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Comments

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Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

ATMAvatar Re: What's so American (483 comments)

In the context of a single argument, you are correct. However, in the scope of society as a whole, public shaming of people who are willfully ignorant would hopefully serve to discourage those who see it as a badge of honor to argue a topic while being completely ignorant of the facts. However, I would be happy if we could at least drop the anti-intellectualism which permeates US culture.

yesterday
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850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

ATMAvatar Re:Told ya... (206 comments)

I wouldn't call it stupid, but it is a logical fallacy. Given what we knew 10 years ago, it was only logical to point out the fallacy of assuming that everything you said or did was monitored, because there was little/no public evidence of such. That it turned out to be true does not make the past arguments any less fallacious.

2 days ago
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Patents That Kill

ATMAvatar Re:And this is the same for copyrights. (240 comments)

Why should a copyright ever extend past the life of the author? For those 10 years you propose after the author dies, what additional works will that author create as a result of the additional copyright protection? And will zombie works be good enough to be worthy of copyright protection?

about two weeks ago
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UK Police Won't Comment On The Tracking of People's Phone Calls

ATMAvatar Re:It's not extra-judicial (52 comments)

In the case of the US, it's a secret court with secret proceedings - as far as anyone knows, the actual approval for surveillance is rubber-stamped by circus clowns. Even then, it was shown that much of our surveillance was done without consulting the special "court". I don't see why we should assume the UK system is any different.

about three weeks ago
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Google Spots Explicit Images of a Child In Man's Email, Tips Off Police

ATMAvatar Re:Well at least they saved the children! (790 comments)

It's a good thing hashes are always unique, so that no one could possibly be accidentally accused of a crime which would end their careers and social lives even without a conviction.

about three weeks ago
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How Many Members of Congress Does It Take To Pass a $400MM CS Bill?

ATMAvatar Re:Amusing, but potentially a waste of time (180 comments)

While Physics and Chemistry are not particularly useful, it's difficult to dispute that Calculus (and, by extension, Lambda Calculus) is useful for Computer Science.

about three weeks ago
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CIA Director Brennan Admits He Was Lying: CIA Really Did Spy On Congress

ATMAvatar Re:A senior administration official LIED?!?!?! (266 comments)

Given the Snowden leaks, it *is* the most transparent administration ever. It's too bad that it took leaks to become transparent, but we may as well take what we can get.

about a month ago
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Comcast Confessions

ATMAvatar Re:I must be the outlier (234 comments)

I'm not quite sure why Comcast hasn't emiserated the in-store situation yet; but apparently they haven't, and it's not as though the front-line peons are fucking with you for their pleasure, so if they aren't forced to they generally won't.

That's easy. Someone deliberately screwing with you to prevent your cancellation in person could escalate the situation to violence. Over the phone, the most that can happen is a shouting match, and if the customer gets frustrated enough, they hang up, which is a win.

about a month ago
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Amputee Is German Long Jump Champion

ATMAvatar Re:No, no unfair advantage at all... (175 comments)

I can't imagine why anyone would accuses him of 'cheating' ...

The device is like a spring, so it stores energy as well as having extra length and mechanical advantage, and better still its far stronger and requires much more force to break.

I'm sorry he lost his leg, but there is no why this is 'fair' by any sense of the word.

Oh, and I suppose Pitch-O-Mat 5000 was just a modified howitzer?

about 1 month ago
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US Senator Blasts Microsoft's H-1B Push As It Lays 18,000 Off Workers

ATMAvatar Re:Free market economy (529 comments)

Every so often we get to vote, but we are limited to two choices,

The only thing limiting you to two choices is you. Many ballots have third parties. You are free to run in those that don't. By stating to yourself and others that there are only two choices, you are part of the problem.

about a month ago
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William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

ATMAvatar Re:bill hicks said something like, (278 comments)

your choice as a citizen voter is, there's really only two teams on the field, no matter your third-party dreams. next best hope is to knock the next weakest player off the field.

AND "NOT VOTING" - IS SURRENDER.

