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Comment: If safe, any more controversial than vaccines? (Score 1) 391

by iamacat (#49525167) Attached to: Using Adderall In the Office To Get Ahead

If you get immunized, you also get ahead in live and work by unnaturally avoiding diseases. Lately there has been noise about forcing people to get shots no matter what they think. Personally I think you should have a choice. But if there are drugs for which beneficial effects dramatically outweigh side effects, I am all for their use becoming widespread. Adderall is definitely not it - current drugs are too blunt and uniformly carried thoughout the body, causing side effects to organs. The future is gene therapy or nano capsules that deliver active ingredients to only a targeted group of cells. On the other hand, people taking it now are volunteer guinea pigs who will help us one day come up with better and safer drugs.

Comment: Re:Start with basics (Score 1) 216

Good to hear there is some attention to these subjects (I went to school abroad). For child raising/relationships I don't mean "look how much it sucks", but rather normal things to do and what should raise red flags. If people knew when to give a baby solid food or let them take a bus alone, there would be much fewer accidents and health problems.

Comment: Start with basics (Score 1) 216

C.Sci is a good career, it's not the only career. I would rather teach kids:

  • Optimum health management, including providing healthy food and needed daily exercise during school time
  • Balancing checkbooks, with some mock loans/saving money for stuff in school shop and so on
  • Basic relationship/child raising skills.
  • Politics and being a good citizen
  • Protecting environment

If kids have basic life skills, they will also choose their own career paths wisely. By all means, offer a great C.Sci elective and ensure it's available to all willing and able. But pushing one single career on everyone seems overboard. By the time they graduate, other jobs will be in top demand.

Comment: Don't understand the problem (Score 1) 89

by iamacat (#49420129) Attached to: The Problem With Using End-to-End Web Crypto as a Cure-All

If you use SSL with certificate pinning and type into browser, you are safe from man in the middle attacks and root certificate compromises. The only attack vector is gmail itself or your computer being compromised. The former problem applies to any website - it obviously can serve malicious crypto code that copies plaintext elsewhere. The tradeoff is that you can use any public terminal to access your stuff, making it unlikely that someone compromised it in advance. It's comparatively easier to penetrate your personal hardware, even SD cards with secure Linux distros.

Comment: Time for a knowledge-based political party (Score 1) 538

Educated people have ability and moral obligation to become political leaders, and yet we do nothing. There are many inexpensive ways to motivate people on Internet. 90% of public will go with whatever they see on Google, Facebook or Twitter and only 0.01% of talented individuals know how to make the information easily discoverable and understandable among all the noise on Internet. If smartest people refuse to work for Republicans and Democrats, the later will lose all ability to reach anyone under the age of 60.

There are a lot policy decisions that are dictated by simple facts and have little room for ideological debate. Global warming is either happening or it's not. Cutting taxes on the rich either stimulates economy or hurts it. Banning anarchist cookbook from Internet is either feasible or it isn't. Once we get all the nutcases out of office, we can start solving problems in areas where all reasonable debate has been settled long ago. And move on to issues where more intelligent debate is actually needed.

Comment: Re:Depends on one's definition of malicious (Score 1) 91

Dude! You are full of it, and besides you are an F-droid shill based on at least 3 posts promoting whatever it is in this thread.

Android already puts all apps in sandboxes. It also happens to be open source, so you can put on a tinfoil hat and hack a custom ROM to your hearts content, including denying apps you don't trust any network or shared storage access.

And if you want to be taken seriously, give an example of how core OS or Google Play specifically violated your privacy. Most people voluntarily store their e-mail and photos on the cloud and use GPS navigation that tells server their whereabouts. What information is being leaked from your phone that is MORE private than that? More importantly, how is it being linked to you specifically and misused?

Comment: Transparency, trust and thought (Score 1) 261

by iamacat (#49404259) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes a Good Work Environment For Developers and IT?

First of all, ensure that there is honesty in all things - what projects are coming up, how much overtime will be required and when, what are each teammate's prospects for bonus and promotion. Encourage everyone to discuss it with you and each other. The later is legally protected at least in California, but still nice to acknowledge.

After laying all the cards open, trust your reports to be responsible adults. If someone is not able to finish the project on time or is not reachable during off or even work time, assume they have a good reason. Over time, you may learn otherwise and some people may need to be given warnings or even leave the team. But even a single episode of pestering when someone is, say, home taking care of a sick kid will make a good employee look for another job or at least kill enthusiasm for long, long time.

Finally, do things to make employees feel appreciated at least every couple of months. Hold beer keg parties. Give out swag after successful releases. Close the office and give everyone an extra paid day off after a crunch week.

If you hire smart people and do all of this consistently, you will not only get outstanding results but also turbo charge your own career.

Comment: Re:The ethical issue is that it's still a car (Score 1) 477

I don't think "want" and "like" should be the only words in this discussion. Cities can have parks and enclosed courtyards. With billions of us on the planet, we can not just take all the space away from other species. We are the ones who will be sick and starving if ecosystems are damaged.

If living in single homes is what people want, we should focus on slowing and then reversing world population growth.

Comment: Re:The ethical issue is that it's still a car (Score 1) 477

Electricity is nowhere near clean, most is produced by burning fossil fuels. There is no current technology to cleanly produce the amount of energy we are consuming. When there are fusion reactors all over the place, we can reconsider the issue. Till then we can put up with a little inconvenience to avoid frying the planet.

Comment: The ethical issue is that it's still a car (Score 2) 477

This does not solve the problem of pollution when millions of individual cars are manufactured and operated. Nor the impact on environment when habitable land is consumed by sprawling suburbs rather than compact cities. With sensible urban planning, buses and subways can solve the same problem much better.

Self-driving cars can make incremental improvements to safety and pollution levels, but are just delaying the changes achievable with older technology in wide use in many places in the world.

The amount of time between slipping on the peel and landing on the pavement is precisely 1 bananosecond.