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Comment Re:I'm amazed... (Score -1, Redundant) 1737

Try to get your facts straight.

It doesn't really matter as far as my point is concerned. LA could have slid into the ocean right after, or went right on as if nothing had happened... it has no real bearing on what happened to OJ's career. But kudos on pointing that out. +1, informative. But... -1, redundant too...

Comment Re:Oh grow up (Score 0) 569

You talk about the median but then compare using the mean for some reason. The median of the numbers you gave is 5, which is by definition representative of those numbers.

You really need to check out what Median means. Specifically, "the median is the numerical value separating the higher half of a data sample, a population, or a probability distribution, from the lower half. " So if the lowest number is 1 and the highest number is 100, the median is 50, even if the set is 1,1,1,{...},1,100.

It is the difference between median and mode that I'm trying to illustrate here; It's much more likely you'll be below the median than above it given current personal wealth distribution in the United States.

Comment Re:Why is this on Slashdot? (Score 1) 1737

It's related to the earlier story where an IT guy was fired by the AG office because he called them on not revealing exculpatory evidence during the discovery process. They also photoshopped Zimmerman's image into black and white to make his nose look less severe than it was.

I think the OP was pointing out that Slashdot, while catering to people in Information Technology, still caters to, achem, people. We may have a certain slanted view on the world as a community, but widely publicized events will still be discussed, however tangential they are to our interests. Politics is something everyone has to deal with... and so... unsurprisingly, they talk about it wherever people gather.

It's normal. And yes, I'm aware of the irony of calling a bunch of nerds "normal"... :)

Comment Re:I'm amazed... (Score -1) 1737

I doubt that. There were a lot of people who were "on his side", "rooting for him", or whatever you want to call it. Probably doesn't hurt either that George Zimmerman is not an unusual name.

Plenty of people were on the side of OJ Simpson as well. L.A. burned after the ruling came out. But he never found a career after that trial... he eventually wound up bankrupt, eeking out a living on the fame of his last memorable act -- being found not guilty.

Comment Re:Presumption of Innocence (Score 2) 1737

Except Mr. Wannabe Cop with his CCW chased down an innocent kid for no reason and the encounter led to the kid's death. Morally, he's a murderer.

Morally, we're all guilty. There isn't one among us that hasn't wanted to punch someone in the face who "deserved it". Not one of us who hasn't felt a need for vengance at one point in our lives. We love watching people we dislike get shit on -- turn on the TV for more than 30 minutes... it doesn't take long. Populist "morality," fortunately, has no place in our justice system. If we met out justice based on the whims of a mob, there wouldn't be a civilization to speak of in this country -- it's just be roving bands of tribes engaged in constant warfare. The rule of law took us away from your primitive "morality".

Our justice system is based on proof and evidence of harm to society or others. It is, hopefully, an objective and impartial judgement of ourselves and each other. Many people yell about the "immorality" of gays, but they're not harming society, not in any concrete way. This is the essence of justice -- it is about fairness, equity, and the promotion of the greater good, which is far more important than your morality, or that of any one person or group. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

And I am thankful each and every day, that people who try to inflict their own moral values onto others are kept well away from our justice system. I only wish they were kept out of our legislative system as well... and I still have debates with myself as to whether or not people like you ought to be crammed into crates and shipped far, far away never to return because of the harm you cause to society... but to date, I haven't been able to justify it because advocating the position of freedom, fairness, and justice means that no matter how hurtful your words, I can only judge you on your actions and to say otherwise would undermine any credibility I might have to claiming to stand for those things. So for now, I'm left defending your freedom of speech, though I detest and revile your kind.

Comment Re:I'm amazed... (Score 5, Insightful) 1737

I'm amazed the Media didn't manage to convict him, despite how hard they tried.

Everyone likes to talk about how they'd vote, or what they'd do. The media simply caters to that with show trials and "investigations", showing us distorted and idealized versions of this. It's the same reason why in the middle of a crisis, or when in the presence of a celebrity you'll find plenty of people whipping out their phones, and nobody actually doing anything useful. We feel important when we're around important people... or important events. We try to assure ourselves of our own relevance in whatever situation is placed in front of us. The terrorist attacks on 9/11 didn't directly affect more than a tiny, tiny fraction of the population, but everybody got emotionally involved in it, because it was spectacular, epic, and we wanted to insert ourselves into the story, the conversation, the dialogue. Show trials like this are based on this same emotional need, and the media is only too happy to indulge in it -- it sells more papers, more advertisement, etc.

