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Comment: Gawd! Damnit, not Mayans! (Score 3, Interesting) 61

by luis_a_espinal (#49181293) Attached to: Lost City Discovered In Honduran Rain Forest

Or someone very closely related to them? You know, the group in that area that formed a thriving civilization that supposedly fell apart during a drought...RIGHT AT THAT TIME?

Those unknown people?

Mayans were only one of the many people living in the area. There were/are Pech in the East (linguistically affiliated with Macro-Chibchan), the powerful Lenca in the north west (also Macro-Chibchan) living where the Mayan once were, Tolupan/Xicaque (language isolate), Pipil (Uto-Aztecan), Ulwa, Tawahka, Mayagna, and Matagalpa (Misumalpan), etc.

That is, Mayan are just the best known culture in Honduras. They weren't even the predominant culture anymore by the time of the Spanish conquest of Honduras. I've been hearing the rumors of the "White City" since the late 80's, and we keep finding archeological stuff in Honduras and Nicaragua which are really hard to categorize as cultures go.

The location of it, in the Mosquitia region, far to the east, is waaaay too far away from the Honduran Mayan homelands. The culture from this site are almost certainty neither Mayan nor Lenca. I doubt they are Tolupan because the proposed Tolupan homeland is to the north of Honduras.

By the geographic location of it, the culture was either Proto-Pech or Misumalpan (or even a culture long gone with no linguistic/ethnic survivors).

Comment: WTF? Ease of analysis =/= ease of maintenance??? (Score 1) 244

by luis_a_espinal (#49181169) Attached to: Study: Refactoring Doesn't Improve Code Quality

A team of researchers in Sri Lanka set out to test whether common refactoring techniques resulted in measurable improvements in software quality, both externally (e.g., Is the code more maintainable?) and internally (e.g., Number of lines of code). Here's the short version of their findings: Refactoring doesn't make code easier to analyze or change (PDF); it doesn't make code run faster; and it doesn't result in lower resource utilization. But it may make code more maintainable.

From the OP, how the fuck do we reconcile this:

Refactoring doesn't make code easier to analyze or change

with this:

But it may make code more maintainable.

Seriously, those two statements conflict with one another. And since when refactoring was done primarily to make things run faster or more efficient resource-wise? Optimization is typically an architectural issue, or a point of local optimization in changing algorithms and data structures. Refactoring for the most part has always been about structural changes to enable analysis, re-usability and replacement and to ensure correctness (or at least to avoid introducing new fuck-ups.)

On The Onion News at 11, refactoring does not make code more eco-friendly/gmo-free.

Comment: Re:Crime (Score -1, Troll) 535

Shes a democrat, she could kill children on the street and get away with it.

Unlike Republicans who have gotten our soldiers and drones in a position to kill civilians of all genders and ages, even children, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and whom are all in jail because of that... err, wait.

Seriously, stop injecting your stupid political pet peeves in every conversation. How old are you? 10?

Comment: Re:Is that really a lot? (Score 1) 280

by luis_a_espinal (#49149065) Attached to: Drones Cost $28,000 Per Arrest, On Average

The working class was making a living wage doing, for the most part, manual unskilled job (pull a lever on a converyor belt or making US flags.

I'd like to know where you got the idea that the working class was doing mostly manual unskilled jobs.

Because I was in the middle class doing manual unskilled work (soldering electronics) 26 years ago. Because that is what I saw predominantly everywhere I went. Yeah, you had a factory that manufactured and repaired electric motors. For each one of "you" there were a dozen of "others" truly doing unskilled jobs.

Jesus, look at all those people that used to work in the auto industry. Sure, there were truly skilled laborers, but the lot was just put thing A in mold B, yell "clear" and pull the lever. The garment industry? Unskilled by modern standards. Assembly of electronics? The bulk of it is unskilled by modern standards.

Look at the work done by FoxConn workers in China. Yeah, they are assembling your fucking awesome, newest iButtPlug electro-trinket, but those workers are unskilled. They simply pick part A and B from conveyor belt and put them together in a bucket in another conveyor belt.

Those are the type of manufacturing jobs that were predominant here, that were uber-sophisticated by the standards of the 50's and 60's when Europe and Japan were recovering from the ashes, China and India were completed fucked, Latin America was fucked and incompetent (hasn't changed much) and 2/3 of the planet was living in some weird state mixing stages from the Neolithic, Iron Age and Feudalism with a bit here and there from the Industrial Age circa 1800's.

Things changed, and those uber-sophisticated jobs no longer count as skilled. The rest of the planet did some catching up, and what counted as skilled now counts as menial.

Time to deal with it.

Comment: Re:#1 slashdot article submitters (Score 1) 257

by luis_a_espinal (#49138295) Attached to: 5 White Collar Jobs Robots Already Have Taken

Unemployment is created by government rules, laws, taxes, nothing else.

Unemployment is a function of capitalism in order to create fear and a willing pool of people prepared to do awful jobs for rubbish pay.

