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Comment Re:arms race (Score 5, Insightful) 242

uh, it's not like they're just examining the X-Priority: OMG CRITICAL header field or anything here. TFA says it's based in part on the people who you email the most, and the emails which you choose to reply to. I imagine it'll work about as well as Gmail's spam filtering (i.e., pretty damn good in my experience).

Comment MetaFilter has done this for years (Score 1) 377

I don't agree at all with publishing commenters' real names (though the city and state of the billing address strikes me as useful), but a one-time fee coupled with halfway decent forum moderation policies really is the way to go. The financial aspect causes idiots to think very hard before shitting in a thread, and light-handed and pragmatic moderation helps keep a discussion civil.

MetaFilter has been doing this for a long time now, requiring a one-time $5 signup fee and employing a small handful of fantastic moderators (4 or 5 mods for 100K+ users), and the level of discourse is some of the highest I've read on the Web.

Comment Re:Healthcare (Score 3, Insightful) 306

We're all thinking it, so I'll say it: "Hey, let's let our government handle healthcare to increase effeciency"

uh, no. Some of us are thinking "hey, let's let our government handle healthcare because it's fucking criminal that for-profit entities are allowed to literally and figuratively bleed us dry in order to please their stockholders. And a big contributor to inadequacies in things like Medicare and the VA system stem from a lack of funds for improvements, either because people are too cheap and shortsighted to raise taxes or they have screwed up financial priorities like funding instead the biggest military on the planet so it can go bomb people overseas."

But then again I'm one of those filthy Commies who wants a single-payer healthcare system in the US, so feel free to disregard anything I say.

Comment Re:Obvious, but... (Score 1) 303

In certain states like Massachusetts, the power plants and the transmission wires are owned by different people. Residents can choose who they want to get their electricity from.

That way the local public utility infrastructure can be regulated by one set of rules, and the electricity providers by a different set. Makes sense to me. Now if we could only have the same separation of infrastructure and content with the cable companies...

Comment Re:Comments (Score 2, Insightful) 383

I'll just grab the headlines from google news and skip the commentary.

Then your opinions will be just as knee-jerk and uninformed as those of the people you're berating. The only difference is that you're keeping them to yourself instead of inflicting them on everyone else.

It takes work to keep yourself informed, and since the news media is more interested in advertising revenue than informing the public, that work now has to be done by you (and me, and anyone else who wants to know more than the superficialities of an issue). Sure it's hard and sometimes depressing to wade through the all crap from @bootycakes and friends, but you will almost always find a point or two that you hadn't considered before, or a link to an analysis piece on another site, or maybe a post from an expert in the field that backs up or refutes a claim from the original piece. These are the things that help you understand the nuances of a story, which is what you need before you can claim that you're actually informed.

Comment Re:My Career in Virtual Crime (Score 1) 343

Similarly unrealistic is what happens when I get killed. Quick trip to the hospital and everything's back to normal. Will this turn anybody into a criminal? Somehow I doubt it.


What kind of media violence turns people violent? [...] the kind that makes violence innocuous. The hero gets knocked out and wakes up 15 minutes later with nothing worse than a splitting headache -- no concussion symptoms such as extreme nausea and neurological impairment.

How can you argue both of these things at the same time?

Comment Re:This is the new war. (Score 1) 328

There's a reason the military is starting to get mighty interested in nerdy types, although most programs designed to leverage these skills are in their infancy. We need to get serious about this fast; other nations certainly are.

I hope we do; maybe it'll help fix the sorry state of math and science education in this country. For better or for worse, as goes the military so goes our money.

Comment Re:Can we stop enabling these people? (Score 1) 1134

um, no. What do you think happens to productivity when this superstar asshole developer leaves for whatever (or no) reason, and everyone at his old job has to scramble to make sense of his poorly-documented code instead of getting their own work done?

Sure the article probably isn't 100% unbiased, but it seems like the author did more or less the right thing. The developer was a dick, and his manager was either too short-sighted or too focused on making herself look good to actually, y'know, manage her developers.

Comment what? (Score 3, Insightful) 501

[...] Ubuntu users are more likely to be newbies than Debian users. The numbers reveal, for instance, that 86 percent of Ubuntu machines use the proprietary NVidia driver, where only a mere sliver of Debian machines do.

How does that classify a user as a newbie instead of just someone interested in playing games through WINE, or someone interested in graphics performance?

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