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IBM Unseats Microsoft As Second Most Valued Tech Company

MakinBacon Re:And apple's market cap is going to collapse (296 comments)

So IBM will be number 1 soon.

Really though. This isn't news for nerds.

No, but it is stuff that matters, which I believe is the second half of slashdot's former slogan.

more than 3 years ago
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EPA Bans CFC-Based Asthma Inhalers

MakinBacon Re:Quantitative? I'll take a shot at it. (394 comments)

I take it you've never used any of the environmentally friendly inhalers before, because they are fucking terrible. I've been using them for a few years (The EPA went apeshit insane on albuterol a few years ago, and I had no idea that there was an OTC alternative), and they get routinely clogged up by both dust and even dried medicine, and I can ensure you that this was never a problem with the old inhalers. Thankfully, my asthma is really mild and I rarely need these, but if I ever have a real emergency, I'm fucked.

more than 3 years ago
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Code Hero: Play and Learn

MakinBacon Re:looks like fun... (101 comments)

GameObject.FindByName("Player").win(); That is not a very hard game.

It is when none of those methods are implemented.

more than 3 years ago
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Code Hero: Play and Learn

MakinBacon looks like fun... (101 comments)

But I'm not sure I would want to use this as a learning tool if I didn't already know how to program computers. From what I can tell based on the video, it teaches you by showing you snippets of code and allowing you to see what they do, which could be confusing for somebody with no prior coding experience. In addition, it seems that code snippets in this game require a basic understanding of vector math/linear algebra - something that's an essential part of games and simulation, but might serve only to increase the learning curve for somebody new to all this.

At any rate, it does look like an interesting way to engage somebody who already knows how to code but doesn't do it unless required by work/school. I definitely plan to try this out and pass it on to my friends if it's as fun as it looks.

more than 3 years ago
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Weak Typing — the Lost Art of the Keyboard

MakinBacon Re:typing class in school (362 comments)

I took a similar class in elementary school (except using computers 'cause it was the 90's), and I can honestly say that I didn't learn a damn thing. I was still "hunting and pecking" until I taught myself C when I was in high school.

The moral of this story: people will learn to touch-type if they need to. People who use computers a lot will unconsciously memorize the keys until they realize that they no longer need to look at the keyboard when they type as I did. People who don't use computers a lot will probably keep hunting and pecking for their entire lives, which is totally fine because they don't use computers a lot.

more than 3 years ago
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Publicly Shaming Laptop Thieves Catches Bystanders in the Crossfire

MakinBacon Re:Possessing stolen goods == crime (372 comments)

Suppose somebody else didn't steal the device. Suppose the owner loaned it to them, then used LoJack to take pictures of them in their bedroom. Sounds pretty illegal to me -- just because the owner "authorized" LoJack to take the pictures doesn't mean it's not an illegal wiretap.

I'm unsure as to whether or not that's illegal or not (definitely unethical), but it doesn't matter because it's a different circumstance, and what's legal can change depending on the circumstances. For example, it would be illegal for me to pull out a knife and stab somebody under normal circumstances, but if I can prove that I was defending myself then it's alright. In a similar vein, borrowing a computer from somebody is different from stealing it because somebody who borrows a computer has the owner's knowledge and consent.

more than 3 years ago
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Publicly Shaming Laptop Thieves Catches Bystanders in the Crossfire

MakinBacon Re:Evidence (372 comments)

She is being punished, her private pictures are being distributed around without her permission.

No they aren't, because the only people with access to the photos are lojack, the cops, and (probably) the judge and jury. That doesn't qualify as the photos being "distributed around", that's the photos being presented as evidence for a court case. I agree that these photos are super-private and all, but they're still evidence because she couldn't have taken them without possessing the stolen computer.

And they where not evidence in a criminal case. All they need was location.

No, they need all the evidence they can get. When you watch court proceedings on TV, you will rarely see the prosecution present only a single article because more evidence == stronger case. All the location does is prove that the laptop was used to access the internet from her house, which could mean anything. The defense could argue that the perpetrator might have figured out how to connect to her wifi network, or maybe lojack screwed up and somehow got the wrong IP address. If the prosecution also presents pictures that the defendant took of herself using the webcam, then the prosecution has a much stronger case because they now have evidence that the defendant actually came in contact with the laptop.

more than 3 years ago
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Publicly Shaming Laptop Thieves Catches Bystanders in the Crossfire

MakinBacon Re:Evidence (372 comments)

Have you ever bought second hand stuff? How do you know that second hand stuff wasn't stolen? In fact, you can't even know for sure in shops.

Large part of the issue here is whether the school teacher could be reasonably expected to know the laptop was stolen given the low $60 price she paid for it.

I feel no pity for criminals, but punishing somebody innocent is worse than not punishing somebody guilty.

I feel no pity for criminals, but punishing somebody innocent is worse than not punishing somebody guilty.

She's not being punished; TFA clearly states the charges against her were dropped. She's now suing Absolute and the police for violation of privacy, which is crazy because those photos were taken with the authorization of the laptop's owner and they were legitimate evidence in a criminal case.

more than 3 years ago
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Publicly Shaming Laptop Thieves Catches Bystanders in the Crossfire

MakinBacon Re:Possessing stolen goods == crime (372 comments)

Doesn't matter, it's still a violation of her rights. Just because the original owner authorized it, does not mean that they have the right to violate the wiretap laws involved. And in a case like this, the employees that opted to obtain the extra images ought to be prosecuted for doing the illegal wiretapping. Had they just stopped with the location of the device, they would be fine legally.

The owner of the device authorized lojack to gather evidence by accessing the owner's device. Just because somebody else possessed the device doesn't change who the owner is. And these photos were legitimate evidence because they were pictures of the people who possessed the stolen laptop.

I realize that people don't understand that, but this isn't any different than if a landlord puts a secret camera in an apartment. Just because it's your property doesn't mean that you get to wiretap it all you like.

Totally different. When I rent an apartment, I sign an agreement with my landlord which basically gives me the right to treat the apartment as my own so long as I do not damage it, bother the neighbors, etc. A more appropriate analogy would be if I broke into somebody else's house and then complained of wiretapping because his security camera recorded video of me.

more than 3 years ago
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Turning Chinese Piracy Into Revenue

MakinBacon Re:Its China. (170 comments)

Most of the time I read titles like this as "Turning Chinese into Westerners". Applying western values to a Chinese culture (especially business culture) and expecting it to stick is naive at best. Western companies need to adapt to Chinese way of doing things to operate in China.

And how exactly would they do that? It's impossible to compete with somebody giving out free copies of your software when you're footing the cost for development.

more than 3 years ago
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Turning Chinese Piracy Into Revenue

MakinBacon Re:Hold them hostage (170 comments)

You're forgetting about the potential for false positives. Imagine if you accidentally did this to a legitimate customer.

more than 3 years ago
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More Schools Go To 4-Day Week To Cut Costs

MakinBacon Re:Priorities (614 comments)

Great to see the US has its priorities straight. Spend money on war and other nonsense but don't spend it on your kids and society. What a joke.

One less cruise missile could keep 100 schools open all week for a whole year.

The state of South Dakota does not shoot cruise missiles at people, although it would be pretty badass if they did.

more than 3 years ago
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When Algorithms Control the World

MakinBacon Beware the maths! (150 comments)

...he warned that the "maths that computers use to decide stuff" was infiltrating every aspect of our lives.

Maths? In my life?

son of a bitch!

more than 3 years ago
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Canadian Firm Gave Libyan Rebels Surveillance Drone

MakinBacon Re:This trend will accelerate... (165 comments)

Like many things the movement of technology getting cheaper and easier to use will impact how things like wars unfold in the future. Pretty soon the US's dominance in drones and automated warfare will be countered by adversaries with similar means. I think it's only because the current two wars were against essentially backwards nations that the US has escaped relatively unscathed, but what happens when they start flying their own armed drones?

