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Comments

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Microsoft Considered Renaming Internet Explorer To Escape Its Reputation

minstrelmike GoogleScript (413 comments)

Seems to me the obvious name would be GoogleScript.
That worked for Javascript, creating an immense amount of confusion. F.U.D. is Micro$oft's DNA.

5 days ago
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The Great Taxi Upheaval

minstrelmike Re:It's just not necessary (218 comments)

We don't need the government to protect us from getting bad customer service during a car ride. We don't need the government to make sure drivers are "qualified" to give people car rides. It's just a car ride.

1. How often do you pick up hitchhikers?
2. Car-jacking took off last century only after anti-theft devices made it too hard to steal unattended vehicles. I'm thinking now it's pretty goddamn easy to steal a smartphone, then use that to rent a Hummer or Mercedes off Uber and now you have a nice car to drive around in all by yourself (along with the driver's smartphone and whatever cash s/he was carrying). New ways of business always provide new ways of crime. Human nature.

Before you decide government is a complete waste of resources, perhaps you should live someplace without government such as Yemen or Somalia. It's probably as hard for us to put a value on the government and society we grew up in as it is for fish to understand the value of the water they cannot see.

about three weeks ago
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The Great Taxi Upheaval

minstrelmike over/under (218 comments)

Over regulation is bad, just as bad as under-regulation.
One problem is that complete anarchy means no protection for anybody which is one reason pure Libertarianism failed (buy insurance from Joe's Pizza Palace) and is why all those classic Western towns you see in John Wayne movies hired sheriffs and were trying to become more civilized.
Over-regulation happens mostly because of regulatory "capture." After the initial public wave of disgust forces a new bureaucracy in place, it becomes beholden to the industry it regulates because no one else really cares to put in the work defining terms and setting up precise rules (precision is another problem in and of itself).

It's a conundrum-type problem, trying to find the sweet spot. You basically need to decide if the over-burden of regulation is going to cost more than what you are preventing. And that's if you're a corporation. If you're a government trying to please the public, you have a mess of moralists who don't care about economics and demand 100% perfection which requires a lot of rules and almost always costs more than accepting 5% graft.

In the taxi market, one trade-off is between having standard prices or having a boatload of vehicles charging different prices all the time. I remember reading about soda pop machines wired to change prices depending on the outside temperature. Seems like slashdotters hated that but I can't see why it's any different from Uber.

If you want a steady price or a steady supply, you need different kinds of regulations than if you want perfect supply for every demand.

about three weeks ago
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US Army To Transport American Ebola Victim To Atlanta Hospital From Liberia

minstrelmike Re:Vaccine is coming (409 comments)

It already has mutated to become less deadly. This newest version only kills 60% of the time, down from 90% of the older versions.

about three weeks ago
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US Army To Transport American Ebola Victim To Atlanta Hospital From Liberia

minstrelmike Re:Thanks for the pointless scaremongering (409 comments)

Yup, CDC knows how to handle this sort of shit.
It's not like they lose track of pathogens or accidentally expose workers to smallpox, no sirree bob.
They know what they're doing ;-)

about three weeks ago
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Wearable Robot Adds Two Fingers To Your Hand

minstrelmike quashed by corporate America (77 comments)

This new development will be quashed by Wall Street. There are to many fingers in the pie already.
And as far as the slashdot reader is concerned, two extra fingers probably won't make much difference during masturbation (but that would have to be tested).

about a month ago
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Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

minstrelmike Salesmen vs Engineers (390 comments)

What happened was a bunch of salesmen and marketers at Verizon asked how they could explain the network throttling.
They obviously didn't understand the presentation so they assumed no one else would either.

about a month ago
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ExoLance: Shooting Darts At Mars To Find Life

minstrelmike The Gaia Hypothesis (50 comments)

I think anyone looking for life on Mars should read The Gaia Hypothesis. It was written by an inventor hired by NASA to build devices to discover life on Mars. He researched how life works and realized it (life in general) must control the atmosphere in order to survive for billions of years. The exotic bacteria living in the Antarctic or in Yellowstone Hot Springs still depend on free oxygen and other volatiles created, and maintained over hundreds of thousands of years, by other forms of life. It's a purely scientific proposal, not spiritual or New Agey or anything. Just a new, probably correct way, to understand how life works together to maintain itself.

about a month ago
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Does Google Have Too Much Influence Over K-12 CS Education?

minstrelmike Re:Does anyone here REMEMBER K-12 computer science (66 comments)

these CS classes are designed to hold people back

I disagree. The CS classes (like most) are designed to be easy to teach (especially for a non-techie) and easy to grade. That's why they are as useless as most other classes.

about a month and a half ago
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Does Google Have Too Much Influence Over K-12 CS Education?

minstrelmike Re:I can feel it now (66 comments)

I have a degree in mathematics, a required hs course. forcing everyone to take math has not caused a deluge of mathematics majors. why would any other subject be different?

We haven't taken a good hard look at education in general.
For grades 9-12, there are four years required for English. Why?
And more importantly, how well does that work for us as a nation?

about a month and a half ago
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Does Google Have Too Much Influence Over K-12 CS Education?

minstrelmike Re:the problem with cs4all, code.org et al (66 comments)

These programs are born of a fundamental misunderstanding

Yup. My daughter went thru all the "grrrlz in STEM" stuff thru 12 years of schooling.
She ended up becoming a statistician but I suspect she would have done that regardless. All of her other classmates who went thru the same extra-curriculars and science AP classes ended up going into interior design and anthropology.Those women-in-engineering initiatives are a good idea, but they miss a most basic point--there is a huge disincentive for guys to be smart in school, geeky, teacher's pet crap. It's always been that way yet there is a certain percentage of guys who go into tech anyway.

Substituting one class for another is probably not going to address that education issue.

about a month and a half ago
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New Russian Law To Forbid Storing Russians' Data Outside the Country

minstrelmike Re:What a shame, but... apk (206 comments)

Actually, puppet governments _must_ be installed if you want a reliable ally.
Democracies tend to vote for their own self-interest over that of other countries. (And this is apparently a little-known fact).

about a month and a half ago
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Oklahoma's Earthquakes Linked To Fracking

minstrelmike Re:Earthquakes are deep, oil wells are not. (154 comments)

That's my understanding, too. Small earthquakes can occur continually in the groundwater zone but major earthquakes, i.e. fault slippage, is far deeper and thus not subject to any easing of the tension from either fracking or injecting waste water.

about a month and a half ago
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Games That Make Players Act Like Psychopaths

minstrelmike Re:The last sentence (212 comments)

Uhhh no. The _only_ reason _WE_ act civilized is because we are a eusocial species.
We've have always depended on each other to survive. The myth of the single man subduing the world is a myth.
Daniel Boone could not build a musket and powder all by himself from rocks and trees.
Same with any of Ayn Rand's characters. You think the government is a pain in the ass, well take your great idea and build it in Somalia and see if you can make any money. We build on each other.

The reason we get along in general and specifically far more often than we don't is because we are eusocial. The tribe is a single thang, just like an anthill is.

about 3 months ago
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Why Does Amazon Want To Sell Its Own Smartphone, Anyway

minstrelmike expand or die (60 comments)

Amazon's business model is actually still the same as any startup--expand or die.
Going into a new area such as smartphones keeps investors interested.
If they stopped expanding into new areas and technologies, then shareholders would start expecting them to make a profit and that has yet to happen at Amazon.

about 4 months ago
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Master of Analytics Program Admission Rates Falling To Single Digits

minstrelmike Re:Too funny (74 comments)

The report doesn't sound analytical at all to me.
Computing the average of all salary offers is like computing the student population based on average nr of students who apply to the university rated against the number who actually attend.
Since 3/4th of students don't accept (because students apply to 4 or more universities on average), then the "student" population of NC University is not 34,000 as stared in its brochures but "actually" 8,500--if you're going to use the same sort of "reasoning" and "logic" the salesmen for the Data Analytics program are using.

I only have a b.s. in math but this sounds like a completely different kind of bs, probably marketed toward folks who think buying a lottery ticket is a good investment.

about 4 months ago
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'The Door Problem' of Game Design

minstrelmike Re:um (305 comments)

If a button cannot be clicked, then you shouldn't be displaying the user a widget that affords clicking.

Hey dude, this is not the forum to be bashing Microsoft ;-)

about 3 months ago
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'The Door Problem' of Game Design

minstrelmike Re:um (305 comments)

The article reminded me of the basic design decisions Joel Spolsky talked about simply putting a trash can on a street corner.
It's got to be big so it holds lot of garbage. It's got to be heavy so it doesn't blow away. It's got to be light enough to empty.
It's got about 20 conflicting real life counter-manding requirements.

