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FBI Studied How Much Drones Impact Your Privacy -- Then Marked It Secret

Panoptes Re:Transparency (139 comments)

"The amount of information available to the public today that wasn't when Obama was elected is staggering."

Never confuse quantity with quality.

5 days ago

Australian Government Moving Forward With Anti-Piracy Mandate For ISPs

Panoptes Re:Australia Deserves it. (125 comments)

It's good to see that the spirit of Sir Les Patterson lives on. Looks like Ozzy politicians are even more short-sighted and dumber than the sorry bunch of venal no-hopers currently running Westminster.

5 days ago

Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs

Panoptes Re:And yet, who is charging who? (200 comments)

"Whom". It is ". . . who is it that is actually paying whom?"

Correct - in formal usage. But 'whom' is in decline, and for many writers is mandatory only when governed by a preposition.

5 days ago

Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

Panoptes Re:Ads are good for the internet. (394 comments)

"People seem to forget, the internet RUNS on advertising money."

Only people who have been successfully brainwashed believe this Big Lie. In olden times businesses had budgets for marketing and promotion which included advertising. Selling yourself and your services was an overhead cost.

Along comes the Internet. Personal interest, hobbyist and fan sites then come along, and tech sites that share their knowledge and expertise altruistically, for the common good. Then we hear the magic word 'monetize', and all hell is let loose.

Next is born that spawn of the devil, the notion that businesses have a God-given right to force us to watch advertisements, and fight tooth and nail to stop ad-skipping, ad-blocking, and the like. So don't feed me any crap that 'the Internet runs on advertising money'.

about two weeks ago

By 2045 'The Top Species Will No Longer Be Humans,' and That Could Be a Problem

Panoptes Re:AI is always "right around the corner". (564 comments)

"semi-autisitc fuckwitted word salad"

When a computer can come with such linguistic inventiveness, we may truly say that AI has arrived.

about three weeks ago

Duolingo is a Free, Crowdsourced Language Learning App (Video)

Panoptes Re:I wanted to like it.... (75 comments)

" I get the impression they just have a list of possible ways of phrasing the translation of a phrase." Yes, that's one way of doing it - but long-winded and slow to develop.

I write tests and quizzes using Moodle. Regular expressions are an economical and elegant way to parse short answers and award part-marks until an acceptable threshold of correctness is reached. And very simple to edit when exceptions need to be added.

about a month ago

Duolingo is a Free, Crowdsourced Language Learning App (Video)

Panoptes Re:Wife (75 comments)

"The theory is that you are being taught as a child learns" Bad theory. Childhood language acquisition is different from adult acquisition.

about a month ago

Duolingo is a Free, Crowdsourced Language Learning App (Video)

Panoptes Re:I wanted to like it.... (75 comments)

I just signed up and had a crack at the French lessons. My reaction? It's interesting, but limited. On the positive side there's some very nifty use of regular expressions in parsing the input answers - but on the negative, quite a few of the recordings are fuzzy and unclear. One example: the word 'diner' was completely unrecognizable. Its main limitation is that it's not communicative; everything is chunked into simple expressions without context. It's mechanical learning. I could see a use for it in my own teaching as a remedial/diagnostic tool, but I wouldn't recommend it as a primary means of learning French.

about a month ago

Wikipedia Editors Hit With $10 Million Defamation Suit

Panoptes Re:Is what he's saying really true? (268 comments)

My first reaction to this Wikipedia entry is that it's well (and very carefully) written; the content is supported by 29 detailed references to mostly legal and media sources. I cannot see any reasonable peg for Barry or his legal advisors to hang a lawsuit on. An accusation of bias would, I think, be problematic - several celebrities who like and respect him are mentioned (and quoted) at the beginning of the entry, without editorial comment.

about a month ago

Lectures Aren't Just Boring, They're Ineffective, Too, Study Finds

Panoptes Re:I've heard slashdot is behind the times... (166 comments)

At one level, it's true (and long proven) that lectures have pedagogical limitations. But step back for a moment, and consider the lecture as a social event. It's the only time the course students gather en masse and actually see everyone else. It's a contact event - you meet old friends, make new ones, catch the mood of the group, swap study information, grouch about things. Take away the much-maligned lecture, and the college experience would be much the poorer.

about 3 months ago

Russia Writes Off 90 Percent of North Korea Debt

Panoptes Re:Will this effect markets? (234 comments)

"something mysterious will happen to Kim Jong-Un". You mean he might get a decent haircut?

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

Panoptes Re:The Economist (285 comments)

Old magazines are a complete sense experience. The brittle feel of the paper, the colour as it browns towards the edges of the pages, the (by now) quaint font and layout conventions, the style of language and changes in structure and word usage, idioms and expressions that are no longer current or fashionable; the smell of the paper, the tactile quality of the old covers and binding, the faint noise of opening a long-closed magazine. It's an aesthetic experience that gives the publication a sense of history, a view of another time.

about 3 months ago

Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

Panoptes Re:u can rite any way u want (431 comments)

"Up to the early 20th century, words were spelled phonetically" Utter poppycock!

about 4 months ago

France's 'Culture Tax' Could Hit YouTube and Facebook

Panoptes Re:Behind the times. (314 comments)

The French (capitalisation) government (spelling) has (singular verb) initiated (not instigated) ... and so on. What price culture?

about 7 months ago

Sherlock Holmes Finally In the Public Domain In the US

Panoptes Re:A bad remake is a foot! (207 comments)

"A bad remake is afoot!" - corrected that for you.

about 7 months ago

Prime Minister Wiretapped — Vast Corruption Upending Turkey's Government

Panoptes Re:They named a country after a bird? (123 comments)

I don't know which is worse - the ignorance, or the illogicality, of this puerile post.

about 7 months ago

UK Telcos Went Above and Beyond To Cooperate With GCHQ

Panoptes Re:Jesus FUCK - Learn to fucking SPELL! (88 comments)

"Both "admissible" and "admissable" are correct according to the OED."

Really? Go back and check the OED - you'll find that the only spelling is "admissible".

about 9 months ago

Engineers Design Tornado Proof Home

Panoptes Re:Annoying mistake in TFS (189 comments)

The only grammatical 'rule' is to use 'whom' when it is governed by a preposition: to whom, from whom, for whom, etc. The rest is usage and personal preference, whatever the pedants may claim.

about 10 months ago

Text Analyzer Reveals Emotional 'Temperature' of Novels and Fairy Tales

Panoptes Re:The "eight fundamental emotions" (65 comments)

"This is part of the new field of sentiment analysis in which common words are categorised as positive, negative or neutral and associated with one of the eight fundamental emotions - joy, sadness, anger, fear, trust, disgust, surprise and anticipation."

Codswallop! This notion has been around for a very long time under the name of connotation. Giving something a new name and peddling it as a new concept doesn't exactly inspire confidence in the writer's competence or integrity.

about 10 months ago


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