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Comment: Re:Research (Score 1) 165

Then media consolidation happened, the fairness doctrine was tossed and newsrooms nationwide were expected to turn a profit. It is that, not the audience, that caused the decline of in-depth reporting.

Regardless of the merits of the fairness doctrine, by the mid 80's when it was repealed, it was NOT ensuring a non-biased media.

Comment: Re:That worked so well with Intel and Gamasutra (Score 1) 252

by jmac_the_man (#48118983) Attached to: Lego Ends Shell Partnership Under Greenpeace Pressure
Well, the side I support stopped putting Shell's logo in their products, so Shell should probably stop paying.

There's a difference between "I support Shell" and "I oppose dopey pressure tactics." Shell's 87 octane gas burns in my car the same as anyone else's 87 octane, and that's pretty much my relationship with Shell. (A pro-Shell zealot would praise the quality of the fuel additives that make Shell gas burn cleaner than Exxon or Texaco or whoever.) However, it is wrong for dopey environmental activists to SCARE CHILDREN in an attempt to keep business partners away from Shell. Slashdot should not be pretending that Greenpeace is in the right here, and neither should you.

Comment: Re:That worked so well with Intel and Gamasutra (Score 1) 252

by jmac_the_man (#48112017) Attached to: Lego Ends Shell Partnership Under Greenpeace Pressure

The context doesn't change the meaning. Your goal in using the word zealous is to defend the status quo by denigrating the people who think the status quo needs to be changed. That's basically name-calling and is an intellectually bankrupt argument.

First off, I'm not the one who originally described Greenpeace supporters as "zealots." phantomfive, the poster to whom I replied, essentially made the argument that Lego had to choose between supporting one of the two groups (either Shell by continuing the advertising contract, or Greenpeace by not continuing it), and that the only people who would care either way were the zealotsin support of Greenpeace or the zealots in support of Shell.

phantom's argument is intellectually bankrupt because it fails to differentiate between "pro-Shell zealots" and "just against Greenpeace harassing people." I'm not saying that Lego did the wrong thing by terminating the contract because Greenpeace threatened them. However, that doesn't make it right for Greenpeace to be harassing them. Greenpeace is 100% in the wrong here, and you, phantom, and Slashdot shouldn't be pretending otherwise.

If you want to argue that it is a matter of degree, then there are whole lot more extreme actions than making a protest video and posting it youtube. The day you see greenpeace beheading shell employees and posting that video to youtube is the day you can honestly use the word zealous to describe them

I have no idea what you're babbling about here. Let me say for the record that although Greenpeace may be a bunch of crazy leftists, they're not as crazy, bloodthirsty, or prone to behead their enemies as the Reign of Terror-era French leftists. Happy now?

Comment: Re:That worked so well with Intel and Gamasutra (Score 1) 252

by jmac_the_man (#48109963) Attached to: Lego Ends Shell Partnership Under Greenpeace Pressure

The zealots are all on the other side.

It's very zealous of you to say that.

It's zealous of you to pick that sentence out of context, dick. Not everyone is equally correct in this scenario, for reasons I explained in the part of the post that you didn't quote.

Comment: Re:That worked so well with Intel and Gamasutra (Score 1) 252

by jmac_the_man (#48108909) Attached to: Lego Ends Shell Partnership Under Greenpeace Pressure

The advantage of withdrawing support is that only zealots care either way. There are relatively few zealots to get offended, and because most people can understand what it means to try to avoid an argument.

Shell is paying for product placement. That isn't zealotry. Hell, Shell's agreement didn't even specify that ALL Lego gas stations/fueling equipment is Shell branded. (The vast majority of Lego gas/fuel branding is from the fictional company Octan.)

The zealots are all on the other side. Lego didn't "stay out of an argument," like you and the Slashdot summary claim. Lego caved to threats from outside zealots. I'm not calling for a boycott of Lego, or even necessarily saying that it's a bad business decision. But let's not kid ourselves about what's going on here.

Comment: Re: Obama declared a war on whistleblowers? (Score 2) 224

by jmac_the_man (#47993831) Attached to: Where Whistleblowers End Up Working
Obama hasn't gone after anyone who didn't leak national security secrets That's an incredibly misleading "fact." Executive Branch employees have retaliated against whistleblowers in the VA scandal, the Fast and Furious scandal, and the Benghazi scandal, to name a few.

