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Comment: Re:Dumb stuff (Score 1) 598

by Sloppy (#49600873) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

I'm not saying whether it's a good idea or a bad one, but isn't the fact that it's a defacto standard, sort of the objectors' point? Yes, you're right: it's a long-established tradition, with deep roots going back to when the computer room was a total sausagefest. I can't playfully slap the secretary's ass and then get off the hook by saying, "oh c'mon, we dudes have been doing that forever! It's always been like that. Quit trying to change our culture."

Changing the culture is an explicit part of a lot of peoples' agenda, because nobody really likes the damn computer room sausagefest (we just don't know what to do about it, which is why I really have no idea whether or not the picture is really a problem).

Comment: Inventions vs. Engineering (Score 1) 60

I heard the acute problem aptly summarized recently: "Patents are supposed to cover inventions, but what they're being issued for is mere engineering."

This is a better metric than the "obviousness test" - what is the essential and genius inspiration that led to a the idea of putting a delivery message in a SMS message? There is none - no patent.

I realize the entire system has evolved into one giant mechanism to enrich entrenched corporate interests, but it's still a good insight into how maybe the system could have been designed less-wrong from the beginning.

Comment: Re:39/100 is the new passing grade. (Score 1) 173

Is there a valid reason we accept studies that have not been reproduced at least one more time to truly vet them before the community?

The point of papers [in real science] is to say, "we did this, here's what we found". It's not to announce a beacon of new Revealed Truth. That's largely the fault of science "reporters" looking to sell advertising space.

The papers are themselves the invitations to replicate.

The problem is the government science-funding model is largely based on fame and popularity, and doing replication studies is felt to be beneath most researchers except for the most extraordinary of claims, or those that threaten the Orthodoxy.

None of these problems will go away until the incentives of the funding model change. To assume anything else would be economically ignorant.

Comment: Finance::Bank (Score 1) 72

by bill_mcgonigle (#49594417) Attached to: How an Open Standard API Could Revolutionize Banking

Other posters have already demolished the idea that banks will do this voluntarily or by edict.

The engineering approach is to not involve them. The Finance::Bank collection is the closest you're going to find to a workable solution.

Anybody who has money to spend on a government "solution" should send it to these developers instead.

Comment: Re:Try again... 4? (Score 1) 224

by bill_mcgonigle (#49594319) Attached to: Grooveshark Shuts Down

Think about it. You may love the open source movement, but how would you like it if you wrote software at your day job for a salary...and then one day the government said "Hey, we decided that all software is free now. So you can't charge for it, even if you worked hard to make it and invested tons of money in the software-making process."

That's a nonsense argument. Absent monopoly grants, software goes to the person who paid for it, and they have the choice of whether to release it or not.

It's when it's released to the public, do you have Men With Guns threaten the People for making copies of that software or not? That is the ethical question. Do predictions of purported benefit from social-engineering justify threats of murder?

You, or at least anyone reading this who fits this profile, should think carefully about the foundation of your own ethics.

*Yours* is based on threats of violence for duplication (not stealing) of information. It abolishes a portion of _real_ property rights for imaginary ones, when there is no demonstrable harm other than a postulate of diminution of earning potential.

The reduced argument is "murder for profit".

Comment: Re:Choice, not force. (Score 0) 317

by bill_mcgonigle (#49594205) Attached to: Mozilla Begins To Move Towards HTTPS-Only Web

I doubt it. Their vision for the future is sound, but they're not strongly connected to the reality of maintaining a good browser for the present at the same time. Mostly chest-beating rather than doing the hard work required.

Mozilla has gotten brazen lately about forcing questionable changes on users

Right. I have to manage $1200 PDU's that use SSLv3, so to use Firefox I had to re-enable SSLv3 for all sites. That's the only choice Mozilla felt like giving users. That's not bold, it's lazy and worsens overall security for the Internet.

If they think I'm going to get $30K to replace working gear "because Firefox" they're delusional.

Comment: Re:Show me the math on the Tesla. (Score 1) 279

by bill_mcgonigle (#49588731) Attached to: New Study Suggests Flying Is Greener Than Driving

and don't forget that most wealth is generated by engaging in activities with energy requirements.

That Tesla 80D Insane Edition that I want takes $115K worth of economic profit to acquire, which in most industries requires 5-20x as much revenue. So over a million dollars worth of economic activity on average to just get that Tesla before you can drive it. Is that greener than a Fiesta?

"Life, loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it." -- Marvin the paranoid android

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