Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


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: Re:More ambiguous cruft (Score 1) 514

by muridae (#48945411) Attached to: The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

Nope, I haven't talked to many farmers; my family didn't do much of that and just had chickens and a small garden. The big industrial farms, even the medium sized family farms, are outside my expertise.

But I don't mind that they buy seeds every year. I don't mind that they buy GMO seeds, plant them, and sell them. Hell, I'll even eat those plants. My concern is the legal side which, unfortunately, computer science tends to get involved in more often than one likes. Patents, copyright, IP laws; none of them are consistent and companies have no reason to patent a gene if they thought they could copyright it instead and get perpetual ownership of all of the plants and all of the plants bred from those plants. Because of that, I would prefer some rational laws be laid down; not just about GMO plants but all genes and the difference between copyright and patent (algorithms/methods=patent, given implementation=copyright).

But until that happens, and as long as there is the risk that these GMO plants cross-bread and become sterile (not the terminator gene, as many above have pointed out aren't used) I will also continue to support those who explicitly do not grow GMO crops as well. And keep bringing up the parts of GMO that aren't yet well addressed.

Comment: Re:More ambiguous cruft (Score 5, Insightful) 514

by muridae (#48938393) Attached to: The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

As a Computer Science major, I worry more about the patenting of plants; the copyright of the genetic structure; the terms of licenses imposed by the giant GMO firms; the common use of sterile plants to prevent that "IP" from escaping the farms. They may be safe to eat, but "safe" to me means we won't intentionally repeat the potato famine.

Comment: Re:Technically correct?? (Score 1) 152

by muridae (#48471623) Attached to: Clarificiation on the IP Address Security in Dropbox Case

And, if the mayor had been holding private meetings with a sign-in ledger, and a public action group wanted a copy of that to see if the mayor was meeting with known lobbyists, a judge would have turned over the "personally identifiable information" of a list of names. The mayor thought they could outsmart the system by having the meeting online, and claiming "security" or something to cover what is supposed to be public information to begin with.

TL;DR: if you meet with a government official, your name (maybe job) is on public records. That is not protected information in a democracy.

Comment: Re:Know what you're going to do (Score 1) 176

by muridae (#48454825) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Practices For Starting and Running a Software Shop?

By volunteer, I mean someone offering skills in exchange for share of future profit (which isn't always monetary). For the project I'm "donating" free time to, there is no expected future profit; I'm doing it because the project seems fun, others want their name in the industry, a mark on a resume, each is getting paid in some way that isn't monetary. Similar to coding for FOSS projects. For my game project, should I ever decide it's worth doing, the payment would be share of the company which requires the promise of future profit and requires an incorporation. Note that I'm donating my free time to this project, I'm not employed by them; but a contract/license is still helpful because it dictates what they can use my code for and what I can expect if they somehow got bought out for billions of dollars.

What I was offering insight into is the way garage developers worked in the 80s, or the way small college groups sometimes work. Since the OP wasn't specific, I wanted to offer some ways that one can work that don't use the normal "save money from day job, quit, invest in own company" method that can and does work. It isn't a model that works in many other industries, and it often requires that your work force still has a day job or other source of income. Most of those garage developers go no-where, a few get bought out or hired by the big boys (Skype), others displace the big boys of their time (Google). If the OP was truly passionate about whatever type of shop they want to set up, I thought some insight on how some FOSS projects operate might be usable. I mean, Mozilla, Ubuntu, WordPress, MySQL, and a bunch of others show that the initial model can work as a stepping stone.

Comment: Re:Know what you're going to do (Score 1) 176

by muridae (#48454487) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Practices For Starting and Running a Software Shop?

You can start a software shop on a $0 budget, but you will only get volunteers.

Well, let's revise that, you need your domain name, website, incorporation papers, and contracts with your volunteers. It's not $0, but it's not several thousand either. I've offered some of my free time to a group doing this; though it took some convincing from me that getting a proper contract written up was infinitely safer for them. Everyone just offers their free time, and the project gets built; end result is getting everyone involved to have some share in learning the ropes of the industry without the gigantic risks and investment of starting a development house with no product in sight.

Chances are, if I can get my video game design to the point where I feel it would make a viable demo, I'll probably use the same model and offer future profit percentages for folks to handle the stuff that I don't do well (HCI, pretty models and textures, story, etc). Who knows if it will work, but incorporation is only about $100 here, and a visit with a lawyer to draw up a boilerplate contract is about the same.