But the overwhelming majority of it is total shit, and frankly harmful to our way of life. Whether Zimmerman is guilty or not, he'll never have another job. He'll always be "that guy that got away with murder", irrespective of the actual, judiciary merit of that position. There have been many people, for example, accused of rape, and were later proved not just not guilty, but totally and irrefutably innocent of the charges. Their lives were still over all the same.

The founding fathers knew this -- that's why they advocated jury trials in the first place. It was an attempt to remove this mob mentality from the judicial process, and as a balance against populism swaying the government and giving in to the transient emotional outbursts of the crowd, the mob, the public. I don't think, if they were alive today in the age of the internet and instant communication, they would still advocate that these trials be open to the public... I believe they would have wanted a person who, if found not guilty, could go back to the life they had and the community would treat them no differently. Conversely, the country was still a "big" place, in terms of social circles -- someone convicted and having served their time, could move somewhere else, start a new life, and leave their mistake(s) behind them. Neither option is possible nowadays...

Today, our justice system may still beat back the mob mentality and the public's need for vengance, and the corruption of the media, but once a person leaves the system -- guilty or innocent, their lives are irrevocably changed. And rarely is it for the better.

Comment Re:Oh grow up (Score 3, Insightful) 569

So let's do a bit of analysis: You have to be making over $400,000 per year (or have multiple millions in the bank) to be in the top 1% in the US. Everything under that is, by definition, "the 99%". The median income in the US is about $50,000 which would be "the 50%".

Median income is not representative of what most people would consider 'average' income. Let me illustrate by example; Consider the following 15 numbers --

1,3,2,5,4,2,4,5,7,15,7,5,3,53,74

The average is (rounded up) 13. However, the odds of you making average are better are only 1 in 5. 4 out of 5 times, if you're given one of those random numbers, you're going to be getting a "lower than average" number. This is essentially the heart of the OWS movement, and people like you who argue about "median" income are woefully undereducated about the realities of the wealth inequity distribution problem in the United States.

The rest of your argument is essentially based on this incompetent analysis of the situation -- using the average as though it still has relevance. If income distribution followed a standard gaussian distribution, perhaps, maybe, you could make the argument you're making -- but it isn't. It looks like a bathtub curve -- many at the low-end, diminishing into the middle before falling to nearly nothing from the middle to near the end of the y axis before skyrocketing upwards. It's pretty much the inverse of a gaussian distribution.

And making a "global" versus "local" comparison is apples to oranges. People in America deserve the wealth they are working for -- our economy is still largely closed, despite globalization. That is to say, the majority of what is produced is consumed here, and that our economy imports much more than it exports. What that means is, per unit of labor, the majority of the fruits of said labor remain domestic. However, the fruits of those labors are not being distributed equitably, and this is the heart of the OWS movement's position, and it is one worthy of closer consideration. Our wealth inequity -- that is, the spread between our poor and our rich, is staggeringly high -- higher than almost any other country on the planet.

Saying "People in Africa have it worse than you do, so shut up" is intellectually disengenuous -- it is a strawman argument. You are substituting a complaint about laborers not receiving due compensation with a comparison to people worse off. Well, there will always be someone worse off. That doesn't make what is happening to those "better off" less wrong.

Comment Re:They've blown the case against the defendant (Score 1) 569

And now they're lashing out in spite at whoever's nearest. No coincidence that this only happened after the jury retired.

How pathetic they are for dealing with it that way. They could instead be glad that a man received a fair trial that wasn't some kangaroo court where guilt was already assumed. You know, the way the system is supposed to work?

Comment Re:Man the FL state attornies just want to fuck up (Score 5, Interesting) 569

Seriously, I think the state had a pretty good manslaughter case against Zimmerman

While I think Zimmerman should have stopped following Martin once the police were contacted, following someone on a public street is not actually illegal in any way in Florida. Legally Zimmerman didn't do anything wrong there. Then he was promptly jumped and attacked by Martin. Had Martin used his fists alone I would absolutely want to see Zimmerman punished, but Martin didn't stop there. Martin was slamming Zimmerman's head into the pavement, something that can cause death or permanent disabling injury. He was, in effect, using the concrete as a deadly bludgeoning weapon. Zimmerman wouldn't have had a chance to try to flee considering he was on the ground getting pounded. That lead to Martin being shot. Correct me if I have any of that wrong (not liking it doesn't make it false...).

