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Comments

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Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated

pla Re: "tl;dr" doesn't make you look smarter. (191 comments)

We've personally dealt with long-time academics who have no real world experience. They'll spew theoretical crap all day long, and those of us who have worked in industry see it for what it is: crap.

In CompSci, I would tend to agree with you; and the humanities do count as complete bullshit, so nothing for them to really get objectively "wrong". :)

But in Quantum Physics? In that domain, the academics overlap 100% with "industry". Sure, you could argue that virtually the entirety of the semiconductor industry depends on quantum physics, but IMO, that field evolved incrementally from the "Cat's whisker" (which may as well have worked by magic for all its users understood about it), not from any sort of first-principles breakthrough as verification of the theory.

2 days ago
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Quantum Physics Just Got Less Complicated

pla "tl;dr" doesn't make you look smarter. (191 comments)

Wow, loving all the ACs calling this obvious, who clearly didn't even make it to the abstract! "Such wave-particle duality relations (WPDRs) are often thought to be conceptually inequivalent to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, although this has been debated."

Clearly, all you armchair physicists need to set those ivory-tower morons straight!

2 days ago
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Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

pla Re:Dry Counties? (468 comments)

What they have been telling me is that since Colorado legalized pot, they have seen a huge increase in people bringing pot into the state. That is the difference from a dry to wet county.

I wouldn't really call that a "difference" - The exact same thing happens in "dry" counties/town. Maybe somewhere in the deep, dark South you can find a town or two that really believe in all that "dry" bullshit, but in practice, prohibitions against alcohol work just as well as prohibitions against pot - ie, not at all.


they all agree that if you're caught with it, they can't just let you go.

I realize you said that as a paraphrased quote, not a personal stance, but... Of course they can! Did you ever get pulled over for speeding or an expired inspection, and the cop let you off with a warning?

Ironically enough, the idea of "police discretion" applies all the way up the food chain - Colorado can "get away" with its legalization precisely because the federal government has decided that, for now at least, it will turn a blind eye to marijuana use in states that legalize it.

2 days ago
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'Revolving Door' Spins Between AT&T, Government

pla Re:Buying new "mobile devices" from AT&T? (61 comments)

Surely the government's wasting our tax dollars

You really didn't need the rest of those words.

about two weeks ago
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Is Enterprise IT More Difficult To Manage Now Than Ever?

pla Re:Is it more difficult? (241 comments)

It's like IT has become superficial and vacuous, and the decisions are being made by idiots who don't know which parts of technology add value to the business/support core business activities and are necessary.

Given that IT itself doesn't typically get to decide what services the company expects it to provide, I'd say you've pretty much nailed it with that quote - IT (at least the externally-visible aspects of it) has become superficial and vacuous, with the decisions made by idiots who can't tell "shiny" from "useful". You just need to clarify who makes those decisions.

about two weeks ago
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MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

pla Re:Sexual Harassment shouldn't cost us knowledge (416 comments)

Actually, if you scan my posting history, you'll notice I have nothing particular against Obama, other than his overall impotence as a president. I like some of his policies, and dislike others.

I merely used him as a convenient example, nothing more, nothing less.

about two weeks ago
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MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

pla Re:Sexual Harassment shouldn't cost us knowledge (416 comments)

You have to understand that a particularly vocal minority, and one endemic to academia at that, believes that anyone who doesn't actively fight for Social Justice(tm) has no value to humanity, in any capacity.

For example, let's say you played a key role in discovering the structure of DNA, but then later said some things that could, if twisted juuust the right way, mean that some races potentially have attributes that others don't. You instantly become worthless, and to hell with what those stuck-up Ivory Tower fools on the Nobel committee has to say about it. If, however, you have no meaningful contributions for society beyond "first minority president", clearly the brilliant minds on the Nobel committee chose correctly in awarding you a Peace price, regardless of your stance on torture.

about two weeks ago
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Bellard Creates New Image Format To Replace JPEG

pla Re:Transparency is supported. Pronounciation? (377 comments)

How are we going to pronounce this thing? "Bee-Peg" I suppose since "Bee-Pee-Gee" doesn't roll off the tongue.

