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Comment: Re:No, no. Let's not go there. Please. (Score 4, Insightful) 912

by nmb3000 (#47899595) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

Atheism is the lack of belief in a god or god. Nothing else.

Ideally, yes, but we all know that that's not all there is to it these days.

Only because theists have done everything in their power to change the common meaning of the word "atheist". It's so much easier to persecute someone if you can twist their stance into being the exact opposite of your own because this allows you to set up "us versus them" and "attack on our way of life" straw men.

It doesn't help that for many people (in English anyway), the phrase "I do not believe X" has come to be equal to "I believe against X". Declaration of a lack of a thing does not, in any way, declare that you hold to its antithesis. It's this crucial point that theists miss -- some due to ignorance, but most due to an explicit intent to mislead.

Of course, this applies to topics other than (a)theism, and is pretty much the standard MO of most conservative pundits. Why have a rational discussion when you can fabricate a one-sided fight instead?

Science

Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk 912

Posted by Soulskill
from the need-a-way-to-cheat-death dept.
New submitter anlashok writes: Atheism and science face a real challenge: To frame an account of science, or nature, that leaves room for meaning. According to this article, atheists have pinned their flag to Mr. Spock's mast. But they need Captain Kirk. Quoting: "I'm pro-science, but I'm against what I'll call "Spock-ism," after the character from the TV show Star Trek. I reject the idea that science is logical, purely rational, that it is detached and value-free, and that it is, for all these reasons, morally superior. Spock-ism gives us a false picture of science. It gives us a false picture of humankind's situation. We are not disinterested knowers. The natural world is not a puzzle. ... The big challenge for atheism is not God; it is that of providing an alternative to Spock-ism. We need an account of our place in the world that leaves room for value."

Comment: Re:Hexidecimal (Score 1) 169

by nmb3000 (#47829087) Attached to: Steve Ballmer Authored the Windows 3.1 Ctrl-Alt-Del Screen

Did he also decide to produce the Hex output that is entirely useless and without merit? I understand that's for debugging purposes, but who decided that was a good idea to leave in for a consumer-level OS? Seriously.

Ah yes. Everyone should have to set up a second machine, connect it to the other via a serial cable (having remembered to enable serial port debugging on the host prior to the crash), and then fire up their kernel debugger just to get the bugcheck code.

Putting a numeric error code (which usually comes with the symbolic name as well) on a consumer-facing fatal error is absolutely the correct thing to do. Once you've reached the kernel panic failure point there's not much most consumers can do anyway, so providing some diagnostic information can't hurt anything. If you don't then you may as well just restart the machine and not bothering to show an error at all. That sure sounds friendly.

Comment: Honeypots (Score 1) 220

by nmb3000 (#47810115) Attached to: Interview: Ask Christopher "moot" Poole About 4chan and Social Media

A lot of interesting and infamous material ends up on 4chan, some of which might be illegal in certain jurisdictions for reasons ranging from copyright infringement to child pornography.

Have any of the 4chan staff/admins think they've found a real honeypot on the site created by a government or corporation with the intent to prosecute or harass 4chan users (or the site/owners itself)? If so, what actions did you take?

Comment: Not quite old but... (Score 4, Insightful) 635

by nmb3000 (#47787911) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

Firefox 28 (with tabs-on-bottom if you please), Windows 7, and Linux with Gnome 2 (aka MATE).

I'm basically just holding out with old (or "old") software to avoid the current plague of horrible user interface design. The entire "UX designer" movement we're seeing right now is nothing more than a user-hostile circle jerk, doing the perpetuating the same ideas because everyone else is doing it. It's frankly a cancer upon computing, and my only hope is that we eventually see enough pushback from users that the morons at Mozilla, Microsoft, Google and elsewhere realize their mistake, fire all the useless UX blowhards, go back to real usability studies, and let us all get on with a life where we won't always worry that clicking "update" will almost certainly royally fuck everything up.

Firefox

Mozilla Rolls Out Sponsored Tiles To Firefox Nightly's New Tab Page 171

Posted by timothy
from the now-how-much-would-you-pay? dept.
An anonymous reader writes Mozilla has rolled out directory tiles, the company's advertising experiment for its browser's new tab page, to the Firefox Nightly channel. We installed the latest browser build to give the sponsored ads a test drive. When you first launch Firefox, a message on the new tab page informs you of the following: what tiles are (with a link to a support page about how sponsored tiles work), a promise that the feature abides by the Mozilla Privacy Policy, and a reminder that you can turn tiles off completely and choose to have a blank new tab page. It's quite a lot to take in all at once.

Comment: Such a Waste (Score 4, Insightful) 156

by nmb3000 (#47562559) Attached to: The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

After the travesty of the first two films, I'm not looking forward to the third movie.

While far from perfect, I felt that Peter Jackson at least made an attempt to stay true to the original story in Lord of the Rings. For the Hobbit he didn't hold anything back as sold out to the suits at Warner Brothers. Both he and the Tolkien family should be ashamed they agreed to this abortion screenplay.

Comment: Re:Turing test not passed. (Score 5, Insightful) 285

by nmb3000 (#47421647) Attached to: The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

It was passed as defined

The Turing Test was not passed, and the only people who claim it was are ignorant reporters looking for an easy story with a catchy headline and tech morons who also believe Kevin Warwick is a cyborg.

The test was rigged in every way possible:

- judges told they were talking to a child
- that doesn't speak English as a primary language
- which was programmed with the express intent of misdirection
- and only "fooled" 30% of the judges.

And, even after all that, Cleverbot did a much better job back in 2011 with a 60% success rate.

This Eugene test outcome was a complete farce -- something to remind everyone that Warwick still exists and to separate the ignorant and sensational tech news trash rags from the more legitimate sources of information.

Google

Google Is Offering Free Coding Lessons To Women and Minorities 376

Posted by Soulskill
from the building-a-strong-base-of-coders dept.
redletterdave writes: According to a blog post from Gregg Pollack, CEO of the Code School, Google is paying for three free months for any women and minorities interested in tech to expand their skills. The offer is part of Google's $50 million "Made With Code" initiative, which aims to help close the gender gap in tech. While Google is also offering the same vouchers to the women in attendance at its annual I/O developers conference this week, the search giant has released an online application that's available to women everywhere. Google says its available vouchers for women number in the "thousands."
Science

Fabien Cousteau Takes Plunge To Beat Grandfather's Underwater Record 84

Posted by samzenpus
from the under-the-sea dept.
An anonymous reader writes Fabien Cousteau, grandson of famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, plans to spend 31 days underwater off the coast of Key Largo, Florida. He has already spent 3 weeks in an underwater laboratory called the Aquarius, and hopes to break his grandfather's record of 30 days in an undersea habitat. "There are a lot of challenges physically and psychologically," said Cousteau, 46, who grew up on his grandfather's ships, Calypso and Alcyone. Cousteau added: "We'll be able to do Twitter chats, we'll be able to do Skype sessions, we'll be able to do Facebook posts and Instagram posts and all these things that we take for granted on land, but up until now it was impossible to do from down below."

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