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Comment Re:Mods. The parent is not a troll. (Score 1) 192

If it's not feasible to make delivery drones fly at ~350ft or higher, or stick to public roads, perhaps they are not yet ready to replace delivery trucks. There's no reason we have to rush these things out the door if it means compromoising our privacy and safety.

Comment Re:Netflix already had that policy for holidays (Score 4, Insightful) 418

That kind of system is extremely prone to abuse. There are subtle (and not so subtle) ways to make sure that folks who are well liked get assignments that have higher chance of success with minimal effort vs folks that are disliked. I've got a friend in sales (not at my company) that deals with this kind of thing all the time. Certain sales team members who are popular with management get highly lucrative sales accounts that are virtually shoe-ins and make their numbers 5 times faster than everyone else. Coincidently, those are the sales team members that the all-male management wants beating their numbers so they win the company sponsered all-included trips to hawaii/carribean/etc which they also attend. I've never competed for a vacation package in my engineering career, but I've certainly seen favoratism regarding job assignments.

I think rather than rewarding people solely based on high performance, it's best to reward people for a bance of performance, work ethic, and risk taking. Any one of those individually isn't enough imho. Some of the greatest successes humanity has seen have come from people who failed over and over again until they got it right.

Comment Re:This is my problem with Snowden (Score 4, Interesting) 176

This isn't about self-delusion, this is about politics. It's good for snowden (and us) to claim progress and warm people up to the idea that even Washington thinks totally unchecked surveillance maybe goes a little too far. I suspect it's also ultimately good for the political class too if they play their cards right. Snowden is a chaotic figure that divides party votes in strange and unexpected ways. I imagine mainstream politicians hate that. He needs to be either a traitor or a patriot, not something in-between that divides their votes. The freedom act is a nice bump for Snowden into the patriot camp. It gives politicians cover for supporting him (or at least claiming he was well meaning if misguided). Once that starts, I think it will snowball and Snowden eventually will come back home (while his message will be coopted and perverted to benefit re-election campaigns).

Comment Re:What a guy (Score 4, Insightful) 389

We'll never know, but I suspect still better than McCain or Romney despite Obama's shortcomings. There's the counter argument that had it been a Republican president the Democrats wouldn't be as divided in their loyalties, but I doubt it would have mattered in the end and there's a lot of things that could have gone much worse over the last 7 years.

Having said that, It is interesting how much Obama has gravitated toward Bush's positions on a number of topics throughout his presidency. Had McCain or Romney won, I suspect they would have taken similar positions (not that they weren't there already). Part of me wonders how much influence has been exerted on both Bush and Obama, and if neither could accept the consequences that would have resulted from deviation from those positions.

Regarding Obama personally: Perhaps the presidency changed him, or perhaps his campaign was a lie to co-opt the enthusiasm of the masses. I don't think we'll ever really know. We'll just have to hope that his decisions to do things like bail out Wallstreet, sign us into corporate-crafted trade agreements, and continue domestic spying are better than the alternatives. It seems to me though that if that really is the case, our situation is every bit as bad as the most cynical of us say.

Comment Re:Who cares about fusion (Score 1) 57

I'm amazed you wrote this entire long post and didn't mention once the amount of power that gets generated by each type of plant or long term maintenance costs. I believe that your premise *could* be true, but you're statement is no better than saying that dirts bikes are better than UPS trucks for delivering packages because they cost significantly less.

Comment Re:Apologies from more than just Assange? (Score 2) 161

What's the precident here? I don't think grounding and searching the presidential plane of another world leader was a reasonable act. It's not reasonable to blame Assange for failing to anticipating it. If you lied to your spouse about going to the bar and drinking with your friends instead of working late and that caused them to show up and shoot everyone there, are you responsible for their insanity? It is reasonable for Bolivia to be upset that Assange got them mixed up in the whole affair, but in no way should he be held accountable for risking Morale's life. The response was unreasonable.

Comment birthdays (Score 1) 698

In addition to your other videos, you might consider making a short video wishing her happy birthday each year. Think about the things you want to say to her at those stages of life.

More generally: Tell her it's ok to fail. Don't spend her life doing things to make other people happy. Also: Don't spend her entire life in front of a computer screen.

Comment Re:Another Reason Businesses prefer BSD (Score 2) 264

"Hurr durr I'ma sheep."

(setq sarcasm 'on) Well, that will certainly help me convince the boss to upgrade our infrastructure. (setq sarcasm nil)

I wish people in Open Source realized that Open source means you are living in a fishbowl, and everyone can see your shit. In a closed system you can call your work anything you like, the marketers will take care of the image. Yet open source, for good or ill, is visible to all, including this kind of nonsense. Juvenile stuff just doesn't work with people who have the authority to make major decisions. You would think that there would be a natural sense of shame in trying to practice marketing when you are really an engineer. Stick to coding guys!

One reason we use a lot of BSD here instead of linux a few years ago, is that not only is it open source but also there is a very simple release cycle and no one feels the need to name each release some sort of catchy name. The version numbers also actually mean something. It is an engineered solution, not a marketing project for high school nerds.

Linux will always remain a toy until the people coding it learn to grow up and actually promote its true abilities as an industrial strength tool for doing real work. Hurr durr just doesn't give that message. Even Red Hat has learned this and stuck to a very predictable release numbering which is what the bean counters like. Predictability is what makes risk management possible, and that is why people will invest money in it. Sheep do not get to play that game.

But well, it's just the kernel, so one could just use the number, but damn this sort of stuff is exactly why linux will never be taken that seriously, even if it is free. /rant off

Linux not taken seriously? Are you insane? It's the most widely distributed kernel on the planet.

First look at:

Notice how smart phones and tablets are far outselling PCs? Now look at the distribution of phone operating systems being sold:

The kernel is shipping in every single one of those android phones. If you guys are basing your decision on whether or not to use Linux vs BSD servers based on whether or not the releases are named, I think Linux can probaly do ok without you.

Comment Re:That's like ... (Score 3, Insightful) 779

I think on some level it is right. I suspect girls are predisposed to making a better cost-benefit decision on whether or not to get into it. Except for the very lucky (which I thankfully consider myself), much of the programming world is dull: connect 1 peice of complicated, poorly written code to another peice of complicated, poorly written code. There's just enough time budgeted to make it "work" before moving on and doing the same thing over again. Invariably any time not spent doing that is spent in long (often pointless) meetings discussing the changes. Assuming you are actually good at what you do, you will have a flock of managers and coworkers trying coopt you to do their work for them.

If you win the lottery and are lucky enough to end up working on something you love, the lifestyle still takes a toll. The constant computer time is tough on your body, even if you exercise regualrly and mix sitting/standing. Unless you are gifted, you'll be spending a lot of free time just trying to keep up with the folks who are (and technology changes in general). It's pretty tough to balance work and home life if you have a young family. Later on in life, there's a very real threat that if you haven't moved up into management by the time you are in your 40s you'll be seen as a liability vs younger and cheaper labor.

It's not all bad (pay is good, chance at interesting work, probably won't get skin cancer, etc). I suspect the reality though is that women have a pretty good idea of what the tech world entails (beyond the misogyny) and simply decide it's not worth it.

Comment Re:What are the practical results of this? (Score 5, Insightful) 430

My reading of the orignal author's point is that indvidiually most of us can buy very little influence with our contributions (Maybe $100 or so each), while extremely wealthy folks like the Koch Brothers can buy extraordinary influence with theirs. You're reply enitrely ignores that point and instead focuses on making this partisan (both sides do it! Liberals are even worse! etc). Ultimatly none of that matters in the long run. The important point is that a very small number of people in the world hold tremendous influence over the direction of the planet, and that power is becoming more and more concentrated (the top 0.01%'s share of the world's wealth has quadrupled in the last quarter century). Regardless if you think those folks are on your side of a particular issue, the truth is that ultimately they are all on their own side.

This isn't a Conservative vs. Liberal issue, this is a society vs top 0.01% issue.

Comment Re:Malware (Score 5, Interesting) 181

Malware could be a lot worse than even this. Why it isn't yet, I haven't figured out - I presume because money-making is at the heart of it now rather than actually malintent with your data. But that won't last forever.

I suspect it's because the powerful people in the world largely care little about computers, virsuses, downtime, etc. To them it's all just mysterious technical mumbo jumbo that is of little interest to them. Extortion is a little more clear though. Someone is trying to fuck them, and that tends to get people riled up. Riling up folks like us is one thing, but statistically speaking sooner or later malware like this will inadvertantly fuck someone who's capable of things like armed abduction, torture, and death. You have to have a lot of faith in the anononimity of bit torrent that you won't be found by one of these kinds of people.

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