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Comments

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U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

Mantrid42 Re:For Classrooms Too (643 comments)

That's... not really the same. Average people should not be under surveillance at all times. Cops are different. They're special; they're tasked with upholding the law and keeping the peace. They have more power than an average person, so they need to be under more scrutiny than the average person.

about three weeks ago
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GOG Introduces DRM-Free Movie Store

Mantrid42 Re:The moment of truth (126 comments)

Unless you have a crappy connection that makes streaming all but impossible.

about three weeks ago
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Writer: Internet Comments Belong On Personal Blogs, Not News Sites

Mantrid42 Re:Jezebel? (299 comments)

Here's io9 and Jezebel (both in the Gawker network), reporting on something George RR Martin said:

io9:

io9.com/george-r-r-martin-explains-why-theres-no-gay-sex-in-hi-1620422705

George R.R. Martin Explains Why There's No Gay Sex In His Novels

One of the most noticeable differences between George R.R. Martin's books and the Game of Thrones television adaptation was the fact that the latter features fairly explicit homosexuality, especially between Loras and Renly. Talking to the Edinburgh Book Festival, Martin explained why he left that out of the books.

Basically, it boils down to the fact that Martin's books are written with tight third-person narration, and that means Martin can only show scenes that one of his viewpoint characters personally witnesses.

As the Guardian goes on to explain:

Because none of the viewpoint characters are gay, there are no explicit gay sex scenes in the early books. "A television show doesn't have those limitations," he said. "Will that change? It might. I've had letters from fans who want me to present particularly an explicit male sex scene – most of the letters come from women."

But he added: "I'm not going to do it just for the sake of doing it. If the plot lends itself to that, if one of my viewpoint characters is in a situation, then I'm not going to shy away from it, but you can't just insert things because everyone wants to see them.

"It is not a democracy. If it was a democracy, then Joffrey [the sadistic boy king] would have died much earlier than he did."

At least he's leaving the door open for having one of the viewpoint characters in the last couple novels be someone who's either gay or witnesses some activity.

Maybe Loras will finally get his moment in the sun?

---

And from Jezebel:

http://jezebel.com/george-r-r-martin-explains-why-his-books-dont-have-ga-1620341547

George R. R. Martin Explains Why His Books Don't Have Gay Sex Scenes

Speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, George R. R. Martin answered a fan question about why A Song of Ice and Fire (the book series upon which HBO's Game of Thrones is based) is chock full of straight sex scenes but lacks homosexual or bisexual scenes. His rather unsatisfying answer? None of his main characters are gay. The main characters that he invented. They all just happen to be straight. So. [SHRUUUUG]

Each chapter of ASOIAF is written from the first-person perspective of a different character—i.e., there are Ned chapters, Sansa chapters, Arya chapters, Dany chapters, Davos Seaworth chapters, Cersei chapters (O, THE HORROR), and so on. To have a gay sex scene, Martin explained, you'd have to have a gay POV character. And he's chosen not to have those, so how could he possibly have those!?!? It's almost as though you people think he's a sentient being creating this universe from scratch.

Via Rolling Stone:

Martin said that his storytelling is limited because he writes through "viewpoint" characters, and so far none of those characters have been gay. "Frankly it is the way I prefer to write fiction because that is the way all of us experience life. You're seeing me from your viewpoint, you're not seeing what someone over here is seeing."

Martin does have two more books left in his saga (possibly even three) and did say a shift was possible in the future, but only if it fit the story: "I'm not going to do it just for the sake of doing it. If the plot lends itself to that — if one of my viewpoint characters is in a situation, then I'm not going to shy away from it — but you can't just insert things because everyone wants to see them." Noting that fans have written him about including a more "explicit male sex scene," Martin added of his writing process, "It is not a democracy. If it was a democracy, then Joffrey would have died much earlier than he did."

There are shades of Woody "But Putting Black People in My Movies Would Require Putting BLACK PEOPLE in My MOVIES" Allen here. It's not as if novels or screenplays exist, fully formed, in some other realm, and Martin and Allen are simply calling them into being with a pentagram and the right incantation. Martin is building his world himself, slowly, deliberately, thoughtfully, on purpose. He chooses who the POV characters are. He chooses which characters get a voice and which are relegated to the background, he chooses which characters' bodies to exploit for titillation, and he chooses which characters' sexualities to banish to the realm of gossip.

I love you, GRRM (SOOOOOO VERY MUCH!!!), but "I just didn't feel like it" is a really disappointing excuse.

---

Draw your own conclusions.

about a month ago
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iOS 8 Strikes an Unexpected Blow Against Location Tracking

Mantrid42 Good. (323 comments)

Good.

about 3 months ago
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Terran Computational Calendar Introduces Minimonths, Year Bases, and Datemods

Mantrid42 Re:Umm .... (209 comments)

It's obviously easier to calculate date offsets, and the consistent zero based counting reduces the chances of having the idiocy of JavaScript's zero based month. If you wanted to see a point, its right there.

At some time in the future, we will replace the irregular system we have now, with something reasonable. Like metric.

It didn't work during the French Revolution, and it won't work now.

about 4 months ago
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Mental Illness Reduces Lifespan As Much as Smoking

Mantrid42 Re:Nonsense. (192 comments)

Your comment is completely misinformed.

From the National Institute of Mental Health:

Mental disorders are common in the United States and internationally. An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. When applied to the 2004 U.S. Census residential population estimate for ages 18 and older, this figure translates to 57.7 million people.

