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Comment: Re:Media blackout (Score 1) 539

by tbannist (#48644785) Attached to: FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

The "corruption" angle of this is far more pervasive than just games or game reviews.

As far as I can tell, GamerGate claims to be about gaming journalism ethics and not any media that matters in any significant way.

It was an interesting coincidence that a Jewish reporter in Israel was complaining about media corruption from a different angle when this story was being broken.

No, it really isn't.

Her perspective was that inconvenient facts and stories are not published. Things that don't support the dogma that your editors want to push are suppressed.

You must be either be clueless or a teenager, if you didn't already know that. It's the most prevalent side effect of the commercialization of the news media. I think Slashdot even covered at least one such scandal in the mainstream media and that was many years ago. In that case, a Fox channel in Florida fired two reporters who refused to edit out parts of their news story that were critical of an advertiser (Monsanto). They sued Fox for wrongful dismissal, but lost the case because the courts ruled that Fox had no duty to tell it's audience the truth.

I'm not sure if it's shared ideology driven by the state of journalism academia or if it's mainly more crass corporate considerations but there's a definite group think at work.

I don't think it journalism academia, they despair for the state of the news media. I think it's simply the corruption of mixing profit-seeking in with the activities that are supposed to create the informed electorate. When the news is bought and paid for by the very same people the news is supposed to investigate, is it any wonder that there is corruption? In America, the government can manipulate the media by simply threatening to take actions that will reduce the profits of the news organization unless they carry the news the government wants them to carry. Because the news is a profit center, it's rasy for the government to manipulate these corporations by such simple means as denying access to media scrums or government officials. Things that won't get the average citizen riled up, but could cost the news organization ratings and thus money. Additionally, it's easy for the news corporation to be manipulated by their sponsors because all the sponsor has to do is threaten to move their advertising to a competitor to lobby for certain stories to be softballed. Even worse as time goes by and these tactics are more common, the news organizations learn to take these actions without even be prompted.

Professional journalism at this point can be at best described as a form of political propaganda.

In many ways the words "at this point" make that sentence less true. The term yellow journalism was coined in the 1890s, after all. The corruption of the news media waxes and wanes with the regulation imposed on it. That regulation is pretty loose right now in the name of free speech, which necessarily leaves a lot of room for corruption. There are worse things, for instance, most of the Russian media is pretty much owned by the Russian government so they repeat uncritically everything they are told to repeat which leads to worse media and worse governance.

Unfortunately, I really have no idea how you would go about making the news media less corrupt, other than maybe banning anything that claims to be news from accepting any sponsorship. If they aren't beholden to make a certain amount of profit for the sponsoring organization it becomes much more difficult to manipulate the editors, and through them the reporters.

Comment: Re:Conservatives mostly don't like the involvement (Score 1) 198

by Tom (#48643409) Attached to: Single Group Dominates Second Round of Anti Net-Neutrality Comment Submissions

However, if another company wants to lay cable on that street... what is the problem?

That tearing up a street is expensive, inconveniences a lot of people and these costs to both the parties involved and those around the event far outweigh the benefits. It's the same reason that we have one publicly owned street and not 20 parallel roads owned by different companies competing for your car to drive on them. It's stupid, that's why.

With telcos, the only reason we have the last mile problem at all was because initially telecommunication was built as a public service, like roads. Then someone decided to make it all private, because free market magic. The proper decision would have been to keep the last mile as public property, but it wasn't made, because idiots.

You're basically just saying

That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that visions are a dime a dozen. Realizing them is the hard part, and it takes more than a few "look, a three-headed monkey" sentences to do that.

Comment: Re:Netcraft confirms it. (Score 1) 437

by ColdWetDog (#48643379) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

I'd suggest getting your kids to learn:

1) Organic Chemistry (think Mad Men) - drugs will never go out of style.
2) Weed farming (ibid)
3) Mushroom cultivation (ibid)
4) Bulk chemical engineering (ibid)
5) Psychology and counseling techniques.

It's just a matter of being ahead of the curve.

Comment: Re:Great observational skills (Score 3, Interesting) 88

by TapeCutter (#48643195) Attached to: Birds Fled Area Before Tornadoes Appeared

[Animals are] FAR more accurate than any weather forecast I've seen.

You see ants moving eggs, maybe it will rain in the next day or two, but how much rain? How much wind? Any hail, tornados? King tide?

You see humans boarding up windows, sandbagging shops, anchoring boats away from the dock, etc, you know a destructive storm is on it's way.

Weather forecasts are pretty accurate to 5 days out even here in Melbourne which (like NYC) is notoriously fickle, but you don't need doppler radar and a supercomputer to match the forecasting skill of ants. With a bit of practice mentally tracking wind direction, looking at clouds and feeling/smelling the (fresh) air will give you a fair idea of tomorrow's weather.

