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Comment Re:One very quick thought ... (Score 1) 232

"...the distorted *tails* of the few storm-tossed fishermen..." --this is what happens when you're too long out with the mermaids!

I've started to think we've underestimated when civilization started... earlier today I was looking at pics of GÃbekli Tepe, and I'm thinkin' ... this is no hunter-gatherer tribe; this is the work of settled people who are not beginners at it and don't have to follow migratory herds, either.

Comment Re:Fuck California. (Score 1) 112

Ask any landlord who has significant experience
and you will see they will agree with this position.

I have been a landlord - and I applaud California's decision. Because it won't make it more difficult to rent to people who cause problems. It will make it more difficult for racist assholes, but I view that as good thing myself.
 

Why Californians tolerate their government escapes me.

Seriously? You can't grasp why people would tolerate a government that makes life difficult for narrow minded intolerant racist assholes like yourself? You can't grasp why people would tolerate a government who upholds the rights of all citizens, regardless of color?

Comment Re:Sanity checks (Score 1) 212

Depends on the business case for one or the other. In this case, the bank may well have decided 'the less than, literally, 600-in-7.5-billion chance of having somebody exceed this age range is less important to us than stopping incorrect payments going out to people with ages that are far FAR beyond 'wildly improbable.''

In other cases, it would be far better to have multiple incorrect accounts than to miss one valid but wildly outlier account.

Comment Re:OMG (Score 1) 363

It's an entitlement excuse.

When I was in high school, I knew a lot of kids who worked at Burger King. They were stealing money from their registers, some of them managing to lift over $800/month. Everyone agreed this was a good thing because "they didn't get paid enough." High school kids. Not paid enough. Seriously.

The only excuse for using company time for non-work is not having work to do. You get an admin job and you're efficient enough to do it in 1/3 the given time? Well, I can't rightly say you've been stealing company hours if you're achieving 100% of your assigned work. Some offices even tell you to go home if you're done your work, and pay you anyway--they're legally-obligated to pay your salary if you're exempt, just like they're not obligated to pay overtime, so if you work 15 hours and get all your shit done and they send you home you still get paid. That actually makes sense.

What doesn't make sense is agreeing on and accepting a salary and then stealing time, money, or equipment from your employer under the claim that they're not paying you a fair wage. There is no fair wage. Market rates are rates people can't manage to push up from and employers can't manage to push down from. Businesses employ the lowest bidder, and employees go with the highest bidder. You took the bid? You agreed to this shit. Excuses like the distress of unemployment and the difficulty of getting a job just tell me you wanted to fasttrack the process and get bumped to the front of the line and you bought the front spot--that's what your lower-than-industry-average salary is: a privileged purchasing agreement.

Comment Re:That's actually debateable (Score 1) 292

Manual-labor jobs they can. Office jobs require some downtime to refactor, and the 8-hour work day theoretically lets you mix that in so you can optimize it.

The more-scientific approach I've seen is to schedule high-effort, complex work in the mid-morning and around 2-5pm, with low-effort work put between 1pm and 3pm. The slump cripples your ability to perform productively, and so spending that time returning calls, checking e-mail, writing changelogs, and so forth lets your brain relax and recover so you can get back to designing rocket engines and writing complex computer code later in the afternoon. You wind up productive all day, doing the simple shit when you can't handle the heavy lifting.

The moral of the story? Do your code reviews and merge windows between 1pm and 3pm. It's less work than writing new code, and it keeps your head in the code so you're ready to hit the ground running right after.

Comment the underbelly of entrepreneurship (Score 1) 85

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 2) 101

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:Jackass (Score 1) 726

Electronics engineering relates to timing on traffic lights. Who do you think develops the mechanism to set the timing?

Which sounds impressive to the clueless, who fail to grasp the apples-and-oranges difference between knowing how to develop a timer and knowing the effects of varying settings on the timer. (The folks who work with the latter are called traffic engineers and not electronics engineers for a reason.)

Comment the moderation gap (Score 1) 270

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 No problem (Score 2) 46

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:So what's the issue? (Score 1) 212

What if you think 'Out of 7.5 billion humans, there are, at most, 600 people over the age of 110. How many of the 0.00000799927238618 percent of humans who fit this category likely happen to live in our country? How much bigger is the number of incorrect or fraudulent records where the age is above, say, 110?'

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