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Comment Breaking News (Score 1) 35

Dateline SAN JOSE: Special interests make dire predictions of the future to try to gain favorable government policy treatment. "Give us what we want or it will be just terrible," they said. "We'll all die of Silicon Valley ennui!" When asked how many startups would die anyway of unrealistic optimism and poor management, they just glared and sullenly shuffled away, whispering under their breath.

Sadly, we never got the chance to ask them how accurate their other predictions of the future were.

Comment the underbelly of entrepreneurship (Score 1) 52

My last two reads in this area were The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon (2013) and When Genius Failed (2000), both of which I found highly engaging.

Is that what you were looking for?

On my near-term list is The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers (2014).

Perhaps that's more what you're after.

I also liked The Man in the Machine (2015).

Comment a poor-man's wild west (Score 1) 46

If you haven't got a billion dollars, you can't blather on about colonising Mars. How admirably crytocurrency fills its niche as a poor man's wild west. It's got everything. A Chinese Boss Hogg with a Fu Machu mustache can suddenly jump out of the woodwork at any moment. Hot damn!

I was never much of an Oregon Trail dreamer myself, so this whole scene amuses me greatly.

Comment Re:COBOL isn't hard to learn (Score 2) 197

Indeed. If there is a market for COBOL programmers (and it's clear there is), then the obvious solution is for unis and colleges to spit out more COBOL-literate CS graduates. Honestly, if I was ten years younger, I'd probably delve into it myself. It is, after all, just a programming language, and hardly on the same level of trying to learn Sanskrit.

Comment Re:Scoff at me all you want (Score 1) 106

The problem here is that you can't expect much rational and intelligent discourse on Slashdot these days, so that comment calling you paranoid is no surprise at all. Remember, this site is chock-full of far right-wing nationalists and objectivist libertarians, like much of the tech industry only much more concentrated here.

Comment the moderation gap (Score 1) 249

Almost any controlled diet (short of rice-cakes and water) improves health outcomes over what people eat when they're paying less attention.

Almost every controlled diet excludes most of the same extremely suspect foods (high-fructose bonbons, anything out of the smokey, rarely replenished deep-fat frier from hell).

It probably is true that inflammation is the underlying malady. High LDL levels probably exacerbate the negative effects of inflammation. Refined-carbohydrate–rich diets combined with a sedentary lifestyle are known to be inflammatory.

As I recall, studies of hard-working farmers who ate six eggs a day (with bacon) and not much sugar haven't shown unusually high rates of coronary heart disease. Thus I've begun to suspect that the problem comes from overloading the metabolism on two axes at the same time (lipids and carbohydrates) while also tying one-hand to the sedentary-lifestyle bed post.

In paleolithic times, it was possible to gorge yourself (from time to time) on one food group or another (bananas or bison), but rarely both at the same time (and certainly not without taking a long hike at some point either before, during, or afterwards, plus there's no shortage of labour involved in harvesting a side of bison with a stone axe, or spending an entire day climbing banana trees). These days we hang around in coffee shops playing chess, and the forty-move time control rarely elapses without inducing yet another mocha frappe and a "small" serving of cheesecake (it sure looks small beside that sugary 20-ounce drink).

It seems like any one of three corrective actions: elimination of excess sugar (rice cakes are 100% sugar), elimination of excess fat, or a vigorous physical lifestyle has an enormously beneficial effect. I suspect that any change will do, just so long as your metabolism is not confronting the triple-risk zone on a regular basis.

Of course, if they convince you to stay out of all three risk zones at the same time (carbs from green vegetables only, no animal fat, high exercise) your risk of crossing through the triple-risk zone at any point in time goes almost to zero. I tend to think of that as the belt and suspenders and sneakers approach. Or, if you convince someone to achieve a half-hearted three days of out seven compliance on each of those, he or she is probably mostly out of the weeds, as well.

Evolution tends to make us pretty adaptive. Two out of three stress factors poses only a moderate problem. Three out of three stress factors (a condition almost impossible to achieve in our evolutionary history) and now you have a big problem.

