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Dish Pulls Fox News, Fox Business Network As Talks Break Down

minstrelmike Re:You forgot something... (222 comments)

I didn't realize that 11.3% of the US workforce hardly exists.

A lot of people don't realize that. Have you heard about the Ferguson protests? Blacks make up 13% of the US population yet they are treated as an insignificant minority. In America the Black population doesn't count for that much and it is larger than the population of union workers. Draw your own conclusions or analogies using this additional point of view.

12 hours ago
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Ask Slashdot: Resources For Kids Who Want To Make Games?

minstrelmike Re:One of these things is not like the other. (120 comments)

It's interesting, the asker asks for information about making games and the posters almost universally reply with information about making code. You guys do know these are two completely different activities? (And that computer games are only a small slice of the total gaming universe?)

He asked about game-making on a computer-oriented site. Sorry if we offended you by focusing on the computer aspect only (did you actually read any of the posts about design with cardboard and the usefulness of Dungeons and Dragons?).

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Resources For Kids Who Want To Make Games?

minstrelmike Re:It isn't what you think it is. (120 comments)

Most people want to write software, or play the guitar, or build a house.

That is, until they see it requires years of learning and practice to do it well.

That's only half of the story.
Creative or energetic or curious people try lots of things and stick with what turns them on.
Most of the people who take up guitar or any other hobby whatsoever don't stick with it. So what?
Try it and stick with the one(s) that keep your interest over time.

For the OP, the posts on game design with cardboard and rules are accurate but if the kid ain't into them, then they are useless. I'd suggest it along with one of the game dev packages (Unity3d is my pref) and see what sticks. When my son was 11, he and a friend filled several notebooks with rules for an open world game they were going to write. It was far too big for them (but I didn't say that to them). The exercise was excellent, they loved doing it, and they're the ones who eventually figured out just how complicated it all is.
Now my son is in college and just released his first game on the iApp store. It's got a single mechanic, touch the screen or release it.

2 days ago
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New Virus Means Deadlier Flu Season Is Possible

minstrelmike Re:Boy who cried wolf (163 comments)

It's not that the reports are "alarmist". It's (1) you're not understanding the actual risk, and (2) you're pretending that the reports are predicting the end of the world.

Yup. that applies to most of the comments.
Viruses mutate and flus occur regularly. Occasionally, one is deadly.
To get in front of evolution and have 50 million vaccines ready for distribution, you need to make educated guesses.
This year we guessed wrong. That's the gist of the article.

about two weeks ago
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Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

minstrelmike Re:Let's do the math (307 comments)

There appears to be an infinity of possible things that could happen evolutionarily.
But if you look merely at the number of stars in the entire universe, approximately 300 billion billion, that's essentially 10 to the 20th power. That means in order for life to be unique in the universe, all we need are 20 one out of ten possibilities in a row.

about a month ago
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Popular Smartphones Hacked At Mobile Pwn2Own 2014

minstrelmike Re:Device is not relevant but OS version is. (52 comments)

If the hack results in a jailbreak, I'm sure there will be a patch or a workaround on Cydia. I remember this happening with a SSL issue a few years ago.

Absolutely true. If the hack causes users to trash their old phone and buy a new one, well there's an incentive for the company to NOT fix the hack.
OTOH, if the hack causes jailbreaking and the carrier loses money, now we're talking about terrorists trying to destroy the entire capitalist system.
Incentives are very powerful.

about a month ago
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Popular Smartphones Hacked At Mobile Pwn2Own 2014

minstrelmike Re:BlackBerry Z30 (52 comments)

Every carrier (this wasn't about the phone but the network) in India provides a back door to the Indian government.

Lucky for all of us in America that we have the Department of Homeland Security "protecting" our private data.
(That's called sarcasm for those of you who are poorly socialized.)

about a month ago
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When We Don't Like the Solution, We Deny the Problem

minstrelmike Re:never mix science and politics (282 comments)

Never mix science with politics.

Don't worry. We never do. Scientists can't be trusted because they use the metric system just like foreigners do.

about a month and a half ago
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High Speed Evolution

minstrelmike Re:Falsifiability (282 comments)

....Now about those Moon landings, would you need some falsifiable evidence there too?

Does a link to a Faux News web site count? ;-)

about 2 months ago
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High Speed Evolution

minstrelmike Re:Falsifiability (282 comments)

I'd really like to see a falsifiable rendering of "evolution". It would make discussion so much easier.

That must be the basic problem with physics too. The universe we live in is NOT falsifiable; therefore physics can never come up with a valid scientific theory that us internally consistent and also completely covers everything.

Is that the philosophy of science in a nutshell? Enquiring minds want to know ;-)

about 2 months ago
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High Speed Evolution

minstrelmike Re:20 generations (282 comments)

The average height of post-war (WWII) Japanese was 2 inches taller than the previous generation. and that was due merely to the better availability of food--an environmental factor--but probably not anything to do with evolution per se.

As stated in another post, if you kill off the shortest 1/3 of the population, the average height immediately goes up.
Similarly, if the small-footed lizards drop off the trees and can't find enough food, the average foot-size immediately increases in the population independent of evolution occurring. Evolution is 2-step process. The environmental advantage or disadvantage occurs during the individual lives of each member of the species. The passing of genes to the next generation is a separate process that still reshuffles the genes via sex relentlessly regardless of environment. That's what makes it hard to determine when evolution via genes is occurring vs purely environmental factors winnowing a current population. The new population of lizards still produces some amount of small-footed ones due to sexual mixing of genes--and if the environment changes to reward smaller feet, the population will again change quickly.

about 2 months ago
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Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

minstrelmike Re:This is silly (720 comments)

It may be good for the economy. It may not be so good for the people who can no longer support themselves because they just lost their minimum wage job to a robot. It may not be good for the people who then get mugged by said hungry person either.

