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UK Proposing Real-Time Monitoring of All Communications

iangoldby Re:Brilliant! (145 comments)

I signed the petition.

I'm willing to put my head above the parapet. I hope you will be too.

more than 2 years ago
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In the simplistic left/right divide, I'd call myself

iangoldby Re:False dichotomy (639 comments)

I can see that you wrote that from a US perspective. In the UK it could not be more different. Here, scientists are not less 'conventionally religious' than the population average. There are many eminent scientists who are also committed Christians. Neither is it true that religions (well Christianity at least) discourage the scientific attitude on the whole (though you will of course find exceptions, especially, sad to say, among the less well educated). Whilst among 'church goers' there might be a somewhat right-leaning upper-middle-class conservative bias, among those who I would characterise as being committed to a Christian lifestyle there is a very definite left-leaning bias in my experience - left-associated values such as social justice being strongly emphasised. I'm not sure whether the right-wing here could be said to be anti-science. Funding for science has a hard time from both sides. (Some would argue that the right is anti-manufacturing and pro-commerce, especially financial services.)

more than 2 years ago
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Muslim Medical Students Boycott Darwin Lectures

iangoldby Re:I have problems with this (1319 comments)

That's a fair point and quite a common situation - a conflict between what someone believes or claims and testable reality.

But I think what we were talking about is conflict between what person A believes, and what person B thinks person A believes. That's very different. I'd always give the benefit of the doubt to person who owns the belief, unless there is good evidence that person is being disingenuous.

more than 2 years ago
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Muslim Medical Students Boycott Darwin Lectures

iangoldby Re:I have problems with this (1319 comments)

You are making too many assumptions.

In any case, let me please be the counter example - I believe God has a purpose for my life but I certainly don't believe that only I and those I know have free will. That's a direct statement about my beliefs and it directly contradicts your original assertion about what people like me believe.

That's the trouble with these kinds of discussions. The assertions by non-believers about what believers believe seem to carry more weight in the minds of the non-believers than what the believers do actually believe. ;-)

more than 2 years ago
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Muslim Medical Students Boycott Darwin Lectures

iangoldby Re:I have problems with this (1319 comments)

The interesting thing I've found is that people who believe God has a purpose for their life, tend to believe that they and the people they know are the only people who have free will.

I have never come across this attitude.

As to your contention that if someone says "It was God's will" then the human agents involved could not have had free will, I think you've fundamentally misunderstood either what it means to say that something was God's will, or indeed what is meant by free will (which is understandable – philosophers down the ages have long argued this one).

Suffice it to say for now that from my own perspective as a Christian, to say that God willed something does in no way undermine the free will of the human agents involved. It can do, but only in exceedingly rare circumstances where God obliges the human agent to act in a certain way. Humans are perfectly able to do God's will through their own free choice, and often without even knowing it.

(Having said all that, I doubt that it is ever God's will that people should lose their lives in car accidents.)

more than 2 years ago
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Muslim Medical Students Boycott Darwin Lectures

iangoldby Re:I have problems with this (1319 comments)

If you believe God has a purpose for your life, the very worst thing you could do is throw that life away.

more than 2 years ago
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Promotion Or Job Change: Which Is the Best Way To Advance In IT?

iangoldby Re:Not even sure why people want to be managers (247 comments)

Depends where you work.

I think there are still a few places where you can reach the top of the ladder in a purely technical role.

There are probably others where you clearly have to become a manager and this is explicitly stated.

But the current thinking seems to be that certain universal 'behaviours' or 'competencies' are required for more senior grades, and these always include things like being able to provide examples of where you have dealt with performance issues in others - even if your particular job isn't management.

So the official line is that, yes, you can get to the top in a purely technical role, but in practice if you don't have examples of all the standard corporate 'behaviours' then you won't get anywhere.

more than 3 years ago
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Promotion Or Job Change: Which Is the Best Way To Advance In IT?

iangoldby Re:Pay raise vs new salary (25 comments)

Just the same as with insurance premiums, and savings accounts interest rates. The best deals go to new customers. Loyalty counts for nothing.

more than 3 years ago
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Scott Adams Says Plenty Would Choose Life In Noprivacyville

iangoldby Re:Sure, if it includes EVERYBODY (467 comments)

Everyone makes mistakes, but the 'bad guys' (what I meant by that) are the ones who make a habit of breaking laws and are well-practiced at not getting caught.

more than 3 years ago
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Scott Adams Says Plenty Would Choose Life In Noprivacyville

iangoldby Re:Sure, if it includes EVERYBODY (467 comments)

If every law on the books was enforced tomorrow by police with 100% visibility of everything everyone was doing all the time, then Western nations would collapse within a week.

Or more likely, it would become painfully obvious that many laws need to be repealed or modified.

Or do you really like it that law enforcement is a lottery? You get held to account but other people seem to get away with the same thing with impunity.

