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Comments

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VDH is an academic, so I guess that makes him an 'expert', or something

Bill Dog Re:I would say... (25 comments)

It looks like anyone running for any office of significance who's not on board with America's comeuppance will simply be legally badgered out of trying to be a part of any leadership.

p.s. I hereby dub such people "candidacy trolls", after one of the Left's fun, go-to phrases that I have to see all the time in the tech news, "patent trolls". And I ascribe to it what I envision are the same kinds of connotations; stifling innovation, abuse of the system, bottom-dwelling.

about three weeks ago
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VDH is an academic, so I guess that makes him an 'expert', or something

Bill Dog I would say... (25 comments)

> Obama is a symptom, not the disease ...that Obama (and ilk, of course) are indeed the disease, and America's ailments are the symptoms.

And no doubt America was unhinged, war-weary and esp. after the supposed almost financial collapse, when we elected BHO in 2008, but TFAuthor conveniently omits BHO's flabbergasting (even to BHO) 2012 re-election. The problem is, like people my age and younger no longer expecting Social Security to be there when we're old, even though there's been no official pronouncement of such, I'll bet it's a widespread belief. Similarly I think is the belief that America today is the new normal. So the problem is, we probably won't ever go back to being hinged. How can we, when we as a nation hold BHO and Democrats and the Left blameless for America's woes.

about three weeks ago
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one of my mental problems

Bill Dog Re:Actually I think this ability is extraordinary (5 comments)

> out of every job change for the past three years.

I guess you're saying you do contract work. It takes me longer than the average person to learn a new business domain and system and code base and libraries and frameworks used, so I don't think 6-12 month jobs is for me. I don't start to pass others until after a couple of years.

> once you've had 16+ years in the industry

I'm under assumption that hurts me instead of helps (so I hide it by following conventional wisdom and only showing the last 10 years on my resume/limiting it to two pages). But maybe that's only true for full-time positions.

about three weeks ago
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Aiming, Trigger Control, and Ferguson

Bill Dog "center of mass" (4 comments)

Not strictly on topic but I think it was your link to a video by an anesthesiologist that had me questioning what I assumed "center of mass" to be.

My sister hired some ex-military guy for personalized gun training and was taught ("get a 9mm" and) a "one in the head, two in the chest" thing. But from what that doc said, and that slide that showed the major artery systems of the human body, it looked like you want to shoot below the rib cage.

(And of course the other takeaway was that handguns suck as far as lethality.)

about three weeks ago
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one of my mental problems

Bill Dog Re:Actually I think this ability is extraordinary (5 comments)

Unfortunately I think getting hired and doing well on "performance" reviews is mostly about how "normal" or un extra-normal one can appear. It seems to be mostly about social maturity now.

As if the non-technical managers who thought to hire the most brilliant and/or skilled people they could, even if they were a bit quirky, have all died off, and now they only consider "doing well" to be skilled at holding ones own in the office politics game.

(Because you'd never be a good manager if you can't play that game. And we should all aspire to be managers, because that's the more advanced level position. I'll get another "your hire has been a disappointment" sized raise next year, because I show no interest in that. And that means I'm not "engaged"/I'm a slacker. If I'm not jockeying for position via shrewd planning and clever brown-nosing, then I'm not really trying hard enough at work, in a PHB's eyes.)

about three weeks ago
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

Bill Dog Re:What's the point? (511 comments)

Heh, so Java itself is multi-platform, because each version of it is its own platform! ;)

about a month ago
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

Bill Dog Re:I hope not (511 comments)

Not around here. But I had to abandon 10 years of C++ for that very reason. Unfortunately. (Luckily MS has grown C# with a lot of what are to me C++ influences, unlike Java which was among other things meant to be an anti-C++.)

about a month ago
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The Struggle for Stupidity

Bill Dog Re:nope, and what's really sad (6 comments)

Unless someone is going on to become higher educated for engineering or something like that, its level is pointless for the daily life of the modern American citizen. I had to take a year of the stuff for my BSCS and in 18 years as a professional programmer I've needed to use any of it exactly zero times.

K-12 should focus on skills for life. In high screwl I had geometry, then algebra 2, then trig (and something called math analysis). I'd say even as a programmer most of what I use is probably algebra 1. Most of what was taught had no utility to most kids. Topics with any application to normal life should be plucked from all three and combined into a series of applied math courses.

For example teach kids about things like interest and amortization and compounding. Lots of real-world examples on those instead of esoteria. For Joe Sixpack, crap like learning the quadratic formula is useless, but how to save for the future and not get into credit card debt is... priceless.

about a month ago
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A statement to ponder

Bill Dog I don't think... (56 comments)

...Pelosi meant that he doesn't get it, I think she meant that he doesn't get that it's over. That the sun has set on American republicanism, and it only serves as an irritant, as that of a buzzing fly, to prattle on as if there were any going back.

about a month ago
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The Struggle for Stupidity

Bill Dog nope, and what's really sad (6 comments)

Completely disagree with Bill there. Literature is completely lost on children, and is a big waste of their time. Like things like economics, it should be higher education only, and just prepare the yutes with the three R's so they can function in society. And I would say teach critical thinking, so they can protect themselves from being ripped off (in the various ways; i.e. not just financially).

What's sad is that college is wasted on the youth. Like I suspect the vast majority of college grads in the last few generations at least, it was to just get through it. People complain that college is now viewed as vocational training but I don't think it's even that. I think it's predominantly viewed as just to get that piece of paper, that so many jobs (often unnecessarily) require.

But now that I'm more grown-up (okay, only slightly, since college), I could totally see myself in retirement (voluntary or involuntary, however it turns out), when I actually have the time to pursue such things, taking the time to read the great works of literature et al. That is, the time to truly consider all that flowery language and ponder it. But while we have busy lives, most of us just won't feel like we have the time for giving ourself a truly higher education.

about a month ago
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greatest spamming of /. evar

Bill Dog stupid me (3 comments)

s/hoards/hordes/

Doh.

about a month ago
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greatest spamming of /. evar

Bill Dog stupid font (3 comments)

Those should look like:

[...]
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644097) 12

by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644113)
[...]

And one more thing: Both accounts have several freaks, but those could all be recent. But the #57 account has 3 fans. I'm guessing from whatever was the ultra-PC post that earned the +5 achievement. So I'd guess the spammer didn't post a lot between the pursuit of that one bit of cred and the ultimate dirty deed. Maybe all it takes is to get one +5 post and then a new account moves into a status where it can post like mad?

about a month ago
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Guess I'm an Evil League of Evil sympathizer

Bill Dog Re:sci fi too, huh (30 comments)

> Progress is the fruit

I hadn't taken it that far in my head at the time, but now that you have for me, yes. Progressivism is the promise of a perfect society, created by man. It includes the evolution of man, by man, into perfect beings. It's secular humanism taken to the extent of a religion.

I believe that things can be improved, but only to make them less sucky/to a certain extent. Progressivism is belief that we (i.e. man) can always make things better, that we should and can progress towards a man-made utopia. That it's not futility after some point due to our fallen nature.

Adam and Eve had the good life, but fell for the lie that God is wrong and that it could be even better for them. That through their actions, they could surpass the level goodness of what our loving God sets up for us.

Man should know his limitations, and remain humble (without being fatalistic about our time in this condition). Progressivism preaches no limits (within the physical world).

about a month and a half ago
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Let's snort the Drano, shall we?

Bill Dog Re:Oh I heartily disagree (9 comments)

Don't continue to stay hung up on the power thing because that's what you see emphasized on the Left, currently, in America. Sure, Lefties believe there needs to be a small ruling contingent, with absolute power, to keep the system in an equilibrium of "fairness". But they're only bent on acquiring as much power as possible, any way they can, for now, in this country, because they see the inequities as so great and that there's so far to go/so much to overcome to get this evil nation to a state of "fairness". I.e. tactics and philosophy are different things, and pursuits can have phases.

about a month and a half ago
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Guess I'm an Evil League of Evil sympathizer

Bill Dog Re:Have to be read, first (30 comments)

I remain unconvinced that a Kingdom of God, Hold the God, as the AC puts it in the other reply, can succeed.

Good, because I firmly believe that's what we're supposed to learn. We got ourselves kicked out of the Garden because we thought we knew better than God, so God said fine, try it your way for a while. So He left us temporarily wandering through the desert (i.e. what post-Fall human existence is), to give us time to think about what we've done, and to come to the realization that, ultimately, we need God and can't manage on our own successfully.

So I would say don't despair too much about the temporal, as really it's supposed to be this way, because it's our doing. And would you expect it to be any other way, knowing mankind (and its spiritual temptor)?

So we should do what we can here (e.g. the American experiment was an awesome try, as a lesser evil form of human organization), but ultimately we have to wait until He leads us out of the desert and brings us home. Then we shall have our perfect society, because it will be ruled by an omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent dictator. And like the founding of the U.S., the idea of using technology to take man out of the equation in certain things is an entirely worthy pursuit, because it can help, but it will never take us all the way there.

p.s. I liked your "Common parlance leads to common thinking, and is not fit for uncommon human beings."

about a month and a half ago
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Let's snort the Drano, shall we?

Bill Dog prolly not anti-individual, per se (9 comments)

I don't think Leftists would have a problem with everyone in the world being rich (assuming technology that protected their false idol, the Creation), *AS LONG AS* they were all about equally rich. (And exhibited due deference to a strong, centralized governmental authority.)

Liberty is evil not because it allows people to fail, but that it allows some to succeed while others fail. It allows inequity in "the system". Better that everyone succeeds or fails together. (Which is why "the equal distribution of misery", the necessary end result of Leftism, is nonetheless also considered a valid, moral outcome.)

about a month and a half ago
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E-Visits To the Doctor To Top 75 Million In the US, Canada This Year

Bill Dog Re:so how does it work for illnesses? (35 comments)

> You won't really be seeing a doctor (or nurse) on the screen. Just an avatar and a script.

Dr. Watson I presume?

If smart watches take off, these could be your kits. Last I heard the rumor mills have Apple coming out with one next month, with "more than 10 sensors" (not all of them necessarily being biometric ones, granted), and MS with one with 11 sensors the following month. Especially with the fanatic following that Apple has (in devices), if they can make the smartwatch "cool", then smartphone makers who are seeing sales stagnate due to no more new compelling features can sell a few generations of smartwatches with progressively more and advanced sensors reading more of one's vitals.

about a month and a half ago
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E-Visits To the Doctor To Top 75 Million In the US, Canada This Year

Bill Dog Re:So, it might provide minor savings (35 comments)

Every phone call will start with:

"This call is being monitored for legal purposes."

<two minutes of legal disclaimers, regarding the lesser reliability of diagnosing over the phone>

"Do you consent to all of these terms? Press 1 for yes, or hang up for no."

And OTOH, the cost savings could be overcome by more demands on the healthcare system from people more willing to make a phone call on the spot than an appointment for a office visit for who knows how long into the future. What I usually do is wait and see if <mysterious symptom> goes away on its own in a few days. But in the back of my mind, I know I can't get in to see a doctor immediately (excluding going to urgent care, which from experience can soak up half your day, first with waiting around an hour or two to be seen, then time for test results to come back, while the doctore you're assigned is multitasking between a bunch of other visitors). So with the phone call option, I'd probably call every time. Even for the same price, and up to half an hour wait (put it on speakerphone), if I actually get to be heard by an MD.

(And this way, maybe many of the folks who got medical degrees and wanted to practice medicine, but could only get a job working for an insurance company evaluating diagnoses and claims, might be able to get into tele-practice at least.)

about a month and a half ago
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it boggles the mind

Bill Dog Re:My $0.02... (33 comments)

I'm not trying to be a contrarian to everything you're saying, but...

Actually that second video impressed me the most. A human torso is only so deep, and I think I just as soon have a large pattern like that, and that stays embedded in the attacker. Minimal exit wounds to me means maximal force of the blast absorbed by the attacker's body, and minimal chance of drywall penetration into other rooms (or neighbors' units).

And I'm pretty hesitant to assign much meaning to ballistics gel videos, beyond the cool fireworks and lavalamp-like visual aspects. As implored in the old video game Doom when you pick up the chainsaw weapon: Find some meat!. Here's one, of lowly birdshot making a hamburger wound in a mock assailant.

Granted that's at only 10', but my intended defense chokepoint, the long part of my staircase, is 12' from upper to lower landing, which is right around the same as this vid's 24" muzzle plus 10' distance from the muzzle. You might have a bigger house, and no neighbors, so YMMV.

Now what if the attacker is superman on PCP, you might wonder. If a shotgun can hold four shots, I probably do have four shots since each would probably blast the guy back down the stairs after each charge up them. I suppose for the first I'd aim for the stomach, the next one in the genitals, and the one after that in the face. And then maybe your slug as the fourth. And then planning on spending the rest of my life in prison, I guess. Except I'd rather die than be in prison, so I guess I'd just let him get me then, at that point.

Maybe the fourth your 00 buckshot, to one of his knees. After all that he won't be able to walk or see, so I should be able to get away.

But more realistically, to the ordinary intruder (and potentially partner(s) in crime), the kerchunk will cause him(/them) to not even want to think about going upstairs, if it means hazarding close-range shotgun blasts in a narrow corridor with nowhere to go or hide.

Now if bad guy(s) is armed and decides to shoot through the floor at my estimated location... Install steel plating under the drywall of the corner I'd shoot around, and under the carpet where I'd stand? (This home warfare thing is crazy.)

about a month and a half ago
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it boggles the mind

Bill Dog Re:My $0.02... (33 comments)

That's good, because now I'm thinking I might need to be prepared to fire twice in the worst case; the first time with MH42's advice for ammo and the second with yours.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

Bill Dog hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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one of my mental problems

Bill Dog Bill Dog writes  |  about a month ago

Yes, that was plural. One other is that I'm deeply misanthropic. No, not like the Leftie kind. I'm totally with the Left on the belief that people can't be trusted to make the right decisions. But my religion (which is a reference point to my politics, and not one in the same), or my God, commands me to love and forgive others for their failings [if only I could apply that to myself!], and to recognize that despite being highly flawed, my species (i.e. not realy about race, or gender, or other, for me, although I have my prejudices) that I despise so much was made in the image of God and unlike the rest of creation possess cores that will live on past this very beautiful and at the same time very ugly physical world.

So I've never been like for example my sister when she was in college (studying biology/chemistry at UC Berkeley) who wanted to invent something that would, as she put it, wipe out all the human beings so that the animals could live in peace. Nor am I like more adult-thinking Lefties, in feeling that the masses should be enslaved in some sense, for their own good (and that of the earth, and fairness/some universal cosmic karma I guess, etc.)

But though I'm not as bad as maybe around 1/3rd of Americans who are solid Left, it's still something I want to work on.

And then another would be the constant mini-digressions, that I'm prone to, that can be seen in the first couple of paragraphs here. I think this condition of mine manifests itself, in my writing, in lots of parenthetical clauses, and lots of commas, to break up the subthoughts of a thought, and to separate out the hyperlinked if you will related illuminating or context-adding pieces to a thought.

You see, if I don't try really hard to control it, I'm naturally an incoherent mess. So that's another I continously try to work on.

But it's also this second one that leads me to the third and last one I can think of, which is the real topic of this JE. (!)

I constantly get caught up in my own little world, in my head.

From a work performance aspect, I think I was born to be a programmer because I can get in the zone quickly, and get in deep. And I think I create stuff expressed in a way that makes sense, and is robust.

But from a soft skills aspect of work performance, it hurts me badly.

1) In meetings I'm constantly zoning out. My mind frequently wanders back to the issues at hand in the quiet, individual, at-my-desk part of my job. Sometimes unnoticed by me the conversation has meandered to something I've worked on and a question gets posed to me all of sudden, requiring the context of what has transpired so far to interpret. This is hugely embarassing, and is not so swell for my career.

I don't know what to do about this except just try to remember to stay focused on all the floundering around and illogic that the idiots I work with do in meetings, and probably in their own minds.

2) Now I don't think everyone is an idiot of course, and I actually like some of the idiots I work with, because they're nice (goes a long way with me/I can overlook a lot with that), and so my frustration and disappointment with another manifestation of this condition. So I'm deep in thought in what I'm doing, and someone comes by at the end of the (or their) day just to be friendly and social and say goodnight. Like a slug I often just mumble uh-huh or something.

This really hurts, because I don't want to be that way, I'm not really that way when I'm, well, of a fully conscious (of my surroundings) mindset. I really like to socialize with the nice people (who are so few (in today's working world in general?)), I'm just not my "normal" self when I'm engrossed in something. So I come across as a cretan, and so undoubtedly also affecting my working relationships and success.

3) The final aspect of this is that so much time or such frequent trips to my own little world, also coincides with an unhealthy amount of introspection. Don't get me wrong, I treasure my introspective abilities, in a land of what I think are mostly oblivious dullards. But in the workplace, and sometimes in social situations, I would really like some effing obliviousness, as far as internal that is.

Because one deadly way this manifests is in, broadly, public speaking. My somewhat proneness to anxiety attacks are physiological and not psychological, it seems to me, so that's not really part of what I'm talking about here. But examining my voice and my self for cues of it, worrying about if or how much it's coming across, really makes me dysfunctional in orally presenting.

Because of this I dropped most every course in college that included a speech, because I know how my body freaks out (while mentally I'm not worrying about anything, except my body freaking out!). I.e. it's not a preparedness thing, about knowing my topic well enough, or anything like that.

But whatever it is, this also holds me back (as another example I can totally block during a job interview, on something I know full well), and I don't know what to do about that. My mind wants to zone out and focus inward, at the most inopportune times, and it means I don't get to convey to the team everything that I want to about something I've done or researched, and it means I can sometimes just stop, and then the anxiety builds as I can't get myself to focus on getting back to where I was because I'm stuck in worrying about how long it's going to take for me to regain focus! (Usually it's an external stimulus that snaps me back to the task at hand, like someone speaking or otherwise some kind of noise.)

I don't have ADHD or whatever, as I can almost always get myself to sit and read a book and study something for long periods of time. I get engrossed in a movies.

So I'm normal, yet I also grapple with being normal. I don't know how people switch so fast, between deep thinking and social awareness, and how they think and communicate* at the same time without their minds being violently distracted by related thoughts.

*Maybe that programming involves being constantly mindful of related concerns is why I can think and communicate to a computer at the same time.

[Edit: Hit the wrong button while checking for typos; regret if this means redundant notifications get sent out by this system.]

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greatest spamming of /. evar

Bill Dog Bill Dog writes  |  about a month ago

by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644037)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644039)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644041)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644043)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644045)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644047)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644049)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644051)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644053)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644055)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644057)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644059)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644061)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644063)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:10PM (#47644063) 15

by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644075)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644077)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644079)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644081)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644083)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644085)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644087)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644089)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644091)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644093)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644095)
by jelIomizer (3670957) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:12PM (#47644097) 12

by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644113)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644115)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644117)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644119)
(#121 is by a real user who happened to post within this barrage)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644123)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644125)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644127)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644129)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644131)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644135)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644137)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644139)
by jeIlomizer (3670951) Alter Relationship on Sunday August 10, 2014 @04:16PM (#47644141) 13

Someone posted an ad to Slashdot, it looks like 40 times, in 3 batches.

* How did they get the system to accept 12-15 posts a minute from one account?

* In looking at the message ID's, I thought maybe it involved every other post being to somewhere else, such as to foil the moronic "slow down, cowboy" filter. But then I looked at the user ID's between these two accounts, and apparently /. had at some point gone to odd numbers only (to make activity levels look bigger?), as there are only two accounts created between them, #'s 53 and 55, and 52, 54, and 56 are "not found".

* Not new news, as RG got spoofed some time ago, but it was an unfortunate font choice that was made by /. that makes capital eye and lowercase ell look the same. The real "jellomizer" has a 103300 user ID, not a 3 million something.

* The spoofer even replicated the bio text from the real account's bio. This is pretty cold to poor old real jellomizer.

* I don't really have any way of telling how recently these accounts were created. But my what is maybe the non-subscriber's view of their comment histories shows only the spamming of two articles, today and Friday. And yet, they have "achievements". One they both have is a +5 score comment achievement. Which I guess would, of course, be all too easy to quickly garner if having just read /. for a little while.

* The newest account in the system as of this moment is #3781073, which is 55,061 account numbers away from this person's first here. I can't think of any way to estimate how many account creations /. sustains on average every day (sans going to the trouble of checking daily for a few days, which I won't), so can't tell if said spammer created these a while back, or say right before the weekend to do the posts this weekend.

Anyways, surely the system should disallow such things. Points to how /. is truly the one of the big dumpsters of the Internet (where at least the trash from spammers and trollers provides a little, humorous break from the tired, common trash from the hoards of commies that post here), and that the owners/operators, as always, do not care.

p.s. I wonder how said spammer picked that jello person to spoof.

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it boggles the mind

Bill Dog Bill Dog writes  |  about 2 months ago

So tonight around 12:30 am, and I'm sitting downstairs watching TV. It's hot right now, so I had the windows closed and the central A/C on. Set to 76, so it hadn't run in a while.

My "living room" (it's an open concept downstairs in my townhome condo, so it's really just one big room) part is right by the front door, and I have my ceiling fan on at its highest speed during the hot months.

So the vertical blinds are flapping away in the window by the front door, and my TV is on this end, facing towards the front door, so at my doorstep you can hear that it's on.

And my recliner is 12-18 inches from the door handle. At about ear level where I'm sitting.

So I'm sitting there, and plain as day, someone tries the door handle. Now the setup here is that the door handle turns freely (although outside there's nothing to turn, you grab the handle and depress the latch with your thumb), but there's a deadbolt above it, keyed on the outside and with a switch on the inside, and that's what locks the door.

So whoever it was, clearly could tell that someone was home, up/awake, and most likely downstairs, given the blinds were flapping and the TV was semi-blaring (I play it a little loud, having lost some hearing or quality of from too much loud heavy metal with headphones, such that sometimes I have a little trouble making out what someone said).

And unless the person's watched me for a while and knew I was single and lived alone, would think potentially there was another person in the house, because I left the light on in my 2nd bedroom upstairs. (It's a CFL, and those I like to not cycle too much, and just leave on if I plan to come back into the room in a little while.)

And yet this person tried to come into my house. Now I've got 3 other doors around me, to my neighbors' places, but I can hear when they come and go from my recliner, because one door is right next to mine and the other two are in the next building just a skinny walkway's width away (we're packed in pretty good here).

Now I've heard reports of prowlers coming into peoples' homes when they're asleep at night, through an open or unlocked window. But this person had evidence to the contrary that the folk(s) who live here had gone to bed.

Which brings to mind the question, what if I hadn't had the top latched. What was this person prepared to say or do upon entry into my house, to the person(s) downstairs they would expect to encounter.

This person did not ring my doorbell nor knock on the door. I can't hear doorbells of my neighbors', but I can hear knocks on their doors, and their weren't any, so it wasn't some lost person in need of some kind of assistance.

The last neighbor who left their light on all the time for our walkway moved out recently, and my outside light on the light-sensitive controller broke a few years ago, so it's been completely dark out there, unfortunately. Apparently I should get that fixed and be the one who leaves that switch on all the time.

And maybe it's time to think about getting my first firearm. (And some lessons some where, having only ever shot a BB gun before.) I live in a nice neighborhood, but maybe that makes us a target.

And since I'm a heavy sleeper, maybe even getting an alarm system. Although I think those only detect a window opening, and not breaking.

Which leads to the other question that had come to mind about this person of the night. S/he was evidently prepared to confront this residence's awake occupants, so why not break a window to get in. The only thing I can think of is that the person wanted the element of surprise, and quietly slipping in through a mistakenly unlocked door would enable that, that a shattering window would not.

And yet occupants could come from other parts of the place, potentially with guns, so even if surprise was had on a downstairs occupant, it still potentially could've gone very badly for the presumably would-be intruder.

Oh, and no one tried the keyhole on the deadbolt, so it wasn't a neighbor who was just coming home drunk or something and walked down the wrong walkway, in this row of buildings.

And so I'll close with the ultimate question that came to mind: Why does really weird shit, happen to me. And no it wasn't a dream/I wasn't asleep, I'm a night owl kind of person, and had slept in until about noon-thirty today. I was watching stupid Friends reruns, after coming downstairs to catch Stossel's "Security and Liberty" special from 10-11. (Who's a whole topic unto himself.)

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weather.com's Faces of Death

Bill Dog Bill Dog writes  |  about 2 months ago

"Featured Videos" for just the afternoon of today included:

* (Something like "boy dies after stunning collapse", before I saw some of these others and noticed a pattern)

* "Boys Perish Soon After This Selfie"

* "Teen Dies While Attempting World Record"

* "Exchange Student Falls to Death"

<Goes there right now to see if there are any more>

* "Study Abroad Trip Turns Tragic" (the still for the video showing a young guy's face)

* "Cause of Death Released for Teen"

What the heck is it with their fascination for young people dying? I just wanted to see how fucking hot it was today (work on-site in fed. govt. bldg, and they don't give us A/C, in SoCal). I don't want to see death porn or whatever.

p.s. "Incredible Photos of People Laying in a Week's Worth of Trash" WTF?

