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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Wrist Watch For the Tech Minded

selven Re:Wrist watch is for style, not gadget (466 comments)

Wait, so it's legitimate to use a watch to show off your wealth, but it's illegitimate yo use it to show off your geekiness?

Wearing things for style is perfectly fine, but if you're going to wear for style it should actually be your style, not your conception of society's conception of what the most "glamorous" style is.

more than 2 years ago
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Bitcoinica Breach Nets Hackers $87,000 In Bitcoins

selven Re:And nothing of value was lost. (196 comments)

Except that it's the financial service provider taking the hit. Sounds like the world is regulating itself to me.

more than 2 years ago
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The Avengers: Why Pirates Failed To Prevent a Box Office Record

selven Re:Facts! Don't talk to me about facts! (663 comments)

They share less in common than theft and rape.

Are you sure you want to use that comparison? After all, rape does directly come from the Latin word meaning "steal"...

more than 2 years ago
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Rand Paul Has a Quick Fix For TSA: Pull the Plug

selven Re:Sad Day (1051 comments)

Given that (1) the pre-Civil Rights period had Jim Crow laws that actively promoted segregation and (2) the economic disparity between whites and blacks saw its greatest decrease in the 1950s, before any legislation, the idea that the Civil Rights act was what changed everything is rather suspect.

more than 2 years ago
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How Apple Sidesteps Billions In Global Taxes

selven Re:Why does Apple hate America? (599 comments)

It's not money per se, but the velocity of money, that moves the economy.

The economy is not some beast that has to keep moving so that it doesn't die and if it moves faster that means we're generating more wealth and we're all happier and richer. That's completely missing the point. The function of the economy is to satisfy people's preferences. If people prefer to work more and consume more, then that's what will happen, and if people prefer to work less and lead simple lives then that's what will happen in that case. There's nothing intrinsically good or bad about either. And in the long run what satisfies people's preferences the most is capital accumulation. You have all the wealth that you have right now not because people are moving cash around really quickly and consuming a lot but because a whole bunch of people over the past ten thousand years decided that rather than producing to consume the whole product immediately they would produce things like factories, infrastructure and research for future benefit - they decided to _produce more than they consume and save the difference_. Human society is a fat cat that has been getting fatter since the dawn of civilization and you can thank that for cheap food, infrastructure, medicine and the computer you wrote your post on.

more than 2 years ago
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Bitcoin Mining Startup Gets $500k In Venture Capital

selven Re:amazing use of resources (381 comments)

> It's easy to make a bitcoin-clone without this property, you just need to adjust the mining rate so that the early adopters don't get half of the total wealth to ever be available.

No, it's not. The only reason why so many people are so willing to sink their lives into Bitcoin businesses is that they are also holding tens of thousands of dollars in bitcoins which could potentially become tens of millions, and it makes sense for them to create businesses to support the currency in their own interest. A more fair economic model, while superior in terms of fairness, may never have acquired so much enterpreneurial dedication and would never have gotten anywhere.

more than 2 years ago
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Wikipedia Mobile Apps Switch To OpenStreetMap

selven Re:Danger Google (166 comments)

With rare exception, projects end up half assed, 90% feature complete, and skip implementation of anything difficult. The "it's good enough" approach.

Fixed again. cf. Sturgeon's law.

more than 2 years ago
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Does Higher Health Care Spending Lead To Better Patient Outcomes?

selven Re:Obesity (504 comments)

> Not many want to go back to the pre medical days of a 35 year average longevity, but it does have it's consequences....

Fun fact: in the ancient (ie. first few centuries BC) world, the average longevity was closer to 50-70 years (hence the Bible's "three score and ten"). Living for 35 years was a medieval problem caused by ineffective waste disposal and the resultant diseases within highly concentrated cities. Since then, the number of "bad things" we've had to deal with has actually been decreasing with each new generation.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Have You Handled Illegal Interview Topics?

selven Re:Hey, fuck you. (714 comments)

You're wrong because most of that should not even come up at the office.

Yes, because offices should be clean, puritanical white laboratories of production where all concepts of cultural solidarity, friendship and conversation get hung up on the coat rack at nine and picked back up at five when you leave.

If it is an issue then the owner needs to be informed on the realities of operating in a multi-cultural nation.

