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Comment Code of Ethics hostile to many working programmers (Score 1) 213

Besides all the other issues (prices go up steeply when you aren't a student, low signal-to-noise ratio per expensive journal...), the "Code of Ethics" "Do no harm" clause has in past years been interpreted to mean that defense industry work is unethical and should be discouraged (if not grounds for expulsion from the ACM). Perhaps they've changed on that, but I haven't been back to find out. I know that myself and a great many of my fellow programmers were pretty insulted to be told that we were "unethical" for building weapons for the defense of our own country. At the time, the IEEE did not have such a clause and attitude, so many of us switched memberships to the IEEE.

Comment Re:where the fuck do these people work? (Score 1) 962

I've never seen it working almost exclusively for defense contractors, but government contractors have very stringent anti-discrimination laws and federal labor laws they must be compliant with if they want to keep those government contracts. I see a lot less casual racism working in military offices, too--that shit isn't tolerated. Also, we don't post about the latest developments at work in public forums, and if we did, the only people who would be interested are our professional and/or national rivals.

I get the impression that game companies tend to attract young, very competitive developers who think they are the hottest thing since sliced bread, and haven't had the life-lessons imparted by experience to convince them they aren't all that yet. And then, there's your gamer customers... if I want to experience the bottom half of the bell curve, I either go to general news sites comment threads, or gamer forums.

Submission + - Sony Forgets to Pay for Domain, Hilarity Ensues (

Dragoness Eclectic writes: Early Tuesday, gamers woke up to find out that they couldn't log in to any Sony Online Entertainment games--no Everquest, no Planetside 2, none of them. Oddly, the forums where company reps might have posted some explanation weren't reachable, either.

A bit of journalistic investigation by EQ2Wire came across the explanation: SOE forgot to renew the domain registration on, the hidden domain that holds all their nameservers. Oops! After 7 weeks of non-payment post-expiration, NetworkSolutions reclaimed the domain, sending all access to Sony's games into an internet black hole this morning. Sony has since paid up, but it takes a while for DNS changes to propagate around the world. SOE's president, John Smedley, has admitted that the expiration notices were being sent to an "unread email" address. Good job, guys.

Comment Re:Pot, meet kettle. (Score 1) 397

We have holocaust deniers and neo-Nazis over here in the US, too. They're considered fringe nutjobs--because they air their views in public, speak freely, and everyone can see for themselves what idiots they are. When you ban that kind of nonsense, you drive it underground--its adherents easily convince themselves they are a persecuted minority speaking Truth to Power, or otherwise onto something real and important, because they are threatening enough to the powers-that-be to be banned. That makes them more attractive to those who are disaffected and not used to dealing with fringe nonsense because it's all a big, underground secret.

Secrecy encourages this kind of nonsense; repeated public exposure reveals it in all its stupidity and vileness.

Also, we have a large category of people who trade in Nazi paraphenalia in the U.S. that have nothing to do with neo-Nazis; they are people who collect WWII and other historical memorabilia. Not everyone who has an SS dress dagger in their desk is a secret Nazi; more often, they or their parents fought in WWII and it's a part of their history. I see what Germany does as trying to suppress history, and you know what is said about those who forget history...

The Communist Party was banned in the U.S. because it advocated violent overthrow of the US government. Notice that the various Socialist parties over here, who advocate "let's get elected and change the laws legally", are perfectly legal.

Comment Re:Cold War I was real; so is Cold War II (Score 5, Insightful) 124

"Cold War" is so 20th-century. In the 19th century, they called the same kind of schenanigans "The Great Game" -- it involved Great Britain, Russia, and Germany at the time. I have no idea what they called it in the 18th century, but it involved England and France, and a lot of hot wars between the periods of peace.

Now China is playing the Great Game with us, and Russia is playing it with Europe.

Comment Re:If it really were only a few moments... (Score 1) 414

It can be argued that allowing hardback books but not allowing eBook readers to be turned on is discriminating against people with disabilities. There are a number of people with joint & muscles problems, arthritis, other physical disabilities that can read comfortably with lightweight eBook readers, but literally cannot read thick paperbacks or heavy hardbacks due to pain or muscle weakness. For people with poor vision, eBook readers provide instant "large print" editions (just increase the font size); again, disallowing them is discriminating against the disabled.

So the pretentious, ableist, privileged prat who wrote this article thinks a government ban should be extended because he can't figure out how to turn his iPad off without being ordered to? Gee, guess how much I respect his opinion....

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