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Comment Re:More BS (Score 1) 76

No, my point is if the Uber Cab Company wanted to get people to their front door all they had to do in the first place was use GPS. Not the generic coordinates but the actual GPS coordinates. They have to be correct.

But instead of stating the obvious this self-important dreg tried to make himself sound like he knew what he was talking about when he explicitly states he was "talking to the CEO of a ride sharing company*" which is code for, "This is nothing but a surreptitious ad for a cab company".

* Sharing a ride does not involve calling a company to have someone come pick you up to go to a destination of your choice and you paying that person for the ride.

Comment Re:More BS (Score 2) 76

No, the article is about human drivers of a cab company who can't get him to his front door. He then launches into a worthless rant about how self-driving cars need better maps.

If a human driver, using the same map and their set of eyes, can't get the guy to his front door, what makes him think a car programmed by humans will be any better, especially by humans who have never seen the place you're going to?

Comment More BS (Score -1) 76

Just because the Uber Cab Company can't get you to your front door doesn't mean maps are bad. It means the cab company has incompetent drivers.

Maybe if the Uber Cab Company paid their drivers better people would get better cab service.

Technology is not the solution to human incompetence. Better humans are.

Comment self-response addendum (Score 2) 316

Penn Jillette on Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, And Why He's All in on Gary Johnson — 2 August 2016

I watched this video yesterday. There a fabulous exchange 24:30–30:00 on truth and naievity.

You go through a period when you're sixteen, seventeen, eighteen when truth really obsesses everybody. And then I think you're supposed to kind of sort of grow out of it. And I didn't. It really remains of complete interest to me. ... I'm not bothered at all by people being wrong. ... I have such a naive point of view, to almost not believing it, that people can have information and represent the opposite of that. I just find that so appalling and, in a certain way, fascinating.

Once upon a time I would have ventured that most Slashdot readers would want to view this. It had me thinking about my own life 1985–1995 where I watched the software industry turning into a train wreck, where every seventh train car is painted bright orange and lettered in an ominous Area 51 black stencil font "patch Tuesday", with sparks flying off wheels seized (and reseized) for so long they resemble lopsided pentagons.

I used to think to myself "surely these are just temporary conditions due to the extreme rate of expansion of the software industry, and it will all settle back down to sanity as we crest the exponential growth phase". But no. Like Jillette, I was a die-hard naievitarian. Lesson learned.

Comment sloth is eternal (Score 1) 316

The default behavior is to treat the field as whatever you've told the spreadsheet that it is. By default, every cell is set up for numeric data types. ... The problem is misuse of tools, not a problem with the tool.

A process of "five whys" applied to the present discussion immediately reveals "default numeric" as bad policy in academic research.

A sane default would be "untyped" or "exactly as entered" which shifts sins of omission into sins of commission, this being far more compatible with the culture and standards of scientific journal publication than what Microsoft originally chose, mainly for the convenience of boutique-reseller power demos. Also, the more collaborative the environment, the more important it becomes to enforce a strong-typed, sin-of-commission data model.

This is all covered in the first week of Graybeard 101 as taught with slate tablets back in the stone age. I was there in 1985. Microsoft has had wool in its ears since forever. Still doesn't make it right, does it?

Furthermore, anyone who really cares about data pipeline integrity writes an export function from the derived format back to the raw input format, until they come out exact, or every difference is adjudicated and signed off, which is incorporated into an automatic validation task which can be repeated at any point in time for the life of the project.

CRAN Task View: Reproducible Research

LaTeX was originally written in the early 1980s by Leslie Lamport at SRI International.

Leslie Lamport won the Turing Award in 2013 for his uber graybeard rectitude, if anyone cares to notice. Douglas McIlroy made his seminal contributions in 1968 (Bill Gates was thirteen, but perhaps he was already set in his ways). John Backus delivered his Turing Award lecture "Can programming be liberated from the von Neumann style?" in 1977, which inaugurated the modern tradition in functional languages (Bill Gates was then twenty-three).

Competence is hard. Sloth is eternal. We continue to seek a third way.

Comment Re:Just no (Score 1) 140

Isn't that the biggest scam of all? The advertisers are getting billed for these impressions even though the only thing I'm doing when they come on and trying to understand how to make the crapflood stop. If I do even notice the logo/brand involved, my impressions is extremely negative.

Exactly the opposite of the impression a good advertisement should create.

Comment Re:modus operandi doesnt seem to make any sense. (Score -1, Troll) 61

The Russian troll speaks! Testify comrade! Preach the good word of Putin.

You know what a regime is? Look in the mirror. Your dear leader Putin has set things up so he will dictator for life. That is the very definition of a regime.

There are no free and open elections in Russia. Only those Putin says are allowed to run are put on ballots which, oddly, is the exact same thing the terrorists in the East of Ukraine are saying about their "free and open" elections. Only those who agree with their dictatorial demands of subservience will be allowed to be on the ballots. How is that in any way a free and open election if the people who can run are hand-picked by the terrorists themselves?

Get a life. Go back to the vodka allotment Putin has given you because that's all you have until he takes that away, just as he takes people's businesses away and gives them to his oligarch friends.

There's a reason no one takes Russia seriously and your comments prove the point.

Comment Re:modus operandi doesnt seem to make any sense. (Score 0, Flamebait) 61

Nimbus is one of those Russian trolls who will state to their dying breath not a single Russian soldier has died invading Ukraine despite the 2,000+ freshly dug graves. Apparently all these newly dead Russian soldiers died while on vacation in Ukraine and after the first few died the remainder were too stupid to get out.

They will also state the reason Putin has decreed the mothers of these dead Russian soldiers are not allowed to talk about their son's deaths is because it truly is a state secret. Which raises the question: what state secret? If these soldiers didn't die invading Ukraine why can't the mothers talk about their son's deaths? Why is so secret about a soldier dying while on vacation? The U.S. has no problem admitting when its soldiers die on vacation, so why the secrecy in Russia? What doesn't Putin want those mothers to talk about?

Not only that, but on the subject of hacking journalists, why are those journalists who try to count or investigate the number of dead soldiers threatened or attacked while trying to do their job? Why doesn't Putin want the number of freshly dead soldiers to be revealed? After all, they were only on vacation when they died. What's the big deal about reporting a soldier's death?

Comment Re: Elect Trump for Honest Government (Score 1) 512

Unless it brings the system down, it doesn't matter...

The system itself is broken...

That's how we got into Iraq, the fatuous logic that good motivations can't make a bad situation worse, often far, far worse.

But this kind of logic will always be with us, because it's a smug, tweetable, free pass on the hard work of coming up with and implementing a workable solution (and what idiot wants to attempt that anyway amid the boo-bird chorus of polarized politics?)

30 Shocking Domestic Violence Statistics That Remind Us It's An Epidemic

The Huffpo doesn't spin it this way, but these numbers are likely at the lowest levels since the invention of suburbia. I can't say much more than that, because before the invention of suburbia we probably weren't even keeping score.

The "system" is what brought a pretty terrible thing out of the closet. Sucks to be assaulted by a violent intruder? How about sharing your bed with a violent chest-thumper every damn day?

Software: Maintain or Replace?

But there is a tendency - fuelled by taxpayer money - to leap to replacement quickly, rather than doing maintenance. I have rarely seen a system improved by creating a new one...because the new one is loaded with the same flaws (indeed, new ones) as the legacy system that it replaced.

But of course, the hazards involved with ripping and replacing the current political system are much smaller than ripping and replacing some aging government cost-control system. I mean, gosh, look at how well rip and replace worked in Russia.

The Not-So-Great Professor: Jeffrey Sachs' Incredible Failure to Eradicate Poverty in Africa

The early sections of Nina Munk's book about the economist Jeffrey Sachs read like a celebration of a boy genius. No, strike that: Sachs piles up so many achievements so quickly that the word genius sounds somehow inadequate.

By the age of 13, he was taking college math. Later, he got near-perfect scores on his SATs and graduated summa cum laude from Harvard, where by 28 he was a tenured professor. Two years later, he was advising the Bolivian government on how to administer economic "shock therapy," designed to break the spell of hyperinflation. This led to an even bigger triumph: masterminding Poland's transition to a market economy in 1989, as communism collapsed in Eastern Europe.

Like most geeks, never seen a system he couldn't fix better. Until something blew up so spectacularly, he either got the grey beard gene forever, or curled up and hid in a closet somewhere.

Of course, if you watch enough superhero movies, you just need to put the word out ("the system is broken!") and somehow Jeffery will get the bat signal, and he'll patiently hand-stitch some brightly coloured, stretchy fabric (you'd be amazing what else he found in that stiff bottom drawer with all his grandmother's old Jane Fonda work-out videos) into the peacock man-cape he always dreamed about while he was acing his SATs (painstakingly ripping and replacing the crotch seam six times to achieve the optimally brash yet task-focused fit—they don't call him "Dr Sacks" for nothing) and then he'll spring out the window, and who knows, maybe he can actually fly. I guess we'll find out.

Either way, news at 11.

That all that matters these days.

Entertainment.

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