We're supposed to be a mosaic, not a melting pot. There's a difference.

more than 2 years ago
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Surviving the Cashless Cataclysm

selven Re:Why would banks be against it? (463 comments)

Modern trading systems based on identity and accountability transact millions of dollars of value in microseconds

Do they? Last time I checked, that's just for Wall Street - everyone else's international money transfers take the same old 2-5 days or sometimes even weeks.

more than 2 years ago
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Mozilla To Support H.264

selven Re:Desktops becoming more relevant, mobile is a ni (249 comments)

general all in one computing device which can fill the role of DVR, Game console, office management, home management, communications and web browsing, telephone and video chat from home, and so on.

DVR - mobile can do that just fine
Game console - mobile can do that just fine
Office management - desktop wins here
Home management - desktop wins here
Communications and web browsing - mobile can do that just fine
Telephone and video chat - mobile wins here

New flash: users don't care about RAM, super-overclocked multicore 4 GHZ CPUs or any other such acronyms. They care about UI responsiveness. We've had that since the 1980s, all you need is to keep the bloat down.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Any Smart Phones Made Under Worker-Friendly Conditions?

selven Re:Define worker friendly. (371 comments)

But the amount of land that their lifestyle uses per person would make a hectare counting environmentalist scream in horror...

more than 2 years ago
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Foxconn "Glad That Mike Daisey's Lies Were Exposed"

selven Re:I hope he realizes he did more harm than good (332 comments)

> Paying rent to the company and being forced to buy from the company store IS a form of slavery

There is no slavery. Workers have a right to enter, and they have a right to leave. Guess what, some people actually prefer having the security of a meal every day to working 16 hours a day and being subject to the whims of the harvest on the field.

And labor laws and unions are really not as useful as you think. If you look at the historical record of what wage laborers' conditions have been over the centuries, you'll find that the chief determinant is not "greed" or unions or laws - it's supply and demand. 14th century, Black Death happened, and, as counterintuitive as it seems, living conditions shot up across the board. We had an 8-hour day for the first time. 19th century, population boom, wages at subsistence. Early 20th century, population growth started to go down as we invented birth control, and wages went up again. Now, things went down a little one more time for those of us lucky enough to be born on the right continent because the world markets got opened up, while living conditions have been measurably going up across the board in the rest of the world (somewhat less in Africa and southeast Asia, which just happens to be where the evil exploiting multinationals are the weakest). Freedom - it's a socialist wealth redistribution scheme :)

more than 2 years ago
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Iran Deleted From the World's Banking Computers

selven Re:The people will be the ones who suffer (667 comments)

Democratic does not always equal morally or ethically correct.

Of course not. And neither is any non-democratic institution. Ultimately, morality is subjective and the only final arbiter of what's moral for you is yourself. I, for example, don't find Foxconn evil at all as its pay is better than most of its competitors, its suicide rates are lower than the Chinese and US average and its safety nets make it no more evil or foreboding than the Eiffel tower. On the other hand, though, I do not buy Apple products because Apple infringes on my freedom more than its Android counterparts.

I think social opprobrium provides a perfectly reasonable amplifier for ethical considerations; would you really keep buying your Apple products if you were in a social environment that publicly despised them? Studies suggest no; peer pressure, for example, is even more effective at discouraging smoking than the health concerns that are the reason behind the peer pressure themselves. That's the true bottom-up democracy. All it takes is enlightenment and awareness, and the internet's slowly but surely bringing that to us already.

more than 2 years ago
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Is Poor Numeracy Ruining Lives?

selven Re:Maybe if the schools actually taught math (489 comments)

In addition, if they actually taught arithmetic instead of trying to have kids reconstruct it from first principles, it might be less confusing.

No, that would make it more confusing.

"This is a derivative. The derivative of the nth power of x is n times x to the power of n minus one. The derivative of the sine is the cosine, and the derivative of the cosine is the opposite of the sine. The derivative of the exponential is proportional to the exponential itself multiplied by the logarithm of the base. Memorize that, test next monday"

What would work better - that, or intuitively explaining to people what functions and slopes actually are and why all those things are the case? Education isn't about shoving stuff in, it's about having students bring it out by themselves - that's right there in the etymology

more than 2 years ago
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Linode Exploit Caused Theft of Thousands of Bitcoins

selven Re:overblown news story, here's the real truth (450 comments)

They're a financial services business, they have to deal with issues like these in ways no one else does. Given that MF Global can have $1.2 billion, or about 100% of what was its net worth, just disappear, this really isn't that unreasonable.

more than 2 years ago
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Reddit: No More Suggestive Content Featuring Minors

selven Re:Lax attitudes toward child pornography (722 comments)

You're totally missing the point. Police go after people possessing part of a dead plant to combat the production of said plant. Police go after possession of child pornography to combat the production of child pornography.

I think you're wrong here. With drugs, police go after production to combat possession (and use), which is what they ultimately want to reduce. With child pornography, police go after use and possession to combat production.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Canadian Election results in Conservative Majority

selven selven writes  |  more than 3 years ago

selven (1556643) writes "With the left wing split between the Liberals and a resurgent New Democratic Party (NDP), the Conservative party has won a majority government. The final tally is 167 C, 34 L, 102 NDP, 4 for the separatist Bloc Quebecois (down from 47) and 1 for the Green Party. The Canadian conservative party is known for such things as his attempts to pass highly restrictive copyright laws and their platform for this election intends to increase internet surveillance, a possibility of warrantless disclosure laws and a right to break digital locks, as well as no review for the CRTC, something which all other major parties support."
Link to Original Source
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Diaspora Releases First Code

selven selven writes  |  more than 3 years ago

selven (1556643) writes "The Diaspora project started to be developed several months ago, aiming to be "the privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all, open source social network", and raised $200,642, although the actual amount of money that the project has to work with is much less due to the generous rewards that were available to donors. The open-source project has now released its first code to developers and also published screenshots. "This is now a community project and development is open to anyone with the technical expertise who shares the vision of a social network that puts users in control," the team said in a blog. They intend to launch a public product in October."
Link to Original Source
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Canadian politician criticized over crime comments

selven selven writes  |  more than 3 years ago

selven (1556643) writes "In Canada, it seems like tough-on-crime is not as easy a free ticket to popularity as is previously thought. A senior cabinet minister in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government came under fire yesterday for suggesting that Canada needs to build more prisons, in part because of a rise in unreported crimes. "We're very concerned ... about the increase in the amount of unreported crimes that surveys clearly show are happening," Day (the cabinet minister) said at a news conference. "People simply aren't reporting the same way they used to." However, Statistics Canada quickly shot down Day's assumptions, saying that since they surveyed only eight types of unreported crimes their numbers cannot be compared to police-reported crime statistics. Actual numbers, however, find themselves received with unwelcoming arms by Harper's government: "We do not use statistics as an excuse not to get tough on criminals," Stephens wrote in an email."
Link to Original Source
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US legalizes DMCA exceptions

selven selven writes  |  more than 3 years ago

selven (1556643) writes "In a landmark victory for the EFF, the US Copyright Office's Librarian of Congress has implemented three exceptions to the DMCA. One allows jailbreaking wireless telephone handsets to run software, another allows software that allows wireless telephone handsets to connect to a telecommunications network (ie. breaking carrier lock-in), and a third allows circumventing circumventing copy protection for purposes of criticism or comment. Apple and the MPAA have criticised the decision, saying that it unnecessarily blurs the otherwise bright line regarding the illegality of breaking copy protection, and the MPAA is continuing to suggest that people trying to use copyrighted materials for fair use purposes film the TV screen, a solution that the EFF compares to forcing students to copy down long passages from a book by hand."
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Woman to sue phone company for exposing affair

selven selven writes  |  more than 4 years ago

selven (1556643) writes "Gabriella Nagy, 35, is seeking 600,000 Canadian dollars from Rogers Wireless for invasion of privacy and breach of contract, after her husband saw her frequent phone calls to an unknown phone number, realized she was having an affair with him, and left her. She claims that she asked Rogers to send her phone bill to her separately, but Rogers instead sent the bill along with the TV, internet and home phone bill. She blames Rogers for the breakup, saying that they "breached [her] privacy" after she "entrusted them with [her] personal information." A Rogers spokesman replies "We cannot be responsible for the personal decisions made by our customers.""
Link to Original Source
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Canada Court Limits Rights of Confidential Sources

selven selven writes  |  more than 4 years ago

selven (1556643) writes "A Canadian Supreme Court ruling has clarified the right of media institutions to protect their confidential sources, saying that the right is not absolute "when the law-enforcement interest in obtaining information for an investigation is greater". The specific case revolves around a forged bank document sent to the National Post in 2001, which the court ruled must be turned over since it is a "physical evidence of a crime". The judgement may have an impact on the willingness of whistleblowers to come forward. Judge Binnie wrote "The alleged forgery is distinct from whistle-blowing. In terms of getting out the truth, the 'leak' of a forged document undermines rather than advances achievement of the purpose of the privilege claimed by the media in the public interest." However, this case does affect legitimate whistleblowers harshly: the onus is now on the media to justify the confidentiality of a source, and not on the prosecutor to justify trumping journalistic privilege."
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Is Desktop Linux becoming too proprietary?

