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Comment Re:Then what do you do then? (Score 1) 107

What I mean is that poverty and lack of education makes for many people being willing to blindly follow these idiots and be bullied by "peer pressure" into staying quiet and accepting extremism. For exactly the same reasons that religion is very much on the decline in modern, educated countries. When you're educated you tend to take fanaticism with a pinch of salt. Of course there are highly educated, manipulative people who are more than willing to take advantage of their less fortunate bretheren. It's called politics.

Comment Re:Definitely... (Score 2) 719

Yeah. You know where you saw a lot of hunger strikes in PoW camps? In the post war Soviet Union. Of course they hadn't signed the Geneva conventions, so technically they could get away with it and weren't breaking the law. But even the Soviets would give in after a few weeks of hunger strikes, and improve prison camp conditions. Of course I am making the assumption that the prisoners of PoW camps are not "prisoners of war", because even though the US wants to portray them as "enemy combatants", they really don't fit the definition as described in the conventions at all. A correct description would be "kidnapped partisans".

Comment Re:Then what do you do then? (Score 2) 107

Violent extremism is a ideological disease that spreads in the same way as a infection through society.

[citation needed] Violent extremism is not a "virus" at all. It's a product of poverty and lack of education, making the masses exploitable by unscrupulous individuals who seek quick wealth and power. Educate your people and extremism disappears. Do you think it's because of the TSA and the DHS that the US suffers relatively little "terrorism" (both before and after 9/11)?

As for specificity and sensitivity of the "tests" for terrorism, I mentioned this problem oh, 10 years or so ago. I guess it's about time people start catching on.

Comment Does anyone remember? (Score 1) 193

I know we're bashing Microsoft, but this kind of reminds me when Apple was caught sending huge files home with an OS upgrade on their portable devices. They released a patch that "fixed" it (ie encrypted it). I wonder if that data was also being forwarded to the NSA. That would just leave linux. I hope.

Comment Re:Scrum (Score 1) 221

You totally missed the point. I'm saying you *don't* interrupt the sprint. You make the sprint long enough to get things done but short enough that changing business priorities get injected into the development process in a timely fashion.

A 1 week sprint is, in my opinion, almost always going to be too short. 30 days is almost always a reasonable sprint length, and as you say if something is *really* pressing you can always interrupt it. A one week sprint that you can interrupt is almost meaningless as a sprint, excepting of course bona fide crises (e.g. man-rated emergencies).

Comment Re:Scrum (Score 3, Interesting) 221

I second the nomination of Scrum, which complements agile development practices.

Scrum is about managing development priorities. You can't work efficiently if you keep changing priorities every day because nothing will ever get finished. On the other hand, if you *never* change development priorities until you've finished everything you set out to do, developers are happy but they might not be working on things the business needs or wants.

The truth is that businesses have to respond to change. A rival announces a new feature; the price of some related product or service changes dramatically; regulators threaten to fine your company for some reason; a PR scandal forces your CEO to get up and make public promises you'd never imagined. Things like these can change a business's priorities, and if your employer's priorities change, yours ought to as well. Just not so often you never manage to finish anything.

Scrum strikes a sensible balance between changing direction so often you never finish anything, and putting your head down and finishing things but then finding out your employer actually needed something else. Don't get me wrong, if you *can* keep the same priorities for months on end, you should. But in many situations you don't have that luxury. You have to respond to business changes, while at the same time finishing what you set out to accomplish.

Comment Re:I think... (Score 1) 304

No problem on the TL DR, but you raise an important point. You're absolutely right that a strongly typed language has some optimization advantages, but CPU is only one kind of resource. Optimizing CPU usage for a sequence of statements is a good thing, but that's simply not the bottleneck in scaling web services these days.

Node.js demonstrates this. Under the covers it uses polling (I presume) to ensure that the CPU keeps doing useful work as the load climbs, rather than spinning its wheels waiting for I/O. So instead of allocating a thread per request and stalling every single thread as it waits for the results of a database query, Node just goes down the list of queries with data returned and fires off a small event handler you write in javascript. I suppose it helps that the javascript engine Node uses is very efficient (for Javascript), but there's more to gain in efficiently CPU usage by managing *other* resources efficiently than there is by compiler optimizations -- at least for *typical* web applications, where the task is to glue back end resources like databases to front end applications in HTML.

Comment Re:Poison fruit (Score 1) 1448

I dunno. I'm pretty liberal myself, and I've supported same sex marriage since even before it was legal here in Massachusetts. I see no reason to boycott an author *just because I disagree with him*.

Now I could perhaps see some point in it if it were ten years ago, and I'd be sending money to an anti-gay marriage activist who would turn around and spend it on perpetuating an injustice. But as Card says, it's a moot point now. Opposition to gay marriage has been defeated with stunning rapidity, and as the change is implemented people will discover that dire predictions for the institution of marriage won't come true. In twenty years young people will wonder what all the fuss was about.

So the only point of a boycott NOW is to punish Card for being wrong. I suppose there's something in that, but I can't get all that excited about it; it smacks of being a bad winner. And if we punish people on our right for being wrong, shouldn't we also punish people on our left? Shall we boycott Frederik Pohl for being a former communist? Granted, he's not really much to *my* left, but I've never advocated nationalizing private businesses, I think that's morally wrong.

Now I don't care a bit about the movie, it can sink without a trace as far as I'm concerned, but to be totally consistent in the Jihad Against Card we'd *also* have to target the book; to shame people who buy the book and stores that sell the book. Against the value of stroking our righteous indignation against Card for his past misdeeds, we have to set the loss the the public of what is a landmark literary work. It's hard to name a science fiction novel in the past thirty or forty years of greater literary importance. Perhaps THE DISPOSESSED, GATEWAY, THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS, DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP, or TAU ZERO. Just a handful, and few of them are as accessible as ENDER'S GAME, which can be read as a straight up adventure story or bildungsroman. Accessible it may be, but ENDER'S GAME does something very interesting and ambitious: it explores the very nature of moral responsibility.

If there is a moral imperative to make the ENDER'S GAME movie into a commercial failure, then why wouldn't the *same* imperative must apply equally to the novel? And if we forced ENDER'S GAME out of the bookstores, we'd be depriving those future people (who have no idea what the fuss about same sex marriage was about) of an important science fiction novel.

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