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Comment Re:then excuse me, but you are stupid and naive (Score 1) 775

...once mechanisms to prevent 'copyright abuses' are in place, the same mechanisms can also easily be used to prevent any 'undesirable' sources of opinion, information or activity. once gates and controls are in place, no upstart will be coming up politically or business wise and upsetting the power balance that is already established...

I'm not interested in having those freedoms of which you speak.

You're not interested in being able to choose which sources of information you can use? You're not interested in being able to use the political system to change the status quo? Those are the only freedoms he spoke of, so what do you find objectionable?

I'm guessing you won't be happy until the Internet is as interesting as American TV.

Comment Re:Bunk (Score 1) 289

What a dumb shit you are, not knowing what "explicit" means. I'd cowardly anonymize myself too if I were that stupid.

Hey, watch the language! Kids read this page.

Couldn't you have just implied that he was a dumb shit? Or maybe you could have been interrupted by some situation right before you said, and I quote, "dumb shit". That would have been witty and tasteful!

Comment Re:Wwww-a-a-a-ll-Eee (Score 2, Informative) 379

So I don't think there's any point trying to come up with explanations for it, it just seems that all the robots in the movie have anthropomorphic tendencies. No exceeding of programming required. Most of the other robots were too distracted by their jobs to explore their own potential, whereas Wall-E had fsck all to do really and started building cities and tinkering with junk he found.

Do yourself a favor and watch it again. Judge it on its own merits, not in relation to the ad campaign. Notice how it's not only the robots who are too distracted to explore their own potential, but the humans as well. The story is not about AI, it's about how getting dirty, doing the hard work, and following your curiosity will build better character than having your every whim catered to you. That, and don't litter.

Comment Re:Why they censor. (Score 1) 343

Sex is taboo, and wrong.

It's wrong, UNLESS you are selling something. Not sex, That would be wrong, but something entirely unrelated.

In other words, sex is not exactly being repressed, but channeled for the highest purpose...making money.

It's a classic. Take something free. Package it. Sell it. Legislate and agitate against the alternative.

Comment Re:Some, not all... (Score 1) 731

Understanding the basic principles = important. Being able to code your own = only important for those who never evolved beyond just-a-coder.

Wrong, and dangerously so.

Understanding the basic principles = Being able to code your own.

If you are not able to code your own, you absolutely do not understand it aside from a cursory familiarity. I'm certainly not advocating writing your own when a quality implementation is available, but pretending to understand how something like a red-black tree works without being capable of coding one is nothing but posturing.

PS: I agree with you that higher level data flow optimization is far more important for a good application than low-level optimization.

Comment Re:Wish this was there 3 years ago (Score 1) 131

Ada is a fine language, especially considering some of its contemporaries (*cough* COBOL *cough*). The safety features built into the language made it a good choice for high-reliability systems. My main problem with it was that the DoD mandated it for every development effort. It's good, but not that good. No one language is a panacea. Also, library support was lacking.

Comment Re:Randi again. . ? Oh my! (Score 1) 165

Consider: If a force exists which is capable of being neutralized through the unconscious intent and will of observers who do not want to see it, then how do you measure it? I've never seen an experiment performed which takes this question into account.

Perhaps they could gather a group of observers all of whom genuinely wish to measure said "force" and take measurements while minimizing the "negative influence" of outsiders. While it would be difficult or impossible for any particular group to reproduce, at least it could be filmed and meticulously documented to determine if there were methodological faults.

Of course, that will never happen. Many believers don't care to have their cherished notions put to the test, and many skeptics would immediately dismiss such an experimental setup, but one who would thoroughly investigate such an experiment would be James Randi.

Your are correct in that he is not a scientist, but he is a rationalist. All he asks is for someone to actually demonstrate what they claim to be capable of doing in an experimental setup that removes opportunities for deception. Many have tried, and all have failed. All participants have to agree to a testing protocol beforehand, but it is not forced upon them. If people were truly capable of performing these feats, it should not matter whether or not a double-blind experimental setup is used. Unfortunately, such rigorous testing is needed because people have an amazing capacity to deceive, both themselves and others.

Personally, I am open to new ideas and experiences, but I ask that someone actually provide evidence. Since the beginning of recorded history, mankind has held one bogus notion after another. Our minds are pattern seeking devices, and they are quite capable of seeing patterns where none exist. Ideas that map usefully to reality are investigated, modified, corrected, and revised until they match the observable world as closely as possible.

Subjective experiences are just that, subjective. In meditation, you may experience vivid images, the feeling of other "presences", phantom noises, or other phenomena. However, wholly subjective experiences are by definition not demonstrable to others. Dreams, hallucinations, inner voices...they may have some deep meaning to you, but it is likely because they emanate from your mind, not the outside world.

Anyway, while science is by no means complete, we do have a handle on the basic forces of the universe. While there may be some untestable force only measurable by believers, it is quite unlikely. What is likely, and common, is the desire for believers in the paranormal to clock their beliefs in jargon to make them sound more scientific than they truly are. Using the word "force" doesn't make it science, only observation and experimentation. However, such a force would be a very useful device for charlatans to explain the failures of their abilities any time that they are put to the test.

Comment Re:second amendment rights (Score 1) 546

If you own a gun and he is threatening you with that axe, you are perfectly within your rights to blow his deranged brains out, or if you're like me you'll try and disable him instead of kill (multiple shots - if I can't get his shoulder or arm, then with the remaining rounds I might be forced for a body shot - yes I have been bored and thought through the classical canon of nightmare scenarios, you should too).

You should reconsider your response. You should never (unless you are a police or military marksman with specialized training) fire a gun with the intention of "disabling" someone. Do not point a gun at someone you do not have the intention of killing. Fear, stress, and anger will reduce your accuracy. If they comply when threatened with a gun, by all means hold your fire, but if you genuinely fear for your life then open fire. Always shoot at center of mass, and continue firing until they are down. Don't even consider shooting the gun from their hand, crippling a limb, taking a head shot or any other movie-inspired bullshit. And never, ever fire if you are not in genuine fear of your life. Any coup-de-grace delivered after the threat to your life is ended crosses the line from self-defence into murder.

Comment Re:Contract. (Score 2, Informative) 426

He's absolutely right. I was a 3C032 at Gunter Annex for four years, now I'm contractor scum. I've been in and around there for the past ten years. The four years I spent as an enlisted programmer were practically wasted. I did maintenance on an old COBOL program, and it took up about .0001% of my time.

It was still a good experience. I got training in C, C++, x86 assembly, Ada, COBOL, SQL, Oracle Forms. Once I put civvies on I got Java and J2EE training from my employer.

Now that I'm a contractor I'm actually busy, but not so busy that I can't read /.

Comment Re:Where's the story? (Score 1) 358

That doesn't mean they're not still evil, but come on, complain about the evil things they're doing NOW, not the evil things they did five years ago.

Unfortunately, we have to wait for the discovery phase of their next trial to get more recent internal emails. In the meantime, is there some reason to believe that their corporate culture has improved in Ballmer's sweaty hands?

Comment Re:You know what? (Score 1) 346

Look- just because something carries a microsoft logo does not instantly make it evil and unstable. Microsoft has made a lot of good things in the past, even if they've also made a lot of shit. No one's perfect, and people seem biased against them for no good reason.

There's a lot of knee-jerking when it comes to Microsoft, but they've earned every bit of it. "Biased for no reason?" Educate yourself.

And Silverlight is "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" personified, just like DirectX, JDirect, IE4, etc, etc, ad nauseum.

The best thing that Microsoft has did for computing to drive down the cost of commodity hardware, which is something Apple would never have done.

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