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Comment Re:In other words. (Score 3, Interesting) 242

Is that actually the case? I thought a big purpose was to avoid voter intimidation by non-governmental vigilantes who oppose a particular candidate.

Absolutely! Your reason also holds true, but it comes in a distant second.

We tend to minimize the "Uncle Sam knows who you voted for" angle precisely because we don't live in a country where we routinely round up people who voted for the "wrong" candidate to torture or execute or "reeducate" them.

By contrast, consider (whatever your stance on the post-9/11 Iraq war) that Saddam Hussein routinely won reelection by an almost unanimous vote for precisely that reason.

Comment Re:"Online" classes (Score 1) 95

None of the above really matter as long as any of them include the idea of "learning from your peers". If I pay a university to teach me something, they'd damned well better stick a relative expert on the subject matter in front of me for 40 hours over the next three months, whether in person, in realtime, or just "on demand".

Far, far too many online courses have roughly the same format as a Slashdot FP - Post the day's reading material, then require students to "discuss" it. Except, just like with Slashdot (browsing at 2+), the first few comments (almost always by the same few people) pretty much say it all, and everyone else tags along with "me too" - Albeit phrased much more verbosely to get credit for "participating".

Sorry, but I didn't pay to chat with people who know as little, or less, about the subject than I do. I don't have any interest in "learning" by helping my classmates catch up. I honestly do not give the least fuck about my "peers", and if I could afford to, I would have much preferred to only take classes with one-on-one instruction from a subject matter expert.

Comment Re:Opt out (Score 1) 112

Enabling this option however will, quite rightly, prohibit the subscriber from accessing other free WiFi spots

I guess I don't quite get the whole concept of "free" as used, then.

So the general public can use it, but a paying customer who doesn't want to subsidize Virgin's electric bill can't?

Virgin has an interesting concept of "fair".

Comment Re:Not If, When (Score 1) 127

Bet it is cheaper, easier to accomplish, and better for everyone. Sure as hell will be cheaper then trying to change the climate on the whole planet.

Actually, it wouldn't.

We have the technology today to launch a massive fresnel lens to L1, at an estimated cost of only USD$20B over its lifetime.

For a manned mission to Mars - Not even talking about colonization here - NASA estimates it will cost over USD$100B and we won't have suitable technology available for a good 30 more years (though they could likely could speed that up by throwing more money at the problem).

Comment Re:Not News (Score 5, Interesting) 113

No such requirement exists, however, to simply visit someone's Twitter page. I see this (extremely valuable) tool as likely rewritten into a straightforward page-scraper by the end of the day. Block that, Twitter!

Hell, I might rewrite it as such if I have a slow afternoon.

We don't need no stinkin' TOS to load a public website!

Comment Re:He lost my vote (Score 4, Insightful) 494

Advocating a 90% tax rate is fiscally responsible?

First of all, you need to learn the difference between marginal and average tax rates.

Second - Yes. Not spending more than you make counts as rule #1 of fiscal responsibility. I disapprove of the vast majority of government spending and would far prefer we balance the budget through cuts; but as long as neither the Republicans nor the Democrats can refrain from writing rubber checks, we'd damned well better back them with something other than green ink.

That said - We last saw a top marginal rate of 91% from 1946 through 1963. Y'know, the post-WWII era, the "baby boom", one of the most prosperous eras in US history for the lower and middle classes? I don't normally go for rose-tinted glasses, but tough to see much but pink about that (unless you can't see anything through all the green).

Hmmm. Ok, you go first.

As soon as I make over $1,766,000 per year (the inflation adjusted 90% bracket floor in 1946), yes, I will gladly pay 90% of anything over that.

Comment Re:Idiocy. (Score 1) 392

Computer neophytes are the reason that the IT department exists in the first place.

No. IT needs to make sure the end users have the technology resources available to do their jobs, and to some degree, help users resolve unusual events in their computing environment. When the same user calls every single morning asking for a password reset, you don't blame IT - Their manager has a "Come to Jesus" chat, that they need to either catch on or move on.

IT doesn't exist to teach people basic computer skills, any more than the Accounting department exists to teach people basic math or Marketing helps people pick out their drapes to match their trim.

IT's sole role is support.

Yes, to a degree - IT supports the technology side of the user/computer equation.

