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Comment: Re:Thing everyone is missing (Score 1) 234

They can't refuse entry. He's a Canadian citizen. He can't be barred from re-entering Canada.

So they did the right thing by allowing him entry. And imprisoning him in a Canadian prison. Problem solved. (For limited definitions of "problem" and twisted definitions of "solved".)

Comment: Re:That makes little sense. (Score 3, Insightful) 120

by idontgno (#49181301) Attached to: The Mexican Drug Cartels' Involuntary IT Guy

Is it really that easy?

I imagine initial contact is risky for all involved. If the IT guy volunteers, he could be a mole for the Federales. If the Cartel finds a likely candidate on its own head-hunt, what's to keep the guy from narcing them out?

This way, the bad guys control all aspects of the recruitment and there's absolutely no risk other than they guy turning on them while "in service"... and you have his family for leverage against that.

Comment: Re:New design (Score 4, Informative) 90

by idontgno (#49142619) Attached to: 3D Printers Making Inroads In Kitchens

From the announcement Soulskill mentioned below:

And effective today, we've jettisoned the Slashdot Beta platform out the side portal. Slashdot has always been a bit quirky, and "user friendly" is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. After heavily experimenting on the Beta platform and splitting traffic between Classic and Beta, we've made some decisions about which platform changes ultimately make sense: starting today, we're unifying users back on our Classic platform.

That's right. Beta has surrendered. Sanity has prevailed. We, the users, actually won.

It's oddly sad that you don't usually get to say that. But also reassuring that we get to say it of Slashdot.

Comment: Re:Forget mice - consider dogs, horses, cats, and (Score 2) 193

by idontgno (#49089525) Attached to: Human DNA Enlarges Mouse Brains

Dogs are genetically disposed to imprint on their owners. Imagine a dog that really does understand human language... complete with grammar. Lassie, sort my mail then bring me bills and magazines.

*wag*.... aroo?... grrrrrr....

Translation: Yaay, I can help! Wait. Nooo! Dammit, I can't sort mail, I have no opposable thumbs! That thoughtless bastard, giving me physically impossible orders! I'm gonna crap in his slippers!

Comment: Re:Sweet F A (Score 1) 576

Whereas we smart adaptable warlike dishonest (feigned surrender, guerrilla warfare, etc.) monkeys whack together an Orion-drive space battleship right under the aliens' bifurcated trunks and play a game of hard-ball orbital chicken with the aliens' irreplaceable (and full of all their families) mothership.

I constantly waver between loving how cool that book is and hating how cornball it is.

Maybe that's the lesson the aliens need to be aware of: humanity are right bastards when at war; there's almost nothing we won't do to avoid losing, or to make you pay if we can't avoid losing.

Comment: Re:OK, so this is our definition of Hacker now? (Score 1) 42

by idontgno (#49081519) Attached to: One Year of Data Shows the Hacker Community Is Tight-knit and Welcoming

I'd argue the ideal hacker is multi-disciplinary. Certainly, a lot of the computer hacker (good kind, not media kind) culture comes out of electronics hacking (amateur radio, the world famous MIT Tech Model Railroad Club, etc.). Some computer hackers are fair mechanics as well, because grokking your car or motorcycle or other complicated mechanical conveyance is cool.

Makerspaces obviously make some accommodation to soft hacking, like software development or network stuff. You just don't need big obvious tools like drill presses or 3d printers to do that.

I find "maker" pretty appropriate, although it lacks consideration of the "unmaker" kind of hacking: taking something apart that someone else made for the purposes of understanding it. Maybe remake it to your liking, maybe just drop the parts in the reuse bin.

I wish we didn't have to back away from "hacker" because of all the damn stupid barbarians with their damn stupid swords co-opting the word.

Comment: Re:Technology can NOT eliminate work. (Score 3, Insightful) 389

by idontgno (#49074647) Attached to: What To Do After Robots Take Your Job


1) A robot may not injure profits or, through inaction, allow profits to come to harm.
2) A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Comment: Re:What is their education? (Score 1) 809

by idontgno (#49048663) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Portion of Developers Are Bad At What They Do?

Or you may be overestimating how much your students will retain and recall in 2-3 years. :)

BTW: "they have to used mods to decrypt"? What is "mods" in this context? Perl modules? Modulus maths? Bored London teenagers dropping amphetamines and racing scooters from cafe to cafe?

Comment: Title Encapsulates Bad Premise (Score 4, Insightful) 809

by idontgno (#49048501) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Portion of Developers Are Bad At What They Do?

Title asks "Ask Slashdot: What Portion of Developers Are Bad At What They Do?"

Title actually means "Ask Slashdot: What Portion of Developers Are Bad At What I Do?"

If a functional understanding of a fairly specialized technological area is what you have in mind, don't assume it's widespread.

That's like getting bent out of shape if the local mechanic (fully trained and certified, even) doesn't know the detailed intricacies of ECM programming.

If you want a broadly expert Renaissance Engineer, I hope you're prepared to pay more than the usual one-trick-monkey pay. You're not talking about an engineer, there. Something more like Chief Engineer or Chief Scientist.

If at first you don't succeed, you must be a programmer.