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Comment This isn't a victory for Behring-Breivik. (Score 3, Insightful) 491

Someone once pointed out that hoping a rapist gets raped in prison isn't a victory for his victim(s), because it somehow gives him what he had coming to him, but it's actually a victory for rape and violence. I wish I could remember who said that, because they are right. The score doesn't go Rapist: 1 World: 1. It goes Rape: 2.

What this man did is unspeakable, and he absolutely deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison. If he needs to be kept away from other prisoners as a safety issue, there are ways to do that without keeping him in solitary confinement, which has been shown conclusively to be profoundly cruel and harmful.

Putting him in solitary confinement, as a punitive measure, is not a victory for the good people in the world. It's a victory for inhumane treatment of human beings. This ruling is, in my opinion, very good and very strong for human rights, *precisely* because it was brought by such a despicable and horrible person. It affirms that all of us have basic human rights, even the absolute worst of us on this planet.

User Journal

Journal Journal: in which i am a noob all over again 17

I haven't posted a journal here in almost three years, because I couldn't find the button to start a new entry. ...yeah, it turns out that it's at the bottom of the page.

So... hi, Slashdot. I used to be really active here, but now I mostly lurk and read. I've missed you.

Submission + - DivX to be bought by Macrovision (

575 writes: The one-time controversial company DivX (and its new owner Sonic) is slated to be purchased by Macrovision; a copy protection company with such an awful consumer reputation that it changed its name to Rovi. DivX made its reputation by enabling piracy though codec that made it feasible to share large videos over the internet, and flipping the bird to the system though endeavors like Stage6. Now that it has literally sold out to "the man", what does it mean (if anything) for the media on the internet?

Quantum Physics For Everybody 145

fiziko writes in with a self-described "blatant self-promotion" of a worthwhile service for those wishing to go beyond Khan Academy physics: namely Bureau 42's Summer School. "As those who subscribe to the 'Sci-Fi News' slashbox may know, Bureau 42 has launched its first Summer School. This year we're doing a nine-part series (every Monday in July and August) taking readers from high school physics to graduate level physics, with no particular mathematical background required. Follow the link for part 1."

Comment Re:Principles exist in individuals only. (Score 1) 156

But why do we need federal government to do that? The UN could do it, a big NGO could do it, why the federal government? And even when the federal government does it, it's not designed for it.

Because the Federal Government is beholden to the people who own the resources, namely us. I don't get to elect the people at the UN, and NGOs don't answer to me. Even if I did get to elect people at the UN, my interests as an American are poorly represented by a large world government. The resources here belong to me as a citizen of this nation, so I want representation in how they're managed. The Federal Government isn't some random thing that was dropped on our heads. It exists because we're a sovereign nation with a need for some kind of central and united governance. It was concocted in order to address real problems that people living in large societies have, just like every other national government on the planet.

Comment Re:Principles exist in individuals only. (Score 1) 156


Okay, so why the National Park Service? Is that where we hide the nuclear missiles?

You're making the mistake of concluding that since governments wage war, that's all they do. Governments exist to manage shared resources. Ten people live on a lake, and one day, one of them decides to start draining it so he can sell the water. The other nine get together and stop him, and everybody decides to agree that nobody exclusively owns the lake. Voila. A new government is born.

Just because the military is a shared resource doesn't mean it's the only one. It's just the only one you're thinking about right now.

Comment Re:Well of course (Score 1) 460

I guess the difference for me is that I use the internet to learn more about something I need to know about. If I want to know about current events, I go to a news site. If I want updates on the World Cup, they're really easy to find. Twitter is more like waiting for the world to tell me something I didn't know I needed to know. It's like how my wife shops - go to the store and look around until you find what it is you didn't know you wanted to buy, then buy it. To each his own, but Twitter kind of annoys the hell out of me personally.

Comment Re:Nice editorializing (Score 2, Insightful) 556

I'd say it boils down to the idea that when a government institutionalizes the execution of a citizen, it has some human responsibility to behave in a sober and respectful manner. Basically, everything from the government's mouth should be beyond reproach. Individual people can say whatever they want or sell 'Bundy Fries' on the street corner, but when the big, faceless machine is strapping a guy into a chair and shooting him in the chest, we really ought to do our best to remind everybody that it isn't being taken lightly. Twitter is kind of the opposite of that.

Comment Re:Too late probably, but... (Score 2, Informative) 327

How big is the biggest oil spill we should be prepared to contain? Keep in mind that the bigger the thing gets, the more ships and people you need, and it's not the kind of problem that increases linearly in resources required. On top of that, keep in mind that it costs money to be prepared for that great big oil spill every single day, even when it's been thousands and thousands of days since the last oil spill. I'm not really surprised that a line was drawn at a relatively conservative size.

It's just like when I get in my car every morning and buckle my seat belt. I'm hoping another car doesn't run into me, and if it does, I'm hoping my seat belt is enough of a precaution to keep me alive. I *could* install a roll cage, but I don't. And that's my life I'm gambling, too. Compared to that, this oil spill is small potatoes.

Comment Re:It astounds me (Score 3, Insightful) 328

I'd add a fourth possible reason, though: I think traffic control may be a little more complicated than we give it credit for. When there's one main road and everybody's on it, it makes sense to try to get long synchronized trains of traffic flowing through green lights. But as soon as you start to get more than one big road, you have to also think about how much traffic you're allowing into different parts of the city at once. If you look at traffic management as a big picture, then giving people green lights doesn't get them off your plate, it just moves them to another part of your grid. If you're stuck at a red light for 30 seconds too long and nobody seems to be going, consider that it may be because 3 miles up the road, that bubble is intended to absorb some traffic from another busy intersection.

Or, as you say, it could just be cheap systems.

Comment Re:Switch to cable internet at work? (Score 1) 256

Indeed. This is a terrible piece of advice. Take it from someone who's had both in a lot of different places. If you don't care about SLAs and you want to hear 'Have you tried rebooting your cable modem?' every time there's an outage, then by all means, investigate cable internet service for your place of work.

I also have to chuckle a bit when he claims that cable will give your users the relative speed they get at home. Really? Maybe that'd be true if they frequently invited 49 other co-workers over to share their link at home.

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