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Comment What ads? (Score 5, Insightful) 304

I've been flagging every as I could as "covering content".

You see ads? I have them all blocked and never see any. No I don't give a shit about slashdot's bad business model. I'd happily pay a subscription but they can't be bothered to give me the option. So fuck 'em and the ad networks they rode in on.

Comment Out of touch (Score 1) 790

As others are saying, don't live in the Bay Area if you can't afford it.

So when are you planning to start paying all the people that have to work in the Bay Area salaries high enough to live there? You know like restaurant workers, garbage collectors, police and fire, school teachers, etc. Or did you just arrogantly forget about them and assume they should spend their every free hour commuting from somewhere near Nevada?

But, if you want housing that's affordable and not too far away, it's not impossible...There's the whole Central Valley within driving distance of the Bay Area. Sure, a 1-2 hour commute isn't ideal,

So you are saying there isn't affordable housing within a reasonable distance. Spending 4 hours per day in a car "isn't ideal"? That's one way to put it if you are incredibly out of touch with reality. Your salary had better WELL into six figures to justify spending that much of your life commuting. Any commute longer than an hour is just evidence of an incredibly broken and unfair urban planning system.

Comment Don't forget about your government spending (Score 2) 790

Even in the Bay area, I can feed an individual human pretty decently for under $100/month

You can feed a person for that much. "Decently"? I would dispute that. They aren't going to starve if that's what you are saying but it won't be an ideal sort of diet.

Vegetables are universally-expensive--even frozen--although I don't put much stock in vegetables; I put more vegetables in stock.

Maybe if you get them at Whole Foods. Vegetables can be very economical if one bothers to shop carefully. Better yet you can even grow them yourself with some effort and seeds are incredibly cheap if you are willing/able to trade some time and effort tending them.

and we spend an utter assload (about 40%) on entertainment, luxury, and other discretionary spending, versus about 25% in the 50s.

Don't forget about the $2000 EVERY person in America (on average) pays to have a ludicrously oversized military, the $750 every person pays for interest on our national debt, the $1500 or so the government "borrows" from you from you every year to fund our government (none of which is in any danger of being paid back - and yes most US debt is borrowed from US citizens, not China) thanks to certain groups being unwilling to raise taxes to cover the bill, the $3000 that goes to social security, and another $3000 or so that goes to Medicare/Medicaid. Oh and those safety net programs the conservatives hate so much? They cost around $1000 per person every year per person - curiously barely more than the interest on the debt we pay every year to finance their aversion to taxes. Total those up and it works out to around $11-12,000 for every man, woman and child in the US on average (with a population of just over 300million). Pretty close to the total gross annual earnings of someone making minimum wage.

And in case you were wondering, NASA costs each of us approximately $60/year.

Comment Be careful generalizing (Score 3, Insightful) 226

IQ is like height in basketball. The best basketball players aren't the tallest people in the world but they are all taller than average.

A very good analogy.

two people with high IQ will out-perform a single person of super high-IQ.

That statement is task dependent. For some tasks it is true and for others not so much. There also are failure modes that multiple people are subject to that an individual is not. Much like your previous statement, crowds often are smarter than individuals but not universally so in all cases.

Also, there have been lots of data collected on IQs and success.

That is contingent on what you define as "success". I'm familiar with some of the studies you are probably referring to but be careful with such generalizations.

Comment Not a slippery slope (Score 1) 83

Yeah, everything can be used for good or evil including snooping, but capitalism and greed often shift that equation in the direction of evil.

If nobody bothers to put up a fight then yes. But the evil that corporations do can be overcome. One only has to look at the number of regulations we have to see evidence that we can limit corporations. Corporations can be muzzled if enough people bother to care.

Google even mentioned the fact in their early days (do no evil). Then they started full scale snooping.

"Do no evil" was marketing from day one. Anyone who didn't realize that was either naive or an idiot. Google is an advertising company and has been from jump street. Anyone who didn't realize that they would behave with the incentives relevant to an advertising company was an idiot.

In reality, privacy is going to become a very rare commodity

It never was as common as people believed it was. A lot of stuff we thought was private in the past really wasn't. It just wasn't convenient to get the data. Now we actually have to do something about it rather than relying on the hope that others are lazy to protect our privacy. It will be an ongoing fight to balance privacy with other interests.

Comment Cash trumps your privacy (Score 1) 83

At least one manufacturer will see the marketing value of ''the car that does not spy on you'

More likely one manufacturer will TRY that marketing angle and then quickly figure out that very few people actually give half a shit about their privacy and abandon the attempt. The siren call of all that cash will simply be too much for them to resist for long.

Comment Cautionary != Dystopian (Score 3, Insightful) 83

Still driving my 22 year old Eclipse GSX with no onboard recording devices.

