Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment: All of this focus on girls (Score 4, Insightful) 192

by MikeRT (#49782799) Attached to: Clinton Foundation: Kids' Lack of CS Savvy Threatens the US Economy

It says all you need to know about the culture of the political class that encouraging middle class girls to pursue STEM jobs is higher on their list than ensuring that boys in the inner city and the sticks are getting educational opportunities anywhere near what is accessible, but often avoided, by middle class girls. Maybe Tyrone in the hood would love to make a solid salary working with computers as a sys admin or developer? Jim Bob in bumblefuck, Nowheresville might like to have choices beyond working as a low skilled worker or working minimum wage retail.

Reminds me of a joke about a SJW approved version of Game of Thrones. Sansa Stark starts a social media campaign to highlight the difficulty of being a high lord's daughter and spends most of her day on Twitter telling peasant boys to check their privilege. That is, more or less, where are now with "equality" in America. We let the privileged put on the airs of being proletarian because heaven forbid we tell them to shut up and use their privilege for the good of society and the less fortunate.

Comment: Two quick fixes to mass replicate (Score 2) 231

by MikeRT (#49776329) Attached to: Elon Musk Establishes a Grade School

1. Change the laws that tie public school funding to the number of enrolled students so that schools only take a modest hit if they see a large decrease in the number of students they teach.
2. Abolish compulsory education.

I bet within a decade, you'd even see non-asian minorities' test scores in the inner cities shoot up as 50% of the "students" just walk out and the school waves goodbye.

Sure, plenty of kids and teens would not get educated, but they're probably not get anything now either. You can't make a student that won't learn educated anymore than you can make a morbidly obese person who refuses to eat right healthy. Sometimes society is better off with such people being allowed to make themselves into warnings for others.

Comment: All the time (Score 3, Insightful) 739

by Sycraft-fu (#49767733) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

The US always pays its debts when they are due. I think perhaps the problem is you don't understand how US debt works, and why it is a bit special:

So the most important thing to understand is the US doesn't go and beg people to give it money, rather it auctions debt. People come and purchase the debt. You can do it yourself on their Treasury Direct site. The US sells debt instruments to interested buyers. They are bid on, and whoever bids the lowest interest rate wins. The upshot is the US sets the terms of the debt instruments sold. They have a variety, some are as short as 4 weeks, some as long as 30 years. When you buy something, the terms of repayment are stated up front: What it'll pay, and when. There is no provision to cash out early, and you don't get to dictate any terms, you just choose what note you want to buy (if they are available).

This is how public debt works in a lot of countries, but it isn't how things go when you are getting loans from the IMF.

The other important thing is that all US debt is denominated in US dollars. A US debt instrument specifies how many dollars it'll pay out and that number is NOT inflation adjusted, except in a few very special cases. Well the US government also controls the US mint, which makes US dollars. So the US government can literally print money, and inflate its way in to payments. There are negatives to that, of course, but it is perfectly doable. The US controls its fiscal and monetary policy regarding its debt. Since all its debts are in US dollars, and since US dollars are the world's reserve currency, the US cannot face a crisis where it can't pay, unless such a crisis is internally generated (via the debt limit).

Not the case with Greek debt, it is in Euros and Greece doesn't control the Euro.

Finally, there's the fact that the US has great credit. Doesn't matter if you disagree that it should, fact is it does. Investors are willing to loan the US money for extremely low interest rates because they see it as a very safe investment. 4 week T-Bills have been going for between 0%-0.015%. 30-year bonds have been going for 2.5%-3.75%. Investors bid the interest rates very low because they desire it as a safe investment.

Comment: Yeah, no. (Score 3, Insightful) 411

by fyngyrz (#49765031) Attached to: What AI Experts Think About the Existential Risk of AI

Except that the opinion of people like Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates and Elon Musk is definitely worth more than any "majority" thinking differently.

Nosense. That's just hero worship mentality. Very much like listening to Barbara Streisand quack about her favorite obsessions.

Bill Gates' opinion is worth more than the average person's when it comes to running Microsoft. Elon Musk's opinion is worth more than the average person's when building Teslas and the like. Neither one of them (nor anyone else, for that matter) has anything but the known behavior of the only high intelligence we've ever met to go on (that's us, of course.) So it's purest guesswork, completely blind specuation. It definitely isn't a careful, measured evaluation. Because there's nothing to evaluate!

And while I'm not inclined to draw a conclusion from this, it is interesting that we've had quite a few very high intelligences in our society over time. None of them have posed an "existential crisis" for the the planet, the the human race, or my cats. Smart people tend ot have better things to do than annoy others... also, they can anticipate consequences. Will this apply to "very smart machines"? Your guess (might be) as good as mine. It's almost certainly better than Musk's or Gates', since we know they were clueless enough to speak out definitively on a subject they don't (can't) know anything about. Hawking likewise, didn't mean to leave him out.

Within the context of our recorded history, it's not the really smart ones that usually cause us trouble. It's the moderately intelligent fucktards who gravitate to power. [stares off in the general direction of Washington] (I know, I've giving some of them more credit than they deserve.)

Comment: Re:That's recklessly endangering America! (Score 1) 135

by fyngyrz (#49761711) Attached to: NSA-Reform Bill Fails In US Senate

You are crazy. Here is an example of the democratic process working, yet you desperately have to search for some conspiracy theory to continue your irrational hatred of the USA.

No. It's an example of a republic not working. What history books tend to call "decline and fall" when it's happened in the past. It is what happens when governments completely lose sight of, and concern with, and respect for, the principles that brought them into being.

This is real life, not a Tom Clancy novel.

Oh, we know. In Clancy's works the US TLAs are the good guys. That's not been the case for decades now.

Comment: Re:Played for a few hours and got bored (Score 1) 85

by gaspyy (#49757029) Attached to: How Cities: Skylines Beat SimCity At Its Own Game

I agree on the challenging part, but I think there's an "increased difficulty" official mod. I haven't tried it.

As for city development, the cities are relatively small because they effectively simulate every single citizen. No cheating. This is why even a high-rise building will have just 10 inhabitants. I think it's a more honest approach than artificially multiplying everything by 100 as Sim City was doing.

I agree with overqualifications, that area needs tweaking. I always had problems even with industrial zones as there weren't enough people willing to work there.

Comment: Lives up to a lot of the hype (Score 3, Interesting) 382

by MikeRT (#49750021) Attached to: How Java Changed Programming Forever

In the years I've done Java development, the only times I've never had a problem building on Windows or OS X and deploying to Solaris or Linux was when someone used hard-coded paths or didn't make the program's deployment properly configurable for deployment to the target OS. Write once, run anywhere is more or less true with Java.

Comment: Want some controversy (Score 4, Insightful) 81

by MikeRT (#49744901) Attached to: Take Two Sues BBC Over Drama About GTA Development

Do a bit on the hypocrisy of most of GTA's critics who went apoplectic over the possibility of violence against women versus the mandatory violence (in myriad forms) against men.

(Sorta like how the reaction to what Ramsay Bolton did to Theon Greyjoy just made him a "bad, bad man" but coercing Sansa Stark into consummating their marriage made him Worse Than Hitler)

Comment: Incorrect (Score 5, Interesting) 170

It is easier with something simpler, not something smaller. When you start doing extreme optimization for size, as in this case, you are going to do it at the expense of many things, checks being one of them. If you want to have good security, particularly for something that can be hit with completely arbitrary and hostile input like something on the network, you want to do good data checking and sanitization. Well guess what? That takes code, takes memory, takes cycles. You start stripping everything down to basics, stuff like that may go away.

What's more, with really tiny code sizes, particularly for complex items like an OS, what you are often doing is using assembly, or at best C, which means that you'd better be really careful, but there is a lot of room to fuck up. You mess up one pointer and you can have a major vulnerability. Now you go and use a managed language or the like and the size goes up drastically... but of course that management framework can deal with a lot of issues.

Comment: Well, perhaps you should look at features (Score 1) 170

And also other tradeoffs. It is fashionable for some geeks to cry about the amount of disk space that stuff takes, but it always seems devoid of context and consideration, as though you could have the exact same performance/setup in a tiny amount of space if only programmers "tried harder" or something. However you do some research, and it turns out to all be tradeoffs, and often times the tradeoff to use more system resources is a good one. Never mind just capabilities/features, but there can be reasons to have abstractions, managed environments, and so on.

"It is easier to fight for principles than to live up to them." -- Alfred Adler