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Comment: No...but faking it before a job interview is ok. (Score 1) 267

by sarkeizen (#49622705) Attached to: Is It Worth Learning a Little-Known Programming Language?

I'll assume the main reason to do this is to get a job, one that in particular advertises for a specific set of skills. One of which is an obscure programming language. Unless you have nothing to do it's probably more worth your time to spend a day before said interview learning enough to fake it. If you want to lie or be honest about this on your resume or in your interview that's up to you and how well you think you can pull that off but if you want your resume to get past HR and make a short list AND you are actively pursuing multiple opportunities. This is probably your best bet.

Comment: Re:This guy is a crank. (Score 1) 81

by sarkeizen (#48884747) Attached to: Quantum Computing Without Qubits

"The millisecond a quantum environment is proven capable of cracking most modern crypto like a fucking egg"

Uh...no. It is proven to be able to factor large numbers quickly which will make the two major public key systems (DHX and RSA) and in some insanely popular use cases (the internet) we use these to exchange keys for symmetric block cipher but that's hardly 'most modern crypto'.

Comment: Re:Hire the best person (Score 1) 341

by sarkeizen (#48755491) Attached to: Intel Pledges $300 Million To Improve Diversity In Tech

"Well sure, but then there is obviously some other politics at play that should be addressed." - What if there's a latent bias in society? Now imagine how that affects at other levels. For example in getting an education, getting a good education, participating in open source projects and finally "fitting with the team"?

Wouldn't all these things have a winnowing effect on your pool of candidates?

Comment: Re:Oblig. Xkcd (Score 1) 247

by sarkeizen (#48527397) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Convincing My Company To Stop Using Passwords?

"This got a lot of publicity but it doesn't really add all that much security"

When you don't have a clause starting with "relative to" and/or "given that" this always reads like a sentence fragment. Increasing resistance to certain attacks 1000x may well be worth it in a number of circumstances.

Not to mention you appear to misunderstand the point the cartoon is making. People need to remember passwords. People can remember four entirely random common words but are unlikely to remember ten entirely random characters. Your points about "good priors" is correct but that's why XKCD only rates the 10 character password with 22 bits of entropy instead of 59 (or more since it uses punctuation). However since the WORDS are random - there are no priors.

Even choosing four random words from the vocabulary of an eight year old gives you about 53 bits of entropy. Outperforming the entropy of the an entirely random 8 character password (52 bits - using a 62 character alphabet and 30 non-alphabetic symbols).

Passphrases provide a higher amount of memorable entropy.

Comment: Re: sigh.. (Score 1) 107

by sarkeizen (#48516017) Attached to: Interviews: Adora Svitak Answers Your Questions

"A hostess at a restaurant"

Uh who's talking about some exceptionally specific situation? Nobody. The poster I was responding to said they "Stopped reading at 'microagressions'" and then appeared to call any and all allegations of microagression a "delusion".

Hence my question is do they believe in the kind of social exchange I describe.

Comment: Re:Where are your ancestors from? (Score 1) 107

by sarkeizen (#48511243) Attached to: Interviews: Adora Svitak Answers Your Questions

The thing you're not experiencing is getting asked this a lot - in contexts when nobody else is getting asked and people not being satisfied when you just say "here". To me the inequity/racism starts as soon as the white person is either not required to be asked the same question and/or the white persons answer is considered sufficient but the non-white persons answer is not.

My wife is Asian and we live in a very very white suburb. When someone asked how she liked living there she casually mentioned that the lack of diversity got to her occasionally (I'm white and it gets to *me*). The person then verbally stumbled over themselves telling her how NORMAL she was. How perfect her English was (which is unsurprising since she has lived in an English speaking country all her life during which she has earned three degrees) and it ended with "I think of you as white!"

The person was entirely pleasant and certainly had no ill intent and we didn't think it the right time to turn this into a teaching moment however but it's pretty clear that the underlying message was "I don't think of you as significantly different". Perhaps this is the thing people don't get. It's not about being accepted as NORMAL it's about being accepted as DIFFERENT.

Comment: Re:Not so easy (Score 1) 217

by sarkeizen (#48221531) Attached to: Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin At Tsinghua University In Beijing

I didn't say you had to learn them. I said they were there.

Sorry the likely case is you are backpedaling. The whole post, in fact the whole portion of this thread is about learning Chinese and you thought adding something that has zero to do with it was a good idea to throw in. That's what you want readers to believe? Let's look at your quote shall we?

About 2000 of them constitute (approximately) high school literacy. But there are about 50 thousand of them. Bad enough?

In order for your "they are just there" be what you really meant you would have had to switch from talking about words you need to learn for literacy to words that have no impact on literacy whatsoever in the space between the period and the word "but". Not to mention you are telling the reader that those two sentences are related by using a conjunction. Albeit one used with a period.

If your defense is really that you inserted a non-sequitor then perhaps there are some large gaps in your English education too? The more likely case is that you were trying to convince the reader that there are lots of characters to learn. Big numbers make your case better. Even though when it comes to talking about literacy (and I question that character counts are a very good way to talk about this) your big numbers are off by a fucking order of magnitude.

As for a simplified character vocabulary, take a trip to Taiwan, why don't you. See how that works out for you.

...and what? Taiwan officially uses traditional and colloquially uses simplified. Toronto, where I live is likely even more mixed. Unlike Taiwan there is no regulation on character usage (since Chinese is not an official language here). Original immigrants were mostly HK Cantonese speakers. To the point that many of my friends who speak Cantonese actually had to *learn* it because nobody spoke their native dialect. Today I see far more Taiwanese and Mandarin speakers. Lots of storefronts sport traditional signs but the goods inside are often marked with simplified charcters. Sing Tao Daily writes in Traditional BUT the advertisement inserts often have simplified and the entertainment sections will often have quotes from people using HKCS. Actually some of the things I've seen from Canton province are probably more interesting than Taiwanese stuff. Where people are using simplified characters but with HKCS. Taiwan does use variants that are rarely seen in the mainland (I mentioned da2 which I've seen in Taiwan and Japan but never in simplified - even though it's technically part of modern Chinese but ironically it contains two copies of the same radical which ARE simplified) - Anyway Taiwan probably has more spoken variants than orthographical ones.

Your experience is only your experience

While true, it ironically doesn't exclude that my experience probably exceeds your own in every way. :-)

Comment: Re:Not so easy (Score 1) 217

by sarkeizen (#48218439) Attached to: Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Mandarin At Tsinghua University In Beijing

You're kind of exaggerating here. There are 50,000 characters estimated to have been used in all of history - this has nothing to do with learning Chinese anymore than learning that yegg, thorn and ash were once English characters. You can be fully literate in Chinese without knowing the vast majority of extant characters. My language coaches are native speakers and while I can recognize/write characters they've never seen. Like the old form of "da2/ta4" not to mention HKCS and a few Japanese characters which use forms which are no longer used in China (like "dragon") ...orthographic variations like in seal script...etc.. They are still much more proficient than myself.

Other than a few popular traditional characters I find that most Chinese can read perfectly well with just simplified. Again my teachers can read just fine but they often struggle to remember the traditional form of every character. University graduates like some of my co-workers can function perfectly well in Chinese but can't remember the traditional form of "cong'. As someone who studied traditional characters first I found reading simplified characters pretty easy. There are thousands of modified characters but a few simple rules will often get you through the majority you see every day.

I also don't see how the verb/negation/verb structure illustrates anything about the difficulty of Chinese. Not to mention that if someone asked you say: "Hui bu hui?" (Are you coming back or not?) and you said "bu shi" people would probably know what you meant. Saying "hao" instead of "hui" is probably more ambiguous.

Is Chinese simple? No but I don't think you're doing it justice. For example a real problem with reading is recognizing when what you're reading is a foreign word that has been transliterated into Chinese. Unlike Japanese where you have katakana to indicate the use of a loanword. Chinese just expects you to know that qiaonasen is an English name. If you're reading a book with a lot of foreign names sometimes they will underline them but I find this as the exception rather than the rule. Even some of my Chinese relatives complain about this.

Comment: I agree... (Score 1) 370

by sarkeizen (#47880545) Attached to: The State of ZFS On Linux
I've been using this for a production fileserver for about a year and a half. Prior to that I was using ZFS on FUSE for about a year.

The only minor negative things I can say is that when you do have some odd kind of failure ZFS (and this may be the case on BSD and Solaris) gives you some pretty scary messages like "Please recover from backup" but usually exporting and importing the FS brings it back at least in a degraded state. My other caveat might just be my linux distro but I've often had problems with older versions of the libraries hanging around and causing the command line tools to break.

Comment: Re:Translation... (Score 1) 72

by sarkeizen (#47837975) Attached to: Google To Build Quantum Information Processors
I know a thing or two about quantum information theory. However that's the first time I've heard "full entanglement" used to describe some entangled state. More frequently you talk about negativity or cluster states. That of course comes from knowing something about the topic and you...well...don't. :)

Comment: Re:Diet is very important. (Score 1) 588

by sarkeizen (#47825081) Attached to: Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

because an enormous part of the problem is the percentage of our food today that is processed, and the percentage that contains vast amounts of sugar (and particularly high fructose corn syrup).

Processing can't really add much to the energy content of a food. Modern stores have many significantly more energy dense foods at low cost though which may be part of the problem.

I realize that on Slashdot, where people tend to be highly math-oriented, it's a popular fallacy to believe that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. However, studies like this one have been coming out for years now showing that that's simply not true.

If you're talking about this particular study. It wasn't calorie restricted so it doesn't make your point. Calories can still be calories and two people on different diets can have different results IF they get to eat different amounts of food. Like they did here. If you read the study. Which you didn't.

Some kinds of energy are easier for our bodies to extract from food than others.

Midly but not terribly significantly. If there was a large degree of variability you wouldn't be able to do things like construct BMR tables by age, weight. The larger your sample you feed your regression the larger your error would be.

Some kinds of food make our bodies feel more full than others.

This isn't about a calorie being a calorie. The calories are the same. I realize that you are a little math-challenged but do try to keep up.

healthy, unless the toppings on that pizza are very carefully selected to provide the nutrients that our bodies actually need.

You've now moved to goalposts far, far away from a "calorie is a calorie" to some vague idea about being healthy. I've personally 10 lbs almost exclusively eating Kit Kat's and Ice Cream bars.

It would be nice if nutrition were a simple formula, where you could just calculate calories in minus calories expended and come out with a nice, pleasing mathematical formula.

Evidence suggests that for the vast majority of people you can do this to a pretty high degree of precision. When I use high-precision means (scales for all food, highly regular diet, highly structured weigh-ins and exercise). I can predict my weight to a margin of 5-10% a week out. When I talk to people who have trouble losing weight and I ask them about their diets. Most of the time they lack enough rigor to easily include their results. I'm not suggesting that everyone needs to be this rigorous but to understand that their confusion comes from not understanding exactly how much energy they are taking in.

"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed." -- Albert Einstein