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Comment Re: planned for AFTER hillary's election (Score 1) 60

> The fact that they are disenfranchising their voters means nothing.

Not at all. The ability to vote the way _some_ voters of their districts selected, rather than the current "winner-take-all" common practices, would indeed enfranchise many voters from their districts. It's also supported by the Constitution. Even a casual reading of Article II shows that the electors can use their judgment to select a President.

Comment Re:More holes than swiss cheese (Score 3, Informative) 48

>How can *one* piece of software have so many fucking critical vulnerabilities over the years?

Because it's spaghetti code. It's so bad that the single Linux maintainer flipped his shit years ago and wrote an angry blog post about it. I tried looking for the article, but that is too much of a needle/haystack problem.

Apparently it's been a fucking mess from the beginning.


Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Are you getting spammed by the Yahoo Recruiting Management System (

shanen writes: Can't even remember when I looked at that system, and never considered it seriously or even interviewed for a position at Yahoo. However twice in the last few weeks the Yahoo Recruiting Management System has sent me a bunch of notifications of matching job openings. Might be a bug, but I suspect it's a symptom...

So does anyone want to compare notes on what sorts of employees are leaving Yahoo most quickly? (Otherwise, I don't even have a reason to look at all the lovely email.)

Comment Re:Wrong even if correct (Score 5, Insightful) 227

Deflation is worse than inflation. Inflation devalues your savings, thus encouraging (forcing) you to go out there are do more work to earn more money (generate more productivity). Deflation increases the value of your savings, thus discouraging you from working - why bother doing something productive when the money you have stuffed under your mattress is increasing in value enough to pay for your living expenses?

Currencies are stable when the money supply expands at about the same rate as the productivity of the country's citizens (basically GDP - a combination of population growth and increased productivity due to technological advances). That causes prices to remain stable when measured in the currency. Ideally, a government with a fiat currency moderates their money supply to slightly exceed this productivity growth rate, which causes a slight amount of inflation (prices slowly climb). Yes it's true that when a government screws things up (e.g. Venezuela right now), it can cause massive problems. But like regular oil changes for your car, there's a huge incentive for all governments to maintain their own economy.

The whole reason we abandoned the gold standard is that it's really stupid to base your economy's health on the gamble that the amount of gold miners dug out of the ground each year would match the rate of growth of your country's GDP. Historically, the amount of gold mined each year did not keep pace with economic growth, resulting in deflation, which led to higher economic instability. If you look at the history of recessions in the U.S., in the 45 years since 1971 when we went off the gold standard, there have been 6 recessions, or 1 per 7.5 years. In the 45 years prior (1926-1971) there were 9 recessions, or 1 per 5 years. The 50 years before that (1875-1925) saw 13 recessions, or 1 per 3.8 years. And the 50 years before that (1825-1875) saw 13 recessions as well. The amount of economic contraction during recessions has also been smaller since we went off the gold standard.

Unfortunately, bitcoin perpetuates this stupidity. Its value is based on (1) the rate at which people are able to "mine" bitcoins by solving increasingly difficult math problems, and (2) its total supply is capped at about 21 million coins. The very fact that bitcoins are appreciating in value is evidence that it's a terrible choice of a currency. You want the prices of staple goods to remain relatively stable in a currency. Instead, bitcoins are so deflationary that early adopters are literally able to live off of bitcoins they've stuffed under the mattress, instead of actually doing any productive work. A currency which enables that behavior is fatal to an economy. I'm not saying all crypto-currencies are flawed, or that there's no benefit to taking a currency out of government control. Only that bitcoin is fatally flawed in that it accomplishes the latter in the worst possible way. The huge increase in the value of bitcoins since its inception is not an indicator of its strength, it's an indicator of its unsuitability as a currency. It proves that bitcoin is incapable of scaling properly with the number of people using it (productivity growth due to population increase). In that respect it's more like real estate - where people who were born earlier were able to buy up most of it cheaply, leaving the current generation unable to afford to buy a home.

Comment Re:Init alternatives (Score 1) 321

> Well the goal of systemd is to be a base system for GNU/Linux distributions to reduce the gaps between them.

Please note the "Linux only" focus. It's not compatible with _any_ other free software or open source based operating system. And "reducing the gaps between them" has been breaking many stable, long-working tools without significant benefit.

>> such as the default enabled "KillUserProcess" command

> No distribution that I know enable that by default

The default was changed to enabled in the systemd source code in release 230. Unless distributions or developers manually patch their configurations, this unrequested behavior is now on by default.

Comment Re:It must be nice (Score 1) 313

If they provided lanyard anchors then you wouldn't need the protective case (unless you're paranoid about your lanyard breaking or maybe if you rely on the lanyard too much). I really can't understand the lack of lanyard anchor points on all of the smartphones I looked at recently.

Also, the NFC has apparently become a high-end feature.

Standardized mediocrity even on the corporate evil.

Comment More like a terrible law (Score 1) 100

Samsung's lawyers hit the nail on the head in their argument before the Supreme Court. Allowing the lower court rulings to stand would award the owner of a cup holder patent the entire profit from the sale of an 18-wheeler big rig truck just because it used the infringing cup holder design.

I can see an argument for awarding slightly more of the profit than is attributable to the single component (having the infringing feature allowed you to make sales which you wouldn't have made). But awarding all the profit is insane. If that's the standard you're going to use, then Apple should just hand over all their profit from their iPhones 1 through 4 to Samsung, because they infringed one of Samsung's FRAND patents. Apple escaped punishment for that only because Obama used executive privilege to nullify that ITC decision.

Comment Re:Unfortunately no and I have a reason (Score 1) 376

CLRS is no picnic for people who aren't very good at math

That's true. The first chapters wade into big O notation, in ways that don't match the standards of clarity of the rest of the book. You shouldn't need calculus to understand big O. It's good to show how to apply calculus to these problems, and calculus is a natural fit for the necessary math, but the student shouldn't be pushed into a refresher course in calculus to comprehend the basic concepts. The authors try to fill in some of the mathematical knowledge they apply in the next sections, rather than restrict themselves to basic algebra.

Comment Re:Unfortunately no and I have a reason (Score 1) 376

How about a car analogy? Algorithms is like engine and transmission design. That the driver can easily drive the car over a cliff or into a wall, that driving takes considerable skill and constant attention to keep the car on the road, is not the concern of the motor designers, nor should it be.

About as far as engine design can go to enhance safety, apart from ensuring that the engine doesn't blow up or make an oil slick on the highway and cause an accident, is stuff like limiting the maximum output, and therefore speed, and add means for mechanical and computerized control that can be used by safety features, but need not be.

Comment Indulgences (Score 5, Insightful) 171

And we're focusing on creating new energy from renewable sources, so we only buy from projects that are funded by our purchases.

What exactly does that mean? Buying green power isn't really all that green: the renewable power you are consuming is power that is not going to be consumed by someone else. To be really green you need to work towards significantly increasing green energy [\production, not consumption. True, what they do does increase demand which may help drive investments in renewables. But I'd be more impressed if they would actually generate most of the power they need themselves. At the scale they use it, that should be economically feasible too.

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