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Comments

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Peoria Mayor Sends Police To Track Down Twitter Parodist

Austerity Empowers Re:Isn't parody protected in the US? (168 comments)

Welcome to the United Corporations of America, where our communications are censored, our community governments are contracts and our government leased with the option to buy.

5 days ago
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Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

Austerity Empowers Re:u can rite any way u want (431 comments)

Dum de dum dum bang bang boom!

Cookie monster has a throwdown with Oscar the Grouch?

about two weeks ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

Austerity Empowers Re:I think this is bullshit (1746 comments)

Or you hide behind anonymity, which is one reason it should be a protected institution itself.

about three weeks ago
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Why Darmok Is a Good Star Trek: TNG Episode

Austerity Empowers Re:Bullshit Made Up Language (512 comments)

I'm not sure it could be harder than the initial conversion of phonemes to distinct words with their meanings. A typical living language has some 10^5 active words in its language, the translator was amazingly able to solve that problem, even for Tamarian. It was unable to take the next step though, and knowing the words, and knowing their meanings, deduce the shared knowledge behind the references. I'm not saying this is not a hard problem, but doing what the translator already did do is a hard problem, and this seems like a logical extension.

The problem with this episode is that the translator, like transporters and "holodecks" were some bit of technomagic to help pace and make a space based sci-fi show interesting. It's all fine, we're willing to suspend disbelief and ignore the magic as a solved problem. But then trying to have a show about translation and language with that same translator in the middle I think compels us to think along the wrong lines.

about three weeks ago
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Why Darmok Is a Good Star Trek: TNG Episode

Austerity Empowers Re:Bullshit Made Up Language (512 comments)

In theory, after analyzing the language for long enough, an intelligent translator could produce the correct translation. "Shaka, when the walls fell", used enough in context, could eventually be replaced with "Failure".

The question is how much of some string of phonemes has to be repeated and deduced from context in order to translate even the literals properly. It seems as if the universal translator would have to be able to identify proper noun Shaka (do not translate), noun walls (interpret from context, translate), verb fell etc. from a similar set of operations as those required to get the higher level meaning.

Anyway like most TV sci-fi it was more intellectual than anything else on at the time and hadn't yet degenerated into a space-war saga. There are lots of debates about the viability of universal translation, this was a decent way of cluing in the layman I think. Dig too hard of course and it falls apart.

about three weeks ago
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Why Darmok Is a Good Star Trek: TNG Episode

Austerity Empowers Re:Bullshit Made Up Language (512 comments)

Actually the reason I really liked this episode is that I had a very smart friend, with a pretty impressive active vocabulary, who cannot seem to speak without at least one or two levels of reference. Even to this day, talking to him is a study in popular culture. He will really say "Staples" and it will mean "that was easy".

Honestly after 20 years, I really don't think he's aware he's doing it.

about three weeks ago
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More Than 1 In 4 Car Crashes Involve Cellphone Use

Austerity Empowers Re:Easy stats to pull (367 comments)

If you gather the data, from say the National Highway Safety Administration (http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/), you will see that in spite of there being more cars on the road, there are HALF as many deaths from car accidents in 2012 as there were in 1970 (when almost no one had a car phone). This is an amazing number, because the other half of the coin is there are nearly 10x as many people driving. The figures for injuries follow. Yes, there are dozens of reasons for this, including better car safety, slower speeds (i.e. traffic jams), seat belt use, etc. But that does not matter: our safety increases anyway!

Therefore, because it has the effect of invalidating the entire discussion, the inconvenient data was neglected. I have the same issue as "alcohol related accidents", they set blood-alcohol thresholds pretty arbitrarily and are constantly lowering them based on reactions, not based on scientific study.

about a month ago
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Silicon Valley Anti-Poaching Cartel Went Beyond a Few Tech Firms

Austerity Empowers Re:Capitalism at its finest (137 comments)

That's not capitalism.

We don't actually do capitalism here in America, it's just not profitable.

America is to capitalism what China is to communism.

about 1 month ago
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More On the Disposable Tech Worker

Austerity Empowers Re:Recycle! (323 comments)

Kill, compost, fertilize farm land, feed a pregnant woman, train the child in tech until he's 22, work him until he's 28. Repeat.

It's a circle of life, sing it Elton.

about a month ago
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Intel Announced 8-Core CPUs And Iris Pro Graphics for Desktop Chips

Austerity Empowers Re:server cpus are more complicated (173 comments)

I would argue it the other way, that achieving high single thread performance is very complicated and requires both more design work as well as better understanding of the given process than is usually available for the initial launch where they're using projected and calculated si characteristics. A year later they have some experience with massive volume production, know to many decimal places what their yield will be, as well as have more time to do custom circuits that high freq CPUs will require.

Adding more cores and newer "technology" is an architectural challenge, but generally a known quantity in terms of implementation (most of the time).

about a month ago
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Microsoft Releases Free Edition of OneNote

Austerity Empowers Re:WTF is OneNote? (208 comments)

No OneNote has been around a while and is one of the few good things MS has going. Bizarre that they make it free, since that usually comes with a death spiral of investment.

It's surprisingly easy to use, allows for free form note taking, and generally is a great way to organize random information you want to keep track of. It's one of a few things I miss after having ditched Windows at home and at work.

about a month ago
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Goodbye, Google Voice

Austerity Empowers Re: Horrible Headline: google voice still around (166 comments)

I blame the group of scientists who go around declaring successful nerds as "being autistic" and who are taking action to stop the trend by treating every smart child as autistic as the root cause of it becoming a pejorative term.

about a month ago
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Goodbye, Google Voice

Austerity Empowers Re:Horrible Headline: google voice still around (166 comments)

This headline is so dangerously bad that it makes me want to tag slashdot as a troll.

Seriously, this is so bad lawyers can get involved. Some editor needs to go fix it.

about a month ago
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Austin Has Highest Salaries For Tech Workers, After Factoring In Cost of Living

Austerity Empowers Re:The Missing Variable (285 comments)

CoL is quantitative. "I don't want to live in X" is qualitative, highly subject to individual ignorance. NYC is what I have experience with, having lived there off and on for 20 years. Most people I talk to there have absolutely no clue about anything south of Maryland or north of Connecticut. Jokes have been published to this effect. I'm honestly not sure they ARE aware how much they're paying, and have considered what they're getting in return.

If you're married and have a family, CoL is probably the single most important metric. It determines how much free cash you'll have for luxuries, how you'll be able to put your kids through college and generally your overall quality of life. Every few years we fly back to NYC to visit the inlaws, we see a play, the kids get to see the sights. We're as happy to leave as we were to arrive after about 2 weeks. It's a nice place to visit, but I don't want to live there anymore. And this is why we don't measure non quantitative things. I have friends who could not stand to live in a suburb, who don't have or want families and who will not be happy staying at home and entertaining themselves within.

about a month and a half ago
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Austin Has Highest Salaries For Tech Workers, After Factoring In Cost of Living

Austerity Empowers Re:Capital Metro (285 comments)

My hunch is that the places you'd want to live in Austin will not be covered by its public transit. Few of the tech companies that are here are near bus stops.

about a month and a half ago
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Austin Has Highest Salaries For Tech Workers, After Factoring In Cost of Living

Austerity Empowers Re:Salary amplification in... (285 comments)

Of all the things that actually bother me about Austin, I have not had any real problems with the government. They're useless and ignorable, provided you don't intend to CHANGE anything, it's all good.

about a month and a half ago
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Austin Has Highest Salaries For Tech Workers, After Factoring In Cost of Living

Austerity Empowers Re:Work where you grew up (285 comments)

, you can get a decent place for 1 person for $3000/month

You can own a 4ksqft+ house for $2000/month in any close burb of Austin. If you want more land, Georgetown is in commute range and has some more ranch-style houses. All for cheaper than that rent.

about a month and a half ago
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Austin Has Highest Salaries For Tech Workers, After Factoring In Cost of Living

Austerity Empowers Re:Anyplace but (285 comments)

Austin does have a lot of college girls, and the weather ensures minimal clothing. I would list this as a huge benefit of living here, if you're not married and you're a straight man.

about a month and a half ago
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Austin Has Highest Salaries For Tech Workers, After Factoring In Cost of Living

Austerity Empowers Re:DC's not ranked? (285 comments)

Having moved to Austin from NYC, I'm struggling to figure out exactly what part of NYC is a luxury. Even when I was there I did my best to either live in NJ, or some burb with train access. NYC has a lot of great food of all types and mass transit, but I'm not sure I'm missing any of the rest of it.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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ARM Server Start-up Calxeda Closes Up Shop

Austerity Empowers Austerity Empowers writes  |  about 4 months ago

Austerity Empowers (669817) writes ""Calxeda, the pioneering maker of low-power microservers using hundreds of ARM central processor cores and System-on-a-Chip (SoC) products for hardware appliances, has laid off most of its employees and is shutting down operations beyond servicing its existing customers and investments." A sad day for many of us."
Link to Original Source
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Wheel of Time: A Memory of Light Released, but no eBook until April

Austerity Empowers Austerity Empowers writes  |  about a year ago

Austerity Empowers (669817) writes "The final entry in the fantasy series that has been released in 14 volumes over the past 20 years has been released . However in a typical money grubbing strategy that consumers have grown accustomed to from publishers, the eBook option will not release until April . We've seen this with movies, delaying streaming releases to try to drive up sales (and failing, with publishers mostly giving up), but now we also see it with books. Loyal fans are irate, giving 1 star reviews for a book they can't even have read ."
Link to Original Source
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Apple caves to Think Of The Children

Austerity Empowers Austerity Empowers writes  |  about 5 years ago

Austerity Empowers (669817) writes "Apparently in an attempt to maintain a good corporate image, apple has yanked the "Baby Shaker" iPhone app from the app store. While I think there is little doubt that shaking a baby is not a socially acceptable behavior, it appears that good taste is one of many parameters required to sell a product on the iPhone. It would seem little has changed in the smart-phone world, except rather than being dominated by apps acceptable to carriers, we are to be dominated by apps acceptable to Apple."
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Civil War - Part Deux, Texas Strikes Back

Austerity Empowers Austerity Empowers writes  |  about 5 years ago

Austerity Empowers (669817) writes "Former presidential candidate and Slashdot dark-horse favorite Ron Paul discusses the merits and patriotism associated with secession, after failing to stop bailout politics. While many of us on any side of the political spectrum might hear the message and agree in part, is this possibly the reason why he remains on the outside looking in at the political machine that is the US Government? Not all of our secessions have exactly been crowning achievements."
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Zombies Invade Austin, Natives Still Weird

Austerity Empowers Austerity Empowers writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Austerity Empowers (669817) writes "Public safety was given a significant boost yesterday, as a clandestine resistance organization changed electronic roadway signs to warn Austinites of a zombie invasion . The local government ministry of information and hired thugs quickly acted to suppress the information, correcting the signs to innocuous traffic reports. I, for one, welcome our new Zombie overlords."
Link to Original Source

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