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Comment Re:Blindfold Anyone? (Score 4, Interesting) 125

Why not use a blindfold for 5 days?

Are these people stupid or just trying to make everything more difficult than it seems?

A) Some light is likely to get in, and they would need to be in a mostly-dark room regardless to account for slip-ups. Even then, they wanted to get 100% darkness, not 99.5% darkness (by timeslice)
B) Ever worn a sleep mask or eye pillow? Your eye does different things when it's covered or has pressure on it (and a lot of pressure would need to be applied here, most likely). Having your eye "free" to look around (but having no source of light in the room) is likely to be physiologically different than wearing a dark blindfold.

Comment Re:Avoid INTERCAL (Score 1) 427

Avoid INTERCAL job postings at all costs.

So, you mean the fact that I wrote a c-intercal parser that used obscure opcodes to actually perform the interweave and or and xor isn't a good thing to put on my resume?

Also, my favorite obscure language is LIRL, and that has NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH ME BEING THE AUTHOR... rather, it's an interesting concept of, "what if Perl raped LISP and LISP was forced by the republican state government to carry that baby to term?"

The answer is: implied parentheses. To be clear, the language is absolutely context sensitive...

Comment Re:Actually, the common saying... (Score 1) 337

I ended up booting into DOS directly for most of these reasons.

Oddly, I barely even use 95... went straight from 3.x to 98. Where I still booted into DOS to do my gaming.

Ah... back in the day... I had to tetris my drivers to make sure I had enough conventional and XMS memory for the game I wanted to play... BOTH WAYS!


The Most Important Obscure Languages? 427

Nerval's Lobster writes: If you're a programmer, you're knowledgeable about "big" languages such as Java and C++. But what about those little-known languages you only hear about occasionally? Which ones have an impact on the world that belies their obscurity? Erlang (used in high-performance, parallel systems) springs immediately to mind, as does R, which is relied upon my mathematicians and analysts to crunch all sorts of data. But surely there are a handful of others, used only by a subset of people, that nonetheless inform large and important platforms that lots of people rely upon... without realizing what they owe to a language that few have ever heard of.

The Case For Teaching Ignorance 236 writes: In the mid-1980s, a University of Arizona surgery professor, Marlys H. Witte, proposed teaching a class entitled "Introduction to Medical and Other Ignorance." Far too often, she believed, teachers fail to emphasize how much about a given topic is unknown. "Textbooks spend 8 to 10 pages on pancreatic cancer," said Witte, "without ever telling the student that we just don't know very much about it." Now Jamie Holmes writes in the NY Times that many scientific facts simply aren't solid and immutable, but are instead destined to be vigorously challenged and revised by successive generations. According to Homes, presenting ignorance as less extensive than it is, knowledge as more solid and more stable, and discovery as neater also leads students to misunderstand the interplay between answers and questions.

In 2006, a Columbia University neuroscientist named Stuart J. Firestein, began teaching a course on scientific ignorance after realizing, to his horror, that many of his students might have believed that we understand nearly everything about the brain. "This crucial element in science was being left out for the students," says Firestein."The undone part of science that gets us into the lab early and keeps us there late, the thing that "turns your crank," the very driving force of science, the exhilaration of the unknown, all this is missing from our classrooms. In short, we are failing to teach the ignorance, the most critical part of the whole operation." The time has come to "view ignorance as 'regular' rather than deviant," argue sociologists Matthias Gross and Linsey McGoey. Our students will be more curious — and more intelligently so — if, in addition to facts, they were equipped with theories of ignorance as well as theories of knowledge.

Comment Re:Looking at you, BBC... (Score 4, Insightful) 202

Yes, there are better ways to use browser agent id. But keeping Flash on the desktop means their HTML5 code does not need to be validated on lots of browsers. If the BBC implementation of HTML5 turned out to be buggy, the damage would be limited to platforms that couldn't run Flash anyway.

If I were in charge at BBC, I would use mobile/portable devices as a beta test for implementing HTML5. Sooner or later, they have to bring HTML5 to the desktop, but it can wait until more of the obsolescent browsers are gone. Maybe the next project is to implement adaptive style sheets to get one code base that suits all browsers on all devices. At that point, Flash can finally take its rightful place in the Recycle Bin.

When you have a huge user base and many of them are technologically illiterate, you end up doing things that are far from elegant. In a large organization, it takes longer than you would expect to get anything done.


Two US Marines Foil Terrorist Attack On Train In France 468

hcs_$reboot writes: A heavily armed gunman opened fire aboard a packed high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris late Friday afternoon, wounding several passengers before he was tackled and subdued by two Americans Marines. The assault was described as a terrorist attack. President Barack Obama has expressed his gratitude for the "courage and quick thinking" of the passengers on a high-speed train in France, including U.S. service members, who overpowered the gunman. Bernard Cazeneuve, the French interior minister, paid tribute to the Marines as he arrived at the scene, and said "Thanks to them we have averted a drama. The Americans were particularly courageous and showed extreme bravery in extremely difficult circumstances."

Comment Re:4/5 in favor (Score 2) 755

In addition to what I said above, there's another growing demographic that's sort of the elephant in the room here: The basement dweller who spends his days playing World of Warcraft while his parents work. I've seen a lot of these, and IMO they're the biggest cause of the obesity epidemic. If you give these people free money, believe me, they don't move on unless they are literally evicted. I'm sure you guys have heard the horror stories about video game addiction where such and such person loses their job, their wife, and their house, while they were playing video games.

A term used in parts of Europe, heavily in Japan (especially within the last 10 years or so), but that's virtually non-existent in the US is "NEET" -- "Not in Education, Employment, or Training (school)". There's a little bit of overlap with the Hikikomori.

The take-away is that we really do have to consider there there's a higher case of actual psychological dysfunction associated with these groups (including "Failure-to-launch" Millennials in the US, etc...) . Whether it's caused by, exacerbated by, or simply correlates with the unemployment is almost beside the point -- once afflicted, any social policy for "fixing" the problem needs to take this into account.


Google Announces a Router: OnHub 278

An anonymous reader writes: Google has announced they're working with TP-LINK to build a new router they call OnHub. They say it's designed for the way we tend to use Wi-Fi in 2015, optimizing for streaming and sharing in a way that older routers don't. The router has a cylindrical design and comes with a simple, user-friendly mobile app. They say, "OnHub searches the airwaves and selects the best channel for the fastest connection. A unique antenna design and smart software keep working in the background, automatically adjusting OnHub to avoid interference and keep your network at peak performance. You can even prioritize a device, so that your most important activity — like streaming your favorite show — gets the fastest speed." The device will cost $200, it supports Bluetooth Smart Ready, Weave, and 802.15.4, and it will automatically apply firmware updates.

Comment Re:As a chemist, I have something to say. (Score 1) 135

Are you aware, that companies that produce lead-free solder in Europe, must have their product labeled with "may contain lead" in California?

Because California's lead restrictions are something like 9X (1 part per billion) where as Europe's standard is at 6X (1 part per million)... even though both of them can be described best and most easily with homeopathic dilution values...

Comment Re:Way to encourage responsible disclosure. (Score 1) 87

Two years? That's outrageous. Any vendor that takes that long to patch their holes *deserves* to get zero-day'd.

Newsflash: Fixing a problem like this in the field is harder than making a git commit and telling people to recompile.

Also, only a dipshit with no ethics equates "vendor" with "customer" when life or limb is on the line.


Fitbit Wants To Help Corporations Track Employee Health 206

jfruh writes: Fitbit is pitching its iconic fitness trackers to businesses as a tool to save money on health care costs. Many companies have wellness programs to encourage workers to exercise more, and Fitbit will help employers quantify (and monitor) employee progress. “We think virtually every company will incorporate fitness trackers into their corporate wellness programs,” Fitbit CFO Bill Zerella said

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard