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Comments

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Why Do Humans Grow Up So Slowly? Blame the Brain

prgrmr Re:Society also does this.. (128 comments)

So many poor assumptions there. The average life expectancy was a lot less 100 years ago: http://demog.berkeley.edu/~and... Consequently, people got married earlier because they died sooner; this goes back through the beginning of recorded history, and it was really only in post-WWI 20th century that marrying while a teenager became not just not the norm, but socially frowned upon. Also, look at the drops in life expectancy in 1918 and 1943; what you are seeing it the effects of both world wars and the spanish influenza epidemic in 1918. So life wasn't just short, it was unpredictably precarious in a very real, life-limiting way.

While there are definitely observable fetish aspects to the celebration of youth in our current culture, we no longer marry immediately post-pubescent because, for the very most part, we no longer need to as a practical necessity to be able to have family or an otherwise "full life".

You assumptions on economics are so bad they border on ridiculous. Up until the 1920s, 30 percent or more of the US population were farmers: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/t... And yes, as the percentage of workers in agriculture declined, those in manufacturing rose; however, the real economic differentiator remains education, and that trend has only been slowly improving: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E...

4 days ago
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News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

prgrmr Re:Sigh (738 comments)

You were kicked out of kindergarten as a child for not playing well with others, weren't you?

Or, if you require a religious analogy, if worship is an act of volition (i.e., you have to chose to worship God), then approval also has to be an act of volition; as opposed to tolerance, which simply involves a choice to ignore behavior that doesn't otherwise interfere with your personal choices. Or do you not believe in or not understand free will?

about two weeks ago
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By 2045 'The Top Species Will No Longer Be Humans,' and That Could Be a Problem

prgrmr Re: Now thats incentive (564 comments)

The average human is only of average intelligence, and average intelligence isn't all that smart.

If we ever get to the point where there are self-aware machines, it is infinitely more likely they will be borg-like with a collective consciousness than not, which means no one machine needs to "know" or be able to "remember" everything, just to know where in the network to access the knowledge repository.

And saying "only natural" about artificial constructs completely invalidates your conclusion, as does thinking humans optimize. People, in general, follow the path of least resistance. See my first sentence above for why.

about 2 months ago
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Cassini's Space Odyssey To Saturn

prgrmr Re:Fear Mongers Didn't Want to Let Cassini Fly (45 comments)

It's more complex than that: Cassini has 3 RTGs, plus a dozen or so pellets in the Huygens probe to keep its instruments from completely freezing during the 7 year trip to Saturn. The ultimate "doomsday" scenario would have to have the entire spacecraft vaporizing less than a mile over a major metropolitan area, scattering plutonium dust as it goes. However, I would be much more concerned if it exploded over a fresh-water lake or reservoir, tainting the water supply. Given that 70% of the Earth's surface is covered by water, an ocean landing would have been much more likely had it crashed. The biggest risk was the launch: 1 in 40 rocket launches blow-up on the pad or before maximum velocity is reached.

about 2 months ago
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California Legalizes Bitcoin

prgrmr store credit (162 comments)

Store credit has always been legal. Stores allowing customers to use credit from other stores it has a reciprocal agreement with for honoring store credit has always been legal. As long as a place of business is willing to accept US dollars, it can accept whatever other form of credit, discount, or voucher that it wants. And given that the federal constitution declares that the US dollar is the currency of the nation, the state law was, at best, redundant.

Individual states weighing in on bitcoin doesn't make it any more or any less valid or relevant in the market. When the IRS, SEC, and US Treasury finally make definitive policy statements specifically mentioning bitcoin, then you'll have your validity, or invalidity, as the case may be.

about 2 months ago
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Massachusetts SWAT Teams Claim They're Private Corporations, Immune To Oversight

prgrmr fraud by the LECs (534 comments)

I haven't yet looked for it, but I suspect the law that authorizes the creation of the LECs in the first place would implicitly preclude them from filing for non-profit status in the first place, so the LECs have committed fraud by doing so, and should be prosecuted in Federal court accordingly.

about 2 months ago
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Recommendations For Classic Superhero Comic Collections?

prgrmr The JSA (165 comments)

If you really want to understand comics, get and read "The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How it Changed America". It's a part of American literary history that shouldn't be forgotten, and is indispensable for understanding the evolution of comic books. And then get a hold of every Justice Society of America comic, omnibus, and reprint that you can and starting reading from there through the 60s and 70s related titles. You will never look at modern comic books the same way again.

about 3 months ago
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New Type of Star Can Emerge From Inside Black Holes, Say Cosmologists

prgrmr Re:Information paradox? (193 comments)

The 2nd law isn't violated as whatever falls into the black hole either becomes part of the singularity/Plank star, or is expelled during the transition via Hawking radiation. Your question on entropy doesn't make sense, as the cosmologists are postulating that the Plank star *is* the black hole.

about 7 months ago
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HTML5 App For Panasonic TVs Rejected - JQuery Is a "Hack"

prgrmr Re:Ah, yes... but... FUCK BETA! (573 comments)

I don't care what they do with beta, but if they get rid of classic, I will simply delete my account and stop reading slashtdot at all. Although, I suspect it will take a massive number of other people voting with their feet and leaving to get Dice to repent from pulling an ebay and "fixing" it until they break it.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Do You Do If You're Given a Broken Project?

prgrmr mercy killing (308 comments)

Find reasons, both technical and financial, to make the most professional recommendation that you can to kill the project. This means just the facts, and no name calling (actual or implied), no editorializing about the lack of quality or organization of the project's goals, parameters, or guidelines or lack thereof--although anything obviously absent should be noted. Take a moral stand, if necessary, about your resolve to not take money under false pretenses, and that continuing the project would be just that. Implying that anyone else taking money for the project, contractor or employee, would be equally doing so falsely, may be either the exact needed thing to do, or the exact most wrong thing to do, depending upon your audience.

about 7 months ago
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Japanese Researchers Build Rock-paper-scissors Robot That Wins 100% of the Time

prgrmr rigged tests are unimpressive (114 comments)

Lets see the test done with the human hand held still in front of the robot hand and not waving around or flying toward the robot to signal the start of the game, and the gesture not overly-dramatically done, and have the robot triggered from a verbal cue just like the human. Yes, I get that the Japanese love robot tech. But this isn't good robot tech, and it's certainly not good science, it's just rigged pseudo-drama.

about 10 months ago
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Nine Traits of the Veteran Network Admin

prgrmr missing trait (142 comments)

insufferable prima donna

about a year ago
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Richard Stallman's Solution To 'Too Big To Fail'

prgrmr Just enforce the existing laws (649 comments)

It's the same solution as always: simply enforce the laws we have. Enforce anti-trust law, enforce truth in advertising law, enforce laws against anti-competitive behavior by monopoly and near--monopoly sized corporations. If the SEC had enforced its regs fully against Goldman Sachs, et al, that were on one hand recommending to their customers to buy mortgage-backed securities, and on the other hand having a prohibition against them for in-house investing and NOT telling their customers about this, they would not have been able to dump as many of these junk securities on other banks or the government.

about a year and a half ago
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Pakistan's PM Demands International Blasphemy Laws From UN

prgrmr Re:Message to the intolerant (957 comments)

Leviticus is, almost entirely, about ceremonial and civil law; that is, the laws that the Israelites lived under while their form of government was a theocracy. If you are not living in a Jewish theocracy, then Leviticus isn't for you.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Would Your 'I've Got To Disappear' Plan Look Like?

prgrmr Don't disappear, go offensive (789 comments)

Governments outlive people, so there's no way you could take enough cash or resources with you if you don't already have a safe house setup somewhere. So go offensive and immediately get to your attorney who should be well versed in federal criminal law as well as civil law and have some understanding of international law with regard to protecting you from getting extradited. Have your attorney appeal to your state's/province's attorney general office for protection because you witnessed a possible criminal act and you now fear for your safety. (That you are fearing for your safety from the federal government is irrelevant as far as the A.G. should be concerned).

You will also want to simultaneously arrange for a "leak" to your local newspaper and TV station as well as sending anonymous "leaks" to national newspapers, cable news networks, and the AP in case the A.G's office just turns you over to the feds. Ensure that your attorney has several of his partners or even another law firm in on what's going on, so you have defense in-depth in case someone gets cold feet (genuine or is paid-off to), so there will be someone to file the appropriate papers with the courts. Also let you family and friends know so that if the feds are intent on making your "disappear" it won't happen without considerable notice.

And above all, don't be naive: if the feds want you, they are going to get you. Don't waste time, money, or effort preventing it, just presume it will happen and deal with it from that point on.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do I Stay Employable?

prgrmr choices for real action (708 comments)

1. Leverage your industry knowledge and move to a company that's still in the financial industry, but doesn't handle other people's money. These companies (start-ups aside) are generally more stable now that we are 4 years beyond the home mortgage melt-down, and they have less risk. This, of course, means they offer less rewards (lower base salaries, lesser or no bonuses), but that's the trade-off for not worrying about getting laid-off

2. Management, but only if you want to embrace the accountability. I'll assume you are all too aware of the politics of accountability in the financial industry. Being a manager is willingly putting yourself in the political cross-hairs. It's going to be like that to a lesser degree in any industry, so if you can't take that sort of heat, stay out of the management kitchen.

