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Comments

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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

jdavidb False dichotomy (588 comments)

To sum up, this is an attempt to remove all the nuance from someone's position and put them on either one side or the other of a false dichotomy.

about two weeks ago
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93 Harvard Faculty Members Call On the University To Divest From Fossil Fuels

jdavidb Every company burns oil (214 comments)

at least nine colleges and over a dozen cities have pulled their investments in companies that extract or burn fossil fuels like coal and oil

That would be all of them. Every company burns coal or oil, directly or indirectly.

about two weeks ago
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Adaptation From Flash Boys Offers Inside Look at High-Frequency Trading

jdavidb Re:This is how it should work (246 comments)

Maybe there's more in the article.

Update: I've read about half of it so far, and I think there actually is more to this than the blurb at the top.

about three weeks ago
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Adaptation From Flash Boys Offers Inside Look at High-Frequency Trading

jdavidb This is how it should work (246 comments)

It used to be that when his trading screens showed 10,000 shares of Intel offered at $22 a share, it meant that he could buy 10,000 shares of Intel for $22 a share. He had only to push a button. By the spring of 2007, however, when he pushed the button to complete a trade, the offers would vanish.

I have traded bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and this makes perfect sense to me. Between the time you see the price and the time your order goes through, someone else may have already bought what was for sale. I don't see what the big deal is. This is exactly the way it should work. Maybe there's more in the article.

about three weeks ago
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3-D Printed Skull Successfully Implanted In Woman

jdavidb Re:Can I get one (132 comments)

What, no wireless?

about a month ago
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U.S. Court: Chinese Search Engine's Censorship Is 'Free Speech'

jdavidb I agree (284 comments)

This is pretty straightforward. On the principle that I do not believe in slavery, I do not believe that anyone has the right to tell Baidu what to do, including what search results to return. Really this is a very weak attempt by these activists, and they are violating their own principles by trying to restrict the freedom of others.

about a month ago
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Introducing a Calendar System For the Information Age

jdavidb Not bad (224 comments)

As far as calendars go, this is not a bad effort. I don't think I would personally use it, but I've seen (and created) far, far worse. It is very regular; the rules have few exceptions, and the exceptions are well-defined. There aren't too many decisions in it that stand out as glaringly unjustified or confusing, other than of course by definition, when you create a new calendar, the very decision to do so stands out as glaringly unjustified. :)

about a month ago
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Harold Ramis Dies At 69

jdavidb Re:See you on the other side, Egon (136 comments)

I'd have to agree with that. In particular, I always remember him for the line "Print is dead." It certainly wasn't in 1984, and saying so made a person sound like a lunatic. But look at print today!

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should I Get Google Glass?

jdavidb Yes, you should (421 comments)

I hear there's a filter in Google Glass that fixes Slashdot Beta. I'd go for it.

about 2 months ago
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South Carolina Education Committee Removes Evolution From Standards

jdavidb Do you believe in democracy, or not? (665 comments)

The real question is, do you want your children educated through a system designed by majority vote? (and/or designed by people elected by majority vote) Do you really want everyone in your community weighing in on your children's education or not?

If you really believe in democracy, I don't see how anyone can fault this. Personally, I do not believe in democracy, and think it's a terrible way to educate a child. But if you really believe in the whole electoral process, I don't think you have room to complain: you have to take the bad with the good, and vote for someone better next time.

about 2 months ago
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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

jdavidb Re:Fuckbeta (2219 comments)

Wait, what the heck ... ? Six digit ID's are low now? I'm getting so old....

about 3 months ago
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Watch Bill Nye and Ken Ham Clash Over Creationism Live

jdavidb Re:Ken Ham does not speak for all creationists (593 comments)

Just wanted to chime in to say you may be a minority, but you are not alone. These days I'm less interested in a debate on origins and more interested in whether or not people should be creating a compulsory one-size-fits-all educational system, so I don't chime up as much on such topics as I used to. But - still here, still believe in the Bible, still doing engineering/sciency stuff somehow despite my backwardness, and I still see no reason for people to try to force each other to change. I don't know a whole lot about Ken Ham, although there's a chance we might swing through that area this year and take a look.

about 3 months ago
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Adobe's New Ebook DRM Will Leave Existing Users Out In the Cold Come July

jdavidb Dmitry Sklyarov (304 comments)

we've all read numerous stories about companies using DRM in stupid ways that harm their customers, and now we can add Adobe to the list

Only now? Adobe was using DRM to harm Dmitry Sklyarov over a decade ago. And in harming one of us, they harmed all of us.

about 3 months ago
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Marc Andreessen On Why Bitcoin Matters (And A Critique)

jdavidb Re:The Problem (332 comments)

The Bitcoin FAQ explains why this is not seen as a problem by Bitcoin supporters. But of course this is Slashdot, so I assume nobody has read that.

about 3 months ago
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Bitcoin Payments Go Live At Overstock — Two Quarters Early

jdavidb Re:First major retailer to accept Bitcoin (182 comments)

It was BTC's "dirty little secret" that as long as you could buy drugs with it, it had value. Losing SR caused panic on the BTC market for exactly that reason.

The shuttering of silk road caused panic for only a few hours. The value was recovered in less than 1/4 of a day. But for weeks afterward there were misleading headlines about how Bitcoin had lost half its value. Yes, it did lose its value - for a very short while.

Personally, I was very surprised that the value didn't go farther down and stay there much longer.

about 3 months ago
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Google Glass User Fights Speeding Ticket, Saying She's Defending the Future

jdavidb Re:Breaking News! (464 comments)

Person who didn't actually harm anyone is prosecuted anyway, news at 11.

about 3 months ago
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Why Charles Stross Wants Bitcoin To Die In a Fire

jdavidb Re:Where do I begin? (691 comments)

when you will always benefit from some regulations and services.

Like you said, saying something doesn't make it so.

If your goal is to persuade me to willingly give my allegiance to your system, you're failing.

about 4 months ago
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Why Charles Stross Wants Bitcoin To Die In a Fire

jdavidb Re:Where do I begin? (691 comments)

You exercise that right by choosing where to live

That's just a personal opinion, not something you have the right to enforce on people.

about 4 months ago
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Why Charles Stross Wants Bitcoin To Die In a Fire

jdavidb Re:Where do I begin? (691 comments)

I am fully ready to secede from all of the services you have mentioned as soon as that right is recognized for everybody so that we can work together on a voluntary basis to create our own solutions.

I am not a member of the U.S. Libertarian political Party, but their past platform put it well:

Secession The Issue: People are forced to be subject to governments and to participate in their programs, usually as providers of financial support, regardless of their wishes to the contrary. The Principle: As all political association must be voluntary, we recognize the right to political secession. This includes the right to secession by political entities, private groups or individuals. Exercise of this right, like the exercise of all other rights, does not remove legal and moral obligations not to violate the rights of others. Solutions: We support the right of political entities, private groups and individuals to renounce their affiliation with any government, and to be exempt from the obligations imposed by those governments, while in turn accepting no support from the government from which they seceded. Transitional Action: As a transition step, we support the right of political entities, private groups and individuals to renounce their participation in any government program, and to be exempt from the obligations imposed by that program, while in turn accepting no benefit from the program from which they seceded.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Prince of Sealand dies

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  about a year and a half ago

jdavidb (449077) writes "46 years ago, occupying an abandoned WWII platform off the coast of Britain, Paddy Roy Bates declared independence, naming himself Prince of the Principality of Sealand. Today, Bates has passed away at 91.

Long time Slashdot readers will remember Sealand as the site of HavenCo, an unsuccessful data warehousing company that tried to operate from Sealand outside the reach of larger nations' legal structures. They may also remember plans that the Pirate Bay had at one time to buy Sealand.

Bates had moved to a care home a few years ago, naming his son Michael Regent of Sealand."

Link to Original Source
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jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

jdavidb writes "Eric Faden of Stanford University's Fair Use Project "stole" thousands of tiny clips from dozens of Disney films to create an educational film explaining copyright and fair use. Right out of the mouths of characters from Disney, the chief advocate behind the most recent ex post facto extension of copyright, you can learn how copyright terms have been extended, how important it is for works to pass into the public domain in something resembling a reasonable period of time, and what exceptions are granted by the principle of fair use."
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jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

jdavidb writes "Paul Graham writes today on what hackers should know about investors if they want to build a company that will attract funding.

Because most investors are a different species of people from founders, it's hard to know what they're thinking. If you're a hacker, the last time you had to deal with these guys was in high school. Maybe in college you walked past their fraternity on your way to the lab. But don't underestimate them. They're as expert in their world as you are in yours. What they're good at is reading people, and making deals work to their advantage. Think twice before you try to beat them at that.


If you're a hacker, here's a thought experiment you can run to understand why there are basically no hacker VCs: How would you like a job where you never got to make anything, but instead spent all your time listening to other people pitch (mostly terrible) projects, deciding whether to fund them, and sitting on their boards if you did? That would not be fun for most hackers. Hackers like to make things. This would be like being an administrator.


Investors always say what they really care about is the team. Actually what they care most about is your traffic, then what other investors think, then the team.
"

Journals

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Evolution: monopolistically integrated

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Today I'm removing evolution from my Fedora 8 system, because it ate my mail this morning, and I'm switching to Thunderbird.

Remember how livid the world was because Microsoft claimed that Internet Explorer was integrated into the OS and could not be removed, even if you were to remove the icon from the desktop? Well, pot, meet kettle: if I attempt to remove the package evolution-data-server from my system, it attempts to take along with it a whopping 32 other packages, including pidgin (the IM client formerly known as gaim) and gnome itself in the form of crucial pieces of gnome such as gnome-panel and gnome-applets.

Gnome and evolution should immediately be sued and brought to justice for their evil monopolistic practices.

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Those backward Mormons

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 5 years ago

More proof that you shouldn't believe everything you read:

Austin Children's Shelter workers share their experiences [with the FLDS mothers and children]. "We had read that they had a fear of technology, so we took down our computer lab, and the first night one of the mothers pulled out her iPod and asked where she could dock it," VanOsselar said. "It surprised us because we didn't expect them to be so technology savvy," she said.

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Nearlyfreespeech.net discounts large bandwidth usage

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I've mentioned before my preferred hosting provider is http://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/, which by your usage, allowing small traffic websites to exist for basically less than a dollar a year. Now NFS has introduced a plan for higher-usage websites: previously, usage was $1 per Gigabyte of bandwidth used. This is still true for your first gigabyte. However, starting immediately upon completion of one gigabyte, the price starts going down logarithmically. A reloadable page displays in real time your changing bytes-per-penny pricing.

For almost all of my purposes, NFS has been suitable. I could pay a lot more for certain things, but I haven't found it to be worth it at this point in time. I'd rather continue to run my websites for the price of rifling through my couch cushions for spare change.

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Why politics is bitter conflict

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

According to Walter Williams, it's obvious: it's because we're making decisions for everybody instead of letting people be free. Thus, when one's preferences win out, it's necessarily at the expense of someone else who doesn't share those preferences. Of course they fight, bitterly.

The solution is to get government out of these decisions. Eliminate the political machinery that has the power to control these things, and then people will quit fighting for control of it.

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Do Nuclear Weapons Deter?

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Do Nuclear Weapons Deter?

The first part of this article is very interesting, as he proposes a chain of logic that he asserts proves that ownership of nuclear weapons is not actually a deterrent to attacks by enemies. I'm not quite able to wrap my head around the logic, yet, and I'm not sure I agree. But it's an interesting thought, and I think I'll be revisiting it.

Then he gets to the point where he mentions "market anarchism." After that point the reasoning gets really weird, and I'm saying that as a market anarchist, myself. I'm sure it's even weirder to those who aren't. :) Some leftist pacifists might agree with and like his conclusions, though.

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Slashdot 10 Hot Comments feed

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I've had the Slashdot 10 hot comments slashbox on my page since the year I started using Slashdot (wow; that would be 2001, I think). Now I've built an RSS feed to pull links to the comments into Google reader.

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"Our" infrastructure is in good shape

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I really liked this quote:

The next time I cross a concrete bridge (as they all are in Alabama), I'll feel better than I once did: A bridge collapsed somewhere, and it was such a startling event that everyone is covering it endlessly. The incorrect message everyone else is getting is that the nation's infrastructure is crumbling.

