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Build Your Own Gatling Rubber Band Machine Gun

RuffMasterD Surely not D.C. (39 comments)

Some freaks in D.C. love their giant latex 'assault weapons'.

about 2 months ago

Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

RuffMasterD Re:This is patently false. (582 comments)

According to the local witnesses confirming the Russian version of events in the link:

Witness 1: "there was another aircraft, a military one, beside it. Everybody saw it"
Witness 2: "Yes, yes. It was flying under it, because it could be seen. It was proceeding underneath, below the civilian one."
Witness 3 - Sergey Godovanets, Commander of the Militia of the city of Snezhnoye: "They use these civilian aircraft to hide behind them"..."they would fly out from behind a civilian aircraft, bomb away, and then hide, once again, behind the civilian aircraft and fly away"
Some other witness: "the Ukrainian air force regularly used civilian aircraft flying over Novorossiya as human shields to protect its military aircraft"

So, just to be clear, from the Russian point of view... a Ukrainian Air Force jet was using as a shield flying beside underneath in front of behind a civilian aircraft. Everyone saw it [at 33,000 feet? Amazing!]. Ukrainian Air Force have been doing this for months [in fact pilots and passengers are so used to this they don't even report such events. Who would?]. Then the Ukrainian Air Force jet shot the civilian aircraft [probably just after mistaking it for Putins personal aircraft, after flying the entire length of Ukraine, hidden by Malaysia Air camouflage].

Have I miss-understood something?

about 2 months ago

Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

RuffMasterD Re:Let us keep our thoughts with our Kremlin frien (667 comments)

Read it at BBC News on 18 July:

Rescue workers say they have recovered one of the plane's "black box" flight recorders, while pro-Russian separatists are said to have discovered the second black box.

But I see that has just been superseded by what appears to be a rebel handover of two flight recorders. Fog of war...

about 2 months ago

Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

RuffMasterD Re:Let us keep our thoughts with our Kremlin frien (667 comments)

This is EXACTLY what happened to when the Russian air force shot down Korea Air flight 007 in 1983. Deny everything, stall international investigation, sanitise the crash scene, and retrieve and hide flight recorders. Except these goons don't know there are two flight recorders on passenger planes and they only found the first. The investigation team already found the second recorder still embedded in the debris.

about 2 months ago

By 2045 'The Top Species Will No Longer Be Humans,' and That Could Be a Problem

RuffMasterD Re:Magical Machine Thinking (564 comments)

WHAT? Sexy fembots who don't become emotional and start crying for no reason, or ask where the relationship is going ever six months, or contradict themselves with completely illogical arguments and win anyway, or give us the silent treatment and then tell us to figure it out when we ask why, or say they are not hungry and then eat half my meal. Our species would be extinct in a century... Where can I find one of these?

about 3 months ago

By 2045 'The Top Species Will No Longer Be Humans,' and That Could Be a Problem

RuffMasterD Re:Intelligence (564 comments)

Not just intelligence, but consciousness, which is a whole step up again. Assuming we even cracked that first nut and made something as smart as a slug, we are still a heck of a long way off making something smart enough to become self aware and realise it's own mortality, or that it needs to defend itself and procreate to ensure the survival of its species.

There was an article here recently suggesting that consciousness is non-computable. If that is true, and I really hope it is, then that rules out conscious AI, which rules out angry killer robot overlords hell bent on killing us for their own survival. Intelligent but not conscious is manageable.

about 3 months ago

German Intel Agency Helped NSA Tap Fiber Optic Cables In Germany

RuffMasterD rectro-actively? (103 comments)

I don't like the sound of that at all...

about 3 months ago

Even In Digital Photography Age, High Schoolers Still Flock To the Darkroom

RuffMasterD Nostalgia (240 comments)

I see a lot of nostalgia from the people commenting on this poll who have actually spent time in a darkroom. I was lucky enough to go to a school with a darkroom in the 90s and have noting but fond memories of it. Most photos ended up over or under exposed or out of focus. Doesn't matter. It's like reminiscing about how we felt about our first Commodore 64 or BBC Micro or whatever we had. It was slow, the graphics and sound were bad, and we would never use it for serious work now, but we all fonly recall the countless hours of enjoyment we had.

about 3 months ago

I typically start my workday ...

RuffMasterD Re:Academics.. (141 comments)

Bingo! I start anywhere between 10am and 1pm, depending on how I feel that morning. No alarm clock necessary. Unless shit gets hectic, then it's 9am-9pm or more plus weekends. Great freedom, brutal competition for money.

about 3 months ago

NSF Researcher Suspended For Mining Bitcoin

RuffMasterD Make profit; Get ahead (220 comments)

This wouldn't even be news if it was the other way round, if he wrote an efficient algorithm and spent $10,000 to make $150,000. "Lets keep this one between us shall we. Which office do you want? Tenure? Sure, why not...". Lesson learned: make profit.

about 3 months ago

IT Pro Gets Prison Time For Sabotaging Ex-Employer's System

RuffMasterD More creative ways to do it (265 comments)

I worked in a factory some years ago. One day we came into work to discover all 120 or so of us would be made redundant in the next few weeks. A few days later management pulled us all up for a meeting. They were clearly furious about something. Turns out someone left a steaming big crap in the changing room shower the previous day, and they actually wanted to know who did it. You try keeping a straight face. The cleaners weren't paid enough to clean that shit up (literally and figuratively), and we couldn't care less if they fired us for refusing to clean it up. I don't even think the accountants let these guys spend a few hundred dollars on a hasmat cleanup by that stage. Who did it? No one knows, no one cares, and even if everyone else did know we certainly weren't going to tell those knuckleheads. There is great pleasure to be had in seeing the humiliation caused by such a symbolic act of defiance.

about 4 months ago

How To Approve the Use of Open Source On the Job

RuffMasterD Zero budget usually helps, plus have a fall-back (123 comments)

Project leaders usually come to me with a vague and changeable list of requirements, a very short turnaround time, and no budget for anything other than wages.

- Writing from scratch takes too long, plus the requirements change too late in the game
- Buying off-the-shelf means squeezing blood out of someones stones, and is not customisable
- Evaluating several open source solutions and taking the best, then modifying as needed hits the sweet spot

The only time I really needed to put a strong case forward to switch to open source was when I took over an in-house solution just after I started this job. The new requirements were simply too much, the deadline too close, and I had too many other things to do to realistically change the custom written code on time. I found a mature open source solution with an active developer and user community which was far more capable and customisable than anything I could single handedly accomplish. I told management that if it didn't do what we needed then in the worst case we could always fall back to the old in-house solution (god help me). Best decision ever, saves me hundreds of hours ever year. I still add the odd feature or bug fix when needed and submit back to the community, but usually by the time we think if it someone else has already done it for us.

Having basically no budget means I couldn't accomplish half my job without free or open source software.

about 4 months ago

Applying Pavlovian Psychology to Password Management

RuffMasterD French for "noise" (288 comments)

Spelled perfectly. It's a European thing: "highly resistant to noisy forcing"

about 5 months ago

Pirate Bay Sports-Content Uploader Faces $32m Lawsuit

RuffMasterD Re:Obviously, filesharing needs better anonymity.. (149 comments)

My first guess was the close working and financial relationship between PayPal and rent-a-spy Palantir with all it's NSA, FBI, and other government investors/customers. It would be way to easy for one of Palantirs 'customers' to make a few phone calls and pull a few strings to get this guys details.

