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Comment: Buy Microsoft (Score 1) 379

by msobkow (#47723953) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

My sole advice to myself when I started out would have been to buy Microsoft stock.

More than buying a house, a car, or anything else, I started out when Microsoft was a penny stock and could have cleaned up big time just by investing a few grand in their stock instead of a car. :P

Comment: Re:What to know (Score 1) 379

Your outdated "value-adding" "service provding" skills are so 20th century. 21st century careerism is about networking. Networking. Networking. Netowrking.

Look at item number one on TFAs list.

1. Take names. ...

In five to 10 years, that will all be different and the person who you ignored because they were boring and couldn't help you will be the person who could have won you an important opportunity.

Network! Impress people! Dress right! Booze people up! This is how successful companies are made. You will not attract the rright venture capital with your simple abilities. Most companies won't even use those anyway.

2. Problem solving. .....

Problem solving is essentially the same thing you learned in abstract in seventh or eighth grade or whenever you learned simple algebra.

See! Look at this! The people this guy is writing for don't even know how to solve problems. They just code stuff nobody really needs -- and they're still successful! You think your ability to analyse and abstract is something all the cool kids will pay for? Think again. Your geek/nerd/hipster/bro-grammer cred wil matter far more.

6. Work more than 40 hours per week.

Profession? You think programming is a profession. Get back on that hamster wheel and like it code monkey. And get some hair dye. First sign of a grey hair or stress line from yellow packs like you and we sack you and hire a fresh young grad to suck into a husk.

5. Think in terms of a career, not a series of jobs.

Translation: "You can either join the fed-money, app-cloud bullshit wagon, or you can learn to love foodstamp lines. Either way, it'll still be a superior outcome to any science-fiction fantasy you imagined programmers were capable of making in a rational universe. The Market wants fart-buttons, not robots, so drink the kool-aid or join the lowest caste of contract workers you, you, you..... Loser."

No wonder so many programmers go into management.

Comment: Re:How would the money be split? What's the incent (Score 1) 436

by jfengel (#47723091) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

I think it's more useful to think of the number as a quantification of how much that advertising is worth: that's the amount of money operators are depending on (one way or the other) to keep providing what they're providing.

How you actually get it to them is a whole different question. They've talked about micropayments and subscription models and other things, but ads have the nice characteristic of requiring zero overhead for the viewer. There's nothing to install; you "pay" just by having it on your screen. Whether it's actually worth it to the advertiser is insanely difficult to say, but they are (at least for the moment) actually forking over the money.

Everybody would love a more precise system, where you pay for the page views that are of interest to you, but that shifts the burden from millions-of-site-operators to billions-of-viewers, and they're all incensed about having to "pay" for something they were previously getting for "free". People keep trying things, but it comes as no surprise to me that for a lot of side, throwing a few basic ads onto the page for pennies-per-thousand-impressions is the easiest way to monetize their effort, at least for the vast array of small sites.

Big sites (like Slashdot) can do better, because the economies of scale make it worth the overhead to try to get money from viewers, and maybe some day we'll get that packaged down to a point where other sites can get it. But since the total sum of money is pretty substantial, I think a lot of viewers will say, "I hate ads, but I hate paying even more."

Comment: Re:Couch Surfing at a Strangers / Letting one stay (Score 1) 42

by CRCulver (#47722953) Attached to: Couchsurfing Hacked, Sends Airbnb Prank Spam

When you've pretty much agreed that everything he said was true (though you attempt to handwave it away

Fearmongering about risks that are statistically insignificant should be waved away. Otherwise one would hardly ever leave their own homes (or even move about in those homes).

and blame the victim...

Noting that the well-known cases of violence within Couchsurfing.com related to single females hosting single males is in no way blaming them. Rather, the point is that since the GP is presumably male and writing for a predominantly male audience (these being the sad demographics of Slashdot), his exortation to fear such violence is groundless.

The "years of experience" you cite are for more-or-less closed communities of like minded people, very likely known to each other or having common friends or acquaintances. The modern hospitality exchanges are between random people, complete strangers.

There has been no such transition overall in internet hospex from trustworthy closed communities to "random people, complete strangers" as you depict. Couchsurfing.com specifically has grown too large to have that feeling of being a closed community of like-minded people, though the result of this is vastly more likely to be simply meeting a person whose company one doesn't enjoy with than experiencing crime. However, internet hospex in general remains a series of overlapping circles of friends, which one can plainly see from Couchsurfing's two community-run alternatives.

Comment: Re:Couch Surfing at a Strangers / Letting one stay (Score 1) 42

by CRCulver (#47722781) Attached to: Couchsurfing Hacked, Sends Airbnb Prank Spam

Couch surfing at a stranger's home is like staying at a hostle or homeless shelter and is very risky to you and your belongings. On the other side of that, letting a complete stranger into your home to sleep on your couch is also risky and could get you robbed, hurt, and/or killed.

Couchsurfing (with a modicum of due caution) isn't staying with or hosting "complete strangers". You can check previous references left by other guests/hosts that the person has had. Plus, well-functioning hospitality exchange platforms tend to have an active userbase small enough that everyone kind of knows each other. I've hosted a number of people with whom I've turned out to have mutual friends.

People have been "robbed and hurt" on Couchsurfing, but beyond the rare petty theft that could even happen when hosting friends (yes, people's friends can steal too) or relatives (many people have a klepto in the family), violent incidents are rare and the cases I am aware of were single females unwisely hosting single males. I am unaware of anyone ever being killed. Maybe you would like to back up your assertion somehow?

Couchsurfing is nothing new. It superseded its website forebear Hospitality Club, which in turn inherited, among other things, mailing lists for hospitality exchange among hitchhikers and nomadic travellers. There's also WarmShowers, a community for cycle tourists, that has been around for years now and goes back to a pre-internet paper directory. With years of experience and millions of host-guest interactions, you cannot reasonably claim that hospitality exchange is more dangerous than, say, driving one's car on a daily basis.

Comment: Re:Reading between the lines. (Score 1) 181

I think it's you who haven't been to many third world countries. Yes, there are countries with famine, but there are plenty of poor fat people in Nicaragua, Fiji, Egypt, Brazil, etc.

Honestly, I'd list those countries at a higher scale than the absolute Third World. In the Indian subcontinent, Madagascar and parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, there are still millions of people who are badly nourished, who expend an enormous amount of effort every day in unskilled labour but whose sustenance consists of a mere handful of a staple food (white rice, cassava, cornmeal, bread) with little or no ingredients added. Central America and the Middle East is significantly better off.

Comment: Re:The oblig. quote from Snow Crash (Score 1) 181

Some of those are not comparative advantages, not absolute advantages, but that's all you need.

Not, that's not all you need. What you need is employment, and manufacturing in the US no longer employs a significant amount of people. With automation, factories today are run with a workforce an order of magnitude less than in the heyday of the American middle class. Farming too only employs somewhere around 1% of the population now.

Also, 'microcode' has an actual meaning and it isn't what you think it is.

Are you really so daft as to quibble among the meaning of a word within a lengthy quotation from a book by someone else? If you have a problem with the use of "microcode" here, take it up with Neal Stephenson. The passage in question remains an overall valid summary of many people's concerns about globalization.

Comment: Re:Growing pains. (Score 4, Insightful) 181

I gather that there is a countervailing trend, in the form of reformers in the government. China's version of "communism" is pretty far removed from anything visualized by the early social theorists, and it was plagued by a lot of outright insanity for decades, but it always had collectivism at its core. Mao was one of the great mass-murderers of history, but he wasn't corrupt, merely deranged.

I wouldn't call it a benevolent dictatorship, but I was put in mind of it by your mention of the unelected senators. They still had to campaign; it's just that they ended up stumping on behalf of the legislators-cum-electors. The most prominent example was the Lincoln-Douglas debates: they were running for the Senate but really trying to get legislators to vote for their party. It meant that national issues often trumped local issues, and the state legislature suffered for it.

My point there is that democracy, while important, isn't a cure-all. It's inherently adversarial, a conflict which has notably ground today's national legislature to a standstill. Even popularly-supported reforms get no traction, much less anything with even a whiff of controversy. And it's too inflexible to stop the largest discretionary component of our budget from pumping many billions to the military-industrial complex: I don't buy the theory that they're manufacturing wars for it, but even without that kind of explicit corruption it's still not as responsive as you'd like to imagine a directly-elected legislature should be.

I'm not an expert in China's structure, but I wouldn't count them out just because they're unfamiliar. Certainly the system is ripe for corruption, and they do need to fix it, but they have managed to reform themselves already even under one-party control. It will be interesting to see where it goes from here. There's much to do.

Comment: Re:You're a Slashdot.org volunteer (Score 1) 42

by CRCulver (#47721333) Attached to: Couchsurfing Hacked, Sends Airbnb Prank Spam

Yet you're posting this on Slashdot, which continues to operate from the .org TLD after having been sold to Andover, VA Linux, and Dice.

While Slashdot may continue to operate from its old .org URL, no one regularly refers to it as "Slashdot.org" with the aim of suggesting community governance, which is still done by some disingenous advocates for Couchsurfing. And luckily with the Dice acquisition and beta debacle, and the rise of SoylentNews, most people are aware of Slashdot's circling the drain and the rise of a community-run alternative.

Comment: "Couchsurfing.org volunteer"? (Score 1) 42

by CRCulver (#47720995) Attached to: Couchsurfing Hacked, Sends Airbnb Prank Spam
Couchsurfing went from an ostensibly community-run (but really oligarchy-controlled) website to a private, Delware-registered and venture capitalist-funded corporation three years ago. To continue to call it Couchsurfing.org is disingenuous. And as for "volunteer", most of the volunteers with any integrity have long since stopped donating their time to Couchsurfing and instead are active on other, truly community-run hospitality exchange platforms.

Comment: Re:No data, so choose your favorite villain (Score 1) 278

by mrchaotica (#47720985) Attached to: Scientists Baffled By Unknown Source of Ozone-Depleting Chemical

We'd still have global warming even with 100% of electricity being generated from nuclear power (or solar/wind, for that matter). To stop it, you have to eliminate the fossil fuels used in transportation too.

(I suppose it's possible cars and airplanes might have switched to tiny fission reactors or RTGs in the absence of environmentalist opposition -- or that electric vehicles might have become popular sooner -- but it doesn't strike me as likely.)

Comment: Re:Just let the investigations complete (Score 1) 6

by squiggleslash (#47719597) Attached to: What they want you to think

Eyewitnesses pretty much had consistent stories before the media circus started and while one biased, or two unbiased, eyewitnesses might be likely to be highly unreliable, when you start getting many (and 3U+1B seems many to me) all independently corroborating one another then you're getting into territory where only "Invisible gorilla" scenarios (and similar) start to play out in terms of their accounts being wrong. Ultimately it's hard to understand why witnesses would ignore some massive act of violence on the part of Brown.

Which is why I'm leaning towards something related to the door incident, as that was noticed at the time. I just don't quite understand, yet, the mechanism. And it doesn't really explain, however much in pain Wilson was, why he shot Brown if Brown subsequently ran and then put his hands up, as witnesses say.

Comment: Re:It's a load of crap (Score 1) 707

by geminidomino (#47719491) Attached to: News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

It's like asking a random "Christian" to justify and explain Westboro Baptist's behavior because they both think of themselves as "Christian" despite that term meaning vastly different things.

Close, but not quite. The difference is that "the assholes" in your example (WBC) aren't the only one setting dogma. Using the same metaphor, it's closer to you objecting to having "believing in the divinity of Christ" held against you, even though you don't, and you feel that calling yourself "Christian" just means "Being a decent person"

Feminism is not (just) a "philosophy", it's a proselytizing ideology: the goal is to bring people into their way of thinking, and that means that the way it's presented trumps dictionary definitions, trumps NAFALT, and trumps personal gnosis on what "feminism means". And as far as presentation goes, sorry, but the "assholes" are ruling that particular roost. "Mainstream" and/or "media" feminism is spawned in pits like Jezebel now, and I don't think anyone needs to be told how that sort of lot deals with being called on their bullshit.

So no, I don't think it's unreasonable at all, when someone claims the moniker of "feminism", to hold their tacit complicity against them.

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