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Hewlett-Packard Pleads Guilty To Bribing Officials in Russia, Poland, and Mexico

eepok Bribery's Sin is Relative (110 comments)

Countries most likely to require a bribe (per Transparency International)

1. Russia
2. China
3. Mexico
4. Indonesia
5. United Arab Emirates
6. Argentina
7. Saudi Arabia
8. Turkey
9. India
10. Taiwan

Sometimes bribery is just expected. Russians have been brow-beaten by their ruling class(es) since the dawn of time. If you were to moan about paying a bribe there, grandmother passers-by would tell you to nut up and just get it done. In China, it's simply an expected part of business-- gifts of all sorts and money are expected when visiting offices, homes, and closing deals. Mexico's just messed up. They've not had a stable government since the narco cartels took over.

5 days ago

Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

eepok Re:I'm not sold yet.... (471 comments)

No one NEEDS a smartphone either. People WANT and LIKE smartphones because it allows them to be less foresightful than before.

about a week ago

Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

eepok Re:So what exactly is the market here. (729 comments)

Just a quick correction because I see a lot of people buying Fitbits without understanding what they actually do. And then returning them.

Fitbits are very simple devices that act as an accelerometer, pedometer, altimeter, and a watch.

Worn Fitbits do not monitor your health or fitness. They cannot tell you if you're sick, developing cancer, or at risk for heart disease. They cannot tell you your BMI, your body fat percentages, glucose levels, or blood pressure. They can't tell you if you need a recovery day or if you're about to pass out due to dehydration.

Fitbits are not substitutes for regular medical visits. It sounds nitpicky, but as a go-to nerd, I've had to explain this to too many people who then feel dumb for the purchase. Everything you think your Fitbit is doing for you, you can do on your own or don't need to do in the first place.

about a week ago

NYPD Starts Body Camera Pilot Program

eepok Yes, But How Would YOU Design the System? (170 comments)

I know next to nothing about what is required to inventory, issue, use, download, store, index, and recall all the hardware and video that would be required for such a system. I can only speculate. Has anyone had experience in this realm? Creating massive databases for video or images and indexing them in such a way that police reports could be tied directly to them and be pulled up as necessary?

If so, in your perfect world, how would you build the system and how much would it cost?

about two weeks ago

Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

eepok Re:Actions Against People Who Happen to be Women (1134 comments)

Where do you go to see RL gay people and women being verbally attacked online because they are gay and/or women? That's sounds like a horrible place. Why do you go there?

But are you certain it's *because* they have those characteristics or might it be, as suggested, that knowing those characteristics, the offender specifically uses certain terms and phrases to hurt that person?

There's a big difference between a person who thinks everyone woman is a slut to be hated and person angry at another person who happens to be a woman and (using the knowledge of womanhood) chooses the word "slut" as a means of honing one's insult.

Too hard to believe? Consider the angry rantings of a child.

Almost everyone has heard a pissed off kid say, "I hate you! I wish you weren't my mom!!"? Maybe you said it yourself as a child.
Which is the more likely interpretation?
(A) "I genuinely wishes that s/he had different parents. I would not cry if I was taken away from you."
(B) "I'm pissed that I didn't get my way. Knowing that you love me as a parent, I offer words contrary to my own knowledge and opinion with for the specific intent in doing you emotional or psychological harm in retribution."

about two weeks ago

Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

eepok Re:I predict (1134 comments)

This is easy and it's happening more and more frequently. Today's games are much more likely to have female non-victim playable characters. But if that's going to be a gauge for any kind of improvement over time, then you have to establish a reference date. For example:

2003 -- Year Zero -- X number of games and Y% of games on the market have the option to play female lead characters.
2004 -- Year One -- X number...

But then you can't go back and say, ".01% of all video games made between 1982 and 2014 have had the option of playing a female lead character." That would be disingenuous. That would be holding today's developers and writers accountable for actions taken by other developers while today's developers were in primary school. At some point, you have to have the integrity to say, "The old generational thought is dying out. The new generational thought is taking hold. It just takes time from here."

