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Comment: Don't do what they did to math (Score 1) 123

Every bloody math book blah blahs about the great figures of math and I am sure that I have heard about the story of Gauss summing 1 to 100 in grade school 5050 times. I have pretty much zero interest who figured out the for loop, and pretty much zero interest in holding Knuth as some kind of Euler and forcing generations of programmers to learn even how to pronounce his name. Much of computer science happened because it was ready to happen.

Even in science many people were just doing the right work in the right area at the right time in history; while others truly made massive leaps such as Maxwell. It is just stupid to waste a single brain cell to learn who discovered Argon simply because he was a scientist at the time that everyone was in a race to fill in all the elements on the periodic table.

I have long thought that this historical crap was taught as a combination of a desire for immortality combined with pandering to the stupid who can learn history more easily than the paradigm in question.

It would be like naming the 100 meter dash the Miller-Crombit run because Miller-Crombit were tied in the first 100 meter dash held in the Olympics.

Comment: Re:Any good MBA would do this. (Score 1) 83

by EmperorOfCanada (#48672513) Attached to: Comcast-TWC Merger Review On Hold
Sadly you are very correct. The wonderful thing is that eventually reality bites their heads off. They distort reality so that things look bright so they can give each other bonuses, raises, and as the organization fails, retention bonuses. But other groups, forces, or intelligent people will recognize that the market has become so distorted that it actually creates a massive opportunity. Often the old will actively fight the new causing the new to be nimble and quickly culling the weakest of the new until only super predators remain who then destroy the old guard like a lion hunting a tuna thrown onto the Serengeti.

Usually the last gasps of the old are things like using regulations to protect themselves but again this just makes the competition that much more brutal when it figures out a way around them.

A great example of this was when the people who had the early transatlantic communication cables charged absurd amount of money per letter basically ended up driving the development of wireless communications. Then when wireless was invented and maturing to the point where it could compete they immediately turned to a combination of patents and laws to try and stop wireless. But basically their fat cat days came to a nearly instantaneous end. It wasn't even that wireless could handle the bandwidth and eliminate cable but that it was a source of competition that they could not control.

The other key was that they extracted agreements from most North Atlantic countries that they would be granted a monopoly as a trade for investing so much money to lay the cables. So they thought they had the competition locked out.

Comment: Re:Scapegoats and BS (Score 1) 83

by EmperorOfCanada (#48672487) Attached to: Comcast-TWC Merger Review On Hold
A well typed argument devoid of logic and fact. Thank you for proving my point. You go through a "Getting to Yes" playbook of straw man arguments, baseless supposition, and wishful thinking being assumed to be reality.

Now go back to twisting whatever company you work for into knots pursuing metrics that exist wholly to create reports that you can massage into powerpoints that you have to fly to HQ to present to your fellow MBAs denying that your MBA free competition is eating your lunch.

Merry Christmas.

Comment: Any good MBA would do this. (Score 5, Interesting) 83

by EmperorOfCanada (#48664567) Attached to: Comcast-TWC Merger Review On Hold
One of the things that they teach at MBA school is that long badgering documents can make up for things like facts and logical arguments. If you look at the documentation in MBA paradises such as military procurement it easily runs into millions of pages for even the simplest of military kit. Often these pages are generated from much more compact groupings of facts which then helps to obscure the reality that these projects are usually total BS. For a simple comparison someone who needs to get to the point where they have completed a doctorate in physics might have used portions of textbooks that totalled in the 100,000 page range. So short of records that simply were an endless list of telephone calls or some such that level of documentation is almost certain to be designed to overwhelm not illuminate.

When a company feels that they must stoop to such measures so as to bamboozle people like this they have made it clear that what they are doing is very very bad, legally, morally, ethically, and not acting in the public interest. This last bit is critical in that we allow them to use public goods such as the airways which are a limited good. I am sure that other companies could be found that would serve the public interest in a cleaner way. Simply put these companies should lose access to these public goods.

Comment: Re:A pilot checking in here (Score 1) 114

by EmperorOfCanada (#48650159) Attached to: Finland Announces an Anti-Laser Campaign For Air Traffic
You must be an puritanical American who has been brainwashed that all sinners need to be punished old testament style. How about thinking with your brain for once and asking, which is better for society: To take some dimwit and throw him into the justice system which will chew him up and destroy whatever small(especially in America) chance he had for even a crummy life, or to educate him into being a better citizen and send him on his way?

