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Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 4, Insightful) 586

by causality (#47415533) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

But the real problem is this impression that you have to be born 80% as smart as Einstein to get into this field, and that the learning curve is impossible for regular people. That's totally wrong. Average intelligence plus persistence is all you need.

What you really need is to deal with this anti-intellectualism that's so popular in the culture today, and replace it with genuine curiosity, a joy of discovery, and a delight at learning new things.

Do that, and the rest will naturally follow, and not just in software development.

Comment: Re:It's Intended (Score 4, Interesting) 137

by causality (#47389651) Attached to: Amazon Fighting FTC Over In-App Purchases Fine

in some cases they're no better than gambling (ie: buy tokens to feed into this jackpot like system to win a random digital item!)

Not that I disagree with you, but what part of the gaming industry isn't preying off of exactly the same neurons as gambling? Nearly every game, be you buying the game itself, in-game purchases, or DLC, is getting its revenue almost entirely due to exploiting pleasure-seeking behavior.

Gaming typically relies on skill, not chance. If you play most games long enough, you'll be able to consistently beat certain levels. If you win at the roulette wheel, you're no more likely than before to win again. That's the difference. Otherwise, "exploiting pleasure-seeking behavior" could be stretched to describe every last industry in existence beyond the sales of food, water, shelter, and basic utilities.

With the model of directly purchasing the game itself (and no in-game purchases, like standard PC/console gaming) you can at least read about the game and have a reasonable expectation about what you are paying for. The real problem with in-game purchases is that the game is "free" or low-cost in the most technical sense, but after you invest many hours advancing the game you find that you can't really prosper without making additional purchases. It could be construed as a form of bait-and-switch.

The other problem would be that many of these games are aimed at children who make purchases the parents later get stuck with, but this problem begins in the home and should be solved within the home by actual parenting. That's not as convenient as using the tablet like a cheap babysitter but it would certainly be more worthwhile. If you wanted to solve this by government action, that's simple too: declare that these purchases are contractual in nature (the parent agreed to pay charges made to the phone bill or whatever) and that minors who make them cannot be held to a contract, therefore the companies cannot collect money when children make them. *Poof* - end of shitty business model.

Comment: Re:Solar efficiency (Score 1) 133

but the panels need to be replaced after about a decade.

You're using very old information. Current generation solar panels are guaranteed to produce 80% of original power after 25 years. The original 'modern' panel is still working 60 years later, and there are lots of evidence they last at least 30.

Though I agree on the nuclear power. I'd be building at least 300 new reactors if I could. It's just that in my original post I was saying that using solar electricity to pull CO2 out of the atmosphere is stupid, especially at those efficiencies. Note that I said 'Even in'; I didn't mean to say that it was the most efficient option.

And yes, synthetic hydrocarbons produced from nuclear power would be a welcome alternative, though I still hold hope for algae based biodiesel/fuel*.

*You can get oil and diesel out of the fats, ethanol or gasoline equivalent out of the carbohydrates.

Comment: Re:Solar efficiency (Score 1) 133

So basically you're saying that now is the perfect time to be doing this research so that it can possibly reach useful levels by the time fossil fuels have been largely phased out within some jurisdictions?

Depends. I don't mind research, indeed I love it. But research isn't magic; there's a definite 'law of reducing returns' out there in general, especially when we're playing with energy. There are huge numbers of vastly different ways to reduce or sequester CO2.

As for the wolves, very interesting article. I don't think it'll work everywhere, but we can duplicate at least some of it.

Comment: Solar efficiency (Score 3, Informative) 133

Indeed. For the foreseeable future you'll reduce CO2 more by using the panels to displace coal power and even Natural Gas. Only after you've shut ALL of them down and still need to reduce CO2 does this make sense.

Even in ~20 years we'd be better off doing something like use all the retiring EV batteries* to help stabilize the grid and shift solar power to the 7-9 pm peak.

*10 years for EVs to actually reach significant market penetration, 10 years more before people start replacing the batteries in them.

Comment: Google should talk with Tesla (Score 4, Insightful) 236

by Firethorn (#47350439) Attached to: Google, Detroit Split On Autonomous Cars

As Google expands beyond Web search and seeks a foothold in the automotive market, the company's eagerness has begun to reek of arrogance to some in Detroit, who see danger as well as promise in Silicon Valley.

Danger to their present business models, you mean.

Personally, I think that Tesla would be an excellent company to talk with. Elon Musk speaks their language.

