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Comment: Re:truly an inspiration. (Score 1) 271

by Shakrai (#49555973) Attached to: Woman Behind Pakistan's First Hackathon, Sabeen Mahmud, Shot Dead

If I want to do stuff that doesn't involve deep thought, I play some mindless video game (like an old NES game with an emulator, or an old arcade game like Pac-Man), or I go hiking or biking, or maybe watch some silly TV show like Big Bang Theory.

And other people watch Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty. Some smoke weed. Some find themselves on mindless websites. I fail to see why those choices are any less valid than yours.

You also seem to know an awful lot about Duck Dynasty; are you a closeted fan? I've never seen an episode myself -- no CATV in the Shakrai household -- the little bit I know about it comes from those people that get offended over it, which amuses me because nobody is forcing them to watch it.

BTW, you may think Robertson is an idiot, but he's made millions of dollars while you tilt at windmills on Slashdot.

Comment: Re:truly an inspiration. (Score 1) 271

by Shakrai (#49555941) Attached to: Woman Behind Pakistan's First Hackathon, Sabeen Mahmud, Shot Dead

I guess I can believe one of two things:

1) You're a smug elitist.
2) You're clairvoyant enough to know what every single viewer of Duck Dynasty believes.

I used to watch 24; if we apply your logic that means I condone torture. Funny that, I always found the show appealing because it had lots of gunfights, explosions, the occasional set of tits, and didn't require me to think very hard.

Comment: Re:truly an inspiration. (Score 1) 271

by Shakrai (#49555691) Attached to: Woman Behind Pakistan's First Hackathon, Sabeen Mahmud, Shot Dead

If they have interests such as following the Kardashians and Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty, and you have interests which include baroque music and classical literature, then it's safe to say that you're more intelligent than them.

An interest in Duck Dynasty is not mutually exclusive with an interest in classical literature. I don't much care for the former but we've all got our own outlets for those times when we just want to turn our brains off for a little while. Is watching Duck Dynasty any worse than playing GTA?

Comment: Not likely (Score 0) 68

by PopeRatzo (#49555595) Attached to: Apple's Next Frontier Is Your Body

Hell, I won't even use digital thermometers out of concern that they'll upload my body temperature to the internet. I'm not going to be uploading my vitals to some app developer in Mencino.

Honestly, I think we're seeing late-stage Apple at this point. Each new product announcement makes a smaller and smaller blip on the radar, and Apple is entirely a company whose fortunes are tied to the faddish vitality of a brand name. Every year Apple does less and less to differentiate itself, and their older products are starting to whither a bit. The people who were excited about OSX 16 years ago have less and less to be excited about with each passing year and those aren't the same people who are going to get excited over a watch or something that will tell them they need to exercise more.

I'm not saying Apple is going to crash and burn or disappear, but when a company's capitalization is their biggest news don't make the mistake of thinking the future is a foregone conclusion. (see: IBM).

Comment: Re:truly an inspiration. (Score 5, Insightful) 271

by Shakrai (#49555401) Attached to: Woman Behind Pakistan's First Hackathon, Sabeen Mahmud, Shot Dead

Most of them can't follow me in a real conversation, nor do they care to. The topics that interest them seem vain and insipid to me, and the topics that interest me seem boring or pretentious to them (based on their direct feedback).

So your argument is that because they have different interests you're smarter than them? That's not sexist, that's fucking stupid....

Comment: How about none of the above? (Score 4, Interesting) 43

by swb (#49554385) Attached to: Declassified Report From 2009 Questions Effectiveness of NSA Spying

The summary seems to indicate that the value of "Stellarwind" wasn't clear because it was one of many sources and few had access to it, not that all NSA spying was seen as ineffective.

The NSA does so much spying that it seems like it would be hard to ever calculate the marginal value of each additional unit of spying. Probably more so because of the fragmentary and unreliable nature of clandestine information and the need to develop multiple sources to achieve any kind of confidence about a particular conclusion or piece of information.

The latter bit is probably what leads to never-ending development of new data sources and methods, especially as each new spying method becomes less and less specific and requires more and more analysis to tease out information. Call metadata doesn't tell you what was discussed or necessarily who was called. You need parallel data from some other source to tell you who is associated with those numbers, where they were, etc.

Comment: One 6 Plus glitch (Score 1) 414

by swb (#49554321) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Most Stable Smartphones These Days?

I've had one problem with my 6 Plus which was annoying enough to care about, crashing Safari when rotating the phone from portrait to landscape once a certain amount of tabs were open. Googling the problem I found a couple of threads on Apple's support web site, so it appears not to have been just my experience.

The fix with the initial release was to close all tabs (an annoying task in Safari), as there is no "close all tabs" function. I don't know that it's been a problem in 8.3 so far, and it seemed to be better in 8.2.

I didn't experience the issue with Chrome or with other apps, just Safari. I suspected something wonky with the nitro js engine improvements and the 6 Plus display size as occasionally not long before crashing would occur, js-heavy apps rotated web pages would not respond to screen taps or would respond in the wrong place as if the running js code didn't have valid screen dimensions for portrait.

I theorized that closing tabs also nuked cached nitro-compiled js code so that subsequent page views didn't have issues.

Other than that, my 6 Plus has just worked. Historically, I've had to reboot my iPhones to fix a random issue with phone calls more than any other problem and that's been very rare and probably less often than power cycling it for other reasons, like airport security.

Comment: Re:Just works? (Score 1) 414

by swillden (#49552685) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Most Stable Smartphones These Days?

If you want a "reliable" smart phone that doesn't need reset or suffer stupid ass software failures, get one of those $50 Samsung android smart phones. They are pretty reliable because they can't do much to begin with.

Huh? This makes no sense. If they're Android, they can do an incredible variety of stuff. Being low-end, they might not do it well, but they should run pretty much every Android app out there. If they "can't do much to begin with", they're not Android.

Comment: Re:Not nerdy enough (Score 4, Insightful) 102

by PopeRatzo (#49552389) Attached to: Liquid Mercury Found Under Mexican Pyramid

This shouldn't have been let out of the firehose. WTF is nerdy about this?

You're joking. Liquid mercury? Come on, show of hands: Who among us has not at some point in our lives broken open a thermometer in order to play with the mercury inside? That's a nerd rite of passage.

Hell, I'm old enough to remember when they made little maze puzzles with a blob of mercury inside that you'd try to get from one corner to the other. Those were the days before parents raised kids like veal. We had pocket knives, for chrissake. Can you imagine millennial parents giving their precious offspring pocket knives? I had my own .22 rifle by the time I was 10. All the liquid mercury I handled in my life, it's no wonder I'm half an imbecile.

Comment: The Revolving Door Argument is Thin Anyway.... (Score 5, Insightful) 71

The pool of people who are knowledgeable about the practices, challenges, and daily business realities of the telecommunications industry (or any industry for that matter) is a small one indeed; good luck finding someone in that pool with the experience necessary to lead an agency the size of the FCC who hasn't worked for the industry at one time in his or her life.

BASIC is the Computer Science equivalent of `Scientific Creationism'.