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Comment: Bad analogy (Score 5, Insightful) 185

by Florian Weimer (#47086797) Attached to: R Throwdown Challenge

An Argentinian chef is more likely to make great sushi than a Japanese automotive engineer.

You generally want to use programming languages designed by experienced programmers (even better, experienced language designers) who work closely with subject matter experts. Left to their own devices, experts are likely to get a lot of things wrong, and if the language is sufficiently popular, you are stuck with their mistakes for a long time to come.

Comment: Re:Build refineries in ND (Score 1) 206

by Zeinfeld (#46802907) Attached to: Obama Delays Decision On Keystone Pipeline Yet Again

There is plenty of capacity in St Louis and room to build more.

The cost of the pipeline is much more than the cost of a refinery. The 'surplus capacity' claim is total nonsense. The tar sludge isn't anything like the crude that the existing refineries process. There would have to be major upgrades in any case. And building a two thousand mile pipeline costs a heck of a lot more than any refinery would.

Comment: Re:after november... (Score 1) 206

by Zeinfeld (#46802895) Attached to: Obama Delays Decision On Keystone Pipeline Yet Again

The decision was made years ago: No pipeline.

Not announcing the decision stops the Koch bros and the Keystone corp from starting their appeal. Its like an administrative filibuster.

There is already a pipeline that runs to St Louis, the only reason to build the second pipeline is to sell the sludge to China. Having that option available will allow the price to be jacked up when the sludge is sold to the US market as it will fetch the international price which is a lot higher than the refiners currently pay in St Louis.

There is absolutely no reason for the US to OK a pipeline that will increase the cost of supply to the US market. The only reason the GOP backs the pipeline is that the Koch bros stand to make $100 billion from the increase in the value of their shale tar sands.

It is a purely tactical decision because nobody outside the GOP wants the pipeline built. Everyone who wants the pipeline will vote GOP in November whatever the decision. Obama could make a short term political gain by announcing that there will be no pipeline but that would allow the appeals to start. Better for the country to wait until there have been some GOP deaths on the SCOTUS.

Comment: Re:How about Norm the nurse? (Score 1) 333

by kraut (#46352207) Attached to: Will Peggy the Programmer Be the New Rosie the Riveter?

> You aren't expected to diagnose the ever-growing list of infectious diseases.
The list isn't growing. If it is, it's growing much slower than the list of available drugs/

> You'll never be called on to give a colonoscopy.
Most doctors aren't Gastroenterologists, so neither will they.

Also, giving one is probably less unpleasant than receiving one.

>Many pharmacists go their entire careers without ever being stopped in the hallway because "that lump on the patient in 208 just burst and is oozing something purple."
And so will almost all doctors

>Less radiation exposure.
If you get radiation exposure as a doctor, you're either doing emergency relief at a nuclear plant, or you're not doing your job right.

Comment: Re:because it's a hostile environment (Score 1) 333

by kraut (#46352133) Attached to: Will Peggy the Programmer Be the New Rosie the Riveter?

>Rubbish. Women aren't as good at men in sports.
Assuming you have a decent TV service, look back at the winter Olympics. Snowboarding, bobsleigh, skeleton, skiing. Is the women's competition any worse than the mens? Look at the icedancing, speed skating, etc. Still not convinced?

Historically, men have watched sports, and - particularly in the team sports - it seems that men are more in need of that tribal identification with a group than women are.

Or maybe it's simply that many more men than will admit to it enjoy watching hot men get sweaty :)

Comment: Re:This is about pay - again. (Score 1) 333

by kraut (#46352053) Attached to: Will Peggy the Programmer Be the New Rosie the Riveter?

If you discriminate based on race, you're cutting off a certain percentage (varying by country) of the talent pool. Stupid.
If you discriminate based on gender, you're cutting off ca. 50% of the talent pool. Really stupid.
You don't need to invoke lofty principles to argue against discrimination.

The supply/demand issue doesn't really have much to do with discrimination.

Comment: Re:Geez... (Score 0) 333

by kraut (#46351955) Attached to: Will Peggy the Programmer Be the New Rosie the Riveter?

>Yea, there was a Ruby workshop I was interested in attending; but seems it was only open to women.

There are tons of Ruby workshops. Look at the gender distribution in most of them. 90% male? 95% male? 99?

> If they felt men as a gender would be disruptive then that should be handled on an individual basis regardless of gender,
I have no idea what you meant to say, but what you said does ont make any sense.

