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Scientists Discover Compound In Baby Diapers Can Enlarge Brain Cells

chad_r Re:Stop, just stop (75 comments)

...Or every news site regurgitating the sound bite that "the same chemical in yoga mats is in Subway sandwiches" (which is actually in most bread, and it's hard to find bread without it). What the heck, this is also from foodbabe? Ugh, I just went to her website and I feel gross.

about a week ago

PHP vs. Node.js: the Battle For Developer Mind Share

chad_r Re:a few drops of idiocy (245 comments)

"Where Node wins: Service calls are thinner than HTML-fat PHP calls"

Now I understand why browsing the web became impossible on my cellphone in 2014. Displaying a page is no longer about html + css. Now it's a stub page which needs a dozen more ajax calls before anything gets displayed. And good luck reading the article through the tangled mess if one of them doesn't get loaded. Oh well, it's just the current phase in the 10-year thin client sucks/thick client sucks cyclic history repeating itself.

Black Friday '14: E-commerce Pages Far Slower Than They Were in 2013 - Slashdot

about two weeks ago

Excuse Me While I Kiss This Guy: The Science of Misheard Song Lyrics

chad_r Re:Charlene don't like it (244 comments)

At the time I first heard "Rock the Casbah" I didn't know the word "sharif" so there was no chance at all that I would not mishear that lyric.

She really don't like it (rock the casbah, rock the casbah)
Fundamental retardation! (rock the casbah, rock the casbah)

I still have no idea what the second line is supposed to be. But I'd rather leave it as a lifelong puzzle than to cheat and look up the lyrics.

about a month and a half ago

Tracking a Bitcoin Thief

chad_r Re:Fuck that thief. Ebola is here. (64 comments)

Oh my God! Ebola hysteria is imfecting other Slashdot threads! Why are they telling us it's so hard to spread! The only sensible solution is to prevent people from posting in other discussions after being in the daily Ebola discussion thread! Shame on the Slashdot administrators for not implementing such a trivial solution that would be guaranteed to stop the spread of Ebola hysteria to unrelated discussions!

about 3 months ago

Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science

chad_r Re:Only very best survive, and they like it that w (283 comments)

>The bad part is that we've lead a huge number of people down a very challenging path without telling them that their odds of success

I'll be charitable and assume you're joking. These are *Ph.Ds*, they know damned well what the situation is and they chose to take a chance.

Not every Olympic entrance wins a medal either.

*After* their PhD, of course they know their job prospects. But as bright-eyed undergrads choosing advanced science as a career, students tend not to worry that far down the road. In theory, as students are told, you should "do what you love" and not just choose a career based solely on how much money you can make from it. It's only near the end of their PhD program that they start to realize that their assumptions of a cushy tenure-track job might not be all they imagined. Could this have been avoided before investing four years of their life toward something that may be a dead end? Who could have told them?

  • Their research advisor? A career academic with limit awareness of the job market
  • University Admissions? Their mission of being a "world-class" university relies on the sheer number of PhD candidates they can attract. It would be malpractice to do anything to discourage you
  • The industry? The larger and more desparate the labor pool is, the better it is for them
  • The media? Sure, they just did in TFA. Other than discovering something that has existed for 20 years, at least it's helpful.

about 4 months ago

Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science

chad_r Re:avoiding doing a postdoc isn't possible (283 comments)

This exact situation has been in existence since the early 90's when I was a grad student. It was possibly even worse. Around 1993 there were stories of 400 qualified PhDs applying for non-tenure lecture positions at community colleges. At that time, post-docs were basically a holding pattern, waiting for the chance at a job. It was made worse by a political attitude at the time that we needed STEM researchers to compete in the global economy, so the atmosphere was to go into a PhD program in pure science, and assume there will be a job at the end of it. If you got a Master's you were seen as a quitter and a failure, even though you ended up being much more marketable by avoiding overqualification.

I guess the Boston Globe forgot to interview anyone except current post-docs.

about 4 months ago

"Intelligent" Avatars Poised To Manage Airline Check-In

chad_r Re:Sigh. (102 comments)

That sums up my impression of the state of airports that have adopted the machines wholesale. The machines are just scattered around, and there is no clear "line" to either check your bags or speak to a human. You just need to trace the ropes to find a gap, and hope that the line you started is the place where the lone counter person is looking for the next person to serve. If it's especially busy, there may be two people at the counter, but anyone else on staff will be wandering around to help people with machines (basically just pushing the buttons for them) or actively discouraging people from waiting on line instead of starting with the machines.

But the machines aren't flawless. I've never been able to get through the check-in for an international flight with an entire family. I make it through the initial steps of identifying myself and the flight, but when it comes to scanning the passports it will randomly reject one of them. It's likely because one of the family has a foreign passport. If that's the issue, why can't they just tell those cases to go directly to the counter? Three attempts at this is 10 minutes wasted (including for the staff watching over my shoulder telling me to try it again) that I could have spent waiting in line.

The problem isn't with the software, it's with a lack of care for the customer experience. It's as if the airline management never use an airport to realize ways in which the system is inefficient, confusing, or unpleasant. That's what think is the real reason for designing an avatar kiosk: throw money at software developers to magically solve the problem instead of understanding or addressing the real issues.

about 6 months ago

Games That Make Players Act Like Psychopaths

chad_r Re:Is it possible? (212 comments)

How is it possible to be a psychopath in a game? This and other research are based on the premise that video games contain real violence. No game has ever contained true violence in this sense, which is why violent video gaming behavior doesn't lead to the harm that real psychopaths cause in society.

The only way to act psychopathic--doing actual harm to another human being with true apathy--in a video game would seem to be through communications between players inside the game, where feelings could be hurt. It would be hard of course to separate psychopathic communicative behavior from other common factors like immaturity, inebriation, gaming cultures, etc. That should probably be the real focus of these kinds of studies. Another interesting study might be to study actual psychopaths, pulled from corporate environments or the like, and seeing if/how they play games differently from non-psychos.

This is why murder in games as a measure of sociopathy is a red herring. The real crazies are the griefers, the ones who gain enjoyment, with no other tangible benefit, from knowing they are doing harm to real people in the form of wasted time or belittling. It's hardly limited to gaming. Look at Wikipedia. Sometimes people vandalize because they have a petty axe to grind, but other vandalism is just totally pointless, like replacing entire paragraphs with the word "penis". I would even consider some graffiti, like the Chinese teenager writing "Ding Jinhao was here" at the Luxor Temple, to be sociopathic.

about 8 months ago

Should Newsweek Have Outed Satoshi Nakamoto's Personal Details?

chad_r Re:But He Isn't (276 comments)

Or pick the name of someone who was involved in secret IT contracts with the US government, who changed his name, and who is now paranoid about privacy.

about a year ago

How One Photographer Is Hacking the Concept of Time

chad_r Re:$50...if your time is worth nothing (124 comments)

I didn't care for the photos but 42nd street was rather amazing. I love how it captures fast motion (moving lock of hair, hoisting a knapsack up).

I found the last clip on the page, with the two girls running, was a powerful piece of art on a visceral level.

1 year,18 days

Ask Slashdot: How To Protect Your Passwords From Amnesia?

chad_r KeePass + will (381 comments)

I would probably give a master password and a copy of my password safe to my lawyer, along with my will and other legal paperwork that she should have just in case something should happen to me.

I was in the midst of posting something similar. I hadn't thought of encryption, but that would be a good idea.

  • 1) Stored all my passwords in KeePass Password Safe, and protected the database with a single password
  • 2) Attached the password for it, along with other important instructions (like a local password for the computer with the database), with my will. I also added a list of important contacts and bank accounts my family might not know about
  • 3) Sealed the documents in an envelope, and let my family know about the documents (or left it with them, before an overseas trip)
  • 4) Upon my timely death or loss of memory, my family will have all it needs to delete my embarrassing online photos

1 year,18 days

Counterpoint: Why Edward Snowden May Not Deserve Clemency

chad_r Re:Clemency?! (573 comments)

Snowden chose to take part in a war...
part of it is cold (against Russia and/or China - no shooting takes place on those fronts but there is some real struggle about shifting the power balance this or that way...
(winning is impossible anyway)...
if Snowden is let free, I will not shed any tears when the long arm of youknowwho reaches him...

Please tell me this a subtle satire in the style of 1984 and Dr. Strangelove, and that you truly don't see the World in such black and white terms. We are in a cold war with China? Really? Over "balance of power"? Is that a war you expect one side to win, or do you think "we will always be at war"?

