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Comment Re:Yes, but it wouldn't work (Score 1) 382

I would pay for such a website without trolls, sure. As an educated American with a bit of disposable income I can certainly think of worse ways to spend a few dollars every month or year. The problem is that if one is going to require payment to use the service, it will exclude a LOT of the voices that I want to hear in internet discussions. Marginalized people in my state, people from other countries, people that need to remain anonymous... the beauty of the internet is the free exchange of ideas and tremendous number of voices that one can be exposed to. Being able to pay for a website without trolls is a privilege. Unfortunately, efforts to control trolls and other voices that are deemed disruptive will (in all likelihood) exclude many legitimate voices, too. Without these legitimate voices, such sites are (probably) doomed to be generally homogeneous communities with sterile discussions.


What would you think about a site structured to foster contrasting points of view and public participation & debate. Might that be worth paying for to keep the "cheap shot" trolls out? (i.e., if you want to snark on someone's opinion, you'd better be willing to pay for the privilege).

Submission + - Would you pay for websites without trolls? ( 1

carbon_tet writes: I was reading on this week and saw two articles that made me stop to think: "Would anyone actually pay for a website without trolls?" Two articles, in particular, caught my eye:
First, a NYTimes article about web trolls and civility on the internet (, and
Second, an article about the ad-based internet (we've seen this before)(

It seems that public comments unavoidably have trolls, or they degrade very quickly until someone makes a reference to Hitler. So, is it impossible to have a substantive discussion online without trolls?

Where do you think internet trolls are wholly inappropriate, and where are they tolerable? Coding? Technology? Politics? Policy? Law? Religion? Would you put your money where your mouth is to have a serious online conversation without them? Are there any topics that you would talk about (or prefer to see talked about) on a website where trolls were paywalled out?

Comment Re:Oh, really? (Score 1) 1255

As a parent and a product of the public school system in the US, I personally reject the idea that I should be required to surrender my children to another's care to be indoctrinated in the current educationally-correct manner.

I believe that I have no duty to support the public schools in any way beyond my financial support through local property taxes, and I find it amusing to hear the poster (here) and the original author of the article being discussed call on me to surrender my children to inadequate public education in order to entice me to get more involved in the system to make public education better for those other children at the cost of my own children's educations.

I have watched trends in teaching come and go, and each one has been the "best", and the "most effective" at teaching my children (e.g., how to read, how to do math, etc...). The mere fact that educational trends do come and go, and as frequently as they do, would indicate to a reasonable person that there must have been something wrong with the older trends, requiring their (somewhat) rapid replacement. How does this build my trust in the public education system if their own assessments of what works are so quickly demonstrated wrong?

My wife and I are uniformly impressed with the homeschooled children we know. They are socialized by adults, to learn how to be adults, rather than turned loose with same-aged children at school where they can outnumber their teacher and reinforce childish behavior. They are kind to each other regardless of age, and are very respectful of adults and their parents. If public schools cannot do what parents that homeschool do with their children, why should I surrender my children to a public school teacher?

Comment Re:No. (Score 2) 332

Oh, please...

The California Supreme Court recently upheld a law that allows police officers to routinely search your cell phone for information when doing routine traffic stops or arrests. What possible interest could the police have in the contents of your cell phone? Your smartphone with all your tweets and facebook posts that might indicate criminal activity (underage drinking, drug use, etc...).

At least data in the cloud receives more protection than your cellphone, but not much more (if the reason for the data search is deemed "compelling" or justified in some other way). Vermont recently upheld protection of privacy of medical data stored in the cloud (i.e., the data holders could not sell it to other companies for data mining purposes), but it was a hot debate for a while.

People can always make money with more information about a particular area of business or customer practices. The temptation to look at that data will -always- be present. The best way to be safe is to require that the person whose data it -is- be required to give permission before any access can occur.