The difference is, the group I'm working with, and my future project, both have a target audience and a goal in mind (i think, anyways). The OP doesn't elaborate on points like that enough for me to feel confident that they know what they want to develop or who it's for; questions like "should I allow multiple languages" would be dictated by what product you make. OS driver software: write in C. User interface for someone else's code: write in any language that the devs like that will link to the other code. Video game? Write your engine in your choice language (or your engine's languages of choice), and if you need some script-able stuff for your world developers then throw in a link for Lua or Boo or something high level. Statistical stuff? R and SQL. The target audience sometimes defines the answers to the OPs questions.

Comment: Re:Get a sales force and some customers (Score 1) 176

by muridae (#48454351) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Practices For Starting and Running a Software Shop?

Bull, all of those businesses listed have "sales" and "customers". They survived the period where they did not have enough sales on VC and angel funding, loans, and lots of debt where needed. But once they grew past that, once they shifted from "projects" into "businesses", they had customers. We, the average users, are not their customers. We don't pay them anything. Ad agencies pay them, big companies pay them, or buy them out-right. Those are their customers; they are the ones who keep the lights on in the buildings. So in the end, once they became profitable, they've fallen back into that truth about business.

Want to know who their customers are? Go through their stock filings and look at who is paying them. Few of the ones listed are still running on VC and debt.

Comment: Re:Not again.. (Score 1) 834

by muridae (#48375499) Attached to: How To End Online Harassment

As much as I would like to agree with that, I can't. I'm sure some of those who can only vent their frustration through threats of violence have other problems; we can notice those. We can treat them like human beings, but that does mean hearing their threats, and treating them like threats. If I went into a fast food restaurant, my order was taken wrong, and I vented my spleen in the manner that has been occurring in the gamergate movement or in any random video game then I would be arrested at best. If I decided that "McDonalds is killing the fast food industry" and threatened to rape and kill every female worker there, I'd be locked up for 72 hours minimum on a 5150-type law followed by assault charges. Just because it's done anonymously online does not change that assault is defined most places as "verbal announcement of intent to do harm, with the apparent ability to follow through on the threat." In said fastfood situation, I could not simply refuse to tell the police my name, or use a nom de plume to avoid responsibility for actual threats. Mind you, this isn't a 1st Amendment issue in the USA, the courts have already defined assault; one troll taken down on an assault charge or a 72-hour psych eval would help both parties involved.

Not every threat needs to be heard like this, I don't think the random "I'm gonna cap you" in an FPS game is out of place; one can do that in the fantasy of the game. Once the threat jumps out of the game, though, and make's its way to someones door we need to take it seriously and respond to it.

Comment: Re:The Propaganda War (Score 1) 834

by muridae (#48371137) Attached to: How To End Online Harassment

I asked who you believed was behind the propaganda wars, and you deflect. "The media" is not a group of people, if you wish to claim that there is a manufactured agitprop war going on, have the guts to name those you believe are behind it, or the tin foil to blame it on the Illuminati.

You redefine discrimination to include the trolling that this article specifies focuses on tech areas of employment, and then claim that since it's just discrimination, there must be other reasons women avoid IT since women are discriminated against in other fields.

If you just want to define the terms in a way that suits only your argument, and accuse any other interpretation of terms as "strawmen arguments", then neither of us will gain any enlightenment from this discourse. We both appear to agree that women are discriminated against; I had hoped I could see where you thought this propaganda was coming from (no, "the media" is not a place, it's the plural of medium. Who? The NYT, The Post, The Koch Bros, CNN, who?) and whether you felt women were gaining from it or being harmed by it (look at the other posts that claim "the media is helping these women, and making them targets for the trolls at the same time"). Instead, I'll admit, oxygen starvation couldn't hurt my brain cells any more than this discussion with you already has. When you have finished defining your terms, so that discrimination means "everything that happens" and women avoid IT because of every one of them knowing how to balance work/free time instinctively the way you do, and the goal posts have finished moving, then I'll discuss this with you or someone else again.

Or, you can treat my inquiries as they are, answer them, and have a discussion sans insults.

Comment: Re:The Propaganda War (Score 1) 834

by muridae (#48370169) Attached to: How To End Online Harassment

I state that women are responsible for the propaganda against women where in my statement exactly? That was your claim, and it was false. That was one of two straw man arguments you gave. "but it's actually a propaganda war by women to make themselves seem oppressed?"

Go back to the first post I responded to: #48360665. See your second sentence? Are you suggesting that this propaganda war is not run by women, and is run by . . . who, men? Little grey aliens? If you are truly suggesting that the "propaganda war which attempts to perpetuate and inflate stereotypes of the oppressed women and abusive man." (your words, see post above) is promoted by some cabal of both men and women, and that I misconstrued your post to infer that this "propaganda war" was somehow women-led, then we can discuss that.

As for my second "strawman" that the abuse and harassment keeps women out of the tech field; are you obtuse enough to believe that the only reason women don't enter the field is the prescience and universal self-knowledge to know that the eventual desire to start a family will interfere with their career advancement? I do not disagree that some women avoid the field for that reason. Some avoid it because they know they want to start a family. But others enter the field and are scared off by the 'boy's club" mentality and the constant threat of "you'll never get promoted because you might, maybe, eventually decide to take 9 months off". Doesn't appear to be a strawman at all, as I can cite individuals and your side of the argument seems to be (from your post) that "women avoid the tech field for a whole lot of other reasons, so harassment can't be all that bad."

Comment: Re:Not this shit again (Score 1) 834

by muridae (#48369569) Attached to: How To End Online Harassment

No, you suggest that men take these threats and ignore them, while women get upset by them. I suggest that no matter who the target of the threat is, the threat itself should upset all of us. A patriarchial statement would be to accept that women get upset by these threats, but that men targeted by them should "man up"; something that I will not do.

A person's response to a threat against them is their own to deal with; not yours or mine. I am upset by the fact that these threats get made at all, but I won't tell someone else how they should deal with them. Unlike . . .

Comment: Re:The Propaganda War (Score 1) 834

by muridae (#48369483) Attached to: How To End Online Harassment

I did not stand up this strawman, I restated your opening argument. To wit:

It's about a propaganda war which attempts to perpetuate and inflate stereotypes of the oppressed women and abusive man.

followed by

First, there is real discrimination and real pricks that truly believe they are better than women. Those people are an extreme minority, but they do exist.

So, as I said, the trolls do exist and it is not a stretch to say that the entire gamergate issue has scared women away from speaking out; yet you argue that it's a strawman?

Add to that your obvious ad hominem attacks on me . . . you must be a very skilled opponent in rhetoric and logic to miss the obvious flaws in your own statements. I, as a woman, should feel honored that you deigned to pick apart the obvious flaws in my argument in such a skillful way.

Comment: Re:This is not 'How to'. It's moralising (Score 1) 834

by muridae (#48369379) Attached to: How To End Online Harassment

I see; first you whine about being called a misogynist, then you argue that all the lies don't need to be explained because someone else explained them, and throw in a misogynistic insult, then you run and hide when pushed to defend your position. You get to walk away feeling like you won, because "obviously" I should do my research on youtube . . .

Wait, why the hell should I research YOUR OPINION on youtube when you have thus far refused to even state what your opinion is except "feminist lies and crap"?

Comment: Re:This is not 'How to'. It's moralising (Score 1) 834

by muridae (#48368657) Attached to: How To End Online Harassment

I asked a specific question:

Which feminist lies are you speaking out against?

To which you don't even offer a reply.

You chose to only address my second issue of confusing women and "feminists", which you suggest I was adding to the confusion of?

Either answer the question of what lies you speak out against and get called a misogynist for, or STFD, STFU, & HAND. With no examples, all you are doing is digging the hole deeper by the intended ad hominem against me that I should "go and grovel before mistress".

Comment: Re:This is not 'How to'. It's moralising (Score 1) 834

by muridae (#48368095) Attached to: How To End Online Harassment

Which feminist lies are you speaking out against? "All of them"?

Secondly, you are making the mistake of implying that all women who want some social equality are somehow related to the fantasy charactures of "Feminazis" that get thrown around so often. But, if your point is "speaking out against women arguing for quality if as misogynistic as speaking out against a political movement is racist" then I think your logic has a flaw already.

So, is the "feminist's lies and crap" a specific example, or just something "all SJWs" repeat?

Comment: Re:Not again.. (Score 1) 834

by muridae (#48367989) Attached to: How To End Online Harassment

No. they are expressions of frustration... or troll posts, or perhaps both. People need to realize that this shit should not be taken seriously/

No. They don't.

Threats are threats. Period, full-stop. If that's the only way someone can think of to vent their frustration, then there are a number of diagnoses in the DSM that should be applied via 5150 if necessary.

Once the world can come to an agreement on that, then we can have a rational discussion. As long as threats are justified and ignored because "it's just trolls or people venting frustration" there there is no discussion; the defense of threats is wrong.

You can not win the game, and you are not allowed to stop playing. -- The Third Law Of Thermodynamics