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Comment: Belief. Things you know? (Score 1) 196

by esmrg (#36428492) Attached to: Book Review: The Clean Coder

...The accident was a result of engineers saying no, but management overriding the decision. With this introduction, Bob makes it quite clear that when we choose not to stand up for that which we believe, it can have dire consequences.

There are some things that bother me here. (And they should bug you too)

1. The engineers did indeed stand up by saying no, but authority didn't give a fuck. In the end the engineers did not have control of the project.
2. The engineers didn't merely believe, they knew. I'm sure there were test results and rigorous math involved. Yes, I understand the terms are too often used interchangeably but it's important to know the distinction. When some yahoo stands up for his belief in, I don't know, let's say, god, there is big difference. Belief does not require proof.

When you stand up for something you can't prove, that can have dire consequences as well.

Granted, this writer is a former preacher, and it shows.

Piracy

+ - Entertainment Content Protection Summit Next Week->

Submitted by esmrg
esmrg (869061) writes "On Dec. 8, the entertainment industry will for the first time meet to discuss 'content protection'. From the notice: "Our industry needs to chart a new course in its war against hackers, pirates and counterfeiters. In the years to come, I expect that Dec. 8 in Los Angeles will be remembered as the place where this new and highly effective industry initiative began." And: "I would like to encourage you and/or any other members of your team to join us as our industry launches an important new dialogue about taking the offense in the war against content piracy." Of course, as just stated, the frame of the dialogue is already set. Do these people realize they are waging war on the very people they depend on? Do they realize 'content protection' is impossible. Let them know what you think."
Link to Original Source
Earth

40 Million Year Old Primate Fossils Found In Asia 91

Posted by samzenpus
from the look-who's-coming-to-dinner dept.
sosaited writes "It has been widely believed that our ancestors originated out of Africa, but a paper published in Nature by Carnegie Museum of Natural History scientists puts this in doubt. The paper is based on the fossils of four primate species found in Asia which are 40 million years old, during which period Africa was thought to not have these species. The diversity and timing of the new anthropoids raises two scenarios. Anthropoids might simply have emerged in Africa much earlier than thought, and gone undiscovered by modern paleontologists. Or they could have crossed over from Asia, where evidence suggests that anthropoids lived 55 million years ago, flourishing and diversifying in the wide-open ecological niches of an anthropoid-free Africa."

Comment: Re:Pretty Neat (Score 3, Interesting) 220

by esmrg (#32095132) Attached to: Mayan Plumbing Found In Ancient City

why did their civilization suddenly die out?

Are you actually serious with that question???

I believe the OP was making the common mistake of personifying the system instead of the people. That is common these days. However, the classic maya vanished before that, around 800 C.E. While the people didn't actually 'vanish', their way of life did. While it is possible that the maya became victims of their own overgrowth like the romans, subject to the law of diminishing returns, it seems more plausible they just abandoned it when it no longer served them. Perhaps the city was more a project or experiment than an exercise in domination and superiority like it was with the romans. The experiment served its purpose and then the people dispersed back into the jungle. It's unfortunate that most of what they learned and recorded during this time was destroyed by those invading peoples you mentioned.

Comment: Re:not always (Score 1) 481

by esmrg (#31864774) Attached to: Microsoft Mice Made in Chinese Youth Sweatshops?

I'm not going to bother to look it up, but I bet it is more than 40 times, a LOT more.

Let's see, eh.
Ballmer's 2009 Total Compensation:
$1,276,627 [src: forbes.com]

Microsoft factory worker in China:
65 cents x 15 hours x 24 days (people work 6 days a week there) = US$234/mo [from below post]
$2,808/yr

Ballmer makes about 454.6X a factor worker. Not really a thousand times, but getting there. Not to mention these workers have to buy their own bedding so they essentially have no benefits. None.

Comment: Re:Not "hacking" (Score 1) 308

by esmrg (#31615808) Attached to: Obama's Twitter Account "Hacked"
It certainly qualifies as "hacking". See, it's the quotes that modify the meaning. For example, If you were to buy something with inkjet prints or photographs of dollar bills you could say: I tried to buy this candy bar with "money", and they turned me away. Or "sex" in place of masturbating in front of your monitor. Or Nickelback as "music". I could go on.
Medicine

High Fructose Corn Syrup Causes Bigger Weight Gain In Rats 542

Posted by timothy
from the subsidies-cause-fatter-corn-farmers dept.
krou writes "In an experiment conducted by a Princeton University team, 'Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.' Long-term consumption also 'led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides.' Psychology professor Bart Hoebel commented that 'When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they're becoming obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don't see this; they don't all gain extra weight.'"
Earth

Debunking a Climate-Change Skeptic 807

Posted by kdawson
from the so-many-notes-mister-mozart dept.
DJRumpy writes "The Danish political scientist Bjørn Lomborg won fame and fans by arguing that many of the alarms sounded by environmental activists and scientists — that species are going extinct at a dangerous rate, that forests are disappearing, that climate change could be catastrophic — are bogus. A big reason Lomborg was taken seriously is that both of his books, The Skeptical Environmentalist (in 2001) and Cool It (in 2007), have extensive references, giving a seemingly authoritative source for every one of his controversial assertions. So in a display of altruistic masochism that we should all be grateful for (just as we're grateful that some people are willing to be dairy farmers), author Howard Friel has checked every single citation in Cool It. The result is The Lomborg Deception, which is being published by Yale University Press next month. It reveals that Lomborg's work is 'a mirage,' writes biologist Thomas Lovejoy in the foreword. '[I]t is a house of cards. Friel has used real scholarship to reveal the flimsy nature' of Lomborg's work."

Comment: Re:Getting through the university barrier in the U (Score 5, Informative) 252

by esmrg (#31006514) Attached to: OpenOffice Tops 21% Market Share In Germany

plagarism checker databases like turnitin lack the ability to parse anything but word files

I didn't believe this statement so I looked it up.
According to their student guide at http://www.turnitin.com/resources/documentation/turnitin/training/en_us/qs_student_en_us.pdf

At the top of page 2:
" We accept submissions in these formats: MS Word, WordPerfect, RTF, PDF, PostScript, HTML, and plain text (.txt)"

So while I think plagiarism checkers are kind of a waste of resources, your statement is still false.

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