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Comment Re: In three years ... (Score 1) 198

There should be a beginners programming course for everyone, going over the basics, like what does CPU stand for and what is a bit and a byte. By the end of the course you can have the kids writing some simple programs. This way hopefully most people won't look at the computer as some sort of magic box, and maybe even get a little appreciation for what it takes to be a programmer. Those kids who have the knack can move on to real programming courses while everyone else will at least know how to program "Hello World".

Comment Re:A remarkable number of people are idiots (Score 1) 361

I know this is off topic, but now I'm curious. Do people who are incapable of taking the test still impact the scores? Does a 100 IQ indicate the median score of the set of "successful" test takers, or of the set of "functional humans", or of the entire population of all humans?

I believe you're saying that IQ 48 is approximately the minimum required level of functionality required to successfully take the test, but there is obviously a set of people who can't achieve that. And while 48 may be the lowest point on the curve that can be measured, the continuation of the curve is still implied below that point. People below 48 will still fall along some spectrum of abilities, but they're not measurable using the current test. So there may very well be someone with an "equivalent IQ" of 14; it's just the current IQ test lacks the resolution needed to identify that person.

And I'm not saying we should expend any effort to alter the test to measure lower IQs. I doubt that would add any value to society, nor would it be likely to benefit the people who can't take the test today. Such people are already identifiable as requiring a certain level of care, and most of the disabilities at that point are so profound you probably couldn't even use the scores to predict the costs of caring for them.

Comment Re:Can Verizon Stealth cookies be spoofed? (Score 1) 81

Browser fingerprinting is where it is at, and there is -no- browser that is resistant to this.

Au contraire. Apple iPhones are as common as houseflies, and as indistinguishable. Because Apple doesn't really let their users change anything about their browser configs, all the non-jailbroken Safari browsers for a given iOS version return the same fingerprint. So if you have one of those phones, you can hide in a very large crowd.

That implies the marketplace could actually use a common browser everyone can rely on to not share these details, but erasing fingerprints also means giving up useful functionality. Will people accept a browser that doesn't display a variety of fonts because they could be tracked? Will they be happy if the web sites can't deliver a page to fit their screen size? Are we looking for a tradeoff of not being tracked that only a few thousand privacy wonks will accept?

Comment Re: In case anyone doesn't realize Carly is an idi (Score 3, Informative) 327

Verizon and Comcast were not pushing for Net Neutrality and saying "we need it"; they were the principal forces opposing it, and they were the reason that FCC regulations were required to preserve it in the first place. They had plans for paid prioritization of traffic that would basically amount to charging websites for the privilege of not having their traffic throttled on the "last mile" link between the ISP and its customers. Google was diametrically opposed to this, as well as most small web sites and 3.7 million individuals who sent letters to the FCC.

The fact that an ex-CEO of HP, of all people, is pontificating about Net Neutrality while exposing her ignorance of even the most basic facts about who was involved and what sides they were on seems incredible. Was she merely confused herself or just trying to confuse everyone else? I have no idea.

Comment In case anyone doesn't realize Carly is an idiot.. (Score 2) 327

Here's what Carly said about Net Neutrality during an interview back in May:

JOHN FUND: You, at Lucent, and at Hewlett Packard, began at the dawn of the internet era, seeing the possibilities of what that would bring. And here we are, 20 odd years after the World Wide Web, and we've created a marvelous industry, marvelous possibilities. The Obama administration has decided, this can't be left to its own devices, we need Net Neutrality. And even though Congress doesn't want it, and people in both parties in Congress don't want it, and the courts have blocked them consistently, they're moving forward of course with what they call executive action, which I call the divine right of kings. Uh, what do you think about Net Neutrality, and how should we fight it if we should?

CARLY: Well we should- it's ridiculous. We now have an FCC, deciding on a 3-2 vote, that the Internet will be regulated with 400 pages of legislation. Terrible idea. Terrible idea. Of course, the dirty little secret of that regulation, which is the same dirty little secret of Obamacare or Dodd-Frank or all of these other huge complicated pieces of regulation or legislation, is that they don't get written on their own, they get written in part by lobbyists for big companies who want to understand that the rules are going to work for them. And this is part of what people see. Look, crony capitalism is alive and well. Elizabeth Warren, of course, is wrong about what to do about it. She claims that the way to <airquotes>solve</airquotes> crony capitalism is more complexity, more regulation, more legislation. Worse tax codes. And of course the more complicated government gets- and it's really complicated now- the less the small and the powerless can deal with it. And so the big get bigger, the powerful get more powerful, the wealthy and the well-connected get more wealthy and more well-connected. I mean, that's a fact. It's what's happening. And it's partially why people feel so disconnected. So, the dirty little secret of those 400 pages of legislation in Net Neutrality was, who was in the middle of arguing for net neutrality? Verizon, Comcast, Google, I mean, all these companies were playing. They weren't saying "we don't need this," they were saying "we need it." And so, the only way to level the playing field, so that the small, the new, the entrepreneurial, the powerless, have a shot, is to reduce all this complexity. And meanwhile, while, you know, the big are getting bigger, we're crushing the small. So we're now for the first time in history, we are destroying more businesses than we are creating. We are destroying more businesses than we are creating- it's a terrible statistic. And it means that we're never going to get this economy growing and growing again, yes I had the great privilege of playing uh, important roles in Lucent and Hewlett Packard, but like most people I started out at a little company. I started out as a secretary in a nine-person real estate firm. My husband started out driving a tow truck for a family-owned auto body shop. Most Americans start in little humble businesses, which create 2/3 of the new jobs and employ half the people. So when we're crushing those little businesses, as we are every time we roll out a new, complicated piece of legislation or regulation, we're crushing the possibilities of this economy.

JOHN FUND: I grew up in Northern California, and part of the ethos was, reading about Hewlett and Packard starting their business in a garage.

CARLY: A garage. Two guys in a garage. By the way, Google started out that way too, in a dorm room. But they seem to have forgotten that. [audience laughs]

JOHN FUND: Well, uh, they have new friends in Washington.

CARLY: Yes, they do. Yes they do.

The transcript doesn't do it justice at all- her tics and mannerisms while shoveling this horseshit will make you want to smack her upside the head. Carly is a clueless liar- but I have to admit, I can never tell exactly when she's lying and when she's just being clueless.

Comment Re:Obligatory Jeff Goldblum... (Score 2) 447

The difference there is that your driving record could be based on verifiable facts taken from the public record. "You had an accident in 2013 where at trial you were found 50% at fault." "In 2012 you pled guilty to driving 75 on a 55 road when you paid your traffic ticket." This is purely random digits, assigned out of spite, fear, hate, love, admiration, or whatever. Worse, it might be digits that are bought and paid for by the account owner (hire a sock puppet army to boost your score) or as a result of an attack (hire a sock puppet army to slag someone because they cheated on your sister, or because they dress funny, or simply because you're a sociopathic troll.)

Truly simple systems... require infinite testing. -- Norman Augustine