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Can Cyborg Tech End Human Disability By 2064?

diakka It's coming! (121 comments)

With the advancement AI and advancing cybernetics, I predict that this is inevitible. Human disability and imperfection will be eradicated, along with the whole human race, of course.

about 4 months ago

US To Charge Chinese Military Employees With Hacking

diakka Interesting Strategy (225 comments)

Surely they're not going to get any cooperation from the Chinese government on this, but by naming these individuals, they could be limiting the future career choices of those individuals. Want to work at a foreign compa ny? might be tough. Want to travel to the US or country that has extradition with the US? Better think twice about that. Even if you want to work at a local Chinese company, you might not be able to command as high of a salary if you can't get competing offers from foreign companies. A high percentage of well moneyed and educated individuals in China have plans to emigrate to foreign countries with the growing pains China has on the horizon, and some talented folks might be dissuaded from this career path. How this will play out in the real world is hard to say, but If the US didn't think it would have some effect, I don't think they'd do it.

about 3 months ago

Really, Why Are Smartphones Still Tied To Contracts?

diakka Collusion (482 comments)

Why is it that cell phone companies previously found it profitable only to sell phones on contracts, and now find it profitable to move slightly in the opposite direction?

Why were things so expensive before? I think it's simple: Collusion.
Previously, no cell phone company offered significant off contract savings for bringing your own device. This is all beginning to change with the advent of the iPhone and the drastic cost difference between high end phones and lower end Android devices along with cost negligible feature phones. The cell phone providers are beginning to see that there is benefit in differentiating themselves by offering non-contract discounts and so the benefits of colluding are decreasing. I believe there's still a lot of room for prices to fall.

Now, to the point of the savviness of consumers, offering long term payments and bundling are absolutely an effective way to obfuscate the cost of a product. Just take car sales for example: There are countless number of "payment buyers", when deciding how much to pay for the car, they think in terms of $xxx/mo. So it's only too easy for the greedy dealer to just up increase the loan amount, or interest rate on the loan to hide the real price. This is a real and effective sales tactic that is alive and well, and operates on basically the same principal since most consumers are programmed to think in terms of dollars per month. The average consumer is such a poor decision maker that it wasn't until recently with the changing cell phone landscape, that market forces were strong enough to make cracks in the united front of collusion by the major wireless providers.

about 5 months ago

Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences

diakka Re: Ridiculous. (914 comments)

Actually the pain being dead is horrible. You can feel your flesh rot. This is why zombies eat brains, to make the pain of being dead go away.

about 6 months ago

Massachusetts Court Says 'Upskirt' Photos Are Legal

diakka So does this mean... (519 comments)

...going commando in a skirt is now indecent exposure?

about 6 months ago

3-D Printed Pelvis Holding Up After 3 Years

diakka Titanium? (82 comments)

Personally, I would have opted for adamantium.

about 7 months ago

Former Second Largest Linux Distributor Red Flag Software Has Shut Down

diakka Re:What a Joke (92 comments)

Well, not to be rude, but you're guess couldn't be more wrong. I never said that I hadn't heard of them, in fact, I have been aware of their existence for many years, but as far as I know, Red Flag never saw success anywhere near that of QQ or Baidu, and I almost never heard it mentioned among my Chinese Linux using associates, of which I have quite a few. Granted, none of them work in government, but still, unless I'm a statistical anomaly, it's pretty good evidence that my assessment of Red Flag as a joke is spot on.

But if I am wrong, I'd love to hear about any major deployments of Red Flag or any awesome contributions to FLOSS that could be attributed to them.

about 7 months ago

Former Second Largest Linux Distributor Red Flag Software Has Shut Down

diakka What a Joke (92 comments)

Red Flag always seemed to be a joke to me. I am not aware of anyone in my social circle that has used their products, much less put any Red Flag systems into production. Were any major software projects or code contributions even driven by Red Flag? Even the name Red Flag just sucks, it sounds like a Chinese nationalistic shanzhai version of Redhat. The marketing genius who came up with that one should just go jump off a building. Maybe black hole software would have been a better name, because that's where all their funding went.

about 7 months ago

PIN-Cracking Robot To Be Showed Off At Defcon

diakka Time lock (114 comments)

Just program in a lock with a progressive time interval for each failed attempt. Each failed attempt causes you to have to wait longer to try again. If you limited failed attempts to say, 50 consecutive failed attempts per day, then you could easily stretech out the time to brute force crack the key to months.

about a year ago

NHTSA and DOT Want Your Car To Be Able To Disable Your Cellphone Functions

diakka Great Plan! (405 comments)

What could possibly go wrong?

about a year ago

Reps Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Legalize Mobile Device Unlocking

diakka Re:Paying off a subsidy that's already paid off (133 comments)

That is just the tip of the iceberg. The real benefit to the companies is not just the money they make from one individual customer, but by making contracts standard behavior, it makes the market less fluid and competitive. Customers can't easily switch to a slightly cheaper carrier before the contract is up, and so the carriers can continue to gouge the customers and keep profit margins from thinning out over time.

about a year ago

Reps Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Legalize Mobile Device Unlocking

diakka A bit late (133 comments)

