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Comment Other agendas (Score 1) 433

I wonder if it hasn't gotten this way simply as a synthesis of multiple agendas and their outcomes.

Management wants to hire the cheapest possible talent. For a while, they achieve this goal, and the staff mix shifts towards less talented people. Productivity expectations don't go away and the more experienced/better staff shoulder the burden.

Management notices (perhaps even having to fire some quantity of cheap staff for obvious gaffes and lack of productivity), and listens to the chorus of "hire smarter people". So the interviews get harder, with the idea that this will allow smarter *and* cheaper hires.

This works to a degree, but now the more experienced people are somewhat threatened by an influx of smart *and* cheap staff. So the interview questions get much harder and more unrealistic under the guise of ever-smarter people requirements, but the actual goal is just raising the bar so that you wind up with really smart people but too far out on the spectrum, deficient in the soft skills that would allow them to rise in the organization. The old hands gain talent that eases the workload but greatly reduce the risk to their own organization standing.

Even if none of this is true, it still seems that an obviously flawed hiring process like this has to be a byproduct of agendas other than simply "hiring the most capable people". Still I think cost and self-preservation are probably large factors in these processes.

Comment Re:People still use AIM? (Score 1) 94

I don't know what Google are saying officially, but in practice Hangouts is deprecated - that is, Google are trying to push people towards alternative products - Allo, Duo, and Messages.

Which is a shame, I rather like it and like the (current) concept of it being a one stop shop for SMS messages, IMs, and transcribed voicemails.

Comment Re:People still use AIM? (Score 1) 94

I like Hangouts too.

The initial concerns with Hangouts were that it was tied to Google Plus, that Google Plus had that stupid real names policy, and that it was a replacement for Google Chat, which was phased out so nobody could use it any more. Once the Google Plus related issues were fixed, there wasn't really a reason to want to use Google Chat over Hangouts, so it became quite a good system.

The major issue with Hangouts is that Google doesn't want it any more, so we're being pushed to use alternatives, yet again.

Comment Re:Really (Score 1) 101

OK, initially I read your argument as saying copper (or presumably Fiber) doesn't compete with coax. I'm assuming that's not what you're arguing.

That said, two companies competing is not a monopoly, but a duopoly. In theory some competition exists, even if not much.

I wouldn't argue 3G competes with FTTH because they're not comparable technologies while cable Internet, *DSL, and point-to-point WiMAX/etc are. The latter is, as you say, not popular, and I suspect there's less of it available now than there was a few years ago, largely because it was rolled out by independent ISPs who didn't have the marketing power of Comcast or at&t. But technologically, they deliver similar products, with similar bandwidths, and similar restrictions on their use.

Your comment about 3G raises an interesting question though: with 5G around the corner, and LTE already freeing mobile phone companies to loosen the shackles over mobile Internet usage, I wonder how far away we are from the major wireless companies becoming realistic alternatives to the big two.

Comment Re:Wut (Score 1) 504

Dropping rocks from the Moon? "Dropping" them? And who the fuck would waste so much money and energy trying to fling shit from the Moon when it's cheaper to use nukes from Earth itself and harder to intercept due to shorter distance?

So, Wu's argument is silly, but your rebuttal is equally silly.

Obviously you don't just "drop" a rock from the moon. You have to use a rocket or mass driver to get it out of the moon's gravity well, and you have to do it at the right time and angle to hit your target. I think that's implicit.

And obviously, using a nuclear-tipped ICBM is easier... but corporations don't have nuclear weapons, and given the regulations in most (all?) of the world would have a difficult time acquiring the materials needed to make them without being discovered. But some corporations probably will be able to get to the moon, and potentially build mass drivers on the moon.

I don't think this is anything we really need to worry about until/unless someone actually starts doing it. It'd be obvious, and shutting it down would be (relatively) easy... nukes could be used. But arguing that nukes are easier for corporations is ridiculous, because building a mass driver on the moon would be easier than acquiring nukes.

