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Comment Re:5 years (Score 1) 525

I did ten years. It's the greatest job in the world... except for the people.

This sounds like a specific case of the general rule-of-thumb I've known throughout my multiple jobs/careers, "XXX is a great place to work except for the customers". And here 'customers' is a euphemism for the people that pay your salary/wages in either a direct or indirect way. But maybe you were talking about your co-workers instead of the general public (which would be the military's "customers" IMHO)?

Comment books! (Score 1) 700

Oooh, one of the better Ask Slashdot's in a while IMHO.

To the OP:
The Elements of Style - Makes you a better writer after reading in one sitting
How to Win Friends and Influence People" - Previously mentioned, but essential. Still, it is mostly "don't be an asshole".
The Selfish Gene - Realize the REAL power and strength of Darwin's arguments. This shows how Natural Selection 'magically' creates order in a chaotic universe.
Flatland - Also previously mentioned but really essential for breaking your brain in a good way.
War and Peace - The first big "historical fiction" I'm aware of and yet rooted in reality with a great setting to boot (the Napoleonic invasions of Russia). It would be like me writing a book on WWII. The last 100 pgs or so are good but mostly a rant though.
Madame Bovary - This book is hysterical when you realize it is just an antiquated moral justification for why woman should not read books (especially romance novels). The story's still entertaining as I recall.
1984 and Animal Farm - The usual suspects and see the next to see I'm clearly an Orwell fan.
Down and Out in Paris and London - This is where I learned that the more you pay for food at a restaurant, the more hands have touched the food (among many other things). Also, working in a Parisian kitchen in the early 20th century is like working in fast food now.
Crime and Punishment"Crime and Punishment - Get inside the mind of a thrill killer and realize even crazy people think very rationally. This is helpful when you read the latest crazy doing something inconceivable in the news and now know it seemed very logical to them at the time.
The Doors of Perception and really anything by Aldous Huxley including Brave New World - The Doors of Perception is of course where the band "The Doors" got their name and it, and the collection of associated essays I read at the time, really bring together why people like shiny things -- i.e., they associate them with god or a higher-being intuitively. I love essentially everything Huxley wrote (with Brave New World my least favorite), but his essays are fucking great!
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" - Great story, sci-fi, and allegory, a la "Star Wars", wrt to the American Revolution.

in contrast though, don't read: Stranger in a Strange Land - Total shit, beyond the initial premise, which is good, the book is just gratuitous New Age bullshit and will rot your brain. The only value in this book is defining the term "grok" -- I know I'll get flamed for this but it's true...

I've got a few more, but I need to think about them more...

Comment Re:You Tell Me If You're Too Old; What Is Your Goa (Score -1, Flamebait) 418

Mod parent up because the answer is GP. OP was a mercenary for the bubble times and is not interested in tech, let him burn... Programming, like many professional fields, is one you have to continue to learn because the field develops. You can't just slide by with the crappy fad info your college was spinning through you when you were an undergraduate. This OP actually disgusts me a little and is a poor excuse for a techy...uggghhhh...

Comment Re:"while operating a taxicab" (Score 1) 264

How the hell is this consistent at all with, to use a buzzword, American values?

Why shouldn't I be able to cruise around in my car and offer people rides for money without City Hall's permission?

One important reason I can think of is for the rider's safety. I wouldn't knowingly get in an unlicensed tax because they could just kidnap or rob you of all your money with no ramifications. Oftentimes, people riding from airports have a lot of cash on them or other valuables and are good targets. At least with the medallions, there is some track record of the taxis and some legitimacy to them. If you were robbed you could report the taxi and potentially track it down. While just some dude in his own car could easily get away.

Comment Re:Romney waived a red flag (Score 1) 836

It sounded to me like there wasn't an electronic trace of a hacking break-in, but that someone just social-engineered their way into the accounting office, scanned the 1040s to .pdf, copied them to flash drives and walked out. I haven't RthisFA but another one that I read yesterday made it sound like that was what likely (if anything) happened. However, from most accounts, Romney's 1040s would be hundreds of papers each year, so maybe there was no scanning by the intruder at al, and they just sneakernet the stuff off someone's computer inhouse.

Submission + - Valve Confirms Hardware Plans (

redletterdave writes: "Valve is reportedly interested in building hardware. The Bellevue, Wash.-based software developer added a job posting to its site on Tuesday morning for an industrial designer. "We're frustrated by the lack of innovation in the computer hardware space though, so we're jumping in," the posting said. "There's a real void in the marketplace, and opportunities to create compelling user experiences are being overlooked.""

Submission + - Most Torrent Downloaders Are Monitored, Study Finds (

derekmead writes: A new study from Birmingham University in the U.K. found that people will likely be monitored within hours of downloading popular torrents by at least one of ten or more major monitoring firms. The team, led by security research Tom Chothia, ran software that acted like a BitTorrent client for three years and recorded all of the connections made to it. At SecureComm conference in Padua, Italy this week, the team announced that they found huge monitoring operations tracking downloaders that have been up and running for at least the entirety of their research. According to the team's presentation (PDF), monitors were only regularly detected in Top 100 torrents, while monitoring of more obscure material was more spotty.

What’s really mysterious is who all of the firms are. Chothia’s crew found around 10 different monitoring entities, of which a few were identifiable as security companies, copyright firms, or other torrent researchers. But six entities could not be identified because they were masked through third party hosting. Now, despite firms focusing mostly on just the top few searches out there at any given time, that’s still a massive amount of user data to collect and store. Why? Well, if a reverse class-action lawsuit were feasible, those treasure troves of stored data would be extremely valuable.

Comment Re:Considering... (Score 1) 157

Fair enough, but I think based on this, there is some subdivision that is being recognized in the scientific chronology that at least "remotely" corresponds to modern reality.

To follow the PC approach of being blind that there ARE differences (if only morphological) between groups of humans just promotes ignorance. I want to understand how these migration patterns developed. I get the impression these scientists are under a lot of pressure to make sure that everyone was well-mixed 60-100,000 years ago and the differences we see now in everyday life are just the corner cases of this wildly variable population.

However, the striking refutation of this supposition is that you can't dispute that most Africans that live near Africans look like Africans, Asians that live near Asians look like Asians, and Caucasians living near Caucasians look like Caucasians, and all the permutations you can think of in between back in Victorian times.

There's something there that's different, and I refuse to believe the Tower of Babel was the thing that divided homo sapiens into 3+ races! It's still amazing to me how humans today look drastically different than ancestors from just 30,000 years ago. As I've said in a previous post. That's BARELY, pre-historic. Imagine what we'll look like in 3000 AD. My suspicion -- we'll look like the Greys. :)

Comment Re:Considering... (Score 2) 157

Exactly, and why in one of my posts the big Max Planck guy (Svante Pääbo in this article) that has been doing a lot of this DNA analysis thinks they are all sub-species of homo sapiens. In one article I read, he basically said he doesn't want to get into the debate about what a species is because it gets complicated. They interbred though he thinks from what I've read and he did one of the big Neanderthal studies and this Denisovans one and compared them to modern humans so I think he has a better idea than most people.

Comment Re:Considering... (Score 1) 157

Thanks, so far, you have had the most intriguing insight into this but from what I've read there are still big movers/shakers in the field that think Neandartals/Denisovans did interbreed and also have a significant impact on the the downstream homo sapiens. Do you have any good review papers you can point me to that would summarize the state of the science?

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