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Comment: Distributed, cooperative method (Score 1) 273

by greywire (#46661203) Attached to: Algorithm Challenge: Burning Man Vehicle Exodus

You can't limit the exit queue by having to check for anything, even a plate's last character.

The only realistic way to do this is to have the "algorithm" parallelized and distributed among all the participants.

Instead of enforcing some kind of single point of exodus regulation, you have each individual vehicle calculate the best time for leaving.

It works like this: you watch the line. If its too long (for you) then don't get in line.

With cooperation and with the diversity of people, you could in theory then allow for some people who need to get out quickly, with the cooperation of the people who don't need to get out quickly who will cooperatively not get in line and do something else for a while.

This is probably what's already happening.

You could possibly create a mobile app that allows people to voluntarily enter the time they wish to leave, at which point the app would estimate based on past exodus statistics how long it will take to exit at that time. The wait time would change as more people entered their desired exit time. You could then change your exit time if the wait time becomes too long for you. This might create a better equilibrium than just "eyeballing the line" at the time of exodus.

Thus, its completely voluntary, and would make no negative difference to anybody not using the app (and might make things better, if anything). There's no checking cars at exodus time.

Comment: Here's an idea. (Score 3, Insightful) 323

by greywire (#46547245) Attached to: More On the Disposable Tech Worker

If you want to hire young, recently trained people so you can use them up and discard them before they hit 40, go right ahead and do so.

But don't expect any special help to further your goals.

Those people can simply move to america and become citizens if they want to work you. The whole H1-B visa thing is bullshit.

Or here's another idea. Instead of whining about the impracticality of retraining "old" tech people, why not help them keep their skills up to date while they are working?

Its called an investment! Its not just about money. Investments include your people. If you treat them right, and invest in them, you will get better results.

I'm really getting tired of the American mentality of just using up resources and discarding whats left. Its time to stop being the rugged individualists who just consume everything in their path, and start being members of a functional society that works together and supports one another in a conservationist manner.

Comment: Windows XP 2 (Score 1) 860

by greywire (#46412127) Attached to: Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

Just release Windows XP 2, which is just windows xp with security fixes and the latest IE.

Guaranteed they sell more copies than windows vista, 7 and 8 combined.

Plus it comes with a gold embossed certificate that says "We're really sorry about Vista, 7 and 8. Really, really sorry, we apologise unreservedly."

Imagine the reviews: "Its so much faster than Windows 7" and "My new PC is usably fast!" and "I love that Windows now actually includes windows instead of that ugly metro UI".

Just sayin

Comment: Completely reinvent yourself (Score 1) 423

by greywire (#46401683) Attached to: RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores
Here's an idea. F*ck all the consumer BS products that they can't compete with walmart on (cables, batteries, cell phones, etc). Fire everybody that doesn't actually know about electronics and building things. Stock the stores with awesome stuff like robotics kits and little computer boards and such. But thats not enough... Put in work benches. Turn the stores into maker-spaces. Have classes for all ages on making robots and spy devices and little computer controllers and such. Sponsor local schools that have engineering programs or create such programs. Make it so that when the next kid walks by the store in the mall his mind is blown when he sees robots and blinking lights and kids with their parents making cool shit. I never go into Radio Shack anymore. My son wouldn't even notice the store. But I guarantee if we saw THAT Radio Shack I wouldn't be able to tear him away from it and I'd probably drop some serious change there.

Comment: WTF are they talking about? (Score 3, Interesting) 268

I work for a company that does (among other things) online assessments and data analytics. We're all about the data and how we can use that to help teachers help their kids. How is this a bad thing? The more you know about how the kids are doing, the more you can help them. I don't know how they are getting this idea of something equivalent to an expensive full body physical scan that most people cant afford (besides the fact that over time such scans will get cheaper and cheaper...).

Comment: anoying and useless... (Score 4, Insightful) 380

by greywire (#44494653) Attached to: First California AMBER Alert Shows AT&T's Emergency Alerts Are a Mess
First, I was watching cable tv when the show was interrupted by the EBS (with a computer synthesized voice, no less, yet it still sounded like a bad CB radio). My cable box inexplicably returned to some random channel that I wasnt watching. Thanks Time Warner and Motorola, your cable box SUCKS in yet another aspect. Then, hours later (at like 10pm or so), all three t-mobile cell phones got the alert. We got the alert yet again the next day. For something that occurred at around 5PM? The suspect could have been out of state or in mexico by then. At the time I was thinking, what makes this kid so special, this sort of thing probably happens daily.. I didn't know the details on the story until the next day. This might be useful if it arrived within, say, an hour or less of the incident and was sent to phones geographically within the area the suspect could have traveled in that amount of time (80 miles?).

Comment: Futurama (Score 1) 383

by greywire (#44001395) Attached to: Dmitry Itskov Wants To Help You Live Forever Via an Android Avatar
Am I the only one who immediately thinks of all the heads in jars from Futurama? Essentially that's what this is, in a virtualized form. Just like the disembodied heads, these virtual people would be recognized as being "dead" in a sense but yet still alive in a sense... It would be interesting to note that some time after this becomes possible, the virtual brains would actually start being faster than the real originals. It could become commonplace for humans to have a second life that was better than the first, at least intellectually.

FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies.