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UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity 269

Posted by timothy
from the but-you-have-a-right-to-be-forgotten dept.
An anonymous reader writes with a bit of pith from TechDirt: Every so often, people who don't really understand the importance of anonymity or how it enables free speech (especially among marginalized people), think they have a brilliant idea: "just end real anonymity online." They don't seem to understand just how shortsighted such an idea is. It's one that stems from the privilege of being in power. And who knows that particular privilege better than members of the House of Lords in the UK — a group that is more or less defined by excess privilege? The Communications Committee of the House of Lords has now issued a report concerning "social media and criminal offenses" in which they basically recommend scrapping anonymity online.
The Military

Nuclear Missile Command Drops Grades From Tests To Discourage Cheating 121

Posted by Soulskill
from the D-for-darn-good dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Earlier this year, just over half of the military officers put in charge of U.S. nuclear launch facilities were implicated in an exam cheating scandal. The Air Force conducted regular exams to keep officers current on the protocols and skills required to operate some of the world's most dangerous weapons. But the way they graded the test caused problems. Anything below a 90% score was a fail, but the remaining 10% often dictated how a launch officer's career progressed. There might not be much functional difference between a 93% and a 95%, but the person scoring higher will get promoted disproportionately quicker. This inspired a ring of officers to cheat in order to meet the unrealistic expectations of the Air Force. Now, in an effort to clean up that Missile Wing, the Air Force is making the exams pass/fail. The officers still need to score 90% or higher (since it's important work with severe consequences for failure), but scores won't be recorded and used to compete for promotions anymore. The Air Force is also making an effort to replace or refurbish the aging equipment that runs these facilities.

Comment: Re:Appre (Score 1) 224

by Phroggy (#47520429) Attached to: VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

"Highly skilled" does not necessarily mean "highly in demand". Given that there are highly skilled Americans that can't find work, yes I will argue they're bad for America.

This hasn't been my experience. It's hard to find qualified people - they've all got decent jobs already. It's the unskilled workers that are struggling with unemployment (and underemployment).

Comment: Re:cause and/or those responsible (Score 2) 667

by Bonobo_Unknown (#47498541) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17
The US Government never really admitted, from wikipedia:
The U.S. government issued notes of regret for the loss of human lives and in 1996 paid reparations to settle a suit brought in the International Court of Justice regarding the incident, but the United States never released an apology or acknowledgment of wrongdoing.[8]

Comment: Re:waste of time (Score 1) 380

by Wintermute__ (#47329369) Attached to: New Chemical Process Could Make Ammonia a Practical Car Fuel

1. Unlatch side battery door.

2. Slide out weak battery.

3. Slide in fresh battery.

That's 30 seconds tops.

You realize that most electric cars have a substantial battery pack. If it was as simple as opening the hood and removing a simple battery, don't you think somebody would have thought of that before you?

Somebody did. Granted, it takes 3x that 30 seconds.

Comment: TW Telecom is not part of Time Warner (Score 4, Interesting) 38

by rearden (#47252897) Attached to: Time Warner Sells Telecom Business to Level 3
TW Telecom is not part of Time Warner and has not been since it was spun off in 1998. In fact in 1999 it was floated on the exchange (NASDAQ: TWTC) and so is its own entity. This headline and story in general is very misleading as Time Warner/ Time Warner Cable and TW Telecom are no longer related.

Comment: Re:It's not really a myth anymore (Score 1) 222

by Wintermute__ (#47182703) Attached to: The Sci-Fi Myth of Killer Machines

Google's self-driving car only has to identify An Object and avoid it, on top of driving along a set course with GPS assistance. A killbot has to identify what The Object is, find out if it's a threat, then check if it's a friend or foe somehow, hopefully assess the possibilities of collateral damage and what war crimes it may be committing by attacking the target...what Google's self driving car can do is just the first step.

Nope. A killbot just has to identify An Object and kill it. You could make one of Google's self-driving cars into a killbot for pedestrians and bicyclists (and potentially motorcyclists) today, if you were sufficiently evil (or evil's cousin, incompetent). Good thing Google's motto is "don't be evil".

Comment: Re:Does Size Matter? (Score 1) 211

by Phroggy (#47145193) Attached to: Study Finds Porn Exposure Associated With Smaller Brain Region

Your girlfriend or wife will say no, it's how you use it, but that's only a half truth.

Someone with a smaller striatum who knows how to use it is likely going to give more pleasure than someone with a large striatum who is clueless about how the female brain works, but women prefer someone with a large striatum who knows how to use it over either.

Of course, your striatum can be too large - and despite what you see in the movies, women do not like having their hippocampus jostled by some monster brainpart.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Comment: Re:So what's the alternative? (Score 1) 422

by Bonobo_Unknown (#47125379) Attached to: Why You Shouldn't Use Spreadsheets For Important Work
Thanks for that, you gave me a chuckle. I agree with you in spririt, but there are a lot of people out there molesting data in order to perform their work function and to get paid. Far more than have any understanding of data structures, algorithms or even basic data normalization. It's unfortunate.

Arithmetic is being able to count up to twenty without taking off your shoes. -- Mickey Mouse