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Comment Re:This isn't really that hard to understand (Score 1) 680

The problem with climate science is that it's so difficult.

No, it is actually VERY VERY SIMPLE.
1. To show that CO2 has an effect on heat, get two glass jars. One filled with CO2, and one filled with air. Shine an infared lamp (or even just sunlight) on both jars. You can measure that the CO2 jar absorbs more heat, because it's hotter than the air jar. This principle has been known and well-understood for over 100 years, and you can demonstrate this in an elementary-school classroom.

2. To show that human industrial activity releases a shitton (ie. enough to affect the whole world's climate) is also relatively simple. Get in a plane, and fly over the Los Angeles basin. Just look at the carpet of constantly running automobiles, as far as the eye can see across many hundreds and hundreds of square miles. Wrap your brain around this happening 24x7, week after week, month after month ... for decades. Get on Google Earth, and look at the land-area we're talking about; and multiply that by all the major cities of the world. This is completely non-mathematical, but very easy for most people to visualize, if they've ever had the opportunity to fly over any urban sprawl area and just watch it happen. Maybe with a little observation of a car exhaust, and how the engine works, and what kind of volume of gasses it puts out while it's running. Also think about jet engines, and the volume of gas they put out as they're running, and think about the tens of thousands of flights happening right now, and every single day: again, 24x7. Non stop. For decades.

These two simple observations are obvious and plain enough that it affected me on a gut-level. No math required. It's plain and obvious. Not at all subtle.

Now: to observe the actual effects on the world, is not so easy. One way is to look at photos, over decades, of glaciers that have receded. If you've been alive for 30+ years (or longer), you know damn well that even though we've had a couple of harsh winters, it's certainly not like it was when we were kids. If you ask older people, they can tell you that things have definitely changed. But this effect is subtle enough that even the very old people who remember Minnesota winters 70 years ago, don't seem to be able to grasp how very different the climate there is now.

Comment Attack the Economic Position (Score 1) 680

They have very convoluted and complicated arguments against Climate Change.

On the Economic side, you hear that the Carbon Tax, and funding for research into renewables (and smart grids, and mass energy storage, and electric cars, and etc); will have a net positive effect on the economy. Yet when you're talking with a denier - they're arguing that any tax is going to cause economic devastation and abridge everybody's quality of life and standard of living, and that shutting down all the fossil fuel jobs will leave millions unemployed. Nobody questions this claim (in the newsmedia), and rarely are the economic arguments compared or scrutinized. This is also an important point that needs to be made to climate change deniers. Where renewable investment has been made, where carbon taxes were enacted, positive, measurable benefits have been observed. Most mainstream economists actually agree with this, but those arguments are silenced in the mainstream newsmedia.

Comment Re:Ads in the middle are far worse than at the end (Score 1) 316

I do have an ideological hatred of ads:
It is a unilateral renegotiation of terms. When they want to increase the length of ads, they do it. You get no say. When they want to increase the volume, they do it, you get no say. When they increase the (fucking annoying as hell and insulting) repetition, they do it, you get no say. FUCK ALL THAT. I pay a price to see a show, you show me the fucking show at that set price and that's that. That's the deal. You don't get to alter the terms of the deal, or I fucking shut off your media. Period.

That's what I hate about ads.

There is a set-dollar-amount that any ad is worth, because an advertiser pays for that. I want my cut, and I want it to be a stated term, up front. No changing it later, after the fact. I pay my bills, those fuckers need to pay theirs.

Comment Re:In other words, no useful improvements (Score 1) 249

Oh yeah - and just give me a single, simple networking indicator on the panel that says: 1) interface is on 2) getting good physical-layer signal 3) has a valid address 4) can ping it's lan gateway 5) can ping and tracert DNS servers across the net. 6) can ping and tracert major entities around the globe (google, amazon aws, microsoft). When the net's down, the first thing I want to know is where the fault is, and can I do anything about it. And it's always; "oh fuck open the terminal, now, do I ipconfig, or ifconfig, I don't remember, what net am I on? what's the gateway, can I ping that? can I see through the firewall? Is DNS fubared? . . . etc.

