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Comment Re: Less politics (Score 1) 109

Eich resigned because of external pressure on the Mozilla organization. I hear that one of the lobbying activities against him was when the dating site "OK Cupid" started informing Firefox users who accessed the site of Eich's activities and that they should download a browser made by people who don't nominate someone with gender discrimination issues to be their CEO. At the time, 8% of OK Cupid customers were there to arrange same-gender meetings.

They felt he was the public face of the company.

Russ Nelson published a piece on what he theorized was the economic motivation of Blacks to be lazy, and was booted off of the Open Source Initiative board. He wasn't thinking about how it would be perceived. A modified version of the piece is still online, but not the version that got him in trouble. In general, executives are seen as the public faces of their organizations even in the case of Nelson, who was not the chairman of the board, but was simply a member of the executive board. In Nelson's case, it wasn't that he made publicity appearances and press releases, it was that he was one of the people with the power to direct the company (and thus a more real face of the company than soneone who just does PR), and folks did not trust that someone who wrote what he did would behave as they would like in that position.

Comment Re:What's the big deal? (Score 1, Insightful) 153

Playboy departed the nude photo market due to the vast and unending supply of photos and video of all manner of naked people doing sexual things which one can access via the Internet.

However, one can make a case that a good deal of the past content of Playboy was about objectifying women and to some extent the publication still is about that.

It was a dumb decision. Several people just weren't thinking. They're embarrassed now. They learned, and won't do it again.

Comment Re: Less politics (Score 1) 109

It was only 1967 when the United States Supreme Court decided Loving v. Virginia, a miscegenation case. Preventing blacks and whites from marrying, as the State of Virginia (and many others) did with laws on its books until it was forced to remove them in 1967, is an issue of racism, nothing else. One doesn't have to be thin skinned to be disgusted by racism.

Why should I feel any different about gender discrminiation? Texas had a law on the book making homosexual relations illegal in 1998, and two men were arrested for it and similarly to Loving, helped to strike it down in the courts. Marriage discrimination is yet another legal wall erected by the prejudiced. Doesn't take a thin skin at all to oppose it and its supporters.

Comment Re: Less politics (Score 1) 109

Because you are an end-user and not an investor in these companies, you might actually think the public face of the companies is a logo or a trademark rather than a human being. Perhaps you think the public face of McDonalds is Ronald McDonald! Or that Sprint's used to be that actor who portrayed a technician. But this naiveté is not shared by the people who are the target audience for the public face that the CEO's appearances and quotations produce. AMD has people to handle the guy who once plugged one of their CPUs into a motherboard. The public face nurtured by the CEO is reserved for investors and business relationships, government, and corporate citizenship. These are all areas in which a decision made outside of the company can have great impact on the company. And so, if you go on the company site, you will see the CEO quoted in the press releases related to those items. At trade shows, you will see these CEOs as keynotes. I am heading for CES in January, where many CEOs you've never heard of who run large tech companies will be speaking, and there will be full halls of their eager target audiences.

Don't you think it might be self-centered to assume someone's not the public face of the company because you don't know who they are?

Comment Re:They only show gorgeous women (Score 2) 152

Please ignore the correlation between "looks" and genetic indicators of reproductive health

That would be a nice argument if there was some universal agreement on what is attractive. In some cultures, thin is attractive. In others, fat. Some places like women who stretch their necks out. Others like their feet bound to the point that they can hardly walk. In Meiji era Japan, it was seen as attractive for women to paint their teeth black. Do you find that hot? There is no single standard of beauty. You cannot just declare yours to be universally applicable.

The majority of "beauty" traits have nothing to do with genetic indicators of reproductive health. That said, there are some. For example, for both sexes, "clear skin" is usually desirable, as that is an indicator of immune system fitness. And of course standard secondary sex characteristics, including having typical voice ranges appropriate to their sex, muscle mass in men, in women breasts and wide hips, etc. But the majority of the specific details that make up the "look" of an attractive man or woman versus other men and women in their society are simply cultural.

Comment Re: What a stupid question (Score 1) 442

Sure, there's always a subpoena (or more likely an NSL), but before it gets to that point Trump will need to have passed some form of legislation to actually get the database off the ground and into reality, and that's going to require a considerable amount of support from Congress, Senates and (almost certainly) the courts, because you just know this would get challenged in multiple jurisdications and head towards the SCOTUS. Or, I suppose, he could maybe try and do it off the books through one of the three letter agencies and a whole bunch of NSLs, in which case the US is absolutely done as "The Land of the Free" and we'll just have to repeal Godwin because the Nazi Germany / Stasi comparisons will be absolutely justified in that eventuality.

Having multiple parties whose co-operation would be useful, if not essential, to making the project viable basically stating up-front they don't support the idea and will almost certainly challenge any data requests through the courts, again likely all the way to SCOTUS, just as Apple recently did with a certain iPhone is quite likely to undermine at least some of that support. If there's one thing you can particularly count on politicians for, and especially so in Trump's case, is not wanting to back a losing horse, so the less likely the project is to succeed the more likely it is to be stillborn, and that's the best way for it to be.

Besides, since we're entirely talking about hypotheticals here, if Twitter were to do a Lavabit how is TheRealDonaldTrump going to get MSM to jump and report any <140 character bit of random thought as front-page news? ;-)

Comment Re:What a stupid question (Score 1) 442

Build the (still hypothetical) database, not so much. Help *populate* it though? Twitter, like all social media companies, undoubtedly has a lot of data on its users, and that data is going to include stuff that would help identify someone as a Muslim, even if it's just "Went to Mosque today..." type tweets. Think about how this (again, hypothetically) might work - voluntary registration first (the most harmless), mandatory registration second (the weaker-willed protestors to add to low-grade watch lists), then a trawl for those that didn't register (the activists and other "red flags" for the high-grade watch lists... and beyond). Care to guess where Twitter et al in the social media/data gathering trade come into that?

It's absolutely the pointy end, and hypothetical as the question might be "No comment" doesn't even come close to the correct answer of a completely unequivocal "Fuck, no!", so kudos to Twitter for being the only company with the balls to do the right thing. Hopefully, they'll still have those balls should they actually have to follow though on that position.

Comment Re:DEA already has rescheduled and overruled itsel (Score 1) 146

Actually, their constitutional authority to exist is that the Executive Branch calls them into existence to execute the provisions of laws passed by the Legislative branch.

It took a constitutional amendment to ban alcohol, and that amendment has been repealed. This leaves no authority for any branch of the government to prohibit the manufacture, sale, or use of any drug. Any act of the congress that purports to do so is not a law at all, it is as James Madison would describe it, a usurpation.

-jcr

Comment Re:Milton Frieldman? (Score 1) 434

So.......we just had an article on Slashdot that showed there are more jobs in America now, at the end of the Obama administration, than there ever have been in the entire history of the US. More people working.

First, I'm not about to claim that Trump is going to improve anything for the common man. Having a populist revolt that emplaces a Billionare cabinet...

Yes, Obama got more people to work than anyone else ever. However, middle-class well-being has not correspondingly increased (meaning wages aren't great for a lot of those jobs) and the disparity between the most rich and everyone else has become much larger.

I haven't researched AI job reduction, but I think we could be no more than two decades away from the point where much menial labor is robotic and where professional drivers are for the most part replaced with machines.

Comment Milton Frieldman? (Score 4, Interesting) 434

Both Brexit and Trump can be seen as the final stage of neoliberal economics: it ends in a populist revolt.

It's not as if labor is just now facing the threat of automation. But nobody in the US - not the unions, not the companies, not the government - is solving the education gap that might help future workers.

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