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Comment: Re:Speak for yourself, Mr. Emanuel (Score 1) 477

by c0d3g33k (#47967347) Attached to: Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

I have a wife who is a board member for the local hospice, so I get to accompany her to a lot of functions. Many of the board members are approaching or have passed the age of 70 and still seem to be going strong. Note I said "board members" - those who are managing the entire affair (quite effectively from what I can gather), not those in need of care. Your friend may have experienced some selection bias because of his work. That doesn't mean his observations apply to everyone. In fact I'm sure they don't.

Comment: Speak for yourself, Mr. Emanuel (Score 3, Insightful) 477

by c0d3g33k (#47966951) Attached to: Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

You lost me when you assigned an arbitrary number as your cutoff rather than defining the cutoff on reasonably definable measures of physical and mental health. I exercise, eat healthy, avoid smoking and drugs etc. because these activities provide *measurable* benefits to my health based on measurements made by my doctor. Not to mention that I feel better.

Does the fact that I do things that measurably improve my health and prolong my life as long as possible mean I am "obsessed"? Does "I don't smoke, overeat, take drugs or engage in dangerous life-threatening activities (extreme sports, for example)" mean I am obsessed? I find it completely rational, and my insurance company sure loves it because I'm a low risk according to their actuarial tables. Because science.

If I take your advice, I should just sit around and passively wait to die after reaching a certain age rather than doing things that measurably increase my ability to be "vibrant and engaged". Sorry, but no thanks. Save me a place when I get to the Pearly Gates - I might be a little late to the party. And when I get there, we're going to blow the roof off of that sucker.

Comment: Re:what is this even talking about? (Score 1) 112

by c0d3g33k (#47937627) Attached to: An Open Source Pitfall? Mozilla Labs Closed, Quietly

But it's not just about the source... it's about the community, the support from the original authors, the available knowledge and comprehension that transcends wiki docs, as well as having a team large enough to be able to realistically continue its development in the foreseeable future. To lose these things abruptly doesn't mean that all the source code was deleted but rather that the virtual ecosystem was.

Feh. Those things you mention (the original authors, the development team, the community, website and other resources) aren't guaranteed regardless of how badly one would like them to persist. The source and the freedom to do something with it are what the licence grants. Everything else is gravy. Without the source the virtual ecosystem is useless; with the source one person can continue the project, even if only for personal use. The virtual ecosystem can be recreated by anyone who wants badly enough to continue developing the software, just like it was the first time. So it is really just about the source.

Comment: Waste of time (Score 1) 46

by c0d3g33k (#47912925) Attached to: Chinese City Sets Up "No Cell Phone" Pedestrian Lanes

I haven't read all of the posts since the original story hit the front page, so I may be touching on something that's already been discussed, but ...

I don't understand how this is different from people just being unaware of their surroundings. I have been to many places in the last 20 years where people will just stop right in the middle of the sidewalk/thoroughfare/pathway to have a conversation or family dispute. The concept of stepping to the side out of the way so that the other 1000 people who aren't having a family issue doesn't seem to occur to them. Cell phones? Just the latest distraction. Oblivious people are forever.

Comment: Re:this is how most funding works. (Score 1) 215

by c0d3g33k (#47891621) Attached to: Kickstarter's Problem: You Have To Make the Game Before You Ask For Money

When scientists write grant proposals, they are actually showing they've already done what they are asking for funds to do.

Not quite (though maybe that's more common now than a decade ago). If the work is already done, you can be sure it's being prepared for publication, since published work is even more valuable than grant money (because it gets you more, possibly bigger grants, plus tenure). What usually goes into a typical grant proposal are the obvious next steps following up on recently published work (used to illustrate why awarding the grant money is a good risk). Work that hasn't been done yet, but is likely to be successfully completed by a typical grad student. Then there are the more speculative "stretch goals" which are less certain, but probably the most fun if things work out. And by the time the next grant deadline rolls around, the scientist can describe how well that worked (to justify the next speculative leap) or how it didn't quite work out, but how this alternate theory ('based on what we have since learned') will likely yield good results (ie. the "new" obvious follow-on steps to the previous work).

