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Submission + - 'Mother of the Internet': You Should Hate Tech (itworld.com)

jfruhlinger writes: "Radia Perlman is known as the "Mother of the Internet" because the networking protocols she developed at DEC helped lay the groundwork for much of the Web as we know it today. Her advice for up-and-coming engineers? They should hate technology, or at least think like someone who does, developing systems that maintain themselves gracefully rather than offering lots of levers for geeky fiddling."

Comment Re:great (Score 1) 408

I think you meant Megan Meier, rather than Lori Drew. Drew was the harasser, not the harassed party. (At least, in respect to Meier. Drew is apparently getting some much-deserved harassment herself now.)

On a literal level, of course, you're correct: No one killed Meier. She killed herself. But law and morality separately both acknowledge indirect responsibility for death.

To give you an example (although I'll admit this is more extreme than the case in question):

If you were to pose as someone's doctor, and tell them that they had a terminal illness that would cause them to die a painful death (or if you were their doctor, and decided to do it), and they decided to kill themselves, rather than to die that way, would you or would you not be responsible for that? (Assume that it's not the correct diagnosis, and you know it, for the sake of this discussion.)

Certainly, it was the person's own decision to kill themselves, but it's not like you were just standing there minding your own business. If not for the information you provided, they would be alive. And you would reasonably be expected to anticipate that suicide as a potential reaction to the diagnosis.

The main difference here is that Drew could reasonably say that she didn't intend for the suicide to happen. But given the totality of what she knew, Drew certainly acted with reckless disregard, because to any reasonable person who knew what she knw, that was a possible result of her actions.

Comment False positives? (Score 2, Insightful) 123

"present in the breath of 83% of cancer patients but fewer than 83% of healthy volunteers" So, 83% of people with cancer have this chemical, and 82% without cancer can also have it. That test will still leave 17% false negatives and then it would give false positives to nearly everyone else.

Comment Empathy for Dolts (Score 2, Insightful) 129

I must "out" myself as being another clueless web designer who left exactly this vulnerability in my own "email page to a friend" link, as recently as April 2009. Doh!

See, creative people have no "barrier to entry" and as long as I can write simple perl scripts, I can run them in my CGI bin. Not everyone is a gifted web designer, many of us have had no formal education in programming or security, and of course we are all struggling against spammers with a financial interest in locating exploits.

I feel empathy for those that you smarter people scoff at. Be kind! It wasn't for us dolts you woudn't *be* smart, you'd just be average!

Wendy Northcutt, the Darwin Awards

Comment Re:The dangers of screening tests (Score 0) 154

"Industries like technology where drug tests are used... Exactly that same sort of thing could happen to you. Let's imagine. Five years ago you tested positive for THC when a random test was required..."

I'd like to know what you're smoking. :) I've worked in agriculture, I've worked in technology, I've worked in academia. I've never been asked by any employer for a drug test. I've never had any prospective employer even suggest drug testing. I've never even *heard of any friend or aquaintance* ever being asked for a drug test by any employer.

I'm sorry that you've been convinced to let yourself be drug tested, and suffer fear from it. But you must understand that you're in a teeny-tiny minority of jobs that ask for that. Just say no.

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