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

by lpevey (#47863009) Attached to: Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

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

by lpevey (#47712197) Attached to: $125,000 Settlement Given To Man Arrested for Photographing NYPD

As far as the Black/not Black thing....you 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

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.

Comment: Re:Piracy (Score 1) 85

by lpevey (#47168071) Attached to: Sony Winding Down the PSP

I'm convinced this is a big part of why indie games are having a heyday right now. The big developers just don't get it. Haven't bought an Ubi game since I can't remember when. Might "borrow" Watchdogs at some point but would never in a million years buy it or any other Uplay crap. Burned once, never again. I spend loads of money on games all the time and should be their target customer-- but they don't want my business.

Comment: Re:If it was just the banks that would be one thin (Score 3, Insightful) 548

by lpevey (#46904727) Attached to: Reason Suggests DoJ Closing Porn Stars' Bank Accounts

Agreed, it is clearly not optional on the part of the banks. This has a very chilling effect on activities where the regs can't actually prosecute for wrongdoing. If they could, they would, and they wouldn't be going this route. This sort of tactic is contrary to the principles of a free society. Banks will "choose" to decline to do business with certain people and companies if they feel they will get sued or have to spend a fortune on a governmental investigation. If there is truly evidence of illegal activities, authorities should go after the people allegedly engaged in those activities, not the banks. But in these cases, often times the activities are not really illegal, even if they are activities not loved by everyone in society. Because the government can't prosecute, should it be allowed to strong-arm banks into doing the dirty work? What does that sort of logic lead to, especially when things like banking are akin to breathing in modern society.

There are plenty of nefarious behaviors going on at banks that regulators would be wise to oversee, but this is a case of overstepping IMO. Regulators are forcing discrimination. Is it okay for banks to be choosy based on certain parameters (I don't like your business because it's porn and I think porn is ruining our society) and not others (I don't like your business because it supports, say, charter schools, and I the bank president happen to think charter schools are ruining our society)? That's discrimination. At the very same time, regulators would bring proceedings against these very same banks for refusing to do business with certain people/organizations just because they choose to.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/...

"PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (PNC) received a subpoena regarding the return rate for its payment-processor clients from the U.S. Department of Justice. The department’s consumer protection unit is seeking information “for certain merchant and payment processor customers with whom PNC has a depository relationship,” the Pittsburgh-based bank said today in a regulatory filing. “We believe that the subpoena is intended to determine whether, and to what extent, PNC may have facilitated fraud committed by third-parties against consumers.” "

Comment: Re:Oh, it's on SyFy? (Score 1) 167

by lpevey (#46643791) Attached to: Wil Wheaton Announces New TV Show

...but he's got a certain cachet among the midrange nerdies who grew up on ST:tNG.

Yeah, he certainly still has cred with me. Also, one thing is for sure: Wil Wheaton is a huge Borderlands 2 fan. Who else picked up on that based on the language and phrasings he used? Yeah, the guy is definitely a true geek. Love him.

Comment: Re:I've always wondered that about antihistamines (Score 1) 351

by lpevey (#46038495) Attached to: Fighting the Flu May Hurt Those Around You

Not necessarily. I developed allergies as a teenager. To this day, when I return to the area of the country where I lived at the time, I get immediate and severe hay fever. When I return to the Northeast, where I've lived since I graduated from college, I have no issues, even in Spring.

Comment: Re:Memorization, or attention to detail? (Score 1) 123

by lpevey (#45940859) Attached to: Experiment Shows Caffeine Boosts Long Term Memory

I'm also dubious about the idea that any one, simple chemical can ever make you smarter in any general way without adverse consequences. Evolution has a lot of time to scope out all simple neurochemical effects, so beware studies that suggest they've found a "smart pill".

I think this is a very wise statement. In this case, caffeine is known to increase levels of stress hormones. Many studies have shown that memories during times of stress tend to be more vivid and enduring. (The extreme of this is PTSD.) So the study results are not at all surprising to me. I think more work would have to be done to tease out whether there is any independent effect.

Comment: Re:Ovbiously (Score 1) 33

by lpevey (#45747143) Attached to: Web Surfing Improves Motor Skills

Yes, but these were migrant works, presumably with little previous experience writing or typing or mouse-clicking or doing other things that require much in the way of fine motor skills versus gross motor skills.

I would imagine there is a point of diminishing marginal returns that most of us here passed a long, long time ago. :)

Comment: Re:Yes and no ... (Score 1) 71

by lpevey (#44472573) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Cyber Insurance. Solution Or Snake Oil?

There is a good bit of focus on the financial, but only because that is what buyers of insurance tend to want--protection from financial loss. There are some buyers who are also concerned about reputation damage from crisis situations, and there are insurance policies for that as well. Crisis coverage is generally added as a feature of a Directors & Officers Liability policy rather than a specialized cyber policy. It is a coverage that provides access to specialized PR services.

On the question about real world examples from the OP, there are a number of real world examples available. One place to get them is the AIG Cyber iPad app. I'm sure there are other stats available from other companies, too. The data is out there.

This is a fast-growing area of insurance. It used to be that IT administrators weren't excited about the idea of insurance because they thought it might make it look like they were admitting incompetence, i.e., proactively covering their own ass. But these days, everyone realizes that security is much more complicated than that, and every layer of protection helps.

Comment: Re:Need a control. (Score 4, Insightful) 327

This comment is not really insightful. A lot of people even use electric heating pads underneath seed trays specifically to generate heat. I agree the experiment would have been even more impressive with controls wrt certain variables (including heat--why not), but it is extremely, extremely unlikely that, as the poster put it, "they can also get warm enough to prevent a seed grom growing."

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