If you limit yourself to the two main parties, you have surrendered even more. You are legitimizing the system as a whole by casting your vote, and you are legitimizing the actions of the major parties by giving it to one of them. Vote for a third party or don't vote at all. By reinforcing the idea that you should only go D or R, you are part of the problem.

about a month and a half ago
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US Tech Firms Recruiting High Schoolers (And Younger)

ATMAvatar Re:Not new (253 comments)

History in general doesn't change quite as quickly as computer science - only recent history does.

about a month and a half ago
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DC Entertainment Won't Allow Superman Logo On Murdered Child's Memorial Statue

ATMAvatar Re:Superman (249 comments)

I think at this point, IP law is mostly parody.

about a month and a half ago
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IEEE Spectrum Ranks the Top Programming Languages

ATMAvatar Re:Verilog? (197 comments)

Yes. SQL is a turing-complete language. Whether you want to actually write full-blown programs with it or stick to the queries it was designed for, however...

about 2 months ago
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Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

ATMAvatar Re:There need to be costs (349 comments)

That will only work if each repository shut down counts as a separate infraction. $10k overall is a pittance. Even if they all counted as separate infractions at $10k apiece, it may still be seen as a valid business expense to shut down certain projects temporarily with bad faith takedown notices. After all, a project owner would have to bring this to court and prove that the notice was issued in bad faith before the fine would be issued, and the legal expenses to do so would probably cost more than the fine.

about 2 months ago
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Court Releases DOJ Memo Justifying Drone Strike On US Citizen

ATMAvatar Re:Yeah sure (371 comments)

Being an accessory to murder as often as Anwar al-Awlaki was would earn you enough 20 year sentences to fill a hundred lifetimes.

The part that's missing is the murder trial before sentencing.

about 2 months ago
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Age Discrimination In the Tech Industry

ATMAvatar Re:Stamina (370 comments)

If you were to compare the avg. lines of code generated by 100 programmers in age range 21 to 30 versus 100 programmers in age range 42 to 50, which one likely to win?

If the only metric you use is LOC, you have already lost.

'Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight.'

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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The Business of Spam

ATMAvatar ATMAvatar writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ATMAvatar (648864) writes "The IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy hosted in Oakland nearly three weeks ago featured a study on the economics of spam. It attempts to identify and analyze the chain of businesses behind spam and the products that are featured. The goal was to take a more comprehensive look at the mechanics behind the industry in an attempt to identify better, alternative means to combat spam.

Special credit to Bruce Schneier's blog for the original link."

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Moderation

ATMAvatar ATMAvatar writes  |  more than 10 years ago I've noticed that I've had to metamoderate quite a few things "unfair" as of late.

It seems some mods would automatically moderate a response to a troll or flamebait similarly to its parent. In some cases, this is warranted, but in the ones I've seen, it isn't. IMO, replying to a troll or flamebait message with an emotionally-charged, but still informative/insightful post is hardly a troll or flamebait in itself. A lack of tact perhaps warrants a lack of positive moderation, but if someone responds with real information or insight, it shouldn't be modded down.

I've also noticed quite a few "funny" moderations lately for post that simply aren't funny. I'm sorry, but cliche posts about 1. Do something 2. Do something else 3. ??? 4. Profit! are not funny. They are old and tiresome. This is true for the "I welcome our new ______ overlords" or "In Soviet Russia, ________ _______ you!" posts as well. Posts like me remind me of some kid in school that tells a joke, and after hearing some laughter, tells it every time you meet him. With this in mind, I'm probably going to start modding any of these cliche jokes "Redundant."

Last, but not least - there's a difference between insightful, informative, and interesting posts. Learn the difference, mods. I've seen quite a few posts while metamoderating that were marked as one when it should have been another, and I've felt obligated to mod it "fair" because the post truly deserved to be modded up, even if it should have been modded up as something else. It's almost painful to see something moderated "Insightful" if it doesn't provide any insight, and similarly so with "Informative" posts with no real information or "Interesting" posts that are more than just interesting.

I know "Insightful" is the default +1 mod for posts, but it shouldn't be. "Insightful" mods should be reserved for truly insightful posts. To me, "Interesting" should really be the default. It's the consolation prize mod. Something which is insightful is generally also interesting. Funny posts are interesting. Informative posts are usually interesting. To me, any post that stays on-topic will catch my interest, and any post that deserves one of the other +1 mods would be equally deserving of "Interesting." We simply use "Insightful," "Informative," "Funny," etc. because they're more accurate and descriptive. If you can't decide which one of those a post may be, then "Interesting" either fits the bill, or the post probably shouldn't be modded up.

Oh well... enough of my rant for now.

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