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Trove of NSA Documents and FISC Opinions Declassified Thanks to EFF Lawsuit

Whatshisface Re:So, when will heads roll? (110 comments)

Is this 'rogue agency stepping outside of its mandate', or just part of a bigger problem where government has decided the laws don't really matter?

Yes, it is.

about a year ago

The College-Loan Scandal

Whatshisface Re:No clue (827 comments)

How is this insightful? The GP clearly stated that the current(2014) tuition at his college is $3333, and so it is still affordable.

about a year and a half ago

Stolen Laptop Owner Outwits Mugger, Police, and the Media

Whatshisface Re:Huh? (272 comments)

Err, the colloquialism is "one and the same".

The point is that the previous poster was critical of the OP and timothy, while being wrong himself.

about 2 years ago

Google's Bangalore Streetview Project Stalled

Whatshisface Re:How to make a man sound flustered (108 comments)

There is no official definition for "Middle East" but it generally refers to the Arabic-speaking countries of South West Asia and North Africa (plus Iran). Even Afghanistan is debatable, and Pakistan does not qualify at all. The only reason you or anyone else qualifies Pakistan as Middle East is because it is an Islamic country, by which definition Indonesia should be in there as well. In every other way, in terms of language, culture, ethnicity, Pakistan is very similar to India. Maybe that's because they were one country till 60 years ago?

more than 3 years ago

Texting On the Rise In the US

Whatshisface Congratulations USA (468 comments)

Congratulations USA ..... Welcome to 2002! Oh, and ....First?

more than 4 years ago

Microsoft & Intel Get a Pass On Higher H-1B Fees

Whatshisface Re:did i read that right (209 comments)

That's the whole point...they aren't really getting them cheaper.

Speaking from personal experience, I graduated from a US university a few years ago and applied for a job at various tech companies, including Microsoft. I was competing with everybody else who had graduated, and would be paid the same as any entry level developer (which was about 65k at the time).

The only difference was that, as a foreign national, if they decided to hire me, they would have to provide me with an H-1B visa.

A large number of the H-1B professionals who work for MS and Intel and other tech companies, have come in the same way, by competing against other qualified candidates, including Americans, for the same salary, and proving themselves to be the best candidate.

There is a big difference between them and the "sweatshop" candidates being brought in by the outsourcing companies.

more than 4 years ago

Lidar Finds Overgrown Maya Pyramids

Whatshisface Re:Cool. (169 comments)

And we would have been only 20 years away from cold fusion and unlimited free power.

more than 4 years ago

Space Exploration Needs Extraterrestrial Ethics

Whatshisface Re:Ethics (162 comments)

Except that most of Asimov's robot stories were actually about the fact that the 3 Laws were simplistic and impractical, and that sufficiently developed robots would look to bend or break the laws eventually.

The Prime Directive had its own problems as well.

The point is that it is not easy to define a universal set of rules that would apply in all situations.

more than 4 years ago

The People vs. George Lucas To Premiere At SXSW

Whatshisface Varied Career? (149 comments)

David Prowse, the 74-year-old actor who has enjoyed a long and varied career filled with roles such as Darth Vader (Star Wars Episodes IV, V, and VI)

Does anyone else find it funny that the example given for his long and varied career is that he played Darth Vader in 3 different movies?

more than 4 years ago

Google Sets Censorship Precedent In India

Whatshisface Re:Sounds like a culture problem to me... (245 comments)

Freedom is valued in India, but the concept of absolute freedom of speech is not as ingrained in the culture as it is in some western countries.

The general rise in Hindu nationalism is a recent thing, and has come from certain political leaders exploiting the discontentment among the poor and unemployed. Because India has a fair amount of affirmative action for minority communities, the Hindus are incited into believing that everyone else is being favoured apart from them, and that freedom of speech means people can do and say anything against their culture and religion.

The problem with free speech is that of course anyone has the right to say anything they like, and it requires a certain level of education to understand that that's not a bad thing.

about 5 years ago

Why Do So Many Terrorists Have Engineering Degrees

Whatshisface Re:Lets see (736 comments)

Bingo! This is the part that most people don't get. Its amazing how many terrorists are not fundamentalist Muslims, but simply young kids from Muslim countries who are pissed off at the treatment their people get from the Americans and Israelis. And every time a drone indiscriminately kills 30 civilians in a failed attempt to kill one Al-Qaeda member, they gain a few more recruits.

more than 5 years ago

Patrolling the US Border Via Webcam

Whatshisface Re:What a waste of time/money (249 comments)

The problem is that in practise, landmines are never a clean solution.

No matter how many wanrnings you put up, invariably some children or animals will wander into the area and get blown up, or crippled for life.

There are lots of more humane ways to implement a barrier than landmines.

more than 5 years ago

Patrolling the US Border Via Webcam

Whatshisface Re:Stop or I'll show you my genitals! (249 comments)

That is probably why you have to register to become one of the observers. No anonymous tips allowed.

more than 5 years ago

The 87 Lamest Moments In Tech, 2000-2009

Whatshisface Re:obligatory (328 comments)

So for you January - August 2001 was also part of the 90s ? And FWIW, we started at year zero, and so the first decade ended at year 9. Ergo the current decade is 2000-2009. The defense rests.

more than 5 years ago

Charities Upset Over Chase Facebook Contest

Whatshisface Re:Charities? (464 comments)

But coming back to the original point, is that a charity? Just from reading the summary, it seems like all the groups that were removed were activist groups endorsing a specific change in laws. Its one thing to ask Chase to endorse the charity of your choice, its another to ask them to make a political donation to support your pet cause.

more than 5 years ago

Mediterranean Might Have Filled In Months

Whatshisface Re:Roland Emmerich (224 comments)

Wait, how can the first post be redundant? And its actually on-topic, and reasonably funny. Mods, why do you hate poor assemblerex ?

more than 5 years ago

How Men and Women Badly Estimate Their Own Intelligence

Whatshisface Re:If women are so smart . . . (928 comments)

There's never been a woman who actually won the nomination for either the Democratic or Republican parties. Obviously the closest that anyone came was Hillary Clinton in 2008, who would have been President now (IMO) if Obama had not come out of nowhere. But I would think given how close she came, and that Sarah Palin is still a major draw (whatever her qualifications may be), it will not be too long before a woman becomes a major party nominee, or actually wins the election.

more than 5 years ago

Farmville, Social Gaming, and Addiction

Whatshisface Re:Unfriending due to Farmville (251 comments)

Due to Farmvilles massive spamming, and my inability to make it stop telling me when my sisters/friends/coworkers have found a new cow, I've actually resorted to unfriending people who are farmville addicts. My "newsfeed" went from updates on my friends lives to 3/4 farmville useless announcements, making it effectively useless. I was tempted to install the app to see if I could filter them somehow, but ultimately said forget it.

It's fine if people want to play games, but frankly, the rest of the world doesn't care or need to know that you planted seeds. If I installed a facebook app that broadcasted every time I got a green drop in WoW I'm sure my friends wouldn't be too happy.

Add to this the Mafia wars spam, and these stupid little apps have made a mess out of what was once a useful tool for me to keep on top of my friends day to day and related silliness.

It takes one click to block an unwanted application like Farmville from posting to your News Feed. There's a "Hide" option on any News Feed story which will block all posts from that application. Very useful.

more than 5 years ago

Astrophysicists Find "Impossible" Planet

Whatshisface "Impossible" ? (436 comments)

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

more than 5 years ago

Calif. Politican Thinks Blurred Online Maps Would Deter Terrorists

Whatshisface Re:Blurring only targets makes them easy to pick o (597 comments)

This bill would prohibit an operator, as defined, of a commercial Internet Web site or online service that makes a virtual globe browser available to members of the public from providing aerial or satellite photographs or imagery of places in this state that have been identified on the Internet Web site by the operator as a school, place of worship, or government or medical building or facility unless those photographs or images have been blurred.

So it only has to be blurred if the representation is a GLOBE ? In other words, Google maps is not subject to this, only Google Earth. Yeah, those terrorists are really screwed now.

more than 5 years ago



Is Godwin's Law sometimes a bad thing?

Whatshisface Whatshisface writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Whatshisface (1203604) writes "Glenn Greenwald of Salon magazine makes the claim that sometimes the ubiqitous use of Goldwin's Law on discussions sometimes prevents valid comparisions from being made. There are times when a comparison of specific actions to those of Hitler and Nazi Germany are actually valid, but more often than not the validity of such a point is blown away in the anger that treats any such comparison as the ultimate insult.

Interestingly the particular reference in this article is to a post made by Greenwald himself where he claims the universal pro-war propaganda that exists among the mainstream media and Washington culture, that continuously trumpets the noble war that the US is fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, is reminiscent of the propaganda in Nazi Germany before and during their invasion of Europe.

What do Slashdotters think. Is it fair to make such a comparison, and more importantly, should he come under attack just because he actually made it?"

Link to Original Source


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