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Comment: Re:Answer: (Score 1) 1070

by XManticore (#36385510) Attached to: Have We Reached Maximum Sustainable Population Size?

I agree with most of what you say, but IMO the problem isn't merely with the dramatic environmental disasters that you speak of. I think the point of TFA is the fact that our activities are no longer sustainable. We are consuming resources at an alarming rate, and this will soon be a big problem when resources start to run out.

The children's play-frame in my local park is made of wood –susceptible to environmental damage and in need of constant repair although it should have been built to last for years. OTOH you buy a Happy Meal at McDonald's with a toy made of plastic that gets thrown away after minutes. What laws do you propose to take care of this nonsense?

I don't have a solution either, but as long as things are built for profit rather than being fit-for-purpose, then we have a problem, because consumers can't see past the ends of their noses. Capitalism, or voting with your wallet, can only be a sustainable model when consumers are not 'rational' in the economics sense of the word.

Comment: Re:It depends on the objective. (Score 2, Insightful) 232

by XManticore (#36385442) Attached to: Why the US Govt Should Be Happy About Wikileaks

This is the hypocrisy that the world hates the US for.

Your government plays the democracy tune when they wish a people to overthrow a tyranny that doesn't suit their agenda. And when a peaceful, fair election such as the one in Palestine happens, and somebody who you don't like gets elected, the West get their panties in a twist and starts their pathetic economic bullying.

Comment: Re:Uhh... "SQL" is a subset of "Oracle" (Score 2) 123

by XManticore (#36372664) Attached to: What Cities Want Your IT Skills?

Well, the musical sharp sign is actually different to the hash sign in like in C#. The vertical lines in the sharp sign have a 'negative' slope, from bottom right to top left, /pedantic.

I refer to # as a hash, a pound is £ but YMMV if you are from the States. But C# is see sharp, doesn't matter what the symbol is, that's what the damn language is called. Calling it see pound out of ignorance is one thing, but insisting on being obtuse is a different thing entirely

Comment: Re:If you ever have children, don't make my mistak (Score 1) 233

by XManticore (#36317320) Attached to: Fetus Don't Fail Me Now: How Scientists Raise Children

Considering doing something similar, reading books aloud to one of my unborn children.

My mom read to me every day in the womb, I love books as much as her. She didn't do the same for my sister, who doesn't read much at all. I doubt there's much in that, but who knows –a job for SCIENCE!

Comment: Re:Stopping Science = Stopping Thought. GL,HF (Score 2) 1229

by XManticore (#36287570) Attached to: Activists Destroy Scientific GMO Experiment

I think you're missing the point here. The issue seems to be that GM food 'invented' by EvilCorp can be used to exploit the vulnerable.

If the crop is fertile, then it can cross-contaminate a non-GM field; the owner of that field may have to pay royalties to EvilCorp. If EvilCorp decides to make the crop infertile to prevent this, then farmers will have to buy seeds from EvilCorp every year, probably at extortionate prices.

It's all very well to bash irrational responses to science and progress, but some of these issues are real and involve the livelihoods of poorer people.

Comment: Re:Terrible airline. (Score 1) 143

by XManticore (#36212568) Attached to: American Airlines Expands Streaming In-Flight Movies

I'm 192cm (pretty tall), but you don't have to pay extra –show up extra early to check in and ask to be put right at the front of the cabin. There aren't any seats in front of you, and there's loads of leg room. The disadvantage is, mothers with small babies often get put there as well, so you may have to put up with the smell of poo.

Comment: Re:WHy are you majoring in CS... (Score 1) 606

by XManticore (#36208354) Attached to: Professor Questions Sink-Or-Swim Intro To CS Courses

I'd rather think that CS degrees hone a mind that can already think logically and methodically.

I'm a teaching assistant as well as being a student, and I mark coursework for younger students. I see this a lot, and my professors all agree –there are a few people who can be taught, if they're reasonably smart and willing to work hard. I'm not denying that there are. But these people are in the minority.

That paper I referenced above refers to it as "the camel has two humps". With most subjects, you get a bell-curve emphasising that most students tend to get a C. With some subjects like CS and Maths, it's more like a double hump –a load of high achievers, a load of people who have no hope, and a few people in the middle. The really hard work is shoving the people in the middle up towards the higher hump; many of them can get there if they try hard enough. The top students can work it out by themselves; no amount of support is going to turn the bottom students into scientists. I hate to think that it's like this, but it's what I've observed pretty consistently.

Comment: Re:Now I am _really_ panicked (Score 4, Insightful) 370

by XManticore (#36208040) Attached to: Why You Shouldn't Panic Over Mac Malware

This is something Apple took the piss out of a couple years back, why would they start doing it with their own products?

To paraphrase SJ when he was introducing Mac OS 10.whateveritwas: "We have a Basic Edition that retails at $99. Moving up from that, you can purchase the Home Edition, also for $99, or the Business Edition for $99. And if you want the luxury of having all the features that we've built into Mac OS X, you can go all out and purchase the Ultimate Edition –at just $99".

They're not going to feature lock. This would just be daft.

Comment: Re:WHy are you majoring in CS... (Score 2) 606

by XManticore (#36207998) Attached to: Professor Questions Sink-Or-Swim Intro To CS Courses

Totally disagree. High school will not be a benefit to the vast majority of people. Either you were born thinking like a computer scientist, or you will never 'get it' at uni; there are very few people who are in between, who can learn how to think in that manner.

Third year CS student here, I had never even thought about majoring in CS until about two weeks before applying to university –I was planning on doing Physics. I had never done anything remotely CS related at school. I'm one of the top students in my class.

Here's a paper The gist of it is that school is a waste of time for the top students because they already know how to think; university is a waste of time for the bottom students because they'll never get it; and there is a minority who can actually be pushed to learn something, those students who are somewhere in the middle.

"Show business is just like high school, except you get paid." - Martin Mull