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Slashdot Asks: How Prepared Are You For an Earthquake?

ring-eldest Firearms? (191 comments)

It is hard to believe there aren't more people including at least one firearm on this list of necessities. I live and work in the Memphis area, and while I might not be the best prepared person in the event of an emergency even I have a selection of handguns and rifles that would be at the TOP of any list of emergency supplies. You can't get more basic than a simple tool that will allow you to feed your family as well as defend whatever emergency supplies you have gathered.

Is this crowd really so anti-gun that such a basic, life-saving tool would be scratched off the list completely?

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: High-School Suitable Books On How Computers Affect Society?

ring-eldest Such a broad assignment... (140 comments)

You may be trying to cast your net a little wide looking for a single (or even a few) books, articles, and movies that illustrate technology and its impact on our lives, privacy, culture, etc. You might be better off giving them a laundry list of books (I would stick to books for a high school level course) and giving them the opportunity to answer that extremely broad question in the form of a 5 page paper, or something along those lines. Almost none of them are under 200 pages... You're well within "short story / novella" lengths there, and you REALLY need to rethink that, even if it means turning this into an extra credit assignment. Is it possible that you're vastly underestimating the amount of reading time your teenage students have?

You've got a lot of material to potentially choose from, so why not let the students make their own choices? Besides, it makes reading 30 "original" responses that much more interesting when they're not all saying the exact same thing.

Some of my choices would include:

Gibson's Neuromancer
Gibson's All Tomorrow's Parties (actually the whole trilogy would be okay here)
Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash
Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age
Neal Stephenson's Anathem (for the really brave students...)
Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game and probably Ender's Shadow too
Orson Scott Card's Pastwatch
Tad William's Otherland series, although this is probably too bulky to be feasible
Daniel Keys Moran's Long Run and The Last Dancer
Heinlein's Moon is a Harsh Mistress
Heinlein's Starship Troopers
Heinlein's Door into Summer

If you open up your page limit the options are almost endless. If you don't, you'll never find a single work under 200 pages that illustrates the things you want to illustrate. Especially not in fiction.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: I Want To Read More. Should I Get an eBook Reader Or a Tablet?

ring-eldest Books. (415 comments)

Here we just sell small rectangular objects. They're called books. They require a little effort on your part, and make no bee-bee-bee-bee-beeps. On your way ... -The Neverending Story

about 2 years ago
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What's Next For Superhero Movies?

ring-eldest Re:Wasn't there a time when... (396 comments)

at least 90 minutes of well-known stars in a world of explosions, car chases, gun fights, etc doing what they're doing for no particular reason.

You're in luck, dkleinsc. The Expendables 2 comes out next month.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Science-Fiction/Fantasy For Kids?

ring-eldest Children of the Atom (726 comments)

Shiras' Children of the Atom is a whole lot of fun, although I didn't stumble onto it until I was in college.

more than 2 years ago
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TSA Defends Pat Down of 4-Year-Old Girl

ring-eldest Let's try something different. (1174 comments)

It's obvious that there is nothing we can do to bring a peaceful end to the TSA. Voting didn't work. A widespread campaign of ridicule didn't work. Refusing to fly didn't work, and simply leads to the government propping up at-risk airlines. It is time to try something a little different:

Publicly document the names of people employed by the TSA. Every single one of them, from their administration (John Pistole) all the way down to the nameless, faceless front-line gropers. It won't take long for a document like that to spread in the wild.

That's step one. It becomes unnecessary once the following step starts to gather momentum because these people wear uniforms, drive to work everyday, and are self-identified. They don't wear masks (yet).

Step 2: Make their lives as TSA agents unbearable. Everything from denying them loans and refusing to do business with them personally to stealing their cars and vandalizing their property. Hurt them, hurt their families, hurt them financially. Humiliate them and make them legitimately afraid for their lives and those of their wives, husbands, and children. Socially ostracize them completely or make them targets, whichever your morals and conscience dictates, but start such a campaign of fear that the TSA will never see another willing job applicant.

Make them ashamed and afraid of doing their job, because they should be.

more than 2 years ago
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US Sentinel Drone Fooled Into Landing With GPS Spoofing

ring-eldest Re:The truth slowly comes out (647 comments)

"And it came into Hooch's mind that when both parties are lying and they both know the other party's lying, it comes powerful close to being the same thing as telling the truth." -Orson Scott Card, Red Prophet

more than 2 years ago
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The Tipping Point of Humanness

ring-eldest Results: (272 comments)

In the words of Bill Hicks, "you're not a human until you're in my phone book."

more than 3 years ago
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Bank of America Buying Abusive Domain Names

ring-eldest Re:Just Making Themselves Look Worse (249 comments)

There is one prepatory step that will apparently never occur to them: admit they have done wrong, identify the people they have wronged, make it right by giving them full compensation, and document that they have done so.

That's a sucker's bet. These people are PROFESSIONALS. They'll go with the tried-and-true method and round up some scapegoats, of course.

more than 3 years ago
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Darth Vader Robs Long Island Bank

ring-eldest Re:WTF? (190 comments)

You really are a dense, humorless, asshole, aren't you? I think it's safe to say that most people think life is sacred and important. The fact that lives were in peril wasn't the funny part... the funny part was situational. For instance, if you were severely beaten by a gang of feral comedians, that would (at first blush) be funny. Yes, we are all terribly sad that you had 4 ribs broken and your jaw wired shut--that's not the funny part. It's a fucking riot that a gang of comedians was responsible for randomly beating the shit out of a humorless stick in the mud, though. It would be less funny if you were beaten by accountants.

more than 4 years ago
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US Deploys 'Heat-Ray' In Afghanistan

ring-eldest Black children have good reason to worry. (406 comments)

High pressure water has been used to disperse crowds and break up riots for longer than I've been alive. It's very effective and relatively safe, but here in America we've been reluctant to use it because of it's ties to the race riots of the 1960s. So we shun a cheap, effective, and easy to deploy system of crowd control because nobody wants to be seen as a ruthless dictator as they clamp down on the masses, and yet we pursue other less-well-tested methods of doing the exact same thing.