I don't have the figures for 2004, but I do have the figures for 2012 regarding homelessness. From the US Department of Housing and Urban Development:

On a single night in 2012 there were 633,782 homeless people in the United States[...]

Dividing by the US population in 2012 (312.8 million), we get 0.00202615728, or, 0.2%

So 26.2% of Americans are mentally ill, and 0.2% of Americans are homeless. So no, it's not a "positively idiotic statement." The mentally all are all around us, and perhaps the reason the study can't pin down why they're dying younger is because people are under the impression that you can easily spot someone who's mentally ill. Yeah, a lot of homeless people are mentally ill. But about a quarter of everyone is mentally ill, and trying to put the mentally ill into a box means that most of those people will go untreated because they'll be ashamed of their disease.

about 4 months ago
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Game of Thrones Author George R R Martin Writes with WordStar on DOS

Mantrid42 Re:If it ain't broke, don't fix it (522 comments)

DOS WordStar is notably lacking in support for extended characters of any sort.

If there's one thing Martin doesn't need, it's more characters.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Does Your Job Need To Exist?

Mantrid42 Re:Office Space Nailed It (343 comments)

This applies to all of us stuck in the service industry, too. Minimum wage, minimum effort.

about 4 months ago
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Are Habitable Exoplanets Bad News For Humanity?

Mantrid42 Re:Author doesn't understand Fermi's Paradox (608 comments)

Exactly. The planet is 492 light years away. For all we know, they could be wondering the exact same thing when they look at Earth because we weren't exactly broadcasting a lot of radio waves back in 1522.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

Mantrid42 Re:Cars are a luxury (390 comments)

I see you've never been to California.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Consider Elegant Code?

Mantrid42 The original (373 comments)

Mel.

about 6 months ago
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We Can Avoid a Surveillance State Dystopia

Mantrid42 Re:umm no (267 comments)

Well, except for people who were slaves. Or a woman who wanted to vote before 1920. Or a minority before the Civil Rights movement. How exactly are we defining "Freedom"? We can't measure it without quantifying it. In what way have you been directly restricted by the government?

about 7 months ago
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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

Mantrid42 Re:Why? (2219 comments)

All things change though and I'm sure I could live without Slashdot and find other competitors that deliver tech news I want to hear.

Yeah, that's the real issue. We won't suffer through a new, crappy UI. This isn't Facebook. You're not the only game in town.

We will leave. And that'll be the end of it.

about 7 months ago
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Fire Destroys Iron Mountain Data Warehouse, Argentina's Bank Records Lost

Mantrid42 Re:Classic Slashdot (463 comments)

Are there any slashdot users who actually SEE ads?

about 8 months ago
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How Can Nintendo Recover?

Mantrid42 Emulators (559 comments)

One of the first things I did when I jailbroke my iPhone was download a Gameboy emulator so I could play old Pokemon games. Why the fuck isn't this available on the app store?

about 8 months ago
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The Internet's Network Efficiencies Are Destroying the Middle Class

Mantrid42 Re:Instagram didn't replace Kodak (674 comments)

Brings to mind the apocryphal quote from Milton Friedman:

At one of our dinners, Milton recalled traveling to an Asian country in the 1960s and visiting a worksite where a new canal was being built. He was shocked to see that, instead of modern tractors and earth movers, the workers had shovels. He asked why there were so few machines. The government bureaucrat explained: “You don’t understand. This is a jobs program.” To which Milton replied: “Oh, I thought you were trying to build a canal. If it’s jobs you want, then you should give these workers spoons, not shovels.”

about 8 months ago

Submissions

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Algae and Light Help Injured Mice Walk Again

Mantrid42 Mantrid42 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Mantrid42 (972953) writes "Researchers have been able to affect the brains of lab mice using light. Working in a new field called Optogenetics ("optical stimulation plus genetic engineering"), scientists injected lab mice with genes that can stimulate or inhibit neural activity based on the color of the light they're exposed to, and can be targeted to infect only on certain cell types. Additionally, another gene has been added to make neurons glow green when firing, allowing two-way communication between a brain and a machine."
Link to Original Source
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Mantrid42 Mantrid42 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Mantrid42 writes "Last year, Samy Kamkar unleashed a cross-site scripting worm onto MySpace dubbed the "sammy virus". This attack did no more than cause every infected user to automatically add Kamkar to their friends list, and at the end of the "Heroes" section of their profile, tacked on "but most of all, Samy is my hero". Today, MySpace won a suit against Kamkar.

From the article:
Kamkar, using a programming technique known as Asynchronous JavaScript and XML(AJAX) that permitted browsers to execute malicious code, was able to circumvent MySpaces strong JavaScript filters.

MySpace filed a lawsuit against Kamkar, one of a slew of civil actions the company is taking against criminals who exploit the sites tens of millions of users.

"MySpace is committed to protecting our community from any abusive misuse of the site," the company said in the statement.

Kamkar is reportedly banned from accessing the internet for personal reasons for an unspecified amount of time. Doesn't it sound like MySpace is coming down a little hard on someone who did no more than expose a security hole, and have a little harmless fun?"
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Mantrid42 Mantrid42 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Mantrid42 (972953) writes "Schools in the UK are getting rid of their WiFi network, citing health concerns from parents and teachers. One grandparent of the students said, I did not want Sebastian exposed to a wireless computer network at school. No real evidence has been produced to prove that this new technology is safe in the long term. Until it is, I think we should take a precautionary approach and use cabled systems.

It should be noted that most wireless routers output less energy than most cell phones."

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