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Comment Fascinating ruling (Score 4, Interesting) 261

[ Still using Slashdot until beta takes over, then I'll dump it. ]

It's an interesting ruling. While Steam's lack of support for re-sale of games may run into legal issues, their willingness to keep games available at lower and lower price points as games get older shows that they're not abusing the privilege. If you can wait a while, the price will come down to a reasonable point and the game is available for people who'd have otherwise needed to buy the game used. And I've been delighted to see old games that I've enjoyed, such as the original Doom or Thief or X-com games, be available on Steam. It's helped me avoid having to recover and old games and simply pray that they'd be playable on modern operating systems: I'm very pleased with Steam for making older games available at very reasonable prices. We're actually getting something from them in return for their exclusive licensing.

Comment Re:"Not Reproduclibe" (Score 1) 618

Ahh, a bit of digging points out the 2006 Supreme Court that you seem to be misinterpreting, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.... That case upheld the protection of wetlands that intermingle with navigable waterways. I'm afraid that if you wish to cite the Supreme Court decision as "unauthorizied expansion by overzeaolous" bureaucrats, I can only wish you good luck with that.

Comment Re: "Not Reproduclibe" (Score 3, Insightful) 618

Deducing gravity by noticing what has fallen and how fast is "a bunch of data points and an opinion". It's also falsifiable: you predict what the data will be for other, related circumstances you haven't measured yet. A lot of astronomy, chemistry, biology, and social sciences are done this way because strictly controlled experiments are very difficult.

The ability to make precise predictions, or to give accurate and verifiable _ranges_ for results, seems to be a very good basis for both engineering and science.

Comment Re:"Not Reproduclibe" (Score 2) 618

It's a fascinating case. It has _nothing_ do with navigable waters, it has to do with wetlands, which are federally protected in various ways, and the Clean Waters Act, which involves protecting water supplies. If you're going to cite an example of bureaucratic abuse because of "navigable waters" that only exist for a day, cite one they're actually guilty of, please. Please don't cite cases that have no direct relevance to your claim of abuse.

Comment Re:"Not Reproduclibe" (Score 1) 618

And I call it "straw man argument" when someone cites bureaucratic foibles with what are demonstrably nonexistent examples.

Kindly cite the cases of "navigable waters" including "any puddle that lasts more than 24 hours". The Supreme Court guidelines are fascinating, and seem to be extensible to include waterways large enough to handle a canoe, depending on whether it's connected to another waterway. But they're workable, and discharging the waste into a creek that _feeds into_ a lake or ocean could certainly make such discharges relevant to public safety.

Comment Re:actually, it's pretty much "there" (Score 1) 108

In the US, the separation of different doctor office and health insurance systems helps isolate the data from centralized universal access. Continuing to protect and isolate patient data is large concern for doctors who treat terminal cancer, mental health patients, STD's, or pregnancy in juveniles. It's led to some fascinating conflicts between HIPAA, which is supposed to ease sharing and reliability of medical records in the age of digital records, and doctor/patient confidentiality practices that may be in favor of patient confidentiality than HIPAA allows.

HIPAA also has guidelines to _protect_ patient data, but make no mistake about its results. It's being used to make patient data more consistently and easily accessible among all interested personnel, and its protections against government snooping are effectively non-existent.

Comment Re:"Not Reproduclibe" (Score 4, Insightful) 618

It could be abused, to force the EPA to include "meta-analyses" of scientific results and use them to discredit reliable results compared to large sets of industry published, fraudulent results. Let's not forget the tobacco industry scientific fraud, for decades, about the poisonous effects of cigarette smoke on humans.

It's also theoretically possible that this kind of law could be used to expose the "industry analyses" to review. That's what I'd hope for, right now: too many analyses are published under extensive non-disclosure agreements that prevent the EPA from being able to publish them. I've certainly seen that kind of restraint of publication about groundwater and soil toxicity analyses for new construction. The project leaders wanted even the existence of the analysis kept secret unless it was favorable to construction.

Comment Re:Beta violates ADA guidelines (Score 1) 77

Perhaps it was "SANTA" ?


I still remember the SATAN network scanning tool, which had a little script called "repent" to change the name and gifs to "SANTA"

Could there possibly be such a tool in place to "repent" the Slashdot Beta to something usable? We can only hope.

Comment Re:Beta violates ADA guidelines (Score 1) 77

I never mentioned the ADA in my post. So you obviously know that the relevant law is the American with Disabilities Act, since you inferred its mention without my having written it.

May I assume that such a mis-aimed, ill-founded troll was written by someone whose paycheck relies on the slashdot beta? The presence of irrelevant and distracting matierial based on a need that was invented out of misunderstood references and now leads to confused publication by someone who has failed to address any genuinely relevant issue does sound like the Slashdot Beta.

Comment Beta violates ADA guidelines (Score 5, Insightful) 77

The unnecessarily complex and excessively indented layout interferes with text->speech tools, and actually reduces legibility for people who heavily expand their screens due to visual problems. The current clean, well ordered, linear layout is easy to use, intuitive, and doesn't insert painful, confusing, or unnecessary complexity. The slashdot readers, and contributors, are here for the stories, not for the exciting newness of the GUI.

Does anyone know who actually _wrote_, or demanded, the Slashddot Beta? I'd like their names so we can warn our clients and colleagues _against_ their work.

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