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Comment Re:BBC Panorama filmed the slave conditions (Score 1) 396

It seems the highly 'exceptional' people in Jeff Bezos' circle have re-invented Taylorism, which is an abiding disregard for the well-being of workers. This indifference and disregard is called "scientific". Efficiency is something to be squeezed out of people second by second, the long-term effects be damned.

I came in here to mention Taylorism, but you beat me to it. There's a great episode of The Secret Life of Machines about the evolution of the modern office, and it goes into some depth about Taylor and the problems with scientific management.

YouTube video of that episode.

Comment Re:Probably not. (Score 1) 546

Look! De Morgan's Theorem just let me reduce those 5 lines of code to 2.

So what? The 5 lines probably represent the set of logical questions that makes sense to a human. Once it's been manipulated by De Morgan's laws, the connection to the problem is lost. (If it was maintained, you wouldn't have needed De Morgan to optimise them.) You have fewer logic operations, but less legible code.

What a silly argument. Optimize the code and use a comment to explain what's happening.

Comment Re:perhaps more importantly, they are easier to FI (Score 1) 325

You are being flippant here. Hiring someone into a tenure track position is a lot more work than hiring someone into a temporary position. Someone in a temporary position is usually just going to teach classes and that's it. All you need to know is if they are knowledgable and can run a classroom. Credentials give you a ballpark idea of the first, and references give you an idea of the second. Budget-wise you only need a commitment from above for one year's salary, which is a lot easier to secure than a continuing salary. You don't have to worry about their research compatibility, long-term career plans, or their ability to get tenure.

And if you screw up and hire a person who isn't up to the job, you don't renew them. So true, they are easier to fire, but that's a very small part of the story.

Comment worst websites around (Score 3) 255

My only experience is with charter. Their service itself is usually pretty good, but I hate their website. You can't find straightforward information on what individual services cost, and even finding a channel listing is difficult. On more than one occasion I've searched for services available at my house--where they make me enter my exact address--and their website tells me that they do not service my area.

It really frustrates me that the companies that run the internet don't care enough or aren't required to make basic information about their services available.

Comment Re:Casio fx-115ES Plus (Score 1) 328

This is a very capable calculator for under 20 USD. The two things that really impressed me about is are that (1) it can do arithmetic with and simplify square roots, and (2) it can do numerical integration and in some cases give exact answers. The numerical integration can be painfully slow, but it can recognize that, for instance int_{-1}^1 \sqrt{1-x^2} = \pi/2.

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