I drive WAY too much for that to be a realistic option for me. My current daily driver is a 2009 and I already have over 160,000 miles on it. If I were to keep it for 22 years at my current annual mileage I'd have over half a million miles on it at that point. It's a good vehicle but I have little confidence it will still be on the road after that much use. Mine doesn't transmit any data about my location either. I think it has an onboard black box but I'm not worried about that.

Very surprised people are going along with the 1984 snooping on everyone thing. It was supposed to be a cautionary tale.

Cautionary but complicated. I carry a smartphone because it adds significant value to my daily life. Yes it could in principle be used in a dystopian fashion but in reality it isn't. Like nuclear power or genetic engineering, the technology is neutral and whether it is a force for good or ill depends on how it is used. There are very positive benefits to tracking location and performance parameters of a vehicle. There also are some drawbacks. It's not all 1984 where everything has taken the worst possible outcome.

Comment iTunes hasn't been a requirement for years (Score 3, Insightful) 114

Get rid of that awful fucking iTunes software and let me access the phone like any normal USB device.

I honestly cannot remember the last time I opened iTunes on a desktop computer or synced my iPhone with it. That hasn't been a requirement for years.

As for using it as a USB device, I feel you but doubt it is going to happen any time soon.

Comment Taxonomy is always arbitrary (Score 1) 207

Maybe stop changing arbitrary definitions.

Why? If the definitions already were arbitrary then what's wrong with changing them to a different variety of arbitrary? Especially if the new definition makes more sense. We're talking about taxonomy here, not some law of physics.

Frankly the term planet is probably too broad to be super useful by itself. It's kind of like a genus for space objects and we need to define the species. Jupiter and Earth are both considered planets but they aren't even remotely similar to each other aside from being big and round. Ganymede and Titan are both larger than Mercury and all of the dwarf planets. It's not entirely unreasonable to call them Moon Planets even if that seems a little odd to us currently.

People get WAY too attached to the word planet. It's just a word and it doesn't matter what we attach the word to as long as we are clear about what it means. If we want to call large moons a Moon Planet, why is that a problem so long as the definition is clear? We probably should call planets like Jupiter something different than planets like Earth. It's completely fine to have multiple categories of planets and I'm pretty sure we are going to find out that there are far weirder things in the universe than what is in our little solar system.

Comment linux minus gnu = linux (Score 1) 224

Stallman isn't taking credit for work he didn't do. Stallman is taking credit for work he did do; Stallman is taking credit for the GNU OS.

There is no GNU OS. Stallman didn't write the kernel. The kernel defines what OS it is. Ergo Stallman is trying to take credit for work he didn't do by pointing out that other work he didn't do (GNU - others wrote those tools too under the FSF aegis) was used to enable linux to be a useful product in some cases. It's not GNU/Linux as he claims. If linux didn't use any GNU tools it would still be linux.

Comment Re:Hole punchers for old floppies (Score 1) 615

Hole punch? Why?

Because I had one and they worked. Easiest and fastest way to do the job. Used a sharp knife a few times too. Scissors didn't really work great but could do in a pinch.

I still have a sheet of those little stickers you used to close the hole to write protect the disk lying around.

Now that is a questions worthy of a "why"? Just feeling sentimental? Worried that floppies might make a come back some day? Hoping they will increase in value? I just used some tape though I do remember the stickers. Got rid of all that crap decades ago though.

Comment Kernel defines the system (Score 2) 224

I thought Android is *not* Linux? At least that's what one of my Android text books says.

Just because someone wrote something in a book doesn't automatically make it true. Books are not necessarily authoritative sources and I can provide you lots of examples of books getting "facts" very, very wrong. This evidently is one of them.

It uses the Linux kernel...

Then it is linux in addition to whatever else it is. The kernel above all else defines which operating system you are using.

but is not the same operating system that is commonly referred to as "Linux" i.e. GNU-Linux.

It's a variant of linux but not the only one. GNU/Linux is really not a single system but rather a marketing attempt by Richard Stallman to use work he and some others did to take credit for work they didn't do. There is no single one-true-linux. Any system that uses the linux kernal as its base is some variant of linux.

Android has major differences with Linux.

Android is linux as long as it uses the linux kernel. Change the kernel and you can call it something else.

Comment Non-sequitur (Score 2) 181

I wish MBAs were judged by their ability to support and enable coworkers to achieve a common goal.

That sentence is a non-sequitur. A MBA is a college degree, not a class of people. Having a MBA doesn't grant anyone magical armor to prevent their job performance critically evaluated.

Presumably you are using MBA as a trite shorthand for someone in management who studied business in college. Guess what? They ARE judged on their ability to do exactly what you suggest. Managers who fail to support and enable co-workers to do their job generally suck at their job and generally are rewarded accordingly no different than any other job. Having an engineering degree doesn't grant one magical powers of intelligence and competence nor does it mean they are good at engineering. Some people with MBA diplomas are very good at their job. A bunch more are mediocre and some really suck. Same as with any other type of degree and job.

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