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Should Cyborgs Have the Same Privacy Rights As Humans?

YukariHirai In short: no. (206 comments)

I would think that the cybernetic bits should be treated no differently than any other physical evidence on or in a person's body. If, for example, paint stains on a suspect's shoes prove that (s)he was at a certain location at a certain time, that's effectively the same thing as an implanted chip that proves the same thing.

about 3 months ago
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Update: Raspberry Pi-Compatible Development Board Cancelled

YukariHirai Re: That's open source (165 comments)

why do kids need a pi to learn programming, its a shitty platform all around and offers nothing special in regards to programming

Because it's a cheap computer that they can own themselves and be free to experiment with, rather than the expensive family PC that their parents will stop them from doing anything adventurous with. That the hardware itself offers nothing special is irrelevant. That it's a "shitty platform" is irrelevant. You don't need blazing fast network throughput, massive storage or heaps of CPU power for learning basic programming. You just need a functional system with the necessary basic tools for programming, and this provides it for very little cost.

about 3 months ago
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Update: Raspberry Pi-Compatible Development Board Cancelled

YukariHirai Re:Why. (165 comments)

It really depends what the particular aim of the education is. If it's teaching hardware design to university students, sure, you've got a point. But it's not. The educational aims of the RaspPi Foundation are teaching primary school kids how to code and do simple stuff with a GPIO port. You don't need an entirely open platform to do that.

I'm in favour of things being completely open as much as the next man, but the reality is that there are instances where it's not the greatest concern. It doesn't matter to the ten-year-old writing Hello World in Python that the graphics driver is a binary blob or that the full specs of the SoC are not public. When he's got the knowledge and understanding to be able to delve into things like that (likely some years later), there's nothing stopping him from moving on to platforms that are completely open.

about 3 months ago
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New Single Board Computer Lets You Swap Out the CPU and Memory

YukariHirai Interesting. (122 comments)

Interesting idea, and it is in general terms good that different options are appearing on the market. With that said, I see no compelling differences between this and the Raspberry Pi for my uses. Replaceable CPU/memory? Meh, $35-odd to entirely replace the whole computer is below my give-a-damn threshold. More CPU grunt is kind of nice, but to begin with anything I'm doing with something in this class of computer is not something that needs a great deal of that. More RAM? More or less the same thing as with CPU grunt. I've still got the earlier model of RasPi with only 256MB in active service as my ssh/torrent/whatever box, and it works just fine with such little memory.

Plus, the Raspberry Pi is a popular platform with its particular hardware features well supported by a variety of software. I imagine this thing's SoC has a different hardware mpeg4 decoder than the RasPi (if it even has one), for example, meaning you couldn't just take a RasPi build of XBMC and use it with this.

Still, if you do need something that's the size and approximate cost of a Raspberry Pi but with a little more power, or the same size and a bit more costly with a bit more power and more RAM, good for you, you now have another option.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

YukariHirai Nothing. (427 comments)

There is nothing that would motivate me to get a smartwatch. Everything they can possibly do is done better by a smartphone, with the sole exception of the convenience of being able to tell the time with a glance at your wrist, and that is offset by the inconvenience of having an uncomfortable chunk of metal strapped to your wrist. One might possibly be able to make a case for Google Glass or something like it, but not a smartwatch.

about 5 months ago
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The Sudden Policy Change In Truecrypt Explained

YukariHirai Re:Speculation (475 comments)

Which is all well and good... except for the facts that A) the NSA doesn't seem to be constrained by what is legal or not, and B) whistleblower protections aren't doing people who blow the whistle on this sort of level a whole lot of good.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

YukariHirai Re:Farming (737 comments)

Also, my career is irrelevant. I can build a house. But my career is in technology. So I would have to turn a hobby into a job.

I'm glad there are people who understand this; that one's career or profession is not the only knowledge and worth they have. I, for example, work retail in a not especially post apocalyptically useful field, and IT. Selling stuff is arguably going to be useful post-apocalypse, but I am also capable of building things.

about 7 months ago
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How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

YukariHirai Re:Let it die (510 comments)

Steve Jobs made a personal decision which he believed was the best, most correct solution to the problem he faced. I'm somewhat saddened that (in retrospect) he made a very bad decision, but it was his decision to make.

But was it necessarily a bad decision? From the simplistic view of living vs not living, maybe so. But maybe not... not everyone believes that "continue living at all costs" is good. I'm not super familiar with cancer treatments, but what I do know is that they're often supremely unpleasant to endure, often have a rather unpleasant aftermath, and aren't actually guaranteed to keep you alive. I can certainly understand people deciding "no, I'll just let the cancer run its course." I imagine that Steve Jobs, looking back on his life and accomplishments, might well have thought "maybe that's enough that I need not cling desperately to life as long as possible."

