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Comment: I've worked with these people (Score 4, Insightful) 391

by karlandtanya (#49526727) Attached to: Using Adderall In the Office To Get Ahead

Adderrall is speed. It works for a brief period, but the cost even for brief use is high. And, whether they call it "meth" or prescription drugs it's addictive as hell. I did a gig in an area and industry where this sort of prescription drug abuse is rampant. It was so bad we had a hard time finding people that could even pass a dope test. But the dope tests apparently can be beaten because half the folks that made it to the job were on adderrall. Probably they had a prescription.

One guy just did it a couple of times--he got the job done by working about 30 hours straight. I didn't know he was high, but figured it out later. After his 30 hour work binge he was out "with the flu" for a day. When he got back after his day off, he still looked like he'd had the crap beaten out of him. This guy was a project leader and took it on himself to 'get it done no matter what'. Last I heard, he figured out that 'no matter what' was way too high a price and wasn't using. Boss agreed wholeheartedly--he'd rather explain failure to deliver than abuse his people. Good boss. When the abuse got too bad he walked us all off the job--you don't treat human beings that way and we were very lucky to have a boss that stood up for us.

Another guy was a more experienced user, and looked like he could maintain. Unfortunately he had the attention span of a gnat. I was ordered by the boss to finish up some of the guys work and as I went through the job I could see where he'd started on one task, then just abandoned it before it was done and jumped into the next task. The whole job was like that. It was easier to scrap it and do it myself than to try to figure out what was done and not.

A third guy just had no focus left at all. Also an experienced user. I'd give him a job to do, come back in a couple hours and he's gotten nothing done. I'd demonstrate the job again and return again; the only part that was completed was what I'd shown him. This guy was so burnt as to be inert. I suspect he was on a little more than just adderrall as he acted a little different.

Comment: "This student is a potential rapist" (Score 1) 234

When I was in college oh so many years ago, this was a problem; guess it's still going on now.

Anyhow, some student activists (turned out to be just a couple of students with access to a photocopier and a stapler) put up posters around campus. The posters had a photo of a guy with prison bars clipart overlaid and the subject tagline below. Whether the photo was actually of a student currently enrolled was never revealed.

Their argument was "he has a penis. therefore he is a *potential* rapist. no lie; no libel". Another point that was brought up was at that time rape was legally defined as sticking a penis into a woman without her permission. So, legally only men could rape, only women could be raped. That's actually been changed in the intervening years. To answer the objection that "It may not be libel in court, but you're still causing harm" their position was that "We are promoting a social good by 'raising awareness' about rape on campus.". After a week or so the signs were gone and didn't come back.

I don't recall if they were officially forced to stop or they just figured out they had subverted a conversation about rape into one about free speech and harassment.

Either way, they *did* raise some sort of awareness, but not the kind they wanted to. Unless they were just trying to get the law changed. Still didn't stop the raping apparently.

Comment: To Puritans the offense is they're having fun (Score 1) 765

The Puritanical mindset is that pleasure of any kind is immoral. As long as you're ashamed of what you're doing, you're in line with their morality. The fact you're not is a problem--you are a "shameless"...whatever it is you're doing. The act is not your crime--it's your failure to recognize that you're wrong that makes you the worst kind of person.

"Everything is harassment" is a red herring:
In the late '80s, the harassment trainer told us "whatever she (and it was explicitly she), says is harassment is harassment". My employer at the time was a multinational medical device manufacturer in the Forbes 60. It ain't like that anymore, and hasn't been for a long time.
These days, you'll typically hear something like:
"If somebody's doing something at work that makes it hard for your to get your job done, ask them nicely to quit it. If you don't want to talk to them directly, tell your supervisor and they will ask them to quit it. If they keep doing it, it's harassment. And, no, you can't say absurd things like 'they're breathing too loud and it's distracting me'. And, yes, if there's a dispute where one party is a member of a Protected Class and the other isn't, then all things being equal we're going to side with the one that is."

The accusation here isn't harassment and it's never been. The accusation here is "offense", and not an "offense" as a tort or a crime with some sort of objective definition. This is the kind of "Offense" where someone "feels offended". For obvious reasons, feeling offended doesn't get you very far in front of a judge, but you can still convince stupid people of stupid things with enough pearl-clutching.

A related example:
Several years ago I'm working in the US a crew of guys, one who was from Canada. My friend sees a sign for a "Hooters" restaurant and asks if that means what he thinks it does. I explained what it's about and the whole crew went there for lunch. My friend explained that this would be absolutely impossible in Canada. The feminists' there would would consider it incredibly offensive and they would picket and sue until it was gone. We happened to be working in an auto plant, so everyone there had worked in Detroit, and everyone there had also been to Windsor. When I pointed out that we all knew that at least one city in Canada was filled up with titty bars my friend explained it to me:
"Titty bars are dark and shameful. You're supposed to be embarrassed to be a customer and humiliated to be an employee. But Hooters is fun. People bring their families there (yes, there was a man, wife, and kids when we ate there...). THAT's the problem. Sex is supposed to be guilty; you're making it fun."

A couple years later I sent him a picture of me standing on a street in Toronto in front of a Hooters sign and the CN tower in the background. ;)

Comment: VPN is not useful for avoiding accountability (Score 1) 57

by karlandtanya (#49106487) Attached to: Iran Allows VPNs To Make Millions In Profit

Gov't locks down everything so the only way you can get to where you want to go is by VPN.
Pay for it and you say "Ha! I got around your firewall".
Govt supplies it for free and you say "WTF?! You're issuing internet licenses and spying on me!"