And before you even spend one keystroke defending America, 70% of Americans approve of the recent torture that was revealed. So my suggestion to you is to stop listening to your American Echo chamber and regurgitating the rhetoric that either the left or the right have told you to regurgitate.

I live in Canada and feel sick every time our present government adopts another American flavoured policy and it makes me sick when normally genuinely free countries do the same.

And your grandmother wears army boots!

Comment: Re:A gun nut checking in here (Score 1) 114

by EmperorOfCanada (#48649167) Attached to: Finland Announces an Anti-Laser Campaign For Air Traffic
I would have thought that your analogy would have required an extra special level of dimwit except:


and then there is this nincompoopery:


But my thing is that I like to shoot a laser across say a body of water at the storage building miles away which presuming some common sense results in zero harm. But few would debate the harm in shooting up at an airplane. The key being that a few would debate the harm; a few dimwits. But assuming no harm few would debate that hitting things with a laser is fun as many would think that hitting things with a 50 cal would be fun too. Just clearly more dangerous.

Comment: Re:Marketing?... NOT! (Score 1) 239

by EmperorOfCanada (#48648557) Attached to: Anonymous Claims They Will Release "The Interview" Themselves
Actually I think that box office statistics would show that it would be likely for someone in his income range and ethnicity to have seen most if not all of those movies. And highly unlikely that a white person in the same pay range would have seen even half of them. And almost no people of other ethnicities would have seen any of them.

So oddly enough people in their business would have about a solid a grasp of the movie viewing demographics of any people alive. While it may have been meant as a racist remark it may be that the would have equally speculated that George Bush liked Top Gun and Ghost.

Comment: A pilot checking in here (Score 4, Insightful) 114

by EmperorOfCanada (#48648537) Attached to: Finland Announces an Anti-Laser Campaign For Air Traffic
I am not condoning this behaviour, and as a pilot would be royally pissed (if I wasn't dead) if someone did this while I was flying. But I recently got a bright green laser and love to see just how far I can shoot the beam to hit things. Basically if it is a clear moonless night I can pretty much hit a target out to the horizon. But if I were a bit of a dimwit I could clearly see the temptation to try and hit airplanes in that it would be cool to hit something moving and at that height.

So while punishing people who do this I certainly hope they take into consideration that most people doing this would not be criminal terrorists so much as criminally stupid. Thus the proper punishment most of the time should be to scare the crap out of them and then ban them from owning a laser pointer for a decade or two. Keep in mind that the goal will be to prevent the dimwits from doing it again; it is generally quite hard to prevent them from being dimwitted and thus identifying the occasional dimwit and training him will be far more effective than trying to somehow reach the dimwits and convince them from doing it trough draconian laws which will largely serve to make the dimwit's lives far worse than they already probably are.

For instance when flying the reports are that the lasers often are coming from trailer parks vs the nice end of town.

Comment: Re:Ha hee hee ha ha ha (Score 1) 281

You are probably right that the SEO types would eventually game the system. But if it were way better than google for even a year then google could lose out big time. But my long term prediction is that the best search engines will end up being highly curated. Nothing beats going into a library to look for a book and they introduce you to a local guy researching to write that very book's replacement. It blows an automated card catalogue out of the water. But in that example it is not that the automated cart catalogue is bad but that the two together are very powerful.

At a glance I can tell if a site is aggregated or original with few errors (I did find a recent site on lasers that looks about as domain squatting as is possible but wasn't).

Comment: Re:Ha hee hee ha ha ha (Score 2) 281

I am thinking of a whole new algorithm; just like Google did to lycos, yahoo, altavista, etc. Basically with those search engines you looked up gravel and got porn, looked up bird watching and got porn, looked up pictures of cute pandas and got porn. Then suddenly google came along and you would search gravel and get gravel. Now with google you search gravel and get a wiki page on gravel (which any idiot could build) and then you get things like yellow pages and other aggregate sales sites; basically SEO porn.

But most importantly if I search a very specific search for things like local pizza places I am unlikely to find their poorly SEO'd sites while aggregators will dominate for page after page.

So it I don't see someone beating google by a slightly better system but an aha system that is fundamentally different and completely blows aggregators out of the equation.

Comment: Ha hee hee ha ha ha (Score 3, Insightful) 281

And then they are one court order away from being unlocked.

Seeing that it turns out that nobody's tinfoil hat was big enough, I am going to make a prediction. It will turn out that Google was sharing data with the NSA as part of a deal where the NSA would share software patent data from potential foreign competitors with google so that google could keep the market on just about anything it wanted.

I wonder how many foreign companies went to file a patent only to find that an American company that was friends with the NSA had filed the patent days before? Siemens filing patents only find that GE had done so the day before?

The NSA would only have had to monitor a very few IP lawyers' offices to vacuum up a huge number of patents. This would then give the NSA something that they could afford with which to trade and it would "Protect" US commercial interests; as it would be a complete disaster for the next facebook or Google to be in a country that isn't friendly with the NSA.

Even within the US I suspect that it would be easier to not have to negotiate a new data access deal with even domestic companies so why not hand their patents over as well.

Think of it this way. If a company were to come up with a better search algorithm (one that didn't always bring up yellow page directories for every damn search, or spammy product sales sites) and I said you should try boobla.com (I made that up) as a search engine and you tried it and it was so much better, would you ever use google search again? How fast would you tell all your friends about boobla? Thus how long before google was seeing 40% month on month drops in search traffic? Unlike companies like Ford where a better car coming along doesn't get you to dump your ford and immediately buy the better car google can see the rug swept out from under them. If they lost search then all their other services combined would not be able to prop up the company. Plus there is no reason that boobla.com can't be Chinese, Korean, Icelandic, German, or Tanzanian?

Comment: I hated Sync soooo much (Score 1) 233

by EmperorOfCanada (#48587495) Attached to: Ford Ditches Microsoft Partnership On Sync, Goes With QNX
I rented a car with Sync and it then wanted to tie the phone into 911; I declined. But then every time I started the car this grating woman's voice would come on and tell me that the emergency connection wasn't active. That plus a general late 90s interface told me two things. Microsoft is just coasting and that Ford is run by morons. After sticking with Sync for all these years yet finally dumping it Ford must have at least one halfway witted human there but it also tells me that Microsoft is becoming less relevant than ever.

Adobe switched to a subscription model and is making a fortune. Microsoft is switching to a subscription model and is about to find out that people used Windows because they couldn't bother to find anything better. With a subscription model trying to reach into everyone's pockets MS is about to find out that by giving people an incentive to dump Windows that windows will be dumped in record numbers.

What I love are the grand statements that MS puts out with every new product. I recall MS asskissing commentators breathlessly saying that the new Windows phones were going to have 30% market share by the end of 2015. Let me see, what is the MS mobile market share right now after all those billions in marketing..... oh look it is 2.5 percent after having dropped 20% year on year.

As for Ford being morons, lets see they jumped from a sinking ship with 2% market share to one with 0%. Good job, everyone's a winner.

Comment: Re:bullshit (Score 1) 280

by EmperorOfCanada (#48566367) Attached to: Utilities Face Billions In Losses From Distributed Renewables
This depends upon the range. For instance quite a bit of New York City's Electricity comes from Churchill Falls which is in the far north of Atlantic Canada. Far far far north. So it is a bit higher. I am amazed that more energy than a 9 volt battery shows up at the NYC end.

One of the other factors that encourage people to go off grid is that they are no longer reliant upon a complicated and vulnerable grid. Thus as batteries + solar come into the economic range of grid power the next giant blackout will spur many people to make the switch when they see a few neighbours here and there with the lights on and the cold beer flowing.

I doubt that the power companies will all collapse in an overnight homedepot run for home solar systems but that their monopoly of providing electricity to people's homes/businesses will slowly be eroded one panel at a time. The real key will be when people can afford to have enough reliable batteries to go off grid. Right now that is a finicky expensive nightmare but it is getting better. Plus with more and more people installing LED lighting + far more efficient appliances the graph of usage vs generation ability are converging. Also when enough people start to go off grid a whole host of mainstream appliances will be for sale that do things to accommodate a battery/solar power system.

I was reading about a local factory that went fully solar and basically got hate mail from the local utility where the utility was accusing the company of encouraging the utility to build out its infrastructure to accommodate their needs and then going solar/wind. The company responded by publishing the hate mail and two power bills; one from 2006 and one from 2013. Their 2013 bill was about 40% larger. They also claimed that the payback was going to be under 10 years and potentially under 5 if power rates went up at the same speed. The company said that they would have then eliminated one of their biggest expenses. As I pointed out power rates in this area are about the highest in North America.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming