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House Majority Leader Defeated In Primary

dgreer Hey Slashdot (932 comments)

Please remove the "News for Nerds" tag line from your name. You're no better than Yahoo! or CNN at this point.

The one saving grace of this site has been that it stayed focused on tech and science and things that actually DID matter to nerds. Either the standard for "nerd" has dropped significantly in the almost 20 years I've been reading this site, or the new owners are hungry for stories and don't really give a crap about screwing with the formula that Rob used to make this place a success.


about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: the State of Open CS, IT, and DBA Courseware in 2014?

dgreer Local State Colleges (84 comments)

Check with the smaller or newer local state colleges. There is a big push among the small schools and lesser known schools to have "$10,000" degrees, where you pay a set fee ($10K is common, though I've heard some that are $12K) for a set 4 year program. Some get there by mixing local community colleges into the mix. You might even be able to negotiate a discount, given as you have some of the prereqs already (english, language, history, etc.) if you've gone very far in your current degree plan.
    I know that Texas A&M San Antonio, which just opened a few years ago, has this in their CS Dept.

about 6 months ago

Adults Make Riskier, More Inconsistent Decisions As They Get Older, Study Finds

dgreer Re:I think they were just bored (225 comments)

Not income, wealth. 60+ has one of the lowest income brackets, but it's the wealthiest. They already made their money, now it's time to have fun, hence playing the lotto.

about a year ago

Adults Make Riskier, More Inconsistent Decisions As They Get Older, Study Finds

dgreer Re:Who does these studies? (225 comments)

Hmmm... so people with no practical experience in life are judging people with massive experience on the quality of their decision making abilities. What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

about a year ago

F-Secure Report: Another SCADA Attack in Iran — This Time With AC/DC

dgreer My request (253 comments)

May I respectfully suggest "Hell's Bells" for version 2.0?

more than 2 years ago

Could Google Fiber Save Network Neutrality?

dgreer Some packets are more equal than others (230 comments)

May I point out that all packets are NOT treated alike, and haven't been for over a decade. Controlling priority and limiting heavy services are common procedures in all major networks, and users should be darned thankful for it.

The original argument that started all this nonsense was complaints that TWC and Comcast were ratcheting down services like eMule and Torrent. Then somebody speculated that they may start doing it to people like google (followed about a month later by Comcast and Verizon floating just such a plan ... probably suggested to them by somebody reading the original discussion here on /. BTW) and the /.ers went crazy and started demanding that somebody in government regulate those evil ISPs.

My advice now is the same as then: let the market work. If you drag the pols into this, you will get results that you REALLY don't want because they will do what their donors (who are NOT you) want them to do. Unintended consequences will surely follow.

Google buying dark fiber to take TWC, AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon on head-to-head is what my suggestion looks like. If they are successful, other investors will smell the blood in the water and we may find ourselves sitting in 1999-type network growth again (only this time, nobody will be dumb enough to say that profit doesn't matter).

Regulation will be the death of the break-neck innovation that has gotten us where we are. Is it fast enough yet? Of course not, but it isn't going to get faster if every decision has to go through some bureaucrats in DC.

more than 2 years ago

Could Google Fiber Save Network Neutrality?

dgreer Re:Bust the Trust (230 comments)

Then tell you PUC to decrease the regulatory hurtles to become a carrier.

Of course, you still have to lay 20,000 miles of duct, but, it's a step in the right direction.

A better solution: stop passing laws that favor AT&T and the other big incumbents. That's what drove the small ISPs out of business.

more than 2 years ago

Texas GOP Educational Platform Opposes Teaching Critical Thinking Skills

dgreer Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (734 comments)

To answer your questions:

Because "wind" power is more than twice the cost of coal or nuclear generated power, and at today's prices, close to (or maybe over - haven't looked in a while) 3 times the cost of nat-gas generation. Also, the windmills, while technically "neat" (hey, I'm a geek, and I do give points where they are due) are an eyesore to people who love the land, are a hazard to birds and aircraft alike, and break down so often, it's unlikely they will ever achieve economic break-even. If you doubt that analysis, then just ask this one question: Why did T. Boone, after spending $2 Billion on windmills, fire sale them when the carbon exchange thing crashed? Any technology which requires government subsidy to break even is, but definition, immature and as engineers we should understand that.

Second question, it depends on what you are "progressing" toward. If it's individual freedom, then I'd say nothing's wrong with it. If it's totalitarianism (or despotism), then not so much. Of course, that's "relativist" thinking.

more than 2 years ago

Texas GOP Educational Platform Opposes Teaching Critical Thinking Skills

dgreer Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (734 comments)

Actually, they are set by traditional western moral and ethical philosophy, as he clearly stated.

