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Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

Mr. Slippery Re:Simple solution (422 comments)

Are there any valuable functions mapped to a middle button anyway, that make it so important?

Yes. For people who use real computers, middle button = "paste selected text".

Who puts three fingers on the surface of a mouse?

People who use real computers but have not yet found the one true pointing device, the 4-button Logitech Marble Mouse Trackball.

4 days ago
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Behind the MOOC Harassment Charges That Stunned MIT

Mr. Slippery Re:Popcorn time! (375 comments)

I've heard claims that one in four women will be raped at some point in their lives, and have yet to hear any sort of data-based rebuttal.

Really? You heard such an extraordinary claim, but apparently made zero effort to look into its validity?

Here you go. And here. And here.

Essentially, that inflated number is based on questionable surveys which often fail to distinguish between a regrettable drunken hookup and rape, and is not just about rape but about behavior ranging from grabbing a woman's butt on up through attempted rape and actual rape. (Yes, grabbing someone's butt is bad. It's assault. It's unacceptable. It is not, however, rape.)

Is rape much more common than most people think? Yes. The data is murky but I would be surprised if the lifetime victimization rate for women was less than 5%, 1 in 20. Is it 25%, "eeny-meeny-miney-RAPE!" common? No.

And a teacher sending a student sexy messages over the internet is certainly a breach of professional conduct...but it's not rape.

4 days ago
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Simon Pegg On Board To Co-Write Next Star Trek Film

Mr. Slippery Re:It's about time. (138 comments)

Star Trek now has freedom to have any future the writers can come up with

No, they're stuck with the universe Abrams left them. A universe which makes no sense, where starships are irrelevant because transporters can move people over interstellar distances (from Earth to the Klingon homeworld), and where a cure for death has been found in Khan's blood. Not to mention the absurd political situation, with a corrupt Starfleet operating accord to some bizarre system of personal prerogative of individual commanders rather than any rational chain of command.

about a week ago
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How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting

Mr. Slippery Re:selling your vote versus the secret ballot (480 comments)

The open ballot worked fine in the US for 100 years.

Are you seriously referring to the era of American history when slavery and Native American genocide were at their peak, when women and those of the wrong skin color were deprived of the vote, when worker revolts were regularly put down by armed force, when violence at the polls was a regular occurrence, as a time when voting "worked fine"?

Here's how we used to vote. Any claim that this system "worked fine" is disconnected from reality.

The ahistoricalism of American political discourse never ceases to amaze me. Nor does the desire for technical fixes to social problems: to get voters to vote, we don't need on-line voting, we need better candidates, a reform of ballot access and campaign finance laws. (And a preference ballot and ad binding "none-of-the-above" option.)

about two weeks ago
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Donald Knuth Worried About the "Dumbing Down" of Computer Science History

Mr. Slippery Re:Knuth is right. (149 comments)

Discreet mathematique are the basis for computing

Not at the semiconductor junction level.

You are confusing computing with computers. Indeed, a "computer" used to be a human being implementing algorithms with a mechanical adding machine, and then were tube-based electrical systems, and in the future may use something wholely other than semiconductors; computing, however, remains the same. A bubble sort is still a bubbble sort.

about a month ago
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Study: Police Body-Cams Reduce Unacceptable Use of Force

Mr. Slippery Re:Going for cop's gun drastically escalates situa (368 comments)

Brown was shot because he escalated the situation to a "high risk arrest" by going for the cop's gun. Period.

We have no evidence that Brown was trying to take Wilson's gun, only the word of a cop who's been caught lying before. Cops know that "he was going for my gun" are magic words to justify themselves when they commit murders.

And of course it's irrevelvant whether Brown tried to get control of Wilson's gun earlier in the confrontation. Brown was not trying to do so when he was murdered, he was (according to the majority of witness testimony) attempting to surender.

about a month ago
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Can Rep. John Culberson Save NASA's Space Exploration Program?

Mr. Slippery Re:Big bags of water... that's what we are. (156 comments)

Yes there are good reasons for going to Mars. Greatest among them is to safeguard the species from any catestrophic impacts on Earth they would extinguish us.

No potential impact to Earth would render it less hospitable to life than Mars is. For speicies survival a set of fortified underground bunkers/mini-cities would be far more practical -- and unlike Mars, we do have the tech to do that.

The suggestion that we currently have the technology to colonize Mars is, in brief, ridiculous. No human has been move than 500 miles from Earth's surface in over four decades, and the farthest we've ever sent a human is under 250,000 miles; at its closest, Mars is 38,000,000 miles away. We do not know how to safely get a human being that distance through interplanetary space, and the first few people we try to send are quite likely to die.

That investment of blood and treasure might be worthwhile if there was something useful for humans to do when they got there, but there isn't. We'll get better scientific results by building and sending better robots.

There is no practical reason to send humans to Mars in the near-term -- say, next five centuries. Especially not when all of our resources are needed over the next century or so to put human civilization on a sustainable footing. We can probably do some useful stuff with humans in Earth orbit and maybe on Luna, but deep space is for robots.

The only justification to put humans on Mars is some vague hand-waving about "inspiration" -- i.e., it's a huge performance art project. Maybe someday humanity can afford that. But not now.

about a month ago
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Overly Familiar Sci-Fi

Mr. Slippery Re: Diversity is good, especially in SciFi (368 comments)

Science fiction isn't fiction that has elements that aren't science but might appeal to geeks who like science....Science fiction is science that is fictional. Very different animal and naturally restrictive.

You are using a defintion of a term, which is at odds with the defintions of that term used by almost every other educated native speaker of English. This will probably make it hard for you to communicate. You might want to look to that.

about a month and a half ago
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Attorney General Won't Force New York Times Reporter To Reveal Source

Mr. Slippery Re:James Risen vs James Rosen (55 comments)

Luckily, he is James Risen from the New York Times... If he were James Rosen from Fox News...he would be labeled a criminal co-conspirator and flight risk by Eric Holder so that they could trace his phone calls and emails.

They snooped on Rosen. That's bad.

They snooped on Risen and threatened, repeatedly over the past six years, to lock him up. That's worse.

Both journalists were attempting to enable the American people to keep tabs on the U.S. government (supposedly "theirs", in reality owned by corporate interests and the security-industrial complex). Your partisan take on the matter is counter-factual.

about a month and a half ago
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Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

Mr. Slippery Re:Fire all the officers? (515 comments)

We love to rag on cops, but they do a dangerous job

Farmers are more likely to be killed on the job than cops are, and most cops who die on the job die in vechicular accidents, not assaults. Cops' seige mentality is bullshit.

If you start firing cops for every mistake or worse, jailing them, you quickly run out of cops

(Of course a citizen watch would be a huge social/poltiical change. But I'm not sure anything less than a huge social/poltiical change would fix the problem.)

about a month and a half ago
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Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

Mr. Slippery Re:Fire all the officers? (515 comments)

You and OP look to be in the same clan when he claims they're doing this "in a rather violent manner". Hyperbole much?

An unjustifed arrest is assault and kidnapping. It is a violent crime.

That's true even when the pigs (and those who trample citizen's rights deserve that epithet) don't apply chemical weapons or electrical torture devices, or beat citizens into submission, or use lethal force.

If I forced someone into a cage at gunpoint for no good reason, I would go to jail for a long time. The same should apply to a cop.

about a month and a half ago
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The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

Mr. Slippery Re:Read one, write other (567 comments)

I guess you've never seen a regular web user. They don't write documents at the same time they're reading a website.

At home, perhaps their media masters have managed to turn the web into as passive and one-way a medium as television. But at work, even these drones are quite likely creating documents in a word processor, or e-mail messages in their MUA, or entering data into a web form, while referring to another document (e-mail message, website).

There is a reason that every physical desk is in landscape mode. Put documents next to each other.

about a month and a half ago
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18th Century Law Dredged Up To Force Decryption of Devices

Mr. Slippery Re:5th Admendment? (446 comments)

And you're thinking that George Washington was one of those idiots who thought a little tyranny would work out well?

George Washington the aristocratic slaveholder who crushed the Whiskey Rebellion, screwing over farmers (including many Revolutionary War vets) to pay off bondholders? I'd say "a little tyranny would work out well" might be a decent description of his stance, sure.

about 2 months ago
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Supreme Court To Decide Whether Rap Lyric Threats Are Free Speech

Mr. Slippery Re:And this is how perverted our system has gotten (436 comments)

Things that were illegal didn't suddenly become legal just because they weren't explicitly mentioned in the Constitution.

No, but unless they fell under the Constitutional powers of the feds, they remained state crimes, not federal ones.

OTOH, some things that were illegal in the states did suddenly become legal when the 14th Amendment was passed. Any laws restricting free speech, religious liberty, etc., as well as any provisions creating unequal protection, were null and void from that point on.

Of course, the state often operates under unconstitutional, null and void laws anyway, as much as it can get away with. Jim Crow was illegal, marriage inequality is illegal, much of the War on Drugs and the War on Guns and the War on Copying is illegal, but they've got the guns.

about 2 months ago
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Supreme Court To Decide Whether Rap Lyric Threats Are Free Speech

Mr. Slippery Re:And this is how perverted our system has gotten (436 comments)

That statement is not consistent with Supreme Court jurisprudence.

Correct. The point is that SCOTUS jurisprudence often has fsck-all to do with the Constitution.

For example, the first amendment has been held *not* to give you the right to incite violence. (See Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire.)

A perfect example. Chaplinsky was engaging in exactly the sort of political speech that most requires protection and was in no way inciting violence. He called somebody a nasty name, that's all. The Court's absurd and immoral decision had neither law (i.e., the text of the Constitution) nor reason on its side.

about 2 months ago
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Is a Moral Compass a Hindrance Or a Help For Startups?