Unemployment, underployment and poverty have existed for as long as humans have developed stratified societies (7K years). I'm sure as fuck that this preceded capitalism, but don't let that stop you from posting ideological histrionics. Whatever rocks your boat, I'm not judging.

Comment: Re:Is that really a lot? (Score 4, Insightful) 280

by luis_a_espinal (#49138249) Attached to: Drones Cost $28,000 Per Arrest, On Average

Problem is most people think they're better than that.

Americans have no interest in those jobs at the rate they are currently paying. Before the influx of illegal immigration (as well as offshoring), the working class was making a living wage. Nowadays, it's damn near impossible to survive (much less thrive) on the pittance that's being passed off as minimum wage. It's literally better to not work, get on welfare, and instead live a no-stress life - free of the abuses the lowest rung on the ladder normally take. It's not an issue of what they think - people are better than that.


The working class was making a living wage doing, for the most part, manual unskilled job (pull a lever on a converyor belt or making US flags. That went away with globalization, starting with the rise of Japan, and then the opening of China (and India to a degree).

Many studies have already debunked the idea that illegals have been depressing salaries. Overseas competition is what is killing jobs and depressing salaries. Not that I'm supporting illegal immigration (any country must have the right to control its borders), nor demonizing overseas competition (adapt or die motherfuckers.) But let's keep shit more or less accurate, shall we?

Comment: Re:War is Hell. (Score 1) 224

by luis_a_espinal (#49121817) Attached to: 100 Years of Chemical Weapons

Nope. My argument is that it was a total war and Sherman destroyed targets of military value. He didn't directly kill civilians;

Doesn't matter, because the world doesn't work that way. Sure, Sherman may have behaved properly and ordered decent treatment of civilians that got in his way. But that doesn't matter much, because:

When you send soldiers somewhere - especially soldiers who have to fight bloody fights to gain ground, soldiers who loose comrades to enemy activity - they won't necessarily behave. Some will be nice enough, some will rape, loot, pillage, kill and burn. At least when officers aren't looking too closely. Just because they can! Because theyr'e angry, and hating. They believed the motivational speeches, now the enemy is going to pay! And any civilian dumb enough to support the enemy cause, which is anoune around . . .

This is well known, and it has always been like that. You can get your troops into "kill'em-mode", they do not come out of that all at the same time. And if you don't provide enough military police to keep them all in check at all time - then you will have senseless raping, killing and looting. Simple human nature, for some of us. People are not nice at all when they fight, and real assholes see a huge opportunity in war.

All of that would have been avoided if the South had given up on the idea of keeping humans as property as a state right and had not gone into rebellion to preserve their "Southern institutions" (including that one involving keeping humans as property.)

Comment: Not really, learn your laws. (Score 3, Interesting) 241

6 months probation is about right for what he did anyway. I can't believe they're clogging prisons with petty criminals like this then turning violent criminals out because of over crowding. A BB gun as a deadly weapon? They're turning the legal system into a farce with that kind of bullshit.

Actually a BB gun can seriously injure someone. I was hit with a BB once (accidental) mind you, hitting me on my knuckle. That dig itself in bad. I do not want to think what it could do to an eye.

== the following below are generalizations of what the law says, counting variations across different jurisdictions within and outside the US ==

By law, a "deadly weapon" is not just a weapon that can kill for certain, but that has the potential to cause a serious injury that can lead to death. A BB to the eyeball at short range can do that. So can a rock being thrown to someone's face. In some jurisdictions around the world, a professional boxer's hands can be considered deadly weapons given that, unlike other people within their respective weight classes, professional boxes can kill someone with a punch to the temple.

The fact that using a BB gun has the potential to seriously injure someone makes its use a 3rd degree assault (potential to injury + recklessness). Use it to commit a crime and that shit by default ups it up to 2nd or even 1st degree depending of the circumstance.

Moreover, the law (as it should be) takes into consideration the state of mind of a potential victim. If the victim seriously thinks he is in physical danger, that is enough to bring a 3rd degree assault charge, even if the assault never takes place. This is more so if the person is put into a state of being scared of his well being or life while being subjected of a crime (then it goes to 2nd or 1st degree).

The person would have to know pretty well that the weapon is a BB gun and not a real gun. It is unreasonable to expect a person in a state of fright to recognize the two. If this were the case, one could argue I could attempt robbery with a fake gun (or a gun without rounds in it) and then claim in my defense that I did not use a deadly weapon. I hope I don't think I have to explain this one any further.

I disagree with you that 6 months probation was enough. This wasn't a harmless crime, and this person is a criminal.

I agree that we put petty criminals to jail too often. But armed robbery is not petty crime.

Breaking into a house when no one is there, and stealing a TV is. Cutting a bicycle chain to steal it, that is petty crime. Shoplifting is a petty crime. Selling bootlegged DVDs or dope is.

Armed robbery, subjecting a victim to a state of being afraid of his physical well being, that is not a petty crime.

What I'm really curious, and what I'm really afraid, and the real question of importance is: what the hell were the authorities so afraid to disclosed that they opted to drop charges and offer a plea. There is something absolutely wrong going on here if they have to cover that shit like that. That is the stuff we should we worried about.

Comment: Regular software writers (Score 1) 676

by luis_a_espinal (#49110251) Attached to: Bill Nye Disses "Regular" Software Writers' Science Knowledge

He opines that "regular software writers" dwell in the realm of the semi-science-literate.

Anyone who says 'regular software writers' doesn't know shit about the subject he/she opines about. Seriously, what is a 'software writer', and what does 'regular' mean in this context? Define 'regular'.

I've always liked the 'science guy', but seriously, his use of language to describe whatever the hell he tried to describe leaves a lot to be desired and betrays a certain level of ignorance on a science/educational topic. Considering that software development, engineering and IT are some of the most important fields in the modern industry, that is ignorance of science and knowledge applicable to the current times.

Not even Bill knows everything, and he, just like everyone else, should STFU every once in a while on subjects not too familiar with.

Comment: Not this shit again (Score 4, Informative) 676

by luis_a_espinal (#49110233) Attached to: Bill Nye Disses "Regular" Software Writers' Science Knowledge

You're paraphrasing Dijkstra, but missing his point. Astronomers, in general, know a heck of a lot about optics. His point wasn't to excuse ignorance of how computers work (he worked on the design of the STANTEC ZEBRA and wrote an incredibly scathing review of the IBM1620, for example, so clearly knew his way around the design process), it was to point out that this is a building block.

I'd consider any computer science curriculum that doesn't cover logic gates up to building adders, the basics of pipelining, the memory hierarchy and virtual memory translation at a minimum to have seriously skimped over computer architecture. The better ones will include design and simulation (on FPGA if budgets permit) of a simple pipelined processor.

I would challenge anyone to show me a CS degree that doesn't have any of what you mentioned. This meme/fad/bullshit has been running for a long time among hardware degrees, that we CS grads never see such things (and I love their faces when I show them otherwise.)

The thing is, and this is what I've personally observed, that CS detractors claim we do not know those things listed above because we do not know the basics of electrical engineering. For example, knowing the exact working of a capacitor by reciting the laws of physics (and interactions) that make its work possible. Or reciting what a Thevenin's equivalent is.

Of course we do not fucking know (nor should we need to). And then we spend most of our careers working at higher levels of abstractions, so we won't recite out of heads how to construct a digital adder with a carry bit, nor remember how we built a basic ALU in our undergrad studies 10, 15, 20+ years ago.

But that does not constitute any evidence that we never see anything regarding computer organization and architecture (a fundamental subject that all CS students must pass to graduate.) And making assumptions like that can only to "conclusions" that are not only stupid, but malevolent.

There is a degree of truth that many CS degrees have lowered the requirements and put too much emphasis on higher-level programming languages to the detriment of lower level ones. But that is not the state of the field in general, nor a characterization of all who work in the profession with that degree.

YMMV, but people who make that kind of ridiculous assumptions are just carrying a big chip on their shoulders and need to make shit out to feel good about their career choices. It is not just ignorance, but arrogance.

Comment: A competition in who has the longest one... (Score 1) 676

by luis_a_espinal (#49110189) Attached to: Bill Nye Disses "Regular" Software Writers' Science Knowledge

Someone asked him his opinion, and he gave it.

A fairly accurate opinion, in my opinion. CS people are better educated than the average person, but many of them are still surprisingly ignorant about scientific topics.. Many of them don't even understand how computers actually work.

And most other engineers (even EEs who write software) don't know how software works (I had an EE old timer challenging me that he could write a compiler by just using look up tables to replace high level syntax artifacts into machine instructions.) Same with Physics majors writing code in, say, Python or Fortran.

See what I just did there? Every motherfucker out there is blatantly (and sometimes inexcusably) ignorant of some other thing.

And what do we mean by "understanding". Most CS grads (myself included) do not understand how computers works down to the nitty gritty levels, where copper meets the solder, where the laws of physics dictate how transistors and shit like that do their magic.

Nor should we need to. That's what EEs and CEs are for. But we do know, in general, the architecture of things, digital logic, the basic composition of computer architecture and so on and so on. That there are CSs out there who do not know that is not an indictment of the general population.

The same applies to, say EE majors that write software in C/C++/MatLab/HDLs more often than designing stuff at the physical level. Most have no clue how a compiler works, nor how a OS works. Seriously, most might now about hardware level protection, but not many can explain how the OS mediates a user-level process' request to a kernel-level call.

And that person shouldn't know. That's what CS grads are for.

That is what specialization means. To make blatant generalizations about who knows what is just an exercise seeing who has the largest wiener. That is all.

"Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit!" -- Looney Tunes, "What's Opera Doc?" (1957, Chuck Jones)