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Comment: Re:Missing "retro" touch (Score 1) 134

by pla (#49387435) Attached to: It's Time To Open Your Eyes
This would be exponentially more effective if read with green text on black background. You lazy.

Pleeease don't give them any ideas. They seem to have trouble keeping the site's normal CSS fully functional from week to week; do you really want them to go tinkering with it to add extra punch to yet another one of these lame 4/1 posts?

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 271

by pla (#49381541) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With User Resignation From an IT Perspective?
And also.. backing up his email in case he deletes his inbox/sentbox? Are you serious?

Some industries have legally mandated retention periods, both in the minimum and maximum direction.

That said, employees shouldn't have the ability to violate the corporate retention policy. You delete an email? Okay, you don't see it anymore, but it still lives on the server. You don't delete an email? Okay, but in three years, it vanishes automatically.

And yes, you can play games such as forwarding it to yourself, printing it to PDF, yadda yadda yadda, but at least on the deletion side, your admins have no excuse for not having the server automatically enforce minimum required retention times.

Comment: False dichotomy (Score 3, Insightful) 367

by pla (#49379633) Attached to: Why America's Obsession With STEM Education Is Dangerous
No one has said we should focus on STEM to the exclusion of all else.

If you want to take a double major, sure, go ahead and get that degree in Medieval French Lit - Just make sure your other major(s) actually makes you qualified to earn a living.

No argument, a humanities degree will go a long way toward making an engineer "well rounded" (I took the double major path myself); but far from having a glut of narrowly-focused STEM professionals on the market, we instead have a staggering preponderance of unemployable college graduates who had no idea what they wanted to do with their lives and saw a liberal arts degree as the path of least resistance. Nothing "noble" about that, and "well rounded" applies to both sides of the fence. All Nietzsche and no Newton makes you just as square as all Calculus and no Yanomami

Now, if you really do want to work as an anthropologist, hey, more power to ya! But don't complain that no one wants to hire you to smoke a lot of weed and ruminate about how much The Man has conspired to keep you down.

Comment: Re:"Knowledge-based" questions are really bad (Score 1) 325

by pla (#49374001) Attached to: Sign Up At irs.gov Before Crooks Do It For You
I treat such questions as passwords and never put real info in them. If they're basing it on info they think they already have, they should be slapped hard.

This, so much this! It really annoys me that sooo many sites all ask questions from the same pool of stupid biographical data, thereby making guessing them almost trivial for people like vengeful ex wives and rogue IT staff at any random website that collects password reset questions.

Mother's maiden name? "handlebar mustache"
First pet's name? "furious green ideas"

Granted, I don't tend to pick what I'd call really all that "secure" passwords for them, but I sure as hell don't give them real answers. Hell, half the questions they ask, I don't even know the right answer - "College roommate's home town"??? Seriously? WTF, I couldn't stand the guy, you can sum up the entirety of our conversation with "can you please wash your bedding this month?" and "I told you you couldn't make bacon in a hot-pot!"

Comment: Re:Evil tech? (Score 2) 61

by pla (#49358031) Attached to: Hoax-Detecting Software Spots Fake Papers
I mean, if you were doing actual peer review, none of this would pass even a half-sentient peer's inpection.

This, so much this!

Seriously - If I don't do my job and my boss catches me playing online poker all day, should I attach a response to my HR writeup explaining that I have addressed my deficiency by rearranging my cube to make it harder for others to see my screen???


The problem here has nothing to do with people submitting fake papers, Springer. Rather, you need to stop hiring fake editors.

Comment: Re:Its not mostly diesel (Score 0) 198

1) Modern diesel engines burn cleaner than gasoline.

2) Modern wood-stoves can produce 1/10th the emissions of your granddad's outdoor wood boiler.

I don't know about agriculture as a source of air pollution, though I know the runoff causes massive damage to aquatic ecosystems.

The bigger problem here, we just have too damned many humans. Not too many cars, not too many woodstoves, not fuel-X vs fuel-Y, not farming-method-P vs farming-method-Q. We don't need emissions controls (well, we do, but I consider that secondart); we need population controls.

Nothing short of that will "fix" our pollution problem, our energy needs, our water needs, our space needs. Our planet just can't handle the size of our species.

Comment: Re:Can we stop treating the "IoT" as a real thing? (Score 1) 166

by pla (#49304479) Attached to: Internet of Things Endangered By Inaccurate Network Time, Says NIST
when I tell the house I want 2 eggs over easy a slice of toast and orange juice for breakfast at 6am I do not want eggs at 5am, toast at 6:30 and OJ at 3 in the afternoon

I put the butter in the pan, put the bread in the toaster, put the eggs in the pan, pour the OJ, flip the eggs, take the toast out, and flip the egg onto it. None of that requires Stratum-1 quality time, or even an internet connection.

More importantly - You have apparently confused "magic" for "the internet". The fact that your toaster has its own facebook feed (with 27,000 followers, no doubt!) doesn't mean that it can walk over to the pantry (dodging your robotic frying-pan on its way to get the eggs and butter, of course), take out the bread, remove that pesky little plastic clip without breaking it, take out two slices, put the clip back on (again without breaking it), then cook them for you.

Comment: Can we stop treating the "IoT" as a real thing? (Score 1) 166

by pla (#49303513) Attached to: Internet of Things Endangered By Inaccurate Network Time, Says NIST
Why does my toaster need to know the time more accurately than, say, a five minute window? For that matter, why does my toaster need internet access?

For that matter, why the hell do I want my two-ton thin-metal-shelled death trap visible on the internet while flinging its contents (me) down the highway at 80MPH?

Comment: Re:I just don't care (Score 3, Insightful) 232

by pla (#49303019) Attached to: FTC: Google Altered Search Results For Profit
Still irrelevant - Google doesn't "owe" you free advertising.

Google exists as a publicly-traded for-profit company. They "just happen" to provide a tool for free that lets you find things online, but they have absolutely no obligation to make that tool "fair". If they want to put things that make them money at the top of the list, they can.

If they wanted to sort their search results by the number of cat references per result, they could do that, too. And none of us have the least right to complain about it.

Don't like it? Use Bing.

Comment: Re:The premise -- collectivism (Score 1) 317

by pla (#49302137) Attached to: Fake Suicide Attempt Tests Facebook Prevention Tool, Lands Man In Asylum
As is your idea of "true" suicidal people - most of them can't plan ahead. Most suicide attempts are impulsive.

Way to read your own biases into what I said.

Wanting to talk to someone does not mean the same thing as changing your facebook status to "just took a bottle of pills LOLWTFBBQ".

You also contradict yourself in your stance on this - So most suicides happen impulsively, but they fucking stop to talk about it on Facebook first? Impulsive means "Hey, I had a bad day, and whatd'ya know, I casually walked to the top of this bridge. Hey, I could jump!". Impulsive doesn't mean telling your 1500 closest friends you want to die and then giving them a few hours to make sure enough people read it. In any other context, we would call that proof of premeditated intent, not "impulsive".

Comment: Re:The premise -- collectivism (Score 1) 317

by pla (#49297919) Attached to: Fake Suicide Attempt Tests Facebook Prevention Tool, Lands Man In Asylum
The irony of all this - People who really just want to die don't post to Facebook about it. They get their affairs in order, make sure no one will need to deal with their shit (beyond the trauma of their final exit), and then just go off on a weekend "hiking trip" that they never come back from.

The people posting to Facebook about suicide want/need attention. So how does Facebook deal with this? Socially fucking isolate them??? Well done, Facebook! Now, I personally think more people should "just do it" and quit talking about it, but you've managed to enact a policy that will accomplish that goal far, far better than my own opinions ever could!

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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