Actually, if it's bad for the workers on the bottom, then it will be bad for the economy over the long run.
Economics is civilization's circulatory system and when money stops circulating because it gets trapped at the top, the economy stops working. /*Money never gets trapped at the bottom */
Quote from the FED: You can't push a string.
No matter how low you push interest rates, it ain't worth borrowing to build a factory if DEMAND--the key to all economics--does not exist or cannot exist because the bottom-most folks have no money. Using taxes to rebuild our roads, bridges and aging water treatment systems would kickstart demand again (by hiring mid-level and low-level construction workers throughout America) but the rich folks think it's "my" money when it's really "our" economy.

Ayn Rand wrote fiction. Reset her "heroes" in Somalia or The Congo or some place without a strong central government and you can quickly see the benefits of a government that provides roads, infrastructure, and enforces contracts.

about 2 months ago
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Positive Ebola Test In Second Texas Health Worker

minstrelmike Re:Just tell me (463 comments)

I think the Texas hospital caused the infection _because_ we used First World thinking.
1. They did NOT spray the hazmat clothing down with bleach before taking it off--something they do in Africa
2. They suspect the nurses became infected performing intubation or dialysis, neither of which are done for patients in Africa.

Everything, even advanced medical technology, comes with pros and cons, benefits AND costs.

about 2 months ago
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Positive Ebola Test In Second Texas Health Worker

minstrelmike Re:Just tell me (463 comments)

Last I read, they are suspecting the nurse(s) got infected performing dialysis and intubation, neither of which are ever done for Ebola patients in Africa. There's a lot more possible exposure while doing stuff like that. And it may have been a simple unprotected neck or perhaps an error when taking the infection protection stuff off.

about 2 months ago
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Tech Workers Oppose Settlement They Reached In Silicon Valley Hiring Case

minstrelmike Re:Take the money and run (54 comments)

The lawyers have the same disincentive for getting the best price that a Realtor does.
As soon as a Realtor has _any_ reasonable offer for your $300,000 house, even if it is 30K less than what you want, the Realtor is looking at a decent 6% commission. S/he isn't too concerned with trying to get 6% of an additional $10-$30,000 AT THE RISK of losing 6% of the $270,000 already in hand. S/he'll honestly tell you it's a good deal because for her, it is a good deal.
For you, maybe not so much.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Can't Google Block Spam In Gmail?

minstrelmike Re:WTF? (265 comments)

Mine too. I had to report two e-mails as spam this past month
But I haven't had to do that in years and my spam folder is chockfull and my inbox is easy to read.
The article writer obviously doesn't know how to handle email or how to click correctly on options apparently.

about 2 months ago
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Fortune.com: Blame Tech Diversity On Culture, Not Pipeline

minstrelmike Re:Not where *I* work. (342 comments)

That's how social change starts.
The ones who want it to occur faster ignore the inertia of society.
imo, we (most folks) have accepted Global Warming/Human-Caused Climate Change fairly quickly. The ones who think we haven't done it quickly enough probably don't recognize their own input which delayed acceptance. We've kinda, sorta known about it since 1990 so that's a fairly quick change in attitude. And the ones who want it quicker want it to go on their time schedule. It's like a religion almost. If they were convinced (converted) in 1996, then _everybody_ who still doesn't believe is part of the problem. Yet they don't consider themselves being part of the problem in 1993.
I think acceptance of women as actual equals will occur fairly quickly in American technology. It takes awhile. The Bab was the first religious prophet to declare men and women are equal and need equal access to education. That didn't occur until 1844. We're moving ahead.

about 3 months ago
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A Garbage Truck That Would Make Elon Musk Proud

minstrelmike Re:Distance and Charge Time (174 comments)

Another advantage for garbage trucks and other vehicles that stay in the same city or area, you don't have to set up a nationwide recharging or hydrogen network to get started. There are a lot of fleet vehicles in certain areas using all sorts of different energy sources.

about 3 months ago
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Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans

minstrelmike Americans hate meters (460 comments)

I think the metric system is a big part of the problem for Americans.
Scientists use it. And the only other people who use the metric system are foreigners and terrorists, neither of whom can be trusted.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

minstrelmike Re:You're funny (232 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.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Why do contextual ads fail?

minstrelmike minstrelmike writes  |  about 2 months ago

minstrelmike (1602771) writes "If we give up all our privacy on-line for contextual ads, then how come so many of them are so far off the mark? Personal data harvesting for contextual ads and content should be a beautiful thing. They do it privately and securely, and it's all automated so that no human being actually learns anything about you. And then the online world becomes customized, just for you. The real problem with this scenario is that is we're paying for contextual ads and content with our personal data, but we're not getting what we pay for.

Facebook advertising is off target and almost completely irrelevant.

The question is: Why? Facebook has a database of our explicitly stated interests, which many users fill out voluntarily. Facebook sees what we post about. It knows who we interact with. It counts our likes, monitors our comments and even follows us around the Web. Yet, while the degree of personal data collection is extreme, the advertising seems totally random."

Link to Original Source
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Correcting Killer Architecture

minstrelmike minstrelmike writes  |  about 4 months 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 9 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  |  1 year,11 days

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."
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What if Manning had leaked to the New York Times?

minstrelmike minstrelmike writes  |  about 2 years 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."

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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."

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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...""

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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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