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Comment This was figured out long ago (Score 1) 473

Life gets tough for older workers. How is this news? I might be against the ./ "by your own boot-straps" group-think but it makes you reconsider why things like unions, unemployment insurance, pensions and other such were invented in the first place. It's all well and good to be a laissez faire libertarian when the "future is bright". I've been there. But it's quite another thing when life, health and age inject reality into the situation.

Comment I totally agree (Score 4, Insightful) 357

Doctor Who has passed into the realm of Modern Mythology now. Just like Dracula, Superman, and Star Trek has now become part of our "mythology". These characters and stories may take a rest from time to time but there will always be someone to come along and retell/re-imagine/re-work them. Doctor Who is just too fertile a ground for good stories to leave too long. Heck, we are still getting milage from Sinbad, Hercules, and Atlantis! The theatrical Who movies of the '60s didn't kill a much younger series... no worries here.

Comment Memo (Score 2) 25


TO: Director OSI
CC: Dr Rudy Wells

Due to the ever increasing price of healthcare, the cost of the "Bionic Man" project is expected to exceed our projected amount.
Congress has refused to extend our budget
Please inform Colonel Austin that he will now instead be fitted with a bionic big toe and a pair of sunglasses

Submission + - The Ethics of Sex with Robots 1

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The Sonoma State Star reports that philosophy professor John Sullins says that as engineers work to design visually pleasing and life-like mechanical robots that simulate emotions, the potential psychological outcomes of this form of advanced technology may pose a threat to the way society functions as a whole. "Humans have a tendency to anthropomorphize things in their environment, like naming their car, for instance. People have a compelling need to make connections with things in their lives," says Sullins adding that engineers have the ability to access human psychological weaknesses when they build a computer that takes the shape of a visually pleasing and attractive mate that can say emotionally moving things, like "I love you," during physically intimate moments. Author David Levy says that these types of robots will be able to end pedophilia and prostitution and that robot sex will become the only sexual outlet for a few sectors of the population: the misfits, the very shy, the sexually inadequate and uneducable but although Levy enlightens his readers with the benefits that sex robots can provide humans, Sullins still believes that they will ultimately cause social isolation.. "Plato argues that in life, humans should not just try to obtain sexual gratification, but they should try to attain the erotic," says Sullins adding that the concept of "the erotic," can be described as a loving and meaningful relationship that transports lovers to a philosophically higher place and helps them become better people."

Comment Sick and tired of these "blackhats" (Score 0, Troll) 120

I'm getting sick and tired of these "blackhat" conferences and their endless phallus measuring contests.

I really am all for free speech but these folks have potentially dangerous information and need to act _responsibly_ with it. Many of us here realized that the web based jailbreak could be refactored into a driveby exploit but we didn't do it -- much less do it and brag about it. This "revelation" doesn't in any way enlighten the community. It's only a "mine is bigger" statement for the self aggrandizing "haxor".

This kind of Dangerous Knowledge is nothing new. What if John (Captain Crunch) Daper had had a conference for phone-freakers and released press statements? No different. If these folks want to have what they think of as "security" conferences then protect the content shared there with an NDA and strict fines for breaking it.

These folks think of themselves as "experts" but they are really nothing more than juvenile delinquents -- regardless of their ages.

Comment Safer approach (Score 1) 366

This might be a bit safer way to go: Antivirus software is sometimes tricked with false positives. I don't know what virus scanner you have on your lab machines but you can do a web search and find legitimate, harmless software that will trigger a false alert for whatever you have. Download one of those and use that to demonstrate to your students.

I assume since you say its a 101 class that by "remove by hand" you mean by using an anti-virus program and not hacking the registry. If so, then a harmless program will work as well as a true virus/worm.

I use McAfee and it alerts on a CD eject task bar tool I once had. It thinks it is a trojan joke program (I guess to make you think your CD drive is busted). That would make a fine demonstration and a good example of don't blindly download every "cool" program you see on the 'net.

Comment Re:Weve seen that argument before (Score 1) 1066

Since copyright is instant and automatic the amount of "work" required to produce it has no bearing at all -- a 4 line limerick gets as much protection as a 20 volume encyclopedia. Besides the US courts long ago rejected the "sweat of the brow" argument. The distinction between a recipe and a program is completely arbitrary and has more to do with the fact that recipes predate copyright law while software came after. Suppose I made a very advanced "fry-bot" (like McDonalds uses) that could peel the potatoes, slice them, season them, deep fry them for exactly the right amount of time, and then serve them in little cups. Would the program driving all this activity deserve a copyright? But really haven't I just taken a recipe and turned it into a computer program? If I write a recipe in C++ notation does it suddenly become copyrightable? This is just another rehash of the "on the internet" trope that is so often pilloried here. Copyright law is still in the 18th century while the culture is not.

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