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Google Announces Hummingbird Algorithm, Updates To Search, iOS App and Android

Kal Zekdor Re:So what? (46 comments)

Further, I often abhor Google's "fuzzy" matching system. Sometimes it's great, like when you say "photo" and it also searches "picture", "photograph", etc. But other times, it's extremely frustrating.

When the fuzzy matching doesn't give you what you're looking for click on "Search tools" (just above the results), then the "All results" pulldown and "Verbatim".

I tried to use your example to demonstrate, but even without verbatim mode I couldn't find a search result in the first half-dozen pages that mentioned "UITableView".

However, I did notice one thing that was kind of funny: Next to the results pulldown there's a time pulldown. When I set it to "last hour" the top hit was your post above.

Guess that means the search algorithm is working better than it was when he made that search.

about a year ago
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Myst Was Supposed To Change the Face of Gaming. What Is Its Legacy?

Kal Zekdor Re: as it turns out... (374 comments)

The same game, in the same class (which isn't exactly your usual fare), for the same reasons seemed like a curious coincidence to me.

about a year ago
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Myst Was Supposed To Change the Face of Gaming. What Is Its Legacy?

Kal Zekdor Re:as it turns out... (374 comments)

I got banned from my high school computer network for installing Wolf3D on the server. A teacher walked in and our entire Turbo Pascal class was slaying Nazis. My only defense was that it was more useful than learning Pascal. They were not amused.

You just had the wrong teacher. I spent my senior year playing Team Fortress Classic in my Cisco CCNA class with permission because my friends and I didn't suck at computers and finished our work really quickly.

Curious... I did the same thing... In the same class... Where did you go to school?

about a year ago
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Social Media Is a New Vector For Mass Psychogenic Illness

Kal Zekdor Re:Typical psychological mambo jambo. (373 comments)

Where once were daemon and angles...

Exactly what sort of angles are we talking about here, accute, obtuse, right?

Didn't you read TFS? Acute hysteria among obtuse individuals.

1 year,6 days
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Wireless Charging Start-Up Claims 30-Foot Radius

Kal Zekdor Efficiency? (242 comments)

Even if this technology works reliably, on which I have my doubts, (not to mention the potential health risks if this thing accidentally irradiates someone by mis-aiming its EM beam), did anyone there stop to consider the efficiency of sending power through EM bursts at receivers through 30 feet of air, plus a wall or three? Can you imagine just how much energy is wasted through dissipation? We don't need less efficient means of transporting electricity. Anybody who uses this thing is going to use 3 - 10 times more electricity to charge their devices than just using a cable. (Numbers pulled from a remote inspiration device 30 feet away, but the actual amount of loss is somewhat irrelevant; the inverse square law guarantees it will be substantial.)

It's a bad sign when I'm the one pointing out the environmental dangers of new tech.

1 year,8 days
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Obama Admin Says It Won't Fight Looser Marijuana Laws, With Conditions

Kal Zekdor Re: The emperor has no clothes (526 comments)

Interesting. It definitely seems like a gray matter, then. Neither explicitly allowed nor explicitly forbidden. In such cases, I believe that it's best to err on the side of reduction of executive power, and object to this move by Obama.

1 year,19 days
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Obama Admin Says It Won't Fight Looser Marijuana Laws, With Conditions

Kal Zekdor Re: The emperor has no clothes (526 comments)

The crux of the matter is whether or not states have the right to declare Marajuana legal, when federal law declares it an illegal substance. If that is within state power, then the entire thing is moot.

I know there are plenty of instances where federal law can override state law, but is there anything written down anywhere saying that the Executive branch has a duty to enforce federal law, even when it conflicts with state law? If there is, then Obama is shirking his presidential responsibility. If there is not, then he is simply respecting States' rights. (Which is a very smart political move.)

1 year,19 days
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Obama Admin Says It Won't Fight Looser Marijuana Laws, With Conditions

Kal Zekdor Re:The emperor has no clothes (526 comments)

and they have wide latitude in doing so

There may be some latitude, but not 'wide latitude'... to quote the ruling in the recent Yucca mountain decision against the NRC:

Our analysis begins with settled, bedrock principles of constitutional law. Under Article II of the Constitution and relevant Supreme Court precedents, the President must follow statutory mandates so long as there is appropriated money available and the President has no constitutional objection to the statute. So, too, the President must abide by statutory prohibitions unless the President has a constitutional objection to the prohibition. If the President has a constitutional objection to a statutory mandate or prohibition, the President may decline to follow the law unless and until a final Court order dictates otherwise. But the President may not decline to follow a statutory mandate or prohibition simply because of policy objections. Of course, if Congress appropriates no money for a statutorily mandated program, the Executive obviously cannot move forward. But absent a lack of funds or a claim of unconstitutionality that has not been rejected by final Court order, the Executive must abide by statutory mandates and prohibitions.

