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Comment: Re:Tree of liberty (Score 1) 286

by ultranova (#48670647) Attached to: UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

Well, as they say, the tree of liberty needs to occasionally be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots. It appears that their tree is in need of some watering.

Neither the US nor the UK have tyrants. They have officials who were elected by popular vote. So unless you were planning immolating yourself in front of Buckingham Palace as a protest for your country's policies, the quote is not really appropriate.

Democracies reflect their citizens. You don't have to like that reflection, but if you don't, breaking the mirror only adds more disfigurements from the flying shards.

Comment: Re:Yet another clueless story on automation (Score 1) 621

by ultranova (#48670441) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

So what? We already made that choice to do so. Forcing companies to go with automation over employment doesn't make this situation any better.

We decided to not let people starve, and institutionalized that decision in the form of social security. However, setting up said social security in such a way that businesses suffer less costs from paying their employees insufficient wages than they would without social security in place - because automation is not free - creates perverse incentives. It rewards paying employees less and punishes any competitors who pay decent wages. That's a dumb and arguably evil thing to do.

Comment: Re:It's how fantasy heroes are written (Score 1) 329

by DuckDodgers (#48667147) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy
Good point - you are correct and I don't dispute what you write.

However, my interpretation of the original writing and similar epic fantasy stories is that the heroes are just a bit faster, stronger, more skilled, and more lucky than their adversaries. Think of the medieval fantasy equivalent to James Bond, Rambo, Indiana Jones, Lethal Weapon's Riggs (in fighting ability if not in humor), or True Lies' Harry Tasker. Each manages to handle dozens of opponents, even multiple at any given time. Instead, Peter Jackson gave us the medieval fantasy equivalent to The Avengers or Kung Fu Panda and I think it's a terrible fit for the genre.

Comment: Re:I'm starting to think it's this simple... (Score 1) 58

by Dahamma (#48665543) Attached to: De-escalating the Android Patent War

But how does that change my point? (and I know you don't necessarily disagree...)

Assign the patent to the corporation sponsoring the patent, fine, I agree with that. Just don't allow it to be transferred to another of those corporate peoples. Or hell, maybe if the corporation is bought outright, you could consider transferring *all* patents, etc. But the fact is many patent trolls just pick and choose absurd patents that their lawyers end up finding an angle that's good enough for the ignorant juries who decide the outcomes...

Comment: Re:Are you kidding me? (Score 1) 208

by Dahamma (#48665527) Attached to: Tech's Gender Gap Started At Stanford

You are totally correct in that. And even 20+ years later, my mom was working in admissions at a major university and was passed up for promotion because she "was probably getting married soon, and would just have kids and leave" (which she did, ie. ME, but I still don't agree with that any more than "preexisting conditions").

But 60 years later, that argument is just not true any more (especially at Stanford, my alma mater), and should be put to bed. The GP comment was what I would call "totally douchey" but the article is also absurd in somehow claiming gender bias started at a single school in a single year. Bullshit sensationalistic headlines... because anyone who actually READ the article would probably find it interesting, and not particularly biased or inflammatory (besides the fact that, yes, Peter Thiel and David Sacks were total a-holes back then).

Comment: Re:A Brand New World In Which Men Ruled (Score 1) 208

by Dahamma (#48665491) Attached to: Tech's Gender Gap Started At Stanford

I was in Stanford class of 1994 - which means, yes, I started in 1990. And, yes, we barely knew what real "email" was, since pretty much no 18 year old in high school had it. I had been on BBSs for 4-5 years before that, but at that point for even the leading edge outside of academia it was private BBS or CompuServe, etc.

By 1994 email was ubiquitous, Usenet was already long in the tooth, the Mosaic browser had been released, and we all had wired Ethernet in our dorm rooms (which still was definitely NOT the norm for college campuses - but it was nice). I wrote the first TCP/IP driver for DOOM so we could play multiplayer in the dorms once they blocked IPX after the initial DOOM IPX driver killed a lot of campus networks ;)

Anyway, the point is that range of 1990-1994 was in fact one of the critical periods for those developing the *commercial* Internet, and Stanford was at ground zero of a lot of it. And another point of the article is (if you read the whole thing) while at Stanford, Peter Thiel and David Sacks were not just the total dicks described in the article - they were WORSE. They basically started the Stanford Review to counter/insult any effort at racial or gender diversity/progress on campus. Even they apologized (according to the article) for the crap they wrote at the time (and Thiel came out of the closet eventually) and at the time it was BAD...

All that being said, the title of this slashdot post is FUCKING STUPID. It's in NO way what the article said, and as you know it's ridiculous to claim tech or ANY OTHER gender gap in business, engineering, or whatever somehow started in *1990* (more like 1790? 1690? 1690BC?) or at a single location...

Comment: I'm starting to think it's this simple... (Score 5, Interesting) 58

by Dahamma (#48665423) Attached to: De-escalating the Android Patent War

Patents should be granted to an individual or their assigned company - and then NOT allowed to be transferred. If it's really intellectual property, require that it be used by the intellectual who came up with it, not randomly sold to some giant team of lawyers who try to "monetize" it 10 years after the fact.

That would allow any person - or company that person worked for at the time - to take full advantage of the patent for its original purpose (since almost all patent trolls are not the original inventors) while preventing the soul-sucking leeches on innovation who just want to buy up a bunch of "intellectual property" and speculatively sue anyone who might be doing something remotely similar.

Comment: Re:Can we stop the embellishment? (Score 1) 177

by Dahamma (#48665179) Attached to: Hackers Used Nasty "SMB Worm" Attack Toolkit Against Sony

No, I'm just saying that those here who keep saying "any 16 year old with a computer" could have done it are way underestimating it. Since I'm assuming most here are older than 16 and have a computer, are you all saying you could do this trivially given a few hours, a pizza, and a couple Mountain Dews? Bullshit.

Comment: Re:Blah (Score 2) 329

by DuckDodgers (#48664785) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy
Even the use of big battle sequences might have been forgivable if they seem to fit the story. But instead, the dwarves fight like each one is just about as tough and difficult to harm as the terminator, the elves fight like they're major characters in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and the fearsome orcs and goblins "bred for war" die so fast and easily one thinks Azog might conquer more territory by arming a bunch of Hobbits.

I thought the scenery was beautiful, the costumes stunning, the sets breathtaking, and outside of combat most of the character interactions were reasonable and enjoyable. I especially did like the relationship Thorin and Bilbo develop over the films. But otherwise, there's two or three hours of good film in there.

To be fair, my sons love it and if it gets them to read more I'll call it a winner, period.

Comment: Re:Does he stand a chance? (Score 1) 160

by Lehk228 (#48664399) Attached to: 'Citizenfour' Producers Sued Over Edward Snowden Leaks
it's actually legit, the reason is that part of having a security clearance means agreeing not to look at material you are not cleared to look at, the fact that something leaked does not unclassify it, and so it would be like rummaging through a report on the bosses desk.

the end result is a bit absurd but not because of some special rule made for this kind of situation but rather the interaction of existing rules that do have a regular purpose day to day.

Slowly and surely the unix crept up on the Nintendo user ...