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In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

LihTox Ambiguous (489 comments)

The use of the words "Internet trolls" and "venom" leave a lot to the imagine. If we're talking about people who make death or rape threats, then I can see their point. But when I read "Internet troll" and "venom" I think of teasing, mockery, and people saying "you suck!" None of which should trigger a criminal investigation. I hope the law isn't as ambiguous as all that.

about two weeks ago
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Why Do Contextual Ads Fail?

LihTox Re:Hardly surprising (249 comments)

The only advertisements that I find useful are billboards on the highway, when I'm doing a long drive and don't want to bother fiddling with the GPS. "Oh good, there's a restaurant in about 20 miles." (And if there's one restaurant at the exit there's probably more.)

about three weeks ago
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Hacking USB Firmware

LihTox Re:Write-protect the microcontroller firmware, sil (97 comments)

Or even just "You have attached a keyboard," and delay 3 seconds before the keyboard is active. If you see that message when you plug in a USB drive or printer or something, you say "Oh crap!" and unplug it quick.

about a month ago
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To Fight $5.2B In Identity Theft, IRS May Need To Change the Way You File Taxes

LihTox Even better (410 comments)

Let's go back to feudalism!

about a month ago
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Canadian Regulator Threatens To Impose New Netflix Regulation

LihTox Re:why does the CRTC need this list? (324 comments)

And Netflix provides *different* content in Canada than it does in the US (or other countries, presumably). They might have a better argument if they provided an identical product to anyone in the world who signed up for it, but in this case their product is specifically for the Canadian market.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

LihTox Tcl (729 comments)

Tcl is strange in a number of ways. One is that you don't assign variables by saying "x=5", you write "set x 5" instead. Nor can you do any calculations outside of the expr command (in most cases), so instead of writing "x=5*y+3", you would write "set x [expr 5*$y+3]"

I'm still fond of Tcl/Tk, in spite of that. :) What other language can give you a text editor in one line? "pack [text .t]"

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

LihTox Objective-C (729 comments)

No one's mentioned Objective-C's bracket notation for calling methods. Instead of obj->method(argument) or obj.method(argument), it's [obj method:argument]. Perfectly logical I'm sure, but the few times I've tried to write Objective-C code I've always had a hard time wrapping my brain around it.

about 2 months ago
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How the Outdated TI-84 Plus Still Holds a Monopoly On Classrooms

LihTox Re:In-class exams are the problem. (359 comments)

If they have access to the web, then they have access to chatrooms and instant communication. Would you be okay with students bringing in a physics post-doc to answer the test questions for them? That's what Internet access would allow.

I get your point, but it opens a whole can of worms. If we could trust all the students to only refer to reference materials on the webmaybe if students valued the exam as an educational experience more than as a contribution to their GPA. But changing that is a much bigger task than just letting students use tablets or laptops during an exam.

about 2 months ago
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How the Outdated TI-84 Plus Still Holds a Monopoly On Classrooms

LihTox Re:TI calculators are not outdated, just overprice (359 comments)

Entering the numbers into the calculator and pressing enter isn't a complex task, there is no need for that to be part of the test.

It's not quite as trivial as that. I have engineering students in college who use the "10^x" button for scientific notation instead of "EE" (or whatever it's called on your calculator), and so when asked to calculate 4/(2e3) will end up with 2000 instead of 0.002 (because they type 4 / 2 x 10^3).

about 2 months ago
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Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

LihTox Re:Just proves the point (1262 comments)

I remember being thirteen. I did not go around threatening to rape or kill people. Maybe these assholes will grow out of it, but at the moment they are thirteen-year-old assholes, and their age is no excuse.

about 2 months ago
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Babylon 5 May Finally Get a Big-Screen Debut

LihTox Re:Netflix Time Now? (252 comments)

Agreed; why would JMS spend his own money to redo something he's already done?

