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Comment Re:They know we're all going to cancel, right? (Score 1) 24

That's why my payment method was a gift card with just enough on it to get the first three months. They can charge that card number all they want, but they're not getting another dime out of it. Nearly-used-up gift cards are great for Netflix and Hulu trials, too.

Comment If nothing happens it becomes negative feedback (Score 1) 161

Trump says X, traders jump on positions that would benefit from X to try and get out in front. However other than the speculative betting there isn't much movement. Then X doesn't happen, so there is no long term movement. The traders disengage from their positions trying to take as little loss as possible.

This happens over and over and more will learn that acting just loses you money. It's why markets don't do fuck-all in response to Alex Jones. It isn't like his message isn't out there for the world to see, and actually more widely watched than I can fathom, but they don't believe anything will happen based on it so trying to get a first mover advantage can't happen.

You only gain an advantage by getting in first if the move happens. If it doesn't, at best maybe you can get out without a loss but usually you are going to take a hit to some degree. Thus you act only on those things that are likely to generate a move.

Traditionally, things the president said would qualify. However Trump is anything but traditional. He shoots his mouth off all the time, regularly contradicts himself, and changes his mind often.

Comment Well with the "elite" schools it is often not that (Score 3, Insightful) 304

For a regular school, particularly state school, then yes it gets stacked a lot by test scores and other academic indicators. The better you do academically, the more they are interested in you and the more money they'll try to give you to get you to attend.

However the "elite" schools have a whole bunch of good old boy shit going on. If you look at admissions in to places like Harvard you find that there are some legitimately top performers who come in, but a whole lot who are not and are instead connected some way. They are kids of alums, politically connected, rich, whatever. They are the "right kind of people" and so get the invite.

That's also the reason why parents want kids to go there is the connections. You don't get a better education at Harvard overall. Any university with a good program will do at least as well, and in plenty of disciplines there are schools ranked far better. However it further gets you in to the old boys club and gets you connections to people that gets your opportunities that would not otherwise be available later in life.

Comment That would be cool! Except... (Score 3, Insightful) 93

Cortana is better than Google at answering questions. Unfortunately, unless the question is very simple, she dumps you into a Bing search, which is even less helpful than Now always dumping you into a Google search. If you're interacting via voice, you shouldn't have to look at your phone or press links. At least in Google, you can often read the answer (after you stop driving/doing whatever it was that prevented you from typing in the first place, of course); with Bing, you end up copying the search text so you can paste it into Chrome to get useful links to answers.

Comment And in fact you do the opposite (Score 5, Insightful) 270

You have a plan should you get killed or otherwise be unable to provide the passwords. Where I work, in addition to there being more than one IT staff, all the passwords are safely locked away where the Dean can get at them, if needed. We make sure that even if we are all gone, whoever comes after can get access.

These days the university has policies to that effect but we did it before then because that is what you do. You have a disaster plan, and that plan includes what happens if you aren't around.

Comment New senses? (Score 2) 132

Elliot Freeman, a cognitive neuroscientist at City University and the study's lead author, said: "A lot of us go around having senses that we do not even recognise."

It seems to me more like a short circuit between regions of the brain than a different sense. I wouldn't like to hear things that aren't there just because I'm seeing things. It's well known that there are substantial interactions between different regions of the brain, which is why for example we turn down the stereo while trying to find an address.

Comment Re:Some places are impossible. (Score 1) 53

Sounds like an awesome idea.

In the presence of a working public transportation system that actually met the needs of inhabitants, it might be. But we have that in maybe one or two cities in the USA, and actually, if you took the cars away the systems couldn't handle the load. Toll roads are harmful to business and individuals alike. We make use of the road network free to enable commerce and free travel.

I am an outspoken proponent of PRT and of ordinary rail for longer distances, but barring their existence, I'm extremely opposed to placing more restrictions on people's ability to travel. What year is it? Let's figure out how to let people travel efficiently.

Comment Re:Just what we need (Score 1) 119

For every (likely made up) story you have about how your father's uncle's brother's first cousin's roommate had a union job and it was full of lazy people

I had a student job with a community college while I went there only about a decade ago, while I uh, pivoted. And what I saw in the IT department was tragic. The primary system upon which the school depended was a HP-SUX quad Alpha, because that's what their software runs on. Then they replaced it with some ridiculously expensive many-way itanic box because that's what the vendor told them to do. On the old system, I got paid to implement ssh tunneling (with putty, naturally) to stop them from sending SSNs and other private student information across internet links in cleartext, because the sysadmin they were paying to do this stuff couldn't figure it out. Then I got paid to figure out how to implement ipsec on the new machine because the guy whose job that is couldn't manage that either. I was hoping to slide into that job but that guy bought a second Harley, and he had to stick around to pay for it. Or more to the point, so that the students and taxpayer could pay for it. He certainly didn't earn the money. My boss was quite competent, that was nice. My two coworkers were also competent, but lazy. I wound up doing job after job that they were supposed to do, because they didn't bother. One of them had severe short-timer's syndrome for the entire two-year span we were both there, with a countdown clock to retirement. He was a pro at stretching jobs out and making them take forever. He probably should have had a 75% pay cut.

Meanwhile, administrators have a different union from educators. This results in administrators and their favored assistants being paid dramatically more than the educators... you know, education? The point of the whole place?

I don't know if unions are as toxic in other industries as they are in education, but they're definitely a massive part of the problem with education today.

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