Ilk? Really?

more than 2 years ago

Texas GOP Educational Platform Opposes Teaching Critical Thinking Skills

dgreer Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (734 comments)

Uh, not to hijack this thread, but simply to answer spiffmastercow's question, if somebody believes life begins at conception, then the left's advocating for abortion rights IS advocating for murder.

Not arguing either way, just pointing out the "critical thought" that you missed completely.

more than 2 years ago

The Zuckerberg Tax

dgreer Sigh! (1065 comments)

This is possibly the dumbest thing I've ever seen posted on /. (and since I recall Taco's upgrade from ISDN to T1, that's saying something)! OMG Ponies was at least a April Fools joke!

And it is, so far, largely accompanied by equally dumb comments.

Say, you bought a house Las Vegas in 2001, would you want to pay income tax on it's value through 2007? Of course not and if you don't understand why, think about what that house would be worth today. The same applies for shares. Apple has crashed before, and it can certainly crash again (and likely will).

And Mrs. Jobs SHOULDN'T pay taxes on those shares because she was MARRIED to Mr. Jobs, and as such their property was JOINT, in other words, those shares BELONGED TO HER, they weren't inherited. That's the absolute basis of any civil union.

more than 2 years ago

Tracking Down Wi-Fi Interference?

dgreer Finding the source (499 comments)

Get a radio capable of doing a spectrum analysis a directional antenna (e.g. a yagi or something similar) and a non-directional omni antenna. A connectorized Motorola Canopy would be ideal (but a bit expensive).

Connect the omni first and take a spectrum analysis before and during the interference period to identify the signature of the interfering signal. Once you know what to look for, switch to the directional and use it to find the direction of the signal. Make sure you keep in mind the reception pattern of your antenna when you're doing this, as a Yagi will have 3 lobes, one larger than the other two so make sure that you've zeroed in the largest lobe on the signal.

One thing about the signature: You MAY find that the signal "hops" around. Some SCADA systems use such signals, and it's not uncommon for SCADA systems to have a periodic pattern that repeats every 24 hours.

Oh, and you pretty much have to find this yourself, FCC won't get involved until you can pretty much prove to them that somebody is interfering with you and that they are NOT a licensed user (who likely would have a variance for using higher power than your Part 15 equipment).

Good luck!

more than 4 years ago

Telecom Plan To Take Over the Internet Isn't Real

dgreer Re:Doesn't anyone remember when this started? (89 comments)

I completely remember this debate. And my feelings haven't changed from that day to this: If you let the Government get involved in this issue, in ANY way, you will live to regret it.

What TWC and Verizon (the instigators of that roe as I recall) wanted to do was to charge large content providers (Google, Time, CNN, etc.) to have "priority" throughput on their networks. If they didn't pay, they'd be given a lower QoS and therefore, because of the number of requests to their servers, they would effectively be throttled.

What I pointed out all those years ago (with many years experience RUNNING an ISP) was that if you get the government involved, it will give them an avenue to moderate the Internet for political reasons. Further more, all the "kiddies" at that time were bitching about how Torrent, etc. was being throttled by Joe's Wireless company or some such, and they just couldn't understand the difference between what TWC/Verizon were doing and what Joe was doing trying to maintain a basic QoS on his limited bandwidth network.

In the end, it appears that two things have happened: The kiddies have drowned out the voices of people who actually have a clue, and the politicians have heard their cries and have come running.

"We're from the government, and we're here to help." -shiver-

more than 4 years ago

Health Care Reform

dgreer Decide for yourself (2044 comments)


You're old enough to answer this one for yourself. Look back in your lifetime, as ANY government run project EVER come in on budget or accomplished what it said it would?

It's not in the best interests of the bureaucrats or politicians to resolve problems, it's in their best interest to appear to WORK on problems. If the WORK on problems, then more funding and more power can be gotten by saying, "Well, we just don't have enough to get the job done."

I think Fox does exaggerate things a bit, but if you took Fox on one side of the scale, and NBC on the other, what's in the middle is still pretty damned bad.

The simple truth is, we cannot afford this and it's never a good thing to give more power to the government. That has historically always led to problems, and with 15-20% of our economy involved here, the scale of the problem could become disastrous.

more than 4 years ago

Murdoch Says E-Book Prices Will Kill Paper Books

dgreer Re:Price??!? (538 comments)

blugu64... that's interesting, your sig is a quote from a /. post from 2007. Very interesting.

