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Comment Re:It's a problem because it makes Wikipedia biase (Score 1) 376

Wikipedia is a curated selection of facts.

See the part where I said "...therefore reflected in the articles - in the topic, in the construction, in the arguments, in the sources cited."? People choose those elements, and, by choosing them, are making a de facto opinion about their superiority, and therefore those facts are couched in opinion -- and bias.

Thank YOU for playing. Sir.

Comment It's a problem because it makes Wikipedia biased (Score 1) 376

Wikipedia has a stated goal of being unbiased. I think that most people would recognize that as being a worthwhile goal. When men write the majority of the articles, then the material is based towards male perspectives.

Many posters in this thread so far have made comments about how men and women are different, with different desires and goals and motivations hard-wired into their brains, so let's stick with that theory for now. If that is true, then men do indeed have a thought process that is markedly different from women's in some way, and that is therefore reflected in the articles - in the topic, in the construction, in the arguments, in the sources cited. There is bias. I guess, as men, maybe you don't care since the current content is written to suit you?

Every time this discussion comes up, no one acknowledges that women have unique and valuable mental contributions. There's a lot of hand-waving about 'Let's not force them to be in field XYZ if they don't want to be' but very little discussion of what the consequences of them not being in field XYZ are. Posters immediately think of how the solution cannot work and do not even acknowledge there IS a problem. It's the same issue here with Wikipedia.

It's a problem when the biggest fact-based document in history is virtually devoid of a female perspective. Just because you don't see a practical solution in the 10 seconds it took you to skim the summary doesn't mean this is not a problem worth trying to solve or that there is no solution. It's okay to talk about problems with no solution. You don't have to diminish them into non-problems.

It's often said that men find women frustrating because women want to discuss issues just to discuss them, whereas men want to solve them and find they cannot in some cases, particularly when it is emotional or involves other people. It's ironic that, in a way, this kind of pattern leads to the dismissal of 'unsolvable' gender-gaps, and yet the existence of this pattern is exactly what makes gender gaps worrying. Men and women DO think differently, and therefore there perspectives are unique valuable, and if one is lacking, they should be sought out.

Comment Re:Wrong all wrong (Score 1) 434

I have never seen Scrum done correctly anywhere either. It's usually half-assed in a way that completely misses the point. The people that espouse it seem a touch arrogant, too -- my favorite was an article from the late Dr Dobbs magazine that said "If your Scrum/Agile approach failed, it was just because you were doing it wrong." What? Your software development process fits everything perfectly, all the time? Yeah, kill it with fire.

These processes seem to be made for the lowest common denominator; lazy or inept coders who need a lot of hand-holding. The only good side is that this gives startups quite the leg up -- they are less likely to hire the lazy, inept people, can get rid of them easier, and can code without the overhead of stand-up meetings, scrummasters, and sprints. As long as corporations are bogged down with useless meetings and an army of crappy coders, there's an opening to steal a little bit of their lunch.

Comment Re:You don't even know you're missing it. (Score 1) 612

This happened to me in Yosemite, too, minus the loss of bowel control. When I was perhaps 14, my family got stuck driving out of the park in the dark on a moonless night. My dad stopped, and I got out of the car for some reason. Until that day, I had thought that the movie sets with a sky saturated with stars was fake and purposely overexaggerated. I lived in a semi-rural community with a hunting range, and I thought I knew the sky. I had seen the moon through a telescope. I knew constellations. That day, I discovered I was wrong, and it is honestly in the top 20 memories on my entire life.

I've driven out to the Vegas desert, back to Yosemite, and driven the cliffs of Big Sur at night to try to see the sky like I did that day and show it to my husband, too. The moon and other light pollution has thwarted me. Next week, I got to the Oregon coast, Mt Hood, and Mt St Helens, and I'm still hoping to get that view again. memories on my entire life.

In my quest for perfect darkness, I've learned that the Milky Way was once not only bright enough that it could be identified with the naked eye, but that it cast a shadow on the ground. There are few places you can go to have that experience. You'd have to go as far as Peru now, deep into the mountains. has a long article touching upon light pollution and its affects on the night sky.

Comment Re:In a word... (Score 1) 1385

You trade those days of occasional discomfort with all the extra time public transit gives you. When I briefly switched to a job that made me drive, I hated it - the frustrating traffic, the gas, the wear on my car, the variable times getting home. The train is consistent, and I can read, sleep, or work on it, so I can reclaim that traveling time to some extent. I'm a lot less stressed out, and it is actually quicker.

