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Our Education System Is Failing IT

donscarletti Re:education doesn't work (268 comments)

When mentioning the positions of government officials online, it's a good idea to mention the country of the government they serve in, i.e.

It is interesting to realize that in 2001 (before 9/11) George W Bush did meet the Sweedish Social Democratic party leader and then prime minister Göran Persson who earlier was heading the schooling department.

The same of course would apply to former American President George W Bush, if you had mentioned his position.


OpenBSD Team Cleaning Up OpenSSL

donscarletti Re:What about a re-implementation... (300 comments)

Every so called "safer" language (than C) is also less efficient.

Depending on what you're doing. Compiled languages without pointers (such as Fortran and Pascal) are usually much faster for mathematical tasks, since side effects are so few (essentially concerning globals only), the compiler can much more easily automatically vectorise, reorder, factorise and unroll code. They also happen to be more safe, since you cannot simply tell the computer to write at a memory address, buffers can be bounds checked and so no overflows or underflows.

Problem is, they generally suck for IO, which is why they aren't used for SSL. Still, you should qualify where they are less efficient.

about a week ago

Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law

donscarletti I don't care if he was supporting a bill to impos (1116 comments)

I don't care if he was supporting a bill to impose shariah on California, or give tax breaks to encourage polygamous marriage, or circumcise all males that enter the state. I don't have to agree with him, I can campaign against him, but it is still his right to think that.

The right to free political involvement is where all other rights come from. Once you permit someone to be harassed for their political beliefs, no-matter how abhorrent they are to you, then whatever your rights are will soon become subject to the whims of those who have the most power to harass their opponents.

Being against anything to the extent that it overrides your civility is the basic core of intolerance. History has been full of groups who have seen their cause as being more important than basic civility such as KKK, Taliban, Supreme Harmony Society, Hutu militia, Red Guards, some US Civil War era democrat politicians, and the result has always been roughly the same. To my knowledge Eich was not practicing uncivil behavior towards gays by discriminating against them or using slurs against them, he just supported a bill. This bill, you might believe is discriminatory in nature, but that decision in a democracy is up to the people and their representatives, and at the very least we all have the right to put forward any question for the people to decide on.

about two weeks ago

An Engineer's Eureka Moment With a GM Flaw

donscarletti Re:Obligatory Fight Club (357 comments)

watching business owners whine about unfair it is that they have to provide birth control as part of their insurance plan

If you've ever been a manager you would know damn well why any company pays for contraceptives. Basically, it is just so much cheaper and less disruptive than maternity leave that it would be stupid not to pay it. Hell, most managers would ram the Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill down their female employees throats if they were legally able.

In reality, contraceptives are such a small and predictable cost that you don't really need to be insured against them. It's not charity, it's business, and if anything, not providing them shows a respect to the privacy of their employees sexuality.

about three weeks ago

Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

donscarletti Re: Tarzan need antecedent (824 comments)

No, that's gun possession. In the "rest of the world" we still have plenty of country's that hang you for sodomy.

Anyway, if folks think fornicators should be flogged and those who practice fellacio and cunnilingus even in marriage should be imprisoned and a widower's marriage to his late wife's sister should be null and void, it is still a political matter. Just because you or I think something is incorrect or unimportant does not make it not an issue.

about three weeks ago

DirectX 12 Promises Lower-level Hardware Access On Multiple Platforms

donscarletti Re: Options (107 comments)

DirectX has been MS only since it's inception, it has always had the implication of whatever you are making not being able to use of windows.

The difference now is that OpenGL is no longer crap and DirectX is no longer the clear front runner, so people can start saying again "hey, why am I using DX?" Rather than taking for granted that it is better for games.

about a month ago

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

donscarletti Re: Ridiculous. (914 comments)

In other news: a guillotine can slice only once, but, through a smaller knife, understanding of anatomy and use of tourniquets, many thousands of fairly deep cuts can be administered on a living prisoner, allowing far more substantial sentences to be given.

Ridiculous, this sadist should be sent off to The Hague right now while she is only guilty of conspiracy, if she be allowed to put it into practice, she may be sentenced to a term that she is unable to serve, and this would be simply immoral.

about a month ago

Happy Pi Day

donscarletti Re: What about the UK? (218 comments)

Even if April actually had 31 days, then the 31/4/16 would be closer since the next digit rounds up (3.1415 9 265358979323846).

about a month ago

Happy Pi Day

donscarletti Re:MOD PARENT UP (218 comments)

22/7 is slightly closer to pi than 3.14 is to it, so I don't see how it could be any worse of an approximation. Technically speaking, any rational number, no matter if it is expressed as a fraction or a decimal can only be an approximation of pi. You never seriously thought that a continent that almost exclusively uses the metric system would have a worse approximation to the US did you?

