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Creationism Conference at Michigan State University Stirs Unease

Derekloffin Re:So they got their reservation using deception? (1007 comments)

You can learn a fair bit from creationist, which is exactly what bogus arguments they use to try and convince others. Plus, believe it or not, not everyone who spouts nonsense is actually impervious to reason. Sometimes, just sometimes, they are merely ignorant and can be swayed. And as to the University venue, a University is supposed to support discourse, not enforce dogma, even if that dogma is deemed correct. They are teaching creationism, and they aren't forcing anyone to go, they are merely allowing it to be said. Going down the road of 'you can't say THAT here' is a very dangerous turn of thinking and should only be done in the most extreme of cases. Now, if the presenters start advocating for killing all the scientists, feel free to kick them to the curb.

about a month ago
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Google Takes the Fight With Oracle To the Supreme Court

Derekloffin Re:Oracle (146 comments)

One must remember that the previous case was a matter of trademark, not copyright. Microsoft was deemed to be improperly using the Java trademark in their marketing for J++ (this due to J++ not meeting the Java compatibility standard). Didn't stop MS from making similar API's, they just couldn't call them Java compatible. Also, MS at the time had a license for Java making the previous lawsuit even more dissimilar to the current one.

about a month and a half ago
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Google's Doubleclick Ad Servers Exposed Millions of Computers To Malware

Derekloffin And they wonder why I block ads... (226 comments)

It is stuff like this that just demonstrates how annoying the internet ad delivery mechanisms are. Not only are they intrusive, bandwidth wasting, and often impairing my user experience, they can also spread malware.

about 2 months ago
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Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

Derekloffin Re:promoting violence against women? (1134 comments)

It's more to do with the way women die in these games. Male characters usually have, well, a character, a personality and some role in the story. Their deaths have meaning and relate to them, and are at least somewhat realistic.

They do?!! Really, what FPS/TPS have you played lately where all the fodder have personalities and roles in the story beyond being guys shooting back at you? Let's be frank, the GRAND majority of all characters in a game are empty shells used as obstacles or background decoration, regardless of gender of the character. You bring up Princess peach, but how much personality does Bowser or Mario have, nearly none, hence why it is so easy to swap pretty much any of them with other characters without having any major impact on the game.

Now, there are definitely examples of terrible usage of female characters in video games, but don't grossly over generalize. That's one of the biggest issues in this situation, one side or the other taking this as an absolute across the board, and when you do that, yeah you'll tick people off as that's a pretty bad misrepresentation of the situation.

about 3 months ago
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Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

Derekloffin It depends on field (546 comments)

If you're just going for code grunt who just needs to implement X, then a degree is largely worthless verses just general coding ability. By contrast, if you're getting lot of 'I have problem X, can you solve it' situations, theory becomes a lot more important and the coding a lot less. However, i suspect the bulk of programming positions are more the former than the latter.

about 3 months ago
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Judge Frees "Cannibal Cop" Who Shared His Fantasies Online

Derekloffin Re:Conspiracy to commit... (185 comments)

Usually conspiracy requires that you actually have an agreement with at least one other party to commit the offense. Note that said other party however need not be truly intending to do so, nor that said other party's involvement needs to be a big part of the plan, just something deemed legally significant. However, it seems that has become rather nebulous over the years any communication of the intent with some act that could be seen to forward that intent significantly seems to often be the bar now.

about 5 months ago
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AT&T Charges $750 For One Minute of International Data Roaming

Derekloffin Re:50MB = 750$ (321 comments)

Canada had the same thing going on with some absolutely absurd roaming charges. They recently changed the laws to limit how much you can be billed (can't comment to how effective that change was as I've had no cause to find out).

about 6 months ago
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Google Unveils Self-Driving Car With No Steering Wheel

Derekloffin Re:No thanks (583 comments)

While I sympathize with your position, you are setting an unrealistic bar to beat, which is common place problem in this comparison. Human beings are no where near 100% infallible (in fact, you likely F up every day your drive, you just get away with it because we have a lot of sloppy driving allowances). The purpose here is not to be 100% infallible, as nothing is 100% infallible. The purpose here is to beat human fallibility ratings.

about 6 months ago
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Driverless Cars Could Cripple Law Enforcement Budgets

Derekloffin Have my doubts (626 comments)

While the driverless cars might get less traditional tickets, I suspect police departments would merely which focuses onto other matters than are ticketable. Head/Tail Light out, ticket. J-walker, ticket. Parked slightly beyond the allowable limit, ticket. I'm sure it will hit their bottom line for a bit as they adapt, but they will adapt.

about 6 months ago
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It's World Password Day: Change Your Passwords

