Walmart Unveils Turbine-Powered WAVE Concept Truck
And what's wrong with subsidizing something we all use and benefit from? Those who can pay more do in the form of higher property taxes (the rich actually pay a smaller percentage to the feds income/capital gains tax, but that's a different story). But in return the can hire people at lower wages and patronize businesses with cheaper prices because those businesses can hire people at lower wages. Without the subsidy, we'd either have crime, a revolution or higher wages.
Are Bankers Paid Too Much? Are Technology CEOs?
> It would distort the free market and no one would take the risk...
Risk? What risk? The DOW did hit ~7k briefly, but last year it broke record highs on a daily basis. If you happened to be the idiot who sold at 7K, you lost. If you just kept your money where it was, you're doing pretty well. And why is that? Because congress plunged us deeper into debt and the federal reserve printed money like it was going out of style. And in the long run, those things will disproportionately hurt the lower and middle class in the form of higher taxes* that stifle job creation and inflation that erodes wages and savings.
So why would our government do this when there's obviously a lot more poor and middle-class voters than rich ones?
> ...and who is the shareholder? Your elderly mom, YOU, etc
Ah yes, that's it. Because the system forces all of us to take the same risk, independent of our financial means.
Between FDIC and NCUA, each adult can have $500k of government-insured bank and credit union deposits, far more than most of us have in liquid assets. Why would we possibly put our money at risk in the stock market? Because they pay almost no interest, yet government policies almost ensure inflation and profits in the stock market. So while we won't loose our deposits to bank fraud or runs on the bank, they'll slowly decrease in purchasing power. So instead we have to put it at the same risk that the very wealthy take in the stock market. Which means that when those systemic risks actually happen, the government HAS to bail out the markets or everyone, rich or poor, looses. This means the tax payer is actually on the hook to make sure the rich stay rich.
* Why do taxes and inflation hurt the poor and middle-class more? Because wage increases always trail inflation. And because the rich make most of their money through capital gains, paying 15% federal income tax while the rest of us pay more. We also pay a higher percentage of our salary in social security and medicare (there's a cap on how much of your salary is taxed for those). And since we have to spend more of our salary to survive, we pay a higher percentage of our earnings in sales tax. So I'm all for a flat income tax, but it has to take the place of all other taxes.
The Death Cap Mushroom Is Spreading Across the US
Nothing in the Amanita genus is easy to id considering that it's a huge genus which includes a very large number of both the most commonly found and most poisonous mushrooms.
Now, if you mean that the genus, rather than the species phalloides is easy to identify, okay, maybe. But distinguishing A. phalloides from it's edible cousins is in no way easy, and you've got to be pretty dumb to eat anything that looks similar unless you have a degree in Mycology and/or decades continuous of field experience in the region where you picked it. There are old mushroom hunters and there are bold mushroom hunters, but there are no old, bold mushroom hunters, as the saying goes.
This is especially the case when other both edible and choice species like Bolets, Morels and Chanterelles are relatively easy to identify, have no poisonous lookalikes (assuming you have the experience to notice key characteristics). Of course, they're much harder to find, but...
Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!
Why not start at the beginning and tell us why the heck you're redesigning in the first place.
I read you're little "WE HEAR YOU" post. And no, you're still not listening. If you were, you'd know that we like slashdot just the way it is. No redesign. Why are you trying to change it at all?!? We're all baffled. Your stupid little post just said "we'll slow down". But nobody asked you to "slow down". We /told/ you to stop. Just don't touch anything.
If, for some unfathomable reason, you think you do need to change things, why don't you start by explaining why. Why are you trying to make /. look just like Ars Technica? Are your revenues hurting and you need to work more ads in there or increase readership to charge more for your ads? What gives. Why change it at all?
And if it's is revenue-related, why not just ask for money like Wikimedia. I donate to them every time they ask because I value their service. I'd give /. $5 ever once in a while too. I don't want to click on any ads, nor do I want to sign up for some paid account (I rarley log in anyway). I just want to read my FA's and comments. (Okay, maybe just headlines and comments).
