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Comment: How to totally screw up my ability to code: (Score 1) 87

by tlambert (#49194083) Attached to: Musician Releases Album of Music To Code By

How to totally screw up my ability to code:

(1) Play music
(2) There is no step 2

I find that code is processed through the same part of my brain that processes music. If you play music, my code will go to crap, since I'm trying to do two things with the same set of neurons.

I totally can not understand how people can produce code while listening to music.

OK, I lied; what I can't understand is how people can produce GOOD code while listening to music.

Comment: Re:God Republicans are Stupid (Score 1) 123

by ScentCone (#49193915) Attached to: The Mexican Drug Cartels' Involuntary IT Guy

Since she handed over a large number of emails, there's no reason to conclude she didn't hand over all the ones she was required to hand over.

No. The fact that she set up a home-brew system to avoid the State Department's record keeping in the first place, and the fact she's been stonewalling requests for official mail for years, and is her own gatekeeper on the message she decides State should be allowed to see - combine that with her long history of obfuscation, ethics problems, and working with her husband's supporters to engage in seriously sleazy tactics - the burden is very much on you to explain why you think her private stash has been delivered in whole and intact to State when everything in her history and everything about this entire scenario screams the exact opposite.

In fact, to plow through her "official" mail (you know, the stuff she couldn't be troubled to mirror in her department's archiving system the way that the 2009 regulation required her to do), she used employees of her family's business - and that operation is funded in large part by big contributions from foreign governments and other entities from which she solicited money while she was wandering the world as Secretary of State.

We know Kerry is doing things differently, due to a change in the law.

Both Kerry and Clinton were subject to 2009's regulation. But you already know that.

It is hilarious, though, to play back her nagging lectures about other people using private email at all, and to know that, for example, an ambassador from her department was given the axe for using private email.

The fact that you seem to anxious to write off her behavior as completely reasonable says nothing about her, but a whole lot about your very strange world view.

Comment: Apple has been talking about this for a long time. (Score 3, Interesting) 58

by tlambert (#49193889) Attached to: Apple, Google, Bringing Low-Pay Support Employees In-House

Apple has been talking about this for a long time.

You really don't want your security people to be contract workers; they have access, at least at the supervisory level, to all sorts of sensitive areas of your building, including Jony Ive's office in the design wing, where they could happily use their phones to photograph prototypes.

Google began talking about doing this about three years ago, when they switched to the same contract security firm Apple used, and the Apple/Google relationship started to become more and more adversarial on top of that (I knew the supervisory staff, and many of the individual contractors at Apple, and recognized them when they came to work for Google.

I think this is being done more to prevent industrial espionage, than anything else.

At both Apple and Google, we moved our trash outside explicitly sensitive secure areas at night, so that the janitorial staff avoided entry. For a lot of it, it was honor system (if you count being on camera but not having a lurking linebacker ready to take you out if you make a wrong move, as "honor system"), where the secure offices without physical electronic security locks has a red sticky dot placed above the room doorknob to prevent people trying to go in.

This also has dick-all to do with any kind of "gentrification" issues that the article claims, since most of the people I know who worked security lived East Bay, and many of them owned their own houses.

Comment: Re:If "yes," then it's not self-driving (Score 1) 342

by Firethorn (#49193785) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

Why should death and serious injury be the deciding factor?

ewibble and Jane Q. Public make good points, but mine is a lot more prosiac.

It's simple enough: The statistics available for serious injury accidents in the USA is detailed enough to chart known BAC levels and get a good idea of how various levels really affect driver's tendencies to get into serious accidents.

That data is simply unavailable for minor and no injury accidents, and we're already making it such that 'busted for DUI' is the biggest 'cost' for low BAC drivers, and it can be a real moneymaker for police departments.

Comment: Re:If "yes," then it's not self-driving (Score 1) 342

by Firethorn (#49193757) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

Flying car lanes would wind up being violated to shave off "precious" seconds.

You still have to consider that, unlike with ground traffic, you have a lot more 'lanes' in the air. Ergo, traffic jams are much less likely unless everybody wants to land at the same spot. Possible, but less likely.

Other than that, it appears that you didn't realize that I was talking about the collision-avoidance problem, not the 'requirements' for giving everybody a flying car. I wasn't disagreeing with the need for self-driving flying cars, I was disagreeing that the problem is harder in the air.

Comment: Re:Not completely self-driving (Score 1) 342

by Firethorn (#49193733) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

Well, the first rule of a self-driving car should be 'don't hit anything'. The second should probably be 'don't impede traffic'.

So yeah, avoiding you should be one of their primary jobs.

The problem that I was pointing out, that the USAF is having with drones is that in some ways there's a 'valley' where you have too much automation for the operator to pay sufficient attention, yet not enough to handle all situations, such that you still need the operator.

Imagine a job where you stare at something. As long as the object does nothing, you do nothing. If the object does something, you have 5 seconds to hit a button. The object normally does something about once every other 8 hour shift.

Ideally you'd replace said human with automation ASAP, because the average human is going to suck at that job.

Comment: Oh Come On, it's a Press Release (Score 4, Insightful) 55

OK, no real technical data and some absurd claims here.

First all-digital transceiver? No. There have been others. Especially if you allow them to have a DAC and an ADC and no other components in the analog domain, but even without that, there are lots of IoT-class radios with direct-to-digital detectors and digital outputs directly to the antenna. You might have one in your car remote (mine is two-way).

And they have to use patented algorithms? Everybody else can get along with well-known technology old enough that any applicable patents are long expired.

It would be nicer if there was some information about what they are actually doing. If they really have patented it, there's no reason to hold back.

Comment: Not old enough, apparently. (Score 1) 126

by tlambert (#49192597) Attached to: Developers Race To Develop VR Headsets That Won't Make Users Nauseous

I know you're right. It's the fairly-contemporary definition of the word "nauseous" now, due to the length of time it has been used improperly.

I'm just being an old fart.

Not old enough, apparently. If you were a pre-2007 revisionist history "old fart", you'd have two spaces after your period, like the older version of the Chicago Manual of Style demanded, before they pretended that we have always had proportional fonts.

Comment: Dual passports is usually a win. (Score 1) 403

by tlambert (#49192523) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

Dual passports is usually a win.

Not only are there some countries that won't like one or the other of your kids citizenships (solution: travel there on the other passport), some countries will give you a really hard time if you try to go there, but have a stamp from another country they don't like.

In addition, if you have a stamp from some countries, other countries won't let you work there. For example, it used to be that if you had an Israeli stamp in your passport, you were barred from Egyptian archeology.

Note that your kids need to do this before they are 18; after 18, they can be required to renounce U.S. citizenship to obtain alternate citizenship, and vice versa; a lot of children of Irish immigrants to the U.S. have found this out the hard way, for example, when they decided after age 18 to claim their Irish heritage, and use that to take advantage of opportunities to study in Europe, rather than going to a U.S. university.

Finally, they can always renounce later, if they become Internet billionaires, like Eduardo Saverin, who the U.S. effectively paid $700M to renounce his citizenship, although there's a 15% "exit tax", so if they go this route, they should do it *before*, rather than *after* the IPO - he'd have been another ~$300M richer if he'd done that and left the country before the actual IPO.

Comment: Re:Custom ... nipples? Actual custom nipples? (Score 1) 60

by tlambert (#49191015) Attached to: Inside the Weird World of 3D Printed Body Parts

TeVido, which aims to 3D print custom nipples

Hmmm ... apparently I am unversed in the realm of custom nipples, as I've never conceived of it before. Is this a thing I've been missing?

Why don't you find a breast cancer survivor who has had a mastectomy and ask her about the subject?

At the same time, you may want to ask why they would be willing to go to a company that can't even spell correctly, to get body parts, given that they've demonstrated poor quality control already.

From the front page of the TeVido web site:

"Our first product is targeted to improve nipple reconstruction and later fill lumpectomies and other fat grating needs."

I suppose that this is supposed to be "fat grafting", unless they plan on pulling a full-on "Dr. Lector", or they are 3D printing parmesan cheese.

Life is a whim of several billion cells to be you for a while.