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Comment Re:The reasons I read /. for sure are changing (Score 1) 327

Years ago, I came here for insightful and informative exchange of arguments on a topic.Not that long ago, it was for witty and cynical but still topic commentary.

I can't remember ever seeing the amount of politiking that has been happening on /. lately, perhaps this is some new phase. Slashdot was discussing climate change long before Al Gore came onto the scene because it was science. There is only so much you can read before you say you accept that something is happening beyond the immediacy of your own senses.

I think because the coal and oil industry have so much resources they can buy or make any study they want, it confuses those in denial about the science into thinking that all science is politicized, instead of an observation about our world.

I suspect the inevitability of climate change will radically alter the political landscape.

Comment Re:meh, totally predictable plot lines (Score 3, Insightful) 49

If it's from Hollywood, post 1968, then:

1. The villain will be a US military agency, a US spy agency, a corporation/CEO, a gun company, a non-renewable energy company.

Wow, I must have misunderstood the plot on all those post-1968 movies where I thought the baddies were commies, nazis, drug lords, foreign terrorists, domestic terrorists, anarchists, poor people trying to get rich quick, rich people trying to get richer quick, crazy people trying to do incomprehensible things for incomprehensible reasons, wayward do-gooders, megalomoniacal supercrooks, pirates, pirate hunters, aliens, alien hunters, vampires, vampire hunters, zombies, orcs, dragons, ghosts, etc.

If you don't like the simulation you're living in, you can always rejoin us here in reality.

Comment An Actual Comment About the Article (Score 1) 61

Since every other post seems to be eye-rollinging inept trolls or meta-commentary about gender along the full spectrums, I thought I'd actually pos about the content since I read most of the article before I saw it on Slashdot...

It's more interesting than you might think as the people polled are from different technical fields, so the answers are a lot more varied than you usually get in a predictive piece.

If you take a step back though what is really interesting is how much the whole thing together looks like the parable of the blind men and the elephant, each describing only the part they could feel.. The actual future we reach by 2027 will be a really odd mash of all the answers given, where a breakthrough in any number of fields could change the dominance of one answers probability over the others..

Personally I hold out for the dark horse of computational biology taking the forefront by 2027. Perhaps that ship at the end of System Shock 2 was... US!

Comment You have got to be joking (Score 2) 61

*virtue_signal*I don't mind these are all women, I think it's great.*virtue_signal*

However, how many times on Facebook now have I seen an image of "Tumps Economic Team" noting that it's all men and a few of them named Steve to boot? (Never mind that he has already appointed a few women for various roles, or that he won the election because of a team of women)

You seriously do not think MS would be roasted if in this ay and age they came out with a think piece like this, all from men?

Heck, you are doing that RIGHT NOW.

Comment Re: Fake news? (Score 1) 377

It's a nice little fiction that Canada is single payer, but the reality is quite a bit more complicated.

Although it is technically illegal for private health clinics to charge for services that are covered by the Canada Health Act, they often do indirectly and that is rarely enforced. Although it isn't too common yet, people sometimes go to employer or union sponsored clinics which were set up to avoid queuing at traditional clinics. Also, you or your employer can purchase private health insurance to cover the fees charged by these private clinics which means of course a secondary insurance market exists as well. It isn't a big thing yet throughout Canada, but a two-tier system is looming there...

That's not to say the Canadian two-tier system isn't light-years more efficient than the two-tier system in the US (which is basically private insurance or medicaid/emergency-room-care).

Comment Glitchless streaming. (Score 4, Interesting) 148

Can you name one thing that your customers actually want that is actually being prevented by network neutrality regulations?

Glitchless streaming.

Streaming (things like audio, video, phone calls) requires relatively small and constant bandwidth (though compression adds variability) but isn't good at tolerating dropouts or variations in transit time. When it does get dropouts it's better to NOT send a retry correction (and have the retry packet risk delaying and/or forcing the drop of another packet).

TCP connections (things like big file transfers) error check and retry, fixing dropouts and errors so the data arrives intact, though with no guarantee exactly when. But they achieve high bandwidth and evenly divide the bandwidth at a bottleneck by deliberately speeding up until they super-saturate the bottleneck and force dropouts. The dropouts tell them they've hit the limit, so they slow down and track the bleeding edge.

Put them both on a link and treat the packets equally and TCP causes streaming to break up, stutter, etc. Overbuilding the net helps, but if the data to be tranferred is big enough TCP will ALWAYS saturate a link somewhere along the way.

Identify the traffic type and treat their packets differently - giving higher priority to stream packets (up to a limit, so applications can't gain by cheating, claiming to be a stream when they're not) - and then they play together just fine. Stream packets zip through, up to an allocation limit at some fraction of the available bandwidth, and TCP transfers evenly divide what's left - including the unused part of the streams' allocation.

But the tools for doing this also enable the ISPs to do other, not so good for customers, things. Provided they chose to do so, of course.

IMHO the bad behavior can be dealt with best, not by attempting to enforce "Network Neutrality" as a technical hack at an FCC regulation level, but as a consumer protection issue, by an agency like the FTC. Some high points:
  - Break up the vertical integration of ISPs into "content provider" conglomerates, so there's no incentive to penalize the packets of competitors to the mother-ship's services.
  - Treat things like throttling high-volume users and high-bandwidth services as consumer fraud: "You sold 'internet service'". Internet service doesn't work that way. Ditto "pay for better treatment of your packets" (but not "pay to sublet a fixed fraction of the pipe").
  - Extra scrutiny for possible monopolistic behavior anywhere there are less than four viable broadband competitors, making it impractical for customers to "vote with their feet".

Comment Re:Hey Slashdot: (Score 1) 131

When you trade money for news, you tend to get the news that makes the most money. It's human nature, unless controlled by regulation. Just as corporations, utilities, colleges, all mostly get financially out of hand unless regulated, because people are mostly naturally greedy. There's scant sense of fairness, and gross excess of "take the market for all it can bear."

Look, news is all mostly biased anyway. Biased by what they cover and what they choose not to cover; by the editor's influence; by the publisher's influence; by the advertiser's influence; by the stockholder's influence; by ridiculous "equal time for superstitious nonsense" policies (because the news consumers are bewildered, so in order to get their money, they are pandered to), etc. I'm just not going to actually pay for more bias.

It's a complete waste of time to put a paywalled link in front of me. Not going to click it if I know what it is; not going to stay if I am snookered into clicking.

For news, here's what I want: facts and relevance to actual news. Not the Kardumbians, not some actor's opinion, not breathless reporting of some lab result as if it was tech coming down next Friday, Politics, cover the candidates and what they say. Even handedly. Don't leave some out (Sanders, cough) don't over-cover some (Trump, cough), don't report bland, content free remarks as if they were incoming legal doom (Clinton, cough)... you get the idea.

Simple enough, you'd think. Just do a good job. But they don't. Okay then, fine. But expecting me to pay for that crap? Not happening. They oughta pay me for having to fact check every goddam thing they write and speak about.

Comment Re:I beg to differ (Score 1) 154

You proved my principle: Quality and depth-of-selection brings in subscribers and keeps them. Once subscribed, one may use the TV audience model where ppl will watch the "least worst" show or movie available.

This new policy will cap their subscriber numbers, as those who leave will be replaced, more or less, only by those newcomers who will be attracted by fewer and lower-rated movies.

Comment Re:True, but you won't like the solution (Score 1) 266

Sure it does. You're excluding the downtick caused by kids not getting in trouble as much, and going down the path of crime.

At worst, it is gonna be a wash. At best, it will dramatically lower incarceration rates (see, #1 indicator list above), even if you're correct that SOME men will end up in jail on wife beater charges. But then again, you're probably too damn afraid to try it ... because change is hard.

Comment Re: Better be ready to be beat up when layed off w (Score 1) 502

Here's a news flash. The rich can always avoid taxes. The poor do not pay taxes. The middle class is in neither group. Taxes are regressive.

The only "fair" tax is one that everyone can avoid equally. My suggestion is a velocity tax on money. Its kind of like a "flat tax" but instead of taxing incomes, or sales, it taxes transfers of money between institutions. The rich don't want to transport millions of dollars by hand. ;) The more you move money around (Think hedge funds/wall street types) the more you're taxed. Everyone can avoid taxes by long term investing and using cash. The better the economy, the more revenue is generated.

Comment Re:Gotta love the hipocrisy (Score 1) 266

Being offended isn't the same as demanding people lose their job/business because someone won't bake you a cake. As for the the QB taking a knee over being "oppressed" by "white society" is laughable, considering what he is doing, his parents and upbringing. If he is being "oppressed" it is because he is an idiot for not knowing how good he actually has it.

Comment Re:It was a joke to begin with (Score 1) 266

Being in "Technology" in a K-12 environment, I can assure you that very few K-12 teachers have the skill set, desire or otherwise any ability to teach students at any level "coding". I can assure you that for all the people who say they "want" to teach coding (admin, teachers, staff, IT), they don't have a clue how to even start.

Further, I would suggest to you, that far too many teachers come from the Liberal Arts side of colleges, and do not have the math/sciences background to begin to teach programming, even at a rudimentary level.

(side note) I recently saw a post on a social media outlet where all the Christian Right Wingers were outraged over 3rd graders being taught the scientifically correct terms for body parts, I mean, I get that makes them uncomfortable and all that. But what horrified me was that 3/7 was considered a "B" grade on the assessment. Participation Trophy grading isn't helping anyone.

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