Comment security... from what? (Score 5, Interesting) 332

I am a lawyer, and the thought of trusting my data to the cloud makes me very nervous for several reasons.

1. Government access. If you trust the government to keep its hands off of your securely stored data, you are living in the 1960s. Federal and (most) state governments are too tempted by the possibility of using your data for good purposes to actually keep their hands off it. Employees (like the FBI) will peek at it, especially if you're famous. They will run "searches" to see "what comes up" and get a feel for whether the government needs to do something. Data should never be stored -with- the government, and government should be expressly forbidden from getting access to it after it is generated. They should be required to give you notice each time that they access your data and describe to you what they are looking for in it when they inevitably -do- access it.

2. Outside threats. I'm thrilled every time I read about botnet attacks and Anonymous hacks that get into some individual's or company's private data. (Sarcastically...) "Yes, I believe that my externally stored data is safe from outside intrusion and will not be stolen by criminals." No, I don't believe that. There is no routine requirement for encryption in business environments. If there isn't a robust, national / industry-wide data encryption plan that makes it easy for the end-user (the person whose data it -is-) to protect and access the data, I think that the cloud is too risky for storing really important information, rather than just having my music collection stored in iCloud or Amazon's service.

Also, email security, to me, seems to be a joke. Here, I don't worry about breakins to get at my information, although that has happened at many email providers. Rather, I worry about internal inspection of my information. I use Gmail, but I don't believe for a minute that Google, (or Facebook, which I don't use) doesn't sometimes run statistical analysis of the email stream or the google search bar terms I use to learn more about me. It's their business to know more about me so that they can make money advertising to me. You can be sure that they test their AdSense algorithm improvements on my data to enhance the chances that I'll click on an ad and make them a few per thousand clicks.

I will use the cloud as a backup with services like MozyPro, but only if I can have assurance that my information (my clients' information, really) is locked down tight. To my mind, "ease of access" from storing information in the cloud equates all too readily to "ease of theft" where the thieves don't even have to leave their desks in Mountain View or Moscow to "reach out and touch someone" (apologies, ATT). I much prefer to make the thieves go to all the bother of getting up and coming to my house or office to steal my data.

Comment Stand, stand, stand, stand, stand (Score 1) 235

and sit, too, when you're tired of standing. I'm a student and I spend lots of time sitting to study or in class. However, this year I wrangled a spot in the library where I can put a 24" monitor and I stand to work. It's amazing how much easier it is to get work done with a large monitor and good posture to help me feel more energetic during the afternoon. (Be it noted: I'm a morning person, so this a natural time for me to feel tired. YMMV.) I've seen desks / tables that adjust up and down with the "flip of a lever" or something like that. I tend to sit when my feet or knees get tired, but then switch back to standing. I think that the key to success and comfort is to make standing the default, and sitting a true break from standing. Plus, the Apple wireless keyboard, wireless trackpad, and an aTrackt Go! make moving up or down from a standing position easy! Carbon_tet

Comment Re:arrested/detained? (Score 1) 637

The rules are different at the border. Until you pass the border, they can detain you without arresting you, and they can do so on a mere hunch. You aren't "in the United States" yet, and you do not have your constitutional rights until you are.

As a United States Citizen, the United States Government must respect your Constitutional rights no matter where you live, because the Constitution governs the scope and behavior of government. Yes, you may be outside the borders of the United States, but the government must play by its own rules when addressing American citizens. IWSBAL.


Former Intel CEO Andy Grove Wants Struggling Industries To Stop Slacking 235

lousyd writes "Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel and current instructor at Stanford Business School, has a message for industry. He believes that health care and energy, especially, could learn a lesson from computing's innovative and relatively government-free history. He asks students to imagine if mainframe vendors had asked government to prop them up in the same way that General Motors recently was. On the issue of computer patents, he insists that firms must use their patents or lose them: 'You can't just sit on your a** and give everyone the finger.'"

