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A Critical Look At Walter "Scorpion" O'Brien

garutnivore Re:This show made my brain sad (193 comments)

Yep, I saw that very scene because my wife watches it and I happened to be around, and I also had to explain to my wife why I was laughing derisively.

I'm sure some hack can spin our common laughter into a story about how watching Scorpion is a communal experience for people in tech fields.

about 4 months ago

Why Darmok Is a Good Star Trek: TNG Episode

garutnivore Re:Bullshit Made Up Language (512 comments)

The language in Darmok is not at all like Chinese. I learned Chinese, and was quite able to get by in Taiwan and China without having to resort to the classics of Chinese literature. In Darmok it is impossible to communicate anything simple without knowing the history of that culture.

about 10 months ago

Nobel Winner Schekman Boycotts Journals For 'Branding Tyranny'

garutnivore Re:crossing fingers. (106 comments)

As much as bloggers try to claim otherwise, publishing online has generally been a rather poor substitute for peer review and generally allows for a lot of really bad science to get wide attention.

What randoms unidentified bloggers think about publishing has no bearing whatsoever on what scientists think about scientific publishing. Publishing online does not necessitate that peer review be dispensed with. I've not ever met an academic, be it in the sciences or elsewhere, who ever argued that print peer-reviewed publications should be replaced by online publications that are not peer reviewed.

You're attacking a strawman.

about a year ago

US Government Shutdown Ends

garutnivore Re:Thank goodness (999 comments)

First, it is opposed by more people than favor it

"Opposed" is a weasel word. There are more people who are unhappy with the ACA than people who are happy with it. However, a substantial portion of those people are unhappy with it because it is a half-baked compromise that does not really fixes the problems of the health care system; that is, it does not go far enough in reforming the system. Unhappiness with the ACA does not entail approval of the Republican bullshit.

about a year ago

EU Court Holds News Website Liable For Readers' Comments

garutnivore Re:Very informative piece of info at the bottom (246 comments)

A very interesting piece of info is at the bottom of TFA:

since readers were allowed to make comments without registering their names, the identity of the authors would have been extremely difficult to establish. Making Delfi legally responsible for the comments was therefore practical, said the court. It was also reasonable, because the news portal received commercial benefit from comments being made.

(Bold added by me.)

Thanks for bringing this up. Their rationale for holding Delfi responsible is the same damn rationale that cheerleaders for the police state everywhere bring up, every single time. Doing the right thing would have been too hard. See, if they actually had done the right thing, they would have had to actually spend substantial effort at unmasking who actually posted anonymously. So they decided to just peg the act on a convenient actor.

about a year ago

The Luddites Are Almost Always Wrong: Why Tech Doesn't Kill Jobs

garutnivore Re:Sure, to lower paying jobs (674 comments)

That said, the author is guilty of cherry-picking.


about a year ago

Google's Scanning of Gmail To Deliver Ads May Violate Federal Wiretap Laws

garutnivore Re:No, no it doesn't. (325 comments)

Are we going to be throwing meatspace postal workers into jail when they read the text next to the address on a postcard? That would be insane and unrealistic expectation of privacy, wouldn't it?

The comparison is not apposite. What Google does is akin to postal workers scanning postcards and storing them in a database which is used to profile people so as to push services on them. You can be certain that if postal workers did this, then there would be an outcry.

That's not just my opinion, it's the opinion of everyone who knows anything about email.

I've been an email postmaster since the early 90s. Your opinion is not by any means representative of "the opinion of everyone who knows anything about email." The issue is not storing the emails but the damn data mining that Google performs on them. I've never data-mined the emails stored on my server, nor have the postmasters that I've had the pleasure to work with. As a matter of fact, we take measures to avoid accidentally looking at people's emails. That they are not encrypted does not make it okay to snoop. It's called having a sense of ethics.

And we (me and the postmasters I've worked with) all think what Google is doing is shit.

about a year ago

Misinterpretation of Standard Causing USB Disconnects On Resume In Linux

garutnivore Re: not surprising (280 comments)

I share the same policy. I bought one and only one Acer in my life. It was the first Acer I bought and is the last. Early on it would not sleep under Linux so I took at look at the BIOS. That thing was so sloppily coded! The batteries that Acer shipped with the laptop also had a manufacturing flaw that caused them to fail prematurely. Batteries degrade over time progressively but these would one day perform at 90% original specs and the next day perform the best brick impression. I owned two Acer-approved batteries for this laptop and both failed in exactly the same way. I also bought an ultra-cheap third-party battery that did not show this problem.

about a year and a half ago

Comcast Allegedly Confirms That Prenda Planted Porn Torrents

garutnivore Re:Doesn't work that way (175 comments)

Except, with torrenting, you're distributing without authorization.

Torrenting does not amount to "distributing without authorization." Here's a motion picture that was distributed through torrenting by its author from the get go:


When I torrented it, I did not distribute it without authorization! And I'd expect posters on this site to know that Linux distros are distributed by torrenting, again, with authorization.

