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Comments

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

eyrieowl Re: Her work (1022 comments)

Don't get me wrong, I don't think reciprocity is *best*...but at least it can be defended as a "rational" action. I completely agree that de-escalating a situation (e.g., responding more calmly than you perceive the other person to be acting) would be even better. But escalating the situation is absolutely not rational or reasonable.

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

eyrieowl Re: Her work (1022 comments)

Understandable? What's understandable is that only cretins would think that threats of violence are a reasonable response to a percieved insult. Reciprocity is reasonable--you insult me, I insult you. Escalation is not.

yesterday
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US National Archives Will Upload All Its Holdings To Wikipedia

eyrieowl Re:Deleted (108 comments)

Indeed, the system is structured such that the deletionists are far more likely to hold sway. I think the rules would have to be set up rather differently for the inclusionists to be able to win out. A shame, really. Why wikipedia would want to shackle itself to some definition for "encyclopedia" based on what was possible with dead trees is beyond me. It's a small minded parochialism which does the project and the world a disservice.

about 2 months ago
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Turkey Heightens Twitter Censorship with Mandated IP Blocking

eyrieowl Re:Censorship requested by people (102 comments)

China has built a very sophisticated and complex operation with tons of controls to "erase a service from the internet". There's nothing simple about it...I highly doubt Turkey has the ability to put in place anything like China's operation any time in the next 5 years.

about 5 months ago
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Wikimedia Sends Cease and Desist Letter To Firm Providing Paid Editing Services

eyrieowl Re:I wish them success... (186 comments)

The US Government is, however, wrong. (a distinction which may not change the outcome, but which is, I think, very important).

about 9 months ago
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Wikimedia Sends Cease and Desist Letter To Firm Providing Paid Editing Services

eyrieowl Re:I wish them success... (186 comments)

This, 100 times over. TOC should not be enforced by any criminal court in any country. Civil courts is a different matter. Breaking actual criminal laws is a different matter. Those criminal laws, however, should clearly spell out the crime and should not leave its definition up to anything a random person or company wants to throw into a TOS.

about 9 months ago
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Activity of Whole Fish Brains Mapped Second To Second

eyrieowl Re:Feedback? (56 comments)

Well, maybe a little more than that... "Scary large thing! Hide! ... Hm, is this food? Scary large thing! Hide! Hm, is this food? THIS IS MY TERRITORY! Hm, is this food? I SAID THIS IS MY TERRITORY! Hm, this must be food. THIS IS oh, what a nice cloaca you have! Scary large thing! Hide!"

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Which Google Project Didn't Deserve To Die?

eyrieowl Re:quit whining over loss of free services (383 comments)

Thank you. i thought it was insulting to see columnists touting Twitter or Google+ as some answer/way forward for consuming information. They don't even begin to remotely serve the purpose that Google Reader did. And even if I could create a Twitter which managed to show me every article I was interested in from my current RSS collection, none of those other social sites do the tracking of what you've read, and what you haven't, so that you can make sure you don't miss things from sources you want to closely follow. How dumb to tech writers think we are that we'd see any sort of equivalence between those different platforms?

about a year and a half ago
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City Councilman: Email Tax Could Discourage Spam, Fund Post Office Functions

eyrieowl Re:Good idea (439 comments)

If I put a big truck on the highway and someone else comes along and opens up the doors because I didn't lock them, and everyone knows that it was, in fact, someone else who opened the doors, I would not be liable, at least not 100%. I agree that people ought to take responsibility for protecting their posessions, but I don't believe failure to secure things perfectly should lead to liability for others' damages.

about a year and a half ago
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NY Times' Broder Responds To Tesla's Elon Musk

eyrieowl Re:come on... (609 comments)

Nice, someone actually analyzing facts and figures. Wait, we don't do that here! RTFM! You're only supposed to read the title of the article and then pick your side and hammer anyone on the other team! Geez, you almost lulled me to complacency there, with your looking-at-things-rationally!

about a year and a half ago
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Indiana Nurses Fired After Refusing Flu Shots On Religious Grounds

eyrieowl Re:Good (851 comments)

Actually, I don't think it's true that the religious part of the argument doesn't come in to play. These nurses aren't making an argument from science. They're making an argument from religion, and then (after that turned out to be controversial) trying to find science to provide justification for their religious stance. So, while I do think we should discuss and clarify the science, there is no justification for the nurse's position or action.

about a year and a half ago
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Apple Axes Head of Mapping Team

eyrieowl Re:Was it justified (372 comments)

I think it's admirable to go commenting in a second language, so kudos, don't let your detractors get your goat. :) (another fun idiom for you). And I agree with some other people, "escape goat" is one of the best mistakes I've seen, really gave me a good laugh. Not at you either, I just think it's a great phrase, and there should definitely be something which is called an escape goat. Thanks!

about 2 years ago
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New Technology May Cut Risk of Giving Syrian Rebels Stinger Missiles

eyrieowl How foolish (279 comments)

I mean, sure, maybe they couldn't use it as a stinger, but that doesn't mean it couldn't still be used as a weapon against US interests. If it has explosives in it, how would this stop anyone from repurposing those explosives if the missile ceased functioning as desired?

