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Comments

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Why Movie Streaming Services Are Unsatisfying — and Will Stay That Way

michaelmalak Mr. Manjoo exaggerates (323 comments)

Anything less than 100% back catalog "so fails to satisfy"? I'm not even going to use that three-letter acronym. Childish.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Re-Learning How To Interview As a Developer?

michaelmalak Eyes (218 comments)

Make eye contact with the interviewers, but then they might notice your crows feet, which could be the real problem.

about a month ago
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Some Sites That Blue Coat Blocks Under "Pornography"

michaelmalak Reinforcement (119 comments)

It reinforces that it's a slow news day at Slashdot.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Will Older Programmers Always Have a Harder Time Getting a Job?

michaelmalak Every time there is a bad economy (379 comments)

I found age discrimination 2008-2011 but not now. I expect it will return after the next stock market or dot-com 2.0 crash.

But I'm not in Silicon Valley.

about a month ago
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Teaching Calculus To 5-Year-Olds

michaelmalak Re: Montessori trinomials (231 comments)

The author of that Economist piece not only lacks understanding of Montessori, he has, as far as I can tell from Google searches, invented the term "Montessori Management." He gives no evidence or citation that open floor plans come from Montessori rather than the generally accepted Henry Ford factories and subsequent secretarial pools. See also the critical reader comments to that Economist story.

about a month and a half ago
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Teaching Calculus To 5-Year-Olds

michaelmalak Re:Montessori trinomials (231 comments)

In the interests of balance, if you work in an open plan office that's her fault.

On the contrary, the open floor plan has its roots in the 20th century philosophy of Modernism combined with a focus on industrial efficiency by early 20th century industrialists. Maria Montessori, in contrast, adapted traditional values to the modern era. The multiple ages grouped together doing work simulates the traditional large family (plus cousins). One of the problems she was addressing was the dual-working-parents leaving their children to play in the stairwells of apartment buildings. And, really, what is the alternative for a preschool? Walls, offices, and cubicles? The need for adult supervision in a preschool dictates the open floor plan there, Montessori or not.

Blame Henry Ford instead.

about a month and a half ago
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Teaching Calculus To 5-Year-Olds

michaelmalak Montessori trinomials (231 comments)

Dr. Maria Montessori, who before becoming a doctor and then an educator, was an engineering major and loved the math portion of it. Thus in her method that she devised 100 years ago, five-year-olds learn the 3D-geometric equivalent of binomials and trinomials from high school algebra.

about a month and a half ago
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Spark Advances From Apache Incubator To Top-Level Project

michaelmalak And Tachyon boosts Spark another 2-8x (24 comments)

Spark runs programs 100x faster than Apache Hadoop MapReduce in memory

And Tachyon, another component of Matei's Berkeley Data Analytics Stack, boosts Spark another factor of 2-8x by sidestepping JVM garbage collection issues.

about a month and a half ago
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Free (Gratis) Version of Windows Could Be a Reality Soon

michaelmalak Charge for support (392 comments)

To extend an idea oft-expressed here on Slashdot, Microsoft, from its profit perspective, would be wise to give Windows away for free and then three years after a particular release, start charging for security updates.

about a month and a half ago
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Is Google Making the Digital Divide Worse?

michaelmalak Re:Er... (259 comments)

Yes, the company offering free service if you pay a one-time fee for the hookup (a fairly reasonable one, at that) is totally making the digital divide worse. Clearly.

And the free service is 5mbps, more than fast enough for Khan Academy and Coursera.

It's as if Google realized in advance that the lunatics would scream "digital divide" because they were charging -- at a dirt cheap price -- for a superlative Internet service, so they tried to head that criticism off at the pass by offering a lower-speed free service.

But still the lunatics scream "digital divide". And Slashdot editors gave them a platform.

about 2 months ago
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Rand Paul Files Suit Against Obama Over NSA's Collection of Metadata

michaelmalak Re:Pointless (380 comments)

Congress should pass a veto-proof law clarifying its intention that universal wiretapping is against the law

Why in the world would they do that? The vast majority of Congress want the government to have wiretapping powers.

