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Comment Re:Rose tinted glasses (Score 1) 351

This is all very natural and good

Nice frame jump. What's natural and good in human culture (exodus from Eden being at the outset nasty, brutish, and short) is to get as far away as humanly possible from what's natural and good in nature (red in tooth and claw).

So I call SB.

[*] strange bedfellows

Comment Re:Enablers shift expectations (Score 1) 109

None of the people in this discussion have mentioned the real evil destroying our world.

Books. Newspapers. Written language. When Gutenberg's press came into existence, there was a Swedish psychologist warning everyone that we'd all experience information overload, social withdrawal, and all manner of ills becoming addicted to the vast mountains of text sent our way. The family is destroyed as the father now reads the paper at breakfast instead of interacting with his household, and the children read their books instead of playing with other children.

When will we destroy this great tool of Satan which has corrupted the hearts of good men?

Comment Re:SubjectsSuck (Score 1) 180

More ridiculous is the claim that including crypto will force WordPress to implement better security. WordPress can just ignore this; and getting hacked by shitty REST API authentication verification isn't fixed by pouring on more crypto sauce.

This guy is a crypto nerd who thinks crypto solves all problems. It doesn't. He probably has databases with columns (UserID, UserName, CryptedPassword, AESKey) so the password is AES-encrypted with an individual key per-user.

Comment Wrong again. (Score 1) 152

Gemini 11 didn't try to dock while spinning, manoeuvre while spinning, or keep solar panels aligned while spinning.

Which is completely irrelevant - because the problems spinning causes those things can be directly determined. There's nothing unknown. They're not theoretical in any sense of the word - they're very real.
 

You might want to review your definition of "theory". Hint: it is not an insult.

Hint: I am using the common definition of "theory". I have know idea what definition you're using, but it bears no relationship to reality. The things I discussed are actual effects, well known to anyone with the relevant background. They're in no way "theoretical".

Comment Re:Umm (Score 1) 353

What you need are citations to trustworthy sources and to be reviewed by trustworthy peers.

You've already lost the fight: no human system outperforms its incentive structure.

Peer review is hopelessly ensnared by academic advancement culture. Entire disciplines can end up publishing bunk, if that becomes the tenure-track fashion of the decade. Tulip bubbles are not restricted to the business cycle. Even hard sciences have been hit pretty bad. Et tu, string theory?

The fundamental theorem of peer review is due to Max Planck:

Science advances one funeral at a time.

The zone of convergence of peer review involves the passing of interested parties. In most of the hard sciences, fifty years pretty much weeds out the crap.

However, if you take a field such as nutrition science, I dare say it's still inadvisable to take fresh "peer review" at face value. John Yudkin was on the right track in 1958. Fifty years downstream, the truth is out there, but it's still far from evenly distributed in the public imagination.

Nutrition science was subverted by a white coat army of industry apparatchiks. These studies are expensive and, oh yeah, replication crisis.

Most human systems can be trusted some of the time. The real art of bullshit detection is figuring which times are those times. Even the best human systems are bullshit on the margin.

Faster-than-light neutrino anomaly

What you need to understand here is that the journalist impulse to publish is directly proportional to the tenuousness of the result in question.

Well, if the speed of light falls derp derp wormholes derp derp Stargate derp derp dusty von Daniken booster spice derp derp human immorality derp derp Omni Magazine alternate-reality cum shot. Well, you got your $4 worth, didn't you?

There's an enormous term in the human condition centered around escape from reality. This makes sense to some degree, because human reality usually contains a giant heal spur of oppression of the downtrodden masses (success has a habit of being highly asymmetric).

Trump's monosyllabic barrage becomes tremendously more convincing if you want to believe the underlying message.

Somehow, one supposes, being suckers for false hope must be evolutionarily adaptive (who, after all, is qualified to challenge the modern evolutionary synthesis?)

And then you get right down to it, the anchor tenants of modern bullshit culture are the major religions (being largely incompatible, at most 1 of N could anywhere close to broadly correct). Because, you know, life without bullshit would be empty and meaningless.

Deep down, most of us don't really want to drain the bullshit pond. And it's not just one pond. It's pond after pond. Never get comfortable.

The fundamental theorem of bullshit busting is due to Richard Feynman:

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.

Evolution took a long look at Hamlet, and came up with satisficing.

Make happy assumptions that are compatible with medium-term survival (generally best obtained from proven survivors—aka your parents and select community), then behave with the efficiency of assuming their truth, until the shit really hits the fan; then sit back, renounce, regroup, and repeat.

