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Comment if not, fake news (Score 1) 326

on average millennials expect to retire younger than other working age generations.

Did you mean:

on average millennials expect to retire younger than other working age generations expected to retire when polled in the same way, at a comparable age and state of employment?

If not, fake news.

Comment preexisting malaise (Score 2) 113

What he wrote:

UPDATE: as a direct result of "the views espoused in my engineering article on Medium" I have been terminated from my contracting position at my current employer.

What's he's hoping people read:

UPDATE: solely as a result of "the views espoused in my engineering article on Medium" I have been terminated from my contracting position at my current employer.

Unfortunately, version 1.0 typically falls under the thick veil of he said, she said.

Here's the exact point where he wanders off into the weeds:

Its intractability comes not from incompetency or from a lack of discipline, ...

It doesn't take a 4-Sigmund review to spot the out-of-school litigation here. No one in a state of conflict appreciates the lateral spread of subtext.

I know estimation is often used as a management bully club, and I've had some pretty dark thoughts about some indivisuals who have chosen to behave that way, but sorry, I'm just not feeling the sympathy in this instance.

Comment Re:Online ? Authors never shopped in real life (Score 1) 247

Because I hate to tell you, but stores in Beverly Hills charge more than they do in Compton for the exact same product.

Personally, I would lump the surcharge for blowing smoke up the customer's ass as part of the actual product for most of the merchandise available in Beverly Hills. When you're wealthy enough, the retail experience is the product, and what you actually take home is just the Broadway playbill souvenir.

Comment Re: Unimpressive performance. (Score 1) 143

You can buy a 128GB SSD for less than $77 (plus the cost of a new CPU and motherboard). Exactly what is Intel's value proposition?

Here, let me do your thinking for you.

1 TB NAS drives are running about USD $65 at Newegg today. You'll want to run two in a mirror configuration. (This will double your pathetic read IOPs over a non-mirrored drive, and double your sequential read performance to 300 MB/s.)

Both of those, plus the Optane SRT, works out to $207.

A single Crucial MX300 1 TB M.2 will run you USD $289 all by itself. The SRT-boosted system will probably allow you to search your file system metadata faster than the SSD. 300 MB/s sustained sequential read is actually pretty fast, if the hard drives aren't constantly interrupted to fetch small-block metadata.

Clearly, though, this product does not displace an SSD in your single, small SSD consumer box. Like, for a guy with nothing much to store, and infinite faith in angular's 50 different shades of cloudy "I agree".

While we're at it, let's clear up a second common misconception. Most people think that "pair" in "pair of pants" refers to the biological bilateral symmetry. But no, it actually refers to the sociological bicoronal symmetry—the imperfect, candle-light symmetry between front and back. Because I just know that you're going to complain that Joe consumer is not going to pony up for a NAS drive pair.

Well, Joe consumer does not have to pony up for a NAS drive pair. Best Buy will sell him the front half of the NAS pair for exactly half the price. And then the Best Buy moron-vultures will tell him that with only one drive, now he only needs the smaller Intel SRT, and now the wallet bump for 1 TB of SRT-enhanced NAS drive is down to a very attractive $109 and shoeless Joe gets some new shiny to crow about, too.

"But the other store told me all I needed was 128 GB!"

"Have you heard about the number of pixels in the camera of the new iPhone 9?"

"Really? The iPhone 9?"

"Yeah, it'll be so amazing. Don't be caught short with a tiny little SSD. Hey, and check out the mirror, too. You're looking gooood."

For this purpose, Best Buy has a special hand-held mirror, only slightly larger than a dental mirror, which makes it almost impossible to see the startled expression on the face of anyone milling around behind you.

Comment blantant-predator moral honeypot (Score 1) 173

A public act by an organization ignoring robots.txt will only lead to the justification of other organizations ignoring robots.txt.

So what? When DoubleClick argues that they ought to have the same advantages as, they'll only manage to look like douchebags reaching their filthy hands into a cookie jar.

It's not always a bad thing to set up douchebag-honeypot moral exemption, even if it does depend on the mass audience (mostly) managing to find two sticks to rub together.

The real solution here is to make the directives in robots.txt more explicit concerning the predatory/non-predatory use cases.

Comment thou shalt not deviate (Score 1) 70

I once read a book by Linda Hill that I personally found amazingly valuable, but only because I was careful not to light any matches, because her presentation was dry, dry, dry.

