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Comment: Space Loonies (Score 1, Informative) 219

by Simonetta (#48144409) Attached to: When will the first successful manned Mars mission happen?

Manned space flight was a government program that has been determined to be
too expensive and too limited in returns to be continued at its former funding
levels. We have serious problems now that we didn't have then, and few people
believe that throwing hundreds of billions of dollars into space will solve
them. Grown-up people who have to make hard and realistic decisions about our
public funds and resources have decided this. NASA and Tom Swift-space buffs
can't accept it. Sorry, guys, but it's time to get real.

      Sure, politicians will continue announce great new projects like manned Mars
missions. But then they will quietly de-fund them to nearly nothing a year
later. They don't have any choice. Money that would have been spent on these
projects has already been spent; and it's gone. Get used to it because it is the
way that things will be from now on.
    The permanent, endless war and 100 million obese, stupid Baby-Boomers are all
that we got for it this massive misallocation of resources. It's all that we're
going to get. This is the great tragedy that is America and what it could have
been, but isn't and now never will be.

    People born into 20th-century America are prone to economic fantasy because
they have lived their whole lives inside one. What they don't realize is that
their country and their government is broke. There is no trillion dollars for
space exploration. There is no trillion dollars for anything left anywhere in
the USA.

    Money is not a physical good. Money is basically created out of nothing. If
this conjured money doesn't in turn create real wealth, it disappears back to
nothing by means of inflation. Space exploration does not create wealth by
itself. It is a combination of heavily-subsidized unfocused research and
technological stunts done for national prestige. NASA engineers never
understand this. They don't study economics, and they don't understand
economics.

    There won't be hundreds of billions of dollars spent on space in the coming
years because there was already a trillion dollars spent on a Iraq-Afghanistan
war that accomplished nothing. There was a trillion dollars spent on
maintaining the fantasy that some Wall Street banks and investment firms are too
big to fail. There was a trillion dollars spent giving $600,000 mortgages to
janitors. There were many trillions of dollars spent on federal government
budget deficits.

    All these trillion-dollar misadventures didn't create any wealth. And
therefore, the money disappeared. America was rich in the past, now it's not.
There were great sums of money in the past for funding giant government
projects, but there aren't going to be any giant projects in the future. The
trillions of dollars that space enthusiasts believe could and should be spent on
the glorious future in space and its endless possibilities for the betterment of
humanity don't exist anymore.

      Space-cadets love to talk about the need to venture beyond the moon in order
to save humanity from a soon-to-be dying Earth. But this is not science
talking, it's a personality disorder. These guys assume that because their
scientific prowess has created tools and techniques that can destroy the Earth,
then they have a right, and even an obligation, to do so. They confuse rockets
with penises and hydrogen bombs with testicles.

      These guys are not clear-eyed, sober engineers; they are death-worshiping
fascists. They are transparently insane, and you shouldn't pay serious attention
to them. They are left-over 'Dr. Strangelove' techno-psychopaths from mid-20th
century. They're pissed because 'little-minded people' wouldn't let them burn
the Earth and rule the ashes. Fortunately, their time has gone and they don't
have the political power that they did fifty years ago.

    We live in a different age now. This is the era of limits. Understand this
and we will prosper in new and unexpected ways. Learn to differenciate fact
from fantasy and leave the fantasies to the Hollywood movie-makers. Space
Exploration is a 20th-century quasi-religion that has begun to manifest itself
as a mental disease among those people who continue to believe it too strongly.
Don't let that happen to you.

Comment: Better password (Score 1) 549

by Simonetta (#48134541) Attached to: Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

I suggest that you use the initials of all the people that you had crushes on when you were in middle school. You won't forget them, and brute-force cracking software is unlikely to detect your password.

  For example, if you had crushes on Carly, Janis, Gina, Wanda, Jane, Janet, Joan, Julie, Sally, Cindy, Alice, and Farah, then your general password would be: cjgwjjjjscaf. Which is a wonderful password. [You can't help it: you're a hopeless romantic.]

Unfortunately, nitwit system admins are requiring people use passwords with numbers and "special characters".
Which brings us to the number one rule of passwords: Always Let The User Pick Their Own Password!
Rule number two: Never force anyone to change their password if they don't want to!

If you are serious about having unbreakable passwords, then forget all this number and special character nonsense and allow backspace to be a character in the password that your user chooses.

One more thing. If you're not guarding hydrogen bombs, then you don't really need hydrogen-bomb-level password security. You don't minimum 10 unique_characters_plus_numbers_and_special_character passwords for your kitten video website.

