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Investing In Lego Bricks For Fun But Mostly Profit

Liquidrage Re:Wait. What? All you play with is the Box?! (98 comments)

It's the unique pieces per set, that you're undervaluing even though you kinda mentioned them, combined with availability, that makes the set go up in price. LEGO has done a very good job (from their point of view) of making pieces unique. You can even buy a single pack of a unique LEGO figure for about $3 retail, but which one you get is a mystery (unless you read the bumps on the bottom of the packet which is a PITA) and some are worth more than others. So it's not the box at all, it's about the unique pieces that only exist in a certain set. I have a 5 year old and my wife has become a LEGO addict after buying him his first lego sets. Right now we have the $150 Pet Shop on order and it should be here next week. And that, btw is retail price and IIRC comes out to about 6 cents per brick so it's a nice set. In a year it will easily be $200+ set, which it sells for right now at a few places, and it sold out in many places and was one set lego not allowed in brick and mortar stores.

about 2 years ago
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Geomapping Racism With Twitter

Liquidrage Re:Actually Measured (409 comments)

I can't believe you got modded up. It's basically the definition of science. You can argue the validity of the results, discuss the high potential of error. But it's science.

more than 2 years ago
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Interviews: Ask Physicist Giovanni Organtini About the Possible Higgs Boson Discovery

Liquidrage Higgs and the Ether (170 comments)

The likely Higgs discovery would seem to validate Quantum field theory.
Would this then be best described as an ether, only instead of matter traveling through the ether, matter is manifestations of the ether (fields) itself. Would this also than mean that the motion of matter is not a physical movement of a "particle" but instead the transfer of the "excitement" of a field from one spot of the field to another?

And what, if any, implications does this disocvery have for unifying gravity or other areas of physics?

more than 2 years ago
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Why Verizon Doesn't Want You To Buy an iPhone

Liquidrage Re:A bunch of corporate whining (207 comments)

Huh? A company sells many products, some of which work with a service they provide and want to steer people in that direction.

Where's the problem to warrant your post?

more than 2 years ago
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Tennessee "Teaching the Controversy" Bill Becomes Law

Liquidrage Re:Methinks a law of unintended consequences (672 comments)

You realize you're an idiot right? Some extinctions are quick. Some are gradual. In some cases a localized extinction event occurs quickly yet the local population is later back filled.

You clearly don't understand evolution. It's not like a mutation that leads to a lion having slightly better heat reduction automatically is spread to all lions everywhere over the course of tens of years. The results of a mutations are usually subtle and accumulated over long periods lead to pronounced changes. You just mostly false statements. You need to educate yourself more about a theory that is supported nearly unanimously by those with meaningful credentials if you choose to allow a bias to presuppose it's falsehood.

more than 2 years ago
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Tennessee "Teaching the Controversy" Bill Becomes Law

Liquidrage Re:Methinks a law of unintended consequences (672 comments)

Which is akin to a geography professor believing the Earth is flat and just teaching the 50 states.

Any teacher in a biological science who believes in creationism isn't qualified to teach biology. If they have objections to evolution they should get them published in a legit publication.

Years ago in a related case in Georgia, CNN was interviewing local students and one of them said he agreed with teaching ID in school because even he knew there were flaws in evolution and you could show everyone why it's not true. I was basically screaming at the TV "Well young man. Put it forward. The scientific community eagerly awaits your groundbreaking research and there is without a doubt a prestigious award and a university position available to anyone that can show such pitfalls with evolution"

But we all know the truth. The fundamentalist religious community is full of regurgitated lies and "unthruths" regarding evolution and natural selection and they fill the uniformed minds with these creating a roadblock to true learning. One of the most deceitful and dishonest groups I've ever dealt with are the creationists. They've used quotes as if they were fact even long after the owner of said quote contacted them to state he either didn't say it or it's not even in proper context.

more than 2 years ago
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DHS Will Now Vet UK Air Passengers To Mexico, Canada, Cuba

Liquidrage Re:America is Losing the Plot! (417 comments)

Of course. I didn't reply to the main article, though I did state I think the responses are overboard because the post leaves out the airspace issue and the article contradicts itself (that said I don't like the law, it's just not as horrid as the replies IMO).
I replied to the guy that won't come to US anymore because of the US's wrongs. He's lives in the freakin' UK!

more than 2 years ago
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DHS Will Now Vet UK Air Passengers To Mexico, Canada, Cuba

Liquidrage Re:America is Losing the Plot! (417 comments)

What? The entire West treats the Middle East as subclass people, good only to sell select arms to, take resources from, and are more then happy to help keep brutal dictators in charge unless they go past the tipping point.

