Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Wow.... just wow. (Score 1) 555

Their conclusion.... "An all girls environment is reasonably necessary for the school to improve the self-confidence of girls in their academic abilities" is flawed... while there may be some statistical evidence that students in segregated education perform better academically than those in schools where the genders are together, they are completely mistaking correlation as causation. Demographically, there is a very strong correlation between family income and the school that one attends in the first place, and somehow they completely overlook that this might in any way be a contributing factor to improved academic performance rather than the academic environment itself. I don't argue that the academic environment may contribute to a small extent, but I'd bet its significance comes in at a distant second place compared to the environment in which the child was actually raised. I don't know of any study that shows that sexually segregated education performs statistically any better than conventional public education except to the extent that the people who usually go to those kinds of schools usually have a higher income and can in turn often afford a higher quality of education in the first place.

Comment: Re:Let's see how long that lasts (Score 1) 464

by mark-t (#49487749) Attached to: Seattle CEO Cuts $1 Million Salary To $70K, Raises Employee Salaries
If I am being paid fairly for work I am actually doing, why should I care whether or not somebody who may happen to have a lesser education than I happens to be getting paid the same amount or something very similar? In my opinion, wasting anything more than a passing thought on the matter is just being childishly petty, and I think would amount to blaming other people for one's dissatisfaction with their own life. In fact, if one ever feels they are worth more just because somebody else that *they* think should be a lower pay grade is making just as much as they are, then I might suggest they actually have self-esteem issues that are entirely tied to how much they are making, which is a very very sad way to live one's life. Who, after all, am I to decide how much anyone else should be worth to someone else?

Comment: Re:Let's see how long that lasts (Score 2) 464

by mark-t (#49485451) Attached to: Seattle CEO Cuts $1 Million Salary To $70K, Raises Employee Salaries
the summary stated that everyone *would* be getting a raise... indicating that perhaps many employees were not being paid fairly for the amount or types of work they were doing. Oh, and giving formerly underpaid employees fair compensation henceforth *IS* generally about the most an employer can do to provide incentive for them to work harder.

Comment: Re:This will unfortunately only matter... (Score 1) 309

by mark-t (#49482075) Attached to: NVIDIA's New GPUs Are Very Open-Source Unfriendly
Nothing wrong with their driver *NOW*.... Their suckage comes from the fact that they could, at any time, stop making any real effort to support Linux with drivers of comparable quality to what they have for Windows, and it would leave the Linux community without any good options.

Comment: This will unfortunately only matter... (Score 1) 309

by mark-t (#49480267) Attached to: NVIDIA's New GPUs Are Very Open-Source Unfriendly

... after it is too late.

If (or when) NVidia stops putting effort into supporting Linux enough to produce drivers that are of a comparable quality to their larger markets is when you'll really start to hear an outcry. People are complaining now, but that's nothing compared to what will happen if or when NVidia decides that Linux is just not worth any effort to put any quality amount of effort into.

Of course, as I said... by that time it will be too late.

So... AMD or NVidia... it reminds me of an election where there are are really only two viable candidates and both of them suck.

Comment: Re:Because beating up the clergy always works so w (Score 1) 245

by mark-t (#49475177) Attached to: Turkish Hackers Target Vatican Website After Pope's Genocide Comment

The problem is the way that they covered up the cases and protected the abusers.

And the way this was done was identical to how child abuse can remain undetected in a family for years....

My point is that the real problem is not with the church or how it is organized, it is more deeply rooted in a type of social disfunction that can occur in any environment where there is implied element of trust. Such trust is not typically associated with public organizations outside of a church or similar setting, which is why it appears to happen more frequently in churches than elsewhere. In truth, it unfortunately happens more than an order of magnitude more frequently in families and people's own homes, often without anyone else being the wiser. Should we abolish families because of that?

While certainly religions of all kinds, including Catholicism, have been used to condone absolutely abhorrent behavior in the past, it is all that anyone can do to realize that mistakes have been made, and to at least try to avoid repeating the same ones, which is the policy that the Catholic church attempts to utilize.

Comment: Re:Because beating up the clergy always works so w (Score 2) 245

by mark-t (#49471651) Attached to: Turkish Hackers Target Vatican Website After Pope's Genocide Comment

You do of course realize that the frequency with which pedophilia occurs with clergy has been overblown by the media, right? I'm not excusing it or saying that it's ever going to be in any way acceptable, but the entire reason it that pedophilia in churches was ever such big news is not because of how frequently it was occurring, but because of the emotional response that such news effectively creates. Per capita, in fact, it is not any more probable in a church setting than what statistically occurs elsewhere... far less, in fact... it considerably more likely, for example, to be occurring inside one's own home, but because spinning the story in this way provokes a much stronger emotional response because it is something outside of one's own immediate control that people can get angry about, creating a sensationalistic media haven, and a veritable breeding ground for people to have passionate rather than well-reasoned responses, while just talking about pedophilia in homes, while certainly not any less wrong, would tend to produce a much more defensive response such as "well that doesn't happen in *MY* home", and thus are more dismissive of it.

Of course, none of this should be taken to ever *excuse* the clergy, or anyone for that matter, who abuse children in this way... my point is only that focusing only on how clergy commit pedophilia can take focus off of the fact that it is actually the crime that is truly abhorrent, and not the institution itself. Again, the institution was far less likely to harbor pedophiles than a home itself would be.

So perhaps that's actually part the problem, because the institution has a very communal flavor to it and there tends to be a stronger sense of trust, similar to what one might encounter in one's own home, among the people affiliated with such organizations than what may otherwise occur in a more contemporary public setting, it can conceivably make it statistically more likely to happen in that kind of organization than other types, and may be a contributing factor. Still it happens with disturbingly far more frequency in homes and in family settings than in a church.

