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+ - Jason Scott of textfiles.com Wants Your AOL & Shovelware CDs-> 1

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes: You've probably got a spindle in your close tor a drawer full of CD-ROM media mailed to you or delivered with some hardware that you put away "just in case" and now (ten years later) the case for actually using them is laughable. Well, a certain mentally ill individual named Jason Scott has a fever and the only cure is more AOL CDs. But his sickness doesn't stop there, "I also want all the CD-ROMs made by Walnut Creek CD-ROM. I want every shovelware disc that came out in the entire breadth of the CD-ROM era. I want every shareware floppy, while we’re talking. I want it all. The CD-ROM era is basically finite at this point. It’s over. The time when we’re going to use physical media as the primary transport for most data is done done done. Sure, there’s going to be distributions and use of CD-ROMs for some time to come, but the time when it all came that way and when it was in most cases the only method of distribution in the history books, now. And there were a specific amount of CD-ROMs made. There are directories and listings of many that were manufactured. I want to find those. I want to image them, and I want to put them up. I’m looking for stacks of CD-ROMs now. Stacks and stacks. AOL CDs and driver CDs and Shareware CDs and even hand-burned CDs of stuff you downloaded way back when. This is the time to strike." Who knows? His madness may end up being appreciated by younger generations!
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Defense of the Article (Score 1) 425

by eldavojohn (#49620497) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

So there could be two groups, those who look to improve their skill, who quickly distance themselves from the group that doesn't. Of course, there will still be wide variance in skill between the members of each group. I'm sure you can think of other ways it could happen.

No, I can't. I started out and I sucked. I got better eventually through experience. In order for it to be truly bimodal, people have to start in either camp A or camp B and end in the same camp they started in. Because if you transition from one to another over time, any point in time will capture a group of people in between the modes. Now, you can argue that people don't spend much time in between those modes but you haven't presented any evidence for that. What's more likely is you have geocities coders on one tail and John Carmack/Linus Torvolds on the other tail. And in between are people like the presenter and I. And since I'm not instantaneously going from bad to good, the reality of the situation is most likely some degree of a normal curve filled with people trying to get better at programming or even just getting better though spending lots of time doing it and learning a little along the way.

For all your attacks on the presenter, your argument of a bi-modal distribution sounds more flawed to me. I would love to see your study and hear your argument.

+ - Recent Paper Shows Fracking Chemicals in Drinking Water, Industry Attacks It->

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes: A recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences turned up 2-Butoxyethanol from samples collected from three households in Pennsylvania. The paper's level headed conclusion is that more conservative well construction techniques should be used to avoid this in the future and that flowback should be better controlled. Rob Jackson, another scientist who reviewed the paper, stressed that the findings were an exception to normal operations. Despite that, the results angered the PR gods of the Marcellus Shale Gas industry and awoke beltway insider mouthpieces to attack the research — after all, what are they paying them for?
Link to Original Source

Comment: Defense of the Article (Score 1) 425

by eldavojohn (#49619837) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

This guy doesn't know how to measure programming ability, but somehow manages to spend 3000 words writing about it.

To be fair, you can spend a great deal of time talking about something and make progress on the issue without solving it.

For example the current metrics are abysmal so it's worth explaining why they're abysmal. I just was able to delete several thousand lines of JavaScript from one of my projects after a data model change (through code reuse and generalization) -- yet I increased functionality. My manager was confused and thought it was a bad thing to get rid of code like that ... it was absolute dopamine bliss to me while he felt like our production was being put in reverse. KLOC is a terrible metric. But yet we still need to waste a lot of breath explaining why it's a terrible metric.

Another reason to waste a lot of time talking about a problem without reaching an answer is to elaborate on what the known unknowns are and speculate about the unknown unknowns. Indeed, the point of this article seemed to be to advertise the existence of unknown unknowns to "recruiters, venture capitalists, and others who are actually determining who gets brought into the community."

So he doesn't know......programmer ability might actually be a bi-modal distribution.

Perhaps ... but that would imply that one does not transition over time from one hump to the next or if they do, it's like flipping a light switch. When I read this I assumed that he was talking only about people who know how to program and not "the average person mixed in with programmers."

