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Comment: Re:Sick (Score 4, Interesting) 264

If I had mod points, I'd have modded you up.

I grew up as the only conservative in a family of upper middle class liberals. It always infuriated me that poor people were constantly getting free stuff, and I bought in to the whole poor people are lazy mentality. Once I graduated, I found myself working in a company that employs a great deal of the bottom of society. (I started there myself thanks to the collapse in '01). I was lucky enough to have a good family watching out for me, and I didn't stay on the bottom long, but I've been there. As a result of my experiences, I have moved much farther left on the spectrum, but I will note a few things here that need to be said.

First, I find far more lazy people in the middle classes than on the bottom or the top. Those on the top work hard because they are driven (this is what gets them to the top). Those on the bottom work hard because they have to in order to survive. They often have no hope, and no future because we have built the system in this country to virtually guarantee their continued failure. Those in the middle have the breathing room to be lazy, and some of them are. Unions historically protect all of their employees equally, which is mostly taken advantage of by the lazy members (definitely not the majority of union members, but a noticeable minority). It is this enabling power of unions that pisses people off about them. Unions need to stop protecting lazy workers. This is critical to their continued support from the rest of society. Unions have to take steps to ensure that their lazy members are compensated equitably to the effort they put in. A stupid lazy union member should not get paid the same as a motivated intelligent union member when all other factors are equal. That trait of unions is pretty much the only real reason anyone is opposed to unions in the first place. All other reasons are essentially window dressing around the real issue.

We need to stop giving money to the poor. They don't need money. What they need is a systematic, comprehensive, plan for how to get them off the bottom. The single biggest factor keeping poor people poor, is the responsibility for children. As noted, often times, a parent finds themselves as the sole caregiver for children, and they are consequently trapped, as the responsibilities of childrearing often conflict with the responsibilities that employers would place upon employees (such as reliable attendance, and schedule flexibility). The simplest solution to the problem would be to do away with welfare and unemployment benefits entirely and replace them with guaranteed services for their dependents such as 50 hours of weekly daycare, Free medical services for dependents, Three daily meals for dependents. All of those services combined would be cheaper than welfare and would provide far more benefit to society. Individuals, when freed from many of the responsibilities of dependent care, would be far more able to work the kinds of schedules that employers want/need. Being only financially responsible for themselves would allow them to choose better paths for their own career advancement (including continuing education), that would otherwise be impossible to manage while being primary caregiver.

Mind you I am not proposing making these options available only to the poor, I am proposing that society provide that level of service for all its citizens as a way to level the playing field for all parties. In the end, it will only help the next generation, when they don't have to grow up seeing their parent(s) trapped in poverty with no hope of escape, and no obvious way that the children can avoid the same fate.

Comment: Re:Good grief... (Score 4, Informative) 672

by geoskd (#49109299) Attached to: Bill Nye Disses "Regular" Software Writers' Science Knowledge

I doubt any one person has full knowledge of how a computer works. I have a reasonably good grasp of most of the software layers, and a fairly good idea of how the hardware abstraction works, but reading about the pentium division bug makes it clear that an undergraduate math degree is not enough to understand the inner workings of the CPU. I understand the performance difference between wifi B and N, but I don't know the protocol details. SSD drives are magic to me. I would guess that full knowledge of how a computer works would require advanced degrees in CS, a couple different maths, and electrical engineering, at the very least.

A much better place to start would be with a computer engineering degree. It is ultimately geared towards building embedded systems from the ground up, which requires a rather complete understanding of how the entire machine works. The most important part is not knowing all of the details, but knowing the overall principles, and how to find out the details when you need them. Everything you need to write the software is in the component spec sheets, and with a BSCE, you will learn how to build the hardware (and by extension how it works). The only missing piece of the puzzle would be a chemistry or microelectronics degree so that you would understand the chem involved in making the silicon.

Given my educational background, and a short amount of time to bone up, I could speak to just about any part of a computer systems design from the basic silicon to hard drives to LCD / CRT displays to wireless networking card hadrware. On the software side, I can explain just about every working part of a basic operating system, all the way to high level algorithms, advanced compiler design and multi-threaded/multiprocessor/networked systems design.

Comment: Re:Fool me once, shame on you... (Score 1) 252

by geoskd (#49100499) Attached to: No Tech Bubble Here, Says CNN: "This Time It's Different."

I'm not a particular fan of Tesla (Tesla Motors, at least -- Nikolai was seemingly a pretty cool customer), but it's not in the same market as Uber or Facebook.

That is because you failed to accurately calculate the risk/reward for Tesla. It is an understandable error, as accurately calculating risk/reward is anything but simple, and requires a very deep understanding of a company, its investors, and its market. It is complicated enough that often, even a companies officers don't understand all of the nuances. Thanks to chaos theory, one of those little details can bankrupt a company, or launch it into the stratosphere.

Comment: Re:fvwm is what I use, anyway (Score 1) 754

by geoskd (#49067955) Attached to: Removing Libsystemd0 From a Live-running Debian System

and the silent majority don't want systemd

This is the same mistake that both camps keep making.

