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Comment: Agreed, single-use numbers and Paypal FTW (Score 1) 102

by billstewart (#48687613) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Companies With Poor SSL Practices?

That also reduces the ability of the company to coordinate your purchasing information (though your name and address are probably relatively unique, unless you also use single-use versions of those, like random apartment numbers for your house.)

Somebody else also recommended using PayPal for sites that you don't want to trust on a regular basis. Any place that you don't trust, or that you think might be lax about security, or that you're not planning to use repeatedly can get by with that.

Comment: Sizes of Constellations (Score 3, Interesting) 53

The phrase "smallest of all 88 constellations" really irks me. Constellations aren't real things, they're imaginative descriptions of patterns people see to make it easier to remember which stars are which. There's at least one constellation "The Triangle*" which is smaller, or if you allow two-star constellations, "those two faint dots over there" is even smaller.

(*Yes, I stole that The Triangle from Terry Pratchett; it's the name of a Discworld constellation.)

Comment: Re:Considering how few boys graduate at ALL (Score 1) 172

> I'd say it reflects some widespread notion of gender roles. Like only women should educate kiddies.

That's one way to look at it. The other way is that men are not being encouraged to enter the field, and that women have dominated the field for so long (>100 years) that men are unable to break through the glass ceiling until the age when classes become more specialized.

K -> High School teachers are close to all unionized in most of the biggest school districts in the country, and there is a lot of protectionism about who gets hired and fired.

Comment: Re: Considering how few boys graduate at ALL (Score 1) 172

Thanks for pointing this out. Teachers in almost all communities make an above average wage. In most districts, they have benefits that are far above average. The 2012 Chicago teacher's strike was a great example. Teachers asked for a 30% raise over 4 years, and ended up getting about 17.6%. Nationwide, the average wage increase for 2012-2014 was just about 1%. The median salary is $76,000, and the school district covers 88% of the cost of health benefits, nearly 10% better than the state average for all employers. They also contribute to a defined benefit pension plan and a contribution based retirement plan similar to a 401k. They work 39 weeks a year, and have paid sick time and paid vacation on top of that. In Chicago, the median income for a household - not a person but for a household - was $38,625. Men had a median income of $35,154.

This means that men are being systematically taken advantage of. There are 32,000 teachers in Chicago, and with so many of the being women, the difference is that men are being deprived of jobs that are substantially above average in pay and benefits, to the tunes of tens of million of dollars a year.

Where is the outrage over this?

Comment: Re:Considering how few boys graduate at ALL (Score 1, Insightful) 172

I have no idea what the numbers are for STEM fields, but I think it's fairly interesting that we have a big multi-media push going on to get girls in STEM fields. I don't see anything like that to address the lopsided gender distribution in primary education.

For K and Pre-K teachers, it's 98% women, 2% men.
For primary education, it's 80% women and 20% men.
For high school educators, it's 58% women and 42% men.

These are quality jobs with long-tenure, good time off, above-average pay, well above average benefits, and place of esteem in the US culture. It's blantly sexist that so many government entities continue to give preference to women applicants, and that no special programs have been created to get more men into education fields.

Comment: Re:Considering how few boys graduate at ALL (Score 1) 172

Gender roles come from two places in modern America: One, Churches and other bastation of traditionalism; Two, MTV, advertising, and materialist pop culture. These determine what people think they should be doing. Niether of them promotes women in technology, and its mostly people adherent to the standards set forth from either that self-re-enforce those standards.

Gender roles also come from parents. I am happy to teach my daughters about traditional female gender roles. It's not all we teach them, but it's certainly introduced to them that their mother, and their grandmother, and her mother, and her grandmother all worked for only a short period of time, from when they were done school until they got married ,and then they all made the decision to have children, and then returned to work 20-25 years later.

