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Comment burning down the house (Score 1) 135

I recall stories of products that served to make an antenna out of the electrical wiring of your house or even the chicken-coop wiring in the backing of old stucco-surfaced walls. they functioned as advertised, but seeing as neither was designed for the purpose, they're both woefully unprepared for the accidental circumstance of a larger EMF pulse. recieving a signal incurs resistance, resistance heat. too much signal can suddenly cause your house to explode into flame.

PS AAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGHHHHHH entering this comment was a exercise in frustration, what the FUCK kind of script is preventing me from typing, hilighting, or rightclicking in the edit pane randomly and for 30 seconds at a time?!?!?!?

Comment Re:That's not the professional term (Score 1) 487

"the language" is not dead and unchanging, nor is america's great melting pot full of a completely uniform broth. there's chunks of different stuff swimming around in there.

I like Yiddish phrases like "oy veh", japanese ones like "ne?" ('don't you think?'), and gleefully subscribe to the connotations associated with the 'ebonics' versions of words with 'whiter' counterparts with identical denotations: bitch just isn't the same as beotch. I welcome useful and fun new words regardless to source, and i grant the language the freedom to fork and merge as groups invent and cease using words.

i will continue to enjoy such language quirks as a means for identifying the groups to which people wish to show inclusion to, for I don't speak identically to my boss as to friends as to children as to strangers etcetc. which dialect i choose is as much a part of the image i want to exude as the clothes i wear; as important as a tense/sad/happy soundtrack is to a movie scene.

ebonics is an american creation anyway, the words generally aren't african derived but still etymologically english-sourced in general, so the one not learning the language of their own country is YOU here.... unless you believe the dictionary angels bequeath new words from ivory towers.

Comment Re:Can we (Score 1) 444

i liked rocky to some degree (not 5).

the concept was better than it ended up being executed, but i still want to see the character come full circle and become mickey to someone else's rocky.

the same concept was a stated goal for goku in dragonball z; to eventually be the turtle master to someone else's goku. that didn't really pan out with the ever-topping-itself modus it took on.

Comment Re:HAHA NO (Score 1) 116

I don't know the terms associated with this, but if it's close to as open a platform as the gphone it's based off of, i welcome it.

nintendo keeps tight control over just what games play on their system. a mobile gaming platform, open to all developers like the pc, can finally get me the mobile version of custer's revenge that nintendo doesn't want me to have.

i don't really expect this to be that open, but i can still hope for something similar to it.

Comment Re:death star contractors (Score 1) 379

as i reread more of your latest point, i think i owe you more concessions. what you're telling me about overextended debt is very believable, and i will be considering it as i read more and discuss with other people. i'll need to do so before i can really agree or disagree.

i think most of the point i made still stand if they can be disassociated from the famed troubles lately, and confined to just this piece of software. i was never trying to force you to concede this caused the markets to crash lately, only that it's completely unsafe as is, and that's regrettably in-theme.

Comment Re:death star contractors (Score 1) 379

That's my point and has always been my point. The cause of the financial crisis is completely unrelated to the presence of this trading tool. There is no connection.

ok, so your disagreement is more with the title of the article and less with me? even if you consider the crux flaw to be elsewhere, surely you can agree the software is exemplary of the type of problem, and at least contributory?

This is one of the scary differences between finance and other more stable fields. The software is closer to being a prototype.

you can even broaden it to software in general. that situation needs to be matured, and what happened is a warning to do so. especially in circumstances like this where there's large numbers involved.

Bill of Rights has nothing to do with the situation. Unless there's some secret amendment in there about people not having the right to be stupid or prohibited from taking crazy risks.

correct, the bill of rights has nothing to do with the problem. neither do racecars or bittorrent. i was making a comparison between how it is used and regarded and how safety checks can be. neither the bill or rights nor the safety checks will directly force anyone to do anything, it's all in how they're regarded by the people using them. though getting people to regard them is a difficult task, it's not impossible, and ultimately very fruitful. the miraculous adherence you doubt can occur with the software has already been accomplished in more difficult circumstances.

Comment Re:death star contractors (Score 1) 379

i understand the premise behind your '50 dollar' point. i don't see the connection, however. maybe some of the traders were jaywalkers too, but just because the software can't catch their jaywalking actions doesn't mean they can't catch the jaywalkers that try to make illegitimate derivatives.

This is the point I've been making which you don't seem able to get. The people who use this software are too smart for the software and their needs are far too diverse to capture with software. If you want to supervise them, you need to employ other smart humans.