She's whining about the folks who say writing a game ain't that hard. Ain't no harder than writing a novel. All you've got to do is type the right words that tell an interesting story. How hard can that be?
Harder than it looks.

about 3 months ago
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'The Door Problem' of Game Design

minstrelmike Re:Will the door have windows? (305 comments)

People play games to avoid real life because it is boring.
ditto for movies and books. The reason "literary" stuff is boring is because it's too much like real life where nothing interesting happens.
Books that sell are full of violence and sex.
If you want any excitement at all in real life, you've got to troll the slashdot comments.
And if you want sex, you need to learn to type one-handed ;-)

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Correcting Killer Architecture

minstrelmike minstrelmike writes  |  about a week ago

minstrelmike (1602771) writes "In Leeds, England, architects are adding a plethora of baffles and other structures to prevent the channeling of winds from a skyscraper that have pushed baby carriages into the street and caused one pedestrian death by blowing over a truck (lorry). Other architectural mistakes listed in the article include death ray buildings that can melt car bumpers and landscape ponds that blind tenants."
Link to Original Source
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Surprisingly Disgusting

minstrelmike minstrelmike writes  |  about 5 months ago

minstrelmike (1602771) writes "Using computer facial recognition, researchers at Ohio State University have identified 21 emotional expressions humans make, tripling the previous number of available expressions for classifying emotional states. They anticipate it will help with treating PTSD which makes people more attuned to anger and fear."
Link to Original Source
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Fantastically true spy story in World of Warcraft

minstrelmike minstrelmike writes  |  about 8 months ago

minstrelmike (1602771) writes "Another Snowden revelation. NSA infiltrated World of Warcraft and Second Life to see if terrorists were trading information and creating plots. (Of course, those games make money so all users are tracked but it seemed like a valid threat apparently to some one).

It is on the NY Times site which is sort of firewalled--10 articles per month."

Link to Original Source
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Japanese Ice Wall to Stop Radio Active Leaks.

minstrelmike minstrelmike writes  |  about a year ago

minstrelmike (1602771) writes "Japan is planning to install a 2 mile around the Fukushima nuclear plant. The technology has not been used to that extent nor for more than a couple years. "Plus the frozen wall won't be ready for another two years, which means contaminated water would continue to leak out." But at least they have a $470 million dollar plan ready to present to the Olympic committee choosing Madrid, Istanbul or Tokyo."
Link to Original Source
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What if Manning had leaked to the New York Times?

minstrelmike minstrelmike writes  |  about a year and a half ago

minstrelmike (1602771) writes "Two page editorial in the NYTimes (10 free articles / month then firewalled) about what would have been different legally, morally, and security-wise: "If Manning had delivered his material to The Times, WikiLeaks would not have been able to post the unedited cables, as it ultimately did, heedless of the risk to human rights advocates, dissidents and informants named therein. In fact, you might not have heard of WikiLeaks. The group has had other middling scoops, but Manning put it on the map."

He also discusses what the Times would and would not have done, admitting they probably wouldn't have shared with other news outlets but also admitting they would definitely have not shared everything."

Link to Original Source
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Dept of Defense CyberCity for testing hack attacks

minstrelmike minstrelmike writes  |  about a year and a half ago

minstrelmike (1602771) writes ""Air Force cyber warriors are getting ready to learn how to do battle in cyberspace against hostile actors who would disrupt critical infrastructure by working in a virtual city that has all of the trappings of modern-day, computer-based life, including e-mail, passwords, online social networking and WiFi"

That's how the article starts. It's a similar concept to the mock Iraq towns they built down south. They've performed 7 attacks on the cyber range so far."

Link to Original Source
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Tampa teen bomber spies FBI spies

minstrelmike minstrelmike writes  |  about 3 years ago

minstrelmike (1602771) writes "The expelled teen planning to blow up his high school knew something was wrong Sunday when he looked for wireless networks:

On Sunday evening, he posted this interesting item on his Facebook status page: "The weirdest thing happened today ... when my homie was trying to connect to a wireless network the connections list came up and one of them was called: FBI_SURVEILLANCE_VAN It was weird...""

Link to Original Source
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Nokia Sues Apple (the computer company)

minstrelmike minstrelmike writes  |  more than 4 years ago

minstrelmike (1602771) writes "From the birds come home to roost section of reality, Nokia is suing Apple for patent infringement tied to technologies "for enhanced speech and data transmission, using positioning data in applications and innovations in antenna configurations that improve performance and save space."

Will Apple do like their logo says and tell Nokia to "bite me?""

Link to Original Source
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Facebook passwords $100

minstrelmike minstrelmike writes  |  more than 4 years ago

minstrelmike writes "Pandalabs, a security vendor, has discovered a site that claims to hack Facebook accounts for $100. It is professionally done but they believe it is a scam. The folks who send the money will probably not report it to the cops."
Link to Original Source

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