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Comment What type of site do you want to be, Slashdot? (Score 0) 410

This is a meta-comment. Any hospital bombing is horrible, much more so if they are intentional or due to incompetence - though I do not understand why it should matter whether you donated money to charities involved or not (why on earth did you keep that part in the story). That is not what this comment is about.

Slashdot used to be news for nerds, stuff that matters. I just clicked About and read through the FAQ, without seeing any sort of statement about what is the purpose of Slashdot, and what it currently aims to be. It seems to be a place where you can submit "stories". So what type of site do you aim to be, Slashdot? Because this particular type of news I get in almost any other online news channel, with opportunities to discuss and comment. Yes, it is horrible. I don't want to read about it on Slashdot also.

The more you try to be like any other site out there, the worse this site gets. You might get a few more clicks today, but in the end you are ruining what used to make this site good.

Comment Short summary (Score 1) 684

"I don't want to go there myself and I think Mars is stupid, so noone else should go there either."

We got like 8 billion people on this planet. If a couple dozen want to go to Mars on a one-way ticket one some project that is not a hoax and/or publicity stunt, and a couple of the 0.01% want to fund it (and generate lots of valuable technology and research), then let them go. People take major risks all the time in e.g. extreme sports. I did not read about any outcry the first time someone designed, put on and tested a flying suit and jumped off a cliff. If that didn't work, he would be just as dead as if something happened to him on Mars. Just because you personally don't accept the risk (and neither would I), doesn't mean someone else should not get the opportunity.

I like to think that we should get some people "out there" on perhaps first the moon and later Mars, because it would be an achievement in and of itself, we would learn lots from it and get great progression in various technologies, and it is a way to give humanity a better chance in the face of various potential extinction events. Eventually we'll have to leave the solar system anyways before the sun blows up.

Yes, an extinction event may seem like paranoia and something not very plausible, because humanity has never experienced one. Neither had the dinosaurs. Here is a hint - you never get to experience more than one extinction events, and predicting the next one based on the previous ones, makes very little sense. And the dinosaurs probably did not have the ability to engineer such events, nor had individuals whose personal desire is that everyone in the world should meet their maker.

Comment Is this really what those articles are saying? (Score 1) 696

Browsing the articles, it is not entirely clear what numbers are changing. Is this post really about "as more people use bikes, more people have accidents and die on bikes"? If so ... well, duh ... that is to be expected. If more inexperienced bikers are suddenly on the road, well ... then a higher accident rate among that group is also to be expected. Not sure where the news is here.

I remember reading some articles about how the push for wearing helmets on bikes, actually reduces overall health benefits as fewer people choose to do biking because they do not like the helmet - as on average the health benefits of physical exercise will outweigh the few additional injuries and fatalities, even without helmets. Just saying. Don't remember the source, this was a while ago.

In my country biking has gained popularity, and it is really a pain how some small winding roads get cluttered with cyclists during summer - even worse if you encounter a "train" of 20-30 cyclists which is impossible to pass. I hate the "everyone has equal rights to the road" argument, and how politicians keep always catering to cyclists. Roads are a shared resource, and I would say that getting cars where they need to go, should be the main priority. The one biker's supposed right to do whetever he wants wherever he wants, should be balanced against the need of the people in the seven cars behind him to get where they are going on time, and not having to add 10 minutes buffer.

Listening to radio today some local politicians were proposing that bikers should get a general right of way in order to reduce biking accidents. Yes, because that should really reduce accidents and friction in traffic, drivers suddenly now having to pay attention both left and right, reverting a habit which has been ingrained for 10s of years.

Comment Re:Don't overthink it (Score 3, Insightful) 174

This. Do not overinvest. I purchased USD 4k worth of equipment, which a year later sat mostly in its bag. Rarely bothering to bring it anywhere because who wants an extra bag in addition to all the other baby stuff you are bringing along. I would still have gotten some less expensive but still decent gear, for taking the occasional "extra nice" photo. Not being a pro, the idea of having a great camera around when there is that opportunity for a great show which comes along - in my experience, if you need a minute to get it and set it up, that opportunity is gone - the child is now focused on something completely different. Get a phone with a good camera, and keep it around.

Don't take tons and tons of pictures, try to take a few good ones, immediately after taking shots delete the ones which do not cut it on the camera, and do some additional filtering afterwards. As I read in an interview with a well known photographer, he thought normal family pictures were on average better with the pre-digital technology, because pictures were expensive, film was limited, and so you had to make more of an effort to compose and time a shot. Now people seem to instead want to take 15 pictures and hope that one of them is good, perhaps without thinking too much about composition. Which generates loads of mediocre pictures. By filling up the harddrive with stuff, the value of the individual pictures are diminished. After the 1 year birthday party, a relative gave us 500 pictures they took with their camera. Seriously, there is nothing going on in a 1 year birthday party which takes 500 pictures to document, unless the parents last names are Kardashian and West.

