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Comments

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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

phantomfive Re:Are you kidding yourself? (679 comments)

Oh yes, I'm sure the CoS people have read them, but it will be state representatives who go to the constitutional convention. Do you trust your state government, and the rest of the state governments, enough that they will end up with something better? I sure don't.

1 hour ago
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How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

phantomfive Re:whine (205 comments)

if you are a developer, devops kind of sucks.

That's not what I said. I am happy to do devops as long as it doesn't take more than like 40% of my time.

1 hour ago
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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

phantomfive Re:yeah and... (360 comments)

Yours is the best comment in the story.

1 hour ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

phantomfive Re:NYTimes is left I believe. (174 comments)

The thing is, the NYT has a lot of high quality articles still, even if their newsroom is all liberal. They go deeply into subjects and do good research. You shouldn't believe everything they say, and if it's important, you should verify; but they give you good overview of the world.

Another high quality newspaper is the Wall Street Journal. If you're looking for print, it can't be beat, for similar reasons. The main difference is the WSJ focuses more on economic issues, and the NYT focuses more on social issues.

The editorial staff of both newspapers is mediocre, but the quality of the guest editorials can't be beaten, in both papers. You have ex presidents, or the commanding officer of the armed forces of Lebanon. Maybe you don't agree with the guest editorials, but they are often worth reading, more than the average blogger.

1 hour ago
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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

phantomfive Re:recent spate of mass killings? (1232 comments)

Homicides are different than mass killings. Check out the number of mass killings since 1906 for something comparable. I'm sure you're smart enough to realize the difference, so I don't even know what you are trying to accomplish by bringing up the wrong data there.

11 hours ago
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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

phantomfive Re:Are you kidding yourself? (679 comments)

Folks, it's time for a http://conventionofstates.com/ [conventionofstates.com]

No. It's guaranteed that whatever comes out of that will be worse than what we have now (and probably favor whichever party has the most representatives at the convention). Remember, the people who wrote the last constitution wrote the federalist papers. The ones representing us now haven't even read them.

12 hours ago
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Your StarCraft II Potential Peaked At Age 24

phantomfive Re:I have serious doubts.. (98 comments)

Rise of nations has a few default formations. If you think that's good enough, you completely fail to understand army positioning.

12 hours ago
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Your StarCraft II Potential Peaked At Age 24

phantomfive Re:I have serious doubts.. (98 comments)

If you want to manage sc2 like that, you can.... you can press the button to select your entire army then click the attack button and where on the map you want them to attack, but your engagements won't be very good because your army formations will be poorly organized.

12 hours ago
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Your StarCraft II Potential Peaked At Age 24

phantomfive Re:here's the data (98 comments)

it is quite intense: you need to keep focused throughout the entire match.

Wow, that is something I see as a benefit. I love the intense focus it takes. Of course it's harder to do for people with kids.

Although if you're Taeja, you can sign autographs during a match and still win.

12 hours ago
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Your StarCraft II Potential Peaked At Age 24

phantomfive Re:here's the data (98 comments)

'Publish or perish' is a very real thing. Sometimes scientists know their results aren't amazing, but are desperate to publish something because they've just spent a year's worth of grant money on it.

12 hours ago
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Your StarCraft II Potential Peaked At Age 24

phantomfive Re:Ender's Game (98 comments)

That pretty much works in Starcraft, too

12 hours ago
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Your StarCraft II Potential Peaked At Age 24

phantomfive Re:This makes my old man brain hurt (98 comments)

Yeah, you make a good point, this study didn't even claim find any correlation between age and skill-level; the headline is wrong. They claim to have found a correlation between click speed (reaction after the screen changes) and age, but even that claim is tenuous.

yesterday
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Your StarCraft II Potential Peaked At Age 24

phantomfive Re:Ability to give a shit about video games peaked (98 comments)

I'd like to see people who have a financial stake at being good at games over 5+ years compared.

Even then it's hard. For example, one pro-gamer hasn't been winning as much as his prime, but he's said he hasn't been practicing as hard (his teammate just won the championship in Korea, and he definitely practiced hard).

