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Comment: Re:it's only a Mantis Shrimp in disguise (Score 1) 162

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49605305) Attached to: NASA Gets Its Marching Orders: Look Up! Look Out!

No, it's also a thing for two sides to be outraged about and have a flame war. Thus, it's money in the bank for Dice Holdings. You really should recognize what's important in this world. Short term bottom line and minimizing any legal liability. Occasional intelligent conversation is just a way to lure in the sucker... I mean users.

I have utmost sympathy and respect for Dice Holdings, host of this forum.

Some goofball nobody in Silicon Valley can cut cheese on a smartphone and hold out a smelly app for everyone to sniff, say cutesy things in a press release, and you guys (and gal) eat it up. Or the other end of the spectrum, when tech luminaries go on about planet-sized lithium batteries that will save the planet, even the Musk can be pungent around here.

But let some poor someone even vaguely associated with Dice Holdings submit a cheerful story about tech job seeking and hiring practices, something they must know about, and the shit hits the fan. Such as the February 2013 What EMC Looks For When It's Hiring outrage. The tone of some of the comments made me feel embarrassed by association, such a wave of arrogant entitlement as infantile as Facebook users blaming the company for dirt on their screens.

It was so bad I took an anthropological interest and attempted to explain it in a nature documentary.
Slashdot Packs Miracle EMC Punching Power!

Thank you Dice for continued stewardship. What a stew it can be.

Comment: Re:Ha! (Score 1) 162

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49604985) Attached to: NASA Gets Its Marching Orders: Look Up! Look Out!

Sending a few people to Mars with current tech is like cavemen trying to get to the moon by finding bigger and bigger trees to climb, and thinking they're making progress.

The first ancestor to actually hold a flaming branch in hand after a lightning strike, after all the others had sensibly run away... was a total loon doing something terrifying and incomprehensible. Once it became clear that one end was on fire and the other was not, it was easy to gather the courage to pick it up and examine the fire closely. Carrying it and touching flame to dried leaves, fire-daughters are born and take on a life of their own. This is amazing stuff. Blowing on orange embers, the flame is reborn. Keep a glowing ember in a pouch with you always, and devoting your own life to ensuring that it does not go out... you become the one who carries fire, the first scientific shaman. There is a direct lineage of awe and wonder from that proto-human to that Zippo in your pocket.

The space corollary to your finding bigger trees to climb metaphor -- we can do this! -- is an tether/elevator dangling from geosynchronous orbit. Such a thing *is* achievable in our lifetime, but while fire was a great idea, not all ideas are good ideas. You have to apply technology in ways that do not create single points of failure that malicious persons can exploit with a few explosives or the push of a single button..

Solar power is a good idea. Orbital solar power is a bad idea: the entity that owns it controls the world, those who destroy it bring civilization down. Energy -- the modern ability to make fire -- should be autonomously generated in many places, in many ways. If you want it down you must campaign, invade and fight on countless fronts.

Unfortunately, most of our modern information technology infrastructure has been designed by engineers with casual disregard for autonomous operation, who even glorify single points of failure. Without a network connection to that distant city that is a prime nuclear target, that cell phone tower in your backyard is too stupid to connect local calls. On the edge of town is an empty building that used to house a telephone switch that could connect local wired phones indefinitely.

An orbital tether would be good for making space accessible, transporting loads and people. But Kim Stanley Robinson in Red Mars has shown us that a sabotaged, fallen tether could be an equatorial whiplash of terrifying proportions. And once all other transport vehicles are rendered 'obsolete' and head for the scrapyard (economics=no one's fault), this single point of failure becomes an absurd tragedy.

Even manned space exploration described in this Bill, which makes me jubilant, has a nagging anxiety with it. I fear that IF we spend too many resources for mere exploration (and even colonization) and do not place an urgent enough priority on impactor NEO/comet detection with several tested techniques for interception and vector adjustment, with a triple backup of hardware in orbit and in the asteroid belt ready to deploy quickly, our pioneers in space may one day become witnesses to our (and their own) funeral.