Of course, I never really followed the details of his cancer and death, so that is basically pure speculation. But the point is that "I don't want this treatment for myself" is perfectly fine. "No-one should have this treatment because it betrays illness culture" is not.

about 7 months ago
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How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

YukariHirai Re:Let it die (510 comments)

They truly do not see being deaf as a handicap, some of them even consider the ability to hear an unnecessary burden, as bizarre as that seems.

That doesn't seem bizarre at all to me, it just seems like human nature. "I get by quite fine without being able to hear. In fact, I'm better off not being able to hear!" Substitute the ability to hear with basically anything else that some people have and others don't, you get the same sort of thing. Bald people who tell you that it's a sign they've got more testosterone and are therefore better in bed, for example. "I'm better than people with a full head of hair." It's natural to (want to) see what makes you different from everyone else as something that makes you better than everyone else.

Personally, I try to avoid doing shit like that. There are certain conditions* I have which are a disadvantage to me, that some people say means I have advantages in other ways. If an actual cure were developed for them, I'd be celebrating. And beating the shit out of anyone who tried to prevent others from taking it because "it's killing [condition] culture!" A culture born of a reduced quality of life is a culture we can stand to lose.

*I don't like advertising the specifics, and they're not really relevant.

about 7 months ago
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Dyn.com Ends Free Dynamic DNS

YukariHirai Re:You cancel service? (242 comments)

Meh, I've spent more on things that are less real and ultimately less useful. At the bottom line, this is a service they are providing. Not all services - very few if any, in fact - result in your gaining a physical object.

about 7 months ago
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Dyn.com Ends Free Dynamic DNS

YukariHirai Re:You cancel service? (242 comments)

I'm also sad to see it go pay only, and have been using it for quite some years. But I figure... well, considering how much I spend on everything else technology and internet, $25 a year isn't going to kill me.

about 8 months ago
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NSA Hacked Huawei, Stole Source Code

YukariHirai Re:Retaliation is fair game (287 comments)

Merely fighting against America does not necessarily make them bad guys, in a reasonably objective sense. If you are American, then anyone fighting against you would seem to be bad guys from your point of view, but from an outsider's point of view, it's just "these guys" and "these other guys".

Some might argue that them hacking makes them bad guys by some measure, but the US has been doing the same thing, so I'd consider that inconclusive at best and hypocrisy at worst. Others might argue that the stuff done to Americans during the Vietnam War makes them bad guys, but given everything done by the Americans during the Vietnam War... well, same conclusion.

With that said of course, the Chinese government has had a history of doing some very shitty things to a lot of people. On the other hand, so has the US government...

about 8 months ago
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Facebook Wants To Block Illegal Gun Sales

YukariHirai Re:..or without a background check? (310 comments)

Those people are not speaking about things they never had, these people are speaking about what was lost. Things like family members, relatives, property/heirlooms/valuables/clothing, limbs, peace of mind, personal health, and many lives worth of work.

I notice guns aren't on that list. From an earlier post:

Ask the Jewish community in Germany how well they could fight back after losing all their guns. Ask the people Mao killed how it worked out for them, or ask the people Stalin killed, or Pol Pot, or Kim, etc...

Now correct me if I'm wrong here, but I don't believe they had guns in the first place, which was the point I was trying to make there.

That said, the reason why they can't push a button and make a tyranny in the US like they have done in other places is because the US population _can_ fight back.

Doesn't mean it's not happening anyway, just more slowly and with more subtlety. Even if you've got guns throughout the whole process, that's not going to prevent it happening. By the time enough people finally decide it is time to fight back with the guns, it'll be too late.

This has not worked in so called democratic places without easy access to guns has it? I have no idea where are from and don't honestly need to know. There are too many examples to choose from where democracies are on paper only outside of the US. And before you say it, yes the US has become that same paper democracy but it's not always obvious to people living here. The difference I gave above still holds true.

It works well enough in actual democracies without easy access to guns. For whatever faults our electoral system has (and they are certainly there), it is an actual functional democracy.

In Mexico the "President" can elect himself back into office as often as he wants and the people can't do anything about it. In the US if Obama did the same people would start hunting down politicians (or at least this is my belief).

Well, that's a nice and comforting belief to have, but it won't happen. People will complain, there will be some protests, and maybe even the odd attack on government buildings, but the people as a whole will not fight back in any meaningful way. Maybe some time down the line when there's a lot more abuses going on, but "President gets third term" won't be the tipping point.

about 9 months ago
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Facebook Wants To Block Illegal Gun Sales

YukariHirai Re:..or without a background check? (310 comments)

There are no guarantees in a dangerous situation, but at least there is a chance.

A pretty bloody slim chance, and honestly not enough of one for it to be worth the societal costs of having so many guns out there. And Americans love to bring up this home invasion scenario to justify firearm ownership, but it's just not something that happens at all commonly, even here where we don't have guns.

In your zeal to tell everybody else how to live, please stop to think about those that you wish to control and have some compassion for them.