Storage on the other hand ... make sure you have multiple copies in different physical locations, and not only that cloud stuff which can go belly up completely outside your control. And make sure there is some incremental technology involved so that some older copies cannot be messed up by some kind of failure, virus or whatever. It does no good to rsync with deletion over your previous backup, just to discover the source folder has been emptied by mistake.

So don't overinvest in gear, take only a limited set of pictures of actual value, and overinvest in keeping those safe.

And even more important - make sure to store copies in your analog computer. Yes, experience the moment and save a picture in your brain, which will still be there when you lose all your harddrives. Seriously - I was in the Louvre watching a Japanese tourist enter the room, going up to the painting of Mona Lisa, and leaving again - never once raising his eyes above the display of his video camera. He went to France perhaps the only time in his lifetime, and did not bother to actually look at the world's most famous painting. If things get hectic, forget the camera and use the two lenses next to your nose.

Comment Re:Perhaps if they sold to the US... (Score 2) 44

I am guessing from your comment that you are based in the US. Welcome to the same experience many of us we have in the rest of the world. E.g. only a limited selection on Netflix, lots of products get released later than in the US, or you go shopping on Amazon and during checkout you are told that some of the items are not shipped to your country.

That being said, there are valid reasons for delaying or avoiding roll-out to some regions. There may be regulations or legal risks which makes the market unattractive, where e.g. US patent trolling could come into play. There are country or market specific requirements or certifications, with agreements, documentation, business support systems, etc which need to be set up to go with that - per each individual market or set of requirements.

With US normally being the first market targeted (huge market, single set of requirements), my guess would be a decision not to go there would have to do with patents or legal risks, not wanting to be pwned by one of the big players.

Comment Easy ... use watch+gestures for authentication (Score 1) 124

Would be fun to observe people waving their hands in complex patterns detected by a built-in watch motion sensor to unlock things. The watch could even play a little tune to help synchronize arm movement to a beat. It would be easy to steel people's password though, if you got a good sense of rhythm and dance. Ok, this was meant as a bit of a joke. But the fun thing is we would probably get used to it, just like we got used to people talking to themselves on the street.

On a somewhat more serious note, authentication should in theory not be too hard. People could have e.g. electronic watches, which could be authenticated by some secure means - e.g. a fingerprint scanner on the back side plus enter a code in some way. Or it could be coupled with a mobile phone so that you use your cell phone to authenticate with the watch. The wristbands could have some type of wiring and/or sensors which informs the watch it is still on the wrist (plus pulse sensors to detect owner is alive and defend against the good old movie plot chop-off-the-arm attack), so no need to re-authenticate as long as the watch is not physically removed. The watch or some other gadget could be used to authenticate with other things.

The main problem I would see is some decent secure open standards for authenticating with "things". There will probably be a bunch of walled gardens which force you to choose between various closed ecosystems.

Comment Be polite and respectful (Score 1) 479

You deal with the service reps just like any other service. This is not the time to show off and demonstrate your ultimate knowledge. You can say anything about how you checked your router or whatever, in a nice way. The worst way to get someone's help is stating or implying they are imbeciles. Better to treat them with respect.

Keep in mind, those reps are following some scripts, and have certain rules and guidelines they need to follow - even the tech savvy ones. You are not just dealing with a rep, you are essentially dealing with an entire company. If their procedures are bad, blame the company and not the rep - and your way to protest is to switch provider.

Plus, IT nerds may not always be so superior and better-knowing that we some times would like to think. I have had my share of ISP problems for a wireless technology, and every single time "have you booted your antenna" is part of the conversation. Eventually I stopped bothering and started replying that "no, and that was never the solution when I had problems in the past, so there must be a problem with the ISP side of the network". Until a couple months back when that was exactly what magically fixed the problem.

Make sure to get something written in a support request by email or some ticketing system, so you have a log which you can point to later when the process drags on, so you can show when you first reported the problem, what solutions have already been tested, and how the problem persists - updating the ticket yourself if none of the reps does it. This makes it easier to have later conversations, up to the point where you demand money back. This then becomes your proof, rather than just vaguely referring to various phone calls - and is what eventually may get you through the various layers of people and processes designed to prevent you from talking to someone who is actually in charge of things.

Comment Re:WWDC Means... (Score 1) 415

In the global connected world, in order to survive information overload one needs some layers of filtering to protect the brain from all the noise. I probably did not know it because I never cared - maybe not even a conscious choice, the OS just chose to ignore it for me without ever notifying higher executive functions. The only reason I will remember it going forward, is due to this thread which from my end relates to how it is a bad acronym and how it is not really something worth remembering.

Well, your post was rather insulting which you are very much aware of having been so clever about how you are calling me retarded, so I should probably write something nasty back here, but hey - someone needs to be the one to stop it, so I will be the bigger man. Congratulations on your acronym remembering abilities.