I get it perfectly, and I never suggested a wholly technical solution. Yes, you absolutely employ other smart humans (or ideally, set up the system so that there's a competitive interest in checking each others work.) I don't see you challenging the legitimacy of the trading tool's effectiveness at making derivatives when it too needs smart humans using it to work; why are you challenging the safety mechanisms on that basis?

The former is a good idea and it's likely the software already did that

and i want to re-emphasise they are just brainstormed ideas. as in the racecar developer saying to himself "i bet a restraint system might help the mortality rate in crashes". that's still a far cry from the professionally designed and tested crumple zones etc that we now have as a result of applying a scientific process to the task. i don't know what form the security mechanisms of a loan-packaging software would entail until that work is undertaken. as for "already did that", i don't consider such a boolean value. i consider how WELL they did that; a shade of grey. lying to the software is exactly what the safety system (and its educated userbase) should be engineered to attempt to detect.

In summary.... Software tools can't ever compensate for that.

I don't disagree with anything in your summary, but I wasn't trying to propose any theories on what caused the financial crisis. I was simply suggesting this tool is rife for abuse as-is, and the author was conscious of that. Your defeatist attitude towards human nature and its ability to use tools to solve social problems is duly noted, but not shared.

Anyone who developes a vehicle, no matter how fast or slow it travels, has some priority higher than safety. Period.

developing a prototype and launching a national production line are two very different things. which do you think an INDUSTRY STANDARD peice of software is more similar to? This was not a tool a trader built for personal use, this was intended from the beginning to have total or majority market share. the safety obligations of something intended for broad systemic use is much higher than something done one-off and for personal use. Agreed there is always some risk; the inevitability of risk is not an exuse to ignore it and fail to minimize it.

Nothing on Earth can compensate for that sort of high flying hubris, certainly not a software tool.

and the bill of rights is just a goddamned peice of paper. it's inconceivable that a dried hunk of animal skin with symbols inked on it can help society be more civilized. people will disregard the document and that's all that can be done about the situation. ...or is it?

Comment Re:death star contractors (Score 1) 379

i don't agree with your attitude that checks are impossible, nor did i imply that the checks should be entirely software based. if the same creativity put into creating the system is applied to securing it, i'm sure much can be done. a lot of times just making sure enough of the right information is put before the right eyes is all you need. attention is the light shone into the dark areas in which misbehavior is hidden. and just because it can be an arms race doesn't mean we shouldn't fight the good fight.

safety is not secondary. period. anyone who develops a 300mph vehicle without safety belts is negligent. no it won't ever be completely safe, but dropping the effort to secure it is foolish. the answer is not to stop building racecars, or stop trying to make them safer, it's to address the issues to the best of your ability.

I wholly disagree with your last paragraph. the combination of the software and peoples natural tendency to misuse it did cause harm (in addition to the good it causes). it absolutely gave license to a sloppy lending environment to get even sloppier. yes it did create the securities in the technical sense, isn't that exactly what its function was? and i don't understand the relevance of the 50 dollars point, unless i'm supposed to accept that because bad behavior happens in other contexts, i'm supposed to tolerate it here.

What is the significance of 'professional traders' vs 'people wandering off in the internet'? I don't understand the point, unless you're saying we should just lay down and accept whatever 'professional traders' want to do because they're just so smart they're gonna do it anyway. typo checks? how about multiple independent fault tolerance checks on some of the key values? (hmm, why are the average fico score of 70% of the loans in this package 700+, and 30% below 500, but all loans are for over 200k?) how about placing a small daily random sampling of anonymized-and-scrubbed-for-privacy information is placed before your fellow competition using the software and vice versa, creating a system of peer review based off the motivations of competition. i'm just throwing ideas out there, but i'm sure the problem can be approached scientifically/sociologically.

the answer to sneakiness is eyeballs. a system that can automate the sneakiness so well needs to help automate the eyeballs as well.

Comment Re:death star contractors (Score 1) 379

i see you don't, and i can respect the position. the blame i place on him is by no means whole. perhaps bittorrent is the better comparison. it too serves a need (past and future?) and adds value. it also, by human nature, has very obvious and tempting misapplications. but as with any pandora's box type of dilemma, it's tough to be pointedly blaming.

yes, this was just an effective automation of something that was done manually before, and that's very enabling from an engineer's perspective. becoming an industry standard has its own problems though. even presuming empathy, people begin trusting the magic black box. more cynically, such a system is rife with potential to be manipulated and serve as an obfuscation for ill intent. especially if those things combine and you have a system being widely trusted and not being paid due attention to. i hold the opinion that a system so powerful is only half-built without further checks on it. same as a race car without safety engineering, a driver without licensing, or bittorrent without god-knows-what-i-wish-i-knew.

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Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -- Aldous Huxley