Comment: Primal difference between Man and Woman (Score 1) 342

by Simonetta (#48065027) Attached to: Fortune.com: Blame Tech Diversity On Culture, Not Pipeline

There is a primal difference between men and women that is applicable to software engineering.
Software writing is basically the manipulation of symbols to change the operation of physical machinery. This definition can be extended to mean that software creates functional machinery through the manipulation of symbols (text typed on editors that is compiled into machine-controlling patterns of 1s and 0s).

Men get a primal Promethean thrill and ego boost from creating machines from symbols.

Women get the same thrill and primal sense-of-purpose from creating new living human beings (i.e. babies), instead of machinery.

This, I believe, is the subliminal reason that so few women go into the software development field.

Comment: a solution in search of a problem (Score 1) 75

by Simonetta (#47855337) Attached to: Book Review: Architecting the Cloud

Until such time that the tech community of the world can and will effectively deal with (i.e. either convince to stop misbehaving or just kill 'em) all the brilliant psychopathic programmers in their mist that create malware and viruses that defraud millions of people, then it is plain madness and criminal negligence to encourage people to entrust their data to some unknown and unmonitored external entity such as the 'cloud'.

Until that time, safe and productive cloud computing is just a fantasy. It's a solution in search of problem. Avoid it.

Comment: JJ meets his Waterloo attacking high tech (Score 0) 514

by Simonetta (#47570623) Attached to: Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

JJ meets his Waterloo when he barges into the electronics lab. Even the black people in the electronics/high tech biz are about as far away from being black as you can be. All fifty of them.

For 400 years, the Afro-american community has been desperately breeding a certain type of individual. A type of person who can survive slave work and still pass their inherent africaness into the next generation. After 20 solid generations, they created the 'African-American'.

The technology industry is almost as old (if you see the industrial revolution and beginning of science as part of the tech industry). It too has created a certain individual type: the nerd.

The A-As and the nerds are about as far apart as people can be. All the characteristics bred into one group were bred out of the other group. They can barely talk to each other, even when they speak the same language.

The tech industry hires two types of people: nerds and people who support the needs of nerds. And since the tech industry is one of the most important industries in the world today, (along with food production and high finance) , they get to choose who they will pay to work for them.

The only reason the nerds will hire black people is as office pets. And then only the ones who know the difference between flux and a capacitor. And the ones "just know" without being specifically taught that you can type "ST7735R" into Google when you want to get the 250 page manual of a thin-flat-transistor screen. And who would never bring up the subject of "mah dih'que" in the workplace. Not too many people like this around, and the ones that are, are already working in the high tech biz.

So let's just redirect our conversation to the vast legacy of great JJ jokes that have written over the past half century. Old standards like:

Q: What's this? fee foh fii - fii fee foh foh A: JJ's telephone number (from 1977)

-or, the more esoteric,

JJ visited the Middle East and met with Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat. After the meeting, JJ was overheard saying to himself: "...been a long time since I said 'Yah, sir' to anyone".

Comment: Not exactly needed (Score 1, Interesting) 62

by Simonetta (#47258669) Attached to: A Seriously High Speed Video Camera (Video)

A 700 frame per second camera really isn't needed by very many people. It doesn't matter if a new design reduces its price by an order of magnitude.

What we need is the opposite: a very cheap camera with very high resolution and a very low price. Then we can put them on light poles and get good high-resolution courts-evidence-quality images of the people who are running out of nowhere to attack you, beat you senseless, and stealing your $500 bicycle when neighborhood is quite 100% gentrified yet.

At the present we have low-res video of "people" doing this, but they are rarely have enough resolution to positively identify the attackers.

Same with 'Flash mobs' that come into a store in groups of dozens, grab handfuls of stuff off the shelves, and just walk out in a large group.

Comment: Re:Progenitors? (Score 1) 686

by Simonetta (#47218297) Attached to: Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

The chances of advanced technological lifeforms developing is nearly infinitely small, and the distances between the ones that actually do develop are so great, that they never contact or even become aware of each other. Life forms on earth that are far in advance of humans are based on intelligence that evolved into post-biological form before one of the 100 million year cycles that periodically destroys all life on earth.

