Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×
The Courts

Journal Journal: LSAT

Well, I did it. I just took the LSAT. I get to see what my score is 4 January, and if it's high enough, hopefully I'll get into a law school. To the world of Patent Law: Here I Come!

Incindentally, my conclusion on the LSAT: it would be trivially easy if it weren't for the friggin' time limit! Of course, I guess that's the point. Lawyers are supposed to think quickly, or something like that.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Barbara Streisand is a moron 2

Besides being uglier than your average sewer rat, Barbara Streisand has proven herself a moron. Like some people on Slashdot, she fell for the fake Julius Caesar quote (here is the first reference to it I found with a google search). Now, I was almost ready to give Streisand some credit for thinking the quote came from the Shakeseare play Julius Caesar rather than from Caesar himself. Attributing it to Caesar is stupid for several reasons. First, what latin phrase translates into "whip the people into a patriotic fervor," precisely? "Whip into" is an english idiom that I doubt Caesar used. A good translator would have chosen a better phrase. Second, why would Caesar be warning people against leaders who did what he did? That would be like Hitler warning against murderous dictators. It just doesn't make any sense. Third, I am not aware of any case where Roman Citizens, voluntarily and of their own initiative, gave up their rights en masse in order to allow Caesar to fight a war, so the quote is historically questionable. Others who are more conversant in the affairs of ancient Rome have offered additional reasons why it is unreasonable to believe that this quote is from Caesar, such as the fact that Romans did not use war drums. The foregoing are just the ones that immediately occurred to me.

So, like I said, my first thought was, "At least she didn't attribute it to Caesar." Rather, she was suckered into believing that it was penned by Shakespeare. However, after about two seconds of reflection, I decided attributing it to Shakespeare makes her even more of a moron. Why? My first reason stands. "Whips into" is not consistent with Shakespeare's writing style. The second reason stands too. Why would Shakespeare have Caesar cautioning against rulers like himself? Most importantly, Barbara Streisand is a supposedly professional actress. You would think she would have studied some Shakespeare in her time. After all, Shakespeare, to the field of drama, is like the physicists' Newton, Einstein and Hawking all combined. He was the master playwright. So, since we're assuming Streisand has studied some Shakespeare, even if the phrase "whip into" didn't trigger a question mark, how is it that she didn't notice that this stupid quote is not anything like iambic pentameter, Shakespeare's favorite meter? Granted, "Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war" is almost iambic pentameter (replacing "leader" with "man" should do it), and since Shakespeare was not religious about it, that line could maybe pass. But the rest does not even resemble metered verse. It doesn't sound like Shakespeare at all. It sounds like the ramblings of a pacifist weenie. The quote, that a "friend" found somewhere on the internet (a questionable resource that should always be double checked), should have immediately set off alarms in her head. She should have gotten out her copy of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (every actor should have one) and looked for the quote, or downloaded one of the e-texts from Project Gutenberg and done a quick text search of the play for a key phrase. Then she would have found that the quote has nothing to do with either Shakespeare or Caesar. It was fraudulently penned, and apparently quite recently, since nobody seems to be able to find an occurrence of it prior to 11 Sept. 2001 (please correct me if you find a prior reference). This would have saved her a good deal of embarassment. Since she wasn't bright enough to see big, red, flashing alarms when the quote was attributed to Shakespeare, I am forced to openly mock her, as I do all pacifist weenies who jump all over this quote the first time they see it. Like others, she ended up whining about how, okay, maybe it wasn't written by Shakespeare or Caesar, but it's still important and relevant, blah blah, sob, sob. The truth is, it's not important or relevant. People with an agenda trying to prove their points by citing other people with the same agenda is a very weak form of argument. Pacifist weenies referring to quotes by other pacifist weenies only works for pacifist weenies (which is why the pacifist weenies at the Democratic fund raiser applauded her so excitedly), just like Microsoft FUD about Linux (and Linux FUD about Microsoft, while we're on the subject) only serves to whip the apologists and devotees into an OS-Pride fervor. It is not at all persuasive. If the Democrats want to convince people there is something wrong with Pres. Bush's Iraq policy, they need to use some logic and reason, not clueless entertainers.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Illegal Prime Number

This got rejected, so I'll just have to put it in my journal, because I think it's actually pretty cool, and could expose some of the technical flaws of the DMCA. Tasty Bits from the Technology Front has a story (about a year old now), about a prime number that may be illegal under the DMCA. The number, when converted to hex, becomes a binary gzipped file that contains important parts of the DeCSSS source code, which we all know is illegal under the DMCA. Follow the link. It's fun for all ages.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Law School

I think I've decided to go to law school once I finish my undergrad degree in EE. Perhaps the world could use a few lawyers who actually understand technology. Besides that, patent lawyers get paid obscene amounts of money because there aren't a lot of lawyers with a formal technical education.

Slashdot Top Deals

The means-and-ends moralists, or non-doers, always end up on their ends without any means. -- Saul Alinsky