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Comment Re:Hey Slashdot: (Score 2) 131

When you trade money for news, you tend to get the news that makes the most money. It's human nature, unless controlled by regulation. Just as corporations, utilities, colleges, all mostly get financially out of hand unless regulated, because people are mostly naturally greedy. There's scant sense of fairness, and gross excess of "take the market for all it can bear."

Look, news is all mostly biased anyway. Biased by what they cover and what they choose not to cover; by the editor's influence; by the publisher's influence; by the advertiser's influence; by the stockholder's influence; by ridiculous "equal time for superstitious nonsense" policies (because the news consumers are bewildered, so in order to get their money, they are pandered to), etc. I'm just not going to actually pay for more bias.

It's a complete waste of time to put a paywalled link in front of me. Not going to click it if I know what it is; not going to stay if I am snookered into clicking.

For news, here's what I want: facts and relevance to actual news. Not the Kardumbians, not some actor's opinion, not breathless reporting of some lab result as if it was tech coming down next Friday, Politics, cover the candidates and what they say. Even handedly. Don't leave some out (Sanders, cough) don't over-cover some (Trump, cough), don't report bland, content free remarks as if they were incoming legal doom (Clinton, cough)... you get the idea.

Simple enough, you'd think. Just do a good job. But they don't. Okay then, fine. But expecting me to pay for that crap? Not happening. They oughta pay me for having to fact check every goddam thing they write and speak about.

Comment News flash: Average income is deceiving (Score 0, Flamebait) 158

The average income of 10th through 70th percentile - in other words, most citizens - is $32,245 / year (source, EPI Data Library - Wages by percentile.csv, 2015 [latest] row).

Over 40 million (out of 319 million, or about 12%) of US citizens are going hungry (

The social safety net isn't safe, nor particularly social.

I'm sure we can expect relief from the Trump administration (cough... choke.)

But hey, let's worry about tech interns. My blinders need a workout anyway.

Comment Hey Slashdot: (Score 3, Insightful) 131

Slashdot Editors / owners / etc.:

o Please stop supporting paywalled sites.
o Please stop supporting sites with closed comment sections.

These things are bad for the web and the web's denizens -- of course not for the ethically crippled sites themselves, as we are their product, and both payment up and dissent down are multipliers to their bread and butter.

The paywalled sites are monetizing the news, and that almost always makes for biased reporting.

The closed comment sections make for echo chambers, and that creates an environment where fake news and agitprop flourish.

Same thing to my fellow slashdotters: if you support bad actors in bad behaviors, they will naturally persist. So think about that before you click through the next time someone thrusts a paywalled or comment-bereft site in your face.

Thanks for reading.

Comment Not quite dead yet (Score 1) 381

It means that we are now far more removed from access to the metal to even do a lot of the optimizations that we've done in the past.

Well... no, it means that you are, perhaps. Some of us still write in c or c++, and keep our attention on the details. You can tell you've run into one of us when the many-functioned app you get is a couple megabytes instead of 50, runs faster than the fat ones, and doesn't suffer from black-box bugs inherited from OPC.

I always thought that the user's CPU cycles and memory were things a developer was obligated to treat as the user's valued resource, and so not things to waste.

I know, totally out of date thinking. It's ok, I'm old, I'll die soon. :)

Comment machine code ate my neurons (Score 1) 381

But can you program in Z80 and 6502 machine code?

Yes. But more importantly, I can program in 6809 machine code. Including building all the index modes. Which, back in the day, is one of the things that saved me from having to design in, and then program, CPUs like the 6502 and z80, both of which are seriously anemic by comparison. But I prefer to program in assembler. Because I'm sane.

My affection for the 6809 ran so deep that I wrote the 6809 emulator you'll find here, which required me to implement the entire instruction set from the ground up.

But yeah, I can write machine code for about 10 microprocessors. And you know what? In the day... that was useful. I could read (E)(P)ROM dumps, I could cold-patch... but today, I just wish I could get the brain cells back. :)

Comment Re:50 million island people to be displaced by 201 (Score 1) 331

I was rather more hoping for a summary than a direct link to the 2007 report.

If I were a global warming scientist, I would already have read through those hundreds of pages. As a non-scientist, with things I need to do, I somewhat rely on news stories, like this one:

One of the central issues is believed to be why the IPCC failed to account for the âoepauseâ in global warming, which they admit that they did not predict in their computer models. Since 1997, world average temperatures have not shown any statistically significant increase.
The summary also shows that scientist have now discovered that between 950 and 1250 AD, before the Industrial Revolution, parts of the world were as warm for decades at a time as they are now.

