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Comment Re:Impressive (Score 1) 106

>False. What telecoms â" correctly â" object to, are efforts by local governments to compete with them. Private businesses, individuals, or non-profits are fine...

No. They lock up the last mile and do everything they can to stop private competition as well. If you're lucky enough to live in a densely populated and affluent area, you might be able to get high speed internet through microwave (the pricing is actually pretty competitive), otherwise you're going to be stuck choosing between the two horribly shitty options of either AT&T or Comcast.

It's a duopoly, and enforced by our legislators that are bought and sold by them.


Comment Re:Thanks for the great answers (Score 1) 158

>There is a saying in the C++ community, that many language features are intended to protect against Murphy, not Machiavelli.

And yet as C++ progresses, it becomes easier and easier to write simple and performant code that can't be exploited. We're a long way from the strcpy() days. I can, for example, uppercaseify strings without ever using a pointer, iterator, square bracket, or at(). And the strict typing of C++ stops every one of the exploits detailed in those Perl Jam videos, with -Wall being there to watch for anything you can do that is technically legal, but a bad idea.

>Unlike Java, Perl does not even try to protect you from malicious programmers. Being a scripting language, Perl also doesn't try hard to protect you from careless programmers. Nonetheless, these particular examples of brokenness would be hard to encounter by accident. You can't say that of PHP.

Very true. You will definitely encounter more accidental weirdness in PHP. But long past are the days where it was common practice in PHP to pollute your variable namespace with parameters passed in by the user. But the point of those videos is that even if you are a security conscious programmer, following established language patterns, the weirdness of Perl - the language itself - works against you in your goal of trying to write secure code.

Submission + - The LHC discovers new tetraquarks, but what does that mean for physics?

StartsWithABang writes: The Standard Model is great at describing all the known particles we’ve ever observed and how they interact, but there are a number of important hints that it isn’t all there is in the Universe. The existence of dark matter, dark energy, neutrino masses, the matter-antimatter asymmetry, the strong-CP and hierarchy problems all tell us that this collection of quarks, leptons, their antiparticles and the bosons we know are only part of the story. The LHC at CERN is currently producing the highest energy collisions at the largest rate ever seen on Earth, making it the best tool to discover new, never-before-seen particles. In a news release just a few days ago, they announced the discovery of multiple new particles – tetraquarks – that had never been seen before. Here's what that means for the Standard Model and our understanding of physics.

Comment Re:How long until the cheaters take over? (Score 1) 46

The way the system works is that the first time you take an action, it creates a virtual sphere that grows at a certain rate (something like 15 miles per hour?). If you take any actions outside of that sphere, then you get locked out for 15 to 30 minutes.

So catching a flight isn't an issue, the sphere will have expired by the time you land. Driving on the interstate could potentially be problematic if you hit a portal, speed to another place, and then hit another portal within 15 minutes.

The common case that it fails on the most, though, is the jitter you get right when you turn on GPS. If you are close to two portals when you turn it on, the jerking around as it tries to pinpoint your location can move you faster than 15MPH according to the app, and lock you out.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 983

>The cops around me start at only $32k-38k max out at less than $70k unless they make at least watch commander, get only 50% pay for pension, and the minority of the pension fund comes from payroll deductions.

Here's rates for California:

$74,700 to start, 5% raises annually, capping at $92,640. Plus full benefits, plus other bonuses (worth probably another 10k or so) that you can go through here:


That's more than they pay software engineers working for the department (I just went through their job listings).

Retirement is based on 90% of their highest three years of salary, plus health and dental.

Comment Re:It's bullshit is what it is (Score 1) 1010

>The way politics is in this country, Hillary could shoot someone in broad daylight on the National Mall and not only would she not be prosecuted, many of her supporters would still vote for her. "What difference does it make?"

The actual quotes are even more hilariously depressing. Let me grab some from the NPR thread on this:

"I suggest a ban on the following words until election day: email, server, Benghazi. She is acquitted, we are done. (some Americans seem to forget innocent until proven guilty tenet our country was built upon....) We can HOPEFULLY focus on education, infrastructure, health care, environement [sp], global policy and equality. Somehow, it feels like a lofty goal to make those things relevant in this election." -Christiana Schweitzer

"The right wing has (once again) been told that Santa Claus is not real. Add it to the list of things like Birtherism, the IRS, Benghazi, Planned Parenthood, and Death Panels. When will people on the right hold those that lead them down rabbit holes accountable for wasting their time?" -Edward Long

"GOP has done nothing to help Americans except waste millions on useless investigation...IRS, VA, Benghazi, Emails.... A bunch of unpatriotic clowns is what they are." -Edwin Johnson

"OK, so can we put this to bed already? For the gazillionth time? And for a GOP that wants a smaller gubmint intruding in people's lives, I'd like to see how much of my taxes paid for this absolute charade of an investigation." -Samantha McColeman

"Despite an 800 page, $7 million Benghazi investigation, and an FBI investigation - which allegedly involved "dozens" of investigators, they all found NOTHING. What will the trolls now have to write about? "Hillary for Prison" is now dead. As a country, can we all now focus our resources and energy on larger issues such as climate change, terrorism, race relations, and the economy." -David Archibald

Comment Re:Not again (Score 0) 54

>Everyone must learn to code or you'll starve to death in the new economy!!

Well, computer science IS everywhere these days.

But I see it more as an attempt to solve the rather difficult problem of how to get people started on programming. The people who do best in computer science classes in college are almost universally people that have done coding before as a hobby or something. This would be another way of providing that knowledge.

Do you get equally upset at science museums for trying to teach students about electromagnetism prior to AP Physics?

Comment Re:Sounds like bullshit (Score 1) 210

>I'm sorry. I just don't believe this. First of all, what kind of quality assurance job, particularly code review, would allow you to automate most of what you do? I would suggest any programmer capable of so significantly automating their job that they can sit back for over five years and jerk off would be among the most elite programmers on the planet...

Uh, no. One of my freshman students completely automated his job. He was a bright guy, but hardly one of the most elite programmers on the planet. He worked for a real estate agent, going through whatever the real estate database is called, grabbing houses that looked like good deals (based on various criteria), and preparing them into a report in a certain format. Six months into the job, he realized everything was repetitive, and automated the whole thing. The RE agent was happy, he was happy, so who cares?

Comment Re:Dear submitter, (Score 1) 408

>Please look up some studies on human memory

Sure. But it seems highly unlikely in the extreme that a person could deliberately invoke a mode and then forget about it immediately three seconds later, especially when it would be reinforced by a traumatic event. (Trauma increases memory retention.)

Which means the only live possibilities are that Tesla didn't notify him properly - i.e. he activated it without knowing he activated it - or there is a bug in Tesla's software. Both are very possible events. Both are Tesla's fault.

Comment Re:"Free will" confuses the issue (Score 2) 386

It has been long known that there is a delay between conscious thought and awareness of conscious thought. This has shit-all to do with the free will debate, and science journalists (or whatever you want to call them) should be ashamed for conflating the two issues to make headlines.

It's related to the stopped escalator phenomenon. If you ever step on a broken escalator, you'll usually experience a moment of vertigo as your brain anticipates you moving forward, and then you realize you didn't. This is the same sort of delay that we're talking about here. Nothing to do with free will, it's just our brains' amazing capability to hide the fact that we are experiencing the world on a delay.

Comment Re:Wait until they start making a bit of money (Score 1) 1080

>That's kinda the thing though isn't it. The current economic situation is that a greater number of people can't make "a bit of money".

Unemployment is at 5%. Underemployment is an issue, but Obamacare is a massive reason for underemployment - if a person now works too many hours, they get "free" health care. So their employers just don't pay them enough hours.

A bigger issue isn't employment, but the increasing cost of living. The number of months of wages to buy a house has skyrocketed. Electricity costs are through the roof. Health care costs are through the roof. College costs are through the roof.

Is capitalism the source of college costs going up three times faster than inflation since 1978? No. Rather obviously not. If people had to actually pay their own money for college, they would be a lot smarter about it, and colleges would need to compete on price. Instead what we have is the federal government calculating "need" based on the cost of college minus the expected contribution from a student+parents, and then guaranteeing that they'll make up the difference through grants and loans. So they incentivize colleges to raise rates over and over again, since the feds'll be good for it.

The solution is actually easy. Turn off need-based financial aid. Tuition rates would collapse overnight.

If you still want to support higher education, take the money that we're spending right now and switch to a flat subsidy, or a flat subsidy based on income. Between our student loan program, student grants, and job retraining budget, we have enough to pay every student to go to community college, which costs far less to educate a student than a state or private institution. If the student wants to go to a state or private college instead, they can pay the difference or get a loan.

What capitalism teaches us is that both people and institutions respond to financial incentives, and the trick is to get the incentives working FOR us.

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