And still, you can't force game designers to choose to make a character female any more than you can force a novelist. Part of game creation is following a creative vision. Yes, studios can make such changes. Yes, we can HOPE that newer game designers have the same gender-based sentiments as we, but since it is still an artistic endeavor, they should have the freedom to create the games they wish to create... with the audience deciding if it's a game they want to buy.

"Assuming that art is ultimately a cultural product, what does that say about the gaming industry's attitudes toward women? How do they compare to other creative industries? (Movies, TV, etc.)"

It says a couple things-- neither are too surprising. Young girls are taught to want to be rescued. Young men are taught to want to rescue. After the rescue transaction, adult-oriented fiction asserts that there's an expectation of physical intimacy. That's the fantasy story that told day-in and day-out. Sometimes the story is reversed. Sometimes it includes the same gender. It says nothing about women but quite a bit about our **historical** fantasies.

Today's stories are different. Resident Evil, Salt, Twilight, Harry Potter-- Female competence and heroism is a celebrated expectation and is becoming more and more mainstream-- not because peoples' tastes are being forcibly changed, but because kids grew up with the expectation that boys and girls can both be whomever they wish.

It's generational. The old and their ideas will die off. The new and their ideas will replace them. So just make sure not to hold the new accountable for the actions of the old. Hell... don't even lump them into the same categories.

about two weeks ago

Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

eepok Re:Actions Against People Who Happen to be Women (1134 comments)

Translation A: I don't like what you've said and I'm showing it by saying things that I hope to make you angry.
Translation B: I'm a random troll.

And by the way, I wish you hadn't capitalized all those words. Now I can't help but imagine what a culture of reptilian Mexicans worshiping at Temple would look like. And now I'm imagining the combination of cultural dietary habits. Great! Now I have a novel!

about two weeks ago

New Usage-Based Insurance Software Can Track Drivers Using Smartphones

eepok If necessary, what's the best way to do it? (137 comments)

There are some things (very few) in this world that I simply accept to be inevitable. I predict that the cost of having non-tracked auto insurance will increase greatly in relation to the cost of tracked auto insurance. It will become costly to hold onto 100% privacy in your automobile transportation habits.

While I have the preference of not being tracked whatsoever, what limitations would you propose within such a tracking system to preserve as much privacy as possible while also promoting the risk analysis that an insurance company would want from the data?

My suggestions:
-- Record speed measurements every 5 seconds the engine is on.
-- Record mile traveled per day.
-- No GPS coordinates recorded. (No actual location.)
-- Transmit data only once per month. Frequent transmissions can be used as a means of obtaining location.

What say you?

about two weeks ago

Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

eepok Re:I predict (1134 comments)

I'm a male gamer and I agree with the assertion that video games with women typically find methods of objectifying the female form... but it's not as though video games or gamer culture is unique in this way. The gaming industry objectifies women. As does Hollywood. And print media.

One of the best selling products in history is the female form and it sells well. Sex sells well. What do you do in a capitalist society when there is a seemingly unlimited demand for a product of which you have a nearly unlimited supply? Well, you sell it.

We can even take it a step further an confidently assert that there will always be a sufficient supply of the female form to meet or exceed demand due to psychological imperative with which most Western girls grow up that suggests that if they cannot receive validation of self through other actions or deeds, then there's always the option to resort to sexuality. One could even assert that this persistent and potentially indoctrinated psychological rationale may be one of the roots of reproduction for humanity.

And it's even easier to supply the female form in games because you don't even need a female. You just need artistic skills and an imagination!

So we've defined the multifaceted problem (biologically-enforced demand and an unlimited supply). We've also based the discussion on the issues that such objectification is becoming more and more of a nuisance to the comfort of more and more people (social evolution).

So what is to be done?

Stop all games that singularly sexualize the female form? What if both the male and female forms are equally sexualized? All good?
Do the same for video and print media?
Do we affect demand?
Are we to shame males and lesbians for appreciating the female form in game, video, and print media?

And this is where I always get stuck. If we want to change the frequency or the visibility of the objectification of the female form, we have to affect supply, demand, or both-- but doing so by shaming or legislation seems to infringe not only upon the social contract but upon biological imperatives thus making such an effort pointless.

So what is to be done?

about two weeks ago

Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

eepok Actions Against People Who Happen to be Women (1134 comments)

Is there any evidence that it's a such concentrated effort to imply a genuine, heartfelt hatred of women (misogyny)? You would really have to stretch your rationale and ignore massive amounts of evidence to the contrary to assert that there's a pervasive vein of misogyny growing throughout nerd/gamer culture.

Yes, some male gamers will use derogatory words to intentionally offend women. And men. And transgendered people. And dogs. And the dead. And the not-yet-living. And mythical characters.

If there's any cultural bias against any one group, it's the group that "pissing us off right now". And "women-as-a-whole" have never been that group.

It has nothing to do with women as a whole, but a targeted hatred at people who happen to be women.

It doesn't matter who you are. Male, female, man, woman, gay, straight, asexual, black, white, brown, Asian, American, French, German, Argentinian-- if you piss off nerds and they come after you, you can be fairly certain it has nothing to do with your immutable characteristics and everything to do with your actions. You can try to hide behind immutable characteristics as a means of suggesting some sort of irrational bias, but nerds, by their very nature, are too damn smart to fall for that.

about two weeks ago

The Quiet Revolution of Formula E Electric Car Racing

eepok Neat, but I can't wait for... (116 comments)

This is really cool. I'll probably watch a race... if at all possible. But I'm really watching Formula E as an industry because I can't wait for the day when they announce "Next year, no more car-swapping! You must develop battery-swapping methods!" Let Formula E be the test bed for 30 different battery swapping methods and let the world be better for it.

about two weeks ago

Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

eepok Re:Slashdot comments indicative of the problem (1262 comments)

You are 100% correct about the historical issues within masculinities. In fact, masculinities is a field in which I could have studied and then actively researched in college because it is such an important point of discussion right now. Alas, every single Gender Studies class I went into focused on the "plight of woman". While obviously important, you can't have "gender studies" while studying the issues of just one gender.

Concepts in Masculinities to actively study in a research environment: Dominance, Self-Reliance, Dependent Support, Virility, Expression, Rebellion, "Competence, Excellence, and Failure", and lastly The Visible Masculine. While my vocation and avocation are both in the setting of a research university, I don't have the time to take on this research.

But I digress.

I think it is unfair to the younger men of this country who grew up under parents who followed the literal women's liberation movement. I'm going on 32 years old and grew up an egalitarian feminist. I may have been just a tad ahead of the curve on this, but there is a massive proportion of men in the western world that have significantly divergent opinions on gender, the sexes, and sexuality than their fathers did.

Today's young men grew up spousal abuse being a crime against the state.
Their fathers grew up with spousal abuse being a "private matter".

Today's young men grew up knowing that men and women are equal in all things not physical.
Their fathers grew up with a patriarchal interpretation of chivalry and thus chauvinism.

Today's young men will likely vote for this nation's first president/vice-president.
Their fathers grew up thinking that women were just too emotional for that kind of extreme responsibility.

Today's young men are, socially, leaps and bounds beyond their fathers and to hold them accountable by requiring that they play the whipping boys for their fathers' sins is an injustice to them. It is also an injustice to the young women growing up with these young men (who would otherwise continue to grow unimpeded) by continually putting in their heads that the massive male patriarchy is still in place.

The patriarchy is crumbled and will die off with those that are 45+. There will always be jerk males and they will always abuse anyone they perceive to be weaker. Unless we raise our young women to be strong and confident, they will continue to be easy targets. That can't happen if we continue to push the bogeyman of patriarchy.

Let's celebrate the coming death of the patriarchy and the normalization of egalitarianism.

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

eepok For (video) games that I actually still own... (382 comments)

In no order as order changes per mood:

Knights of the Old Republic (1 & 2)
Dragon Age: Origins
Counterstrike (all versions)
Half-Life (1 & 2)
Portal (1)
Syberia (1 & 2)

about three weeks ago

Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

eepok Re:Apparently the trolls are out here, too (1262 comments)

Meh... I don't mind the A Non-Cow posting in such discussions. If it makes people feel safer, cool. Let them get it out. Bad posts will float to the bottom and good posts will float to the top.

about three weeks ago

Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

eepok EDIT:Slashdot comments indicative of the problem (1262 comments)

But most people's immediate reaction is to going to be to doubt the pure innocence not of "the" victim", but "THIS" victim. The cynicism is based within the very specific context of a specific situation, not in the general context of "sexuality".

about three weeks ago

Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

eepok Re:Slashdot comments indicative of the problem (1262 comments)

Note: I did not write any of the comments about which you speak, but I've noticed the phenomenon and have paid specific attention to the discussions that evolve out of similar situations. That said...

