Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Someone explain to me... (Score 1) 443

I get the feeling that I've pissed you off. I'm sorry if I'm done something wrong; I'm honestly just trying to understand why everybody's so angry.

-wall street does *not* exist for the purposes of making money for those who play there

But that's a side effect of any sufficiently-liquid market, isn't it? The *purpose* of the market seems not too relevant to me; you can't realistically expect to control everybody's motivations for participating in the market.

Going another step, why shouldn't "arbitrage" (quotes for the pedantic) be a part of the market? This is a real question; I'm not trying to push a philosophy here. What's so bad about that? Either you want to participate in that kind of market and you do. Or you dislike what it does to the market and you opt out. Who's the victim here?

Maybe the real issue that has people so worked up is that we've put our financial security into the hands of greedy people who make high-risk bets with our money. Well... maybe we shouldn't do that if we don't like it? Maybe those who are comfortable with that can participate in the market and those who aren't should skip it?

It's not that I'm arguing that the market *should* be the way it is, because I don't really know. I just really don't understand the vitriol. I look at HFT and think "they're making a ton of money playing within the rules... um, ok; why is that bad for me?". Really, if it's bad for me and I don't get it, please explain it to me, because I'd like to understand what I'm missing.

Comment Re:Someone explain to me... (Score 1) 443

I don't particularly *like* HFT but I have a lot of trouble understanding the hate. It's not Wall Street's job to make the world a "better place." It's a *market*. That's it. Trading stocks is speculation, no matter how long you hold the stock.

If you place your entire financial future in the hands of trading algorithms, you live or die by them, regardless of how fast they execute. If you deploy a poor algorithm and your business goes bankrupt... oh well, guess you took a huge risk, didn't have appropriate failsafes in place, and now you're out of business. Why is this a tragedy for everybody else?

Comment Re:TFA != TFS (Score 5, Informative) 880

If you're curious, you can actually read the Valve Employee Handbook at their site:

From the handbook and other things I've read, I think nobody at Valve is told what to work on... period. They work on whatever they want / think will be valuable. Valve sets the hiring bar so high that this hasn't been a problem. And, even if it was, they do periodic peer reviews that would expose the truly weak links.

It's a really, *really* interesting model. Valve, having had the huge success that is Steam, is in the relatively unique position of having loads of cash and operating in an open-ended market that rewards creativity. I sometimes wonder if it could work in more traditional companies / businesses. I imagine it could work at some place like Microsoft or Goole that's flush with cash (if they weren't public companies, that is). I doubt it would work well at a smaller company whose life depends on executing well on a very narrow strategy.

Comment Re:Do we really want this? (Score 1) 181

Advertisers move money to what's effective. If online advertising becomes less effective, they remove money from the ecosystem.

Your search example demonstrates a lack of industry knowledge. That's not the case that DNT impacts. Rather, it's knowing the user visited in the last 30 days but didn't buy anything, so maybe you should show them a Nike ad if you get a chance. It's called retargeting or remarketing and it works a lot better than just spamming ads at everybody. It's also typically divorced from the identity of the user himself; he's just a cookie ID to the advertisers. And the knowledge is lost when he clears his cookies.

Comment Re:This is a direct assault on Google's revenue (Score 1) 181

Yes, exactly! Everybody wants everything for free! Without any downside! Let's do that!

It's just not realistic. If you don't want ads but you want your websites, you have to propose an alternate revenue stream for them. Most people, when given the option, choose ads over subscription; I know I do. And I know the ads I hate the most are the ones that spam me with products I hate. Relevant, targeted advertising is a vastly superior experience (until it creeps people out, that is).

Look, I don't want advertising companies to know everything about me but there's a reasonable middle ground. I see it like frequenting a local restaurant; you don't get creeped out when the waitress recognizes you, asks if you want the usual, and suggests something to go with it. But if she suggested an alternative because the doctor said your cholesterol is too high, THAT's creepy. It's not black and white.

Comment Re:Educate first. (Score 1) 1141

>Education doesn't work

Wha? Education is the only reason we recognize obesity as a problem. It's the only reason we look for solutions and have these discussions.

Now, perhaps you conflated education with "printing numbers on a cup". I'll go out on a limb and agree that simply printing nutritional info doesn't help (much). But that's not really education; it's an information dump. We need to give people the tools to understand and interact responsibly with their world. That kind of education places an emphasis on comprehension and analytical thinking; it's the only thing that's going to make a long-term impact. Education is how we begin to address the root of the problem.

Comment Re:Get a refill.. (Score 1) 1141

>The perfect world scenario would probably be to educate parents and children

It's not the perfect world solution; it's the only real long-term solution. Most other approaches are just band-aids. I'm not saying it's easy, but I don't think it takes a perfect world to put a greater emphasis on education.

Comment Re:Establishing a pattern here (Score 1) 435

The problem with your argument, IMO, is that you're effectively saying juries are useless. Or that they *should* just be lie detectors. Then what's the point? Don't waste my time if you don't need me. If my job is to do exactly what the judge tells me, then let the judge do it.

As far as I know, the reason we *don't* simply leave it to the judges is to prevent abuse. It is the responsibility of the jury to act as a check on the justice of the law and the judge; otherwise, the jury is irrelevant.

Now, you touch on a couple of related problems, which are 1) people are stupid and 2) the law is way too complex. I don't think either of these have a direct effect on the duty of the jury, but they may impact its ability to function effectively. It seems like we should focus on dealing with those problems instead of neutering a very important check on the justice system.

Comment Re:Establishing a pattern here (Score 1) 435

You're exactly right about jury selection. I was totally disheartened and disillusioned after my first jury selection process a while back. They explicitly told us the judge would give us the relevant portions of law AND instruct us in the interpretation of that law. Apparently, even investigating the relevant law (you know, to understand what it was trying to accomplish...) constitutes jury misconduct. The only area in which they left for any room for personal judgment was lie detection; that's pretty much all they wanted us for.

So when I told them I think some laws are unjust and would not be able to render a verdict I found sufficiently unjust, they basically asked how I would determine that, I told them via my conscience (is there any other way?), and they eventually dismissed me.

I left feeling more-than-ever that our judicial process was more concerned about technicalities and pedantry than actual justice. If we want justice, we need to understand intention and apply reason to a situation, not mechanically apply a list of technicalities.

If there are any lawyers or judges here who would like to offer another perspective on this, I'd love to hear it.

Comment Re:What do you mean by 'tax' (Score 1) 432

If it's Romney vs Obama in Fall and enough votes are "-1 Romney" and "-1 Obama", then they're both sitting around 0 and a small but enthusiastic third party candidate would actually be in the running. I find it unlikely that the majority of voters actually hate the "other" candidate more than they like their candidate, but it would at least give us some insight into how many people vote that way.

Comment Re:I call bullshit (Score 5, Insightful) 277

I've been forced to do "segmented sleep"

If it's forced, then you're not actually doing it... The story is about waking naturally between sleeps, not waking yourself up on a schedule. It also seems based on going to bed shortly after dusk which, at least for me, is hours before I've trained myself to go to bed.

Slashdot Top Deals

When the bosses talk about improving productivity, they are never talking about themselves.