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Comment: Re:ha! Inuit diet. Hazda diet. (Score 1) 281

by ravyne (#47753421) Attached to: The Evolution of Diet
That's not fully informed -- In general, the average life expectancy of these people is dragged down by unusually-high infant and child mortality, and to a lesser extent unnatural early mortality in adults due to lifestyle hazards and both issues exacerbated by limited or no access to modern medicine. When these people survive those additional hazards, life expectancy is similar to those who live a more "Western" lifestyle.

But life expectancy is not really the point here -- health and quality of life is far more apropos -- In that measure, these people "outlive" the average Westerner in spades, regardless of how old they are when they kick the bucket.

Comment: Re:Why do we need Auto? (Score 2, Informative) 193

by ravyne (#47706231) Attached to: C++14 Is Set In Stone
Auto has other benefits -- firstly, in nearly any case where you would use it, you use it not to avoid stating a type altogether, but to avoid repeating type information that is already stated explicitly or is immediately apparent from the initializing expression (e.g. int x = (int)some_float;) Secondly, in the case of generic code, auto makes it easier to just adapt types to different combinations of template type parameters when that's exactly what you want to do, the alternative has been to maintain these relationships yourself, through what is usually a non-trivial arithmetic of types (including their constness and reference types) and sometimes involving multiple levels of intermediately defined typedefs. Thirdly, some types in C++ actually cannot be stated explicitly (for example, the type of a closure generated from a lambda expression) and auto is the only option if you wish to store or reference one.

In all cases, the value is strongly typed. The type of a value is set in stone the moment the program is compiled, although multi-types are supported through various library implementations (e.g. Boost::variant, I think is the name of one).

Comment: Re: You're doing it wrong. (Score 4, Interesting) 199

by ravyne (#47672323) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should You Invest In Documentation, Or UX?
Having a well-thought-out, consistent, orthogonal, and to-the-extent-possible obvioius UI can go a long ways toward the user experience, bring relevent information nearer to the user, and even make the documentation easier to write -- but even having achieved that ideal, UI/UX cannot and will not substitute for documentation.

At the end of the day, your users have a business goal, and you've sold them on the idea that your software package will help them achieve it better and more easily than other solutions. You sell solutions and solution components, but you also sell 'better' and 'more-easily'. Documentation is necessary, no amount of UI will take you from splash screen to solution whilst navigating a large set of outcomes and a series of interdependent choices.

DO provide UI reference, but scenario-driven documentation is your users' greatest need.
DO automate common, simple tasks to the extent possible.
DO make doing the right thing easy, and wrong or dangerous things hard.
DO bring the most relevant information into the app in abbreviated form (apply the 90/10 rule)
DO link the UI to relevant documentation.
DON'T get hung up on covering every possible scenario (again, 90/10 rule)
DON'T believe that a perfect UI avoids the need for documentation.
DON'T try to bring all the documentation into the UI.
DON'T rely on your own intuition about what's common or difficult for users, ask them or collect the data.

Comment: Shuttle DS437! (Score 5, Informative) 183

by ravyne (#47422237) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Dedicated Low Power Embedded Dev System Choice?
Finally, an Ask Slashdot I can answer with personal experience and some authority!

Do yourself a favor and order a Shuttle DS437, I bought one myself and cannot think of a better little box for playing with embedded systems. Here's why:
  • Its small -- about the size of a 5.25" disk drive.
  • Its low-power -- not as low as you'd like -- but less than 20watts under load for the system. Its passively cooled.
  • It takes a 12v barrel-plug from a standard 65watt laptop power adapter (included) -- easy to replace anywhere in the world. Also good if the impetus for your low-power requirement is an exotic wish, like being able to run the system from battery or solar.
  • Its relatively inexpensive -- about $200 from, and qualifies for Prime shipping. You'll need to add storage and RAM, but maybet have some DDR3 so-dimms and a spare 2.5" drive kicking around from an old laptop.
  • Its got two DB9 Serial ports, right on the front. Handy!
  • Its a modern system: 64bit, dual-core, Ivy Bridge, SSE 4.2, supports up to 16GB ram.
  • Connectivity: VGA/HDMI, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, dual gigabit NICs, Wireless N WiFi
  • Storage options: you've got one mSata slot and one 2.5" sata drive. I've got a 128GB SSD in the mSata slot, and a 500GB magnetic drive installed
  • It took Ubuntu 14.04 without any significant fuss. Most things worked out of the box. I'm not a linux super expert, but got the rest working within an hour or so.

