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Comment sacrificial Mac (Score 1) 391

I keep an old laptop for this kind of thing. It doesn't have any useful data on it or a live network connection and it won't run Windows malware, so it's pretty low risk. My users know to bring drives they find to me, not plug them into their own hardware. I have not found any hostile programs but have made a couple people happy by returning their lost drives.

Comment What about FB's meme-munching "data scientists"? (Score 1) 141

Last month Mother Jones ran this fluff article about a Facebook meme. Nobody seemed to think it was unusual that "Facebook's data scientists" are watching everything that is posted and collating the results.

Recently, a status update ran around Facebook asking people to "List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don't take more than a few minutes, and don't think too hard. They do not have to be the 'right' books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way." Facebook's data scientists went though 130,000 responses and came up with a list of the 100 most common entries.

http://www.motherjones.com/mix... Were these only 'public' Facebook accounts, or private accounts or both? Did anyone think it was creepy that they are scraping Facebook posts for research without informing the subjects that they are being researched on?

Submission + - Cheap tablet to use as magnifier? 3

skinfaxi writes: I have an iPad I got from work, and have used it at home to magnify Magic cards. My eyesight is going and it's nice to be able to see the art larger. My father-in-law is legally blind. He can see but has very thick eyeglasses. He might be willing to play Magic with us if he could see the cards. We'd like to get him a tablet or e-reader that he could use to magnify with, but he doesn't need an expensive iPad. Are there other (cheaper) tablets that have built-in cameras that could be used the same way?

Comment wizard level (Score 2) 96

Does anyone remember the old D-n-D-based MUDs that, once you had maxed your level, gave you the option to begin an apprenticeship to learn to program and extend the game? I have wished many times that Blizzard would adopt that model everywhere, to allow players to generate new content. It would be a great learning tool and introduction to game design, character modeling, etc.

Comment Re:He could get out of the charge (Score 1) 252

Some pictures were taken surreptitiously. Some were not real photos at all, but were composites of a porn performer with a revenge victim's head photoshopped on. And it's not still very fair to blame the victim for having their pics stolen if the photos were real and consensually created. Maybe guys should stop asking for nude pics and women should be refuse to make them. You never want to think your lover would betray you but obviously it does happen.

Comment Re:Fucking idiots (Score 1) 1532

The USDA has a competitive grant process for funding research in agriculture. That funding is critical to innovations and improvements in US agriculture. You could search the CRIS database to see all the currently funded projects...but it's down since the government is closed.


Comment monkey around (Score 1) 126

Some organized monkey-wrenching would be fun. "Flash fuckery"

"Your assignment this week - every time you are in the grocery stop in aisle 6 and stare at the capers for 45 seconds, then move on. Extra points if you don't actually buy anything at all"
"Your assignment today is to move one can of tomato paste to the beer section"
"Tomorrow please run quickly through aisles 2 and 7, then stop to pace back and forth in front of the adult diapers for 10 seconds"
"This week, wear heat-shielding on just the top half of your body."
"Stand very still in front of the instant coffee area and move your eyes quickly from top shelf to bottom shelf 5 times, then sprint away."

Submission + - Conservancy running campaign to write better accounting software for nonprofits (sfconservancy.org) 1

paroneayea writes: The Software Freedom Conservancy is running a campaign to improve accounting software, especially for nonprofits. To keep their books and produce annual government filings, most NPOs rely on proprietary software, paying exorbitant licensing fees. This is fundamentally at cross purposes with their underlying missions of charity, equality, democracy, and sharing. You can help Conservancy fix this problem by donating now!

Submission + - Are IT Support Staff Going the Way of the Dinosaur? (wvtf.org)

skinfaxi writes: Yesterday I heard Neal Conan interviewing Farhad Manjoo on "Talk of the Nation" regarding "A Look Ahead At The Future Of Tech." Among other things, Manjoo said "I feel bad for ... IT people in general because, you know, the office IT person, the person who would help you with your technology, I think that role is, sort of, going away..." because, BYOT+ Google. Do you agree? Are offices going all BYOT? Is Google going to save you when your computer is trashed by malware?

Submission + - High school student faces Federal charges for scientific curiosity

SemperCogito writes: This petition at Whitehouase.gov (http://wh.gov/zx1m) explains:

Kiera Wilmot is a Florida high school student with a perfect behavior record and good grades. She was recently arrested, hauled from school in handcuffs, expelled, and now faces Federal charges — all because of shameful over-reaction by school officials and law enforcement.

Out of curiosity and the scientific spirit, she mixed some common household chemicals together, creating a vigorous reaction that blew the top off the container she used. No one was hurt — no damage was done. But instead of appluading her boldness of spirit and connecting her to a science teacher that could mentor it, she is being treated like a criminal!

This travesty of justice and education must be stopped. Reinstate her, and wipe her records clean. Then celebrate her!

More on the story: http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2013/04/florida_teen_girl_charged_with.php Her principal's email address: Ronald.Pritchard@polk-fl.net

Comment "Feminist" (Score 1) 1145

For those using this as an excuse to bash feminists, please note that Richards says over and over in the comments section of the linked article (http://butyoureagirl.com/14015/forking-and-dongle-jokes-dont-belong-at-tech-conferences/) that she is not a feminist. Why she doesn't believe in equal rights for women, I am not sure, but this isn't the action of a feminist, ultra-liberal feminazi, modern feminist or any other kind of feminist.

Submission + - Will IBM's Watson Kill Your Career? (slashdot.org)

Nerval's Lobster writes: "IBM’s Watson made major headlines last year when it trounced its human rivals on Jeopardy. But Watson isn’t just sitting around spinning trivia questions to stump the champs: IBM is working hard on taking it into a series of vertical markets such as healthcare, contact management and financial services to see if the system can be used for diagnosing diseases and catching market trends. Does this spell the end of your BI career? Not really, but it does raise some interesting thoughts and issues."

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