What are *you* talking about? The collection of wealthy white people and their host nations won that battle long ago. I'm not saying that as a racist sense, I'm saying it as a "that's what happened" sense. And I don't like it. I think the creation of Israel was disgusting. I think it's hypocritical to reward Israel for terrorism by "granting" the country from other people's lands, and then use that same excuse today to not give anything to the people that land was taken from. But that's how it is and it's not an American problem, it's a Western problem.

more than 2 years ago
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DHS Will Now Vet UK Air Passengers To Mexico, Canada, Cuba

Liquidrage Re:America is Losing the Plot! (417 comments)

I'd like to thank the one person that voted it up before I get modd'd to holy hell. Been there before and yet I have great karma :)

I'm just really sick of people from Europe throwing crap at America. The entire West is doing the same crap. Some of the most disgusting laws I've seen that erode "freedom" comes from Europe. And the entire West is screwing the Middle East just as much as the people there are screwing themselves.
Per capita, we all (the West) have the same amount of selfish bastards eroding government and influencing legislation for greed. So stop acting like it's an American issue. It's not.Clean up your own hose. Vote in your own honest people for change. We all have the same issues.

The Middle East is backed into a corner, and the US is FAR from alone putting it in that corner.

more than 2 years ago
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DHS Will Now Vet UK Air Passengers To Mexico, Canada, Cuba

Liquidrage Re:America is Losing the Plot! (417 comments)

So? Don't come. We'd just make fun of your bad teeth anyways.
The sad fact is the West is at war with the Middle East. A war you, as a Brit, should be responsible for since your fucking country started it. But you dropped it our laps. The US is far from perfect, and I'm glad there's people that fight the bad legislation. The US saying, "if you want to come in our airspace, or be cleared to if you have an emergency, then you need to do X" isn't the OMFGZ the posts here are making it out to be.

The entire West is abusing and raping the Middle East, the Middle East is not doing anything about it except bitching at the West with the rare minority resorting to shoving explosives up their ass, and the US gets all the blame. Very convenient. Why don't you take care of your own countries actions that got us into this mess and keep us there before pointing 4 out of 5 fingers back at yourself.

more than 2 years ago
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Study Confirms the Government Produces the Buggiest Software

Liquidrage Re:Contractors (135 comments)

Most of the people in IT in government have been around far longer then 9 months. While I move around on average every 3 years or so to keep a skill set current and move onto to other projects or opportunities, many, if not most, of gov IT has been around for years and years in the same place.

Are there managers that do that BS firing because they don't like people? Yes. Are they the minority? Yes.

Does the private sector have places taht take advantage of IT work force? Absolutely. Does the private sector pay more, yes.

If you're competent and willing to take a little less for the lifestyle differences, there's no problem unless you end up with a poor manager. When in state government I basically use very little time management when running projects as long as people meet expectations otherwise because its one of the few perks I can give. But your post reeks of a single or few experiences. I've seen way too much of government at all different levels to believe I just have seen the exceptions time and time again. Also, you've missed the point of firing certain people. Certain people are not qualified for the job they are in. They don't have the grey matter or the desire or a bad attitude or all the above. When you ask a person that's a .net programmer if they application had a separate business layer and data layer and they can't tell you because they don't know what that means even though they wrote the app, and that happened to me a few months ago, it's not a good sign. And someone that you need to figure out why they don't know what they should know. Too much of government employees are fat resting the laurels of the few. And they cannot be easily fired at the fed level nor in most states unless they are management. It takes dedicated management which, surprise, is usually where they tuck the competent techs to get them the salaries needed to keep them around and have them focus on tech not management.

