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Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

holophrastic Rembered vibrantly would be painful (478 comments)

Certainly I won't argue with the very-old being a drain on society reasoning. To some extent it can certainly be true -- e.g. workforce, taxes, economy. Whether or not that is countered in terms of wisdom, historical knowledge, and otherwise unobtainable perspective is a subjective matter.

I do, however, take umbrage with the idea that remembering someone as "vibrant and engaged" is a good thing. Everyone that I know who's died "vibrant and engaged" has been the result of some crime or major illness, and has left friends and family distrought to the point of needing some amount of psychological therapy to get over the loss, sudden or otherwise.

The idea of a very gradual decline, such that finally losing one's grandfather comes when one's opinion of that grandfather is at least somewhat "feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic" is a comfort. It makes the loss easier, understandable, and acceptable.

Moreover, I'm 35 now. I'm not feeble, but I'm not fit. I'm not inefectual, but I'm lazy. I'm not pathetic, but, well, to some I am. I'm a pretty relaxed, happy guy, with no problems and no ambition and a lot of personal hobbies. If I cared to be seen as "vibrant and engaged", I wouldn't be content as I am today. That would be horrible. I don't live for the memory of others; I live for my own joy of the day.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

holophrastic Hobbies (275 comments)

Got any hobbies? It's not a hobby if you don't average 15 hours per week. The more hobbies you have, the more time you want to spend on the hobbies. It's not that the work passion is gone, it's just that you already do 40 hours a week of that passion.

about two weeks ago
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Logitech Aims To Control the Smart Home

holophrastic Re:One day, someone will explain it to me. (115 comments)

I think you've missed the earlier items in the sequence. The neighbour was the last item. First you need to be reminded that you left the stove on. Or you need to actively check. And with dozens of things to actively check, you're either a paranoid nut job checking everything every hour, or you check once, thoroughly, before you leave the house.

And if you don't have any friends who can check on your house while you're away, the nI refer you, again, to your homeowners insurance policy -- which probably doesn't cover anything that happens when you're away for more than 3 days in a row.

Oh, and good job turning off your stove when your phone says "stove on". Your phone doesn't say "kitchen cabinet on fire", so I guess you didn't type "use extinguisher on fire". Ok.

There's a reason that your insurance won't cover it. There's no substitute for walking around your house.

about two weeks ago
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Logitech Aims To Control the Smart Home

holophrastic Re:One day, someone will explain it to me. (115 comments)

If you use a smart thermostat, your power company will make more money, you'll spend more money on other things, your pets will be uncomfortable, and your life will be just a little bit worse. So why would you use one?

about two weeks ago
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Logitech Aims To Control the Smart Home

holophrastic Re:One day, someone will explain it to me. (115 comments)

I live in neither of those zones. Like I said, it only applies to 25% of my year. So would you like me to ask again? How about solving a problem that I have, instead of trying to convince me that I have a problem?

It's not pretentious to ask for help with my situation. I'm not asking for help with yours.

about two weeks ago
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Logitech Aims To Control the Smart Home

holophrastic Re:One day, someone will explain it to me. (115 comments)

"on occasion" I do stupid things. Consistently I do smart things that compensate for the stupid things -- like having a neighbour check on my house daily when I'm away. If you want to pay a dozen businesses to do a tenth of what a neighbour can do in 2 minutes, go ahead. I don't.

about two weeks ago
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Logitech Aims To Control the Smart Home

holophrastic Re:One day, someone will explain it to me. (115 comments)

That'd be 5%, and that'd be during 4 months only. I'm in a 3'000 squeet house, paying ~$150 per month. You just saved me $50! Wait, how much does installation cost?

about two weeks ago
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Logitech Aims To Control the Smart Home

holophrastic Re:One day, someone will explain it to me. (115 comments)

Wish I could mod you up. The sun is indeed on a different side of the house entirely. In my case, the rest boils down to heating vs. cooling. That means different directions of air flow, which means different floor registers are in open.

about two weeks ago
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Logitech Aims To Control the Smart Home

holophrastic Re:One day, someone will explain it to me. (115 comments)

That falls into the category of saving a maximum of $2 per day in electricity, with huge and overwhelming consequenses that few people know how to see.

Hard wood floors change shape with even slight temperature changes -- because humidity is drastically affected, especially at floor level.

Fruit on the counter rots that much faster. Bread goes mouldy quicker.

I don't know what it does to the paint on your walls, but I do know that window seals degrade faster.

Think of everything that museums and art galleries do to preserve art. Odds are that you're running counter to everythign they do.

Oh yeah, you're probable destroying your art too.

And poor kitty, home alone all day, and it gets hotter too!

Got a computer sitting at home?

Appliances like your fridge work by exhausting heat. That heat exchange gets less efiicient for some model in a warmer home. So odds are that you save money on your air conditioner, and spend it on your appliances instead.

Oh, and if you've got real seasons like I do, this whole conversation is only relevant for 25% of the year.

about two weeks ago
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Logitech Aims To Control the Smart Home

holophrastic Re:One day, someone will explain it to me. (115 comments)

I didn't say anything about paranoia. I said "read your homeowners insurance policy". We're not talking about the furnace, obviously. Sprinklers are somewhat borderline, because they are outside. The rest is just a poor decision on your part -- the oven particularly so.

about two weeks ago
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Logitech Aims To Control the Smart Home

holophrastic Re:One day, someone will explain it to me. (115 comments)

So, basically, when you're too stupid to know how to leave your own house, for whatever reason, but damned lucky enough to be reminded later, and anti-social enough to not be neighbourly with any of your neighbours.

In my world, that's a call to the neighbours, who are already responsible for my house when I'm gone.

about two weeks ago
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Logitech Aims To Control the Smart Home

holophrastic Re:One day, someone will explain it to me. (115 comments)

But see, that's just the thing. It was already automated -- you weren't lighting the lanterns, you were flipping a switch. Now you're clicking a button or touching a screen. I tend to flip light switches as I enter and exit rooms. Software automating it would either require motion detectors, light sensors, and psychic powers. Sure you could do it, but it's not convenient to install, and it's not free to purchase. It also didn't get carried to my house by storks and pixies. So it starts off very much not convenient, not saving energy, and we all know that it's anything but secure. So what's the ROI on convenience after shopping, paying, and transporting?

I just remember the dvd player's eject button on the remote control. I still need to get up and go retrieve the disk, so what's the benefit in being able to do it from across the room?

I'd put the awning in that same category. When I go to the backyard, I can turn the crank, or trigger the motor. I don't need to deploy the awning from the couch. And I really don't need the awning to be integrated with the microwave.

In my life, convenience doesn't mean more control, it actually means less control -- less need for it. So when it comes to heating, my house maintains the temperature that I want (that's why I adjust the registers rationally). I shouldn't need to touch it on hotter days nor on colder days. And indeed I don't -- not even when I open the windows for some fall-fresh air. Like I said, it's already automated, that's the "stat" in thermostat.

about two weeks ago
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Logitech Aims To Control the Smart Home

holophrastic One day, someone will explain it to me. (115 comments)

I still don't understand which problem these smart devices would solve for me. It's a light switch. It's on when I want the lights on. It's off when I flick it. The thermostat requires my attention four times per year, when the season changes -- and software doesn't help because the floor registers need to be adjusted manually, and it's still no more than 5 minutes of "effort" per year. I sure as hell ain't letting software turn on my oven, and I'm not letting water nor fire run when I'm not home -- because I've read my house insurance policy; can you say "negligent behaviour"? And again, none of this was difficult to begin with. How about solving a problem that I have, instead of trying to convince me that I have a problem?

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

holophrastic Business has levels (392 comments)

Business has always had various levels. When it comes to most successful technology companies, be it Tesla, or a small web developer, there's the strategy and there's the execution.

In a technology company, there's no doubt that the execution needs to be done by a technically superior person, but there's a problem with academic structure: it fosters process and procedure. Curtainly a STEM degree imparts critical thinking in terms of experimentation and analysis and calculation. Once a direction exists, yeah those skills are going to run the execution to create the product, service, or effect desired.

But business doesn't start with execution.

Scientific method may be the basis of STEM, and it starts with a "falsifiable hypothesis". Business is very different. Innovative business starts with a "false thesis" -- this doesn't exist, it isn't making any money now, I say it will, let's do it.

It takes a liberally-minded strategist to come up with whatever "it" is. The artist dreams it up. The philosopher contemplates how it ought to exist. The grammarian discerns its structure. The thespian convinces others to invest in it.

The problem is that the scientist concludes that it's impossible before it's even been tried. Either there's simply no evidence in existence yet, or there's no way to experiment on the nothing in-advance of starting.

Inventors aren't STEM scientists. There's no scientific method for innovation, and you aren't likely to find a scientist who's willing to risk everything on a new business idea -- yes I can also list dozens of very famous scientists who did throughout history; contrast that to the number of musicians who spend every dollar they have to start a band.

about two weeks ago
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3 Short Walking Breaks Can Reverse Harm From 3 Hours of Sitting

holophrastic Re:Learn to sit properly (176 comments)

Learning has nothing to do with anything. Try invoicing. I was invoicing at age 14 when I started my programming business -- the one that/s paid for my house, my sportscar, and a generous flower budget for my beloved. That's programming, whether or not it meets your definition.

about three weeks ago
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3 Short Walking Breaks Can Reverse Harm From 3 Hours of Sitting

holophrastic Learn to sit properly (176 comments)

v-sit. feet on ottoman, back reclined, butt low, torso-weight on back, leg weight on heels and haunches, arm weight on elbows, hand weight on the heel of the hand, proper security-guard chair, well padded, designed for long-term sitting. wrist flexed downward (by the bigger muscle), neck flexed downward (by the bigger muscle), abs flexed instead of lower back -- again, the bigger muscle works, the smaller muscle doesn't.

it's been 21 years of programming, 15 in this same exact chair. good weight, good energy, good appetite, good drive. healthy all around, no pain, no injuries (typical broken bones as a child, including a wrist), age 35.

http://www.globaltotaloffice.c...

about three weeks ago
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Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

holophrastic The Rolling Stones (387 comments)

The Rolling Stones make a lot of money, that doesn't mean that you should start a band. There are countless garage bands that make no money.

Sure COBOL can net you big bucks, and a really great set of very stable clients; but how many of those do you think there are? and how many near you? that you can approach? and have the "other" industry qualifications that they require?

Look, if you are passionate about old industrial equipment, then sure, you may be the guy for the job.

about three weeks ago
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Processors and the Limits of Physics

holophrastic popular science is back (168 comments)

one day, computers will be twice as fast and ten times as big -- vacuum tubes? meet transistors.
computers can't get any more popular because we'll run out of copper. . . zinc. . . nickel -- welcome to silicon. Is there enough sand for you?

everything will stay the way it is now forever. things will never get any faster because these issues that aren't problems today will eventually become completely insurmountable.

relax. take it easy. we don't solve problems in-advance. capitalism is about quickly solving huge problems, while totally ignoring small and medium problems.

wait for it. computers will be different in twenty years. I promise.

about a month and a half ago
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Posting Soccer Goals On Vine Is Illegal, Say England's Premier League

holophrastic Read your ticket (226 comments)

Have you ever read the back of your ticket? Check out your MLB baseball tickets too. You've agreed to not talk to a small gathering of your own friends about the game too.

about a month and a half ago
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The Doctor Will Skype You Now

holophrastic "convenience" (97 comments)

So, without commenting on accuracy, precision, completion, mis-diagnoses, missed symptoms, bias, colour correctness, nor smell, I think convenience is the all-time most important part of a doctor's check-up.

Oh yeah, house-calls. Remember? That's where we started. We are where we are because we made it convenient for the doctors, not for the patients. Remember? The guy with the expertise gets the convenience. Remember? The guy getting paid gets to make the rules. Remember?

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Why haven't other businesses sparked like IT?

holophrastic holophrastic writes  |  more than 6 years ago

holophrastic (221104) writes "So, when I was young, I was the typical "computer guy" on the block. Be in neighbours, friends, family, family-friends, neighbour's friends, or friend's neighbours, I was often called upon to put together some kind of computer setup. Nothing too professional — I was twelve and this was 16 years ago — but something that worked to run a small home business, or a family, or a small start-up company. No one expected very much, and everyone got well more than they expected. And lo the IT industry began.

So now I'm 28, and I want some things done. I'd like my home to benefit from solar/wind energy. I know nothing of such things. I run a successful business and have no time to figure it out. I'd like to know a neighbourhood young-person who dabbles in such things, and give them a few thousand dollars to use my home as a canvas. I find that no such people exist, or I don't know where to find them.

How come "computer nerds" and "grease monkeys" pervail, and maybe a gardner or two, but no other enthusiasm- or passion-based mini-businesses exist from which I can benefit the way that I helped oh so many people in my youth? Everyone knows a "web-guy", how come I don't know a "solar" guy? Or the many other things that I'd love to have done to my life/home/business by a twelve-year-old with enthusiasm?"
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Vista games for my grandparents

holophrastic holophrastic writes  |  more than 6 years ago

holophrastic writes "So my grandparents are now touching a computer for their very first time! (she's 75, he's 85) They've got a nice and creamy-smooth Vista machine to play with. I want to buy them some games, and I'm looking for some suggestions. Ultimately, duplicate bridge online (acbl.org's Bridge Base Online) is keeping them many hours per day. I've got them learning to type with The Typing of the Dead, and they love it, funny as that is. Any other ideas? I'm thinking that it has to be something with a flat interface that they can easily use, since they've never seen anything before — so that rules out FPS, Sierra quest games, and galactic conquest. Most arcade games are going to be too frustrating for them when they forget which sprite is them, and which sprites are the baddies. I'm thinking the incredible machine, myst, and tetris. But I haven't the foggiest as to where to find Vista versions. Any other ideas? (oh yeah, on-board video/audio/nic, core 2 duo, 1.8GHz, 2Gb, vista ultimate, 24" wide)"

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