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Comment Re:It gives me pleasure to introuce you to the fut (Score 1) 138

Well, what's your alternative? Send more human cops in so they can get shot dead by a terrorist who's heavily armed? Sending in a robot with a bomb was a bit extreme, but under those circumstances, it was warranted. If they had had a flying Taser drone, that would have been preferable (maybe, depending on your POV), as it's less-than-lethal and most likely would have incapacitated the shooter instead of killing him.

For extreme situations, I don't see what the problem is here, and a flying Taser makes perfect sense as something to have for such cases. Police have had special weapons for a long, long time: SWAT teams ("SW" is for "special weapons") have been around since the early 1980s, and they're normally only brought out in extreme cases. The fact that they've been overused in recent years in some localities is a failure of governance, but the answer isn't to take all the guns away from all police because then you'll have really serious criminality problems and no police at all; the answer is to get some better politicians, namely at the local levels where they have direct oversight over police departments.

Comment Re:Creating interactive fiction to learn programmi (Score 1) 24

Inform 7 was specifically designed to be more friendly to writers rather than programmers, in an attempt to get more writers and their ideas and skills into the field.

Anyone who wants something more akin to a traditional programming language can use Inform 6.

Unfortunately I can't give you an example of that because of Slashdot/s lameness filter, but it's completely different to Inform 7.

Comment Re:Garbage collection - less than 1% female (Score 1) 324

That's a fair point. I don't know if there is much research into women in refuse collection, but it is worth identifying why so few want reasonably well paid jobs. It's not like they are averse to getting dirty - cleaning and various forms of nursing/care are dominated by women, literally cleaning up other people's shit.

Could be an image thing (like with men in nursing), could be a cultural thing.

The thing is though, it's a tough nut to crack. The starting percentage is low, historically there was little interest (women used to make up 38% of the CS workforce as recently as the 1980s) and it's typically not a field that attracts intellectuals who see the benefit of correcting the situation. Not that we should give up, I'm just suggesting why there is more effort being put into tech and science.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 324

If women choose not to go into computing fields, why should they be forced (or even encouraged) to do so?

No one is being forced. We know that they want to are interested in tech, but they tell us that there are barriers.

Why isn't there a similar push to get men into kindergarten education or nursing?

There is. It was identified as a major problem in the UK and incentives, like grants to cover the cost of education, were put in place.

How about letting people pick the field(s) they want to go into without telling them what they "ought" to do based on a pointless metric or percentage?

That's the goal. Remove the barriers, allow a truly free choice.

Comment Re:Sweet tears (Score 1) 65

A drone needs a camera to manually navigate the thing whilst out of line-of-sight.

And there is your problem. Operating it out of line-of-sight. Perhaps the Swedish ruling is based on the nature of constitutes acceptable use, and out of line-of-sight does not meet their criteria.

As to the argument about acceptable use versus unacceptable use, while the courts and legislatures often do side with if something has an acceptable use then it won't be banned for having an unacceptable use, there are exceptions, and those exceptions are often based on the nature of the unacceptable use, and how widespread that unacceptable use is compared to otherwise. Often that kind of consideration is based on how the unacceptable use affects other people.

Comment Re: exageration much? (Score 1) 52

I'm a C programmer and I've written device drivers, but I need to ask: what makes a language suitable to write a kernel ? Once you have bit-level ability, ability to address the whole memory and inline assembly, that should be all you need, really. So why isn't there some kind of kernel, albeit experimental, in a very high level language ?

Comment Re:Sweet tears (Score 1) 65

The user of Google Glass is immediately identifiable because he has to be present. The owner of an RC aircraft with a camera on it may not be identifiable because that person does not have to be in line-of-sight to the people being filmed by the RC aircraft in order to control that RC aircraft.

Comment Re: Oh noes!!!!11111 (Score 4, Insightful) 324

So if there were outside factors that biologically predisposed men and women towards different career paths or interests would you accept that those might result in something other than an even distribution of employment in certain vocations?

This doesn't make sense. The differences are either innate (biological) or the result of external factors. If they're the result of external factors (i.e. not biological) then they're likely to be amenable to change. The fact that the participation of women varies hugely between cultures (for example, in India, Korea, Israel, Iran, and Lithuania, Romania, it's a lot higher) implies strongly that external factors are far more of a reason why we have so few women than anything biological.

Comment Re: Oh noes!!!!11111 (Score 5, Insightful) 324

Outside factors are not an issue.

If every role model of a programmer you see until you're a teenager is male.

If computer programmer Barbie involves the girl doing some design, but the actual coding being done by boys.

If every children's TV show that includes both women and computers has the woman saying computers are hard and the man solving the problems.

If all of the clever boys at your school are encouraged into extracurricular activities involving computers, but the girls aren't.

I'm sure it would have no impact at all on you.

If you don't think that this is real, then sit down for a couple of hours this evening and watch two hours of children's TV. Count the number of male vs female lead roles. Count the number of times anyone builds anything and whether it's done by a male or female character.

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