Because of the Indian incompetence story here on Slashdot this morning, I went to paste a link into my files, and chanced upon a past entry concerning HCL Technologies, a topic that Linda Hill has addressed in video, and soon I found myself watching a clip of hers on YouTube I hadn't seen before.

Linda Hill on empowering young sparks at HCL — July 2016

The problem in India with the educational system is that the system dictates and student repeats. ... We all had to unlearn how we were educated. And the leaders had to unlearn what they thought leadership was about. Because if you grow up in that kind of system, when you're a leader what you think your role is, is that you're supposed to set direction and make sure nobody deviates from it. That's fundamentally how they saw their role.

And here we have this Wikipedia article, where the unstated premise seems to be "Surprise! Derf-derf-derf, Wikipedia doesn't actually practice zero-deviation culture, despite their publicly assigned role as the plastic–pocket-protector paragon of geek dysfunction.

No, instead what we have is this: if a source is broadly flagged as tainted, it becomes open season to replace this source with a better citation wherever and whenever, without expecting significant blow back.

Isn't that leadership enough?

Is the underlying zero-deviation fixation that motivates this story just a tired strawman? Or is this derf-derf strawman meme playing to a real audience?

Well, I personally would run, run, run if I found myself in that audience, because anyone who doesn't is doomed to be soon be looking up at India as the management enlightenment movement that just passed you by with a big whoosh.

Comment Re: My experience... (Score 2) 445

I don't see a problem with this. You want specific levels of error handling? Put it in the spec.

#include "no_abe_normal.h"

If you're not familiar with this convention (it appears you haven't been in this business long enough to hear the pathetic whimpers of Forma L. val d'Ation sequestered away from public shame in an attic antechamber), the "h" stands for "head".

Comment can you do the job? (Score 3, Insightful) 341

Republicans only care about money. Can you do the job? Good. Get to work.

Cutting red tape to ribbons is an intrinsically easier job than building up effective layers of regulation that prevent the public interest being bent over a barrel, while the longest of all possible rubber gloves rummages around for the better part of a trillion dollars.

Evidently, no money was harmed in the operation.

The job, as I see it, is a little harder to accomplish, once you concede that there is such a thing as effective regulation, though it's yet far from a science; science also being a discipline where time after time ones best efforts fall short, and yet one perseveres.

In the best case scenario, even after regulation becomes more of science, it will still be double hard: hard to do and hard on the ego.

Kind of makes a guy want to double down on only caring about money, setting oneself up on a lavish private beach, and watching the glorious Egos soar.

Comment Re: Forget the graphic cards... (Score 1) 93

Now obviously something was wrong with the polling data.

Because why? Because popular opinion has guaranteed monotonic convergence? At a guaranteed quadratic convergence rate?

Just what part of "moving target" is so hard for people to understand?

Candidate A shits her pants at the front of the boat. Everybody rushes to the back of the boat.

Candidate B begins barfing up a taco bowl. Everybody rushes back to the front of the boat.

Blather. Foam. Repeat.

The only reason Trump won is because on the day of the election, there were more disgusted voters headed to the back of the boat than the front of the boat.

Polls, especially rolling meta polls, have an intrinsic lag of two to four days. I clearly saw on the 538 graphics momentum building toward the rear bulkhead as we rounded into election day. After I extrapolated the trend a few days forward to compensate for polling lag, I was not surprised by the final outcome.

There was more than enough disgust in both directions to support either outcome. Another Billy Bush tape in the final week could easily have turned the tide. This was not a normal election where the polls were tracking a slow convergence of the undecideds. The polls were tracking a mad (and futile) scramble for the voters to distance themselves from whichever paragon of disgust was recently the most salient.

Moving target. The polls were no less instantaneously accurate than they've ever been. They just don't work very well when neither candidate has a redeeming feature, and the electorate goes into orbit around a positive pole in the complex plain.

How is this even remotely difficult to comprehend?

From where I sit, it's all bog-standard Electoral Engineering for Dummies, 101.

Comment Re:"Disruptive" (Score 1) 56

I'm a card-carrying Goldman Sachs conspiracy theorist. I really do think they systematically rig the market to their ultimate advantage, one ballsy five- or ten-year bamboozle after another.

Their main obstacle is that it's very hard to fool people twice with the same bullshit, so there always has to be a new fundamental disruption lurking around the next corner. I don't yet know what AI really is, but I sure know it's covered in fleece.

A sure tell is the narrative of nested boxes: each shiny thing within the dark thing is ever an order of magnitude more disruptive, more profound, and more lucrative.

The innermost thing is so brilliant, set against such a dark background (exponentially dark, by the miracle of multiple contrast-enhancing frames), it blinds you altogether.

Comment motes on mute (Score 2) 1222

The only flaw I can find is when Jupiter ignites there is a sound, which of course there wouldn't be.

This is one of the most ridiculous memes ever. Sound is a mechanical vibration, and Jupiter probably vibrates like hell after it ignites.

What people mean is that there is no direct transmission of physical sound waves through the vacuum of space.

Snooping Through Walls with Microwaves
Laser microphone

On 25 August 2009, U.S. Patent 7,580,533 was issued for a device that uses a laser beam and smoke or vapor to detect sound vibrations in free air ("Particulate Flow Detection Microphone based on a laser-photocell pair with a moving stream of smoke or vapor in the laser beam's path"). Sound pressure waves cause disturbances in the smoke that in turn cause variations in the amount of laser light reaching the photo detector.

Or you could drop a few thumb-sized motes.

I like 2001, the Russian Solaris, and A Scanner Darkly.

Blade Runner and Alien were better than a jab in the eye.

If we further widen the net to include Space Fiction, The Wrath of Kahn rocks; while A New Hope and WALL-E both have their moments.

If we further wide the net to include any form of thematic overlap, I'd include The Right Stuff, Apollo 13, the first Back to the Future, the first Iron Man, select chunks of The Terminator franchise, RoboCop, Young Frankenstein, Dr Strangelove, and certain aspects of The Fifth Element. One might even include the sensibility of Tree of Life or Hugo.

I'll also give an honourable to The City of Lost Children, because I would actually rewatch that movie. Can't recall much of anything about the plot (not usually a good sign), but there's plenty of there there in other regards. In a pinch, I could rewatch Dune as an entertaining car wreck.

Unfortunately, much of the rest of the canon only serves to rouse my appetite without entirely beddin' her back down.

Note that I did not exclude any Spielberg movies by accident. If I had to rewatch one, it would be THX 1138. Spielberg is so sentimental, I'm soon humming Indian Love Call and wishing it would work.

On my list as the least science fiction film ever made would be the original Matrix. Perhaps the humans harvested for their cerebellar electricity was a satirical neoliberal talking point adapted from Ayn Rand.

Comment Thomas Voss on GUI by centerfold (Score 1) 191

Interview: Thomas Voss of Mir — October 2014

Obviously there are disadvantages to having only one graphics language, but the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. ... Android made the same decision to go that way. Even Wayland to a certain degree has been doing that. They have to support EGL and GL, simply because it's very convenient for app developers and toolkit developers — an open graphics language. That was the part that inspired us, and we wanted to have this one graphics language and support it well. And that takes a lot of craft.

So, once you can say: no more weird 2D API, no more weird phong API, and everything is mapped out to GL, you're way better off. And you can distil down the scope of the overall project to something more manageable. So it went from being impossible to possible. And then there was me, being very opinionated. I don't believe in extensibility from the beginning — traditionally in Linux everything is super extensible, which has got benefits for a certain audience.

If you think about the audience of the display server, it's one of the few places in the system where you've got three audiences. So you've got the users, who don't care, or shouldn't care, about the display server.

How is it that I never fall into the category of people described as "users"?

Does what I do for ten hours a day, every day, not fall into the semantic category of "using"? Me, and everyone like me? How do we always find ourselves filed under "a certain audience"? Well, this "certain audience" is today crying no giant room-temperature crocodile tears—neither any small, steamy gnat tears.

Here's the underlying problem: "user", as fantasized by far too many software developers, is the centerfold normalization of real womanhood.

Comment Re:No Human Element? (Score 1) 81

I thought Poker was a game of understanding your opponents not only based on past actions with cards but also by looking at facial expressions, body language and determining whether or not they have a good hand. Along with that, a big part is developing subtle gestures to throw your opponents off.

Hollywood much?

Also, cops fight crime mainly by experience tragic science field trips in early childhood.

Here's a pro tip. If the actors are loving it, it has probably had the living Snopes kicked out of it, supposing there was any at all to begin with.

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