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Comment: Re:Incomplete data (Score 1) 160

by bradley13 (#47522829) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

Perhaps you're right about managers, but that wasn't my impression, nor is it the impression of the authors of the Computer World article: "Rothwell points out that Google's co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, would both be classified as non-STEM managers by the Census". They may not be technical managers, but their technical background is entirely relevant to the management duties. Lots of people in roles like that.

I imagine it's much the same for education. As an example, I am faculty in a business school, but I teach technical courses (programming, etc.) within that school. I expect the fact that I work for a business school means I would be counted as non-STEM.

Dunno what planet your last question came from - bizarre. Maybe re-read your posts before pressing the submit button?

Comment: Incomplete data (Score 5, Insightful) 160

by bradley13 (#47522599) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

As usual, jumping to conclusions with incomplete data.

First, why analyze the percentage of computer and math degree holders who hold an IT job? Why is a mathematics degree automatically equivalent to a CS degree?

Then we get leaps like the pay gap between men and women. Most likely it's the usual thing: comparing men and women of the same age, without accounting for the fact that the women took more time off for child-rearing, worked part-time, etc.. Compensate for these things, and watch the pay gap disappear.

Why do many people with STEM degrees not work in STEM jobs? They apparently count management and education as non-STEM, even if these people are managing STEM projects or teaching STEM courses. That already accounts for the two biggest groups.

The rest of the conclusions are just as shaky. This appears to be a crappy study, deserving of no attention whatsoever...

Comment: HowTo (Score 1) 152

by bradley13 (#47522117) Attached to: Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy

How to do this transparently: Use Dropbox normally. Create a folder call ".encrypted". Use "encfs" to mount this folder to some mount point, say "DropboxData". The stuff you put into DropboxData will be will be encrypted locally before being put into the ".encrypted" folder on Dropbox.

Anything you don't consider private goes into Dropbox normally. Anything sensitive goes into DropboxData. You decide the balance.

You can get encfs clients for Linux, Mac, Windows and even Android.

Comment: Too true... (Score 4, Interesting) 424

by bradley13 (#47464407) Attached to: French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

We once received an application that included a reference letter with only one substantive comment: "She always keeps her desk neat and tidy". But really, that's not a secret code or anything, it is entirely clear: do not expect this person to do any work. The fact that the person actually included this letter of reference with her application made it doubly damning, because she apparently did not understand what it said.

On the subject of TFA: I do hope some French /.ers will chime in with the local interpretation of this ruling...

Comment: Wanna buy a bridge? (Score 1) 552

by bradley13 (#47457377) Attached to: The Last Three Months Were the Hottest Quarter On Record

If you believe this, I have a bridge to sell you. Hardly used, great condition.

First, clean up the data and explain the continual adjustments. You know, those adjustments that keep making the past look colder, and the present look warmer - despite effects like UHI. Make the raw data available, along with the methodology used in the processing.

Then, and only then, should anyone believe pronouncements about "warmest months ever".

Comment: Rail? (Score 3, Insightful) 142

by bradley13 (#47388483) Attached to: Autonomous Trucking

What I do not understand about Germany - indeed this whole region of Europe (I'm in Switzerland) is this: We have excellent rail systems, why not put long-distance cargo on the trains? There are various initiatives to do exactly this, but they meet with a wide range of passive and active resistance. Fact is, given the existing rail system, using trucks for long-distance freight makes no sense at all.

One of the sources of resistance are the truck drivers, but their profession is doomed anyway for long distance transport. The automated trucks are a logical extension of automated vehicles - heck, they may happen before cars. But putting an individual engine on every container is anything but efficient - maybe this will actually be the impetus for getting the stuff on the rails...

Comment: Well, duh... (Score 5, Insightful) 210

...but that's exactly what the ruling does. The original case was a businessman objecting to Google links to newpaper stories about his life. This is no different.

Fact is, the court that issued this ruling screwed up big time. Perhaps, if Google can find a few more egregious deletions to make, the European Parliament will correct the error.

Comment: Publicity stunt - not practical (Score 1, Interesting) 178

This is nothing but a feel-good publicity stunt, designed to offset international suspicions that Microsoft works a little too closely with the NSA.