If the IT department for Munich either failed to train users how to use their equipment

...Then they did their jobs, by not trying to pull double-duty in a domain of knowledge outside their expertise, ie, training. An organization that hires an engineer (not otherwise specializing in education) to do end-user training has already failed at a strategic level, before we even get to the level of users and computers.

I find it almost funny that we so often blame IT for its arrogance in thinking they can do anyone's job better - Then fault them for not doing someone else's job better.

Comment Re:He lost my vote (Score 4, Insightful) 494

I would vote for Donald Trump before voting for Jeb based on this issue.

I would vote for Don before Jeb for a lot of reasons. In fact, of the current Republican slate, I'd pretty much vote for Trump over all of them, because I consider him "mostly harmless" by comparison. I'd like to say I prefer Rand, but Rand has that whole "religiot" angle going that I just can't tolerate.

Sadly enough, as a fiscal conservative (and social liberal), I'd actually call Sanders my candidate of choice so far. Yep - The self-proclaimed socialist shows more fiscal responsibility than all 38 GOPpers running.

And they wonder why people don't show more interest in our elections...

Comment Re:Longevity breakthrough? (Score 3, Insightful) 60

Most of what they mean by "waste" buildup in that context refers to intracellular debris, though, not the sort of wastes that circulate in the blood and eventually get excreted. Still very cool, though, because currently, sepsis has up to a 50% fatality rate - We literally have almost no ways to effectively treat it.

Comment Re: So before ordering... (Score 1) 280

Riiiight. You go do that.

Although not really practical, I go to restaurants to eat food, not admire some bullshit "art" project. If any chef seriously has a problem with me taking a picture of my dinner, that pretty much cinches it that I don't want to eat there.

Then again, for the same reason, I have zero interest in taking pictures of my dinner, never mind posting it online - Seriously, WTF, what sociopathic height of vanity does it take to believe anyone wants to see what I had for dinner?

Comment Re:Legitimate viewpoint or troll? (Score 1) 226

Yes, far more often, but not as used in this context. Slashdot has its share of regularly scheduled trolls (browse at -1 and you'll see an entirely different Slashdot). And yet, we manage to keep the signal over the noise despite that.

Instead, numerous internet communities attempt to shout down dissent by redefining the word "troll" to mean "anyone with a viewpoint different than the consensus". Try advocating for fiscal responsibility rather than government handouts on any "social justice" friendly site, and watch how quickly they throw out that word.

Dealing with "real" trolls require nothing more than some crude mechanism for up/downvoting comments. When we start describing coherent comments that we may disagree with as "trolling", however, we have crossed over into blatant censorship on ideological grounds.

Comment Re:Yes, comments are too hard to police. (Score 1, Insightful) 226

The internet is not "professional", or even remotely "family friendly". Simple as that.

And no, you don't need to give me a forum to speak my mind on your website - You have every right to host an echo chamber. Just don't act surprised when your "community" consists of nothing but Tumblrinas (or just vanishes altogether).

Comment Strange limitations (Score 4, Insightful) 105

Annual insolation, even after considering weather, counts as a well-documented stat across the entire US. Why would they limit this to just a few key cities?

Google says these listings are sponsored, so chances are it'll get a bit of a kickback when it generates a sales lead for these companies.

Oh, riiight! "We don't have any partners outside those cities yet, so the rest of you can go fuck yourselves". Got it.

Comment Re:Depends on what you do with the data (Score 1) 170

If, however, you collect all the data in aggregate and then discuss it during their annual performance review, and have it play a factor in their compensation, that could definitely be a strong motivator for people not to be off-task:

This entire discussion (not just responding to you) has completely missed one really critical factor here in measuring "productivity" - Hourly vs salaried employees.

As an hourly employee, yes, your employer has a reasonable expectation that you will spend a fair portion of your billable time engaged in productive activities. We can debate what "fair" means in that context (for highly skilled work, I would argue anything over 50% as the naive pipe-dreams of a slave driver), but the underlying idea of time-for-money makes sense.

As a salaried employee, however (ie, the vast majority of IT outside contracting and helpdesk), my employer doesn't "own" my time. My boss knows I read Slashdot and write this very post from work; he doesn't care. He cares that I get my work done, period. Now, if the work doesn't get done, we can look deeper into whether I spent 35+ hours a week on Slashdot, or because of a laughably optimistic schedule or budget. But the deeper issue I mean to make here, my boss has no right to micromanage my time, because he hasn't "bought" my time. He has bought a certain level of output of my brain, nothing more.

All great ideas are controversial, or have been at one time.