is loaded on any given page, and the "load more comments" area / button provided, when pressed, does not in fact load anything. As such I am unable to determine whether my previous comment has been replied to, or indeed whether it has been posted at all. In short I can no longer see or read comments.

In the hope that this message will be seen, I will periodically attempt to post messages of aid in a scattering of stories. Whether these "post in a bottle" will reach you, or float at all, is something I can only hope for at this point.

In the meantime I shall see if the pieces of flat design driftwood can be lash togther into a makeshift civilisation of sorts. However this island appears quite desolate. The floating header follows whereever I go. Perhaps I will try to converse with it.

In any case I remain your hopeful servant,

A poster trapped in Beta

Comment: Help. I am trapped On Beta (Score -1, Offtopic) 185

by ObsessiveMathsFreak (#47958055) Attached to: NY Magistrate: Legal Papers Can Be Served Via Facebook

Timothy and other Slashdot Editors,

I regret making such an offtopic post, but I am afraid that I have found myself trapped on the "new" new Slashdot Beta site and I cannot seem to leave it.

The site features an extremely modern "flat" design. So modern in fact that there do not appear to be any visible links, menus, navigation bars, page divisions, or icons at all. A "slide out" option to move back to Slashdot classic pops up from time to time, only to disappear as I try to click it. I believe I may need to use a "charm" type gesture or spell in order to properly summon such advanced features, but I am not privy to the precise incantations.

As such I am currently stuck on the new Slashdot Beta with no way of returning to a more usable interface. I find this most unsatisfactory, somewhat frustrating, and feel I have little other option but to send this call for assistance.

I possess an advanced STEM degree and over 25 years expierience with technology, software and the web. I feel I can positively contribute to discussion on this site, but this new interface is making the site too difficult to use.

Yours

A user trapped on Beta

Comment: Have they Denied? (Score 2, Interesting) 200

NSA officials were unable to find any evidence Snowden ever had.

This is essentially the "I do not recall" equivalent of paperwork investigations.

The essential question here is whether the NSA can conclusively deny that Snowden never raised concerns at the agency. Since if he did raise concerns, he probably would have raised them to people personally, a document search is not nessesarily going to uncover whether he did.

What will uncover this conclusively is a simple interview of NSA and affiliate company employees and especially supervisors who worked with Snowden. But since such a set of interviews would either a) reveal that he did raise concerns, b) involve people having to sign their names to untruths, or most unlikely c) reveal he really raised nothing, then I think it's easier for the NSA to just pretend that a half-assed email server word search constitutes an appropriate investigation.

Comment: Easy question to answer (Score 2) 533

by dheltzel (#47856769) Attached to: AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough
This is simple to determine -- The FCC jsut gets all the CEO's of the companies in question into a room and put them under oath. Then ask them what the bandwidth is to their personal residence and that becomes the definition of "Broadband" for that company. If it's good enough for the CEO's family then it should be good enough for their customers. And if investigative work proves they are getting all "weasel-like" using mifi or something to supplement, then they must do 5x what they claimed before.

Comment: Re:STEM =! Convergent Thinking (Score 1) 58

by ShakaUVM (#47842469) Attached to: Music Training's Cognitive Benefits Could Help "At-Risk" Students

>STEM was never, is never, and will never be a product of "convergent thinking"

Which is what I said, if you go back and re-parse my sentence.

>And I have a problem with your description of art being the source of "divergent thinking"

I never said it was, merely that art *trains* divergent thinking.

>Take the so-called "art" that we have, for example - Music ... these days you listen to one song you listen to all songs --- all of them sound so similar as everybody tries to sound like everybody else --- the beats, the rhythm, who the fuck cares anymore who sings what since they all sound just so much alike

We're not talking about listening to the radio, but art classes in school. Art classes are about the creation of new art, or sometimes the active critique of existing art, but is never the passive garbage you claim it is.

Comment: Arts in Education (Score 5, Insightful) 58

by ShakaUVM (#47832679) Attached to: Music Training's Cognitive Benefits Could Help "At-Risk" Students

While (correlation != causation) and all that, there really is a pretty extensive research base showing the benefits of music (and the arts in general) for students.