I agree with you, but I said "should" not "would".

about 2 months ago
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Rand Paul Files Suit Against Obama Over NSA's Collection of Metadata

michaelmalak Re:Pointless (380 comments)

No. The executive does not have the power until the legislative passes a veto-proof law banning the power. It is supposed to work the opposite way, where a law needs to be approved by both the executive, legislative, and even then the judicial can still strike it down if it deems it unconstitutional.

OK, what is the remedy, and is that remedy provided for in the Constitution?

about 2 months ago
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Rand Paul Files Suit Against Obama Over NSA's Collection of Metadata

michaelmalak Re:Pointless (380 comments)

Wrong. This is a class action suit on behalf of cell phone owner's. That gives this case standing.

Who specifically has been harmed in which specific manner? What were the specific monetary damages incurred?

about 2 months ago
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Rand Paul Files Suit Against Obama Over NSA's Collection of Metadata

michaelmalak Re:Pointless (380 comments)

People keep claiming that the NSA's actions are illegal and unconstitutional, but they aren't

They might be legal but they are certainly unconstitutional by any common sense reading of the Constitution.

Thus Ron Paul's refrain "legalize the constitution."

about 2 months ago
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Rand Paul Files Suit Against Obama Over NSA's Collection of Metadata

michaelmalak Pointless (380 comments)

The courts will just dismiss this case for "lack of standing" as they did his father's lawsuit against Obama for violating the War Powers Act regarding Libya.

The Constitution provides a remedy for the Executive Branch violating laws, and it's not having the Legislative Branch go to the Judicial Branch. Congress should pass a veto-proof law clarifying its intention that universal wiretapping is against the law, and then if the Executive Branch persists, then start impeachment proceedings, where members of Congress act as judge and jury. Rand Paul's lawsuit is nothing but grandstanding -- similar to the conservative all-talk-no-results Republicans have been feeding their constituents for the past half-century, but this time it's libertarian all-talk-no-results. And unconstitutional to boot.

(Congress could conceivably start impeachment proceedings now without first passing clarifying legislation, but impeachment is a card that realistically can be played only once every couple of decades, so you want to make sure. If you don't have the votes for legislation, you sure aren't going to have them for impeachment. (You can also substitute "ethics and political will" for "votes".))

about 2 months ago
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Fire Destroys Iron Mountain Data Warehouse, Argentina's Bank Records Lost

michaelmalak Neither surprising nor far (463 comments)

The linked WSJ story says that a creditor to Argentina was seeking the bank records related to the country's 2001 default. That is neither far-reaching nor surprising.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Undiscovered Country of HFT: FPGA JIT Ethernet packet assembly

michaelmalak michaelmalak writes  |  about 7 months ago

michaelmalak (91262) writes "In a technique that reminds me of the just-in-time torpedo engineering of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, a company called Argon Design has "developed a high performance trading system" that puts an FPGA — and FPGA-based trading algorithms — right in the Ethernet switch. And it isn't just to cut down on switch/computer latency — they actually start assembling and sending out the start of an Ethernet packet simultaneously with receiving and decoding incoming price quotation Ethernet packets, and decide on the fly what to put in the outgoing buy/sell Ethernet packet. They call these techniques "inline parsing" and "pre-emption.""
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No U.S. college in top 10 for ACM international programming contest 2013

michaelmalak michaelmalak writes  |  about 9 months ago

michaelmalak (91262) writes "The annual ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest finished up last week for 2013, but for the first time since its inception in the 1970's, no U.S. college placed in the top 10. Through 1989, a U.S. college won first place every year, but there has been no U.S. college in first place since 1997. The U.S. college that has won most frequently throughout the contest's history, Stanford, hasn't won since 1991. The 2013 top 10 consists entirely of colleges from Eastern Europe, East Asia, and India."
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Fog computing