Comment Re:WWDC Means... (Score 2) 415

I did not know, and it is interesting how the brain works hard to fill in the blanks - and after reading only the title, there is really no context at all except there is some kind of 2015 event, so the brain does not have much to work with. The first association was "World War something something". The next one was something related to wrestling or martial arts. Then there is World Wildlife something. All options are immediately discarded because this is Slashdot. Then you start skimming the article and realize it is an Apple event, and you wonder why on earth is there not an A somewhere in the acronym - or why could they not have added an "Apple" in the article headline.

Comment Re:No theory can be fully empirically verified (Score 1) 364

I believe we are not in disagreement :-) I am no fan (quite the opposite) of pseudo-science consisting of layers upon layers of assumptions and theories that have not been empirically tested, where simplicity and beauty of theories becomes a sort of "proof". And I think the scientific method is far better than the alternative, and seems to have a lot going for it - it has brought us technological progress and improvements to human life.

I do however find that many scientists tend to get on a high horse regarding what are established facts, when the scientific method basically dictates you cannot really prove anything. At the same time human psychology is not good at making rational conclusions - our intuition is too quick to establish causality. The idea of how science is objective, and the way it is performed by people, is not necessarily the same. Add into the mix the politics, corruption, hidden agendas etc. of portions of the scientific community, including e.g. generating false data which is known to happen on a (too) large scale (at least in some disciplines), then suddenly science does not look so great anymore.

The concept of the scientific method is great. Just like more or less anything involving people, we have not yet figured out the best way to go about it, so we settle with something which is known to be flawed.

Comment Hire more managers + grow up (Score 1) 146

If managers are going to do the work developers dislike, each team will need more managers. Also, hire senior managers to do the work that the managers dislike.

Some primadonna developers need to learn what it is to be a grown up in a grown up persons job. It is not the end of the world if once in a while you need to e.g. fill in a timesheet, create a presentation for a meeting, get your hands dirty setting up some infrastructure, or work on a feature you personally find unimportant. The rest of us also don't get to only do fun stuff we want.

Comment No theory can be fully empirically verified (Score 1) 364

Even generally accepted theories have not really been fully verified. Has the gravitational constant and the speed of light been measured everywhere in the universe by scientitsts? No. Have we measured that it actually remains constant along the full timeline of the universe? No. For all we know, gravitational force might reverse direction tomorrow, due to some unknown mechanism we are not aware of - because we have had no opportunity to observe it (yet).

There is no reason to believe that physical laws have to only be related to things that can be directly observed. A theory which involves higher dimensions may very well be the right one. The litmus test is whether it explains all the causes and effects that we are actually able to observe - and then one can turn to studies on what class of alternative theories may exist that would yield the same observable results.

Comment Re:This works 100% (Score 1) 260

I agree, and as I basically wrote in another post, I am not making my comment because I have a problem with this myself. I have been at my BMI for years since I made it a priority, largely by doing what you write.

My point is, "anyone" is not necessarily able to do this. Yes, you could say they should be - because I can and from what you are writing I am guessing you can - but then we are projecting our own experience onto others, who have a different physiology and different experiences. E.g. someone who knows perfectly well they are going to regret eating that big piece of chocolate, but cannot stop themselves because they had a tough day and need a break.

If simply "just listen to satiety cues" was the answer, then how come there are so many people with obesity issues. You have the right solution, but it is not the right solution if it does not solve the problem. It needs to be wrapped in some dieting framework that most people are actually able to go through with.

Comment Re:This works 100% (Score 1) 260

I am not saying it is not possible. I actually know for a fact it is possible, as I am one of those people who have the self control to do it. I went through a half year diet on an Atkins variation eating two eggs for breakfast, half a chicken for lunch, and a piece of meat with a little broccoli and mushroom for dinner - every - single - day. And nothing else, except water. Plus I have later kept my weight by being somewhat conscious of weekly food intake.

Having done that, I have also had countless conversations with people telling me they could never control their diet that way, and how they do not have the willpower to cut back. There is no need for hard statistics to back up my claim, it is common knowledge. Just look at how many people are failing at going through with their diets, and how many of those who succeed have a relapse back to their previous weight. Plus listen to how most people talk about dieting. Plus why are people turning to all sorts of miracle cures, instead of your simple (and correct) solution.

Plus it is not only about willpower, as I seem to remember that there have been various writing in newspapers over recent years about how there are physiological differences contributing to how we cope with hunger and food intake. So what comes easy for some of us, is probably quite hard for others.

So I am with you on calory intake (vs physical activity but calory intake is just that much more efficient) being the (basically only short of surgery) way to reduce weight. I'm just saying that this observation or advice does not help all those people who are unable to follow through on this as a dieting regime. They need some other system or framework, rather than "just eat less".

Machines take me by surprise with great frequency. - Alan Turing