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A Warm-Feeling Wooden Keyboard (Video)

komodo685 Ergodox (82 comments)

Massdrop just started another run on the ergodox that will be ending in about a week, anyone interested in this keyboard would probably want to check that out.
I've never used anything but standard cheap keyboards but I'll be trying the ergodox on this latest run. At a glance they appear very similar. I like this guy's thumb layout better, though I'd prefer the board was split into two pieces one for each hand.

about a week ago

The World's Best Living Programmers

komodo685 Re:John Carmack, no questions asked (285 comments)

Having read your link, no he did not. From your source:

When we got the first build to test, I was pleased with how the high res artwork looked, but I was appalled at how slow it ran...
...Using the iPhone's hardware 3D acceleration was a requirement, and it should be easy...
...As usual, my off the cuff estimate of "Two days!" was optimistic, but I did get it done in four, and the game is definitely more pleasant at 8x the frame rate.

He converted an existing implementation that used software acceleration to use hardware acceleration instead. The original team did estimate 2 months for that change.

about three weeks ago

No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say

komodo685 Re:Living in Colorado, and yes, there is a shortag (401 comments)

The Chinese folks seem to have their ducks in a row. They ain't great on the innovation part and you have to spent a LOT of time steering them, but at least they work hard.

The Indians spend most of their time emailing management about how awesome they (the Indians) are, rather than doing any actual work.

The Americans seem to be stuck in the glory days of post-WWII when America didn't have any real competition (rest of the world was smoldering ashes) so they now seem allergic to the concept of hard work.

I've found 0 (or near 0) correlation between country of origin and work ethic. This is complete bullshit and flamebait. That this was posted by an AC does not surprise me.

My company tried for almost a year to find good tech people. Begged, scrounged, tried to poach, nada. The jobs may not be the best paying, ~$120k/year

I'm not certain about the COL in silicon valley and other very expensive areas (generously assuming you're even in one), but unless the skills you were looking for was some obscure language and/or toolset I'm pretty sure this is obvious bullshit as well.

about three weeks ago

White House May Name Patent Reform Opponent As New Head of Patent Office

komodo685 Classic $Politician (211 comments)

It seemed odd that only posts I see on this subject ("Classic Obama", "Obama ... What is it with this guy", and "Why does Obama keep doing this") all seem to suggest this hypocrisy is somehow unique to the current president.

Maybe I'm missing something as I was born in '88, was there a time when politicians weren't appointing people based on who would be best for the major corps in the industry.?How is this anything but the standard Corruption which we can expect from all future presidents?

about a month ago

Massachusetts SWAT Teams Claim They're Private Corporations, Immune To Oversight

komodo685 Re:Libertarian nirvana (534 comments)

You say you're a libertarian:

As a libertarian...

your signature states:

Repeal the 17th Amendment TODAY!

The amendment for direct election of senators, vs their previous election by state legislatures. These seem like contradictory ideas to me, why do you not view them that way?

about a month ago

Nintendo Could Base Comeback On Improving Peoples' Health

komodo685 Oblig xkcd (129 comments)

Makes me think of this:

But monitored by some wearable computer(s), I don't know how good current technology would have for accurately sensing and represnting various body types (plenty of critism of BMI for example) but I could see how turning excercise into a sort of game could have a future. If they can, more power to them, obesity has sadly become a significant problem and excercise is a necessary tactic for reducing it.

about 6 months ago

Panel Urges Major NSA Spying Overhaul

komodo685 Re:Thank you (242 comments)

To paraphrase Patton

No bastard ever changed his country by suffering for his ideology. He changed it by making the other poor dumb bastard suffer for his ideology.

about 7 months ago

Get Ready For a Streaming Music Die-Off

komodo685 Re:Oh snap! (370 comments)

The program itself is just an executable jar you have to configure, comes bundled with a tomcat if I remember correctly

uh I mean tomcat server not this

about 8 months ago

Get Ready For a Streaming Music Die-Off

komodo685 Re:Oh snap! (370 comments)

You could even put that playlist on a local music server.
Sockso is good though when I last used it (~2 years ago) some features didn't work it didn't play all file types so I had to convert music files to, I believe, .mp3 (maybe .ogg).
The program itself is just an executable jar you have to configure, comes bundled with a tomcat if I remember correctly, just double click and you have a music server.
I can confirm, that at the time, it ran out of the box on 10.04 Ubuntu.

about 8 months ago

Why Engineers Must Consider the Ethical Implications of Their Work

komodo685 Re:Wrong target (406 comments)

I have little faith in the unbiased nature of someone named war4peace. But I'll bite...

The engineer designs/builds the stuff. Someone else uses the stuff unethically.

True an engineer can't know ahead of time exactely how/when/where say an American combat rifle will be used. However, seeing that after 9/11 we invaded 2 countries that had little (Afghanistan) and no (Iraq) connection to it but do have strategic uses/oil (rich tasty oil) its pretty clear the US will use those weapons as it chooses, unilaterally (more or less) and in violation of international law and any sense of morality.
It would be like suggesting chemical weapons research for Bashar al-Assad might be used to find new cures. Technically true but the precedent suggests otherwise.

