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Activist Group Sues US Border Agency Over New, Vast Intelligence System

Rockoon Re:No Decent Solution (67 comments)

There is simply no easy solution for the border issue.

Landmines...

13 hours ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Rockoon Re:Economists (746 comments)

It's a bit baffling how "some economists" weren't fully cognisant of what would happen when the minimum wage was raised.

The difference between micro-economists and macro-economists is that micro-economists are wrong about specific things, and macro-economists are wrong about things in general...

You know who knows their shit? People that make their living making predictions about markets and economies. I do not mean people that get paid to talk about it - I mean people that put their money on the line and make money when and because they are right. Warren Buffet, Peter Schiff, etc..

..and I do not mean listen to what these people say (which like politicians can be the opposite of what they do.) I mean actually pay attention to what they do (like you should be doing with politicians but probably aren't.) Talk is cheap.

What is Buffet doing? Well the top four stocks for him right now are Wells Fargo, Coca-Cola, American Express, and IBM. His company has about $68 billion in holdings in these 4 companies alone.

2 days ago
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World Health Organization Calls For Decriminalization of Drug Use

Rockoon Re:Use of drugs (464 comments)

The use of drugs is not exactly confined in its impact to the immediate use, which is the theory behind why it was a crime in the first place.

No, the theory behind the first drug laws in the United States was that chinese immigrants smoked opium, so the consumption of opium via smoking was prohibited while oral consumption (the white peoples consumption method) remained legal. A racist law written by racist people to harm a racial group.

Drug laws continue to be completely racist, even though the excuses for the laws no longer are. When it wasn't racism against the chinese-americans, it was racism against the african-americans...

2 days ago
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Math, Programming, and Language Learning

Rockoon Re:YMMV (236 comments)

I'm pretty sure that for that specific problem you have to search through very large numbers of possibilities if you want a guarantee of optimality. A quick google search tells me that near-optimal is generally the goal of these algorithms, and in those cases they still require some searching (frequently stochastic.)

2 days ago
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Australia Repeals Carbon Tax

Rockoon Re:it is the wrong way... (286 comments)

If implemented properly, there is no need for extra cost. In addition to raising carbon tax, the government needs to lower sales tax so that the average consumer price can stay the same, and so does the government tax income.

What you seem to be saying... is that the government should hold its income constant, so if cheaper energy production does come about... taxes will be increased to nullify any benefits the public would have had from cheaper energy?

Why didnt you just say "price fixing" ?? Whats with this complex scheme to hide the fact that the end result is price fixing?

"but", you say... "it creates an incentive for cleaner energy" .. yes, at the expense of cheaper energy. So you arent actually getting the industry to pay for externalities.. you are actually trading off 100% of the future benefits of cheaper energy. I'm not sure which world you live in, but in the world I live in cheap energy has benefited people many orders of magnitude more than the speculative harm that the externalities you are trying to eliminate have cost people.

We've seen price fixing in energy sectors before. It is what led to the California energy crisis. People died.

3 days ago
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Two Big Dark Matter Experiments Gain US Support

Rockoon Re:It's about time ... (37 comments)

I doubt that even if we built the SSC that we would have found the Higgs before de-funding it.

Consider the amount of data the LHC needs to collect to observe the Higgs and then consider what sort of technology was available in the early 1990s. The LHC requires the worlds largest ever computing grid to process the data it collects, and it generates a whopping 300 gigaBYTES per second.

Good luck with that with technology from 20 years ago. The best CPU's from 1994 were the Alpha 21064 which peaked out at 300 MIPS (modern desktop chips peak out at well over 100000 MIPS), and you dont even want to consider actual bandwidth and storage.

The SSC could not match the LHC even though the SSC was to be a more powerful accelerator.

5 days ago
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Sony Forgets To Pay For Domain, Hilarity Ensues

Rockoon Re: Black hole? (275 comments)

..perhaps giving him a uniquely wise view of the world.

5 days ago
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Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

Rockoon Re:105 megabits per second (401 comments)

They already know they're being recorded, so no issues.

Also, due to the ambiguity of words, they are giving permission. "This call may be recorded..[by you]"

about a week ago
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Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

Rockoon Re:Very typical of them (401 comments)

It was a government's decision to only allow one cable-TV company to serve a particular area.

Indeed. The Statists will admit that Government enables these monopolies to exist, but they still blame it on Corporations, but change the topic to the influence of Money on Government.

