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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

Optic7 Re:I question your numbers. (656 comments)

Those are fair points. I just wanted to mention some other car expenses to think about.

2 days ago
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Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

Optic7 Re:Land of the free (571 comments)

Sorry, but it's common. Way more common than it should be. There's a news story about someone in the US going crazy and killing a handful of people with guns just almost every week now. Certainly at least every month. One of these happened very near a place that I frequented (same strip mall) just a few years ago, around the time that I frequented it.

2 days ago
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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

Optic7 Re:I question your numbers. (656 comments)

Did you include the depreciation on the car, and the insurance you pay on it? Based on the numbers you provided and adding a conservative $10,000 depreciation and an average $50/month for insurance, I got closer to 34 cents / mile. I didn't include things like driver's license fees, car registration fees, traffic and parking fines, parking fees, purchase/rental of garage space, and who knows what else I can't think of right now.

The approximately 60 cents / mile figure likely comes from the IRS business mileage reimbursement rate (56 cents / mile), and the AAA's most recent estimate of costs to own and operate a sedan in the US (59.2 cents / mile).

2 days ago
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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

Optic7 Re:I question your numbers. (656 comments)

Does your calculation include depreciation in the value of the car due to added mileage? How about major maintenance (such as timing belt, etc) that will be moved sooner with the added mileage?

The IRS itself calculates mileage reimbursement at 50-some cents per mile. I believe that AAA has a similar figure for average car costs. I had a personal finance teacher (a real, hard-core money geek) tell us that the real figure is closer to one dollar per mile, but he didn't give details of how he arrived at that, and he could have been way off.

2 days ago
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Want To Influence the World? Map Reveals the Best Languages To Speak

Optic7 Re:Interesting, but ... (142 comments)

Thank you for challenging a main point of the OP's post that I wanted to challenge and forgot to in my own reply: that "a large percentage of the human race's information is in English."

I feel that that's a major mistake in the OP's analysis, and think that it's really the opposite: a small percentage of the human race's information is in English.

4 days ago
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Want To Influence the World? Map Reveals the Best Languages To Speak

Optic7 Re:Interesting, but ... (142 comments)

If only it were possible for humans to speak more than one language, then they could keep their original language and also communicate in one or more global languages! Alas, it is, sadly, impossible. /sarcasm

Like it or not, language helps maintain a lot more than just "lousy, empty, vapid" culture. It also helps maintain useful culture, history, unique philosophical concepts, unique observations about the world around us, and I am sure countless other important characteristics, discoveries, and contributions of a particular set of people. With something as complex and impactful as language, having only one choice is never good, just like it's not good in software, programming languages, food, or anything for that matter.

Reading your follow-up reply, I would also add that having a variety of languages is infinitely more important than resolving something that could much more easily be resolved with better engineering solutions, like the localization examples you mention.

4 days ago
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Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

Optic7 Re:And this is why there's traffic... (594 comments)

It seems like Joann Killeen fails at Public Relations, the subject that she teaches, if she agreed to admit on the record to the AP that she actually drives 2 hours to go 4 miles.

5 days ago
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Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

Optic7 Re:Sympton of a bigger problem (594 comments)

Just a quick correction: Southern California, including Los Angeles, actually had "the largest electric railway system in the world in the 1920s." which disappeared due to bad decision-making by the government and self-serving actions by companies like General Motors. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... - read it and weep.

5 days ago
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The Sony Pictures Hack Was Even Worse Than Everyone Thought

Optic7 Re:$1tr question--Why is all this Internet-facing? (528 comments)

So how did companies handle such networks 20+ years ago, where employees in "other offices" (cities, other locations in the same city, etc.) could access files, databases, etc., without any vector out to the Internet?

Thank you, that's a good question. Companies used to pay for their own, dedicated network connections between various offices - think T1s, T3s, ISDN, etc. Yes, they were much more expensive, which is why they mostly went away. The bean-counters probably saw dollar signs flash in front of their eyes when internet connections became cheap and VPN and other tunneling solutions were worked out that made it possible to replace the old dedicated connections, and that was that.

Another possibility, however, is that the internet made the business need to be interconnected so great (i.e. email, web, saas, etc) that it just became too difficult to justify having duplicate machines on everyone's desks. Remember that IT is a cost center for businesses, so eternally being squeezed to be more efficient and cost-effective.

about two weeks ago
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Harvard Scientists Say It's Time To Start Thinking About Engineering the Climate

Optic7 Yikes! (367 comments)

Let's hope that Harvard teaches their engineers more restraint, balance, common-sense, concern for the common good, and other things that are positive for society and the world than they teach their MBAs.

about a month ago
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Gridlock In Action: Retailers Demand New Regulations To Protect Consumers

Optic7 Re:Er...lobbiest fails to do job, so panic? (127 comments)

I'm not positive about the technical aspects of the chip, but just thinking about it, I don't believe that chip cards protect you from certain fraudulent transactions, like online purchases. I'm giving the website my card number, expiration date, card verification number, name, and billing address.

Someone who gains access to all that information stored by the retailer would certainly have all they need to initiate another online transaction elsewhere. The only way the bank has of preventing that would be to issue a new card number.

about a month ago
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AT&T To "Pause" Gigabit Internet Rollout Until Net Neutrality Is Settled

Optic7 They're bluffing (308 comments)

If they want to keep making money and not get trounced by the competition, they will eventually stop their bluff/tantrum and come back to play ball. Remember that their only current, likely avenues for growth are broadband and mobile, and mobile is probably very slow, if not at a stand-still. They can only pull this off if they no longer want to grow at a significant rate.

You can say that their competitors could do the same thing if they become Title II, but someone will choose to take the growth even under the regulation while the competition stands still.

about a month ago
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Gridlock In Action: Retailers Demand New Regulations To Protect Consumers

Optic7 Re:Er...lobbiest fails to do job, so panic? (127 comments)

Your guess for the cost to produce a regular credit/debit card is exactly right, but chip cards apparently cost a lot more. Bank of America sent me a new "chip-and-signature" card (yuck, why not chip-and-pin, so frustrating) after the Home Depot breach. According to this article:

"The cost to produce and distribute a card to a customer is under $2. The cost to make and distribute a chip card to a customer is between $15 and $20," says Coleman.

The last link on TFS says that just community banks and credit unions are already on the hook for $160 million. That's not even counting the banking giants. We're talking LOTS of money lost and wasted by a lot of people because of Target, Home Depot, et al being lax with their security.

about a month ago
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Colleges Face New 'Gainful Employment' Regulations For Student Loans

Optic7 Re:This is the latest in a long unfortunate evolut (331 comments)

Do note that this new requirement will only affect non-degree programs at public and non-profit schools, as well as all programs at for-profit schools. I don't think that's a bad idea. It prevents "Joe Bob's school of Hi-Tek" from offering a "certificate" that is completely worthless for $50k, while it doesn't touch any legitimate liberal arts degrees.

about a month and a half ago
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Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

Optic7 Re:how many small businesses has Obama killed? (739 comments)

They opposed it because they oppose everything that Obama does.
Whatever he does, they support the opposite. No one cared about Common Core originally, and it was implemented in 43 states. But as soon as Obama said it was a good idea, everyone on the started freaking out and saying it was the worst EVAH.
When he suggested bombing Syria they said no way.
When he was reluctant to bomb Russia/Ukraine they said we needed to.
If he said cyanide was toxic they would stand on the Capitol Steps and chug it just to spite him.
If he cured cancer they'd complain he was putting doctors out of work.

Yes, and here's a video reference of exactly this happening: http://www.cc.com/video-clips/...

about 1 month ago
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HP Unveils Industrial 3D Printer 10X Faster, 50% Cheaper Than Current Systems

Optic7 Re:Since this is an HP product, (111 comments)

Don't forget the clogging and drying up if you don't use the printer for a while, requiring buying new ink cartridges, or a whole new printer.

about 1 month ago
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2600 Profiled: "A Print Magazine For Hackers"

Optic7 Re:I don't read it (71 comments)

Yep, it's insane. Reagan and Nixon are considered "left-wing" nowadays, or at least their policies are.

about 2 months ago
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Solving the Mystery of Declining Female CS Enrollment

Optic7 Re:Honestly, who gives a fuck? (608 comments)

I'll grant you that this specific article was way too simplistic, but:

All of the people who rely solely on NPR for their news are misinformed.

You're way off with that one. Source: http://www.poynter.org/latest-...

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: How to get old commercial software to be open-sourced?

Optic7 Optic7 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Optic7 (688717) writes "Many gamers have probably dreamed about the idea of an old favorite game or other no longer supported or developed commercial software being converted to an open-source license so that it could be updated to add new features, support new hardware, other operating systems, etc. However, this type of change of license seems exceedingly rare, unless the copyright holder itself decides on its own that it would be beneficial. The only examples I could think of or was able to find in a brief internet search were Blender (3D animation software that had its source code bought from creditors after a crowd-funding campaign) and Warzone 2100 (Game that had its source code released after a successful petition). With those two examples of different strategies in mind, have any of you ever participated in any efforts of this kind, and what did you learn from it that may be useful to someone else attempting the same thing? Even if you have not participated, do you have any suggestions or ideas that may be useful to such an effort?"
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Verizon and Cable Cos Enter Deal That May Freeze C

Optic7 Optic7 writes  |  about 3 years ago

Optic7 (688717) writes "A series of three articles at GigaOm describes an ominous telecommunications business deal that is taking place which will likely have a large impact on the future of competition in both the wireless and broadband markets in the United States:

"Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks are selling off the spectrum remnants of their stillborn wireless venture, SpectrumCo, to Verizon Wireless for $3.6 billion. The deal would allow Verizon to double-up on its LTE network — in some regions triple up — creating huge overhead for future mobile broadband growth."

