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Comment Re: Just another mindless attack (Score 1) 505

You'd be surprised at what can be done by careful selection of camera angles and framing.

I doubt it. It's what I do for a living.

You're right that the camera lies in important ways. It lies in what it omits.

But that is the point. The journalist omits a shit-tonne of irrelevant detail every single time s/he writes a story. And a photojournalist removes a shit-tonne of detail every time s/he frames a shot. That's actually part of the job: highlighting the thing that makes this particular story newsworthy.

The fact that it's often done inadequately shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Here on Slashdot, for example, we all know how much of source code is absolute shit. And familiarity breeds contempt.

But somehow we still manage to find enough software to build a platform on which to perform our everyday online tasks. Which is kind of remarkable when we consider the shit sandwich we're resting our work on. And yet, we find a way.

I'd recommend you take the same approach to the news. Yes, there is a really thick and juicy shit sandwich out there, and a lot of reporting is made up of the moist middle bit. But not all of it is. Not every reporter does things perfectly every time, but with a little patience and perseverance, you can build a stable of go-to commentators who can be relied on to be honest, fair and to follow the facts. They won't always be right, but they will never attempt to deceive. There are more of them out there than you may know.

There's a years-long discussion on the back side of this point, about how to engage with your audience when telling an honest story, but the bottom line is this: 'The media' doesn't exist as a single, monolithic thing. It's a broad and wildly diverse landscape. Bias is unavoidable, and contrary to popular opinion, it's not the death of journalism.

Comment Re: Just another mindless attack (Score 1) 505

The problem is I consider ALL the media news to be propaganda, and don't really believe any of it. I'm even dubious about the things that are agreed upon by both the left an right sides of the political spectrum.

What's ironic is that you learned to distrust 'the media' because of a rhetorical line promulgated in 'the media' against 'the media'. Maybe, just maybe, 'the media' isn't monolithic. Maybe it comprises a huge variety of perspectives and motivations and capabilities. And maybe some sources are more reliable than others.

Maybe... the media sources that spend their time discrediting other media sources are not so credible themselves? Maybe it's complicated.

Pretty fucked up, huh?

Comment Re:Why trust in the media is at an all time low (Score 2) 914

That was the first PewDiePie I've watched, and it's interesting to see the media do to him what they've done to Trump, Farage, Wilders, Le Pen, Orban, etc.

So, for the record, you consider Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, Geert Wilders, the le Pen family and Viktor Orban to be genuinely upstanding public servants who have been unfairly portrayed as not-nice people?

Why, in your opinion, do you think these particular people—and not, for example, Justin Trudeau or Angela Merkel—have been so victimised?

Comment Re:What about data and txt costs? and can they rem (Score 1) 75

What about data and txt costs?

How much do you pay for bluetooth and WiFi on your phone?

This is fascinating, intended for third world use. Do we imagine that the density of cell phones in the third world is really sufficient to meet the 200' range? Maybe in the city, on the streets. Anywhere else, huh?

Hello from the developing world. Yes, most people, even in remote areas, tend to live in clusters. These clusters increase in concentration during natural disasters. This kind of tech would allow news to propagate within population clusters, leaving disaster response people to focus more on hopping between concentrations of people. All in all, probably a useful addition to the disaster-response toolkit.

BUT... Android-based mesh network tech that uses a mobile's wifi has been around for years. I test drove one FOSS project back in 2011-12. And it's never proven practical because of the high traffic management overheads, and the fact that always-on wifi can eat a fully charged battery in hours. I've been through two cyclones out here, and I can tell you from experience that getting access to power is a huge challenge for most people. Unless they find a way to address power consumption, this will be a nice idea, to be tossed into the Nice Ideas drawer and forgotten.

Comment Liars and the lies they tell (Score 1) 401

Uh huh. And in 2007 Gore claimed the Arctic would be ice free in seven years (2014) and in 2009 Kerry made the same idiotic claim.
It was quite obvious in the 2009 & 2011 whistle blower release that the CRU scientists were fudging the results. NASA was just caught with its hand in the data jar, fudging the results. The climate "scientists" threw out well calibrated satellite covering the entire ocean in favor of spotty cargo ship temperature data, which is known to be chronically high, just like the temperature stations next to air conditioners, on parking lots, hot roofs, etc, simply because they could be used to support AGW.
Then, to top it off, these geniuses want to make massive changes in the Arctic ocean subsurface environment! Didn't they learned anything from Australia's invasive species problems, all caused by well meaning scientists: cane toads, rabbits, red foxes, etc...????

