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Comment: You've got to hand it to them (Score 3, Insightful) 213

by gdr (#49066437) Attached to: Oxford University Researchers List 12 Global Risks To Human Civilization
From the article:

Finally, the researchers warn of “unknown unknowns” and call for “extensive research” into “unknown risks and their probabilities”.

Scientists researching field A call for more research into field A. Also, as there will always be "unknown unknowns" that funding should continue indefinitely.

Comment: Re:Why is it even a problem? (Score 1) 493

by gdr (#49018791) Attached to: Will Elementary School Teachers Take the Rap For Tech's Diversity Problem?

The feminist argument is that this skew in gender balance is the result of prior socialization. But this claim of nurture over nature is not only unproven, it is utterly untestable.

I don't think this is completely untestable. The claim that gender differences are purely due to socialisation would seem to be contradicted by studies like this: Sex differences in rhesus monkey toy preferences parallel those of children

Comment: Re:Failed state policies (Score 1) 435

by gdr (#48632911) Attached to: In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

... you said one reason the USA LE was lower ...

Precisely, one reason, not the only reason. Europe might have better healthcare systems than the US, which is why LE is higher there but that does not mean that Cuba has a better healthcare system than the US because it has higher LE. I offered an alternative explanation. Given that a lot of the health problems in the west (and especially the US) are caused by overconsumption (obesity, binge drinking, etc.) then this is not an unreasonable alternative explanation. These problems are also present in Europe (to a lesser extent) and maybe they handle them better with universal healthcare systems but that doesn't mean that overconsumption doesn't have an impact on LE, a problem that an authoritarian state can handle through compulsion.

Comment: Re:Failed state policies (Score 1) 435

by gdr (#48624977) Attached to: In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

I'm not sure there is anything to explain. I was pointing out that life expectancy is not an accurate proxy for the performance of a country's healthcare system.

So if life expectancy is ranked like this: Europe > Cuba > USA. It's still possible for the quality of the healthcare systems to be like this: Europe > USA > Cuba. Because Cuba's life expectancy is artificially raised by forcing everyone on to a healthy diet through rationing.

What do you think life expectancy would be like in the USA if everyone was forced to eat healthily?

+ - Pedophile Asks To Be Deleted From Google Search After European Court Ruling

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Jane Wakefield reports at BBC that a man convicted of possessing child abuse images is among the first to request Google remove links links to pages about his conviction after a European court ruled that an individual could force it to remove "irrelevant and outdated" search results. Other takedown requests since the ruling include an ex-politician seeking re-election who has asked to have links to an article about his behaviour in office removed and a doctor who wants negative reviews from patients removed from google search results. Google itself has not commented on the so-called right-to-be-forgotten ruling since it described the European Court of Justice judgement as being "disappointing". Marc Dautlich, a lawyer at Pinsent Masons, says that search engines might find the new rules hard to implement. "If they get an appreciable volume of requests what are they going to do? Set up an entire industry sifting through the paperwork?" says Dautlich. "I can't say what they will do but if I was them I would say no and tell the individual to contact the Information Commissioner's Office." The court said in its ruling that people could request the removal of data related to them that seem to be "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed."

+ - /. Beta comments don't work, users upset.-> 4

Submitted by magic maverick
magic maverick writes: Since the new /. Beta came to light, many /. users and commentators have tried it out. However, they are almost universally condemning the new commenting system. It simply isn't as good as the so called Classic system. Some users, however, haven't a bad thing to say. Mainly because they haven't had a chance to even use the new system. It simply doesn't load. One user, Magic Maverick , who lives in a third-world country with crappy Internet, had this to say:

I come to /. for the comments, but with the new Beta, I can't even see anything! It just says:

''Shazbot! We ran into some trouble getting the comments. Try again... na-nu, na-nu!

It seems like the "developers" need to take some advice from people who actually know what they are doing. I'm happy to help explain what graceful degradation means if they like...


Link to Original Source

+ - Slashdot Beta Woes 16

Submitted by s.petry
s.petry writes: What is a Slashdot and why the Beta might destroy it?

Slashdot has been around, well, a very long time. Longer than any of it's competators, but not as long as IIRC. Slashdot was a very much one of the first true social media web sites.

On Slashdot, you could create a handle or ID. Something personal, but not too personal, unless you wanted it to be. But it was not required either. We know each other by our handles, we have watched each other grow as people. We may have even taken pot shots at each other in threads. Unless of course you are anonymous, but often we can guess who that really is.

One of Slashdot's first motto's was "News for Nerds" that Matters. I have no idea when that was removed. I have not always scoured the boards here daily, life can get too busy for that. That excuses my ignorance in a way. I guess someone thought it politically incorrect, but most of us "Nerds" enjoyed it. We are proud of who we are, and what we know. Often we use that pride and knowledge to make someone else look bad. That is how we get our digs in, and we enjoy that part of us too. We don't punch people, we belittle them. It's who we are!

What made Slashdot unique were a few things. What you will note here is "who" has been responsible for the success of Slashdot. Hint, it has never been a just the company taking care of the servers and software.

— First, the user base submitted stories that "they" thought mattered. It was not a corporate feed. Sure, stories were submitted about companies. The latest break through from AMD and Intel, various stories regarding the graphic card wars, my compiler is better than your compiler, and yes your scripting language stinks! Microsoft IIS has brought us all a few laughs and lots of flame wars to boot. Still, we not only read about the products but get to my second point.