But approximations aside, the most practical way we could really have a pi day is by expressing the date as an angle, most conveniently, the ecliptic longitude of the sun, measured in radians from the vernal equinox, which would naturally make pi day coincide with the autumnal equinox.

about a month ago

Face Masks Provide Chinese With False Hope Against Pollution

donscarletti Re:Cab driver in Shanghai (156 comments)

I bought 3 boxes of the 3M 8210V respirator on Taobao, they are not hard to come by. Plenty of my Chinese coworkers also buy other types of 3M N95 masks.

about 1 month ago

Ask Slashdot: When Is a Better Career Opportunity Worth a Pay Cut?

donscarletti Re:I would say yes, but..... (263 comments)

If you think this is a problem, you probably don't understand why having architecture experts who make these decisions is a good thing, rather than letting developers do what they like.

Depends on who your architecture experts are and who your developers are. If the people who actually would make the best decisions are in the architecture roles and are making the decisions, this is probably the best for the company. This is not a given, it's possible that those architect roles are for ex-developers who have made great contributions in the past but have been outclassed by younger developers to semi-retire without surrendering control of the decision making process, regardless of their current merits, or it could be that management's assessment of people's relative strengths is simply not perfect. You tend to find people who have been at the company for a long time as architects, they tend to keep making the same types of decisions, which tends to lead to stagnation and possible loss of competitiveness over the years, whereas if developers come and go more frequently, the ideas they bring and decisions they make tends to have more variety and one sees more ideas come and go and the bad ideas being replaces (and hopefully the good ones remain).

The second issue is that if the blood sweat and tears is coming from the developers, management could probably get more blood sweat and tears out of them if they were allowed to do things their way. Of course, if someone wants to do something in an extremely stupid way, they will only waste their own time and others, but 90% of decisions aren't important enough that choosing the "right" way isn't going to achieve more than some extra passion and effort.

Thirdly, whatever is best for the project/company, it is almost always better for a developer him/herself to try it their way than be told what the right way is. Whoever the architects are, if they are good, they certainly got their position and skillset from making their own decisions, rather than implementing things according to others' plans. So as a rational, self-interested actor, the environment where one can make one's own decisions, right or wrong is better.

about 2 months ago

Indian Hustle: How Fraudsters Prey On Would-be US Tech Workers

donscarletti Re:Moving jobs to foreign country = treason (124 comments)

Why is moving jobs to foreign country not treated as treason?

You may be interested to know that treason is the only crime defined in the United States Constitution.

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

It is defined in Germany as a violent attempt against the order of the Federal Republic of Germany (for high treason), or betraying a state secret for the purposes of harming the state (for treason).

India is not the United States' or Germany's enemy, even serving in India's army and killing people on India's behest is not treason, as long as India is not at a state of war (declared or undeclared) with that person's own country and the acts are not against that person's own countries or its allies.

As far as German law is concerned, unless the intent is explicitly to cause harm to the German state, one cannot be convicted of treason. As far as American law is concerned, unless it is helping America's enemies or directly waging war against America, it cannot be treason.

So, that's basically why it's not treason.

about 2 months ago

N. Korea Could Face Prosecution For 'Crimes Against Humanity'

donscarletti Re:Throwing stones (325 comments)


So, you're comparing locking a guy up for a couple of years because he organises a massive and successful revolt (then letting him out when he got sick), with killing people for picking up South Korean leaflets, entering China or making international phoneccalls.

The Raj literally kept Gandhi locked in a palace when he revolted during WWII, a palace! Try organising a revolt in peace time in North Korea and see what happens to your entire family.

The British had 77 years during which they could have easily killed Gandhi, since he lived all but the last year of his life in the British Empire (including many years in the UK) and never kept his location hidden. Instead they didn't, and he was gunned down by a fellow Hindu in newly independent India.

Seriously, some people need to understand the concept of magnitude.

about 2 months ago

At my current workplace, I've outlasted ...

donscarletti Re:Frosty piss (177 comments)

Yeah, you guys should boycott. I shudder to think of how lonely and empty I would feel if none of the comment threads were about "fuck beta" and they were about the article instead. I think missing out on your company would be enough to convince me and the other complacent sheep here to join the cause.

about 2 months ago

James Dyson: We Should Pay Students To Study Engineering

donscarletti Re: No, Salaries (321 comments)

Better yet, stop appointing non-engineers to manage engineering focused teams and companies. You don't see many lawyers willing to work at a law firm run by a non-lawyer or doctors being willing to report to non-doctors on medical issues, which is why those professions hold some professional dignity and are seen as an upwardly mobile career. Why the hell would anyone want to be an engineer when they can never join the officer class of their own company. Back when engineers were well respected and lead their own companies, they were never in short supply, I wonder why.

about 3 months ago

Silicon Valley Workers May Pursue Salary-Fixing Lawsuit

donscarletti Re:IANAL, but... (130 comments)

It might be difficult to prove the INTENT of the "no poaching" agreement was to suppress wages.

The legal standard for civil cases is on the "preponderance of the evidence", i.e. the proposition is more likely to be true than not. If it transpires before the court that the intent of the "no poaching" agreement might have been promoting gentlemanly conduct in HR, might have been based on the belief that employees become more productive the longer they have been in a team, but probably was to drive down wages, then the judge must rule in favour of the plaintiff.

Of course you cannot simply think of a hypothetical illegal reason for someone to have done something and sue them because it sounds likely. This is because, in this case the respondent will naturally testify that they did it for some particular reason and didn't do it to drive down wages, and sworn testimony does carry legal weight and it does take real evidence to refute it; but all it takes is a credible witness swearing that they were part of some wage collusion meeting, that they read a memo regarding the agreement's true purpose or they heard or read anything that refutes the intent given and unless their testimony can be refuted in turn, then it's really just down to who's story sounds the most credible.

about 3 months ago

US Justice Blocks Implementation of ACA Contraceptive Mandate

donscarletti Re:Fuck religion. (903 comments)

This is not about the blocking the availability of contraception, it's about not having it as a mandatory part of a healthcare plan.

What I don't get here why should any contraceptive, especially one that provides no protection against STDs be on any healthcare plan at all?

I know the pill has other uses and I don't object those being covered by healthcare, but contraception is a low, predictable and avoidable cost compared to things like heart surgery and chemotherapy, which is where insurance is really needed. It's not like a woman suddenly finds herself being in a long-term monogamous relationship where she must use oral contraception and is suddenly is bankrupted by the cost of the pill. At the very least her husband/boyfriend can keep using condoms, or she could buy a diaphragm, or the couple could practice non-penatrative, oral or anal sex until they've saved up enough money for a month's worth of pills, or any of the myriad other solutions to this problem. Contrast this to traditional healthcare costs where the patient gets an unforseen issue and will regress, become disabled or die unless they are treated at great cost. Healthcare should cover those the things that a normal person could not afford or predict, stuff like contraceptives, and even worse running shoes, sports products and other "free stuff to keep you healthy" that so many plans provide can be anticipated for and are not that expensive for the type of people who can buy healthcare anyway and should be user pays.

Getting back to other contraceptives, condoms are inconvenient, uncomfortable and un-romantic and sexual deprivation is even worse, so I don't see why non-sexually active people and people who use condoms should not have to subsidise this cost for those lucky enough to have regular un-protected sex. Furthermore, if a woman's on the pill, she's less likely to demand a man wears a condom, since she does not have to worry about pregnancy. Now, the most common STDs like gonorrhoea, chlamydia and even syphilis may actually be cheaper to cure than prevent (1 course of antibiotics vs a decade's supply of condoms), but some of the more exotic STDs like Hep-C and HIV are extremely expensive to treat and could cost the insurance provider millions, paid for by other customer's premiums. Now, people are generally stupid enough to risk a 1 in 10,000 chance of catching those two nasty things for a night of passion. But give them a ~30% chance of conceiving a child and they might think enough to go and buy some rubber, which reduces Hep-C/HIV, keeps more folks healthy and makes insurance cheaper for all.

Don't get me wrong, I love the pill. I just still think 1) oral contraception is against the interest of the healthcare system 2) sex with neither condom nor pregnancy is a privilege worth paying for.

about 4 months ago

Inside Piston-Powered Nuclear Fusion Company General Fusion

donscarletti Re:Sucks to be a foreigner (117 comments)

ITER is an initiative 45% funded by the EU and 9% funded by the US, that Americans repeatedly complain about sucking away all of America's money, even though it was America's idea to build it in the first place, America gets an equal share of the knowledge gained and America only has to pay one 11th of the cost, despite having the largest economy out of the participants.

about 4 months ago

F-Secure's Mikko Hypponen Cancels RSA Talk In Protest

donscarletti Re:I support Mr. Mikko Hyppone (248 comments)

Why is it that whenever I see one of you countryman's names (excluding Swedish ones), my immediate thought is "why would a F1 racing driver be speaking at a security conference anyway?"

about 4 months ago

Member of President Obama's NSA Panel Recommends Increased Data Collection

donscarletti Re:WTF?! (349 comments)

This program, 215, has the ability to stop the next 9/11 and if you added emails in there it would make it even more effective. Had it been in place in 2000 and 2001, I think that probably 9/11 would not have happened.

OK, assume for a minute he is right.

Then from this, take a further leap into wild and fanciful speculation and assume that:

"Had this not been in place in 2012 and 2013, then another 9/11 would have befallen us".

What can we now infer?

If these systems were not in place in 2012 and 2013, 3,000 people would be dead and 317 million people would be free from government surveillance.

Compare this to US involvement in WWII where 418 thousand Americans died and managed to free France, Scandinavia, the Low Countries, South Korea and some of South East Asia (just over 200 million people all up), with the rest being taken by equally-oppressive Communism and it sounds like incredibly good value for human life.

about 3 months ago


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