Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:Hold down power button and ... (Score 1) 427

Ummm, I hope you learn at least a little bit about child psychology before having any children. Children very, very quickly learn to show empathy and concern for others' needs, if they are given the right environment to do so.

Children (usually) only show sociopathic tendencies if their parents treat them like that's the only option. Sadly, this kind of mistreatment of children is absurdly common in the US, particularly as many parents don't even realize that they could be have far less frustration and a far more enjoyable time as parents if they just learned to stop setting up power struggles with their children.

Of course, sometimes there's brain chemistry that gets in the way here, but most children, even toddlers, can learn to notice and respond to the needs of others in positive ways, albeit clumsily.

Comment Re:Hold down power button and ... (Score 1) 427

Is that why he's threatening to lock up his opponent once he has the power to do so? Why he's claiming that unless he wins, the election was illegitimate?

Trump is ridiculously authoritarian. Sure, he's completely ignorant of how government works. In part that means that what would actually happen in a Trump presidency is that his advisors would set most policy. But he's got an ego as massive as any I've seen, and is very likely to push for lots of absurd and horrifying policies if he ever gets a chance.

Fortunately, it's virtually impossible for him to win the presidency at the current time. There are even some (rather unreliable) early indications that Trump may end up vastly underperforming in the polls due to historically low voter turnout among Republicans.

Comment Re:Hold down power button and ... (Score 1) 427

A similar option would be to just tap the finger print sensor a bunch of times with the wrong finger. Really don't know if this would be a safe thing to do legally, as others have mentioned, but for me it'd be almost worth it to force a fight in court over it rather than just handing them my personal information.

Comment Re:No it can't (Score 1) 175

If you look into it in a bit more detail, the actual claims made are much less ridiculous than the headline makes them sound.

They're basically claiming to be able to predict (with lots of uncertainty) whether or not next year's winter will be particularly severe. This is useful, but not nearly as precise as the headline makes it seem.

Comment Re: As long as they're still allowed to use data.. (Score 1) 149

There is generally far more variation within groups of people than between them, though. For the most part, measured differences between different groups have proven to be due to research that didn't fully account for researchers' and society's biases.

Simple example: there's a stereotype that girls are bad at math. It's been demonstrated that merely reminding girls of the existence of that stereotype causes them to do worse on math tests. This is an example of stereotype threat, where the existence of the stereotype itself causes a cognitive burden: even knowing that the stereotype is bullshit doesn't prevent it from causing harm. You can bring girls' math scores back up by creating an environment where the stereotype is minimized. And, of course, if that stereotype is enforced during school for a few years, those girls will end up definitely worse at math than their male peers just because later math builds on earlier math.

So in essence, you can't be sure that most any measured difference between two groups of people is a real difference, rather than just a difference imposed by society.

Comment Re: As long as they're still allowed to use data.. (Score 1) 149

Bigotry in general is more about the systems that society has in place that combine to make it so that people with certain backgrounds are disadvantaged with respect to others. These systems are extremely varied and reinforced by a variety of societal traditions, personal prejudices, business practices, government practices, and more.

At an individual level, bigotry involves supporting and continuing those systems of oppression, whether consciously or unconsciously.

Comment Re:As long as they're still allowed to use data... (Score 1) 149

Sure it can be. It depends upon the data and the questions being asked.

Learning algorithms match input data to output variables. They are trained by using a set of "known" relationships between the input data and the output variables (e.g. images that have already been classified as containing a dog or a cat or neither). If the training data is skewed as a result of prejudice, then the learning model will reflect that prejudice.

For example, there is today copious evidence that police are far more likely to arrest black people for the same crime as they are to arrest white people. So if we have data that uses arrest rates to measure how often crimes are committed, it's going to claim that black people commit crimes more often even if the only difference is police bias.

Comment Re:I'm fine with it.. (Score 1) 369

"Completely politely"? What universe are you living in? Gamergaters participated in sustained harassment of multiple women, including death threats and publishing of personal information (e.g. addresses). Women who dared criticize them, no matter how mildly, became the subject of targeted harassment themselves (e.g. when Felicia Day posted that she had been fearful of saying anything at all on the subject, her home address was posted within minutes).

Comment Re:Questions to Hillary's fans (Score 0) 375

During the debate, Secretary Clinton threw some (what she believed to be) barbs at Mr. Trump, which left me puzzled:

He said, "employee's pregnancy is an inconvenience for the employer".
A woman leaving her position at a company for weeks/months? Her work needs to be spread to her colleagues, and no permanent replacement can be hired... Of course, it is inconvenient! How is this in any way controversial?

Putting aside the context mentioned elsewhere, it is profoundly unfair to discriminate against women at the workplace because of their biology. Today, women are denied jobs over the possibility of getting pregnant, or fired for getting pregnant. By contrast, men who father children frequently end up doing better in the workplace than before. By stating that this is an inconvenience to employers, Trump is stating that this unfair state of affairs should continue. That's unacceptable.

"Birther lie" was racist!

Leaving aside, whether or not it was a "lie" or who was the first to bring it up, how is it racist? McCain's eligibility was questioned in 2008 — he presented his birth certificate and that ended it. This year Trump questioned Cruz's eligibility — correctly or not, nobody said, it was "racist"?..


Yes, it was extremely racist. It was racist primarily because there was absolutely no basis in fact, and yet it was promoted as a major issue by certain conservative elements (including Trump) for many years. The racism in this issue was apparent in particular with how it was presented: people claimed, despite contradictory evidence, that he was born in Africa and was a Muslim, as if either condition disqualified him from being a US citizen (they don't: he still has a US citizen for a mother).

Comment Re:Makes more sense (Score 1) 222

The problem is the particular business model they use: impose a specific cap based upon the plan, and then charge large overage rates if you go over.

If it were just a matter of paying a base charge and then paying per GB (or similar) used, then it might make sense. Those overage rates, however, make the model problematic at best. Especially when they fail to notify customers that they're getting close to their quota.

Slashdot Top Deals

Dead? No excuse for laying off work.