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Comment Gates didn't say that (Score 1) 389

If FT's claims are based on the interview material they show in the posted video, they're making a very liberal interpretation. As far as I can see, Gates only made a few specific points:

  1. 1) The debate on the level of access the government should have to its citizens' information is an important one.
  2. 2) The government should have some level of access in order to have a shot at preventing extreme acts of terrorism (such as with nuclear or biological weapons) and enforcing taxation.
  3. 3) In some ways, the question of whether or not Apple is being asked to create a backdoor is not the real issue. Gates thinks that, ultimately, Apple is only being asked to provide the information from one phone. However, he did acknowledge that once a company provides access (he used the example of a bank turning over financial information), there is some expectation by the public and other interested parties that the company could provide access again and more easily.

Overall, he seemed to take a lot of care to avoid taking a clear stance with Apple or with the FBI and framed the whole situation as though it was an important legal question that should be settled by due process. The claim that he said "technology companies should be forced to co-operate with law enforcement" is misleading.

Comment Re:What?? (Score 1) 71

Now I see why it was so confusing. This organization, "Hacking Team", chose a name which is really awkward. In most cases, "hacking team" would be a common noun and appear with some kind of article before it (e.g. "a" or "the"). Since it's really acting as a proper noun, it must appear without any articles. I was assuming, as many people probably would if they didn't happen to read the article just before the poll, that the poll title was just a poorly composed sentence which meant to ask the question "Are the activities of hacking teams ethical?"

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 137

I don't get this kind of reaction. I've been reading slashdot since it started in the late 90's and I have no problem with polls being in the news feed. They're collapsed by default so it hardly matters. Ironically, people fuming and overreacting to minor stuff does indicate that we've still got our core reader base.

Comment Doesn't sound like a conspiracy to me (Score 1) 119

Honestly, it just seems like "grit" was a poorly chosen word for Khan Academy's familiar concept of effort. The only things that are somewhat concerning are the school vs. school etc. aspects of the contest. One would hope that the contest is not structured in such a way that it mostly just serves to make more competitive schools feel good about how much more awesome they are than everyone else. This would happen if, for instance, mastery points are given as much or more weight than hustle points. I can't tell if this is the case from the FAQ.

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