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Comment: Far more concerned about the terrorist watch list (Score 2) 241

by raymorris (#47783927) Attached to: US Government Fights To Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process

When this topic came up a few weeks ago here on Slashdot, I did a bit of research and found out that the "no fly list" would be better named the "no entry list", as the people are not allowed to enter or leave the country on a plane - they can fly within the country if they wish. It is a list of a few hundred citizens and a few thousand foreign nationals not allowed to fly into or out of the country. The Terrorist Watch List, on the other hand, has MILLIONS of people listed, mostly US citizens.

I'm far more concerned about the government watching millions of it's own people, treating them potential terrorists, than I am about them listing a few thousand foreign actors who aren't allowed to enter the US.

Comment: It used to be a spoon. Okay, a blog/CMS (Score 1) 114

by raymorris (#47781525) Attached to: PHP 5.6.0 Released

I code in PHP for my day job. There's almost nothing I can't do in PHP. Millions of people use my PHP code. I also know several other languages, so I have some basis of comparison to say PHP 5.0 kinda sucked as a general purpose programming language, and I can tell you exactly WHY it sucked.

PHP was originally a blog / CMS script written in Perl. It was designed to be a blog, not language for general programming. In fact, it wasn't even supposed to be used by programmers at all. It was designed for webmasters who didn't know Perl and didn't want to learn. Up through version 4, it's roots were painfully obvious. Lerdorf has said "I know nothing about language design ", and he's right. Fortunately, he hired some people who do have a clue for the 5.4 versions, so it's getting better.

Comment: Thanks (Score 1) 519

by raymorris (#47773809) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

Thanks for the interesting discussion.

> Science is concerned with understanding how and why things do work (using rigorous logical and mathematical models). In contrast, your statement about what religion tries to do is all about making rules to enforce how things should work. Science is strictly objective and descriptive; religion is inherently subjective and prescriptive.

I suppose that's a matter of perspective. I do pyrotechnics. While learning about pyrotechnics, the sources will repeatedly remind you "do not mix chlorates with sulfur, because it will become friction sensitive and could explode". That's applied chemistry. That's quite similar to "do not screw your neighbor's wife, because he may become enraged and kill you". The primary test of a scientific proposition is whether it's predictive - if it correctly tells us what will happen in a given situation. Testing the science, or applying it, means we have statements of the form "if you do this, this will happen". Same with the religious passages - "if you screw your neighbor's wife, that will put your life in danger".

Note the whole "God smite you down" thing is something you made up. That's not in the passage. In fact, it suggests the opposite. The passage is "For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread, but another man’s wife preys on your very life." It says a hooker is cheap, screwing another man's wife could cost you your life. Is that because God approves of screwing hookers, but will kill you for screwing a neighbor's wife? Or is it because your neighbor might kill your dumb ass when he comes home from lunch while you're pumping his wife up the butt? I think the latter is more reasonable interpretation.

See also Leviticus 14, and tell me that's the opposite of science, in any way, shape or form. I think you'll need to fall back to your position that most of the Bible is in no way religious. That's an interesting definition of religious.


Comment: Good point. Compiler error. (Score 1) 519

by raymorris (#47773731) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

> That entire section of the bill is terribly worded, incredibly vague and leaves it open to a great deal of misinterpretation.
> ...
> Take the following line":
> "prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another."

Good point. That line is grammatically invalid and has no definite meaning. Also, the line about focusing on scientific knowledge and scientific facts more than processes is, I believe, INTENDED to mean:
        "focus on the facts about climate, rather than a given theory about processes possibly involved in climate change ".

The wording is so unclear, if someone wanted to be silly they could even misinterpret it to mean they shouldn't teach much about how to do science - the process of heating a beaker, or the scientific method.

This is all quite unfortunate. Somewhere along the way, "the end is nigh" alarmists took the lead on climate change, with my stepdaughter being taught in school that by 2015 there would be no snow on Kilimanjaro. It's almost 2015, and Kilimanjaro is still covered with snow, so of course I'm going to push back on that crap being taught to my newborn daughter.


+ - Netflix open sources internal threat monitoring tools->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "Netflix has released three internal tools it uses to catch hints on the Web that hackers might target its services.
“Many security teams need to stay on the lookout for Internet-based discussions, posts and other bits that may be of impact to the organizations they are protecting,” wrote Andy Hoernecke and Scott Behrens of Netflix’s Cloud Security Team. One of the tools, called Scumblr, can be used to create custom searches of Google sites, Twitter and Facebook for users or keywords."

Link to Original Source

+ - $33 Firefox Phone Launched in India->

Submitted by davidshenba
davidshenba (2536122) writes "Intex and Mozilla have launched Cloud FX, a smartphone powered by Mozilla's Firefox OS. The phone has a 1 GHz processor, 2 Megapixel camera, dual SIM, 3.5 inch capacitive touchscreen. Though the phone has limited features, initial reviews say that the build quality is good for the price range. With a price tag of $33 (2000 INR), and local languages support the new Firefox phone is hitting the Indian market of nearly 1 billion mobile users."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Not servers I hope? Not since 2007 (Score 1) 232

by raymorris (#47769145) Attached to: How Red Hat Can Recapture Developer Interest

> Everyone immediately disables SELinux

I hope you're talking about your personal desktop and not publicly accessible servers. Many years ago, many packages didn't have SELinux policies, and that was painful. Disabling it was rather tempting. With all the many Linux computers I manage, I haven't run into a single SELinux related issue in several years. If you're disabling it now based on your experience in 2007, it might be worth taking another look.

As to "everyone immediately disables", about 10% disable it these days. 90% don't.

