Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: Re: Difference between Warmists and Rapturists (Score 4, Insightful) 639 639

Well, here's the thing. You've got to take the best you've got. I'm not an expert, so I'm going to defer to those that are.

(This is not specifically to you, just a general response)

I'm reasonably scientifically literate, and I'm a fairly good problem solver. So are lots of people. The problem is, people can run through any random train of thought they want to reach some conclusion that sounds logical as hell, and still with no real background in what they're talking about, they can be wildly wrong because... big surprise... they don't actually know what they're talking about. While a lot of stuff sounds simple most things actually aren't.

So, if you don't know the background, you generally should not offer an opinion. Sure, in the west everyone thinks they're fully entitled to their opinion (maybe), and that their opinion is as valid as anyone else's (dead wrong). Seriously, you're just screwing everybody around you by taking respect in your analytical skill and offering an opinion. If a problem SEEMS simple to you, and you're wondering why the experts are so damn wrong... that's a warning sign not that there's some global conspiracy, but that you're missing some big part of the puzzle.

Really.. if there were huge holes in the science, you can bet a lot of scientists (not pundits or armchair theorists) would be screaming about it. Scientists aren't 100% going to get behind "protecting their interests" by towing a line.... if you're a scientist and you can offer credible reasons why most everyone else is full of crap, you're going to be set for life on funding from companies and organizations who REALLY want climate change to go away as a topic. The fact that the huge amount of money spent looking for problems in the science is only able to show results that are easily disputed as mistaken or cherry picking is telling. The science is looking reasonably solid to me on just that basis. At least, solid enough to be considering what can be done if it's right and doing something.

Of course the models are going to be inaccurate. A big part of the problem is the intuitive reaction for lots of otherwise quite rational people is to think "How can they know what the weather will be in 100 years when they can't even get next weekend's forecast right?"... and that becomes the core to their skepticism.

You have to actually look at the science, the feeds to the models, and the processes involved to understand there's probably something there. It's not the same type of forecasting.

To me, this is very much like saying "How can electronics possibly work if you idiots can't even predict exactly where an electron is going to be?" Guess what, you don't need to. Perfectly reasonable science can be built even if the discrete elements of that science are buried in uncertainty.

Comment: Re: Difference between Warmists and Rapturists (Score 5, Insightful) 639 639

Hell, I'd be happy if these jokers could even manage a partial rebuttal.

Science reporting is garbage these days. Dave Jones just did a rebuttal to the "Batteriser" that a whole lot of otherwise respected media outlets are running... as he says any competent EE can tell you loads of ways the Batteriser is 99.999% marketing spin. It's still everywhere and loads of people buy that bullshit.

Explaining global warming is much more complicated than debunking the Batteriser, so if Batteriser demonstrates our current level of competence in reporting something, we've got no F-ing chance at all of getting the real story with global warming to the general public.

The fact that 95% of competent scientists in that field agree should be good enough. Marketing BS by people whose interests are affected by the results of the science apparently don't even have to try that hard to convince a lot of people the science is somehow contested.

Put it this way... I'd bet there are plenty of people that would be skeptical if 95% of competent EEs stood up to say Batteriser is trash, claiming conflicts of interest with some "establishment" or "group think".

A person is smart. People are stupid.

Comment: Re:Atheists are believers (Score 2) 111 111

It's not that atheists are childishly attacking other points of view (as most on the receiving side like to characterize it)

They're attacking backwards and terribly counterproductive systems of thought. While a lot of people can be remarkably pragmatic when it comes to dealing with the world while carrying the baggage of religious faith (by following evidence-based reasoning most places and walling off their faith off to the side, even if they think it's their guiding light), it's not a good thing... as they still have big ass blind spots that screw stuff up. Worse, way too many people wrap their entire view of the world around faith, and don't ask for explanations because that's not how faith works.

Lots of people that don't think they're "smart enough" for math or science are just being poorly educated. If you place the things you see in the world into a big contextual web of whys and hows... then it'll be much more obvious why stuff works. A great deal of what makes a person appear "smart" is an ability to correctly put things in context and extrapolate uses and purposes from that. It's not magic, it's having a functional base of knowledge to draw from.