Comment: Re:ummm...nope (Score 4, Interesting) 73

by Firethorn (#47350397) Attached to: Cambridge Team Breaks Superconductor World Record

Which would be odd, seeing as how in US parlance 'fridge magnet' does indeed mean a magnet intended to attach to your fridge, typically containing advertising or cute sayings, or holding things like sheets of your kid's art up.

Per wiki a typical fridge magnet is 5 mt, or .005 Tesla. So this experiment is more like 3000X as strong as a fridge magnet.

This thing is 10X as strong as most of my 'fridge' magnets, but then I like to play with neodymium ones.

Going by my experience, their 'fridge magnets' would hold to a fridge very well without requiring excessive strength to pull off. Most of mine you have to think about it a bit.

Oh, and 16T is enough to levitate a frog.

Comment: Re:So....far more than guns (Score 1) 454

by causality (#47344847) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

Once every couple of years, I see a post that needs to be +6 or higher. This was one of them.

Your words are calm, clear, rational, logical, and point out the real issue.

Thank you for sharing.

Reading your kind words is humbling, sir. You honor yourself by being one of the minority who read something like that and try to understand where it is coming from and how it could work, rather than playing the hostile audience and trying your best to tear it down because it opposes a common notion.

Comment: Re:So What (Score 1) 454

by causality (#47344737) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

I don't care if you drink yourself to an early grave. I don't care if you smoke yourself to an early grave. I don't care if you eat yourself to an early grave.

"I don't care if you live or die..."

This is all about more gov control, taxes, regulation to protect us from ourselves.

"...but I do think you should listen to my opinion."

Well, at least you gave us fair warning! Antisocial people are, paradoxically, the first to give their opinion on how the world should be run.

There's nothing more profoundly anti-social than trying to control other people and force them to live only the way that you want them to.

Perhaps you've just heard of this thing called society. It has been all about conforming to social norms with punishments for doing tabboo things for thousands of years now. The only real changes have been what is a norm and what is a tabboo.

Rather than patronizingly talking down to me like this, try to understand where I'm coming from. I'm not talking about crimes that have victims here, like robbery and murder. Preventing those is legitimately within the purpose of having a government and a society. I'm talking about the wrong of trying to dictate lifestyles, of trying to micromanage the way others live based not on crimes but on approval. It's not terribly different from dictating to people what they may read, listen to, watch, and discuss.

American tyranny is what they call a soft tyranny. It's not so much jack-booted thugs waving guns around, demanding compliance. That's hard tyranny. Soft tyranny is when you no longer treat adult people like responsible adults because "you know what's good for them". The only way to have a healthy, long-term viable society is to expect adults to be responsible, to make their own decisions in any instance that does not involve a crime with a victim, and then (importantly) to accept the consequences of those decisions. Any effort to circumvent this will eventually destroy the very society itself.

Comment: Re:Hey Larry ... (Score 3, Insightful) 186

How many fingers am I holding up?

Screw you Google. "Do no evil" my ass.

This is just another instance of him saying "trust us, we're google, give us all your private information, what could possibly go wrong".

Yes, at some point it's quite rational to decide "this one entity has enough power". He's really very smooth, though. I'll hand him that:

By "these things," he means privacy concerns and fear that the data might be misused. But he also pointed to Street View as a case where privacy concerns mostly melted away after people used it and found it helpful. "In the early days of Street View, this was a huge issue, but it's not really a huge issue now. People understand it now and it's very useful. And it doesn't really change your privacy that much. A lot of these things are like that."

That's a very diplomatic way to go about it. People often mistake that for honesty and openness in fact. It's basically a highly polished way of saying, "if you were educated you would agree with me."

Comment: Re:So What (Score 1) 454

by causality (#47333693) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

I don't care if you drink yourself to an early grave. I don't care if you smoke yourself to an early grave. I don't care if you eat yourself to an early grave.

"I don't care if you live or die..."

This is all about more gov control, taxes, regulation to protect us from ourselves.

"...but I do think you should listen to my opinion."

Well, at least you gave us fair warning! Antisocial people are, paradoxically, the first to give their opinion on how the world should be run.

There's nothing more profoundly anti-social than trying to control other people and force them to live only the way that you want them to.

GP has the right idea. "I don't care if you ... " means "I don't care to force my will on you". If you want advice from someone, you're free to ask.

If what they've been doing hasn't solved the problem, tell them to do something else. -- Gerald Weinberg, "The Secrets of Consulting"

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