They cannot form an internally consistent argument that includes both the Good People in Government that wont allow Money to dictate Policy and the Bad Corporations that use their Money to influence Policy to exist simultaneously.

Even dictatorships are great when the Dictator is one of those Good People.

The problem isnt that corporations seek influence over government. A core ideal of a free society is in fact that the potential to influence government does not discriminate. Black, White, Male, Female, Church, Charity, Business, ... The problem is that those in government are generally not Good People, and when Bad People form policy, regardless of the intentions that support policy change, you get Bad Effects.

It used to be that every single representative everywhere in the country was a White Man. It took a long time for Blacks to attain the right to vote, and even longer for Women to attain the right to vote. The Bad Policy wasn't dictated by Bad Corporations, just the White Men of government that werent Good People.

Government is the problem. It is a necessary evil, but still always and forever evil. The Statists that so casually cry out for more government influence are supporters of evil.

about a week ago
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Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

Rockoon Re:Only sorry they got caught (401 comments)

Sounds to me like an admission that they're overcharging everyone else.

Well we dont know what they were charging him, but we do know that one of the final desperate attempts by the customer service guy was to offer to save the man over $100/month on his service. My cable company cannot offer me that because I pay less than $100/month, so its an admission that they're overcharging him but not so much an admission that anyone else is being overcharged.

about a week ago
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Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

Rockoon Re:105 megabits per second (401 comments)

Seriously, since when is it ever legal to record a call like this?

Firstly, only 12 of the 50 States require that all parties to a telephone call consent to it being recorded. To quote wikipedia, those States are California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii (in general a one-party state, but requires two-party consent if the recording device is installed in a private place), Illinois (debated, see next section), Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana (requires notification only), Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

Secondly. one of the first things you get when you call a customer service department for any large telecom is a recording that states that the call may be recorded.

about a week ago
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Peer Review Ring Broken - 60 Articles Retracted

Rockoon Re:Wish I could say I was surprised (178 comments)

I was quoting someone else... please correct them instead... *yawn*

So you plagiarize too?

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Dedicated Low Power Embedded Dev System Choice?

Rockoon Re:Solaris not well supported by OSS toolchain (183 comments)

It's possible the person asking a question knows their stuff. It's possible. But we don't know that, which is why we ask probing questions.

..and by asking those questions you've trashed the original question.. so when the person asking does know their stuff the end result of your involvement is that you just fucked their thread over. At the very very best you've delayed any meaningful response by literally days because now everyone else is waiting for you to be answered.

Day 1, you ask: "Have you tried to [blah blah] your [woo hoo]?"

Day 2, you ask "Have you gotten all the latest [goo mo]?""

Finally day 4 or 5 comes around and you finally admit that you can't help (something you actually knew on day 1), but now the thread is pushed down, off everyones radar, and is filled with complete crap initiated by you. All because when you didn't know the answer, you decided that you must get involved anyways.

Do everyone in the world a favor and don't get involved when you don't know the answer. Don't pretend to be more than you are. The feel-good moment you get when you click "post" is a sham - you are harming the other person, not helping them.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Dedicated Low Power Embedded Dev System Choice?

Rockoon Re:Solaris not well supported by OSS toolchain (183 comments)

Which once again returns us to the basic questions being asked by the would be helpers: "What are you trying to accomplish?"

Its stated quite specifically already so when you then go and ask that, you are of course doing exactly what I said you would do, proving my initial response that it really isn't helpful to describe in excruciating detail what is being tried.

The important specifics are already there: I need my generic class library to enforce a constructor contract on 3rd party code that calls my library.

Maybe you imagine that there isnt a need for it, but thats just proving the GPPP's point also.. that you think you know what other people need better than they do.

So you just proved us both right, showing that literally everyone else in the world would be better off if you didnt open your mouth when you dont know the answer but want to fish for a different question that you actually can answer (which is just self serving shit, harmful to the discussion as signal to noise goes righrt into the toilet .. your the noise.)

about two weeks ago
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Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

Rockoon Re:No GUS, No Demo. (499 comments)

The GUS architecture had a lot of potential. Too bad it couldn't garner more developer support.

i was the proud owner of a Gravis UltraSound, but "potential" isnt what it had.


