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Comment Re:Broken cleanup mechanism? (Score 1) 127

From a purely mathematical resource point of view, older specimens of a species take up resources that could be better used by younger, reproducing, members of the species. It makes sense that there exists a mechanic to have these older specimens die off after they are no longer useful to the survival of the species to preserve the resources for the younger generations.

It probably wasn't until later that the older specimens became useful to the survival of the species by teaching the younger generations through experience or serving another purpose that benefits the species, such as taking care of the young or defending against predators. Many species have all three traits, so it was likely evolved very early on for multicellular life.

Comment Re:What is their time when they are fired? (Score 1) 114

The reason they gets paid after they've been let go is because checks are typically withheld for a period of time when they start work. You don't get paid until you've been on the job for some amount of time (typically two weeks, but can be as much as a month).

They are getting the money back for the time that they already worked before they were fired. Severance packages exist, but aren't typical or required for non-managerial positions.

Money that the company DOES have to pay is unemployment insurance. If the company lays you off without cause, they're required to pay unemployment insurance at a fraction of your wages. If you're fired with cause, they aren't required to pay it.

Comment Re:How is this a bad thing? (Score 1) 251

Yes. We do.

Why? Because other countries will force recruit and blackmail their best and brightest and we (at least nominally) depend upon our best and brightest to do so under their own free will.

The DNC emails being hacked so easily by a simple typo and a phishing attempt is a perfect example. Google's Gmail security is better than the DNC's with two-factor authentication and warnings sent to your backup account when someone logs into your account from somewhere suspicious.

Comment Re:Does this account for dark energy? (Score 1) 244

However if you spread a finite amount of energy / matter over an infinite distance, the density would approach zero, thus we would not even perceive that it exists.

This assumes an even distribution of mass / matter / energy. If the distribution weren't even (because another unstable force, like gravity, caused it to collect together) you would see vast swaths of "empty" space and clumps of matter / energy as it collected together.

Also consider that "speed" is a function of distance over time and "time" is actually space/time and altered by gravity. It could very well be that the qualities of time did not exist as it does today, making the speed of light infinite.

Comment Education and Critical Thinking (Score 1, Insightful) 143

Or, we could educate people on how to determine what a credible source is and teach people critical thinking skills.

Most of the "fake news" articles were blog posts, reddit threads, and sites that popped up to pander to fears for advertising dollars. Stuff that was easy to spot as being fake.

Yeah, sometimes I would see the "fake" sites come up with a real story a couple days before everyone else did, but generally the real sites were better researched and less blatantly biased than the "fake" article.

Comment Re:Here's a thought (Score 1) 161

The problem with integrating it into cars is that it isn't efficient enough. If you consider that most solar panel installations require that they be placed at the best angle to the sun and that cars are not going to be at the correct angle, likely to be under shade/snow/garage, and the surface area of the car is low compared to typical roof installations, the maximum power from integrated solar cells is extremely low.

Even if you used solar paint and solar windows for maximum surface area, you won't be able to power a car completely off of the energy hitting the car. That said, you could probably trickle-charge to increase the car's range between full charges, which would be of great benefit to the car's current mediocre range.

Comment Re:Do older programmers even need help? (Score 1) 435

HR is brain-dead when it comes to understanding technical qualifications and abilities. And they don't care.

While true, it isn't for the reason you think it is. HR, especially for non-tech companies, has no clue what all of these programming terms or software things mean. You're lucky if you get an HR person that understands anything more than Microsoft Office. They depend upon the managers, who write up the job listing, to tell them what they need.

HR makes the assumption that if you put in a specific version of the software, you really do need an expert on that version of the software. Even if you and I know that it hasn't changed much in the past six versions, HR sees it as something completely different because they don't know better. Even recruiters for technical contracting companies sometimes aren't much better.

HR expects you, the prospective employee, to understand what those terms mean and for you to tailor your resume to what the specific job requirements are. That can mean letting them know that the products are similar or that the newer version is the same as the older version. You can put it in the cover letter.

If HR is posting nonsensical job listings, you can blame the hiring manager for giving them poor requirements. Take that as an opportunity to judge the company communication and/or who you might be working for in the future.

Comment Re:Terrible Selection (Score 1) 64

Something that I've learned about Pandora is that you can't have multiple genres in the same station (use a mix for that) and you can't thumb up certain songs or you'll skew your playlist towards a certain genre or a small subset of songs even if the rest of the music on the station doesn't match that song.

It's like certain songs or dimensions are weighted more heavily than others and adding songs with those dimensions skews the entire playlist dataset in a direction that you don't necessarily want. When you have a small group of songs that do that, you can actually make Pandora tell you that you need to add more variety to the station to keep playing music.

Comment Re:The irony is... (Score 2) 280

But in terms of selecting and engaging targets on its own without a communications link, that technology is not there yet

Actually, not true. We are there now. MIT already has fully automatic and autonomous flying helicoptors that can perform stunts in mid-air, and there are many, many videos of targeting systems using machine vision to target and "attack" specified targets. Most of them use nerf guns and lasers, but the point remains. We know the technology to do fully automated drones that engage and eliminate targets.

The only reason that we're not doing fully automated drone strikes is exactly because it is controversial and nobody wants to take the responsibility in case a fully automated drone mistakes a preschool for a terrorist compound.

Comment Re:Classic memory leak. (Score 3, Interesting) 153

Extremely common, actually. It's one of the major pitfalls and difficulties of doing multi-threaded programming and one of the hardest things for programmers new to multi-threaded design to learn how to solve. It can also be extremely difficult to debug, even for experienced programmers.

Improper garbage collection is another extremely common bug that becomes harder to find and debug with multi-threaded programming, and that can also lead to memory leaks.

There are time tested techniques to mitigate these issues and strategies to find and squash the bugs, but as you said, they can be extremely hard to reproduce while testing.

Comment Re:What is the point of the Windows Store? (Score 4, Insightful) 209

Windows Store has more mobile games that have been ported to Windows 10 than Steam or GoG. I've also seen a lot of "free" games that have huge advertising banners covering most of the screen. They're the same type of cheap and easy to make clones filled with advertisements and pay-to-win crapware that you'll find on any other mobile platform.

These aren't AAA titles, nor are they decent, older games with great gameplay like you'd find at Steam or GoG.

Submission + - DoD Announces "Hack the Pentagon" Bug Bounty Program (npr.org)

Quince alPillan writes: Announcing what it calls "the first cyber bug bounty program in the history of the federal government," the Department of Defense says it's inviting vetted hackers to test the security of its web pages and networks. Vetted hackers will need to pass a background check and will be attacking a predetermined system that's not a part of critical operations. This program is being put together by the Digital Defense Service, launched last fall.

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