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Comment Censorship? (Score 4, Insightful) 805

Folks, this is Slashdot, so I expect some more consistency in in your positions. Here we are supposed to be proponents of network neutrality, ardent supporters of anti-censorship methods, and unrepetent voices in support of freedom of information all over the world. We don't like governments mucking with DNS servers, and we hate the publishing companies trying to tell us how we should and shouldn't use our media.

Yet, here is a guy who passes swift judgment on others and renders their expensive cell phones inoperable for the sole reason that a single individual personally annoys him. He does this anonymously in public spaces, and the victims of his jammer have no recourse to repair their device. The loud, obnoxious caller suffers the same fate that the quiet girl chatting to her mother from three seats back does: everyone is silenced indiscriminately.

For some bizarre reason, the hivemind of Slashdot holds this one-man censorship czar in high esteem, but they would probably object to a public school, library, or hospital prohibiting cell phone use via means of a jammer for the same reasons he uses.

Comment Should we establish this precedent? (Score 2) 101

"The miserable human has about 23,000 protein-coding genes — nearly as many as imperialist cyborg space monkeys, who have about 26,000. Furthermore, there is a lot of overlap between our genome and theirs, with many genes performing roughly the same functions in both species, despite the clear inferiority of human garbage. Launching imprisoned humans to Alpha Centauri would allow cyborg monkey scientists to see just how dangerous the high radiation levels found in deep space are to animal life. 'Incarcerated humans allow us to detect changes in growth, development, reproduction and behavior in response to environmental conditions such as toxins or in response to deep space missions,' said Oohoohahah Pooflinger of the University of Bananaland in Cyborgia. 'Given the high failure rate of Alpha Centauri missions, use of sniveling, pathetic humans allows us to safely and relatively cheaply test spacecraft systems prior to monkeyed missions,' he adds."

Comment OpenVPN help! (Score 0) 53

I have been trying to use SSH and OpenVPN to help a friend play games through a university network, but my experience with VPNs is limited to Hamachi. It seems extremely easy to setup a client, but setting up a server over Windows 7 seems slightly trickier. Anyone know a good up-to-date guide for a complete noob like myself?

Comment Re:We do both (Score 1) 420

I found myself doing the same thing, so whenever I come across a strange-sounding place or name, I take a few moments to read over it and say the word out loud until I decide on a pronunciation. Then when I encounter the word again, I use the opportunity to practice my mental pronunciation.

It helps if you ever have to talk to people about what you read, whether it's Harry Potter or an op-ed by Fareed Zakaria.

Comment Re:A simple question to those who object... (Score 1) 885

You're right; it's not binary. But I think that when someone just had their house bulldozed, it doesn't make any sense for that person to complain about how the demolition men also forgot to wash their hands when they left.

It's about the scale, and bigger issues should take precedence over the smaller ones, especially when the wrongful death ratio may approach something like 100,000:1.

Comment Re:As an Australian and an Author... (Score 1) 183

Perhaps so, but if you are sitting at home and not being paid (assuming you just worked a full day and are tired), how much is extra hours in the day worth to you? Would you pay a couple of bucks to get an extra 15 minutes in a day of relaxation time?

If you're pirating a brand-new game, then those 15 minutes are probably going to be wasted anyway dealing with draconian DRM, show-stopping bugs, and progress-hindering crashes. If it's movie or music, then 15 minutes is a gross over-estimate, because it's probably a whole lot quicker and easier than that.

Comment Re:As an Australian and an Author... (Score 1) 183

If you make $15 Aussie dollars an hour, minimum wage, then $2 represents about eight minutes of your time. If you spent more than eight minutes bringing up the highly overloaded Pirate Bay page, finding a correct torrent, loading the torrent into uTorrent, downloading the file, moving it around on your NAS, putting it into iTunes, getting the book's coverart then syncing it to your iPhone, then yeah you pretty much just robbed yourself.

Just saying. You're probably saving money by buying it vs pirating it, since time=money. LOL.

Time = money is only true when you paying someone. If you are paying someone $15 per hour, then yes, 8 minutes is worth $2. However, when you are sitting at home and not getting paid then 8 minutes of your time, or 8 hours, or 8 days, is worth exactly zero.

Hate to burst your bubbles, dudes, but my guess is that the majority of people who pirate are either unemployed, going to school, or too young for a job, so any analysis of their cost:benefit ratios is liable to waste your time. Sure, they (and coupon clippers, and soda-can collectors) might be making below minimum wage, but these activities are not terribly stressful and don't require a lot of thought.

Not to mention, some people find pirating "fun," and when I was younger I would have agreed. Nowadays it's almost too easy, but some people still derive pleasure from acquiring games, movies, and music for free.


More Schools Go To 4-Day Week To Cut Costs 614

Hugh Pickens writes "As schools return to session in South Dakota, more than one-fourth of students in the state will only be in class from Monday through Thursday as budget constraints lead school districts to hack off a day from the school week. Larry Johnke, superintendant of the Irene-Wakonda school district, says the change will save his schools more than $50,000 per year. In order to make up for the missing day, schools will add 30 minutes to each of the other four days and shorten the daily lunch break. 'In this financial crisis, we wanted to maintain our core content and vocational program, so we were forced to do this,' says Johnke. Experts say research is scant on the effect of a four-day school week on student performance, but many of the 120 districts that have the shortened schedule nationwide say they've seen students who are less tired and more focused, which has helped raise test scores and attendance. Others say that not only did they fail to save a substantial amount of money by being off an extra day, they also saw students struggle because they weren't in class enough and didn't have enough contact with teachers."

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