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Comment Re:Field dependent requirement (Score 1) 1086

I agree with your post and I want to add some comments. I think the applied calculus such as that used in economics (Lagrange multipliers, etc.) are far more useful to the majority of programmers (or anyone, really) in a business setting than the applied calculus such as that used in physics. Even if they are almost the same (or are the same) mathematically, it's the linking of the math to the real world to do practical problem solving that is useful in business. Unfortunately, the need for calculation of physics is fairly limited these days, with most of that constrained to the gaming programmers. Rather than attempt to describe the physical world, as physics does, economics is more concerned with social problems such as resource allocation and the like. Say what you will about the dismal science but we ALL buy things, use money, and pretty much live our lives in the pursuit and consumption of resources. Very few of us (although at Slashdot this is less true than in most circles) need to calculate electrical fields or magnetism or orbits or oscillators, nor would being able to understand those phenomena have any real impact on our lives.

That being said, I hold the great physicists of our time and time past up for their often pioneering practical applications of mathematical theory, proving they have worth in the most tangible ways. Their efforts have blazed the trail for other disciplines to use advanced mathematics to attempt to further describe our environment. But I think physics (the what) is pretty much done and we have to start looking at relationships and resource needs to further advance society (the why), and the calculus is just as useful there. Of course at the end of the day our brains are chemical machines subject to the laws of physics but I'm assuming it'll be quite a while before we need to take human behavior all the way back to the physical realm and get a value equal to what we could get from a more economic and systemic analysis.

Comment Re:Into the wild? (Score 1) 76

To clarify what I specifically wrote in my post, (Amazon's application, where they make the money), has not been down in a long time. The Virgina EC2 outage only affected the excess capacity they resell to AWS customers. I'm not singling out Netflix and I'm not saying that this is a bad or horrible or un-useful tool. I appreciate all the stuff Netflix is open-sourcing.

Comment Re:Actual title should be (Score 1) 397

You can drag a file from your File Open box to the new finder window and it'll go to it's location. Also, you can drag the little icon at the top of an open document (provided it's fully saved) to any finder window, or to file fields in the web browser. You are forced to get into this mentality of not worrying about where shit is while you're moving it around, just about where it's going. Which can be nice sometimes and frustrating other times.

Comment Re:Actual title should be (Score 1) 397

Too bad Time Machine has been broken on Extended Permissions on AFP shares since like Snow Leopard. I've noticed that the most arrogant fanbois don't actually use Macs so it's "fine for them". A typical reply to my first sentence would be "Well, why don't you just not use Extended Permissions?" AS IF I HADN'T THOUGHT OF THAT! Going to any Mac/Apple forum is like walking into a room of zombies and asking if anyone has the time: "What do you need time for?" "Time works fine for me, I know what time it is already." "Dude, can't you afford a watch". Meanwhile Apple is walking away with record profits. Profits and monopoly power that Microsoft could only DREAM of back in the years when they were labelled a monopoly and everyone hated them. They are fleecing you and taking your money but you're too snowed by a computer that kinda works to realize that they only want your money, that is their goal, that was Steve's goal, and you should not forget it. I like the fact that part of that goal was to push the limits but at the same time we are alienating millions of people who can't afford the better technology because we're (mostly) white, (mostly) rich, and we deserve it and others don't.

And that's the difference between Apple and Microsoft. Apple is like Mercedes Benz, you'll turn your head while they help Nazis kill Jews because most people can't afford one and it gives you status and it's of course a good product, because you're paying for it, and they are taking as much of your money as you are willing to spend and thus are willing to sell less quantity. Microsoft and Bill wanted to make money a different way: put a useful, cheap computer in front of as many bodies as possible, and then sell them software, the car analogue probably being Ford or something.

I have to admit that as I get older and richer, and my game grows bigger, and you get busy with kids and work and all that... you don't want to spend your sunday fixing your computer. And I'm glad that Apple has proven that it's mostly possible to do that fairly well and have a kindof useful computer. But if you go a little deeper you will find 2 frustrating FACTS: 1. Shit is hacked and a lot of their Core UNIX OS crew left after Snow Leopard leaving mainly IOS people 2. When you find stuff that is broken, and you will--all the time--they will never admit it, never offer a solution and you will just have to wait for it to be important to someone or the feature removed or no longer in style. The two of these things working together mean lots of shrugging your shoulders when your boss asks questions about something not working. It also means you spend a lot more time on the Unix side, where you can actually make stuff work. But then they release an update, move Java, remove important or at least fairly universal UNIX tools, and you're left having to redo or patch the work all over again. Take a few years of this and you're about to have a nervous breakdown.

Finally, and thanks for letting me vent, but the fucking window close button is on the WRONG SIDE if you are one of the 75% of humanity that is RIGHT HANDED, and that's a fact.

Comment Re:Into the wild? (Score 5, Insightful) 76

Sound idea, sure. But not a substitute for good engineering. You see this issue come up again and again with these cloud services. The pressure from sales and marketing to move quickly and monetize the idea (and support lots of subscribers quickly) is not conducive to building a solid infrastructure. Netflix's approach is actually the exact opposite of Amazon's. Amazon's system is highly engineered and designed to resist failures that take down for it's customers. That is their number one goal. has not been down for a long time. AWS is an offshoot of that effort to resell their extra cycles but it's not nearly as engineered at the application built on top, which redirects around the globe and does lots of other things. It seems that AWS always has some new service coming out, but think about this: all those services were probably made by Amazon 3 years ago and they are just now releasing them to you..

Netflix, on the other hand, seems to be just hacking together a site, if this is really what they primarily used to QA their application. What you're doing with this random failure thing is just statistically creating errors and finding bugs in failure handling code statistically. This means there's _up to_ an infinite number of bugs that will *not* be found with this method because they are unlikely or the tester is unlucky.

It certainly has to do with the math of it, but it also has to do with the human culture that arises when working like this. See, with this brute force iterative programming, you are building a nest of patches. So what you are going to end up with is going to be more complicated and less functional than if you do the hard work. And that's the issue. Thinking about stuff in terms of thousands or millions of nodes is "too hard" so the aforementioned cloud providers keep coming up with "creative solutions" like this. (I remember reading about Facebook hacking mysql a few years back and shaking my head as well..) But, like "creative accounting", it may not be illegal but it may get you into trouble. You're never going to be absolutely sure the application will stay up and available. Ok, fine, so it Netflix goes down no ones going to die, but still...there's millions of dollars and subscriber goodwill at stake and that's not nothing.

Anyway, don't think that I'm railing against creative testing, but they shouldn't think they are so clever as the release seems to imply they think they are ;)

Comment Re:What about SSL traffic? (Score 1) 338

You'd have to install a man-in-the-middle service with a fake SSL certificate and install said fake certificate as trusted on all of the client machines. (Good luck doing that on the iPhone.)

Actually, you'd just need to email the cert to the iphone, open it and set the trust and it basically disappears forever. Just sayin.

Comment Re:Considering how often Adderall is abused... (Score 1) 611

In my time we were the kids in high school that drank coffee, smoked cigarettes, took mini-thins, joined bands (stage fright naturally releases adrenaline increasing concentration), drag raced, played sports, etc. School is hard, speed helps. But to medicalize it rather than maybe just increasing the length of the school day, going slower, improving educational techniques, improving values around a farce of the highest magnitude and one we will pay for some day as a society. Just like the Nazi Germans took tons of methamphetamines and used it to blitzkrieg europe, eventually the high wears off and then you're left with substanitally less than you had before. (The allies took regular amphetamines pretty regularly as well). Look people, do what you have to do to get them a good education, but do whatever you can to keep your kids off speed.

Comment Re:Considering how often Adderall is abused... (Score 1) 611

Plus we have other legal stimulants like caffeine and up until recently ephedrine. You can probably plot the end of ephedrine supply against the rise of adderall use and get a perfect X graph. It remains to be seen which is the less harmful drug but I'd say ephedrine is definitely less likely to be abused since it doesn't hit dopamine like amphetamines.

Comment Re:Should read "power plants", not "nuclear plants (Score 2) 303

Well, they require a cold-sink to operate. It's the temperature difference (gas laws, etc) that enables them to generate so much electricity. If the conventional wisdom about this is like the conventional wisdom about other electric technologies (e.g. server rooms), it's likely that a reactor could be designed that does not require as much of a cold sink or temperature differential to operate (e.g. air cooling, or converting more heat into power). The issue of course is that even the smallest chain reaction events generate such a huge amount of energy that you have to have the scales we've seen to harness even a percentage. I've always thought some type of sub-critical or even better a semi-critical (pulse modulated) reactor with lower heats and smaller footprints would be the way to go long term. There are a lot of these safe by default reactors that use some of the energy generated to maintain the reaction through an active feedback system rather than passive. So instead of having a giant atom bomb that's kept from exploding with a barrier, you have a non-atom bomb that's made into an atom bomb by a barrier that has to be actively held up. Then you just pulse the barrier to modulate the reaction and achieve whatever power output you want. It won't change needing a cold sink, but it could be a lot smaller since you aren't having as much waste.

Comment Re:Great loadbalancer (Score 1) 340

I don't know, maybe there's some session management and auth stuff that's slowing it down but I have not noticed it being quick, or even as fast as Apache. I mean, it's been pretty common practice to put apache on the front of tomcat for quite a while and use redirection to serve static content. With a lightweight cache/reverse proxy it's even easier and faster.

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