I had a vague feeling along those lines when I first heard this story (and being disconnected from most major media I heard the story nearly 24 hours late and have only heard about one update a day since then), but I couldn't elucidate it.

Source: http://www.mises.org/story/2668

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ad blocking software detected

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

This page just told me "This page cannot be displayed because ad blocking software has been detected." Cute. I guess I just won't bother reading, then.

Or I'll turn off Javascript, or I'll use wget and/or lynx.

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Biological research, without evolution

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

As we all learned in this discussion, no biological research can take place without accepting evolution.

Unless you count this family, who have beliefs fairly similar to mine.

One counterexample provided. One false premise refuted.

Of course, the truth is that the other side wasn't using the same definition of "evolution" which was explicitly verbally provided at the beginning of the discussion.

(And, yeah, I'm not classing running somebody's distributed computing client as full-blown "research." I'm just saying it's clear you don't have to accept evolutionary origins in order to understand the progress of biological science.

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Feeds updated

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

The slashdot comment feeds I provide (also here) have been updated to use https URLs. For subscribers, this means they will get to slashdot through https. Non-subscribers should be transparently redirected to plain old http, at least if my one test through IE where I wasn't logged in is any indication.

Meanwhile, it looks like this means the most recent 24 posts will go through each feed again, as they now have different URLs and thus appear to be new items. Hiccup! :)

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7-7-7

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Wow: 7-7-7 already. Seems like just a year ago it was 6-6-6.

Of course, 07-07-07 is really 2007-07-07, so there's no actual significance to it, but at least all the people who don't know the real way to write dates will have one day when they won't confuse each other by writing them different ways.

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Creationism does not imply 100% irrationality

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

The idea that people "need" to be taught evolutionary origins is nothing but petty bigotry.

The rationale for this mind-control and enslavement is the idea that people who believe in creationism are irrational and therefore incapable of making a positive contribution to the great "we" -- society. I note that this assumes two things: that creationism is irrational (I'll grant that many folks think this is proved, not assumed), and that there is some objective standard of how human lives should be spent contributing to society, some standard which says that a life spent one way is "right" while another way is "wrong," measuring according to some metric that I can't fathom about what's "best" for "all" (for sufficient values of "all" that actually, as far as I can see, actually translate to "some").

So let me give you those two points for the moment. I'm going to tentatively agree that creationism is irrational and that it is important to make sure that everyone is rational so that they can "contribute" to "society" or whatever the heck it is you hope to achieve out of having everyone aware of evolution.

Here's what you're missing: nobody is 100% rational, 100% of the time, on 100% of issues. It's not necessary for everybody to understand every piece of truth in order to function productively.

A lot of smoke is blown about how if kids aren't taught evolution they won't be able to be scientifically productive. Horse manure. It ain't so. You can have wrong ideas about what happened 7000 years ago, or 4.5 billion years ago, and still think quite rationally and scientifically about other things.

There's not a lick of evidence provided for the idea that kids need to be taught evolution in order to grow up capable of making a positive contribution to their society or their country. It's something we're just supposed to accept because men of bigoted faith like Richard Dawkins say so. And I'm not willing to see people enslaved (have their freedom taken away in the form of being forced to submit to compulsory reeducation of ideas their parents quite legally believed) just because Richard Dawkins is a bigot.

When I was in first grade my teachers encouraged other students to make fun of me and shame me because I couldn't crayon within the lines of coloring pages. This was cruel abuse, but I realize now it's symptomatic. School is systematically teaching the values we vote on, and today it's created a society that ridicules and shames people of faith, with the bigoted idea that they are 100% irrational.

Speaking of which, this is why I think a school system that is run by democracy is bound to failure. We could vote to teach everyone evolution, but we could just as well vote to teach them the Flying Spaghetti Monster. We could vote to teach everyone that homosexuality is acceptable, or we could vote to teach that such people should be stoned. If you really want your kids to be educated according to the consensus of scientists, then the absolute last thing that you should want is to have them in an educational institution run by a democracy.

(This is also a large part of why I won't vote. Remember when you're casting your vote next year in November about who is going to be my tyrant and king for the next four years and overrule the free choices of me and my children -- that I will not be making any such choice for you. I would never treat you that way.)

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