Obama's whistleblower protection initiatives don't seem to be doing the job.

Comment: Re:Tricky proposition (Score 2) 64

by jmac_the_man (#47916109) Attached to: Funding Tech For Government, Instead of Tech For Industry
Generally speaking, engineers that work for the Federal Government fall under civil service laws and do not belong to unions. These laws, which are intended to prevent a Democrat president from firing all the Republicans when they take office, and then four years later having the new Republican president fire all the Democrats, make it generally hard to fire government employees or to degrade working conditions so much that they quit. Government Engineers are also almost uniformly on the General Schedule (GS scale), which means that their pay and promotion procedures are set by law for the entire GS system, rather than individuals being able to advocate for their own salaries like you'd see in private industry.

Union contracts are written with the same protections for the workers as goals, so the conditions are similar to what you'd see in a union. However, with a union, there's an organization which you're supposed join and pay dues to. Among government engineers, you see similar conditions, but there's no organization to which you pay dues.

Comment: Re:But what about... (Score 2) 600

by jmac_the_man (#47901851) Attached to: High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

New Jersey has a law that kicks in when a smart gun becomes available for sale in the US.

My home state is stupid for having this law. There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING good to be said about a law that mandates the use of a technology that hasn't been thoroughly studied, and can't possibly have been because the law was created before the technology was.

That said, California also has this law. Not just New Jersey. Great company, guys.

Comment: Re:Bill Belichick (Score 1) 405

The reason Belichick was struggling with this is because of an NFL rules change this year. In the past, (like, say, in 2008), teams weren't allowed to use imagery from the game currently in progress, but were allowed to use still photos of previous games.

The NFL has changed the rules so now you are allowed to use still images and video of previous games (by watching it on your Microsoft Surface, The Official Tablet of the NFL) but still not photographs or video from the game in progress. The league controls the game day tablets (rather than the teams) and imposes access controls to prevent teams from circumventing it.

Belichick was struggling with the tablet last Sunday because he was trying to get the video of last Sunday's game, and he hasn't figured out how to get past the access controls yet.

Comment: Re:Brand that shit! (Score 1) 405

The Surface tablets that the NFL uses are in giant ass cases (necessary because games are played in the elements) that say MICROSOFT SURFACE on them in giant letters. It was clearly visible while Dilfer, at least, was talking.The commentators who screwed this up think iPad and "tablet" mean the same thing.

Comment: Re:Misleading Headline (Score 1) 246

by jmac_the_man (#47851115) Attached to: Protesters Blockade Microsoft's Seattle Headquarters Over Tax Breaks

[The government doing what AT&T wanted is] the exact opposite of "heavy handed regulation" - that's the government rolling over to everything a corporation wanted.

The government enforcing AT&T's monopoly was heavy-handed regulation of everybody EXCEPT AT&T. If the government allowed competing telecommunication services, AT&T wouldn't have been able to stifle technology the way the previous poster was complaining about.

The fact is, the government will use its power to help its friends (AT&T in this case) and hurt its enemies (potential competitors.) This is why we should have as small a government as it takes to fulfill the roles delegated to the National government in the Constitution.

Comment: Re:Misleading Headline (Score 2) 246

by jmac_the_man (#47845589) Attached to: Protesters Blockade Microsoft's Seattle Headquarters Over Tax Breaks

Magnetic tape recording wouldn't return to America until WWII, with German equipment.

That wasn't the only technology AT&T suppressed that could have changed our world, simply because the managers involved either couldn't see a profit in it, or felt it was directly competing with their own telephone service. Since AT&T had a monopoly on phone service, they kept anyone else from utilizing these inventions as well. Fiber optics, mobile telephones, digital subscriber lines (DSL), fax machines, speakerphones.. all developed or envisioned much earlier than you assume, and all suppressed as being dangers to AT&T's business model.

AT&T's monopoly was imposed by the federal government. Government using a lighter touch in telecom regulation in the 1930s would have allowed all those products to market under somebody else's banner. AT&T being an abusive monopoly until they were broken up in the '80s is NOT an example of "We need government because the free market is horrible."

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long