If he had collected data to support his hypothesis, then that would have been an interesting article.

But you just said there's no way to measure this ... how could he have collected data? What data set could have satiated us? The answer is quite obvious and such collection would have been a larger fool's errand than the original article's content.

+ - Patent Issued Covering Phone Notifications of Delivery Time and Invoice Quantity->

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes: The staggering ingenuity of the US Patent system has again been showcased by the EFF's analysis of recent patents. This week's patent and follow up patent cover the futuristic innovative idea that when you order something, you can update your order and add additional amounts to your order while it's being processed. But wait, it gets even more innovative! You may one day be able to even to notify when you would like it delivered — ON YOUR PHONE. I know, you're busy wiping all that brain matter off your screen as your head seems to have exploded. Well, it turns out that inventor and patent holder Scott Horstemeyer (aka Eclipse IP, LLC of Delray Beach, FL) found no shortage of targets to go after with his new patents. It appears Tiger Fitness (and every other online retailer) was sending notices to customers about shipments. Did I mention Professional waste-of-space Horstemeyer is a lawyer too? But not just a regular lawyer, a "SUPER lawyer" from the same firm that patented social networking in 2007, sued Uber for using location finding technologies in 2013 and sued Overstock.com as well as a small time shoe seller for using shipping notifications in 2014.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Non Sequitor (Score 5, Insightful) 334

by eldavojohn (#49539223) Attached to: Drone Killed Hostages From U.S. and Italy, Drawing Obama Apology

I'm not disappointed at all. Drones are so much better than actually invading Pakistan, and reduces the number of kids that get killed in war.

I never got the hate for drones in the first place. Why would you want to launch a ground invasion instead, which means MORE kids getting killed?

Sure, if you want to kill someone, you're right. I think the argument against drones is that if you push a button and someone dies on the other side of the Earth and you didn't have to go to war to do that ... well, fast forward two years and you're just sitting there hitting that button all day long. "The quarter solution" or whatever you want to call it is still resulting in deaths and, as we can see here, we're not 100% sure whose deaths that button is causing. Even if we study the targets really really hard.

And since Pakistan refuses to own their Al Queda problem, we have to take care of it for them.

No, no we don't. You might say "Al Queda hit us now we must hunt them to the ends of the Earth" but it doesn't mean that diplomacy and sovereignty just get flushed down the toilet. Those country borders will still persist despite all your shiny new self-appointed world police officer badges. Let me see if I can explain this to you: If David Koresh had set off bombs in a Beijing subway and then drones lit up Waco like the fourth of July and most of the deaths were Branch Davidians, how would you personally feel about that? Likewise, if Al Queda is our problem and we do that, we start to get more problems. Now, that said, it's completely true that Pakistan's leadership has privately condoned these strikes while publicly lambasting the US but that's a whole different problem.

Also, we must always assume that war = killing kids. The fact that people think kids shouldn't be killed in war basically gives people more of an incentive to go to war in the first place. When Bush invaded Iraq, the public should have asked "OK, how many kids are we expected to kill?" Because all war means killing kids. There has never been a war without killing kids.

The worst people are the ones that romanticize war, by saying war is clean and happy and everyone shakes hands at the end. War is the worst, most horrible thing, and we need to make sure people understand that, or they'll continue to promote war.

Yep, think of the children -- that's why we should use drone strikes, right? Look, war means death. Death doesn't discriminate and neither does war. If you're hung up on it being okay to take a life the second that male turns 18, you're pretty much morally helpless anyway. War is bad. Drone strikes are bad. There's enough bad in there for them both to be bad. This isn't some false dichotomy where it's one or the other. It's only one or the other if you're hellbent on killing people.

News flash: you can argue against drone strikes and also be opposed to war at the same time. It does not logically follow that since you're against drone strikes, you're pro war and pro killing children. That's the most unsound and absurd flow of logic I've seen in quite some time.

Comment: No, This Is Important for People to See (Score 5, Insightful) 256

by eldavojohn (#49536145) Attached to: Wellness App Author Lied About Cancer Diagnosis

Wait. A person who made dubious claims that had no scientific backing to them was actually lying? What next? Water is wet?!!