Oh come on, you literalist! You should clearly pronounce it with a soft "B". ;)

about two weeks ago
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Fraud Bots Cost Advertisers $6 Billion

pla Re:Good. (190 comments)

Awesome, thanks... I missed that one!

about two weeks ago
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James Watson's Nobel Prize Medal Will Be Returned To Him

pla Re:Taxes (235 comments)

Can't help but to wonder about the tax consequences of this both to Watson and all Nobel prize winners.

The US already treats prestigious awards (Nobels, Olympics, etc) as taxable income.

Watson hocking his medal doesn't change much. And depending on how much of it he actually donated, he may have no actual taxable liability as a result of the sale.

about two weeks ago
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James Watson's Nobel Prize Medal Will Be Returned To Him

pla Re:Watson is a scientist (235 comments)

PsySSA can probably name a few for you.

Probably even a few with a bit more up-to-date methods than an Austrian pervert dead some 75 years now...

about two weeks ago
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Fraud Bots Cost Advertisers $6 Billion

pla Good. (190 comments)

Where do I get one of these bots?

I don't want the money, I just want to make sure Madison Ave doesn't have it either.

about two weeks ago
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An Algorithm To Prevent Twitter Hashtag Degeneration

pla An Algorithm To Prevent Slashdot FP Degeneration (162 comments)

delete from dbo.FIREHOSE where submitted_by = "Bennett Haselton" ;
delete from dbo.USERS where username = "Bennett Haselton" ;
insert into dbo.banned (username, duration) select "Bennett Haselton", -1 ;

about two weeks ago
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Why Elon Musk's Batteries Frighten Electric Companies

pla Re:TFA title is "Fear and Promise" (461 comments)

And I still failed to mention that second point, duh. For that daily fuel use, I meant to compare the lower end of the usage range, so 2.9 gallons every six to eight hours, rather than every hour.

about two weeks ago
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Why Elon Musk's Batteries Frighten Electric Companies

pla Re:TFA title is "Fear and Promise" (461 comments)

Ah, I may have spoken poorly on two points. First, I primarily meant that small portable generators don't function as efficiently as they could. "Bigger is better", in this case, up to a point - So while I can power my house on a portable 5KW LPG in a pinch, if I had a dedicated, pad-mounted, tank-fed 10KW diesel, I could realistically expect to get more than double the fuel efficiency out of it... Except, I bought that 5KW for under a thousand, whereas a quality 10KW diesel would easily run me up to a thousand per KW. All a matter of tradeoffs. :)

about two weeks ago
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Why Elon Musk's Batteries Frighten Electric Companies

pla Re: Are they really that scared? (461 comments)

If someone can reasonably live without healthcare

I honestly can't tell if you meant to agree with me, or mock me. I'd guess mocking, but wow did you miss that mark, if so. FWIW, I actually came thiiis close to using the "popularity" of mandatory health insurance as an example in that response.

And I say that as someone who supports socialized healthcare - I just consider the clusterfuck we have here in the US almost beyond belief in its uselessness. So we give tax subsidies to (some) needy people, to pay a private company so they can technically have "insurance" - With a deductible so high that it still won't save anyone who qualifies for those subsidies from medical bankruptcy if they ever actually manage to reach their deductible? And meanwhile, as someone who actually gets - sorry, past tense, "got" - halfway decent insurance through work, what has happened to my coverage? "Dingdingding" if you went with "the same thing that happens in any industry the government actively requires you to do business with - Higher prices and lower quality".

about two weeks ago
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Why Elon Musk's Batteries Frighten Electric Companies

pla Re: Are they really that scared? (461 comments)

The problem is that if the rich areas start being able to mostly go off grid, the franchise provider is now screwed having to provide to the high cost areas while still also serving the low cost areas, but receiving much smaller revenue due to the roof top solar/batteries cutting usage of the grid.

If we consider subsidizing power to the poor a valuable social service, then we should state that bluntly and not beat around the bush with regulations technically disconnected from that goal. "Sure, you can go off grid, but you'll still need to pay a $25 a month tax so your neighbors can pay less". Simple as that.

Realistically, though, people already have ways around these regulations. Simplest case, AFAIK nowhere has outright banned solar installations, only either going off-grid or a grid-tie system. A mechanical cutover switch, rather than a grid-tie, satisfies both of those conditions, and counts as pretty common hardware for whole-house generator backup systems. Of course, if you think people resent their electric bills now, wait until they literally have to pay $25 a month, every month, for 0KWH. IMO, you'd find that more palatable as a feel-good tax than as a "fee" paid to companies only slightly less hated than cable and cellular carriers.

