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Comment: Re:What's more irritating? (Score 1) 150

by jandersen (#48930291) Attached to: One-in-five Developers Now Works On IoT Projects

The whole "Internet of Things" craze

The 'craze' consists mainly of these few articles that try to whip up a mad frenzy of mild interest. I'm sure, in five years' time it will be forgotten, and then maybe in ten years we'll occasionally be surprised by discovering that there are actually a few areas in which it is used and proving useful. It is in fact not a bad idea as such, being able to just connect certain things to the wider internet without having to bother with configuring NATs or similar things; they probably won't be things that are security sensitive in any way, but I can think of several things where it might be convenient. One thing that springs to mind could be all kinds of remote sensors with built in GPS; each would have a unique address and would know its position, so you could scatter them in the environment and they could communicate their data and position from time to time. And while that may sound a lot like spy cameras, it would actually be much more interesting as a cheap and easy way to collect date about, say, temperature, pressure, pollution etc. That is where we are going to see the real 'IoT', not in idiocies like a connected fridge or oven.

Comment: Re: Honestly... (Score 1) 318

by jandersen (#48921935) Attached to: Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

On the one hand, the Greek people repeatedly elected governments that failed ...

I think you know the flaw in this viewpoint: no democracy is guaranteed to offer up candidates that ought to be allowed into public office, and you only get to vote for those that actually run for election. I think a lot of it has to do with education, especially what one could call 'moral' education - by which I mean secular, moral education; as soon as religious interests get into education, it tends to go the wrong way. Democracy and freedom work best if everybody understands and accepts concepts like fairness and human rights in the same way.

It's the same with the creditors.

I agree. What do you call a creature that passively feeds on what others produce? In biology the answer is simple: a parasite. Another lesson from biology is that parasites can bocome valuable to the host - if they are somehow subverted and made to work for the host. If one were to carry that line of thought over to society, then it is quite possible that all credit should be nationalised, so that it would work for the whole of society. BTW - you do realise that what you are saying implies the end of capitalism as we know it? I think that would be a very good idea.

I have no sympathy with any of them.

So, you are an unsympathetic person? I, by contrast, feel a lot of sympathy with the Greeks; I have been in a similar situation many years ago on a personal scale. When you are in debt, it can be almost impossible to find a way out, even if you are clever, honest and industrious.

Comment: Convergent evolution? (Score 1) 484

by jandersen (#48902937) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Personally, I'm not one of the critics of Pascal; it was my first, real programming language, and I enjoyed it a lot.

But over the years, although languages have been through a sort of Cambrian explosion, aren't beginning to see that they are converging towards the same end goal? Nearly all major language families now have things like object orientation, functional programming features etc, and I wonder if we are not going to end up one day with 'just one' (ie: a few) language again? One of the effects you can already see is that it is quite easy to move from one language to another - certainly within the C family (C, C++, Java, Javascript, ...) and even from one family to another.

Comment: Re:We Really Don't (Score 3, Insightful) 152

by jandersen (#48902873) Attached to: How Do We Know the Timeline of the Universe?

This is the comic book version of what happened.

Well, it seems to be simply a high-school essay with glossy graphics; what did you expect? It doesn't look like Stephen Hawking's style, or even Brian Cox' - it's just some guy that's mighty pleased with his ability to make his website look like an issue of the Hello magazine and who's out to attract traffic to his site, that's all.

Because "science" --- the one with hypothesis, testing, reproduction of results is different than the speculation one --- which is very often quite wrong.

Well, in a sense we know that science is ALWAYS wrong - we propose a theory, and if its predictions survive comprehensive testing, it is accepted as being not far off the mark, but we know that is it not the final truth. The scientific method has arisen on this background as a way to make the discrepancy between theory and reality ever smaller.

Comment: Re:Anonymous is asking to breach National Security (Score 2) 408

The problem is that if someone will make a serious progress... is it likely that he/she will be called pedophile himself/herself? Will it require for the activists to keep samples of the problematic photos?