For a variety of reasons the government will be less likely to attempt to block this deal, in contrast with how they have handled AT&T's $39 Billion bid to buy T-Mobile, even though the deal, which includes secret agreements among the companies involved, shows signs that it will virtually eliminate any new or real competition for internet access in the US:

"This is the crystalline moment when the division of the marketplace becomes completely clear, even to people who haven't been paying attention. VZ and ATT get wireless; cable gets wires; consumers are stuck. Wireless, like wired high-speed access already wholly dominated by the cable companies, is a natural monopoly service at this point, with incredibly high barriers to entry — so high that even current players, like T-Mo, are having trouble making it. Clearwire [WiMax] has nowhere to go at this point. So we have the worst of all worlds: no competition, and no regulatory oversight.""

Link to Original Source
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Gel Found to Reduce AIDS Risk in Women

Optic7 Optic7 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Optic7 (688717) writes "A medical trial in South Africa has found that a gel containing an antiretroviral drug has significantly reduced the risk of women contracting HIV up to 54% compared to placebo depending on how closely the women followed the protocol. The best article about it that I have found so far has been at the Washington Post:

"The material came packed in syringe-like applicators. A woman was instructed to inject the gel into her vagina no more than 12 hours before intercourse and again within 12 hours afterward (but with no more than two applications in a 24-hour period). Each woman got a monthly AIDS test, and the researchers collected used and unused applicators to verify the women's reports of whether they were using them.

At the end of 2 1/2 years, there were 98 infections in the 889 women. The HIV incidence, measured as the number of new infections for every 100 "women years" in the study, was 5.6 in the volunteers using the tenofovir gel and 9.1 in those with the placebo gel.

That amounted to a prevention effectiveness of 39 percent. Among women who said they used the gel for at least 80 percent of episodes of intercourse, the effectiveness was 54 percent.""

Link to Original Source
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Major Voter Protection Effort Launched For 2008

Optic7 Optic7 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Optic7 (688717) writes "With early voting,registration and absentee deadlines looming, Election Protection launched its 2008 general election efforts today. The nation's largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, representing more than 100 organizations and the full spectrum of American citizens, will undertake the most comprehensive effort ever undertaken to empower voters to make sure their vote counts this November 4.

They will be needing volunteers, so here's a chance for all Slashdotters to participate and help us all have a smoother election this time around. If you would like to know more about the organization, the New York Times recently wrote about them (linked through Google in order to avoid the New York Times login)."

Link to Original Source
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Transitioning From Windows Admin To Linux Admin?

Optic7 Optic7 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Optic7 (688717) writes "I've been a Windows IT guy for many years, doing my fair bit of systems and network admin, deskside support, etc. I find myself increasingly tired and bored with with the Windows IT world so have been looking for a change. I looked at Cisco and even got my CCNA but find the pure networking stuff kind of dull as well. I've had a long-time interest in Unix and Linux, but never did much about it other than play with it occasionally and install a few different distros, and nothing much beyond that. Now I'm seriously thinking about jumping into Linux admin work with both feet and seeing what happens.

My question is what do you think is the best way to make such a transition? I'm currently studying for the LPI certification, and also plan on doing LFS based on recommendations I've read from fellow Slashdotters. But would anyone hire me as even a junior Linux admin without having any real-world business experience with it? What are some things that would increase my chances of that happening? Is there anything else, any other avenues that I'm not thinking of?

How the heck do you get started in a Linux admin career?"
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Gnucash 2.2.0 released, now stable for windows

Optic7 Optic7 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Optic7 (688717) writes "I just happened to visit Gnucash's site to download it and noticed that they have just released the new stable version, 2.2.0, today. This also marks the first stable Gnucash release for Windows. It seems that the Windows port is also the main feature of this new release. If you are not familiar with Gnucash, it is an open source alternative to Quicken and Microsoft Money. Visit their website to read more, or head straight for the downloads."
Link to Original Source
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Optic7 Optic7 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Optic7 (688717) writes "NPR reports that a new study by Harvard and the Center for Science in the Public Interest found that nutrition studies funded by food companies are almost eight times more likely to reach a conclusion beneficial to the food companies than similar, independently funded studies. New Scientist has also done a story on this, if you prefer to read instead of listen to the NPR story."
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Optic7 Optic7 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Optic7 (688717) writes "Given the interest garnered here by stories about classic adventure games, Slashdot readers are sure to be interested to hear that 1up is reporting that Sierra is about to release compilations of all of their famous and classic adventure games series either this Friday or Monday. The series compilations to be released include: King's Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry.

I hope they don't forget to do this for Quest for Glory as well."

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