Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×

Comment Re: Elect Trump for Honest Government (Score 1) 481

Unless it brings the system down, it doesn't matter...

The system itself is broken...

That's how we got into Iraq, the fatuous logic that good motivations can't make a bad situation worse, often far, far worse.

But this kind of logic will always be with us, because it's a smug, tweetable, free pass on the hard work of coming up with and implementing a workable solution (and what idiot wants to attempt that anyway amid the boo-bird chorus of polarized politics?)

30 Shocking Domestic Violence Statistics That Remind Us It's An Epidemic

The Huffpo doesn't spin it this way, but these numbers are likely at the lowest levels since the invention of suburbia. I can't say much more than that, because before the invention of suburbia we probably weren't even keeping score.

The "system" is what brought a pretty terrible thing out of the closet. Sucks to be assaulted by a violent intruder? How about sharing your bed with a violent chest-thumper every damn day?

Software: Maintain or Replace?

But there is a tendency - fuelled by taxpayer money - to leap to replacement quickly, rather than doing maintenance. I have rarely seen a system improved by creating a new one...because the new one is loaded with the same flaws (indeed, new ones) as the legacy system that it replaced.

But of course, the hazards involved with ripping and replacing the current political system are much smaller than ripping and replacing some aging government cost-control system. I mean, gosh, look at how well rip and replace worked in Russia.

The Not-So-Great Professor: Jeffrey Sachs' Incredible Failure to Eradicate Poverty in Africa

The early sections of Nina Munk's book about the economist Jeffrey Sachs read like a celebration of a boy genius. No, strike that: Sachs piles up so many achievements so quickly that the word genius sounds somehow inadequate.

By the age of 13, he was taking college math. Later, he got near-perfect scores on his SATs and graduated summa cum laude from Harvard, where by 28 he was a tenured professor. Two years later, he was advising the Bolivian government on how to administer economic "shock therapy," designed to break the spell of hyperinflation. This led to an even bigger triumph: masterminding Poland's transition to a market economy in 1989, as communism collapsed in Eastern Europe.

Like most geeks, never seen a system he couldn't fix better. Until something blew up so spectacularly, he either got the grey beard gene forever, or curled up and hid in a closet somewhere.

Of course, if you watch enough superhero movies, you just need to put the word out ("the system is broken!") and somehow Jeffery will get the bat signal, and he'll patiently hand-stitch some brightly coloured, stretchy fabric (you'd be amazing what else he found in that stiff bottom drawer with all his grandmother's old Jane Fonda work-out videos) into the peacock man-cape he always dreamed about while he was acing his SATs (painstakingly ripping and replacing the crotch seam six times to achieve the optimally brash yet task-focused fit—they don't call him "Dr Sacks" for nothing) and then he'll spring out the window, and who knows, maybe he can actually fly. I guess we'll find out.

Either way, news at 11.

That all that matters these days.

Entertainment.

Comment Re:Simple, I don't run Win 7/8.1, I run Win 10 (Score 1) 392

I used Windows 7 the other day, it felt old all of a sudden, amazing when it felt so new just 7 years ago, but it is now out of date and the idea of staying on Win 7/8.1 is just not reasonable anymore...

Nice job. You just nailed the limbic limbo: seven deadly sins, seven year itch, and even a bonus baby-boomer Streisand reference ("oh, oh, oh, feelings ...") complete with soulful ellipsis.

You might want to bend your GF's ear and check her expiry date, I think she's due.

So, yes, there are oh, oh, oh, reasons ... why this kind of language is universal in advertising, and shockingly out of place in a serious technical discussion.

Comment Re:Broken Windows Policing (Score 0) 191

instead of pushing for new restrictions on law abiding citizens

I didn't know we had two sets of books.

By the way, in the Chicago Manual, "law abiding" as a modifier is written "law-abiding", so I'm already suspecting you're one of those selective law abiders (to hell with the Nazi rules), who sometimes defers keeping the gun safe locked, and yet you probably don't think you should go straight to jail. After all, what could possibly deter B&E better than an unlocked gun safe?

