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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Euler Re:Modula-3 FTW! (488 comments)

I agree, this seems to be a fine art that has been lost no matter what language was used. Putty is the only significant program that I know of that doesn't require a huge install. Heck, even MinGW got complicated along the way somewhere. You can't even install a printer driver under 100 MB anymore.

5 days ago
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NSA Official: Supporting Backdoored Random Number Generator Was "Regrettable"

Euler Re:he SAID "after it was discovered" (106 comments)

Exactly. This is not an apology. I read TFA. Somehow, they want to put the horse back in the barn. There was a time that they had a mission to develop technology that was useful to US government agencies, industry, banking interests, etc. I truly respect people who were doing honest work at securing US interests. But there is just no going back, all that work is forever tainted.

about two weeks ago
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FBI Says Search Warrants Not Needed To Use "Stingrays" In Public Places

Euler Re:Fraudulent Bureau of Investigation. (303 comments)

Doesn't work anymore. In the 20th century the 'wise men' (educated) were the first to be marched off... Then the 'undesirables', etc. They already were identified by the time the situation arose.
Not sure what the 21st century holds for us. But considering how much information is recorded about all of us going back who knows how long, it is probably too late already.

You will have to do more than just keep quiet, you will have to be 'useful' as well.

about three weeks ago
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FBI Says Search Warrants Not Needed To Use "Stingrays" In Public Places

Euler Re:Someone please aware me: (303 comments)

Silly rabbit! :)
We were certain of our liberties as codified in law (mistakenly.) Now, we are not sure of anything. It is no longer paranoia, now there is precedence.

about three weeks ago
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How We'll Program 1000 Cores - and Get Linus Ranting, Again

Euler Re:Torvalds is half right (449 comments)

Even in case #1, there is sometimes things that can be done. For example, speculative execution. If you can boil down to a small number of choices as a result of the first operation, then it may make sense to compute both outcomes. Or there may be some other intermediate value that might be needed in only some outcomes. But this requires application-specific knowledge usually to know exactly what is allowable and what the payoff would be. You wouldn't want to create a situation where executing both cases affects a global resource. So you would need a language expressive enough to hint this information to the compiler.

about a month ago
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Peter Diamandis: Technology Is Dissolving National Borders

Euler Re:For wealthy gadabouts perhaps (129 comments)

Telecommuting: I work for a company that is fairly traditional. I have co-workers in Germany, Japan, the other side of the USA, 3 co-workers working out of their homes in different cities. I work with them on a daily basis. The only reason I work in an office is because we work on physical hardware and need to share some resources. The irony is that talking with co-workers over phone, email, or shared screen is often more efficient than with the person in the same office.

Translation: translate.google.com works as well as anything. The only real limitation is that technical jargon in German doesn't pass through to an equivalent US English expression. But that is the same thing that happens when German people speak English. They have very good grammar and accent in English, but they are not taught our technical words or colloquialisms. So technical documents have a lot of instances of "Module", "Technology", etc. referring to different things using the same words when there were more specific words that meant something in German.

Cryptocurrency: true, I think that is a lot of work to do there. But not the least of which will be institutional barriers deliberately intended to regulate the flow of currency over borders.

about 1 month ago
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Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains His Christmas Tweet

Euler Re:No group "owns" any day on the calendar. (681 comments)

I'd be happy calling December 25th "Santa Claus Day." Christians still refer to Christmas and go to midnight mass on the 24th and such.

The "Christmas" tree, lights, Santa, gift giving to each other, ham or turkey dinner, having the day off are definitely the norm in this country, and they are not spelled out in the bible as far as I know.

Happy Holidays offends _me_ only because it is so damn generic and politically correct. It is equivalent to say "Happy Holidays" on any holiday such as the 4th of July because we don't want to be exclusive of other nations' dates of independence.

So I think I will just go with "Have a merry Santa Claus Day and a happy new year" (Unless we don't want to offend people following other calender new years.)
Then maybe "Have a merry Santa Claus Day and a happy rollover of the Gregorian calendar"

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Companies Won't Be Around In 10 Years?

Euler Re:Ten years? (332 comments)

Kodak diversified into many areas. The problem is that they were always expecting the high profit margins in every product line. And they needed that due to the large R&D, worker benefits, big management, and quality control process that they tried to apply everywhere. Secondarily, they were always chasing the razor-blade model and that just doesn't work everywhere. I agree that led to some wasteful ventures like batteries and such. But in general, they preferred to sell off a company for one-time cash rather than try to operate it. For example: Carestream, Eastman chemical, Exelis, etc.

Many of these companies are able to expand in new directions. Formerly, they were constrained under the vertically-integrated structure within Kodak because they only focused on photographic products.

The good news is that many of the industries Kodak spun off are still employing people and operating in the same physical plant that Kodak built. In fact, many new food-processing operations have moved into former film-handling facilities due to the superb climate-controlled buildings that Kodak built up.

