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Comment: Re: "Is this what we wanted?" (Score 1) 260 260

You can't fully describe the longevity of a piece of music until it stops being played by any significant number of people. The Beatles records from 1965 have lasted fifty years and counting. Someone talking about 40 year old records might have bought Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" in 1975. At some future point, when people have stopped listening to that music in large numbers, only then can we really compare them to something like Mozart.

But if you listening to music whose relevancy has already passed by in a year or three, that's by definition disposable jingle music. And to many people that also makes it garbage. It's rather ridiculous to compare that to any music that's already lasted decades. A century from now, maybe the Beatles will be a forgotten little band, while people still listen to Mozart. But you'd have to be completely deaf to pop culture and popular musical history to claim bands like the Beatles or Floyd are listened to today only because people have happy memories from when they first heard them.

Comment: Re:A giant pile of crap (Score 1) 76 76

No one who looked at the code has ever considered the programmers behind it "gods". The PostgreSQL developers for example have been complaining about it for years, including a major look at alternatives in 2011 because we hated the code's API and its license so much. However, that crappy API serves as a form of lock-in, making it harder to migrate to other libraries than it should be.

Comment: Re: Count cards (Score 2) 89 89

That site doesn't understand what card counting is. When you count cards, it changes how much you bet on a hand you haven't seen yet. You increase your bet (or enter the game altogether) only when the player odds are higher than normal.

Counting "outs", the number of cards in the desk that will improve your hand, is not what's called card counting in casino games.

Comment: Re:AI has great chances (Score 1) 89 89

People getting emotional isn't always an advantage for the computer; it's part of the complexity of playing against them. Some people will rampage where their aggressiveness ramps up after losing a hand due to luck (a bad beat). Some will bet less aggressively because they're stinging from the loss and worried about their stake. You can't just model the human opponent's patterns and expect them to be consistent.

Comment: Re:You cannot do that (Score 1) 310 310

RCG would offer him say 100:1 margin, so he'd make positions as large as $100 million, and if at any point his unrealized P&L grew to close to his $1 million they would call his position and he'd be busted out.

I'd like to live in this wonderful fantasy land where all positions can be closed out at any time with a controlled loss. I'm sure that would work out great even in the most crazy and obviously theoretical example, like maybe a flash crash where prices might even change faster than a complicated position valuation method could track.

The last time I got a margin call was after a gap up in an equities short position, so no opportunity to trade a controlled close at all. But it was fine--my bet shorting SCOX was guaranteed money, only question was how long until the stock went to $0.

Comment: Re:So? (Score 1) 310 310

And what if it turns out that the financial falsification was a rumor set off by a market manipulator to force the OP to execute his trade at an unfavorable price.

At a big firm, then they'd take that front running profit and put part of the proceeds toward lobbyists, campaign contributions, and the salaries of the former SEC officials who now work for them (after a few years of doing them favors). And then they'd budget for the hookers and blow. Sheesh, do you not know how Wall Street works at all?

Comment: Re:wikipedia is self-correcting (Score 1) 186 186

There's a sampling bias issue if you fairly compare the site to a print encyclopedia. Encyclopedia editors have a job where they write about everything. On average, they'll have little personal connection to the articles they write. That's even part of the job description--the less biased you are, the more your writing will be judged as positive by that industry.

The universe of Wikipedia editors is self-selected. The people going to the trouble of editing.things is strongly correlated with people who have a personal interest in that subject. That's practically the recipe for getting more biased opinions than neutral ones.

Comment: Re:...Wikipedia has "atrophied" since 2007... (Score 1) 186 186

Every time I try to make major improvements to articles on something I'm expert in, those edits are reverted as being original work. If it's something I actually care about, what I have to do is create a blog entry that covers the topic. Then I put the text I originally wanted into Wikipedia, citing myself. That makes it all fine.

For bonus fun, after going through this you then change the original blog entry to say something different.

Comment: Re:Nice try (Score 3, Insightful) 249 249

This was not like Skype, where it was actually successful and the engineers got screwed anyway - that's quite rare.

That a startup succeeds is quite rare. Just considering those cases though, I don't think ones where the employees also get screwed are rare at all. The groundwork for that is usually in place from day 1, with how shares in the company are split into classes.

For me it's been 100%: all three of the successful startups I've been involved with, all purchased by another company, did that transaction in a way that valued the common stock in employee options I owned at nothing. All the books were cooked until the company founders and, more importantly, the funding investors were paid all of the proceeds. And just to rub some extra salt in the wound there, the second also removed my name from the patent they were granted near the end of the process, to grease concerns that I'd expect more from the sale than nothing and could cause trouble with its licensing. (I signed those rights away in my employee contract, and all I really wanted was the little patent plaque)

The third laid me off, forced me to exercise my options to keep them, then valued the common stock at zero during the sale. That one's bonus fuck used some going out of business loopholes to cancel my COBRA policy with zero advance notice the week after the sale, as if they'd gone bankrupt and couldn't afford to administer the policy anymore. The company was sold for millions to Cisco; the engineers who built its technology lost their health insurance.

I've come to see these anecdotes as a pattern by design. Startups are not structured to make the employees happy if the company succeeds. They're setup so the majority share holder(s) get what they want. And there's a lot of rich assholes who will screw over anyone they can in that chain.

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