That's how military technology works: Somebody invented a spear, so somebody else invented a shield. Then another person made a bow. Fast forward a few thousand years and we have robot planes that blow people to kingdom come before they even see them coming.

It's inevitable that the rest of the world will get their own version of the drones eventually, so Uncle Sam's just going to have to keep building better weapons like he always does. The entire history of mankind is little more than a massive arms race.

more than 3 years ago
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5.8 Earthquake Hits East Coast of the US

MakinBacon Re:NO ONE CARES (614 comments)

If this didn't happen in such a rural county, there could have been major damage. Virginia doesn't get earthquakes very often, and our buildings aren't made to with stand them. There were some reports of buildings that caved in in Mineral - imagine what would have happened if the epicenter was in a more urban area like Arlington or Richmond.

Not only that, but our emergency crews aren't prepared to respond. Most of our people have never even felt earthquakes.

more than 3 years ago
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After Rick Perry's Stem Cell Treatment, Misplaced Enthusiasm?

MakinBacon Re:God fearing men... (340 comments)

Abortion opponents all talk about responsibility, but somehow it applies to anybody but them.

My argument is based on the concept of responsibility, so you say that me and those who hold similar opinions should take responsibility for all the world's unwanted children. Let's put your side of the argument through a similar challenge:

Hypothetical situation: a man impregnates a woman. He wants to have the baby, but she doesn't, so she gets an abortion regardless of his opinion. Now let's reverse the genders: She wants the baby, but he doesn't. She decides not to get the abortion, so she takes him to court and he has to either help raise the child or pay child support payments.

How come being pro-choice only works one way?

more than 3 years ago
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After Rick Perry's Stem Cell Treatment, Misplaced Enthusiasm?

MakinBacon Re:God fearing men... (340 comments)

Well, you want to force women to conform to your "morality". Because you think that unborn children are precious.

In that case your morality should compel you to give your income to children. It'd be only fair, why the right to chose where you spend your money should be more important than the right of women to chose what they do with their bodies?

Because I don't want to control womens' bodies, I want to protect an innocent life. I'm willing to make exceptions for cases of rape and cases where childbirth poses a risk to the mother's life, but for every other aborted fetus out there, there are two people who should be forced to take responsibility for what they created. I don't feel that abortion should be allowed to be used as a backup for when birth control fails or is forgotten.

I don't have an orphan for the same reason that I don't have any offspring of my own: I don't want to become a parent at this moment of my life. If I made a woman pregnant, though, I would take responsibility for raising the child. I might make the best parent, but I would do my best and I'm pretty sure the child would be happier than if it was dead.

As for Africa, I'm really not very educated on their current social problems. I give some of my money to charities, but they're usually domestic because I'd rather take care of the downtrodden in my own country than those on another continent.

more than 3 years ago
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Twitter To Meet With UK Government About Riots

MakinBacon Re:Double Standard (186 comments)

There's a fine line between staging a revolution and looting an electronics store, my friend.

more than 3 years ago
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After Rick Perry's Stem Cell Treatment, Misplaced Enthusiasm?

MakinBacon Re:God fearing men... (340 comments)

I fail to understand the connection between orphans in Africa and abortions in the United States. Please, enlighten me.

more than 3 years ago
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Former Wikileaks Spokesman Destroyed Documents

MakinBacon Re:Tragic... (469 comments)

Good, then maybe we could get rid of the whole concept.

If it were public everyone would see what a joke this whole thing is. Fine, give them extra scrutiny. But if you pass screening, and have no weapons, then what's the risk in letting Joe Jihad fly?

Getting rid of the no-fly lists is totally acceptable and I could get behind that. I'm just worried that making this public would turn it into something akin to the sex-offender lists sans due process.

If it went public but it doesn't get removed, this list could go from being a major pain in the ass to being something that could totally ruin your life.

more than 3 years ago

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