Dawkins pretty much feels about religion the way Einstein felt about cosmic inflation and quantum indeterminacy. Right model, wrong hope, long painful row to hoe. Even when our best minds get something right, they're often left wishing they hadn't.

So there's this unhappy observation about the human condition, meanwhile the creationists are still stuck on our too-close-for-comfort family resemblance to the other apes (none of whom are paragons of family values).

For some reason that I'm still striving to properly elucidate, bullshit is a prized lubricant of human culture.

For forty years I've lived a Mertonesque credo that "godlessness is next to cleanliness" and so I've managed to winnow the standard-issue pint ("but trailing clouds of gesta do we come") down to about a teaspoon of personal bullshit lubricant.

[*] our heritage of gesta (deeds) soon turns to egesta (bodily waste), which completely explains e-gesta (deeds on the internet)

Not long ago, I was reading Amos Tversky on the perils of metaphor, and now suddenly the scales fall from my eyes.

For 99% of the population, bullshit is sugar sweet. And even among the recalcitrant 1%, no-one ever sheds their very last sweet tooth.

Comment Re:Agile! (Score 1) 74

Yes well, some people hear the word "Agile" and don't bother to look up what that means. There are published standards on this stuff, you know. They're built on top of other published standards. I don't like the SCRUM terminology largely because I work better with direct information instead of social idealism--therapy for me involves a pencil and a clipboard while the psychiatrist tries to explain wtf is wrong inside my head, not group-hug sessions, supportive friends, and pep talks--but it's still actually a highly-bureaucratic, defined process. I simply have to decode the metaphor to something concrete to access it.

Comment DLMO (Score 5, Informative) 114

The article has a poor to false understanding of how blue light interacts with DLMO (dim light melatonin onset).

I'm pretty sure the entrainment effect of blue light is via direct neuronal connection to the SCN, and I doubt it involves melatonin, except indirectly.

The homeostatic sleep pressure signal builds up (more or less linearly) for as long as you're awake. On its own, this would mean that you taper into drowsiness all day long. So the sleep system has another mechanism that suppresses response to the sleep pressure signal. I vaguely recall that what happens with DLMO is that melatonin onset signals the body to turn off the suppression switch, so that the body begins to notice the homeostatic sleep pressure signal.

DLMO, however, is easily inhibited by exposure to blue light at a point in time approximately an hour before bedtime. If you're outdoors hunting moose in the bright light of late-evening arctic summer, this is a useful adaptation.

You'll get to bed later, which means you'll sleep a bit later (but not much) and then you will get less blue light early the next morning, which will affect your entrainment, gradually, on the slow-drip program.

As a rough, empirical ratio, for every extra hour you stay up, you'll sleep about twenty minutes later the next morning. It's not uncommon to stay up for an extra two hours, then barely sleep in for an extra half hour. (We need to ignore here that modern society tends to run a massive, permanent sleep deficit, which can suddenly turn into sleeping four to six hours late at the first opportunity that allows this to happen. That's a different beast entirely.)

I have a circadian rhythm disorder, and I know from decades of sleep tracking that morning wake-up time is about three times more reliable in estimating my sleep phase than time of retirement.

This is a worthwhile paper from the top of my notes, but it's hard to wade through:

Estimating Dim Light Melatonin Onset (DLMO) Phase in Adolescents Using Summer or School-Year Sleep/Wake Schedules — 2006

I like this paper because it shows how social convention (adolescent schooling) also influences DLMO phase.

The sleep pressure signal eventually overwhelms the suppression of this signal, regardless of the DLMO mechanism.

James Maas is a good representative of the modern sleep science orthodoxy:

Surefire Strategies to Sleep for Success!

I just love the page break at the end of page 6. But then I'm really into microscopic moments of small page-formatting humour. (It's probably not unrelated to all those long, lonely nights, before I found a viable treatment.)

Here's a good summary, I just found for the first time.

Phase Response Curve

The reason I only vaguely remember this mechanism is that all the phase response curves in the literature are dose dependent.

There is no PRC I've ever seen that computes the phase response differential to endogenous melatonin levels. No, what you do is administer some dose/formulation (which can include sustained-release components) at staggered times over several weeks, and then you plot the graph averaged over your test population (which thus includes all the metabolic uptake and clearance variability).

There was a time I desperately wanted to consult one of these curves and then to declare "I am here", but it never happened. These are, in effect, better regarded as qualitative curves than quantitative curves.

The model was never predictive enough to be worth memorizing exactly. And thus I remain slightly dim on DLMO when I really shouldn't be after all these years.