Comment: Re:Disable player chat (Score 4, Funny) 704

by Simonetta (#46547715) Attached to: Getting Misogyny, Racism and Homophobia Out of Gaming

" His GDC talk focused on 'misogyny, sexism, racism, ethnocentrism, nationalism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, queerphobia and other types of social injustice.' "

      Boy, this one is a challenge. Wish I had Will Shortz here to help. But I'll do the best I can:
Capital Crime: Example in a game comment:
misogyny You dumb fuck, you fight like a girl
sexism You dumb chick, you don't fight worth a fuck
racism You fight like a white boy.
ethnocentrism You fight like a French white boy.
    nationalism You fight like a French white boy. USA, fuckin' A!
  ageism You fight like an old French white boy. USA, fuckin' A!
ableism You fight like an old French white boy in a wheelchair. USA, fuckin' A! ,
homophobia, You fight like an old French faggot white boy in a wheelchair. USA, fuckin' A! ,
  transphobia You fight like an old French faggot white boy in a wheelchair who dropped her dick on the floor. USA, fuckin' A!
  queerphobia You fight like an old French faggot white boy in a wheelchair who dropped her dick in his boyfriend's asshole. USA, fuckin' A!

Did I miss anything?

Comment: Took the words right out of mouth (Score 1) 89

I was going to write exactly the same thing as the comment above.

A bunch of pissants in a country like India that think that they can shake down Google for f-ing $5 BILLION dollars are living in the the 20th century when power was defined by being a country with a flag, a UN seat, an airline, and a president-for-life.

Things are different now.

Especially for a country like India, which is run by corrupt IIT graduates who live on delusions of being a super-power with a moon base and don't have a clue about how to deal with having 500 million people living in abject poverty around them.

Comment: Ask your students.... (Score 2) 197

by Simonetta (#46441941) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Online, Free Equivalent To a CompSci BS?

With all respect...
  All the comments that you'll be getting from Slashdot readers will be worthless to the point of your question. As you may have noticed by now, every responder assumes that you want to learn to how to do what they consider a dream job in CS to be. And they give replies like 'read Knuth' or 'do MIT on-line courses'.

Since you already have an excellent job with a good future, and you have already studied elementary program texts in CS languages like Java, allow me to suggest that you ask the middle school students in your programming club what they would consider to be cool and useful programs to have. After you get through the fantasy aps like ' a really cool game that the player doesn't end up always losing' and ' a smokin' 3-D interactive girlfriend' or ' a bio-implant that will allow me to get perfect SAT scores without studying', then you might get some interesting suggestions.

Personally I suggest that you and your programming students develop Arduino and Raspberry Pi applications. The elementary 'blinking LED' stuff, simple robotics applications, and digital television art projects made from inexpensive TFT displays will be fascinating to middle school and high school students. (hopefully).

Comment: Mousetraps and ping-pong balls (Score 1) 410

by Simonetta (#46268175) Attached to: Obama To Ask For $1 Billion Climate Change Fund

And you thought that I was going to say something vulgar and metaphorical about the president....

No, I'm reminded of the atomic-pile simulation that used to be taught to kids. You remember, the one where there is a big floor filled with set mousetraps. And each trap has two ping-pong balls ~gently~ placed on the spring. A single ball is tossed in, and ~zap!~ a trap goes off, more balls are released, more traps go off, a few here and there, and then the big crescendo... balls flying everywhere.

Climate change is like that. We are just seeing the beginning now. It's small enough that stupid people can convince themselves that it's not happening. But as the Siberian tundra melts, and the 100,000,000 year old methane stored there gets released, and the polar ice caps melt, and the changing salinity alters the north-south oceanic current flows, and the mean temperature of the tropic regions rises to 140 degrees F for an average day.... well, balls flying everywhere.

A billion dollars tossed at a global problem of this magnitude of problem is nothing. A billion dollars is about the size of the heavy-metal music industry, a heaping spoonful of the toilet paper industry, and most of the "Hello Kitty" trinket industry. More chickensh*t public posturing from a man who has spent most of his adult life publicly posturing about chickenshit.

National Geographic recently published a series of maps of what the Earth would look like in 100 or so years from now when the ice caps have melted. They missed out on the fact that most of the earth except for the polar regions will be bright yellow instead of green. Yellow as in areas where nothing will grow and nothing will live. You probable live in one of these regions now. Best to spend the next decade ignoring the bozospeak coming from corporate and governmental entities. Instead find a place on those maps that presently has temperate weather, internet access, indoor plumbing, and civilized people.

  Move there; move your family there. And as the decades go by and all the billions of doomed people start to realize that they deserve to be in that place instead of you, well, prepare yourself to have to deal with them like they are all one big surplus giraffe.

Gnome Sane?

