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Comment: Re:15 co-authors (Score 1) 158

by pla (#49632443) Attached to: 17-Year-Old Radio Astronomy Mystery Traced Back To Kitchen Microwave
"So, Dr. Flyskippy1, how many papers did you get published this year? Oh, only eight? Yeah, we need you to move out of the corner office next week to make room for a star postdoc who helped solve a radio astronomy mystery that stumped you tenured geniuses for the past 17 years. No hard feelings, right?"

Comment: Re:What about the law (Score 1) 92

by pla (#49631793) Attached to: Europe Vows To Get Rid of Geo-Blocking
if they know that they'll refuse to pay the 10 euro, that's how free markets are supposed to work,

No they won't - What you describe exists now, and we all merrily put up with it.

Hell, package forwarding from the US to Australia counts as its own niche industry designed exclusively to circumvent such BS. But while that may work for physical goods, it doesn't get around the same problem for virtual goods.

Comment: Re:The Curve on Academic Courses (Score 4, Interesting) 409

by pla (#49620279) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth
I can appreciate the difference between "I don't like this code because it looks different than how I would have written it", and "I don't like this code because the author clearly has no clue how to accomplish the required task and only barely managed to cobble together enough crap to get the desired outputs on a handful of test cases".

The former, I can work with (and sometimes learn from). The latter, I know that I will eventually need to waste more time "helping" the author repair it when it breaks, than I would have just doing it correctly the first time myself.

The real problem here comes not from professional programmers, for the most part (though yes, truly awful "professionals" do exist). The problem comes from having most of the people "programming" in a modern office environment not actually programmers. You have accountants writing god-awful VBA, you have help deskers writing crappy web forms to automate part of their work, you have business analysts who know juuust enough SQL to get an answer, albeit a completely wrong answer, from the data.

This has nothing to do with style, and everything to do with "programming" as an increasingly required bullet point on the average office worker's resume. Yeah, you know some VBA, good for you - Now learn when you can accomplish the same thing with normal Excel formulas, and quit turning every spreadsheet you touch into a smouldering heap of unmaintainable side effects.

Comment: Re:Not just ineffective (EEO bullshit) (Score 1) 541

by pla (#49615133) Attached to: Recruiters Use 'Digital Native' As Code For 'No Old Folks'
Ah, so "right" and "wrong" can be determined by popular vote now?

Not so much "popular" as "fiscally responsible".

Society has a compelling interest in keeping people employed as long as possible - Ideally until they drop dead on the job, but as long as possible in any case. The longer someone can't work, the longer society will bear the financial burden to keep them alive. A decade of SSI, we can readily bear when offset by a 40 year career of paying in to that system. 30+ years of welfare because companies "don't want" to hire competent experienced professionals, however? The numbers just don't work out when we allow that to happen on any large scale.

So yes, we as a society have determined, for our own good, that companies (you remember "companies", right? Legal fictions allowed to exist as a boon society grants them in exchange for the small possibility they will benefit us overall?) cannot turn away otherwise-qualified people because of a few protected categories.
It doesn't matter if you don't want to work with blacks - Too fucking bad.
It doesn't matter if you don't want to work with women - Too fucking bad.
It doesn't matter if you don't want to work with fogeys - Too fucking bad.
It doesn't matter if you don't want to work with Jews - Too fucking bad.

If someone can do the job and you don't "want" to work with them, rejecting them for only that reason breaks the law. They have a "right" to consideration for employment regardless of the age, gender, race, or religion; you don't have a "right" to run a company however you want, simple as that.

Comment: Re:hiring 15 year olds (Score 1) 541

by pla (#49614419) Attached to: Recruiters Use 'Digital Native' As Code For 'No Old Folks'
McDonald's in town has a help wanted sign out front saying "hiring 15 year olds". Discriminatory?

Possibly by the letter of the law, but probably not under any reasonable interpretation - 15 year olds fit into a special "pain in the ass" category as far as labor laws go, so McD's intends that sign to mean they will hire 15YOs, not that they'll only hire 15YOs.

Comment: Re:Parallel construction? No, just hide the eviden (Score 4, Insightful) 94

by pla (#49611163) Attached to: US Gov't Will Reveal More About Its Secret Cellphone Tracking Devices
The right to face your accusers in court is irrelevant here. They don't present Stingray-obtained evidence in court, just the old-fashioned stuff it led them to.

"Your accuser" doesn't just mean the testimony and evidence against you - How and Why they collected evidence can matter more than that evidence itself.

Just think how much easier it would make police work if they could randomly barge into your house and search for criminal activity without a warrant... Or if they could "find" your DNA at a crime scene by bringing you there after-the-fact to "ask some questions" and you "just happen" to trip and bleed on the scene (but don't worry, an anonymous phonecall assured them you did it).

We have rules in place for a reason. We either always follow them, or they mean nothing.

Comment: Parallel construction? No, just hide the evidence! (Score 4, Insightful) 94

by pla (#49610725) Attached to: US Gov't Will Reveal More About Its Secret Cellphone Tracking Devices
Law-enforcement officials also don't want to reveal information that would give new ammunition to defense lawyers in prosecutions where warrants weren't used, according to officials involved in the discussions.

Un-fucking-believable - Or rather, sadly all too believable.

That one statement right there almost completely expresses everything wrong with modern American legal system.

Mr. Prosecutor, I would point out that if you would so willingly abandon the core principles of our legal system - The ideas of innocent until proven guilty and having the right to face your accuser in court - Why shouldn't we go back to vigilante mob justice and tar-and-feather your worthless ass for breach of public trust?

Comment: Odd definition of "disruptive" (Score 5, Insightful) 251

by pla (#49587357) Attached to: Bitcoin Is Disrupting the Argentine Economy

The Argentine economy has hyperinflation and unreasonably burdensome government controls. Bitcoin hasn't "disrupted" the Argentine economy, it has made daily life possible for the average Argentinian.

Yes, from the perspective of the government, Bitcoin has made their self-destructive policies moot. It has given the populace an alternative to their collapsing fiat currency. Fortunately, however, the government doesn't get to define "the economy" - The participants in the economy do, and Argentinians have said "no thanks!" to the local Peso.

Argentina doesn't highlight the problems with Bitcoin, it exemplifies the entire raison d'etre for it!

Comment: Re:Waitasecondhere... (Score 1) 401

by pla (#49586663) Attached to: Tattoos Found To Interfere With Apple Watch Sensors
You assume this counts as a bug rather than a feature - As others have pointed out, Apple knew about this "problem", and decided to officially make lemons out of lemonade.

Suffice it to say, the Walled Garden has no room for dirty tattooed heathens. No emulators, no system tools, no duplication of Apple functionality, and no colors.

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James