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An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man

kwiqsilver Re: Agner Krarup Erlang - The telephone in 1909! (325 comments)

I thought about the separate line, but there'd be a lot of people who go straight to the ice line, causing backups while the ice salesman explained the setup. And it would create an extra unnecessary step, when lines are short.

I propose the In-n-Out drive through solution: When lines get long, have a salesman walk down the line taking pre-orders. He takes the cash, and gives the customer a number of ice tokens (it's Nevada, so they should be able to find a local company that can provide high quality casino-style chips that are hard to forge). Then when the customer gets to the head of the line he plops down N tokens and takes N bags of ice away.

yesterday
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Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres

kwiqsilver Re:Overly broad? (419 comments)

Is it real sugar or HFCS?

I've seen other studies that claim a much stronger link between HFCS and diabetes than between cane sugar and diabetes.

2 days ago
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Warner Brothers Announces 10 New DC Comics Movies

kwiqsilver Re:Ugh.. (186 comments)

Think of it like a piñata that drops millions of dollars every time you hit it.

I wouldn't let go of the stick, until they yanked it from my hands.

5 days ago
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Warner Brothers Announces 10 New DC Comics Movies

kwiqsilver Re:To quote TBBT (186 comments)

They should get Adrian Grenier to star as Aquaman.

It couldn't make it any more of a flop, and it would at least have some comedic value.

5 days ago
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Killer Whales Caught On Tape Speaking Dolphin

kwiqsilver Re:Whales? (152 comments)

Orcas are part of the oceanic dolphin family, which is part of the toothed whale sub order.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is iOS 8 a Pig?

kwiqsilver Re:Alright smart guy (504 comments)

What's a Mac Mini Retina?

Since the Mac Mini doesn't come with any sort of display, I'm assuming you just plugged the display port cable straight into your own retina.

about 1 month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

kwiqsilver If you're lucky (392 comments)

When I was at PayPal, there was a senior manager there (he was a director by the time I left) with a French literature degree. But he got lucky by knowing the right guy at the right time.

Kinda like how not all Harvard drop outs start billion dollar companies.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

kwiqsilver Definitely! (392 comments)

Tech workers drink a lot of caffeine. Somebody needs to work the counter at Starbucks.

about a month ago
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Apple Outrages Users By Automatically Installing U2's Album On Their Devices

kwiqsilver I feel so dirty... (610 comments)

I should take my Mac into the shower to wash away any remaining traces...but that might void the warranty.

about a month ago
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No, a Huge Asteroid Is Not "Set To Wipe Out Life On Earth In 2880"

kwiqsilver Phew! (123 comments)

I was worried for a minute. But now I know I'll be okay.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

kwiqsilver Re:Real Programmers don't use GC (637 comments)

Java doesn't need destructors, but it's a pain in the ass to have to call close() on everything that maintains open resources, and a possible source of bugs. I had a memory leak last week in Java, because a JDBC connection wasn't getting closed properly. With a destructor, as soon as it hit the closing curly brace, it would automatically close. That is a superior design. And because the destruction happens in a deterministic way, as soon as the object leaves scope, there are so many wonderful tricks you can use it for. I like tools that make writing good code easier.
The overhead of malloc & free is predictable and lower. A garbage collector has to scan all of its object, determine which to free, and free them. Free or delete just frees the appropriate memory immediately. Also, the GC wastes the unused memory between the time it is no longer used and the GC frees it. With a reference counting design, the memory is freed immediately.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

kwiqsilver Re:Real Programmers don't use GC (637 comments)

Outlandish, unsupported claims are responsible for 90% at least of the garbage on the internet.
shared_ptr can eliminate virtually all memory leaks while avoiding the two annoyances of GC languages: the GC overhead, and the lack of destructors (the thing that bothers me most about doing Java development).

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

kwiqsilver Yes (637 comments)

1. Yes.
2. Learn some lower level languages like assembler, C, or C++. Even if you don't use the techniques, understanding them will give you a better understanding of what's going on in your Java programs.

about 2 months ago
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Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

kwiqsilver Re:Jackson is Supporting the Right to Compete (514 comments)

Having conducted many tech interviews over the past 17 years, in high demand markets, I can say that the number of qualified candidates in the US is abysmally low compared to the open positions. There are lots of people with degrees in CS or a similar field, but the ones who can actually do the job at the level required is very low. If we find someone who can code well enough to do the work, we don't care how much pigmentation it has, what it's genitals look like, what gods it reveres (if any), or any of that other crap.

The imports are absolutely necessary to keep American companies competitive in a global market. Otherwise the 21st century tech centers will be in south or east Asia, along with all the profits, high paying jobs, and resulting tax revenue.

And what Jesse wants is money for his group, or to be on the news. He's a person who used to have power, and is now completely irrelevant. He's desperately clinging to anything he can.

about 3 months ago
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Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

kwiqsilver Sigh... (514 comments)

So rather than asking why there aren't more blacks in tech, and addressing those issues (which mostly center on the welfare state and drug war destroying black culture), Jesse is going to pretend to still be relevant by trying to get racial hiring quotas in the tech industry. Oh joy...
Racism against minorities is about as common in the US as polio (both exist only due to small pockets of people who ignore reason and logic). Jesse needs to keep fanning the flames on anything he can. Otherwise he'd have to get a productive job...like the white, Indian, and Chinese techies he wants to get fired.
How come Jesse isn't concerned with the lack of diversity in professional basketball?

about 3 months ago
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DC Revolving Door: Ex-FCC Commissioner Is Now Head CTIA Lobbyist

kwiqsilver Re:Democracy (170 comments)

That's absolutely false. A democracy is a majority rules system. A republic is a system where the government is limited in the powers it can exercise.

The founding fathers of the US knew the difference. Most of them despised the idea of democracy, because they knew it would devolve into corruption.

about 6 months ago
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DC Revolving Door: Ex-FCC Commissioner Is Now Head CTIA Lobbyist

kwiqsilver Re: majorities can impose their will on minorities (170 comments)

I've been a supporter of the super-majority requirement for a while (or better yet, the super-duper-majority: 80% or more). It's easy to get 80% of people (hopefully more like 99.999%) to agree murder, rape, kidnapping, arson, etc. are bad. It would be impossible to get 80% to agree to slavery, unjust wars, NSA spying, the Patriot [sic] Act, taxes for wealth redistribution (most of which in the US goes to the über rich banking and corporate crony crowd, not the poor), and other statist dreams.

Another useful trick would be automatic sunset clauses, e.g. every law expires after five years. And the sunset period could be limited by the support gained. E.g. if 60% approve, it lasts a year, if 70%, 2 years, etc.

I also propose the ability to remove bad laws easily (one of the problems we have in the US, e.g. repealing the 1934 National Firearms Act): Repealing a law should consist of proposing the exact law again, but if it fails to pass at any stage, it should not only fail to extend the law, but it should immediately repeal the existing instance of that law.

about 6 months ago
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DC Revolving Door: Ex-FCC Commissioner Is Now Head CTIA Lobbyist

kwiqsilver Re:Democracy (170 comments)

I never said it is a republic, I said supposed to be. It is a fascist, crony-laden representative democracy. It is the system Alexander Hamilton, and later the whigs and early republicans, dreamed of.

I am not any form of government, I am a human. The government that claims dominion over the land where I live and spend most of my days abandoned being an oligarchy long ago, it is now becoming a fascist police state. But then authoritarianism of one form or another is always the end state for any government.

Ours did hold out for almost two centuries though, which is more than most. Hopefully the growing mistrust of the people toward the TSA, NSA, IRS, ATF, ACA, CIA, FRB, and all the other acronyms of evil (AOE?) will cause a push from statism back toward liberty.

about 6 months ago
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Google Plus Now Minus Chief Vic Gundotra

kwiqsilver If he did it using Google+... (93 comments)

I'm surprised anybody found out. I bet a bunch of people showed up at the office the next day asking, "Where's Vic? It looks like he cleaned out his office."

about 6 months ago
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DC Revolving Door: Ex-FCC Commissioner Is Now Head CTIA Lobbyist

kwiqsilver Re:Democracy (170 comments)

The US isn't supposed to be a democracy, it's a republic.

In a democracy, majorities can impose their will on minorities, no matter how stupid, or evil their ideas. In a republic, the constitution is supposed to limit the power of the government.

Unfortunately though, this is exactly what a representative democracy turns into: as long as the corrupt politician can convince 51% of his buddies to vote for his boondoggle (usually by promising to vote for theirs in return), it passes.

about 6 months ago

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