In a society where law enforcement is uncertain, it is generally the bad guy who gets away with it, and the good guy who slipped up who is brought to book.

more than 3 years ago
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Goodbye, HD Component Video

iangoldby Blurry (469 comments)

Was I the only one who read the blueray tag as 'blurry'?

more than 3 years ago
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Recent HP Laptops Shipped CPU-Choking Wi-Fi Driver

iangoldby Re:HP is the worst (243 comments)

I find it more convenient to connect my camera to my laptop than to take the card out of the camera and stick it in a card reader. But each to his own.

more than 3 years ago
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Recent HP Laptops Shipped CPU-Choking Wi-Fi Driver

iangoldby Re:HP is the worst (243 comments)

But if we're talking about the Pro or Semi-Pro models, then ... for most brands the only other option is to manually copy the RAW format images from the memory card using a cardreader, as opposed to connecting the camera to the computer directly.

My Pentax DSLR appears as a USB mass storage device, and I would be most surprised if this wasn't also true of virtually every other DSLR. I certainly would be very wary of buying a camera that didn't do this. I regard it as a standard and essential feature.

My wife's Canon Powershot isn't a USB mass storage device, but it does implement PictBridge, which can be read directly by Mac OS X and Windows without installing any additional drivers.

RAW format is not standardized, so unless your editing software (or OS) supports it natively you're going to have to use their drivers and conversion software.

Mac OS X can read most RAW formats natively and I assume Windows can do likewise. If you are serious about using RAW format, you'll probably use a decent RAW image processing application anyway, such as Adobe Lightroom or Apple Aperture (or possibly Bibble). The free software bundled with the camera is usually inferior and not worth bothering with.

(I agree with the parent's other points though.)

more than 3 years ago
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Are Gamers Safer Drivers?

iangoldby Re:No (220 comments)

Agreed. I don't mind if you call it something other than 'defensive.'

more than 3 years ago
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Are Gamers Safer Drivers?

iangoldby Re:No (220 comments)

I certainly don't claim you shouldn't have those skills. If you do get into a bad situation, then being able to keep your car under control in an extreme manoeuvre is obviously going to be better than losing control.

My point is simply that we should never think of such skills as a substitute for driving in such a way as to avoid getting into those extreme situations in the first place.

The thing I found surprising when I did a short defensive driving course is just how much you can do to avoid emergency situations. If a child runs out in front of you it is not inevitable that you will have almost no time to react. A really good defensive driver will have seen the signs that a child was going to run out before it even happened.

Really good drivers all have one thing in common: Whenever an accident happens, or nearly happens, they are somewhere else. They are always calm and never seem to have to do anything suddenly. It is a real skill, and I'm nowhere near attaining it, though it is something I aspire to. Really got to work on that concentration ;-(

more than 3 years ago
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Are Gamers Safer Drivers?

iangoldby Re:No (220 comments)

Car physics are largely irrelevant when you are driving courteously, paying attention, and using sensible defensive driving techniques.

Car physics become important when you take a corner too fast, overtake in the wrong place, don't allow sufficient stopping distance, become distracted, or someone cuts you up and you haven't planned an escape route. The trick is not to get into that situation in the first place.

more than 3 years ago
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Wikileaks Founder Arrested In London

iangoldby Re:Sorry, no "dirty tricks" campaign here... (1060 comments)

What worries me more is that the US aren't hideously embarrassed and resolving to tighten things up on their end but instead out to quell a single proponent of the discovered material. "Our systems failed and this guy got hold of it - I know, let's threaten to kill this guy and / or make his life hell!" not "Okay, let's fix this system".

Exactly.

Has everyone forgotten Gary McKinnon so quickly?

How history repeats itself.

more than 3 years ago
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A Decade of Agile Programming — Has It Delivered?

iangoldby Re:Maybe they did it wrong... (395 comments)

Not actually a fallacy in this case.

It would be a fallacy if one were to use this particular case to define (in part) what Agile is or is not. But Agile is well-enough defined anyway that it is perfectly clear that this case is not Agile.

more than 3 years ago
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A Decade of Agile Programming — Has It Delivered?

iangoldby Re:Maybe they did it wrong... (395 comments)

I was fired from a job because of Agile... Since then, I've had real Agile training... Still, my first Agile experience cost me my job.

I don't know enough about Agile to make a judgment myself, but you've practically said it yourself: your first experience wasn't Agile, it was just something that someone called 'Agile'.

more than 3 years ago
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The Advent of Religious Search Engines

iangoldby Re:stupid people (583 comments)

there are idiots out there who want to have their search results filtered

It's far worse than people just filtering their search results.

Companies like Amazon make recommendations based on items you looked at previously. iTunes recommends music similar to the music you already have. Many commercial news sites allow you to customize your landing page so that you don't see news stories on subjects that don't interest you. Sites like Digg allow like-minded people to vote stories up and down so that you are more likely to see stories that fit well with your interests and world-view. Slashdot has a comment moderation system where ideas that don't fit with the group-think get hidden.

All so that we don't have to bother our poor little heads with things that disturb us.

more than 3 years ago

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