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Comment: Re:Obviously (Score 5, Insightful) 248

by donscarletti (#49819619) Attached to: Fuel Free Spacecrafts Using Graphene

You don't really have to have much knowledge about anything to second guess experts in any field. Just hold to the rule that "all amazing results are caused by inaccurate measurement, poor sampling, cognitive leaps or coincidence" and you'll be right 70% of the time.

The actual breakthroughs will be so old hat by the time they have been tested properly that nobody will talk about them and you'll never eat crow.

Remember, cynicism and wisdom lead to the same result most of the time, only wisdom is so much harder to learn.

Comment: Re:"Kaspersky's relationship with the Kremlin" (Score 1) 288

I currently am a systems engineer working specifically on email systems design.

And this makes you an authority about Weapons of Mass Destruction how? Even if you were doing email systems design for DuPont or the military, you'd have no authority to cite.

Also, if you were any good as a "systems engineer" they wouldn't have you working on email, that's a lower rung than even web backends. Whoever was responsible for cooking up Saddam's nasties in the 80s wouldn't even hire guys of your caliber as a floor manager, let alone as an engineer.

Comment: Re: You're dying off (Score 1) 287

by donscarletti (#49722997) Attached to: The Auto Industry May Mimic the 1980s PC Industry

Young men would buy expensive custom sound/entertainment systems for mediocre cars when I was a lad, but they would stop well before 30. This was not a generational thing then and it isn't one now.

Young people (under 25) as a rule feel they should be provided quality entertainment while driving. Less young people (over 25) don't. I for instance have a 6 stack CD player full of shitty Chinese pop songs that I don't particularly like, but really I don't care.

Comment: Re: sampling bias (Score 1) 405

by donscarletti (#49651969) Attached to: Is IT Work Getting More Stressful, Or Is It the Millennials?

Well, Aristophanes quoting Socrates is not so much different to Plato quoting Socrates, which is where his canonical quotes come from.

Aristophanes himself was an expert on cantankerous old people, as evinced by reading "The Wasps", an insightful critique of the classical period / Iron Age problems of increased life expectancy based on better diet and sanitation coupled with a marked decrease in violence compared to the Bronze Age leading to people living well past 40 and causing trouble for the young.

The allegory he tells, of Procleon, an old man addicted to voting and public participation to the detriment of the state rings true today, especially in countries without mandatory voting and too many elections for a working man to attend (the U.S.).

One also should consider that when Aristopanes was born, Rome was still a little discussed village in the middle of nowhere, so as far as knowing about old men, he would have you all bested.

Comment: Re: sampling bias (Score 2) 405

by donscarletti (#49651667) Attached to: Is IT Work Getting More Stressful, Or Is It the Millennials?

They seem to feel "owed" by society a job, and to be treated nicely and fairly.

I'll tell you some personal anecdotes if I may. I'm right on the old end of the so called "Millenial" generation, I graduated from university in 2006. 6 months after getting my first job, the U.S. economy went to shit and the American customer for the project I was working on cancelled the project and my contract was not renewed. 8 months after getting my second job, another round of layoffs hit (based on declining U.S. sales, a failed Nasdaq IPO and the national government cancelling subsidies), with some exceptions in a last in first out pattern, until finally after a year and a half, I was the new guy again and I was actively encouraged to apply for other jobs. I tried a foreign country after that, but the company I worked for folded after 10 months.

To my knowledge I am not a pariah and for what it's worth I am well appreciated by my current employer, I would assume this is more or less typical of those who entered the workforce with me and were laid off along side me. Compared to even Generation X, who got started during the prosperous 90s and were able to keep their first jobs for long enough to make them meaningful, or the Baby Boomers who often went through their whole careers with a single employer, it is really hard to picture those who entered the workforce along side me considering having a job as anything less than an elusive state that can only be retained through long hours, office politics and luck.

Comment: Re:This is why.. (Score 1) 124

Or, failing the artists, Sound Exchange could set up a credit card payment system. Pay $10 a year (which is what Pandora pays per user if they're all listening to an average of 20 songs a day) and you can pirate with impunity.

Sure, it would still use the same dubious mechanism for divvying up the profits, but you'd get the convenience of commodity torrent websites, tools and players rather than whatever the commercial offerings are peddling and you would guarantee that a larger percentage of the money would go to the songwriters, performers and producers that make the music that you listen to than if you had gone through Pandora.

Comment: Re: Parody (Score 1) 255

by donscarletti (#49178297) Attached to: Gritty 'Power Rangers' Short Is Not Fair Use

A judge has to rule?

