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Comment Re:Oh shut up (Score 4, Insightful) 530

It is real simple: Whoever owns the systems, and their designated agents, have a right to have access.

Yeah, say that with a straight face to the guy demanding the root password because he read "it was important", and you got a call last week from him asking you to change his desktop wallpaper because "it got stuck". IT admins not going in for that kind of non-sense is a compelling reason why large sections of the internet don't slide off the side of the planet in a dribble-like fashion.

This guy was responsible for critical public infrastructure -- infrastructure that kept working for months after they fired him. They broke it repeatedly after gaining access, and it took hundreds, if not thousands, of billable hours to repair the damage that happened when those owners and their "designated agents" got their hands around the gooey core of the network.

Justice is about harmony, not law and order.

Comment Re:News Flash: Apple limits app store! (Score 0, Troll) 664

There isn't anyone upset with the app store inconsistency and stupidity that owns an iPhone? Really?

Didn't say so. I'm sure there are but they seem to be a small minority.

And I'm not sure what you are betting on.

I'm betting that probably 99% of iPhone users will never hear about this and even they did they would give a resigned yawn and not care.

Comment Re:No contact. (Score 1) 428

Al Sharpton on The Colbert Report just yesterday noted that he was one of thousands in the same conditions, and that even though he was able to rise above it, the majority of the people he knew growing up are dead or in prison.

Just because you have an example of 1% that make it through, or make it out, does not mean that they did anything special necessarily even, and the average for all of them is that life sucks, and it is not entirely their fault. In a society where 99 out of every 100 that are in their situation fail to have an opportunity to succeed, that makes it 1% their fault.

Look at the Worlds Strongest Man competition... look at everything they can accomplish. The fact that you cannot is an indication that you're lazy, and incapable. ... That logic doesn't sound right, and neither should "look, this one person got out of the ghetto, so the fact that you're still here means you're lazy and incapable."

Some people can push harder than others.

Comment Re:Other strategies... (Score 1, Troll) 801

You know what happens with those signs? I do. Took our neighborhood several months to get the city to remove the one from in front of my house and prevent them from putting it up somewhere else so the kids in my neighborhood didn't get killed.

What happens is this:

Safe drivers are already safe and the sign is retarded and nothing more than a pointless blinking visual distraction.

Unsafe drivers see the sign as a challenge and speed up so they can see how fast they can drive by the sign, meanwhile ignoring the children playing in the neighborhood so they can watch the sign to see their speed blink.

The theoretical psychology behind these systems maybe interesting, however theory isn't reality and these signs are most definitely far more dangerous than not having them as anyone who's actually been around them is aware.

In Portugal I saw a cute system - if you pass a sensor driving faster than the speed limit, then a traffic signal 200yards/metres down the road turns red for 10 seconds, making you (and again anyone behind you) stop.

Absolutely fucking retarded. Creating congestion never raises safety levels. Ever. What happens is people just go faster to run the light or run it anyway. You may think its cute, sounds pretty fucking dangerous to me. Its always a good idea to make speeders suddenly stop unexpectedly and have to hit the brakes hard ... especially with other people speeding behind them ... brilliant idea ... really ... who comes up with this stuff? How many accidents suddenly start happening right around that red light? Hmm? There are less speeding accidents, and twice as many accidents involving the red light being ran or people getting rear ended at it.

I love how someone invents a theory sitting behind a desk somewhere and without actually looking at what happens in the real world, they ignore all the other contributions to the equation and lose sight of reality resulting in a more dangerous situation that you started with.

You want safer driving? Require drivers have more of a clue. Don't let any random moron drive (Here in America if you can breath you can drive, and there are exceptions for non-breathers) and you won't have as many issues. Punish those who drive unsafe stiffer, take away their drivers license. Its not a right, its a privilege.

What you don't do is introduce more distractions and changes to throw unexpected things at the driver. They do this in video games to raise the difficultly level ... perhaps these scientists and others who think this is a good idea should play a few video games and get a clue.

Comment My .02, as it were (Score 1) 313

I could see myself buying an extended demo if and only if the purchase price went towards full version (somewhere near 100%). There have been plenty of games I've enjoyed 5-10 hours, purchased the damn thing, yet never get around to finishing. Were I able to purchase a reasonable portion (i.e more than 50-60%), with the option to unlock the entire game, I'd be less inclined to download the full game for free.

Comment Re:Basic is, well, basic. (Score 1) 548

I would recommend that your son try to pick up Scratch as an introductory programming language.

I have looked at it(and so has he) and it's really not "nuts-and-bolts" type programming. That's the problem, really. There's very little any more between the big complex languages that adults use and stuff like this that really isn't teaching you serious programming. The obvious question(there were similar programs and "languages" in the past in the 80s and 90s) is where do the kids go from this? Right. Usually thrown into the major languages in high school and college where their heads explode because it's a course for a grade rather than something that they can easily learn in their free time. I suppose HTML and PERL and the like is somewhat usable as an entry level(not sure I want to call it a "language", though, since it's really running scripts and formatting and the like), but it's really not serious low-level programming, either.

BASIC, as much of a bad rep as it gets, actually does fill a lot of that gap for beginners(though they might actually have to learn that evil stuff called math - oh no!). Yes, it's old, yes, it's not cool. But last I checked, the world didn't explode when we all learned it growing up. Plus, there are tons of emulators out there.

Comment Re:no (Score 1) 582

If it's "truly secure" that's "true security". What, exactly, is "true" security? By one definition we already have it -- for instance, since more airplanes crash because of human error and equipment failure than from terrorism, I'd say we DO have "true security". After all, it doesn't matter if your tail falls off because of poor maintenance, or because a terrorist put a bomb on it. Either way, you're dead.

More importantly in his essay, he has it exactly right -- we should not give in to fear. Our gutless politicians have turned "the land of the free and the home of the brave" into the land of the surveiled with a police car on every corner and the home of the yellow bellied coward. It sickens me what the politicians have done to my country since 9-11.

Comment Re:Politics (Score 1) 874

"His company handles over a billion in investment cash that chases any green-smelling contract or startup."

Which ought to make them slightly less efficient than every other fund manager or VC firm, that just chase investments based on payoff, green or otherwise, and who can just as easily profit off a boom in "green" technology as Mr. Gore.

Your complaint seems to be that Gore invests in companies that show promise in terms of dealing with global warming, and that he also pushes a political agenda of trying to make it more profitable to deal with with global warming.

That could certainly be a nefarious plot, but it seems awfully convoluted. And it seems the same things would make sense if Gore actually believed GW was a problem. I mean, why make stuff up? Why not pick an actual problem to make money solving?

Anyway, I might take your ravings more seriously if you knew the difference between the carbon offsets Gores company sells and the emissions permits envisioned by cap & trade.

Comment Re:I just hope... (Score 3, Insightful) 318

You don't check a railway train driver's safety record. Or a bus drivers or a taxi drivers. Yet you are putting your life in the their hands on the basis that you trust they are qualified from the job, haven't been sacked for being incompetent, and have some trust in whatever safety systems are in place. This is no different.

Comment Re:419 Scams (Score 1) 808

I think that the reason that intelligent, well meaning people get up in arms when race and intelligence are discussed together is simple: the evidence just isn't there. Or at least, the evidence is too vague and contradictory to be anything but inflammatory in discussions about why some races seem to have better success in society.

Example: it's pretty well known that whites outperform blacks on tests designed to measure intelligence. Some people read that and automatically assume that this reveals something innate, something which accounts for widespread poverty among black people.

Two facts argue against that. The first it that, in Ireland, you find the same discrepancy in test scores between the Protestant majority and the Catholic minority, even though both have ancestry that we think of as "white".

This draws attention to the second fact: expectation biases account for at least a substantial portion of the discrepancy. You put a white kid and a black kid in the same room, and give them a test that you've told them will measure their intelligence, the black kid very often performs worse than he would have if you'd just introduced it as a bunch of interesting problems you want the kids to solve.

Interestingly, the expectation bias has a negative effect on the white kids too, if you sit them next to Asian kids.

So when IQ is presented as something that is innate, and varies between the races, it does real damage. I am a believer in academic freedom and intellectual exploration, but going into the minefield of race and IQ doesn't just mean facing outrage; it also means risking harm to others. IOW, think responsibly.

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