Despite a 2012 draft stating that the world is at itâ(TM)s warmest for 1,300 years, the latest document states: âoe'Surface temperature reconstructions show multi-decadal intervals during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (950-1250) that were in some regions as warm as in the late 20th Century.â

And then I read through the PDFs at this site:

The tone is rather tendentious (especially the second PDF) but I find the arguments compelling. As I understand it, the CAGW theory is that feedbacks will cause the warming to "run away" precipitously once we reach a cruical tipping point, but the PDFs have graphs showing the Earth once had a significantly higher CO2 concentration than currently without turning into another Venus. The annual news stories about "the previous year was the warmest on record" don't seem to mention error bars, and when I tracked some down I was astonished to see that the margin for the "warmest" claim was a small fraction of the uncertainty interval. And in my original post, now modded down to 0 score, I provided the link to an article with graphs comparing the predicted temperature increases with what actually were recorded.

I have seen proposals for a carbon tax that was intended to take trillions of dollars out of the economy. (The authors of the proposal viewed this as a feature: trillions of tax dollars of additional revenue for the US government! I personally don't think you can get something for nothing, so I worry about the harm that would occur if that level of tax was levied.) I think that this level of tax should require a high level of confidence, and I personally am not at that level yet.

Thank you for responding politely. You haven't convinced me and I likely haven't convinced you, but I hope you at least believe that I'm genuinely skeptical and not just trolling or trying to flame people about this.

Comment Re:Security is an illusion (Score 1) 153

There's just too much volume to track all the content everywhere.

There are 350 million people in the USA, more or less. Including kids not of age to use computers. One computer, just one, operates at billions of instructions per second (when the code is written in anything efficient, like c.) The NSA has a newish huge data center located on the main trunks.

You do the math. If you still think they can't sieve that amount of data effectively, why then, good on you for your optimism. :)

Comment Re:Trump Derangement Syndrome (Score 1) 588

Trump is assumed by some to have won based on (anticipated) EC votes. However, three facts:

1 - The EC hasn't voted yet.

2 - The EC does not have to vote for Trump.

3 - Clinton got (a lot) more votes from, you know, the people.

Trump may well end up to be president. But he isn't the president yet; he isn't even the president-elect yet.

Comment Re:50 million island people to be displaced by 201 (Score 1) 331

So if someone could please post links to the most persuasive proof that we should all be worried about carbon dioxide levels, I'll take a look.

So far nobody has posted any links to CAGW proof, but my post has been moderated "Flamebait" and "Overrated". Folks, if you are trying to convince me of the science behind CAGW, that's not the optimal strategy.

Comment 50 million island people to be displaced by 2010 (Score 0, Flamebait) 331

In 2005, there was a prediction that 50 million people would be displaced by global warming by 2010. Didn't even come close to coming true.

This article has a rather strident tone but has solid links to document the above story.

These claims were put forward by Norman Myers. After the prediction didn't pan out for 2010, he made updated claims: now it will be 200 million displaced, by 2050.

I'm not a climate scientist, but as far as I can tell, the worries about catastrophic anthropogenic global warming have led to very few testable predictions, and the few that have been tested have not proven out. The predicted sea level rise and flooding by 2010 didn't happen, and the computer models that try to predict warming due to carbon dioxide are very far off their predictions.

People argue over whether there was a "global warming pause" or not, but I think it's pretty clear that even if global warming didn't pause, the total carbon dioxide concentration went up a lot during that time yet the predicted temperature rises didn't occur.

There is a saying: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I'm not convinced that the claims of global warming problems even rise to the level of ordinary evidence, let alone extraordinary.

So if someone could please post links to the most persuasive proof that we should all be worried about carbon dioxide levels, I'll take a look. But at the moment, I think we have plenty of other worries that are higher priority.

P.S. The article suggests that Boko Haram is being driven by climate change. Boko Haram itself says that it is driven by a desire to create an Islamic state and to impose Sharia law. I view this attempt to form a linkage between climate change and Boko Haram as unsubstantiated hand-waving. As I understand it, the claimed link is that global warming leads to displaced and impoverished people who are more likely to join Boko Haram, but I'd like to see some evidence. Are there any factors other than climate change that might lead to people being displaced and impoverished? How do you control for such factors in any predictions?

Comment Warrants not required (Score 1) 153

They are not allowed to hack my computer even IF THEY HAVE A WARRANT, because no warrant can be granted for a computer on foreign soil.

I think what our courts would (eventually) say is that the constitution doesn't protect anyone, or anything, outside of the USA itself, and so no warrant is required in the first place.

That's pretty much the entire basis our CIA was built upon.

I'm not saying this is a good outlook; but I am saying it is the outlook.

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Base 8 is just like base 10, if you are missing two fingers. -- Tom Lehrer