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Comment Had to read pretty deep... (Score 5, Insightful) 463

So the real story in their cherry picked example is two fold:
-It's wildly inaccurate, and Northpointe's product should be put out to pasture and never used, period.
-A system is being used to influence punishment that is not open to auditing because 'proprietary'.

Note that the systems explicitly did not have knowledge of race. So we have two possibilities:
-Some criteria that correlates to race is triggering it
-The system is perpetuating existing bias in perception and reality. For example:
      -"Was one of your parents ever sent to jail or prison?" could easily cause the ghosts of prejudice that caused unjust incarceration to recur today.
    -"How often do you get in fights at school?" Again, if one is subjected to racial tension, they may unfairly be a party to fights they didn't ask for.

Comment Much ado about nothing... (Score 1) 221

FTA: "The rules require employers to issue a disclaimer before they check applicants' online accounts"

So part of the application process will be a statement that "by submitting your application you agree that the company may view your public account on social media sites."

Why is this a big deal? I always do light research candidates online, it's a way of validating what is on their resume. I've even had co-workers with spouses/friends who work at the places where the candidates are, and I've gotten feedback that made me not consider them.

How the hell are you supposed to hire someone if you don't learn about them? Of course, I am only interested in how they are at their job, not in their personal life.

Comment Are you sure? (Score 1) 254

Firstly, he is all about owning people's information. I would have no reason to believe he is doing this out of the goodness of anything - because he could do that without a press release.

I don't necessarily disagree with your view in premise, but I don't understand this part:

There is a real problem in this country where people stay within their own "bubble" ... hopelessly ignorant of this issue in our society.

What exactly is the "problem" or "issue"? That people stay within their own areas of interest, or simply have subsets of our society that they are a part of, because of choice or otherwise? Why is reaching outside of your own bubble, or in this case into other people's bubbles, inherently a good thing?

Comment Re:Stop it! (Score 1) 305

- he doesn't know how to do a proper SQL query, handle the transaction and close the connection after

Do you one better, doesn't know when *not* to be using database technology at all. Throwing a database (sql or 'nosql', 'webscale' or otherwise) at every little thing is just bad form.

Comment Re:More like 'morbidly obese CODE BLOAT' (Score 1) 305

There is thankfully at least some trend of using 'static site builders' to do things static, with CSS to fool people into thinking it's appropriately 'modern' despite having a sane underpinning, without doing unnaturaly things with database backends and javascript and such).

However that trend isn't nearly so pervasive as it should be.

Comment Re:because the web owes newbies.....what exactly (Score 2) 305

On the flipside, while these people *think* they are making expertly crafted sites, they've in practice poorly duct taped a bunch of stuff that looks fancy at a glance, but behaves crazy and is damned near impossible for anyone to figure out what's going on.

What's happened here is we have a whole ton of people who can do the equivalent of drywall, paint, and decoration work, but can't build foundations or framing. Complicating things is the decision makers frequently can only judge the superficial, so teams that are good at doing that structural stuff but can't make attractive front end will be passed over for teams that can make something attractive, but works terribly.

Comment Re:Too much abstraction is the problem (Score 1) 305

Further complicating matters is the often erroneous assumption that you simply *must* use some sort of framework. Javascript has matured, and while it still is missing a lot of basic stuff (e.g. basic string formatting), it is pretty well capable.

For example, some people are afraid of XMLHTTPRequest and will use a framework to do it for them, despite them having to do about the same amount of work, but from the browser debug window, it's a whole lot more convoluted. In fact interaction with the server side *continues* to be the first thing these frameworks are standing up to try to 'help' me with, followed closely by things like an alternative version of getElementby* functions that are slower and not really any easier to use either.

On the flip side, if I'm making UI elements, it's not *too* terrible to manipulate divs and do CSS to make those abstract HTML elements act like UI elements, but it tends to be the most tedious thing and frameworks are in fact generally not that much to help with that part. Of course before you go off making 'UI elements', you better be damned sure that much silliness really makes sense in the specific context, and that you are not hiding some straightforward information behind too much snazziness.

Comment Bad news, good news.. (Score 1) 305

Bad news: most web content has outgrown the simplistic 'view source'.

Good news: As javascript has matured, technologies like java, flash, and activex in the browser that was used in the 'good old days' to get around how useless it was have gone away, and javascript is at least source (more to come)

Better news: Browsers now have developer tools that can enable far more capable tinkering than was dreamed of in the 'view source' days. You can dynamically screw with html, css, and javascript, adding and deleting and trying things and reverse engineering a web site in incredible ways. See how it interacts via the network tab, look at the stack trace to discover the code that is trying to interact with that server side call. Look at any piece of thing visually on the page and look at the event listeners t ochase down code, etc.

Discouraging news: The tendency to minify will mangle code in terrible ways. The whitespace removal is reversible, but the name mangling and globbing all files together and other things are hard to overcome.

The real terrible news: The use of 'framework of the week' tends to screw up the debug capability of those developer tools. The event listeners on a DOM element are inscrutible and the stack trace of a network call can be very tall and magically not even include the 'real' code that arranged for that interaction (hidden behind some trick like scheduling request with setTimeout to get the good stuff out of the stack for BS reasons).

Now one could lament that it is no longer acceptable to have plain-old, unstyled, static HTML, but 'view source' doesn't factor in there, and there is at least some refreshing resurgence of static content, albeit with styling to make it 'look pretty'.

Comment You had me up until "this is a real story" (Score 1) 944

What you state is correct, but the real tragedy here is that people treat things like this - internet trolls, and even real-life trolls like Trump - as real news.
The more attention Trump gets for the unimportant things he does and says, the less is being paid towards the important things he does or does not do. He's treating this country like a reality TV show, he knows how to push people's buttons. Too bad that isn't his job. People today are manipulated with such ease, even an idiot can do it. It says a lot about the mentality of both sides.

Comment Death by committee (Score 1) 484

Parents, who invest $1M per child and blood, sweat, tears and sleepless nights having input on what their child learns?? This concept is anathema to the fascist progressives and alt-left who believe they know better what your child should learn than you do, never mind that at best most of them hold a BA in philosophy or education, while there are many parents that hold MS and PhDs in hard science fields.

I get what you are saying.. but for every educated person who has a child in school there is an uneducated one... for everyone who sheds money, blood, sweat and tears, there is one who sheds meth or bigotry or hatred or bible-thumping. Your argument has to apply to them as well - that they get a say into what is taught.

Initially I feel really bad for whoever gets the job of "unbiased hearing officer" because I can't imagine a worse position to be in.
Then I feel really bad for the kids, who no matter what are not going to get good direction on learning.

Comment Here is how I read the summary... (Score 2) 399

An Afghan all-girl robotics team was denied entry into the US for a competition. If you are thinking it was because of the travel ban, it wasn't because a) Afghanistan wasn't part of the travel ban and b) teams from countries that were part of the bad were able to secure visas.

What I thought should have been highlighted more in the submission is that girls are generally denied education in Afghanistan so this was a big achievement for them. I also thought there could have been more details around the fact that visas are denied often for all kinds of reasons. The fact that one of the girls on the team doesn't understand why they weren't allowed in is somewhat meaningless. I also thought it was kind of interesting that they could still watch their robot perform via a live feed.

I didn't get any sense that this post was anti or pro Trump, or anti or pro any issue. I read it for what it was, and I think the people who are bitching on both sides of the "argument" in this post need to see this for what it is - a very poorly written story summary.

Comment another way to look at the obvious... (Score 1) 253

What a flawed question.

icons like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Belichick as proof that dogged dedication (usually measured by long hours) was the only way to reach the top of your field.

Please cite how many people have worked just as hard as these guys and were NOT at the top of their field. Then we can compare.

Burning out is real, and is very hard to recover from. I have been there, and it sucked. Sometimes you don't realize how bad it sucks until you get away from it.

And is "getting to the top of your field" really your goal? I know there are people who think "wow, I wish I could be like ", but the reality is that if you were like them, then you probably wouldn't be happy. Giving everything to your job to get to the top likely leaves you with nothing left but that job. There are exceptions, but the risk is that you give it all and don't get to the top. You will always wish you either gave more, or didn't even go down that path.

I'd rather be happy, thanks.

Comment Re:counterpoint... (Score 1) 117

Of course, it's rather hard to say for sure, and the counter-argument will be "but we could have created that anyway". But just off the top of my head..

- bootable distros. I remember the days when if you wanted to install a new version, you had to just do that. Everyone was thinking "just make the installer easier" but then the bootable distros came along and changed the game.

- Raspberry Pi. If there was only one distro, nobody might think it was worth it to create a small set of hardware if the thinking was only for desktop

- Android? Perhaps. With one distro, there would undoubtedly have been desire for control. That leads to stifling innovation, and just DOING new things.

- the various package managers, which absolutely improved the entirety of linux distros, ability to install, upgrade, and maintain systems.

- DEs. I love XFCE. There are others that are loved by many. Recently there is Cinnamon and MATE. If I had to use some "committee approved" DE I am sure there are things about it I wouldn't like.

- ANY package or app that you like. Maybe GIMP wouldn't be where it is now. Maybe not Libreoffice, or Firefox, or Chrome, or Chromebooks. Because if something didn't get approved by "THE" distro, it would be pointless to make it. Choice is the key, without that as a foundation, it's all about the committee approval.

- Google builds a lot of what it needs in-house, including their own distro. Would any of those variants be "allowed" in a controlled, 1-distro world?

That's the thing... by being an open landscape (you use the term fragmented) things are possible. Things are allowed to happen because no one entity controls it. It's evolutionary. If Debian didn't happen, then Ubuntu didn't happen, then Mint didn't happen. Probably the easiest way to conceptualize it is to look at what happens if it is NOT what Linux is.... Microsoft, Apple. Closed, walled gardens. Failed software and even companies along the way that got squashed because they weren't "preferred" by the powers that be.

Comment counterpoint... (Score 1) 117

What if this had ALWAYS been done? We most likely wouldn't have many of the great things we have now. Would we have a single perfect linux distro? I think that is wishful thinking.

Just have a look at this: Linux Distro Timeline and tell me that none of those things should have happened. Maybe SOME of them shouldn't, but that's a simple determination in hindsight.

Just look at what Knoppix spawned, and what it inspired. Sometimes you have to let the ones passionate about something run with it. Otherwise, it's death-by-committee.

The biggest strength can also be the biggest downfall... so while complaining about all the multitude of distros, which is comically overwhelming, some really great things have come out of that process which I firmly believe wouldn't have happened with a single driving direction.

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