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Comment Now with more distortion (Score 3, Insightful) 318

Boston Public Schools Map Switch Aims To Amend 500 Years of Distortion

... by adding even greater distortion that is entirely motivated by a petty political agenda, rather than scientific accuracy. I read the article, and the quoted motivations are not well-founded (Europe, for example, is not in the center of the maps used in the US, the United States is). The distortion in the propsed map (which, gallingly, is "an internal decision that will not be put up to public approval" or some words to that effect that make the person behind them sound more like a petty dictator who will shout down any dissenting view) is far worse than the traditional Mercator projection. You can see it: South America and Africa look stretched vertically (because they are).

There are so many, many projections that are scientifically superior. The only reason to select this one is political. Shame on those educators.

And I had such hope with the momentum building up behind the STEM movement.

Comment Re:Consumer Info [Re:Ridiculous Extrapolation] (Score 1) 373

They milk their prior reputation.

In any scam, there's always an enabling mark with the deep pockets.

In this case, the mark is the tired sectors of button-down industry (presently known as The Swamp & its canyon suburbs) that only hire the Big Bucks Diploma from Big Bucks School, while the bargain bin is stuffed to the brim with brilliant scions of cheap alternative education.

Milk + MOOC = mook

Comment Legal Requirement vs Moral Obligation (Score 2) 447

There are lots of comments above that range from what amounts to victim-blaming (Don't like the result? Then change the laws.) to tax education (Apple merely collects the VAT for the government, but the customer is considered to have paid it.) to hysterical outrage (kill them kill them kill them ... oh, wait, maybe that was a different thread).

In my country (USA), we have non-profit and for-profit entities, as they are commonly called. The non-profits include entities that can have considerable land wealth, like universities. Two of our most famous universities, MIT and Harvard, jointly own over half of the land in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the city where they are located. Neither of them are legally required to pay state property tax, because of their non-profit status (let's overlook for the moment that state and federal tax exempt status are related but technically separate things). But they also both benefit greatly from the surrounding city and its services, so they BOTH pay tens of millions of dollars to the city; such that are called "payment in lieu of tax" so that they retain their non-profit status. I don't know if they are paying the same amount as they would if they had for-profit status.

There is no legal requirement for them to do so. Indeed, there is a clear legal position that has been created, the not-for-profit status, in order to provide them a clear and explicit means to NOT pay, as their mission is considered important to the well-being of society. But they make payments ANYWAY. It is a moral obligation. It is also not entirely altruistic, as without these payments, the social environment around the universities would deteriorate significantly. You want nice things like infrastructure, emergency services, primary and secondary education, democracy? You gotta pay for them.

There is no fundamental reason that Apple, despite there being a legal path to avoid taxes no matter how complicated, could not make contributions to each and every country in which they sell products while still making embarrassingly immense profits. I bet some sharp-penciled tax attorneys would even find a way to make such contributions tax deductable. Apple would rid themselves of the negative press, get a nice write-off, and the countries (here, NZ) would benefit as well.

Comment Re:Oakhurst Dairy is correct (Score 1) 331

Nope. If your parents were Lady Gaga and Humpty Dumpty, then the correct orthography would be:

I love my parents Lady Gaga and Humpty Dumpty.

But because you added the comma, it becomes a list of four people:

I love my parents, Lady Gaga and Humpty Dumpty.

Personally, I prefer the Oxford comma, as it helps further disambiguate such instances.

Comment unius tunius timeo (Score 2) 161

Kurzweil is a ground-floor card-carrying member of the Extrapolarian Society. I've been following his shtick forever.

He actually was, once upon a time, as smart as he thinks he is, but then he flunked Latin, and now he's become Exhibit A for hominem unius tunius timeo .

The actual challenge here isn't to figure out how much he's wrong. The challenge is to figure out how much he's right. And he's more right than most people think. But they can't get past how wrong he is, and still there shooting fish in a barrel, entirely missing the main event.

Comment the appcoin "as you wish" adventure exchange (Score 0) 553

After reading up, I'm getting the feeling that the home run THROBBING BONER victory condition is to cannibalise what they perceive as Bitcoin's inherent scalability limit.

I suspect this premonition/pretense/pretext is the money-bag money-shot behind the scenes.

The Appcoin Revolution: Interview with Mike "Buttercup" Vine of LBRY:

CT: Do you see a possibility where (intentionally or not) your appcoin becomes an altcoin, and competes with Bitcoin as a currency?

MV: Yes, any appcoin has the potential to overtake Bitcoin. In the commodity world, it's hard to find something that can compete with gold as money because of gold's unique physical properties and distinctiveness [money-bug blather redacted]. There is a strong argument that you do want to have a resource that is used primarily as money. LBRY Credits are not designed to outcompete Bitcoin in that role.