Crime Gun Theft

The FBI keeps a database of all guns reported stolen and it seems to capture a remarkably high percentage upwards of 75%â"of all of the roughly 240,000 guns stolen from homes each year (according to the National Crime Victims Survey) and the 6,000 reported stolen from licensed dealers

What "law abider" generally references when someone runs it up the flag pole in this way is "righteously selective law abider" (let's not even discuss the speed "limit") whose home is his castle, eighty proof.

Comment I hope they win, but give them only fair chances (Score 2) 175

MaxMind didn't send all those yokels off on spurious missions. Are you your brother's keeper?

It's not a simple legal argument, here. You have to argue that MaxMind should have had a reasonable expectation that yokels will be yokels.

The next step in the argument, it seems to me (I don't give a shit that IANAL), is to claim that enabling yokels to be yokels is an explicit element of the MaxMind value chain, from which MaxMind extracted all kinds of proceeds.

Then it could be argued that this was such an integral element of their value chain as to have induced them into invented a "not found" representation which masqueraded as a valid search result, so as to deliberately create a superficial impression that "not found" results hardly ever happen. That would be the strong condition, but hardest to establish. MaxMind will counter that this was a merely a technical felicity, and that it's no crime to be lazy.

In the strong condition, I see it as absolutely the case that MaxMind sought gains from negligent asshattery.

I also think there's a good chance this case can't demonstrate the strong condition, and only a modest chance they obtain damages from the mild condition.

If MaxMind has a moral backbone, they'll settle out of court for a conscionable amount, unless the aggrieved are in full-on casino mode.

The aggrieved definitely deserve compensation here, but if they have to collect directly from the yokels who caused the disturbances, good luck with that.

Comment Re:If I thought it would help... (Score 1) 279

Let me take a second shot at that.

Back in 1937, a large constituency of the economically marginal blacks in the deep south would have been involved in subsistence farming, which in the extreme case can almost function as a cash-free economy.

I think your standards of affordability need to be a little bit more sophisticated that applying the aggregated, long-term national inflation rate.

Would the Court also take that view? My guess is that they definitely would, hue of wig notwithstanding.

Comment Re:If I thought it would help... (Score 1) 279

If it was unconstitutional then, there's no reason it shouldn't be unconstitutional now.

I generally file this mode of rhetorical sentiment as "good at law, bad at thinking" though on a grumpy days it's s/law/shallow legal bickering/.

Let's take a closer look.

Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections

In a 6 to 3 vote, the Court ruled in favor of Ms. Harper. The Court noted that "a state violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution whenever it makes the affluence of the voter or payment of any fee an electoral standard. Voter qualifications have no relation to wealth."

This ruling reversed a prior decision by the Court, Breedlove v. Suttles, (1937), which upheld the state's ability to impose poll taxes as within its powers. There had been no relevant change in the text of the Constitution between 1937 and 1966.

The 24th Amendment, adopted in 1964, outlawed the poll tax in federal elections, but did not speak to the question of state elections, which was the question involved in the Harper case.

The Court membership had changed, and the justices examined the issue from a different point of view.

So, you're right after all: if it was unconstitutional then, there's no reason it shouldn't be unconstitutional now, modulo the penchant of justices of the U.S. Supreme Court to dye their wigs different colours in different eras.

So if the California situation were to go to the U.S. Supreme Court, the court would probably look at the three dissenting opinions from Harper, perhaps choosing a point of view that takes those arguments even more seriously than the last time around.

Slam dunk. No need to huddle around the Vatican chimney, or any of that rot.

Comment Re:I wish they'd all go away. (Score 1) 123

Often times, if you have an ad blocker enabled, you won't be able to view videos on the site.

I suppose this is a problem because, on the internet, there are too few videos, and way too much time to watch them all. So even the loss of one video is a strike against the home side.

