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The Tech Industry's Legacy: Creating Disposable Employees

mariox19 It's the metrics (263 comments)

Big business is in thrall to the MBA's and their "scientific" management. If something can be measured, it's legit; if something can't be, it isn't. The thing is though is that, at any point in time and given any development in statistical research methods, some things are going to be more easily measured than others. If you have a business culture that believes you're clear-eyed and sensible when looking at numbers, but wishy-washy and "unscientific" when going by experience and gut feelings -- and, even worse, if you have a similar investor culture financing the whole thing -- you will run into trouble.

It's the numbers guys firing people with experience (and the judgment that comes with it), and replacing them with spanking brand new rock stars, or foreigners with well-crafted resumes. Add up the columns, contact human resources, collect your bonus check. If it all goes wrong several years down the road, you'll be working somewhere else anyway. That's the business model we're all suffering under.

about a week ago

Study: Belief That Some Fields Require "Brilliance" May Keep Women Out

mariox19 Re:Families (218 comments)

They do. They work themselves into an early grave, commuting two hours each way to earn the big bucks. I don't know what the exact percentage is, given a husband, wife, and two-child family, but you can bet that what I've just described is heavily skewed male.

about two weeks ago

Drunk Drivers in California May Get Mandated Interlock Devices

mariox19 Re:Get your drunk on... (420 comments)

This is the thing. The drunks on the road causing problems are generally alcoholics who have several drinks, shoot their blood-alcohol level way up, and then get behind the wheel. They do this on a regular basis. The vast majority of accidents and fatal accidents are caused by people driving with a BAL of 1.5 or above, and yet our neo-Puritian attitudes demonize people with levels half that. Enforcement doesn't fit the crime.

If we were serious about drunk driving, we'd go after the problem drinkers. But drunk driving enforcement is more about revenue than anything else. The courts, the lawyers, the social workers, and now the interlock device manufacturers are all in on it.

about 1 month ago

Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

mariox19 Re:Muslims? (880 comments)

Would only that the Muslim world advance to the 18th century—never mind the 21st!—that would be a huge improvement.

about a month and a half ago

Neglecting the Lessons of Cypherpunk History

mariox19 Re:Yep (103 comments)

I am far from being an expert on encryption, but the danger is not that PGP will be broken; it's that there are weaknesses in the entire "ecosystem" that allow for side-channel attacks. That's part of what that NSA paper, linked to in the article, is discussing. If there is something that can be exploited in the user's operating system or in the hardware, then that becomes the weak link in the chain.

Then, there is the whole issue that you touch on: namely, the caveat of encryption's efficacy "if used right." The same is true of condoms and even oral contraceptives. Sadly, human beings are very bad at scrupulously adhering to the injunction to "use as directed."

about 2 months ago

Pizza Hut Tests New "Subconscious Menu" That Reads Your Mind

mariox19 Re:Dumb idea (186 comments)

Seriously! Is an alarm going to go off if I'm checking out the cleavage of the young lady behind the counter? I'll take my pervert money elsewhere!

about 2 months ago

Voting Machines Malfunction: 5,000 Votes Not Counted In Kansas County

mariox19 Re:Paper Vote Count on Site... (127 comments)

The people running the polls where I voted all seemed like nice people, but I doubt there was even one of them who can program a VCR.

about 2 months ago

Halting Problem Proves That Lethal Robots Cannot Correctly Decide To Kill Humans

mariox19 Robots are cut no slack (335 comments)

The real problem is that the actions of people, in some circumstances, are considered beyond good and evil, and all the silly hypothetical situations in the world doesn't begin to capture this. In the heat of the moment, with only seconds to decide, people can't be relied on to make a choice that conforms to some explicit moral code. On account of that, when faced with passing judgement on the actions of people in emergency situations, we don't pass judgement; rather, we forgive them.

Robots, however, are programmed, and "split seconds" don't mean the same thing to robots that they do to us. Thus, there is no way around what they're going to do. They will be programmed to do one thing or another, and someone is going to have make the bad decision—since, in many cases, there are no good decisions to be made. And that poor bastard may have to program the machine anonymously, because what he will get is not forgiveness but, "What were you thinking!"

about 2 months ago

NYC To Replace Most of Its Payphones With Free Gigabit WiFi In 2015

mariox19 My guess? (106 comments)

They're doing it to spy on people.

about 2 months ago

Group Tries To Open Source Seeds

mariox19 Eventually, it's all open source (100 comments)

Patents have a limited span, no? When the patent runs out, it's anybody's game. So, what's the problem?

about 2 months ago

Virginia Court: LEOs Can Force You To Provide Fingerprint To Unlock Your Phone

mariox19 Re:don't use biometrics (328 comments)

Seriously. A friend of mine had his ex-wife (they're on good terms) send him a picture of their daughter, who was something like 4 at the time. The girl was riding a toy horse, and but for a cowboy hat was buck naked. The ex thought it was cute; my friend was upset that she would encourage things like that. I told him to get that picture the fuck off his phone before he gets pulled over (he had a lead foot and a weed habit), arrested, and the cops find a photo like that on his phone. He saw the wisdom in that right away.

