SteveG’s Techdirt Profile

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  • May 21st, 2014 @ 3:13am

    Word choice (as Steve)

    "The execution, if you'll forgive the synergy of word-choice, of the execution means everything"

    I'll forgive the use of the word execution, but using "S**ergy in cold blood is a capital offence. Please join the queue for the random cocktail of chemicals that may or may not cause an agonising death.

  • Nov 14th, 2013 @ 2:36am

    (untitled comment) (as Steve)

    "What the country's TPP negotiators are effectively doing here is to surrender key rights that belong to all New Zealanders, for the sake of some minor, and probably temporary, financial gains for a single industry with powerful lobbyists."

    You've completely misunderstood NZ here.

    This isn't "a small industry with powerful lobbyists" this is a massive industry that employs - directly or indirectly - the vast majority of the electorate.

    The government is wrong, but it didn't need any lobbying. We are almost completely dependent on Agriculture and Tourism, because we haven't developed our high tech industry properly. Yes, we could make some long term gains (which I would like) by actually protecting our creative and copyright interests, but that would be political suicide for either of the major parties.

  • Jun 7th, 2013 @ 9:38am

    Or it could be even more machiavellian... (as Steve)

    I think the story is probably legit, but once you've gotten that far, why not go full on conspiracy theorist:
    The administration was prepared for the eventual leak of the telco data. They then pile on a deliberate leak of a much more extreme breach that will grab the headlines. This is eventually shown to be false, the journalists involved are discredited and the telco thing is forgotten as collateral damage.

    I don't know how much confirmation the Guardian could have gotten before running with this story - after what happened to Bradley Manning, there can't be too many people willing to blow the lid on something this big. Therefore, it could all come down to something easily forged.

    I'm not normally a conspiracy theorist - the twin towers were an act of terrorism, climate change is real, and the only chemicals in the chemtrails are flouride :) - but this story is either true (in which case it's a conspiracy) or it's a distraction (in which case it's a conspiracy).

    Either way, this is all seriously messed up.

  • Jun 20th, 2012 @ 5:01am

    Actually, he would have been a terrible teacher (as Steve)

    My MSc supervisor had a Post Doc supervisor who was taught physics by Einstien during WW2 (he couldn't work on the Manhattan project because he was German).

    He said that Einstein would miss lectures, read directly from his notes, repeat the same lectures he'd given the day before and didn't mark the work they submitted.

    I'm not arguing the point made above - this had nothing to do with his qualifications, and more to do with the fact that he just didn't care - I just think it's interesting.

  • Mar 5th, 2012 @ 4:08am

    It's because of how they see geeks (as steve)

    The problem is that people tend to divide the world into people who understand computers and people who don't. The distinction between a games programmer and a DBA is lost on them.

    For that reason, the idea of setting up a department of people like McGee from NCIS, who seems to know everything about everything. This means that when they have a problem with mortgages, the cybercrime dept can swing into action, etc.

    The problem is that they have failed to understand that a) McGee is fictional. b) Computers are not separate from normal crime. Everything uses computers now. I think it's scary that they think it's acceptable to have investigators who aren't tech savvy, and to have investigative divisions without expert tech support.

    They would be better off having specialist mortgage fraud investigators, some of whom are experts in the computer problems mortgage fraud investigators face dedicated to the area, than expert geeks with only a hazy understanding of the specific problems of mortgage fraud being shared across multiple departments.

  • Mar 28th, 2011 @ 9:45am

    Re: The ROI was there.. (as Stephen)

    "According to their overly optimistic calculations, the ROI was there so they opened up the check book and started writing."

    It probably cost them 40 million to have an accountant write all the zeros...

  • Oct 15th, 2010 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Because...

    Law school is vocational - like engineering or medicine. They aren't easy, but the purpose is to produce Lawyers, Doctors and Engineers.

    The purpose of other academic disciplines is often more abstract - what career is a philosophy degree preparing you for?

  • Oct 15th, 2010 @ 2:55am

    Because... (as Steve)

    The problem is that self-plagiarising leads to being a bad academic.

    Lecturers at a good university aren't preparing you to be a . They're teaching you skills that will make you a good academic in your field. Any real world competence gained is a side effect.

    Self plagiarising is bad for many reasons. Consider a freelance journalist who breaks a story in the NY Times. They get recognition for producing it. Great. Then they break exactly the same story - not a follow up piece, literally the same thing - 6 weeks later in the Wall Street journal (for some reason, the editors haven't been reading each other's papers). Then they do it again elsewhere...

    Is this a good journalist? Well, they clearly wrote a good story originally. They did find a good market for it, something they could make a profit from repeatedly. But, like a comic who steals jokes, they aren't really adding anything new to the conversation.

    Apart from the loss of reputation they should suffer for this, it's an unnecessary waste of reviewers' time, and placing strain on an already overworked peer review system.

    Publishing a follow up piece is fine, but passing the same work off over and over again is just a lazy way to boost your publication count, and not something any good academic would respect.