> even then I find it hard to believe that it'd be a widespread issue.
If you find the gender imbalance (and some of the nastier aspects of that) in IT not to be a widespread issue, you're either
* wilfully blind
* stupid beyond belief
* incredibly blessed to work in a balanced environment.

> As it stands, women probably have a far greater opportunity advantage from Diversity Quotas, Gendered Scholarships, and Classes
That's an opinion, and you're perfectly entitled to it. But given that we don't have hordes of female junior programmers - it's probably wrong.

Did I say probably? I meant certainly.

> lsu many of the complaints can be attributed to the female dominated HR field;
Oh, yes, it's HR stopping people from hiring all these female programmers because they're too darn pretty! HR can't handle the competition!
Either that, or you don't actually get *any* CVs from women. Ever.

Have you ever been a hiring manager? I've spent 20+ years (*) in IT. I've worked with 4 female developers. Two of which I had to hire as mathematicians (they were, but they could also code).

> which has shown that women in HR will not hire other women they consider to be prettier then themselves.
Citation, please - or did you just make that up on the spot? Logically that would imply the HR department is populated by the ugliest people you can find that are still qualified to do the job. That's not even true in Dilbert/

(*) Look at my user id. And then get the HELL off MY lawn. (**)
(**) Before you get the hell of my lawn, please try and take the time to talk to someone of the female persuasion and ask how they feel in all male meetings, or if that's too tough, just google "programmers being dicks". THEN get the hell of my lanwn.

Comment: Not enough net capacity? Build more! (Score 5, Insightful) 361

by DoctorNathaniel (#46275025) Attached to: Killing Net Neutrality Could Be Good For You

The argument that the poor carriers are being bombarded by all this data (when our endpoint bandwidth is much less than other places in the world) is completely absurd. It's not because the internet wasn't "designed" for video, it's because competition hasn't spurred more development by the carriers. They've been living on capital rents.

This piece is naive in the extreme: it assumes implicitly that the only players are major content providers, carriers, and "consumers", and never speakers, telecoms, and citizens.

Comment: Re:Control vs. Prosperity (Score 2) 119

by Zeinfeld (#46241413) Attached to: A Strategy For Attaining Cuban Internet Connectivity

What I find problematic with that mode of argument is that it tends to turn McCarthyite very quickly. Castro attempted to cut a deal with the US before going to the Soviets, he is rather less committed to communism than either his supporters or his opponents believe. He also gave the CIA the location of Che Guavera when he decided he was a liability. So there has been a basis for cooperation for a long time.

The list of crimes committed by US Presidents panicking about communism is very long. Snuffing out a democracy in Iran to replace it with a bloodthirsty dictator, supporting the Khumer Rouge after Vietnam ejected them, installing Pinochet, a mass murderer in Chile. George W Bush just managed to cause the deaths of a half million Iraqis and wonders why he isn't being praised for his efforts.

The problem isn't capitalism of communism, the problem is authoritarianism and elites who believe that brute force is the solution to every problem. Castro is a thug and a murderer but its the US who set up a torture chamber in Cuba.

Since the US government has been spending a large amount of money to get the Internet into Cuba, giving them a pipe and letting them rip with it seems like the best way forward. They will try to control it but everyone knows that Cuba is going to liberalize in the near future.

The logical way forward would be for the US to lift the blockade and let the commerce flood in. The communist system would collapse pretty quickly when there was money to be made. But the problem is that there is a faction that is less interested in bringing democracy to cuba as returning their assets that were nationalized. Since they stole the assets under the corrupt Batista regime, there aren't going to be many interested in that happening.

Comment: Re:Tor (Score 1) 83

by Zeinfeld (#46239485) Attached to: Utopia, Silk Road's Latest Replacement, Only Lasted Nine Days

The Dutch government is very clear about not being a haven for drug dealers shipping to other countries. Unlike the US police, they don't spend time going after domestic pushers or users. But anyone who is shipping through the Netherlands to another country is in for serious grief.

>Hmm... perhaps their mistake was even dumber than simply believing tor is magic.

Magical thinking is very common in security. Lots of people think BitCoin is anonymous despite the fact the transaction log is public.

Call Tor services 'hidden' and some people think that means the NSA and GCHQ can't find them. Call them the 'dark Web' and they think its protected by Professor Dumbledore himself.

A computer scientist is someone who fixes things that aren't broken.

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