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Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

TheBilgeRat I like money (212 comments)

My first wife was 'tarded. Now she's a pilot.

yesterday
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What To Expect With Windows 9

TheBilgeRat Re:If it's not like Vista or 8.0 (Vista II)... (535 comments)

Is it really that hard to try KDE and Gnome? Those are the only two anyone should bother with if they want a modern DE experience on linux (you could toss XFCE in there as well, but the only decent XFCE implementation OOTB is Xubuntu, and people love to hate on Ubuntu, so...). They are also very polished for the most part.

What you are REALLY paying for with Windows and Mac is tight, (usually) drama free hardware interface. When you think of how much black-boxing has to go on to get basic things running smoothly on Linux its amazing it runs at all.

2 days ago
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NYPD Starts Body Camera Pilot Program

TheBilgeRat Re:its the cops, not the cameras. (170 comments)

...Strapping a camera to a police officer at this point is moot. its designed to deflect attention from the routine use of disproportionate force against the citizens theyre charged with protecting. the actual issue the NYPD needs to deal with is either burned out or unfit for duty officers. Rookies fresh from Afghanistan and 10 year veterans with a calloused trigger finger need training, counseling, and support to help correct a systemic 'us vesus them' mentality. PTSD evaluations and regular, significant performance reviews should be a part of every officers career and something the police union should champion first. Strapping a go-pro to your departments beat-cops will result in either a glut of abuse evidence or no footage at all. Do not promote unfit officers to higher ranks either; the glut of stonewalled or ignored FOIA requests is evidence this is a bad practice.

I wish I had mod points today, so I'll just settle for a reqoute and a THIS. THIS for days.

about two weeks ago
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Dirty Diapers Used To Grow Mushrooms

TheBilgeRat Re:No surprise, but a bad idea (97 comments)

Man - I hope they come up with a method to automate that separation process!

about two weeks ago
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Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

TheBilgeRat No. (546 comments)

NEXT!

about two weeks ago
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California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

TheBilgeRat Re:The worrisome part (233 comments)

I was more interested in your accusations of white noise defeating teh true champions of teh true freedombs, and who these knights of purity might be holding back the inevitable tide of stupidity and reductionism. As a few have pointed out, giving a clause to allow law enforcement to shut off phones is going to lead to it being abused. Will it happen EVERY SINGLE TIME?!!!!111 Of course not. It will, however, happen too often - and especially at times when it would be most useful to have said phone working.

But please, educate us simpletons on the complexities and nuance surrounding the need for the state to legitimately shut off citizens telephones. I'm sure your responses will be enlightening.

about three weeks ago
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California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

TheBilgeRat Re:The worrisome part (233 comments)

And that attitude is exactly why we can safely take your opinion, and ignore it.

You seem to think cynicism is inherently reasonable and sane, and thus end up believe absurd bullshit in the name of pragmatism. You don't recognize that this isn't informed from any sort of careful study, but instead kind of boring extrapolation of the media notable times that the rule-of-law doesn't hold up.

You don't (mentally) live in a world where almost every single person accused of a crime in the US gets a trial. With a jury of their peers. And a chance to appeal if due process isn't followed. Your brain lives in an alternate reality, where all power is abused at all times, because that makes you smarter than everyone else. More clever, seeing the things that "those dullards" or whatever don't.

It is true that every power that's granted to government in a liberal democracy needs watchdogs, and alert citizenry. You seem to mistake that duty with an obligation to condemn socially useful features of government out of paranoid fear. What you're actually doing is creating a lot of white noise to distract from those who are doing their proper duty, looking out for real abuses. You aren't helping.

Wow. So, in your pretend alternate reality world, the police never EVER abuse the laws we have today?

It takes very little effort to realize that the most useful and needed excuse to shut down cell phones by the police will be to prevent citizens from recording their behavior in the absence of police body cams.

who are these "proper" people looking out for "real" abuses?

about three weeks ago
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California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

TheBilgeRat Re:The worrisome part (233 comments)

Exactly.

"We are disabling all phones filming us beating to death this black child FOR YOUR PROTECTION!"

about three weeks ago
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Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

TheBilgeRat That's a real nice Internets you got there... (611 comments)

Shame if someone smeared it all up with advertisements...

Tell you what - for the low low fee of 230 dollars a year, I promise Guido and Nunzio here won't fill your windows up with popups.

about a month ago
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Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

TheBilgeRat Re:What a bunch of Wuss (579 comments)

He wasn't selling the software, per se. He had come up with a solution that eliminated the licensing costs and made for a more robust system. The point is that in the face of logic the response was illogical.

about a month ago
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Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

TheBilgeRat Re:What a bunch of Wuss (579 comments)

This.

Anecdote time: I have a sysadmin friend who manages a regionally successful food chains POS machines. When trying to upgrade the system he recently pushed to adopt a SQL database and a proper web interface for it, all running Linux (They were/are just dumping data into excel spreadsheets). The managements response? "Why would we want to run that communist software?"

about 1 month ago
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Auralux Release For Browsers Shows Emscripten Is Reaching Indie Devs

TheBilgeRat Pay for Speed? (44 comments)

Although I enjoyed the game enough to waste 20 minutes on it, I am less than impressed with a "Pay to not watch the grass grow" model of business. So, while it may run blazingly fast, I'm not going to pay to see if that's the case.

As it is, it seems painfully slow, and more than a bit of a rip-off of games like these ones I can play for free in my browser with no speed issues.

I'm just not seeing the value.

about a month ago
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New Snowden Leak: of 160000 Intercepted Messages, Only 10% From Official Targets

TheBilgeRat Re:What haven't they lied about? (201 comments)

Due to "security concerns" the NSA operates relatively autonomously, and, by design, even the president and courts have limited oversight.

This isn't true at all The President has ultimate authority over the actions of the intelligence agencies. The Congress has ultimate control of funding for the intelligence agencies. Further, both houses of Congress have intelligence oversight committees that were formed in the wake of multiple scandals from the 1960s and 1970s.

None of this is new. FISA was written as a direct result of the US Army spying on domestic protests by American citizens. The domestic and overbroad spying by the NSA is exactly the type of thing that FISA was originally intended to halt.

Every time we pass a law to stop some shitty corporate or military behavior, it gets slowly watered down over the years until it's incapable of meeting its original goals.

While all technically true, the problem happens when these agencies straight up lie to Congress or the president about their activities.

James Clapper, the Bay of Pigs, etc etc. If you believe those oversight committees are worth anything, well...

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Correlation Between Text Editor and Programming Language?

TheBilgeRat Re: Uh, sure.. (359 comments)

This really all depends on the coder. I work on a very large commercial project written in C++/Qt and Tcl. The majority of the main programmers use Emacs and Eclipse. I use qtcreator and vim. IDEs don't get in the way of project specific tools at all - that is why you tell it where all your bespoke classes and tools are. Most all IDEs understand Git, Subverison and Perforce as well as project trees.

The reason I love the IDE I use is the ability to quickly follow inheritance back to parent classes from some class or function definition, quickly find all uses of some function in the project tree, and just overall ability to hop around, switch from header to source, etc. Qtcreator even has vim mode, so all the easy text editing I'm used to is right there. I'm sure some programmers have scripts that do these things, or some Emacs/Vim magic, but I don't know it, and don't have the time or desire to learn it.

In the end, no one gives two shits what you use as long as you're productive.

about 3 months ago

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