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Comment: Devil's advocate: (Score 4, Interesting) 323

by Penguinisto (#49349745) Attached to: RSA Conference Bans "Booth Babes"

I dunno, I usually like going to conventions so people can try to sell me things.

Thing is, these 'booth babes' acting as total sex objects *do* sell things...

I'll explain in detail for those who disagree: the ladies grab the typical convention-goer's attention long enough for the sales-critters to suck the guy in and start making the pitch. Our victim is now too damned busy trying to steal glances so that he can lick every inch of her body with his eyeballs. This in turn means that his attention and concentration are now shitty enough to keep cynicism at bay, but still present enough to suck in any buzzword and pretty chart that gets shoved in front of him.

It's a salesman's dream: a horny distracted dimwit with access to purchase order numbers.

Now let's remove the barely-dressed ladies, and what do you get? People that *pay attention* to your sales pitch. People that will start asking hard questions. People who will have their cynic shields on full-power. People that take way more time to work on. Fewer prospects that even bother paying attention to your booth in the first place.

I suspect that after a year or two of "empowerment" (or whatever they want to call it), it won't be attendance that drops, but vendor participation. When vendors see lower sales numbers off the convention, they can no longer credibly justify the expense and time of going.

Me, I couldn't care either way - I usually bring my wife along (at personal expense), so that we can spend off-hours playing tourist and eating at nice places (and she goes off to museums and such during the day). On the other hand, I know exactly what a younger version of me would want... and the evil salesman I keep locked up in my brain knows just how effective sex is to get what he wants by using it.

Comment: Re:Wait... what? (Score 1) 228

by Penguinisto (#49339601) Attached to: How Nuclear Weapon Modernization Undercuts Disarmament

The Japanese leadership did not see the atomics as significantly worse than what they had already suffered due to the sustained bombings their cities had endured in which many more civilians died than from both the bombs combined.

Militarily, this would be false. Where before it would take swarms of US bombers put at considerable risk to firebomb a city into almost nothing (yet not really damage hardened bunkers/buildings by too much), Hiroshima and Nagasaki showed that it only took one bomber (though both flights had three - including two observers) to wipe out an entire city (or whatever), and obliterate nearly *everything* in it, all with less effort than a reconnaissance mission.

Also, consider that after Hiroshima, most Japanese leaders either considered it to be a lie ("...no, there must have been hundreds of bombers, not three!", didn't know about it fully, or thought it was some sort of fluke bombing that turned into a conventional firestorm, and the survivors were just too dazed to know quite what happened (after all, Hiroshima was completely untouched up to that point). By the time they realized that maybe Hiroshima did happen the way it did, Nagasaki blew up the same way, and survivor stories corroborated way too nicely.

But as for the whole Russians thing? Two reasons why that's not really as consequential as some would like to believe:

1) Japan was doing all of its negotiating through the Soviets, and knew them well enough that they not only didn't care, but were way too busy with cleaning up (and consolidating power in) half of Europe. Even if the Japanese thought they were serious? Siberia worked both ways, and logistics would prevent the Soviet army from doing hardly anything - by the time the Sovs could bring anything substantial to bear, the US would have long since bombed Japan's home population, infrastructure and culture into literal non-existence with these new atomic bombs.

2) From the Japanese militaristic point of view, the US wouldn't even have to invade - but simply stand back, bomb everything (and everyone) into impotent ash, then forget that Japan ever existed. It would be a death without honor, which was a living hell to the Tojo faction's mindset... to be treated as little more than hornets killed with a can of bug spray.

Comment: Re:Wait... what? (Score 4, Interesting) 228

by Penguinisto (#49337511) Attached to: How Nuclear Weapon Modernization Undercuts Disarmament

i would suspect that a regional conflict a'la India/Pakistan would amplify the ostracism/elimination by the rest of the world, since the stakes would be perceived as being smaller overall (as in 'oh, it's just a couple of small countries doing this, and they only have a small handful of nukes, so...')

Now the act of North Korea tossing a nuke in anger would present some problems, but only insofar as China's tolerance for such an act. Then again, w/o China's protection, North Korea could be turned into a self-lighting parking lot with no one on the planet giving any real objections to it, though I'm not really sure that China would really tolerate the Norks pulling such a stunt.

Israel I think is smart enough to know that if they used anything nuclear in an aggressive manner, what few friends they do have would cut them off at the economic knees, leaving them at the mercy of, well, all of their neighbors. I strongly suspect that the presence of Israeli nuclear weapons is purely political and/or last-ditch, and for no other discernable reason.

Comment: Re:Maybe you should have read more than one senten (Score 1) 264

Why EXACTLY is this a troll post mods? We are talking about poor people whose only access to online info is a Wikipedia under the control of scammers...I don't see how they can be seen as anything BUT innocent victims...

Because if you think about it, there are more ways than just the Internet to research a school. Granted there's a lot of ignorance in the equation, but it wouldn't take too much effort to call a few prospective future employers and ask their opinion. It wouldn't take too much effort to find at least a couple of people in the locale who graduated from that school and get their opinions. None of this takes much of an education or wit to discover and perform.

Comment: Re:Maybe you should have read more than one senten (Score 0) 264

This, right here.

Certainly there's fraud involved. But caveat emptor is still the ultimate law of buying into anything that is as life-changing as what post-secondary schooling you go to.

A classic parallel is the military. A military recruiter will bullshit you nine ways from Sunday, and they spend a lot of attention on PR, brand recognition, and similar buzzwords, long before those buzzwords existed. You only get to find out after you step off the bus at boot camp. You know, when you're immediately greeted by screaming burly mofos wearing smokey-the-bear-hats who are credibly threatening to enlarge the size of your rectum by hand (or in an approximate time reference: when it's way too late to do something about it. )

So what do you do? Forget the Internet - find some folks in the area who graduated from this school, and ask them directly how useful their degree is. Seems pretty effing simple, doesn't it? Even if you have to travel a little or call long distance to do it, a little money spent now saves a ton of cash spent later.

Comment: Re:It depends (Score 4, Interesting) 481

by Penguinisto (#49337219) Attached to: No, It's Not Always Quicker To Do Things In Memory

That's the very first thing I thought of... what if the code were written in a lower-level language (and not in fucking python or Java!), then made do this task on Windows $latest, OSX $latest, Linux $latest, maybe a resurrected DOS $latest for reference, etc... I mean, it can't be that hard to write this thing in C and port it as needed.

Doesn't seem very scientific at all otherwise. I mean, are they testing memory versus disk, are they testing memory vs. disk performance in a given specific language, or what? Maybe they just needed to flesh out their abstract a bit more to reflect this?

Comment: Wait... what? (Score 4, Insightful) 228

by Penguinisto (#49337081) Attached to: How Nuclear Weapon Modernization Undercuts Disarmament

How on earth does increased accuracy increase the temptation to use one? A nuke of any size going off *anywhere* as an act of war would immediately send up the balloon, and cause an all-out retaliation. Frig sakes, even Curtis LeMay knew that when he responded to Kennedy's request for a series of nuclear attack/response scenarios with a single puffed-out version of 'nuke them back to the effing stone age'.

Seriously... if you use a nuke first these days, the entire planet will cut you off, if they don't come at you with everything they have. If you were nuked first, then the taboo has already been broken, and the world would almost expect you to unleash hell on whoever bombed you.

I realize that global politics is a lot more subtle and complex than most folks realize, and maybe I'm wrong, but on this subject, it seems pretty damned cut and dried.

Comment: Re:Journalists being stonewalled by Apple? (Score 1) 264

by Penguinisto (#49335979) Attached to: Developers and the Fear of Apple

Sibling is right... marketshare means little to Apple's business model. That said, they do have dominance in the mobiles market, and are gaining enough marketshare otherwise that Microsoft panicked and claimed that iPads weren't "real computers" (in spite of the fact that the things do what the majority of computer owners actually do with a computer).

Either way, assuming TFA is true (is it?), I do wonder how much of it is a nefarious design, and how much of it is actually letting the App Store run free-market style in some aspects. Let me point out one bit:

" [...] the race to the bottom on pricing, and Apple's resistance to curation of the App Store [...] "

Folks, this is called "competition". The software market outside of the App Store runs the same damned way... you may make and sell $widget, but lo and behold, someone else makes and sells $also_widget and prices it lower than yours (...the nerve of some people, right?) Think about this: If Apple decided to start favoring certain app makers, world+dog would bitch about favoritism in a heartbeat, and rightly so. I mean damn, if you want your app to sell for a profit, then make it the best/easiest to use, make it rock-solid, and make it appeal to the masses. The rest of the business world has to deal with this, so WTF?

Now the opaque approval process? Yeah, that damned sure needs fixing. But if anything, the bits I chewed on up there is an example of something that Apple does well, not poorly. As for "Apple is also known to cut contact with developers if they release for Android first." I'd love to see evidence of that before knowing anything either way.

Comment: Re:Journalists being stonewalled by Apple? (Score 4, Informative) 264

by Penguinisto (#49335849) Attached to: Developers and the Fear of Apple

The famous example was El Reg.

IMO, The Register hasn't been hurt by much (if at all) from it, truth be told.

They've gained a solid reputation as a site that pulls no punches in the IT industry, meaning that if you want real news, you go there as one of your first sources of information. It's been around for a very long time, and readers still flock to it based on that more than anything else. It's still (IIRC) one of the premiere tech news sites in the UK, in spite of any love lost from Apple. Hell, I'm (admittedly) generally pro-Apple on a technical level (I put 'em 2nd behind Linux), but I still stop there first out of sheer respect for their reporting on tech.

I think many people underestimate the value of a site's reputation. If I want rah-rah Cupertino-flavored cheerleading, I'd go to appleinsider.com. If I want breathless vapid bullshit that's not much more than a regurgitation of $tech_corp PR releases, I'd go read ZDNet, CNET, Gizmodo, or their ilk. That said, I want real news and insight, so I hit up El Reg as one of my first stops**.

I know that I'm not alone... I can usually tell who has an effing clue in tech by the sites they recommend for getting tech news or analysis, and I calibrate my respect for that person's abilities accordingly.

There's another aspect that TFA ignores: big tech corps rely as much on the news sites as the news sites rely on them. If a company is petty and vendetta-happy towards the press, they will quickly find their attitude reciprocated, and then find themselves awash in bad press the moment they stumble.

** ...well, that and to see if they have a new BOFH up. :)

Comment: Re:It has an acronym , so it will fail. (Score 0) 149

by Penguinisto (#49323437) Attached to: Obama To Announce $240M In New Pledges For STEM Education

I didn't have time to do full-blown research with cites and datapoints, so I had to rely on relatively recent experience as an actual teacher... but then, you've proven my point admirably - thank you.

As far as special needs, that's a complex subject, but...

There are better ideas, many of which were long-abandoned. However, there is also a need to stop defining every squirming kid who refuses to sit still in kindergarten as a 'special needs' case. Most students that I've seen (secondary level) which were classified as "special needs" were most often teens who lacked any sense of discipline (9/10, it was never imposed in childhood), and were either drugged into submission after a quick diagnosis of ADD or similar (thus needing special assistance just to help them study through the chemical fog that kept them quiet), or were simply not cut out for the classes they were assigned to (or, most accurately, the classes their parents demanded they take.)

Don't get me wrong - there were definitely students who needed the extra instruction and/or assistance, usually though mental retardation or physical disability. Then again, they used to have special schools built for these needs. For those who weren;t quite that far gone, the public schools simply held back those students who were otherwise too able for special schooling, but were not quite mentally capable (or willing). They'd be held back for another year or more until their minds grew into the curricula, the progressed from there.

There were also some damned sharp students who could not only keep up, but excel - provided that they had access to something that helped them work around the disability (I had a student who was completely blind, but he blazed through class with a braille keyboard and a braille line monitor, coupled with a screen-reading device.) But, those cases aside, there are (or at least from what I've seen, were) far too many kids who were shoved onto the prozac/adderall pill mill and called 'special needs' just to get them out of the teachers' collective hair. It was convenient for the teachers, and in way too many cases convenient for the parents (it got them both sympathy and and a quiet household.)

To sum all that up? Let's try with this sentence: Not every kid who goes to school is going to graduate, let alone go to college. The sooner parents realize that (and schools begin enforcing the concept), the sooner we can restructure curriculum to teach the less able and other kids a trade that is within their abilities, and can actually give them a decent shot at a livable wage after school.

The beer-cooled computer does not harm the ozone layer. -- John M. Ford, a.k.a. Dr. Mike

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