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Comment Backchannel (Score 1) 69

"[...] everyday objects in outdoor environments -- whether it's posters or street signs or even the shirt you're wearing -- can 'talk' to you [...]"

Sure. If I can have a backchannel directly into Gollakota's ears through which the shirt I am wearing automatically sends a hearty "Go fuck yourself!" whenever one of these 'smart' objects tries to annoy me.

Comment Re:That org is garbage (Score 1, Interesting) 377

[...] Arming yourself is the best way to have a fighting chance against anyone who's trying to kill you in a country where access to firearms is so ubiquitous, cheap and simple that every punk and their dog have one. [...]


From a European perspective, the US is just a tiny step up from, say, Mogadishu when it comes to gun-related violence. Over here, shootings usually make national news. That is how rare they are.

Comment Re:Why isn't Uber being sued? (Score -1) 360

[...] the petty squabbling over insignificant details? [...]

The burden of proof is an insignificant detail to you?

[...] After all, there are far fewer women in certain jobs than there ought to be, when you take into account the number of women with the skills and the talents that are available [...]

Absolutely! Whenever I come by a construction site or happen to see the waste collection crew doing their rounds or when I see combat units deployed to war zones I wonder where all those qualified women are. Must be that damn patriarchy suppressing them.

Yes, that was sarcasm, obviously. There is a scarcity of women in certain professions. As there is an equal scarcity of men in other fields – I work in the humanities, so I know first hand how it feels to be the minority gender in a field. Have you ever heard of a high-profile campaign to get more men into literature or Jewish history or pedagogics, complete with scholarships, mentoring programmes, gender-segregated courses? Didn't think so. Do you know how many male secretaries I have encountered in close to a decade at university? Take a guess.

I am all for removing obstacles, giving everyone a fair and honest chance at success. And I am happy to throw away gender roles for a more open and free society – my fiancée is an Army doctor, I will take the lion's share of parental leave with the kids so she can stay on track with her career. But I will not let myself be brainwashed into feeling guilty for other men's success. Especially when this brainwashing revolves almost exclusively around getting a few women into one very narrow field, namely that of the highest paying jobs. We need women in hands-on lower to mid-level tech, production and construction jobs, we need men in lower to mid-level positions in the social professions. We need a fairer gender distribution throughout the whole job pyramid. But mysteriously the focus lies almost exclusively on getting a few more women into the tiny tip.

[...] were not part of the wider, social context that should have taught us the skills and mindset that go with relating well to the other sex [...] we don't have all the tools to judge whether complaints about misogyny are real or not [...]

I don't even know where to begin here. As someone rather 'nerdy' working in the humanities: No, you are wrong. Horribly wrong. About both us nerds and about the non-nerds.

Comment Re:FIRST POST! (Score 1) 477

[...] Offending is often a result of lack of education [...]

Apparently you have never had to deal with upper management or higher ranks at research institutions. Any peasant can throw expletives around, but it takes a well-trained mind to weaponise passive-aggressiveness to the truly astounding degree that I have witnessed in professors and heads of departments.

Comment Re:FIRST POST! (Score 1) 477

[...] it's, unfortunately, fairly common behaviour among geek/techie personalities. Go to a forum dealing with, say, gardening or pets or childcare and you'll very rarely see this sort of thing, the standard response there is sympathy and advice. [...]

From experience I have to disagree. I have seen different communities focusing on the same issue behave radically different. And frankly, for the most part I found geeks to be quite productive. The tone may not be the most empathetic, but geeks seem more open to solving a puzzle even if they do not see a useful application in it themselves. They are more open to telling you in your face if an idea actually is stupid, but for me that also is a valid and often helpful reply. YMMV, of course.

And I have seen highly toxic communities around non-tech issues like cooking, parenting (Oh boy, hell hath no fury like a parent criticised.), emergency medicine, Lego, cosplay, whiskey...

Comment Re: Hell no (Score 1) 381

“Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.” - commonly attributed to Edsger Dijkstra, but disputed.