It is something that will require careful and well thought through handling, that much is certain; and it will probably involve cooperating with the police. It is not wise to risk looking like you've been sitting on a stash of pedophile materials.

But I think there is a more fundamental problem, when it comes to pedophilia, which is that it is surrounded by taboos, to the extent that it actually difficult to research. And as long as we don't understand it well enough, we are essentially working blind. For one thing, we don't really know why some become pedophiles, so it is hard to guess what is the appropriate course of action, once you've caught them. Take punishment, for example - is it likely to work at all? And if punishment makes no difference, should we simply lock them up and throw away the key? Would it be better (for society) to euthanise them? Punishment only works if the person being punished accepts that they have done anything wrong and that they need to change their course of actions in order to become part of society.

Another, probably more important problem is that we still understand too little about why and how being abused sexually as a child is damaging, and that makes it more difficult to help the victims overcome their traumas.

Comment: Re:What's the difference between China and EU? (Score 1) 211

by jandersen (#48897325) Attached to: China Cuts Off Some VPNs

The Chinese government are not always right, but likewise, they are not always wrong either. And I think they do actually want to find good solutions to problems; solutions that benefit their people.

What evidence is there of that?

The rise in living standard ought to serve as evidence, I would have thought. The ever more open doors to the West. I could go on, of course.

As far as I can see, they are open to fair and reasonable criticism;

What evidence is there of that?

I have traveled extensively in China over the last 15 years. I have talked to many people, from peasants to middle class to the elite, such as several party secretaries. I have discussed democracy, religion and basic freedoms with several. Those at the lower end of the scale mostly say things like 'What do I care about democracy when I have to struggle with feeding my family?' or 'Why do I care about freedom of speech - I have all the freedom of speech I need' - disappointing, I know, but that is the way it is. The only ones who really care about the issues are a) university students and b) others with a high position. And surprisingly, they are not against these things, they just don't want to dictated what to do by the Western media, who in most cases clearly haven't spent any time understanding the issues at all. As far as I can see, they do want democracy, just not like in America - and I think you know why that is: it is just a sham, a circus show to give people the illusion they have influenced things. Perhaps China will find a better way - we will see in the coming years.

As for evidence that dosn't depend on my views - how about the way China has opened up? There is a very direct link between the fact the we in the West started treating them a bit like equals some 30 - 40 years ago, and the way they have opened up to the world. When people start talking to each other and treating each other with respect, trust starts to build and barriers become less important - that is what's happening.

No, we know exactly how it will affect them: massive upheaval as they find out that everything their system of law is based on is a lie designed to maintain the status quo, and keep those on top in their position of power while peasants scratching in the dirt support them.

And would any government want that, do you think? What you say there is exactly why they don't just slap 'democracy, freedom of speech etc etc' in the face of their citizens - would it be right for a government to just sit back and let inevitable civil war engulf the country? They Chinese have seen - just like we have - what happens in developing nations when you do that, because it has happened over and over since colonial times. So, is that what you want for China - upwards of hundreds of millions of innocent people dead for your vain ideals of 'freedom'? What a grand sort of person you are.

Hell, most critics don't even know what these things mean in their own countries

Now you're talking shit. No citation needed, just shit.

In light of my arguments above, I think my words stand - you have yourself demonstrated as much.

Comment: Re:What's the difference between China and EU? (Score 1) 211

by jandersen (#48897259) Attached to: China Cuts Off Some VPNs

so you're saying that criticism of the chinese government is ok, as long the chinese government approves the criticism

If you had bothered to understand what I am explaining, then you would have been able to answer that question yourself. I think the reason you chose instead to just gush out this mock-argument is that you know you don't have a real argument against what I say. How willing to listen would you be, if somebody came up to you and started criticising you harshly for doing something you feel is right? Do you write code? Say you were writing a program that you had designed yourself, and you know exactly what you want it to do, and then somebody comes up to you, takes one look and starts telling you what you should have done, that 'frameworks are all the rage' and 'blah, blah', without even asking what you are trying to achieve; you wouldn't like that, and you wouldn't want to follow his instructions either, whether they are good or not. On the other hand, if the same had come to you, asked what you are working on and how were going about it - then perhaps you would have been prepared to listen and learn, and perhaps you would have received some good advice.

Traditionally, since the days of imperialism, we in the West have been arrogant know-it-alls, and still idiots like you are going on about they should 'just' do this and that; just introduce 'democracy like in the US' - which everybody can see isn't working (including most Americans), just introduce US style capitalism, which everybody can see is rotten to the core, just introduce religious freedom - as if that isn't already there, in a nation with at least 4 major religions (but of course, what you really want is being allowed to send in hordes of US style fundamentalists). And so on - why should the leaders (as well as the population) of a rapidly growing superpower want to listen to that kind of rude idiocy? On the other hand, we have clear, historical evidence that entering into a dialog works with China; ever since the US opened up to China's political leaders, establishing diplomatic relations, allowing them a place at the UN Security Council etc - since that time, they have become more and more open to the West. And fortunately China's leaders are mature enough to ignore the more idiotic form of criticism and listen to sensible arguments.

do you even listen to yourself? how propagandized and/ or braindead do you have to be to not see how stupid that sounds?

I think before I talk - and I think about what I have said, afterwards. I don't think I am the one that sounds stupid here. Did you think before you started shooting off you gob? Did you go over the text before pressing 'Submit'? Of course you didn't.

Comment: Re:What's the difference between China and EU? (Score 1) 211

by jandersen (#48891681) Attached to: China Cuts Off Some VPNs

How is it hypocritical to criticize this aspect of Chinese society from European point of view?

If I may butt in here.

I too don't think there is anything hypocritical in criticising China - and if you search for my many, previous comments on Chinese matters, you will see that I have a lot of understanding for China's position. What I have always had a problem with, is unfair criticism; criticism that is black-and-white, dishonest, deliberately mis-reading or mis-representing the facts etc. But that applies to anything - if we want to make progress, solve problems etc, then we must be honest to the facts, open to other viewpoints and willing to change if the facts indicate that it appropriate to do so.

The Chinese government are not always right, but likewise, they are not always wrong either. And I think they do actually want to find good solutions to problems; solutions that benefit their people. As far as I can see, they are open to fair and reasonable criticism; where it often goes wrong is when we in the West come stomping in with badly thought through ideas and seem to say "Why don't they just {introduce democracy|allow free speech|...}" - without even having done any research into how these things might affect things in a vast and complex society like China. Hell, most critics don't even know what these things mean in their own countries, they just sing along to what seems to be a popular tune at the moment.

Comment: Re:Crash-testing & strength? (Score 1) 128

I think designing and printing whole car bodies is only ever going to be niche industry; to most people, a car is just a set of wheels to take them to and from work. But I can see a much more interesting application of this: printing out spares that are otherwise ridiculously expensive to buy. It might help break the car industry's stranglehold on their customers - that would be very welcome, IMO.

Comment: Been like that for many years (Score 1) 809

by jandersen (#48882797) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

Hasn't it been common to fake the engine sound to some extent for decades? I mean, you've long been able to buy 'tune sets' or whatever they are called, with big, trompet exhausts - the only purpuse of which is to make the engine sound louder. I've always felt vaguely amused when I saw them - this seems very indicative of the kind vain person you refer to as 'a peacock', no doubt in reference to the size of his manhood.

Comment: Re:The end of both QM and GR? (Score 1) 230

by jandersen (#48882639) Attached to: The Paradoxes That Threaten To Tear Modern Cosmology Apart

Making more observations is getting harder and harder.

But that, in a way, is why I think it is necessary to start looking again at some of the things we haven't really got a good enough definition of. I remember Einstein worked at some attempt at defining what a particle is, but I forget which paper; that is the kind of things we need a better understanding of, is my feeling. I think it has always been obvious that 0-dimensional particles are a shortcut, a convenient way of not adrdressing the problem you don't yet have, and the same goes for things like charges and fields - I don't think they are really fundamental properties, only placeholders for an underlying reality that we have yet to discover.

Alas, all I can do is offer speculation, and probably not all that good either. But how about, if one wished to define something like an abstraction with particle like properties, but based purely on geometry? And since this is pure speculation, we put no restraint on dimensionality and make no assumptions about whether the geometry is particularly simple; whether it is necessary to hold on to smoothness in the mathematical sense, I'm not sure. To sum up, this might be a universe with many dimensions - all the way up to infinity, even - and the geometry might be chaotic (as in chaos theory) or even 'rough' (ie. a non-differential manifold ~ of varying dimensions). Could a 'particloid' be defined as some sort of localised, crinkly geometry, something that can't easily stretch out and fade away? A whirlpool in the turbulent geometry?

If one were to carry the comparison to turbulence a bit further, could one construct a sort of 'dimension-eating' mechanism involving whirlpools? If you think about wirlpools in turbulent water, they can seem to form 'networks' or structures that seen from a distance appear 2-dimensional; so at lower resolutions they approximate a simpler geometry which seems smoother and of lower dimension. Just idle speculation, I suspect, but one day, when I am tired of working, perhaps I will spend some time on this.

Comment: The end of both QM and GR? (Score 1) 230

by jandersen (#48873833) Attached to: The Paradoxes That Threaten To Tear Modern Cosmology Apart

I think it is time to revise the foundations of both our great theories, quantum mechanics and general relativity. This has become more and more evident in the recent decade, but it has been obvious almost from the beginning, since the two theories have been known to be incompatible already since the Solvay conference, if not before, and I think I can see some signs that efforts are being made to move away not only from GR, but also from QM.

The big problem is of course the inescapeable success of both theories; we have yet to discover a clear example of a contradiction of either theory. To my mind, this suggests that it is necessary to be willing try to go beyond the traditional interpretations of the fundamentals of both. There has already for many years been massive efforts to try to modify GR to be more 'quantum', which have not really brought anything obvious to light, so perhaps it would be worth trying to revisit the foundations of QM? Basic tenets like the collapse of the wave-function and similar concepts have always struck me as far too glib to be real explanations. I think it is perfectly reasonable to expect better than that, something that somehow feels more convincing. Not necessarily simple or intuitive in the naive sense, but convincing. Something like the original explanation for Heisenberg's indeterminacy: that because we observe by means of particles, that are actually waves, there is a limit to how precise our observation can be. Please note, I'm claiming that this is the correct explanation, but it illustrates my point: it feels right because we feel we understands the way waves work, and we can perform calculations on much a finer scale than the observation by means of waves permits.

I think a lot could probably be resolved by understanding more clearly the basics of QM; all the things that feel too much like glib assumptions, questions like what is a particle in terms of physical space (declaiming that it is 'the wave-function' or similar just sidesteps the issue), and what is time (talking about entropy involves a circular argument, IMO) and others. As you can see, I have stated these two in terms that have some bearing on GR; that is not by accident - I think GR is fundamentally more correct than QM.

Comment: Learn at least some programming (Score 1) 302

by jandersen (#48873755) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Has the Time Passed For Coding Website from Scratch?

I don't think you can get around learning a bit about programming, but depending on you ambition, it may not have to all that much.

Starting at the front-end and working towards the server side:

1) Learn Javascript + how to use jQuery. This works exclusively on the browser side (except for AJAX) and you can do an amazing lot with it. It is quite easy, and jQuery makes it very easy.

2) Learn a server-side technology. Node.js seems to be popular and there are some that use only that - the advantage being that you still use Javascript on the serverside, apparently. I haven't used it myself, though.

3) Go further and learn a server-side framework. My preference is Java EE, but this may be overkill. If you are interested, though, after a rather steep learning curve, it is surprisingly simple to write things like database applications etc.

I have deliberately not recommended things like PHP or the other popular frameworks - mostly because I don't know them well, but in the case of PHP because I find it too messy; I don't think it is a good idea to explicitly mix code into the actual HTML. That is just my opinion though, many people like it because it is easy to learn.

Computer programmers do it byte by byte.