Natural disasters happen to both species, by all reasonable standards humans are much better at predicting severe weather than animals since (at worst) we have the capacity to simultaneously observe many diverse species to make a statistically combined animal/plant forecast. Having said that, even the humble ants will have buried their dead and rebuilt their city in under a week.

Comment: Re:So the question is... (Score 3, Interesting) 88

by TapeCutter (#48643009) Attached to: Birds Fled Area Before Tornadoes Appeared

so why don't we start listening for it with our warning systems?

That's what I was thinking, also how can a tornado make any type of noise 2 days before it forms? I can understand animals picking up things we can't, deer may hear the rumble of a quake that causes a tsunami, my dog routinely hears thunder 15-20 minutes before I do and looks for a hiding spot, but how the hell does any animal "hear" something that won't exist for another two days?

Having said that the animal kingdom is full of "mysterious knowledge", for example crocodiles in Northern Australia can somehow "calculate" when a king tide will occur, about an hour before the event they gather at a particular ford across a river where the unusually high tide spills over the ford leaving a bonanza of fish stranded on the rocks. Even Attenborough admits he doesn't have a clue how the crocodiles "know" when to gather at the ford.

Comment: Re:We should have done this decades ago (Score 1) 63

by ColdWetDog (#48642515) Attached to: Boeing and BlackBerry Making a Self-Destructing Phone

Don't worry, they've thought about that. Most modern high performance weapons need maintenance and spare parts. Get on our shit list, no maintenance and no spare parts. It's either us or the Israelis (who somehow manage to manufacture high performance US weapon systems in their entirety).

Ask the Iranians. Their 'modern' Air Force has lots and lots of hanger queens. They've gone to making model RC planes since that is the best they can do on their own.

Comment: Re:Conservatives mostly don't like the involvement (Score 1) 198

by Tom (#48640631) Attached to: Single Group Dominates Second Round of Anti Net-Neutrality Comment Submissions

identified as belonging to the house.

This is not how property works in any western country. Someone dug up the street years ago, bought the copper, and paid to have it put into the ground. They own that cable. You cannot just go around and declare someone else is owner of it, without compensating the current owner, and probably even that would be challenged in court as the "give to the house owner" doesn't even fall into eminent domain.

And then switching from one provider to another would mean going to the gray box and unplugging a wire from provider "A" and plugging it into the box for provider "B".

Which would be a step back from the current system, where most provider changes are done by switching, not by mechanically unplugging wires. If someone needs to actually drive to a gray box and change wires every time someone changes ISPs, the costs for doing so would go up considerably.

ou're trying to prove me wrong instead of trying to understand the issue. It isn't helpful.

You're painting a picture of a fantasy world, ignoring the status quo. Yes, in a perfect world, if we would start from scratch on empty fields, maybe it would be better to do it that way this time around. But we don't start, we inherit a world where certain things are the way they are, like it or not. If you want to change something, you can't just paint a fantasy utopia, you need to show how to get there from where we are now.

So you want to change ownership of the last mile? Might be a good idea, show how to do it. Explain how to buy all the cables and grant or sell them to house owners. Come up with solutions for all the situations in the real world, with multi-story houses, houses with multiple outgoing connections, office buildings and private homes. A solution that works both for dense cities and isolated farms. That will not die trying due to resistence by the ISPs, the old cable owners, the house owners or the two dozen laws involved.

It's easy to say "this ought to be so". Everyone can do 10 of those in one minute. Cars ought to be pollution free. Ebola ought to be defeated. World peace should be achieved. Any of these statements just make you one of seven billion people with a vision. Being able to show step-by-step how to actually get there is the hard part.

Comment: board and cardgames (Score 1) 112

by Tom (#48639335) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Resources For Kids Who Want To Make Games?

Forget programming. Sit down with him and make a few board and card games.

Too many game designers these days look at the technology and the graphics and the monetarization and all the other crap and forget that first and foremost, there needs to be a game.

When you limit yourself to the bare essentials, you see the game for what it is, and learn to make games by focussing on what makes a game.

Comment: Re:Conservatives mostly don't like the involvement (Score 1) 198

Cable between the street and the house might have be redone.

Yes. But the cable doesn't connect to the street, that's just how we say it. It connects to that grey box on the corner, which means after the garden it runs underneath the street and/or sidewalk for typically a few hundred meters.

What is more, the cabling between the house and the street might be owned by the home owner.

Can't say for other countries, in my country almost never.

We could set up a junction box at the street that links into the home's network./quote

We not only could, this is what we do right now. But those boxes serve an entire block, not one house. Theoretically we could change the whole network layout and install such a box at the edge of every property and terminate there, but there are reasons why the system is the way it is, and changing it would require changes in the system, maybe even a partial redesign of the local loop.

Comment: Re:Conservatives mostly don't like the involvement (Score 1) 198

Your experience has clearly made myopic and unable to think creatively about the issue.

Of course. If you disagree with someone, it must be that the someone is an idiot. It's not possible that maybe you are wrong.

There's no point having a discussion on this level. People who have arguments don't need to use personal insults.

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