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Comment: Re:Just stick to the mantra (Score 1) 78

by Grishnakh (#49772239) Attached to: No, Your SSD Won't Quickly Lose Data While Powered Down

Oh please. The main reasons for backups (esp. for individuals) are 1) user error, and 2) hardware failure, not acts of god. An on-site NAS protects against those just fine. It protects against viruses too, since the virus isn't going to easily affect the NAS box (though even better is to simply not run Windows).

Theft? How many people have had thieves run around their house looking for NAS boxes? What kind of thieves even bother to steal electronics these days anyway? They aren't worth enough on the used market to bother with.

Comment: Re:Just stick to the mantra (Score 0) 78

by Grishnakh (#49772043) Attached to: No, Your SSD Won't Quickly Lose Data While Powered Down

What are you talking about? That's a bunch of crap. A USB hard drive is nothing more than a standard laptop hard drive in a special box with a SATA-to-USB interface board. If what you said was true, then laptop hard drives would be failing left and right; instead, they have generally excellent lifetimes, just like desktop hard drives. And USB hard drives actually do better since they're unpowered most of the time.

Comment: Re:And I'm the feminist deity (Score 1) 231

India has Bollywood, yes, but Indians seem to have a much more realistic grasp of what career paths are actually feasible and which aren't. Of course, there's also a huge number of middle-class (for India) Indians, since their population is enormous. Finally, I've never heard of sports being a big thing in India. They have cricket of course, but I don't think it's like the sports-mania we have here in the US.

China, having an authoritarian government, probably does things to strongly discourage too many people from wasting their time on dead-end career paths like acting. Here in the US, it's easy to get student loans or even scholarships to go to college for theater. I knew a girl who did this not that long ago; she had a full-ride scholarship, and what did she blow it on? Theater. Did she get a job in theater? Nope; she moved towards make-up and costumes in her senior year thinking that would be a more realistic career path, graduated, and ended up working at a hotel in customer service. A complete waste of a degree. I wouldn't be surprised to find that China doesn't allow silliness like this with student loans or other public funding.

As for Africa, that's hard to say, because Africa has no industry at all to speak of. I can't imagine that software engineering has much prestige there because people probably can't think much beyond life in a mud hut. Even if you go to South Africa or one of the Arabic northern countries, there's not much industry there either, and not much employment for programmers.

Comment: Re:Why not just kill them all? (Score 1) 87

by Grishnakh (#49771747) Attached to: Sex-Switched Mosquitoes May Help In Fight Against Diseases

Bats eat mosquitoes, but they eat a lot of other bugs too. I doubt they'll miss the mosquitoes much, and other bugs will fill in that food source.

And you better hope you don't have to go back to black powder; that stuff sucks. Not only does it make a lot of smoke, it fouls up guns very quickly, so you have to constantly clean them (much more than with modern guns). It also has poor ballistic performance. Aside from that, there's more to cartridges than powder and bullets: you also need a primer. Reloaders today save money by loading their own cartridges, since the powder is cheap in bulk and lead is easy to cast (or you can buy those premade if you want), and it's easy with some simple hand tools to put this stuff into brass shells and press them together, but I've never heard of anyone making their own primers; they have to buy those pre-made.

Comment: Re:I call shenanigans... (Score 1) 231

If it was easy for the government to, on a whim, make highly popular companies with "irresistable tech", then the Soviets would have succeeded economically in a big way.

You can't create or plan for success like Google; it just happens. It is possible the NSA infiltrated them after-the-fact, but the idea that the NSA created Google is just ridiculous.

Comment: Re:what boys/girls want (Score 2) 231

little boys want a place to 'perform', while little girls want a place to 'relate'.

That's BS. The prevalence of girls/women in theater disproves it.

Also, coding on computers hardly counts as "performing". It's something that socially awkward boys like to do because computers are highly predictable and won't make fun of you. Boys who like to perform go into sports and theater, not computers. Girls go into cheerleading, sports, and theater; they too like to perform.

Comment: Re:And I'm the feminist deity (Score 1) 231

I think you're ignoring the aspect of social standing and prestige here. Plays are a big part of American culture at that age, and acting is a highly prestigious vocation in our society. A-list actors make huge amounts of money. It's the same with sports: school sports has a huge amount of prestige, and again leads to a highly respected and prestigious vocation with enormous pay. Women's sports has little to no prestige, but female actors like Julia Roberts are extremely well-paid, so while little boys pursue football, little girls (and some little boys) pursue theater.

Of course, these professions also have an enormous drop-out rate: for every superstar raking in big bucks, there's thousands upon thousands of others who end up waiting tables to make ends meet, and eventually drop out (and there's a bunch of B-listers who make OK pay but nothing spectacular). But every little kid in our society is taught to follow their dreams, no matter what the odds, because all our movies show stories of people who do just that and succeed, despite all the odds against them, and live happily in lavish lifestyles.

A robotics program isn't very attractive to kids because it doesn't lead to a career with lavish pay. No one is going to be a billionaire working as an engineer at some corporate job. So why should kids pursue it?

Some little boys pursue it: these are the boys who aren't cut out for sports or acting. They're generally introverted and not so social, and they're smart enough to realize that those career paths are foolhardy unless you really are super-talented. Those are the boys who go into coding or robotics programs. Little girls don't, because girls are more social than boys, and there's a social stigma attached to anything "nerdy" (even though everyone and his brother has a smartphone now, a direct product of nerds).

I'll bet if you tried an experiment in schools in India and China with kids being able to go into either a coding/robotics program or a school play production, you'd have vastly different results.

In summary, it's the culture, stupid!

Comment: Re:I thought Nix was only for lice!? (Score 1) 87

by Grishnakh (#49771205) Attached to: Sex-Switched Mosquitoes May Help In Fight Against Diseases

There is no reason anyone should be stuck with a sex arbitrarily chosen by nature. Everyone should be able to pick and choose whatever is best for them at any given moment in their life.

Um, there's a very good reason people should be, and are, stuck with the sex arbitrarily chosen for them by nature: we simply don't have the technology to change it. No, cosmetic surgery doesn't count, it's just a poor attempt at making someone appear to be the opposite sex. To actually change someone's sex, you'd have to figure out how to actually change their genes in all their cells, and then change their physical characteristics too. Maybe in the future we'll figure out how to do that with all this stem-cell research, and that would indeed be very cool, but not now. Until you can actually change someone enough that they can actually reproduce as a member of the opposite sex, and also exist as a member of that sex without needing hormone therapy, then it isn't real, it's just a facsimile.

I'm not saying people shouldn't be free to take advantage of current transsexual medical technology and techniques, and I do wish the situation were better for their sake, but let's not fool ourselves as to how effective it really is. It's a very, very rare transsexual who doesn't look like someone who got GRS, rather than just a normal member of that sex (and the ones who really do "pass" always seem to be Asian for some reason). You can mess around with hormones, reconstructive genital surgery, even facial surgery (to make the face look more masculine or feminine), but you still can't do stuff like change the shoulder-to-waist ratio, hand and foot sizes, etc. And this is also neglecting many other things, such as that men's and women's brains have different structures.

Comment: Re:Why not just kill them all? (Score 1) 87

by Grishnakh (#49771143) Attached to: Sex-Switched Mosquitoes May Help In Fight Against Diseases

Mosquitoes are parasites. They don't polinate anything. They just fly around and suck blood from hapless victims, human and animal. No one is going to miss them when they're gone, just like no one will miss roundworms.

Yes, for other insects, you're right: they may occupy an important part in the ecological chain. I've never seen any evidence that mosquitoes have any value at all.

Programming

Google's Diversity Chief: Mamas Don't Let Their Baby Girls Grow Up To Be Coders 231

Posted by samzenpus
from the starts-at-home dept.
theodp writes: Explaining the reasons for its less-than-diverse tech workforce, Google fingered bad parenting for its lack of women techies. From the interview with Google Director of Diversity and Inclusion Nancy Lee: "Q. What explains the drop [since 1984] in women studying computer science? A. We commissioned original research that revealed it's primarily parents' encouragement, and perception and access. Parents don't see their young girls as wanting to pursue computer science and don't steer them in that direction. There's this perception that coding and computer science is ... a 'brogrammer' culture for boys, for games, for competition. There hasn't been enough emphasis on the power computing has in achieving social impact. That's what girls are interested in. They want to do things that matter." While scant on details, the Google study's charts appear to show that, overall, fathers encourage young women to study CS more than mothers. Google feels that reeducation is necessary. "Outreach programs," advises Google, "should include a parent education component, so that parents learn how to actively encourage their daughters."

Comment: Re:Just stick to the mantra (Score 3, Interesting) 78

by Grishnakh (#49769265) Attached to: No, Your SSD Won't Quickly Lose Data While Powered Down

Blu-Ray is total crap, as is all optical backup media.

The biggest problem is that it's simply far too small to be useful. To back up a 1TB drive, you'll need 20 BD-R discs. That's a lot of swapping to do a full backup.

Aside from that, they're slow, write-once, and suffer a lot from bit-rot due to poor quality media. DVD-Rs and CD-Rs had the same problems before, and those are completely useless for backup these days due to their puny size.

The only thing that makes any sense at all for consumers is USB hard drives. They're fairly cheap, they're rewriteable, and only cost probably a few times what a single set of BD-R discs would cost. After a few backups, they've equaled in cost, plus it's a lot easier and faster to do incremental backups with them since you can just use rsync.

Actually, the other poster's suggestion of using a NAS drive makes a lot of sense too.

Comment: Re:Nice timing... (Score 1, Insightful) 176

See, the problem is that the religious conservatives want other religious conservatives to have the privilege of being able to spout their hateful bile without any consequences. They don't want free speech, they want consequences-free speech for their own kind (but no one else).

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