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Comment Re:No description (Score 3, Insightful) 172

Yeah, but I've got to say that it is nice to see a bunch of comments actually talking about the compression algorithm.

The tiny bit of slashdot community that is left still talks about the actual things. If this were on Reddit, it would just be a stream of lame, overused references to the Silicon Valley show. Somebody would say "This guy fucks". Somebody else would make a joke about "Optimal tip-to-tip efficiency". Then somebody would ask "Do you know what tres commas means".

Those things were hilarious when put forth by a group of comedic actors. They are incredibly lame when they are overused every single time something even comes tangentially close to referencing them.

So while this particular story still sucks...it could be a lot worse.

Comment Re:Latency not a deal breaker (Score 1) 193

Yeah, people forget that in the web2.0 AJAX world, this has changed.

Between loading 50 billion off-site tracking/utility scripts and having a bunch of interactive page elements that don't load their content until you click/scroll/mouseover...just browsing HTTP sites can still be a huge pain with high latency.

I'm sure someone will come and argue that "well that's now how we should be building the internet and sites should be designed better"...but that doesn't help me much when I am on an airplane with shitty wifi trying to use someone else's even shittier website to answer a client's question.

Comment Re:Kickstarter forever (Score 1) 91

There does seem to be a difference though.

Some of the earliest kickstarters I kicked into fell into two buckets.

1) Something like "We want to make a second season of our video series, please kick in, we've got rewards at various tiers." This is great...I'm not really buying anything because the reward values are less than what I am paying. Also, they were generally making followup work or were established people starting a new project...so you knew what was coming.

2) Some craftsman wants to make something cool, but maybe he needs certain parts or materials which have a large order minimum. So he does a kickstarter. If at least 150 people want to buy one, he meets the minimums and starts working. If not, everybody gets their money back (like any unsuccessful kickstarter funding).

I know there is a place for the more ambitious projects. But they tend to get much further away from #2. They are no longer a leatherworker who needs a bulk discount on brass hardware to be profitable or a board game creator who has already completed their game but can't find a printer that is going to do less than 500 printings for a reasonable price. Instead they are people who maybe have a working prototype for some complicated electronic device, but they don't have a finalized design, and they definitely don't have working software to control it...they hope to pay for that with the kickstarter funds (I bought something like this...it eventually got delivered and the physical product is high quality, but the software was borderline unusable so I eventually gave up).

At that point you are asking for venture capital from strangers who have been promised an actual product--you are doing preorders without an obligation to deliver. Make your product sound really cool but set your funding goal low enough, and plenty of people will sign up.

Comment Re:Please Stop (Score 1) 155

The problem I have with following any team video game is that there can be many points of focus.

In pretty much every televised sport, the ball is the point of focus. If the ball goes to one person, the people on the other side of the field don't really matter. In CS:Go or a MOBA, you can have a lot of stuff going on simultaneously that is not easy to follow.

That goes double if you are trying to display it TV-style where it can be followed from a distance. It is one thing to watch a HOTS match fullscreen sitting in front of your computer: you can see the minimap, you can see the respawn timers, the objective timers, etc., and maybe you can look at talent pics and ability cooldowns. Compare that to when ESPN2 televised it. Losing the minimap and that meta information and having to rely on only what the "cameramen" showed you made it hard to follow as someone who has actually played the game a little bit. I imagine it was next to impossible to follow for someone with no familiarity.

If you took an american sports fan, sat them down in front of Australian rules football, and told them to root for the red team...they would be able to follow the action. Some rules wouldn't make sense, but they would know when their team made a good play or when they were getting hammered. Same would be true if you showed them many other rarely televised sport that they weren't already familiar with (lacrosse, field hockey, ultimate frisbee, etc). Hard to watch Dota, LOL, or HOTS without being an avid fan who is familiar with not only gameplay, but also the abilities and interactions of 30 different characters.

Comment Re:US (Score 2) 294

Yup...last september, in advance of foreign travel, I got a travel-oriented credit card. This thing advertises 0% foreign currency fees, travel miles, has a international collect phone # on it for any issues, etc.

The damn thing showed up with only a mag stripe and a 2017 expiration date. This is well after all Target stores switched to chip-compatible readers (after their data breach) and it is well known that the standard abroad is chip and pin.

Even so...my friend on the trip had a Chip+Signature card which was equally annoying. Sure, they can read the chip instead of the magstripe, but they still have to go and find you a pen (waiters often didn't carry them with the CC reader since nobody has to sign things anymore). And it doesn't work on vending machines for things like parking or train tickets since it doesn't have a PIN.

Comment Re:In other news (Score 1) 255

Yeah. I particularly hate the tendency on reddit for users to delete their own posts if they start getting downvoted.

