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Comment: Re:Of course they are (Score 1) 256

by gstoddart (#49143387) Attached to: It's Official: NSA Spying Is Hurting the US Tech Economy

Here in the UK it varies between unwise for commercial businesses to use US data storage through against internal rules for many government organisations to straight illegal for anything that has personal information like hospitals and police.

Well, yeah ... and this has been true since the PATRIOT Act was passed.

The US is now an inherently untrustworthy nation as far as data and technology goes.

You can't say it's your right to spy on everybody and then be surprised when the rest of the world tells you to piss off.

I should think US firms would be becoming pariahs around the world -- because the only rational thing you can do is to assume that any US company which has access to your data is being forced to spy on you. Because, they pretty much are.

The amazing thing is Americans might start to act like whiny bitches who say "but that's not fair to stop buying our stuff because we're spying on you", and wouldn't understand why there is no way they can be trusted.

So, congratulations, America. You've shot yourselves in the foot. And all of a sudden no sane person outside of the US can trust you with data. Don't act all surprised.

At some point, I'm expecting some aggressive whining about trade agreements to try to force people to buy products which will spy on them as the government throws a tantrum protesting the logical outcomes of their own policy.

Having billions of dollars in exports disappear is pretty much what the US should expect.

Comment: Re:as a chef, yes. for the home cook? no. (Score 1) 48

by gstoddart (#49143157) Attached to: 3D Printers Making Inroads In Kitchens

LOL ... since when do chefs have time to hang out on Slashdot? (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

More on topic, I don't see how 3D printing pasta is going to work, for example. You're going to probably end up with some slime which comes apart when you cook it.

It won't be an actual dough, it's going to be ... well, I don't know what exactly. I just don't see this retaining the properties of dough.

I can see some of the molecular wizards like Wylie Dufresne or poeople like that, doing wacky things .. but the example of ravioli just seems like this wouldn't work at all.

This sounds more like the domain of crap food made at commercial scales, than actual good food prepared by chefs.

Comment: Re:Semantic games (Score 1) 27

by gstoddart (#49143051) Attached to: OPSEC For Activists, Because Encryption Is No Guarantee

You want to play 'semantic games'?

When 'opsec' is outlawed, only outlaws will have opsec.

In other words: if you're employing opsec, you will be construed as a terrorist, and the NSA et al will use even more secret laws to fuck you over even more.

There is no scenario in this security paranoid world in which being secretive about your actions isn't red flags.

Which is precisely why these 'intelligence' outfits need to have much shorter leashes. Quite possibly suspended from trees high enough to keep their feet off the ground.

In this opsec boils down to "if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear", and the fucking fascists have won. It is now illegal to make it difficult for the government to spy on you when it wishes to.

Comment: Re:"It's hard, so we won't do it" (Score 2) 180

by gstoddart (#49142359) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

and that's not even getting into the financial and executive parts of things

Yeah, and tell us, what is the track record of the financial and executive teams ability to prognosticate?

Yes, you need to be able to estimate to run the business.

But let's not pretend the average CEO, sales wanker, or marketing idiot has ANY better track record at making guesses about the future. In fact, in my experience, they're overly optimistic, not founded in anything real, and mostly pulled out of their ass of based on what Gartner tells them.

We can give you an estimate, but people have to understand that an estimate inherently carries uncertainty, and that they're equally inept over the long run of estimating the parts they're responsible for.

I've lost track of the times I've rolled by eyes when a CEO tells us what six months down the road will be ... and they have the ability waste far more money on fools errands and bad predictions.

We're not dissociated from reality ... we're the ones trying to explain reality to people who live in fantasy land.

But don't act for a minute like our estimates carry any more risk than those bullshit sales figures the idiots at the top are making.

Comment: Re:Sure, some access is bad (Score 0) 39

by circletimessquare (#49142105) Attached to: Facebook's Colonies

a corporation will bust your kneecaps if you demand higher wages, and set fire to smaller competitors. and you have no recourse. this is american history

meanwhile, you can actually elect government officials, insist they pass anticorruption laws, and make them accountable to you. there is of course a brain dead cynicism that corruption is insurmountable, but the nordic countries and canada control corruption better than us. why can't we? and we can. and we shall

we just passed net neutrality, we're legalizing gay marriage and marijuana. ten years ago people would laugh at me that this was impossible with the same brain dead cynicism. we will defeat citizens united and other form of government corruption and make it more accountable

Comment: Hmmm .... (Score 3, Interesting) 180

by gstoddart (#49141821) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

On the one hand, it's pretty much impossible to do any project planning with no estimates.

On the other hand, some things are impossible to estimate until you do them.

Years ago I worked with a manager who kept repeating that bad estimates were a project risk and we should give good estimates. We kept telling him that an estimate is, by definition, based on incomplete knowledge and before you have done the work and that if he had a time machine we could give him better estimates.

If I knew exactly how long it would take, and what unforseen things I'd be running into ... it wouldn't be a frickin' estimate, now would it?

People treat estimates like you're expected to have perfect knowledge of the future, and then build their world around those estimates.

I have seen a tremendous amount of bullshit and stupidity from people who do not understand what an estimate is, and how it's done.

I don't think you can get rid of estimates entirely ... but management needs to stop being so stupid about how they interpret them.

If we could tell you for a fact exactly how long it would take, it wouldn't be a fucking estimate.

I rank how people do estimates right up there with how some PMs want you to track your time ... once had a PM say he wanted me to account for my time in 5 minute increments. And I told him in no uncertain terms that would mean 2 out of every 5 minutes would be spent documenting what I'd done the last two minutes, and there would be an additional 1 minute of lost time in each 5 minute increment doing to context switch back to what I was working, and that effectively 60% of my time would be wasted on his stupidity.

And then I told him to piss off.

Comment: Re:Sure, some access is bad (Score 2) 39

by circletimessquare (#49141603) Attached to: Facebook's Colonies

buried in your hyperbole is a real point though: some people blindly hate government and irrationally trust corporations. other people blindly hate corporations and and irrationally trust government

why can't someone be both?

me: i don't trust government. i also don't trust corporations

is such a person possible in your world?

if i express my distrust of corporations, in your mind that means i automatically love government? why?

it's kind of like those arguments about iran and nukes: if you don't want iran to have nukes, you must love israel and the usa. no. how about i just don't trust a theorcracy with nukes, AND i dislike american and israeli policy? why i can't i do both?

why is there this irrational tribalism at work in the world where expressing an opinion against something automatically means i am for something else, as only determined by blind prejudice?

it's possible to think about the problems in the world without categorizing people according to the one dimensional antagonistic stereotypes in your head

Comment: Re:nice, now for the real fight (Score 1) 481

by circletimessquare (#49141355) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

ah the perennial "big business corrupts government so government is the evil one"

so if thieves rob your bank by blowing the door off, you scream and yell and kick at the security guards (government), leave the broken door unrepaired (regulatory capture), and let thew thieves (big business) get away without a single iota of criticism?

CORRUPTION is the problem, not government. if you attack and weaken government, the assholes corrupting it simply rape you with less interference and hassle of corrupting someone in government to do so

you want to fix your government. you want to fight corruption

if you want to fight government, and not criticize the corruptors, you're what is called a "useful fool" to plutocrats

there is no free market fairy fix here. fair regulations that keep an even playing field in fact is the only way you ever get a free market in the first place

Comment: Re:Sounds good (Score 1) 580

by circletimessquare (#49137175) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

Oh, please do help me with more "basic education": explain how these strategies can possibly be stable in a free market.

okay. the large player(s) crushes the small player(s), drives them out of business, then abuse the consumer with higher prices, because the consumers have no other option

Comment: i always thought this was a good idea (Score 2) 223

by circletimessquare (#49131805) Attached to: The Peculiar Economics of Developing New Antibiotics

rather than depend upon the market to satisfy the costs of R&D, just put a bounty on drug discovery. it's cheaper for society

especially in the usa, where a new life saving drug can cost thousands a month. and even if you have insurance, that cost is being passed onto the rest of us. such that government paying a single huge bounty (to the actual discoverer and their university research dept, rather than some suit), paid for via taxes, would actually be cheaper for each of us

but there's always these hordes of morons who see taxes and government services as the ultimate evil. these fools seem to have no problem paying way more for lower quality, like american healthcare. just because it's not from the government? obviously single payer universal healthcare, without rent seeking insurance parasites, is far superior to the joke system in the USA. the ACA is a baby step in the right direction, we need to go a lot further

compare the usa to our social and economic peers in terms of quality of healthcare, and cost of healthcare, and we are getting a worse product for 10-100x the cost. all because "HURRR DURRR GUBMINT EVIL"

Comment: Re:Sounds good (Score 1) 580

by circletimessquare (#49131685) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

The reason markets do not function well with broadband is its a near natural monopoly, or a natural duopoly rather. Because of the huge investments needed in the infrastructure its only possible for a few companies to be involved. So, the effect of the market is weak to non-existant, thats why regulation of these kinds of things can be beneficial.


unfortunately, it is dumbfounding the wall of prideful ignorance this simple obvious point encounters on the hordes of uneducated and stupid out there

and don't even get me started on the horrible propaganda and misinformation on the topic of natural monopolies

it's somewhat frightening how hoodwinked and brainwashed people can be

Comment: Re:Two things (Score 4, Insightful) 125

by gstoddart (#49130847) Attached to: Inventors Revolutionize Beekeeping

So, putting them in plastic containers and just churning out the honey seems like the lazy ass way of beekeeping.

Sorry, but what? Pretty much every technological advance we've ever made has been about someone being lazy.

So, tell you what, stop using the wheel, the lever, an engine, electricity, refrigeration, or pretty much anything which takes the work out for you.

Stop being such a lazy bastard and ignore all modern progress which reduces your labor.

Otherwise you're full of crap.

Comment: Re:Oh great ... (Score 1) 187

by gstoddart (#49130747) Attached to: Google Now Automatically Converts Flash Ads To HTML5

Would you rather go to a pay model?

Tell you what.

First, we'll kill all of the people who run analytics companies, and destroy all of their data.

Then we'll pass sane consumer protection laws which limit what they can collect about you, and what they can do with it.

Then we might start to talk about how to pay for the internet.

Right now on Slashdot as I type this, Google, Ooyala, Rpxnow, Scorecard research, Janrain, Double Click, Comscore ... all of these entities would be tracking me if I wasn't blocking them.

I'm not willing to accept their bullshit "by visiting this site you give us unlimited rights to track, monitor, collate, sell, and otherwise abuse your data". I have no relationship with those companies, and I get no compensation for being their "product". Which means I will block the hell out of anything which is going to help Slashdot profit from douchebags.

I have no business relationship with these analytics and advertising companies.

Take these assholes out of the equation, or don't even talk to me about how to fund the internet. I'm not funding someone's website with my personal information.

Fuck that.

The notion that some greedy corporation should feel entitled to my data is the problem. Finding ways to accommodate them is not the solution.

Optimization hinders evolution.