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Comment Re:Why just for less academically adept folks? (Score 1) 368 368

I'd rather see "more practically adept" going into trades than "less academically adept". But while there's a social stigma attached, it is going to be the people who aren't capable of doing a white-collar job (plus the few who want to do a trade anyway). So the average contractor stays expensive, overworked, and incompetent.

If folks are neither practically adept nor academically adept? No clue. Retail? Unskilled labor until they lose a limb?

Comment Re:force (v.) - use of physical power to compel (Score 1) 228 228

Google must have "forced" Apple to drop Skyhook as well. Or maybe there were reasons to develop a competitor, rather than continue to deal with Skyhook. Like Apple did.

Seriously, when did "Oh no, we're being forced to compete! Let's sue everyone!" become an acceptable business plan?

Government

Onion Story Gets Blown Out of Proportion 641 641

A 3-year-old Onion video titled "Martial Law Plans Revealed?" has swept across the internet recently, and taken the gullible along with it. The video has some preaching from the highest mountain top about the evils of a government turning fascist, and an equal number explaining until red in the face what The Onion is.

Comment Re:How secure (Score 1) 491 491

At least it is easier to authenticate a physical item, also it is easier to make it difficult to copy.

Digital information is *very* easy to authenticate and *very* hard to forge -- think SSL -- in comparison something like physical bills.

Digital information being easy to copy means that you *detect* the copy, rather than trying to *prevent* it. DRM tries to prevent the copy. All Bitcoin determines is whether you got the oldest copy (and the how is in their tech report).

Comment Re:How secure (Score 1) 491 491

Approaches vary but that is far from an obscure threat. Some, like I believe Bitcoin does, do a global check of the current owner of the coin (and yes, handle the obvious race conditions). Others make it relatively expensive to establish a new identity, provide probabilistic discovery of double spending...

Comment Re:How secure (Score 1) 491 491

Money needs to be hard to replicate.

Well, close. Money needs to be hard to replicate _without getting caught_.

Part of the design of digital currencies is making it so that double-spending is likely to be detectable. Bitcoin seems to broadcast all transactions to the network, but I admit I just glanced at their technical paper.

Comment Re:Wrong way to go about it (Score 3, Interesting) 162 162

The other *big* reason to start your inquiry with published papers: Unless your initial e-mail shows that you have read and understood some of the professor's papers, your request is likely going to be ignored. The professors I know get requests every day from random students seeking a graduate supervisor. Many of them are form e-mails. Many more simply show no idea what the professor does. They all get deleted.

Express interest in a part of their work which is interesting to you, and come up with a few questions about their future work.

Comment Re:Err what? (Score 3, Informative) 287 287

I would LOVE for facebook to have a privacy option "Disable the ability to tag me in any photo"

Like the privacy setting entitled "Photos and videos I'm tagged in", which can be customized to Only Me or blocked from specific people?

I can't swear that it works properly. So test with someone other than your mistress first :)

Comment Re:US Programmer wages? (Score 1) 691 691

Yes and no. I don't think $70K with a few years experience is unheard of, but it's also outside the normal distribution.

Many companies are in places with absolutely mind-numbing costs of living. Many also seem to realize that non-professional development experience is still valuable. The combination of the two can make the salaries for some "new" programmers pretty impressive.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.

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