HTML5 App For Panasonic TVs Rejected - JQuery Is a "Hack"
Me too. Solidarity, brothers, solidarity.
Why Does Facebook Need To Read My Text Messages?
If I worked for facebook, I'd refer to users as "dumb fucks" too.
No, I don't have any "friends". :(
How Much Is Oracle To Blame For Healthcare IT Woes?
Really? Don't blame Oracle, a huge and well funded IT company that claims to be the best of the best?
The defense of both the healthcare.gov contractor and Oracle keep whining about requirements not being defined until late in the game, but anyone with experience in software development knows that "requirements" evolve over time and iterative development is the only way to do any project of any significant size. Now who do you think is in a better position to know that and manage the project accordingly: A state or federal government official or the head sales guy at an IT consulting firm?
Buyer beware is still a bit true, but in 21st century America, and especially when accepting public money, it should be /seller/ beware. You can't (or shouldn't be allowed to) sell an obviously inadequate product or service and get away with it.
Both Oracle and the healthcare.gov contractor are 100% culpable. They should be in a position to know what they were getting into and should not have gotten into it if it's so poorly defined that they can't deliver.
IBM (another company I hate) actually did this right when they bowed out of that contract for a supercomputer for some university and just paid the associated fines. If you're the IT expert, it's your job to know how these things work and say if and when it can't be done.
A Math Test That's Rotten To the Common Core
Slashdot needs to up the maximum score a comment can get just for this comment. Give it a 10, and give Pearson a -6.02x10^23.
That said, I'm doing pretty well in life because I can figure out WTF the complete idiots at Pearson were thinking slightly more often than not. So possibly preparing kids early for the idiocy that is professional certifications isn't all bad for the kids. But for society, which needs a useful mechanism to determine someone's qualifications, things look pretty bleak.
How Big Data Is Destroying the US Healthcare System
Uh... that's a paradox.
I think you (and the entirety of the Republican party) misunderstood your microecon textbook. The point of a competitive free market is to reduce the maximum price a company can charge for something to just slightly more than it costs to produce (i.e. a small profit). Any company charging more will loose all their business to the competition who charges less. Free markets actually minimize profits, not maximize them. Monopolies maximize profits, which is to say they allow companies to charge as much as consumers are willing to pay before consumers instead choose to go without the product.
Of course this really only happens for commodities -- goods and services that can both be easily substituted and that the consumer understands well so he can easily decide if the competition is a sufficient substitution. Maybe all heath insurance is mostly the same and easily substituted, but it's definitely too complicated for consumers to understand if and when that's the case.
Ask Slashdot: What Are the Hardest Things Programmers Have To Do?
First off, let's define "hard". You could mean
a) absolutely hard: it takes lots of effort to make this work at all
b) hard to do well: it takes lots of effort to do this well even though I can do this somewhat acceptably with minimal effort
c) time consuming: this takes a lot of f-ing time, and it's unclear that the effort justifies the benefit
a) seems like the most appropriate definition, but judging by the list they seem to mean either b or c.
9. Designing a solution :
b. I can make you some working software based on your off-the-cuff requirements pretty easily. Anticipating what you really meant, what you will ask for next, and writing code that can be easily leveraged to do those things would be 'a'.
8. Writing tests
c. For small projects, automated testing way more time than it's worth. For large projects writing tests is the only way to make it work at all. Of course, all those medium sized projects and those projects that start small but may become large are a challenge. And weather or not the software lends itself and the programming team knows how to use a testing suites make a difference.
7. Writing documentation
c. No one /ever/ reads documentation because we all learn the hard way that it's perpetually out of date. The UI and API /are/ the documentation. If, by "writing documentation" you mean "designing a good UI/API" that makes it obvious to the user what's going on, then this becomes 'a'.
6. Implementing functionality you disagree with
WTF - If you're getting paid, do what you're told. If not, tell 'em to do it themselves. This is only "hard" in any sense if you're a pedantic a-hole. Oh, wait. This is /., so I guess that's all of us.
5. Working with someone else’s code
b - But if they instead had "writing code that isn't a PITA for others to work with", then it's an 'a'.
4. Dealing with other people
That's only because: http://www.dilbert.com/2013-10-10/
But I guess if we spent any time developing our social skills, we wouldn't have had time to learn how to program.
3. Estimating time to complete tasks
Okay, this one really is 'a'. On the other hand, you just shouldn't do this. Instead, you need to get good at getting customers/users on board with iterative development where they wait/pay a bit and get some incremental functionality as you work towards some end goal that neither of you can really predict up front.
2. Explaining what I do (or don’t do)
1. Naming things
See #5. Naming things is easy. And my names make perfect sense to me.
Also, queue the penis jokes based on my use of the word "hard" in the subject.
When Does the Universe Compute?
Apparently not, since I did it multiple times. I blame the US public education system.
What Are the Genuinely Useful Ideas In Programming?
> Look a bit deeper and you'll notice that most of the knocking is done by those who never wrote anything more complicated than a few lines of Perl.
There's something more complicated than a few lines of perl code?
Seriously though, perl is an abomination and, while a revolution when it was first written, Larry Wall should be ashamed of himself for not encouraging people to chose a readable and user friendly scripting language for the 21st century. That said, I write most stuff in perl simply because it's already installed on just about every linux box in existence, packages for just about everything are available via my OS package manager and it actually does work just as well on Windows via ActivePerl when I need it to.
Why can't distros rewrite stuff in Ruby already and NOT install perl by default.
Digital Revolution Will Kill Jobs, Inflame Social Unrest, Says Gartner
The 3rd party is the government that has to keep the peace. If you have a huge portion of the population up in arms because they work 12+ hours a day and can barley afford to feed themselves, the government has a responsibility to do something about that to protect the private property of the wealthy. There are two options: 1) Pay the police to intimidate, imprison and kill the poor or 2) Provide social wellfare programs to subsidies low wages and pacify the masses.
3rd world countries usually do #1, which is made possibly by buying sophisticated weaponry and technology, mainly from the U.S. 1st world countries usually do #2, but have to charge higher tax rates and/or go into lots debt to do it. The U.S. does both. We have an very high % of our population in prison, medium-high taxes and lots of debt.
We want wages set by the market, but we want that market to naturally set a living wage. The key is figuring out the government policy that can make that happen.
Regulation of pay (minimum wage OR CEO maximum pay) is obviously a horribly idea. However, we do need to provide food and gas subsidies and social wellfare programs (since I think we all agree that #2 is better than #1) to make sure everyone eats, has a place to live and gets some minimal amount of healthcare. That's essentially equivalent to a minimum wage. And we need to tax the hell out of either corporations or rich individuals (the later being preferable) to pay for it, which is essentially a maximum wage.
Subsidies, wellfare and taxes are all bad and equivalent to price and wage controls. They're not the natural fair distribution of wealth via market forces that we want. So what's a government to do?
If wages are low, work on education (get us some good schools rather than just throwing more money at the horrible k-12 and college systems we have today) and technology (fund the basic research that private industry can't because there's no clear path to profit)
If taxes on the rich have to be high to pay for wellfare programs, get people off wellfare by investing. In the long run, scientific research and infrastructure improvement will provide ROI by maintaining the U.S. as the most powerful country (economically and militarily) in the world. In the short run, it will create middle-class jobs. And those middle-class spenders will create demand for less-skilled labor -- reducing the need for wellfare.
When you tax the rich, Mr. Millionaire still buys his $5 coffee at Starbucks and doesn't ask Uncle Sam for a check (though he may bribe his congressman for lower taxes). When you cut government spending, Mr. Middle-class, now unemployed, certainly does drop Starbucks and, in a few years when his savings is exhausted, will be asking Uncle Sam for a check.
When Does the Universe Compute?
Does this remind anyone else of how religious philosophers of days past used to argue over how many angles could dance on the head of a pin? I'm not sure about the angles part, but there are surely some pinheads in this story.