Of course, we can't necessarily trust his self-assessment, but it shows that even people who have a financial interest can get burned out and lose interest in the game.

yesterday
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How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

phantomfive Re:whine (205 comments)

Yeah, I remember the good old days, when there weren't many demands on developers, and release schedules were easy, and if you said to your boss, "can I have more time?" He said, "Sure, no problem my good friend, have a raise too!"

yesterday
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Your StarCraft II Potential Peaked At Age 24

phantomfive Re:I have serious doubts.. (98 comments)

that these measure brain decline since RTS is a game with the worst interface. i.e. it measures your ability to keep up with a poor interface.

How would you improve the interface? I'm not sure there's any way of handling 60 different units easily....

yesterday
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Your StarCraft II Potential Peaked At Age 24

phantomfive here's the data (98 comments)

They calculated the mean time between switching to a new screen and then clicking on something on that screen.

Here is the data they collected. Look at it and see if you can figure out where it peaks. What are the things that strike you most about that data? The primary correlation is between skill-level and mean time, if age matters at all it is a far weaker variable.

Looking at the actual data, I would say they've found the age when people stop playing Starcraft; it's a fairly sharp drop-off. And the change in mean-switching-time is not a real effect, merely an artifact of the suddenly smaller data they have around that age. This paper is probably relevant (suggesting scientists often need to improve their statistics).

Furthermore, if you read the actual paper, you have this quote: "A second analysis of dual-task performance finds no evidence of a corresponding age-related decline." So I'm going to say there's not a story here.

yesterday
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How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

phantomfive Re:What DevOps movement? (205 comments)

No politics, no being just a cog in a machine, no project management, no BS. Just me and code, giving people what they needed and making their jobs easier.

Oh yeah, that's exactly what I look for in a job.

yesterday
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How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

phantomfive whine (205 comments)

Python guru Jeff Knupp should go find a job where he can program, and not worry about ops. Simple solution.

yesterday

Submissions

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Poll Finds San Francisco Voters Favor Tech Buses

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  about three weeks ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "A recent poll to test SF opinions on the tech buses finds that most have a favorable view. 79% of those polled said that the tech industry has helped the city, and 67% said the shuttles should be able to use the MUNI stops.

Cynthia Crews from the League of Pissed-Off Voters disagreed, saying, " “[it was] paid for by tech companies""

Link to Original Source
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Why is US Broadband so Slow?

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  about 2 months ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "Verizon has said they will not be digging new lines any time soon. Time-Warner's cash flow goes towards paying down debt, not laying down fiber. AT&T is doing everything they can to slow deployment of Google fiber.
How can the situation be improved? Mainly by expediting right-of-way access, permits, and inspections, according to Andy Kessler. That is how Google was able to afford to lay down fiber in Austin, and how VTel was able to do it in Vermont (gigabit connections for $35 a month)."
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Why Whistleblowers Cannot Get a Fair Trial

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  about 3 months ago

phantomfive (622387) writes ""Seven whistleblowers have been prosecuted under the Obama administration," writes Jesselyn Radack, a lawyer who advised two of them. She explains why they can't get a fair trial. In the Thomas Drake case, the administration retroactively marked documents as classified, saying, "he knew they should have been classified." In the Bradley Manning case, the jury wasn't allowed to see what information was leaked. The defendants, all who have been charged with espionage, have limited access to court documents. Most of these problems happen because the law was written to deal with traitorous spies, not whistleblowers."
Link to Original Source
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Congress Becomes Aware of Patent Trolls

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  about 10 months ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "Congressman Charles Schumer has written a piece decrying the evils of patent trolls. "Because of the high cost of patent litigation—the average litigation defense costs a small or midsize company $1.75 million—it is often marginally cheaper for a defendant to pay up front to make the case go away. The average settlement for the same group of companies is $1.33 million....Patent trolls cost U.S. companies $29 billion in 2011 alone."
His solution? Make it easier for low quality patents to be re-examined and rejected by the patent office."
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Google Maps Used to Find Tax Cheats

