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Illustrating the Socioeconomic Divide With iOS and Android

TheNarrator Misleading map (161 comments)

If you look at the heatmap of downtown San Francisco and you click off Apple you'll see that there are plenty of android users in wealthy areas. The apple red just blocks you from seeing the android blue underneath. So IMHO, Android has a lot of wealthy users but Apple only has wealthy users.

about two weeks ago
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Singapore To Regulate Virtual Currency Exchanges

TheNarrator Predicted This A While Back (51 comments)

See my comments a couple months back: https://news.ycombinator.com/i...

You bitcoin guys think you can push buttons on your computer and code around the system. So naive.
Sorry to be a pessimist, but they can just say anyone transferring bitcoin to another party without going through a KYC compliant intermediary is money laundering and then send the swat team out to whatever ip they can track down via NSA whatever. Game. Set. Match. Banks win as usual, all done. They'll take it down just like Pirate Bay, etc.
Can someone tell me how people think the cryptonerds can win here? I'll be over here munching on my popcorn thank you.

about a month ago
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Will Peggy the Programmer Be the New Rosie the Riveter?

TheNarrator This is about driving down wages not womens rights (333 comments)

Remember when 1 bread winner could provide for a family in the 1950s? That was before women joined the workforce in mass and drove down wages by competing with men for jobs. It's all so defensible when it's masked as women's rights but it's really about cheap labor.

about 1 month ago
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Amazon Coins and How the Definition of 'Crypto-Currency' Is Getting Too Loose

TheNarrator Confusion over currency is not a new thing... (115 comments)

People getting confused about currency and money is something that is a very very old phenomenon. This article is no exception.

All the perplexities, confusions, and distresses in America arise, not from defects in their constitution or confederation, not from a want of honor or virtue, so much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.
- Letter to Thomas Jefferson (23 August 1787), The Works of John Adams

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Life Organization With Free Software?

TheNarrator Org-Mode in Emacs (133 comments)

It's really a "geek only" tool but emacs org-mode is great for me for organizing my work. The big plus is that the format is plain text so you can use version control to manage it. I use drop box and leave the files on there. I usually use one per project and then a master file.

Here's a specific guide to using it with GTD: http://orgmode.org/worg/org-gtd-etc.html

about 3 months ago
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Ohio State Introduces Massive Open Online Calculus

TheNarrator The killer feature are the online exercises! (134 comments)

The online exercises for this course are great! They change every time so one can practice until one has mastered the concept. This was the real missing component in these online math courses. Most textbooks I've looked at don't have answers to exercises which makes it difficult to check that one has truly mastered the material without a teacher to act as a gatekeeper to the right answers.

about 8 months ago
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US Gov't To Issue Secure Online IDs

TheNarrator Re:Future Mandatory Requirement (205 comments)

You just have to send your id in the bottom 64 bits of your ipv6 address to access the internet. Why make the address space so large unless you were going to stuff authentication credentials into every packet? Then they could easily just turn you off whenever necessary.

about 8 months ago
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Bradley Manning Says He's Sorry

TheNarrator Re:I'd be sorry (496 comments)

Actually, it's more like Nikolai Bukharin's hysterical personal letter to Stalin on the eve of his execution:

For example:

...
5) My heart boils over when I think that you might believe that I am guilty of these crimes and that in your heart of hearts you think that I am really guilty of all of these horrors. My head is giddy with confusion, and I feel like yelling at the top of my voice. I feel like pounding my head against the wall. What am I to do? What am I to do? ...

about 8 months ago
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Programming — Now Starting In Elementary School

TheNarrator Re:Been there, done that. (162 comments)

Ha... I'm now a professional programmer but I knew something funny was going on when I was a heck of a lot better than everyone else in my class at Rocky's Boots back in the 80s. The one other guy who was good at it is also a programmer now.

about 2 years ago
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Motorola Scores Patent Wins Over Microsoft, Apple

TheNarrator Google Wins! (158 comments)

So Microsoft and Apple both wanted to screw up web video by only supporting the heavily patented H.264 standard instead of Google's open Web-M standard. So Google went and bought Motorola Mobility and is now throwing their own patent strategy back at them. If they claim H.264 isn't patentable than they lose that way otherwise Google can charge huge royalties and make them pay for being so greedy.

Brilliant chess moves as usual by the Google team.

about 2 years ago
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Is Facebook Becoming a Central Bank?

TheNarrator Not a true currency. (232 comments)

The mark of a true currency is that it can be used to pay U.S tax liabilities. For Americans at least, anything else is just, at best, a commodity subject to capital gains taxes. For example, if you buy gold coins, or facebook credits, and then sell them after their value has doubled you'll have to pay capital gains tax on the amount they appreciated against the dollar. if you barter the gold coins, or facebook credits, for services or goods you will have to pay taxes on that barter transaction in dollars. If the dollar appreciates in value against other currencies though, there is no capital gains tax to pay, even though your dollar might buy more.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask William Shatner Whatever You'd Like

TheNarrator Your 80 and you look 40! How do you look so young? (368 comments)

So what's your secret to looking so young? You made an appearance in the documentary, "Transcendent Man". For those of you who haven't seen it, it is a documentary about Ray Kurzweil's continuing quest to take enough supplements and pursue enough radical life-extension techniques to survive long enough to see the technological singularity and thus live forever. Are you pursuing similar supplement regimes and/or life extension techniques to keep you looking young? If so, what works and what doesn't?

more than 2 years ago
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US Military Seeks Non-Cooperative Biometric Tracking Technology

TheNarrator I think I know where this is going (98 comments)

They use a pagerank like algorithm to analyze the person's social network (links in an out) and the person's actions (page content) and then compute a "TerrorScore" much like a google "Page Rank". They then knock these guys off one by one with UAVs. The whole thing runs unattended. Nobody knows exactly why people get killed, that's just the algorithm. They can't turn it off either unfortunately, because then the terrorists would win! Quick, somebody write a screenplay :).

more than 2 years ago
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New Transistor Could Let Chips Interface With Living Systems

TheNarrator Damn Mechanists Will Never See the Light! (72 comments)

Don't they understand the benefit of the Shaper's ancient gene lines that have been finely tuned over the centuries? Why must these wireheaded mechanists defile themselves with these electro-mechanical devices? /Schismatrix

more than 2 years ago
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Marx May Have Had a Point

TheNarrator The flaw is central planning is NP hard! (1271 comments)

The flaws in Marxism were all figured out in the 1920s. Here, let me explain:

If you have goods that are directly consumable like bread or cheese you can divide them up among people evenly. That works. What doesn't work and is essentially an NP hard problem without money is how goods that are used to make other goods are used. Let's take an example of a freight railroad. What do you ship on the railroad? Shoes, fuel, tiny sub-assemblies of combine harvesters? If you have a piece of construction equipment, what do you build with it? A school, a factory, a playground, a road? In a modern economy all this creates an astonishing amount of complexity that is intractable from a central planning point of view.

How does this work in a capitalist system? Simple : Prices. The price of everything determines what the railroad ships, what the construction equipment builds, etc. In a complex investment decision, such as where to build a factory and what to produce in it, the managers use estimations based on prices of the factors of production and how much they can get for the goods produced to determine whether to build a factory, and where to build it. Prices are a distributed highly multi-threaded information system that tells people what is scarce and what is plentiful from moment to moment and thus directs production.

Prices are somewhat distorted by bank credit money creation and the associated credit cycles, which is what causes the booms and busts in capitalism. That can be fixed, but that's a topic for another day.

The history of the Soviet Union is full of massive planning errors. They built many towns in the middle of Siberia that they abandoned once the Soviet Union fell because the production output was minimal, they cost an enormous amount to heat and deliver supplies to and nobody wanted to live there. They didn't know this until they knew the real prices for running these cities. No communist government, except for the psychopathic regieme of Pol Pot ever dared to completely get rid of money, and even he admitted it was his biggest mistake!

If you want to dig into the theory of the planning problem in capitalism, I'd recommend Mises "Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth"

http://mises.org/resources.aspx?Id=71e20725-ee72-4adb-ade2-34dfdabf7755

more than 2 years ago
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Was This the Phishing E-mail That Took Down RSA?

TheNarrator Re:All it takes (165 comments)

The key here is to firewall off different parts of the organization from other parts. The HR department does not need access to the development network, etc. They should be on different domain controllers with different domain admins entirely. Attempts to probe the network from the inside should be monitored and investigated by IT. This is very difficult on a publicly accessible internet server as there are 10s of thousands of bot attacks in a day, but should be doable inside the network. This takes a lot of IT time and is often viewed as frustrating and completely unnecessary if the organization's executives don't understand the importance of protecting against internal threats.

more than 2 years ago
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Was This the Phishing E-mail That Took Down RSA?

TheNarrator Re:All it takes (165 comments)

There is a a very subtle but important difference between security and compliance.

more than 2 years ago
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Fermi Lab May Have Discovered New Particle or Force

TheNarrator Heim Theory says its mass is 0.51617049 MeV/c (226 comments)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heim_theory is an alternate model of particle physics that does a pretty good job of predicting the mass of fundamental particles mathematically.

The theory also allows for particle states that don't exist in the Standard Model, including a neutral electron and two extra light neutrinos, and many other extra states.

What's the predicted mass of the neutral electron particle? It's 0.51617049 MeV/c.

about 3 years ago

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