I know that the RIAA, MPAA and their ilk want everybody and their brother to believe that torrent == illegal but we should not swallow their bullshit.

about a year and a half ago

When GPL Becomes Almost-GPL — the CSS, Images and JavaScript Loophole

garutnivore Re:GPL "Infection" (224 comments)

It's people like this poster who promote the whole "infectious" GPL crap that Microsoft et al have been capitalising.

[...] If you use GPL code, you have to publish that code. If you make changes to it, you need to publish those changes as well.

You take to task another poster's understanding of the GPL and yet you do not seem to understand it yourself. Anybody who uses Ubuntu (to take just one example) is using GPLed code. They don't have to publish anything. As far as changes go, you are not required to release your changes unless you decide to release binaries derived from your changes.

about a year and a half ago

PlayStation 4 Will Be Running Modified FreeBSD

garutnivore Re:A great win for FreeBSD (457 comments)

In general, people that use BSD contribute patches back because it is in their best financial interest to do so. Not because the license says they must, but because they want to. This generally leads to better quality patches too, in my experience.

Let me pick out the problematic statement in what you say here: "Not because the license says they must [contribute patches], but because they want to." The text in bracket is warranted by the context in which you've written this sentence. You're talking about some license which say people must contribute patches. Which license is this exactly? Not the GPL for sure, and I don't know of any other license which says that people modifying the software must contribute patches. At most, they require releasing the source code. Releasing source code is not the same as releasing a patch.

You've errected a strawman.

about a year and a half ago

U.S. District Judge: Forced Decryption of Hard Drives Violates Fifth Amendment

garutnivore Re:As usual, rubbish article (417 comments)

Your analysis is appreciated but, let's consider the following. I'm sure I have at least one old hard drive somewhere that I have effectively written off but I have not trashed for which I don't remember the encryption key nor have any record of the key.

Okay, so it *is* my hard disk but I cannot decrypt it. What then?

about a year and a half ago

Marriages Spawned From Online Dating As Satisfying As From Traditional Dating

garutnivore Re:re Online Dating is Out! (313 comments)

While the first couple you mention may indeed be sleeping in separate rooms because of a bad marriage, their sleeping arrangement is the sole evidence presented to us that the marriage is bad. There are many reasons for sleeping in separate rooms, sleeping disorders in particular, none of which are an indication regarding the quality of the marriage.

Other than that, I agree.

about a year and a half ago

Google Glass: What's With All the Hate?

garutnivore Re:Something It Isn't (775 comments)

One photographer took a photo of a black man dressed in a business suit with a briefcase walking through Grand Central Station. The New York Times magazine published it on the cover to illustrate a story on "The Black Middle Class." He sued and won, complaining that it subjected him to ridicule and invaded his right to privacy and right to control his own image.

Another photographer set up an automatic camera on 42nd St., took photos of people walking by, blew them up as large-format portraits, exhibited them in an art gallery and included them in a published gallery catalog. A subject sued him, charging that his right to privacy was violated. The judge ruled that he was in a public place, and should have been prepared to be photographed. If they used his photo on an advertisement or a peanut butter jar, the courts might have come to a different conclusion.

Do you have references for these two cases? If yes, please provide them.

about a year and a half ago

Vulnerability Found In Skyrim, Fallout, Other Bethesda Games

garutnivore Re:Am I the only professional C/C++ coder ... (179 comments)

Are there any "killer app" uses for %n that anyone can think of?

According to the summary, with %n you can write a killer app that kills other apps:

"Then there’s the %n format string specifier – the one that crashes applications because it writes addresses to the stack."

about a year and a half ago

Seniors Search For Virtual Immortality

garutnivore Re:Revisionism (209 comments)

I was going to make a comment like the one you made. The stakes for historians is not overcoming a lack of information, tout court, but to overcome a lack of reliable information. Life reviews are not it.

Another problem is that, even assuming perfect reliability (which we both agree is unlikely), additional documents may have a very low signal to noise ratio. In know from experience that an overabundance of data is not a blessing when combing through it for relevant information has to be done by hand. Something like a full-text search helps but is not nearly enough to solve the problem.

about 2 years ago

Don't Write Them Off: A Palm Retrospective

garutnivore no nostalgia here (102 comments)

I owned two Palm devices. In their heyday these were great devices. In their heyday I would not have wanted any other type of PDA. But I feel no nostalgia whatsoever today for those devices. My old Palm devices don't hold a candle to my Android devices. There is nothing, absolutely not-a-thing, that my Palm devices did that my Android devices do not do better. Handwriting recognition? How about entering note using real-time *voice* recongition.

about 2 years ago

Reasons You're Not Getting Interviews; Plus Some Crazy Real Resume Mistakes

garutnivore Re:Sadly Enough (246 comments)

In case it need be said...

The reason for filters is that for every candidate who actually reads the job posting and is sending an application that shows that the candidate's experience and skills intersect with what the posting is looking for, there are dozens of morons whose method of applying is spray and pray, or do not know that the people reading applications are not mindreaders.

about 2 years ago

DIY Web-Controlled Robot That Takes 1 Hour To Build

garutnivore Re:Build? (56 comments)

No, no, no. It's not *building* unless you grew the tree, cut it down, and milled it yourself.

about 2 years ago


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