Too much rain, AGW. Too little rain. AGW, Too hot. AGW, Too cold. AGW. AGW is a repeat of Lysenkoism. it is not a science (because it can't be falsified) it is a religion.

Comment Re:Yawn... (Score 2) 626

This guy works on image analysis for telescopes in other words spy satellites which just happen to be large telescopes pointed downwards.

The NRO runs the spy satellites and the Air Force launches them. NASA has nothing to do with them besides providing rockets and launch platforms.

You're right, but there's still a decidedly non-zero chance that the hi-res optics he has access to see a lot of classified things.

Comment Re:Russian hackers = the best (Score 2) 102

So based on your "I grew up in the cold war" anecdotes about SO MANY -(Citation needed) journalists being spies...

Spies is a strong word to use, but yes, it was more or less assumed that journalists from behind the Iron Curtain were intelligence operatives and were expected to gather information and data about much more than they wrote about. Likewise, there were more than a few writers and reporters who knowingly (and sometimes unknowingly) provided the CIA with intelligence from their areas of expertise.

This doesn't imply cloak-and-dagger stuff, or breaking into offices late at night (let's leave the Nixon White House out of this, shall we?). For the most part, it would take the form of one or more journalists hanging out after work and trading scuttlebutt—interesting and useful information that was either not newsworthy or not well-enough sourced to report on. There would frequently be a CIA intelligence operative present during the conversation, and they didn't always try very hard to hide it.

Let it be known that this channel never entirely dried up. I've had several conversations with 'embassy staff' who were clearly trying to pump me for information. And I'm happy to share with them what I'd share with anyone else. If that helps them get a better understanding of a sensitive situation, then I've done my job as a journalist and a responsible citizen.

To take a slightly more controversial example, consider Gloria Steinem's famous escapades as a 'recruiter' for CIA propaganda operations. She willingly accepted payment for identifying people to speak at international conferences who would tout the government line about freedom and democracy. The CIA considered this a necessary tactic to thwart the flood of communist and socialist messaging that was flowing in from Soviet-funded sources. Ms Steinem had no qualms about taking cash for it, and although I would baulk at accepting payment for something done out of principle, I can't say for certain I wouldn't have done the same thing as she did.

nobody should believe anything reported about state sponsored hacks, because the reporters themselves might be "in" on it?

No, all he's saying is that context matters. Attempts to spy on reporters, overtly and covertly, have been ongoing since reporters first existed. And reporters are—or should be—aware of it, too. It really does come with the territory.

Please continue dancing around while you mention feminism for no reason.

Yeah, the anti-feminism jab was gratuitous and out of line. You've got a solid point there. But just because he can act like a dick doesn't mean he's entirely wrong.

Comment Re:Not what he said. (Score 2) 594

My first job out of HS in 1959 was at Shwayder Bros luggage plant on South Broadway in Denver. One of the brothers, Jesse, was manager. His door was always open and one could walk in at any time to offer suggestions with no fear of losing their job. Every Christmas he divided the company profits into bonuses based on years experience. I only worked there for a year but my dad worked for them from the middle 1930s until he retired in 1969, at 65.

Across the street was the Gates Rubber Co. Their employees were always striking about something. About three months before I quit and went to college, union members from Gates began picketing in front of Shwayder Bros with posters making outrageous claims. Also, some recent employees, obvious plants, started making equally outrageous claims a/o lies of abuse and mis-management. A couple years after I left a vote was held and the Union lost. After a few more years the union won. The employees lost. Instead of going directly to Jesse employees had to take their suggestions to union stewards, who would decide if and when they would be passed to management. During financially hard times, which the unionization caused to happen regularly, union stewards had job security regardless of seniority. Bonuses stop. Wages stagnated, except for union stewards and the union bosses who had front offices. Union dues, however, did not. 2% of your income for the "privilege" of being a union slave with no freedom or rights except those "granted" by Union bosses.

Comment Re:An insanely clever solution, Microsoft-style. (Score 1) 236

Your idea would be easy to implement, a perfect solution to the problem and most of all it would work. We can't have that at MS.

I laughed, too. But it has to be admitted that this phenomenon is not unique to Microsoft.