Comment Re:Just as long as tabs can be turned OFF by the u (Score 2) 249

Yes, keyboard navigation in OS X is a total shit show. Apps behave differently to the keystrokes, and some don't respond at all (if the window is "hidden" instead of minimized - why is there a fucking difference?, and if you use a laptop from the built in screen at home, and then use multiple monitors at work, good luck getting UI's and windows to scale right. So much broken.

Also, I know homebrew is nice and all, but OS X REALLY REALLY REALLY needs a decent package manager system. AND a FUCKING UNINSTALLER FOR FUCK"S SAKE. And a central way to find all of the places every app stores startup elements, configuration items, resources . . . etc.

This is all basic "list of main things every OS should do"; and OS X does not get these. Release after release.

Comment Re:Need to replace CEO CFO with robots first (Score 1) 1023

Well, ROI isn't really what this is about. Overpaid execs is all about The Hype Train (TM), and building investor excitement, and pumping the stock price. The Hype Train (TM) is why stock PE ratios have been insane since about 1996. The more they kick the american worker in the nuts, the more erect the investor class becomes - because they no longer need to compete with a large, empowered middle-class for access to political power. They don't have to out-bid their own workers while attempting to influence politicians. The value of the stock goes up, the low-tax income of the overpaid exec goes up, the income of the board members go up, and the value of the congressmen and senators blind-trust investments roundly go up. Win-win for the ruling-class and investing-class, lose-lose for the working class.

Comment as long as we're having this debate... (Score 2) 263

Just want to say, reading a lot of good points from both sides of the argument in this discussion.

1) Don't like WAZE; don't need advertisements, or gamification. I just want directions and traffic info. Google usually does that just fine. WAZE sucks my battery dry even when I'm not using it.
2) Google maps UX is pretty stupid, most of the time. Used to be pretty obvious and functional, but now, with each new "upgrade", I end up doing a fair amount of clicking around to try to figure out what widgets do, and try to locate functionality that's been (apparently) deprecated. It is very frustrating and annoying, but much less so than Apple maps. The bar is low.

3) A long time ago, I used to deliver pizza. I did that job for about 4 years. I can imagine that google maps can work far better than paper in some situations. But a paper map does something that you don't really ever get into when you're driving in an area frequently, over a period of time. Google doesn't let you LEARN the area. It keeps you on the main/shortest route, which is not always the best route. And you end up relying on Google to get you around. If your signal goes, or your battery goes, or for what other reason, it's not working, then you are fucked, because you don't remember the area. If you use a paper map to view the whole area, and find your route, then you actually begin to LEARN the layout. The layout of an area is important. You learn where there are rail lines, and creeks or rivers, or freeway underpasses, which are HUGE bottlenecks, and when you're improvising or navigating on the fly, you need to have that knowledge in your head, not on your phone. There are also tiny details that become VERY important; that don't show up on electronic maps. No-left-turn signs, center-dividers. When you're on a busy urban or suburban street, and you pull out somewhere, and find you can't go the direction you want, you can sometimes get fucked into having to travel several blocks in order to get turned around again. This can set you back 10, 15, 20 minutes, depending on the traffic and situation. Google does that to me CONSTANTLY; but when you LEARN an area, you know these details in your head, and you can avoid those situations. You'll still need your paper map from time to time, but you're not going to have to refer to it constantly, as you would with a GPS/online map. The other skill you miss out on, is self-location or orienteering. The phone does that for you. (unless there's a technical problem). But the skill for figuring that out by reckoning, visual landmark checks, etc - goes away if you do not use it. That's also very important for on-the-fly navigation. With an electronic device, you can end up with imperfect information, and lag, which will put you a few hundred feet away, which is another situation where you can miss an important turn, and end up having to backtrack or re-route (which, fortunately, google does for you).

There is NO substitute for having an intimate knowledge of an area's quirks and foibles, which are not available even at the most detailed level for electronic maps.

Comment Software Support is vital (Score 1) 359

Based on my experience with my Samsung G2:
The utility of the smartwatch comes in when you can synchronize your data on the two devices; and there are a couple of "killer apps" when it comes to smartwatches:

Phone/messaging is the obvious one, and the use-case for READING (not responding to) messages is pretty useful, especially if you're receiving a lot of status from various people. Phone-calls are also pretty useful, but a tad awkward; audio is not private (you are on "speakerphone"), and I can say that the output of the Samsung is weak-enough that it's not all that useful for phone calls.