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  about a year ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "Some countries are worried about the privacy implications of Google Maps, but Lithuania is using them to find tax cheats. "Two recent cases netted $130,000 in taxes and penalties after investigators found houses photographed by Google that weren't on official maps....'We were very impressed,' said Modestas Kaseliauskas, head of the State Tax Authority. 'We realized that we could do more with less and in shorter time." The people of Lithuania don't seem to mind. "Authorities have been aided by the local populace. 'We received even more support than we expected,' said Mr. Kaseliauskas, the chief tax inspector.""
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Hacking the Android VM by Facebook

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  about a year ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "Facebook's new Android App literally modifies the Dalvik VM runtime while it's running.
They found this necessary because the Dalvik machine has a hard-coded limit on the number of methods that can be loaded in a process at one time, so they used JNI to modify to increase this hard-coded limit at runtime.

Is this a horrible programming technique from Facebook, or is it a workaround for a poorly-designed runtime?"

Link to Original Source
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Former TSA Administrator Speaks

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  about 2 years ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "Former TSA head Kip Hawley talks about the TSA: "it's simply no longer the case that killing a few people on board a plane could lead to a hijacking. Never again will a terrorist be able to breach the cockpit simply with a box cutter or a knife. The cockpit doors have been reinforced, and passengers, flight crews and air marshals would intervene.

I wanted to reduce the amount of time that officers spent searching for low-risk objects, but politics intervened at every turn. Lighters were untouchable, having been banned by an act of Congress. And despite the radically reduced risk that knives and box cutters presented in the post-9/11 world, allowing them back on board was considered too emotionally charged for the American public."

Link to Original Source
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Global Warming Scientist Slamdown

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  more than 2 years ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "Earlier 16 scientists said anthropogenic global warming is not something to worry about. This generated some rebuttals, "Do you consult your dentist about your heart condition? In science, as in any area, reputations are based on knowledge and expertise in a field and on published, peer-reviewed work."
Now the 16 are hitting back. "We urge readers not to depend on pompous academy pronouncements—on what we say....everyone should look at certain stubborn facts that don't fit the theory espoused in the Trenberth letter.""

Link to Original Source
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Microsoft Wants Your Information

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  more than 3 years ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "The company everyone loves to hate is after your private information, as the Wall Street Journal reports. The IE8 design team had planned on adding the best privacy features available, but the advertising executives wanted to track users. From the story, "In the end, the product planners lost a key part of the debate. The winners: executives who argued that giving automatic privacy to consumers would make it tougher for Microsoft to profit from selling online ads. Microsoft built its browser so that users must deliberately turn on privacy settings every time they start up the software.""
Link to Original Source
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GoDaddy Follows Google's Lead

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  about 4 years ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "GoDaddy has announced they will no longer register domain names in China, in response to new requirements that each registrant be photographed, and their business ID number be submitted. GoDaddy's representative said, "The intent of the procedures appeared, to us, to be based on a desire by the Chinese authorities to exercise increased control over the subject matter of domain name registrations by Chinese nationals." Is it possible that GoDaddy has any ethics at all?"
Link to Original Source
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Prize for Finding Unintended Acceleration Cause

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  more than 4 years ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "Edmunds Auto has offered a $1million prize to anyone who can find the cause of unintended acceleration. As Wikipedia covers, this is a problem that has plagued not only Toyota, but also Audi and other manufacturers. Consumer Reports has some suggestions all automakers can implement to solve this problem, including requiring breaks to be strong enough to stop the car even when the accelerator is floored."
Link to Original Source
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New Type of Cloud Discovered

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  more than 4 years ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "In Iowa and Scotland there are reports of a type of cloud not yet recognized by the World Meteorological Foundation. It seems the cloud does not match any of the clouds in the International Cloud Atlas, and thus there is a campaign underway to have it included. Some have said the clouds look like armageddon has arrived. For me, writing clouds all these times makes me want to eat cotton candy."
Link to Original Source
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3 charges against Terry Childs dropped

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  more than 4 years ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "Terry Childs, who was arrested nearly a year ago for refusing to turn over the passwords to the San Francisco's FiberWAN network has been cleared for three of the four charges against him. The charges that were dropped referred to the attachment of modems to the network. The remaining charge is for refusing to turn over the password. The prosecutor has vowed to appeal, to have the charges reinstated. We have the original story, and the story where Childs tells his side, for those who want a refresher."
Link to Original Source
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Redhat now part of S&P 500

