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Are you better off than you were four years ago?

PMuse Underrepresented (524 comments)

Good thing we're not using these numbers for anything important. The people who have dropped offline due to one flavor or another of 'being worse off' will be somewhat underrepresented in the results.

So will the ones who are dead.

more than 2 years ago

SCO Group Files For Chapter 7

PMuse the case that made GrokLaw (190 comments)

Don't sugar-coat it, PJ.
Tell us how you really feel.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Depressing Sci-fi You've Ever Read?

PMuse Re:Brave New World (1365 comments)

Though I had the opposite feeling while I was reading them, I'm going to have to say that Huxley's vision is lot scarier than Orwell's.

That Winston Smith is clearly a little $h!t, but I'd vote to elect Bernard Marx.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Depressing Sci-fi You've Ever Read?

PMuse Re:Nineteen Eighty-Four (1365 comments)

Nah, it's still the ending of 1984 that depresses me.

It's one thing for governments to be horrible to the people they're supposed to care for. I've come to terms with that.

It's when people are horrible to the people they care for that continues to surprise me.

more than 2 years ago

Cisco's Cloud Vision: Mandatory, and Killed At Their Discretion

PMuse oh! oh! Sue me! I wanna be sued! Over here! (307 comments)

Now, the MPIAA can go sue Cisco for infringement whenever Cisco had control of the infringing router, knew or should have known of the infringement, and didn't act quickly enough to prevent it.

more than 2 years ago

Is the Google Nexus Q Subtraction by Subtraction?

PMuse roundheads (128 comments)

fsck round! There is no value in sphericality to _the owner_ of this device. The shape is a marketing gimmick to make it look enticing to a purchaser. I don't mind a little marketing, so long as it stays out of the way of usefulness.

Please go back to building me flat, stackable, rectangular boxen.

Beige ones.

And get off my lawn.

more than 2 years ago

Intellectual Property Rights: The Quiet Killer of Rio+20

PMuse cause and effect (198 comments)

Congratulations, /.

We have just proved to his next target that this guy has the power to stymie a conference of nations with a letter. Whether or not his previous statement was "powerful", his next one will be.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Science-Fiction/Fantasy For Kids?

PMuse Xanth (726 comments)

OK, so Piers Anthony's Xanth doesn't qualify as literature, but I was as addicted to it as a teenager as I ever was to the Hardy Boys in grade school. It was _fun_, people. Admit it: you laughed, too. It's not like you can hand the boy Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson until he's at least thirteen. The thing is 500 pages long.

Come to think of it, I wouldn't hand him Xanth until then either. He might accuse you of trying to sneak in a kissing book.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Science-Fiction/Fantasy For Kids?

PMuse Lloyd Alexander, Cressida Cowell (726 comments)

Lloyd Alexander: The Chronicles of Prydain. All 5 are compelling, but book 4, Taran Wanderer, is a sneaky-wonderful coming-of-age story.

Cressida Cowell: How to Train Your Dragon and its nine sequels. The movie was great, but when I began reading the books to my then-3-year-old, I discovered a different, equally compelling story from that of the movie (both tales get props from me). We eventually read all 10 books together.

Both series are not too long, child-appropriate, and not childish. If your child has contended with Asimov, he/she can handle Alexander and might be able to read Cowell alone.

more than 2 years ago

Oracle and Google Spar Over Whether Programming Languages Can Be Copyrighted

PMuse Re:Patents Versus Copyright (316 comments)

Slashdot hosts good debates on, e.g., whether a particular patent really describes something new or whether patents even ought to be available in particular technological areas.

But please justify, with citations, your position that the expiration dates of patents mean "jack".

Patents expire. They do not get arbitrarily big extensions at the end of their lives for no reason. The only extension a patent might get is tied to time spent getting regulatory approval and is measured in days. Wouldn't it be nice if any of those things were true about copyrights?

more than 2 years ago

Boston Pays Out $170,000 To Man Arrested For Recording Police

PMuse 'right' of arrest (270 comments)

According to TFA, things should be better now that:

"There is no right of arrest for public and open recordings under this statute," a training bulletin instructs police.

Or maybe things won't be much better, since even the police trainers seem to think that laws confer a "right of arrest" on police officers.