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Over 500 Used DIMMs?

eyrieowl Re:PCs for Kids (291 comments)

Perhaps the amount is scandalous, I think any particular case is difficult to judge. My point is you can't take a single point in time and make that judgement. Maybe they replaced old Apple IIs with new computers the year before he made his offer, and they'll keep using them for 15 years. Maybe not (sure, probably not). At any rate, everything has to be new at some point, just because someone/district/etc has something new doesn't mean they always have new things.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Over 500 Used DIMMs?

eyrieowl Re:PCs for Kids (291 comments)

So..."I had it rough, the school district should continue to suck and give future generations the shaft"? Were they supposed to chug along with Apple II's until you came riding to the rescue? Also, are they never supposed to buy any new computers? Bear in mind that if they ever do, any older computers someone tries to donate shortly afterward would, likely, be "too old".

about a year ago
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Dice Buys Geeknet's Media Business, Including Slashdot, In $20M Deal

eyrieowl Re:Care to Elaborate? (466 comments)

Yeah, it's pretty bad. I kept suggesting to Nick Denton (when he deigned to join in the comments) that they should really take a look at the /. commenting system as a way of achieving what he said he wanted (greater inclusivity, good discussions). He never responded...and I'd get that, if he came up with something even remotely usable, but the commenting system there is insane, and not only is it insane, every time people start to get used to it, they completely change it yet again.

about 2 years ago
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When a Primary Source Isn't Good Enough: Wikipedia

eyrieowl Re:Working as intended (333 comments)

Maybe arglebargle isn't understanding the purpose, maybe they are...I can't really say. I'm quite certain I do understand the purpose...but having a purpose and being the best way to achieve that purpose aren't synonymous. I think the "best way" would be the one which most reliably prevents the abuses you mention while best limiting collatoral damage from the policy. Returning to the OP, when talking about the author's motivation for writing a work, there can be no more authoritative source than the primary source. A secondary source would necessarily be *less accurate* than the primary source. A policy which fails to recognize those sorts of nuances is not doing a good job of limiting collatoral damage, regardless of how pure its purpose might be. To me, this whole issue with the "no original research" policy reminds me of the "Zero Tolerance" policies that you often see lambasted. The similarity being that in both cases, little to no leeway is given for discretion, there is no consideration of context or nuance. And so we see an author being unable to verify that their inspiration for writing something was X; and we see kindergarteners suspended for having GI-Joe sized miniature weapons in their knapsack. In neither case is the true purpose really being served. Instead, people are abdicating thought and debate to policy, attempting to absolve themselves of responsibility for dealing with a world that is not full of bright line distinctions.

To the latter point, that verifying people are who they say they are is difficult, I concur. Verifying that sources are reliable is difficult as well. Wikipedia editors seem to believe that the latter is at least worth a reasonable effort. If the case merits it, why would the former not also be worth a reasonable effort? For example, if you have a professor at a university who wishes to address some aspect of an article about them or their work (such as what inspired them)...would it really be that difficult to verify the source? Most, if not all universities seem to have public directories available, many professors have web pages on their departmental web sites. Wouldn't a quick email to the listed address for the professor suffice to ensure that the source has been reasonably verified? Certainly not conclusively...but Wikipedia can't possibly have "conclusive" as its standard. Even the standard you have for the article you refer to, "peer reviewed", doesn't "conclusively" establish anything, it just gives a good chance that the information is as accurate as our current understanding allows.

about 2 years ago
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Polish Researcher: Oracle Knew For Months About Java Zero-Day

eyrieowl Re:IBM (367 comments)