[...] Mastery of the advanced studies of your discipline will make you a better than merely someone who can just get the job done.

The caveat being here that a good portion of what goes for CS at universities is essentially "How to use the vast resources of a supercluster as a glorified pocket calculator". I had the dubious honour of suffering through four semesters of so-called CS at my uni, and I can attest that you can be an incredible computer scientist and still be unable to program even modestly simple applications. And that is said without even touching upon the vast difference between CS and software engineering (and the equally vast difference between software engineering and programming, to be fair).

All three disciplines have their place. But CS is not exactly the 'advanced study' of programming.

Comment Re:If it (Score 1) 130

In Germany, a third of the population wears correction glasses (or contact lenses) permanently. More than 60% wear correction glasses or lenses at least part of the time. More than 60% wear sunglasses. And that is just the consumer market.

I could not find numbers on the actual use of protective eyewear in the workplace, but just looking at the most obvious industries, ie. anyone dealing with chemicals, sparks, dusts, body fluids and excrements and so on, there definitely is a market for such a thing. Aircraft mechanics alone would probably form a profitable market, if the value provided is high enough. It could be a real boon in healthcare or construction.

While I agree that this will never reach the ubiquity of smartphones or even MP3 players, I would not discount it so broadly.

Comment Re:Are you for real? (Score 1) 424

What did you expect? That people laud her wisdom? She was somewhere between 30 and 31 years old when she sent a sex video of herself to her then ex partner to hurt him and to other people. She harassed her ex, and by sending it to (I assume) mutual friends she also humiliated him within their social circle. She is not really a victim here. If she could not handle the heat, she should not have lit the fire. No sympathy. Really, none.

To the other commentator who mentions rape culture: Do you have even the slightest idea what you are talking about?

Comment Re:God's chosen people (Score 2) 232

[...] the modern, diverse, multi-racial, secular, civil rights based, gay rights embracing, parliamentary democracy known as Israel [...]

There are two Israels down there? Interesting. The one I always read about in the news is run by a racist militant government violating international law. Oh, sorry, but saying so apparently makes me an anti-semite.

Comment Re:Incitement in Hebrew (Score 1) 232

You probably know, but just don't care, that that organisation did not exactly become popular for no good reason. There is no innocent party here. People have stooped to simply barbaric behaviour on both sides. Israel is acting in blatant violation of international law. Are the United Nations anti-semitic for passing those resolutions?

Comment Re:Russia doesn't need to interfere. (Score 1) 531

Wild conspiracy theories aside, the U.S. and the UK are democracies that guarantee freedom of speech and the press. [...]

Reporters Without Borders rank them between Tonga and Burkina Faso. And in Germany you should have registered the incredibly lopsided reporting on the Ukraine conflict. Or, until a couple of months ago, on the trade treaties. Putin is a right bastard, I have no illusions about him being anything but a cold-blooded fascist. But you have to be more than naive to think our Western governments champions of freedom. Our very own minister of the interior has been pushing for a new crypto war in Germany, for vastly extended powers for the intelligence services, warrantless data retention, the state trojan and quite a few other pieces of nastiness. And some of his colleagues are embroiled in the #nohatespeech train wreck which outsources suppression of legal speech to a questionable bunch of radicals with basically no oversight or way of legal appeal. If there is a champion of freedom here in the German state system it is the Federal Constitutional Court that undoes at least the worst damage our government .

The difference between governments is not black and white. It is a sliding scale of shittiness. And they all seem to cluster quite closely.

Comment Re:Can't see how it works... (Score 1) 205

...because employees don't all see all aspects of the company to make educated "votes" [...]

You say that as if C*Os were any different. They are so far removed from the actual work being done that by the point they see the smoke, half the town is already in ashes. Look at the paths especially CEOs of large corporations have gone through: Most of them switch industries and company types like they change their socks. From manufacturing to banking to tech to pharma... Even if they saw everything, how competent are they to actually make a decision? Are they just looking at numbers and choosing the higher one because it looks prettier? With many, that is the impression I got.

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