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Comment Re:Fluid type manipulation with unions (Score 1) 405

Granted, you're not making it worse in any way by representing it with a union.

More to the point, you can't make it better by avoiding using a union. Because it's optimum as is.

The right tool for the right job.

pretty much the essence of obscure legacy cruft.

The job is the job. I have no problem using the right tool for the job.

Comment Re:structs and fundamental OO (Score 1) 405

You are just reinventing machine language where data, instructions, and address pointers can be mixed willy-nilly.

Because machine language varies hugely, and c varies little or none, when working on one platform and then another, c is a convenient low-level way to get as many advantages of working close to the metal (obvious ones are speed and executable size) as possible.

Higher-level languages merely try to introduce discipline and consistency to such practices.

Yes, they do. And in the process, they often cause the resulting product to suffer in speed and/or execution size (and the source code in clarity.) When "mere" means "the product is less good", I translate it as "not mere."

There are reasons to go one way or another. It's not as simple as "HLL's are always better." Sometimes even machine language is the best place to go, embedded controllers with limited storage and small tasks that must be accomplished efficiently, for instance.

Comment Impartial journalism? (Score 1) 164

impartial journalism is entirely possible.

It's certainly possible, but if you can actually show me an instance of it, I'd be quite surprised. I don't recall seeing such a thing. Ever.

There's selection bias, where the story that is told is not the only story, and/or leaves out pertinent details that variously pollute the information transfer to the information consumer. This occurs at the publisher, editorial, reporter and information source levels.

There are errors in collecting information, which can be characterized as "impartial but wrong" which entirely undermines the value of "impartial."

There's the social underpinning, such as the assumptions by the platform from publisher down to reporter buy into memes like the drug war, human trafficking, mommyism, military adventurism, etc. as right and proper undertakings and tell stories in the context of the presumptive matrix that results from those memes.

There's ad-pumping, where the advertising pays more money in when more eyes are attracted, which creates a loop based on popularity rather than accuracy.

There's comment "moderation", where "I disagree / am offended / am trolling" can strongly affect visibility of information -- depending on the site, that can come from privileged (and usually wholly unqualified) individuals, as here on slashdot, or from the crowd, as on reddit.

It all adds up to an extremely formidable gauntlet that information has to run in order to get from wherever it arises over to the consideration of the consumer.

And, not that it's part of the problem of actually achieving impartial journalism, but were you to completely get past every aspect of that somehow, then you still have to find an impartial audience or all that work is for nothing.

IOW, if you manage to present the facts, all the facts, nothing but the facts, and your audience cries "fake news" or drags prejudice, superstition, confirmation bias, or anything from a very long list of similar cognitive failure modes into it, well, there you go. You might as well have written an SF novel.

Comment Just an overview (Score 1) 164

If there's anything I've learned about journalism in the last 41 years, it's that everyone puts their own slant on it.

o Publishers - slant, selection bias
o Advertisers - selection bias on source and slant by rewarding max eyeballs
o Editors - slant, selection bias for stories
o Reporters - slant, selection bias for sources
o Information sources - slant, winners get to write history
o Reader's choice of media - slant, selection bias
 
...it's not like it's showing any signs of getting better, either.

Comment Re:Myth: Mayer didn't do well for Yahoo! (Score 3, Insightful) 152

The bottom line is that CEOs are supposed to generate value for shareholders

Reports say that Meyer ordered underlings to not buy the resources to prevent and then not report the security breaches at Yahoo! That cost shareholders more than $1B in valuation on the Verizon deal.

That's one heck of a negative RoI. She had the wrong instincts, she did the wrong thing, and her owners paid dearly for it.

speculation about what someone else might have done is unproductive

No, all her competitors invest in security and are not punished by the market for doing so. This is comparing her to the field, not some ubermensch ideal.

Comment Re:BrickerBot (Score 0) 102

Yeah .. there's nothing like a vigilante of whom you approve.

That Batman is the #1 superhero indicates that a very large majority of the public recognizes that the State is limited in ability, resources, effectiveness, and competence.

Imagine you're at a shopping mall, some nut comes in and starts throwing knives at passersby, taking out one shopper every five to ten seconds. There's a grandpa there packing a 9mm under his coat. Do you:
a) want the grandpa to take out the knife-attacker
b) call 911 and wait for the police to arrive

Statists will generally sacrifice all the people's lives in scenario b) because they value group power over individual life, liberty, and property. Non-statists believe in self-defense and third-party defense as a right and even a societal obligation and will go with a) and save all those lives. The Statists will then show up to call grandpa a 'vigilante'.