Smart scientists generally have several somewhat boring but steady grants running (often funded by the government and possibly with eventual military applications) to keep the lights on, and use a little bit of that funding to support the more speculative, but more fun work.

Maybe long-term Kickstarter success will involve a similar strategy: get funding for less exciting but predictably do-able games that are turned out on schedule while diverting some time to work on getting a working prototype produced for the revolutionary game that was the real goal all along.

Comment: Re:JAVA (Score 3, Insightful) 230

by c0d3g33k (#47819887) Attached to: Akamai Warns: Linux Systems Infiltrated and Controlled In a DDoS Botnet

The applications you mention are all Open Source, which people on here keep insisting are secure.

Nope. This is a varied community, so people here believe lots of things, but probably not as many believe this simplistic view as you think.

FLOSS applications have the *potential* to be more secure than proprietary/closed source. They also have the potential to become more secure over time if the community/contributors have more resources available to fix security problems than a proprietary vendor. Most importantly, FLOSS applications can be scanned by anyone for bugs and security problems, and fixed by anyone. Those activities are limited for proprietary code to those who have access to it and allowed (by privilege or managerial decree) to fix it or even publicise that there's a problem in the first place.

Depending on the situation (skillset of the development team, size of the team, interest in maintaining and fixing the code), this can either lead to a particular piece of FLOSS or proprietary code being more secure. *In general*, it seems that FLOSS code tends to be more secure because greater resources can be brought to bear, particularly over time as proprietary vendors stop supporting code for older products and move their teams on to something new (gotta keep paying the bills). In some cases that doesn't hold true and proprietary code is more secure.

Comment: Re:How short our memories... (Score 1) 116

by c0d3g33k (#47818035) Attached to: E-Books On a $20 Cell Phone

Indeed. I first started reading ebooks on my original Motorola Droid (the backlit screen allowed me to read in bed without disturbing my wife with the bedside lamp on). It was a decent enough experience with the phone held in landscape position and using a reasonable font size. I had quite a little library on the microSD card. And plenty of apps and games too.

The only problem was not being able to have most or all of the text equating to a printed page on the screen at once, which prompted me later to get a tablet, which is a much better form factor for reading. But I still have books on my current smartphone (bigger screen than the Droid, but much smaller than the tablet) for those times when my tablet isn't with me.

Comment: Re:"Book Deserts"? WTF? (Score 1, Troll) 116

by c0d3g33k (#47817933) Attached to: E-Books On a $20 Cell Phone

Sigh. Another /. response that opens with a veiled insult in the form of an ad hominem argument. I hope your self esteem got a little boost, person who is clearly better than I.

The problem wasn't determining the intended meaning of the phrase. That was pretty clear: it implied that "many" areas in the US are literary wastelands devoid of life and nourishment (for the mind) with haggard readers thirsting for relief crawling slowly along in the dirt, bathed in the harsh life-sapping light of modern media, hoping to come upon an oasis. I get it.

The problem is, this isn't a poem or creative piece of prose where such imagery can provide a more engaging reading experience. It's a summary set in the real world about a cheap smartphone with ereader software installed and a statement about the potential impact of said phone (in the real world). So dramatic language isn't warranted unless there are actually many places in the US suffering so horribly from lack of real books that this phone and ereader meets a pressing social need. I see little evidence in the real world (via much traveling, talking to people, watching the news, reading the news, listening to the news, reading books and magazines, visiting used bookstores swimming in donations, looking around me at parks/on the bus/at the beach/etc.) that this is actually true.

So it comes across as overly wrought handwringing with no real basis in fact. It should read in the voice of the sad persona of the Mayor of Halloween Town to help people really feel the intended emotion.

If there is some truth to it, another solution might be for some enterprising socially minded entrepeneur to come up with a viable way to move books from where they are in oversupply to places where there's a dearth (and more importantly, demand). Or people could just, you know, order cheap used books from Amazon and have them delivered right to their doorstep.

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson