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Comment: "Students Matter" = Silicon Valley Rich Guy (Score 1) 399

by spike2131 (#46079293) Attached to: California Students, Parents Sue Over Teacher Firing, Tenure Rules

Students Matter, the group singing, is a front organization for a guy named David Welsh and his money. These aren't hardscrabble parents just trying to get a better education for their kids, its a Silicon Valley libertarian trying to bust unions for the sake of ideology.

Comment: Re:Is that serious, or a straw man? (Score 1) 694

by spike2131 (#40469589) Attached to: ADA May Force Netflix To Provide Closed Captioning On Content

I can't figure out how the Congress has power to regulate private businesses and impose the ADA.

The intestate commerce clause. Netflix is selling a product across state lines and is thus clearly engaged in interstate commerce, and is therefor subject to Congressional regulation.

Comment: Yes (Score 5, Interesting) 141

by spike2131 (#40299611) Attached to: Google Blockly — a Language With a Difference

Also, is there any evidence whatsoever that these "graphical" languages are easier for people to learn?

My kid is 5, and he spends hours writing little programs in Scratch. The click and drag aspect of the graphical language makes it much easier for him. If he had to rely on his nascent typing skills to write code, he'd be stuck in the frustration of Syntax Error Hell, as I was for years when I first started pounding out Basic code on the Apple II.

Comment: Re:If you don't know, you can't do it (Score 4, Insightful) 333

by spike2131 (#38569162) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Writing Hardened Web Applications?

Any decent programmer should be able to write a secure program. Read your input, reject it if it's not what you want.

Writing a secure program is relatively easy. Building a secure system is difficult. This is largely because any system that performs any non-trivial task in this day and age will necessarily entail running large amounts of code written by someone else.

Comment: Re:Of course it looked dangerous (Score 1) 437

by spike2131 (#37615770) Attached to: Neal Stephenson On 'Innovation Starvation'

we have a generation afraid to take risks

I always see people praising risk takers. And the same people who praise risk-takers treat failure like leprosy.

But the thing about risks is that they involve a high probability of failure due to circumstances beyond the control of the risk-taker. If they don't have that high probability of failure, they aren't really risks, are they?

So, if you take a risk and you are lucky enough to succeed, you are held up as a fine example of the kind of person that everyone should be. If you take a risk and succumb to the probability that you will fail, then its "fuck off, moocher, you're on your own".

Comment: The cost is not the worst problem (Score 1) 394

by spike2131 (#37497520) Attached to: EPA Bans CFC-Based Asthma Inhalers

Alternative albuterol inhalers cost almost three times as much as the $20 epinephrine inhalers sold by online retailers."

The worst part is that epinephrine you can get any time you want (like, say, in the middle of an asthma attack), but albuterol requires a prescription, which means schlepping to a doctor with all the associated costs and inconveniences.

Albuterol works a lot better, sure, but sometimes - when you need an inhaler and you need it NOW - its nice to know the good old Primatine Mist is available over the counter at the nearest drugstore.


"I prefer rogues to imbeciles, because they sometimes take a rest." -- Alexandre Dumas (fils)