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Submission + - It's not you, Slashdot, it's me. 5

BuckB writes: When I was a young man, I read Slashdot in order to amaze my friends with useful facts. It was even my homepage for awhile. Sure, there was time when I cheated and went to cnet or wired. With Slashdot, I could count on high quality debate on controversial topics, even though I knew in my heart that most of the readers were Apple fans, while I am a closeted Microsofterian. Now the stories are mainly non-tech — no, that's the real reason — the stories are now mainly fake or click-bait or alarmist, and the discussions are completely uninformed, insulting, to the point of being indistinguishable from an MSNBC forum.

I'll still remember you fondly. And I'll check back now and then. You'll do fine without me, find more people who enjoy insulting contributions and upvoting rumors and gossip. But maybe, just maybe, you'll think back to when you were a leader and attracted the kinds of people like me.

Comment When Does Life Begin? (Score 1) 680

Liberals, put the shoe on the other foot. Why do you deny when life begins? Scientists point to conception. No scientist says that the third trimester has any event as significant. Abortion is (scientifically and semantically) murder, but we choose a non-scientific event to say what is morally and legally acceptable.

When I "deny" Global Warming (oops - I mean Global Climate Change), I am simply asserting that it isn't "settled science." Sure, CO2 levels rising is scary, but is it as scary as the 1970 fuel shortage or the 2008 housing crisis? Why don't the predictions hold true? Why are the headlines false? For example, you all know the ice caps are melting. But in fact, that's only the Arctic. 2014 saw record Antarctic ice, and 2016 is running just a bit above average. Islands going under? Sure, some are going away. But a recent study says that while 20% have eroded, 40% have stayed the same size while 40% have gained.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Is anyone concerned that Men Die 5 Years earlier than Women? ( 1

BuckB writes: So many stories lately about Women's Equality Day, Breast Cancer, and even the best places to live (for women — answer, Hawaii). However, there really are no headlines, stories, or even articles about men's mortality rates. Do people not know, not care, or just accept it as a fact that men, for example, die seven years before women in the idolized Hawaii or ridiculed DC?

Comment Re:you people are idiots (Score 1) 389

No, it's like going to a safe company and saying "hey - disable that mechanism for this safe that causes it to self destruct."

"That's just like what we make other safe manufacturers do, and what we have safe deposit boxes do, and what we have for all telecom equipment. I know you're the best safe company in the world and we just have this little old court order and it's part of your responsibility for being an American company (and by the way, can you onshore some of those profits you've been squirreling away in China and perhaps think about hiring some Americans to build the safes)"

Or, I suppose for the members of the Slashdot community, it's like saying "hey, Apple sucks and you're all a bunch of losers and we want to control your lives by screening every pixel on your monitor and we want to kick your dog while we go through your desk which will cause the end of civilization"

Comment End of Slashdot (Score 1) 389

Clearly, the people on Slashdot are on the side of privacy over all else.

But how does illogical, hyperbolic reasoning like this (and other similar alarmist posts) keep getting modded up?

Tim Cook is now protecting the gays? And somehow if you're for the FBI being able to access a phone, with the owner's permission and under a warrant and followed up by a court order, then why would you want a PIN anyway?

As Tim Cook said recently, "You probably have as much private information on your phone as you do in your house." Maybe - and the police have full, legal, and acceptable procedures for going into someone's house and looking for evidence.

The idea that something that's been created in the past 1 or 2 years is now the one and only thing that is protecting civilization is an argument only the very young can make. It's a phone. If being caught being gay is a threat to your life, don't put it on instagram.

Comment Change of Argument (Score 1) 389

Yes, the government can compel Apple to write code. The government can compel Ford to make a truck that gets 30MPG, compel a mining company to dig another shaft to let air into a mine, and make me pay for health insurance I do not want. If you think the direction the country is going in is to have more freedom than the past, you are sorely wrong.

Case in point - the government's suit against Microsoft and their inclusion of Internet Explorer bundled tightly with Windows. The terms of the settlement included Microsoft having to divulge all internal APIs and allow 3 people to have access to all their code. Microsoft wrote a ton of software to isolate IE from the OS in order to minimize exposed APIs.

In many other cases, companies have had to write scripts, etc. in order to search their systems for data.

What is the extent of the government's power? Well, we have three branches of government that figure all of that out for us. Currently, all three agree with the FBI. When the abuse is too much, we have the right to petition and make changes. But Apple, in this case, is on the wrong side of history.

