Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

When Smart People Make Bad Employees

Skjellifetti Re:There is no reason to be a jerk (491 comments)

It is not what you know that counts. It is not who you know that counts. It is who you know that knows what you know that counts.

more than 3 years ago
top

Smithsonian Celebrates 50 Years of COBOL

Skjellifetti Today's Slashdot Fortune (178 comments)

COBOL is for morons. -- E.W. Dijkstra

more than 2 years ago
top

First-Sale Doctrine Lost Overseas

Skjellifetti Re:That's Not What The Article Says (775 comments)

You are confused about the legal nature of a piece of property. Ownership of a physical piece of property has always been defined as a bundle of legal rights. For many, perhaps most items of property, that bundle of rights is all encompassing in the sense that you can do whatever you choose to do with that property. But for many items of physical property, the bundle of rights that are sold to you when you purchase the physical item are not all encompassing and never have been. If, for example, you were to purchase a nice piece of backwoods property in much of Appalachia, you had best check and make sure you are also purchasing the mineral rights to that land. In many cases, the ownership of the right to extract minerals has been split from the right to, say, build a house on the land. Similarly, in the American West, the purchase of land with a stream running through it does not automatically convey the right to use any of the water from that stream. The water rights have been unpackaged from the land ownership. This unbundling of land and water rights, in fact, goes all the way back to the Roman Empire.

The legal history of physical property ownership has been one where, over time, the bundle of rights sold with the property has been split into finer and finer bundles. DRM, DMCA, etc. are just a continuation of this trend. When Sony sells you a PS3, they have sold you a bundle of rights that includes some uses of that property, but excludes others. Sony is under no legal obligation to sell a complete set of rights when they hand over the PS3 in exchange for the customer's cash. If you don't like the exclusions in the bundle of rights Sony has sold you with the PS3, don't buy a PS3.

This unbundling of property rights is actually a good idea. If you were to force Sony to sell a complete set of rights as you seem to understand ownership, Sony would have to charge a higher price for the PS3. Since most people do not care to mod their PS3, removing that right from the bundle that is conveyed during a sale of a PS3 reduces the cost that most customers have to pay for the actual rights that they do care about.

more than 2 years ago
top

Georgia College's New Policy — Reporting All P2P Users To the Police

Skjellifetti Re:Parents will appreciate this (421 comments)

if I was trained in construction or plumbing or auto repair, I'd still have a job...

No, you wouldn't have a job. These skills have some of the highest unemployment rates at present. It is those of us w/ MS degrees and years of experience whose mailboxes are full of "Are you available, we need a software architect" emails.

The trick to a modern college degree is to get a 2 year degree w/ a technical skill like, say, medical lab technician, and use that to pay for the 4 year degree. Where I live, more and more of the high schools are offering the opportunity to complete a 2 year associates degree along with your hs diploma. That cuts the cost of a 4 year degree in half.

more than 3 years ago
top

The Coming War Over the Future of Java

Skjellifetti Re:C# (583 comments)

You must have been about 10 years old when MS went after Netscape with fangs bared and tried to underhandedly kill Java.

more than 3 years ago
top

The Coming War Over the Future of Java

Skjellifetti Re:C# (583 comments)

Java occupies a niche? Seriously? Well I suppose if you define niche as just about the entire gamut of enterprise applications in the Fortune 500.

more than 3 years ago
top

President Obama To Appear On Mythbusters

Skjellifetti Re:Car insurance is illegal, then? (795 comments)

Its more complex than simply giving a hand out to the insurance industries. It has to do with insurance risk pools. Given a pool with a certain number of high, medium, and low risk individuals, set a price based on the average number of each type in the pool. At that price, the low risk individuals say to themselves that the price is too high given their risk level and so they would choose to drop out. This changes the average risk characteristics of the pool and so a new, higher price must be set. But this proves too high for the medium risk class and so they drop out. We are left with a high risk pool with a high price.

The bottom line is that low risk individuals must be forced to join and subsidize the higher risk individuals. The low risk is usually associated with younger individuals so we have to have a system where younger, healthier individuals end up subsidizing older individuals. This is OK since the young will eventually grow old and need the subsidy in their turn.

HCA also has provisions for subsidizing the poor. This is because the poor are most often the users of the highest cost services since they tend to buy health care at the emergency room rather than through cheaper preventative maintenance services available from general practitioners. It is cheaper to subsidize their purchase of insurance rather than make all the rest of us pay more for our ER visits to cover their expensive ER visits that could have been better handled earlier elsewhere.

more than 3 years ago
top

President Obama To Appear On Mythbusters

Skjellifetti Re:Archimedes, again? Really? (795 comments)

Tea Party heads will explode when SCOTUS decides that the Interstate Commerce Clause makes the HCA Constitutional.

more than 3 years ago
top

Russian Army Upgrades Its Inflatable Weapons

Skjellifetti Re:Better still (197 comments)

This was one of the reason that the Soviets and Americans signed the ABM Treaty. Both sides realized that the cost of building launchable decoy ballistic missiles or filling your MIRV with a combination of real and fake warheads was way cheaper than the cost of building anti-ballistic missiles.

more than 3 years ago
top

Flat Pay Prompts 1 In 3 In IT To Consider Jump

Skjellifetti Re:As the economy improves??? (608 comments)