We are the choices we make.
Effective planetary defense means the weaponization of space, as soon as possible.
There is no such thing as a single-use technology.
We just need to deal with it. The threat of Mutual Assured Destruction is a great equalizer.
Failure to move in this direction is an evolutionary dead end.

Any ancestor who failed to wield a club fell to those who did.
Everyone now has a club. In civilized society this is also known as a "talking stick".
Welcome to the club.

Comment: Why did the porridge bird lay his egg in the air? (Score 1) 162

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49604081) Attached to: NASA Gets Its Marching Orders: Look Up! Look Out!

It's pretty clear that Republicans are seeking to get people into space so they can expand their voter base.

And you my friend --- you would look especially good in space.

Some day the boorish branding of people by (say) registered political party will be perceived negatively yet casually, as with a dismissive shake of the head. Kids are doing this today. Learn more about 'Space Madness', then sit thee dunne to watch BBC: Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets Part 1 and Part 2 Try to sort out the Republicans from the People.

There are folks who just don't understand why humans need to go into space.
We'll get there anyway.
Deal with everything that arises.
Shield to the cleverest extent possible (water, foils, magnetic fields)
Monitor cumulative dose as accurately as possible.
Get as much meaningful and fulfilling work done as you can.
Cherish and protect the planet. This means becoming Gaia's asteroid defense.
If one can be said to have a purpose, that is a fine purpose to have.
Do it for the kittens.
Then settle down to a well-deserved rest with clear conscience.
If you will die before your time, strive to die well.

Comment: Re:Did Diamond Lil fart in the nunnery? (Score 0) 162

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49603719) Attached to: NASA Gets Its Marching Orders: Look Up! Look Out!

So in summary, not a paid shill, but a dyed in the wool "climate skeptic". It got cold this winter, so much for global warming huh!

One liner portrayal of me FAIL. Since we are using an ancient threaded discussion board scarcely evolved from USENET and there is no keyword based contextual linking it takes a diligent effort to find out where someone stands on something, and why. Sometimes it is worth the effort. You have to do a lot of reading. You'd have to follow back in time to discover that I do have a position on the subject that is not as simple as you describe. Usually I just don't mention it.

Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing.
~Robert Benchley

Comment: Re:Did a paid shill write this summary? (Score -1, Troll) 162

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49603545) Attached to: NASA Gets Its Marching Orders: Look Up! Look Out!

Seriously. The real story with this bill is that the republicans are defunding the climate monitoring programs. It will take decades to regain the capabilities we'll lose by defunding them now. There's no turf war between NASA and NOAA, just one between republicans and science.

Well I agree, while purses are open and plenty funding is available for all, there's no reason for conflict. It is refreshing to see that climate research funding is becoming subject to the same level of debate and scrutiny as other items. For too long climate angles have been a literal bill-stuffing no-brainer.

And what about that space stuff? Remember the space stuff?

Nice job trying to write a summary for geeks that attempts to bury the real story.

The paid shill canard is getting shrill. Damn right nice job. If I had managed to communicate the way I truly feel about NASA participating in terrestrial climate research, my summary would not have been accepted. I was pissed when NASA (jointly) fronted the "2014 Warmest Year On Record" statistical flapdoodle, saw it as a clear sign we are on a bad road. They've jumped on the 'big tent' climate bandwagon to aggregate and homogenize oodles of surface measurements, some of which are in dispute, while the clear signals of their own satellites are lightly weighted.

+ - NASA Gets Its Marching Orders: Look Up! Look Out!