Comment Conspiracy and Conjecture (Score 1) 389

From Apple's Open Letter:

"Second, the order would set a legal precedent that would expand the powers of the government and we simply don’t know where that would lead us. Should the government be allowed to order us to create other capabilities for surveillance purposes, such as recording conversations or location tracking? "

That's what I'm referring to - breaking into an iPhone leads us to recording conversations. No judge in the US would ever use this case as precedence to tracking locations.

Comment It's not Tech v. Main Street (Score 1) 389

It's old vs. young. The youth in America trust for-profit companies more than the government and the young have some fantastic association of themselves with the devices they bought from a store.

Apple's main argument is one of conspiracy and conjecture - if we do it this one time (with a Judge's order) then we'll have to do it whenever the police ask, and the keys will fall into the wrong hands and anyone can break into an iPhone.

It's an iPhone. It's not your soul. It's not even your DNA or your fingerprints. Breaking open one phone does not cause the end of civilization because you know what?

The iPhone 7 is coming out soon.

Comment Re:Fix a lot of problems? (Score 1) 1092

Really? You honestly look at the ychart data that you point to and say "Yep, unemployment is going down????" It was at 3.0% in April (when the increase to $11 / hour took effect) and as of December is at 4.2%. In 2 months, the new minimum will be $13, and I'm sure there will be another surge of unemployment. Compare this to any other city in the US. Let's pick San Francisco, since that's where our "victim" lives. San Francisco unemployment has actually dropped since April - from 3.4% to 3.3%.

Now if you're truly interested in looking at data, and how the increases in minimum wage increase unemployment, you can start with the CBO study on raising the minimum wage to $10.10, or many of the other studies that show that minorities - especially those in high unemployment urban areas - are severely impacted by raises to the minimum wage

In the case of San Francisco specifically, do you think there are large tracts of land with available space, utilities, and infrastructure to build a significant amount of housing?

There's a lot of information out there - a lot of people have studied this issue specifically - there is a tremendous difference between $7 and $8. This is not a captive market - where do you think Yelp gets their money from?

Comment Fix a lot of problems? (Score 1) 1092

Your logic presupposes two assumptions that I do not agree with, and draws a conclusion that ignores the downside. On the whole, $25 minimum wage is unsupportable.

First, someone on minimum wage should not expect to be living in an apartment on the own - driving a car. I'm not sure when it came to pass that minimum wage was equated to a living wage, but Pres. Obama seemed to draw that conclusion with his $10.10 minimum wage - the figure he uses that would provide a worker with the funds for themself and two dependents.

Second, life in Tennessee is different from life in San Francisco. The folks in Knoxville chose to have lower taxes, less social services, etc. to fit their life choices, just as the folks in San Francisco choose to have very high taxes. The people who own the buildings there choose to offer their apartments at high rents because people are desperate enough to pay them. Food is expensive there because the workers want exotic food.

Your conclusion that $25/hour fixes a lot of things is short sighted. Sure, it would make some of the lowest paid workers there happy for awhile, but Yelp and other employers would do one of two things: either reduce their workforce or move it entirely somewhere else. And rents for everyone would go up. As would tolls, gas prices, etc.

For evidence on layoffs, look what's happening in Seattle - as there minimum wage goes up (beyond what the market used to support), unemployment is going up. That's right - while the national and even regional unemployment numbers are approaching record lows, unemployment in Seattle is increasing.

It's all supply and demand. If more workers can now afford the $1600 rent, there will be a shortage of apartments and owners will charge more. They will have to charge more because their burger prices went up so that the restaurant can pay their busboys $25/hour.

Comment Re:Arrogance (Score 1) 296

I hate it when people jump in and claim what I said was misguided when they clearly don't understand what (in this case) the Judge ordered Apple to do. The judge ordered Apple to provide a mechanism to disable the self destruct, and an electronic method to enter in the pin. The desire is also there to get rid of the delay between pin submissions. Go to the app store. Get the Waze app. Proof that Apple sells your location. Want more proof that Apple themselves do this? Do a job search for data mining at Apple.

Comment Re:Arrogance (Score 1) 296

I'm not a lawyer. Or a judge. However, the judge that did hear the arguments sided with the FBI. Regardless, I'm surprised how cracking this one phone leads to the demise of liberty. Up until a year ago, all iPhones were decryptable. Somehow, over the course of 12 months civilization itself rests on Apple's new lock-out feature.

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