more than 2 years ago
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Study Confirms the Government Produces the Buggiest Software

Liquidrage Re:Contractors (135 comments)

100% no doubt. I've said time and time again I can fix a lot of state IT if I could do two things:
1. Fire people like it was the private sector
2. Pay competitive wages for new hires

What a lot of people don't realize about the gov, especially in IT, is if you take any 5 gov IT employees 2 are underpaid worthless cretins that should lose their job but the manager doesn't have 40 hours a week just to document their deficiencies because he/she is actually working. 2 are making what they're worth but are underskilled for the job and the pay reflects that, and one's a complete stud vastly underpaid and doing hero work to make sure things run. Obviously those numbers aren't exact science, but it's like that in a lot of places.

more than 2 years ago
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Study Confirms the Government Produces the Buggiest Software

Liquidrage Re:Stuxnet was pretty solid though (135 comments)

In a way yes. A typical government project comes about by putting a team together for that project. It may be outsourced to a vendor, vendors bought in as staff aug, or done in house with existing IT resources. Or bought but that doesn't happen that often.

Now, since they're doing it as cheap as possible, maintenance is almost never factored in except on the biggest projects. The rest they just expect you to suck up with existing resources. And it's a one-off app so maintenance is as needed. Basically, once it's released (or the final release is put out considering a lot is done in iterrations) it's a dead system except when a bug is found. That accounts for the way a lot, but not all, government software is done. Which means, as opposed to a commercial package where a bug found by one customer and fixed by a support team can fix a bug for a 1000 customers, you're in your own fiefdom. Of course that hurts things. When you go to agency to agency, even within a single state or county, everything is done differently, looks differently, named differently. There are no true standards.

That said, almost every big consolidation effort in IT I've seen has failed miserably. Because by law/degree/legislation every single entity of government is so different and has such different rules to follow. Government is BIG. You're talking hundreds of thousands projects and developers and standardizing that is hard. It's a lot easier for Coke-a-Cola to standardize IT then it for all the soft drink makers to standardize IT practices. And government is like the latter x1000. And again, Coke-a-Cola's only going to do something that makes sense from a business standpoint and has a tangible ROI so they do it right to get that ROI (just an example, Coke IT might suck for all I know). Where as the government stuff almost never has an ROI, it's done because it's required to be done and isn't budgeted to be done, just required. With no ROI it's always just a "get it done" attitude. And a lot of stuff is done to make a politician happy so even though he has no idea what really should be done he has final say because he's going to use it to get favors with other politicians or to make a press release and use it for future votes.

more than 2 years ago
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Study Confirms the Government Produces the Buggiest Software

Liquidrage Re:Sounds like they have little practical experien (135 comments)

Of course now the government is switching to agile/scrum (as opposed to the prior methodology of OMFGRAD) en masse so that requirements are gathered on the fly/after the fact and collected on sticky notes and discussed for 10 minutes a day. Because hell, if you can't get good requirements might as well have a methodology that minimizes the need for them.

Of course, considering almost all government software is dictated by business logic and legislation and often rely on existing legacy systems that can't be easily changed, I don't think it's exactly wise. I gag every time the cafe-latte sipping PM's gush about switching over toe scrum on another project so I can spend twice as long building software because my requirements are even worse now. But hey, it has a catchy name, it must be good for government work. We're all so grown up now.

It's not like a can get a high level requirement that I need to capture user information and go build a user screen in the government world. Every freaking little detail is going to be exacted upon on a user screen with rules and laws (and legacy systems) dictating what I can and can't do what is and isn't there and how it interacts with other systems. It's not that agile/scrum is always bad. It's just a square peg in a round hole of current government in most cases.

more than 2 years ago
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Study Confirms the Government Produces the Buggiest Software

Liquidrage There's more reasons for this (135 comments)

1. Much of government is custom software. In the private world less so. Not that there aren't exceptions in either case, but my bank didn't write their own custom software for finances. In government it's almost always build over buy. It's much harder for the government to change policies to fit software when much of what they are writing software for is dictated by legislation.