Rain, snow, hot weather -- yes, it sucks to be sweaty or wet, but my husband and I manage to make it work with umbrellas, boots, appropriate layers, etc. Train use is common enough in North Jersey that some of the towns here have shuttles to take you from your street to the station if you can't or won't walk it. Adopting similar measures in other train hubs might help convert the lazier people.

Comment Re:Prizes and Royalties (Score 2, Interesting) 281

My company can have a few of my ideas, with no monetary compensation, because I know that ideas are useless without the means to execute them. I do not have the audience or the resources to do what they can. I could do nothing with that idea. I gain nothing by keeping it. If I give it away, and the company does it, either customers' lives, employees' lives, or the market is enriched. Why sit on it?

If it is an idea I can execute on my own, like a book plot, a startup site, or a new type of spoon, then yes, I'll keep it. However, how many of the ideas people would offer at work are really like that?

With that distinction made, the "Pay me for my idea that I can't actually make happen on my own" sentiment I am seeing modded +5 right now is in conflict with the Slashdot meme of "patents should expire for people who do nothing with them." In both cases, people want a reward for ideas they cannot execute. The difference is that patents actively stop other people from executing the ideas, but the underlying belief in both statements is still that an idea alone is worth something. Which is it?

Comment Re:Counter-intuitive (Score 3, Insightful) 286

"PETA is a shady political group with an agenda."

They're shady alright. I am pretty bothered by how they react to people wearing fur. Throwing flour and paint and other things is simply unacceptable. It's a stretch to call it assault, but it is still invading your personal space in an effort to force you to comply with their ideas of good behavior.

I have a right to choose to wear fur. It's not illegal. You also have the right to disagree with my choice. You do not have the right to terrorize me into agreeing with you. You do not have the right to make me afraid to go somewhere in a fur coat just because we do not agree. But I guess the rights of people they dislike (evil, awful animal-killers!) don't count.

That said, I don't have a fur coat, and I do like animals, and I was a vegetarian for awhile. I just really have a problem with PETA in particular because of those tactics.

Comment Re:Get Off My Lawn, Punk (Score 1) 333

No, there's an art and skill and subtlety to communication and the human mind. It's not just the written word. Speech has just as much nuance.

I know Latin and Japanese fairly well, in addition to handfuls of words, sentences, songs, and poems in many other languages, because it is a hobby of mine. I have found that there are words in these other languages that English does not have an equivalent for. When I think of something really, meltingly cute with a child-like simplicity, I use the Japanese word kawaii. Adorable and cute are not quite right. Similarly, mu -- unask the question -- has a certain connotation and elegance to it that 'unask the question' lacks.

In the same vein, <3 means something to me that an English word cannot convey. :D is different than :) and =), too. There are subtle levels of happiness and silliness there. They are complex. They change with context. They get a message across consistently. The fact that they are made out of punctuation is the only thing that separates them from a word -- and honestly, even words and letters are just stick drawings anyway. A letter just happens to represent a sound. Why is it superior? It seems a little arbitrary.

Yes, we have a dictionary to agree on a letter's pronunciation and its related words. We just don't need one for emoticons, because they're generally so obvious. <3 is heart and love, but my social circle has a nuanced definition of it unique to us -- just like we have an certain nuanced definition of the word taters.

Yes, people can use emoticons to be mentally lazy, expressing generic 'happy' rather than a specific level of happiness, but they can do that in words, too. People will be lazy no matter what. You can't blame the tool for that.

Are there other objections?


IBM Wants To Patent Restaurant Waits 154

theodp writes "If all goes IBM's way, it'll soon constitute patent infringement if Bennigan's gives you a free lunch for being inconvenienced by a long wait for your meal. Big Blue is seeking a patent for its Method and Structure for Automated Crediting to Customers for Waiting, the purported 'invention' of three IBM researchers, which IBM notes, 'could be implemented completely devoid of computerization or automation of any kind.' Can we count on IBM to withdraw this patent claim, or will Big Blue weasel out of its patent reform pledge again?"

Submission + - Jack Valenti dead at 85

linuxwrangler writes: Jack Valenti, the son of Sicilian immigrants who started out sweeping theater floors, won the Distinguished Flying Cross, was in President Kennedy's motorcade when he was assassinated, created the modern movie rating system, and prior to retiring from the MPAA rose to become one of SlashDot's most hated is dead at age 85.

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