I might say the same to you. The result of having guns so readily available to people is that a lot of innocent people have been shot dead.

about 9 months ago
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Facebook Wants To Block Illegal Gun Sales

YukariHirai Re:..or without a background check? (310 comments)

I refuse to answer an impossible hypothetical question.

Says the person who invited me to conduct a seance to have conversations with people about how they coped with losing things they never had...

This is the balance that the founders were worried about and why the 2nd amendment was critical to the US Foundation. The founders wanted a faster easier method of removing corruption, and wanted the populace to have the ability to defend itself from oppression and tyranny.

And that's working out so brilliantly for you, isn't it? The US government, as an overall institution, is horrendously corrupt. All other democracies do have their own corruption problems too, of course, but the US has it at a ridiculous level. Having guns has not helped you. The only real effect it can be said to have had on corruption, oppression and tyranny is that they're carried out more subtly, indirectly and insidiously, rather than the overt sort enough people know to fight against. Half the population knowing they have to fight and being determined to despite having improvised weapons is worth more than a small fringe with real weapons.

So you are content with your government doing shitty things and you are content to be a servant to them.

Hell no. I hate the shitty things my government does, and speak up about it whenever I'm able to. And it'll be a fucking miracle if they stay in power at the next election. But if I had a gun... the government would still be doing shitty things to people. Doing anything with the gun to try to make a difference would achieve nothing but having some hot lead delivered to my brain at high speed. (For the record, the shitty things my government are doing consist largely of fucking industrial relations and demonising refugees; nothing in the league of rounding up people they don't like and gassing them.)

about 9 months ago
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Facebook Wants To Block Illegal Gun Sales

YukariHirai Re:..or without a background check? (310 comments)

If a 20-year-old man is determined to do harm to an 80-year-old granny, her having a gun will not save her. Unless you are suggesting that gun ownership magically grants the elderly the speed, strength, reaction time and aim of a person 60 years their junior? Doesn't seem very common sense to me. Americans seem to have a common belief that anyone with a gun is able to adequately defend themselves against anyone else, but common sense says otherwise.

about 9 months ago
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Facebook Wants To Block Illegal Gun Sales

YukariHirai Re:..or without a background check? (310 comments)

They'll never have a monopoly on force, but whatever way you slice it they'll always be market leaders.

about 9 months ago
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Facebook Wants To Block Illegal Gun Sales

YukariHirai Re:..or without a background check? (310 comments)

He's not saying that. What he's saying is that it's hypocritical for politicians (and their minions) to have armed guards, and for us peons to not have the same means to protect ourselves. Even if all guns were confiscated, criminals would still have guns. That's why they're criminals - they don't obey the law. I've always thought that somebody who has their own armed guards (politicians, celebrities, sports stars, etc) speaking out against firearms was hypocrisy to the extreme.

That's why law enforcement exists. And sure, they'll have an uphill battle getting guns out of the hands of criminals, but that doesn't mean it's impossible or shouldn't be done. And I think this need "to protect ourselves" is a bit overblown... if no-one has guns, then what exactly is the great danger you need to protect against?

Also, I'd say that while it is hypocrisy, it's not to the extreme. If any nutcase out there can currently get guns and they're a high profile target - particularly to the people with guns because they're against them - it's not entirely unreasonable to have an armed guard.

Oh, why do nearly all of the Federal agencies have their own armed officers now? Why have they been buying millions of rounds of hollow point ammunition? Why have they been buying sniper ammunition? Why does an FDA agent need a firearm? How long before they decide that they're the only ones who have firearms. Hmmm?

Same as above - if the general population is armed and there's a lot of hostility towards said agencies (whether that's reasonable or unreasonable is up for debate), they'd be idiots not to. I live in a country with strict gun laws, and most of our government agencies - ie all the ones that aren't law enforcement, intelligence or the military - are unarmed. And those that are generally have better things to do than go around oppressing random civilians like villains in a bad movie.

Stay in your country if you like it so much, and stay out of our discussions. You don't vote here.

Tell you what, if America stays the fuck out of everyone else's business, we've got a deal. Talk about hypocrisy to the extreme. Besides, nowhere on Slashdot does it say "for Americans only", and different points of view from different backgrounds are good for discussion, which is the whole point of all of this.

about 9 months ago
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Facebook Wants To Block Illegal Gun Sales

YukariHirai Re:..or without a background check? (310 comments)

Having guns won't help as much as you think; governments and their agents tend to be a lot better armed than their populations. Now, as I said, I live in a country with pretty strict gun laws. Our population is not armed. While our government (especially the current one) have been known to do some shitty things, we're nowhere near the point of "man, I wish we had some weapons so we could fight back against the oppressors".

about 9 months ago
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Facebook Wants To Block Illegal Gun Sales

YukariHirai Re:..or without a background check? (310 comments)

Freedom of expression, and protection against unreasonable search and seizure are pretty weak without an armed population.

From where I'm standing, they seem pretty weak even with an armed population.

about 9 months ago

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