You mean someone trained in law, usually with decades of experience in its practice that is appointed and trusted by the state as an arbiter of what is and isn't covered under this or that statute or precedent?

Wouldn't having one of these judge things sort of undermine Bennett's role? After all, Bennet has already ruled that it isn't fair use, so what is there to discus?

Comment: Re:Still useful research (Score 4, Insightful) 224

by donscarletti (#48743503) Attached to: Beware Headlines Saying Chocolate Is Good For You

Guess what, American beers and wines are winning contests in Europe.

Yes, but not the beers and wines that Americans in general actually consumes.

Sure, you can go to a craft microbrew bar in San Francisco and drink a beer the equal of anything coming from Europe's best breweries. But in 99% of the country and at the price range that 80% of the country can afford you can only get Budweiser, Miller or Coors.

Compare this to any country in Europe where you can be in the most backwards, rural town and get something good served to you just by walking to the bar and asking for "beer".

America is a huge and populous country and it stands to reason that there will be a little bit of everything happening there. But nobody cares what you and your hipster friends are drinking and it doesn't change the fact that American beer is shit.

Comment: Re:Accuracy (Score 2) 106

by donscarletti (#48743091) Attached to: European Researchers Develop More Accurate Full-Body Polygraph

Exactly. There's no reliable body response for a lie. All they are measuring is nervousness, which you could have for a variety of reasons.

A polygraph measures nervousness on one axis and time on the other.

The point is not to measure if the subject is generally nervous, it is to measure a nervous reaction to stimulus, usually a question posed by an interrogator.

Polygraph results are not admissible in court, they do not override a suspect's right to not answer questions and unlike torture there is no real evidence that they lead to false confessions. A stupid but innocent suspect could only believe that the polygraph will exonerate them. It's not that judges, prosecutors, the police or anyone in power believes they are more than 60% accurate, what a jury believes about them is irrelevant since if they receive the outcome it's grounds for a mistrial.

A polygraph test is like an IQ test, it does measure something that is very useful for some people in some cases, but what it does measure is very different to what the general public understands it to be measuring. If you however are one of the people who need the information that it actually does measure, it's extremely useful. It seems however that the same group of people have their panties in a knot about both things.

Comment: Re:Erh... I don't get it (Score 4, Funny) 104

In 1766, the Royal Society commissioned Lt. James Cook to command H.M. Bark Endeavour to sail to the South Pacific to witness the transit of Venus across the sun from the southern hemisphere, where it would be visible. On this voyage he and his crew would become the first Europeans to see the East Coast of Australia and New Zealand.

In the closing days of 2014, the news reaches slashdot.

Comment: Re:TFA is a big bullshit ! (Score 1) 32

by donscarletti (#48674303) Attached to: Inside China's 'Christmas Factory' Town, Yiwu

£200 to £300 is 2,000 to 3,000 Yuan RMB.

In Beijing, where salaries are amongst the highest in China, I know plenty of professionals, like teachers with masters degrees (from BJ's top tier schools) and three or four years experience working for 4,000-5,000. At my company, which does game development, which is seen as a lucrative career, we pay graduates about 3,000.

I don't know about Yiwu, but at least in Ningbo, which is a bigger and wealthier city nearby, where my previous company has got manufacturing operations, salary for factory workers did not reach 1,500 three years ago when I was last there and could not have doubled in these years. Zhejiang people are the most tight, miserly people in China, if not the world, which is why they can create these decorations so cheaply, and they do not do so by paying their workers well.

You cannot make 5,000 doing factory labour anywhere in China, not in Tianjin, not in Shenzhen and especially not in any city in Zhejiang or Jiangsu. Hell, you probably wouldn't get more than 5,000 managing an entire assembly line in Yiwu.

Comment: Re: Motive (Score 1) 282

by donscarletti (#48671215) Attached to: Did North Korea Really Attack Sony?

And with this, you would lose any hope of support from anyone in the region. The South Korean government would either consider this tribute as too much of a humiliation or would consider it as payment for the war in its entirety and not commit any of its own troops. Japan would be skeptical and would start distancing itself, China would use it to enormous political advantage, as would Russia. Not to mention the problems that this tax would have on integrating the brained washed North Korean masses into Korean society, when they are trained to hate everything un-Korean as imperialism for 60 years, then suddenly are conqured by foreign soldiers and are forced to pay 2% of their earnings to a foreign power, learning that Kim Il Sung was right all along.

Basically you would be turning this from something achieved with a few air strikes, lend lease and South korean blood to another Vietnam war, for two percent of the income of a war torn and divided nation.

People like you having the vote is why the framers of the U.S. constitution did not envision a standing army or entering permanent alliances.

If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization.