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Comment Hmmm ... (Score 1) 28

The extraordinarily short length of the cord is presumably to discourage behaviour that resulted in the "tightly wrapped" or "repeatedly bent" cables catching fire in at least 56 separate incidents.

Hmmm ... You're holding it wrong?

Sorry, but people wind cables, it's a use case. This sounds like a bit of bullshit to me.

Comment Re:So ... what? (Score 1) 42

I'm sorry, if one group says "we're going to make some awesome software and it's going to be open source", and the other group says "we're gonna be fucking rich and have patents and licenses and subscription models" ... you can't really reconcile those two.

The starting premise is incompatible, which, as I read TFA, is what the author is saying.

Comment So ... what? (Score 1, Insightful) 42

Greedy VCs with no concept of open source fund open source so they can ignore principles of open source and make money? So, people who want to make money don't understand something set up to be given away for free?

Don't get me wrong, the article is interesting in that it's refuting an article written by some VCs without a clue ... but that VCs don't have a clue about open source doesn't surprise me.

I pretty much expect the VCs and MBAs to be clueless on this topic, because they can't reconcile "free" with the need to leverage synergies and monetize shit.

Comment Re:Cool! (Score 1) 214

Which is precisely why this is such a non-important result. You don't learn much about the universe by demonstrating something everyone already knew is true.

You seem to have a funny sense of what constitutes "true".

Nobody "knew" gravitional waves were real until they got measured. They believed in it, had convinced themselves of it, but they sure as fuck didn't "know" it. If fit the theory, but it wasn't a fact.

What you do is confirm your theoretical model with more evidence. That's what they've done here.

It would be much, MUCH more interesting if it didn't work.

So, basically you're sitting around hoping for a miracle to occur so someone can then look for a new theory?

Sure, that would be much more interesting, but it would pretty much assume the universe is just making up shit as it goes ... do we have any evidence of that happening?

Why the hell would proving a 100 year old theoretical prediction NOT be useful or important? Because you were hoping for fucking unicorns?

Do you think scientists should building unicorn detectors just in case something happens in the universe we can't explain? That's not science, that's voodoo.

Comment Re:Fast (Score 1) 214

You can safely assume that a tremendous amount of people have been sitting on the edge of their seats for this.

Confirmation of yet another aspect of Relativity is a big deal -- this is a theory with a perfect track record and which pretty much describes almost everything about the universe.

Disproving any of his stuff would rock the scientific community. Continuing to prove again and again just how right he was? That's worthy of some coverage, and NOBODY who covers this stuff was going to miss it.

Everybody learns who Einstein is when they're kids, and they know hew as really smart and had crazy hair. And then the more you see what he actually did, you just look at it and think "sweet damn that was one smart man".

Comment Re:Cool! (Score 4, Insightful) 214

Wouldn't it have been conceivable, assuming some flaw in the theory of relativity

Yes, absolutely.

The thing here is that to date Einstein has a perfect track record. Which is pretty remarkable.

To date, everything they've ever tested says that the theory of relativity, as far as we've been able to investigate, hasn't shown any cracks.

Comment Re:It's math ... (Score 2) 108

I'm curious as to how someone becomes the head of a spy agency while being so fundamentally ignorant of one of the most fundamental aspects of espionage.

I find the further up the food chain you move the less it becomes about reality, and the more it becomes the ridiculous belief that your demands define reality.

"Just make it go because I said so".

He's a lawyer, not a technologist or a spy ... which means he believes semantic arguments about the law take precedence technical constraints.

Political appointees are there to implement policy, and reality isn't allowed to interfere with policy.

Comment It's math ... (Score 3, Insightful) 108

"Cryptography is very much a worldwide academic discipline, as evidenced by the quantity and quality of research papers and academic conferences from countries other than the U.S."

Cryptography is, ultimately, mathematics.

People who want to poke holes in crypto fundamentally don't understand that the math is out there for all to see.

So, flash back .. what, 20 years? When the US treated crypto as munitions and you couldn't export it. Now the US wants to break it, control it, and regulate it. And if people shift to other technologies, the US will be left with nothing but wishful thinking, and crypto they can't do anything with.

âoeThe potential of an NSA-installed backdoor in U.S. encryption products is rarely mentioned in the marketing material for the foreign-made encryption products,â the study explains. âoeThis is, of course, likely to change if U.S. policy changes.â

Indeed, wait for the marketing glossy to say "now, 100% American spying free!!!"

Oddly enough, if you make yourselves untrustworthy, nobody will trust you.

"So let me be crystal clear: Weakening encryption or taking it away harms good people who are using it for the right reason," Apple CEO Tim Cook

The people who want to spy on everybody don't understand this fact. You can't keep the benefits of crypto if you've ruined it. And trusting the spies will be the only ones who have broken into your stuff is utterly moronic.

The heads of these spy agencies are too ill-informed about the technology to understand the stupidity of what they say. All they see is a need for nobody to have any secrets from them -- and to them, a big fuck you.

Comment Competition vs cooperation? (Score 1) 147


Some of us eschew most forms of competition ... I don't care if you can run faster or jump higher ... I don't want to play your silly game if it's about that.

Someone who wants to show he's better at something is kind of a boor. I really don't care if you can hit a golf ball further, but if you shoot lower than I do and have fun, I don't need to care.

I wonder if this is why things like Eurogames are popular ... it's not competitive and cut-throat, it's co-operative. There is no incentive to cheat, because it's not that kind of game. Why would you cheat when you're all trying to win together?

Contrast this with Monopoly where the object of the game is ... well, to piss off everybody else and claim victory and rub their noses in it. I despise Monopoly.

Winning seems like it comes from competition for scarce resources. But in situations in which everyone needs to work together, it can be counter productive ... yes, you're awesome, but we all need to achieve a goal instead of stroking your ego.

So, if you derive your sense of self worth from "I beat you", "I'm better than you", a lot more of your self worth is dependent on those outcomes ... and you'll take greater lengths to ensure those outcomes.

Sure, in some contexts competition is good, and achieves some outcomes. But then you can get a skewed perspective on what you'll be willing to do to achieve those outcomes.

Interesting. Usually until someone actually studies this stuff you don't stop to think about it.


Amazon Restores Some Heft To Helvetica For Kindle E-Ink Readers ( 78

David Rothman writes: Props to Amazon. The Helvetica font will be restored to a more readable weight than the anorexic one in the latest update for E Ink Kindles. Let's hope that an all-bold switch—or, better, a font weight adjuster of the kind that Kobo now offers—will also happen. I've queried Amazon about that possibility. Meanwhile thanks to Slashdot community members who spoke up against the anorexic Helvetica!

Comment Re:Self-Selection? (Score 1) 270

Also perhaps interesting- do men whose gender are not made apparent statistically do better than those who do?

You know the study itself is a pretty short read, right?

Anyway, yes. Everyone, both male and female, who have "gender-neutral" GitHub profiles had pull requests accepted at a higher rate than everyone who had "gendered" profiles. The difference between gendered vs. gender-neutral profile was larger than the difference between genders. Note that all that is for "outsiders" -- insiders have a higher acceptance rate overall with seemingly little difference between (male, female) x (gendered, gender-neutral).

Comment Re:Self-Selection? (Score 1) 270

It doesn't appear that the study considered "pointing out their gender" at all.

Rather, they tried to determine whether the gender of a GitHub profile was readily apparent.

Per the description of their methodology, if you use a profile image (rather than an identicon), you are automatically considered "gender is readily apparent". If that test fails, they look at the confidence level output by a gender-guessing bot of some kind. If that fails, they have a method for estimating the confidence level of a panel of three humans.

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