    When you discuss the functional benefits of repeating paperwork and discussing self plagiarism like we are living in the real world, instead of in a university, you are missing the point of the university.

    I used to think that self-plagiarism was fine. Learning why it wasn't was an important step in becoming a good academic.

    The idea of making revisions and updates makes sense, but blatant copying of previous work is academically dishonest. Real world be damned - this is the realm of the ivory tower, and here we set rules for our benefit.

    Of course, conceding that we were talking about the real world, you have only your own reputation to consider, and in some, maybe even many, cases it makes sense. But we're at uni - at least try to understand the logic behind it before you criticise it.

  • Jan 28th, 2010 @ 3:27am

    (untitled comment) (as Steve)

    The way funding for industry tends to work where I am from, the companies being funded are expected to match the government funds in some way (except universities, who do publish). That means that 1mill government funding costs the company 1mill for a total project funding of 2mill. This means that this research would be better described as government subsidised.

    I'm not sure if that's how it works in the US, but if it is, then asking the companies to release this stuff would be asking them to give away their investment. The only way you could ask for full release is if the government funds the work completely.

    Of course, you could ask to recoup seed funding out of proceeds, or whatever. I suppose you would do that out of tax on the company, eventually.

    I figure you can make good arguments for either side of this.

  • Jan 15th, 2010 @ 3:33am

    (untitled comment) (as pedant)

    It's hard to comprehend who could be against the idea that federally-funded research (i.e., research funded by your tax dollars) ***should*** become available to the very public who paid for it.

  • Nov 11th, 2009 @ 2:44am

    The suprising thing (as Steve)

    This isn't the kind of thing that New Zealanders usually do. Normally, we'd just laugh it off. Or send a letter to the editor.

    When I read your article, I couldn't believe it. When I read the original article, though, it said that they hired a New York PR guy to do it. That makes so much more sense. We recognise our limitiations in the area of being complete bastards, and hire an expert in the field.

  • Jul 21st, 2009 @ 10:59am

    (untitled comment) (as Steve)

    This is just the fallacy of the excluded middle. Knowing stuff is important in team work.

    Jargon
    Basic facts
    Basic methods

    These are the tools of teamwork, required by all members of the team. If you lack the ability to reference basic concepts without a dictionary, things become much less effective. I've never seen high school courses or even many university courses that go past this level.

  • Apr 29th, 2009 @ 5:05am

    It's that they can't compete (as Steve)

    The concern is not that there'll be nothing on TV, it's that there'll be nothing BRITISH on TV. There's a big difference there. This is more like farm subsidies in the US.

    I don't really agree with farm subsidies, but I didn't say I agreed with this either.

    The key point is that TV programming has a huge impact on the nature of society - kids get their role models from it, that kind of thing. If the Brits want their kids to grow up British, they need to be watching British television.

    The argument is that they provide an essential service, but can't compete effectively.

    Innit?

  • Feb 6th, 2009 @ 10:36am

    I was about to send you the link... (as Steve)

    Man, the intertubes work fast.

  • Feb 6th, 2009 @ 3:33am

    Irony! (as Steve)

    Have you looked at the title of the article they use as an example?

    My boss is very excited by this - we will definitely be looking at this.

  • Jan 30th, 2009 @ 6:00am

    Actually, it's worse (as Steve)

    This isn't the same party - there was an election, and this is actually NZ's equivalent of the republicans refusing to repeal a democrat law (I should point out that NZ republicans make US democrats look like right wing extremists).

  • Nov 6th, 2008 @ 2:40am

    Fair use and photocopying (as Steve)

    I just looked up US fair use doctrine -
    The most important thing here appears to be the effect on the work's value. Since I haven't seen (but always intended to see) little shop of horrors, I am now inclined to watch it before I look at the ending.

    If anything, this increases the value, so I don't see a problem there.

    In NZ, where I'm from, you're allowed to photocopy any book that is out of print. If you can't buy it, it's their fault.

  • Oct 10th, 2008 @ 2:12am

    Not just a souvenir (as Steve)

    I buy technical books for work all the time. I Like them because I can read them more comfortably, refer to them without having to tab between windows while working, and - if I get the ebook bundled with it - copy paste when I need to plagarize a report :)

    I know I could just print out an ebook, but that is so rarely worth the effort - the difference between the printed and the bound version is usually worth the cost.

  • Aug 13th, 2008 @ 8:16am

    Simple? (as Steve)

    I'm not so sure it's simple to count votes. I'm not from the US, but it seems that you guys have twenty or thirty different resolutions on the voting form, along with the actual vote you're interested in. If you have to contend with simultaneous elections at the county, state and national level it would get harder.

    With differing rules according to locality - remember how Florida disqualifies some felons, Texas executes you if you press two boxes, whatever - I'm sure the complexity would increase.

    The excuses here are very limited - I mean, it would be possible to just make different systems for each state, with a common interface to allow national tabulation.

    But I've learned from my time as a software engineer that nothing involving politicians is simple.