Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!



Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

acscott Re:Let me get this right (838 comments)

Good points. BG is advocating more research in the progressive taxation on consumption IIRC as well.

A tax on labor increases the cost to hire employees as well. An increase cost in labor, increases unemployment. So getting rid of tax on labor, should increase employment.

All things being equal, a tax on consumption lowers demand for goods and services and should cause stagnation. The important element in his proposal is the _progressive_ tax on consumption. The larger a person's wealth, the larger discretionary spending. Say a person has $100million. Once the basics are consumed (food, shelter, clothing, education), what's left over is going to go either to some form of investment or "luxuries". So the progressive tax will incentivize more investment. More investment=more expansion=more employment.

But, in practice, that person with $100 million will have incentive to spend it elsewhere in other countries that won't tax spending on luxury goods. And of course, there will be ways around it locally. Hire a contractor to build your yacht, plane, or other goods. You pay for the materials. So now the government has lost the tax on labor with nothing to offset it. Like my grandaddy told me, "He who has the jewels makes the rules."

If we want to manipulate incentives through tax why not be direct and just implement a wealth gap tax? If more people increase their wealth, the wealthiest get a lower wealth-gap tax, all thing being equal. I'm sure there's problems with too though.

about two weeks ago

Remote Exploit Vulnerability Found In Bash

acscott You just got bashed (399 comments)

The environment bashes you for 99 Hit Points! You are dead.

about a month ago

Harvard's CompSci Intro Course Boasts Record-Breaking Enrollment

acscott Computers and Computer Science (144 comments)

What was that my Comp Sci friend was quoting, something about Computer Science is as much about computers as Astronomy is about telescopes?

about a month and a half ago

Massive Study Searching For Genes Behind Intelligence Finds Little

acscott Maybe look for traits HI IQ doesn't have (269 comments)

Great they did this. Don't know how well the study is designed. But if it is a good design, then maybe they should look for traits that High IQ people do not have.

If it is a bad design, do it again, better.

about a month and a half ago

How Red Hat Can Recapture Developer Interest

acscott Ubuntu vs. Linux (232 comments)

Why do devs choose Ubuntu over Linux? (Ok, I'm baiting, but really why do they choose it?)

RedHat does have MySQL, so some of the presumptions of the post are false. True, RedHat now is moving into MariaDB a MySQL branch currently, fork in the future. But RedHat is a great choice for developers. What about Tomcat or JBoss? Their long support window and awesome packaging makes a great choice for risk-averse organization. I see lots of orgs adopting these app servers supported by RedHat.

I see it as a difference in startups and other businesses (those other businesses being shooting stars, cash cows, dogs, etc.). Startups _need_ to produce something fast, but it doesn't have to be maintainable, strongly supported, etc.

Gotta go, but keep in mind some of the assumptions here...

about 2 months ago

Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

acscott Strategy looks like cleaning up rather than innova (322 comments)

Lay off people. Close up products. Anybody can do this. It's standard MBA algorithm, squeeze a little here and there. Bob Lutz says that's the style that ruined American automobile industries.

The whole of Microsoft's strategy was laid bare by BG a long time ago: Sell OS licenses. Office was used to create a feedback loop. Now, Active Directory is part of that.

RT runs office, so it supports that strategy.

Make me CEO; I'll charge $250,000 a year. Problems solved, miracles cost extra.

about 3 months ago

Free Software Foundation Condemns Mozilla's Move To Support DRM In Firefox

acscott Re:Corporate directed not volunteer direct ... (403 comments)

Am I too lazy to figure out what this means? What is DRM? If you create something cool I think you should get some credit for it if you want credit. If you don't want credit that's cool too. If there's a business that has employees, we should at least respect their limited time on earth. Producing high quality work (for me anyway) takes sacrifice of something. That's me though. I ramble, but is DRM a bad thing and why?

about 5 months ago

New PostgreSQL Guns For NoSQL Market

acscott Re:Not really (162 comments)

Martin Fowler discusses the NoSQL moniker and seems to agree with you: It' NoSQL Distilled to an hour by Martin Fowler from NoSQL Matters Conference

about 5 months ago

What Makes a Genius?

acscott Output of things that get notoriety, awards etc. (190 comments)

"When Terman first used the IQ test to select a sample of child geniuses, he unknowingly excluded a special child whose IQ did not make the grade. Yet a few decades later that talent received the Nobel Prize in physics: William Shockley, the cocreator of the transistor. Ironically, not one of the more than 1,500 children who qualified according to his IQ criterion received so high an honor as adults." Simonton, Dean Keith (1999). Origins of genius: Darwinian perspectives on creativity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-512879-6. Lay summary (14 August 2010).

Exceptional output requires access to tools, training, and environment (food, health, relationships) that enable the person to devote (obssess?) over solving the problems or creating something. And, the person's exceptional output must be recognized as such. So being highly intelligent won't make it. It may even be a hindrance. For instance, it would be easy to imagine the first ever person to be able to repeatedly create fire would not score well on any measure of intelligence today, but to the tribe, that person may not only be considered a genius but a god.

about 9 months ago

CMU AI Learning Common Sense By Watching the Internet

acscott Re:TFA Title is OT (152 comments)

Ok, I'm incorrect. It did imply "learning things without being specifically taught" was common sense. I do not believe this to be a good definition, as common sense is as much idiom than anything. Semantically, the phrase is derogatory, political, and a criticism on the value of intelligence versus many other things. That's my problem with the title. Assuming the TFA did not have an agenda, then it and of itself has no common sense. The irony is so palpable, it makes this wretch wanna wretch.

about a year ago

CMU AI Learning Common Sense By Watching the Internet

acscott TFA Title is OT (152 comments)

1. Common sense was not defined 2. There was little if no indication of the method for the analysis

about a year ago

Sears To Convert Old Auto Centers Into National Chain of Data Centers

acscott It is so stupid, I have to stop and think if it is (167 comments)

No, it's stupid. But here's what they should do: spin them off into 501(c) 3's and turn them into solar-based (and other) charging stations for electric autos. Use this to start a new brand. Gently and carefully test and enter the brand into your e-stores. Oh why is it stupid? I'm not sure. Probably better to turn those sites into Dr. Clinics, or blood-test labs. Get away from work to go to the Dr. and go shop!

about a year ago

Your Next Network Operating System Is Linux

acscott Make every packet light (192 comments)

TFA did not mention details. Linux has patent-inhibited memory management complications. The best networking OS will be able to handle 2^32 connections (or about 4.2 billion). No OS can come near this. Is Linux better than the alternatives? Never, as long as its memory footprint is inhibited by patents. A good networking OS will be scale-free. (for those graduate students looking for a thesis). Thus, the best networking OS is the most fault-tolerant with the best throughput, and the smartest engineers behind it. No OS is fault-tolerant. Throughput is a function of memory (all things being equal), and the smartest engineers are probably challenged to maintain a quality of life that is satisfactory. It's a great question of what the best NOS is. Keep it coming, but don't muddy up the waters with misinformation. If you do make a suggestion, provide real empirical support. (It's not my job to do this since I have not declared what the best NOS is. I do have my opinions though.)

1 year,5 days

How Science Goes Wrong

acscott Re:Sounds Like Work... (316 comments)

bump. Gaming the system is smart behavior (maybe unethical though). Just provide incentives to do the work in the best way. Just an idea, for example, and in no way perfect: If a scientist publishes (peer-review and all) results they get a credit, but if another scientist cannot replicate results they get 90% of that credit, leaving the former with 10% of the credit. Also in an experiment you have inputs, transformations and outputs. Inputs being the data, transformations being the analysis, and the outputs being the result that tests a hypothesis. The Inputs (i) and transformations (t) must be made available for other scientists to reproduce the results. This too, can be gamified. If a scientist provides i they get a bigger credit. If they provide t, they get an even bigger credit. In another way, the scientific process as implemented is also subject to the scientific method. It should be anyway.

1 year,8 days

What Are the Genuinely Useful Ideas In Programming?

acscott Re:I can think of one that Steve Jobs disagreed wi (598 comments)

Yes. Divide and conquer (or structured systems programming), and make your inheritor's life good (good karma). A good compiler is good. Typing is a computer science term--not a reference to pecking at the keyboard. Algorithms is a funky term. Ultimately it is a reference to doing things in discrete mathematics. Mathematicians really do give "it" away. "...the rest is just a mixtures of ingredients...." This is a reference to making things taste good. It's relevant, informative, honest, and a description of doing the right thing. It's a moral attitude. To sum it up for people not in the culture: Do good, engineer, break problems up into their component parts. To lazily invoke a giant, beauty is harmony of parts in a whole (Aristotle somewheres).

1 year,17 days

Obamacare Could Help Fuel a Tech Start-Up Boom

acscott Risk & Guarantees (671 comments)

Health is a risk for any entrepreneur and their family. If we could spread that risk across everyone for potential entrepreneurs (i.e. Insurance), we cultivate entrepreneurs. In my management class 101 (if my education is relevant), there are the traditional 3 resources: land, labor, & capital. The fourth is entrepreneurship. Cultivating entrepreneurs is like growing a garden, stewarding land, enabling labor, and freeing up capital. Here are the risks: environment (hurricanes or blight for example), disease (think of plague, cancer), lack of investment markets (think of safety, information honesty, insider trading), and health to entrepreneurs (among other things). But, the question remains, does healthcare improve health? What is health anyway? Isn't prevention of health issues the goal (think of entropy, the body never heals back to the same way even if it can heal). As a very seasoned and young developer, it comes down to tip-toeing up to the problem. It's not a good idea to declare widespread solutions without empirical evidence. You creep up on it. That means, the Affordable Care Act, though it may be beneficial, needs to be tested in more places than Massachusetts (sp?) before you should install it on larger systems.

1 year,25 days

The Steady Decline of Unix

acscott Re:The alternatives got better (570 comments)

Vendor lock-in? The interwebs made Unix or it's posterity significant: Being able to quickly respond to the needs of the many made it relevant again horizontally as well as vertically. The openness fostered a new "software age" that was aligned with network effects created by the telecosm of the internet. The price of efficiency made it cost-prohibitive to effectiveness: the joy of creation, creativity was sparked and found new soil where evolutionary pressure weeded out the lack of joy in freedom. Where collusion failed, cooperation succeeded. Subtle difference just as a program is sensitive to a misplaced byte.

about a year ago

Positive Bias Could Erode Public Trust In Science

acscott Re:Wait, what? (408 comments)

Thank you for a reasonable reply. On #1 maybe this quote will clarify my point; "The consequence of these debates is that there is no universal agreement as to what constitutes the "scientific method"" On #4, this is just from my direct experience, and I am too much of a coward right now to share. And a hint and warning how much idealism in science must be guarded and protected from the vagaries inherent in humans getting involved. :) Your responses are fair. On the moral compass question, it is a bit mischievous, hopefully just showing how important verification is.

more than 2 years ago

Positive Bias Could Erode Public Trust In Science

acscott Re:Wait, what? (408 comments)

I doubt your doubt. (Cannot believe I am replying to a troll.)

more than 2 years ago



Schwab says Bill Gates Should Return

acscott acscott writes  |  about a year ago

acscott (1885598) writes "According to Charles Schwab Bill Gates should return to Microsoft "Gates should return to revamp Microsoft’s culture, Schwab said." ( But it does not seem realistic, "Yes, the Microsoft chairman fits that description, but don’t bet on Gates taking Schwab’s advice on this one. It’s looking increasingly possible that Microsoft will bring in an outsider as the next CEO.""
Link to Original Source

Pay for your Facebook Friends to See your Status

acscott acscott writes  |  more than 2 years ago

acscott (1885598) writes ""Only 12% of your friends see your average status update, but Facebook is testing an option called “Highlight” that lets you pay a few dollars to have one of your posts appear to more friends. "

Is this net effect a charge for emailing?"

Link to Original Source


acscott has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?