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Google Suggests Separating Students With 'Some CS Knowledge' From Novices

FooAtWFU Re: In other words, ... (307 comments)

Perhaps there's something to the pervasive media narrative about Silicon Valley after all. Not only do they have no ability to relate to the non-asian and non-white crowd but they also have no ability to relate to whites that aren't rich enough for east coast boarding schools either.

Wait, boarding schools? I don't think that's Silicon Valley you're talking about, my friend. I could see Wall Street being accused of that, maybe...

about a week ago
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French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

FooAtWFU Re:So basically.. (295 comments)

The taxi drivers feel like they own the customers. Not the whole customer, mind you (that'd be slavery). Just a little piece.

about a week ago
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Canada Waives Own Rules, Helps Microsoft Avoid US Visa Problems

FooAtWFU Re:Fucking Hell, Harper needs to go! (122 comments)

"Canadian jobs"? Do Canadians own those jobs? Perhaps this should be better-codified, then! I mean, there are places in the world where people own jobs and are legally entitled to sell the job or pass it on to their children. Mexico teachers' unions come to mind. Of course, they're also a textbook case of dysfunction and an entitlement mentality trying to dignify itself with the trappings of leftism.

Anyway. Essentially what I'd like to get at is that this is a hideously ugly form of nationalism which doesn't really deserve any of the dignity of the idealized socialist struggle (CS workers as the proletariat, ha!) and miserable economic policy to boot. (no nation in history has ever become prosperous by isolating itself from trade.)

Of course, the real question is why the US needs to launder these workers through Canada and doesn't just let them in directly (we're clearly letting in plenty of unskilled workers, after all...)

about a week ago
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How the Pentagon's Robots Would Automate War

FooAtWFU Re:So it's not Skynet vs humans (117 comments)

Why are people so quick to go to the sci-fi stories of the army of robots rising up to destroy humanity when there's still ample room for exploration of the robot's masters subjugating Earth to their will (a far likelier prospect, to boot?)

Weak. Cliché.

about a month ago
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Customers Creating Fake Amazon Pages To Get Cheap Electronics At Walmart

FooAtWFU Re:Oh, boy! (287 comments)

$10.69 in 2014 dollars, but it's worth noting that was at its peak and so a uniquely misleading selection if you're comparing the current minimum wage to historical norms.

about a month ago
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How Facebook Is Influencing Who Will Win the Next Election

FooAtWFU Re:Elections are Popularity Contests (72 comments)

Because different faces, or parties for that matter, tend to pursue similar policies?

Right! If we'd elected McCain instead of Obama in 2008, the Affordable Care Act as we know it today would still be more or less intact, we'd still have withdrawn American forces from Iraq on the same schedule, and we'd still be shaking hands with China over a miniature climate agreement. In smaller matters, the Keystone pipeline would still be in limbo (just because that's easier than killing it explicitly). Et cetera et cetera.

about a month ago
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Uber Threatens To Do 'Opposition Research' On Journalists

FooAtWFU Re:Uber is a Pump-n-Dump scheme (299 comments)

With all due disrespect to Uber's extant valuation projections, you've used airlines as an example. Besides the fact that people travel on the ground more than they travel through the air, airlines are notorious for having razor-thin margins, spotty track records of profitability and a tendency to go broke on short notice. Their capital stock is a double-edged sword. You may have heard a joke: "How do you become a millionaire in the airline industry? Well, you start out as a billionaire..."

The real questions about Uber are how big the new market they want to build actually is, and why some competitor won't grab substantial portions of that market from them.

about a month ago
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Mayday PAC Goes 2 For 8

FooAtWFU Re:Nothing's gonna change. (224 comments)

Another thing about that spending, too -- election advertising this year ran about $3.7 billion overall. This is real cash, but it's about real issues and the future of our nation is at stake and many policy proposals could make a significant impact in the nation's $3 trillion-a-year economy. Proctor and Gamble spends about $5 billion a year advertising for the likes of laundry detergent, Nyquil, and diapers.

about a month and a half ago
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Americans Rejoice At Lower Gas Prices

FooAtWFU Re:Lucky sods (334 comments)

And about 90% of the difference is additional taxes that your government has placed on the substance -- so if you don't like it, whine to Parliament. :P

about a month and a half ago
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World War II Tech eLoran Deployed As GPS Backup In the UK

FooAtWFU Re:Meanwhile, in the U.S. (139 comments)

Well, the US operates the GPS system itself, which is a distinct advantage in a time of worldwide military conflict.

about a month and a half ago
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Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

FooAtWFU Re:Friendly AI (583 comments)

Why would it be different? I don't know, maybe because mammalian brains' learning mechanisms and the way they react to stimuli are shaped by a series of useful heuristics that arise from the bio-chemical structure of their brains, and it's not at all clear that there would be direct analogues in an artificial brain?

about 2 months ago
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Law Lets IRS Seize Accounts On Suspicion, No Crime Required

FooAtWFU Re:Time for a revolution (424 comments)

Whoa, whoa, slow down. I think you're a little off-base here. Be reasonable!

