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Comment Re:Untrue according to the study (Score 1) 104

Slashdot went from being a site that loved hardcore science to one that now worships at the altar of political correctness, and this is super politically correct

You don't think the National Academy of Science is "hardcore science"?

Here is the supporting information from the peer-reviewed article, and this dope doesn't think it's "hardcore science".


Comment Oh, Com'on Robin (Score 4, Insightful) 116

The very best thing you could have done with that particular posting of Eric's would have been to ignore it, and run the story about that nice woman without mentioning it. She can stand on her own and nobody but Eric should be held to account for what he said.

Comment Re:Bolt cutters - the choice of locker room thieve (Score 1) 120

Or, just haul a big bolt cutter into the locker room in a duffel bag and go "snip, snip, snip." That's usually what the local thieves do. It's also what I've seen a lot of companies do with padlocks on remote utility cabinets: why worry about keys at the end of a 150-mile trip when you can relock it for about $5?

yeah, but that leaves evidence.

This method does not leave evidence that the lock was opened. Someone could easily open the lock, take something, and relock it without the owner thinking anything was up. A bolt cutter would leave a broken lock which means the owner knows he was robbed.

That's why this is an important hack - because insurance often won't pay if there's no physical evidence of a break-in. Think of it - you could enter your neighbour's locked shed and steam their power tools, relock the shed, and the owner wouldn't know about it until they open the shed again. It could easily be months before the theft is discovered.

Comment Re:This is not in the least surprising (Score 2) 104

There've been lots of studies finding "psychological differences between the sexes". But when you look into them the statistical correlations are usually terribly weak, barely above statistical significance. And you have to question how much you can trust them anyway. Remember that metastudy that showed that half of all psychological studies can't be reproduced? I downloaded their study data. Every topic related to gender differences was in the "couldn't be reproduced" category. Now, of course that's a tiny fraction of all research that they attempted to reproduce. There surely are psychological differences, even ones that aren't pure upbringing/society related. But its important not to overplay the amount or degree of them.

I'm not surprised, really.

Everyone basically starts out a female from conception - the X chromosome asserts itself during the first 5-6 weeks before the Y chromosome (only in males) starts to activate, at which point the SRY gene activates that inhibits certain genes in the X chromosome and to start turning you male. The developing ovaries descend and become the testes, the clitoris transforms into the penis.

And with that in mind, it should be obvious why there are trans-gendered or bisexual people as well - a fallout of the natural process of gestation and sometimes, things don't always go completely as planned.

Life is complicated. And differences really are fairly minor.

Comment Re:Use computers instead? (Score 1) 189

Since the randomness or "fairness" of dice is completely dependent on how accurately they're made and balanced, which is pretty hard to do for a manufactured product (there's always a slight bit of variation), wouldn't it make more sense to just dump dice altogether, and use a computer? You could even have an Arduino or other microcontroller-powered handheld device, using a random number generator to "roll" a number when a button is pressed.

Actually, there are dice that are made to extremely tight precision - they're used in casinos, and they're exceptionally fair (by law). In fact, the pips are filled in with plastic to prevent the sides from actually weighing differently (i.e., the "1" would be heavier than the "6", throwing off the center of mass, so the pips are filled). They're also ground down to be extremely uniform, and have a built-in wear indicator to show they should be replaced (the die is hard-edged, not rounded. When the points I the corner stop being sharp, it means it's time to replace them).

They can be purchased at any good board game store.

And computer random numbers is a hard field - computers just aren't good at randomness. It's why we have very elaborate circuits to do "cryptographically secure" random numbers. It's very hard to do it in software (ask the OpenSSL team who has to work with the possibility that there's no hardware RNG). And then there's the kernel based RNG which try to use system entropy to guarantee randomness.

And even with all that, there's a lot of processing that goes on - including whiteners (which take natural biases and spreads them out so it's more even) and plenty of other hardware.

All this just to get close to truly random numbers.

Comment The relevant dates. (Score 1) 118

from wikipedia
Netscape Communications created HTTPS in 1994 for its Netscape Navigator web browser.[41] Originally, HTTPS was used with the SSL protocol. As SSL evolved into Transport Layer Security (TLS), the current version of HTTPS was formally specified by RFC 2818 in May 2000.

so HTTPS itself does predate the patent filing and patent. The current version of HTTPS implementation is after the patent filing and before the patent grant in 1997.

Not sure what that adds up to. But if a specific method covered in the patent is implemented in the TLS then they might have a case.

Comment Re:Not on the list: time for getting new client (Score 1) 142

I've been doing the contracting thing, where the client hires me to extend their on-site team. Recruitment agencies call me, I have an intake over the phone with the client and then meet them face-to-face. So I don't recognize the things mentioned like "fixed-price contract", I just have an hourly rate. You can spend anything from a couple of months to a couple of years working for the same client.

In other words, you're contracting involves a "body for hire", which is a perfectly reasonable way to do contracting.

Another form of contracting is a traditional contract - you have to do X and produce Y deliverables in preferably a Z timeframe, which is more project oriented Traditional engineering companies typically do these - customer needs a product that does XYZ and with deliverables and milestones. Which can involve freelance work as well - you need to produce a document, say.

In these, there are "fixed price" contracts where you do the work and get $X for it. Then there's "Time and Materials" where you're compensated for time and expenses to get things done. The former is riskier on the company so they usually have higher margins (if the company thinks they can do it in 1 month, they'd bid 3 months for contingency), while the latter is lower risk, and thus lower margins.

If you're extending teams, that's just one form of work, but freelancing typically involves completed parcels of work.

Comment Re:Devs continue to develop for these gimped thing (Score 2, Insightful) 135

So apparently there was some sort of software/firmware that restricted the hardware preventing it from utilizing everything available? Why develop for this shit in the first place?

I don't know, maybe the billions of dollars in revenue that comes along with developing AAA titles for consoles?

Exactly. The "PC Master Race" seems to forget that piracy has really killed games on PC, at least the AAA titles. Indies are huge on PC (as they are on mobile), so that's all left.

Most AAA gave development money is headed towards consoles where the DRM keeps piracy low (under 10% typically) and there's a good chance to make back the money. So consoles get the first release to make back the development money, then after everyone's made their money, they port it to PC with the hopes the PC port pays for the porting effort. To help with this, they reduce the price (out of necessity since the game has been out 6 months to a year already).

The few PC games that get same time releases generally are online games where the server can enforce DRM (your Call of Duty or Battlefield games). Very rarely do you get something like a Fallout 4 where there's a PC release at the same time as console with no online component.

Heck, while there are a few stubbornly PC only developers, many former PC only developers branched out to consoles - Activision-Blizzard,and Valve being notable ones.

It's called follow the money. Otherwise why else would developers subject themselves to content approvals and all sorts of other things when they can release on PC for free.

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long