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The Future According To Stanislaw Lem

PJ6 not really (195 comments)

Niven's view of such devices seemed pretty realistic, that the problem would take care of itself after a few generations.

Even if you were immortal, a droud would still be equivalent of death; remove the constraint of time, and limitation is measured by the boundaries of your mind's total potential state-space.

Any sufficiently intelligent being - no matter how powerful or long-lived - would avoid pleasure-death.

4 days ago
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How the Outdated TI-84 Plus Still Holds a Monopoly On Classrooms

PJ6 Re:RPN FTW (359 comments)

Amen. I got mine back in 92, and remember everyone making fun of the kids who went with a TI because RPN scared them.

Now that I think of it, that was a good dropout predictor.

I still have mine and I love it.

about two weeks ago
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Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

PJ6 study is misleading (588 comments)

What is not mentioned is that these low-carb and the low-fat diets were both done in the context of the typical, and rather terrible, Western diet. Since no distinction is made between simple and complex carbs, naturally 'low-carb' is going to win, since sugar is the worst offender for creating obesity.

I also have to roll my eyes because we already know what a healthful diet is. The most massive study of this kind in history came to a simple, unambiguous conclusion: eat a whole-foods, plant-based diet, and keep animal protein under 10% (even better, 5%) of your total calorie intake.

about two weeks ago
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The Grumpy Programmer has Advice for Young Computer Workers (Video)

PJ6 Read his blog and lost interest (120 comments)

when I discovered that he doesn't bother to proofread or use a spell checker.

I don't care how long he's been doing it, sloppiness is a sign of a poor programmer.

about three weeks ago
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New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs

PJ6 no working product exists (595 comments)

I see only stock photos. If they had anything at all working they would have released either a video demonstration, or before-and-after pictures.

What they're attempting is non-trivial - I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that they're going to fail on the chemistry.

about three weeks ago
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New EU Rules Will Limit Vacuum Cleaners To 1600W

PJ6 Needs better metric, not a restriction on wattage. (338 comments)

Consumers want number(s) to base their decisions upon. The wattage problem could have easily been solved by putting useful measurements of vacuum effectiveness on the packaging, such as guaranteed pressure drop and flow rate over the life of the product.

And the industry could do that all by itself without any regulation.

about three weeks ago
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"MythBusters" Drops Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci

PJ6 Re:Perhaps this won't be a popular view... (364 comments)

But I think it's a good move. I always thought they were trying to do too much in one episode. And really, who can argue with focusing on two really awesome dudes who love to blow stuff up?

More isn't always better, sometimes its just more.

Too much in one episode? Are you kidding me?

There's a lot of unnecessarily repeat after commercials and switching between myths. This is particularly annoying when watching on Netflix, where there are no commercial breaks.

Most episodes could be dramatically improved by cutting their length by 30%.

about a month ago
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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

PJ6 Re:"1,416 hectares" (521 comments)

A hectare is a metric unit. Not that most people have a problem with imperial measurements, just people who think it's cool to complain about it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hectare

You got a problem with square furlongs, bub?

about a month ago
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When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

PJ6 Re:Free market (257 comments)

Don't worry guys, the free market fairy will take care of it.

The free market has taken care of it. Good customer service is expensive. Consumers have demonstrated that they are unwilling to pay additional money for good customer service. Successful companies have aborted customer service to keep prices low.

Tell me how having one ISP to chose from is "free market".

about a month ago
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Dramatic Shifts In Manufacturing Costs Are Driving Companies To US, Mexico

PJ6 Re:Zooooom! (233 comments)

I'm gonna disagree.

This is supposedly a sign that the race to the bottom is actually done. The bottom filled out and is rebounding, and "we" mostly resisted our worst political urges vis-a-vis protectionism and removing regulatory protections that exist for good reasons. An equilibrium has been reached, and all the sacrificing has been mostly of the short term kind.

The problem with deregulation is that it was applied ridiculously unequally, greatly contributing to income inequality. For example, while unions were being busted up all over the country, doctors successfully bought legislation to make it much harder for foreigners to come practice medicine in the US - legislation that to this day keeps your medical bills artificially high.

And income inequality, when it goes past a certain point - far from being merely a social problem - can be quantified as massive, long-term economic damage.

about a month ago
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Dramatic Shifts In Manufacturing Costs Are Driving Companies To US, Mexico

PJ6 Re:Growing pains. (233 comments)

My point there is that democracy, while important, isn't a cure-all. It's inherently adversarial, a conflict which has notably ground today's national legislature to a standstill.

I'm going to disagree with your point. The founders of the USA designed gridlock into the system, so that if there isn't agreement on what to do, nothing will get done.

Are you worried about theocrat conservatives? Don't worry; they will never get any of their goals accomplished.

Are you worried about liberals completely turning the country into a socialist country? Don't worry; there is a point past which they will never be able to go.

There's only gridlock for the issues that the powerful don't care about. For the other stuff, there is no meaningful public input or interference.

about a month ago
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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

PJ6 "1,416 hectares" (521 comments)

Hmmm... what's that in square furlongs?

about a month ago
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Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers

PJ6 This is part of a larger cultural problem (371 comments)

that power, by its very nature, must be kept from the people who perform the actual, useful work.

about a month ago
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Humans Need Not Apply: a Video About the Robot Revolution and Jobs

PJ6 I think the more interesting question is, (304 comments)

what happens when everyone can get food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and weapons, from self-maintaining, self-replicating technology?

about a month ago
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Humans Need Not Apply: a Video About the Robot Revolution and Jobs

PJ6 Re: The problem with the all robotic workforce ide (304 comments)

We've already tried that. Hoover after the 1929 crash let the free market work on its own. After 3 years of worsening depression, the people wanted a New Deal.

But it wasn't a free market. The FED - the very concept of which is antithetical to a free market - deliberately crashed it.

about a month ago
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Is Remote Instruction the Future of College?

PJ6 Re:Getting it very wrong (81 comments)

Getting education is not about mastering subjects, they are frequently irrelevant to what you end up doing. It is about developing ability to independently study abstract problem outside your knowledge domain and providing you with just enough bare-minimum knowledge that it is possible to self-educate yourself.

I'm going to have to disagree with you there. Maybe other colleges are different, but I learned nothing of the sort at MIT - I didn't learn how to learn, I didn't learn how to work hard. I got in (and graduated) because I already had these traits. And when I successfully went on to very technical work, it became clear almost immediately that I could have gone there strait from of high school, save for the fact that most employers expect you to first trade a large amount of money, and years of your life, for a small piece of paper.

I think the idea of college being able to add anything beyond practical skill (if you're lucky enough to get it) is a myth.

about a month ago
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Entire South Korean Space Programme Shuts Down As Sole Astronaut Quits

PJ6 Re:begs FFS (186 comments)

It's not evolution. It's the writer looking stupid.

about a month ago
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The Benefits of Inequality

PJ6 There's nothing wrong with (254 comments)

our great ape social hierarchies per se, but rather that they emerge at highly inappropriate scales.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are Online Job Applications So Badly Designed?

PJ6 problem is using many pages for one logical form (278 comments)

For a multiple step data entry process that ends with a single submit to a database, I use an SPA that steps through partial views. To start I issue a URL with a new GUID, then it's all post-redirect-get to the same URL, so you have none of the forward-back state screw-ups, or the nonsense of F5 asking the user to "re-submit". I store the entered data in memory server-side, accessed via cache keyed on the URL's GUID. This way if the user hits F5, they don't lose everything. And POSTs are only what the user just entered, not the whole freakin form.

Sometimes I get a protest that you can't use the browser's back or forward buttons to navigate the data entry process, but if your UI makes doing that easy and obvious, it's really not that big of a deal.

I don't see a lot of other developers using SPA, but it's worked well for me.

about a month ago

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