Time is another one, and that's a no-brainer. I don't have to re-set my watch 2 times a year for daylight savings. Tracking my location and re-setting for time-zones is very handy, for people who travel a lot. Don't underestimate that one. Samsung has not yet really fucked this up, but it relies on having your phone with you, and powered-on.

Weather used to be VERY useful. I don't know what Samsung did, but they changed their phone-based Weather widget, and now it does not run at all, so it wn't send time to the watch, the watch weather client doesn't know what to do - it's sad. It has nobody to talk to. It displays the weather data from 9 months ago, when it stopped synchronizing. There are MANY online discussions where users are mentioning this problem, and Samsung has completely ignored it. Obviously, they wanted to ship a product, make their $ from the outrageous price tag, and then abandon it so that it becomes obsolete and ceases functioning after ONLY ONE YEAR.

Health is another killer app; and Samsung initially had it down pretty good. When I first got my gear, it integrated fairly well with my Samsung sHealth app on my phone. And again, Samsung updated their mediocre-but-functional s-health app, and now, it no longer uses the heartrate monitor on the watch. The app tracks your location, but only via PHONE instrumentation (ie. you need to stuff your phone into your nylon running shorts to track your runs). The phone and watch pedometers fight for dominance. Neither are accurate. Neither are consistent in their accuracy. When you track your activity with s-health, you never know if it's using the watch pedometer, or the phone pedometer, and you don't really care, because both readings are garbage. It would be nice if we still got the ongoing heartrate data from the watch. But that doesn't work anymore.

Again: many many many people have complained about the changes to the s-health software on line, and Samsung has completely abandoned all forms of support for this product. If you have an S7, I think they care. One assumes that in 6 months, if you don't have an S8, you will probably want to through your S7 into the garbage.

So why am I talking about the Samsung crappiness in an Apple thread?

Apple also has a LONG and well-deserved reputation of shipping SHITTY software updates that degrade functionality of equipment, and try to encourage you to buy new hardware, at a rapid pace, long before the hardware has ceased functioning. I don't know if this is the case for the Apple watch. I don't have one. I also don't have an iPhone, but I've seen this happen with their iPads, and with iTunes over several generations of laptops and desktops. (Does Apple even make a desktop anymore? lol - of course, I know they do - but let's face it. Not really.)

I hope I have saved at least one reader from wasting their hard-earned money on this junk.

I have not heard the same complaints from people buying health monitors and watches in the Android ecosystem. But I honestly don't know anyone who has one of those. Samsung and Apple have really sucked the chrome off the trailer hitch here.

Comment Re: What the fuck has happened to Slashdot?! (Score 1) 176

I've been here quite a while too, if that counts. I am in violent agreement with the others in this thread. I like my 4 digit uid, but I long ago realized that Slashdot can't be saved. When cmdrtaco left and it was sold to dice, that was the end.

Slashdot has always been about its user community, so I am sure that a technical solution can easily be made, and that community will find it when that happens.

Comment Re:Geometry (Score 1) 397

I agree with this Geometry/Logic Proofs/Programming thing.

Although, I learned programming in 7th grade (self-taught; they sure didn't have classes at that time), and Geometry in 10th, I saw the relationship. (Ironically, I always shied away from Calculus because I found the symbolic representation, the summation sign, etc. intimidating. That was me, as a teen - later on, when I approached the same logic and algorithms from a computer programming perspective, I had absolutely no problem grasping the concept).

I do think that the way math, and logic, and critical thinking skills are taught, are orthogonal to what kids need to learn, to prepare them for programming.

Comment Re: uh? (Score 1) 160

Among the "useless" liberal arts classes that frame the well-rounded IT-professional's skill set, often found wanting in "professional developers":

Relational Databases

Technical Writing

Network Engineering (routers, firewall configuration, vpn devices)

Cryptography, Certificate management

User Credential Management, Directory services

mail/spam-filters

web services

Front-end and UX design

device drivers

Systems design

enterprise OS configuration management

Security and regulatory compliance

Data acquisition, analysis, analytics

  - - - okay, barely scratching the surface here. Developer toolchains? Source control management? Virtualization? Containers?

So, let me get this straight? You want me to take "History of world music appreciation" class? AND graduate in less than 5 years?

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