Submitted by TheRealHocusLocus
TheRealHocusLocus writes: Lissen up space people, HR 2039: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act for 2016 and 2017 (press release, full text, and as a pretty RGB bitmap) is in the House. In $18B of goodies we see things that actually resemble a space program. The ~20,000 word document is even a good read, especially the parts about decadal cadence. There is more focus on launch systems and manned exploration, also to "expand the Administration's Near-Earth Object Program to include the detection, tracking, cataloguing, and characterization of potentially hazardous near-Earth objects less than 140 meters in diameter." I find it awesome that the fate of the dinosaurs is explicitly mentioned in this bill. If it passes we will have a law with dinosaurs in it. Someone read the T-shirt. There is also a very specific six month review of NASA's "Earth science global datasets for the purpose of identifying those datasets that are useful for understanding regional changes and variability, and for informing applied science research." Could this be an emerging Earth Sciences turf war between NOAA and NASA? Lately it seems more of a National Atmospheric Space Administration. Mission creep, much?

To loosen the purse strings we might also declare war. It's what the dinosaurs would do.

Comment: Re:Maybe they should have used Rust. (Score 1) 224

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49602595) Attached to: Long Uptime Makes Boeing 787 Lose Electrical Power

This is a prime example of why we need to use the Rust programming language ... blazingly ... eliminates data races ... guaranteed memory ... threads ... greatest minds ... the great ... the superb ... the glorious ... the mightiest ... Git ... Hub ... ... properly ... where it's at ... what we need ... It's what [the world] need[s] now.

Oh yeah? Sheeeit.
Pump it up! (endorsed by M.I.A.).

Ericsson Calling!
Speak the Erlang now (Seattle boys say Wha? Penguin Girls say Wha-What [x2]

Use Erlang Erlang Erlang, Ga la ga la ga la Land ga Lang ga Lang
Con-currency get you down?
Stack em flat, get down get down
Too late you down D-down D-down D-down
Ta na ta na ta na Ta na ta na ta

Bench mark a-blaze Erlang a lang a lang lang
Eager evaluation Erlang a lang a lang lang
Single assignment Erlang a lang a lang lang
Dynamic typing Erlang a lang a lang lang

Who the hell is huntin' you?
Distributed, fault-tolerant,
In the BMW
How the hell they find you?
hot swapping,
Feds gonna get you
non-stop applications
Pull the strings on the hood
soft-real-time
concurrency explicit
message passing, Erlang a lang a lang lang
Nah explicit locks Erlang a lang a lang lang
open source Erlang a lang a lang lang.

CHORUS:
fib(1) -> 1; % If 1, then return 1, otherwise (note the semicolon ; meaning 'else')
fib(2) -> 1; % If 2, then return 1, otherwise
fib(N) -> fib(N - 2) + fib(N - 1).

Needs some work though.
An AIRPLANE would make a good sandbox. The price of failure is so high no one will make a mistake.

Comment: Re:Control unit runs at 100 Hz? (Score 3, Funny) 224

by TheRealHocusLocus (#49602389) Attached to: Long Uptime Makes Boeing 787 Lose Electrical Power

I guess this might be due to a 32-bit signed integer being incremented at 100 Hz: 2^31 / 24 / 3600 / 100 = 248.5 days.

Yes, the moment the big bird would shut down was correctly prognosticated by the Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. While testing a crowbar circuit he ran out of time and came to while munching on phattened feasant at Medieval Times, in a daze of King Arthur. He noticed an unused carrion bit, and realized that birds of prayer who managed the King's affairs were hard-sinewed to pluck quills for signing and always discarded the carrion bit. He caught the underflow was heralded by the people and befriended by the King, who set him to work hacking the Code of Chivalry and cracking the Y1K problem. In that time there were only punch cards and knights on horseback only had a resolution of 1 bit, so tournaments were long the fields were full of snakes, to avoid spooking the horses the knights would dismount and cleave them with sword, leaving half-adders strewn about. It was Pendragon who had built the famous Round Table with 12 seats, two complete I Chings, where Arthur and the knights would drop in and punch out binary sums in a rudimentary form of patty-cake, which inspired the mechanical circular adder of later years. The Yankee's refinement was a 13th chair left unoccupied to mark the betrayal of Judas, and also to serve as a carrion bit.

There is a great deal more about gum-powder and 99 cent gamut of Steampunk-driven micro commerce, a Debian release called 'Guinevere' and a whole lotta Lancelot, but time is fun when you're having flies.

