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Comment: Re:She has a point. (Score 1) 534

by mellon (#49602087) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

It's the face of a woman in a highly sexualized setting, arranged specifically to titillate. There's nothing wrong with this, and I agree that it's pretty mild compared to porn, but that's not the point. The point is that it presents a context in which hormone-fizzed young men (I've been there, I know!) will want to say something inappropriate, and some of them probably will. It doesn't make the young men bad people, but it can be pretty crappy for a young woman in that environment, and can even be unsafe for her, depending on the particular young men who happen to be in the class.

It should be dead obvious to any college instructor that this is inappropriate. She is absolutely right to call them out for it.

Comment: She has a point. (Score 2, Insightful) 534

by mellon (#49600643) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

The Lena Rossi image is famous, but tossing it into a CS class with a bunch of eighteen-year-old men is just asking for a hostile work environment for any women in the class. The really sad thing is that the instructor is so in love with the old photo that he (I'm guessing) couldn't anticipate the problem and didn't come up with a better photo to use. That particular image is so low-resolution and has such poor colors that using it as a standard for doing CS instruction in 2015 would be stupid even if it weren't a problem in any other sense.

Comment: Re:Progressive Fix 101 (Score 1) 622

by mellon (#49533393) Attached to: Cheap Gas Fuels Switch From Electric Cars To SUVs

This is because, speaking as a Vermonter, I see so many SUVs coming up with New York City plates and no mud, and then heading south again on Sunday with the same New York City plates and the same no mud. Of course there are people for whom full-time SUV ownership is a requirement, but a lot of people just do it because why not?

Comment: Re:Progressive Fix 101 (Score 2) 622

by mellon (#49529457) Attached to: Cheap Gas Fuels Switch From Electric Cars To SUVs

In my experience the main difference between a minivan and an SUV is that the minivan has more room for stuff, on the positive side, and a less rugged chassis (which is sometimes a negative). If I had to choose between the two, I'd pick the minivan because you can haul plywood in it, which you can't do in a typical SUV.

Comment: Re:Progressive Fix 101 (Score 1) 622

by mellon (#49529433) Attached to: Cheap Gas Fuels Switch From Electric Cars To SUVs

The point isn't to punish people for wanting what they want. It's fine for people to want what they want. The point is to avoid the tragedy of the commons. The tragedy of the commons is simply the fact that if everybody gets everything they want, you wind up with a mud patch in the center of town instead of a nice green lawn the kids can play on during town meetings. Nobody is willing to be the one who pulls back first, because that gives everyone else the advantage. Setting standards creates a level playing field, so that everybody gets some of what they want, but nobody gets so much that you wind up with a mud pit. It's not the only way to do it, but it's definitely a valid way.

Comment: Re:Loose procedures (Score 1) 81

by mellon (#49518263) Attached to: Baltimore Police Used Stingrays For Phone Tracking Over 25,000 Times

It depends what they are doing. TFA describes a situation where a murderer was found because he kept the victim's phone (on!) in his house. I have no problem with using cell phone intercept to track down a murder suspect in a situation like this, although the degree of stupidity required for this to work is astonishing. So based on the article we don't actually know that there were lax procedures. I'm not saying there weren't, but getting a court order for this sort of thing is precisely what they should be doing, so I'm having trouble seeing this particular revelation as something about which we should be deeply concerned. 25,000 searches over eight years is really not that many in a city the size of Baltimore if, e.g., they are using the device to track down stolen phones.

Comment: Re:masdf (Score 3, Insightful) 297

by mellon (#49452367) Attached to: Would-Be Bomber Arrested In Kansas; Planned Suicide Attack on Ft. Riley

Terrorists are interested in instigating terror. If they were as big a danger as they are said to be, they would already have let off a bomb in an airport security line and killed a hundred people waiting to be screened. The fact that this hasn't happened either means that the government has a machine that watches our every move and knows who is going to set off bombs, in which case they don't need these stings, or else it means that there really aren't that many people who are interested in committing mass murder who are able to get into the United States and act on that wish.

"But this one goes to eleven." -- Nigel Tufnel