Scala does indeed have some of what I want...but some number of those features would require VM support to really properly put in place. Without VM support, you could perhaps emulate some of them at the language library level, but you're not going to get the true performance that you would have if the VM were intelligently doing many of the optimizations at a lower level. And I don't think many of those things will end up in the JVM b/c Java's too beholden to backwards compatibility...and since the primary language won't ever support those features there's little motivation to add extra complexity to the VM to support them. I do think the JVM would make a reasonable starting point...people have put a lot of work into developing a number of features which would continue to be very important for the next generation language, and if some of that work can be reused, it would certianly help jumpstart such a project. I do think there's not much point without VM support. A next generation language isn't going to be viable if it exposes nice features but they are slow/expensive. And that, I think, is one big reason why uptake on Scala hasn't been better than it has. I'd have dig around to find it again, but last I saw, there were several significant benchmarks for which Scala performed much slower than Java due to aspects to how the language is designed. Google's little paper notwithstanding, most benchmarks I could find in just looking around (such as the Computer Language Benchmarks Game http://shootout.alioth.debian.org/ ) have Scala coming in a bit behind Java...but well behind it on the high end. I think the next paradigm...it will have to offer more than Scala does, and do it with top-flight performance. There needs to be a real clear benefit which goes beyond appealing to CSey types and which can be used to make a compelling argument to business folk why they should let their development team(s) run off and use something new. I think several of the features I lay out would really help the language get even closer to C++ performance for a variety of computational tasks...still not as good as tuned C++, but maybe close enough that for an even broader category of problems, the extra productivity made possible by the higher level nature of the language would make it the way to go.

about 2 years ago
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Polish Researcher: Oracle Knew For Months About Java Zero-Day

eyrieowl Re:IBM (367 comments)

This is something I struggle with. Lots of people would reply "python", but I think they're off their rocker. Yes, python is probably just fine for a lot of website development, and yes, I know some enterprises are using it heavily, but when you dig into it, it's really a hacked up POS that carries WAY too much of its evolutionary baggage. Java certainly has a bit of that as well, mostly in the bundled libraries, but they are much more consistently architected than the Python libraries. Plus, the lack of true multi-threading support is just...unconscionable for a modern language, I think. Yeah, it simplifies things for the hoi polloi, but that should hardly be the standard we aspire to.

Unfortunately, the only languages I know which have the features I expect from the next great modern language are all research languages at this point. What I'd really like: Start with Java (convenient syntax that is familiar to many people, and a VM with a lot of important concepts). Go through the standard library and rework it to make it consistent, ditch the older paradigms that still hang around to support backwards compatibility. Rework generics, also ditching compatibility but to improve usefulness. Add support for design-by-contract. Add in language level (not library level) features to support fork-join with support for some mechanism to declare affinity between work units and data so that the VM can optimize thread placement and data placement in memory. Add better built in support for both dynamic class creation and bytecode injection. Add a smart/flexible int/float/number types where the VM will take care of sizing depending on how big the number is, something which can flow up to the Big range without needing to keep track of sizes yourself...and crucially, where the math operations work regardless of number size, efficiently (i.e., under the covers, this would mean allowing for a mutable big integer/decimal). Also add support for primitive collections...but do it in such a way that it's made as transparent as possible. This would probably mean it would allow treating primitives as Objects from a parameter passing perspective, so, say, your Map put method would still be put(K,V), but if you used a map which supported primitives (which would be a lot easier to write with the smart-number facility), it would pass a primitive straight through without any boxing/unboxing.

I'm sure if I thought a bit longer, I could come up with some other features I'd like to see. Importantly, this language still has a VM...I think that becomes more important for the future, not less, as we move to higher core/processor counts and NUMA becomes a bigger and bigger issue. There will always be a place for lower level coding a-la C/C++; but I think that a higher level language really...you need a VM. And, as with the JVM/CLR, I would want the VM for this language to offer support for running bytecode which could be compiled from a multitude of languages. People who have done work developing those sorts of compilers would probably have suggestions on how that could be even better supported, and I certainly think that input would be important for ensuring that support is done right.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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LoTR lawsuit threatens Hobbit production

eyrieowl eyrieowl writes  |  more than 5 years ago

eyrieowl (881195) writes "J.R.R.'s heirs are suing for royalties on the LoTR films. Apparently they haven't gotten any money due to some creative accounting. Peter Jackson ought to understand...he had to sue the studio for much the same reason.

As for The Hobbit? FTFA: "Tolkien's family and a British charity they head, the Tolkien Trust, seek more than $220 million in compensation...[and]...the option to terminate further rights to the author's work".

As much as people want to see The Hobbit, I hope the Tolkien's get everything they are owed and more."

Link to Original Source
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Wii vs Xbox360 as an excercise aid

eyrieowl eyrieowl writes  |  more than 6 years ago

eyrieowl (881195) writes "BMJ (the British Medical Journal) has a recent study of adolescent energy expenditure while gaming. From the summary (statistics redacted): "Mean predicted energy expenditure when playing Wii Sports bowling, tennis, and boxing was significantly greater than when playing sedentary games." Unfortunately, "The energy used when playing active Wii Sports games was not of high enough intensity to contribute towards the recommended daily amount of exercise in children."

If only there were a way to play those sports that would actually help keep you fit.... Nah, can't be done!"

Link to Original Source

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