I haven't used RPM in years, so I don't know if the problem persist, but it used to be that Redhat upgrade mechanism sorted packages alphabetically, which meant that this you'd frequently get cases where upgrade candidates sorted like this:


And because your packages came from hundreds of different sources, everybody had their own way of coping with the problem. The company I worked for managed a special-purpose server distro, and our builds were constantly beset with a day or two spent disambiguating package names.

Comment PS- (Score 1) 85

I just remembered a big problem attending Sun's lectures, or PBS Science or music events: when the number of avatars approached around 100 the lag killed performance, for both video, sound and avatar movement. Is that fixed? Can 500 or a 1,000 avatars attend an event without causing a crash?

Comment The decline and fall ... (Score 2) 85

I joined SL more than a decade ago. At the time corporations and news media had a presence. CNN, IBM, Sun, etc... I attended conferences at Sun's amphitheater and listened to avatars give speeches and present videos. NASA had a hugh display of VR rockets. There was a life size model of the Startrek Enterprise, and of the TItanic, IIRC. Over the course of a couple years those sites became defunct because SL did NOT turn out to be a medium conducive to business. The population map showed that the spots with the greatest number of avatars were those showing porn movies or populated with avatar couples having virtual sex using animated genitalia. Who knows how many marriages were destroyed when avatar owners made real contact with the owners of their avatar lovers. I suspect that password protected "communities" probably had pedophilia or worse going on. That's when I stopped using SL. The VR SL will not bring any new visitors to SL. It will just make a lot of basements a lot stinkier, and turn loose onto society even more hyped up sexual perverts not satisfied with self-gratification.

Comment Re:Trump seems to think Executive Orders... (Score 5, Informative) 952

What happens if he doesn't adhere to the above? I get the feeling we're about to find out.

It's already become clear that the White House explicitly overrode a DHS determination that contended the ban didn't apply to Green Card holders and other valid, vetted residents. The ACLU is reporting that some officials are not abiding by a number of stay order issued at courts in at least three locations.

As a legal instrument, at least one scholar sees these particular orders as so incredibly flawed that they won't stand up to a sustained legal attack by the ACLU, CAIR and others.

Most worrying though are the reports circulating that the drafting process bypassed the normal interdepartmental and legal review stages, and that DHS was only briefed on the content of the Executive Orders as they were being signed. This doesn't sound like an administration that's particularly worried about adhering to the letter of the law, or bringing a lot of people into the conversation. Not sure how that will stand up over time. Politics is often petty and vengeful, and the White House is already leaking like a sieve. It might be that their incompetence is what does them in. It may be that their unwillingness to share power will do it.

My personal feeling is that neither one will stop them. I think people severely underestimate the lengths that this administration will go to to see this through. When Donald Trump promised the people of America that he would never back down, that he would do everything to advance the cause... I think he was speaking literally. When Steve Bannon says that we're at war with Islam, I think he believes it fervently. When Flynn and others portray their work as an existential fight, I think they're sincere in that.

Left-leaning people and other opponents have mobilised quickly, but they're expecting the administration to react the way they would react. They think that public shaming, legal action and political activism will drive Donald Trump's administration back. I fear they're wrong. They will be seen as traitors and subversives, and they'll be treated accordingly, through formal and informal means. They don't realise that their resistance will ultimately have to be physical. They should be reading up on their Thoreau right about now....

Comment Yes, squirrels are. (Score 1) 150

A power transformer across the street from my office window on the 2nd floor of the NE State office bldg was blown out three times during the ten year period before I retired. I watched the last rascal jump between two insulators and draw a 21,000 volt spark. There was an explosion and fell to the pavement. With the power down and nothing else to do I went outside to check the squirrel. His skin was split from his left rear foot pad to his left front paw, like a zipper had been unzipped. And the air was filled with the odor of cooked squirrel. I didn't see the previous rascal's demise but I went out to investigate it as well. It had somehow gotten jammed and the current cooked him and then carbonized him before it exploded.

Comment Re:Wholly Delusion Batman! (Score 1) 278

Anyone who watched the process KNEW full well that there was massive collusion by the DNC and Media to INSTALL Hillary as the candidate. In the first election, she won 6 straight coin tosses to take Iowa. That was day 1. So did Russia fix all of the coin tosses, card flips, and dice rolls of which Hillary won 100% of the "tie breakers"?

I couldn't agree more! Why don't people ever even type "Iowa coin toss" into Snopes before they start talking shit about conspiracies? I mean, sheesh, people! How many conspiracies do we have to confront before everyone realises that my conspiracy is the real one, and all the other ones are just phantasmagorical fever dreams?

... Right?

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