Comment: Re:Parody, right? (Score 1) 142

This isn't from the Onion?

No it's a tell-all article announcing a PARADYNE shift.
No silly, that's the trademarked name of a corporation. You mean PARADIGM shift.
What a crappy deal. 'Paradigm' looks like it would rhyme with 'jism' or 'pigeon'.
Whacha gonna do, it's Englitch. How do you pronounce GHOTI?
Okay so about the homeless people. What are they doing?
They're throwing open their trench-coats to reveal... a unique, affiliate-tagged barcode.
So no money actually changes hands, it winds up in an account somewhere.
Precisely. And it is going to change EVERYTHING.
Isn't this a lot like the Amazon Affiliate program? Where the purchase is tagged to the vendor?
No, no, no! This is a Google project!
Okay... but Amazon's involves just navigating to a specific URLright? So does this?
No it's different. You have to download an 'Real Change app' for it to work.
This is a good thing? Making it device-specific and having to install an app?
Yes. And besides, it is a Google project.
To acquire only this specific publication?
Yes. And besides, it is a Google project.
Walk me through this. What is this magazine about?
Real Change is an award-winning weekly newspaper that provides immediate employment opportunity and takes action for economic, social, and racial justice.
Sounds interesting. Any porn or cheat codes? Or maybe something about the Roman Empire? Romans ROCK.
Real Change is an award-winning weekly newspaper that provides immediate employment opportunity and takes action for economic, social, and racial justice.
I get it. So... why can't a homeless person be recommending books and presenting Amazon-tagged URLs to scan?
I wish you would dispense with the Amazon stuff. This is a Google Project.
I presume Real Change is ready to cash out every day, whereas Amazon makes you jump through bank and gub'mint hoops that homeless people cannot get through.
True.
Is this because Real Change is dealing out small amounts of cash to undocumented people, and has not yet attracted the attention of the IRS?
I'd rather not discuss that. They might be listening.
So the REAL problem then, that which requires the PARADIGM shift, is that homeless people cannot participate in the economy to the extent that they could use their individual personality, experience and selling skills to promote a wide range of products, such as those sold by Amazon, in a framework in which they earn affiliate money without incurring any risk to the buyer? And just perhaps, some community organization might be willing or able to assist these persons in setting up the accounts, choosing items, printing out books of tagged barcodes, and operating a clearing account so as Amazon deposits the funds they can dispense cash on a regular basis? And maybe convince Amazon to reconcile accounts daily?
No no no! Even if homeless people could get bank accounts it would not work. Amazon does not require an app.
And besides, what you suggest sounds vaguely Communist. I'd have to report you to the IRS.

So it's really about people palpating their silly little phones and app distribution then?
What else is there?

Comment: Re:Solution in search of a problem (Score 1) 142

I used to swear I would never, ever use a debit card. Now that's almost always how I buy stuff.

Same here.
I remember when card purchases were mostly "hell no!"
Surcharge that was a percentage off sale price, several dollar minimum.
Then flat $2.00 fees. Then $1.00. Then 50c.
Hand over your card for ten minutes to a waitron,
who dials a toll-free number (busy again!) and shouts digits into the phone.
Then swipes it in a standalone modem dial-up widget (busy again!).
Internet happened. Digital connectivity happened.
Charges up the wazoo that vary from place to place, then NOTHING.
On a clear day of Magick, assimilation complete.
Used to be you could see pain in peoples' faces when you produce a card.
Now no pain, and they will gladly process a purchase of $0.01

That is because all the pain has been extracted from electronic commerce.
It has been transported by Magick to a subterranean realm where damned souls
shriek in agony and cry out for mercy every time small purchases are made.
They endure searing torment and bear the terrible burden of infrastructure overhead
so you don't have to.
All quiet up here.
Tiptoe softly into the future, my friend,
lest the Accountants throw open the gates to Hell.

