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Comment: Re:Not exactly a hack (Score 1) 78

by samkass (#49607139) Attached to: Hacking the US Prescription System

Recently, I noticed that when I picked up a prescription for a (for me new) medication that's mostly used for one purpose, I suddenly got dozens of spam e-mails wanting to "help" me with a particular diagnosis I don't have. And that's the few that went through the double layer spam filter. It was way too pervasive to be a coincidence.

I've been taking moderately special purpose meds off and on for years (the sorts of things you take when you have a bone marrow transplant).

I have NEVER gotten any spam emails as a result (unless you count that "you really need to refill your prescription since you're about to run out of pills, you dolt!" sort that I get as a reminder from the drugstore)....

I don't know if it's the cause here, but if you Google for something, obviously Google's entire value model is to sell that info to advertisers. Likewise if you send or receive gmail about something. Then there's also looking it up on WebMD or another site to find the side effects. I would be a lot more suspicious of online activity "leaking" to spammers than a pharmacy selling it.

Comment: Re:Test of Time (Score 4, Informative) 181

by samkass (#49514209) Attached to: Swift Tops List of Most-Loved Languages and Tech

This was my reaction to that comment, too. Swift is a strongly typed language, it just infers the type at compile time so the programmer doesn't have to manually enter it when declaring the variable. Considering it also differentiates between variables which can contain "nil" and ones that can't in its type system, I'd say it's one of the most strongly typed languages in common use, so I don't understand the statement.

The one platform thing is a bummer, but it's changing pretty fast right now so I don't blame Apple for not wanting to lock any decisions in with third parties yet. I hope they add it to their pile of open source projects before too long, though. Considering the reference implementation is LLVM-based, it shouldn't be hard for it to become very portable very fast.

(Besides, who doesn't like a language which has the entire unicode character set available for variable names, including the symbols? Can make for some colorful code.)

Comment: Re:Minecraft Mods (Score 3, Informative) 315

by samkass (#49443607) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Introduce a 7-Year-Old To Programming?

This is how my kids started with Minecraft plugins, a plugin called ScriptCraft: https://github.com/walterhiggi...
It lets you write mods in JavaScript, either with separate .js files in a directory or directly on the command line in-game. JavaScript was very approachable and forgiving, and gave them immediate visual feedback on their code. Now my 10-year-old has written a Java mod while my younger one is interested in trying. I swear the desire to mod Minecraft is doing more for STEM than any Pearson curriculum...

Comment: Re: It depends (Score 1) 486

by samkass (#49337671) Attached to: No, It's Not Always Quicker To Do Things In Memory

Actually, even beginner Java programmers know to use a StringBuilder for these cases, which allows for constant-time appending. It's a little harder to do "right" in C and accidentally get O(n^2) time by reallocating memory each time, but still not hard. The language here isn't making the difference it's their algorithm.

Google

Google Taking Over New TLDs 185

Posted by Soulskill
from the publicly-traded-beasts-must-feed dept.
bobo the hobo writes: In the corner of the internet where people care about DNS, there is a bit of an uproar at Google's application for over a hundred new top-level domains, including .dev, .lol, .app, .blog, .cloud and .search. Their application includes statements such as: "By contrast, our application for the .blog TLD describes a new way of automatically linking new second level domains to blogs on our Blogger platform – this approach eliminates the need for any technical configuration on the part of the user and thus makes the domain name more user friendly." They also mention limiting usage of .dev to Google only: "Second-level domain names within the proposed gTLD are intended for registration and use by Google only, and domain names under the new gTLD will not be available to the general public for purchase, sale, or registration. As such, [Google's shell company] intends to apply for an exemption to the ICANN Registry Operator Code of Conduct as Google is intended to be the sole registrar and registrant."

Comment: Re:Reasonable royalty (Score 1) 32

by samkass (#48985575) Attached to: Dept. of Justice Blesses IEEE Rules On Injunctions and Reasonability

The problem comes from "reasonable royalty". The price list should be set by the vendor and once set they shouldn't be able to change it depending on who wants to pay for it.

You can't ask one million or 1$ per unit from company XYZ and then turn around and ask a company that is your competitor ten times the price "just because".

I would add that no standards essential patent should ever be allowed to require a percentage of the final product price as a licensing fee. Your contribution to, say, a networking technology is not necessarily more valuable because someone else added a more expensive case, screen, or battery. It can hardly be "non-discriminatory" when the price is different for each product.

Medicine

New Jersey Gov. Christie: Parents Should Have Choice In Vaccinations 740

Posted by Soulskill
from the welcome-to-the-worst-leg-of-the-campaign-cycle dept.
kwyjibo87 writes: New Jersey Governor and self-appointed public health expert Chris Christie weighed in on the public debate over whether or not parents should have a choice in vaccinating their children, telling reporters in the U.K., "I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well, so that's the balance that the government has to decide." He added, "Not every vaccine is created equal and not every disease type is as great a public health threat as others." These statements from Gov. Christie follow President Obama commenting in an interview with NBC: "There is every reason to get vaccinated — there aren't reasons to not."

Gov. Christie quickly backpedaled on his "vaccine choice" comments, with the Governor's office stating, "The Governor believes vaccines are an important public health protection and with a disease like measles there is no question kids should be vaccinated," but amending: "At the same time different states require different degrees of vaccination, which is why he was calling for balance in which ones government should mandate."
Google

What Will Google Glass 2.0 Need To Actually Succeed? 324

Posted by samzenpus
from the laying-out-the-plan dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes As previously rumored, Google has discontinued selling Google Glass, its augmented-reality headset... but it could be coming out with something new and (supposedly) improved. The company has placed a relentlessly positive spin on its decision: "Glass was in its infancy, and you took those very first steps and taught us how to walk," reads a posting on the Google+ page for Glass. "Well, we still have some work to do, but now we're ready to put on our big kid shoes and learn how to run." Formerly a project of the Google X research lab, Glass will now be overseen by Tony Fadell, the CEO of Google subsidiary (and Internet of Things darling) Nest; more than a few Glass users are unhappy with Google's decision. If Google's move indeed represents a quiet period before a relaunch, rather than an outright killing of the product, what can it do to ensure that Glass's second iteration proves more of a success? Besides costing less (the original Glass retailed for $1,500 from Google's online storefront), Google might want to focus on the GoPro audience, or simply explain to consumers why they actually need a pair of glasses with an embedded screen. What else could they do to make Glass 2.0 (whatever it looks like) succeed?

Comment: Re:Academic wankery at its finest (Score 4, Insightful) 154

by samkass (#48836017) Attached to: The Anthropocene Epoch Began With 1945 Atomic Bomb Test, Scientists Say

Also... from TFAbstract, they chose the date because all of the nuclear explosions have left a clear marker of radioisotopes which can be easily located when tracing the geological record.

And importantly, this will be true globally. This seems to be what most posters here seem to be ignoring... A hundred thousand years from now you'll probably be able to dig into the ground and identify this epoch anywhere on Earth where the rocks are old enough by the distinct atomic decay signature, among other things.

Comment: Re:Qualifications (Score -1, Flamebait) 479

by samkass (#48831421) Attached to: Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

"1) Push your technical recruiters to hit 20% thresholds for female candidates"

At the expense of the qualified candidates?

No. Just make sure that 20% are considered as candidates, even if it means adding 20% more candidates. We all know that the exact same resume with a female name is much more likely to be rejected without being considered. This is just to push back against this bias.

The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work. -- Richard Bach, "Illusions"

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