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The Downside to Low Gas Prices

hibiki_r Re:Stupid, trucks cause the problem (554 comments)

Not that I am saying that austerity itself solves anything, but the real reason austerity did not crush the US when we had sequestration but hurts most of Europe is monetary policy, The ECB's laser focus on low average inflation makes the countries that are doing worse overall suffer in case of austerity, because it makes NGDP drop. All you have to do is look at the charts. Since the ECB did not do any QE, all you have to do is plot GDP and ECB rates. In the US, unconventional monetary policy kept going up when things started to look worse (if we skip the first year of the crisis or so, when the Fed was rather passive)

So it's not that austerity works, but that you can have austerity and work if you have a competent central bank. If you switched central bankers but kept the same government spending, The US is the one in double and triple dip recessions, while the EU would be doing better.

about two weeks ago
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How 4H Is Helping Big Ag Take Over Africa

hibiki_r Re:So, does water cost more? (377 comments)

OK, if that's really how it works, why do American farmers plant so much agribusiness seed? Are they all wrong, and losing money? Because if there's one thing that a farmer will ask when you suggest a change to his growth protocol, is how is it going to make him more money.

Hybrid vigor is a thing, and the only way to maintain said vigor across generations is to grow inbred plants, and then cross them purposefully. This works without GMOs, and is easy to prove.

Again, for your option to be true, hundreds of thousands of farmers in the US are making terrible choices, season after season. 95% of soybeans planted in America come from agribusiness: The seeds people had just can't compete in yield. How do you explain farmer's behavior?

about two weeks ago
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How 4H Is Helping Big Ag Take Over Africa

hibiki_r Re:Alternative? (377 comments)

No, it's really about a binary label of GMO/No GMO being pretty deceitful, and pretty expensive for what you get, especially for very processed foods.

The argument of wanting information would make a lot more sense if the labeling was actually detailed, as it's not like there is only a single strain of GMO corn in the market: We are well in the hundreds over the years, just with corn and soybeans. Surely a variety of GMO that has been out there for 10 years is different than one that is new for this season, right?

When you make the label binary, then what you are really telling the consumer is that all that matters is whether there are GMOs in there or not, and that only makes any sense for people that just think that GMOs are bad in principle.

There's also the costs involved. It's not as if most companies out there buy their grain from a single farmer, so accurate labeling puts quite a bit of expense into the entire supply chain.

You'd be better off just labeling certified organic. Then you at least only put the onus on those that really want a certification, instead of on everyone. Not that it increases food safety anyway: You'd be surprised by how toxic many treatments that are certified organic can be,

about two weeks ago
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How 4H Is Helping Big Ag Take Over Africa

hibiki_r Hybrids (377 comments)

Sure, hybrid corn gets weaker by the generation, but it's also far higher yielding.

American farmers buy it because they make more money buying seeds every year than they would saving seeds. Thinking that farmers from Ghana will not be able to make a rational decision between buying industrial seed every year or saving whatever strain they have already from year to year is a not so subtle form of racism.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?

hibiki_r Re:I'm surrounded by morons (613 comments)

Most people's ideas of summer hours have little to do with the hours being shifted within the day, but either with hour extensions (like a zoo, which gets a lot less visitors in the winter anyway), or with office workers out early for the weekend (at my old job, good luck finding someone at the office after 2 pm on friday between the 4th of july and labor day)

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?

hibiki_r Re:I'm surrounded by morons (613 comments)

Now that we go back to 'regular time', instead of DST, I have to drive home in the dark, and instead I have light at 6 am in the morning, which I do not want at all.

If we never had DST around here, In the summer we'd have dawn at 5 am in the morning, or something similarly obnoxious, and sunset would happen way earlier than I want. Compare that to the Spanish solution: Spain despite being more or less aligned with England, instead of using GMT, uses CET, or the same timezone that is used in Poland. So Spaniards get dark morning sometimes (that they don't care about anyway), and instead it's never dark before 5:30 or so, and in the summer, sunset is somewhere near 10 PM, which patches pretty well with a world where people wake up and head to work, which starts at some point between 8 and 9. So in American terns, they are in DST in the winter, and double DST in the summer.

about three weeks ago
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Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

hibiki_r Re:Not actually a new stance (669 comments)

Maybe we live in different Americas? Here in Missouri, if it says Baptist at the door, you can expect young earth creationism. And the worst part is, that's not even the worst of what they'll teach you. A friend of mine was OK with the YEC bullshit, but she ended up leaving her church, and really, her family, when she figured out the kinds of things that were being taught to her daughters.

about a month ago
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Developers, IT Still Racking Up (Mostly) High Salaries

hibiki_r Re: How many really make $140k ? (198 comments)

It's precisely because of that fact that you see some silicon valley companies open up show in middle america, when they can get the senior people for the $120-$130 range

about a month ago
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HBO To Offer Online Streaming Without TV Subscription

hibiki_r Re:Bad news for ESPN (139 comments)

My point was that HBO has A LOT more high quality original programming than AMC, that lately has a lot more misses than hits. They have good, expensive content, but not enough to warrant subscriptions IMO. And when they have good content, they have trouble paying for it. Look at all the cuts they had to do to Mad Men's run length, and the issues they had with actors and pay. That's the reason they cannot 'move up' to being a premier, pay by itself channel.

In any given season, there are at least 3 new HBO shows worth watching. AMC, not so much.

about a month ago
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HBO To Offer Online Streaming Without TV Subscription

hibiki_r Re:Bad news for ESPN (139 comments)

ESPN has plenty of people that are willing to give them much more than $7 a month for their content: There is an entire demographic that uses TV just to watch sports.
The ones that are really in trouble are smaller channels that still have some real expenses. Think of someone like AMC, that justifies its existence due to a relatively small number of valuable content they finance themselves, while the rest is filler. Would people really subscribe to the channel if all they wanted as 20 hours of television a year?

about a month ago
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Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

hibiki_r Re:XKCD is correct (549 comments)

That website fails at entropy, because it doesn't really take into account multi-word dictionary attacks. For instance, it thinks that CakeBanana is just as strong as LRssBanana, when one uses two common dictionary words, while the other has a lot more entropy.

Naive websites that give people a false sense of security on their password safety are actually hurting our security.

about a month and a half ago
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Software Patents Are Crumbling, Thanks To the Supreme Court

hibiki_r Re:Reality Check (118 comments)

The way it works is not relevant: What matters is that, if I am writing code under a patent system, I am at risk of doing something that has already been covered by a patent. I can check for patents related to what I am doing, which is a major drain in productivity, and will increase penalties if it goes to trial and I am infringing, or I can code without looking, and be at risk that I am reinventing something that I never knew about.

It's those costs, or the uncertainty that comes from acting as if the risk of getting sued do not exist, that make software patents a terrible deal.

about 2 months ago
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Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

hibiki_r Highschool girl logic (387 comments)

It's interesting how many programmers make decisions while ignoring the wisdom of the high school girl. When in doubt, you pick something that is popular. When you are really good at it, you pick something that is going to become popular, and by choosing it, you make it more popular.

Seriously though, it really depends on where you are, market wise, and where you want to be. There are a lot jobs around here for Java programmers that understand Spring and Hibernate. However, the people hiring for those jobs are looking for competence, and little else. You won't be able to ask for a great salary in those conditions, because while good performers aren't that easy to find, the hiring pool is also pretty large.

Instead, imagine that you have 15 years of experience, and you want to remain technical. At that point, having a decade of experience on the exact same thing won't really help you. Your selling point has to be that you've seen everything, and that you are up to date with the latest and greatest. So you don't look for yet another generic job with popular tools: You have to learn shiny new things, and sell that your know-how with many tools means you'll make a lot less architectural mistakes than a youngster. At the same time, this gives you a chance of getting into a technology early, when finding experienced people is harder. You ride the top of the wave, get paid well, and can keep in the tech switching train.

Soyou need both serious knowledge of a couple of popular languages, and then to try to spend your time working on the less popular ones, that are still growing, because that's where real opportunity is.

about 3 months ago
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IT Job Hiring Slumps

hibiki_r Fragmented market (250 comments)

The market slumps because there's a whole lot of people that show experience companies do not want.

My project at a huge company just finished, so I started looking for another one: I interviewed in six places, got six offers in two weeks, 2 paying as much as my old job, 4 paying from 10 to 20% more. 4 were from companies in town, 2 were bay area companies asking for telecomutting. The salary that pays for an OK experienced programmer in the bay pays more than an architect makes in the midwest, and it's hard to hire in the bay if you are not a big name, so companies are starting to look outside for quality candidates.

But that's the thing, an applicant need a resume proving that you learn new skills quickly, and that he is working on tools that are growing in adoption, like languages with functional programming elements. The cost of a bad hire is just very high, it's just too risky to get someone that has a good probability of not working out.

about 3 months ago
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Predictive Modeling To Increase Responsivity of Streamed Games

hibiki_r Re:allows for on demand gaming (120 comments)

Let's take a humongous game: 10 gigs. How long does it take for an in game, low compression, high quality video stream to be a whole lot more downloading time than those 10 gigs? And remember that predictive streaming can take 4 times more bandwidth than regular streaming. I would be surprised if you don't get to 10 gigs in a few hours.

I just can't see a world where, on average, you save bandwidth by streaming games. Quite the opposite, in fact: This system is a non-starter in a world of bandwidth caps.

about 2 months ago
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Predictive Modeling To Increase Responsivity of Streamed Games

hibiki_r Re:ISP don't like the streaming (120 comments)

The bandwidth problem is not on the way out (it's bigger than you think, but it's still small), but on the way in. It's a 1080p video stream that has to be compressed on the fly that cannot do any significant amount of buffering. Netflix already eats bandwidth for lunch, and that with compression algorithms that can run for as long as you want to optimize bandwidth use. So we get weaker compression, and we send a user 4 frames for every frame they see, so 8 times the bandwidth of Netflix for the same image quality.

So yeah, if there are data caps, they better be in the multi-terabyte a month range, or you just can't use this system at all.

about 2 months ago
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

hibiki_r Re:You Answered It Yourself in Your Question (511 comments)

Java is uncool because it moves at a glacially slow speed, and has an ecosystem full of enterprise tools that do nothing but slow us down.

The first real shock came from Ruby on Rails. I'd never use the thing for anything large or requiring much customization, but it sure showed many Java programmers how the state of the Java art, full of Spring and Hibernate, was pretty unproductive, all things considered. To write production code, you don't really need the mess of AbstractFactoryProviders that Java had become. After this, we started seeing people writing JVM languages that cut some of that madness.

So now Java has been playing catchup to Scala, Groovy and Clojure, because you have the same Write Once, Run Anywhere features, but the code is 1/3rd of the size. Even languages that try to work on closed ecosystems try to mimic that kind of style: Just look at how much Swift looks like Scala's reference-counting cousin.

Java's inability to evolve the language will remain an issue for the foreseeable future. Just look at all the things java 9 is supposed to offer: The roadmap could be sold as a cure for insomnia.

about 3 months ago
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Google Wants To Test Driverless Cars In a Simulation

hibiki_r Re:Simulations are limited by imagination (173 comments)

The problem with real life testing is that it's so absolutely slow you won't even go through the examples you can think of.

Simulator testing is a bit like property based testing on software. I come up with a 'test envelope' of things that could possibly happen, and let generators combine them in many ways, as to check way more options that I ever could with example based testing. Then we run a few thousand of those random scenarios every build. If there's ever a failure, it's recorded and we can reproduce it

In something like a car, your test envelope might be bigger than even in the largest property based testing system, but then you can just add that entire family of circumstances to the test.

about 3 months ago
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NFL Fights To Save TV Blackout Rule Despite $9 Billion Revenue

hibiki_r Re:Why would anyone go willingly to the stadium? (216 comments)

Regular, over the air TV football is not really better for the football geeks, because camera selection is based on what is more spectacular, but misses quite a bit of action. You only get to see a wide receiver when the ball is thrown in his direction. Is he playing his best and getting beat? Is the QB just missing open receivers? Is a receiver just not trying when he is not the top option, giving away where the play is really going? Good luck getting any of that from the TV broadcast.

There is a camera that shows everything through: All 22 players, all the time. But since it's very far away, it trades bring close to the action away in exchange for great Xs and Os information.

It'd be far better to have this camera, which coaches use all the time, along with a close view of the action, but the only good way of getting close to that live is to have what an offensive coordinator has: Access to the TV broadcast, while being able to watch the game live from a relatively high vantage point, instead of down at the sidelines.

about 4 months ago
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Valve Discloses Source 2 Engine In Recent DOTA 2 Update

hibiki_r Re:So I guess all that Leaves is Alien Swarm (97 comments)

I am sure you have heard that the proper way of talking about the next half-life sequel is to call it Ricochet 2. It's the only way to get Gabe to actually tell you anything.

about 4 months ago

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