This bill would have never passed when it actually meant something to consumers. With the plethora of unlocked devices available on the market, T-Mobile has already begun offering favorable deals on no-contract plans where you pay for your own device, so it's only a matter of time before the rest follow suit. If this actually does pass, it just means that the financial incentive to the phone companies was simply too small to justify the cost of supporting a lobby against it.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: 2nd Spoken/Written Language For Software Developer?

diakka Re:Mandarin Chinese (514 comments)

I disagree with this at this point in time. First, Chinese is not a European language. A native speaker will require many years of study to achieve a level that will be even remotely useful in the workplace. I personally have spent about 6 years actively studying, more than 10 passively studying, and am just now at a level where I would feel comfortable functioning in a Chinese work environment. And I apologies for blowing my own horn, but people often tell me that my Chinese is the best of any westerner that they know. Guess what? I have yet to see any development jobs come my way because of it. There could always be a change in the future. That said, most of those types of jobs could just be given to a Chinese person with a high level of English. If you learn Chinese, do it because you are interested in learning Chinese because the ROI is pretty lousy. I suppose this could change in the future, but I kind of doubt it.

If anyone knows a job for someone with a CS/admin + Chinese background, feel free to message me.

about a year ago

Birth Control For Men Edges Closer

diakka This will change everything. (407 comments)

It's estimated that 1/2 of all pregnancies in the US are unplanned. Really, every child should be wanted by both parents. Willing parents are the best parents. If this world only had children that were wanted, the quality of child rearing that each child gets is going to be far better. Population explosion could possibly come under control as well.

about 2 years ago

Exceptionally Preserved 2,600-Year-Old Brain Found

diakka Re:Intact human brain? (167 comments)

You clearly have never seen Return of the Living Dead. Just destroying the brain is not enough. You must ether be cremated or at least have an ample supply of brains to eat, otherwise you will be driven mad by the pain of your own flesh rotting.

more than 2 years ago

Why People Who Make Things Should Learn Chinese

diakka Re:There are fewer than 50 (588 comments)

Sorry, but you're wrong. 1500 characters won't get you much unless you're working vocabulary is much bigger. First, I know a little over 3000 characters and about 11,000 words, but I can barely handle newspapers without the aid of a dictionary, much less doctoral thesese. My reading speed is painfully slow. Second, because of my inability to process newspapers, newscasts, etc., I would not comfortably call myself fluent. Maybe a low level of fluency, but that is really pushing it. I'm hoping that once I get to around 15,000 words and 3500 characters, that I will be just about there.

While I do call in to question the GP's figure of 50, I would say that true fluency is a rare thing among westeners. A near native proficency can still make you a clebrity here.

more than 3 years ago

Why People Who Make Things Should Learn Chinese

diakka Admirable but Unrealistic Goal (588 comments)

The author states that he intends to be fluent by 2016 by studying in his free time. I don't think this is likely to achieve fluency unless you're living full time in a Chinese speaking enviornment. Of course 'fluent' word that tends to get thrown around indiscriminantly and rarely used in the linguistic sense of true fluency. If he means functional or conversant, then it's definitely doable. If, however he means C2 on the CEFR scale, then 5 years of full time study might be enough to achieve that, but it's not guaranteed.

I will say that he's on the right path using Pleco & spaced repetition. These tools mostly appeal to us engineering types, but I can tell you that they truly exploit the power of your memory.

Chinese is just a harder language than others. It presents numerous challenges for non-native speakers, especially westerners. These include:

* Difficult writing system
* awkward pronunciation
* difficulty distinguishing tones
* numerous characters associated with any given syllable which makes it diffulcult to infer meaning of new words that you haven't heard before.
* abbreviated forms, (i.e. huan2bao3 - huan2jing4 bao3hu4)
* Larger vocabulary. To understand 90% of all content in English, you need to know about 5000 terms, with Chinese, that number is about 9000.

So, if you're the type that likes a challenge, then it can be very rewarding, but just realize what you're really up against. Most folks who take it on give up before reaching true fluency.

more than 3 years ago

Why People Who Make Things Should Learn Chinese

diakka Re:How about reading? (588 comments)

Depends on your goal and circumstances. If your goal is to be conversant, I would say go with simplified, unless you plan to live in a country where traditional is used heavily. If your goal is to be fluent, that is a very very long road, so to study both forms requires less than 5% additional effort if you do it the right way.

more than 3 years ago

Idle: Four Injured In iPad Fight At Beijing Apple Store

diakka Re:A 'foreign' Apple employee? (194 comments)

Yes, they apparently needed a foreign expert to teach the locals how to stand in line. Those of you who have been to China will know that standing in line is a skill that is in short supply among local Chinese.

more than 3 years ago

Senate Votes To Turn Down Volume On TV Commercials

diakka A bit late (625 comments)

Now that technology has made this largely irrelevant, congress finally passes a law. This would have never happened 20 years ago when commercial interests would have kicked and screamed saying that it's not fair. If we pass laws it should actually count for something. This was a total waste of congress's time and enforcing it will be a waste of money.

more than 3 years ago


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