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Comment: Boo hoo for your business model ... (Score 5, Funny) 148

by gstoddart (#49785299) Attached to: Adblock Plus Victorious Again In Court

Why the hell do corporations think their business model is a guaranteed right, or that it confers any obligations on anybody else?

My business model involves being given millions of dollars to engage in acts of debauchery with college girls.

So far I've been having a hard time coming up with the millions of dollars. Or the college girls. Or the acts of debauchery. Most of them seem awfully complicated and there's stuff on TV.

Who do I sue about that? (No, really, I need to know this. ;-)

I should be given my millions of dollars to commit debauchery with college girls ... because ... business model!!

Comment: Re:Which string theory? (Score 2) 108

Oh, sure. There's a lot of background knowledge required to follow any of it.

But, honestly, even among people with a reasonable foundation in science ... string theory falls into two camps: a) those who make crazy strange metaphors as if they understand it, and b) those who roll their eyes at the people who use crazy strange metaphors as if they understand it.

So, I conclude that string theory causes an extreme polarization of dork-ions, a lot of hyperbole, and way too little actual understanding or predictive value to be of much use. ;-)

Comment: Re:Which string theory? (Score 4, Interesting) 108

Sure, but ... if Richard Feynmann

criticized string theory in an interview: "I don't like that they're not calculating anything," he said. "I don't like that they don't check their ideas. I don't like that for anything that disagrees with an experiment, they cook up an explanation--a fix-up to say, 'Well, it still might be true.': These words have since been much-quoted by opponents of the string-theoretic direction for particle physics.

I'll flat out admit I can't come close to understanding the voodoo which is string theory.

But that Feynman didn't either, and I've heard more recent quotes from physicists who basically say they don't know what it is either ... I feel I'm in good company.

I accept that my tiny little money brain isn't up to the task. But I'm not the only one saying "WTF?" about string theory.

Comment: Re:String Theory\0 (Score 1) 108

I'm wondering why all the heavy particles that were found with the colliders, were not observed during all the nuclear tests that were done during the 30 or years or so from 1945 till 1975.

Better instrumentation and better understanding would be my guesses.

It's awfully hard to measure things you don't know are there, don't expect to be there, and don't have things which can detect them.

I'm pretty sure Higgs was mocked for his idea of the Higgs boson. Flash forward, and our understanding is much better ... and now he was right all along.

Likewise, I'm betting the LHC doesn't have detectors for unicornions ... because we have no theoretical model for unicornions.

Comment: Which string theory? (Score 2) 108

Aren't there like 40 things called string theory, ranging from merely odd or unlikely all the way up to batshit crazy?

I've gotten the sense over the years there's so many things called string theory you can't coherently say what any of it is, or how you'd test it.

Hell, I'm not even convinced many physicists take it seriously. Which means for the layperson, it mostly sounds like gibberish.

It just has all the hallmarks of being so unexplainable as to be meaningless. Which I'm sure is grounded in my lack of understanding due to the fact that it's so magical as to be unexplainable.

Comment: Re:It's OK (Score 1) 345

Yeah, a lot of pedestrians are too stupid to understand either traffic laws, or when they should walk, or the physics of a car hurtling towards them.

One of the scariest thing I've seen is what happens when you try to teach children how to cross the street.

I once saw a small child, who apparently had been told if you want to cross the street you stick out your arm. The problem is nobody apparently stressed the "and wait for traffic to stop" part.

So the stupid little brat makes a 90 degree turn from the sidewalk, sticks out his arm, and starts walking. Didn't even look. It was actually a miracle he didn't end up dead.

Pedestrians really need to have this point reinforced, or beaten into them if necessary ... big heavy things do not stop with zero warning, and you can't simply decide that being a pedestrian is somehow magical and protects you.

Especially, if as in your example, the pedestrian is too stupid to know they can't cross against the signal.

However, in fairness to pedestrians ... I've seen a lot of cars doing a rolling stop and a right hand turn who drive right through a crosswalk with people who do have the signal.

So this isn't limited to just drivers or just pedestrians.

Comment: Re:Because radio isn't just about music (Score 1) 149

by gstoddart (#49784489) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Will Technology Disrupt the Song?

Its about the DJ banter, weather & traffic news etc.

Really? Because I think DJ banter is one of the most annoying things you could possibly hear on the radio.

Other than hearing the same song 5 times in a day every time I find myself in a car (this actually happened on my last vacation).

It was like "why the hell is it that every time I start this car that song is playing on the radio?" I had to find a new radio station.

and to be surprised by a track I'd probably never have streamed or downloaded myself

LOL, I used to know someone who kept his radio on at his desk while he worked ... and then he started being able to tell what part of the hour they were in based on which songs were in rotation. Because it seemed like the same song would play at the same time every day, until it was replaced with a new song, to play at the same time every day.

