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No More Foamy Beer, Thanks To Magnets

Sneftel Re:Got it backwards? (130 comments)

A higher level of hop oil (or pretty much any vegetable oil, really) will indeed reduce foaming. But that is primarily of academic concern, because you simply *can't* play with the hop levels without affecting the flavor. A brewer will perfect the taste, aroma, color, texture, etc. of a beer before they even start thinking about practical concerns such as blow-off. Which is fine, because as I said, there are already solutions (pun intended) for blow-off, which don't involve reformulating your recipe.

A brewer who saw excess foaming in his dubbel, and added hop oil to try to combat it, would find that he was no longer making a dubbel.

about a week ago
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No More Foamy Beer, Thanks To Magnets

Sneftel Re:Head (130 comments)

The carbon dioxide produced by fermentative carbonation is chemically identical to that involved in forced carbonation. I agree that cask ale tastes better, but that has nothing to do with where the CO2 is from. Purely looking at the gases part of the equation, it has much more to do with the *level* of carbonation, and the oxygenation provided by sparkler nozzles.

about a week ago
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No More Foamy Beer, Thanks To Magnets

Sneftel Re:Got it backwards? (130 comments)

Exactly. Brewers *already* have anti-foaming measures at their disposal. The most well-known is Fermcap, a silicone-based solution which reduces surface tension. The use of hops -- in extract form or otherwise -- has nothing to do with reducing foaming, and everything to do with flavor, aroma, and preservation.

about a week ago
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Keurig 2.0 Genuine K-Cup Spoofing Vulnerability

Sneftel Re:Security or identification? (270 comments)

I seriously doubt they're putting a 10-cent-or-more RFID chip in each cup. Particularly given that they're apparently also using a CCD to read the label.

about a week ago
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Keurig 2.0 Genuine K-Cup Spoofing Vulnerability

Sneftel Re:Workaround (270 comments)

The "way we used to do it when men were men" was to roast one serving worth of beans in a skillet, grind them with a mortar and pestle, steep the grounds in water, and then strain the coffee through muslin or cheesecloth. Also you have to heat the water over a wood-burning stove. Anything less means I get to look down on you.

about a week ago
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The Failed Economics of Our Software Commons

Sneftel All goes according to plan (205 comments)

If you don't want free riders, don't make free software.

You get to choose your license. You don't get to complain that people are following it.

about two weeks ago
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James Watson's Nobel Medal Sells For $4.1 Million

Sneftel Depreciation (201 comments)

Who in their right mind would pay 4 million for *his* Nobel prize? I know pure gold doesn't really tarnish... but that thing is tarnished.

about two weeks ago
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Want To Work For a Cool Tech Company? Hone Your Social Skills

Sneftel Re:I'll never be employed (139 comments)

(the inability to get laid being not the least of those limitations)

about three weeks ago
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Want To Work For a Cool Tech Company? Hone Your Social Skills

Sneftel Re:I'll never be employed (139 comments)

...having people skills, being outgoing, and NOT being afraid to stand up in front of even a small group to give a presentation has carried me further than many people I knew starting out, and knew the tech far more than I did or still do.

That's a key point. I've known a lot of hugely gifted yet socially inept coders, who took their fear of personal interactions and reinterpreted it as disdain for the hoi polloi, and decided that the skills within their comfort zone were all they ever needed. And their employers saw them coming a mile away, and let them carve out their tiny moated kingdoms, for crap wages and zero upward mobility. The "genius nerd in his nerd cave" career track is a comfortable one. But it is so limiting.

about three weeks ago
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Want To Work For a Cool Tech Company? Hone Your Social Skills

Sneftel General applicability (139 comments)

Want to work in a decent, non-dead-end job, with the opportunity to advance your career and make a meaningful difference to the world? Learn to interact with people. Learn empathy, learn communications skills, learn to temper your urge towards condescension and dismissal. If you're a coder, it's 50% of your job, assuming you're doing your job right.

about three weeks ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

Sneftel Re:Constantly surprised at the reactions (561 comments)

My company (and others as well) don't go out and hire the best candidate for a job, we hire every candidate that meets our requirements, regardless of race.

Except that, assuming that you are the average software developer (so FFS don't anecdote me, bro), Apple:
* Pays better than you
* Offers better benefits than you
* Is better known than you
* Has a larger and more effective recruitment program than you

Apple is not hurting for applicants. They're probably hurting for "qualified applicants", but that's a tautology: The definition of a "qualified applicant" is an applicant that you're willing to hire, given the talent pool available to you. All of us want our geniuses to be a little bit geniuser.

The result is, the context in which Apple/Google/Microsoft/Facebook/etc. hire is *very* different from the context in which Bweezbo.me hires. They have all the qualified applicants they want, and are limited by headcount. And that's exactly the situation where they can decide to stop indulging the unconscious (but well-demonstrated) bias of their hiring managers.

about 4 months ago
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Cracking Atlanta Subway's Poorly-Encrypted RFID Smart Cards Is a Breeze, Part II

Sneftel Low-hanging fruit (170 comments)

The indictment claims that the ring called their organization the "Underground Railroad."

Srsly, guys, try harder.

about 6 months ago
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Was Turing Test Legitimately Beaten, Or Just Cleverly Tricked?

Sneftel Re:Stupidly tricked, not clever (309 comments)

So if there were an AI system which genuinely had the intellect and communication capabilities of a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy (conversing in English), you would not consider it intelligent?

about 6 months ago
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Unlock Your Android Phone With Open Source Wearable NFC

Sneftel Re:Unlocking a phone.... (81 comments)

No, most phones don't have locks on them. They wouldn't be much use, as phones are intended neither to hold valuable objects, nor to be secured to a particular location.

about 7 months ago
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Inside the Stolen Smartphone Black Market In London

Sneftel Re:Changing IMEI is illegal (109 comments)

That's a significant problem, I agree. You could program the same IMEI onto all the mainboard chips and make them inoperable unless the IMEIs all match, but the screen and touchscreen are still expensive and useful to salvage. It's not a panacea. But it would precipitously drop the street price of a stolen iPhone, and that would make theft less lucrative. Every bit counts.

about 8 months ago
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Inside the Stolen Smartphone Black Market In London

Sneftel Re:Changing IMEI is illegal (109 comments)

The fuse bits would be on the radio chip, the IC that actually does the cellular stuff, so patching and soldering would be useless. Fuse bits are set in a manner similar to flash memory -- via commands to the chip. The only significant difference is that once set, they can't be changed.

Microcontrollers already use fuse bits. Your average less-than-a-dollar PIC microcontroller includes several fuse bits to do things like make it impossible to reprogram. It's well-known technology, and just as cost-effective as the current system. It just doesn't allow for IMEI modification, and it's starting to look like allowing IMEI modification is a win for the manufacturers.

about 8 months ago
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Inside the Stolen Smartphone Black Market In London

Sneftel Re:Changing IMEI is illegal (109 comments)

Storing the IMEI in PROM instead of EEPROM would have no effect on production costs. Fuse bits are, if anything, cheaper than their rewritable equivalent (though IMEIs are what, 64 bits, so honestly it wouldn't make a cent of difference).

about 8 months ago
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Inside the Stolen Smartphone Black Market In London

Sneftel Re:Changing IMEI is illegal (109 comments)

It would be trivial for manufacturers to make the IMEI absolutely unchangeable using fuse bits. The fact that they have not suggests that they see widespread phone theft as an overall benefit for them, which makes sense -- it drives sales of new phones among those able to afford them.

Enforcement of those laws would help, but enforcement of such things is always expensive and imperfect. Simpler and more effective to mandate that manufacturers make IMEIs absolutely unchangeable.

about 8 months ago
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Xbox One Reputation System Penalizes Gamers Who Behave Badly

Sneftel Re:OMG FAG LOL (183 comments)

They're not basing the reputation system on reports of cheating, though. As you pointed out, it's difficult, and hopelessly subjective, to tell the difference between a really good player and a cheater, so expert oversight is necessary to interpret those flags. (The good news is, automated analytics are getting remarkably good at telling the difference. It's an arms race, of course, but not as lopsided as it once was.) Rather, this system is for tagging griefers.

about 9 months ago
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Megatons To Megawatts Program Comes To a Close

Sneftel Re:Nuclear dangers... (125 comments)

If that were the case, then yes, you could argue that the use of aluminum is dangerous. A decrease in the use of aluminium would result in a decrease in deaths.

Bauxite is strip-mined, though, which is pretty safe as far as the miners are concerned.

about a year ago

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