It's "only" 1.8Ghz, but we're talking Ivy Bridge here, not some wimpy Atom or ARM core. Plus, in my experience you really want x86 for your host machine. Not every compiler or tool you might want to use is going to be supported on, say, a lower-powered ARM system.

I considered a lot of exotic ARM boards as my development host, including BeagleBone, Jetson-K1, and a handful of others. I think the D437 leads by a wide margin, but for what its worth I considered the Jetson-K1 board a distant runner-up.

Comment: Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (Score 3, Insightful) 266

by ravyne (#45088429) Attached to: Azerbaijan Election Results Released Before Voting Had Even Started
And therein lies the rub. Is non-anonymity really better, especially where despots reign? Does it matter whether despots are continually re-elected through fraud or through fear of repercussions if the result is the same?

I'm not one to roll over to this sort of fraud myself, but I have little faith that identity wouldn't simply shift the solution to the 'problem' of the people's will in a different, and likely violent, direction.

Comment: Re:Proud? (Score 1) 1233

by ravyne (#44660547) Attached to: Don't Fly During Ramadan
I don't think that its simply the geographical size of the government's influence that is the problem, if anything, the problem is actually one of spanning cultural geographies (which happen to concentrate in physical geographies).

But I think there's another way that doesn't necessitate full-on-disillusion. Its not just that government interests are spread so widely, its that they have *so many* (sometimes localized) interests spread far and wide. The government is like four bakers stretching a pizza dough overhead at arms length from each other, then insisting that the pizza *needs* 50lbs of toppings to make everyone happy. One could give up and have the four bakers each make their own pizza for a different demographic. Or, one might simply not put 50lbs of shit on one big-ass pizza.

A federal government with a much lighter footprint than what we have today could serve the *actual* common interest of the 50 states well. That was the original idea, after all, and it did reasonably well for approaching 200 years. Then the feds started seizing more power from the states, and the states did nothing about it because they're dependent on big-daddy government's pocket-book. I agree wholeheartedly that a return of power to the states, with a corresponding shrink in the size of the federal government is needed. I think if that happens, it actually would solve the problems we see today, obviating the need to dissolve the federation, and leave the federation of states (Remember people, that's what "Federal Government" means: A federation of the states!) to perform the functions it was meant to.

Comment: Net Neutrality: Its about content, not capacity. (Score 1) 555

by ravyne (#44430135) Attached to: Google Argues Against Net Neutrality
For me, the key thrust of net nuetrality is more about the network provider not being able to block or degrade the level of service based on the content being transfered and upon the providers preferences. For me, net neutrality doesn't really come into it with regards to the the amount of traffic I'm moving through the pipe I paid for -- that seems to be the domain of the license attached to the package plan I signed up for.

In my mind, it would be evil for Google to tell me I can't serve up or consume certain kind of (legal) content or to degrade my service while I am, but its not evil for them to not want me serving up 75TB/mo on my residential-class fiber connection that costs me 39.99/mo. Granted, if they sell me a package that's billed as "unlimited" then that's on them and they can stick it, but if they offer a limited, cheaper service for the masses, and a more-expensive, less-restrictive plan for those that want to pay for it, then its reasonable for them to want to get paid for it.

Offer unlimited downstream bandwidth, and a reasonable, loosely-enforced upstream cap that won't raise a flag for normal usage. When a user consistently goes over, call them up and find out what's what, then just raise their cap because they actually are just doing a lot of something reasonable, or bump their cap for a fee if they're doing something that needs to be done under a different plan. Problem solved.

Comment: This is your congress (Score 4, Insightful) 650

by ravyne (#44388033) Attached to: US Lawmakers Want Sanctions On Any Country Taking In Snowden
Wake up and smell the roses -- Just a day after your congress failed to amend a bill with an article to de-fund the domestic spy net exposed by Edward Snowden, they made sure to unanimously amend another bill with a different article to sanction an entire country--site unseen-- for harboring him from prosecution for what is essentially whistle-blowing. They are employing historic pressure already, having called on allies to ground a diplomat's plane he was rumored to be aboard.

Anyone who doubts the authenticity of Snowden's information, or the level of access he had in his position, need only look at the effort being expended by this government to reel him in to cast all doubt aside.

I would at least applaud them for being internally-consistent, if it weren't for the fact that they're only consistent against the ideals this country is supposed to hold dear.