VPN's have useful purposes--getting past (some) firewalls, pretending you're somewhere you're not, protecting your privacy from a *casual* snoop.
As long as you don't *really* care about getting caught doing whatever it is you're doing, a VPN is just fine.
If what you're doing can get you put in the pokey for the next 20 years, you better find a different way to do it!

Don't assume the people running the VPN server have your interests in at heart and don't assume you know who they are (or aren't).
And you're helping pay for their operations!

BTW, I'm using a vpn right now for the second purpose--to pretend i'm in the UK.
For some reason, you can only get a website that sells certain bizzare chocolates (and bronze, glass, or silver items of the similar design) from within the UK. I showed it to my wife; she was NOT amused...

Comment: you could be one of the first investors to cash in (Score 1) 346

Apparently Motley Fool is a Stock Pumping organization, and here I though they were just some folks that showed up on NPR once a week

OK, let's watch the video. Turn off the sound; it's a powerpoint anyhow...
Oh my fsm it's still going on will you get to the fscking point! Geez, I give up. Google for it. It's Sierra Wireless (SWIR).

Apparently they make those little yellow balls-on-a-stick that Howard Tayler puts on all the smart devices over at schlockmercenary.com
Oh, and when I try to leave the page, a script asks me "do you really want to...".

Holy crap this reeks of scam. Never again click on motleyfool.com

Comment: nas4free, raidz2, primary/secondary server, rsync (Score 2) 268

by karlandtanya (#47910967) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

2 servers are set up raidz2 with 4 disks per server. So about 6-7 TiB of actual storage space.
The servers do dns, mysql, and smb via plugins and a jail.
the primary backs up to the secondary every evening.

All the TVs in the house are really xbmc clients connecting to the SMB shares and mysql.

The most expensive part of it is the 8ea 4T HDDs.
Unless you have 10 people in your house watching different TVs at the same time, you can use real low end computers.
disks are $150 ($120 if you get externals on sale from huevonuevo & open the box). Excellent computer for this is a Dell poweredge T20 ($300).
These T20s have ECC RAM (you want this)
Anyhow 8*150 + 2*300 + a hundred bucks for misc. cables, bootable memory stick, maybe a switch...
Under 2 grand for the whole mess. Put one in your basement and one in your attic. Then you are protected from a flood or a tornado--but not both together.
If your house burns down, though, you're hosed ;).

Upgrade plan is to "destroy" (that's the command...) the zpool in the secondary then change it from raidz2 with 4 disks to raidz2 with 6 disks.
let rsync do its thing, then swap the usb keys with the embedded OS.
Repeat with the old primary which will now be the secondary.
Already tried this once; works no problem. At any given moment I'm tolerant to at least 2 disk failures.

Comment: the hawks and the falcons are dropping like flies (Score 1) 521

by karlandtanya (#47711035) Attached to: Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

Oh, give me a locus where the gravitons focus,
Where the three-body problem is solved.
Where microwaves play down at three degrees K
and the cold virus never evolved.

Home, Home on Lagrange
Where the space debris always collects
We possess, so it seems two of man's greatest dreams
Solar power and zero-gee sex ...

Comment: Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (Score 1) 142

Integrating into the vehicle implies that the mfr puts it there--not that a really good installer did a beautiful install.
It has to first pass a bunch of quality, safety, and regulatory gates before the mfr will put it in there.

Those quality and regulatory gates may not be so high as some people would like, but at least you get some input as they're negotiated among mfr's, regulators, and users. It's (generally) going to be a lot safer than whatever Bubba & Earl's Car Audio and Bait Shop orders from amazon and installs on Tuesday after Bubba gets back from his day job.

Comment: Yes. That's the zeroth law (Score 2) 165

by karlandtanya (#47026285) Attached to: US Navy Wants Smart Robots With Morals, Ethics

The problem is not putting morality into machines. The problem is letting these machines execute this "morality" in a complex environment with life-or-death stakes.

I program protective systems in factories. A guy opens a monitored gate and walks into a conveyor area. If the conveyor runs while he's in there, he will have a messy and painful death. The conveyor "knows" it's "wrong" to move under those conditions.
We don't use the word "morality", we say "safety". When auditing the software that lets the conveyor run I find a potential for exposure. Hang a lock and shut it down until it's fixed. The first law. In all except one case over 20 years I have received full support from production for similar decisions. That's precedence of the first law over the second law.

We know what's "right", and we try to teach that to the machines. Industrial safety operates with a very limited set of variables, and exception handling is simple--just STOP. Immediately stop moving and disconnect all power.

This idea that we can "program" morality and justice is not problematic. Of course we can; we write code for those things all the time. Heck, it's even called "code". Here's some. Here's some more. The execution engine for this code is a group of complex elements (people) from which emerges an even more complex "society". This "morality" execution engine constantly goes hideously and indefensibly wrong.

Now we want to create far simpler code and execute it with a far simpler machine. But with the same stakes and in the same environment. And the source of this simplified code and execution engine is the existing society, particularly the part of it most directly involved in many of the atrocities.

It's wise they're starting with autonomous "good" machine--search and rescue, first responder, etc. Maybe they'll learn something before humanity starts building autonomous "bad" robots. Thankfully, those exist only far into the future...

Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. -- Publius Syrus