Comment Re:Agile! (Score 1) 74

Sprints are SCRUM. You don't need to use SCRUM to perform agile project management.

User stories are an attempt to dress up requirements gathering and the requirements traceability matrix. In project management, a requirement has a business justification and a stakeholder. The Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM) will tell you the requirement (what?), the stakeholder (who?), the business justification (why?), and the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) elements which implement the requirement (how?). User stories attempt to make this relatable by describing it in child-friendly terms: "As the manager of finances, I want to be able to compare categorized expenses from different time periods so that I can identify where our major expenses are and how new controls impact those expenses."

As you point out, this is kind of silly for an OpenGL back-end. The user story is something like "as a user on an operating system which doesn't support DirectX, I want to be able to use the software so that I can use the software," or something equally generic. In a RTM, you would simply identify stakeholders as "Linux users" and "MacOSX users", and give the business justification that "the software platform does not support the DirectX back-end". In an actual business, you might identify the product manager as the stakeholder, and use the business justification that demographic data shows interest among MacOSX users. There's no need to invent a fancy story.

If I had a client that would request a demo every 2 weeks I'd have been fired long ago.

If something deliverable can't be produced in 2 weeks, then it can't be delivered every 2 weeks. Plain and simple. Sometimes the next iteration or incremental deliverable takes months to ship. Nobody who knows what they're doing actually implements a 2-week rule; some people use that as a soft guide-line to wring out the WBS (which is used in SCRUM and other agile methodologies), and even then they find that some work packages are necessarily hours or days long while others take longer than 2 weeks.

The standard delineation for work packages is "when the work is broken down to a level at which further decomposition no longer provides a management benefit," which effectively means you only decompose work which cannot be fully understood and measured as a whole unit. "Actigraphy Module" for a generic polysomnography application, for example, is insufficient: you have to break that down at least to include Interfaces, Base Classes, Zero Crossing Class, Time Above Threshold Class, and Digital Integration Class. You might also include, at that level, an Integrations deliverable, which breaks down to include FitBit, Pillow, EightSleep, Jawbone, and other actigraphy-based systems, because "Integrations" is made up of complex pieces and can't be estimated without thinking about the pieces from which it's made.

None of that comes out to "two-weeks". It still comes out to iterative and incremental delivery, user feedback, and compiling lessons learned repeatedly to avoid further defects.

Comment Re:And, I might start buying more from them again. (Score 1) 181

Same here. In fact what happened is that if Amazon was going to ding me for shipping, I promptly went off to eBay, located the same item (usually from the same seller!!) offered with free shipping, and after a few iterations stopped bothering with Amazon entirely.

So yeah... stop trying to make your profit on shipping, make the threshold realistic for smaller purchases, and you'll get me back.

Comment Re:Agile! (Score 2) 74

Actually, agile software development improves quality by delivering on shorter development cycles. What's the point of spending 2 years developing a multi-million-dollar, fully-featured content management system when requirements change out from under you? Every piece that doesn't work as well in the real world as it does for QA will break all at once when you ship it out--welcome to beta software--and features will do what users wanted two years ago.

With agile development, you deliver in pieces. You do iterative development, producing a framework or basis upon which to build further components. You do incremental development, producing fully-functional components which you can deliver immediately for use. Further development on iterative components reveals defects and design deficiencies, and so you refactor, re-engineer, and adjust to meet requirements. Delivery of a working component generates user feedback, which allows you to detect and correct for defects and changes to requirements.

At every stage, you generate more knowledge. Producing each piece, iterating on each framework, and responding to each piece of user feedback generates information which is folded into the further parts of the project. Rather than dumping one piece onto the pile of shit-to-deliver-later and blissfully working on the next, you get told that the shit you just made isn't what we need, and you can reflect on that and the implications for the next piece of the project. That means each piece takes into account the failures encountered so far, and the final product delivers closer to actual requirements at delivery time.

Part of planning is applying knowledge you have. Agile project management allows you to generate new knowledge at every stage and roll that forward into planning the next stage. You can't apply knowledge you don't have.

Comment Not theory (Score 1) 152

Unless you have actually tried to build a rotating space station, your answer is also theoretical.

They have tried to extend tethers in space, and run into multiple problems caused by them being not-rigid. Gemini 11 (which was tethered to it's Agena to test just these things) encountered problems with spin-up due to this and other dynamics issues. The problems I cite spring directly from experience, mathematics, and engineering.

So no, my answer isn't theoretical.

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