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Comment Why do we need 10,000 news sites repeating shit? (Score 1) 98

People just grab stuff from Reuters and propagate it. Why would this be a real profession? I worked for a radio once, they basically churned through unpaid interns who vaguely retouched the crap they got from Reuters and then read it outloud in the sound room. It's not exactly highly skilled labor. And then half the reporting world is fucking dishonest. Sensationalism, clickbait, etc. ?
It's not like you need a huge investment to copy information these days. You don't need giant printing presses and distribution chains.
Can I just get it straight from Reuters without intermediaries? Thanks.

Comment So does my Samsung phone. What's the problem? (Score 0) 578

Seriously. People will complain about everything. Is there a website without a recommendation engine these days?
Google Play recommends me apps. Samsung phones come preinstalled with an app recommendation engine.
Why not Windows? If anything I am grateful to get suggestions, or else I would be stuck playing the same game for ages, like in the DOS days.

Comment cloud and desktop synergy (Score 1) 167

from the ./ summary:

"People still see Ubuntu as primarily a desktop operating system. It's not — and hasn't been for some time."

Well there is a distinction between Ubuntu being the primary desktop Linux OS and it being primarily a desktop operating system. The poster conflates those claims by asserting the first while prior surveys supported the latter. And he is too quick to dismiss, and therefore to overlook, what is likely critical to Ubuntu cloud adaption: We want to run in the could what we already run on the desktop. It's familiar. We know how the package manager works and we do not have re-learn all those other differences between distributions which we stumble over and have to look up when moving between them. Sure, not hard to sort out, but who wants to? And who wants to keep 2X all those distribution-dependent details in their head? I think most people are like myself in this respect; pleased to learn fundamental Unix/Linux concepts, annoyed and pestered by details specific to particular distributions. Now what flavor of Linux am I on and where did it keep its config file for this?


Comment why that is (Score 3, Interesting) 257

We are right to hold discoveries of science and the scientific method in high regard. But that approval is distinct from respecting scientists as a class. The problem of non-reproducibility is no fault in the scientific method but instead indication of the rotten state of modern academia.

Earlier in my career I worked at universities writing software used for psychology and neuroscience experiments. On the basis of that experience I can offer an explanation for why about 1/2 of experiments are not reproducible: A lot of psychology faculty are terrible liars. While some demonstrate perfect integrity, others, probably the ones generating all those irreproducible results, lied whenever it suited their purposes. Still others were habitual liars who lied not to achieve some specific outcome but out of habit or compulsion. The center director of one research group confided to me, after a dispute with the faculty, that he had not been able to control his compulsion to lie. And when I claim that faculty "lie", I do not mean what could, by any stretch, be characterized as errors, oversights, or honest differences of opinion. I mean abusive, sociopathic, evident and deliberate lying. Like being told that the inconvenient evidence which you have in hand, "does not exist."

The lying is enforced by implicit threat. One time I responded to an email message, correcting an error, and then immediately after that a prominent member of the faculty, somewhat creepily, follows me into the restroom, stands too close to me while I am using the urinal, and explains to me in a threatening tone the error of my reasoning, which according to him, was that, "it would not do that because it would not do that." The dean imposed a disciplinary penalty on me for objecting to that. Though that was unusual, typically challenging lies elicited, a yelling, screaming fit from a faculty member. So it's not just lying, but lying backed up by threatening, thuggish, behavior of the faculty and university administration. This was a highly-regarded department with generous NIH funding, which makes me think that lying in that field is kind of a mainstream thing.

The root cause here has little to do with science, per se, and has more to do with the rotten management of colleges and universities. Regardless of what the employee handbook states, there are few de facto restrictions on faculty conduct and university administrations act to cover up problems by disciplining and threatening the whistle-blowers. Jerry Sandusky was not a scientist, he was a football coach, but if you look at the way Penn State concealed child molestation and protected him, that is typical of the way universities respond to faculty misconduct as welll, and explains why academic dishonesty is tolerated. One full-time faculty member in the department in which I worked had not set foot in the department in over five years nor ever appeared in any of the classes which she "taught." According to the department chairman, every time she was contacted to encourage her retirement was, whe was, "drunk off her ass in the middle of the day." It was tolerated and covered up.

I am not claiming that all scientists, fields, or academic departments are full of liars. I have never worked closely with physicists, computer scientists or mathematicians on a daily basis, but none whom I know personally have behaved like that.

To sum it all up, psychology has a problem with poor reproducibility of published results, many of the psychology faculty I knew were terrible liars; there might be a causal connection between the two.

Comment One Bit (Score 1) 177

from the ./summary:

...but said it would not block content on the 'darknet' — a network with restricted access — where abusers often posted images."

Well that is one way to defeat the blocking. Or you could flip just one bit in the entire image and that would change the hash. Pick an LSB anywhere and nobody will notice that it is a different image. Assuming it's a hash of the entire image, and not a subsample. And assuming that image compression does not swallow your LSB flip. Even without those assumptions, there will be many trivial and, to the eye, undetectable, transformations which would defeat the hash.

But something tells me that the sort of people trading in this stuff would not be looking to defeat the blocking anyway. They probably want to keep their nasty viewing habits as private as possible, and the fewer people who stumble across that stuff and report it the better off they are.

So FaceBook, Google et. al. are not fighting child abuse, they are covering it up, walling it off from the decent, respectable part of the internet so that we upstanding citizens are not accidentally exposed to it, In a doing so, they facilitate the interests of those who trade in that stuff.

Comment Predictable (Score 2) 330

from the /. summary:

The police in Helsinki, Finland has announced in a tweet that if you see someone driving Uber car, you should call 911 (or actually, 112 in Finland).

from Wikipedia:

The Road to Serfdom is a book written by the Austrian-born economist and philosopher Friedrich von Hayek (1899–1992) between 1940–1943, in which he "[warns] of the danger of tyranny that inevitably results from government control of economic decision-making through central planning."[1] He further argues that the abandonment of individualism and classical liberalism inevitably leads to a loss of freedom, the creation of an oppressive society, the tyranny of a dictator, and the serfdom of the individual.

Comment At What Cost? (Score 1) 528

Clinton Plan To Power Every US Home With Renewables By 2027 Is Achievable

Many things are achievable but still not worth doing:

Dude 1: "So I got wasted, hooked up with that skanky 60-year old fat chick from the bar, lost my car keys and walked home in the rain, slipped and fell in a pile of dogshit."
Dude 2: "That's...achievable!"

Anyway, the kind of people who work for a living and pay taxes might ask, "so how much is this going to cost me?"

Well it might not be as bad as Obama's plan which, in his own words, would cause electricity prices to "necessarily skyrocket."

Though if we emulate Denmark or Germany then our electric bills will be about 2.5x what they are now. Over at Watts Up With That, Willis Eschenbach plots renewable energy adoption of nations vs. their respective consumer electric price. As he explains, he derives the plot from two graphs first presented together here by Paul Homewood.

Comment Re:Everybody List What You Think Went Wrong (Score 5, Insightful) 552

The reason for this decision is that the Slashdot Media business no longer aligns with the broader DHI strategy, which has been refined to focus on providing digital recruitment tools and services to connect employers and recruiters with talent in multiple professional communities.

What that means in plain English is that DHI thought they could use this place as a jobs board until they noticed that companies want to hire productive employees who do actual work instead of wasting time on Slashdot.


Comment Selfless Charity or Profits? (Score 1) 84

So is giving away free internet service to the poor a profit maker for Google or is it selfless charity?

It might well be a profit maker for these reasons: Google gets x amount of advertisement revenue for each new internet user in the U.S., because each new broadband user which Google connects brings Google additional advertising revenues. And Moore's law has dropped the cost of providing service to very low. And Google might be able to claim a charitable tax deduction for this giving. And the best pricing strategy for Google is to charge each customer exactly the most which he will pay. Price discrimination is illegal but charitable giving is a loophole; If the poor will not pay for internet service, then giving them internet service for free while charging those with more money, who are willing to pay for their broadband, is a good pricing strategy.

From a cynical perspective, Google is exploiting the poor by using them as ad-click monkeys.

From an optimistic perspective, free enterprise makes voluntary acts of charity measurably profitable to the giver, in addition to the intangible profit of good-will earned by giving.

If you can't learn to do it well, learn to enjoy doing it badly.