So while everybody here is talking about B5, we really should be talking about those subsequent series/movies and how they measure up.

about 3 months ago
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MIT Considers Whether Courses Are Outdated

LihTox The arbitrariness of a "semester" (205 comments)

The duration of a semester *does* put some strange, artificial restrictions on classes. In the introductory physics classes I teach, we have two big units during the course of the year—mechanics, and electricity & magnetism—but there are also smaller topics which get shoehorned in wherever there's room in the schedule: waves, optics, thermodynamics. Then there's topics I never have time for, like relativity. If we had more flexibility in course length, we could set up those extra topics as additional month-long classes instead of cramming them in at the end of the semester.

about 3 months ago
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Ancient Skulls Show Civilization Rose As Testosterone Fell

LihTox Makes total sense (387 comments)

You can't build a civilization with *alpha* males; they have to *at least* be in beta.

(Preferably release versions, but you take what you can get.)

about 3 months ago
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'Just Let Me Code!'

LihTox I don't get it (372 comments)

First of all, let me say up front: I'm not a professional programmer, just a hobbyist. I could understand the need for complicated tools when you're part of a large-scale operation or programming for a corporation. But the author's not talking about that at all.

On private projects, I keep hearing myself spit out between expletives, "I just want to code."

Why don't you? I write little programs all the time, in Tcl/Tk, in Javascript, in C++, in Python. I don't use an IDE. I don't use any version control though I probably should. (I'm starting to learn about Git and Github.) My bug tracker is a bunch of comments at the top of the source file, or if I'm feeling ambitious, a separate text file called "NOTES".

But what I don't do, for the most part, is share my programs with anyone else. If I were planning to release something to the public, I would have to spend a lot more time figuring out all the dependencies of my software, putting in more robust error checking, writing documentation, submitting the program to an App Store or at least putting it up on Github, etc etcyeah, that would be a drag. But I don't know that any of that is necessary; it's just important if I want other people to find my software to be useful. If all you're interested in is the problem-solving puzzle aspect of programming, or in writing something to make *your* life a little easier, then there's no need to follow the herd. Do what the heck you want; all the old tools are still there.

about 3 months ago
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Bot Tweets Anonymous Wikipedia Edits From Capitol Hill

LihTox The danger... (95 comments)

...is from kneejerk partisan/anti-government types who automatically revert every change reported by his bot, because of course politicians are always wrong. For an example, see https://en.wikipedia.org/w/ind... and the history changes that follow.

about 4 months ago
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Google: Indie Musicians Must Join Streaming Service Or Be Removed

LihTox Re:What's a music video? (364 comments)

OK, I think I get it: what Google wants to do is to give viewers the option of paying a flat rate, which will remove ads from all of the music videos on the site as part of their streaming service. And they need the labels to agree to these terms. And if they DON'T agree to the terms, then Google would have one of three options: either maintain the status quo (which they don't want to do), show those videos sans ads (which would be a copyright infringement since the artists wouldn't be paid as per the original license agreement), or remove the videos altogether.

Does that sound right?

If so, that doesn't sound nearly as evil as it first sounded, if Google is only taking down videos that it was basically paying to host.

about 4 months ago
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Canadian Court Orders Google To Remove Websites From Its Global Index

LihTox Re: Overreach as a bug, not a feature (248 comments)

Could they spin off Google Canada as a separate company? Google Canada would have to abide by the court's decision, but Google proper wouldn't be affected.

about 4 months ago
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Google Has Received Over 41,000 Requests To "Forget" Personal Information

LihTox Re:Do No Evil so why not delete the info? (138 comments)

You're a bit insane, you know that?

Oh certainly, but that's beside the point. :)

about 5 months ago
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Google Has Received Over 41,000 Requests To "Forget" Personal Information

LihTox Re:Do No Evil so why not delete the info? (138 comments)

If Google is all about doing no evil and playing nice, why wouldn't they delete the information?

Because some of those requests are almost certainly from nasty people wanting Google to cover up their crimes?

about 5 months ago
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Gen. Keith Alexander On Metadata, Snowden, and the NSA: "We're At Greater Risk"

LihTox The NSA failed (238 comments)

The NSA let this random guy Snowden walk away with all of their secrets. Snowden isn't some genius mastermind; if he could do it, I'll bet there are other people who did it too. Only they didn't go public, they just sold the information to China or Russia or al Qaeda (assuming they weren't spies to begin with).

So it doesn't matter what Snowden announced to the world, because chances are the people we're most worried about already knew about it.

If the bloody National SECURITY Agency can't secure itself, we can't rely on it to secure anything else.

about 5 months ago

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