Comment Re:On sale bar (Score 1) 221

The key words are "sale" and "use." Use is also a killer word because if the product has been used in its final (?) form for over 12 months, then it should, if I remember correctly, be distinctly -UN-patentable. Don't mess around - CALL a lawyer TODAY. The clock is ticking and you don't want to miss out on your big opportunity. Carbon_tet

Comment Marriage unity: surface appearance doesn't count (Score 1) 1146

I've been married 19 years and learned a few lessons about making a successful marriage, none of which take "geekness" into account (it's not relevant). In no particular order, they are: 1) Say "I love you" out loud and in ways that your spouse will interpret as being loving (it is OK, nay, recommended, to ask "what do I do that makes you feel loved?). An author named John Lund writes about what he calls love languages to get this point across. Categories include: Doing things, saying things, spending time together, etc... 2) Be honest. The minute you start hiding things from your spouse, you are creating a problem. Don't rationalize yourself out of this, you're all smart enough to understand when you do this and why. Yes, marriage means love. It also means sacrifice of what you want, to make someone else (spouse, kids) happy. 3) Be united. This takes many forms, but boils down to: "talk with each other to make sure you're working on the same goals for the same reasons." What little I understand about women tells me that they (generally) need to feel like you understand them. All the problems you hear about with the stereotypical "bad husband" stories have this in common: the husband is ignoring the wife and being selfish about something. Husbands are men, not boys. So, be a mature, responsible man and go build a family together. Any problems you have along the way (and you -will- have some, either external or self-inflicted) can be survived if you will both stick with the core ideas I mention above. [YMMV]

Submission + - Swiss Open Source Decision Going Microsoft's Way (

hardsix writes: "The recent legal wrangling between a group of open source supporters led by Red Hat against the Swiss government's decision to award an IT contract solely to Microsoft appears to be going Microsoft's way. A Swiss lawyer close to the case claims that a preliminary ruling has rejected the open source group's request to overturn the Microsoft contract however the case is still ongoing and there is still room for appeal. "The Administrative Court hasn't made its final ruling yet but even if it finds in favour of Microsoft, there is still room for appeal. No matter what the ruling will be, an appeal will likely be filed to the Supreme Court, whose final word will have substantial significance in the future for public authorities with regards to computing services," said Swiss legal firm BCCC AVOCATS. Open source supporters argue there has to be real political will for open source projects to succeed in the public sector."
The Military

Submission + - US Navy Shoots Down Missle in Space (

Raver32 writes: The U.S. Navy and Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully shot down a short-range ballistic missile in space in a July 30 test, agency officials announced Friday. The Navy's USS Hopper and USS O'Kane destroyers detected and tracked a missile fired from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, Kauai in Hawaii during the test, which was latest demonstration of the U.S. military's Aegis Missile Defense system. The USS Hopper fired one Standard Missile-3 block 1A missile and destroyed the target 100 miles (160 km) above the Pacific Ocean about two minutes after launch, MDA officials said in a statement. The test marked the Aegis system's 19th successful intercept in 23 attempts, including an operational mission in 2008 that destroyed a malfunctioning satellite as it re-entered the atmosphere, MDA officials said.
The Military

Submission + - Russian Submarines Probe American Coast (

reporter writes: "According to a report published by the "Wall Street Journal", two Russian submarines probed the East Coast of the United States. "Although Pentagon officials monitoring the subs' movements didn't consider them threatening, one senior military official said the patrols were unusual, given the weakened state of the Russian navy and the failure of Moscow to conduct such missions in years.

[...] The senior military official said the two Russian vessels were nuclear-powered Akula class submarines, which were used during the Cold War to track North Atlantic Treaty Organization vessels and, in the event of war, attack enemy subs and ships with torpedoes and missiles. Only larger ballistic-missile subs are used for nuclear-weapons launched.

Additional information is available in a report by the "Times Online" and a report by the "New York Times"."

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