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Comment: Re:Observations.... (Score 1) 543

by grasshoppa (#49626895) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Announces Bid For White House

More like they recognize a relatively large segment of the population who can easily be manipulated by cheap words and clever sayings. And really, what have they to lose? They get someone else to front money for their campaign, and even if they do poorly they can still get a book deal or three and retire off of the proceeds.

Comment: Re:The Curve on Academic Courses (Score 4, Interesting) 394

by pla (#49620279) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth
I can appreciate the difference between "I don't like this code because it looks different than how I would have written it", and "I don't like this code because the author clearly has no clue how to accomplish the required task and only barely managed to cobble together enough crap to get the desired outputs on a handful of test cases".

The former, I can work with (and sometimes learn from). The latter, I know that I will eventually need to waste more time "helping" the author repair it when it breaks, than I would have just doing it correctly the first time myself.

The real problem here comes not from professional programmers, for the most part (though yes, truly awful "professionals" do exist). The problem comes from having most of the people "programming" in a modern office environment not actually programmers. You have accountants writing god-awful VBA, you have help deskers writing crappy web forms to automate part of their work, you have business analysts who know juuust enough SQL to get an answer, albeit a completely wrong answer, from the data.

This has nothing to do with style, and everything to do with "programming" as an increasingly required bullet point on the average office worker's resume. Yeah, you know some VBA, good for you - Now learn when you can accomplish the same thing with normal Excel formulas, and quit turning every spreadsheet you touch into a smouldering heap of unmaintainable side effects.

Comment: yes (Score 2) 366

by goombah99 (#49616873) Attached to: No, NASA Did Not Accidentally Invent Warp Drive

      we have something here as exciting as cold fusion or polywater. it seems to violate newtons second law so people are looking for the escape clause. If it's real it's a huge deal because it means the fundamental problem of space travel--- bringing your propellant--- is permanently solved modulo the nitty gritty of making it more efficient.

On the otherhand, like polywater and cold fusion it's likely a reproducible experimental error that's not been identified yet. 3 groups have independently observed it so far.

My guess: it's just ions sputtered off the walls and accelerated or it's attraction towards an induced dipole in the room, neither of which would be exciting.

Comment: Re:Not just ineffective (EEO bullshit) (Score 1) 527

by pla (#49615133) Attached to: Recruiters Use 'Digital Native' As Code For 'No Old Folks'
Ah, so "right" and "wrong" can be determined by popular vote now?

Not so much "popular" as "fiscally responsible".

Society has a compelling interest in keeping people employed as long as possible - Ideally until they drop dead on the job, but as long as possible in any case. The longer someone can't work, the longer society will bear the financial burden to keep them alive. A decade of SSI, we can readily bear when offset by a 40 year career of paying in to that system. 30+ years of welfare because companies "don't want" to hire competent experienced professionals, however? The numbers just don't work out when we allow that to happen on any large scale.

So yes, we as a society have determined, for our own good, that companies (you remember "companies", right? Legal fictions allowed to exist as a boon society grants them in exchange for the small possibility they will benefit us overall?) cannot turn away otherwise-qualified people because of a few protected categories.
It doesn't matter if you don't want to work with blacks - Too fucking bad.
It doesn't matter if you don't want to work with women - Too fucking bad.
It doesn't matter if you don't want to work with fogeys - Too fucking bad.
It doesn't matter if you don't want to work with Jews - Too fucking bad.

If someone can do the job and you don't "want" to work with them, rejecting them for only that reason breaks the law. They have a "right" to consideration for employment regardless of the age, gender, race, or religion; you don't have a "right" to run a company however you want, simple as that.

Comment: Re:hiring 15 year olds (Score 1) 527

by pla (#49614419) Attached to: Recruiters Use 'Digital Native' As Code For 'No Old Folks'
McDonald's in town has a help wanted sign out front saying "hiring 15 year olds". Discriminatory?

Possibly by the letter of the law, but probably not under any reasonable interpretation - 15 year olds fit into a special "pain in the ass" category as far as labor laws go, so McD's intends that sign to mean they will hire 15YOs, not that they'll only hire 15YOs.

