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Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

HeckRuler Re: Market forces don't work on essential utilitie (319 comments)

On the contrary, market forces work fine.

Pft. Their attempts at inserting additional market forces worked SOOO well.

And there is no market force from the consumers. They have no choice about where their power comes from. There are natural monopolies at play. The only thing they can do is complain. That's a political force, not a market force.

23 minutes ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

HeckRuler Re:Super-capitalism (319 comments)

Your complaint isn't warranted. AmiMoJo pointed out that the goal in capitalism is to win your market. He said nothing about government control or any of your -isms.

You seem to be assuming that "monopoly" instantly means "government control". Which makes sense, really. Once companies win their market, then there's usually abuse. You know, otherwise known as "making money". With that abuse comes the cries of the consumers, and since we live in a self-balancing democracy, down comes the regulation that tries to keep the abuse to a minimum.

And honestly, the above post:

Yes, but power companies have local monopolies, so there is no super capitalism there unless you equate super capitalism with monopolies

That's not warranted either. Even with a monopoly (and no competition driving cost down) you'll still find companies skimping on maintenance because that makes them more money in the short term.

36 minutes ago
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Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

HeckRuler Re:Relativistic Species (290 comments)

What if there was a whole...dare I say...confederation of relativistic societies?

The question would be where are they and where are they going?

You could probably achieve some meaningful dilation if you orbited a black hole or something. But other than that, presumably the society that can hop around the galaxy still wants to have something to go to. And those locations would experience just as much time as the rest of us. Not that we all experience the same amount. Whole sections of the universe travel at different speeds and times. Like, you know how galaxies are accelerating away from the origin? Yeah, some are moving faster than others. And consequently experience different time dilatation. Dunno what sort of ranges we're talking about. Even at 90% lightspeed, you're only looking at a 1:7 ratio. A 142,000 years as opposed to a million years is still a society-crushing amount of time.

I'm not sure why you'd want to have a space-faring society that was rushing as fast as they could towards the heat-death of the universe. I guess some people would want to wait and see if anything interesting happened.

2 days ago
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Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

HeckRuler Re:First 5 billion (290 comments)

Well for the first few hundred million years there's zero metal. Anything* other than hydrogen and helium are only made during a sun exploding. And the quickest dying, hottest stars last hundreds of millions of years. In general, as time goes on, more suns explode making more and more exotic elements like... you know.... carbon and gold.

*HEY, I'm getting some of that wrong. Turns out elements up to boron could be made by cosmic rays. And gold can only be made in a super-nova. Huh.
This wikipedia page about the origins of the elements is really nifty.

2 days ago
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Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk

HeckRuler Re:Trust (473 comments)

Cops tend to (understandably) have an us versus them world view and see everyone's actions as those of a potential suspect.

What? Why is that understandable? You could say that it's understandable that waiters have an us-vs-them worldview. Or IT support. Or musicians. Or doctors. Or ANY group of people that interacts with anyone else in a professional capacity. And all of it is bullshit tribalism that makes for shitty services.

Hate is probably the wrong word for most cops but it would be fair to say cops don't trust anyone who isn't a cop. ... Apply a bit of low grade racism and you have a real problem with police distrusting a minority population and the minority population growing to distrust the police.

Hell, I'm a pasty-ass cracker from upper-middle society and I distrust the police. I know that I can afford a lawyer that means a whole swath of laws actually apply to the police during their interactions with me, but things like civil forfeiture, swatting, and local events give me good reason to distrust the cops. The complain that this teaches children to fear and avoid cops might be accurate, in all ways.

Now it's not like all cops are bad cops. It only takes one rotten apple to poison a department though, and they seem to have a culture of looking after their own. So if one screws up, the rest will cover for him. Because hey, for most of them it's just a job. Something they go into in the morning, and leave at night. They want to retire eventually. And they don't want to rock the boat. And now you have a perfectly reasonable guy who suspects that O'maley down the hall got into the evidence locker when his buddy punched that guy, but doesn't really have any proof, and sure as shit isn't going to rat on his co-worker, and generally just goes along with the flow.