3. Stay in programming if you love what you do and are at all good at it. It's much easier to get up and go to work everyday doing something you love, or even just like, than something you hate to do but think it's better because of the pay or benefits.

4. Look at small and mid-size companies. Ageism is much less of a factor in smaller companies. While being the jack-of-all-IT-trades has it's stress points, it also makes you somewhat indispensable to your employer, and is much easier to do in smaller IT shops.

5. Stay where you are and try to be the MVP. If you don't already know where the bodies are buried or what skeletons are in whose closet, you're not likely to find out now. So, you'll have to become valuable the old fashioned way: earning it. Find a skill set that is absolutely necessary to your companies bottom line, find out who on the business side cares about it, become and expert in the skill and the friend of those business folks. Now you have an advocate in a profit-center to go with your argument on the IT side for the company keeping you around. If you do good work and can make the effort to politically correctly for your environment to get acknowledgment for it (notice I did not say credit), then your work will *almost* speak for itself.

6. Pray.

more than 2 years ago
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Facebook iOS App Ditching HTML5 For ObjectiveC

prgrmr Re:C'mon (240 comments)

No, they are having trouble getting a proprietary OS to play efficiently with an open standard, in order to communicate with their back-end servers to cooperate efficiently enough to get it all to scale across several million simultaneous users.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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The Science Fiction series I like the most:

prgrmr prgrmr writes  |  more than 4 years ago

prgrmr (568806) writes "Andromeda

Dr. Who

Firefly

Stargate

Star Trek

Star Wars

Some other noted below

I'm not a fan of Science Fiction"
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Favorite Source for Driving Directions

prgrmr prgrmr writes  |  more than 6 years ago

prgrmr (568806) writes "1. Google Maps 2. Mapquest 3. Yahoo Maps 4. maps.com 5. MSN Maps (mapblast.com) 6. Rand McNally 7. AAA 8. Cowboy Neal is my guide"

Journals

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my response to slashdot beta

prgrmr prgrmr writes  |  about 7 months ago

If the beta becomes the new, permanent interface, and the "classic" view is completely done away with, I will simply delete my account. I urge others who dislike beta to do the same.

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poll submission: preferred source for driving directions:

prgrmr prgrmr writes  |  more than 6 years ago

  1. google maps
  2. mapquest
  3. yahoo maps
  4. maps.com
  5. msn maps (mapblast)
  6. rand mcnally
  7. AAA
  8. Cowboy Neal is my guide

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yet another poll submission

prgrmr prgrmr writes  |  more than 8 years ago Favoite Slashdot Complaint:

  • Moderation System
  • Mispelings
  • Typographical Erorrs
  • their/there affect/effect who's/whose
  • Duplicate Articles
  • Duplicate Articles on the Front Page
  • Cowboy Neal/CmdrTaco/Hemos/Zonk

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another silly poll submission

prgrmr prgrmr writes  |  more than 9 years ago Of Handedness and Mice: What combination applies to you?

  • Right handed, mouse config'd for right hand
  • Right handed, mouse config'd for left hand
  • Left handed, mouse config'd for right hand
  • Left handed, mouse config'd for left hand
  • More than one of the above
  • I don't use a mouse
  • I don't have hands you insensitive clod!

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ok, so I'm writing in this thing

prgrmr prgrmr writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I'm blatantly stealing a couple of other's ideas with this, but I'm going to start recording the story and poll submissions I make here. Starting with this:

Poll: Most Egregious Security Breach in Your Environment:

- Users are allowed to use the systems. And the e-mail. And the Internet.

  - Who needs a firewall? Or who needs a firewall that inhibits productivity!

  - What's this "AntiVirus software" you speak of, and why should I care if it's updated?

  - If this password is good enough to be the Vendor's default, then it's good enough for me!

  - Firmware updates? You can do that? On a router?

  - Cowboy Neal plugs all my security holes

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So you came here looking for a journal?

prgrmr prgrmr writes  |  more than 11 years ago So sorry to disappoint (if that is the case), but I don't keep one. I don't consider myself to be a writer in the sense steroetypically attributed to the ubiquitous average blogger. I don't have the need to emote via writing, to read my own words on a daily basis, to record the odd epiphany, or what have you.

I read Slashdot because I want to stay informed, and this is as good a source for that as any, and better than a lot of others available on the 'Net. Being a computer programmer and systems admin, I have an appreciation of the perspective from which information is presented here. I have, on occasion, submitted a story I thought relavent to the Slashdot community. I will occasionally post a comment because I think I have something to add to the discussion. That's all.

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