Comment: Re:Solution in search of a problem (Score 1) 142

I keep an "emergency $20" in my phone's wallet case

Look again. It's gone.
Actually I did take it, then put it back.
Truth is I was after your phone all along.
Swapped it with mine. Look closely.
Actually it wasn't mine, I'd already swapped phones with someone else.
But it wasn't their phone, they had been phone-swapping too.
There's lots of us out there swapping phones all the time.
Tower of Hanoi Gray's code variation.
In place of disc size, we use criteria of how closely one phone resembled another.
Towers are actually three logs of reversible permutations.
It's complicated.
People tend not to notice a series of small incremental changes.
Swapped it again, twice. Just showing off.
Actually we started rolling the game backwards awhile ago.
Down to the last un-swap now. Swap.
Now we all have our own phones again. That was fun!
Is this your $20 that I just pulled out of your left ear?
Yup, but I put my $20 in your phone wallet.
Swapped. You now have your phone and your $20.

But all this was just smoke and mirrors.
While you were distracted with this swapping business,
the terms and conditions of your phone plan have changed.
By accessing the website to see what has been changed,
you implicitly agree to the changes.
So don't look.

Don't worry. Be happy.
While we weren't looking, the whole damned Universe has been replaced with Folgers Crystals.

Comment: Re:Just say "No". (Score 1) 142

At least they ask questions which can be dismissed easily with "No thanks". A lot of the scammer/marketing salespeople have resorted to using conversation openers like "How has your day been?", which just makes people feel awkward, because their brains had already sent the signal for "No thanks" and they need to try and think of another way of ending the conversation, which makes them pause, stop walking, and stutter.

Then, the tendrils of the carnivorous sales-plant clasp tightly and won't let go easily.

Your straightforward explanation with its little twists and turns spiced with bizarre imagery, has sent me into a dream-state and prompts me to launch into a modern-day Chautauqua [Pirsig variant] .

The mind itself is a circus of the mind. The more you think about thinking, the more you know about less and less, like a reactive Java applet discovering that thrown exceptions are no longer an exception to the rule. Interaction with other people can be a series of thrown exceptions, each carrying in a new bit of sensory information and a dollop of performance anxiety. There is a plasticine boundary at introvert and extrovert where the verts clash along a path of missed and misinterpreted signals. Do you ride it like a wave, because you are a skilled extrovert... or...

Do you wait until the desperation for a response forces you to act, withdraw --- creak the rusty iron hopper door shut and open the cogitation valve to chuff steam to drive slow pistons of thought, flywheel gaining, release clutches on belts attached to intricate taffy-twisters and anvil-thumpers and other outlandish devices you have built over the years to try and make 'sense' of the outside world? From this contraption possible answers and actions begin to emerge on a conveyor, like cartoonish misshapen parodies of some finished product. We have to adjust the dials a little. Then you spot it, the first real credible response! But no (Inspector #3 says), it's trite and silly, it gets tossed into the recycle bin. And so on, until the end products begin to resemble credible responses, but no (Inspector #4 says), they do not possess a requisite degree of novelty and cleverness. It's all plain corn chips until the product passes by the Spray-'N-Squirt Gizmo. Like a hall of mirrors it is an endless conveyor with countless Inspectors, and as you perceive the pointlessness of this process a sense of dread takes hols and you finally push the Red Button. Bells clang, the conveyor stops, and this absurd industrial plant in-a-box tosses out the last thing on the conveyor:

"Uhm..."

Dilbert pulls the fire alarm to escape the horror of a so-called 'casual confrontation' after spotting a stranger approaching down a long, narrow hallway.

Imagine if everyone had glowing Sim jewels floating above their heads indicating their emotive state and intentions. It could be the next Google Project. Imagine the horror of such persons if everyone they have ever known has one, and they come face to face with a jewel-less person for the first time.

The First Law of Robotics cannot be circumvented. We can, however, find ways around it by tampering with the definition of humanity. If you ever encounter a robot that says, "Greetings, incidental object of no certain purpose" ... run like hell.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Slashdot discussion.
To your scattered bodies go.

In English, every word can be verbed. Would that it were so in our programming languages.

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