... It's probably going to be more like "you owe us $80 million for the $100,000 you hid in bitcoin".

about 2 months ago
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Austin Airport Tracks Cell Phones To Measure Security Line Wait

FooAtWFU Re:What privacy concerns? (168 comments)

The real danger to your privacy comes once you've joined the network, giving it your real MAC address, and start sending a bunch of data around that isn't encrypted end-to-end (like web browsing).

about 2 months ago
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Sale of IBM's Chip-Making Business To GlobalFoundries To Get US Security Review

FooAtWFU Re:Who is we? (95 comments)

Well, it sorta-does. They have first dibs on over a third of earnings, which I suspect is far more than the single biggest shareholder gets. Doesn't come with all the bells and whistles like voting in board members, mind you...

about 2 months ago
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IBM Pays GlobalFoundries $1.5 Billion To Shed Its Chip Division

FooAtWFU Re:How on earth? (84 comments)

At a guess: the sale may come with contractual obligations -- e.g. if IBM has agreed to design and manufacture chips for a certain third party for a certain length of time.

about 2 months ago
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IBM Pays GlobalFoundries $1.5 Billion To Shed Its Chip Division

FooAtWFU Re:Bigger fuckup than John Akers (84 comments)

THAT's better than simply taking that money and investing it into the division?

I don't know, that could just be throwing good money after bad. This isn't a software division, it's not even like their server hardware division, it's chipmaking. It's kind of a go-big-or-go-home game where your competitors -- well-funded types like, say, Intel -- can easily pour many billions of dollars into next-generation fabrication processes and equipment which will readily put any half-assed investment to shame. I don't think IBM's chip business has the customer base to make "go big" profitable, or any reasonable plan to acquire new customers, so "go home" makes a lot of sense here.

Now, the wisdom / folly of gutting the rest of IBM's various divisions is left as an exercise to the reader.

about 2 months ago
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Statisticians Uncover What Makes For a Stable Marriage

FooAtWFU Re:Questiona re a bit sexists (447 comments)

I think a premise that people go to a church to inculcate themselves with a certain set of values that place marriage and God on the same page is a little bit stronger than your vaguely-implied "religious people are sheep whose convictions are substantially a function of the local popular opinion". But trust Slashdotters to discard informed rational thought concerning irrational behavior like religious belief...

about 2 months ago
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PETA Is Not Happy That Google Used a Camel To Get a Desert "StreetView"

FooAtWFU Let's get our priorities straight here! (367 comments)

Google feeds their employees dead cows and chickens on a regular basis. They should have used plants. These days, quinoa is in common use in foodservice, as are beans and eggplants, and lentils could also have been easily used instead. Google should leave beef out of its activities altogether.

:b

about 2 months ago
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Statisticians Uncover What Makes For a Stable Marriage

FooAtWFU Re:Questiona re a bit sexists (447 comments)

Forget the stigma of divorce. In some places there are still different social values involved. These people aren't spineless or mere slaves to the apparent popular opinion of the local population (which would be a fragile situation circular, since they are the local population); they believe that marriage is a holy, sacramental bond which does things to your soul. If present, this conviction is a far stronger reason to avoid divorce than social pressure.

about 2 months ago
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London Unveils New Driverless Subway Trains

FooAtWFU Re:Driverless on the deep level tube is pointless (127 comments)

Even supposing this to be true, it means that a train could be safely and efficiently operated by someone who hasn't expended months or years of their life being taught and practicing how to drive a train.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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GitHub takes down parody 'C Plus Equality' programming language

FooAtWFU FooAtWFU writes  |  1 year,7 days

FooAtWFU (699187) writes "Some clowns and jokers over at 4chan thought it would be a funny idea to put together a web page for a programming language named "C Plus Equality" as a parody of feminism, dismissing OOP as "objectifying" and inheritance as "a tool of the patriarchy". But this parody was apparently too hot to host at Github, which took down the original Github repository after receiving criticism on Twitter, prompting a backlash and inquiry into the role of free speech and censorship on Github's platform. The project has since found a new home on BitBucket, at least for the time being."
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Monte Cristo axes MMO servers for Cities XL