Ad blocker + plenty of fish attitude = why did I even worry about that stupid girl

On YouTube, I have adopted a pretty much infallible personal rule about what curiosity links to click through, when I'm bored enough to even think about doing so.

If the headline tells me how anyone feels (myself, the photographer, the poster, the subjects of the video, the bystanders in the video, or God himself) then the video is a 100% no fly zone.

Also, words like "demolishes", "bitch slaps", "trounces", "debunks" are considered to describe someone's streaming pile of emotional aftermath, turd style "domination porn".

I would probably click through "Hitchens mocks clueless audience member" so this is not an exact science, but I've had no regrets whatsoever since erecting this useful bar.

It hardly needs to be added that any headline or title beginning with "you won't" is immediately subjected to the garlic garland and silver cross hairs.

Comment the glaze-over gift (Score 1) 106

Microsoft must have an entire division devoted to coming up with names that make me glaze over sooner than I can get to a defining sentence in any article in which the word occurs.

List of Microsoft codenames

Hmm, Windows for Workgroups 3.11 was originally codenamed "Snowball", which primarily involved the introduction of a 32-bit TCP/IP stack into a 16-bit OS.

Satan: I've got good news and I've got bad news.

Yourself: What's the good news?

Satan: I'm going to give you a choice.

Yourself: And what's the bad news?

Satan: You can either be known as "Snowball" or "Mr Pink".

Yourself: Wow, that's a relief. I was worried I'd get stuck with "Chakra" or something worse, if there even is anything worse.

Satan: Even in Hell, some dishonours are held in reserve. Now hurry up, or I'll assign you one of each, plus swelling and leprosy.

Comment Re:Rules for thee, not for me (Score 1) 216

RICO also occurred to me when I read the following paragraph:

According to the suit, Getty and its affiliates have not only sold unauthorized licenses of Highsmithâ(TM)s photos, but they have sent threatening letters to people that they believe have infringed the copyright.

Then I see that someone here objects thusly:

RICO? Who did they conspire with?

That's a cool parlour trick you've got there: pack all the accused into one side of the court room, then wave your hand toward the empty half.

RICO dismissed.

So, I guess I'm to understand that if the Mafia were to incorporate itself, it would no longer be a conspiracy, because the collective decision to become a fictitious legal individual sloughs off all conceptual notions of with-hood.

At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed LLC fig leaves together to cover themselves.

That makes so much more sense than the original version, and it's blindingly obvious in retrospect how easily the three "LLC" ink scratches could have been neglected at some juncture of the inter-generational hand-me-down.

Also, we're all sure the person receiving one of these shakedown letters has no feeling at all of being the one pitted against the many, aren't we?

Let me hazard a guess that what gives you the largest dopamine rush in any debate is to find something that costs you next to zero cognitive effort (you seemed not to even notice your use of the word "they" in your question "who did they conspire with?") while demanding that your adversary fill in the tedious technical blanks to your exacting and high standards of approval.

What gives me a big dopamine rush is to notice that the person attempting to wield this kind of argumentative posture has already failed to notice the nose on their own face.

But then I'm more interested in laughing than winning. Each to his own, I guess.

Comment Hades 2026 (Score 1) 247

Last Week Tonight Winter Olympics 2022

The ending here is not one of his best, but the two bits with Brian Williams are priceless. The other good bit: 7000 pages of host-nation demands.

Apart from the women's hockey finals, I can hardly recall the last minute of Olympic coverage I've watched in ten years, just because I hate IOC with the burning intensity of a thousand suns.

You might think I'm exaggerating, but consider that it's only one sun per seven pages of arrogance from geriatric gargoyles that even the French don't want.

Comment Re:Welcome to 2014 (Score 1) 53

Punch bug!

X just released the most advanced Y yesterday.

We used to play this game in the seventies where if you were the first person to spot a VW Beetle, you got to punch the person beside you in the side of their arm.

The CMOS transistor was invented in the year of my birth (I guess I'm dating myself) and had a good fifty year run, now officially ended with even the IEEE is publishing articles pronouncing "the industry roadmap is dead, Jim". For pretty much the whole of that time, whatever was announced yesterday was pretty much guaranteed to leapfrog any product announced six months prior. Of course, this was always accompanied by the fanfare of snivellers announcing that Red (or Green) was back in the saddle, on top of the world, once again.

Now we're at the top of the CMOS maturity curve, where the old leapfrog game is no longer the dominant paradigm. Anyone determining fitness of purpose by some aggregated synthetic benchmark is not long for this world, as an employed person. Take Nvidia, for example, which benchmarks at 0 fps after you drill out the binary blob. How much else does that synthetic benchmark not capture?

One wonders, too, how the future trolls will continue to employ themselves. Having to preface your post with an explanation of a cultural meme from the 1970s will likely take some starch out of the activity.

What's an old troll supposed to do, as this grand old steamship empties out? After younger and more vigorous trolls have established themselves on Twitter or—gasp—Snapchat?

Old Man Billy Goatee probably sticks around and fires up that old-timey radio normally reserved for sending S-O-S calls in distant corners of the world where time stands still, to tap out in Morse code "X just released the most advanced Y yesterday", hoping against nostalgic hope that some isolated South Pacific islander loses his shit, and spends an entire week jamming every ham channel available with irrepressible indignant outrage.

Here's another thing. Period costumes are pricey to maintain. They need to be dry-cleaned regularly, or soon they begin to smell.

Comment Re:how about conference with relevant languages (Score 1) 88

niche and egghead languages aren't how the world at large does things. Of those languages in summary, Java is used. Perl used to be but Larry has been doing wonderful job of letting it die and few would choose that for new infrastructure. the rest are fads

No, no, and no.

Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.
        — Edsger W. Dijkstra

I've never 100% agreed with this quote. A big chunk of computer science is about building better telescopes; and so it is with astronomy, too, that a not-insignificant part involves building better computers.

However, the real currency of the world is ideas.

Innovative computer languages express ideas about how the discipline of programming might be made better. People who study computer languages do so to prioritise ideas over mere skills, not without good motivation.

There is nothing quite so useless, as doing with great efficiency, something that should not be done at all.
                — Peter Drucker

This sentiment motivated one of the all time best ideas in computer science.

The real hero of programming is the one who writes negative code.
                — Douglas McIlroy

Unfortunately, we could have learned this lesson centuries sooner, but for some narcissistic revisionism.

If I have seen further, it is by standing on giant moraines of revolutions discarded.
                — Isaac Newton (first draft)

If I have seen further, it is by standing on the boulders of giants.
                — Isaac Newton (second draft)

Larry's glacial pace may yet reshape the landscape in a profound way. Perhaps Camelia is the moulder of giants. Time will tell.

Comment Re:In other words, Moore's law will continue (Score 1) 133

And Moore's law has never been about performance.

I don't get the selective pedantry, here. There never was a Moore's "law" about the scaling of transistors over time. Pedantically, it probably should be called Moore's prescient, off-hand, transistor-scaling extrapolation. What ultimately came to be termed "Moore's law" never had a particularly strong basis in what Moore actually said.

Even then, The Moore Attribution (thank you, Mr Ludlum) behaved in practice more like Moore's Moneylust Mandate (this was all about performance). Hey, everyone, let's all draw a straight line, then conga dance our way into the penthouse suite!

For the last ten years or so, we've all been hearing a lot of: oh, no, we actually made it under the pole again—as we always do—any perception to the contrary is probably due to the diffraction limit of human vision.

Comment Re:Ninety-nine percent of the land is not used ??? (Score 1) 203

He loses a lot of credibility with this statement.

People get old, you know.

In all, the researchers calculated, those who completed at least some of these booster sessions were forty-eight-per-cent less likely to be diagnosed with dementia after ten years than their peers in the control group. Fake it to maintain it, meanwhile, appeared to have no effect.

The man is rapidly becoming a parody of whatever it was he once accomplished.

Slashdot Top Deals

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay

Working...