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How Adobe Got Rid of Traditional Stack-Ranking Performance Reviews

PingXao Teaching Week (175 comments)

Next week, Monday 10 February to Monday 17 February. BOYCOTT Slashdot week. Don't come here, not even anonymously. Let them see the drop in page hit traffic. It's likely the ONLY thing that will wake them up to reality. They've been listening to asshole MBA types and image consultants way too much lately.

Help US teach THEM a lesson about BETA.

Block slashdot.org at your router if you think you may be tempted, out of habit, to have a look at /. during the week.

about a year ago

US Cord Cutters Getting Snubbed From NBC's Olympic Coverage Online

PingXao Let the Olympics die (578 comments)

Just like slash BETA the world wouldn't really be affected one way or the other if the Olympics just up and went away. The worst effects would be felt by the corporate sponsors who would be deprived of a way to market their garbage to teh sheeple consumers.

Let the Olympics die. The International Olympic Committee and a large percentage of the national committees are some of the most corrupt organizations in the world. Fuck 'em.

And if someone who doesn't subscribe to cable television can't see online video of the games then I consider that a GOOD thing. It leaves more bandwidth for the rest of us.

about a year ago

Do Hypersonic Missiles Make Defense Systems Obsolete?

PingXao Re:Bee Keepers and the Audience (365 comments)

I used to hate FaceBook and Twitter, but I don't anymore. Now don't get me wrong, I still don't use either one but now I perceive them to have great value. As online "destinations" they serve as flypaper for all the AOL-types who pollute the internet. By giving the functionally retarded a place they can call home, it leaves the rest of the 'net to be used for better purposes: intelligent commentary being one such use.

Now they want to throw the doors open to every drooling shortbus rider because they can make Mo Money off it that way. The number of eyeballs attracts advertisers, not the quality of discourse.

about a year ago

CERN Wants a New Particle Collider Three Times Larger Than the LHC

PingXao Monetization (238 comments)

BETA is clearly about monetization. The kids today - the next generation of consumers - expect a trendy style that slashdot doesn't exhibit. Dice is clearly interested in attracting a larger "audience" and they can't afford to have these new consumers visit the site, decide that it's not hip enough or it looks "old", and move on never to return. That has to be the thinking behind BETA.

And the reason they want to increase their "audience share" is simple: The more people visit the site the more they can charge for advertising space. It really is that simple. They want to turn slashdot into a profit generator and the community be damned. They will happily throw all of us under the bus if it means they can acquire hordes of retards whose idea of insightful commentary consists of nothing more than "+1", or "Like" or (as we used to loathe in the days of AOHeLl: "Me too!"

Like broadcast television and several other advertising models, they want to turn US into the PRODUCT that they sell to ADVERTISERS.

Greedy sleazebags. I eagerly await Boycott Week from Feb 10th through the 17th. My only use of slashdot that week will be using the name on other sites to see how much the traffic drops off. More widespread dissemination of the BOYCOTT week needs to happen this weekend before it's scheduled to start on Monday. The only way to get through to marketeers and corporatist assholes is to hit 'em where it hurts: in their wallet. A boycott has the potential to show them just how low their "brand" can sink when they piss off their loyal userbase.

about a year ago

CERN Wants a New Particle Collider Three Times Larger Than the LHC

PingXao Re:Irony (238 comments)

There has been a distinct trend in the last few days towards much more interesting articles. Less Bieber, more Mars. That type of thing. I thought I was imagining it.

about a year ago

NASA Pondering Two Public Contests To Build Small Space Exploration Satellites

PingXao Re:Save Slashdot Classic! (127 comments)

"What is the linux equivalent of this "go to your windows" step?"

The linux equivalent is, "... get out your shinebox, open it and stick your head in and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!'"

Yes, the linux equivalent of "window" is now "shinebox".

about a year ago

Build an Open-Source Electric Car In About One Hour

PingXao (reply to self) Almost forgot... (188 comments)

Tried posting, "Fuck Beta"

Received error: "This exact comment has already been posted. Try to be more original..."

