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Comment: Odd definition of "disruptive" (Score 5, Insightful) 250

by pla (#49587357) Attached to: Bitcoin Is Disrupting the Argentine Economy

The Argentine economy has hyperinflation and unreasonably burdensome government controls. Bitcoin hasn't "disrupted" the Argentine economy, it has made daily life possible for the average Argentinian.

Yes, from the perspective of the government, Bitcoin has made their self-destructive policies moot. It has given the populace an alternative to their collapsing fiat currency. Fortunately, however, the government doesn't get to define "the economy" - The participants in the economy do, and Argentinians have said "no thanks!" to the local Peso.

Argentina doesn't highlight the problems with Bitcoin, it exemplifies the entire raison d'etre for it!

Comment: Re:Waitasecondhere... (Score 1) 393

by pla (#49586663) Attached to: Tattoos Found To Interfere With Apple Watch Sensors
You assume this counts as a bug rather than a feature - As others have pointed out, Apple knew about this "problem", and decided to officially make lemons out of lemonade.

Suffice it to say, the Walled Garden has no room for dirty tattooed heathens. No emulators, no system tools, no duplication of Apple functionality, and no colors.

Comment: Re:Fast track (Score 4, Interesting) 353

by pla (#49572291) Attached to: University Overrules Professor Who Failed Entire Management Class
it sounds like it is his first time with undergrads.

A&M lists this as a 400 level course - As in, targeted at graduating seniors (and actually has that as a requirement to take it without an override). Technically still undergrad, but if those students haven't mastered the concept of "pay attention and don't screw around", they won't, and deserve to fail.

1. These students are taking more than just His class.
2. Chances are the class is required.

The BBA curriculum at A&M lists that as the only required class for 8th semester students (with three other electives) - It counts as the goddamned capstone course for the degree. Any student who has too hefty of a workload that semester aside from that one class has only themselves to blame.

3. The students are filled with other concerns then just that class. Finding a girl/boy friend, trying to keep on on what he should socially be.

Sooo Not His Problem that you have me at a loss for words on how to phrase this more strongly. When paying $22,470 per year for a piece of magical job-paper - Sit down, shut up, and pay attention, or GTFO.

4. Because he specialized in that topic for so long, there isn't any empathy on the fact that people just don't get it, the first time.

I have taken strategic management (though not at A&M). Really not much to not "get" - You learn about Michael Porter and SWOTs and Jack Welch. Even if the professor completely sucks, you just watch powerpoint slides and memorize facts for the test. If he doesn't suck, you have fluffy group case study discussions where you basically have no wrong answers. If you don't "get" it at that point in a business degree... Well, to reiterate my opening paragraph, you shouldn't pass.

You want to know what really happened here? In every class, you have a handful of waste-of-flesh whiners who will bitch about every lecture as too boring (or alternatively, that the professor actually expects them to participate instead of letting them read Facebook on their phones in the back of the room); every assignment as too hard (even the ones where the professor all but gives the answers right in class); every paper too long. This poor bastard just managed to get an entire class packed full of them.

Comment: Re:why not a web page? (Score 1) 161

by pla (#49563203) Attached to: Has the Native Vs. HTML5 Mobile Debate Changed?
So if you need a framework so you can pretend to have a native version of the application

No, you need a framework so you don't need to reinvent the wheel for every project you work on. With Sencha's frameworks, I can write a pretty slick-looking responsive site in a few hours (or days, for something larger) that would take literally months to roll on my own (and for the record, yes, I can and have rolled my own, back in the dark ages).

why not just focus on having a webpage instead of a shitty application which is just a web page?

Two reasons. First, it increasingly doesn't make sense to force your end users to download and install potentially untrusted code - never mind needing to maintain separate versions for every major platform you target (oh, you want this on iOS and Android and Windows and Linux and OS X, etc?), when you can accomplish the same result in one nice tidy webapp. Second (and you can fairly call this a matter of personal preference), IMO just about everything looks like crap in a browser on a phone, and even that assumes the browser handles it correctly (yeah, like I want to support Chrome and FireFox and *shudder* MSIE and Dolphin and Safari and Opera, etc - Going right back to all the joys of supporting multiple OSs, woo hoo!).

The concept of a "webpage" hasn't limited itself to some statically published version of a document-with-markup in over 20 years; that model lost so thoroughly that pining for it doesn't even count as beating a dead horse anymore, more like trying to clone a mammoth from frozen DNA.

This sounds like lazy people who want to claim they have an app, when all they're doing is pointing to a web page.

It really doesn't matter to me what you want to call it, whether an app or a webpage or a widget or a three-handled family gredunza, if it accomplishes the intended goal... All just a matter of using the right tool in your box for each task - Sure, you can hammer in a screw, but sometimes a plain ol' nail will do the job just as well.

Comment: Re:F Mark Rowley (Score 4, Insightful) 230

by pla (#49528643) Attached to: UK Police Chief: Some Tech Companies Are 'Friendly To Terrorists'
They're just trying to shoot the messenger but they created the problem by circumventing or ignoring the law.

The real problem here - And finish reading this post before you start shooting at me - Rowley has it absolutely correct. Tech companies do behave in ways friendly to terrorists.

Except, he has committed a fundamental attribution error by assuming they do in support of actual terrorism. Tech companies don't support terrorism - They support fairness, they support security, they support usability, for everyone. Unfortunately, "safe" and "secure" includes "from government tampering", and "fair" and "everyone" includes terrorists.

If the encryption software I use doesn't block all attempts to intercept my data, whether by flaw or by design, I will use something that does. Simple as that. Tech companies behave in ways friendly to terrorists because tech companies can't readily discriminate between the actions of crackers and governments, between privacy advocates and terrorists, between a legal court-ordered wiretap and an NSA hijacking - Nor should they.

Comment: Re:Must hackers be such dicks about this? (Score 1) 270

by pla (#49496013) Attached to: FBI Accuses Researcher of Hacking Plane, Seizes Equipment
Might be more rules with the police, but at least with private parties in Colorado a verbal agreement is a legally binding contract.

Even if they had it in writing, a purely one-sided contract would typically count as unconscionable. Since his "chat" with them didn't involve any actual concessions on their part (and "play nice and we won't harass you until the day you die", would make it equally unenforceable), I doubt you'll see them try to press this as a matter of contract law.

The fact they even mentioned it I'd call more of a smear campaign - The FBI needs to make this guy look like a complete asshole, because any other outcome would require actually acknowledging and fixing the underlying problem, rather than harassing the guy who pointed-and-laughed at the naked emperor.

Comment: Re:Must hackers be such dicks about this? (Score 4, Insightful) 270

by pla (#49494113) Attached to: FBI Accuses Researcher of Hacking Plane, Seizes Equipment
Roberts said he had met with the Denver office of the FBI two months ago and was asked to back off from his research on avionics â" a request he said he agreed to."

"Don't look behind the curtain" is not security, however much it gives you the warm and fuzzies.

So he's scaring people and breaking/threatening-to-break his word, and they're being dicks to him. This may not be statutory justice, but it's poetic.

Unless he "agreed" to it in the context of a consent decree, that conversation has no more legal binding than agreeing to "keep your nose clean and stay out of trouble". Sorry if that scares you, but we all have the right - and in this case, I would dare say a moral obligation, to expose security flaws in commercial air travel.

If this really bothers you, try venting your ire at Boeing, not at the messenger.

Comment: Re:Mandatory xkcd (Score 2) 229

by pla (#49493343) Attached to: GNU Hurd 0.6 Released
Nothing wrong with learning new software. When new software brings great features to the table or when it fixes long-standing and hard to squash bugs - Great!

Learning new software because OMGSHINYNEWPONIES, however? Fuck that. Particularly when the new ponies merely usurp preexisting functionality into a more fragile, unrecoverable environment. When the new ponies mean relatively minor configuration tweaks mean a reboot. When the new ponies speak a language only they can understand, and to hell with all of you who see any benefit in human-readable. When the new ponies have uncontrollable Tourrette's syndrome and like to spew random unintelligible obscenities at the user for no obvious reason and with no warning. When the new ponies don't actually do anything we couldn't do before. When the only reason we even have this discussion on the table involves NIH syndrome at RedHat.

An init system should do as little as possible, and do it well. Systemd ain't that.

Comment: Re:Hasn't this been proven to be junk science? (Score 2) 313

by pla (#49488845) Attached to: A 2-Year-Old Has Become the Youngest Person Ever To Be Cryonically Frozen
I can remember reading several articles which stated that cryonics doesn't work because the freezing process is not perfect - it does not stop decomposition, which older frozen specimens were starting to show. Why do people still spend money on this?

See, you've looked at this entirely the wrong way.

Yes, all these suckers currently having their heads frozen have basically wasted their money. But instead of pointing and laughing, look at it this way - We might someday benefit as a result of using these corpsesicles as guinea-pigs to learn how to slow the clock of decay that starts at the moment of death.

No, Walt Disney and Matheryn Naovaratpong will never see this universe again; but what we learn from them might buy us an extra five minutes to get proper treatment after a heart attack or stroke.

So, ix-nay on the "wasting your money" bit! Instead, encourage your rich but scientifically-ignorant friends to "preserve" their bodies "for the future"!

Comment: Wikipedia has exactly one problem... (Score 5, Insightful) 186

by pla (#49484683) Attached to: How Many Hoaxes Are On Wikipedia? No One Knows
The obnoxious cliques of senior editors with god complexes make it virtually impossible to correct anything of substance. And Jimbo cares fuck-all about it as long as enough people click the donation button.

Sure, you can get into revision wars over whether to use the word "which" or "that" in a given context; but fixing a factual error? Good luck!

"Citation needed!"
"But the old, wrong version didn't have a cite either."
"Doesn't matter, it stays, and my minimum wage burger flipping ass has just banned you for daring to challenge me, you pompous PhD-wielding expert in this particular field!"

Comment: Re:photo too blurry (Score 2) 78

by pla (#49478205) Attached to: New Horizons Captures First Color Image of Pluto and Charon
What use does the average person have for any photo of outer space objects?

What use does the average person have for photos of their trip to the Grand Canyon? For that matter, what use does the average person have for any space exploration (as distinct from the more practical application of communication satellites)?

Humans interact with our world in a very vision-centric manner. It "means" more to us to see cool high-res color photos of some distant astronomical object than "knowing" the far more useful data about the makeup of its atmosphere.

And like it or not, that mean NASA gets more funding for cool pictures than for doing hard science. People care far, far more about the Mars rovers because they empathize with those plucky little robots still carrying on despite adversity (and sending back pictures to prove it), than because they fulfilled their primary mission objectives.

Comparing information and knowledge is like asking whether the fatness of a pig is more or less green than the designated hitter rule." -- David Guaspari