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Comment: Re:Drone Occupation (Score 2) 506

by metiscus (#46336169) Attached to: US War Machine Downsizing?

The real heart of the issue is not if we think he needed to die or not. The question is, does our constitution allow the president to command the military to kill people in a country with which we are not in a state of declared war? As per the AUMF, he was justified in using military force if he believed that the target was part of the 9/11 attack or was affiliated with organizations that would perform similar attacks in the future.

A deeper and more pressing question should be, is it right that we are now in an unmitigated state of unending war against a nameless enemy, basically for a long as the people and congress condone it? I leave the answer to this question as an exercise to the reader.

Comment: Re:Beta is illogical (Score -1, Offtopic) 401

by metiscus (#46201147) Attached to: Leonard Nimoy: Smoking Is Illogical

"Slashdot Media was acquired to provide content and services that are important to technology professionals in their everyday work lives and to leverage that reach into the global technology community benefiting user engagement on the Dice.com site. The expected benefits have started to be realized at Dice.com. However, advertising revenue has declined over the past year and there is no improvement expected in the future financial performance of Slashdot Media's underlying advertising business. Therefore, $7.2 million of intangible assets and $6.3 million of goodwill related to Slashdot Media were reduced to zero. "

Fuck Beta, Fuck Beta, Fuck Beta.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 2219

by metiscus (#46197943) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

I couldn't agree with you more. Slashdot is attempting to make the same kind of move that Facebook did when it went from requiring a .edu email from certain colleges to allowing anyone and his brother in. The Facebook change leveraged the desire of the existing user base to interact with their friends who were not able to get accounts at the time and tapped into the buzz generated by facebook being exclusive to generate interest. It is apparent that Facebook made the right decision as far as growing itself as a more general brand and opening itself up to mass appeal.

The changes here at Slashdot are destined for a much worse fate. Currently, anyone with a web browser and an email address can fully integrate themselves into the Slashdot community within 5 minutes of landing on the website. There is no physical gate preventing the mass audience from coming to slashdot, instead our gate is (more like was, given the current trend in articles but I digress) is the technical level of the discussions and the niche appeal of our interests in general. The average slashdot user does not come to slashdot with the desire to interact with the average idiot with a web browser. I personally read slashdot for the high signal to noise ratio among the more insightful commentators. Changing the site to "broaden" its visual appeal would do nothing to increase the readership, it will have a marked negative effect on the number of existing users who visit slashdot. The visual changes are possibly a sign of a much more sinister intent to broaden the specificity of slashdot as a technical news outlet and to reduce the level of area specific knowledge required to understand the content here to a level far below what most of the commentators here consider tolerable. If Dice continue on this tack, I feel that a large number of the people who frequent this site will leave for / start up alternatives. These changes will push out exactly those in the community who are capable of creating a competing product that will maintain the spirit of the original slashdot under another name and the technical users will flock to that alternative leaving slashdot simply as another Web 2.0 Information Super Highway rest-stop bathroom.

I would suggest to the people who are behind these changes that you seek your obvious path to monetization in some way other than by broadening the audience through alienating the existing users.

Comment: Hrm (Score 2) 827

by metiscus (#44587849) Attached to: The College-Loan Scandal

Problem 0: Not enough students are going to college
Solution 0: Add state and federally funded grants / loans to incentivize students to attend
Problem 1: Too many students are overcrowding our Universities
Solution 1: Increase admission standards to appear more "selective" and thus become more desirable so we can charge more
Problem 2: College is too expensive
Solution 2: Increase the availability of loans to everyone to help them offset the increased cost
Problem 3: None of our students are able to get jobs in their field now that they have graduated
Solution 3: ???
Problem 4: College students are coming out college with too many loans
Solution 4: ???

Comment: Re:dumb (Score 1) 176

by metiscus (#44401775) Attached to: Post Office Proposes Special Rate For Mailing DVDs

Thank you for a very reasonable response. I didn't intend to come off as snarky in my reply. I'm not certain that they would both have to raise their prices, competition generally causes price levels to decrease. The situation I can envision where prices might increase is when due to the halving (let's say that there is only one competitor) of volume, marginal costs might be higher ending up in everyone paying more. I'm not sure if the outcome of the duopoly would result in a price equilibrium situation or if eventually the market would either fragment or revert to a monopoly. Economics is pretty bad at telling us what will happen, but it describes the past quite well :)

Comment: Re:dumb (Score 2, Informative) 176

by metiscus (#44401209) Attached to: Post Office Proposes Special Rate For Mailing DVDs

In the USA, it is illegal to deliver first class mail unless you are the USPS, unless it is delivered at a cost of 6x the current USPS delivery rate.

http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-history/universal-service-postal-monopoly-history.pdf

We have laws preventing exercise of free enterprise in the delivery of standard mail. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_Express_Statutes

Companies in the past have attempted to circumvent these restrictions and have been run out of business by the government through legal means. The competing company was quite successful financially. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Letter_Mail_Company

Comment: Re:network ignorance (Score 3, Informative) 331

by metiscus (#44132417) Attached to: U.S. Army Block Access To The Guardian's Website Over NSA Leaks

Classification is carried out under the instructions in a series of executive orders, dating back to the early part of the 20th century, as well as the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Espionage_Act_of_1917.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_13526
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_12958
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_13292

Comment: Become a SME (Score 1) 207

I'd suggest hunting down Lockheed, Boeing, or L-3 Communications (or another DoD contractor) and start working with them as a Subject Material Expert in whatever you did in your career. You get a very decent salary, don't really have to do much, and generally you can work with multiple companies at a time if you set yourself up as an independent contractor. Effectively, you can do what you like and what you know, and get paid for it.

"Consequences, Schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich." -- "Ali Baba Bunny" [1957, Chuck Jones]

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