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Comment Re:Do we really want Google... (Score 0) 38

This should not be an issue of seeing content, it should only be an issue of requesting content. Autoplay on anything, be it GIFs or silverlight is not only an annoyance issue, but a accessibility issue. In any case, remember that Google is largely responsible for autoplay flash. As the largest ad network, the lack of control by the user grew it's ad revenue. Now that HTML 5 has removes even minimal control from the end user, flash is depreciated. This really only has to do with Googles ability to make money through ads.

Comment Re:Time investment (Score 1) 139

Dude got nerd sniped. I wouldn't be able to resist. An interesting puzzle mysteriously shows up? Yes please. Basically how I got into programming and math in general.

Of course all they're going to get are people who aren't savvy enough to use ad/tracking blockers and duckduckgo...

Heh. Google Foobar popped up for me last week. I blew two hours solving problems before I pulled myself away and got back to work.

Comment Re:Time investment (Score 1) 139

I set to work and solved the first problem in a couple hours. Each time I submitted a solution, foo.bar tested my code against five hidden test cases." After solving another five problems the page gave Rossett the option to submit his contact information

Curious: what prompted Max Rossett to spend hours solving programming puzzles before being even given the opportunity to submit contact information for a job consideration?

The same thing that prompts people to spend hours solving Project Euler or Top Coder or similar puzzles, with absolutely no expectation of return beyond the joy and satisfaction they derive from solving the problems.

Whether or not the sort of person who does is what Google needs is an open question, but it's definitely the sort of person Google hires. The interview process is composed of a series of programming puzzles, and one of the things interviewers look for is people who not only handle that sort of challenge, but who clearly enjoy it -- largely because the interviewers and all of their co-workers like such puzzles, and anyone else who does is very likely to fit in.

It makes perfect sense; the recruiting tool selects for exactly the sort of person who is likely to get hired, and to fit into the culture.

Comment Re:Women Count Too Low (Score 1) 406

I know AM tried to sell itself as a classier place, not just for hookups, but "Life is short, have an affair"?

And with a close up picture of a woman's full red lips. Mostly advertised on porn sites, whose viewership skews male.

They did not place ads with a picture of a hot dude on pintrest.

So, what you're saying is that while AM claimed to be marketing heavily to women, that claim was just part of their actual marketing to their actual target demographic: lonely, unhappy men.

I could buy that.

Comment That would be penny wise and pound foolish (Score 5, Insightful) 263

If this is actually a credible report, then the U.S. government needs to stop funding the rebuilding/construction of areas that are CURRENTLY under sea level like New Orleans and the dikes and berms around it. No more federal funds of any kind for regions currently under water!

By that logic we should just write off large swathes of the Netherlands. Dykes and berms work just fine, and we have the engineering means to keep portions of land we consider valuable dry even if the waters rise 10 or 20 feet. New Orleans would fit in this category in my opinion. It is a unique part of American heritage and a cultural gem (one of not-so-many the US possesses), well worth the investment of Federal dollars to keep around.

Not to mention that it is by far less expensive to retain land by shoring up or building new dykes, than it is to reclaim land already submerged. Not as cheap as ditching it of course, but in places where it is worthwhile (New York City, Hoboken, New Orleans, Holland, and various other places) it is much smarter to keep existing places dry than leave them to be inundated and then realize our mistake later and either lose them forever, or pay even more to reclaim them.

Comment Re:"quality of finish" does anybody really care? (Score 1) 107

"Quality of finish" includes things like whether the seam between face and sides is smooth, if edges are nicely beveled, etc. Almost everyone cares about such things in the sense that you (at minimum subconsciously) evaluate those things when you see an object for the first time. Can you tell at a glance which swag t-shirt costs $5 versus $0.50? Guess what: quality of finish makes a difference to you.

Comment Re: Smartphones have problems too (Score 1) 372

This is not true. Assisted GPS doesn't rely on cell networks, it makes use of cell networks for faster fixes. They still work fine without service, but they do take much longer to get a fix. This is evidenced by the fact that you can put your phone in airplane mode and hold it near the window of an airliner and still get a 10-satellite fix.

This is correct. There are a number of signals that GPS receivers use to improve their performance and accuracy. They use both cell-based network location and detection of nearby Wifi access points to get a very fast, rough idea of the location. That enables the system to know what GPS satellites should be in view, which means the GPS receiver doesn't have to wait for as much data from the satellites to get a good location.

They also use Wifi triangulation to fill in gaps in GPS coverage, when they don't have a clear line of sight to the sky. For this reason mobile phones often work much better than dedicated GPS units in cities where the rows of tall buildings reduce visibility of the sky.

They also use the GPS WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) when available to help make the GPS location fixes more precise. This system is primarily designed for use by aircraft but it can help ground-based receivers as well.

But you can shut off all of the other stuff, and you phone's GPS will still be able to get a location, as long as it can receive signals from the sky. It'll take longer and may not be as precise, but it will work.

Comment Re:Women Count Too Low (Score 1) 406

That doesn't sound right. I expect that the men completely outnumber the women, and that the 'women' are largely fake, but only 12,000?

With all the advertising that AM has done, and with the huge number of women online (consider pinterest for heavens sake), and the huge number of women that have affairs, it seems unlikely to me that only 12,000 actual women signed up.

I made the same point to my wife. She said she wasn't surprised.

Her explanation is that although there are plenty of unhappy women interested in affairs, she thinks women are more cautious and, more importantly, far less likely to be looking for sex rather than a relationship. If you want to find a relationship instead of a hookup, web sites aren't as good as real-world meetups (bars or whatever), and sites specifically focused on affairs aren't as good as general dating sites. I know AM tried to sell itself as a classier place, not just for hookups, but "Life is short, have an affair"?

Comment Re:Problem with the solution? (Score 1) 189

When I first started paying for it, everyone else thought it was too expensive and I was the only one on it. It was fast enough then. But others got on and it slowed down. And FWIW, I wouldn't care if it was $50. It would be worth it. I wish they'd raise the prices so fewer would use it.

Comment Re:Problem with the solution? (Score 1) 189

Well no, even when travelling on business all my docs are on a web-server, often with images. Also, VNC is an essential part of my job, in that I cannot run the sims on a puny IT issued laptop, and need my desktop or datacenter to see waves and do any form of debug. But wifi as it exists makes this painful.

Jesus. Sometimes "on the plane" means you're on a fucking plane, and can't do some things.

Which just means you have to do them later. Why waste the time? Personally, when I traveled a lot I tried to schedule tasks for when I was on the plane. It was a great opportunity to get a block of interrupt-free time. Better for reading than typing, though, so not great for coding. Unless I knew I was going to be in first class.

Comment Re:Bingo (Score 4, Interesting) 95

Learning, at some point, depends on the motivation of the student. The difference between a teacher and a professor is that the teacher actively encourages motivation in the student, while it is hoped that the professor though deep knowledge in the subject and inherent interest will passively generate the motivation.

Or, to be more realistic, that the college student due to the money being spent will be inherently more motivated. This ignores the fact that some students go to college just for health insurance.

I see the situation with using technology to be more complicated. An underlying assumption that the computer will be more motivational that a 'boring' professor. I have not seen this to be the case. The long term motivation of the student still depends on human intervention. Gamification is not going to work for every student, and while there is nothing wrong with a college that uses it, such a college would not inherently be better than a more traditional college

There is also an assumption that the making the buzzwords more precise will help, i.e. Competency, Adaptive, Individualized,Differentiated. In fact it comes back to motivation. Most of these are not expecting an equal level of achievement by the end of the course, i.e. not every student is expected have read and analyzed the Odyssey by the end of the course, and maybe that is ok. Some will see it as unfair that they were expected to comprehend Ulysses while others were given an A for reading the Devil Wears Prada, but that is an issue with equity and equality being different things.

No, the problem is that an intelligent student can game the system. I have seen it will well respected adaptive courses. Student purposefully keep their level low so they are able to get credit with minimal effort. If the system still requires equal outcomes, then they are not adaptive or whatever buzzword one wants to use.

I see the problem as it always has been, valuing a degree over learning. There is no technology that is going to educate a student that is simply in school to buy a sheet of paper. For a student that is there to learn, the old technology of a book, a professor who has time to talk, and equally motivated classmates, cannot be beat.

Educational technology is therefore a critical part of universities who simply exist to funnel student loans to executives of the university. It a symbiosis between institutions who care nothing for education, and students who do not care to be educated.

The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.