2 days ago
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As Amazon Grows In Seattle, Pay Equity For Women Declines

HeckRuler Re:"Getting whiter" (495 comments)

Well, with enough crossbreeding, it's a possibility. We'd just need more gay black Mexicans and other interesting mixes.

4 days ago
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Does Being First Still Matter In America?

HeckRuler Re:Fear the scientists asking for money (244 comments)

Not distrustful, no, but skeptical nonetheless.

Not distrustful, but fearful? You're telling people to fear scientists looking for grants. (and coaching it with "but oh, hey, I never said DISTRUSTFUL, pft). This is EXACTLY the sort of thing that boristdog talking about. Let me guess, you think the climate change scientists are doing it for the money. The EPA is controlled by rent-seeker under guise of environmentalism. That the people brow-bashing the anti-vacciers probably own stock in bigPharma. Are these the sort of things you think to yourself when you hear about scientists doing their job. Oh, but there really are not "true" scientists, just lobbyists wearing science skins.

Hey, you're main argument is correct though. We SHOULD come at science, all of it, with a healthy amount of skepticism. From scientists claims, to papers, to proposals, all of it. The correct response is; "prove it". And oh look, there's the proof. Bravo.

But your title, your snide comments, and your history of posts sadly fall into an anti-intellectual stereotype.

4 days ago
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Halting Problem Proves That Lethal Robots Cannot Correctly Decide To Kill Humans

HeckRuler Re:Don't sting me bro (327 comments)

It has nothing ti do with his nature and everything to do with the scorpions inability to understand you.

What? No, the military industrial complex as a whole understands that academics don't like autonomous kill bots. They just don't care.

Take the MQ-1 Predator. Built by a team of engineers of all sorts of disciplines. 6,000 employees in San Diego. For most it's probably just a job. They might even agree and sympathize with the academics. Doesn't mean they're going to stop going to work. GA's CEO Neal Blue.... looks to be a pretty hard-core conservative, so maybe he doesn't understand what the academics are getting at. But with that much money you'd hope he's at least a little smart. He's going to keep making things that are price-competitive with the capabilities he can talk someone in congress or the pentagon into wanting. A PR officer from the Airforce that buys these things is going to point out that it's their major function and reason for existing. It literally IS the nature of the airforce to make decisions about who to go kill. The colonels and generals might even prefer if they could actually codify the rules of engagement into a robot rather than training a pilot.

And if it will mean more employment, more sales, better capabilities in low-connectivity theaters, and better or equivalent adherence to the rules of engagement, then these people are going to make an autonomous version of the Predator. You could sit these people down with the authors of this paper, have it fully explained, and the AutoPred would still be made, sold, bought, and used.

Besides, perfect is the enemy of good.

Why doesn't anyone note that the frog acted outside it's nature?

...huh. That'd be to distrust scorpions and not give free rides. Which makes sense.

about a week ago
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Halting Problem Proves That Lethal Robots Cannot Correctly Decide To Kill Humans

HeckRuler Don't sting me bro (327 comments)

Wow, that's a really convoluted path they take to get to "we don't like autonomous kill bots".
Hey, that's great and everything. Very noble of you. I'm sure people like you also lamented the invention of repeating rifles, the air force, and ICBMs. But it REALLY doesn't change much of anything. An academic paper on how killing is, like, BAD duuuuuude, just doesn't impact the people wanting, making, buying, selling, or using these these things.

Let me put it this way: You can tell the scorpion not to sting you. You can reason with it to the moon and back. But that fucker's going to sting you because it's in his nature. And he doesn't give a shit about reason.

about a week ago
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Do Good Programmers Need Agents?

HeckRuler Re:About as little as... (215 comments)

Sure, a lot of programmers don't need to be referred to as engineers. Because they're not engineers. Software engineers, the sort that do less programming and more engineering work (which is, sadly, mostly paperwork) should be refereed to as engineers because that's what they are.

A lot of programmers do a lot of architect work. If it's a big enough code-shop or a project, then there may even be people who don't do much programming anymore and focus on the architecture rather than the codebase. Not that I've ever seen that personally, but it exists in theory. And there are OH GOD SO MANY programmers that cannot be trusted to perform any architecture work, and generally have trouble building things from scratch.

DevOps are programmers that also answer the phone and generally know the IT side.

Testers are trained monkeys while test engineers are an entirely different beast who specialize not in writing code, but in breaking it. Some of those people are called SWQA, but they're not to be confused with the sort that only file DO-178 audits.

It'd be awfully nice if everyone could agree on these terms, and be more or less consistent, but sadly the entire field isn't a century old and there are plenty of growing pains.

about a week ago
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Coding Bootcamps Presented As "College Alternative"

HeckRuler Re:Web 2.0 (226 comments)

As did PDAs like the Newton and the Palm Pilot, and yet hand-held personal computers didn't really become ubiquitous and the craze for apps developers didn't begin until after 2000 and smartphones were a thing.

I'm not confused, I just know the difference between something being invented and becoming widespread.

If you were an early adopter, props to you for being on the ball and identifying a better way of doing things. You helped steer the masses towards the light.

about a week ago
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Coding Bootcamps Presented As "College Alternative"

HeckRuler Re:Web 2.0 (226 comments)

Hey now, while certainly a buzz word, it wasn't meaningless.
Where before you had sites that delivered content to the masses, the web 2.0 craze was to allow user input. Accounts, logins, uploaded content and data. Like wikipedia, right? That interaction with the users, and content created by the users was the basis of the whole shindig. It was a neat and exciting change, and the talking heads and venture capitalists nearly had an stroke raving about it and certainly talked it up.

But it was a real thing.

Now a days we just take it for granted.

about a week ago
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Your Incompetent Boss Is Making You Unhappy

HeckRuler Re:Office Space (204 comments)

That coward can't be job hunting all that hard if he never sent me a resume. Or hey, maybe just just finally stopped browsing slashdot and got back to work.

about a week ago
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Battlestar Galactica Creator Glen A. Larson Dead At 77

HeckRuler Re:The {Mormon} thing and {x} (186 comments)

Nothing. It's really not that special at all. And hence I don't think we should have special laws criminalizing it nor treat gay couples any differently then non-gay couples.

Same thing with black people. Remember all those special laws we had about black people?

about a week ago
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Big Talk About Small Samples

HeckRuler Re:Confidence levels (243 comments)

Geeze man, part of explaining something is knowing your audience.
What part of "1-pbinom(38,54,.50)" didn't you get? Do you even know where you are?
~halfSarcasm

about a week ago
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Big Talk About Small Samples

HeckRuler Re:Op-ed (243 comments)

Slashdot's exclusive original content that distinguishes it from everyone else is the comments and community.

The columnists are:
eldavojohn (898314)
Samantha Wright (1324923)
phantomfive (622387)
And all the rest.

Their lengthy opinion pieces are stored under the not-read-so-much "journal" section of slashdot. But mostly it's just the comment sections.

If the DICE overlords wanted something more "traditional" they HAVE the resources at hand to give out front-page space to people with the writing skills, technical insight, and common sense needed to make an insightful piece. They just have to get off their asses and make an effort to make it happen. But apparently it's easier to go have someone's buddy write something out. Or hell, maybe Bennett bribed someone for this. That's the only explanations I can think of.

about a week ago
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Battlestar Galactica Creator Glen A. Larson Dead At 77

HeckRuler Re:The {Mormon} thing and {x} (186 comments)

I am balls to the walls on board with tolerance. I strive for open-mindedness. It's important to me.