Most churches today, owing in no small part to the sensationalistic news that was created about them when stories about them abusing children first broke out in a big way, now have a *LOT* of checks and balances in who they have in positions of authority and how they treat other people, small children or otherwise, and it is thankfully far safer in such environments in that respect now than even what it used to be. Is it perfect? No... but it's getting better, and that shouldn't be ignored.

As they say...The more you know

Comment: Re:Religious Exemption (Score 1) 211

by mark-t (#49470359) Attached to: Legislation Would Force Radio Stations To Pay Royalties

Why, exactly, do you think religious radio stations don't play any music?

I'd suggest that the reason religious radio stations are excluded is not because they don't play music, but probably has to do with which music labels they can actually arrange to pay royalties to, and the fact that many religious music artists do not deal with those labels.

Comment: Re: I'm not a troll (Score 1) 278

by mark-t (#49464619) Attached to: Researchers Developing An Algorithm That Can Detect Internet Trolls

If one has an opinion, especially if it is backed by facts, that goes against mainstream or even what is politically correct, then that is a different story.

And yet, quite routinely, I have seen people getting flagged as trolls right here on slashdot, myself included, for doing no less and no more than precisely what you are describing here.

Unfortunately all too often on social media sites, expressing one's own opinion can get you ganged up upon and removed.

Clearly what matters is not so much what actually makes one a troll as much as whether other people, particularly people with power, inflluence, or control actually *believe* a person is a troll... Any non-trollish intent of the poster is entirely irrelevant.

Comment: Re:Color blindness is useful though (Score 3, Funny) 136

by mark-t (#49461317) Attached to: UW Scientists, Biotech Firm May Have Cure For Colorblindness
If you saw a red light as green, then the speed you must have been approaching it at to induce an effective doppler shift from what was about 680 nm wavelength photons which are normally seen as red, to about 540 nm, or the green portion of the visible spectrum would suggest that you were speeding by no small margin.

Comment: I remember suggesting this years ago.... (Score 2) 35

by mark-t (#49451145) Attached to: BitTorrent Launches Beta of Torrent-Based Browser Project Maelstrom
.. almost as long ago as when biittorrent was invented, as a means to abate so-called

flash crowds

on the internet... more colloquially known in these parts as the slashdot effect... If everyone visiting a web page with a large quantity of multimedia content helped to distribute the data that would otherwise have to be supplied by the website, the web server would be generally able to tolerate larger numbers of people simultaneously accessing it.

Comment: Re:Do they not grasp the concept here? (Score 5, Insightful) 153

by mark-t (#49438035) Attached to: ESA Rebukes EFF's Request To Exempt Abandoned Games From Some DMCA Rules

Except the EFF isn't arguing that.... nice strawman you did there.

The EFF is only arguing that the DMCA should not apply.... ordinary copyright law is still entirely applicable. If somebody else makes a server for your software by reverse engineering the protocol so that that the game could connect to it, then they haven't necessarily actually copied any of your work at all, but the DMCA would still apply. All the EFF suggests with their proposal is that after such a game has been abandoned because the copyright holder is no longer hosting said server, the DMCA would not apply to such activities. Conventional copyright law would still disallow actions that otherwise infringe on copyright, such as either making unauthorized copies of said work or creating derivative works.

Comment: The link is vague..... (Score 1) 153

by mark-t (#49437971) Attached to: ESA Rebukes EFF's Request To Exempt Abandoned Games From Some DMCA Rules
The linked article says that "a user cannot hack the server-based authentication and âoematchmakingâ access controls for console-based video games without also hacking the video game console access controls", and then applies the "wolf in sheep's clothing" metaphor to it. I won't argue that this might be a concern for the ESA, and if the concern were a legitimate one, I can even potentially see how it could be a problem with respect to software that hasn't been abandoned, but does anyone have any further details about how they actually came to that conclusion? Bearing in mind that even if such "hacking" were done for genuinely nefarious purposes with respect to inrfringing on the copyright of software that was current and hadn't been abandoned, the EFF isn't suggesting that copyright law have any less claim over such matters, and action could still be taken against such criminals anyways under ordinary copyright law, I just want to understand what kind of point the ESA believed that they had that would ever give them a justification to disallow what is by their own admission a superficially reasonable activity, to use their own metaphor's words, "in sheep's clothing", under the allegation that it could somehow actually be utilized in much more nefarious ways, or any alleged such connection only exists in their own imagination, and from what I can find on the matter, this is the conclusion I am inclined to come to. If the latter is genuinely applicable, then the ESA is basing their entire objection upon a concern that doesn't have any bearing on reality (as I suspect they may be),. and is doing nothing more or less with this objection than making a strawman argument, and should be called on that.

Comment: Re:Determinism is overrated (Score 2) 172

The halting problem illustrates the underlying principle that is generalized by the thought experiment. If the universe were genuinely deterministic, then its current state is sufficient to predict a future state... except the thought experiment shows that the current state cannot ever be sufficient to predict a future state where any possible alleged-future state that might be predicted from the current state will always be wrong. Even if the predictor it were wrapped up in a neat little magical black box that didn't really care what was being done with its information, but simply blindly presented a prediction that was supposedly accurate based on the universe's current state, there is no possibility that it could ever be correct if it were ever utilized in this fashion, and since insufficient information exists to predict a future in this scenario, the universe apparently cannot be deterministic.

Behind every great computer sits a skinny little geek.