The GF1 and later GF2 chips were basically the END of an era, not the "potential" beginning of one. By the time the Pentium rolled in, software mixing of 32 channel 16-bit stereo with 32-bit internal mixing was down to single-digit percentages of CPU power.

MSDOS users simply didnt notice what was going on elsewhere. The Gravis was much better than an SB16 for sure, but the SB16 was just a 16-bit stereo DAC packaged together with a Yamaha OPL3 FM synthesis chip, so the bar in the DOS world was set so low that when the DOS world finally caught up with the times it looked like innovation to DOS users but was actually just the final incremental improvements to what clearly was on its way out. The DOS demo scene was already doing 32 channel software mixing on 386 computer several years BEFORE the first Gravis UltraSound.

Not only was software mixing the true "innovation" -- it was driven by the vision of complete software synthesis, which came within the same decade that the UltraSound was released. Cards that did hardware mixing offered no advantages over simpler DACs in the new era.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Dedicated Low Power Embedded Dev System Choice?

Rockoon Re:Solaris not well supported by OSS toolchain (183 comments)

Can you really not figure out that the solution to such a problem is to add more detail to your question, indicating what you've already researched?

It really isn't.

A ran into a fine example of why you are wrong just last week.

I was looking for a way for a .NET library developer to specify a type contract that included a non-default constructor with a specific prototype/signature. Now for some this may sound like an Interface, but others will argue that Interfaces should not specify implementation details and they (rightly or wrongly) include constructor prototypes as an implementation detail and argue that this is why interfaces should not (and do not) define constructor prototypes. The questions that appear throughout the internet (on msdn, stackoverflow, etc..) always involved the use of generics and so did the usage I had intended, so of course generic type constraints also came up. Quite specifically my need (and many others) is to develop a library which can construct generic types, however there is another related class of problems dealing with operator overloading that also spawns a similar set of questions based on the same framework limitation.

It did not matter how accurately anyone had described their need to define a constructor signature contract. Every discussion devolved into the same lesson about why interfaces shouldn't specify constructors or any other static functions and methods.

Every single time it was suggested that the person asking the question include a non-static method in the interface which could then construct the type. When it is pointed out that that would require an instance of the type to begin with, it then occurs to these people you suggest coddling, "have you tried the factory pattern?"

Isnt that what they are trying to implement? sigh...

So then the discussions devolve into these people devising more and more complex contortions to defend their belief that interfaces should not ever under any circumstances leak any implementation detail so therefore the questioner is wrong about needing a constructor contract, as if one actually led to the other. Quite remarkably they suggest alternatives that leak far more implementation details the other direction.

They just cannot imagine the need and no amount of explaining will get them to acknowledge that there really is one, therefore its all about something unimportant like the philosophy of interfaces rather than an alternative method of enforcing a constructor contract in the setting of a generic type constraint.

The GPP is 100% right when he says "Just because you don't understand their needs doesn't mean you need to step in and try to change what you think they need. (Ever think they just MIGHT be smarter than you or know their needs better?)"

You sit here defending that behavior on the grounds that you also default to the position that you understand the questioners needs better than they do, and I know why.

You learned that you shouldnt pretend to have answers that you don't have... but you've not handled that knowledge correctly. The proper course of action is to acknowledge to yourself that you don't have the answer, rather than attempt to alter the question so that you do have the answer. When you try to alter the question, it stops being about you helping the questioner and starts being about you helping yourself look smarter.

about two weeks ago
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Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

Rockoon Re:Theory says it is possible (415 comments)

Learn to read, chief.

Specifically, * equivalently - stacking multiple flow control branches to simulate the singular GOTO is not the same.

about two weeks ago
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Dwarf Fortress Gets Biggest Update In Years

Rockoon Re: Is it still braindeadly single-threaded? (138 comments)

So, any sane attempt to pathfind (say an A* search) is not embarrassingly parallel

Also true is that any sane attempt to calculate the color of a pixel is not embarrassingly parallel...

...never the less, GPU's prove that the problem being solved is indeed embarrassingly parallel.

Your problem is that you know just enough to fuck up the basics.

about two weeks ago
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Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

Rockoon Re:Bah humbug. (415 comments)

..and as a matter of fact, C has GOTO.

I'm not sure than any language exists that can truly* replace GOTO through the use of other flow control sugars.

* equivalently - stacking multiple flow control branches to simulate the singular GOTO is not the same.

about two weeks ago

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