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Comment 100% waterproof (Score 1) 133

Imagine a phone with NO ports. It uses wireless for charging. It uses Bluetooth for headphones. It uses wifi/cellular for voice and data. The battery isn't user-servicable. It doesn't need any ports. It could be manufactured in a factory-sealed seamless she'll for guaranteed waterproofing.

(except: I don't know how you'd do microphone or speakers...)

Comment Re: Decentralized source control (Score 1) 117

Say you're on a team of 10-20 devs in a mature product. Your day job is to work through the issue backlog, hopefully checking in fixes for three or so issues a day. You need to pick issues from the issue tracker (GitHub), read comments, maybe interact with the filer to get repros, submit a PR for code review by your peers (on GitHub), send it off for regression testing (via guthub messages), code review about 5 other fixes from other team members (GitHub). Also triage incoming issues (github). That's a heck of a lot more GitHub for someone in a larfe OSS software team, like we have in my team in Microsoft, than just 0.1%.

Developing major new features involves a heck of a lot less GitHub of course! But if your OSS software us widely used, you'll find a few orders of magnitude more issues than major features.

Comment Re: Gibberish (Score 1) 121

Problem with that argument is that p-zombies are actually the dominant mode of human existence. Watch an episode of a popular soap like Eastenders or Coronation St. The lives they depict show no sign of consciousness nor introspection. And they're accurate depictions of the human state, far more so than any Descartes sitting at his desk trying to pin down his own mental states and getting misled.

What philosophers call consciousness is mostly just an typical artefact of someone writing about philosophy - not a typical state of the mind of most everyone.

Comment Here are the actual question texts (Score 2) 395

Here is the actual link to the survey: http://www.apnorc.org/PDFs/Sec...

Question: As a way of responding to terrorist threats, do you favor, oppose, or neither favor nor oppose government analysis of
internet activities and communications, including those involving U.S. citizens, without a warrant, to watch for suspicious activity
that might be connected to terrorism?

I don't understand this. What exactly is a respondent supposed to make of the term warrentless surveillance? I wholeheartedly support the government to analyze people's public twitter posts, and public facebook posts, and forums (including those that require subscription), and youtube channels. None of these searches require a warrant. So I would answer "yes I do support government analysis, without a warrant". Even though I strongly oppose government analysis of private communication.

I wonder if they picked a deliberately ambiguous question here?

Questions: How concerned are you about the chance that you or your family might be a victim of a terrorist attack? Would you say a
great deal, somewhat, not too much, or not at all?

Questions: How concerned are you about the chance that you or your family might be a victim of a terrorist attack? Would you say a
great deal, somewhat, not too much, or not at all? How concerned are you about the chance that you or your family might be a victim
of an attack by Islamic extremists in the United States? Would you say a great deal, somewhat, not too much, or not at all? How
concerned are you about the chance that you or your family might be a victim of domestic terrorism committed by American
citizens? Would you say a great deal, somewhat, not too much, or not at all?

Question: How important do you think it is that each of the following groups is allowed to practice their religion freely in the United
States?

Question: The following are some examples of rights and freedoms listed in the Bill of Rights or that are protected under various
American laws and court rulings. For each one, please tell me if you think the U.S. government is doing a good job, poor job, or neither
a good nor poor job of protecting that right or freedom.

Here, 60% of respondents think the government is not doing a good job of protecting the right to "freedom from unreasonable search and seizure". This probably guides us on how the ambiguous earlier question was interpreted by poll respondents.

Comment Re:Ummm... (Score 3, Insightful) 100

Isn't the whole point of thesis work that you find some novel solution to a problem through your own research not enlisting others to do it for you?

That's maybe 5% of thesis work. Another 20% is the grunt-work to investigate the phenomena and gather up examples and counter-examples. Another 75% is getting a good understanding of the field and the existing state of the art.

I think the poster has picked a good place (here on slashdot) as part of building up that other 95%.

Comment Re:how about... (Score 1) 88

I do not foresee "coding" will help anyone in the broader spectrum. Perhaps, it can liberate few talented coders who would've gone to another field.

I'm from the UK and took a "gap year" to teach maths and computing to 9th through 12th graders in India in 1992-1993. Back in the UK I've also taught 5th graders with special needs, and supervised computer science and philosophy to undergraduates and graduates.

I think coding will help an ENORMOUS portion of people to become better citizens. When they're reviewing mortgage or credit card or car purchase stuff, or maybe sometimes even national budget stuff, they'll be more ready to open up a spreadsheet and type in numbers and formulas to see what happens. When there are news stories about "internet of things" they'll know what it is better than the journalists, through the simple expedient of having programmed one and therefore knowing exactly what it does. When they need data for something, or just to back up a pub argument about current affairs, (I'm sure that within a decade there'll be better tools for scraping data), they'll be able to get that data. Some of them will make little games or interactive-fictions as birthday gifts for their friends.

I'm not talking about just smart kids. I'm thinking back to my 9th graders in 1992, who spanned the range from "remedial" to "average" streams, and what they concretely invented and did for their projects. A lot of the modern world is about data. A school level of coding education is a good practical way into harnessing that data to empower everyday folk for their everyday lives.

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