Comment: An answer for every question. (Score 1, Insightful) 273

by ravyne (#43799083) Attached to: 3D Printers For Peace Contest
If Mother Theresa or[sic] Ghandi had access to 3D printing what would they print?

That's easy!

Mother Theresa would 3D print destitite people suffering from horrible diseases, so that she could lock them away in 'hospice' where they will be denied medical care, pain management, and be denied visitors -- even their 3D printed family.

Ghandi would print naked, pre-pubescent girls to sleep with, so that he can 'prove his piety'.

Come on Slashdot, what's with the softball questions?

Comment: Re:Doesn't work that way. (Score 1) 684

by ravyne (#42914183) Attached to: Iceland Considers Internet Porn Ban
Again, name these nebulous effects that seem to affect you so personally. How does the porn habit of your neighbor affect you? How about the guy across town? Across the state line? Across the nation?

You know what, I want to live in a society without the outsize effect that Texas has on science textbooks throughout the country. I don't always get what I want either. So stop pretending that you moralists are so damn persecuted. At the end of the day, we might just have to agree to disagree, and get on with our own lives.

And really? You're jumping to kiddie porn and nazi comparisons? Congratulations, you've stooped to the same level as those who want to ban gay marriage because, obviously, making that legal will inevitably lead to polygamy, child brides, and bestiality.

We don't outlaw child porn because of its "negative effects on society" -- we outlaw it because of the negative effects on the child. We've decided that minors don't have the capacity to understand the consequences of engaging in that activity and that they are subject to coercion into such acts. If we do not believe the can participate of their own informed free will, then the only other option for production of such material is sexual assault of some form. Therefore, its outlawed. There's also the social stigma aspect, leading to decisions in courts such as that computer-simulated child porn is still, legally, child porn, but at its core it is stigma and *fear* that legalizing it would encourage people to engage in child sexual abuse, but that is not a proven link -- there's little research, and its far from conclusive.

Here's another little something that will blow your mind -- in a handful of states it is legal for 16-year-olds to perform in strip clubs. I don't particularly think that's a good thing either, but there's no evidence that child sexual abuse is any greater in those states, much less any causal link between the two.

As for holocaust, et al, fine, we agree, Nazis = BAD. I encourage you in your crusade against Nazis and naked girl-bits. In America you have the freedom and liberty to voice your opinion, make your case, and possibly influence policy, and all the while you're free to postulate, bitch, and whine about The Bad Thing, and even tell the rest of us what horrible, ignorant people we must be to not see it--But you damn certain don't get to just magic away our exercise of free will and infantilize us all. Under the German regime and the propaganda-induced fervor over ever-simmering anti-semitism, not enough Germans came out an opposed what was going on, or ignored it for fear of retribution or death. I've got a Hitler comparison of my own though--one of the things he did first to grab power and hold influence, was to persecute people for exercising their freedom of speech. When you give those with power the ability to determine what speech is protected, they will invariably use that power to persecute dissent--that is why it's so critical to preserve this freedom in the utmost, even when people use it to express unpopular or negative views. The constitution affirms us many rights, but the right to not be offended is not among them.

If you want things to change, stand in front of a mirror somewhere, give yourself a good BraveHeart speech, and go campaign for change. Battling your points on in internet forum will get you nowhere -- but know that I and millions of other Americans will gladly meet you on the battlefield of public policy, and I'd wager you'll face much longer odds than old William Wallace ever did.

Comment: Re:No, your suggestion is ridiculous. (Score 1) 684

by ravyne (#42913403) Attached to: Iceland Considers Internet Porn Ban
What necessary function does not having porn serve?

What does that contribute?

No my friend, you can't just turn the tables here when you get backed into a corner. If you would seek to take something away from me and a couple hundred million other Americans, the onus is on you to prove that thing is harmful--the onus does not fall to us to justify our own personal choices. That very notion is the crux of true freedom and true liberty.

So, name the harm, prove it, quantify it, prove it is universal, and then justify that taking it away is the only way to curb these negative effects you claim, because simple regulation wouldn't do so. I await your case.

Comment: Re:Let's look at it the other way, (Score 1) 684

by ravyne (#42902125) Attached to: Iceland Considers Internet Porn Ban
You don't get to choose what society does, but if *you* want to live porn-free, then you have the freedom to not consume porn. It really is that simple.

But I honestly don't expect this kind of reasoning to go anywhere, since the argument began with your suggestion that free speech should be protected by limiting it.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten