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Comment No life on a planet? (Score 1) 720

>strictly speaking, Earth itself should not exist, according to the computer model, according to the story in Discover Magazine. Long ago, in the country that does not exist anymore, a respected organization nominated 6 projects for a very prestigious award. They were told only 5 projects could receive this award, so they had to eliminate one project. Of course, every nominated group insisted that their project was crucial and someone else's project should be cut. A big boss suggested cutting a device that could figure out whether a new planet had life on it. When its inventors objected, the big boss took the device far into steppe and left it there overnight. In the morning the display read, "NO LIFE ON THIS PLANET".

Comment Re:Another possibility (Score 5, Informative) 69

is to get rid of the mosquitoes directly by using selfish gene elements like segregation distorters. But imagine the "what could possibly go wrong" comments if you tried to even suggest this.

People tried to eradicate mosquitoes decades ago. Fish population suffered. We never know how things we hate are connected to the things we need. That's why it pays to consider long-term consequences before doing anything drastic.

Comment Re:FFS (Score 1) 412

If you can have it both ways, then why are certain people offended at its use, while simultaneously using it themselves? I think that is a tad hypocritical.

That's easy.

If you say, "I am an idiot!", it's self-criticism and not offensive.

If I say, "Yes, you are an idiot", then you will probably be offended.

Hence, using words offensive to the group you belong to or criticizing a group you belong to is different that using the same words regarding a group you are not a member of.

Submission + - As Big As Net Neutrality? FCC Kills State-Imposed Internet Monopolies (

tedlistens writes: On Thursday, before it voted in favor of "net neutrality," the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to override state laws in Tennessee and North Carolina that have barred local governments and public utilities from offering broadband outside the areas where they have traditionally sold electricity. Christopher Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance said the move was as important for internet competition as net neutrality: "Preventing big Internet Service Providers from unfairly discriminating against content online is a victory, but allowing communities to be the owners and stewards of their own broadband networks is a watershed moment that will serve as a check against the worst abuses of the cable monopoly for decades to come." The laws, like those in over a dozen other states, are often created under pressure from large private Internet providers like Comcast and Verizon, who consequently control monopolies or duopolies over high-speed internet in these places.

Submission + - Ask SD: How do you handle the discovery of a web site disclosing private data?

An anonymous reader writes: I recently discovered that a partner web site of a financial institution I do business with makes it trivially easy to view documents that do not belong to me. As in, change the document ID in a URL and view someone else's financial documents. This requires no authentication, only a document URL. (Think along the lines of an online rebate center where you upload documents including credit card statements.) I immediately called customer service and spoke with a perplexed agent who unsurprisingly didn't know what to do with my call. I asked to speak with a supervisor who took good notes and promised a follow-up internally. I asked for a return call but have not yet heard back. In the meantime, I still have private financial information I consider to be publicly available. I'm trying to be responsible and patient in my handling of this, but I am second guessing how to move forward if not quickly resolved. So, Slashdot, how would you handle this situation?

Submission + - Comcast and Time Warner - Match Made in Heaven

whitesea writes: I must admit that I protested the merger and even submitted a comment to FCC that they needed to protect Time Warner customers from Comcast. I have now discovered that I was wrong, and this is indeed a perfect match. Remember all these articles that told us about Comcast employees changing names of complaining customers to something obscene? Here is a proof that Time Warner employees have already been trained in such customer service niceties.

Comment Re:Need doublethink training (Score 1) 376

I am not talking about artificial colors. I am talking about different ways to look at things that are underrepresented in a particular culture.

If half of your customers are women you may want enough women in your culture to make your product attractive to women. If you have other segments of your customers that are underrepresented among your developers, you may want to encourage that group to get into programming.

Of course, a free course is not supposed to be their whole education and training. It is supposed to be their welcome mat, their foot in the door. A lot of people need encouragement to get going. This course is such an encouragement.

Comment Re:Need doublethink training (Score 2) 376

It looks like you are looking at it from the political viewpoint instead of the practical one.

Google discovered that they already have plenty of white males working for them. They want more diversity and this course is their way to increase the pool of available talent.

Diversity (variety of backgrounds, experiences and viewpoints) is good for business. Google has many programs to solve different problems. This program is to resolve a problem of too homogeneous workforce. Don't read too much into it.

If I want a vegetable soup and I already have plenty of potatoes at home, I buy what I am lacking. Will you criticize me for discrimination against potatoes? I posit that all the indignation about this particular program omitting white males is as silly as criticizing me for omitting potatoes from my shopping list.

I also agree with other posters that attacking and denigrating any group will drive some of its members away, even if they are otherwise interested, talented, and competent.

Submission + - Roku Finally Adds YouTube to its Iconic Media Player (

DeviceGuru writes: Roku's popular Linux-based media players have long been criticized for their glaring omission of YouTube video support. As of Dec. 17, that is no longer the case, provided you have the high-end Roku 3 player and live in the U.S., Canada, Ireland, or the U.K. Google's YouTube channel is available immediately for the Roku 3 in resolutions up to 1080p, and will be supported on additional models (though probably just Roku 2) next year, according the company. Previously, the only way to run YouTube over a Roku box was to use the third-party, subscription based PlayOn service, which requires a connected PC or Mac running the PlayOn app. The YouTube update also adds a Send to TV feature, letting you send videos to the Roku for display on the TV with a single click.

Submission + - Your LinkedIn Password Is On Display in a Museum in Germany (

Daniel_Stuckey writes: Earlier this year, it was London. Most recently, it was a university in Germany. Wherever it is, Bartholl is opening up his eight white, plainly printed binders full of the 4.7 million user passwords that were pilfered from the social network and made public by a hacker last year. He brings the books to his exhibits, called 'Forgot Your Password', where you're free to see if he's got your data—and whether anyone else who wanders through is entirely capable of logging onto your account and making Connections with unsavory people. In fact, Bartholl insists:

"These eight volumes contain 4.7 million LinkedIn clear text user passwords printed in alphabetical order," the description of his project reads. "Visitors are invited to look up their own password."

Submission + - Google Makes it Harder for Marketers to Collect User Data

cagraham writes: In a seemingly minor update, Google announced that all Gmail images will now be cached on their own servers, before being displayed to users. This means that users won't have to click to download images in every email now — they'll just automatically be shown. For marketers, however, the change has serious implications. Because each user won't download the images from a third-party server, marketers won't be able to see open-rates, log IP addresses, or gather information on user location and browser type. Google says the changes are intended to enhance user privacy and security.

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