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Comments

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Joining Lavabit Et Al, Groklaw Shuts Down Because of NSA Dragnet

bar-agent Re:It was a myth (986 comments)

Read her post. She does not think that Groklaw communications are of interest because of national security.

It is that she feels the NSA's grubby fingerprints over everything she reads and writes, and she can't stand the privacy violation. She likens it to when she was robbed and the thief pawed through her clothes.

about a year ago
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Do Developers Need Free Perks To Thrive?

bar-agent Re:A convenient canary... (524 comments)

My own company announced that they would give each employee $1,500 to kit out their work area however they like. Extra monitor, some nice plants, miniature trebuchet, whatever.

That is what I call appreciation.

about a year ago
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Apple Deluged By Police Demands To Decrypt iPhones

bar-agent Re:How ? (239 comments)

Jailbreak, inject a new encryption key?

If I remember correctly, the fundamental encryption key is burned into ROM. Can't inject a new one.

about a year and a half ago
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Hiring Developers By Algorithm

bar-agent Re:If I have a day job? (326 comments)

I kind of hate this recent assumption that all open-source programmers with work on github must be programming geniuses.

That's the thing about metrics. "If you cannot measure it, it means it doesn't exist." Consequently, the only things that exist are the ones that you can measure.

They can measure your contributions to GitHub. They can't measure your contributions at your job.

It sucks, but any improvement is welcome. After all, according to another maxim, "the perfect is the enemy of the good."

about a year and a half ago
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Apple To Launch Largest Stock Repurchasing Plan In History

bar-agent Re:Dumbest idea, ever (282 comments)

Selling hardware at a loss is always a loosing proposition

I dunno, the market might be tightening up. Personally, I'm riveted by the turns that the economy has been taking. Granted, we were all screwed by the banks, but the recovery has been nuts. Everyone's been really driven, and I think we're really threading the needle, here.

In fact, I'm going to go mix up a screwdriver and drill down into some quarterly statements.

about a year and a half ago
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"Choice Blindness" Can Transform Conservatives Into Liberals - and Vice Versa

bar-agent Re:Sweden is not the US (542 comments)

Maybe, but you'd think you'd notice a dude in a gorilla suit wandering in amongst a bunch of basketball players, and yetâ¦

about a year and a half ago
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How a Programmer Gets By On $16K/Yr: He Moves to Malaysia

bar-agent Re:What article (523 comments)

For the record, there never has and never will be races that exist as "genetically distinct units". Humans have always been too mobile, even in prehistoric times

Hell, we banged Neanderthals back in the day. People aren't picky about who they shack up with.

about a year and a half ago
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We Aren't the World: Why Americans Make Bad Study Subjects

bar-agent Re:Mod summary off-topic. (450 comments)

This is a problem with English. What is a good word for a collection of processes and interrelationships that exist but were not designed by people? But not as an independent noun, like "system," but as an properties of a system?

about a year and a half ago
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What Early Software Was Influential Enough To Deserve Acclaim?

bar-agent Re:The Clipboard (704 comments)

It also has the distinction of being invisible - out doesn't even feed back.

It wasn't always invisible. As far as I know, the Macintosh brought the clipboard concept to the masses, and it came with the "Clipboard" desk accessory where you could see whatever the clipboard currently had in it.

In fact, I've just discovered that that feature is still in place. The OS X Finder has a "Show Clipboard" command in the Edit menu.

about a year and a half ago
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Researchers Use Lasers For Cooling

bar-agent Re:Use SI units for reporting science (132 comments)

Why does Slashdot even accept a submission in Fahrenheit when the subject is science?

Because you can't do car analogies in SI units. It just doesn't work.

Yeah. It's like...talking about the miles per gallon of an electric car.

about a year and a half ago
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You've Got 25 Years Until UNIX Time Overflows

bar-agent Re:64-bit computers DO NOT solve this problem (492 comments)

The problem is not that an unsafe program might not be updated in the next 25 years.

The problem is that an unsafe program might have to look into the future.

about a year and a half ago
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You've Got 25 Years Until UNIX Time Overflows

bar-agent Re:64-bit computers DO NOT solve this problem (492 comments)

Don't talk to me about JSON. JSON does not specify a date/time format at all.

That means the date will be transmitted in some half-assed quote-unquote "format" imagineered by the whimpering skunk fetuses that oh-so-poorly serve as the brains of the inbred sasquatches that are writing the server side.

You'd be amazed at how many programmers don't understand the concept of time zones.

(Invective courtesy of Sodium Eyes.)

about a year and a half ago
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On Second Thought, Polaris Really Does Seem 434 Light Years Away

bar-agent Re:They're both right. (75 comments)

The Polarans solved FTL travel ages ago, and now use it to troll other civilisations by placing their star along some life-bearing planet's axis of rotation, waiting for people to develop advanced astronomy, then randomly feinting at them to mess with the scientists' heads.

Applying Occam's Razor to the question, you are almost certainly correct.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Stay Fit In the Office?

bar-agent Re:Any kind of heart rate raising activity will wo (372 comments)

Seriously, I rode a bike for years, and had a few encounters with cars (and their inattentive drivers) that could have ended fatally if I didn't have quick reflexes.

Did you miss the part where you're supposed to do something to raise your heartbeat? A near-fatal accident will do the trick.

More seriously, though, reflexes and attention to surroundings are like anything else. If you don't use them, you lose them. If you want to keep those skills, you want to ride in (or at least near) traffic.

about 2 years ago
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Scientists Breed Big-Brained Guppies To Demonstrate Evolution's Trade-Offs

bar-agent Re:My 1985 UG thesis on evolutionary psychology (121 comments)

I presented an analogical story about why simpler thinking could be better for survival because it allowed faster reaction times. ... Like everything, intelligence can have diminishing returns depending on the level and the context -- although it might also have threshold where exceeding some level may change the nature of the survival game entirely too.

You would be interested in a fiction book called Blindsight, by Peter Watts. Check it out!

about 2 years ago
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Dad Hires In-Game 'Assassins' To Get His Son To Stop Gaming

bar-agent Re:Just kick him out. (338 comments)

In general, if you give a homeless guy $10, he'll spend it immediately. If you give a homeless guy $100, he'll call his friends and spend it immediately.

There's good reason for both these behaviors.

For the first, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. You've heard of that experiment with kids and delayed gratification? The ones who don't force themselves to wait for the extra cookie are the ones who got burned in the past. They, and the homeless, know the score. When you can't count on promised payment, you stop taking chances like that.

For the second, of course he's going to spend the money with his friends. His friends were there for him; they helped him in the past. He's got to repay that generosity, otherwise he won't have friends next time trouble comes.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Was Your Favorite Web Comic of 2012?

bar-agent Re:My Nominations and Choices (321 comments)

Dresden Codak has great art. But...Ashley Cope somehow manages two or three pages a week of this, this, and this.

That's respectable.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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Several States reassert sovereignty

bar-agent bar-agent writes  |  more than 5 years ago

bar-agent (698856) writes "Seven States have introduced bills asserting sovereignty and demanding that the Federal government restrict its regulations and, especially, its unfunded mandates to those areas outlined in the Constitution. More States intend to follow suite. Don't worry about anarchy or Civil War 2, though; these bills are not so much laws as position statements. But while this is not the first time fringe legislators have introduced bills of this nature, I have not heard of so many doing so at once."

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