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Comment Re:Private Offices (Score 5, Insightful) 192

Start with that. The best hardware on the planet is useless if you can't think due to noise and interruptions.

Or at least high cubicle walls. A developer's most valuable resource is their attention, and other humans are extremely good at demanding one's attention. Even the reflection of someone walking by behind me is enough to cause a momentary distraction and a dip in productivity. It's no mistake I do my best work when I'm the only one around, to optimize productivity give people the ability to cut off distractions.

Comment Re:But Dissent is Now HATE (Score 1) 290

Everyone say goodbye to dissenting opinions on YouTube.

Disagreement is now harrassment.

Mockery is now hate speech.

Offense is now trauma.

Criticism is now abuse.

Compelling criticism is now violence.

Anyone who talks about subjects the MSM wants to suppress is now a troll.

Anyone at random is a racist/sexist/white supremacist/nazi/etc if they say so.

The use of this alarmist (and usually, simply wrong) language is ubiquitous and deliberate. It's all a pretense to justify a disproportionate censorial "response," especially when they know no response is warranted at all. It's also a brazenly transparent tactic, especially since Twitter/Reddit/etc rarely seem to use it against users that properly align with their politics.

A popular tranny just had two of her YT videos demonitized, one that criticized Islam, and another that criticized feminism:

Is there a fringe group on the left that is guilty of the things you allege? Of course, you can find crazies in any movement.

But it's not the significant problem you suggest, and that's not what we're talking about here.

This story is about really unambiguously racist videos and the companies who don't want their ads appearing in conjunction with those videos, the only surprising thing is that Google made this screw-up in the first place.

Comment Re:The self-driving car is blamed for human error (Score 1) 226

I am reminded that when cars were first invented, there were laws put in place mandating that someone walk ahead of any self-propelled vehicle waving a red flag, for fear of scaring horses and making people uncomfortable.

I'm sure that in one hundred years this sort of reaction - blaming the software for an inattentive driver failing to yield - will be seen in exactly the same way.

The two situations are not comparable.

When the automobile was invented it wouldn't take more than a handful of real world experiments to determine that red flag laws were unnecessary.

But demonstrating that current self-driving car technology is as safe as a human driver is a much tougher challenge, and I'm not convinced that it's a challenge they're taking seriously.

Comment Podesta didn't fall for it - his "expert" did (Score 3, Informative) 129

It reminds me of how people were talking about the Podesta email incident as some massively complex hacking job. It wasn't -- they found out he still used Yahoo Mail and phished him. I can't believe that (a) one of the most powerful political operatives in the Clinton campaign uses Yahoo Mail, and (b) that he fell for it.

Actually the email seemed suspicious to Podesta so he asked his 20-something security "expert" to look at it. Now keep in mind that probably almost all of us know to have a mouse hover over a link in an email to see where it really goes. For example, if a link supposed to go to actually goes to or, yeah, you should be smart enough to think those are probably not really The problem was that his "expert" didn't do this. He simply looked at the email, immediately proclaimed it to be legit and insisted that Podesta immediately click on the link and change his password. Insiders refused to name the "expert" or say whether he still has a job. My guess is that he does. But Podesta correctly got suspicious and asked for help, he just put his faith in someone to help him who didn't deserve it. For all the reported use the Democratic Party made of cutting edge analytics when Obama ran for president, they seem to have really weird ideas at the very top about security. I still maintain that had Bill and Hillary used their fortunes to hire real security experts for the foundation's email server and ran something like a hardened form of BSD on it, it could have mitigated a lot of the damage of using a private server, but no, they just had to use some local 2 man operation that was basically a small, local equivalent of Geek Squad and they used them because they were nearby and cheap, not good.

Comment Re:In Other Words (Score 1) 414

In other words, "the universe is a simulation" is an unevidenced assertion, much like the multiverse. Yes, there may be some extrapolations of the underlying math that might point in such a direction, but at the moment, it's simply a cool-sounding idea with absolutely no experimental evidence at all. Of course, I feel the same way about string theory, though one thing string theory has produced is some pretty useful mathematical tools, so even when a theory is wrong or indemonstrable, it can still be of some use.