I think pretty much everyone but the nutjob, true believers in psuedo-science knew all along that this woman was lying.

So you're saying everyone knew she was lying about her charity donations as well? Or was it only the charities that knew that? From the article:

The 26-year-old's popular recipe app, which costs $3.79, has been downloaded 300,000 times and is being developed as one of the first apps for the soon-to-be-released Apple Watch. Her debut cook book The Whole Pantry, published by Penguin in Australia last year, will soon hit shelves in the United States and Britain.

So you're saying the 300,000 downloads are by people that knew they were downloading the app architected by a liar? And they were paying $3.79 to Apple and this liar for a recipe app that contain recipes that someone lied about helping her cure cancer? And you're saying that everyone at Apple that featured her app on the Apple Watch knew they were showing a snake oil app on their brand new shiny device? And that the people at Penguin did all their fact checking on any additional information this cookbook might contain about Belle Gibson's alleged cancer survival? And that everybody involved in these events know society's been parading around a fucking liar and rewarding her with cash money while she basically capitalizes on a horrendous disease that afflicts millions of people worldwide ... that she never had?

No, this is not the same as "water is wet" and it needs to be shown that holistic medicine is temporarily propped up on a bed of anecdotal lies ... anybody who accepts it as the sole cure for their ailment is putting their health in the hands of such charlatans and quacks.

Comment: Oh Look, a Car Analogy for Last Week's Story! (Score 1) 649

by eldavojohn (#49514253) Attached to: Automakers To Gearheads: Stop Repairing Cars
Why don't the automakers just seek refuge under the DMCA from all those evil automobile hackers? Clearly, figuring out how your car works is a direct attack on the very hard work and property of those automakers.

Time to pass a bill state by state. I'm the sure the invisible hand of the free market will line all the right politicians' pockets to rush those through. Hopefully someday we won't be able to own our cars and we can go back to the Ma Bell days when every phone was rented.

+ - ESA Rebukes EFF's Request to Exempt Abandoned Games from Some DMCA Rules->

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes: It's 2015 and the EFF is still submitting requests to alter or exempt certain applications of the draconian DMCA. One such request concerns abandoned games that utilized or required online servers for matchmaking or play (PDF warning) and the attempts taken to archive those games. A given examples is Madden '09 that had its servers shut down a mere one and a half years after release. Another is Gamespy and the EA & Nintendo titles that were not migrated to other servers. I'm sure everyone can come up with a once cherished game that required online play that is now abandoned and lost to the ages. While the EFF is asking for exemptions for museums and archivists, the ESA appears to take the stance that it's hacking and all hacking is bad. In prior comments (PDF warning), the ESA has called reverse engineering a proprietary game protocol "a classic wolf in sheep’s clothing" as if allowing this evil hacking will loose Sodom & Gomorrah upon the industry. Fellow gamers, these years now that feel like the golden age of online gaming will be the dark ages of games as historians of the future try to recreate what online play was like now for many titles.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Yep Problem Solved, Shut Down All Further Research (Score 1) 477

Pedestrians will have to learn new skills to avoid careening out of control cars that do not recognize the pedestrians....

.

new jobs will open up for people who have to dig cars out of snowbanks

a new employment category autonomous assistants will "drive" the self-driving cars in poor weather conditions

Yep that's right because once the pattern recognition has mastered the easy stuff -- which it seems to be close to doing -- they'll shut down all development on tackling edge cases and anomalies. That's how it works, right? We're still driving cars with shoe brakes and using regular picture framing glass so our bodies are cut up in an accident, right?

I mean, some of these problems like icy roads and snow might make for unsolvable problems but we already have cars that can detect loss of traction and go into traction control mode. Have you ever heard of ABS? Developments like that will likely come along for the special cases of autonomous driving. If they don't, it's certainly not a death knell on the technology. At this point, I'll accept a 95% solution.