Okey Dokey then..... Fuck Beta Sideways

about a year ago

Build an Open-Source Electric Car In About One Hour

PingXao How long have I been here? (188 comments)

Is there a way to see in your acct info how long you've been registered here? I looked for a bit and didn't see anything obvious that would tell me. The only info I have locally is the dates and times I've changed my password. The earliest date I have is early 2008 but I'm sure I was here for at least a few years before that.

about a year ago

Fire Destroys Iron Mountain Data Warehouse, Argentina's Bank Records Lost

PingXao Re:Classic Slashdot (463 comments)

It's not a matter of management becoming brain dead, it's a matter of them "selling out". FFS I saw an ad for Dodge the other day that had a Bob Dylan song playing in it.

If Bob Dylan is selling out you know anyone can (and will) sell out. Time to move on.

about a year ago

HTML5 App For Panasonic TVs Rejected - JQuery Is a "Hack"

PingXao Re:Boycott (573 comments)

Count me in. I regularly get 15 mod points at least twice a week. If this new 'beta" goes live, I'm outta here. I've had excellent karma since I don't know when, years. More and more the stories are fluff and I find myself thinking that I can read about these shitty stories literally anywhere else on the web.

News For Nerds. Stuff That Matters. RIP if beta goes live without a ton of changes. I will use all my mod points until further notice to ONLY mod comments that discuss Beta.

And .... fuck it, I almost checked "No Karma Bonus" before submitting this comment. I have an unsettling feeling that it won't matter soon, so karma bonus away!

about a year ago

Journal of Cosmology Contributor Sues NASA To Investigate Mars "Donut"

PingXao Is it really worth a read? (140 comments)

I'm wondering if it's even worth changing the comment threshold here to 3.

1 year,1 day

100-Year-Old Photo Negatives Discovered In Antarctica

PingXao Re:Epic expedition stories! (114 comments)

Seconded. Coincidentally, just a few weeks ago I was pseudo-randomly websurfing and came upon the wikipedia articles about the so-called Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. I easily spent two evenings reading about those journeys and the men - and animals - that undertook them. Fascinating stuff.

One of the participants in one of the expeditions was Apsley Cherry-Garrard. He subsequently wrote a book, "The Worst Journey In The World", which is on Project Gutenberg's site http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/14363 In the preface of the book he wrote a semi-famous couple of lines

For a joint scientific and geographical piece of organization, give me Scott; for a Winter Journey, Wilson; for a dash to the Pole and nothing else, Amundsen: and if I am in the devil of a hole and want to get out of it, give me Shackleton every time.

After reading about Shackleton's harrowing Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_Trans-Antarctic_Expedition it's not surprising that the IAU named a crater on the Moon for him. Shackleton didn't fuck around. When he said he was coming back for you, by god he was coming back for you.

1 year,28 days

U.S. Mobile Internet Traffic Nearly Doubled This Year

PingXao Re:Let me wish Verizon a Unhappy Christmas (71 comments)

That is their new business plan. Verizon is dumping all their old POTS copper wire business in regions where they (previously) offer landline service. They have stopped rolling out FiOS fiber-to-the-home pretty much everywhere. Their stated reasoning, believe it or not, is they can make more money on wireless overage charges. It's not a matter of POTS landlines and FiOS not being profitable. It's a matter of them not being profitable enough.

about a year ago

RSA Flatly Denies That It Weakened Crypto For NSA Money

PingXao Re:Links (291 comments)

That did cause quite an uproar at the time. MS did an elaborate tapdance around the issue and denied it was anything at all like its name. Many people saw it as proof that Windows crypto was fundamentally flawed while many others insisted it was nothing to worry about.

I'm surprised nobody has gone back and looked at that whole episode anew in light of recent disclosures.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Can Digital Music Replace Most Instrumental Musicians?

PingXao In 50 years it will be TV and film performers (328 comments)

Digitized versions of actors and actresses will be substituted for the real-life things. Humphrey Bogart and Lana Turner will make huge comebacks in virtual form. And without all that pesky union BS that goes along with card carrying members of SAG. Audiences won't be able to tell the difference between virtual clones and the real thing. Eventually the fake replacements will garner perpetual fan bases of their own. First they came for the real musicians...

about a year ago

5-Year Mission Continues After 45-Year Hiatus

PingXao Really good stuff (283 comments)

Not to denigrate any of the other projects going on, but I thought this was brilliant. Maybe you have to be as old as I am to appreciate it. I was a little kid when TOS first aired and it will forever be my favorite Star Trek series. These guys did a marvelous job of lighting, sound, cliches (Kirk with his shirt off, anyone?) sets, dialogue, story, beats and pauses between scenes (for the "commercials"). I can't complain about the acting. Their casting choices were probably very much dictated by happenstance, enthusiasm and luck of the draw.