selven selven writes  |  more than 4 years ago

selven (1556643) writes "The main factor that separates Linux out from more mainstream systems is, in the eyes of the average Linux user, freedom. Freedom is at the core of the Linux culture, but in the last few years it seems that Linux is moving away from these ideals. Ubuntu, despite its front page commitment to free and open source software, has made many sacrifices of freedom in favor of convenience, such as the replacement of OpenOffice.org with Google Docs in the netbook edition, an app store for commercial, presumably proprietary, software and a music store. Novell and Microsoft have made a patent agreement and patented components are entering desktop Linux systems. Is this the plot of the evil corporations, to destroy freedom one step at a time with stealth rather than power, or is this a necessary and unavoidable part of Desktop Linux growing up?"
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Poll: The new decade starts...

selven selven writes  |  more than 4 years ago

selven (1556643) writes "1) In 2010
2) In 2011
3) On Dec 21, 2012
4) On Jan 19, 2038
5) A new period of 10 years starts every Jan 1
6) I use Ksecs and Msecs, you insensitive clod!
7) When we get flying cars, goddammit."
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New defense for Libel in Canada

selven selven writes  |  more than 4 years ago

selven (1556643) writes "In an effort to reduce so called "libel chill", the effect that reduces journalists' willingness to pursue controversial stories, the Supreme Court of Canada has created a new defense for libel: as long as journalists or bloggers take steps to ensure fairness and are acting in the public interest, they have some leeway in making factual errors. This has been widely hailed as a major victory for freedom of speech in Canada. One Ontario lawyer comments that "had this new defence not been established we'd have been in the Dark Ages"."
Link to Original Source
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How do you see Slashdot's friend system?

selven selven writes  |  more than 4 years ago

selven (1556643) writes "I've recently gained an interest in Slashdot's skeletal social networking system, which allows people to flag other users as friends and foes and view these relationships. What do you think of this system? How do you use it and what do you see its purpose as being? One of its effects is that it allows people to join together based on their political affiliations, such as libertarianism, views on copyright, views on criminal justice, etc. However, political affiliation has a very large number of dimensions and there are some people some of whose posts I read nodding my head every second of the way while vehemently disagreeing with some of their other posts. Doesn't this make the community more divisive, or is there some other meaning I haven't thought of?"
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Poll: How much money do you make annually?

selven selven writes  |  more than 4 years ago

selven (1556643) writes "1) $1000-$29999
2) $30000-$59999
3) $60000-$99999
4) $100000-$999999
5) I'm a millionaire
6) below $1000 (I'm too young for that sort of thing)
7) below $1000 (I'm too old for that sort of thing)
8) below $1000 (currently unemployed)
9) below $1000 (I subsistence farm/barter/my salary comes in food directly)"
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Are schoolchildren doing better than ever?

selven selven writes  |  more than 4 years ago

selven (1556643) writes "Very often we, on Slashdot and in many other places, hear people decrying the current state of the educational system, and protesting the latest attempt to dumb down education. However, here is another take on the issue — yes, schools are bad, but we are viewing the past through rose-colored goggles. Although many students are failing their courses, the amount of failure is decreasing, and some schools are even scaling back their remedial programs. We should, instead of focusing on the negatives, focus on the success — how many students didn't bring a gun or a drug to school and how many did their homework; we should focus on the successful students who graduate early and with top marks and will be joining the frontier of science, not the students who shoot up dozens of classmates culminating years of ostracization and depression."
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Canadian chief criticizes critics of antiterrorism

selven selven writes  |  more than 4 years ago

selven (1556643) writes "The director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service chastised those critical of Canada's efforts to fight terrorism. "Many of our opinion leaders have come to see the fight against terrorism not as defending democracy and our values, but as attacking them. Almost any attempt to fight terrorism by the government is portrayed as an overreaction or an assault on liberty" director Fadden explained. He believes that terrorism is the ultimate attack on liberty, and attacks the way the media supposedly treats terrorists as heroes, making terrorist connections a badge of honor in the fight against what Fadden believes the media believes is the real enemy — the government.

