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Comment Re:No shit (Score 5, Insightful) 491

There is less proof of god's existence. I don't see him chasing around people who say stuff about him. The US government, on the other hand, seems to be extremely eager to get their hands on him and shut him up. That in itself is an implied admission of guilt, or they'd write him off as a crackpot just like all the other crackpots. When did you see a 9/11 truther get their passport revoked, get stuck in a foreign country's airport, and have presidential planes diverted just because of the possibility he could be on board? Never. Because those are real crackpots. But Snowden is dangerous to the government. That's proof enough.

Comment Re:At 48, I got an offer from FB, but... (Score 2) 432

Not really discrimination if there are reasons. Old people are in physical and mental decline. Old people also aren't a minority: just like it's OK for a female manager to prefer to hire women, or a black manager to prefer blacks, the young can prefer their own kind. Sorry, time to die.

I've got news for you sonny -- we're *all* in physical and mental decline. If you think you are going to live forever, think again.

But the decline goes at different rates for each of us, it starts from different points, and is offset (in most cases) by gains in maturity, experience, and wisdom. So the bottom line is you can't make any useful generalization whatsoever about the ability of a fifty year-old to do programming vs the ability of a 25 year-old. It depends on all the things that add up to that unique person.

This is what's broken about bigoted thinking. It reduces people to some kind of ill-conceived average for their "group", when it ought to be evaluating them as individuals. Back in the 90s there was a controversial book called "The Bell Curve" which pointed out that there was a racial difference in IQs between blacks and whites, and made a number of (stupid) policy recommendations based on that difference. The inevitable shit-storm followed, in which the validity of IQ tests was questioned (in some cases with good reason), but lost in the shuffle was a simple mathematical fact: even if we assume that IQ tests are a perfect, unbiased measure of mental capability, and accept the racial differences in scores as measuring something real, those aggregate differences give almost no useful guidance in making decisions about *individuals*. That's because under those assumptions, something like 40% of blacks are smarter than 50% of whites. When you're looking for very high scoring individuals, they occur as statistical flukes in both groups.

Where that leaves you is that when intelligence is an important factor in judging a candidate for something, *especially* if you're looking for high scoring individuals, you have to judge individuals on their own merits. Skin color is at best statistically useless as a selection filter, at worst self-defeating.

The analogy holds for age differences. Even if we grant that 25 year-olds are on average more capable programmers than 50 year-olds (which is doubtful), it nonetheless remains that the vast majority of 25 year-old programmers are mediocre. It may be true that mental decay has shifted some fifty year-olds from the high performer category to the mediocre category, but it remains true that high performers are statistical flukes in either group. So gray hair has no value as a filter if you are looking for *good* programmers. They're a fluke in any category.

By the way, about older people being "minorities" -- they are effectively so *for purposes of anti-discrimination laws*. The term of art you are looking for is "protected class". So the good news for all you young, white American males who resent the legal protections minorities get is that all you have to do is survive until you are forty and you'll be protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.

Comment Business models (Score 4, Interesting) 198

Ahh the joys of self-financing government departments. "We believe those assets were used in connection with a crime". Suddenly, they don't have to prove anything, they just have to seize it and it's theirs. Nice and convenient. Can they even prove where the bitcoins came from?

Comment Re:Ok.... (Score 1) 163

From what I saw in the video it looks like it will. In fact it seems they couldn't even attach one of the panels properly (lower left side). Now if IKEA has trouble building their own product, imagine some illiterate 3rd world peasant. Also, why the hell would you want to make things more comfortable in a shelter? You do NOT want to give people a reason to stay longer.

Comment Trust your government (Score 1) 331

"Collection and analysis of content is NSA's traditional way of reporting SIGINT. Content generally refers to words spoken during a telephone conversation or the written text of an email message. NSA collection of the content of telephony and Internet communications under the PSP improved its ability to produce intelligence on terrorist-related activity. For example, by allowing NSA access to links carrying communications with one end in the United States, NSA significantly increased its access to transiting foreign communications, ie, with both communicants outside the United States. General Hayden described this as "the real gold of the Program"..."

Taken from one of the leaked documents. But yeah, it's only metadata we promise.

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