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Comment: Fuzzy inspiration (Score 1) 683

I also have memories of my father from a younger perspective. I too would like to learn more about him from my perspective now, to ask questions and have conversations i would not have as a child. However... perhaps the fuzzy memories of a child are more flattering and leave the adult mind with some wonder compared with the more lucid and analytical memories created by your present self.

My dad is quite creative and technical in a variety of ways, he shared some of that with me when i was young, that provided great inspiration for me and gave me some happy memories of the time i spent with him. The silly thing is that he's still alive... but has always lived far away, now further than ever in an isolated part of another country above the clouds (literally not metaphorically).

I guess the nugget of wisdom to be extracted from this is: memories are good, so spend your time and effort being together. The better the time and the stronger the emotion - the more potent and lasting the memory will be.

Comment: Bad tools are always bad (Score 1) 306

by tomxor (#49127227) Attached to: Use Astrology To Save Britain's Health System, Says MP

... even when used with good intentions.

It may do good in the short term for some people, much the same as a placebo, but unlike a placebo it brings with it a whole load of baggage (like homoeopathy and it's pseudo science research that was government funded in the UK until only recently).

The last thing anyone wants to see is astrology becoming more widely accepted as anything other than fiction... Stick with the placebo pill, it has the same effect and is a plain white lie with no baggage polluting minds of the mass ignorant.

Comment: Re:Non-news.... Bug is in CURRENT not STABLE (Score 2) 105

by tomxor (#49083307) Attached to: FreeBSD-Current Random Number Generator Broken

Bleeding edge software has bugs?? what

Many people run CURRENT, so if they put their pubkeys on servers they could possibly be guessable. Try reading the article next time.

Yes they do, yes they could, no it's not news, it's on the current branch... In true BSD style i'm going to say RTFM: https://www.freebsd.org/doc/en... Current is not intended for production, end of.

Comment: Re:Consequences: Redefine and Enforce Law and Poli (Score 1) 44

...Ultimately action needs to be taken against individuals, though.

I did not say that individuals involved should not be punished, i said that the consequences for a government agency (in it's entirety) should not be the same as they are for an individual, and this ruling is for the GCHQ's actions not "higher up at [spy agency] and his obedient minions"... I don't think individual punishment alone solves issues that span an entire organisation either.

It would make sense that individual trials result from this ruling to determine individual liability.

Comment: ENOUGH! the reason is clear (Score 1) 493

It goes a long way to showing it's not the students or the home, but the classroom teacher's behavior that explains part of the differences over time between boys and girls

1. There are statistical differences of interest between the genders, some subjects more than others, this leads to different proportions of gender in various subjects.

2. Given a strong enough natural bias of proportion (not individual ability), over time stereotypes will emerge that magnify those biases.

3. Inevitably, teachers (being human and all), will subconsciously be affected by these stereotypes.

It's important that in a subject where women are a small minority that people in teaching positions make a concerted effort to be unbiased and try to remove stereotypes from their judgement. However "reversing the bias" will do as much harm as good, it's almost as misguided as trying to create a perfectly equally diverse workforce in a region where the diversity of the population is not equal. While determining the natural bias in cases like this may be near impossible, people in positions of influence can at least try to be unbiased to reduce the impact of stereotypes on minorities.

Comment: Re:I've got this (Score 1) 400

by tomxor (#49016637) Attached to: An Argument For Not Taking Down Horrific Videos
Yes but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be able to because it's pure opinion. People should also be able to disagree with you because they think you "should not" but that doesn't mean anyone should have absolute authority over what you are and are not allowed to say - that's why it's a freedom of speech issue.

Comment: Re:Not Open or Not Portable? (Score 2) 296

by tomxor (#49002771) Attached to: Firefox Succeeded In Its Goal -- But What's Next?
Out of interest (I'm primarily a web dev) what sites / content do you use that demands flash? I browse with plugins enabled on a click to play basis but i'm finding very few places these days where i ever need or want to enable flash content, especially with video content being fairly quickly replaced by h.264 and so forth.

Comment: Not Open or Not Portable? (Score 1) 296

by tomxor (#49001481) Attached to: Firefox Succeeded In Its Goal -- But What's Next?

The source is open, but i read about how chromium's way of packaging dependencies with itself has had it rejected from official software repositories on various linux distros. Perhaps this also reduces it's portability.

On an unrelated note, you shouldn't judge a browser on it's ability to support java and flash, that's really not how the web should work or will work in the future. (for the record i'm fairly browser agnostic, except when talking about IE of course :P).

Comment: Consequences: Redefine and Enforce Law and Policy (Score 2) 44

Consequences to a government agency are not and should not be the same as they are for an individual... When a great wrong has been done by an individual, punishment is arguably useful and usually satisfying from other individuals perspective, but retribution for an organisation (esp government) it's not very useful to anyone.

Also the legality of this ruling should not determine punishment or justification, it should determine change. If the ruling was "lawful", then clearly the laws involved are not comprehensive enough or are poorly defined.

Whatever the ruling, it's clear that the GCHQ overreached. Inadequate oversight, bad policy and fallible laws could be the cause. The ruling and findings along the way can provide insight into how much of each is to blame.

Comment: Obvious and Logical... just not relevant (Score 1) 154

by tomxor (#48810581) Attached to: Human Language May Have Evolved To Help Our Ancestors Make Tools

It is obvious that talking will help people make flint tools. We all know that. But how do we know that? Saying 'it's obvious' is not helpful

Actually this experiment is not how you know that. You know communication helps as a priori knowledge which is also why it's obvious (see below if you need an explanation). You missed the point entirely which is not if it helps but how much it helps... the larger debate is when humans first started communicating, it's helpful to know how much communication helps developing stone tools because that period in time could be a candidate if it's significant.

It's obvious that communication will help because it's also logically true: communication is required to share knowledge, sharing knowledge will help an individual to know more than they would separately. These things are true by definition and logic, you can know that communication helps as priori knowledge in the same way that you know up is the opposite to down without measuring it.

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.