Education these days has been very, very focused on something called convergent thinking - basically, being able to choose the right answer from a short list. We've bought into the myth that all you need to succeed in STEM fields is convergent thinking, so that's what's taught.

The arts, by contrast, develop divergent thinking. Creativity, and the ability to generate multiple possibilities for the same problem. ("Should I lay out my artwork this way or that way? What if I try improvising a new melody in this part?")

In reality, we need both. Students who are "Masters of STEM" in K-12 often run into trouble when they realize the world isn't full of convenient lists from which we have to pick the right answer.

Think about the job of the guy who has to build a bridge over a river. He isn't handed a list of four bridges, conveniently labelled A through D, and has to pick between them. No, he first needs to generate a variety of possible bridges (divergent thinking) and then sort through them to find which one is most optimal for his constraints (convergent thinking). There's often not a clear "right answer" - one bridge might be 20% more expensive, but 2% less likely to collapse in a major earthquake.

So even if you don't use the arts directly, they can be very useful for cultivating a different mindset from what we're beating into our students these days.

Comment: Re:Gamers are the Victims Here (Score 1) 1134

by ObsessiveMathsFreak (#47830737) Attached to: Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

First Person Shooter players do not represent the entire gaming community. This stereotype is being used to label Pokemon and Super Mario players as misogynists and bigots. All gamers are being tarred with a toxic brush.

This kind of labelling is wrong and morally bankrupt. The gaming community is being forced to defend itself against these kinds of disgraceful libels, by people who are genuinely ethical bankrupts. Simply browse the #Gamergate and #NotYourShield twitter hashtags to get a sense of where these accusations are coming from, and exactly who is in denial.

Comment: Because SJWs are not Feminists/Progressives (Score 4, Insightful) 1134

by ObsessiveMathsFreak (#47830599) Attached to: Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

Question, why do you (generally speaking) feel the need to lump all the people who disagree with you together into one group, give that group a sarcastic name,

I call the people involved in this scandal "Social Justice Warriors (SJWs)" principally because I refuse to insult the feminist or progressive movements by calling these people with feminists or progressives. Genuine second-wave feminists have publicly criticised their behaviour.

If you want to understand the difference, look up the #Gamergate and #NotYourShield hashtags on twitter. The Social Justice Warriors are hateful, disingenuous, at times sociopathic bigots. They are adult, internet-empowered versions of the bullies and tormentors which many gamers remember from secondary school.

Gamers are the victims here. The modus-operandi of the SJWs is to cast themselves in the cloth of underprivileged groups -- most SJWs are in fact white, upper middle class, college aged -- then proceed to level accusations of privilege, bigotry, and misogyny against just about anyone involved in gaming for even the slightest perceived infractions. A climate of fear has developed, first in the indie and later wider gaming industry as a result of the "social justice" witchhunts which these people regularly engage in. Worse, this has resulted in SJW-aligned developers and journalists rising to positions of power and being first in line for awards and increasingly development funding, with cronyism trumping competence.

For Gaming, so often a hobby of last resort for the excluded and isolated in society, this is an awful and tragic outcome. For gamers, male, female, straight, gay or trans, it is a frightening development. Their hobby, their refuge, is being taken over by bullies.

Because their rhetoric and especially actions come across as so farcically disingenuous, I don't believe for a second that SJWs actually believe in or support the causes of homosexuals or transgender people in video games. Their support for women is also largely forced, and disturbingly biased towards the conservative view of women as a weaker sex who must be protected/defended (A view consistently challenged by the games industry over the years).

My honest opinion of SJWs is that they are privileged Neo-liberals, who adopt a forced social justice persona both to project their own (increasingly obvious) bigotry onto others, and ultimately to benefit themselves socially and financially. They are disingenuous, extremist bullies, and the gaming community is under co-ordinated PR attack, and has been almost completely censored on gaming websites.

The Social Justice Warriors are right about one thing though; this is a historical moment. Whether they win or lose, the GamerGate scandal will be seen as a watershed moment in the history of online-communities, and who controls them. Two weeks ago, I would never have believed that a clique so small could all but take-over a community so large, but it is becoming clear that this is precisely what (almost?) happened to gaming. There are lessons to be learned here, unrelated to the immediate issues, and I only hope the right people will take note and heed them.

FORTH IF HONK THEN

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