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Mass Psychosis In the USA?

dino213b The DSM IV connection (542 comments)

Before you condemn American people for being unstable, you may want to step back and examine the relationship between medicare, medicaid, and substance abuse clinics in the states.

Short story is that some substance abuse clinics have started to diagnose abusers with mental disorders in proportions never seen before. Why? Possibly because state and federal funds will unquestionably reimburse for treating users - but the DSM IV diagnoses cost astronomically more than weaning drugs. This trend alone is responsible for pharmaceutical ramp-up, as drug prescriptions went up more than 100-fold in some places.

The Baltimore Sun investigated this trend and wrote up a series of articles. http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2010-11-07/health/bs-md-bbh-housing-day-two-20101107_1_mental-illness-rowhouses-that-bbh-rents-interviews-with-former-patients

more than 3 years ago

Intel's New Core I7-990X Extreme Edition Tested

dino213b Re:I sort of hate people that buy these... (149 comments)

I use the 980x for my minecraft server - and - it's made a difference. I'm pretty sure the number of concurrent players can approach 100 without any lag or making the machine sweat. Software problems, on the other hand, are a different issue.

more than 3 years ago

Teaching Game Development To Fine Arts Students?

dino213b Consider mobile- iPhone/Android games with Corona (172 comments)

Mobile computing is on the rise, and gaming is a strong component of it. There is a toolkit that will let you program in LUA (fairly common in game engines these days) and it will generate programs for both iPhone / iPad and Android at the same time. Programming is simple and the new game engine employs physics and other gizmos.

See game release: http://blog.anscamobile.com/2010/09/theyre-here-corona-sdk-and-corona-game-edition/

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0e4p_5J_bZY

more than 4 years ago

Should Developers Have Access To Production?

dino213b Here's why this is a "yes" (402 comments)

Having access to and mutilating the environment are two completely different things. Treating developers as hostiles by server admins doesn't create the friendliest work environment.

There is a big difference between a bug and the reason why the bug occurred - having access to a production environment is paramount to understanding the underlying issue.

In most newspaper sites the headline / lede / seo field / first graf may is usually programmatically brought in as the META description for SEO purposes (unless specifically overridden). It's a fairly common assumption that this field would be pure text and overlooked in that it doesn't need sanitization. Of course, it's also a fairly common consequence that some silly editor eventually breaks the site by putting HTML code in fields they weren't meant to house. You'd be surprised how many (even big) media sites fail to sanitize these fields.

Onto my point: having HTML (or faulty HTML for that matter) inside a HEAD description field seems like a bug. Sure, you can replicate the error by copying the environment and fix it by stripping anything unexpected out. However - that may not be the root of the problem. Thus, developers end up putting bandaids on a system and treating symptoms rather than curing the problem.

When copying this environment to reproduce the issue, one might simply grab the part that's affected, ignoring the user - CMS preferences which would actually end up telling you what the problem was. What a developer SHOULD do instead is poke around the environment, notice that this was a common occurrence with particular users, talk to the editors in question and shadow them for awhile to understand why this sort of thing keeps repeating.

In many cases, I've seen editors take advantage of programming or security holes to produce far richer and personalized web content than the original design or system permitted. By treating this problem out of the production environment context, the editorial side is completely cut out of the feedback and has no say in the matter and their creative outlet disappears with no dialogue. This in turn breeds hostility and distrust between technology and content.

I can assure you that in reality there is minimal dialog between developers, designers, project managers - and - editors. In my past experience access to the production environment was the only means of lateral communication between abstract technology and persons who use it. In my cases, I've been able to provide editors with features they hesitated to request to circumvent problems while still tightening various holes. This, in turn, improved everyone's day.

Look at it from a philosophical view- you don't want developers to be "writin' them codes" in vacuum of non-editorial space. They need to be a bit more intimately involved with the entire publishing cycle from start to end and not be ticket-solving space cadets when it comes to solving problems.

more than 4 years ago

Restructured Ruby on Rails 3.0 Hits Beta

dino213b Cynicism = good sign (197 comments)

I'm glad first responses are so negative; now I don't have to bother trying ROR out.

more than 4 years ago

Facebook Rewrites PHP Runtime For Speed

dino213b Re:is this being used now? (295 comments)

Actually, they are. The new PHP contribution is NOT efficiency-related. Instead, they built privacy controls into PHP. However, the problem is that by default it's set to open.

more than 4 years ago

EFF says Burning Man Usurps Digital Rights

dino213b How big before you can't call it creative? (2 comments)

When I went, I went along with "old blood." As late (or early) as 2003, the "elites" had disdain for all the "new blood" trash that was amassing. The "elites" had reminisced about the old days when only handfuls would gather and do crazy things like shoot fully automatic machine guns in the desert. Somehow they couldn't put it through their heads that large numbers of people have no sense of either collective or individual responsibility and thus have to be policed.

To me, there is no "radical self expression, self-reliance, creativity and freedom" in this event any longer; however, there are a few *individuals* who have those traits, but all others are audience. The CYA agreement just reaffirms their identity as a corporation.

more than 5 years ago

Tyler Bell On Yahoo's Open Location API

dino213b Re:Ummm (76 comments)

This wouldn't be a question of data entry. In most cases, the data is already there. All you need is a way to connect it. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau has a list of neighborhoods and their polygonal borders.

Now, the CS students in your reference would simply apply a PIP (point-in-polygon) algorithm to see which neighborhood a particular lat, lon coordinate belongs to.

And since that's computationally intensive, the CS "students" would have to know a bit about optimization - including quad trees, and so forth. Bla.

more than 5 years ago

Web-based IDEs Edge Closer To the Mainstream

dino213b This is a modern take on RAD (244 comments)

While vi and a Web Browser is good enough for some, I'd take just the Web Browser. Rapid development needs to break out of the constant theoretical-writing-uploading/saving-previewing cycle and that's why I put together my "eval2" project for PHP.

This video tells it better:


While the example is ultra-simplistic, I use this every day for altering regex or otherwise previewing REAL data as I protoype code. Anyhow, the typical horse and buggy mentality backlash against this approach has been "well, I can just do php -a".

For the interested, see http://eval2.sourceforge.net/

more than 5 years ago

How To Build a Web 2.0 Government?

dino213b A real how-to (249 comments)

This is really simple: provide data feeds to the public -- from various government collection sources.

End of story. We don't need the government to spend months, or years even, building websites which dumb data down for us. Give us the raw data feeds and let us create mashups, interactive content and let people make their own judgment based on it. Sure, some sites might need heavy design (such as educational loan repayment sites, etc).

A prime example of this data feed is something like DC's http://data.octo.dc.gov/

And what can people do with that? Well, something like this:

Drunken sailor map

more than 6 years ago


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