Derekloffin Re:Not happening. (116 comments)

Indeed, and I've never understood the advice to change your password frequently. The only thing that would help against is if someone has already compromised your account and has been laying low (rather than what they usually do which is clean it out asap). However, changing passwords constantly highly encourages you to use less and less powerful passwords as you can't remember them all the time meaning you're that much more likely to get that initial compromise.

about 6 months ago
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Department of Transportation Makes Rear View Cameras Mandatory

Derekloffin Re:The nanny state continues (518 comments)

Even if you check every mirror religiously, unless you are Superman and come equipped with X-ray vision or some equivalent, you still will have blind spots including, very importantly, the area this camera system is meant to cover, and even more importantly it is the path you are moving in. Even if you go the extra mile and circle check your vehicle before getting in, that only tells you nothing was behind you when you did the circle check. Due diligence will not eliminate the problem, it can only reduce it. This camera also won't eliminate it, but will likely do a lot more to reduce it.

about 8 months ago
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Programmer Privilege

Derekloffin Don't think this sort of thing is limited to CS (353 comments)

I got my CS degree and by Biology degree and I can attest at times there were lectures or meetings where stuff was flying miles over my head, but that was true in both departments. The general assumption, I think, in any department is that once you get by the entry level, you're assumed to know stuff, sometimes way beyond what you probably actually know. I think it is just human nature. You go into a group of people that you figure know a topic, you don't give them all background checks to ensure they do actually know the topic, you tend to assume it. The best you can do as someone bringing the topic up is ask if people are really following you and hope they are honest.

about 10 months ago
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Federal Judge Rules Chicago's Ban On Licensed Gun Dealers Unconstitutional

Derekloffin Re:Wrong target (934 comments)

I agree that a city ban is useless. Geography and the realities of enforcement make any such ban on firearms pointless as they are easily avoided. However, the point that it is the illegal owners is rather pointless too. At one point, pretty much all guns were legally owned, whether by their manufacturer or some individual. The problem is that it is painfully easy with that many guns out there circulating to get one of those legal guns and have it become an illegal gun. And so far, no one has come up with an even modestly effective means of stopping that conversion process so people naturally look to the next thing up the chain which actually could be enforced if it weren't for a certain amendment.

about 10 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are Tech Job Requirements So Specific?

Derekloffin Re:Two things: (465 comments)

I remember seeing a job add long time ago that required 5 years experience with Java... when Java was 3 and a bit years old. That was amusing.

about a year ago
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Anti-Poaching Lawsuit Against Apple, Google and Others Given the Green Light

Derekloffin Re:Where's the union? (172 comments)

Don't get ahead of yourself my friend. This is just the start of the suit. Nothing says this suit will be successful, or that the resolution will be helpful to the employees even if it is successful.

1 year,25 days
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Elon Musk Making a Working Version of James Bond's Submersible Car

Derekloffin Re:impossible (91 comments)

I don't think it is impossible, but there will definitely be a lot of hurdles. If I recall, to get it to transform, you'll need the planes to somehow come out from the wheel wells and be controllable. You'll need the shutters to slid into place over every window. Keeping the cabin water tight will be fun while still having it function properly out of the water (most subs don't have conventional doors for instance). Of course you need air supply and ballast control, as well as the rudders and props. Definitely not an easy project.

about a year ago
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Obama Administration Refuses To Overturn Import Ban On Samsung Products

Derekloffin Re:Rightly So (298 comments)

Indeed, while the situations aren't the same, the situations speak to resolutions that we're getting the opposite of. The FRAND patents are very important tech patents, the very fact that they are vital speaks to their importance, while the design patents aren't, yet, the design patents are getting more protection than the tech patents. That really makes no sense. Maybe Samsung was abusing things, I can't really say for sure, but the reasoning that they are FRAND therefore they should be bypassable is just destructive.

about a year ago
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Could IBM's Watson Put Google In Jeopardy?

Derekloffin Re:Better searches no good if they're too slow (274 comments)

This, this, and more this. People seem to always forget that you don't get exclusive access to something like this on the net. It is like guys going gaga over the cloud and misapplying the possibilities, completely ignoring that you have to server thousands, perhaps even millions of requests at once.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: When Is Patent License Trading Not Trolling?

Derekloffin Re:NPEs truly aren't the problem (191 comments)

Pretty much. Put another way, the Patent system is being gamed now. It is like a really old server running old software, all the hacks are known and it will be serving porn within the hour. Patent system really isn't much different. The law is really old. All the cracks and exploits are now well known by the legal community, and it is now not doing its intended job, instead of the legal hackers are exploiting it.

about a year ago

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