You can't be too careful. There are cops and attorneys at the D.A.'s office who like nothing better than to put the screws to people, at the smallest provocation; and in this "zero tolerance" world, you're guilty until you prove yourself innocent.

about 3 months ago

Preferred smartphone screen size?

mariox19 iPhone 4S (258 comments)

I just traded in my iPhone 4S last weekend. I ended up getting an iPhone 5S. The 6 is just too big, if you ask me. And, honestly, if Apple had offered a 4S form factor with upgraded innards, I very well may have bought that. I liked the heft of the 4S, and I much prefer having the headphone jack at the top of the phone rather than at the bottom.

A big reason I upgraded was because I realized my phone was getting a little bit long in the tooth, and I worried that there was no way I could wait two more years to see what Apple came out with next. If that were another big phone, I'd be SOL. I got last year's phone in self-defense.

about 3 months ago

Feces-Filled Capsules Treat Bacterial Infection

mariox19 Why a pill and not an enema? (135 comments)

Call me a conspiracy nut, or whatever you want; but I question what's going on here. Is there someone with a background that can explain?

A fecal transplant can be done with an enema, and my understanding is that it's quite effective. But some doctors aren't interested, preferring either to deliver the dose via a colonoscopy or endoscopy. My father had C. Diff last year, but began to get nauseated when they tried putting tubes up his nose. So the doctor was going to recommend as an alternative—and I swear this is true—that my father mix feces up in a blender with yogurt and eat it. WTF!

If you ask me, an enema can be done by a nurse, or even at home, for next to nothing. There's no money in that for the doctor, like there is with a colonoscopy, for instance. Now there's a little pill: meaning, that drug companies can get rich, rather than pharmacies selling enema kits for $15 a pop. Isn't that what's going on?

Am I wrong here? I'd love to have someone tell me—with documentation—that enemas are ineffective and that pills and medical procedures are actually the best way, but I'm skeptical. I think there's more economics behind these courses of treatment than there is medicine.

about 3 months ago

US Says It Can Hack Foreign Servers Without Warrants

mariox19 Of course not! (335 comments)

When has an act of war ever required a warrant?

about 4 months ago

Bill Gates: Bitcoin Is 'Better Than Currency'

mariox19 Talk is cheap (130 comments)

Let him put his money where his mouth is. Are all of his cash holdings in BitCoin?

about 4 months ago

Facebook Apologizes To Drag Queens Over "Real Name" Rule

mariox19 Re:its their own fault (280 comments)

Perhaps they do it professionally; and since people get sick of their jobs, perhaps some don't even like doing it.

about 4 months ago

The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

mariox19 Re:This device is not new or interesting (651 comments)

People with a need for untraceable guns [...]

People, like, the police, for instance?

My uncle, long retired from the NYPD and now dead several years, told me a long time ago that smart cops carry a "throwaway." A throwaway is a small handgun that cannot be traced back to you. Should you happen to shoot dead a denizen of the 'hood you work in, and the shooting might be deemed questionable, you take your throwaway and plant it on the dead guy. Then, there's no question about why you had to shoot him.

Now, I realize we're only 3-D printing AR-15's at this point, and no one can keep one of those in his sock; but one day all sorts of guns will be able to be printed. The cops will be just as happy about this as the mafiosi and cartel kingpins.

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Swift Or Objective-C As New iOS Developer's 1st Language?

mariox19 Re:Why are you in charge of the decision? (316 comments)

Although I am well-versed in C, I have thus-far avoided C++, C# and Java [...]

It's amazing to think there is someone like this in 2014. It's like those stories they used to tell of Japanese soldiers stranded on Pacific Islands, back in the '50s and '60s, who allegedly had no idea WWII had ended. In all honesty, I find it almost easier to believe in the stories about the Japanese soldiers.

about 4 months ago

High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

mariox19 Re:Not comparable (600 comments)

Human beings have been "barely domesticated." When you manage to domesticate the average criminal, we can talk about domesticating the best defense against one.

about 4 months ago


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