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Comment: King Arthur and That Hideous Strength (Score 1) 1244

by josquin9 (#39296073) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good, Forgotten Fantasy & Science Fiction Novels?

I read That Hideous Strength in college for a class on the Arthurian tradition. Twenty-five years later, I still remember the paper I wroute contrasting the men trying to create a god by separating a man from his body, and the example of the Christan God taking up the burden of a body in order to fulfill his role as a deity. (Hey, it's a C. S. Lewis story.)

  I went back and read the other boods subsequently. I thought they worked better as allegory than as sci-fi, but were interesting enough.

Comment: Re:You can't just "keep it secret" (Score 1) 222

by josquin9 (#39147507) Attached to: Obama's Privacy Bill of Rights: Just a Beginning

Imagine a man and a woman retiring to his apartment for an intimate evening. As they enter the door, a beep sounds, and he goes to a keypad to turn off the alarm siren before it wakes the building. He tells her, "Yeah, I got a security system last year after a break in. It's got all the bells and whistles. Let me put in "At home" mode.

After a mutually gratifying, consensual evening, she goes home.

The next day she discovers videos of their evening on the internet.

When she confronts him, he replies, "Hey, the cameras are part of my security system. I told you it had all the bells and whistles and that I was putting it in "at home" mode. That means the cameras go on to identify anybody who comes in to attack me. The footage is my property. You didin't object to it last night, and since the recording has commercial value, I decided to sell it. You consented by not objecting before we started. It's too late now to complain, the video exists. I might as well make money off of it."

I don't think it's unreasonable of her to assume that the video could not legally be published without her explicit, informed consent.

Comment: Subtlety (Score 1) 399

by josquin9 (#38840493) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Techie Wedding Invitation Ideas?

Weddings mean different things to different people. For the invitation, I'd suggest giving a nod to the geek world, but not let it take over unless everybody you're inviting would get it (Aunt Gertie, Uncle Joe, etc..) Otherwise, some of your invitees might feel out of place before they even show up. You could show off your tech side with a little more abandon at the reception, and I don't think it would be quite so alarming. (Techie centerpieces or take-aways for the guests.)

I'd suggest something like trenslating the invitation or some other meaningful text (maybe the words to "your song") into binary and use that pattern as a border for an otherwise standard invitation. You could design it out of solid boxes for zeros and boxes with dots for the ones. It would probably work well with some sort of arts & crafts era font. Shrink it to where it's legible, but not garish. Your geek friends and relations would think it was cool, and, if they noticed it, your technologically challenged freinds and relations would be reminded of why you're the geek they can stand to be around, since you understand balancing social norms with personal expression and flair.

And, when things get stressful between now and the big day, just remember: the success of the wedding pales by comparison to the success of the marriage.

Comment: Paranoid bunch here this evening (Score 4, Insightful) 63

by josquin9 (#37953650) Attached to: AT&T Pushes 'Connected' Clothing For Healthcare

First, nowhere in the article was there any talk of mandating this clothing for anybody, let alone everybody. And while, yes, it could represent a revenue stream for AT&T, that doesn't keep this from being a very welcome development for a very large number of people. If your choices are between being confined to a nursing home so that you can be visually monitored 24/7, or being able to live a reasonably normal life monitored remotely through your clothing, most people I know would pick the latter.

Eventually most people have to pick between the lesser of two evils in some context of their lives. This, to me, seems like it's setting the "lesser" bar considerably lower.

But I know that, when you're young and invincible, it's difficult to appreciate that, despite your best efforts, your body will eventually start wearing out. In fact, most people in the West spend a lot more time in decline than in the ascent, and you've got about a one in three chance of spending at least 3 months of your life disabled in some way before the age of 65, and the likelihood of a permanent long-term disability to vision, hearing dexterity or mobility, let alone disorders like diabetes and cancer, increase every year.

While the hope is that we can each put off needing this sort of technology as long as possible, I'd much rather it was well developed both technologically and sociologically/legally by the time I need it. We need to work on legal protections for privacy. Technology is going to keep removing the physical ones.

If you feel like being cynical, that's your right. It's a free country. But I find it's best not to put too many statements out there for Karma to work with.

Comment: Re:This tactic is being used against adults also. (Score 1) 721

by josquin9 (#31357816) Attached to: Using Classical Music As a Form of Social Control

Where I live there is a notorious corner for crack cocain, prostitution, bloody fights, and anything you can imagine.

Despite constant city owned surveillance equipment the activity continues.

The local Diner installed speakers and pipes out jazz, classical, etc. I find it to be kind of nice mood music, for an elevator.

  It has cut down on the drug dealers, kids hanging out, street performers, and the homeless who are normally sitting on the sidewalk asking for change. Apparently the softly played music is enough of an annoyance that they go away.

Miles Davis - 1
Bach - 1
Panoptic sort - 0

So their response to prostitution and bloody fights was sax and violins?

Comment: As it was and ever shall be . . . I doubt it. (Score 1) 421

by josquin9 (#30643452) Attached to: You Won't Recognize the Internet in 2020

There is a natural tendency to be hamstrung by familiarity. "Since the current internet is monolithic, any future internet must also be monolithic." I suspect that in order to actually create truly secure pockets for power grid management, financial data and so forth, new infrastructures will have to be deployed in parallel to the existing network, not replacing it wholesale. Over time Internet 1.0/2.0/X.0 may or may not be supplanted as the most popular public network by a new upstart. At the same time, different communities and entities will create systems that work for them in terms of security, privacy, speed, etc, and mirror appropriate information in a controlled manner to other networks as needed. What is lost in efficiency will be compensated in flexibility and robustness.

This is just what I think is most likely, not some cause that I'm emotionally invested in. It just seems to fit trends we've seen before (which, as I mentioned in my first sentence, should be considered suspect as a matter of course.)

There has been a little distress selling on the stock exchange. -- Thomas W. Lamont, October 29, 1929 (Black Tuesday)

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