Does no one else see the irony?

more than 4 years ago
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NASA Launches Moonbase Alpha

ring-eldest Re:In space... (230 comments)

In all seriousness, I think the really far out there geeks (not your average, run of the mill slashdotter, but maybe close!) would make EXCELLENT space travelers. The only real downside is that after years of increasingly disturbing porn, a COMPLETE lack of social interaction (and this is coming from someone who once thought "dressing up" was putting on pants so the drive-through people won't freak out), and the subsequent lack of feedback about their behavior and thoughts, they'll leave a very rough impression on the first person they run into afterward. Alien or cosmonaut.

"Greetings people of earth! We have met with your represenative and found him wholly agreeable with our culture! Where's the women at, bitches?"

Oh, shi---

more than 4 years ago
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Decency Group Says "$#*!" Is Indecent

ring-eldest Re:boys drag girls down until they finally say NO (821 comments)

Just as an aside: Condoms don't necessarily prevent exposure to HPV. They reduce the chances, but obviously not all that much (as you said, HPV is a raging epidemic, with something like 90% of sexually active women getting some strain or other eventually). It can be transferred by contact with a lot of surface area that condoms don't cover at all (like the scrotum), and as such doesn't even require actual intercourse to transmit from person to person.

more than 4 years ago
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Air Cannon Ties Pirates In Knots

ring-eldest Re:A few items to consider first (770 comments)

Weapons and training are "VERY expensive?" How about the cost of stolen cargo, is that cheap? The ransom paid for kidnapped crewmembers, how cheap is that?

This whole "anti-gun" argument seems to revolve around the fact that it's hard to dock a merchant ship in international ports if it's armed. It's a bullshit argument. Either change the laws (and any nation that doesn't want to cooperate can find out how nice not having any commerce is), or.... Put the anti-pirate people on a smaller craft that does not enter sovereign waters. Easy solution. Contractors can be hired to escort your ships through danger zones armed to the fucking teeth. Problem solved.

more than 4 years ago
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Why a High IQ Doesn't Mean You're Smart

ring-eldest Re:IQ not valid for adults? (808 comments)

I think I sort of see where you're going, but you're not quite there. For most instruments, the score is only valid when compared to others of the same age / grade. Being a 40 year old with an IQ of 120 is very different than being a 6 year old with an IQ of 120, since they're being compared against two different cohorts.

Also noteworthy is that fluid intelligence (if you're into CHC theory) declines steadily as you move out of your 20s, while crystallized intelligence, or things like your general knowledge base, continues to increase as you experience more of the world. So yeah, on average a 45 year old probably can't solve as many algebra problems in 2 minutes as the average 18 year old, or be able to find Waldo in the images nearly as quickly. But the average 45 year old is going to know much more about the world and will do much better on those knowledge heavy parts of the instrument.

more than 4 years ago
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Why a High IQ Doesn't Mean You're Smart

ring-eldest Re:Western IQ Box (808 comments)

That is a common argument... but just because a test is not "culture free" doesn't mean it's worthless. If we measure the IQ of the son of an immigrant Kalahari bushman and it's, say, 79, that is an important measure despite being "ethnocentric" (and quite frankly not everything that is specific to one culture is bad). It is still useful information when you want to know things like how well the boy will do in an American school system.

Does it mean he's stupid? Not at all... A skill set valued in the desert (let's say, fast reaction time and a concrete approach to problem solving) is simply undervalued in the school system here. Should we redefine the tests to suit his cultural background, where in all likelihood he will score higher, just to assuage whatever bad feelings we have? I think that would be pointless--whereas knowing that the child is NOT using those skills that we value in our society, those skills that tend to go along with good grades and a good job, is a useful thing indeed.

So yeah, if the ultimate goal of IQ tests is to put value judgments on people you're absolutely right. It is not fair to label the kid. But if the goal is to devise teaching interventions to help him succeed in our schools and in our culture it is kind of nice to be able to see where he is deviating from the norm.

more than 4 years ago
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Why a High IQ Doesn't Mean You're Smart

ring-eldest Re:That's because IQ isn't everything. (808 comments)

It's even more complicated than what you've described. Most modern intelligence tests (WJ-III Cog, WAIS, SB) incorporate WIS (as you've described it, Gc / knowledge) as a component of intelligence. And in actuality that kind of general knowledge has stronger links to general intelligence than just about any other measure on those tests. What it boils down to is that how much you know about the world is a pretty good indicator of intelligence, and by extension, is a pretty good indicator of your _ability_ to thrive.

So yes, IQ is an aggregate measure of lots of diverse qualities, but WIS is definitely one of them. And it happens to be one of the best.

Personally I always liked Heinlein's take on what a man should be able to do... It's very similar to Wechsler's definition of intelligence, only described in example behaviors:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Heinlein, Time Enough For Love

more than 4 years ago
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Warez Moving From BitTorrent to Conventional Hosting Services

ring-eldest Re:List of warez ftp sites... regularly updated (366 comments)

Yes, now just tell us your password so that we can add that karma to your account... We have an automatic system for it but it's on the fritz. You know. Sunspots.

more than 4 years ago

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