Comment Re:"...diets heavily based on venison and fish..." (Score 1) 231

Except that human civilization has been grain based for millennia. (Indeed, contrary to the "paleo" fad, grain consumption goes back to the days of Neandderthals; our gatherer-hunter ancestors gathered wild grains.) But traditional agricultural societies didn't see the sort of obesity crisis we see in industrial societies. Industrial societies are marked by high sugar consumption -- particularly in the past few decades -- which can led to general overeating, as everything becomes sweeter and more palatable. (Note how the title jumps right over the sugar to noodles.)

Industrial societies are also marked by sedentary lifestyles.

Overeating bad. Sugar bad, Meat bad, though the flesh of free-living wild animals is somewhat less bad than industrially-raised animals bred for generations to be fat. Dairy bad. Highly processed industrial food products bad. Grains ok if not over-processed; weight towards whole grains and heirloom varieties. Vegetables good. Legumes good.

And exercise good.

Comment Re:The old saying rarely fit better (Score 2) 504

No, but I can imagine a context where someone might say things that aren't sensible. I've said it before, but we're on Slashdot right now. Most of us are software developers or otherwise work in IT at levels where our friends and family have a certain degree of awe about us. Most of us have been called "geniuses" (albeit not necessarily by our peers...)

Yet you see the most ridiculous nonsense posted here on a regular basis. And if the truth be told, while most of us think what we say is true, we're all keenly aware that a good proportion is stuff we don't have enough direct knowledge about to consider ourselves experts.

Wu's comments were made on Twitter, and that's all we know right now. If Wu was responding to a comment saying "As a possible Congresswoman, would you support a bill assisting private ventures to the moon?" and her response was "Fuck no, what about them moon rocks? All they need is a catapult and then BLAMMO! No more Earth! Do you really want Elon Musk to have that kind of power?" then, yeah, uhm, what a dumbass.

On the other hand, if it was a general discussion of colonizing the moon, and her thought was "Oh, I'm sure a war between the Moon and Earth would be devastating. Their lower gravity would make it easier for them to launch missiles at us, hell, they could probably send large rocks with much less power behind them than you'd think", then, well, that's usually a +5 Interesting comment on Slashdot, even if it is fundamentally flawed.

She's deleted the tweet. The Washington Times article is bereft of context. It was a Twitter thought. I... don't have enough to judge. I don't think anyone does. It was a dumb comment, perhaps, but we all make dumb comments. Regardless of context she has to learn that making dumb comments when running an election campaign is not a good idea.

Comment Re:$700 GTFO (Score 1) 136

It's not bad an investment if:

1. You have a multimonitor set-up.
2. You don't intend to replace it for 10 years.
3. You want something powerful enough for whatever it is that's in at the moment. Right now that's VR I guess.

Source: I know people who spent that kind of money on graphics cards over 10 years ago, and are finally considering upgrading.

Me? I have a single 1080p monitor and have no problems upgrading a $100 card every 5 years. So I'm not the target market, but I don't begrudge those who are.

Comment Self-appointed identity representatives (Score 1) 504

Why should I feel represented by someone just because they happen to have something in common with me?

I'll bet this is true of most self-appointed representatives of interest groups.

I'd even wager to say that there are a lot of racists who turn on TV and see some neo-Nazi and think "that guy is so dumb".

Comment Re:The old saying rarely fit better (Score 1) 504

I'd actually love to hear some context for her comments. They're apparently outlandish, but is she really running on a political platform of Moon Rock Skepticism, or did she mention the idea during a general discussion of, say, science fiction (her husband is a science fiction writer, so this isn't as unlikely as it might sound.) If the context isn't ludicrous, I'd hope that she takes a lesson away from this, that when you start a campaign for office you need to understand you no longer have a personal life, and you have even more enemies than when you started.

If the context is as silly as it sounds, Wu needs to step down, recognize her faults, work on them, and consider running when she better understands the political process.

As someone who is more sympathetic to the social issues Wu identifies with, I'm not one way or another about Wu herself - she was pretty intensely targeted by the Gamergate crowd and she stood up for herself, but she's also not always been the most sympathetic and politically constructive person to fight bigotry, and often conformed closely enough to the stereotype of the unhinged SJW to be damaging.

I think Wu knows a lot about many subjects, but like many of us, she thinks she knows a lot about other issues that, perhaps, she's a little lacking in, in much the same way as you might trust Ben Carson to do surgery on you, but not advise you on health insurance reform.

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