This lack of understanding of why modern anti-terrorist policies are often criticized is not excusable anywhere and it is vitally important that we criticize this ignorance before Canada's conservative government (the one that hired this director) puts more restrictive and misguided policies into law."

Link to Original Source
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Google Chrome OS Leaks

selven selven writes  |  more than 4 years ago

selven (1556643) writes "The browser for Google's upcoming Chrome operating system has been accidentally put up for download, and some people got it before it was taken down, and it is now freely available on the internet. The browser is a somewhat reskinned version of Chrome with some key new features — a clock and a (nonfunctional in the leaked build) wireless internet utility at the top right, suggesting that the browser will take up the entire screen in the OS.

If you are interested in trying out the browser, you can find it here, although only Debian and Ubuntu users can install the package."

Link to Original Source
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Iran's nuclear ambitions

selven selven writes  |  more than 3 years ago

selven writes "Following Iran's revelation regarding its secret nuclear enrichment plant, western leaders are banding together against it, saying that it violates Articles 2 and 3 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and suggesting serious sanctions against the country if it refuses to back down on its uranium enrichment program. Iran maintains that it nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only and that it's not fair for the US to be criticizing them in this way while having thousands of nuclear warheads."
Link to Original Source
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RIAA's elementary school copyright curriculum

selven selven writes  |  more than 4 years ago

selven (1556643) writes "In a blatant attempt devoid of any subtlety the RIAA is fighting for the hearts and minds of our chilldren with its Music Rules, a collection of education materials on how to respect copyright. It includes vocabulary such as "counterfeit recordings, DMCA notice, "Grokster" ruling, legal downloading, online piracy, peer-to-peer file sharing, pirate recordings, songlifting, and US copyright law." with no mention whatsoever of fair use. Compounding the bias, it includes insights such as that taking music without paying for it is "songlifting", and that making copies for personal use and then playing them while your friends come over is illegal. On the bright side, it includes math which shows that the total damages from copyright infringement by children in the US amount to a measly $7.8 million."
Link to Original Source
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Adobe: Flash will survive HTML5

selven selven writes  |  about 5 years ago

selven (1556643) writes "At Google's developer conference last month, VP of engineering Vic Gundotra declared that "the Web has won" and suggested that emerging open Web standards such as HTML 5 have become the preferred platform to create Web applications, even graphically rich ones. Adobe begs to differ. Its Flash platform remains the de facto standard for rich Internet applications, and the company would be happy for that situation to continue. To make sure that happens, some from Adobe are expressing doubts about HTML 5.

During a recent investor conference call, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen dismissed HTML 5 as being unable to deliver a consistent user experience across different Web browsers and predicted that a decade will pass before the specification gets standardized. "The fragmentation of browsers makes Flash even more important rather than less important," he said. Adobe has to put on a brave face in public, but the company appears to be increasingly worried about the future of Flash. Perhaps with good reason: Google's demonstration at its developer conference of a YouTube prototype built with HTML 5 rather than Flash offers a warning of what could come."

Link to Original Source
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Madoff Sentenced to 150 Years

selven selven writes  |  about 5 years ago

selven (1556643) writes "Bernard Madoff's victims gasped and cheered when he was sentenced to 150 years in prison, but they walked away knowing little more about how he carried out the biggest robbery in Wall Street history. In one of the most dramatic courtroom conclusions to a corporate fraud case, the 71-year-old swindler was unemotional as he was berated by distraught investors during the 90-minute proceeding.

Many former clients had hoped he would shed more light on his crime and explain why he victimized so many for so long. But he did not. Madoff called his crime "an error of judgment" and his "failure," reiterating previous statements that he alone was responsible for the $65 billion investment fraud. His victims said they did not hear much new from Madoff in his five-minute statement. They also said they did not believe anything he said. As he handed down the maximum penalty allowed, U.S. District Judge Denny Chin indicated that he did not think Madoff had been fully candid or cooperative with authorities still investigating the fraud and what happened to investors' billions.

"I simply do not get the sense that Mr. Madoff has done all that he could or told all that he knows," Chin said."

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