Faith puts "bad data" in the contextual web and prevents good contextual analysis of what you see day to day. It's very counterproductive.

The world needs to solve problems by looking at evidence and choosing what best fits the presented facts through reason. Faith massively interferes with that process. (massive inequity, climate change, the middle east, gay rights, anti-vaxxers, etc)

If your atheist and yet somehow don't understand the immense benefits to evidence-based reasoning and just go off some kind of faith of your own... then yeah your an idiot. That's almost never what's going on with your run-of-the-mill atheist... but I understand why someone who chooses faith would think so.

I'm not even "hardcore athiest", as many would define it as I'll accept anything beyond what is reasonably well known is just that... unknown. However, I don't know a single religion that doesn't have major conflicts with where our knowledge is at in the present, so they're broken. I also don't make up stories to explain the unknowable, or give the unknown any kind of magical aura. It's just not known yet, get over it.

Faith-based reasoning is the problem that's being attacked. Not "just some other point of view".

Comment: Re:PCA, Patient Controlled Analgesics (Score 2) 83 83

It's even easier. You just shut it off and pull the drug while they're sleeping.

My dad had that happen at least once during a weeks long hospital stay. They took forever figuring out how to get him more morphine... as he'd already been prescribed and there are at least reasonable safeguards on the overprescription side.

They even had an idea who it was, as missing drugs was a problem in that ward. They didn't do anything, just said "watch out for that guy". I'm sure they eventually caught him... it's extremely likely someone like that is going to make a mistake... but he sure was hurting a lot of people along the way. The hospital sure could have tried harder to catch him.

Comment: Re:Marketing genius! (Score 1) 128 128

I honestly cannot understand the positive comments I read on this idea.

At $5000/person or so, the number of people in harms way, and the relative likelihood of needing it... it's one of the dumbest things I've ever heard.

It doesn't make sense even in rich countries.

You'd think someone intelligent enough to design and build these would realize that (although sometimes not)... they are probably just spending sucker investor money.

Comment: Re:I will never understand (Score 1) 104 104

Let me just add that if victory meant getting expenses paid, it'd be absolutely in Competitor's interests to not tell you a thing about how they worked around your patent and force you to sue. Patent lawyers make a lot more money.

As it stands, Competitor would just say "No, we don't infringe because X"... and a non-troll would evaluate that, realize they can't win, and they'd then not give patent lawyers gobs of money to contest the point.

Comment: Re:I will never understand (Score 1) 104 104

Well, the fuzziness of patents has something to do with that. It's easy to justifiably think your patent is infringed and be wrong.

Patent trolls, on the other hand... yeah, they should pay. Not only pay, but pay triple as punishment. Patent trolls are generally the exception... they just make the news a lot more often.

If you're a small company that comes up with something nice, patents it, shows it at a conference... then see Competitor's product (who was at the conference too) suddenly have the core of your invention in their product next year... you're going to rightfully sue for infringement.

Maybe Competitor looked at your patent, realized there was a way to work around it, and went ahead. This happens ALL THE TIME. From the outside, very possibly without knowing what they did to get around your patent, it looks like your patent was infringed.

Competitor, knowing they'll almost certainly win and be paid back... could rack up huge legal bills in the process of crushing you.

Comment: Re:Remember M$'s role on SCO? (Score 3, Informative) 192 192

He's talking about targeted advertising, not traditional advertising.

He's saying that if you have so much information about a person that you know they're diabetic, and actually use that as a factor in deciding to show them stuff that statistically they'll go for even though you know it's proven to be harming them... that should be an actionable offense.

I think there's a better example that's less politicized: It's also like working out someone goes to a gambling support group and intentionally serving them a bunch of ads for casinos in Vegas.

That's way different than just showing ads to the public. It's even quite different from having the information somewhere else in the company and not using it in the advertising algorithms.

I actually agree with his point of view to an extent... although it should be easy to avoid doing that sort of thing. Targeted advertising algorithms that include automatic inferences might go there however and eventually need some kind of 'moral guidance' instructions of some kind.

I do not agree that having so much information that you "should" know that Vegas ad was wrong to show to the gambler but didn't use it in the decision process is wrong (the OP might). Right now we're in a glut of data but the analysis and understanding of that data is not mature. I don't think the state of the art makes that negligence. I do think we might get to the point where the algorithms are so advanced that it WOULD be wrong... much like it would be wrong for a human advertiser to go through that thought process and decide to show the ad.

Comment: Re:Do It, it worked in AZ (Score 1) 886 886

Religious freedom doesn't trump any law not in the constitution.

What if, say, a weird religion popped up claiming:

1) their religion believes that beer is sacred and their members should be allowed to drive cars with any BAC level they want. Cars aren't in the constitution... obviously they should be allowed... right? ... right?
2) Sidewalks and lawns are just as good as roads
3) street signs and lights are for wimps and the opposite of the indended action should be taken when possible for the driver
3) hitting trees at speed and walking away unharmed should be a sport
4) cars should be blaring readings from their religious doctrine at 110dba at all times (even parked)

Go ahead, toss your hands up and say that's just the way it is.

Comment: Re:I'm dying of curiousity (Score 1) 188 188

Yes, I'm quite curious about the lack of specifics.

It starts off with a very reasonable BusyBox violation that need to be corrected, and then veers off into claiming there's a much bigger problem without specifically stating it. It SOUNDS like they're saying VMWare's hypervisor is loaded by something that loads from the kernel and therefore it all must be GPL.

I'd like to be corrected if this is wrong.

Linus' own comment about a driver ported to Linux not falling under the GPL because the driver effort doesn't generally require Linux is simple from a general level, but not a technical one. Obviously the specific Linux driver requires Linux... you're not loading the same Linux driver on Windows. How much of the Linux-specific version of the driver can be custom just for Linux?

I'm sure the hypervisor was not from-scratch written for Linux, but existed before that. Anything that has a history before Linux should similarly be excluded.

If it's just the VMI layer that the discussion seems to indicate VMWare was close to open sourcing anyway at one point... it's hard to see what the big deal is.

Often lawyers have this awful tendency to want to 'score' as much as possible for their client to show their value... even if it's stuff that reasonably shouldn't be fought over.

Comment: Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 1) 265 265

Oh. My. God.

If that cycle happens just a couple times... the mosquitos could be larger than the planet and their gravity would crush us all!

Stop the apocalypse! These arrogant sciencey people must be stopped at all costs!

Where'd I put my magic polished rock? I'm feeling nervous so the energy in the groundwater under my feet must not be in balance. I need to spend a few hours rubbing my magic energy tuning rock to put things right. We all have to be agents to change to make the world better, you know. *condescending look*

(Sadly, that last part isn't an exaggeration. I knew people who really thought like that)

Comment: Douchebag company anyway (Score 4, Insightful) 450 450

They 'expire' the online features of their Quicken, etc software every few years, to force an upgrade. They have no need to do anything on their end with the online connectivity... it's all connecting directly to banks. It's crippling their software to force upgrades that add very little value (and usually add more bugs than improvements).

They also at least at one point had 'problems' connecting to network printers that they had to go out of their way to detect, just to force upgrades to higher level software.... because, you know... people with network printers must be businesses.

F--- them. There are very few people I actually despise, and the executives there certainly made the list.

Comment: Re:Which is it? (Score 1) 330 330

Given the number of YOUNG kids who are playing this game for a substantial fraction of their lives... it'll totally be (1).

My son at 7 has played for at least two years so far. While he keeps trying out clones of various sorts and other games... they never go anywhere. He's playing Minecraft or watching Minecraft videos on Youtube to the tune of about 25% of his free time. (and THAT is just because that's all we'll let him do)

He's now moved to online servers and doesn't seem to want to bother to play on Dad's server any more. (*sigh*) By the way... any Minecraft players out there keep the language clean on public servers please! :)

Maybe it won't be quite as huge as Lego... or maybe it will be bigger. What it will be is pretty damn big.

A fail-safe circuit will destroy others. -- Klipstein