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Comment: Depends on where you work... (Score 1) 637

by stoicfaux (#47616159) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

If, like the vast majority of CS grads, your career is to write code for a standard/traditional software company, i.e. web, business apps, etc., then no, you don't need to know a lot about how a computer works. Your goal is to implement business decisions (i.e. write software that makes the business more efficient, more money, etc..) Anything that distracts you from implementing business code, such as memory allocation, vi/emacs, overly complex version control (*cough*git*cough*), "fringe" languages, and so on, is inefficient.

However, if you dislike being a code drone, or just happen to work in a career where scalability, parallelism, performance, and/or resource efficiency is paramount, then yes, you will appreciate a class in C, Assembly, or even an intro EE course that introduces you to IC chips and breadboxes.

On a side note, you will also appreciate taking a few business courses so that you can appreciate how differently business people speak and think from engineers. Heck, I would even recommend a few sociology, psychology, and/or history courses as well.

Comment: Blackmail? (Score 4, Insightful) 278

by stoicfaux (#47433221) Attached to: William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

If the NSA can track people's movements, track who comes into contact with them, or just flat out records their phone calls, how many of our local/state/federal politicians, policy makers, law enforcement members, bureaucrats, bankers, CEOs, etc., could be blackmailed based on such information?

Next question. Who controls the NSA?

Comment: Re:What about the Little Ice Age? (Score 2) 552

by stoicfaux (#45774941) Attached to: Sun Not a Significant Driver of Climate Change

Here's a better example: Mercury, the planet closest to the sun, has a daytime temperature of 800+ degrees Fahrenheit (420+ C), and a night time temperature as cold as minus 270 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 170+ C).

Venus on the other hand, due to its blanket of CO2, is around 860 degrees Fahrenheit (460 degrees C), day or night, at the poles or at the equator.

Venus is nearly twice the distance from the sun as Mercury and receives only 25% of Mercury's solar irradiance. If the sun truly was the only main determinant of a planet's temperature, then the surface temperature of Venus shouldn't be hotter than Mercury's, nor should Venus's nighttime temperature be as high as its daytime temperature.

Comment: Blackmail Congressmen, Lobbyists, etc.. (Score 1) 513

by stoicfaux (#44985475) Attached to: Snowden Strikes Again: NSA Mapping Social Connections of US Citizens

So... is the NSA applying this data-mining to our representatives and public officials? If not, why aren't they? Imagine being able to know who has been lobbying whom. Imagine knowing who their paramours are. Imaging knowing what their shopping habits and travel patterns are.

Just imagine if we appointed an enlightened, benign head of the NSA. We would finally have a functional government. Granted it would be a tad autocratic, but hey, pros and cons.

Comment: The number is high because... (Score 1) 325

if you can build autonomous cars, you can build cars autonomously. Meaning, cheaper cars, one that "everyone" can afford. Plus, the reduced driver skill requirements will also increase the market.

Also, due to the stringent testing requirements, reliability and robustness are almost guaranteed, and the long testing cycle means that there will be few models to choose from, so factories will benefit from focus and specialization.

Comment: Spoofing? RIAA? Targeting? SETI? (Score 1) 111

How long until someone tapes a "Wi-Fi Direct-enabled smartphone" to someone's car and the app is set to go off randomly? Or just puts a transmitter in the middle of the street and sets it to go off randomly?

How long until the RIAA jumps on the words "peer to peer" and that "music files or contact information could also be securely transferred from the home computer to a vehicle’s infotainment or navigation system" via Wi-Fi Direct devices?

How long until a deranged geek realizes that anyone running a Wi-Fi Direct app can be triangulated, tracked, and shot with a weapon hooked up to an automated targeting system?

How long until SETI is ported to Wi-fi Direct apps? Granted, there would need be some hacking needed on the car's CPU/OS as well.

Comment: US is going to annex Canada anway... (Score 1) 404

by stoicfaux (#38793347) Attached to: Outgoing CRTC Head Says Technology Is Eroding Canadian Culture

New resources in Canada are being exposed (i.e. thawing out.) Canada can make a claim on Arctic resources which are now in a "land rush" due to also being exposed and explored. Canada is the largest country in the world in terms of landmass and is positioned to potentially have a milder climate to grow crops in when global warming/climate change severely disrupts the climate and weather of the US farming industry.

So we might as well make the "annexation" easier via cultural means instead of doing so via a crude, overt coup or invasion.

P.S. I'm not sure if I'm being funny or serious.

Comment: Re:Time to go Legit? (Score 1) 300

by stoicfaux (#38255356) Attached to: Mexican Gov't Shuts Down Zetas' Secret Cell Network

I can think of a few reasons that drug cartels would want to end prohibition:

  • If the drug cartels were consolidated or whittled down to a few, then direct confrontation between a few very large cartels would probably be too bloody and costly, so it would make more sense to reach an "agreement" and maintain a monopoly. Think OPEC.
  • The money and the customers aren't in Mexico. Legalizing drugs in Mexico doesn't make them legal in the U.S., so the price stays high, while production costs go down, and profit increases.
  • Being legitimate makes a Drug Lord's life a little less stressful, turns them from thugs into powerful respectable gentlemen, and gives them an opportunity to establish a legacy for their family and children. Being the next Morgan or Rockefeller might be pretty tempting

Plus, going legit could also mean a shadow government to avoid directly antagonizing the U.S. Who's in charge of Russia right now? The elected President or Mr. Putin, the unofficial actual leader of Russia?

Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up.