Pick your favorite product: Windows 7? Office? SQL Server? IIS? It doesn't matter, you are talking about millions of lines of source code. No government, or government contractor will have the expertise, time an money to analyze such a mass of code. They will be utterly dependent on Microsoft to point them to the core routines responsible for whatever they're interested in. Say, email encryption.

However, there is no way they will be able to verify that the code provided is really the code used, than no code called before or after it compromises the security, etc, etc.. It is also unlikely that they will update or repeat the audit with every new release, patch or update of the product.

Microsoft must be feeling the pinch - a few too many international contracts being cancelled...

Comment: Apples and oranges (Score 0) 441

I don't get the hostility to criticism of this study. If it were a robust study, then the content could stand up to criticism.

Let's look at the articles basic claim: "time to produce the amount of energy required of production and installation". This is fine, and undoubtedly true. However, this does not address two issues that remain problematic with wind power:

1. Cost: Can a turbine be produce, installed and operated in a way that produces electricity at a competitive cost per kwh? There are numerous factors that contribute to cost, not just "enery required for production"

2. Variability: Wind power is variable, this is a rather undeniable fact - you've got to take the power when it is produced, which is not necessarily when you need it. What effects does this have on the rest of the grid? Either you have massive power storage facilities (not yet practical), or you have other power plants (e.g., natural gas) that can be ramped up and down very quickly - however, such power plants are themselves quite expensive.

The fact is: This article found one aspect of wind power to praise, but ignores the actual problems that need addressed. Why is it that the green-power people react so badly to criticism?

Comment: Emoji? (Score 2) 108

by bradley13 (#47252591) Attached to: Unicode 7.0 Released, Supporting 23 New Scripts

Great, Unicode is already a fragmented mess, and now the standards organization justifies its existence by adding characters that do not exist.

An earlier poster asked why anyone thinks Unicode is fragmented. The answer in one word: fonts. Different fonts support different subsets of Unicode, because the whole thing is just too big. If you expect your font to mostly be used in Europe, you are unlikely to bother with Asian characters. if you have an Asian font, it probably has only English characters, not the rest of Europe. huge. If you have a font with complete mathematical symbols, it will include the Greek alphabet, but actual language support is a crapshoot.

So the solution to this problem is to add made-up characters that no one cares about. "Man in business suit, levitating". Really?

Comment: The IRS is a corrupt organization (Score 1) 347

by bradley13 (#47252255) Attached to: Congressman Asks NSA To Provide Metadata For "Lost" IRS Emails

The IRS is just about as corrupt as it gets. When they decide to target someone, that person's life is over. Finished.

I have an acquaintance this is happening to. The IRS claims that he and his wife screwed up a tax return a few years ago, and now have to pay retroactively. The amount demanded is beyond anything they could have owed, but there is really nothing you can do: The "court" you go do for justice is an IRS court, and guess who it sides with 99 times out of 100?

Since there is no way they can pay this lump sum, they agreed to a payment plan: $X per month. Now, after several months of payments, they have received a statement of account from the IRS. Due to accruing interest and penalties, the amount they owe has increased. Some IRS pantywad has decided to have some fun. Ruin someone's life - it's so entertaining. No accountability, no independent appeal, you are just so screwed.

In the current case: The IRS is legally required to maintain their business records. They are supposed to produce them. "Oops, sorry, a computer crashed" - completely unbelievable. Nonetheless, it appears that they will be allowed to get away with it, and no one at all will be punished...

Comment: How good does it get? (Score 1) 82

by bradley13 (#47228441) Attached to: US Government OKs Sale of Sharper Satellite Images

I wonder about this feature-size stuff. In the Google-maps picture of our house, you can see the bright-yellow garden hose snaking across the lawn. A garden hose is a lot thinner than 50cm, even if it is long.

So: What is meant by a 50cm feature size? And just how much better are the best available satellite images?

Comment: Typical AAAS tripe (Score 2, Insightful) 123

by bradley13 (#47170567) Attached to: Plastic Trash Forming Into "Plastiglomerate" Rocks

Here's the key phrase out of the abstract: "...melted plastic during campfire burning... [increases] the potential for burial and subsequent preservation". Why? Because lumps of melted plastic stick to sand or rocks, and hence are more likely to not blow away, be degraded by UV or whatever.

This is a topic for a scientific paper, and deem headline-worthy by the AAAS? I knew there was a reason I cancelled my membership a couple of decades ago...

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"