FooAtWFU FooAtWFU writes  |  more than 4 years ago

FooAtWFU (699187) writes "When Monte Cristo released Cities XL in October 2009, the spiffy new feature was the "Planet Offer", a massively-multiplayer world where you could visit other players' cities, trade for resources, and construct special landmarks. A neat idea — but now they're pulling the plug, citing a lack of interest and subscriptions. (Perhaps $9/mo was a trifle steep). Does Monte Cristo's experience mark a speed bump for publishers eager to jump on the MMO bandwagon for an easy stream of subscription revenue? The game was dinged by critics (and many users) for feeling rushed and incomplete at its release (you couldn't even build any public transit) but online features and incremental improvements were touted as its salvation."
Link to Original Source
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Review: Cities XL

FooAtWFU FooAtWFU writes  |  more than 5 years ago

FooAtWFU (699187) writes "Thursday I recieved a copy of a new computer game: Cities XL, by Monte Cristo. It's been a while since there's been a major new contender in the sim game genre. While SimCity 4 was solid, SimCity societies is widely regarded as an abomination, and Monte Cristo's earlier City Life's game has a class-warfare dynamic which puts it in a space outside your normal vanilla city simulation. So when the demos came out of Cities XL featuring things like big sprawling highway interchanges and massive bridges and skyscrapers and curved roads (it's 2009, about time) it was a breath of fresh air on the scene. The initial reviews were pretty positive, and the extra features like "megastructures" and a real economy and trade between players and everything were gravy. Thus Monte Cristo promised the world, and they might even deliver it... but it's going to be at least 6 months late.

For Cities XL not finished. In fact, it's not even close. The list of 'things that are not available' includes some you'd think would be pretty basic, like: oh, bus stops, railroads, really any transit systems. It's funny: you can see the user interface options for some of these (the "neighbor railroad link" for instance) — you could see them in the demo! — but they're just not there. They haven't been programmed. If not otherwise informed you might wait until your city has a million people in hopes of unlocking the buildings, but they just don't exist. There are other places with pretty slim pickings, too: there is exactly one "park" structure, and it doesn't actually do anything for your city. Moreover it's clear from the 150 megabytes of patches you had to download right out the door that Monte Cristo was shipping this game well before they were finished with it.

And then there's the "Planet Offer". They want you to pay another $80/yr or so in order to let you build 5 cities that connect to their online trade system. So that you can get additional maps to supplement the meager collection they provided to begin with. And so you can get a discount on the imminent ski-resort expansion pack. (Really?) I wasn't in a particularly grand mood after learning about the game's incomplete state, and this "offer" didn't do anything to make it better.

That said, Cities XL is still — somehow — an okay sort of little city building game. The zoning interface is pretty innovative. The roads are decently realistic. You can make some really pretty little city layouts. The online economy's a little clunky yet, with contracts being canceled too abruptly without enough explanation, but I successfully engaged in commodities market arbitrage (doing things like buying heavy industrial output in units of 1 and 2 and selling it to the computer player in lots of 5 at a 66% markup).

I can forgive a few rough edges in multiplayer for a new game, especially an MMO economy, and I can even overlook little things like a memory leak that somehow makes the Trade screen slower than the rest of the game put together, or the fact that over a dozen patches each wanted their own UAC prompt, or that the registration system was somewhat nightmarish. But the combination of these rough edges, multiple major unfinished features, and pushing a "pay us more money" tactic doesn't make the game feel like a good deal. It just makes it feel like you're being nickeled and dimed to death, and throwing good money after bad. Avoid this game until it's picked up a clearer sense of direction."

Link to Original Source
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Model's lawsuit forces Google to identify blogger

FooAtWFU FooAtWFU writes  |  more than 5 years ago

FooAtWFU (699187) writes "Liskula Cohen, a model for Vogue, has successfully sued Google to force them to identify a blogger who called her mean names (such as "skank", "old hag" and "ho") so that she can file a defamation lawsuit. The case could set a dangerous precedent for anonymous speech online. Regrettably, the original blog postings have been taken down."
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FooAtWFU FooAtWFU writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Fennec writes "Jeremiah Paleck wasn't too excited about the Vista launch, so he decided to have some fun, creating a sheet of Windows error stickers for A4 sticker paper (informing us gravely, "Error: The operation completed successfully"). BoingBoing and Engadget report, with an image of the sticker neatly placed in a Windows Vista advertisement at a bus stop in Prague. It seems that perhaps Vista's advertising campaign has been infected with a little "viral marketing"..."
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FooAtWFU FooAtWFU writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Fennec writes "Amazon.com has launched a beta of a new service called Askville, yet another online answers service, flavored with "Experience Points, Levels, and Quest Coins." These coins will supposedly become useful some day on another Amazon service that's not actually open yet, Questville. If this virtual currency becomes useful, could Askville fill a place between strictly volunteer systems and pay-for-answer services like the now-defunct Google Answers? Or is it destined to fail in the already-saturated online Q&A market?"

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