And yet, I expressed my distain for seeing the new Enders Game movie explicitly because it put money in Orson Scott Card's wallet, and he is actively campaigning for some really nasty ideas. I understand the view that the artist can be, and possibly even should be, separated from their works. It doesn't matter if $FAMOUS_PERSON made something, that doesn't make it meaningful. And no-name artists can make quality work. Nor does it really impact the latest dubstep remix if the artist doesn't believe in evolution.

You can appreciate a piece of work separate from the author.

However. Your actions DO impact the world outside of the piece of work. I didn't want to go see Ender's Game, not because I had any ill-will towards the story (it's ok), but rather because I didn't want to put money in the hand of someone who was going to give it to a hate-filled group who are actively working at making the world a worse place. If Card just happened to have a crazy belief? Eh, so what. Plenty of bigots out there. But no, he's an actively supporter of ... (oh, HAH, he's mormon too. Ugh, I wasn't expecting to stir up a mormon bashing thread.) But anyway, he was on the board of National Organization for Marriage from 2009 to 2013. And calls the criminalization of homosexuality. Up until the movie deal, at which point he quit the board, disavowed some quotes, and got generally quieter.

I'm all for open-mindedness, and he can believe in whatever he wants, and say whatever he wants, but there are some people I really don't want to help out financially. Even if they make pretty things.

about a week ago
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World's Youngest Microsoft Certificated Professional Is Five Years Old

HeckRuler Re:The problem with certifications (276 comments)

Oh my god, I don't know why I found this so funny, but "moving the error correction process up to layer eight" is now my favorite euphemism. It's a feature!

about a week ago
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World's Youngest Microsoft Certificated Professional Is Five Years Old

HeckRuler Re:Note to College Graduates (276 comments)

Correct, and passion, tenacity, and/or experience sans degree don't trump a college degree.

I don't care how passionate you are if you can't learn anything.
I don't care how long you banged your head against that simple problem.
I know a couple of self-taught programmers who are simply incompatible with any other coder or codebase. They've got their one project at their company, and no-one else can touch it. And frankly they shouldn't touch anything else.

It's as if there is no trump, and there is no silver bullet guaranteed way to make a competent IT worker. Or a developer. Or an engineer. Because if there was a simple guaranteed path to becoming one of those, people wouldn't be bothering with anything else.

Passion is great if you capitalize on it. Tenacity is required to get anything done, but you have to know how to overcome problems. Most experience is good experience. Some experience just teaches you bad habits. Some experience is the same experience over and over again.

And a degree doesn't mean you're all that hot either. It just means you can pass a specific sort of hurdle. A big hurdle, sure, depending on the school and the degree. But there are plenty of grads who can't code.

about a week ago
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Cameron Says People Radicalized By Free Speech; UK ISPs Agree To Censor Button

HeckRuler Re: This already exists (316 comments)

Learn to conform? Is this some sort of subtle trolling that I'm not used to? Have we hit Poe's law?

This is like, milquetoast tyrany right here. Ok ok ok, here we go. Would you say that any of the captains of industry, the CEOs, the Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs of the nation simply "conformed"? Are these celebrated individuals? Do our leaders tell others to aspire to those roles?

Then no, learning to conform is not the one true way.

There's quite a bit of choice about how people want to live. And often people simply don't have the choice to conform. They simply won't fit in the same beige box that everyone else is in. And honestly? Get to know anyone in depth and you'll find that they're not so common. Tropes, trends, and commonalities to be sure, but no-one is a blank, lifeless, conforming sheep. And if they are, that's an amazingly rare social disorder that warrants some sociology study.

Now, that previous guy? Fuck him and his cigar. But I'm got my own tastes, thoughts, and passions. And as long as they don't harm anyone else, you can go fuck off in your beige box. (And embarrassing the kid is one of my duties. Gotta get that blackmail material while it's good.)

about two weeks ago

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