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Comment Re:professors (Score 1) 73

As the head of a university, Agarwal has a vested interest in receiving a continuing stream of cheap grad student and postdoc labor. His views are predictable: mumble mumble 'online courseware' mumble 'disruption' mumble mumble 'grad school good' mumble mumble unicorns rainbows mumble 'everyone should get advanced degrees.'

There's a bit of irony here: edX is at least embracing the destructive change, even if he's impacting the stark unemployment numbers facing outlier-field PhDs today. Compare this to blind denial: my local fishwrap publisher won't shut up about how his paper will survive, but won't change. He thinks he just has to outwait this faddish innernets-thing...

Comment Re:This actually looks really unusable (Score 1) 317

It looks cool, but I'm not optimistic about this. This reminds me of what sucks about new car stereos and touchscreen phones: I can't do stuff without looking at the damn buttons, and I used to have that blind-friendly interface via tactile feedback.

Buttons and Joysticks have an advantage touchpads and pushy circles lack: Nuanced tactile response. I can *feel* which direction I have the joystick jammed, with an accuracy of several degrees. That normally wouldn't seem like much, until the motion arc of half-an-inch is taken into consideration. Tactile controllers and buttons and joysticks provide back-pressure my finger or thumb feels: 185 degrees feels vastly different than 180 or 175 degrees. If I want to transmit a control action a few degrees left or right, I make and feel the course adjustment before I see it on-screen. If I push A-B repeatedly and keep 'guessing' that B is further than it is, I don't need to glance down to know I overshot -- my thumb feels I'm on the far crown of the button and I adjust the spacing almost subconsciously until I've got their relative positions **LOCKED**.

We all know this isn't new stuff, but by FSM, all manufacturers seem intent upon ignoring the concepts. More recent rental cars I've driven do seem to be trying to unlearn a decade of mistakes on car stereos, though: I'm seeing toggles and buttons in the steering wheel, sometimes the pushbutton interface of 1950's AM car stereos is back with helpful info appearing onscreen above each button... eventually. I'm curious where we'll end up. Maybe voice obviates the need. Or maybe we'll get OLED buttons and folks can stop trying to uninvent tactile interfaces. Or maybe the maker of a 50 dollar joystick will realize that spending extra beans on tactile components is worth it for a device that will consume hundreds of user hours on applications where tactile response is a crux competitive advantage.

Comment Re:FEMA, as usual, screwing up big time (Score 1) 356

Sorry, but I'm with them. You say bonkers stuff that lacks documentation. When challenged, you talk about how great america was 80 years ago... 1933? That's your metric of american greatness? I mean, I personally have a soft spot for '33 cuz that's when my dad was born, but it was the Depression. Perhaps you've heard of how sucky things were until the 40's? If not, might I direct you to Wikipedia and any other encyclopedia or history book.

American greatness has nothing to do with you inventing a pseudohistory invoking a stalinistic FEMA. Get. A. Grip.

Comment Re:Short memories (Score 1) 95

You may already understand this, but a good method for map-reduce optimization is token combination (combining synonyms and misspellings and such). I'm not a googler, but have presumed that is behind google being good at similar terms (merging tokens) and poor with quoted strings.

If I'm not wrong, you'd in effect be saying 'damn the specialized system for not allowing an impossible output'.

Comment Re:Bitcoin is to money as email is to mail (Score 1) 147

A partially flawed analogy since the postal service seems to be under partisan siege.

I suspect that you're right that postal services are imploding due to more convenience via internet.

Going a bit further, their only chance in the face of email convenience would be to adapt as they used to (post offices have served numerous other civic purposes in the past). Services like exchanges for Bitcoin are interestingly an example of the sort of space where I'd trust a public trust agency like the post office. Certificate and identity management, anonymized communication, secure public internet, services that support international commerce... adding trust and consistency.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 1) 325

By 2035 100 Million bloggers and expert-wannabes will be predicting things that may or may come true (and no one will remember or care that they were wrong).

Why wait? I predict 100 million bloggers and wankers predicting random shit NEXT YEAR! NEXT MONTH! NEXT WEEK!

(btw, bravo; no mod points or I'd give you them instead of this lame post).

Comment Re:Fails on multiple counts (Score 3, Interesting) 303


A pc with a Linux OS that lets me stream netflix via any means including WINE is 2nd place behind native linux code, but the movie did indeed 'come to linux'. I don't have to reinstall my OS or run in a VM? It's on linux. And who the fuck cares about notepad; MS OFFICE RUNS UNDER WINE (some versions, YMMV, some limitations may apply).

Purism matters nothing in the crossover wars: if I can get netflix to stream on linux, it's better than if it won't.

Comment Re:No surprise (Score 1) 570

I hate Oracle as much as the next geek, but Sun really shit the bed all by themselves w/r/t solaris, before Oracle bought them.

Full disclosure: I adore ZFS. I hop between Debian and Solaris and OS-X and windows. I just could never make a compelling economic argument for sun boxen after about 1998, and certainly not as desktops to keep people well-versed in the idiosyncracies of that specific *nix flavor.

Comment Re:Have a look at Earth??? (Score 1) 106

Numbers and selective evidence notwithstanding, I'd hardly consider the last decade an exemplary war-free period. Meanwhile, Mars hasn't attacked.

Tell me more about this relativism that has you thinking we're no longer a warlike species. It at least sounds nice.

Comment Re:erm, no? (Score 2) 88

No, GP is right. It's a different scenario, but it's valid:

If 1 in a thousand users installs X, find a way to target X across a corporation. One hit gets you in. Beachhead there, figure out where to go next or what you can collect.

**THAT** is how to discreetly pwn a corporate net.

Some attackers go big, because their payout is # of machines taken. Some attackers are after a narrow niche: what'll company X be announcing, how their stock is likely to perform, data of value to competitors, etc. Their payout is the same if they own one or a thousand machines in a corporation.

Comment Re:Elevation changes make hyperloop almost impossi (Score 2) 253

Engineering is about compromises. First, didn't read TFA, but 600 MPH in the summary clashes with your 1000 MPH. Did it say 'mean speed of 600', as opposed to peak speed?

Second, a 'pinnacle' design could make this work. Think like new coasters that either have a 2nd acceleration point or reverse back to start: Go fast, then slow down, then go fast again. Modern engineering's got more than a few tricks -- mix 'em up: pod accelerates at each end, undergoes inductive breaking in as few spots as possible, goes 'slowly' where it makes sense, introduces banks/curves to keep the G-forces palatable, and chooses a route that optimizes against all of these.

If you tell me I can go SFO to LAX in 38 minutes instead of 30 (and a net transit of 60 mins), I'm still happier than I'd be with current alternatives, whether driving or air. Hell, get me and a ton of freight there in under 2 hours and I'd like it.

Comment Re:Double edged sword (Score 1) 321

Three questions:

What's the difference between a broken snoop and one that's turned off? Put another way, 'OMG HAPPENED BECAUSE YOU MADE US TURN OFF PRISM & ETC!' is just as easy to fearmonger as crapfloods, isn't it?

What does 'hats on the ground' mean?

Guessing contextually... Can they be asshat hats on the ground? Cuz I might be in favor of that...

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