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Comment What sex was the researcher with the clipboard? (Score 4, Interesting) 144

Not to be funny, but there's a well-established phenomenon where men exhibit greater pain tolerance in the presence of a woman, but women don't exhibit similar bias in front of men. If any of the researchers were female (and from their names, some were), that would bias the results.

Comment Re:How does it compare? (Score 1) 396

Not every program has well-designed output you can consume in a shell pipeline easily. Even then, to do so you're going to have to learn grep, sed, awk, head, tail, cut, a few others besides.

Powershell packages output up neatly into objects, so you don't have to learn and use all those text parsing tools to be productive with it. Essentially it moves the burden of thinking about how to use the output efficiently onto the writer of the commandlets, where it should be, and that means that the effort is only spent once, instead of over and over again by every subsequent user of that tool having to write code to parse it's output like you do in POSIX style shells.

It's an approach that has it's downside - if the information you want isn't neatly packaged up as a property by the author, you're going to have to work to get it, whereas with a normal tool that just spews a text-wall to STDOUT you might have a hope of finding it in there.

Comment Re:What will be Uber's unique angle? (Score 1) 365

Network effects. A small taxi firm can only have so many vehicles. Uber can be the nearest auto-cab in town, most of the time, just like Subway is often the nearest sandwich shop (there are 5 in Leeds city centre, 11 in Manchester, and 14 in the heart of London, despite the vast proliferation of independent eateries already there).

Comment Re:More like 11 reasons to be depressed about tech (Score 4, Interesting) 282

9) refers to the amount of fresh water that has to be processed to make a pound of beef, not the amount the beef has in it. If you only count water that's destroyed... well, none of it is. After you eat the beef you piss or shit out the tissue water and even turn much of the other stuff into carbon dioxide and water. But we still have to spend the energy reprocessing all that water to raise the cow and process it's carcass.

I agree that many of the technologies just make dystopia easier to do as well though. Drones? Everyone will be watching everything. AI? That's what will be doing the watching and reporting to it's masters for signs of dissent. Pocket supercomputers? A window into the soul of every user that nicely complements the airborne drone tracking their movements.

And yes, computerized medicine (and other forms of labour) don't help unless you make the fruits of those labours widely available - and not just to those with jobs, because eliminating jobs is the whole point of them.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 385

You know businesses pay a percentage to handle cash as well, right?

Here in the UK you can get a business account that provides free handling of automated transactions if you have a slightly elevated cash handling rate. The rate for a normal "cash handling" business is 4.8-6.2%

Now, I get that you can avoid some of that by paying your suppliers in cash, etc. But it's a myth that cash payments are inherently advantageous to all merchants.

Comment Re:Backups are really painful in fishing expeditio (Score 1) 80

Ugh, Bit9 is pure evil, from a programmer POV.

It hashes every file you read and write and denies you access to them.

We had that configured on a whitelist basis. The programmers had the option of overriding it, but as you can imagine, clicking through a dialog every time you make a 1-char change to every script file can be quite frustrating.

It also took a file-heavy process that used to run in 90 seconds and made it consume 14 minutes.

Comment Basically a giant Stanford Prison Experiment (Score 4, Insightful) 128

It's like the Stanford Prison Experiment, only with a lot more experimental groups.

This and the whole situation you have with shootings of blacks should be no surprise. You give one group of people power over another group with insufficient checks and balances, they misbehave and turn into giant douches.

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