The evidence for the multiverse is the math and the theory that implies a multiverse, these theory have been tested and will continued to be tested in ways designed to break them. What's lacking is a way to test the multiverse hypothesis in a way that separates it from other hypothesis. But that's not a fundamental issue with the concept, just the current state of our science.

The evidence for living in a simulation is... the existence of extremely primitive computers. There's no evidence that computers could be powerful enough to simulate reality, nor are there characteristics of the universe that imply a simulation. There's no real reason to think we're living in a simulation other than it's a fun idea.

Worse than that the theory is unfalsifiable, for any test I construct to see if we are in a simulation you can simply reply that the simulation was designed to take that into account. Even if we prove the laws of physics don't allow a computer that could simulate the universe... well you could simply reply that our universe was simulated with different laws of physics.

Comment Re:Chinese? (Score 1) 147

It's not entirely clear what Asian country everyone is from (or perhaps they're Asian-American), but assuming none of them are from the U.S., it should make those in government U.S. cybersecurity a bit anxious, and perhaps give pause to our new-found love of immigration restrictions.

Unlikely. The people that are in love with the restrictions don't really want anybody coming over. I have an Asian friend who lives on the other coast of the US from me. She's ethnically Chinese but immigrated by marriage from her home country to the USA. She's told me some recent stories about having white women make very prejudiced remarks towards her both at work and while shopping. And keep in mind that she's not Muslim so none of this is caused by religious wear like a hijab. People who voted for Trump are no longer afraid to hide their prejudices any more. I see some pretty shocking stuff on Facebook from a small number of people I know along these lines.

Comment Re:Liability (Score 5, Insightful) 497

Is John Deere legally liable if an UNMODIFIED tractor malfunctions and hurts someone? Nope, that's right there in the summary of the license agreement. Why do you think THAT will change because of modified firmware?

Like most here, you don't understand how US law really works. My best friend is a lawyer, we've known each other since college, and he's taught me a lot over the years. One of the things he's taught me is that when you sign an agreement that says you sign away your rights, that doesn't necessarily mean you actually have signed away your rights. There are various ways around this kind of thing, including arguing something that amounts to saying that John Deere coerced you into signing that and you had no choice but to agree. Also, you seem to not realize that once you get to court, anything is possible. Depending on how good the lawyers are, the judge's personal involvement in the case (whether he/she steers the jury with comments or leaves them alone to do whatever they will), and the jury itself, any kind of verdict is possible.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 0) 249

How is anyone ok with putting up with this nonsense?

Yep. I am quite fine with it. And I didn't vote for Trump either. And I bet I travel more internationally than you do. I don't feel one bit sorry for people who have to do work in the cabin while flying. Wah wah wah! There was a time not all that long ago when laptops didn't exist and you couldn't do that kind of work anyway. And let's be real here. It's not like coach has so much awesome room in it that the person sitting next to you isn't going to seriously encroach on your precious, small personal space when they whip up their laptop to do that presentation they should have done 2 weeks ago in the office.

Comment Re:FAKE NEWS! (Score 4, Insightful) 535

Killing off the free press was always one of Trump's stated goals with his desire to open up libel laws in order to facilitate suing the press.

That's not exactly right. He doesn't really want to kill the free press. He wants try to make everybody but Fox News report from the sideline so that they lose influence. He's not trying to shut down, say, CNN, but he wants to limit their access to him. I have friends who honestly believe that the only fair and impartial news source at all is Fox News. They all believe that CNN is insanely liberal and they have no idea at all that MSNBC is actually pretty far left of CNN. They don't seem to know that MSNBC even exists. There's no need to kill the free press when half the country believes that only one news sources is accurate and impartial and that news source is so biased it's not ever going to say anything against a Republican. You can let CNN, MSNBC, NPR, etc. report all they want to, but when half the country by choice refuses to listen to what they say, they are pretty effectively silenced although technically still alive.

