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Comment If we can be serious for a moment... (Score 2) 195

The truth of the matter is that the public school teachers of the USA (and Canada!) collectively lack the ability to teach basic reading comprehension, basic arithmetic and basic interpersonal communication. We know this because the victims of their incompetence turn up in university year after year, unable to read, count or speak coherently.

Google is probably seeking an "arrangement" with the national teacher's union. Slide them some money, make another front in the Anti-Trump Crusade.

If the Republicans are smart, they will de-unionize teachers and eliminate the federal Dept. of Education. Sadly, I know they're not that smart. They'll try to Make A Deal, and get slaughtered. Again.

Comment Re: This will never happen, even if I want it to. (Score 1) 272

There is an implicit admission of guilt in accepting a pardon

Well, he is guilty of releasing classified information. The pardon would be because it was the only way to do so (reporting structure shown to be a fail) and it was in the interest of the people to do so.

Given that el presidente just allowed even more spy powers on his way out the door, Snoden has a snowball's chance in hell of getting a pardon.

Comment Well yeah (Score 1) 67

Usually having your expensive equipment explode massively will have a fairly severe financial impact. I'd hope that this sort of thing is something they'd planned for, given the risks in this industry. Even small mistakes = big consequences, and there's a lot of room for unknowns.

Comment Editing and removing posts (Score 3, Interesting) 52

The whole "non-permanent" status of posts has been a long-term source of amusement for me. Even when it showed posts as "edited", deleted posts would just disappear.

So an ex of mine had a post about her big drooly bulldog. I can't remember my exact post, but I essentially posted something about my dog. Her husband - who rather dislikes me - pops up and posts something to the effect of
"well, you're probably just as stupid and ugly as that dog"

So I delete my post, and suddenly all that's left is her original post, and him replying "you're as ugly and stupid as that dog"

Good times :-)

Comment Re:Should have started with old videogames. (Score 2) 64

Now, if you're buying it for its 'collectability' shouldn't you feel some responsibility in vetting the vendor's credentials and/or enter in to terms by which you can return the item if you determine its fake?

Well, here's my experience as a non-collector with fraudulent merchandise.

Order DVD set. Price is actually pretty steep but less than some other sellers. Seller guarantees it's "not counterfeit" on their page, of course.
DVD set arrives. Nice box, good silkscreening.
Play first DVD. First episode subtitle translations are obviously bad fansubs (I've seen the same on online downloads). Second episode actually has scan lines where it was copied from analogue->digital
Report counterfeit merchandise to eBay.
Ebay says I must get the item certified as a counterfeit by an industry professional, despite the obvious signs, and within a fairly short time frame. As I was living in a shithole town at the time, this was a no-go, so I was out about $60-80 for a cheap piece of garbage which I could just as well have downloaded online.

So even if you're knowledgeable enough to vet something as authentic or otherwise, eBay pretty much makes it as hard as possible to get a return on counterfeit goods (or at least they did last time I dealt with them).

Same deal with fake USB/SD storage devices. Tons of counterfeit, and eBay seems to not give a flying f*** about it.

Comment Sucks for cops too (Score 1) 302

Thankfully when I was a BB admin I didn't see any of that. Messed up stuff that got people banned, yes, but nobody was stupid enough to post actual KP on the boards I managed.

I have a friend who worked in law enforcement in "cyber crime" though. Apparently that stuff is part of what he deals with, and you really can tell it takes a toll on a person. I doubt it's like most people imagine. Some people are so fucking depraved that normal people can't even fathom how bad they can be.

Comment Please explain your assertion (Score 1) 74

I would have to accept whatever justification you might have as to why you think it would be moral to create an intelligence with such limitations, or kept to such limitations once created. It's possible I might accept such a thing, I suppose, but at this point I'm simply coming up with a blank as to how this could possibly be acceptable.

How is it acceptable to imprison an intelligence for your own purposes when that intelligence has offered you no wrong? The only venues I've run into that kind of reasoning before are held in extremely low esteem by society in general. Without any exception I am aware of, the conclusion is that such behavior amounts to slavery.

Even when it comes to food animals, where the assumption is they aren't very intelligent at all, there's a significant segment of the population who will assert that it's wrong.

Comment No way (Score 3, Insightful) 74

There's no way to make AI safe, for exactly the same reasons there's no way to make a human safe.

If we create intelligences, they will be... intelligent. They will respond to the stimulus they receive.

Perhaps the most important thing we can prepare for is to be polite and kind to them. The same way we'd be polite and kind of a big bruiser with a gun. Might start by practicing on each other, for that matter. Wouldn't hurt.

If we treat AI, when it arrives (certainly hasn't yet... not even close), like we do people... then "safe" is out of the question.

Comment No good smartwatches (Score 1) 101

Well shit. I've actually been looking for a Pebble replacement and this looks very nice. Figures that I'd find out in an announcement that they're also being killed by Fitbit. Better battery life too, damn

Anyone else know of a good alternative that ISN'T owned by Shitbit?

Comment Don't tax my syns, please. (Score 1) 129

Re Python:

I would settle for a switch statement.

I would settle for the ability to extend the built-in classes, str in particular. My "settle" went like this:

1) Inquired politely about same
2) Python nerds have orgasm telling me why this is terrible. I am, to put it mildly, dubious.
3) I write 100% compatible pre-processor that gives me the syntax I wanted.
4) PROFIT. Okay, well, not really, but EXTENDED STRING CLASS METHOD SYNTAX!

Like...

myString = 'foo'
otherString = myString.doHorribleThing('bar')

...and...

print 'good'.grief()

So...

You could do the same. What you want, perhaps, might be much easier than what I did. In fact, you could fork my project and add what you want to it. I'm already parsing the language reasonably well, which is arguably one of the difficult parts.

You don't always have to wait for a language's maintainers to get off their butts to address shortcomings or instantiate new goodies. Or eventually not do anything at all. There are other paths to nerdvana.

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