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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

minstrelmike Re:You're funny (231 comments)

And some projects should not be done Agiley/
Management consultant Bob Lewis pointed out that Obamacare would not have been fixed by an agile development path (one of the myriad suggestions). In fact, it was a prime candidate for straight up waterfall methodology. The requirements were right there in The Affordable Care Act passed by Congress.

4 days ago
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Sci-Fi Authors and Scientists Predict an Optimistic Future

minstrelmike Re:Not always (191 comments)

correction: You hire the engineer who read Jules Verne as a child.

5 days ago
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Could Tech Have Stopped ISIS From Using Our Own Heavy Weapons Against Us?

minstrelmike Re:Like DRM? (448 comments)

Undesirable side-effects?

You mean like American Marines being unable to fire a weapon because the software upgrade didn't work?
Or the license expired?
Or the IT dept forgot to register the serial numbers?

That could never happen.

about two weeks ago
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Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

minstrelmike Re:Discrimination (579 comments)

Is being all male (assumption) a truth or completeness problem for Encyclopedia Britannica? Seems like we're conflating two different thangs.

about three weeks ago
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Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

minstrelmike Re:Obvious Reason (579 comments)

Equal opportunity for the sexes rarely leads to equal outcome.

imo, the "problem" is that people who complain about the issue only look at a small subset of the problem.
If it is a social issue, then look at all of society, or at least see if you can find any counter-examples.
If you look at prisons, men are severely over-represented. If you look at _all_ the school classrooms, you quickly realize that both the top-end AP classes AND the bottom-end remedial classes are mostly male.

I think men as a group have a wider range of behaviors than women as a group (which makes sense if you just look at the sizes of the X and Y chromosomes).
What that means, if true, is that a completely gender-neutral society will probably still end up with 67% male and 33% females in any of the "outlier" skills which seems to include advanced mathematics and crime. i.e., men will tend to dominate in both the "smartest" and "dumbest" ends of the Bell curve.

about three weeks ago
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Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

minstrelmike Re:Why is it "shameful"? (579 comments)

If women don't participate in Wikipedia, Wikipedia cannot be said to be "encyclopedic"

So Encyclopedia Britannica is a "real" encyclopedia because it is edited by equal parts women and men (something I doubt is true).
I don't follow the "logic."

about three weeks ago
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Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

minstrelmike Re:Obvious Reason (579 comments)

I suspect wikipedia isn't that attractive to normal men either. Perhaps someone needs to do an analysis on the differences between the average editor on wikipedia and the average male who uses the internet. The way the editing process works reminds me more of folks fighting each other in a first-person shooter game than it reminds me of folks trying to arrange information into a useful site.

about three weeks ago
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A New Homegrown OS For China Could Arrive By October

minstrelmike China is the largest market (93 comments)

When looking into video game consoles, I was stunned to realize that Xbox and PS3/4 are _not_ even close to being the most popular video game consoles in the world. The top three are all Chinese consoles you've never heard of. Population-wise, the US is to China as VietNam is to the US and I suspect the Chinese worry about Americans about as much as we Americans worry about the Vietnamese.

Our economic might blinds us to the realities of the actual world and that perhaps is the most dangerous flaw in American culture. Remember the ancient Egyptians, the ancient Greeks (both civilizations), the Romans, the Ottomans? (There is a similar litany for homegrown emperors in China, also, but no one talks about it.)

about a month ago
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Microsoft Considered Renaming Internet Explorer To Escape Its Reputation

minstrelmike GoogleScript (426 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.

about a month 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 a month and a half 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 a month and a half 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 1 month 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 1 month 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 3 months 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 3 months 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 3 months 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 3 months ago

Submissions

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Correcting Killer Architecture

minstrelmike minstrelmike writes  |  about a month 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 6 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 9 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  |  1 year,18 days

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 2 years 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  |  more than 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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