+ - Chinese Certificate Authority CNNIC Is Dropped from Google Products

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes: A couple weeks ago, Google contacted the CNNIC (China's CA) to alert them of a problem regarding the delegated power of issuing fraudulent certificates for domains (in fact this came to light after fraudulent certificates were issued for Google's domains). Following this, Google decided to remove the CNNIC Root and EV CA as trusted CAs in its Chrome browser and all Google products. Today, the CNNIC responded to Google: "1. The decision that Google has made is unacceptable and unintelligible to CNNIC, and meanwhile CNNIC sincerely urge that Google would take users’ rights and interests into full consideration. 2. For the users that CNNIC has already issued the certificates to, we guarantee that your lawful rights and interests will not be affected." Mozilla is waiting to formulate a plan.

Comment: What an Embarrassingly Vapid Article (Score 5, Interesting) 477

Bottom line: we probably cannot imagine all the implications and collateral effects driverless cars will cause beginning early in 2020 for top-end and early adopters and progressively more widespread year after year until mid 2030 when these cars will be our major form of transportation.

That's it? That's your substance? Hell, why not try? Here are my own guesses:

  • Insurance companies will struggle to adjust. You know all those annoying GEICO commercials? Prepare to watch a lot less of them and if you're in the auto insurance business, now would be a good time to diversify. And if you're not in that business, prepare to enjoy not having to pay monthly on auto insurance. Huge plus for the economy.
  • Real Estate prices will fluctuate away from metropolises. Oh, 1,000 sq ft in a downtown townhouse is $1.5 million dollars? Or a nice house on 100 acres of land is $125,000 but it's one hour away from downtown? Yeah, I think I'll just take that hour drive twice a day and just watch netflix on my phone or read on my kindle or code on my laptop or even just sleep it.
  • Drunk driving/texting while driving/distracted driving will become ailments of the past. Lose your license? Afraid of going home from happy hour "buzzed"? Just buy an autonomous car. A lot less accidents too -- huge plus for society.
  • Organ sources will dry up. A lot of organs come from car & motorcycle accidents. Morbid but true. Need to up our game on printing organs in order to prepare for this.
  • If idiots connect their cars or the underlying system to the internet, people will end up at hacked destinations.
  • Parking will become a bigger business -- especially garages that work hand in hand with autonomous vehicles.

These are all, of course, many years off. But it is starting to look more and more inevitable.

+ - AngularJS Releases Version 2.0; Rebranded to CircleJS

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes: Popular JavaScript client-side MVC framework AngularJS has announced a new release and rebranding after days of hard work and midnight development. Version 1.3 (codenamed AcuteJS) was shortly followed by version 1.4 (codenamed ObtuseJS) and now the project has finally come full circle. "Moving to TypeScript has allowed us to implement four-way data binding between the keyboard and database," the sole developer who devotes 17.2% of his time to maintaining AngularJS said, "a keystroke is now just a few hundred thousand digest cycles away from being stored through your browser to the server — of course your printer will receive a promise." Despite criticism of event listeners triggering other event listeners that then, in turn, trigger the event listeners that triggered them, CircleJS looks to be a forerunner in the race from micro-MVC to nano-MVC architecture.

Comment: Very True But It Is a Useful News Item Nonetheless (Score 5, Insightful) 169

Most people who follow space stuff already know that Mars One is either a scam or simply delusional... although I suppose it's nice that other people are starting to notice this too.

I think it's important that a possible change of heart internally is seen by any of the other members. A lot of time when I read about instances where people get sucked into, say, a Nigerian money scam or worse Scientology, it often becomes a serious issues because they were first tricked into giving a little bit of money and then a little more until it's a sizable sum in total. At that point it's very hard to get out because you're mentally holding yourself prisoner there with the logic that if you quit now, you've lost that investment and you're going to look like an idiot. But, through inaction, you maintain the outward appearance of knowing what you are doing and your investment is still good -- hell, it's even growing because they need another small to medium sized payment. And down down down you go into the trap. It takes a lot to not chase your bets and to say, "I fucked up by giving them the $99 applicant fee but better quit now than waste anymore time and resources. Lesson learned."

And I think the fact that a DOCTOR (no matter what kind or what validity) says, "I paid the money, I saw they were preparing me for the biggest snuff film ever and I got out." Well, now the average person involved in this project can say, "He is right, I came to the same realization, I'm no stupider than this academic." This is why there are support groups out there for gambling problems and cults escapees. The ideafication of your exit is sometimes important than your ability to make your own decision ... because without that your decision only has one option and it's the wrong option.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

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