Personally, though (and I accept that you may legitimately disagree with me on this), I don't see it as necessarily beneficial to force the poor to pay $100-200 a month just because my standard of living requires electricity. If someone can reasonably live without power and can find a better use for a grand or two per year, hey, more power (no pun intended) to 'em!

about two weeks ago
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Why Elon Musk's Batteries Frighten Electric Companies

pla Re:you're missing the technical issues (461 comments)

Thank you for that correction, lest someone actually try it. FWIW, I meant that more rhetorically than seriously. :)

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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French anti-piracy logo uses pirated fonts

pla pla writes  |  more than 4 years ago

pla (258480) writes "Cory Doctorow reports (and FontFeed confirms, with better fact-checking) that the French governmental agency in charge of enforcing their new "Three Strikes" Law, Hadopi, has made use of not just one, but two unlicensed fonts in their official logo.

One of these, "Bienvenue", exists only as a privately owned font designed exclusively for France Telecom with no licensing terms available whatsoever. Hadopi claims they never intended that version of the logo for release — Despite having registered it (complete with infringing fonts) as a trademark two months ago. For the other font used in their logo (including both the original and the replacement), "Bliss", they didn't purchase a license to use it until the very day they found it necessary to release a non-infringing replacement logo."

Journals

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Call me paranoid, but...

pla pla writes  |  more than 8 years ago So today I posted a little off-the-cuff comment about parenting and video-games... Nothing major, though undeniably strongly opinionated. Agree or disagree as you will - Not the point of this journal entry.

First mod to it, troll. Okay, I think, I've gotten an awfully lot of those lately to posts I clearly didn't mean as trolling or flamebait, but whatever, perhaps I have an anti-fanboi.

Then later, I got two interestings and an insightful. Okay, not bad, that at least pushes me up to a +2, which with my karma bonus gives a total score of 4. Which it did indeed show.


Now, a few hours later I check back again, and see a total score of two, still with the same breakdown of a troll, an insightful, and two interestings. Biggest difference, my karma bonus has vanished (though my account still shows me as having excellent karma, so not like I magically lost my good karma between 4:30pm and 8:15pm).


So... As the subject line says, "call me paranoid, but" who has the power to change that? Do we have editors seriously abusing their powers, going around making Slashdot's moderation system even less meaningful than its normal, defective, modstorm-prone state?


I'd really like to know... I've written 1858 posts to Slashdot in the past few years, on the presumption that, except for the Gods correcting truly egregious abuses, the moderation system at least works at face value. If every slave-labor underling working at /. can just up and steal karma from posts that hit on one of their peeves, I'd like to know not to waste any more of my life contributing to a lost cause...

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Interesting ratings...

pla pla writes  |  about 12 years ago "Score:-1, Insightful"

I can only say, "WTF"? How does an insightful comment get a -1?

Heh. If I took this seriously, I might feel somewhat concerned by the logic behind that.

Overall, though, I find it more *amusing* that one person's "insightful" equals another's "flamebait" or "troll". I can understand reduntant, or overrated, but flamebait and troll seem mutually exclusive from any positive mods whatsoever.

Strange world we live in. Well... No, just strange people in it. ;-)

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Wow, I have fans! (And freaks...)

pla pla writes  |  about 12 years ago So, my first /. journal entry. Forgive the me-centric nature of it, but I just spent a few minutes wandering around my preferences page, and noticed all sorts of cool things.

Most interestingly, I actually have fans and freaks! Eerie.

I don't quite know *how* I got them, since I did a quick perusal of their posting history, and we don't seem to have any obvious threads in common. Do people just randomly add others to their friends and foes list?

Oh, and I seem to have moderator points once again. In all the years I've used Slashdot, I got my first moderator points only a few months ago. Now, this latest set of points makes my third (fourth?) time.

So, in other news, I managed to get a comment of mine modded out of existance today. So what have I learned from slashdot? One, don't say anything bad about Apple - those fans get *vicious*, even about very guarded criticism. And two, in a forum of mostly geeks, don't attack science (the institution, not the techniques) as little more than a modern religion, complete with priests, acolytes, and inviolable holy doctrine.

Hmm, okay. I guess I'll stop now.

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