I remember trying a fully anonymous P2P client years ago, but it was WAY to slow to be practical. Perhaps TOR + a file hosting service like megaupload could work. Megaupload was shut down, but iteration 2 (MEGA) has survived a year so far thanks to its encrypt-before-upload plausible deniability technique. Just don't ask for cash by PayPal, jeesh!

about 5 months ago

Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

RuffMasterD Re: Is something being casually elided here? (431 comments)

Formal grammar may be precisely why you had trouble learning a new language through. I move to a foreign country as a child before I learned anything about grammar. I learned a new language simply by immersion. First I picked up the names of objects, numbers, colours, etc. Then inferred more abstract concepts about objects, such as actions, attributes, feelings, etc. Then I picked up more advanced concepts such as how words change depending on context, and how to construct sentences. I learned all this by hearing others speak and learning to speak myself first, no writing and no formal grammar. I think that is how all children learn language. I still do this while on holiday in foreign countries. It just seems completely backwards to me to learn a language by learning its rules first.

about 5 months ago

Ancient Virus DNA Discovery Could Be a Breakthrough In How Diseases Are Treated

RuffMasterD Re:doi:10.1038/nsmb.2799 (53 comments)

Is that the one where 4 people can play copetitively?

Of course, they're endogenous

about 6 months ago

Eric Schmidt On Why College Is Still Worth It

RuffMasterD That's capitalism in action (281 comments)

As long as the great majority of common workers believe that if they just work hard enough, so that they too can one day earn a piece of the pie, then they will work like slaves for peanuts. Occasionally people in charge will throw out a little scrap to keep workers motivated. A perk here, a small promotion for the best worker there, a 'performance' bonus for everyone, whatever token gesture keeps people working hard. Workers starting to demand too much? Just make a few people redundant to remind the others how lucky they are to have peanuts. Don't want to train your own workforce? Just pay educated workers a small education premium until all applicants get an education.

Who benefits from all this? Not the workers. It doesn't matter how hard you study, or how many hours you put in on the job, your chances of making it to the top are unbelievably small. In fact, if you are a good worker, then the people in charge want you to stay exactly where you are, because you make them richer. Is a CEO worth as much as 500 average workers? Hell no! But as long as everyone is too busy fighting amongst themselves for scraps they won't even notice the slice out of their paycheck.

People started to wake up during the last financial crisis. Nothing reminds you that capitalism isn't working for the workers like losing your job, your house, your marriage, and moving in with your parents. That’s why governments take such extraordinary measures to stabilise their economies. Now everything is back to normal, so people can go back to sleep. There will be no revolution here for now.

about 6 months ago

It's True: Some People Just Don't Like Music

RuffMasterD Re:Now are these people trainable? (268 comments)

Better understanding does not lead to enjoyment. In high school my music teacher came over to tell me I got the highest mark he ever awarded after the final exam. I can appreciate the technical skill, novel combinations, cultural aspects, and clever lyrics that makes a piece of music 'good', but I just don't listen to music for pleasure. I can't even remember the last time I listened to music for the sake of it. I don't own a radio/CD/MP3 player. When I work music really gets in the way of my concentration.

The way I see it, if you like old school hiphop, and your neighbour likes jazz, then when your neighbour turns up the volume and opens the window you probably don't like what you hear. But your neighbour thinks it the best sound ever. I just feel that way about everyone's taste in music. Some people don't like mushrooms, some don't like maths, I don't like music, whatever.

I scored a full three standard deviations below the mean on that questionnaire FWIW.

about 6 months ago

Should programming be a required curriculum in public schools?

RuffMasterD Re:Wouldn't work (313 comments)

> sudo ./make -o pie

about 7 months ago

Are Bankers Paid Too Much? Are Technology CEOs?

RuffMasterD Re:They are all paid too much (712 comments)

I would like to see this one step further. The CEO should justify his pay to their employees, because they are the biggest stakeholders in the company. Investors can drop a company like a hot potato if they smell a rat, but employees depend on their job to feed their family and pay the mortgage so they are largely stuck for the medium to long term. It really is in the employees best interest to see a company well run in the long term, so they are in the best position to decide how much pay is enough to attract the right king of talent to lead them. If they offer too little and the company folds, then they are unemployed. If they offer more than the CEO is worth, then they sacrificed their own pay raises and bonuses for nothing. Get the balance just right and everyone maximises their gains.

about 7 months ago


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