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Comment: Firearms? (Score 0, Troll) 191

by ring-eldest (#47744561) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Prepared Are You For an Earthquake?
It is hard to believe there aren't more people including at least one firearm on this list of necessities. I live and work in the Memphis area, and while I might not be the best prepared person in the event of an emergency even I have a selection of handguns and rifles that would be at the TOP of any list of emergency supplies. You can't get more basic than a simple tool that will allow you to feed your family as well as defend whatever emergency supplies you have gathered.

Is this crowd really so anti-gun that such a basic, life-saving tool would be scratched off the list completely?

Comment: Such a broad assignment... (Score 1) 140

You may be trying to cast your net a little wide looking for a single (or even a few) books, articles, and movies that illustrate technology and its impact on our lives, privacy, culture, etc. You might be better off giving them a laundry list of books (I would stick to books for a high school level course) and giving them the opportunity to answer that extremely broad question in the form of a 5 page paper, or something along those lines. Almost none of them are under 200 pages... You're well within "short story / novella" lengths there, and you REALLY need to rethink that, even if it means turning this into an extra credit assignment. Is it possible that you're vastly underestimating the amount of reading time your teenage students have?

You've got a lot of material to potentially choose from, so why not let the students make their own choices? Besides, it makes reading 30 "original" responses that much more interesting when they're not all saying the exact same thing.

Some of my choices would include:

Gibson's Neuromancer
Gibson's All Tomorrow's Parties (actually the whole trilogy would be okay here)
Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash
Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age
Neal Stephenson's Anathem (for the really brave students...)
Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game and probably Ender's Shadow too
Orson Scott Card's Pastwatch
Tad William's Otherland series, although this is probably too bulky to be feasible
Daniel Keys Moran's Long Run and The Last Dancer
Heinlein's Moon is a Harsh Mistress
Heinlein's Starship Troopers
Heinlein's Door into Summer

If you open up your page limit the options are almost endless. If you don't, you'll never find a single work under 200 pages that illustrates the things you want to illustrate. Especially not in fiction.

Comment: Let's try something different. (Score 1, Interesting) 1174

by ring-eldest (#39808205) Attached to: TSA Defends Pat Down of 4-Year-Old Girl
It's obvious that there is nothing we can do to bring a peaceful end to the TSA. Voting didn't work. A widespread campaign of ridicule didn't work. Refusing to fly didn't work, and simply leads to the government propping up at-risk airlines. It is time to try something a little different:

Publicly document the names of people employed by the TSA. Every single one of them, from their administration (John Pistole) all the way down to the nameless, faceless front-line gropers. It won't take long for a document like that to spread in the wild.

That's step one. It becomes unnecessary once the following step starts to gather momentum because these people wear uniforms, drive to work everyday, and are self-identified. They don't wear masks (yet).

Step 2: Make their lives as TSA agents unbearable. Everything from denying them loans and refusing to do business with them personally to stealing their cars and vandalizing their property. Hurt them, hurt their families, hurt them financially. Humiliate them and make them legitimately afraid for their lives and those of their wives, husbands, and children. Socially ostracize them completely or make them targets, whichever your morals and conscience dictates, but start such a campaign of fear that the TSA will never see another willing job applicant.

Make them ashamed and afraid of doing their job, because they should be.
Android

Renault Opens Up the 'Car As a Platform' 318

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-could-possibly-go-wrong dept.
pbahra writes "Renault has launched what it describes as a 'tablet,' an integrated Android device built into its next range of cars, effectively opening the way to the car-as-a-platform. At the Le Web conference last year, Renault's chief executive, Carlos Ghosn, announced the company's intention to open up the car to developers, safety considerations not withstanding. 'The car is becoming a new platform,' said Mr. Hoffstetter. He said the seven-inch device can be controlled by voice recognition or by buttons on the steering wheel. 'We need help now,' he said. 'We need developers to work on apps.' When it launches, there will be about 50 apps bundled with the device, mostly written by Renault. 'We will open a Renault app store for people to download their own apps,' he said." While I like the idea of such apps for certain purposes — a maintenance interface, less-inconvenient navigation and stereo controls, interesting driving stats — I'm skeptical of the average driver's ability to use one of these without turning his car into a 3,000-lb angry bird.

Comment: Re:Just Making Themselves Look Worse (Score 4, Insightful) 249

by ring-eldest (#34655086) Attached to: Bank of America Buying Abusive Domain Names

There is one prepatory step that will apparently never occur to them: admit they have done wrong, identify the people they have wronged, make it right by giving them full compensation, and document that they have done so.

That's a sucker's bet. These people are PROFESSIONALS. They'll go with the tried-and-true method and round up some scapegoats, of course.

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 0) 190

by ring-eldest (#33005360) Attached to: Darth Vader Robs Long Island Bank
You really are a dense, humorless, asshole, aren't you? I think it's safe to say that most people think life is sacred and important. The fact that lives were in peril wasn't the funny part... the funny part was situational. For instance, if you were severely beaten by a gang of feral comedians, that would (at first blush) be funny. Yes, we are all terribly sad that you had 4 ribs broken and your jaw wired shut--that's not the funny part. It's a fucking riot that a gang of comedians was responsible for randomly beating the shit out of a humorless stick in the mud, though. It would be less funny if you were beaten by accountants.

Comment: Black children have good reason to worry. (Score 0, Flamebait) 406

by ring-eldest (#32937266) Attached to: US Deploys 'Heat-Ray' In Afghanistan
High pressure water has been used to disperse crowds and break up riots for longer than I've been alive. It's very effective and relatively safe, but here in America we've been reluctant to use it because of it's ties to the race riots of the 1960s. So we shun a cheap, effective, and easy to deploy system of crowd control because nobody wants to be seen as a ruthless dictator as they clamp down on the masses, and yet we pursue other less-well-tested methods of doing the exact same thing.

Does no one else see the irony?

Comment: Re:In space... (Score 2, Insightful) 230

by ring-eldest (#32818152) Attached to: NASA Launches <em>Moonbase Alpha</em>
In all seriousness, I think the really far out there geeks (not your average, run of the mill slashdotter, but maybe close!) would make EXCELLENT space travelers. The only real downside is that after years of increasingly disturbing porn, a COMPLETE lack of social interaction (and this is coming from someone who once thought "dressing up" was putting on pants so the drive-through people won't freak out), and the subsequent lack of feedback about their behavior and thoughts, they'll leave a very rough impression on the first person they run into afterward. Alien or cosmonaut.

"Greetings people of earth! We have met with your represenative and found him wholly agreeable with our culture! Where's the women at, bitches?"

Oh, shi---

Comment: Re:boys drag girls down until they finally say NO (Score 1) 821

by ring-eldest (#32343654) Attached to: Decency Group Says "$#*!" Is Indecent
Just as an aside: Condoms don't necessarily prevent exposure to HPV. They reduce the chances, but obviously not all that much (as you said, HPV is a raging epidemic, with something like 90% of sexually active women getting some strain or other eventually). It can be transferred by contact with a lot of surface area that condoms don't cover at all (like the scrotum), and as such doesn't even require actual intercourse to transmit from person to person.

"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer

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