Data openness != application openness
Data openness != application openness
You can't use your fix to post right now, in this thread, today. But you can use your fix in the future in three different ways.
1) Submit a patch to the Slashdot code. It will find its way into production eventually.
2) Submit a patch to the Slashdot code, and when it's committed, run it on your own servers. If better unicode support matters to enough people, your service will pull users away from Slashdot.
3) Fork the Slashdot code, proceed as in (2).
What's to stop someone from releasing the source of a "cloud" application? In point of fact, a great deal of the "cloud" infrastructure -- e.g., several web servers -- is already open. The question of where an app happens to be running is irrelevant to the question of whether it is open/free.
Yes, I certainly want my personal data tracked and stored by 200 small-to-medium businesses that don't understand net security rather than one company with the knowledge and resources to do it well. I feel safer already!
I find it useful to think in terms of two axes, atheism-theism and agnosticism-gnosticism.
The theism axis addresses the question of whether god (however defined) exists, as if that question were answerable as a matter of objective fact.
The gnosticism axis addresses the question of whether it is possible for a human being to *know* definitively that god either does or does not exist.
So, for example, Richard Dawkins is a gnostic atheist, while C. S. Lewis was an agnostic theist.
How is keeping a journalist alive "political ends"?
How is it not? You're using policy tools (choosing to conceal the truth) to influence decision-making and behavior by others (the kidnappers and allied groups). Hard to imagine a more political end.
Political decisions often (perhaps more often than not, at the national level) end up resulting in life-or-death outcomes. Even something as mundane as highway funding is a life-or-death issue. Lower funding leads to more dangerous roads, marginally increasing the rate of fatal accidents. Politicians and the public see it as a 0.7% increase in a statistic on a chart, but a lot of real people very much like you died horribly to make that little bump happen.
In the end, everything in politics comes down to relative-value judgments. Is it worth spending a billion dollars to improve the highways, or should we spend that billion on early education? Should we value freedom of expression on Wikipedia more highly than increased risk to an individual reporter, or vice versa? These are hard ethical problems. People of good intent can honestly arrive at differing solutions to them.
I suppose you could combine the ideas behind display ads and CAPTCHA -- "To navigate to the next page, please select what color the shirt in the HBO ad above is."
Shit, maybe I should patent that.
The key issue here is "right" versus "practical capability". A site owner has the right to demand that you watch ads on the site. But there is no practical way to enforce that policy. Thus the current quagmire.
Yeah, but they at least used to be, and that's what I was thinking of.
Oh, yes, no argument there. If I caught a glimpse of those aircraft flying way too low, with no other information, I'd, ahem, become somewhat perturbed myself.
Ah, crap, I was thinking F-14 while I was reading F-16. Good catch.
Except that F-16s have a pretty short operational range, so unless New Jersey has seceded from the Union and declared war on New York, or Al Qaeda has hijacked an aircraft carrier and stationed it off Long Island, they're probably ours.
Perhaps we should extend the robots.txt format to support a price-to-index attribute.
I'm as wildly supportive of space exploration and colonization as anyone, but it's quite true that both economics and logistics argue against offworld human activities as a solution for any of Earth's major problems. Beamed power from extremely large solar power satellites is one possible exception; building these would almost certainly require a human-supported infrastructure for lunar or asteroid mining and orbital construction.
As someone rather depressingly pointed out, until we're building cities in Antarctica, cities on the Moon or Mars will not make economic sense. Antarctica is orders of magnitude easier to reach and to live in.
So, if we end up with significant offworld colonies in the foreseeable future, it will be for reasons which are not purely economic. Many have speculated on what might provide the motivation to make this happen. So far, nothing in the real world has come close to providing such motivation.
I hate this situation as much as anyone, but please understand that the school administrators aren't doing this maliciously, or "refusing to think". Rather, our insanely litigious society has made it impossible to give bureaucrats any freedom to exercise judgment; every time they do so, they create an opportunity for a lawsuit. The only safe course is to exercise all rules with absolute, robotic consistency, compassion or rationality be damned.
"All the people are so happy now, their heads are caving in. I'm glad they are a snowman with protective rubber skin" -- They Might Be Giants