I think it's a damned shame that Martin got himself killed at such a young age. If it were up to me there would have been no conflict, or the mere sight of a gun would have scared him off and it would have ended there, but let's be clear about this: if you want to violently attack a stranger who has not initiated violence against you, you are taking a risk. It's a poor choice to make and all the sadness in the world about what happened doesn't suddenly make this a wise move.

Punishing Zimmerman doesn't change this reality, but it might make others who get attacked choose victimhood because they are afraid of the legal consequences of defending themselves. We already have states where homeowners hesitate to shoot a home invader because they might get in serious trouble, and all this does is lower the risk of burglarizing the law-abiding which in turn can only make burglers more bold. If being a violent criminal is a great way to remove oneself from the gene pool, I am absolutely fine with that. I have no sympathy for those who initiate violence. They live by the sword and sometimes they die by the sword. That's their choice. They are not victims. I reserve my sympathy for victims.

The worst part? Sounds like the evidence wasn't really relevant.

What is the value of refusing to let the jury hear this evidence? If it is truly irrelevant then it shouldn't influence their decision anyway. What damage could be done that the judge was trying to prevent by disallowing it?

Incidentally it certainly can't be worse than the photos shown of Martin when he was twelve years old, an obvious attempt to make him look as helpless and childish as possible to further demonize Zimmerman rather than showing him as he actually was, big enough and strong enough to do some damage to another man and old enough to know better. When people have to resort to these kinds of emotional appeals and outright distortion and propaganda tactics to make their case, I have to assume it is because the facts are against them.

Comment Re:Slashdot Patent Fail 69105 (Score 1) 52

In other words it's images of athletes linked in a particular way to via a social network.

It's far from obvious what Google is claiming based on that paragraph. Do these social profile networks have anything to do with the athlete, or are they avatars for 'friends' of the user? Why does the fact that they are adding the linking a capability to a diagramming convention commonly seen broadcast sports make this a patentable invention? If the linking itself is novel, then why is the invention purportedly about pictures of athletes?

They can go shove this patent in a plurality of the Google employees' arses where it belongs.

The links have to correspond to profiles in an online social network. The thumbnails are selected by a first user who is in the same social network as a second user, and the second user can see the thumbnails selected by the first user. It doesn't matter whether the thumbnails link to profiles about the athletes. They could just as well link to pages for friends (like some kind of fantasy sports league).

Comment There is no One True Way (Score 2) 106

There is no One True Way to learn a language, a piece of technology, etc. It depends on your learning style. One thing a lot of people who come into IT are shocked to discover is the sheer amount of stuff to learn, and the lack of tutorials, classes, etc., that effectively cover it. Many leave for just this reason. The first thing you need to learn in this field is how to teach yourself something, and that means knowing what works best for you. Some people need to write it down. Some people need to hear people talking about it. Some people can just absorb it by osmosis. Some people are global thinkers, others are detail-oriented. Personalities run the gamut in this field, but the one thing everyone who succeeds in this field has in common is that they can learn new information quickly, and on their own.

A lot of people will suggest books here, and that's fine. It may work well for them, and possibly for you. But you need to know what your own learning style is first, before you go much farther, especially if you're branching out into a new field or subfield. The time spent teaching yourself how to learn, and finding your own learning style, will pay for itself far, far more than any book suggested here -- your whole career will benefit.

Comment Re:Liability (Score 1) 372

As with so many things, it depends.

Liability is largely a non-issue in the real world, and a huge issue in the minds of management. Do you know of any actual cases where Oracle was found liable?

Likewise, most customers simply won't be big enough to get a SWAT-team deployed to their location if something goes wrong. You'll be getting standard customer support. That might, in fact, be one of the reasons for going elsewhere. Many years ago, I worked for a company that was, at that time, the largest ADABAS installation in Europe. Our hotline number didn't go to customer support, it went straight to the engineers. You can bet they put their best people on the job when we reported an issue. I'm not sure we'd have had that kind of VIP status with Oracle.

So, it depends. If you need something that will please management, Oracle is a safe bet. If you need something that will be looked at right now when an issue shows up, I'd got with PostgreSQL and pick a support contractor nearby where I'm one of the biggest customers.

Comment Re:Declared underweight? (Score 1) 361

There are many, many other cases where it doesn't work.

When a huge corporation enters a new market, it often does it with a small company, and often expects losses throughout the first year or two. And sometimes, they just keep the division running for years or decades despite losses, for political or strategic reasons.

In fact, free market theory pretty much dies within 30 seconds of meeting international corporations on the battlefield. There are just so many ways a corporation can change the rules.

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