michaelmalak michaelmalak writes  |  about 2 years ago

michaelmalak writes "From a piece recently posted to dailypaul.com: "About the mid-twentieth century, one of the greatest inventions in history made its appearance, and political and corporate leaders around the world were thrilled. Television [...] was wonderful; a quasi-hypnotic, ubiquitous device that allowed them to not only cultivate [read: socially engineer] the minds and values of their host populations, but also to encourage consumption, instill a largely self-sacrificing work ethic, and pacify them all at the same time. Of course, nothing lasts forever. Progress always comes along and disrupts that delicate balance, this time in the form of the personal computer, NCSA, ARPA, our fine and friendly nerds in the San Francisco Bay Area, and of course, Al Gore. A new age was born: the information age. [...] The last piece of the puzzle was the transformation of the internet from a horizontally integrated network into a vertically integrated top-down hub, where 'content providers' provide, and 'consumers' consume. [...] Even the way we went about interfacing has changed. Pods and pads are now the devices of choice, optimized for foggers. Who needs a keyboard, a mouse, or, heaven forbid, a Wacom tablet?! If u cnt say whut u ned 2 say w 11 btns ur prolly a terrist LULZ.""
Link to Original Source
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Those pixelated Army uniforms? "universally failed in every enviornment"

michaelmalak michaelmalak writes  |  about 2 years ago

michaelmalak writes "Those pixelated U.S. Army uniforms that we've been seeing since 2004? Turns out they don't work, and they and $5b are being scrapped. "'Essentially, the Army designed a universal uniform that universally failed in every environment,' an Army specialist who served in Iraq told The Daily. 'The only time I have ever seen it work well was in a gravel pit.'""
Link to Original Source
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One trillion records indexed in 10 minutes, queried in 3 seconds

michaelmalak michaelmalak writes  |  about 2 years ago

michaelmalak writes "Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed software for a Cray XE6 to mine a dataset of one trillion particles. They "implemented an enhanced version of FastQuery, an indexing and querying tool. Using this technique, they indexed the trillion-particle, 32 TB dataset in about 10 minutes, and queried the massive dataset for particles of interest in approximately three seconds. This was the first time anybody has successfully queried a trillion-particle dataset this quickly.""
Link to Original Source
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TN crime to share Rhapsody p/w with your child

michaelmalak michaelmalak writes  |  more than 2 years ago

michaelmalak writes "As widely reported, it is now illegal in Tennessee to "share passwords". Specifically, SB 1659, signed by the governor on May 30, turns a violation of terms of service from a civil matter into a crime (and a felony for values over $500). Now the popular press keeps citing Netflix as the prime example, but when it comes to family matters Netflix has some common sense terms of use. Netflix say you "shouldn't" share your password, but that if you do share it with members of your household, you're responsible for their use of it. The terms of use for Rhapsody, the other service cited in the popular press for this story, however, are not as well thought out when it comes to family matters. It says, "Only you may access the Services using your user name and password", meaning, presumably, that you as a parent must manually click on every song you want your minor child to listen to. The only way around it would be to set up a co-signed credit card in your minor child's name, and have your child create his/her own Rhapsody account. To have your six-year-old access Rhapsody otherwise is now a crime in Tennessee."
Link to Original Source
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Groupthink vs. no cultural idioms

michaelmalak michaelmalak writes  |  more than 2 years ago

michaelmalak writes "When I showed my 7-year-old daughter the opening to Laverne & Shirley, she got a kick out of it and said, "wow, does momma know about this?" I had to explain, "of course, everyone watched the same TV shows because there were only three channels". A CNN story notes a similar thought in There will never be another Oprah with "because her program premiered in pre-Internet and largely pre-cable times. So there wasn't a whole lot else to watch." Having personally railed the past two decades against the negative effects of television, especially groupthink, I am wondering whether we are giving something up, namely cultural idioms. What better way is there for one geek to communicate to another about the other's misguided sense of risk and payoff for a proposed course of action that with "I find your lack of faith disturbing"? Overall, the negative effects of television outweigh the positive, but where is the balance point? And, more importantly, is there some way in the post-television era to both gain the benefits of cultural idioms that in some way enhance our language while avoiding groupthink?"
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Warren Miller non-compete expired; still no films

michaelmalak michaelmalak writes  |  more than 3 years ago

michaelmalak writes "As most ski buffs with an interest in intellectual property know, Warren Miller, who made ski films annually from 1950, sold his company, Warren Miller Entertainment, in the late 1980's, has not been involved at all in the films that bear his name for the past six years or so, and is not pleased with the most recent films. He's been getting involved in the ski film industry again, which he thought he could do since his non-compete expired in 1999. However, an arbitration panel decided based on trademark issues surrounding the name "Warren Miller" that Warren Miller is barred from the ski film industry for life."
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Not transparent aluminum, but conductive plastic

michaelmalak michaelmalak writes  |  more than 3 years ago

michaelmalak writes ""Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory have fabricated transparent thin films capable of absorbing light and generating electric charge over a relatively large area. The material, described in the journal Chemistry of Materials, could be used to develop transparent solar panels or even windows that absorb solar energy to generate electricity. The material consists of a semiconducting polymer doped with carbon-rich fullerenes.""
Link to Original Source
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Onerous New Law to Phase Out Wi-Fi

michaelmalak michaelmalak writes  |  about 6 years ago

michaelmalak writes "In perhaps his most informative article this millenium, Dvorak lays down the implications of a bill just passed by Congress (with Ron Paul in the House and Ted Kennedy in the Senate being the only dissenting votes) that will, if Bush signs it as expected, auction off the 2.3-GHz to 2.9-GHz WiFi spectrum by 2012. It is expected that private entities such as Comcast will buy it up to allow WiFi to continue, but with subscriber fees of course."
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HOA: Mandatory and exclusive ISP for 20 years

michaelmalak michaelmalak writes  |  more than 6 years ago

michaelmalak writes "5-10 years ago when buying a house, the concern was whether or not it was close enough to the telphone company's central office for DSL. Now you have to check the fine print of the Homeowners Association. Residents in Southern Walk in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC, are up in arms over being required to pay $149/month for triple-play (whether they want the service or not) from an exclusive provider, OpenBand, designated by the builder, Van Metre, who by covenant will hold onto a majority of the HOA board for the next 20 years. That's right — the residents are forbidden from purchasing a traditional analog landline from Verizon."
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U.S. has lost ability to build its own roads

michaelmalak michaelmalak writes  |  more than 6 years ago

michaelmalak writes "The land famous for its love of the automobile and construction of Interstates and other highways, with high-elevation tunnels, viaducts snaking through canyons, and water crossings of up to 20 miles is now outsourcing design and construction of its roads to Asia — not because it's cheaper, but because the U.S. has lost the expertise. According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer regarding the newly opened span across the Tacoma Narrows, "the American steel industry had imploded, while steel-making — and the expertise needed to build suspension bridges — had moved to Asia" and "the detailed engineering and fieldwork and all the spinning and cable-wrapping equipment ... were provided by ... Japanese construction giants""
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michaelmalak michaelmalak writes  |  more than 7 years ago

michaelmalak writes "The Denver Post is running a story on the area's fleet of high-tech snowplows that sport GPS, downward-facing infrared sensors, and touchscreen computers linked to a central computer receiving up-to-the-minute weather forecasts and road conditon information from pucks embedded in the pavement. The idea is to deploy the right equipment and chemicals at the right time and in the right amount. This Blizzard of '06, though, overwhelmed the system. (An article earlier this week noted that Denver has one of the lowest snowplow-per-annual-inch-per-lane-mile ratios — I guess they just like to rely on the strong sun and low humidity to their work for them, which admittedly has been effective at 6 inches per day at melting the 2-3 feet of snow we got Wed-Fri). The technology seems like a cache — it makes for efficient use of resources under normal load, but offers no assistance when put under firehose conditions. Still, the technology is interesting, and not something I would have expected from lumbering snowplows. On the other hand, maybe low-tech is better — that earlier article said other cities like New York cope by being able to slap on blades to their garbage trucks."

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