It goes on from there quite a bit, but then this is nothing new, the President has a long history of playing "catch me if you can" with policies and selective enforcement.

An interesting and informative quote; thanks for sharing it. However, in this specific case I'm not sure it applies, as Obama is basically saying he won't challenge state laws on the issue. Unless there is precedent saying that the executive branch must enforce federal law over state law (which there very well may be, IANAL), I don't think it's relevant.

As to the act itself, not whether it oversteps his authority, I am rather supportive. I do not smoke pot, and I feel anyone who does so is an idiot wasting his life, but, on the other hand, I feel the same about alcohol, and just take a look a prohibition to see how well that turns out. Any move to reduce government expense (and, indeed, generate income by taxing the stuff), while reducing overcrowding in prisons, and simultaneously reducing the wealth of criminal organizations, is in my mind a good thing.

However, if these actions do in fact overstep presidential authority, then I want to know exactly how and why, so that I can argue towards curbing them. Governmental power creep, however well-intentioned (as it almost always is), must be fought at every opportunity. Vigilance is the price of liberty

1 year,20 days
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Obama Admin Says It Won't Fight Looser Marijuana Laws, With Conditions

Kal Zekdor Re:The emperor has no clothes (526 comments)

Which specific item of the constitution do you imagine prevents that?

Article Two, Section One, Clause Eight:

I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

How exactly does "picking which laws I want to enforce" get lumped into his oath to "faithfully execute" his office? ... not that this is the first time he's opted to ignore the law and rule by fiat.

Did you just say that Obama is violating the constitution because Obama is violating the constitution? I'm no fan of Obama, but, seriously? Try a specific reference that isn't a tautology. As far as I understand it, it is the job of the Executive branch to execute the laws as set forth by the Legislative branch, and they have wide latitude in doing so.

1 year,20 days
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Snowden Spoofed Top Officials' Identity To Mine NSA Secrets

Kal Zekdor Re:Amended quote (743 comments)

..."However, our research shows that anyone with a passing interest in computers and especially systems administration could have done the same thing with ease"...

Why do you think the NSA is trying to get rid of all their sysadmins?

1 year,20 days
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Could a Grace Hopper Get Hired In Today's Silicon Valley?

Kal Zekdor Re:Female programmers (608 comments)

Some of us actually enjoy programming, you know? Though, I suppose there's a huge difference between actual development work, and your basic code monkey treadmill. I co-founded an IT Consulting firm, and I play a major role in designing and implementing the software we develop for our clients. I get new and interesting problems to solve, stimulating and challenging work, the freedom to define my own hours and work from home, all while exercising that mix of art and science that is programming. Honestly, the money is pretty much just a bonus; whatever I don't need to live on gets reinvested in the company. How many people can claim that they like their job to the point where a 24+ hour marathon work session is an enjoyable experience?

1 year,23 days
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Using Laptop To Take Notes Lowers Grades

Kal Zekdor Re:Another hypothesis (313 comments)

I have found this to be true with problem solving too. There are some complex programming concepts that are easier for me to work out on paper in cut down pseudo-code and then implement, rather then write out on the computer in comments and implement around. I think writing does use some other part of the brain.

I do a lot of thinking on paper, too. Although I never took straight notes in class (mainly because I didn't need to study), I would listen to the lectures, and when a concept intrigued me, I would start writing out thoughts about the lecture topic. I rarely looked back at those notes when finals came around, but the act of taking in aural information, processing it, iterating on it, and drawing out conclusions on paper, did a lot more than just copying the professor's words verbatim ever could.

I used to do a lot of free writing before (though I rarely have free time these days). I would choose a topic or subject, and just start writing, continuously. Whatever thoughts entered my mind were immediately transferred to paper, with no editing or selection. I would keep doing that until either I reached the end of the thought-stream (i.e., my pen stopped moving), or my hand cramped up. With practice, it was often the latter. It's a great tool for creativity, information processing, and overcoming the hesitation a lot of people feel when starting a work, whether written or otherwise. I highly recommend the practice.

Because I've gotten into the habit of thinking on paper, whenever I'm trying to work out a solution to a particularly complex programming problem (or any kind of problem, really), I start sketching things out either on paper or a whiteboard, sometimes in words, sometimes in diagrams. I start with an idea, and the act of translating that idea onto paper causes me to consider specifics. The idea may or may not change drastically before I'm through, due to concepts and issues that were previously unseen. Not only does writing this sort of thing down help me actually process and refine the ideas, but it also provides a thought record. I can go backwards through the notes to see how and why I arrived at a particular conclusion, which is sometimes useful months down the line.

I always carry a notebook and pen with me. I keep a small pocket sized one on me, and a larger one (with half graph paper, half lined) in my laptop bag. One can never be sure when inspiration strikes. A colleague once started writing on a napkin at a restaurant; I just looked at him with pity and silently handed him my pocket notepad.

about a year ago
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Using Laptop To Take Notes Lowers Grades

Kal Zekdor Re:Hardly surprising.... (313 comments)

I'm not writing down to remember it later. I'm writing it down to remember it now.

+1, Field Notes reference.

about a year ago
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Despite Global Release, Breaking Bad Heavily Pirated

Kal Zekdor Re: What is Breaking Bad? (443 comments)

Yeah, I understand the need for the first two seasons to develop the character, and I applaud the creators for staying the course for the sake of the story, and not caving in to the whims of the public, which is what ruins a lot of shows. At the same time, though, it cost them a viewer for a while.

While the focus of the story is on Walt's transformation, Gus was the catalyst of that change. While (later) Walt may have made the show, Gus made Walt who he is (due to a number of things I'm not going to spoil here.)

about a year ago
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Despite Global Release, Breaking Bad Heavily Pirated

Kal Zekdor Re:What is Breaking Bad? (443 comments)

Breaking Bad is one of the top 5 TV shows of the past decade. Here's a quick summary that makes it sound boring without spoiling anything: High school chemistry teacher Walter White gets diagnosed with cancer and turns to crime to pay for his cancer treatment.

Do yourself a favor and try to watch it cold, or you'll ruin the magic. One thing you should know: The pacing is slow, but it's worth it. Seasons 1-2 are the best television you'll ever watch (later seasons not so much).

Personally, I felt the complete opposite. I watched Season 1, and a bit of Season 2, but I just couldn't get into it. I was intrigued by the concept, but it was slow and boring. Not to mention I was going through the whole cancer thing myself at the time, so the last thing I needed was to watch someone else go through it. I decided I didn't like the show, and then ignored it for several years.

Eventually, when Season 5 first aired, my friends kept talking about the show, and eventually they convinced me to pick it up again. I'm glad I listened to them, because after the 2nd season, things pick up pace dramatically. It moves from focusing on a melodramatic cancer patient fumbling his way through the criminal underworld to vast criminal empires, intrigue, death, and a man's descent into darkness. Not to mention Gus made the show what it is.

about a year ago
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Microsoft Will Squeeze Datacenters On Price of Windows Server

Kal Zekdor Re: in a growing market, you want to lose money. (274 comments)

Well, I was referring to the last 10 years in which the PC industry was expanding, not the current climate where it is stagnating. (I was also arguing on theory and hypotheticals, not hard facts in regards to MS in particular, as I haven't taken the time to research that.) Still, glad to know that at least some people understand.

about a year ago
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Microsoft Will Squeeze Datacenters On Price of Windows Server

Kal Zekdor Re: Fine with me (274 comments)

You are absolutely correct. Business is a complicated matter, and if you don't take all the variables into account, you are just setting yourself up for failure. You need to find a way to balance the often conflicting goals to promote overall growth.

about a year ago
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Microsoft Will Squeeze Datacenters On Price of Windows Server

Kal Zekdor Re: Fine with me (274 comments)

Growing market share does lead to increased shareholder returns all other things being equal. What I never said was that market share should be increased at any cost.

I am attempting to point out that there are many complicated factors in determining whether a specific policy or action is a success. Nothing more, nothing less. Or do you disagree that growing by 5% when all of your competitors grow by 10% is a failure? It is not a dismal failure, but it is by no means a success.

about a year ago
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Microsoft Will Squeeze Datacenters On Price of Windows Server

Kal Zekdor Re: Fine with me (274 comments)

I don't recall saying that increasing market share is the optimal goal at any cost. It's not. But even if your profit margin per customer is 1000%, that doesn't matter if no one buys your product. One would hope that reasonable people realize that nothing exists in a vacuum. Indeed, the original point of my first message was to point out the shortsightedness of examining only a single variable to measure success. It is foolish to look solely at profit, just as it is foolish to look solely at market share. Every business action attempts to modify three variables: cost, value, and sales. Profit looks at only the first two, whereas market share is only relevant to the last. But if you fail to take all three into account, you have failed at business. Halving profit margins while doubling market share is a net zero for your business, and one should always aim for a net positive from your actions. I'm not sure how to explain it any clearer than that, so if you still have questions, please lay them out explicitly.

about a year ago
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Microsoft Will Squeeze Datacenters On Price of Windows Server

Kal Zekdor Re: Fine with me (274 comments)

Of course not. That's a gross oversimplification. But if market share were not related to profit, then no one would pay for marketing, no?

about a year ago

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