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Comment: Re:I work at a startup with open office plan (Score 1) 78

by tlambert (#49805275) Attached to: Let's Take This Open Floor Plan To the Next Level

If we need to focus, we are told to put on headphones and the rest of the devs are to respect the headphones.

This would be a great idea. If you could play "silence" through the headphones, and actually *get* silence. And no, high decibel gauge pressure from noise cancellation that's never 100% effective anyway does *NOT* count as silence.

Comment: Re:But.... but.... (Score 1) 78

by tlambert (#49805229) Attached to: Let's Take This Open Floor Plan To the Next Level

If a dongle joke permanently harms the female mind, then imagine what seeing an actual dongle will do! They will need years of therapy and counseling (paid for by Obama care) to get over it.

People offended by naked people would naturally fail the job interview as "not a culture fit".

It's the same way we picked people for Hellstrom's Hive...

Comment: Re:I don't really buy it (Score 1) 353

by hey! (#49804893) Attached to: Mandriva CEO: Employee Lawsuits Put Us Out of Business

Well, bankruptcy ALWAYS is the result of somebody demanding something they think is owed them under the law. In fact that's pretty much what bankruptcy is: when you can't raise enough cash to pay people what they're legally owed. If your company can't pay the rent you don't go around saying, "We'd still be in business if the landlord hadn't sued us." People would laugh at you. But for some reason if you say "We'd still be in business of the employees hadn't sued us," then people somehow act as if that isn't equally ridiculous.

It's the same attitude where companies raid the employee pension fund to pay for current expenses: that somehow employees ought to pay for the mistakes of management.

Comment: Re:Hard Appeal to Counter (Score 1) 317

by tlambert (#49803171) Attached to: Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht Sentenced To Life In Prison

The internet ones all created facilities that could have conceivably been used to build a "Silk Road". And by "conceivably", I mean "conceivably at the time", as in "Silk Road is not sufficiently non-obvious that it should be granted a patent".

The two pharmaceutical companies were involved in the development of drugs which were capable of being abused (one of which was heroin), and it's not like drug abuse was unknown at the time.

If not "before the fact", then at least accessories.

In the same way that gun manufacturers have been hauled into court for facilitating murders.

Comment: Re:Meanwhile... (Score 1) 317

by tlambert (#49802387) Attached to: Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht Sentenced To Life In Prison

An adult (yes, he _was_ over 18) who molested his pre-pubscent sisters
paid a "judge" to expunge the on-going criminal records citing those facts...

Oh, wait, those aren't the facts? Well we'll just look at the records and sort
these thigns out - oh, wait - the records are gone!

Too bad he didn't live in Europe; sending a "Right to be forgotten" email to Google is a heck of a lot cheaper.

Comment: Re:Hard Appeal to Counter (Score 1) 317

by tlambert (#49802383) Attached to: Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht Sentenced To Life In Prison

Except that he was the creator of the organization that facilitated all these illegal activities, not just a corner drug dealer.

Well, technically, on that note, DARPA, LLBL, the IETF, his ISP, A.G. Farbin, Bayer, Sandoz, Vint Cerf, and Tim Berners Lee are all accessories before the fact...

Comment: Re:Play on words (Score 1) 24

by hey! (#49802133) Attached to: More About Dan Shapiro and the Glowforge CNC Laser Cutter (Video #2)

It's perfectly sound marketing logic.

Explaining things to people who aren't up to speed yet is difficult and tedious; and in any even people don't have the patience to sit through explanations. So the obvious thing to do is to describe your product in terms that confuse everyone, equally.

Comment: No. (Score 1) 121

The hospital didn't show that normal lagtime won't affect remote robotic surgeries. It looked for possible effects of that sort and didn't find any. That's a good result, but it's only the start of a process that might show that doing this is reasonably safe for patients.

The real world is much more demanding and uncontrollable than simulation. Remember the Therac-25 incident. Thorough functional testing apparently showed that the machine was perfectly safe; it didn't take into account the difference between testers and people who would actually be using the device every day. While you can never prove the non-existence of some unknown and unpredictable factor, that doesn't mean that a long and critical search for things you might have overlooked is useless.

Comment: To the people who think this is not serious... (Score 2) 218

by tlambert (#49799675) Attached to: Chinese Nationals Accused of Taking SATs For Others

To the people who think this is not serious... these tests are also used to determine who does or does not get scholarships.

A full ride scholarship means you do not pay for tuition, books, or even living expenses, if you live in a dorm. Lesser scholarships may only cover tuition + books, or tuition.

Still, given all the bitching about student loan debt: consider that these people, *minimally* get out with one year less of loan debt.

If they can additionally either keep their grades up themselves, or have someone do it for them, they can keep renewing the scholarship, and graduate with zero loan debt, compared to the rest of the schlubs who are coming out with a quarter million or more in student loan debt.

Further, fraudulently obtaining a scholarship this way means one less scholarship for a truly academically gifted person, who ends up paying the freight themselves, and if they do not come from a silver spoon background, it means they graduate with debt they would otherwise not have had. Even if they are a silver spoon case, they've lost the time value of money spent out of pocket, which translated to a smaller inheritance/trust fund/whatever.

This is, in fact a big deal. We are talking really large amounts of money here.

As a final consideration, this: the people taking these tests over and over for different people each time: they've had a *hell of a lot* of practice at this point. They are likely very, very good at it.

Comment: Re: Availability (Score 1) 634

by tlambert (#49799427) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?

Those angry mobs won't be a match for microwave beams and high-velocity projectiles. We're not in 1800 anymore. Revolutions today in the Western world are impossible.

No, we'd be in 1400 again, if they started using those tactics (think Lorenzo de Medici).

It'd be time to hire food tasters, and hop it wasn't something slow-acting.

Comment: Pretty much (Score 1) 267

Citation please?

An informed expert opinion based on thirty years of studying the Apollo program. (Actual studying, not just reading pop histories or getting my urban legends from other equally ignorant people on the 'net.)
 

Hmm, let's see. The Soviet programs were cancelled in '72 according to you (actually that's not quite right but it's close enough). When was the last mission to the Moon? Oh that's right, December 1972. Quite a coincidence that...

Pretty much, yeah it's a coincidence. Either way, your original claim as to the order and connection of events is incorrect.

Comment: Sorry. No, I won't. (Score 1) 370

Yeah I never heard it called "Obamaphone" before this article.

Watch a little Fox "News" ...

Sorry. No, I won't. I don't watch "infotainment", and that includes both "news" programs from Fox and MSNBC, which both just try to confirm the existing biases of the people who are already in their target demographic. Well, that, and they manufacture "sound bites".

Unless you want to bring back real news programs, I'm entirely uninterested in current television "news".

Guess that explains how I missed that little "gem".

Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong. - Oscar Wilde

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