I think Gene Roddenberry would have approved.

about a year ago

The Father of Civilization: Profile of Sid Meier

PingXao Civ was a great franchise, but 2 words about Sid (208 comments)

Railroad Tycoon

Still has never been outdone in the genre. Transport Tycoon, additional editions of RRT, not even the latest Rails, which I believe Sid lent his name to without really being involved.... none of them can hold a candle to the original Railroad Tycoon.

about a year and a half ago

Apogee Suing Gearbox Over Unpaid Royalties For Duke Nukem Forever

PingXao In my experience (88 comments)

In my experience, when a "Can't Miss" deal like this goes bad, the probability that one side will do something sleazy is directly proportional to how friendly the parties were at the outset.

about a year and a half ago

EVE Online Getting TV, Comic Book Adaptations

PingXao Re:Gotta be there (81 comments)

In EvE there are no "1-hour timers" on any wormholes. This kind of throws the rest of your paean into the "unreliable info" category.

about 2 years ago



The USD $24 Billion Open Source Project

PingXao PingXao writes  |  more than 6 years ago

PingXao (153057) writes "For finance nerds the era of Open Source has arrived. Pershing Square Capital Mgmt. LP is a New York financial institution that believes some of the main culprits in the current worldwide debt meltdown aren't telling the truth. On the evening of 30 Jan 2008, Pershing founder Bill Ackman wrote a letter (follow link to "This letter.") to US government, banking and insurance officials basically accusing two big monoline insureres of downplaying their risk exposure in the current credit crisis. He calculates that the monoline insurers MBIA and AMBAC are exposed to USD $12 Billion each in losses and have been trying to obfuscate that fact for some time and for the purpose of skimming phony profits and dividends. His letter is an attempt to get The Powers That Be to get off their butts and do something about it. Up until this point the reaction of the industry and the mainstream media has been to downplay the seriousness of the situation and portray the more pessimistic observers as tinfoil hat wearers. They will not be able to dismiss Ackman's concerns so easily.

Ackman's company has collected a huge number of details on these monolines and released it as an "Open Source Model" (Reuters article has a link at the bottom), and what a model it is! It consists of a 110 MB Excel spreadsheet that details almost every single CDO (Collateralized Debt Obligation) investment, both good and bad, that AMBAC and MBIA have insured. Sometimes they insured it, invested in its derivatives, and then insured it again and invested in it again! He invites anyone and everyone to look at his "source code" and dares anyone to show his results are wrong. In particular he has challenged the Attorneys General of several states and the SEC to prove he is wrong. If he is not wrong, and he has presented a mountain of data to back up his assertions, and they continue to do nothing, the financial ramifications are ominous.

One of the biggest problem with the debt meltdown thus far has been that nobody knows, exactly, what's bad, how much of it there is, and who's exposed to it. Many high finance types on Wall Street don't even know. It's the financial world's equivalent of spaghetti code. In the letter linked above, Ackman explains:

Our primary goal is to initiate what we call "Open Source Research" where all market participants can have equal access to the primary source data and construct their own views of losses without reliance on the analytical judgment of rating agencies or the bond insurance industry.
This is a first in the normally arcane world of high finance! As for the technical details of the spreadsheet, Ackman states on page 2 of his letter that

Each recalculation of this model on a typical workstation — 3.4GHz Dual Core Pentium D with 3Gb of 800 MHz FSB DDR2 RAM — benchmarks at 25-30 minutes. We run this model on an advanced workstation — twin Intel 3.16GHz Quad Core Xeon X5460's (a total of eight cores sharing 2 x 6Mb of L2 Cache on a 1333MHz front-side bus) with 4Gb of 800MHz DDR2 ECC SDRAM. Recalculating the model on the advanced workstation takes approximately 45 seconds.
Even if you're not a finance nerd, this could very well end up being the one Open Source project that affects your life more than any other, past, present or future. And even if that potential is never realized, it's still very interesting to discover that at least some of the movers and shakers on Wall Street know what Open Source is and how to make a splash with it. And it's not even software per se, it's an Excel spreadsheet with data these guys don't normally reveal to the public. Unfortunately it doesn't appear to be GPL'ed, which means we won't get to see any improvements or modifications made by others. In the end, it's a story worth checking into because how it plays out is likely to be the biggest story of any kind in any field for 2008."


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