Comment: Re:"Just" four million? (Score 4, Informative) 62

Most legal awards like this are dis-chargeable in bankruptcy court. Sony getting a 4 million judgement against a few individuals just means those individuals need to spend a few grand on a yellow-pages attorney and 6 months waiting for the thing to go through the legal process.

Comment: Re: who cares how many children (Score 1) 250

by hey! (#48685669) Attached to: AirAsia Flight Goes Missing Between Indonesia and SIngapore

That's an interesting take on the idea. There may be, almost certainly is an "optimal" point of view where the balance of future carrying cost, productive potential, experience and future work expectancy.

If you value experience the highest, then older people are the most valuable. Children have highest carrying cost, least experience, but the highest adaptability and future earning potential.

Now you could take a *market* approach to valuing lives by holding an auction to see how much people will contribute to save a life. In that case I have no doubt that children would win hands down. In a sense we do this already; charities which rescue children have a distinct advantage over those that target adults or the elderly.

Comment: Re:Why not include the original IBM design? (Score 1) 174

by hey! (#48684259) Attached to: Know Your Type: Five Mechanical Keyboards Compared

I actually dug out my old Model M last year. Aside from the fact that the rubber.insulation had flaked off the keyboard cord, it still worked perfectly. And it was every bit as good as I remembered it being for typing, and if I replace the cord it will last forever.

There's only one problem with the thing: it's so damn loud. Every damn keypress is accompanied by a loud "POK!" Forget about annoying other people, *I* was annoyed. Years of typing on pretty good Thinkpad "scissor switch" keyboards had accustomed me to a low, pleasant sussuration.

Cherry makes a "brown" switch that is not quite as loud as the classic buckling spring. I have a cheap nixeus keyboard that uses "brown" knock-offs. They're pretty good and not so loud as to be annoying. I wouldn't use this keyboard in public, at a Starbucks or in the library, but it's fine in my home office.

Comment: Re:What the fuck is this pretentious bullshit? (Score 5, Funny) 174

by Idarubicin (#48684227) Attached to: Know Your Type: Five Mechanical Keyboards Compared

Mechanical switches are just like analog vinyl. Because the action is analog it isn't just on or off but has a slight curve between the states.

This. Exactly this. Inexperienced typists just don't get it.

To convey proper nuance in text, I don't always want exactly 1 letter "A" when I press the "A" key. Using uniform whole letters can seem jarring and mechanical, particularly when writing personal email. Sometimes a message composer only wants, say, 0.95 "A", just to soften the letter out. Other times, it's nice to smooth the letter out a bit, letting it fade out genty across the length of the word instead of being uncomfortably square.

These mechanical keyboards are usually tuned to be "warmer", as well--when you press that "A" key, it has overtones and harmonics from other vowels. A little bit of "E" goes a long way, but true "golden fingers" agree that plenty of "O" adds mellowness and roundness.

The adoption of these digital, non-mechanical keyboards is also one of the major reasons why emotion and subtext - especially related to humor - are so often lost in text-based messaging.

Comment: Re:All family cars? (Score 1) 315

by YrWrstNtmr (#48684163) Attached to: Drunk Drivers in California May Get Mandated Interlock Devices
A couple of years ago, I had to help a close friend here in VA through the breathalyzer process.

The way it works is....your license is suspended. Your temp license consists of a piece of paper from the court stating that you must be in a vehicle with a breathalyzer, and the breathalyzer unit itself.
Drive any other vehicle, and you are 'driving without a license'.

And as far as other people driving it? You are told up front and in writing - "You are personally liable for any results on this breathalyzer". So if little Timmy takes a shot of mouthwash and then drives the car....Mommy is busted.

Comment: Mission is not worthwhile (Score -1) 193

The mission is not worthwhile. It is the most phenominal waste of money in the name of science in human history. Its extravagant cost starves America's space program in its return to the moon. Worse it, the program aids Russia, enemy of the world. Deorbit ISS today!

If you have a procedure with 10 parameters, you probably missed some.