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Gates Paying Murdoch For System To Track U.S. Kids' School Progress

DreadPirateShawn Diamond Age? (182 comments)

On one hand, I understand (and largely agree with) the various concerns about algorithm-izing students, grade inflation, and using the money directly to fund teachers. Our public education system has a shit-ton of critical P1 bugs.

However. On the other hand, I'm reminded to Neal Stephenson's "Diamond Age" interactive primer. First, the manifestation from the book is clearly not the initial beta version; some lengthy amount of revision and improvement would clearly be necessary to achieve the level of sophistication presented in the storyline. As such, Gates' initial investment along these lines could be a key first step down this path. Second, the manifestation from the book demonstrates a clear power over educational thought that is conveyed by the approach -- that is, if creating an algorithm for more effective education WAS attainable, then it would be an algorithm which could single-handedly influence entire generations* down a path of compliance with, or rejection of, status quo systems.

* This technology would also likely be available only to the elites with money to fund it, at least initially. Perhaps GNU GPL versions would surface over time. Given the power over educational philosophy, would the developers have to be thoroughly licensed in the educational system first? With versions of the software that are considered with the same distaste as allowing middle-schoolers to read Hunter S Thompson?

about 3 years ago

Using AI To Identify Innuendo

DreadPirateShawn i'm all over it (86 comments)

I think this could be really big; their task is really quite hard. First they have to suss out the meaning of the sentence, and ideally the cadence, in order to hold back until the right moment. Then they have to figure out where their addition can be legitimately inserted; not just any opening will suffice. Their biggest risk now is if they release prematurely; the timing is key and they don't want to blow it.

I'm near Seattle in the moment, and TFA cites a presentation in Portland in June. I may just have to go down.

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Would You Take a Pay Cut To Telecommute?

DreadPirateShawn Re:How will we communicate? (615 comments)

I'd love to work at home but then how would I communicate with my co-workers?

Burris Ewell
fax: 415/555-1213
twitter: @burris
skype: burris_ewell
facebook: facebook.com/burris
irc: burris@oftc.net
jabber: burris@gmale.com
blog: burris.blogger.com
linkedin: linkedin.com/burris
pgp: b6cd-5bbb-090d-cb92-9834-b38b-73e2-9c0e

First of all, well put. :-)

That having been said, many don't have a fax #, don't leave a tab open to Twitter, don't keep Skype running, don't have a blog, rarely check LinkedIn due to steady job and deadlines, don't quite recall what jabber is. Personally, I monitor my work email (ActiveSync + Android TouchDown) like a hawk, and phone / SMS make their noises well enough, but everything else can wait until I get around to it.

Besides which, I guarantee* you can talk faster than you can type, and for a larger thread there's never a need to click "get latest mail" rapid-fire for 5 minutes to make sure you keep the conversation from branching. Being "on location" offers the same benefits as visiting a good friend versus just calling or emailing them -- clearer communication, better teamwork, more sharing of miscellaneous knowledge and ideas. I prefer to work from home occasionally, but mostly when I'm in the middle of a lengthy task and want to avoid interruptions, and can more or less skip my meetings for the day.

And let's face it. If you're valuable enough to your boss, if you over-deliver / deliver early / solve your boss' problems reliably enough, strongly contribute at meetings when dialed in, and never* ever* slip up due to being off-site, then it will be in your boss' best interests to let you work from home whenever you please. Those who excel, usually get more.

* Yeah yeah, I know. Work with me here.

more than 3 years ago

Block Adverts Outside of the Browser

DreadPirateShawn Re:FP (51 comments)

April First Post! There, now i never have to do this again.

You make a very convincing argument, and your self-fulfillment has enabled others to follow in your footsteps. And for this, I thank you.

more than 2 years ago

London Stock Exchange Price Errors 'Emerged At Linux Launch'

DreadPirateShawn either sympathy or accusation (168 comments)

My heart goes out to the devs "working long hours and night shifts" to suss this out.

That being said, the line that catches my eye most is: "The fact the majority of smaller vendors were fine demonstrated that those having trouble had made mistakes." In my experience, that means one of two things:

1) The devs configuring the system didn't properly account for the sheer scale of the stress on their systems.
2) The smaller vendors took the change more seriously, and being smaller and more flexible, successfully updated their systems to interact properly with the new systems.

Or, of course, both.

more than 3 years ago

What is your favorite Cloud Platform?

DreadPirateShawn Re:the assumption being... (396 comments)

that we all must necessarily think cloud is a good thing and want to use it. Not me, I value my privacy.

Every hammer has its nail, and every awl has its leather.

more than 3 years ago

How many microprocessors are in your home, total?

DreadPirateShawn "Too Many" (559 comments)

21 ready-to-run separate physical CPUs, not counting cores / phones / gaming systems / peripherals / etc. It's times like this I remember why I have a server rack in my man-cave next to my bar... it's an 8-foot Slashdot penis. /.====3

about 4 years ago

Are 10-11 Hour Programming Days Feasible?

DreadPirateShawn Re:Bye-bye! (997 comments)

a) I agree with WaywardGeek. b) Personally I'd boil down to: * Ideally, if the company prospers X%, so should the employees. Granted X may vary (CEO 50%, contractor 2%) but it should be a percentage nonetheless. More profit for company = more profit for all. * If the top-level execs aren't willing to adopt some variant of this model, then there's a threshold of winners vs grunts. * If you're a grunt, consider leaving. If you're a winner, then either leave on "socialist" principle, or stay on "Ayn Rand" principle.

about 4 years ago

Unusual, Obscure, and Useful Linux Distros

DreadPirateShawn Makes me appreciate Bob's insights (221 comments)

"If you don't laugh, you didn't get it, but if you ONLY laugh, you didn't get it." [Book of the SubGenius]

more than 4 years ago

Porting Lemmings In 36 Hours

DreadPirateShawn Re:Copyright? (154 comments)

IIRC Psygnosis owns the rights to Lemmings. Also IIRC, Psygnosis is now owned by Sony. Unless Psygnosis was only the publisher for a third party I'm not aware of.

Good luck with that.

Not a bad résumé tactic though, however you look at it. If I had an interviewee who ported a game for kicks in 36 hours, I'd certainly file that in the "pros" column..

more than 4 years ago

Kaminsky Offers Injection Antidote

DreadPirateShawn Re:Another crutch (244 comments)

Yes and no. Bear in mind there's a difference between "dirty" code with bad indentation or inconsistent bracket styles, versus "dirty" code which doesn't follow best practices in actual code design. The former can be tolerated (albeit reluctantly), while the latter poses a real threat.

Often dirty code won't clearly demonstrate the problems it causes -- in which case noting the dirty code and moving on may save an hour up front, but can easily cost half a day once you stumble onto one of its side-effects and follow the breadcrumbs back to the source. Or after the dirty code is copied / inherited / extended into more locations, and fixing the same code now includes exponentially more use-case scenarios.

It's easy to paint the good devs as being "too" anal-retentive, "too" focused on clean code... yet this obsession leads to far more maintainable code, and to "version 2.0" releases going orders of magnitude more smoothly. Not to mention avoiding the loss of time every time the production code tips over, or the customer rants about bugs in the market and devs are forced to investigate, causing unscheduled time impact. But even when fixing dirty code takes days, and fixing comparable clean code takes minutes or hours, the payoff is often dismissed because the time was saved after the initial release date, and the client's money is no longer on the line.

In the best of worlds, the good devs are able to fix the code behind the scenes as much as possible, knowing that one evening of working in front of the TV tonight, can guard against multiple stressful days of cleaning up a mess later, losing time on their own schedule in the process. For better or for worse, "good developers" are considered "good" for a reason.

more than 4 years ago

Mobile Game Trojan Calls the South Pole

DreadPirateShawn Re:Did penguins answer ? (195 comments)

"Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you..."

more than 4 years ago

Slackware 13.1 Released

DreadPirateShawn recent convert (155 comments)

I'm admittedly a Johnny-come-lately Linux user, a mid-ish 20's (three cubed!) developer who switched to Linux (openSuSE) last spring. Loved it. Then a month ago, I (re)stumbled upon Slackware, which the online distro choosers (I know, I know) said was a match for me -- great performance mixed with not-quite-crazy learning curve, and even the learning curve would give me oh-so-adaptable "purity of Unix" skills. While downloading this new toy, I met Bob, who truly changed my life -- I became a fledgling member of the Church of the SubGenius. Later, while installing, upon seeing that one of the options was "Newbie: Use verbose prompting (the X series takes one year)"... that, my friends, is when I knew I was truly home.

more than 4 years ago

A Contrarian Stance On Facebook and Privacy

DreadPirateShawn Re:Not So Much With The Internet (160 comments)

But Facebook -is- a product, specifically one for easily sharing personal info. And when it comes to personal data and privacy, "out there on the internet" includes telling Facebook's databases and giving suggestions regarding which of your friends to share with. That's hardly a legal contract of confidentiality, and treating it as such is disingenious. We've rubbed our own bottles and let our own genies out, and are now complaining when the genies chat amongst themselves without our approval.

more than 4 years ago


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