— User comments. This is the primary why we have been coming here for as long as we have, many of us for decades. We provide alternative opinions or back what was given in the article. This aspect not only makes the "News" interesting, but often leads to other news and information sharing. It's not always positive, but this is the nature of allowing commentary. It also brings out the third point.

— Moderation. Moderation has been done by the community for a very long time. It took lots of trial and error to get a working system. As with any public system it's imperfect, but it's been successful. People can choose to view poorly modded comments, but don't have to. As with posting anonymous versus with our own handle it's an option that allows us to personalize the way we see and read what's on the site. And as a reward for submitting something worth reading, you might get a mod point of your own to use as a reward for someone else.

Why we dislike Beta and what is being pushed, and why this will result in the end of an era if it becomes forced on the community.

1. Bulky graphics. We get that Dice and Slashdot need revenue. I have Karma good enough to disable advertisements, but have never kept this setting on. I realize that Slashdot/Dice make money with this. That said, the ads sit away from my news and out of the way. I can get there if I want it (but nobody has ever gotten a penny from me clicking an ad... nobody!), but it's not forced into my face or news feed.

2. Low text area. I like having enough on my screen to keep me busy without constant scrolling. Slashdot currently has the correct ratio of text to screen. This ratio has never been complained about, yet Beta reduces the usable text area by at least 1/2 and no option for changing the behavior. I hate reading Slashdot on mobile devices because I can't stand scrolling constantly.

3. JavaScript. We all know the risks of JS, and many of us disable it. We also have an option of reading in Lync or non-standard browsers that many of us toy with for both personal and professional reasons. This flexibility is gone in Beta, and we are forced to allow JS to run. If you don't know the risks of allowing JS to run, you probably don't read much on Slashdot. Those that allow JS do so accepting the risk (which is admittedly low on a well known site).

4. Ordering/Sorting/Referencing. Each entry currently gets tagged with a unique thread ID. This allows linking to the exact post in a thread, not just the top of the thread. In Beta this is gone. It could be that the site decided to simply hide the post ID or it was removed. Either way, going to specific posts is something that is used very commonly by the community.

5. Eye candy. Most of us are not here for "eye candy" and many have allergic reactions to eye candy. Slashdot has a good mix currently. It's not as simple as the site starting with a r-e-d-i-t, which is good. That site has a reputation that keeps many of us away, and their format matches my attitude of them (s-i-m-p-l-e-t-o-n). At the same time, it's not like watching some other "news" sites with so much scrolling crap I can't read an article without getting a headache. The wasted space in beta for big bulky borders, sure smells like eye candy. Nothing buzzes or scrolls yet, but we can sense what's coming in a patch later.

The thing is, the community cares about Slashdot. We come here because we care. We submit stories because of that, we vote because of that, we moderate because of that, and we comment because of that. At the same time we realize that without the community Slashdot loses most of its value. We respect that we don't host the servers, backup the databases, or patch the servers. Slashdot/Dice provide the services needed for Slashdot.

It's a give give relationship, and we each get something in return. Slashdot gets tons of Search hits and lots of web traffic. We get a place to learn, teach, and occasionally vent.

Look, if you want to change default color scheme or make pre-made palettes for us to choose from, we would probably be okay with that. If you want to take away our ability to block ads by Karma, or move the ads to the left side of my browser window, I would be okay with those things too.

If you want to make drastic changes to how the site works, this is a different story all together. The reason so many are against Beta is that it breaks some of the fundamental parts of what makes Slashdot work.

User input until recently has not been acknowledged. The acknowledgment we have received is not from the people that are making the decision to push Beta live. We told people Beta was broken, what it lacked, and we were rather surprised to get a warning that Beta would be live despite what we told people. People are already making plans to leave, which means that Slashdot could fade away very soon.

Whether this was the goal for Dice or not remains to be seen. If it is, it's been nice knowing you but I won't be back. A partnership only works when there is mutual respect between the parties. A word of caution, us Nerds have good memories and lots of knowledge. The loss of Slashdot impacts all of Dice holdings, not just Slashdot. I boycott everything a company holds, not just the product group that did me wrong.

If that was not the goal of Dice, you should quickly begin communicating with the user base. What are the plans are to fix what Beta has broken? Why is Beta being pushed live with things broken? A "Sorry we have not been communicating!", and perhaps even a "Thank you" to the user base for helping make Slashdot a success for so many years.

+ - Ask Slashdot: What's there to like about the BETA?-> 7

Submitted by Narnie
Narnie writes: I come to /. not for the nearly interesting pseudo-tech articles, but for the lively, self-moderated discussion. Today I'm bit surprised to see every discussion summarized to fuckbeta. Popping up all over the place there's discussions about beta and even alternatives being revived and created. As I tend not to RTFA, I haven't sampled the beta myself. So, I ask you guys, what's there to like about the BETA and what's there to loath?
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:This is clearly against E.U. Human Rights (Score 1) 374

by gdr (#45978083) Attached to: Man Jailed For Refusing To Reveal USB Password
But you can be forced to reveal who was driving your car when caught by a speed camera which implies no right to silence. Quote from the full judgement:

"The applicants contended that the right to remain silent and the right not to incriminate oneself are absolute rights and that to apply any form of direct compulsion to require an accused person to make incriminatory statements against his will of itself destroys the very essence of that right. The Court is unable to accept this."

If all else fails, lower your standards.

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