Mr. Slippery Re:Capitalism does not reward morality (197 comments)

Capitalism (private ownership and operation of property) in a free market system (system free of government intervention)

There is no such thing as private property without government intervention. "Property" in any sense more than what a nomadic human could carry with them, is a government creation. To "own" something means exactly and only to be able to call on government force to obtain or maintain control of that thing, or to be free from the usual government sanctions for such use of force. Land ownership is rooted in government-issues pieces of paper. Every physical good ultimately comes out of the land. So-called "intellectual property" is entirely made up by the state.

Property is not a right, it is a human invention that at best we can use protect rights -- or at worst can use to protect the power of a ruling class. Capitalism is a system where the state the notion of uses property to preserve the power of a small artistocatic owning class.

Anything that reduces individual freedoms is less moral than anything that increases individual freedoms.

And capitalism reduces individual freedoms, and is thus immoral. QED.

about 2 months ago
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HTML5: It's Already Everywhere, Even In Mobile

Mr. Slippery Re:40em column widths (133 comments)

So how should a web site provide a good reading experience the majority, who apparently are "so fucking retarded as to maximize [their] browser window" even on a 1920px-wide screen?

Gee, if only there were a way to suggest (but not mandate) that the browser render a piece of text in a certain manner. A "style", if you will. The specification of such a "style" might include a maximum width. Well, I guess no such thing could ever exist, so in order to format that text the server will need to send a whole pile of executable code.

about 2 months ago
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MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

Mr. Slippery Re:Why isn't then the price exploding ? (323 comments)

I am willing to bet that there is some non-free-market shenanigan going on here.

If the price of cocoa was exploding, then people would plant them...When reality does not follow the course your ideology says it should, sometimes it's not the result of fraud. Sometimes it means your ideology is bunk.

Otherwise as cocoa goes missing the producer would get better price, and more people would plant them..

Saith TFA, "The problem is, for one, a supply issue. Dry weather in West Africa (specifically in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, where more than 70 percent of the world's cocoa is produced) has greatly decreased production in the region. A nasty fungal disease known as frosty pod hasn't helped either. The International Cocoa Organization estimates it has wiped out between 30 percent and 40 percent of global coca production. Because of all this, cocoa farming has proven a particularly tough business, and many farmers have shifted to more profitable crops, like corn, as a result....For these reasons, cocoa prices have climbed by more than 60 percent since 2012, when people started eating more chocolate than the world could produce."

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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CentOS back on track

Mr. Slippery Mr. Slippery writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Mr. Slippery writes "Following up on the previous story about CentOS: according to the CentOS web site, "The CentOS Development team had a routine meeting today with Lance Davis in attendance. During the meeting a majority of issues were resolved immediately and a working agreement was reached with deadlines for remaining unresolved issues. There should be no impact to any CentOS users going forward. The CentOS project is now in control of the CentOS.org and CentOS.info domains and owns all trademarks, materials, and artwork in the CentOS distributions.""
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How we used to vote

Mr. Slippery Mr. Slippery writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Mr. Slippery writes "Think hanging chads, illegal purges of the voter rolls, and insecure voting machines were bad? The New Yorker gives a look at how we used to vote back in the good old days: "A man carrying a musket rushed at him. Another threw a brick, knocking him off his feet. George Kyle picked himself up and ran. He never did cast his vote. Nor did his brother, who died of his wounds. The Democratic candidate for Congress, William Harrison, lost to the American Party's Henry Winter Davis. Three months later, when the House of Representatives convened hearings into the election, whose result Harrison contested, Davis's victory was upheld on the ground that any 'man of ordinary courage' could have made his way to the polls." Now I feel like a wuss for complaining about the lack of a voter-verified paper trail."
Link to Original Source
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Gandalf is the new Number Two

Mr. Slippery Mr. Slippery writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Mr. Slippery writes "According to Variety , "AMC and ITV will remake Patrick McGoohan's cult TV show `The Prisoner' as a six-part mini with Ian McKellen as Number Two and Jim Caviezel as Number Six." There's been talk about remake of The Prisoner for a long time, we'll see if this gets further than past efforts; certainly Sir McKellen's attachment to the project is a reason to hope it won't completely blow chunks."
Link to Original Source
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WSU LUG Nerds to auction themselves to women

Mr. Slippery Mr. Slippery writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Mr. Slippery writes "Associated Press reports that Washington State University's LUG is planning to hold a "nerd auction". According to LUG president Ben Ford,"You can buy a nerd and he'll fix your computer, help you with stats homework, or if you're really adventurous, take you to dinner!" To promote the LUG (and comp sci in general) to women, the plan is that a handful of LUG members will get makeovers from a sorority. "The girls get to have their way with them and we'll document each makeover. We'll make a snazzy video and show it over dinner. After the dinner, we'll auction off the now studly nerds.""
Link to Original Source

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