Comment: Irony intended? (Score 1) 519

by raymorris (#47768371) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

I'm not sure if the irony in your post is intentional. The bill says the emphasis should be on scientific knowledge and facts, rather than spending most of their time on one person's idea of what process might result in those facts. Present the facts, the knowledge, and let the students analyze whether or not that proves a process in place which will have California underwater by 2010 (oops, I guess not). Your objection to presenting facts rather than potential processes is "they'll never learn to question your authority". You realize that's precisely what your advocating, that their time be spent hearing about Al Gore's guess as to the process, rather than hear the facts for themselves.

Comment: Facts, not Al Gore's theory of the process (Score 1) 519

by raymorris (#47768297) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

I call that an emphasis on teaching the scientific facts (average temperature increased by 0.02C, methane increased by 0.01%) rather than putting the emphasis on Al Gore's idea of what processes might lead to those facts (hair spray has CFCs, which causes butterflies to .... therefore California will be underwater by 2010).

I kind of prefer scientific knowledge myself.

Comment: Accepted the challenge, nice. One more interesting (Score 1) 519

by raymorris (#47767847) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

You took up the challenge of trying to connect those dots. Nice. That requires more courage than many commenters on Slashdot have, and more thought than many put into their comments. I have one further challenge for you, one you might find rather interesting. I'll put the challenge at the bottom of this post.

Most of what you said is so full of weasel words "essentially, close enough" that I think you realize how weak that line of argument is. So I'll address the one assertion that you may truly and fully believe. You said "the Scientific Method (P) is (essentially) the opposite of religion (Q): P". From my perspective, such an idea indicates a rather bizarre understanding of either science or religion. Let's look at each.

“Everything must be taken into account. If the fact will not fit the theory---let the theory go.”
A good scientific theory is "a coherent set of propositions that explain a class of phenomena, that are supported by extensive factual evidence, and that may be used for prediction of future observations."

So if one scientists proposes a theory which predicts that mixing sodium and chlorine will produce gold, while another says that it will produce salt, we can test each. The one that produces good, true results in the better theory. Do we agree so far?

Asked about how to tell teachers of the truth from "false prophets": “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit." (Jesus, in Mathew 7).

A good pastor (teacher) is one whose teaching results in good fruits such as happy marriages, well-adjusted kids, and a fulfilling life.

Physics looks at what happens with objects (the apple falls from the tree), tries to come up with a set if rules that describe as accurately as possible what happens (Newton's law of universal gravitation), then applies those rules to make predictions about future situations (if you let go of THAT glass, it will fall).

Chemistry looks at what happens with molecules, tries to come up with a set if rules that describe as accurately as possible what happens, then applies those rules to make predictions about future situations.

Let's compare religion:
      "Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words, who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. Surely her house leads down to death."

Elsewhere repeated as:
        "keep you from your neighbor’s wife, from the smooth talk of a wayward woman. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes. For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread, but another man’s wife preys on your very life."

Someone noticed that in many cases they observed, adultery lead to trouble. They formulated a rule describing that "adultery leads to trouble", and suggest you use that to make predictions future situations - if you engage in adultery, that will probably lead to trouble.

The same observations led the same author to predict how an experiment could be conducted that would achieve the desired result:
        "may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?"

This is, in my opinion, not unlike a set of instructions for chemistry "use potassium nitrate, not potassium nitrite, for best results".

        "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’"

Again, observation (these major projects began without planning failed), a general rule (if you fail to plan, you plan to fail), with predictive use (if I don't plan this project, it may fail).

      "wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life."

Observation: these men, who chose their wives carefully have confidence in their wife, and their marriages bring good things to them.
Rule: A trustworthy wife, of noble character, will bring good to a man.
Prediction: If you marry that woman, the one who has shown great character, she will bring good to your marriage and to you.

The way I see and use religion is very, very similar to any science. Chemistry tries to figure out how atoms and molecules work, in order to build good molecules for important purposes. Biology tries to figure out how cells and organisms work, to do things like build replacement organs. Religion tries to figure how how relationships and lifestyles work, to build good relationships and fulfilling lives.

After all that, the challenge. The challenge is simply this. Read one full page anywhere in the book of Proverbs, a book shared by most major religions. I recommend skipping the first several verses of a chapter if you're only going to read one page, because each chapter starts out with a preamble that gets redundant. Reading just one page (any page) from that book which is at the heart of the major religions may give you an entirely new perpective on what religion is (or can be) all about.

" fools despise wisdom and instruction."

Comment: 1. Read 2. Argue (Score 1) 519

by raymorris (#47766221) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

It helps to read the sentence you're arguing about, before you argue about it.

> No, it means you can't teach, you know science

Here's the full text of the science section of the bill:

      The standards in science shall be based in core existing disciplines of biology, chemistry, and physics;
        incorporate grade-level mathematics and be referenced to the mathematics standards; focus on academic and scientific knowledge
        rather than scientific processes; and prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another.

So you're saying that "biology, chemistry, and physics", "academic and scientific knowledge" isn't "you know science". Hmm.

Comment: That's not in the bill, and he didn't say that (Score 1, Interesting) 519

by raymorris (#47766185) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

> Did you miss the part where the bills author finds that the bill would allow the teaching of intelligent design?

That's not in the article, and the bill doesn't say that. The bill PROHIBITS teaching any religious interpretation. That's the plain English text of the bill.

What IS in the article, is that when a reporter asked the clickbait question of whether school boards could consider addressing the topic of intelligent design, one of the sponsors said "“I think it would be good for them to consider the perspectives of people of faith." he didn't say the bill would allow it, which makes sense given that the bill explicitly and clearly prohibits it.