Pretty much anything can be weaponized; some things more directly than others, but in the end, whatever you design, think, build, imagine can (and likely will) be used to hurt others, be they human beings or animals.

We should build more powerful nukes because people would just knife each other anyway?
Logistics matter a great deal, saying the internet is worthless because USPS is a reliable means of transmitting information would be moronic.

if John Doe is an engineer and he's offered a military industry job, then if he turns it down, someone else will take it.

And someone else can deal with the ethics of that.
"The standard you walk past is the standard you accept." Don't pretend you have higher ethics than what your actions reflect, you don't.

Also, the article implies that an engineer should think of all possible implications when working on something, including ethical use of the product. Which brings back the original statement: you can't make sure that the product will only be used in an ethical manner. It's an impossibility. The only assurance would be that no engineer builds anything anymore. And I'm pretty sure that most people would loathe shivering in a cave with only a raw pelt covering their skin. Just sayin'...

I completely agree that there could be times an engineer is working on a project and not predict how that technology, even fairly directly, could be used for purposes they would never condone. I, personally, would only ask that an engineer make an honest attempt to determine if immoral uses are possible and reasonably likely in lifetime of the technology and use that to judge the work as ethical or not. A standard would need a more concrete definition and thus more consideration than I can put into this comment.

about 8 months ago

Why Engineers Must Consider the Ethical Implications of Their Work

komodo685 Re:Doctors save soldiers (406 comments)

Saying an engineer shouldn't design a better non-lethal weapon is like saying a doctor shouldn't treat a wounded soldier.

FTFY (Even that is arguable given they could be used to enforce a police state, and that non-lethal weapons can cause permanent injury)

However of course this may be impossible or impractical with current technology. Ex. I imagine it would be impractical with current technology to disable an aircraft or submarine without virtually guaranteeing the death of some/all occupants.

Wars are frequently started not for moral reasons but merely justified by citing some moral argument with no connection to reality. Designing better lethal weapons for a country (read America) that is already generations of military tech ahead of all allies and much more so enemies with the justification of "saving lives" is an exercise in cognitive dissonance.

about 8 months ago

Study Finds Digital Activism Is Effective, Mostly Non-Violent

komodo685 Re:Ha Ha (69 comments)

So is "Sitting In" at a restaurant. But sometimes in life you feel like you have to do something, and sometimes you don't want to be violent.

Forcing yourself on others in any way is violence. If you don't leave, if you block a path, don't kid yourself that your are not being violent and potentially inciting a (well-deserved) violent response.

1. behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.

"Sitting in" does not damage anything. Disobedience is not by definition harmful and the last century has shown it can be central to movements doing great good.
It is precisely because the violent responses were so clearly undeserved and one-sided that those movements were successful.

about 8 months ago

Chicago State University Lawyers Attack Faculty Bloggers

komodo685 Re:only in academia (94 comments)

Only in academia

No. You should read the blog post titled "If You Want to Know What a Falsified Resume Looks Like, Here's an Example"

When the compliants are 'company policy does not tolerate lying on resumes' and workers (Cheri Sidney in the blog) are hired and promoted after demonstrably lying on their resume (for 90k+ jobs not some CSR job) the point is no longer arguable.
Hypocrasy is not a subjective value.

about 9 months ago

The NSA Is Looking For a Few Good Geeks

komodo685 Any SysAdmin positions? (388 comments)

I know this former SysAdmin in Russia who had to resort to tech support FFS. Already has clearance. He'd be just what you deserve.

about 9 months ago

Republican Proposal Puts 'National Interest' Requirement On US Science Agency

komodo685 Re:That is easy ... (382 comments)

I hope this is just a poor attempt for tea party candidates to say they tried to cut wasteful government spending for egghead scientists, but the more cynical part of me assumes it is serious and even likely to pass.

If government isn't going to support expensive research with unknown fruits who will?

I remember seeing a youtube clip of Neil deGrasse Tyson explaining how the British parliment failed to fund early electromagnetism research because it had no apparent use. Wise choice eh?

about 9 months ago

No, the Earth (almost Certainly) Won't Be Hit By an Asteroid In 2032

komodo685 +1 funny... (142 comments)

...after reading your username

about 9 months ago

Book Review: The Circle

komodo685 Re:But what if you use it to coordinate real life? (85 comments)

I'm in my twenties, never used facebook or myspace, I stay in touch via phone calls or text. That being said I have less interest than most in staying in touch, others may find a social website necessary.

With younger generations, it may be that they've never used e-mail for that purpose to begin with.

I haven't. Never even thought about it, I'd rather use my cell phone.

about 10 months ago

CPJ Report: the Obama Administration and Press Freedoms

komodo685 Re:You asked for this (289 comments)

  1. 2) Limited campaigning time -- I like that it forces them to not flip flop (it would be too obvious) but I suspect voters would have very shallow information on candidates.