Pure approach to at-worst two-out-of-three:

* farming with ox and plow (always work hard, eat whatever you damn well want)
* total elimination of refined carbs (it's not easy to get or stay fat on this diet, unless you've already got metabolic syndrome)
* total elimination of animal fat (combining balanced nutrition with a green lifestyle is now your biggest challenge; almond production requires six-times more water than industrial chicken meat, per delivered ounce)

Impure approach to mostly at-worst two-out-of-three:

* vigorous exercise two days a week (with sustained spurts of 8-10 METs, ya lazy yoga-pant moron)
* complete elimination of sugary beverages (requires moderation of alcohol, too)
* plenty of animal fat, but not in the form of steak and cheesecake dinners (bad fat+ sugar), or all-you-can-eat fettuccine Alfredo buffets (also bad-fat Hoover Dam + sugar Niagara)

Of course, in any controlled study, interventions that ask for the moon have more margin for non-compliance, and that effect will definitely be measured, and found statistically significant.

That doesn't mean that impure moderation doesn't provide 80% of the benefits for 20% of the religious conviction.

But our research is never geared to tell us this.

Comment Re:Save 30%, retire early (Score 1) 522

That's just luck. Mainly, you just want to save equivalent purchasing power. So by saving half my income until 51, I had enough to retire until 81 (assuming I can keep getting something close to inflation over the next 24 years). My expected mortality is 78. But, if I get "lucky", I have a paid for house (which I could downsize from to free up about $200k or reverse mortgage for an income stream) and I could reign in spending some so I should be in okay til I die. At least no eating pet food.

In my case, so far my investments have covered or slightly exceeded inflation. I'm getting 5.38% thru 2022, for example. We'll, see what things are like then.

Comment Re:The view fails to account getting &*#@ed (Score 1) 522

Or buy an affordable car (too many of my peers had $50,000 to $60,000 cars) and an affordable house (too many of my peers had houses that cost 2x to 3x what mine cost) and do a lot of fun cheap stuff with friends while taking a 2-3 weeks of nice vacations per year (but nothing too expensive too often). I took cruises, ski trips, and gaming trips.

Americans seem obsessed with status spending. By saving hard, I retired at 51.

Could I be screwed by social security being gutted? Sure. But that was where I drew the line you drew at a younger age.

And yea- our vacations suck. And we really don't get anything in trade for terrible vacation time compared to the rest of the world.

Comment No problem (Score 2) 41

You can have that however you have to accept a few things:

1) Costs are going to go way up. You aren't going to pay $50 or $100 for a software package, it'll be 5 or 6 figures. You'll be paying for all the additional testing, certification, and risk.

2) You won't get new stuff. Everything you use will be old tech. You'll be 5-10 years out of date because of the additional time needed to test and prove things. When a new chip or whatever comes on the market it'll be a good bit of time before it has undergone all the validation it needs to be ready for such a critical use.

3) You will not be permitted to modify anything. You will sign a contract (a real paper one) up front that will specify what you can do with the solution, and what environment it must be run in. Every component will have to be certified, all software on the system, the system itself, any systems it connects to, etc. No changes on your part will be permitted, everything will have to be regression tested and verified before any change is made.

If you are ok with that, then off you go! The way I know this is how it goes is that we have shit like this, we have critical systems out there and this is the kind of shit they go through. They are expensive, inflexible, and out of date compared to the latest mass market shit. If you look at the computers that control a fighter plane or the like you'll be amazed at how "dated" they are. Well they are that way because development took a long time and once they are developed, they continue to be used, they aren't changed often.

Now if that's not ok, if you want the free wheeling environment we have now where you can buy new tech when you like, put things together in any configuration, and run whatever you want that's cool, but accept that means problems will happen. You cannot have it both ways.

Oh and also with that critical stuff:

4) There will be no FOSS. If there's liability for losses, nobody will be willing to freely distribute their work. They aren't going to accept liability for no payment, and aren't going to accept that if their code was used by someone else they might be liable.

Comment Re:The view fails to account getting &*#@ed (Score 1) 522

Sorry dude, but I game (pathfinder with one group, boardgames with two other groups) with millenials. I'm well aware of their vices. I speak from personal experience. Sample size is small (about 30) but the behavior is clear. They talk about getting their "free" starbucks using their affinity cards (which is something like buy 10 to get 1 free). And they often eat out because its "too hard" to shop and cook after work or they don't know how to cook. And they eat out at lunch instead of brownbagging it.

 

Comment Re:The view fails to account getting &*#@ed (Score 1) 522

Fair point and I like data driven counter arguments.

I thought it was due to bankruptcy changes but it may not be.

It's still a fact that as a late boomer, we could afford to go to college on minimum wage without debt.
And it was even easier for the early boomers.

And we did go to brick and mortar schools and today the schools are marble and granite palaces.

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