Grammar edits are one thing...but deleting your post because other people don't like it? That does nothing to encourage discussion or a diversity of opinions. All it does is leave a bunch of orphaned responses that no longer make sense (unless they quoted the OP...but why should you quote the OP if your comment is nested right below theirs?).

No accountability for your posts either...so feel free to fling mud and provide false information...you can just delete any trace of your behavior later.

Comment Re:Excellent. Now how about High Fructose Corn Syr (Score 1) 851

I think there are 2 big issues:

HFCS is strong stuff, so it is easy to add without affecting other parts of a recipe or texture/consistency. Isn't that hard to sugar things up via other sweeteners (or plain sugar), but adding a little more HFCS is almost the same as sprinkling a little MSG on your chinese food.

HFCS is made from corn. Corn subsidies are crazy, which makes HFCS incredibly cheap, but large scale corn farming relatively attractive despite low prices. If you didn't have these corn subsidies, sweetening everything with gobs of HFCS would not be as cost effective. But as long as the first primary is in Iowa, I doubt that will happen.

Comment Re:"Crunch Time" == Bad Project Management (Score 2) 336

And really, I don't think people making less than $50k/yr as a programmer should qualify to not earn overtime.

To be exempt, you are supposed to perform exempt job duties. These include things like: Managing employees, hiring/firing, preforming a job involving specialized education (excluding skilled trades...which is more of what programmign is...you don't need a DR's license to be a programmer), or work in administrative support (which core business programmers don't by definition). I suspect a lot of companies bend the "Professional" category to include programmers even though that is really for things like doctors/lawyers/nurses that require specific training and licensing.

The real problem though is that there is a "Computer Employee Exemption" which throws all of those rules out the window as long as you are a programmer and get paid at least $455 a week. I don't know why programmers are specially carved out....a fresh undergrad getting paid even double that should be getting overtime pay...if you want to work them twice as hard at crunch time...then you should have to pay for it. Even that rule is pretty incongruent. An hourly programmer has to make more than $27.63 to be exempt. Working 40 hour weeks at 27.63 would pay you well over $50k, while a salary of 455 a week gets you 23k a year before you stop being overtime eligible.

Comment Re:Someone Please Provide a Better Explanation (Score 1) 392

Modern dishwashing detergents (and sensor based cleaning cycles) require some amount of gunk on your dishes to function correctly. In trying to meet environmental requirements over not using certain chemicals, they have switched to heavily enzyme based mixes that require some food and grease to actually do anything. Additionally, to save water, they have implemented sensors that run the cycle just until the dishes are clean and then stop--only if most of the dishes are already too clean, the sensor will end the cycle too early and the few really dirty dishes won't be fully cleaned.

Most dishwashers still let you specify a Quick/Normal/Heavy clean instead of sensor...but it negates the energy savings. On the detergent front...no way around it, enzymes are the way of the future.

Comment Re:Yeah.... (Score 1) 193

Apparently they also forget that the liability coverage (and Uber already does provide $1m, this law would just prevent them from cutting it in the future) doesn't just cover them. When a driver is with a fare, it is thought that their own car insurance won't cover anything. So that $1m is also for the driver and any 3rd parties that are involved in an accident.

Comment Re:Let's not forget Mercurial (Score 1) 203

I'd say at this point...it is all about github.

I like mercurial a lot, but there is nothing quite like github. Bitbucket isn't awful, but it is no github. Given the choice, I'd say that mercurial has a better way of doing things, and is much easier to learn how to use. Anyone who knows how to use git, basically knows how to use merucrial, anyone familiar with cvs/subversion should have little trouble figuring it out, and someone who has never used it will find it much more pleasant than git....but with github being *the* place to dump your code, git becomes the better choice.

That then crosses over into projects where you don't care about public hosting. More things have git integration, more people know git (or at least have heard of it via github and will thus consider it), windows git is still kind of lame, but it is functional.

Comment Re:It is time to get up one way or the other (Score 1) 1089

And crazy special interest groups don't have to rile up that many people to get their agenda passed.

If you want to see some crazy people, take a look at the LA school board and city council. When your local elections only have single digit turnout (as a % of registered, which is even lower than % of total, especially since a lot of places allow non-citizens to vote in municipal elections), that means your winners have less voter mandate than Ross Perot or Ralph Nader do to be president. There is a district headed to runoff (so there will have to be some further agreement on a candidate) where by my estimates, the front-runner candidates received about 1% of the registered vote.

At least here in Chicago we had a whole 33% of people turn up. And this is voting for politicians you can actually go talk to. If you are having a problem with the gas company, or you want reserved parking for your moving day, you can contact your alderman as one of the few thousand people who voted for them. There were races here where 30 votes were the difference between victory and a runoff....and people can't be bothered to vote for that? "My vote doesn't matter anyways" is just an excuse for laziness.

What is now proved was once only imagin'd. -- William Blake