The current business surveys show that lack of demand is why most businesses are holding back on hiring. The uncertainty claims are mostly a tea party fiction. The number of businessmen complaining about regs and taxes is about what it has been for the past 20 years. The number complaining about lack of demand has skyrocketed. NFIB surveys have the data. Also, the current research suggests that stock returns always do best during the 3rd year of a President's term regardless of which party holds Congress or the White House and that gridlock has a small negative effect compared to non-gridlock. Don't believe the hype that stock returns will be great because the Republican's won. The data don't support that.

more than 3 years ago
top

Iran Arrests Alleged Spies Over Stuxnet Worm

Skjellifetti Re:The country that cried wolf (261 comments)

Oswald was an above average shot and the lone gunman theory has been tested enough times to show it is perfectly plausible.

more than 3 years ago
top

Former Military Personnel Claim Aliens Are Monitoring Our Nukes

Skjellifetti Re:Don't Eat That! (498 comments)

No, we are a rich enough country that having, say, one trained anthropologist paid to examine Big Foot data using actual scientific methods is a fairly cheap social investment with a low probability, high potential reward if one is actually found.

more than 3 years ago
top

Why Are Terrorists Often Engineers?

Skjellifetti Re:Engineers vs Liberal Arts (769 comments)

That is my point: How can someone who thinks that the ability to model a swinging pendulum is a prerequisite for understanding human beings ever understand human beings?

more than 3 years ago
top

SCO Puts Unix Assets On the Block

Skjellifetti First Bid! (217 comments)

$0. SCO doesn't have any Unix assets.

more than 3 years ago
top

Why Are Terrorists Often Engineers?

Skjellifetti Re:Engineers vs Liberal Arts (769 comments)

A quick look at a major Midwestern US Big 10 university requirement for, say, mechanical engineering:

Mechanical Engineering Requirements
A summary of college requirements for mechanical engineering includes the following:
  Fundamentals of Engineering (2 courses)
  Chemistry (2 courses)
  Electrical Engineering (2 courses)
  Industrial and Systems Engineering (2 courses)
  Materials Science (1 course)
  Mathematics (5 courses)
  Mechanical Engineering (20 courses)
  Physics (3 courses)
  Technical Electives (15 credit hours)
The college requirements total 157 hours of course work. The university requires that students take 35 hours of General Education Curriculum courses which total 192 hours required for graduation.

35 hours at 5 hours per course is 7 non-engineering classes to graduate. But 3 of those are probably freshman English. That means that an engineer is only required to take a whole 4 classes in non-techie stuff outside of English.

more than 3 years ago
top

Why Are Terrorists Often Engineers?

Skjellifetti Engineers vs Liberal Arts (769 comments)

It would be interesting to compare engineers with liberal arts grads on the terrorist spectrum. Engineers are not usually required to take the wide variety of non-technical courses that are supposed to give lib arts majors a grounding in history, art, social sciences, languages, etc. My hypothesis is that this might make engineers a little more rigid in their critical thinking skills and less comprehension of just how complex the world really is. If you have a better understanding of where you and your culture fit into the larger sweep of human history, are you more or less likely to engage in throwing bombs? I don't know the answer to that, but would like to see some stats or papers if anyone else does.

more than 3 years ago
top

Super Principia Mathematica

Skjellifetti Re:pfffft (325 comments)

Super Principia Maxima will soon discover how to write itself. Fortunately it was released under the GPL so as long as it gives itself away, it won't be violating its own copyright.

about 4 years ago
top

PA's Dept. of Homeland Security Shared Oil-Shale Protester Info With Companies

Skjellifetti Re:How Is This A Problem.....?! (293 comments)

DHS provides information to a company about someone who poses a real security risk to them (the company).

RTFA - There was no proof of any kind that the individuals whose names were provided to the companies were responsible for any of the facility sabotage that occurred. The individuals whose names were given over to the companies were those who were merely attending open public meetings on the issue and who chose to peaceably exercise their right to freedom of speech, peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

about 4 years ago

Submissions

top

Peenemunde V1 and V2 Launch Site

Skjellifetti Skjellifetti writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Skjellifetti (561341) writes "The Peenemünde Historical Site has secured 3.9 million euros ($5.2 million) for renovation. The money comes from Chancellor Angela Merkel's 82 billion-euro stimulus package, designed to revive Europe's largest economy. Peenemünde is where the Nazis developed and fired some 25,000 V1 and V2 rockets at Belgium, France, and the U.K. during WWII. "Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down? That's not my department," says Wernher von Braun."

Journals

top

Slashdot Moderation

Skjellifetti Skjellifetti writes  |  more than 10 years ago aardvarkjoe claims that The over/underrated moderations are for weak-opinioned fools who are abusing the mod system.

I had mod points the day he wrote that and wanted to mod the post down as overrated just as a silly joke. Couldn't do that, of course, because it would have been deservedly metamoderated as a bad mod. I settled on posting an AC reply because I wanted to preserve my mod points for well written stuff that deserved points but still wanted to tease him a bit. All of which is a long-winded way of saying that it is time I explored the economics/game theory of /.'s moderation system. Specifically, is the "Can't post if you've moderated" rule + the anonymous nature of the moderations really lead to the best of breed floating to the top?

top

Skjellifetti Skjellifetti writes  |  more than 10 years ago Here is my new personal best. Everytime it was modded down -1 Troll, someone else kicked it back up as +1 Funny.

Previous best was a post modded +1 Informative, +1 Interesting, and +1 Funny.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>