1 year,21 days

Memo To Parents and Society: Teen Social Media "Addiction" Is Your Fault

chad_r Re:Yes, because nothing is ever your fault (271 comments)

We are all the product of our environment.

No, no, no! Remember the scene the "Life of Brian" where he tells the crowd "you are all individuals", and they respond in unison "we are all individuals!"

Oh, but you missed the best part. After everyone shouts "we are all individuals", a lone meek voice says "I'm not!".

about a year ago

Ted Nelson's Passionate Eulogy for Douglas Engelbart

chad_r Re:In the minds of the curren tech industry (110 comments)

The internet existed in 1984. Some of us old timers still remember when AOL opened a gate and let their users into the readnews internet community, everything started going downhill about then. :-)

Could you be misremembering the Eternal September of 1993? The name AOL didn't event exist until 1989. Usenet did exist in 1984, but it was over UUCP, and there were less than 1000 hosts.

about a year ago

Multivitamin Researchers Say 'Case Is Closed' As Studies Find No Health Benefits

chad_r Re:supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults (554 comments)

Parent is already at +5, so I'll just say that it's spot on. But to make one point,

Also just like /. tends to do, the linked news article headline is sensationalized and exists just to get people to read the story.

Sadly, this is one case where every reporting of this research is just as bad as Slashdot's. The headline has cropped up in many different forms on health-related newsfeeds, and all are basically: Vitamins don't cure cancer or stop heart attacks, therefore they are worthless, The parent comment above is the first time I've read that the researchers actually admitted some benefit.

There is something very strange about Health and Science reporting, where reporters shut off their brains so they can create the most scandalous headline to draw readers. Remember two months ago when everyone was reporting the Oreos are as addictive as cocaine? It turns out that rats prefer junk food over rice (just like drugs!), and Oreos are just what they happened to use. That was the day after the government shutdown ended, and everyone needed a break from shrill political news in favor of some mindless crap news.

about a year ago

Exponential Algorithm In Windows Update Slowing XP Machines

chad_r MS Filght Sim (413 comments)

This brings back memories of an old version of MS Flight Simulator (2000?). Whenever you would choose an item from a main list (maybe it was US state), the secondary drop-down list of airports within that category was oddly slow, and exponentially related to the number of items in the list. I just chalked it up to a programming WTF, and something Microsoft never noticed during QA because they were testing on high end machines.

about a year ago

Judge: No Privacy Expectations For Data On P2P Networks

chad_r Re:"Available for public download" - AT&T and (230 comments)

I think the notion that CP somehow extinguishes a fire in a pedo, preventing harm, is groundless. It goes against common sense and 60+ years of pr0n research. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. my claim is reasonable and rooted in the common human experience. it is prima facae true.

I foresee a future in politics for you. You certainly have their understanding of logic and the scientific method.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Do You Use Markdown and Pandoc?

chad_r Love it (204 comments)

I use it for blog postings, with the tables and footnotes plugins. I also use it when converting simple text files into e-books with Calibre, which has a built-in markdown converter. I have nothing against html, but typing an open and close tag for everything gets to be tedious when you just want to write something simple, especially for tables.

I've had to edit other people's book-length Word documents before. These tend to be a mess, because many people don't know how to use styles, so the formatting is a big mess. I copied the text in Markdown, formatted the headings as H1 and H2, wrote some simple html for the embedded images, converted the document to HTML, and imported it back into Word. It sounds like a lot of steps, but I was able to do this faster than clicking on 200 pages of the Word document to fix all the inconsistencies. It goes without saying that the person got the document back, and then messed up the formatting again, because they didn't think Word styles were a real thing.

As I recall, Cory Doctorow at a book signing mentioned he used Markdown or something similar in his writings, and then kept the documents under a version control system to be able to see the changes. This is something Markdown should excel at, much better than a wysiwyg editor.

about a year ago

California Outlaws 'Revenge Porn'

chad_r Re:How about (528 comments)

In addition to the copyright issues (which I think the parent is correct about), what about the 2257 Regulations issues? The laws in the US are pretty strict about full records being kept of the models in pornographic videos by the producers. It would seem these revenge sites are sitting ducks for child porn smackdowns.

about a year ago


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