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  more than 4 years ago

phantomfive (622387) writes "Redhat has made it onto the S&P 500, an important measure of the stock market. It is replacing CIT, which is expected to go bankrupt after the government refused to bail them out. Redhat is the first Linux company to make it on to the S&P500. While this means little directly for the company, it is an indication of the importance Linux is taking on in the world."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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World Peace is Easy

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  about 4 years ago

World peace is an unusually simple problem: it's entirely a marketing problem. We don't even have to get people to buy anything, all we have to do is get them to want it. The marketing is the whole problem. Once everyone wants it, then the problem is solved because no one will fight anymore. It really is that easy.

In talking to people, I have observed three broad 'market segments' that need to be addressed, three types of people. Maybe there are more, but this is what I have found so far:

1) Those who think that humans are violent by nature, and thus war is inevitable. These are believers in the 'killer ape' theory or perhaps they've just seen too much violence in their lives. Fortunately men are not violent by nature, the 'killer ape' theory is discredited, and in any case we are capable of choosing our destinies.

2) The second group are those who would stop fighting, but the 'other guys' won't stop. These are most Americans. They didn't want to attack Afghanistan originally, but the Afghanis struck first, so what choice was there? These people happily would support peace if they saw it as a viable possibility. Fortunately, peace is viable because it is the most profitable solution, we just need to help the world see that. The more people start supporting peace, the more this group will become convinced that peace is possible.

3) The third group is the most difficult group, because they actually have something to gain from war. In this category was Slobodan Milosevic, who wanted to consolidate power in his country, or warriors on the edge of the Sahara who want to take others' land for their own cattle. Some people fight because it is exciting, they like the thrill. These people need to see that there is a better way, and that their children will want to live in peace, and sometimes compromise is worth it. Anyone who has loved has learned the value of compromise. These people can too.

Try to talk to everyone you can about world peace, because word of mouth is the best type of marketing.

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Religion is falsifiable

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  more than 4 years ago

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1301347&cid=28687519

Religions are falsifiable (science is the un-falsifiable thing: it is a tool, not a proposition. How do you falsify a hammer? How do you falsify science?). Any decent religious system has ideas of the type, if you do X, then Y will happen. Let's investigate a bit, and see what some religions say:

Buddhism: if you follow the eight-fold path, your suffering will end. Extremely testable. If you follow the eight-fold path, and you are still suffering, then man, they led you astray.

Tantric yoga: do these exercises and meditations and eventually you will have a kundalini rising (enlightenment). So if you do them, and you don't have a kundalini rising, then you know tantra is worthless (either that or your teacher sucks).

The Bible: Those who believe shall be able to do miracles, such as drink poison and not get hurt, or heal the sick (Mark 16:17). So if you follow Christ and you can't do those things, then......yeah, you've just falsified it.

Daoism: 99% of the battle of daoism is figuring out what you are supposed to do. That is an ancient Chinese way of teaching.....but, if you ever do figure out what it is you're supposed to do, then you will be able to tap into the mysterious power of the Dao. If you figure out what you are supposed to do, and do it, and still can't tap into that power, then you've just falsified Daoism.

Mormonism: fast and pray oft, grow in humility, and you will be filled with joy and consolation. I really like Mormonism because it is even more scientific: it says all over the place things like, "if you have faith, God will give you anything that is good." It gives examples of people who became good enough that God gave them anything they asked for, and it says that you can do it too. It even directly gives an example of how to test these claims, and verify/falsify them. I like it because the more clear the promises, the more easily it is falsifiable.

See? If all you are saying is that some being out there exists who affects life on earth in some undetectable way, then yeah, it's pretty pointless. But any preacher who preaches that doesn't know his religion.

Also see:

http://interviews.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=39406&cid=4207448

http://interviews.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=39406&cid=4208176

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Programming Style

phantomfive phantomfive writes  |  more than 5 years ago

"I'd crawl over an acre of 'Visual This++' and 'Integrated Development That' to get to gcc, Emacs, and gdb. Thank you." (By Vance Petree, Virginia Power)

Amen.

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