Comment Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA (Score 4, Interesting) 535

Hang on let me get this straight. The man who interfered with the election is accusing Russia of interfering with the election?

Only in America!

No, he's pretending to investigate the Trump campaign. I am sure his actions in the final weeks were clearly designed to ensure Trump's victory under the cover of being open and impartial. More than anything else, I believe this pushed the last undecideds into the Trump corner because it convinced them the email issue was never, ever going to go away and if Hillary was president, she was just going to resign in disgrace or be removed from office soon enough over it anyway and nobody wanted to watch Tim Kane become president by default. So given the help he gave the Trump campaign, I'm pretty sure that the final result of this investigation will be the shocking revelation that nobody in the Trump campaign did anything wrong.

Comment Re:Pair Programming (Score 1) 234

Not sure "pair programming" qualifies as something every programmer should know. Though perhaps every programmer should know that a few programmers are rather fanatical about it.

Knowing it doesn't mean you need to practise it.

The list is basically a giant list of suggestions and perspectives, not every one is applicable to every situation, but knowing the list means you have a much better chance of knowing the ones that are applicable to your situation.

Comment Re:Cost (Score 4, Insightful) 266

These days I avoid flying if I can. I'd rather drive 10 hours then put up with lines in security, getting molested by the TSA, sitting in a tiny seat in a tin can with a dozen screaming babies and sneezing people...

But, those small seats are why some people can afford to fly. I'd like larger seats, sure - but I'd rather see that solved by the airlines instead of the government sticking their nose into the market yet again.

Imagine this:

Enjoy our spacious, comfortable seats on your flight with a full two feet of leg room. With no children under thirteen, you can be assured that your flight will be completed in peace. We still serve complimentary drinks and snacks and offer free pillows, so you'll be refreshed when you land. Why suffer? Fly NottaCrap Airline for only $100 more. Enjoy the experience. (tm)

They'd have people stampeding to get tickets.

If you're presented with two options for a flight, and one ticket costs $20 less, then you're probably going to buy that ticket.

However, if you got to actually sit in both seats first, and realized that one seat was a little bigger and more comfortable, you might be willing to spend the extra $20.

The problem is that even if you really care about the size and comfort of your airplane seat it's really tough to judge it when you buy the ticket, so the airline has a strong incentive to reduce the price of the ticket by shrinking the seat and using cheaper materials.

I think it's quite possible that consumers never wanted the trade-off of smaller seats for cheaper prices, and if we could have properly evaluated seats at the time of purchase they would have gotten bigger instead.

If the market forces governing airplane seats are broken then it's exactly the kind of scenario where government should step in and regulate.

Comment Re:Why is Holocaust Denial Such a Huge Deal? (Score 1) 429

I've always been curious about this. It's a dumb thing to do, and makes the person look foolish, but beyond that why is this actually a crime in some places? I mean I can pretend that Obama was never president, but that doesn't make it so and it makes me look really stupid, but they would never make that a crime (Note to Self: Check back in 10 years and see if they did indeed make this a crime). Just ignore the morons and let them play in their little pretend world.

I'm not anti-European. I've been to, I think, 14 different European countries and I consider myself a lot more in favor of Europe than against it. But it seems to me that this is a crime because when a pendulum swings too far one way, the natural human reaction is to swing it too far the other way. In the US, free speech is protected by the Constitution. Courts consistently rule to protect it here. There's no such constitutional protection in Europe on speech. Keep in mind that even the US protection is not absolute. You can't deliberately say something to cause an unnecessary panic (the classic example is yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater when there is no fire) but saying things that people disagree with or don't like is not a crime here. So I think that to combat what led to Nazi Germany, they went too far in the other direction and made even denying the Holocaust a crime. Many European nations have similar, in my opinion as an outsider, overreactions to crime where their anti-death penalty zeal has resulted in situations where they can't really punish truly bad people very much. I'll refrain from commenting more on that lest this drift off course.

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