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Comment: Re:So what qualifies? (Score 2) 489

by rmstar (#48184479) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

Who gets to decide what qualifies as trolling?

I have a feeling that there are some people who would take a polite "You're wrong and I disagree with you for the following reasons . . ." as trolling. Sure the "I hope you die in a car fire" and "I'm going to kill your animals" are low-hanging fruit, but there's a line there somewhere and it's not always easy to find.

This being Britain, I'm sure it will be an awful mess of a law dripping cruelty and class discrimination like ASBOs and other recent British laws.

It can work, however. In Germany, insulting someone is a crime. Threatening rape is a crime too, of course. There is a well established and accepted law practice regarding the interpretation and implementation of such laws. The fact of the matter is that there is ample support and acceptance of them in the population, and the upshot is a comparatively civilized and objective atmosphere in public discourse.

I'm not very comfortable with laws that require some form of human interpretation

Most laws are like that, and have always been so.

Comment: Re:Chrome and disabling SSLv3 (Score 2) 68

by rmstar (#48147577) Attached to: Google Finds Vulnerability In SSL 3.0 Web Encryption

"We used to have an entry in the preferences for that but people thought that âoeSSL 3.0â was a higher version than âoeTLS 1.0â and would mistakenly disable the latter."

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why security is so hard. You have this chaotic ape in front of the keyboard making a mess of everything. Now excuse while I go fetch me a banana.

Comment: Re:Product of the Great Recession? (Score 1) 283

by rmstar (#48089833) Attached to: Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science

I wonder if part of this PhD glut is a delayed effect of the recession, which decreased employment opportunities over the last 6 years or so.

No. This has been going on for a long time and is getting worse by the year. From the linked article:

I would like to present to you this morning a rather analogous theory of the history of science. According to this theory, modern science appeared on the scene, in Europe, almost 300 years ago, and in this country a little more than a century ago. In each case it proceeded to expand at a frightening exponential rate. Exponential expansion cannot go on forever, and so the expansion of science, unlike the expansion of the Universe, was guaranteed to come to an end. I will argue that, in science, the Big Crunch occurred about 25 years ago, and we have been trying to ignore it ever since.

What is happening now is that the situation is becomming more extreme, and so even the best efforts at denial are crumbling.

Comment: Re:Then it happens less in science than in general (Score 1) 460

by rmstar (#47950145) Attached to: Science Has a Sexual Assault Problem

According to a study by the CDC, 51.9 percent of surveyed women and 66.4 percent of surveyed men said they were physically assaulted as a child by an adult caretaker and/or as an adult by any type of attacker.

I suppose that these figures make sense - but only after you include almost any inuendo as an assault.

Basically, I call bullshit. These numbers are way to high. I suspect they equate large swaths of inocuous stuff with real rape in order to furhter an agenda.

Comment: Re:Er? (Score 2) 314

by rmstar (#47851075) Attached to: GSOC Project Works To Emulate Systemd For OpenBSD

The three services are actually needed. [...] centralized management of date/time and locale changes were long overdue. Linux is pretty much the only OS remaining, where application, if needed, can't really know if/when date/time or locale has changed.

Ah no, you are bringing facts into this discussion? How dare you! :-)

Thank you, actually.

Comment: Re:Powershell (Score 1) 729

I've studied the language pretty well. I've read the Standard enough to know that a lot of stuff is well defined, and when I go through the program, I see only constructs I recognize as defined (or implementation-defined, or unspecified, and we won't write code that depends on anything unspecified).

Or, put another way, you have spent a very large number of hours to master this stuff. This is a failure of language design, as it is known that you can write languages that do not require such a high time investment.

It is possible to write conforming C++ programs

I don't think anyone is disagreeing with you on this point. The critique is that is needlessly difficult. Even an expert has a bad day now and then, and when that happens, in C++ he is exposed to a much larger number of pitfalls and traps than in other languages.

Comment: Re:Powershell (Score 2) 729

Of course, the more you explain about C the less sensible it appears. ;)

It's funny, really.


both in C and certainly in C++, it is uncommon to see a screenful containing only well defined and conforming code.

That's what proper language design is supposed to avoid. Oh well.

Comment: Re:why the focus on gender balance? (Score 1) 579

by rmstar (#47782459) Attached to: Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

Why not let women do what they want instead of trying to force them in to places that aren't necessarily their thing?

You mean, let them care about cooking and pink dresses instead of dealing with psychopathic jerks on wikipedia? I'm sure that if you think this through, you will at some point (maybe in a decade? nah, optimistic) reach some from of enlightenment on the issue. It helps if you talk to actual women, too.

Comment: Re:Usability is THE killer feature that Linux need (Score 2, Informative) 209

by rmstar (#47647093) Attached to: Elementary OS "Freya" Beta Released

As someone who uses Ubuntu as their primary desktop OS both at home and at work, I have to say that usability is the biggest feature holding back Linux desktop.

I keep wondering about this one. Because of work requirements, I started using windows again after a long hiatus, and find it rather cranky (windows 7). It was easier to program the reactions to my marble ball mouse under linux than it was under windows 7 (essentially impossible to get reasonable scroll-wheel emulation). Then there isn't anything remotely comparable with xmodmap. I can't have multiple desktops. Files are named in weird ways (PROGRA~1, etc) that have their special rules (it really is much simpler in linux). The keyboard layout kept unhelpfully switching to whatever it felt was right, and it took a long battle to ensure it stays where I want it. And Skype has annoying ads under windows.

Installing updates is gargantuan pain in the buttocks, especially when compared with ubuntu. In windows, a reboot is almost always necessary after downloading and installing updates. Quite often you need multiple reboots, and all of it takes ages. Under ubuntu they are much faster and unintrusive.

So, in my experience Windows actually sucks compared to a decent linux distro. All the talk about the little annoying things in linux is, I think, due to an illusion. Windows is popular today because it was popular yesterday, so people are used to it and all its little (and not so little) annoying things. They just don't notice anymore.

Comment: Re:Not about leverage or influence (Score 1) 266

by rmstar (#47625691) Attached to: Snowden Granted 3 More Years of Russian Residency

You do remember the "girls band" members that tried to desecrate the church right? Russia is not kind to it's detractors.

Fun fact: had these girls done that very same thing in a german church, they would have landed in jail. Probably a better jail, but a jail nonetheless. In other countries, with other sites of religious worship, they would have been killed.

So please, keep it real. Russia is no paradise, but it's not by a very large margine the worst place in the world. Among other things, they have a lot less people in jail than the USA does.

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk