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Comment: Duh... (Score 1) 87

by ProZachar (#47731089) Attached to: What's After Big Data?

Judging from all the new aggregated travel sites that say they search "all travel sites to get you the best price", my guess is an aggregated big data warehouse that searches "all big data to get you the best target profile for your advertising. Canoe(tm). Search one and done, the best profile for the right price. Guaranteed."

Comment: Re:Different colors (Score 2) 267

by ProZachar (#47623131) Attached to: My degree of colorblindness:

Different materials have different abilities to focus white light. Just about every lens-quality material will not bend the components of white light equally and will end up spreading them out a bit. This manifests itself as red and blue/violet tinges. It's called chromatic abberation and it's measured by something called an Abbe number.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromatic_aberration
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbe_number

Polycarbonate lenses drive me nuts because their Abbe number is too low; everything looks like an old-school 3-D movie (without looking at it through the red/blue 3D glasses) to me when I wear them.

Comment: Re:Sprint and T-mobile should give up on LTE (Score 1) 158

by ProZachar (#47171905) Attached to: Big Telecom: Terms Set For Sprint To Buy T-Mobile For $32B

Sprint can't give up on LTE. Sprint 3G IN THEIR HQ CITY is worse than dialup. Go to a baseball or football game here and you can just forget about having any data at all, which is funny, because they're a big Royals sponsor and have all kinds of in-stadium promotions where you text or tweet something, or use MLB At the Ballpark, or whatever. They keep saying "network vision is going to be awesome!" but I got tired of years of that promise never materializing and jumped to TMobile. And I have a close relative who works for Sprint.

Comment: Re:so? (Score 2) 216

by ProZachar (#46787351) Attached to: Click Like? You May Have Given Up the Right To Sue

The current subsidies have the direct effect of reducing supply (since they are not subsidies on the growth of food, but on letting farmland remain fallow...the way to get the money is to have farmland and not grow food on it).

This is only sort of right. IWADFUSDA (I was a developer for the USDA).

My main application issued 2 types of subsidies, to the tune of $4b a year. The first was a direct subsidy. The government says "we will pay you X dollars per ${unit_of_measure} of Y commodity. You grew Z ${units_of_measure}, therefore you get X*Z dollars." There were complex eligibility and attribution rules, but that was the basic idea. This subsidy program was not renewed in the latest Farm Bill.

The other subsidy happened after harvest and market. The government would say "We wanted the market price of Y commodity to be A dollars per ${unit_of_measure}. It was, in fact, A - B dollars. Therefore, in addition to your direct subsidy, we will pay you a "counter cyclical" subsidy of B dollars." If the market price of the commodity was higher than the targetted price, no payment was issued. This subsidy program expired in 2011 or 2012 (I don't remember exactly), and, like the above, was not renewed in the Farm Bill.

I did also do some work on a conservation program. A farmer goes to the government and says "I think these acres on my farm are wetlands/${some_other_environmental_gem}." The government says "We will pay you X dollars per year to not grow crops on this land for Y years." I didn't spend much time on this one, so I don't know the finer points.

I'm not saying these were the only programs around, but the types of programs varied widely. The direct payment program was a big player in the USDA though.

My old coworkers tell me that the latest Farm Bill has shifted emphasis dramatically from subsidy programs to crop insurance programs.

Comment: Re:Here's a thought (Score 1) 303

by ProZachar (#46649595) Attached to: Ad Tracking: Is Anything Being Done?

Advertisement is ubiquitous and inescapable. You can't opt out. Therefore it's brainwashing.

A few months ago I began thinking that advertisers should all be charged under the CFAA. Neuroscience is showing more and more that our brains are simply hormone-addled biological computers. Advertisers attempt hundreds, if not thousands, of hacks on each person's "computer-brain" every day to compromise it and get it to do what they want (as in, instruct their meat-encasement to buy something it probably didn't want or need 10 seconds ago). How is this is different from some cell of Russian credit-card-fraud pieces of shit?

Comment: Re:Legal system works (Score 5, Insightful) 218

"That seems to be against the whole hippy color run spirit."

Nonprofit status only means there are no shareholders that profit. Nonprofit status does not imply "nobody profits".

Starting a successful nonprofit is a hip new way to become rich while convincing the rest of the world that you're a selfless do-gooder.

Comment: Re:Wacky thinking (Score 1) 430

by ProZachar (#46121059) Attached to: Kansas To Nix Expansion of Google Fiber and Municipal Broadband

It is quite humorous to listen to people who pride themselves on being tolerant and not the kind to stereotype expressing intolerance and stereotyping an entire state. But hey, we Kansans are just dumb Christians, so we deserve it, right?

Now, off to write my state reps to urge them to reject this turd of a bill.

Signed,
An atheist Kansan

Comment: Re:money-making scheme (Score 5, Interesting) 348

by ProZachar (#45715489) Attached to: Red Light Camera Use Declined In 2013 For the First Time

My kingdom for mod points.

I argue that money paid for fines should be incinerated. Seriously. Government, whether it's city hall, the local police, the statehouse, or the national government, should never, ever have a financial gain when its citizens commit crimes. Ever. Scratch that; nobody, not government, not charities, not schools, nobody, should have a financial interest in citizens committing crimes. Make crime a source of income, and suddenly you find that whomever benefits from fines thinks a lot of things should be crimes.

Crime is bad (well, real crime like murder, rape and robbery). Nobody should benefit from it.

Restitution is different; that money should go to making the victim whole (not rich, whole), as much as possible.

Comment: Re:Hey (Score 1, Interesting) 535

by ProZachar (#44711573) Attached to: Pastafarian Wins Battle To Wear Colander In License Photo

"Discrimination against atheists is very real, and very widely accepted."

No it's not. I'm an atheist. In Kansas. The last time I felt discriminated against was when I was in college, because finding ways to be the victim of perceived intolerance/discrimination is something that most high school and college kids, including me at that age, excel at.

I've been in the corporate world for nearly 10 years. I don't bring up religion at all and few of my coworkers have ever brought it up either. At my last employer, where I spent over 7 years, I got promoted twice. Not once did a superior ever ask where I went to church, or if I went to church, or anything of the sort.

Here's an uncomfortable truth: we're assholes in religious discussions. Wearing a colander to mock religious people is being an asshole. I know, I used to be one. Then I grew up and realized that alienating friends and potential friends over an issue that can usually be left as "agree to disagree" is a dumb long-term strategy. Perhaps if we atheists would quit treating believers as simple-minded rednecks we'd see a fair amount of that alleged discrimination go away.

Comment: They're meant for each other (Score 1) 212

by ProZachar (#44509069) Attached to: Australian State Bans IBM From All Contracts After Payroll Bungle

Government decision makers are un-fireable and are terrified of making real decisions that might have consequences, because that means heat from their bosses. So they provide little to no actual direction. Government contracting companies just want to suck money from the organization; they don't really care much about anything else. The two would be a perfect match for each other, except for the millions of taxpayers funding their little do-nothing empires.

The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay

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