Comment: Re:Observations.... (Score 2) 543

by grasshoppa (#49613397) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Announces Bid For White House

Unfortunately for the republicans, Fox has been vetting Hillary for going on 8 years. There is little new dirt they could dish up.

I appreciate how terrified Fox is of Hillary given how strong a candidate she is ( especially when viewed against potential runners like Fiorina/Bush/Christy/Huckabee ), but their constant attacks on Hillary will really only benefit the democrats in the long run.

The irony is delicious.

( note: I hate all candidates/parties. Equally though, and isn't that what we're going for afterall? Equality! )

Comment: why do we need a walled garden? (Score 3, Insightful) 32

What's wrong with the plain old internet that we need this? I'm thinking that the notion here is that by making money by limiting access that they can give people free internet. AOL.com sort of started with the notion of monetizing a walled garden to offer cheaper internet access and it did spread to eventually giving access to the whole internet. But you could also describe indentured servitude in a similar rosie way of giving people opportunities.

Comment: Re:Parallel construction? No, just hide the eviden (Score 4, Insightful) 94

by pla (#49611163) Attached to: US Gov't Will Reveal More About Its Secret Cellphone Tracking Devices
The right to face your accusers in court is irrelevant here. They don't present Stingray-obtained evidence in court, just the old-fashioned stuff it led them to.

"Your accuser" doesn't just mean the testimony and evidence against you - How and Why they collected evidence can matter more than that evidence itself.

Just think how much easier it would make police work if they could randomly barge into your house and search for criminal activity without a warrant... Or if they could "find" your DNA at a crime scene by bringing you there after-the-fact to "ask some questions" and you "just happen" to trip and bleed on the scene (but don't worry, an anonymous phonecall assured them you did it).

We have rules in place for a reason. We either always follow them, or they mean nothing.

Comment: Parallel construction? No, just hide the evidence! (Score 4, Insightful) 94

by pla (#49610725) Attached to: US Gov't Will Reveal More About Its Secret Cellphone Tracking Devices
Law-enforcement officials also don't want to reveal information that would give new ammunition to defense lawyers in prosecutions where warrants weren't used, according to officials involved in the discussions.

Un-fucking-believable - Or rather, sadly all too believable.

That one statement right there almost completely expresses everything wrong with modern American legal system.

Mr. Prosecutor, I would point out that if you would so willingly abandon the core principles of our legal system - The ideas of innocent until proven guilty and having the right to face your accuser in court - Why shouldn't we go back to vigilante mob justice and tar-and-feather your worthless ass for breach of public trust?

Comment: Very very very poor multi-tab open (Score 3, Interesting) 235

by goombah99 (#49605749) Attached to: Chrome Passes 25% Market Share, IE and Firefox Slip

Chrome is truly awful at opening multiple tabs at once on my mac. unbelievably slow loading times compared to Safari. And when a page is loading in one tab, other tabs don't continue to update swiftly. I find this really a weirds because chrome uses a separate process for each tab so one would think they would not step on each other. My guess, wild, is that tabs are contending for some resource like network or GPU and actually slowing each other down. In general I much prefer safari or firefox, but I use chrome because I also own a chromebook and I can't run safari on that. Basically, google is doing the same thing microsoft did to make IE dominant by not allowing other browsers on their platform.

Comment: Odd definition of "disruptive" (Score 5, Insightful) 251

by pla (#49587357) Attached to: Bitcoin Is Disrupting the Argentine Economy

The Argentine economy has hyperinflation and unreasonably burdensome government controls. Bitcoin hasn't "disrupted" the Argentine economy, it has made daily life possible for the average Argentinian.

Yes, from the perspective of the government, Bitcoin has made their self-destructive policies moot. It has given the populace an alternative to their collapsing fiat currency. Fortunately, however, the government doesn't get to define "the economy" - The participants in the economy do, and Argentinians have said "no thanks!" to the local Peso.

Argentina doesn't highlight the problems with Bitcoin, it exemplifies the entire raison d'etre for it!

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo. - Andy Finkel, computer guy