It has nothing to do with women in particular. It has to do with unbridled cynicism.

People of certain privilege levels who fight against a particular issue and are then victimized by that specific issue are *cynically* thought to have manufactured the harm. Try these other headlines on for size and see if you don't have an inkling of cynicism:

(1) Fundamentalist Christian Claims Homosexual Couple Denied Him Service Due to Religion
(2) American Military Base in Afghanistan Attacked by Terrorists
(3) British National Party Activist Attacked in Immigrant Neighborhood

In each one of those hypothetical headlined situations, a genuinely innocent-acting person could have been harmed. The Fundie Christian could have been wearing a cross and the homosexual couple could have been vehemently atheist. The American Military Base could have already ended operations with the terrorist group attacking the base as a cheap shot. And the BNP member could have been walking through the neighborhood with no BNP or otherwise offensive indicia.

But most people's immediate reaction is to going to be to doubt the pure innocence of "the" victim", but "THIS" victim. The cynicism is based within the very specific context of a specific situation, not in the general context of "sexuality".

about three weeks ago

Uber Has a Playbook For Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report

eepok Re:Not Sharing (182 comments)

This is correct. It's only carpooling or "sharing the ride" if it's non-profit. That's why taxi-riding is not a valid form of "rideshare". The only REAL carpool/rideshare app I've seen is called Carma ( Reimbursements are automatic per GPS and specific to the IRS mileage reimbursement. More people in the car? Cool -- it splits the cost automagically.

about three weeks ago

California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

eepok Hell yes, I want my steering wheel... (506 comments)

I want a human to be able to take control of whatever automated device acting as my conveyance. Train, plane, automobile-- it doesn't matter.

If I'm liable for the machinery and the lives carried by the machinery, I want to be able to determine the maximum speed, the maximum rate of acceleration (when not in an emergency), the route, and be able to take full control as necessary. It's not that I distrust computers... it's the squishy meat bags affecting and affected by the computers I don't trust. Humans program the computers and engineer the roads. Sh*t happens and not all sh*t is planned for. There's road kill, potential road kill, flat things on the road that can fly up into the under-carriage when run over-- there are plenty of reasons to be able to control an otherwise-autonomous automobile.

about three weeks ago

How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

eepok Re:And how long does it take... (190 comments)

This is just PR for Elon Musk and Tesla. This is not the future. The plug-in EV is not the future of transportation.

I work for a major university system in California. Our job is to get scope 3 commuter emissions to zero by 2050. We finally had the real-life conversation about the viability of plug-in EVs being the savior to our conundrum and, boy, was everyone happy to say what they had researched and observed...

The first thing you have to realize as a workplace who wants to support plug-in EVs is that, in doing so, you are becoming a refueler-- a gas station. You're entering another business with costs, time demands, enforcement requirements, and drama.

Each of the campuses has 5-50+ EV chargers throughout their 5,000-40,000 parking stalls. They cost $5,000 -$9,000 on a good deal plus the cost of installation, power trenching, etc. Consider the cost of converting an entire parking system to being plug-in EV-compatible. Or even half the parking system and allowing only 4-hour charging ("top off"). And then there's the new electric substation. Oh, and plug in EVs aren't zero emissions. We're still on the hook for the power generation emissions that result from the electricity demand.

Finally, there's a major equity issues. The vast majority of EV buyers are rich and/or college-educated. Why? Well they have the disposable income with which to take advantage of temporary federal subsidies, but more importantly, they have garages in which to charge their EVs overnight. The low-income population by and large lives in apartments whose landlords are not even considering installing EV chargers.

And these Type 3 superchargers can only be worse. The faster you charge an EV, the more waste electricity. The more waste electricity, the more cost and the more emissions. It's great PR. It's really neat for a niche, nascent, and temporary market, but the future is in either hydrogen fuel cells or battery-swapping EVs.

about a month ago


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