Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: Re:In other news (Score 1) 255 255

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) 851 851

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) 336 336

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) 392 392

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) 193 193

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) 203 203

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 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.

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

I suppose you could make the first question on the ballot something like "Do you give a shit?"

With electronic voting machines, anyone who answers "No" could be immediately given a receipt without seeing a single ballot option. If these people already don't care at all, why are they going to want to spend time going through a list of candidates for president, senate, house, local senate, local house, elected judges, water reclamation district, non-binding ballot questions, etc. They will say no and GTFO.

Of course I still can't get behind mandatory voting. You should be free not to, and still having to show up and check the "No" box is not a valid substitute. Make it a holiday (not on a monday or friday, as people will just turn them into long weekends and not even be in town for voting); some people still have to work on holidays, but it takes a lot of the pressure off. Or figure out how to do it from home without fraud (Estonia figured this out...and we already do it from home if you count mail-in ballots). Otherwise you will just have a bunch of uninformed idiots voting. Maybe you will get lucky and they will all vote for joke candidates...or maybe they will all vote for the guy who runs on the platform of "Lets end mandatory voting".

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

Don't forget about all of the local elections where you actually do have a choice. Many of those are on the same ballot as the president, and by not bothering to show up, you don't get to vote for them (and they might actually have more of an impact on your day to day life).

Comment: Re:UberX in NYC is Different (Score 1) 155 155

In Chicago, the taxi driver's license is a written test involving things like being able to tell you how to get from the current location to XYZ intersection or a famous landmark. The taxi commission loves to parrot about the fact that their drivers have special licenses like it is a safety feature...but those drivers didn't take any actual additional driver's training or pass any skills tests. They took the same test as the rest of us, and most of them did so with *less* training since they are primarily immigrants (and immigrants often don't have to do any of classroom and behind-the-wheel driver's ed stuff that teenagers do since they get their licenses after turning 21).

Sure, it is annoying when you tell your driver to take you to a major intersection and they have no idea how to get there...but you summoned them with a GPS-capable phone. Now both Uber and Lyft let you type your destination into the app, and it will pop up directions on your driver's phone--you don't even have wait for them to type in your address.

Comment: Re:Been the opposite for me (Score 1) 155 155

Uber X in NYC is expensive compared to Chicago. Almost as expensive as a yellow cab and has an $8 minimum so if you are only going a mile or 2, it isn't necessarily cheaper (and uber charges for time the car is moving in addition to distance...yellow cabs only charge time when the cab is stopped). I still don't understand why these researchers used estimates since they could have calculated exact fares for exact rides...their $35 figure seems like bullshit. If there is no surge, it will almost always be cheaper as long as you are going past the $8 minimum. If there is surge, it will cost more...but it doesn't take a team of researchers to multiply a number by 1.75.

But of course half of the reason people use them is because they are clean, the drivers don't smell, complain, or yammer on their phones, payment is handled instantly and automatically and you don't have to step outside to hail one. Uber X fares used to be higher than yellow cabs in NYC IIRC and people still used them.

Comment: Re:Always more expensive? (Score 1) 155 155

Upon a bit further analysis, it looks like there is one variable that makes it stop being an easy algebra problem....NYC cabs charge time fares only when the car is not moving. Uber X charges time for the entire ride. So if you had a 10 minute 5 mile car ride, there would be a difference between one where you crawled along at 30 mph and one where you got on the highway and went 60 but spent 5 minutes waiting at lights getting on/off.

Uber also has an $8 minimum fare in NYC...so any trips less than a couple of miles are going to be cheaper in a taxi.

But still, you could calculate exact fares for an Uber using the Taxi sample data. Using Uber's fare estimates when you already know exact time and distance is silly.

Comment: Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 155 155


The driver has no way of knowing how long of a trip you are taking until you get in their car. At that point they can't kick you out (well, they *can*, but if they make a habit of them, uber will fire them).

Besides, short fares aren't bad unless you have to drive a long way to pick them up. Like a yellow cab, there is a flag pull fee just for sitting down in the cab. A half mile ride is worth like 75% of a mile ride. Payment is instant in the app, so its not like you lose time while they fish for money, give change, etc.

In case of injury notify your superior immediately. He'll kiss it and make it better.