Authority? Yes.
Duty? Yes.
A "right"? Never. That's severely twisted thinking.

more than 2 years ago

Teacher Suspended For Reading Ender's Game To Students

PMuse Re:"I Heard Your Giant's Drink Game is Broken?" (1054 comments)

People don't want their kids exposed to things that'll make them think about sex.

A wise (and frequently stoned) man once wrote:

Show the average American teenage male a condom and his mind will turn to thoughts of lust.

Show the average American teenage male a lug wrench and his mind'll turn to...

more than 2 years ago

How To Crash the US Justice System: Demand a Trial

PMuse DDOS is made of people (897 comments)

A denial of service attack works best when you don't care about the packets or the machines sending them.

TFA is suggesting is that real people disregard their own best interests (plea bargains, lesser charges) for an experiment (jury demands) that is unlikely to achieve anything unless nearly everyone participates at once.

more than 2 years ago

Academics Not Productive Enough? Sack 'em

PMuse Re:In academia, we don't say. . . (356 comments)


does seems like a ridiculously primitive metric. Surely we could at least advance to some proxy for the importance of the work, such as


more than 2 years ago

Obama's Privacy Bill of Rights: Just a Beginning

PMuse Re:Let me know when... (222 comments)

Dear Mr. President,

Howsa bout I vote for you again and then you introduce these proposals as actual Constitutional Amendments. You know--the kind that bind the executive branch.

Otherwise, your so-called "Privacy Bill of Rights" is not only a shallow gimmick, but also confuses the citizenry about what the real Bill of Rights used to be.

more than 2 years ago

I prefer my input devices to be as _______ as possible.

PMuse waterproof (279 comments)

Coke, Mt. Dew, coffee, OJ, vodka, . . .

more than 2 years ago

2011 Was the 9th Hottest Year On Record

PMuse Re:There is no denying the Earth is getting hotter (877 comments)

Of course the earth has gotten hotter; of course human activity is the major cause; of course we must fix it.

BUT, I cannot abide people who write statistical summaries (even non-false ones) for shock value. Sure, 2011 was "the 9th hottest year out of the past 130", but it's also true that 2011 was cooler than 9 of the past 14 years.

Tired as I am of trying to enlighten fools, I still say we should stick to the heart of the statistics and eschew convenient sophistry. We'll leave that for our opponents.

about 3 years ago

Renewable Energy Production Surpasses Nuclear In the US

PMuse Re:Difficult Read... (452 comments)

Mod parent up! Only a partisan would measure a nation's annual energy consumption in "quadrillion Btus". It's like measuring an oil spill in pints.

This is slashdot. Around here, you can't conflate percent of "domestic crude oil production" with "percent of U.S. energy production" (let alone consumption!) and not get called on it. Can you?

Ah, heck with it! Let's slip down to the pub for 2.98 millibarrels of domestic light sweet lager.

more than 3 years ago

The Patriot Act and the EU Cloud

PMuse Re:More reasons why the Cloud is a disaster (176 comments)

Laws mostly control people. If you give a person (cloud provider) control over your data, you have just subjected your data to every set of laws that has a hold over that person. In today's example, MS has most of its assets in the U.S., so MS will do with your data what the U.S. says. Duh.

Precious few service providers will undertake to protect you when it means losing their own assets, personal freedom, or even just right-to-do-business. Show of hands, now: who really thought they would?

more than 3 years ago

Are Fake Geeks Dooming Real Ones?

PMuse Count her a friend, at least (492 comments)

The Others take me, I was surprised that a Lady of her station knew that name. Much less, understood what it was.

more than 3 years ago



Why are you not more concerned about swine flu?

PMuse PMuse writes  |  more than 5 years ago

PMuse (320639) writes "Why are you not more concerned about swine flu than you are?
  1. I trust my government to keep me safe.
  2. Simple precautions (handwashing, masks, etc.) are sufficient.
  3. I received my injections already.
  4. I had the virus already.
  5. A fast connection and a wide screen are all the social interaction I ever get anyway.
  6. Swine are easier to take down than triffids, vampires, zombies, or rage victims.
  7. It was about time that we decreased the surplus population.
  8. My doctor is Cowboy Neal.


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