I would be inclined to say this is already a problem, especially since it seems like many of them ignore obvious information sources (such as congressional voting records of incumbents) in favor of soundbites.

To clarify I meant that scandals wouldn't have time to be researched and surface. I don't like media hype on scandals more than the next person, but the longterm pressure on Palin when showing her extreme religious beliefs and lack of experience may have taken away votes from those who would otherwise have reflexively voted R (some in my family choose not to vote for that reason). I think you bring up a good point, and the benefits may out way the disadvantages (sadly as I think in an ideal world you would have a long run up to get plenty of information about the candidates).

about 10 months ago

CPJ Report: the Obama Administration and Press Freedoms

komodo685 Re:You asked for this (289 comments)

I absolutely agree that something needs to be done, and I've thought a bit about this but hopefully someone with a PolySci background will give substantive feedback:

What I agree with

  1. 1) Need a new voting system -- Agree completely there isn't a single best (comparision here). Don't have the background to have a strong preference.

What I disagree with

  1. 2) Limited campaigning time -- I like that it forces them to not flip flop (it would be too obvious) but I suspect voters would have very shallow information on candidates.
  1. 3) No political advertising, or [with conditions] -- I like Laurence Lessig's idea and haven't heard a better one.
  1. 4) No political parties -- I actually like this but I don't see how it can be enforced, I think this will happen informally if outlawed.
  1. 5) Single public forum for candidates -- I dislike centralizing control of where candidates are presented, too vulnerable to corruption.
  1. 7) State pooled representatives for congress. -- Concerned the representative will be ineffective if they come from an area with very different problems.


  1. 6) No primaries --- I'm not sure how this would be enforced, or if it would really be beneficial, but I'm not sure it wouldn't either. More info please.

What I suggest

  1. 1) Voting system is a major but not sole part of the solution. -- Corruption and human errors have affected other areas as well. Media has massive biases, both major parties have die-hard supporters, civic engagement isn't part of our culture (beyond voting). We need a whole new voting ecosystem. I don't know how you would accomplish this, it will take many people many decades to change things. I do think the approach of identifying and targeting structural failings (like voting system) rather than individuals is the right approach.
  1. 2) Change should happen SLOWLY. -- Quick fixes never work this will be no different. Contrast Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years to any Learn X language in Y days material.
  1. 3) Strategy 'war of attrition' -- I think attempting to change federal politics directly is a strategic mistake, in order for any structural change to get support you would need many people familiar with it and have proven success. People are justifiably suspicious of any change to the government, bills will be watered down, movements will be co-opted (Tea party). Trying these changes in small towns and cities first before moving to state and federal allows you not only to target areas with more receptive citizenry, and reduce costs, but reduces backlash you might expect from entrenched players on the national level. (Koch brothers care who gets elected president but have no idea who is running in SmallTown Iowa)
  1. 4) Game Theory 'Watch your step' -- I suspect this comes up a lot in poly sci already and I think would give insights on unexpected effects of any proposed changes Yale released a course to youtube, enjoyable instructor. (Obviously a lecture series isn't enough just trying to spread information)
  1. 5) Corporations are not democracies. This is a sore area, especially in America, but one I feel is important. The power structure varies from public firms to single owner firms to small groups of investors to significantly employee owned (Boeing or Mondragon) and others your might imagine. Each is simply a different way of running an organization with its own merits and flaws. The fact that we tend more towards top down management and industries with a few major players needs to be kept in mind. I think Governing the Firm provides a level headed, economic perspective on the matter.
  1. 6) America has a lot of people. -- I think the seer number of people an indiviual is expected to represent needs to be addressed. How can people who are capable and honest be pushed up to a wider audience? I see 3 solutions and don't particularly like any of them for reasons I won't go into (and are fairly obvious) a) have many small elections from bottom up (say amongst groups of 12 --- some arbitrary small number) those go up a level and nominate the next group etc until the highest fills office b) demarchy c) No representatives, via the internet people vote on bills directly.

TL;DR: If you will not put forth the effort to at least skim it your opinion isn't of interest to me.

about 10 months ago

Inside the Guardian and the Snowden Leaks

komodo685 Re:Reference Newspapers (239 comments)

Given his, AlphaWolf_HK, other remarks on this same page:

Except wikileaks (and Assange himself) is already known to embellish the truth, or even outright fabricate it. For example, what they claimed were cameras in that "collateral murder" video were in fact weapons. I'm not even an expert and I clearly saw both Kalashnikov and RPG being carried by those people walking - I don't know how anybody could mistake those for cameras. Assange himself admitted that his intent is to cause outcry, even if he has to lie about it.

All of which are false (those in fact were cameras, held by the two reporters named Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh working for Reuters), more info here. I think we have additional evidence that in fact bloggers are a much worse source of news than reporters. Instead tending to reinforce the beliefs and opinions of those that seek them out rather than provide accurate commentary. Slashdot, please mod AlphaWolf_HK down.

about 10 months ago


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