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Comment Re:Aggregating the aggregators (Score 1) 60

I guess you don't believe you've fallen into the trap of "naive reality"?

No, not really. My assertion is merely that at least some aspects of 'reality' are not correlated with belief state. Not necessarily that they are 'knowable' in some terribly useful way, or otherwise epidemiologically tractable.

Comment Re:Fortunately for Jobs (Score 1) 129

I think pediatric donors are covered by parental consent or lack thereof (which you could presumably gather ahead of time, exactly as you gather the parents' own consent ahead of time) and it wouldn't be terribly difficult to exclude last minute converts: the mechanisms are already in place for people to opt in, and all you'd need is opt-in date to know how recently they filed, which would allow you to either establish blanket minimums or category minimums based on how far ahead a given organ usually gives warnings of impending failure.

Comment Re:Resolution wars (Score 1) 70

Based on the fairly favorable reviews of the 41 million pixel Nokias, there are apparently some clever tricks to turn lots of fairly lousy pixels into a smaller number of better ones.

Given that the state of sensor tech is basically the same at all (reasonable) sensor sizes, you are still going to get better results with a bigger chip than you will with the pitiful little sliver in your average cellphone; but apparently having more pixels is, at least potentially, a useful thing.

Comment Re:Why is the lens still plastic? (Score 1) 70

There are good glass / alternative options out there that will hold up to some abuse a little better. i.e. it won't look frosted over time from minute scratches.

Aside from cost(polycarbonate compares quite favorably to cheap glass, and exotic optical glass isn't cheap), I suspect that they like the failure mode of plastics better. Scratch resistance, even with hard-coat, isn't so hot, so they will 'fog' slightly over time if exposed to abrasion; but that's a relatively slow process and may remain tolerable even once it starts. Glass, especially the surface-toughened stuff that all the smartphone kids are using these days, has lovely scratch resistance; but poke it just a bit too hard and it's massive dramatic cracking time. If you are stacking 6 teeny pieces in the (constrained) space of a modern cellphone, you'd probably be talking about some touchy slivers of glass.

Comment Re:Specialism (Score 3, Interesting) 306

"Among them are 4 (four) Flash developers. As a test, when we moved to another building and they all got new computers last year, I made them configure their mail reader (MS Outlook) by themselves. Just gave them each a piece of paper with everything they needed, set them loose, and observed. One immediately came back asking for help, and two of the others wouldn't have got it working without assistance from the fourth."

What surprises me most about that is not so much that they aren't familiar with Outlook configuration (webmail has butchered general knowledge that 'email' is even something that you don't just get from a website, and Outlook's heaviest presence is in corporate/institutional where IT tends to automagic as much of that as they can, lest they have to walk you through it.); but that someone of their demographic (junior, recent graduates, presumably comparatively young) wouldn't Just Fucking Google It before asking a potentially embarrassing question. Especially given that googling around a bit is more or less the standard response to a situation where documentation is lacking or unclear on some programming matter.

The fact that they lacked specific knowledge of a given mail client isn't too surprising(though Outlook isn't rocket surgery, so failure to figure it out is a little weirder); but how does somebody make it through programmer school without picking up on the fact that the internet is a repository of many secrets and asking it can save you a lot of time and trouble?

Comment Re:Aggregating the aggregators (Score 4, Insightful) 60

I guess no one's ever heard of auto correlation. If enough people say something is what everyone else believes then it becomes the truth.

There is this curious phenomenon, known as 'reality', that is known to exhibit behavior wholly uncorrelated with human belief states. Often painful; but occasionally hilarious.

Comment Re:The key is cost (Score 1) 245

It doesn't necessarily come down to humans (who can't necessarily save you if very fast responses are required or very subtle deviations need to be detected), though they can certainly help; but cost is much of the problem on the software side as well. More than a few important things run at the 'incompetent and overworked IT staff usually apply patches within a few months of release, assuming it isn't one of the systems that the vendor says you shouldn't touch' level and people are unwilling enough to shell out what it would take to bring them up to 'commercial best practice' levels, much less the (stratospheric, if we even have enough suitably qualified humans available) cost of 'all formally proven and whatnot'...

Comment Re:Complexity (Score 2) 306

On the plus side, while the upper bound for complexity(sometimes necessary, sometimes self-imposed) shows no signs of slowing down, the supply of problems that are tractable with historical methods shows no sign of exhaustion.

If the slashdot-asker is asking because his boss wants a problem that isn't a member of that category solved, or the cheap offshore labor has gotten adequate at solving that class of problems for peanuts, he is undeniably in serious trouble; but the mere existence of greater complexity does not appear to have actually solved all the lower complexity problems.

Comment Re:Precisely how... (Score 2) 147

ACPI WMI specs from the HW makers would be nice. It's frustrating how many laptops have broken hotkeys under Linux.

If we are currently at the point where you can't even get the details of what the Windows Management Instrumentation blobs embedded in the motherboard firmware mean, that might be another reason why somebody running a Linux company might dislike ACPI...

As long as (through some mixture of overt standard-setting to that effect, and basic 'you actually think that we are going to keep testing our BIOS once it boots Windows? That means that it's ready to ship!' OEM engineering) proprietary firmware is basically the lowest level of Windows drivers, writing other OSes on top of it just isn't going to be a pleasant experience.

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If the aborigine drafted an IQ test, all of Western civilization would presumably flunk it. -- Stanley Garn

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