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Comment: Re:Wait for further developements (Score 2) 218

by retchdog (#49798505) Attached to: Chinese Nationals Accused of Taking SATs For Others

It used to annoy me that the Chinese applicants to my program had a separate admissions group comprising exclusively Chinese professors.

It still annoys me, but I realized that it's necessary since every single one has perfect test scores (including the TOEFL as you point out, which is just hirarious), glowing carbon-copy letters of recommendation, and a near-identical statement of interest. There's very little information to make a decision on a formal level, so you need to make best guesses based on province and other culture-specific cues.

Comment: Re:One web site. (Score 2) 441

by retchdog (#49779429) Attached to: Creationists Manipulating Search Results

this is an old tactic.

a long time ago, i picked up a random book in the library about the Aktion T4 program and read it while i should have been writing my thesis. it was interesting enough, until the last two chapters which ranted about how, obviously, pro-choicers were pushing America down the same path. it was annoying, but a nice reminder; i had to fact-check everything i read. i did, and the facts about T4 checked out, which suggests that they just took some legitimate research and bolted their drivel to it.

Comment: Re:The guy is full of himself (Score 0) 147

by retchdog (#49773875) Attached to: Apple Design Guru Jony Ive Named Chief Design Officer

Does anyone remember how a Power Mac used to be a power house of computing?

uh. no?

hasn't Apple been a 1%-ish company for decades? it's just that raw compute power is kind of meaningless now (if i need cycles, i'll ssh into something), so the innovations are almost exclusively on hardware aesthetics and user interface. what's wrong with that?

Comment: Re:Just stick to the mantra (Score 2) 106

by retchdog (#49768997) Attached to: No, Your SSD Won't Quickly Lose Data While Powered Down

unless you've vacuum-sealed those mason jars or have a dedicated fridge with redundant power (lol), the humidity is probably doing more harm than the (semi-)controlled temperature is helping. a merely closed jar is not "sealed," even with one of those rubber rings.

also i'm imagining your jar of thumb drives sitting in the fridge. what the fuck? do you ever use them? or is this long-term storage? if you do use them, you are of course letting the jar come to ambient temperature in a dry location each time you take them out of the fridge, right? otherwise it's all kind of pointless.

Comment: Re:Truth be told... (Score 1) 149

by retchdog (#49763903) Attached to: Al-Qaeda's Job Application Form Revealed

That's all too true, and this is described in The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright (who later wrote Going Clear about Scientology). The big Q paid a decent wage with health benefits and a hefty compensation package to your family, especially upon "martyrdom." The fanatics were in the top-middle of the organization; the rank-and-file were mostly just desperate young males with a lot of social/familial obligations and nothing to lose. Depressing, really.

Comment: Re:The 30 and 40-somethings wrote the code... (Score 1) 553

by retchdog (#49621855) Attached to: Recruiters Use 'Digital Native' As Code For 'No Old Folks'

yeah, but first off pedagogy isn't the same as praxis. also, (western) math has moved from its Euclidean geometric roots to much more efficient and powerful representations. that is to say, i'm not convinced that low-level memory management is actually a fundamental skill.

anyway, people can and do learn these things if and when necessary; what's happening is that there are so many other things to do now (this is called progress) that people don't have to do them. further, the people who actually do these things are benefitting from modern approaches. even demo writers using decades-old hardware are making graphics which would have been considered jaw-droppingly impossible at the time.

Comment: Re:The 30 and 40-somethings wrote the code... (Score 1) 553

by retchdog (#49617079) Attached to: Recruiters Use 'Digital Native' As Code For 'No Old Folks'

yeah, no hand-holding... but back when "made it work" often amounted to implementing some half-assed version of curses for your ASCII sort-of-GUI, or blitting 320x200 raster gfx to the buffer, or other such bullshit. the most amazing part of it was that everyone around the world was repeating the same fucking work which, sure, some of us enjoyed that work and some of us got paid a lot for it, but anyone who thought that would actually last was just delusional.

sure, there are downsides to the progress we've made; i almost retched when someone proposed a cross-platform "solution" for finding the IP address within an interpreted language by installing a JSON library and querying an API. however, on the whole it's a lot better now; i can go from the sketches, brainstorming, math, and algorithms to an actual result within a few hours instead of a few weeks (or, more likely, never).

Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong. - Oscar Wilde