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I'll bet the book is better

Bill Dog Bill Dog writes  |  about 2 months ago

So they're advertising a new movie coming out, starring then presidential candidate BHO's penpal, that explores the fascinating idea of given that we use only about 10% of our brains, what would it be like if we were to use 100% of them.

And apparently the answer involves lots of guns (and some knives), kung fu, car crashes, 'splosions, and gravity-defying flying across the room brought on by blunt force trauma, that curiously, for the amount of force that would be occuring, does not instead have a disintegrating or hole-punching result.

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private enterprise discouraged

Bill Dog Bill Dog writes  |  about 3 months ago

From some FA on the Hobby Lobby ruling:

"But the government points to a long line of cases holding that for-profit companies may not use religion as a basis for failing to comply with generally applicable laws."

Earlier this month we learned that the FAA decrees that it's legal to use drones for fun, but not for profit.

Why do I lose rights in America simply by virtue of trying to make money on my own time, or with my own association with others?

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why shouldn't it work both ways

Bill Dog Bill Dog writes  |  about 3 months ago

Stossel's show was irritating tonight. The topic was Conservatism vs. Libertarianism. As a Libertarian, Stossel misrepresented Conservatism, and various Conservatives were on appealing to the same things Lefties appeal to; the greater good, majority norms.

Stossel said he used to be a Liberal, so that explains enough of an inability to think straight about things to be able to be a Libertarian. But it's shocking how Conservatives seem blithely unaware that effectively saying it's okay to legislate morality, means then the other side can legislate its morality on us. (And where we're only for it in certain cases, the Left is for doing it all but a few cases. I.e. it's a patently dangerous idea, and used vastly more against us than in what we favor.)

I might journal about some of the topics later (maybe if I can find a refresher of my memory of it on youtube), but the show spurred a chain of thinking on a particular topic that led me to the following.

Let's say I'm a landlord, and I'm also bigoted against homosexuals (which I am, but not in the following way), and refused to rent to them. Most people would say the government should step in and force me to rent to them. I.e. Despite homosexuals offending my sensibilities, I should be forced to associate with them anyways. Because otherwise they could potentially have a hard time finding a rental place to live.

Now let's say that instead I'm a landlord, and I don't refuse to rent to them, but I'm a very outspoken disparager of them in the region, and the homosexual community knows it. And let's say the homosexual community represents a significant %-age of the region. What if I'm having trouble keeping the complex full all the time? Should the government force some homosexuals to live in my complex and pay me rent, despite my offending their sensibilities?

And what about quotas. Lefties say that if a community is 10% Black, then roughly 10% of the programming jobs in that community must be filled with Blacks. Else there's racial inequities.

Well janitorial jobs, at least around here, seem to be disproportionately filled by Hispanics. Should the government tell Black people in that area that 10% of them need to switch careers into the custodial arts?

It seems like either quotas are a good idea or they aren't. And it seems like if it's good to force association between parties when one desires not to do so, then it's good.

If it's one thing I can respect Libertarians for, it's at least they're consistent*

*Well, except for their being pro-choice, which flies squarely in the face of being for individual rights.

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TV idiocrisy is coming

Bill Dog Bill Dog writes  |  about 3 months ago

It started with the ability to show a network logo watermark. Networks would show a translucent version of their logo in the bottom corner for a few seconds, after resuming from a commerical break. Evidently someone who makes tons of money thought it was important that you be reminded where you're seeing the currently airing content.

I didn't mind that, at all. Stupid, but not really obnoxious. Then they moved onto the phase where they left that up all the time. I took me a while to train my brain to tune that out. Until I was able to, it annoyed the hell out of me.

Then they moved on to the next phase, of colored-in/opaque logos, that they leave up all the time. I.e. blocking part of the content (in that corner), all the time.

Then came promos for other shows on the network, after coming back from an ad break, that took up much or all of the bottom portion of what you're fucking trying to watch. I.e. all the commercials played, the movie has resumed, and you're trying to get back into it, and then here comes an overlay commercial, while the movie is still going. Sometimes it's animated, so basically you miss part of the movie they're showing.

So last night I'm flipping thru, and FX is showing some Ice Age or other cartoon animals movie (not at all my cup of tea, so I don't really know). Now I don't know if it had just come back from break or not, but it popped up an ad for the sequel to whatever it was, evidently now playing in theaters or coming soon.

I.e. they've taken the overlays from just promos for the network, to content-related adverts. I don't have for example a "smart TV", so maybe this has already started in other things.

I used to look forward to progress. When it meant a better picture, or more hp at an affordable price point, or easier and more advanced programming ways.

It's like standard of living is a bell curve. As technologies and advancement of capabilities has increased, our standard of living increased. But ever increasing capabilities doesn't seem to equal better quality of living, forever. My DVD player says "operation not permited by disc". WTF? Cars now have gadgetry to wrench the steering wheel from you or press the brakes behind your back. My dad can't go to a favorite finance site anymore, because it watched a few of his clicks and now doesn't show him general news but only the things relating the few topics it last remembers him clicking on. (I could try deleting cookies, as long as it's not fingerprinting him in other ways.)

So I don't think it's just old-fogeyism. I just like things that are better, not worse. And when you start running out of ways to make things better, I guess it's human nature to just keep on going, because the capabilities do. Didn't we used to be thinkers, or is that just another faulty assumption, about how the world works, of mine from childhood?

p.s. I have the flu, and feel miserable so I'm probably more babbling here than my normal level of babbling on.

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note to Slashdot

Bill Dog Bill Dog writes  |  about 4 months ago

You put "Microsoft Won't Bring Back the Start Menu Until 2015" on the front page on Monday June 02, 2014 @11:25AM. It got 407 comments.

Then you put "Windows 8.1 Finally Passes Windows 8 In Market Share" on the front page on Monday June 02, 2014 @07:10PM. It got only 78 comments.

See what you did there? You put up Microsoft flamebait topics _on the same day_. This is sub-optimal because all the little Slash spazzes were all tuckered out from whipping themselves into a mindless hate frenzy earlier.

To maximize ad impressions, it would behoove you to space these out to one per day. Thereby also giving Slashdotters a reason to visit each and every day; there would be no more slow news days!

And while you're at it, consider endowing the system with a set of canned posts, for convenience with such topics. Similar to how a greeting card store provides you with the known small set of ways you can say happy birthday, without having to come up with one yourself, Slashdot could for example provide all the typical variations of "The only thing Internet Explorer is good for is to download another browser".

Like the polls, the UI could be a simple list of radio buttons and a Submit button. Present a different list depending on the specific subclassification of flamebait topic, comprised of all the inevitable "insights" that would get posted. And might as well have them post already at +5, and Slashdot would attain new levels of user friendliness, saving the user base collectively a ton of time.

Contact me for my consulting fee amount.

p.s. One more hint: Flip the sign on the Redundant mod and it'll get more use.

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the morality of the profit motive

Bill Dog Bill Dog writes  |  about 4 months ago

I wrote in a post here today:

When in actuality what it really boils down to is whether one thinks that the death panel effect would be worse under the cost-cutting and profit motive of private healthcare, or the cost-cutting and social engineering motive of public healthcare.

I'm not about to say that capitalism is moral. I'm just saying it's more moral (or less immoral, for those who want it worded that way instead) than the alternative. I know that sounds lame in the sense that ideally we'd have something that's moral, but I'm just coming at this pragmatically here.

I have to assume that part of my preference for the system of unfairness that is the free market must be due to it being the only thing I've ever known. But I think most of it is that it is almost strictly predictable in the outcomes it leads to, and that I accept those outcomes. Sort of "better the devil you know...", but not exactly.

My philosophy on wealth as far as I can remember is that you're working to attain whatever levels you might be able to in life, for greater comfort in life and access to greater luxuries. You figure out how much you want to work and how well you want to live and figure out the balance that's right for you, factoring in the kind of brains, drive, and luck that you know yourself to have.

And then be happy where you are, when you reach that. I don't begrudge the richer man for having a better car than mine, because his fate in life is not mine. I feel sorry for the poorer man, but he probably makes worse decisions in life than I do. Or at least worse from my POV.

So I guess I'm okay with the inequalities inherent in life (like brains and luck) and that are a function of what each individual chooses for himself (like drive).

And consequently what I'm not okay with is forced, collective, man-made alterations to this. For example I'm okay with a rich man offering some kid a scholarship to college and possibly thereby altering his chances of attaining a higher wealth level in life than he normally would. But I'm not okay with for example Affirmative Action.

Firstly in the alternative, it can be more chaotic, being based on man's whim, for whichever kind of men are in power in that era. Today's members of a govt. death panel may decide to favor the young, but tomorrow's may favor the old. Whereas under the profit motive, directors can come and go but the goal stays the same. Profit is a uniting goal and one that's orthogonal to differences in politics/religion.

Secondly, but BD you may say, for now and the foreseeable future a federal govt. run anything will be entirely predictable; predictably Leftist. True in a way, and that's why it's not "...the devil that I don't know". But I also don't like many of the outcomes targeted, not to mention outcomes that I might like but never get achieved.

Capitalism has been very successful in raising standards of living. Leftism, not so much. (Granted, maybe it's in part a function of how corrupted that ism has been.)

In short, unproven political preferences has a large tinge of arbitrariness to me. And part of what's fair and right is that which you can count on.

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How do UNIX/Linux people make web applications?

Bill Dog Bill Dog writes  |  about 4 months ago

I'm trying to make sense of the dizzying array of languages/technologies purportedly used in the customer-facing portion of the HealthCare.gov site. I understand ASP.NET, JSP, and JavaServer Faces to be web templating engines, comprising 39 files. I don't see PHP or ColdFusion listed. And there's 1635 HTML files. It doesn't seem like all of these could be just static content.

It's possible a lot of them could get their dynamic data via AJAX, and maybe that's what a lot of the XSLT is for. But I think most people these days move JSON back and forth and not XML. But in any event, how are placeholders in the HTML files getting replaced? There's only 23 files between Perl and Python, and 248 Bourne shell files, so are they using [showing my age/what little I know] SED and/or AWK to do this? Or would the .sh's be calling the Perl and Python files?

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coding rules of thumb vs. monitor size

Bill Dog Bill Dog writes  |  about 4 months ago

I was perusing the comments under the article about a new ultra-wide 3440 x1440 monitor, and this comment sparked a side thought:

[...] I'd consider taking one of these displays and turning it 90 degrees so I can see more of my code at once without scrolling.

This made me think, as monitors have gotten bigger, maybe a certain couple of old programming rules of thumb need to be restated, in terms of something else that is:

1) Wrap your lines of code at 80 columns, and

2) A function generally should not be more than a screenful in length.

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MS continues really pissing me off lately

Bill Dog Bill Dog writes  |  about 4 months ago

(Aside from the normal level of pissing me off they do every time I have to go into Word or Project.)

1) In IE 11 they got rid of the ability to quickly test your web page with js disabled, by removing that feature from the browser's developer tools window. Now you have to drill down in menus and dialogs and past confirm prompts and change it like a normal user would in the regular browser UI. Why?!?

2) In Visual Studio 2012 they got rid of the ability to record a quick macro to for example play back a series of repetitive editing tasks, by removing the entire macros feature completely. In an IDE? Are you fucking kidding me?!? Now people are saying ya gotta get Notepad++ and copy and paste into that and back. I'm not familiar with that tool, but... WHY!!!!???

3) In Security Essentials for Windows XP they've programmed it to pop up nag screens several times an hour, ever since the OS has gone out of support. It doesn't just pop up once, and its window is always on top so it can't just be ignored. There's apparently no way to disable it and still have the protection aside from installing the previous version if you happen to have a copy of it laying around. So XP is out of support, so no more patches, but why basically force people to uninstall the security suite as well? To get XP machines pwned even faster? Why?!?

In short, WhyTF actually *remove* functionality? It costs virtually nothing to just leave it there.

p.s. I'm in no hurry to upgrade my XP-based netbook, esp. sans any real carrots from MS (and I don't respond well to sticks). So I'm not sure what to do about that, except not use it for anything serious on the WWW. Accepting all serious suggestions (from those who are visible to me here, that is). I don't have a portable optical drive with it.

p.p.s. So MS knew about a remote code execution vulnerability in IE 8 for at least 6 months, and chose to do nothing about it? Hmm, and IE 8 is the latest browser you can install on XP. Ya know, it's almost like they were dropping support for XP early.

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DRM in FF

Bill Dog Bill Dog writes  |  about 4 months ago

So nerd Lefties are getting their panties in a bunch over Mozilla supporting DRM content.

This is because to them DRM is like so-called "closed source" software, and what Mozilla has done is gone with a permissive license model instead of the GPL.

That is, zero tolerance for that which is opposed, no matter how much that marginalizes your entrant in the market, and therefore also how much you're in a position of power to effect change, does not seem to be the path for the Firefox folks.

Maybe like MS's "embrace and extend", it's "accept until it can be changed". The question is, when is it smart to compromise principles and when isn't it. (Where by "compromising principles" I don't mean "selling out" or something unseemly like that, but just biding your time and/or choosing your battles wisely.) Especially when they're very strongly-held principles.

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why I won't buy Windows 8.x

Bill Dog Bill Dog writes  |  about 4 months ago

First a parenthetical caveat: I plan on getting the Windows 8 *Phone* OS.

I've been on the lookout for a flagship-model Nokia Windows phone. I still have a flip/dumbphone, and at least for my first smartphone I want a top-end model, to explore, until I learn what I don't need/never use. A Nokia model because I was an adv amat photog in a previous (i.e. film) era, and their emphasis caters to that interest.

And I've been on AT&T (and its prior incarnations for my area) since I got my first, mini brick phone, and the call quality has always been borderline unusable. So it's going to be a Verizon smartphone, and they got a flagship Windows Phone model, the Lumia Icon, earlier this year.

So basically I'm just waiting a little longer until Nokia's "Cyan" software update gets pushed out to people with that model, which will include the OS upgrade from 8.0 to 8.1, and then I'll give it about a month and see if people are reporting success and if there's any problems.

And then I'm just hoping it won't be for mobile what I think is happening on the desktop. And that is, MS technically supporting unpopular OS versions, but not really working at it or giving a shit.

And this is what pisses me off. I bought a new PC (because I fried my previous one, and needed one) with the much-maligned Windows Vista OS, about the time SP 2 for it was being released. So of course I didn't have any problems with it. Yes I did it because I was in a pickle, timing-wise, and had to, but still, I got Vista x64 Ultimate, their most expensive version, at a time when they were probably hurting for sales.

And what thanks do I get? A shitty patch last month that screws my whole system. Works fine on all the Windows 7 systems that I've seen. So I believe the problem is that Vista is purportedly down to less than 3% marketshare, lower than even the paltry %-age that desktop Windows 8 and 8.1 have. I believe that, like Windows XP and IE 6 before that, MS wants Vista to just go away and be a mostly-forgotten bad memory.

Great, so I bought your product in good faith, and I get short-shrift support. I wasn't one of the ones decrying the OS. So what am I supposed to do then. It looks like one can no longer get Windows 7. And I'm sure as hell not going to get Windows 8.x, since people are stupid sheep and irrationally bagging on that bigtime, so MS will probably treat it like Vista as soon as Windows 9 comes out and all the morons flip-flop their tune.

So, there is no way I would get a new Windows version until 9 comes out (some time next year, is expected). That is, unless bad luck, such as an unrecoverable bad patch, befalls me again.

Luckily this one was recoverable, barely. I.e. I was still able to log in via the admin account. And while uninstalling the update didn't do anything, rolling back to the restore point it created before installing it did the trick. But I did a lot of fretting and Google searching, with no success, and was applying last month's patches individually after rolling the whole set back, to track down which one(s) was the perpetrator. I.e. a huge PITA way of spending my time that I don't need.

As it turns out, all just to fix an issue with paths that should be unreachable if someone tricks you into running a .bat or .cmd file off the Internet. I think I'll manage without this patch. I might have to set that update "hidden" in Windows Update, to not be bugged about it every month.

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there is no confusing; only ignorance

Bill Dog Bill Dog writes  |  about 4 months ago

Regarding this subthread:

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=5159777&cid=47006419

my sentiment boils down to:

Learn the language; don't be a lazy ass and whine about it.

If something's part of the language, but you're not familiar with it, that does not constitute it being "confusing".

Americans these days can't cognitively separate their perspective and the more general one. If I find something hard, then it just must be hard, right? I mean, a whole host of other people couldn't possibly have a completely different experience. That's unfathomable to today's human beings.

I've decided that I don't need to live in a big house. Therefore no one does. Therefore there's no moral problem with passing a law that forbids anyone from living in more than a 1032 sq ft abode (like mine). My experience must the universal one.

I should fucking market a line of t-shirts and baseball caps with "YMMV" with a red circle and slash over it. Because no one is capable of the concept donning on them anymore.

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Inequities

Bill Dog Bill Dog writes  |  about 5 months ago

Act I

A FA on the front page laments that more potholes have gotten fixed in wealthier neighborhoods in some city because their residents were more likely to own smartphones and download the report-a-hole app.

My thinking of course was, yeah, the squeakiest wheel tends to get the grease. That's just how it is, if there's not the gumption or resources to proactively/preventatively frequently attend to every wheel. Such as in city services.

I would think there'd still be a phone number to call to report them, since smartphones haven't always existed, and most everyone has at least a land line. So those who are bothered by them the most get them fixed first.

Doesn't sound terrible, but it's only a meant to serve (and does so very poorly) as just one example of a greater, overall concern: Data analytics could end up reinforcing inequities in housing, credit, employment, health and education.

Act II

I'm reminded of a popular, smarmy retort of the past to the accusation of Left-wing bias in the media: Life [itself] has a Liberal bias! The implication intended for conveyance, but not really believed by the utterer, of course, was that Left-wing slant in the content of reports about things in life was not actually injected, but innate. I.e. it's not a problem, it's what's normal.

Well, then: Life reinforces inequities.

Act III

But if all these naturally-occurring inequities are bad, shouldn't all naturally-occurring inequities be bad?

How about some we never hear about:

1) The number of news sources

The Left occupies 90-some percent of the news dissemination sources in the country, from news networks (like CNN) to non-news networks (like Comedy Central). Given that probably about 1/3 of the country is solid Left, that should be their quota on programming that distributes news. Or at most 2/3rds of all news-distributing media outlets, since you can also argue that the political middle has been lost to the Left.

2) Positions in (public) education

Leftism is grossly over-represented in academia. Why is diversity in the student body so important but not in the faculty?

3) Voter registration

At least in this state, even in so-called Republican areas the # of registered D's easily outnumbers the # of registered R's. And around here I've heard something to the effect that we've gotten rid of runoff elections being between the highest vote getting D and the highest vote getting R, to just the top two highest vote getters. Which will probably take that disparity and tend to make it even worse.

Maybe Democrat registration should be effectively capped at the current level of Republican registration in a district. For example lets say a city has 4 million residents with 45% registered D and 30% registered R. That's 1,800,000 expected D voters and 1,200,000 expected R voters. To make things more fair, shouldn't the number of D votes counted be stopped at 1,200,000? This still wouldn't guarantee equitable outcomes but it could be a start. Then it would be a matter of absolute turnout, on a level playing field.

4) Intelligence (that is, you never hear about this except from "racists")

Inherited wealth must be confiscated, for redistribution by the state, because it's too much of an advantage those of future generations. Well intelligence is passed down as well, and that's an even bigger factor. Maybe mandatory IQ testing should be performed at an early age, with forced dope ingestion in formative years to "equalize" the IQ of those more gifted.

5) Work Ethic

Cultural and home-life attitudes towards achievement also greatly factor in to outcomes in people in life. Jewish and especially Asian households are guilty of placing expectations and pushing their children to successes in life. Public school alone is insufficient in completely counter-acting this parental-instilled drive.

Maybe Child Protective Services' mission should be expanded. Not only do children need protection from their bad parents, but they need protection from others' good parents, who in raising their own children puts others at a disadvantage.

Some type of mandatory foster care in addition to public schooling might do the trick. Say state-run boarding schools, where you have to send your kids to go live 2 years for every 1 year they live with you, or whatever ratio is needed to eradicate the unfairness.

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Why I hate "business developers", part 1

Bill Dog Bill Dog writes  |  about 5 months ago

That is, "business developers" in contrast to "software engineers".

I'm at a place with them now, since returning to work after the Great Recession. (And I fear that I might be working with them, when I can find work at all that is, from now on.) I worked with them at my 2nd startup during the dotcom boom (a VB shop). During my time there I once overheard some of the senior developers talking amongst themselves and making fun of C/C++ devs for being nerds, and how in constrast they're "passionate about solving business problems", and not wanting to "get bogged down in the technology". I saw that again in the "about me" section of someone's blog years later, so I suspect it's an actual culture, that I've only bumped into a couple of times in my career so far.

They call themselves "developers", not "programmers". One person at my current shop felt the need to say out loud to the group once that she is definitely not a nerd. I concur. She's a mommie, not a technologist.

They talk about watching sports, and getting blitzed on beer. These aren't kids, some of them are early 50's, so they're not "bro-grammers", they're not the Jersey Shore of developers, they were just probably frat boys in college in their time. They're normals, not nerds They have zero awkwardness in speaking (they make BHO look like a stumbling, bumbling imbecile, in comparison, which he certainly is not), and always know what to do given the social situation.

They generally graduate with IS or MIS degrees as opposed to CS degrees. Or they get a CS degree but at one of the colleges in California's lower tier university system. Like I did*, but unlike me, they generally had to rely on a circle of friends/classmates to help them get through it. You couldn't help but notice these people; they were like wildebeests, always in proximity to their herd, for protection from carnivorous technical coursework trying to overwhelm and weed out the unfit.

*I transferered out of the upper tier system because I didn't want to pay that much/couldn't afford to (running up college debt wasn't what we did back then) . And I didn't want to work that hard, at that point in my life, since my thinking then was it was just to acquire the stupid token piece of paper to finally start my career and stuff of actual importance. (I don't totally agree with that now.)

I remember a classmate who I worked briefly with on a project I think in senior year. (At that school, sometimes larger programming projects were where you could optionally pair up with someone on it. But I never did, thinking that I'm going to have to be able to do this on my own in the real world. But some analysis & documentation assignments were sometimes mandatory pair or group assignments.) He was not a geek/nerd/pinhead/intellectual. He dressed well, spoke well, was smooth, he could be a CEO by now.

Now some people want to do something with computers in their career, not on computers. And that's fine, but they should go into QA or documentation on the way to management or whatever. For things like programmer, sysadmin, network admin, and DBA, that require real technical commitment to nerdy stuff to be able to excel at, the rest of us would appreciate if they'd stay away from those. So we can get our jobs done.

And some apparently have settled on working on computers, maybe giving up the aspirations of ever becoming a suit, but don't want to get too involved with them. A hybrid suit/developer, but 67/33 suit/programmer.

So you get what I have where I'm currently at. Managers love these people because they look and act and talk well, just like them. I hate them because I have to work with them, and on the code that they write (topics of part 2). So it's occurred to me, I'm not just a little out of place, I'm actually in a sense underemployed right now. Not as severely as if I was flipping burgers right now, but still.

In pay and also in what I can do. So I'll probably start looking in another year or so. There's a few more books I want to read to get myself at what I perceive to be a good foundation in this newer (to me) stuff I'm doing. The environment of the business developer has actually been a good place to start, as simplicity and just straightforward grunt it out coding is the rule, so it's good for someone coming up to speed in different tech for a somewhat career shift.

But like I said, since I'm doing web development in a managed language now, vice desktop development in lower-level more hard-core languages before, I fear that I'll never be working with what I consider to be my peers anymore.

Somehow, ideally, I need to find a C# shop where the propensity of them came from a C++ background and not just from Visual BASIC. And where they're not afraid of just a sprinkling of design patterns, and actual software engineering concerns like SOLID, DRY, and (gasp) OWASP. I need to think about a way of determining in an interview what kind of shop it is, without giving it away and offending in my question. (Any suggestions?)

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words

Bill Dog Bill Dog writes  |  about 6 months ago

I used "social engineering" in a sentence a few minutes ago and wanted to look up some kind of official definition. Dang it is getting hard to find the definition that's not just the technical, hacking one.

On a second page of hits I found that Webster's still retains its historical definition:

Management of human beings in accordance with their place and function in society.

(Hey, what could be more moral than that, right?)

I say historical because it no longer describes an alternate state, rather now being concomitant with existence. I.e. it's no longer an "ism", it's an "is". So therefore it's not really notable as its own word anymore.

In general I lament when words, that already have a distinct meaning, get hijacked by the ignorant, and it catches on. Because then we lose the original meaning/no longer have a word to describe the first thing. (Which, of course if you're on the Left, don't mind at all if the politically manipulative meaning of that word pair gets obscured by the technology meaning one.)

"Hacking" is another one. As someone who went through a Computer Science program at a university in the late 80's/early 90's, its original meaning in computers meant to skip desiging and thinking about a program and just diving in to coding it. But I figure some journalist heard the term and grokked that it related to computers somehow but didn't know how, and made the incorrect assumption that it related to breaking in to computers, wrote an article, and the rest is histoire.

And for the latest example, Pest Buy is now running commercials that you should come in and buy Windows tablets there because they've handed some out to their employees first and they've taken them home to learn it, presumably to be better able to tell you how to use Windows 8. But they're referring to this process as "beta testing". Gah!

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