Fortunately, the Internet is inherently Stateless so the third-party defense doctrine applies. As far as motive - we just heard a couple days ago about the teens on moral crusades, and then there's the possibility that people (at Dyn?) lost their jobs over the recent high-profile Mirai attacks and would want to see that botnet brought down.

Comment Price Elasticity (Score 1) 235

the one that will extract the most profit from consumers' wallets

Oh, dear, an article by a Marxist still living in 1860. They love them class warfare vocabulary.

The online shopping sites are not trying to get the highest price they can for every product. They are trying to get the optimal price for every product.

Often times the optimal price can be the lowest price, or close to it. One only needs to look at Walmart's position at #1 on the Fortune 500 to understand this is true.

The optimal price is one that enables the highest overall profit for the company. Keeping customers coming back is absolutely one requirement for maximizing profit. Low prices directly benefit consumers and producers in many markets.

What Marxists fail to understand is that profit is the information signal that is sent through the economy from consumers to producers to indicate that they approve of what they are doing. A 'Like button' in the parlance of our times.
  Profit is a very good thing, and it benefits consumers by constantly refining the goods available on the market and the prices of those goods.

Granted, Marx didn't have the benefit of game theory or information theory to work with, but modern writers have no excuse for ignoring modern learning (that's already 60-80 years old). Here's a recent Freakonomics episode on price elasticity that might help some aspiring writers (or even economists) who don't even want to take the time to read.

Comment Re:More Vehicle compatbility (Score 1) 163

Would be even better if there was a practical way to plug other vehicles into the network.

I kinda doubt the Tesla superchargers suck at what they do. Tesla has the biggest infrastructure to date and has opened its patents to other manufacturers to use. There is very little benefit to the owner of a Volt or Leaf to not being able to use the supercharger network. There may be benefit to the other vehicles' manufacturers to make their systems proprietary (maybe GM is delusional about "owning all the gas stations of the future" or some silly thing like that).

Y'know, some manufacturer had to first develop the standard gasoline filler spout and gauge, and the other manufacturers' have done pretty well by cooperating on those, keeping diesel out of gas engines, etc. Perhaps at the time Studebaker thought they'd own all the gas stations of the future. Coopetition needs to be described to the boardrooms often times, though.

And, there, you have a car analogy for your car problem. Yo, dog.

Comment Re:No data, pay as you go only. (Score 1) 196

People are trying to minimize the money you get constantly while trying to maximize what they take from you.

Don't take the money from yourself. I pay $36-something for 4G Verizon MVNO / 5GB through Walmart and the ability to access data on the road saves me more than $36 a month (Gas Buddy, kids-eat-free deals, GPS navigation, Prime audio books, etc.). It would harm me economically to get a cheaper plan.

Comment It WOULD be wise, but it's not. (Score 2) 488

It is very wise to anticipate the need and establish and test it before it must become a mainstream standard.

But they're not doing that. This is a means-tested, graduated scale welfare mechanism.

This is not UBI, it doesn't even vaguely resemble UBI, and as a test of UBI, it's worthless, because its results are completely unrelated. To any degree the results are used to make any decisions at all about actual UBI, the decisions will be nonsensical. Garbage in, garbage out.

Comment yeah, no (Score 1) 488

If it's my taxes being used to conduct this experiment, it damned well IS my business.

Not in a republic, it's not. If it's anyone's business, it's that of your representative. You know, the one you had/have a fractional millionth of an effect in selecting, and essentially none in influencing — that power has been purchased by the corporations.

Comment Sex Robots (Score 2) 488

I don't know how much an anatomically functional interactive sexbot will cost, but it will likely be way cheaper than alimony and child support, and it won't get headaches. If it has a "mute" button and can make sandwiches, that is even better.

True story:

My SO, Deb, and I were laying about in bed one lazy afternoon; she seemed to be dozing lightly.

Me: "Hey, baby?"
Her: "Mmmm?"

Me: "When {unspoken:sex} robots come out, can we get a French maid?"
She: "Sure."
 
...a few seconds pass...

She: "We'll call him 'Pierre.'"

I made a photo-toon of this

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