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Turkish Man Assaulted Woman on Bus Because Her Short Shorts “Provoked” Him

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Turkish university student Melisa Saglam was riding a bus in Istanbul when a man punched her in the face, then pushed her back when she tried to retaliate.Why the assault? Because, he said, her shorts were too short and he felt "provoked" by them.
TurkishManAssault

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rlauzon
8 hours ago
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Whoa! I didn't know left-wing regressives were in Turkey.
satadru
11 hours ago
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Turkey appears to be taking the fast road to Gilead.
New York, NY

Run and Lied

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rlauzon
17 days ago
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Those kids will go far. Great prank.

US Supreme Court Protects Consumers' Right To Refill Ink Cartridges In Precedent-Setting Lexmark vs Impression Case

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The U.S. Supreme Court said on Tuesday companies give up their patent rights when they sell an item, in a ruling that puts new limits on businesses' ability to prevent their products from being resold at a discount. The ruling is a defeat for Lexmark International, which was trying to stop refurbished versions of its printer cartridges from undercutting its U.S. sales. It's also a blow to companies like HP and Canon that sell their printers for a relatively low cost with the idea that they will recoup money on sales of replacement cartridges. From a report: Lexmark originally set its sights on Impression Products, a small company that specializes in remanufacturing print cartridges for resale at prices much lower than what a customer would pay for a "genuine" Lexmark product. These cartridges often have no noticeable difference in performance compared to genuine ink or toner cartridges -- the only real difference is that customers can save a lot of money by going the remanufactured route. This secondary market for cartridges not only has implications for regular Joes looking to save a buck, but also businesses that are always looking to cut costs.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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rlauzon
24 days ago
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Hurray!

Only 36 Percent of Indian Engineers Can Write Compilable Code, Says Study

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New submitter troublemaker_23 quotes a report from ITWire: Only 36% of software engineers in India can write compilable code based on measurements by an automated tool that is used across the world, the Indian skills assessment company Aspiring Minds says in a report. The report is based on a sample of 36,800 from more than 500 colleges across India. Aspiring Minds said it used the automated tool Automata which is a 60-minute test taken in a compiler integrated environment and rates candidates on programming ability, programming practices, run-time complexity and test case coverage. It uses advanced artificial intelligence technology to automatically grade programming skills. "We find that out of the two problems given per candidate, only 14% engineers are able to write compilable codes for both and only 22% write compilable code for exactly one problem," the study said. It further found that of the test subjects only 14.67% were employable by an IT services company. When it came to writing fully functional code using the best practices for efficiency and writing, only 2.21% of the engineers studied made the grade.

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rlauzon
44 days ago
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I'm only surprised that the number is that high.

Your identity is not your choice

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There’s been a lot of public talk about “identity” lately, stimulated by high-profile cases of transsexuality (notably the athlete now named Caitlyn Jenner) and transracialism (Rachel Dolezal). It needs to be said: most of the talk, on all sides of these disputes, has been obvious nonsense – utter drivel that should not have survived five minutes of thought.

I thought we had reached the limit of absurdity with the flap over Rebecca Tuvel’s paper In Defense of Transracialism, about which it can only be said that while Tuvel seems marginally less insane than her attackers, everyone involved in that dispute has obviously been huffing unicorn farts for so long that oxygen no longer reaches their brains in appreciable quantities.

But that’s in a corner of academia where one rather expects postmodernism to have shut down rational thought. In its own way, the following statement in an exudation of mainstream journalism is much sillier, and has finally pushed me into writing on the topic. I quote itnot because it’s a unique error because it’s representative of a very common category mistake.

Thus should there be a weighty presumption against so blocking people, against subordinating them by substituting our judgments about their identity for their own.

This would seem to be a rather uncontroversial point, based on ordinary liberal arguments in favor of tolerance and respect for the dignity of others.

Ah, yes. So, what then would be amiss if I stood up in a public place and claimed to be the Queen of England? Who are you to substitute your judgment about my identity for my own?

There would actually be two different kinds of things wrong with this claim. One is that I can’t grant peerages – the people who administer the English honors system wouldn’t recognize my authority. The other is that the claim to be “Queen” (as opposed, to, say, “Prince-Consort”) implies an observably false claim that I am biologically female.

These criticisms imply a theory of “identity” that is actually coherent and useful. Here it is:

Your “identity” is a set of predictive claims you assert about yourself, mostly (though not entirely) about what kinds of transactions other people can expect to engage in with you.

As an example of an exception to “mostly”, the claim “I am white” implies that I sunburn easily. But usually, an “identity” claim implies the ability and willingness to meet behavioral expectations held by other people. For example, if I describe my “identity” as “male, American, computer programmer, libertarian” I am in effect making an offer that others can expect me to need to shave daily, salute the Stars and Stripes, sling code, and argue for the Non-Aggression Principle as an ethical fundamental.

Thus, identity claims can be false (not cashed out in observed behavior) or fraudulent (intended to deceive). You don’t get to choose your identity; you get to make an offer and it’s up to others whether or not to accept.

There was a very silly news story recently about “Claire”, a transsexual “girl” with a penis who complains that she is rejected by straight guys for ‘having male parts’. Er, how was “she” expecting anything different? By trying to get dates with heterosexual teenage boys using a female presentation, she was making an offer that there is about her person the sort of sexual parts said boys want to play with. Since “she” does not in fact have a vagina, this offer was fraudulent and there’s no wonder the boys rejected it.

More to the point, why is this “girl” treated as anything but a mental case? Leaving aside the entire question of how real transgenderism is as a neuropsychological phenomenon, “she” clearly suffers from a pretty serious disconnect with observable reality. In particular, those delusions about teenage boys…

I can anticipate several objections to this transactional account of identity. One is that is cruel and illiberal to reject an offer of “I claim identity X” if the person claiming feels that identity strongly enough. This is essentially the position of the journalists from The Hill.

To which I can only reply: you can feel an identity as a programmer as strongly as you want, but if you can’t either already sling code or are visibly working hard on repairing that deficiency, you simply don’t make the nut. Cruelty doesn’t enter into this; if I assent to your claim I assist your self-deceit, and if I repeat it I assist you in misleading or defrauding others.

It is pretty easy to see how this same analysis applies to “misgendering” people with the “wrong” pronouns. People who use the term “misgender” generally follow up with claims about the subject’s autonomy and feelings. Which is well enough, but such considerations do not justify being complicit in the deceit of others any more than they do with respect to “I am a programmer”.

A related objection is that I have stolen the concept of “identity” by transactionalizing it. That is, true “identity” is nececessarily grounded not in public performance but private feelings – you are what you feel, and it’s somehow the responsibility of the rest of the world to keep up.

But…if I’m a delusional psychotic who feels I’m Napoleon, is it the world’s responsibility to keep up? If, I an overweight clumsy shortish white guy, feel that I’m a tall agile black guy under the skin, are you obligated to choose me to play basketball? Or, instead, are you justified in predicting that I can’t jump?

You can’t base “identity” on a person’s private self-beliefs and expect sane behavior to emerge any more than you can invite everyone to speak private languages and expect communication to happen.

Racial identity is fuzzier than gender identity becuse, leaving aside “white men can’t jump”, it’s at first sight more difficult to tie it to a performance claim. Also, people who are genetically interracial are far more common than physical intersexes. Although this may mean less than you think; it turns out that peoples’ self-ascribed race correlates very accurately with race-associated genetic markers.

Nebertheless, here’s a very simple performance claim that solves the problem: if you are a man or woman who claims racial identity X, and I do too, and we were to marry, can we expect our children to claim racial identity X and, without extraordinary attempts at deceit, be believed?

This test neatly disposes of Rachel Dolezal – it explains not just why most blacks think she’s a fraud but why she’s an actual fraud. To apply it, we don’t even have to adhere to an “essentialist” notion of what race is. But the test becomes stronger if we note that (see link above) a genetic essentialist notion of race is probably justified by the facts. Among other applications, genetic racial identity turns out to matter for medical diagnosticians in assessing vulnerability to various diseases – for example, if you are black but claim to be white, your doctor may seriously underweight the possibility that you have hypertension.

As a culture, we got to the crazy place we’re at now by privileging feelings over facts. The whole mess around “identity” is only one example of this. It’s time to say this plainly: people who privilege feelings over facts are not sane, and the facts always win in the end.

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Editor's Soapbox: Basic Manners

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As someone who's been accused of "not being a team player" because I had the temerity to say, "No, I can't come in on short notice on a day I've called off, because I'm busy,", Snoofle's rant struck a nerve. I lend him the soapbox for today. -- Remy

When you're very young, your parents teach you to say please and thank you. It's good-manners 101. Barking give me ..., get me ... or I want... usually gets you some sort of reprimand. Persistent rudeness yields reprimands of increasing sternness such as no dessert, no TV, etc. Ideally, once learned, those manners should follow us into the grown-up world.

The cover of Miss Manners' Guide for the Turn-Of-The-Millenium

Should.

When you work in IT, particularly in the financial industry, especially on critical systems on which all firm-trading is based, you tend to work with people who think that they are the only people on Earth, and that their individual problem is more important than everyone and everything else. You make a whole lot of money, but you get a lot of abuse from both users and managers. Over time, you develop a pretty thick skin and learn to not take anything personally. Of course, eventually you get tired of dealing with the same old arrogance. Late last summer, I had finally had it with the Wall Street stupidity and decided to retire.

After a few months of taking it easy, I started to do volunteer work teaching elderly people the basics of technology. It's not exactly challenging to explain the fundamental differences between Notepad, Word, e-mail, IM, Skype and so forth, but every once in a while, one of the 1940's-set gets it, and it just makes it all worthwhile.

One day, I ran into someone who runs a large retail operation. He offered me a part time job to do routine work in his warehouse-type store, and I could work whatever hours I wanted. It's rote, mindless work, but I get to meet and talk to new people all the time (which I think is great) so I accepted.

After a couple of weeks of doing this and the volunteer work, I noticed a vast difference in how people treat you compared with work in IT. For one thing, when people ask you to do something, they start with the word please and finish by saying thank you. Another is that when something needs to be done, they don't assume "Magic Happens Here"; they actually try and figure out how much effort is involved in the task before promising someone else that it will be done after some arbitrary time interval.

Nearly four decades in IT has allowed me to accumulate a rather large box of assorted PC parts and cables. When someone has a problem with their machine, more often than not, I can find something in that box that fixes their problem. The women bake me pies, and I've gotten more than a few bottles of booze in appreciation. At the box store, when customers ask you a question, they don't want to tell you what they think; they actually want to hear the answer. How often does that happen in IT?

When something happens when I'm not around and people call me for help, they're actually apologetic for interrupting my personal time and ask if it's convenient or if there's a better time to talk. When was the last time anyone at work interrupted you in the middle of the night or weekend, and assumed that you might be doing something, I don't know, personal?

I realize the IT industry is comparatively new, but it's been around for more than fifty years at this point. You'd think that after a half century that people might have learned that technical people are not there to be abused, and deserve to be treated decently, like anybody else. Instead, they seem to have forgotten those early lessons in manners.

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