Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: Re:What they will really drink (Score 1) 278 278

Millions of people across the country drink recycled sewage every day. That's the nature of water--it just gets recycled.

Maybe I just find this odd because I was always under the impression that every city did it this way. When I was little, one of my uncles worked at the waste water treatment plant in a small city on a small river in the middle of the country. I thought it was common knowledge that the water flowing in the water treatment plant (for city taps) came from the river, and the water flowing from the waste water treatment plant flowed back into the river. So we were drinking the treated waste water from towns and cities upriver, and the towns and cities downriver were drinking ours. So we had a valid interest in the proper operation of treatment plants upriver, and those downriver had a valid interest in ours.

My uncle used to tell me how he would sometimes have to give tours, which were billed as sort of educational exchanges, for people from other treatment plants in the state who wanted to visit. But they were always only from the treatment plants down-river--it was sort of spy/audit trip. And that was considered okay, our city did the same thing. Keep in mind this is a pretty small river, not an extreme amount of dilution going on here.

Are there any cities that truly have a landfill of sorts for treated sewage water? A place where it can go that it will not end up back in the drinking water? Because I think that is what would be extremely rare.

I think CA politicians are marketing this all wrong and causing resistance where there shouldn't be any. This is just how it's done. Water gets recycled. There is no absolutely pure water source unless you create it in a lab. How the water you intend to drink is treated is the key.

Comment: Re:Instead... (Score 1) 356 356

How is this modded as flamebait? What is wrong with new Slashdotters?

Mobile sites suck. Many people agree. This is the reason Apple implemented the iOS 8 feature "Request Desktop Site" in Safari. So that people can manually bypass crappy mobile sites. They didn't bother to implement the feature just for the hell of it. It was because people wanted it. Badly.

Not only do mobile sites suck, they are obsolete except perhaps on newer platforms, like a watch or augmented reality (remains to be seen). Phones and tablets now have both the screen space and processing power to handle a real web site. "Request Desktop Site" is pretty much automatic for me these days.

Comment: Re:The real question in my mind... (Score 2, Insightful) 341 341

I think this really is the important question. Tech visionaries often fall into the trap of not figuring what people actually want into their estimates of how quickly and widely a new technology will be adapted. The politicians who make these rules (or appoint the people who do) are in the business of being re-elected. They are going to go with what the majority wants on this issue, and right now, the vast majority or non-techie people are very, very afraid of self-driving technology. Yes, I agree that will eventually change, but it will likely be very slow. Many, many regulatory decisions have been made not based on the prevailing science of the time, but on what people were willing to accept. Nuclear power has a lot of benefits, but it is not widely adapted because people don't want it anywhere near them. When it comes to drugs, alcohol is perfectly legal while pot (in most states, and for many years) is not. Based on science? Nope, just based on what the majority of people want at the time.

Comment: Re:Turns out agencies don't really work like that (Score 1) 145 145

It's generally a good idea to cultivate good relationships with a few key headhunters, even if you love your job and have no interest in leaving. You never know when things might change and you will need those relationships. After you get passed over for that promotion you feel you deserved, or after you get assigned a complete jerk as a boss, or after you don't get a raise, or after the company folds...those are not good times to be reaching out to a headhunter for the first time, especially if you've been rude to them in the past. This means (gasp) accepting a phone call and chatting for a few minutes. Some of them are nice folks. You learn a little about them, you tell them a little bit about yourself and why you like your current job. If they have an open position, maybe you give them the contact info of one or two of your buddies who are not so lucky to be currently in a job they love. You give them a heads up if your company is actively recruiting for a role. Maybe drop the name of the hiring manager. They will appreciate it, and they will remember you.

Some people like to complain that getting good jobs is "more about who you know than what you know." This is true, but nothing is stopping anyone from cultivating those same relationships. It is fair game. It doesn't require superpower social skills. You don't have to be an extrovert. I certainly am not. Just, you know, be a decent human being and take the time to talk to people for a few minutes. I did not get my current job (which I love) through a headhunter, but I know my current boss is friendly with a particular headhunter who is pretty big in my niche and ran my name past them before I got hired. I got the thumbs up. What goes around comes around.

Comment: Re:Conflict of interest (Score 1) 98 98

Directors have certain fiduciary duties to all shareholders of a company. One type of breach of those fiduciary duties is usurpation of a corporate opportunity. The idea is that you can't use your position on a board to benefit yourself or your other business interests, to the detriment of the company or its shareholders. There are definitely potential legal issues here.

Comment: Re:The Dangers of the World (Score 3, Interesting) 784 784

This is just ridiculous. I used to walk or ride my bike to and from school every day from when I was in third grade onward, so about the same age. The distance was about a mile. I remember the library being within the limits set of where I could bike by myself, and that was probably about a mile, if not a little more. This was in a suburban area.

This relates to a previous story I posted in an unrelated thread about the police: I live in an urban area, and I've been stopped more than once by police who warned me that it was dangerous to walk alone, in the middle of the day, IN MY OWN NEIGHBORHOOD (I guess because I'm white). I'm clearly a grown woman, in my thirties. Let individuals make their own choices. Sheesh. We don't need all these danger mongers. Yes, bad things DO happen, but in reality it's just not that often.