However, if Bitcoin adoption levels off and LBRY apps are used by billions of people, then cryptocurrency speculators and users may decide that they feel more comfortable holding and using an asset that has a more widely-demanded end use.

But surely that's only a stretch goal. The next level down is harder to pinpoint.

Bitcoin will still be a payment option on the LBRY app, but it won't power the network. Fortunately, services like ShapeShift.io will make it easy to convert LBRY Credits to Bitcoin and back.

Sounds easy.

Shapeshift.io has been hacked

Oops. Now the claim from ss.io is that they had fully effectively firewalled user assets and that this is not the hack you're looking for. Okay, sure.

The boundary to the real economy is no small matter. I could be earning LBRY Ponzi credits tomorrow. Oh, yes, they are a Ponzi credit (on the production side) until you have a valid plan to get them back out again (and a lot can happen between here and there). As things stand, appears that the main road out exits through the Fire Swamp known as Bitcoin. Nobody ever gets burned or sandbagged or ROUSed to death en route there. Sign me up.

I do kind of like this new era of kinder, gentler, reduced friction, liberal-values, neoliberal Ponzi schemes (we'll not discuss the environmental Death Star of sweaty appcoin minting minions.)

But ... bottom line, end of the vine, to get out, there has to be an equal and opposite demand to get in. Well, that's 90% of the iceberg here, and the sticky end of the wicket, too.

Comment one cheap CC Apollo away from mission accomplished (Score 2) 553

That doesn't work all that well, especially on videos with a lot of specialist jargon in it. Like university lectures.

A Netflix-style competition with sizeable pot at stake (a dime per U.S. citizen?) would address this problem PDQ.

Academic lectures, above all things, would quickly succumb to preconditioning on the right bag of words. Speech technology is advancing by leaps and bounds. It mainly needs improvement in automatically zeroing in on the appropriate jargon domain. Wikipedia is already a topic modelling gold mine just waiting to be fully exploited (of course, you'd have to cleverly cut through the mess, but that's what the big prize is there to expedite).

This small sum of money in the grand scheme of things would about solve this problem permanently, with spin-off advances in speech recognition for all involved.

And it's not like hearing loss is just for the deaf. It's a universal progressive condition exacerbated by good diet, exercise, and otherwise exemplary health.

Comment Re:Crippled Ryzen 7 (Score 1) 173

I'm still waiting to discover the on-chip interconnect. I'd imagine that some kind of on-chip TSV would provide a hefty upgrade in the width of the data path between the CCX modules, that would still have some penalty, though far less than the historic standard.

I really can't see how Naples is going to use the same CCX if AMD hasn't done something interesting here, but what do I know? Also, one active core per CCX helps with heat spreading and available boost.

Furthermore, AMD producing chips with four CCX modules as an economy product is suggestive of some kind of packaging constraint. Like have a TSV substrate that's designed to straddle the corner of each of four CCX modules and not wanting—for now, while defect rates remain adequate—to produce a special tandem TSV substrate, and tool up for its assembly. Perhaps the game plan is to drive down the price of the hexacore modules until these become standard at the low end, and not bother ramping on a twin CCX assembly process for volume production at all (maybe just niche mobile products, and maybe then with a somewhat thinned CCX module a year down the road; or—a slightly bulked low-voltage CCX module with four cores and no substrate interface at all).

But I'm just using logic here, rather than digging around for revealed information, and that has only a modest track record.

The time for digging is after Naples.

Comment hierarchy of antique bogoids (Score 1) 154

AMD-K6 3D (90 bogoids)
Intel Core i7-4771 @ 3.50GHz (9940 bogoids) * 1%
Via C3 Ezra (100 bogoids)
Intel Pentium III Mobile 750MHz (103 bogoids)
AMD Athlon 64 2000+ (116 bogoids)
Intel Pentium 4 1300MHz (119 bogoids)

Wow, a couple of clown chips, and a searing indictment of Passmark, all rolled up together.

You can really see how Passmark should have been properly named Parkay Malarkey Spinmark.

Parkay Pentium 4, you are so busted.

[*] Cooking instructions: apply Parkay to soggy white bread, wait five minutes, LET THERE BE TOAST.


In the least surprise ever, turns out pajamas man-child develops tight-loop benchmark suites for the trade press. Normally. Except for this one time.

Setting: One unusual sunny morning.

Right at the crack of too-damn-early, there's a loud, surprising knock on the door. Curious, he shambles in sloppy slippers to the front door, where he's greeted by a slight man in a slick seersucker suit, who warmly extends a cold hand, and exclaims "my good man, you are just who we need".

"And who are you, again," asks pajamas man-child, with maximal crack of too-damn-early rhetorical sarcasm.

"I'm from Butler, Shine & White, department of Natural Born Unusual Suspects."

He lavishes upon his smooth introductory move a practiced pump on each of 'Butler', 'Shine', and 'White', Vaseline vise-grip apexing right on the 'na' in 'natural', relaxing on 'orn', then releasing precisely on second 'su'.

"Me?" pyjamas man-child replies meekly, meaty ham agog and drifting.

"True to form, true to form. Ewww, what's that sooty smell?"

"Shit, you caught me mid-spread. Must have left a large, hot lump."

"Well that's just the thing we'll be speaking about."

"What is?"

"Here's the thing. Here's the thing. We have it on good local authority that you're the king of shinola soliloquy."

"Local authority? Man, I'm so going to sue that pesky early-bird arborist."

"Don't be hasty. Let me tell you what we have in mind."

Pajamas man-child scratches behind his hairy pinna for a moment. "Sure, okay, fire away. Do tell me about this soliloquy shinola business."

"No, no, no! You've got that bass ackwards. Trust me, we've got all the soliloquy shinola money can buy. What we don't have ... yet ... is the natural born shinola soliloquy."

"Uh, if I catch your drift ... what I mean is ... uh ... you know ... the spread ... it answers back."

"For sure, we'll dub that in. Now how about let's discuss terms."


"In all high-margin, commodity seriousness."

"Okay then, come on in. Want some toast?"

"Uh, thanks but no thanks. Just in case, I brought us some fresh croissants." BS&W holds up large brown bag with hand-lettered accent marks on every vowel.

"Looks like you brought the entire continental buffet."

"Truth is, I'm here to see you spread."

"That's going to take a lot of spread."

"We'll use the big tub."

"Uh ... you just said 'tub' right? Not, uh, 'tooh' as in 'toothbr—'."

"—aw shucks, just between us, what's the big difference?"

"Uh, tubes come with a screw top ... or so I've heard."

"Yes, we did consider novel packaging, but it just doesn't say 'butter'."

Comment Re:Industrial accident (Score 2) 407

Most environmental and safety concerns should be handled at the state level.

And your logic is?

Here's how my equation falls out:

* States without coal: safety paramount.
* States with coal: extraction paramount.

Hence, disaggregation of oversight guarantees extraction.

Or—wait for it!—we can draw a BIG circle around the ENTIRE externality all at once (and one for all).

But that would actually lead to broad discussion, and horse trading, and the sound exercise of restraint, and the wrong kind of green.

So you're right. Let's close all the windows and let the states do it.

Comment Re: Why do you believe that? (Score 2) 456

It really is the easiest language in the world.

Apparently, the number of people out there who profess a passionate desire that the world accord to the scintillating schema that the ease of a thing is best measured two hours after first exposure greatly exceeds the number of people willing to invest two hours to behave this way in practice.

After 6 years in school I still couldn't read a Latin text without thoroughly examining it first to figure out which parts of the multi-line sentences went with which other parts, and which of many different uses of the same word was intended.

Feel free to practice this skill on my sentence above. (No, not at all, it was my pleasure.)

[*] If you study neurology and development, you'll realize that hardly any of our core competences in life were easily acquired, and that what's most easily acquired remains forever shallow.

Comment Re:difficult to tell who is at fault from article (Score 1) 513

The most likely scenario is that they felt their window opportunity was rapidly closing on safely ridding themselves of a new hire who wasn't entirely above board during the interview process.

Legal to HR: Don't let this guy work another hour! Every additional hour will potentially add thousands of dollars to our final litigation expense.

Feeling rushed, they didn't fully think through the optics.

BAE's defense will be that this wet-paperwork employee was not yet entitled to their vaunted work-life balance.

Furthermore, in this line of work (highly sensitive), the issue of being above board throughout the hiring process won't go unnoticed by the judiciary.

The other side of this is that, had they known, they probably would have quietly let the man disappear, so as not to get themselves into this pickle. Now that this whole mess is in the public eye, the implication that BAE would quietly disqualify a candidate who's wife has terminal cancer—with absolutely nothing written down internally—is hard to ignore for the discerning reader.

This isn't exactly news. What's news here is that we now have a convenient handle for lashing out at the prevailing state of affairs in the modern corporatocracy, one step removed, yet connected at the hip: it's much easier, is it not, to promise a great work-life balance if your hiring process is 100% effective as screening out anyone strongly motivated to demand such a thing (many might want it a little bit, biting their lip, biding their 24/7 probation officer, with a main eye on their promotion prospect).

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 235

I can't tell you how many times I've seen competent developers fired and replaced with new-fangled JavaScript developers who could code a dynamic website in one day.

Error: type "management problem" assigned to type "programming language".

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