Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Back for a limited time - Get 15% off sitewide on Slashdot Deals with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Re:Nice troll (Score 2) 337

FWIW "In April [2005], the Washington-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a religious watchdog group, claimed that there have been numerous incidents of religious bias and official promotion of fundamentalist Christianity at the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Col." "A 2010 survey found 41 percent of non-Christian cadets faced unwanted proselytizing, even as the religious majority felt that their freedom of speech was being infringed upon." "I am on staff at USAFA and will talk about Jesus Christ my Lord and savior to everyone that I work with.”

Comment Re:Where's the turtle? (Score 1) 168

One thing I've been surprised at is that there isn't a continuation of Logo into CNC --- the closest thing to it I've found is to use a tool such as Asymptote, MetaPost or NodeBox to create a .pdf, then pull that .pdf into some tool suited to CAM --- it would be nice if there were some more direct option / connection.

For that matter, I'd be glad of a programming tool which would directly translate part geometry into tool motion (w/ suitable offsets) --- I hate having a cylinder in OpenSCAD rendered as a triangular mesh and having to process a .stl in a CAM tool --- wish ImplicitCAD were being supported and was easier to install.

Comment Re:According to the one that left (Score 1) 152

Think about how vision actually works; photons emitted from a light source bounce off of an object and enter your eye. Your eye detects the photons, and your brain constructs an image of them based on their wavelength and direction of arrival.

You can't see a black hole because its gravitational field is strong enough that even light can't escape. Since no photons are bouncing off, there's literally no way that your eye can perceive it.

Comment Re:Welcome to the world of the future. (Score 4, Interesting) 66

I don't think it's just protecting against idiot users. It's also about shoving us into the "cloud" where we can be somehow monetized, either by network access, storage volume, or information collection. Why else would iPhoto drop local networking except to put your photos in Apple's servers? Or Android Marshmallow require you to allow MTP every time you hook up a USB cable except to make noncloud file exchange a little bit more of a PITA? Sure there's "curation" at the Apple Store, but there's also control, information gathering, the possibility of add revenue and so on. I guess I sound cynical, but I'm not sure you can actually be cynical enough about all this.

Comment Re:GOML. (Score 1) 478

You are a bit confused about #notyourshield. If you review the GamerGate IRC logs, you can see that it was created by GamerGate and popularised through sock puppet accounts, using profile photos stolen from social media. The goal was to confuse people and make them think that there was a grass roots movement, and to smear opponents of GamerGate.

Have you actually seen these IRC logs? If so, where can the rest of us see them? Is there any way to verify their authenticity? I've seen this claim before, but never any evidence for it -- at this point it seems like anti-GG people just keep repeating it because they heard other anti-GG people say it... which describes a lot of the anti-GG rhetoric.

Comment Re:The beatings will continue until morale improve (Score 2) 478

It only turned into gamergate because someone's jilted posted a bunch of lies and it exploded when all those basement dwellers felt offended that a woman should dump a guy that seemed so thoughtful and well spoken in his drunken rant.

That's not quite what actually happened or why GamerGate became a thing. After a man went public about the emotional abuse and infidelity he had dealt with from his ex-girlfriend, it turned out that one of the men she had cheated with was a writer for Kotaku and had given her favorable coverage without disclosing their relationship. GamerGate happened because, instead of admitting the mistake, Kotaku released an article claiming they had investigated and decided nothing improper was going on, despite photographic evidence otherwise. Personally, I find it very confusing that anti-GG keeps insisting that the entire incident was lies from a jilted ex despite the provided evidence and Quinn later admitting to it.

Many gamers were upset about the coverup, and it might have died down on its own, except several gaming news sites then seemingly independently produced a series of "gamers are dead" articles, which attacked and criticized gamers as a whole and accused gamers of widespread, systemic misogyny because they dared to be upset about a reporting scandal that involved a woman who cheated on her boyfriend. Making things even worse, it was discovered soon after that the series of articles was coordinated through a private mailing list used by all of those publications, where they colluded to decide what should be published.

A lot of people were very upset about this, and what's when GamerGate really took off. Since then, the involved sites have continued to hammer down on their accusations, and a large number of third-wave feminists have joined in after hearing calls of misogyny, trying to claim that strong criticism is the same as harassment, even though men like Jason Schreier, Nathan Grayson, and Jonathan McIntosh have been just as harshly criticized as any women involved. Meanwhile, the examples that anti-GG tries to point to as harassment and threats regularly turn out to be either unassociated with GG or complete fabrications. I keep trying to find somebody who has actually committed physical violence in the name of GG, and I still haven't found any. Women Action Media even did a study and released a report indicating that only a tiny percentage of GamerGate-related activity was involved in harassment at all. If you're going to judge the group based on the actions of a few outliers, then you can condemn pretty much any group.

And it might make you feel better to tell yourself "10 people still believe that gamergate is still about ethics", but KotakuInAction is up to well over 53k subscribers now and is still working hard at exposing corruption, censorship, and collusion. Calling them misogynists just makes them even more determined.

Comment Re:Somebody's on the Pearson payroll (Score 1) 363

The problem isn't really the textbooks---the books themselves are often relatively cheap (for example, a 9th edition of Sullivan's Precalculus can be had for $30 or $40 if you don't mind being an edition out of date). The problem is that students are also required to buy access to the publisher's website in order to do their homework. One alternative is to hire advanced undergraduates to grade papers, or (better yet) hire more expensive graduate students, or even (heaven forbid) tenure track lecturers to teach smaller sections and/or grade papers. There is basically no money to do that, so it isn't going to happen. Another alternative is to use something like MAA's WeBWorK for homework. This might be quite feasible in the future as WeBWorK is improved (or another, better free, open source system comes along), and my department is doing as much as it can via WeBWorK, but the system is still not all there---there are simply things that, as bad as it is, MathXL can do much better than WeBWorK.

This might be evidence of my own lack of creativity, but I just don't see many other alternatives, and none of them are going to be any cheaper at the end of the day.

Machines take me by surprise with great frequency. - Alan Turing