People here in Rochester have a lot of resentment that Kodak didn't pursue digital cameras sooner. But the plain fact is that there just isn't as much market to monetize even if they did beat out Sony, et al. for the camera market. Nevermind that even digital cameras have lost market to smartphones. Electronics are low-margin, especially if produced in the USA. Film was very high-margin and high-volume. If you are over 30 years old, you probably remember that using a few rolls of film a year was a big deal due to the cost. Now picture-taking is virtually free; only rarely do I pay money to print out a photo.

about a month ago
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Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains His Christmas Tweet

Euler Re:No group "owns" any day on the calendar. (681 comments)

What should the rest of us do in the meantime while we are waiting for the answers?

Seriously. I'm not anti-science, I'm just against the arrogant viewpoint of some scientists that science will give us the answers we need in a timely manner to create perfect public policy that brings us to utopia.

about a month ago
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Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains His Christmas Tweet

Euler Re:No group "owns" any day on the calendar. (681 comments)

This is a really good point. Science depends on reconciling competing world views through peer-review. Eventually, one must withdraw their line of research for a variety of reasons. This is not as decisive as some would purport it to be. Statements like "the science is settled", are hardly ever true.

about a month ago
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Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains His Christmas Tweet

Euler Re:No group "owns" any day on the calendar. (681 comments)

But both are examples of deliberately refusing to acknowledge what is obviously a significant cultural event (in the USA.) By definition, this is counter-culture and that alone is enough to offend many people.

about a month ago
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The Slow Death of Voice Mail

Euler Re:Connect to email (237 comments)

I guess I'm pretty lucky then. Management where I work actively supports the concept of directing customers to the customer support department and to leave Engineering busy with their own work.

about a month ago
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The Slow Death of Voice Mail

Euler Re:Connect to email (237 comments)

Yes exactly. We have this strange concept that anyone in the world can call me, send me a text, IM me or include me in a long email thread. Worse is when they expect an immediate response, or think I should stay at my desk to keep replying to their IM messages. Maybe I'm too busy and my primary job function is not to deal with instant communication.

about a month ago
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The Slow Death of Voice Mail

Euler Re:youmail (237 comments)

Text is becoming more widespread and seems to be the _only_ way to reach some people. It does give me a lot of hesitation as well. Even if it is being used more commonly, I can't see it replacing voice conversation outright. I think when companies put up a 'voicewall' making it impossible to talk to a live human they may be making a mistake. I don't typically leave a message if I call a customer support line, but I'd be pissed if I couldn't talk to a human to explain verbally a situation.

Voicemail may be dying, and that doesn't bother me too much. I've never liked the overly pedantic voicemail greeting/outgoing messages that take 30 seconds to listen to all of the obsolete pointless options. I'm pretty sure everyone in this era knows to just start talking when you hear the beep. "Please leave a message for XXX. BEEEP." That would work for me. If I didn't get in touch with someone, all I want to do is to have them call me back or I will try again later. With caller ID, the voicemail is mostly pointless. The only useful information I need to convey is the urgency of the message, maybe a few words to frame the point of my calling.

Nothing is worse than a three minute voicemail monolog trying to have a one-sided conversation with me with specific numbers and descriptions of things. Email is much better for that.

about a month ago
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The Magic of Pallets

Euler Re:Like many inventions ... (250 comments)

I would say a very loose standard. There are a variety of pallet dimensions. Sometimes you get stuck moving a pallet that the hand jack can't fit into.

At least forklifts have more articulated and usually thinner tines that can be adjusted to fit pretty much everything.

about a month ago
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The Magic of Pallets

Euler Re:Like many inventions ... (250 comments)

Yeah exactly, which came first? The pallet is virtually useless without the fork. I wonder if the fork jack was invented first, but people got tired of the lower row of boxes in every stack being punctured. :p Some innovative person somewhere thought about it and realized the need for a frame to support the stack of boxes over the forks. But how did they decide to call it a pallet?

about a month ago
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What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Euler Re:So let me get this straight... (628 comments)

Everyone should have equal access to opportunity to earn that stuff.
If you are disabled, ok - we will sort that out.
If you don't want to get on the economic treadmill, - ok, you can opt out for the simpler life.

But you just want the same stuff to go to everyone just because?

If you think some people have more stuff than they deserve, then look carefully what society values. You are probably mistaken Look upon yourself what you are willing to pay other people for. It is possible some people are ripping off society, but the fix there is transparency and competition.

about a month ago
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What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Euler Re:Give a universal hourly wage subsidy (628 comments)

This is like a math problem involving discontinuity and infinities. I think we can all understand the hypothetical thought-experiment of no jobs resulting in people with no money, therefore how do we distribute the supposedly free goods and services?

Let's never mind the fact that land and materials won't be free. And that nobody will bother to build a factory to make free products even if it costs even nothing to build it.

This isn't the end of capitalism, and I really don't think we need to go all socialist to cope with increasing automation. Even though you could project this to a singularity where all jobs are eliminated (including creative work), I think the very arguments people are having demonstrate why that process will throttle itself before we get there. There will be a point where the cost of automating some jobs is well above the marginal benefits due to the diminishing prices that the capitalists can charge.

The more realistic questions are going to be about where this equilibrium will happen and what to do with the marginalized people? Do we consider them disabled if they cannot be retrained? How do people bootstrap themselves to that level of education if labor isn't worth enough to pay back tuition? What other sort of traps, inversions, quantized effects will occur that we haven't thought of yet?

about a month ago

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