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Comment: Re:Actually (Score 1) 532

by minstrelmike (#49101191) Attached to: Stephen Hawking: Biggest Human Failing Is Aggression
Exactly. No way to get rid of ggression. Sounds like Hawking thinks evolution is done now. The only reason humanity is as smart as it is is because we compete and cooperate as groups with each other for resources. Limited resources leads to war. It's not aggression that _causes_ war. Without aggression, limited resources simply leads to death.

Having an intelligent predator is the best way for a species to "improve" itself. (Unless of course you think you know the future and that evolution can now stop since things will forever remain the same).

Comment: Re:The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One (Score 1) 131

by minstrelmike (#49060821) Attached to: Bank Hackers Steal Millions Via Malware

...Of course, the last time this weird dichotomy came up, the attackers were state actors because they were so patient and thus weren't plain ol criminals....Sounds a bit clueless to me.

That's because according to all the rabid wannabe economists here on slashdot, if you're a government, you don't need to break into a bank to steal money. In the Sony break-in, there was no actual money to be stolen. Those Hollywood accountants are really good ;-)

Comment: Re:Makes sense to me (Score 1) 411

by minstrelmike (#49039677) Attached to: Your Java Code Is Mostly Fluff, New Research Finds
I support a web system (LAMP stack) written in Perl 10 years. I fell for the library-ization idea of "good" practices when I started. After the three of us have sorted thru each other's code for 10 years and settled onto a somewhat standard approach, the library approach is dead. In a well-designed system, at least for database entry and reporting, there isn't much cause to have multiple functions shared between programs. All the stuff for this set of tables or this functionality ought to be included in this form/report right here and probably not ever used anywhere else.

And if a function is used elsewhere, then it is probably overloaded with parameters which then have to be tracked and managed. That cost in maintenence has not been worth the "advantage" of not writing an almost similar function twice in two different places.

I saw that with Oracle Designer. It was going to generate forms from tables. The reason we abandoned it is because you cannot generate relational forms, only single table forms. One of the odd things was there were 1100 parameters you had to set. But we looked at it and realized that was unavoidable. I can easily write code to display a web form based on table descriptions (version #1). I can create fields for dates vs text vs numbers and can have restrictions on values if those are in the database table/field descriptions somehow. But if I want to let the user choose colors for the forms and different sizes of fonts for the labels and different whatevers, well you end up with 1100 options to set.

There is a cost to abstraction, and it's expensive in java.

Comment: Re:Scalability matters, accuracy less so (Score 1) 153

by minstrelmike (#49011831) Attached to: Facebook Will Soon Be Able To ID You In Any Photo
I think the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris just threw NSA monitors into a scalability tizzie fit.
Apparently, the terrorists e-mailed each other using the subject line CONSOLIDATE YOUR DEBT!!!

If you cannot safely throw out all the spam that infests the web, then you've got a lot more messages to sift through.

Comment: Re:Academic wankery at its finest (Score 1) 154

I think the development of fire might be one of our defining moments but it may not be measurable in rocks an eon later. The invention/discovery of agriculture 10,000 years ago has been the common starting point and I think those changes would be measurable in rocks by paleontologists of the future.

Comment: Evolution Discovered!!! (Score 1) 180

by minstrelmike (#48716739) Attached to: 65% of Cancers Caused by Bad Luck, Not Genetics or Environment
They essentially rediscovered evolution--how random mutations result in "luck" against survival in the current environment.
The most telling point in the article was when they said the rate of colon cancer was 4 times the rate of small intestine cancer, and that exactly matches their differing rates of stem cell divisions overall. They did note that certain cancers such as lung cancer and skin cancer had environmental effects and that there were also general inheritance effects from your genes (who'da thunk?).

Cancer is evolution in action (just like every other biological process, whether at the individual cell level, the level of the individual, the level of species, and it also acts against the processes that build biological products such as beaver dams, beehives, and human civilization).

Comment: Re:How is it a mistake? (Score 1) 386

by minstrelmike (#48697823) Attached to: The One Mistake Google Keeps Making
I think their main problem is that they aren't looking for problems non-techie individuals have, therefore they are never going to hit to big market again.
However, the strategy of building a shitload of products and seeing what sticks is probably as good as focusing on actual problems real people have.

Perhaps instead of having the ubergeeks at google spend 20% of their time working on stuff that interests them, google would be better off having 20% of their workforce be regular, average (and below-average) joes, and janes, talking about their every day problems. Android didn't solve a problem; it's just free which is 1) why it is on 80% of phones world-wide and 2) why Apple makes 80% of the mobile app money. Android solved a problem for nerds; Apple solved a problem for consumers.

Comment: Re:They said that about cell phones (Score 4, Interesting) 386

by minstrelmike (#48697675) Attached to: The One Mistake Google Keeps Making
I think a big difference with the iPhone is that Steve Jobs, regardless of personal faults, was trying to solve a problem that bothered _him_.
Same with the folks that built the first search engines, including googol.
Now the company is trying to solve social problems, not personal ones, by using engineering techniques, not political or marketing ones.
Society works according to certain principles, all socio-biological, not engineering-mechanical. Whether it should work that way or not is useless philosophizing. We got where we are today by using those processes and those same processes are going to get us to tomorrow. Or not. The results are optional; the process is not.

Newsflash. Entertainment is bigger than intellectualism. The problem Jobs addressed was how to listen to more music. The problem Google first addressed was how to find web sites, because the searchers were highly interested in finding them.The National Enquirer outsells the New York Times. Not because of the quality of the news; it is because of the quality of the citizenry.

Put not your trust in money, but put your money in trust.