2. Much of government software is written last minute to meet the demands of the people we've elected that in turn force government agencies to create something from nothing, usually without proper funding and usually with unrealistic deadlines.

3. Much of government software is written by inexperienced people. Contractors and government employees are rehashed from project to project even as technology changes.

I've worked public and private for 15 years now in tech and have seen it all. DoD, Federal, and State projects from both sides of the contract/public servant side. A lot of government software is written in locations with smaller workforces leading to hiring people that are just the best you can get, now what you should get. The deadlines for government projects are almost always unrealistic. The powers that be, and I mean the legislature at the state level and agency heads in Federal, and the commanders/Washington in DoD work, don't feel like there's a ROI on almost any project, it's just stuff they "have" to do, so they don't take into account doing it right. They shoestring a budget, or don't even have a budget, and use whatever resources they can find to get things done.

Most projects aren't even contracted out completely. Many are sure. But I'd say more are a mixture of public workforce and contract or just done but the public servants at hand already. And yes, the contracted out ones are usually the worse IMO because the reason they got the contract is they "knew" the right person and it's a milking of taxpayer money. I've taken over for two projects completely outsourced to very large multi-national contracting firms whose names everyone would recognize. Both were over 70 million contracts. And both were complete crap. The systems were disgusting. We didn't even get printed binders for taking over the maintenance on either. We got some word docs in a network folder, the documents created "after" development was completed. A hodgepodge of technologies and some really bad code. For 70+ million you'd think you'd at least get a Tech Writer on the project and some bound color copies from Kinkos. Nope.

more than 2 years ago
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Lawsuit Claims NASA Specialist Was Fired Over Intelligent Design Belief

Liquidrage Re:Man whose job relies on the scientific method.. (743 comments)

I was very clear in differentiating evolution from abiogenesis. The "goo to you" is abiogenesis to evolution.

Secondly, this is the first result I find on "Goo to you" on google.

Mutations, adaptations and changes always result from a loss of existing genetic information. They never add new information. Evolution has never been shown anywhere in all of the fossil record. In fact, just the opposite: No transitional fossil forms have ever been found! Ever wonder why? Answer: Evolution is a lie! It's the man-made fairy-tale concocted for those who don't want to believe, or refuse to believe, that they were created.

Is that what you mean? Because the above statement is false. Mutations can and have been shown to add new information. And this link is 11 years old. Not that it's outdated, it's showing that 11 years ago there was information on the web showing the above quote as wrong:
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB102.html

more than 2 years ago
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Lawsuit Claims NASA Specialist Was Fired Over Intelligent Design Belief

Liquidrage Re:Just a thought... (743 comments)

+1.

Evolution is too complex to lead to life as we know it. But a fully formed omnipotent deity can spew from nothingness and it's all good.

more than 2 years ago
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Lawsuit Claims NASA Specialist Was Fired Over Intelligent Design Belief

Liquidrage Re:Man whose job relies on the scientific method.. (743 comments)

Look, I'm not arguing from authority here, but I will say I've been involved in this discussion as a "hobby" for almost two decades now.

While ID, like many things, is hard to lock down to an exact definition here is the definition from the ID wiki:
Intelligent design (ID) is the proposition that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.

As always, feel free to edit it to something different. But from my experience (which is why I mentioned I've been at this a long time and thought it relevant) that is exactly how it is used/argued. I do not believe ID, in general, adheres to natural selection, and almost certainly does not refer to mutations that will eventually lead to a change in "kind" (broad general term often used by those with a preference for ID).

Irreducible Complexity, while not being ID is perhaps the most common sub-genre of it, clearly states that certain aspects of life could not "evolve" on their own. It's the old Bombardier Beetle argument that has been rehashed time and time again.

Also, I'm not using two different terms for evolution, there is no trick and I am appalled that you try to state that. That mutations are not often/usually beneficial is not a surprise or a hidden agenda. Nor is it that they are always passed on nor dominant. It's not a conflict. It's pretty damn obvious actually. Of course, no one, and certainly not I, claimed that all mutations are beneficial. I'm very confused that you even took it that way and am left to wonder what your agenda really is.

more than 2 years ago

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