Shots Fired At US Capitol
It's probably just some responsible gun owner assuming that since the government has shut down the capitol should be empty and therefore would be the ideal place for a shooting range since there should be no chance of hitting anyone.
Seriously though, $10 says it's a U.S. citizen unhappy with D.C. dysfunction. The terrorists wouldn't waste their bullets. They're home watching CSPAN with a bowl of popcorn and thinking "Mission Accomplished".
I'd prefer my money be made of ...
Yes, I think we all agree that Dollars and Bitcoins have value only by popular agreement.
While true for Bitcoins, I very much do NOT agree with this. Dollars have value because of long-term debt denominated in dollars, not some happy-go-lucky-we-all-magically-agree-on-something-for-once crap.
Think of it this way. I bought a house. I borrowed $200k from my bank to do so. I promised my bank that I'd pay them back. In dollars. I can't bring them a gold bar or some bags of wheat. I can't go fix their computers for them. I have to give them dollars to discharge my debt.
Because of that, you, the investor considering a dollars-denominated bank account, knows that at very least I will have some demand for dollars for the foreseeable future. And because there are trillions of dollars worth of such debt spread across hundreds millions of people, you can be confident that the dollar isn't going anywhere.
This must, of course, be coupled with the fact that those debtors are generally well-educated and therefore have skills you or others will likely need, that many of them own stuff of real value such as land or stock in companies and that the government that controls the currency supply has a long history of not just printing it and handing it out, and of protecting private property (so we dollor-debtors will continue to own stuff you may later want to buy).
Now consider a debt-free nation. Consumers could fairly easily and quickly switch to Bitcoin en-mass, or rely more on bartering. But we can't do that here in the US because so incredibly much of our high-quality labor force demands to be paid in dollars because that's how we have to service our debt. The dollar is therefore pretty safe.
RadioTimes.com Accidentally Included In UK Antipiracy Blocking
It should now be obvious to everyone that we're on a one way train to rampant government censorship enforced at the ISP level with governments exercising legal threats towards ISPs to get their (and by 'their' I mean big corporations, rich religious conservatives and peope who use terrorist fear mongering to keep their cushy jobs.) way, and that western powers, rather than China and the middle east, will be leading the way.
But why is this really a problem? Do I care if they don't let me download pr0n? No. Do I care that they make me actually pay for my entertainment, possibly increasing the price? Not really. Am I scared of the next Hitler coming to power and using his control of the media to exterminate some subset of the population? Seems like a long shot at present. Will censorship prevent a few terrorist attacks by making it harder for them to communicate? Possibly.
But all that junk is either unimportant (pr0n and piracy) or unlikely (Hitler and terrorists).
This article demonstrates the real problem with censorship: incompetence. They'll block the wrong stuff and there's nothing I can do about it. There will be a place to report problems, but reports will be ignored, or at least take 6 months to get resolved. The entirety of the Internet will be rendered useless. We may as well all just go back to writing letters and making phone calls (assuming those don't get blocked too).
I need to raise some money to buy a good supply of pens. Anyone want to buy a slightly used keyboard?
NSA Firing 90% of Its Sysadmins
They can't do the work with 90 people. But they can outsource parts of it and buy a bunch of off-the-shelf hardware and software to do more with fewer people. This may actually save them money and is how we do it in corporate America. However, foreign governments aren't dieing to get at my datacenters, so I don't really worry about whether or not the firmware on that printer I just installed was hacked in the Chinese factory where it was made. I imagine the NSA is (or should be) a bit different and avoid 3rd party products for just that reason.
Anonymous Source Claims Feds Demand Private SSL Keys From Web Services
You realize you just slashdott'ed/DDOS's an Air Force server, right? That's hacking against the U.S. Government, tantamount to treason. You're goin' to jail, buddy!
Ask Slashdot: Node.js vs. JEE/C/C++/.NET In the Enterprise?
That's why I code everything for Silverlight. It's backed by Microsoft, a multibillion dollar enterprise with a long history of excellent support. How could I go wrong?