Comment: Why no one with a brain lives in the USA south. (Score 1) 467

No comment necessary. Stupid is what stupid does. This is South Carolina. North Carolina is just the same, all you do is just change the name. In fact the whole South is like this. And not to put too fine a point on it, every point on earth south of the Mason Dixon latitude line is like this. (except Australia and New Zealand).

Don't move there. Don't take a job there. Unless you have the money to deal with stupid sh*t like this.
But you'll need a lot of money. Because there are a lot of just plain stupid people in the South.

Comment: Mousetraps and ping-pong balls (Score 2) 401

And you thought that I was going to say something vulgar and metaphorical about Mr. Kerry....

No, I'm reminded of the atomic-pile simulation that used to be taught to kids. You remember, the one where there is a big floor filled with set mousetraps. And each trap has two ping-pong balls ~gently~ placed on the spring. A single ball is tossed in, and ~zap!~ a trap goes off, more balls are released, more traps go off, a few here and there, and then the big crescendo... balls flying everywhere.

Climate change is like that. We are just seeing the beginning now. It's small enough that stupid people can convince themselves that it's not happening. But as the Siberian tundra melts, and the 100,000,000 year old methane stored there gets released, and the polar ice caps melt, and the changing salinity alters the north-south oceanic current flows, and the mean temperature of the tropic regions rises to 140 degrees F for an average day.... well, balls flying everywhere.

A billion dollars here and there tossed at a global problem of this magnitude of problem is nothing. A billion dollars is about the size of the heavy-metal music industry, a heaping spoonful of the toilet paper industry, and most of the "Hello Kitty" trinket industry.

National Geographic recently published a series of maps of what the Earth would look like in 100 or so years from now when the ice caps have melted. Indonesia was gone. John Kerry is just giving them a 'head's up" warning.

NG also missed out on the fact that most of the earth except for the polar regions will be bright yellow instead of green. Yellow as in areas where nothing will grow and nothing will live. You probable live in one of these regions now. Best to spend the next decade ignoring the bozospeak coming from corporate and governmental entities. Instead find a place on those maps that presently has temperate weather, internet access, indoor plumbing, and civilized people.

  Move there; move your family there. And as the decades go by and all the billions of doomed people start to realize that they deserve to be in that place instead of you, well, prepare yourself to have to deal with them like they are all one big surplus giraffe.

Gnome Sane?

Comment: Get used professional MIDI tone modules (Score 1) 299

by Simonetta (#46093503) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: An Open Source PC Music Studio?

Get used professional MIDI tone modules on eBay for your musical instruments. The 10-20 year-old stuff is rapidly increasing in resale value so you can always resell any piece of equipment on eBay for what you paid for it.Get a Yamaha MOTIF, Korg Kronos, Roland Fantom G, or something in this class. The interfaces are awkward with lots of rack-mount front panel button pressing, but the sounds are good enough. You can build interactive MIDI controllers with Arduinos to overcome the inherent user-interface difficulties of these MIDI modules.

    Try all the cheap and free software before buying anything. Anything that you buy that costs more than a few hundred dollars is going to make you sound like everyone else who bought the same program.

Comment: If you live in Norway, stick with proven tech (Score 1, Insightful) 476

by Simonetta (#46093199) Attached to: Tesla's Having Issues Charging In the Cold

If you live in Norway, stick with proven technology. Like gasoline engines. Let's face it. Norway is often very cold in the winter. Cold enough that people die from cold unless they have machines to keep them warm. When you live in places that have extreme weather, you HAVE to accept that proven working technology like gasoline-engines-for -transportation overrides any emotional feelings of needing to serve as a test site for so-called green technology. In California it doesn't matter. But Norway's not California. If you fuck up and buy a 'green' car that won't start in the cold, then you die in the cold. Act accordingly. Nobody in California gives a shit whether or not you freeze to death because their technology failed.

    This very expensive automobile has demonstratively failed to meet the needs of people who live north of the 55th meridian. Norwegians should not buy it. Buy a Volvo: Swedes understand cold and their cars can be coaxed to start in extremely cold weather.

    And there is this briefly mentioned problem of the fucking Norwegian electrical connectors not mating with standard electric car connectors... You'all need to find the guy responsible for this, strip him to underwear, and dump out into the snow. Be sure to leave him with an electric heater that has a plug that just quite doesn't fit into the socket needed to stay alive. If he lives, then he won't be doing stupid shit like this any more. If he dies, well, just one more soul sacrifice to the Viking gods.

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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