The silent majority dont care. Simple as that. Both sides of this argument are from loud mouth minorities who want to see the design done their way. The anti-systemd crowd argues in generalities, and the pro-systemd crowd argues in specifics. The fact remains that both sides arguments are in fact (generally) correct, but only one side of the argument has technical merit. The other side of the argument has only political merit.

Comment: Re:Pointless (Score 1) 754

by geoskd (#49063171) Attached to: Removing Libsystemd0 From a Live-running Debian System

Seems gamers don't have a problem with it either. Currently at 32% and climbing. But how can that be?

MS makes damn sure that die hard gamers have no choice but to "upgrade" to windows 8. MS is not stupid, just incompetent. If a gamer gets a high end rig, they will have to have win8 on it to play tomorrows game-of-the-month fad using all their hardware can do, so they just put up with it, since it came with the rig anyway.

Comment: Re:fvwm is what I use, anyway (Score 4, Informative) 754

by geoskd (#49062049) Attached to: Removing Libsystemd0 From a Live-running Debian System

systemd is an abortion and one that most of us do not want.

That is simply not true. A VERY vocal minority do not want Systemd on ideological grounds (although I suspect it is more a matter of the new and different scares them, no matter what advantages it may offer)

The simple fact of the matter is that Systemd does everything, that other init systems do, at least as well, and it does some things that other init systems simply cannot do. If all the popular init systems today had been introduced at the same time, we would all being using Systemd, and no one would have given the others a second thought. The various technical committees have chosen Systemd because on the technical merits Systemd is simply better. There is no argument in favor of the former init systems that cant also be made against all technological progress.

Comment: Re:Bug or feature? (Score 1) 138

by geoskd (#49057103) Attached to: Apple Hiring Automotive Experts

Have you ever actually driven a car where one of the power-assisted systems has failed? I have. I can assure you that it does not "revert to manual". Failed power steering and power brake systems are typically MUCH MUCH harder to operate than pure manual systems, and require enormous effort to control.

A motor vehicle operator will not even notice loss of power steering at highway speeds. In fact at anything higher than 10-15 MPH, power steering loss is practically undetectable from an operator standpoint.

Comment: Re:No comment (Score 2) 411

by geoskd (#49032579) Attached to: Your Java Code Is Mostly Fluff, New Research Finds

Seemed like a good idea at the time...Actually, it STILL seems like a good idea after 30 years...

Good quality code should be largely readable in and of itself. comments to be included only where needed to clear up unavoidable complexity. Consider the following code:

// if value is decreasing fast enough
if( LastZASValue - ZASValue > ZASFraction )
if( DrivingHigh )
StageUp( CurrentValue );
StageDown( CurrentValue );

You'll notice only one line in 10 is a comment, but the intent of each line is very clear in and of itself because of the clear choice of function names, and variable names. The only line of comment is used to create a human readable explanation of what the if statement is testing for, since it is not necessarily clear from the math itself. (Pardon the lack of indentation, I dont feel like fighting with HTML/Slashdot at the moment)

Comment: Re:Government Bid (Score 3, Insightful) 418

Next cost plus contract I see, I will spec all the cables as these. The contracts are the cost plus a profit margin. The more we spend the more we make.

I suddenly feel the overwhelming urge to find you and beat you until you agree to refund my last tax bill...

Comment: Re:Can't eat what you don't grow (Score 1) 690

by geoskd (#49013305) Attached to: Free-As-In-Beer Electricity In Greece?

interested to see how much better Greece does when they don't tow the austerity line

Unfortunately for the Greek people, the money was already spent / stolen. Now the only thing left is the bill...

Getting it back is not simple because the wealthy have long since devised complex legal system to allow them to keep their ill-gotten booty, chief among them being limited liability

Comment: Re:Physics violation (Score 4, Informative) 690

by geoskd (#49012785) Attached to: Free-As-In-Beer Electricity In Greece?

If you're using the heat of the pc to keep warm, then there's no inefficiency in using the power to generate bitcoins.

The problem is that when dealing with heating and cooling, pure resistive heating is about the worst way to go about it. Its true, it is 100% efficient at converting the electrical energy to heat energy, but that electrical energy suffered many losses in becoming electrical energy.

A more economical solution is to take the fuel that was used to create the electricity and burn it directly to create heat. (Generally about 20%-30% more efficient overall).

An even better solution is to use that electricity to move Already existing heat around. This is by far the most efficient use of the energy in the first place.

Comment: Re:Discussion is outdated (Score 4, Insightful) 492

by geoskd (#48899947) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

to be FAR more true for C than Pascal.

On an instruction cycle basis, there are orders of magnitude more C code executing in the world today that any other language. The worlds single most executed pieces of code are all written in C. People should keep that in mind when they make proclamations about C's demise. C will be with us for many hundreds of years for the same reason COBOL wont die, only far more so.

All android devices run Linux at their core which is C. Further, a large swath of embedded devices that don't use android are written in C anyway. These language popularity counting systems always neglect the jobs that require C, but don't explicitly state that. Jobs like hardware designers that need to provide hardware access code. Virtually nobody writes embedded code in Java, Perl, Pascal, COBOL, or any of hundreds of other languages. The few that have made some inroads into embedded systems are rare, and have not made much progress. If you want to understand the Internet of things, you'll only ever get halfway there if you don't know C.

10 to the minus 6th power mouthwashes = 1 Microscope