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Comment Re:So? (Score 1) 191

You don't go there for an education, you go to make "contacts".

Isn't that also true of prison?

Sure, if you want to meet contacts that can teach you "how to get caught".

That would be like if the only contacts you got from going to Harvard were serial entrepreneurial failures who are bankrupt.

The competent criminals you actually want for contacts don't get caught.

Comment So? (Score 3, Insightful) 191

Harvard's a *legacy* school!

You don't go there for an education, you go to make "contacts".

It's basically just a papermill for rich kids to buy degrees, and you expect them to be educated? LOL - the whole reason they're buying a degree from a legacy school in the first place is so they don't have to do any work.

Comment Re:Why not infect Naegleria fowleri with Mimivirus (Score 1) 151

... I thought you were saying to put this other bacterium in the water supply to kill off this one, which sounded a little insane.

Putting *enough* Mimivirus (which is a virus, not a bacteria) into the water supply to kill off ALL N. fowleri amoebas WOULD be insane. Mimivirus is already present to a certain level in the same environments as N. fowleri though, so it's already in the water supply, just hopefully not in enough quantities to infect people...

Comment Re:Why not infect Naegleria fowleri with Mimivirus (Score 1) 151

... if the chances of the brain eating amoeba was 1 in a million, but the chances of the pneumonia infecting you was 1 in 10?

You are missing the point completely. Like I said previously, you would only try this on people who are ALREADY SYMPTOMATIC. Once you've developed N. fowleri infection symptoms (e.g. Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM)) what the chances were of you developing those symptoms to start with is pretty fucking irrelevant.

Once you are symptomatic, your chances of dying are pretty close to 100%. Whatever the fatality rate of pneumonia is, it certainly isn't 100%, and even if Mimivirus can actually cause Pneumonia, it isn't going to do so 100% of the time.

Let's say the death rate from contracting pneumonia is something insane like 50%, and the chance of contracting pneumonia from Mimivirus is *guaranteed* (100%). EVEN under those (way over estimated circumstances), if Mimivirus were effective at killing N. fowleri, you've upped your survivability from 0% to 50%.

Comment Re:Why not infect Naegleria fowleri with Mimivirus (Score 1) 151

Pneumonia on the other hand has a much higher death count.

Sure, but you'd only be trying this on people who are *already* symptomatic for N. Fowleri infection, at that point the base rate is irrelevant.

Yeah, pneumonia is nasty, but it isn't 100% fatal. Besides, the link between Mimivirus and pneumonia is only speculative, Mimivirus might not cause pneumonia at all.

Comment Re:HTML == Programming? (Score 1) 616

...if you're going to be that smartass,...

How is it smartass to question the ability of people who can't discern the difference between markup/typesetting and a programming language?

Sure, my second question to those who failed the first has a certain amount of snark to it, but would you really want to hire someone who truly doesn't understand the difference?

...I will pull out iteration and conditionals in HTML*...

Well, now you are going to have to prove it. Just for clarity, I'll provide you some context, and the criteria I was using. This was back in the late '90s, early aughts, so it was before the advent or wide adoption of DHTML, AJAX, HTML 5 etc... The answer had to be pure HTML4: no javascript, no css, no plugins, no activeX etc...

If anyone had actually been able to write a for loop or an if branch with those criteria, I would have been impressed and hired them on the spot.

I await your submission.

Comment Why not infect Naegleria fowleri with Mimivirus? (Score 5, Interesting) 151

According to this 2008 biomed paper:, Naegleria fowleri is likely vulnerable to Mimivirus (possibly Mamavirus too?) infection.

Given that Naegleria fowleri is close to 100% fatal, why not try infecting the Naegleria fowleri infection with Mimivirus?

Mimivirus is only speciously associated with Pneumonia in humans, and Pneumonia has a much better survivability rate. Worst case scenario it does nothing and the patient dies (which was going to happen anyways), best case scenario the Mimivirus kills Naegleria fowleri and the patient survives with no pathology. Middle road scenario, the Mimivirus kills Naegleria fowleri, the patient survives but has Pneumonia.

Personally, I would choose having a bout of Pneumonia over having my brain eaten by an amoeba any day.

Comment HTML == Programming? (Score 1) 616

In one of my previous jobs, I was responsible for interviewing and hiring new web app developers.

Over and over again, I kept seeing people list "HTML" as one of the "programming languages" they knew. I got so annoyed with this, I developed a quick two question filter to get rid of the idiots.

First, I asked them to confirm whether or not HTML was a "programming language".

If they said no it wasn't, it was just markup/typesetting, I would then ask them why they included it under programming languages on their resume. Usually they would reply that it was just easier or more convenient etc... They'd lose points for clarity, but ok, no biggie. Occasionally they would say something like "because HR people are idiots and don't understand the difference", fair enough, no problem with that.

... BUT *most* of the time, they would emphatically declare that: "yes HTML was a programming language". These people then got my followup question:

Here's a pen and paper. Show me how to do iteration and conditionals in HTML pseudocode.

For those people, that was the end of the interview, bye!

Saliva causes cancer, but only if swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time. -- George Carlin