Comment: Re:WHAT! (Score 1) 224 224

I'm not a doubter on climate change, but I definitely approach all scientific studies with skepticism these days. Business school professors are the absolute worst. They are almost all for sale. I remember talking to an economics professor at Columbia Business School named Charlie Calomiris. It was late in summer of 2007, and I remember the conversation well because he was trying to argue that home prices at the time were not going to go down despite the early subprime issues (Countrywide, Bear Sterns hedge funds, etc.) In fact, he was planning to write a paper explaining this, and the co-author was to be none other than Glenn Hubbard, the dean at the time and also an economist. Of course, the bottom fell out of the market before they could publish the paper. The sponsor of this "research" was the The National Association of Realtors. Go figure. And yes, I'm naming names here because it was absolutely egregious. I was embarrassed to be associated with the university. And this BS happens ALL the time.

Comment: Re:Small time thievery (Score 1) 46 46

Yeah, in the US at least, the tax ruling that explicitly categorizes bitcoin as a security and not currency puts bitcoin squarely within the jurisdiction of the SEC. Not to mention that any single state attorney general could take up the issue if he/she chose to do so.

Comment: Re:COBOL & Scala & HTML5 (Score 3, Insightful) 387 387

I think R is similar. R is not as well known as many other languages, but it serves a very important purpose and is getting more and more popular every day. I know some people who as adults are "learning to code" for the first time right now for their jobs. Why? We are starting to get into territory where every business person worth their salt needs to have some familiarity with data science.

Comment: Re:The three made some mistakes (Score 3, Informative) 231 231

As far as the Black/not Black may think it is deeply offensive/racist. Others may look at it as getting shot or not getting shot.

I agree with this. Some cops are just the bullying sort. That inherent tendency seems to be what draws some people to the professionsion, so there is a much higher percentage of psychopaths among cops than in the general population. But the way they go about harassing different people varies by race. For black people, it tends to be more rampant, more obvious and more physical. Anyone who lives ina large urban area has probably witnessed an incident firsthand. It is reality.

That is not to say that many [probably most] cops are not bullies to other people when they can be. They definitely are. The post above is right when they say cops are often just looking for people to get aggressive and give them an excuse. It is more challenging to them when people are defiant but very polite. And part of that response is cultural.

I have lived in Bed-Stuy for many years. Why I live here is a long story. Suffice to say I like it here. For those who don't know, this is an area of NYC that has historically had a relatively high crime rate. Most of the residents on my block are black. I am white. It gives me an interesting perspective. It is difficult to explain the psychological effects of police profiling to someone who has never witnessed it.

Small example: If I take the subway home, I get off the train, there is an officer there. Watching. You don't see this on the Upper East Side. No big deal, right? This is great. Well, maybe for me. I give a small smile when I walk by. He or she smiles back. This officer doesn't really make me feel safer. If anything, they make me feel more likely to witness an altercation. But, at least I know how not to get a bad reaction out of them.

Most other residents don't smile. What in their knowledge of or history with the police would make them want to smile? They are suspicous of the police. This fear/suspicion/distrust shows on their faces. The response they get from the police: A nasty look that says more than I can explain. It says not to make one wrong move. It says I have complete power over you. Just a couple of years ago, it said it was completely legal for me to stop you and frisk you at any time, and if you resist--and I hope you do--I will throw you against the wall with all the strength I have. If you think a look can't say that, come pay a visit to Bed-Stuy. If police made me feel that way, how would I respond? I don't know.

The police bother and annoy me, too, but in a very different way that is not comparable. At least four or five different times when I was just walking down the street near my apartment, a cop car has pulled up slowly beside me, rolled down his window (it has always been a man, never a woman cop), and asked me what I was doing in the neighborhood. Like I'm a lost puppy or something. Too stupid to know I shouldn't be here. Most cops on this beat know me by now, I guess, but when there's a new guy, this can happen. I explain that I live here. I explain that I'm in a hurry. They proceed to inform me about how dangerous the area is. I nod. Thanks. Appreciate it. See you around. Hold on, they say. They drag on the conversation. This is not about helping me. This is about their power trip mindset.

Now, from all of this, you must think I live in a third world country. This is how cops treat it. But I am a fan of statistics. Some facts: Statistically, Bed-Stuy is only slightly less safe than the Upper East Side. Who would have thought? And in all the years I have lived here, no one has ever, ever given me a hard time about anything--except the police. I walk by, people nod, say hello.

The way policy treat black people is different. The way the police see black neighborhoods is different. That is just the reality.

Comment: Re:See even Microsoft thinks MacBook Airs rule! (Score 1) 365 365

This is so true. And the feedback has been like this and has been so consistent for so long... I can't understand why Microsoft hasn't already reversed course on some of this madness. I mean, are they TRYING to give Apple market share? Because it's working. I still use a PC desktop much of the time, but my new laptop is a Mac, and I really like it. I never thought I would go Mac. And when Yosemite comes out this fall, it will integrate more fully with my phone and my tablet. Now, when it comes time for me to upgrade my desktop... will I build a new PC? or will I just get a Mac Pro? I really can't say at this point.

Steve Jobs said two years ago that X is brain-damaged and it will be gone in two years. He was half right. -- Dennis Ritchie