It is a good one though.

more than 4 years ago

FCC's Net Neutrality Plan Blocks BitTorrent

dgreer Re:You asked for it (303 comments)

Wow! You mean if you ask the government to step in on a private industry, the consumer is the loser? That's never happened before.

mclazarus, you're absolutely right. People who think the government is on their side because their D or R or whatever are morons who cannot see the obvious. If you'd been trying to pass laws that regulated a bunch of little ISPs, you might have gotten what you wanted. But if you go against Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner, etc. you got no chance of winning that argument because those guys have money to burn on lobbyists and lawyers to represent them.

I spent 14 years of running an ISP, and I gotta tell you my night mare was always that the government would get involved in network management. This Net Neutrality thing is going to codify the worst possible abuses and will likely lead to fees, regulations, and taxes that will kill the small ISP once and for all.

Thanks for playing, game over!

more than 4 years ago

Is Programming a Lucrative Profession?

dgreer Location, Location, Location (844 comments)

Simply put, there's three factors that determine what you're going to make. Where you work physically (Palo Alto and Austin have significantly different pay rates for the same job), where you work financially (startups pay less than huge companies, state governments pay less than the feds, banks pay less than almost everyone ;^), and where you work professionally (it's unlikely that an C or Java programmer with 10 years experience will make as much as a CCIE w/ 10 years experience). A CS/BS is a ticket to ride, but you still gotta find your seat on the car and some have a better view than others :^).

more than 4 years ago

The Science Credibility Bubble

dgreer Re: Star Studies (1747 comments)

The difference is that in astronomy you have enough data points that you can do research to confirm or deny you hypothesis. Edwin Hubble didn't use one Cepheid variable star to prove his "standard candle" theory, nor did he use just a few galaxies to prove his expansion theory. His theories are still being tested today because there's sufficient data points out there to continue testing, and as we refine the instruments and methodologies for these studies (e.g. using solar-orbiting satellites to increase the base for the angular parallax of a star or cluster to make the "standard candle" more accurate), we continue to test, prove and refine the theories in question.

In AGW, we have ONE data point, our environment. Statistically, our measurements of the environment are pretty close to useless because of the lack of testing sites, lack of access to a lot of global locations, lack of understanding about deep-sea currents, and lack of rigor in the testing methodologies over the last couple of hundred years (they are at discussing utilizing observations from sea fairing captains back to the 1600's, I'm wondering just how accurate the instruments where then, given we're talking about variances of 1/10 of a degree).

All in all, the AGW thing reminds me more of the saccharin scare in the 80's than anything else. One place published a set of data, everybody else used that data either to tune their experiments or as the entire basis for their "studies" and nobody questioned the METHOD of the original study. As with cold fusion, saccharin was cleared after somebody tried to repeat the original study, but unfortunately (and this is bared out in the emails) the AGW folks don't share methods and data with people who haven't proven their "loyalty". THIS is why lay people don't trust the folks involved, they clearly have an agenda that supersedes their scientific rigor and it has cost us hundreds of trillions of dollars with very little to show for it.

All that said, renewable energy is a laudable goal and research into that area must continue, but the best way to manage resources is through governed self-interest, which is coincidentally the basis for capitalism. If you come up with a way to get 85% efficiency from a solar panel, you'll get all the money you need to make it happen and bring it to market without one single dime of government money being involved beyond basic research. Instead governments around the world are taking on the role of venture capitalists, investing in "ideas" with very little solid science behind them and subsidizing technologies that are not up to the demand (e.g. 19% efficient solar cells, "bio fuels" that take more energy to produce than they provide, etc.). To the lay person, this simply doesn't make any since, and it shouldn't make since to anybody, unless they are investing in the companies providing these duds (like Mr. Gore).

Finally, to anybody who knows even a little about the scientific method, the argument that a "consensus of scientists agree" on the subject of Global Warming just doesn't hold water. A consensus of scholars agreed that the Earth was the center of the universe including the greatest philosopher in history (Aristotle), despite Ptolomy presenting sound evidence to the contrary. It took 2000 years and a brave Catholic priest (Copernicus) to present indisputable evidence to the contrary and even then, it was another 450 years or so before his boss, the Pope agreed with him. CONSENSUS IS NOT SCIENCE!

more than 4 years ago

cDc charges MS w/ distributing Cracker Software

dgreer Wait a Minute! (356 comments)

BO2K doesn't require SQLServer 7.0 and NT 4.0 and all the little licenses that go with them, so it MUST be evil! ;^)

more than 15 years ago


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