Many many radio stations really only seem to play the same 10-15 songs, and randomly throw in something novel for "variety".

Maybe I'm unusual in that sense(*), but I despise radio DJs.

(*) The other ways I'm unusual are mostly irrelevant to radio DJs.

Comment: Re:Don't plan to read it... (Score 1) 29

by gstoddart (#49784043) Attached to: Red Hat CEO Publishes Open Source Management Memoir

I was amazed at how he could fill the entire 20 minutes with *nothing* but management buzzwords, and say pretty much nothing else at all.

Honestly, I'm surprised you're surprised. Because with a 4-digit id I'm sure you've heard way too many CEOs speak.

I remember dreading the quarterly bullshit call with the CEO where he'd do exactly what you described.

It wasn't uncommon to pass out buzzword bingo sheets to the developers before the call ... because it usually took realize the extent to which the rest of the company thinks they're clowns.

Comment: Re:You know what would REALLY motivate kids? (Score 1) 172

by gstoddart (#49783903) Attached to: Clinton Foundation: Kids' Lack of CS Savvy Threatens the US Economy

You are clinging to your misconception about what CS is

Oh, go fuck yourself you idiot.

I have a degree in CS. I've been in the industry for almost 20 years, I've spent time as a coder and a consultant. I've designed and built stuff. I've maintained stuff. I've done many things.

I have never personally known any of these people you refer to. I have never worked in a place which has these "computer scienticians" who don't actually do anything.

So, enlighten me. Please, feel free to suggest examples of these jobs which may not coincide with my actual experience. I know I haven't seen every possible job, but I also know I haven't ever seen what you're talking about.

Don't be an douchebag who claims I don't know about about CS, because you can cram that up your ass until you choke on it.

But I have known a couple of people who graduated with a masters degree who could barely code, and who otherwise found that nobody wanted someone whose skillset was limited to purely theoretical applications. Because nobody was doing purely theoretical applications.

Comment: Re:Sure... (Score 1) 127

by gstoddart (#49783757) Attached to: Heat Wave Kills More Than 1,100 In India

Which, if you think about it, is probably smaller as a percentage of population than pool drownings in the US is.

I don't meant to downplay "several hundred deaths", but in a country with a billion people ... you can probably attribute several hundred deaths to a long list of things, some of them probably quite odd.

Hell, how many people die due to tornadoes and hurricanes every year in North America?

Comment: Re:You know what would REALLY motivate kids? (Score 1) 172

by gstoddart (#49783297) Attached to: Clinton Foundation: Kids' Lack of CS Savvy Threatens the US Economy

Why would a CS grad want to be a software developer? That doesn't make any sense.

Other than academia, what exactly are those jobs again? Because I've not heard of them.

Corporations aren't doing theoretical computer science. They're creating products.

and the same is true of a CS grad. Their ideal employment will have little to do with coding.

Right, all of those purely theoretical type jobs which do advanced research in CS just because it's pretty.

Sorry, but I've known people with masters degrees, and a couple of PhDs ... either you're in academia, or you're in industry. And if you are in industry you are doing product design/engineering, and probably some coding.

And, as my prof used to point out ... computer science is doing science on a computer. Computing science is the science of how we do things with computers.

But I simply do not believe that CS grads will never be near code or involved in product development. Organizations don't have places for people whose work is so theoretical they would never touch code. Those people generally serve no purpose in industry.

So, I have no idea of where these mythical unicorns of CS graduates who don't program are, or what the hell they are doing for companies ... but I've never met one.

I've met a few people who had Masters degrees but were terrible coders ... which means they were useless as coders, and somehow expected to have a job in which they could just think of cool things. And I don't think that's a real thing.

Comment: Re:Hobbit (Score 1) 251

by gstoddart (#49783141) Attached to: How To Die On Mars

Except underground, which is the obvious solution but people are too fixated on making housing above the ground.

Do you get the impression Mars One has planned on bringing enough excavating equipment to make this viable?

The technological challenges of underground cities on Mars are not going to be viable for the first people there.

If you plan on doing that, you need to pre-stage your equipment there, or dig by hand.

Yes, in theory, underground solves one possible problem. But it's a long way from solving enough of them.

So, while I applaud looking into what we need to do, and exploring what works ... I'm still convinced that, in particular, Mars One is nothing but a PR stunt and have absolutely not come anywhere near the point of actually being able to overcome the hurdles they need to.

But that first ship of people to land there is going to need to be up and running within a few days, not months or weeks. Because they'll be in an incredibly hostile environment with nobody around to help them.

Hackers are just a migratory lifeform with a tropism for computers.