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Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

robot5x Re:This doesn't sound... sound (327 comments)

But no, you just focus on the fact that he also happens to work for Valve.

To be fair, the stupid article is somewhat to blame. You rightly indicate that a far more appropriate title would have been 'Widely respected Professor of Economics appointed Greece's Finance Minister'. Which has the apparent downside of:

  • actually sounding like a very sensible thing to do, and
  • apparently having no relation to 'news for nerds'

3 days ago
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2015 Could Be the Year of the Hospital Hack

robot5x Re: Oh, I wouldn't worry about it. (130 comments)

thanks! Very grateful for your offer. Will you be happy to get in touch at my email above?

about a month ago
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What Northern Hemisphere Astronomers Are Missing From the Southern Hemisphere

robot5x Re:"Crux is the smallest of all 88 constellations" (104 comments)

What's confusing about the Australian flag is their Southern Cross has five stars instead of the factually correct four seen in the more genuine representation of Aotearoa/NZ's flag.

Always have to go one better, bloody Aussies

about a month ago
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2015 Could Be the Year of the Hospital Hack

robot5x Re:Oh, I wouldn't worry about it. (130 comments)

OFFTOPIC

@ColdWetDog, I'm writing a thesis currently on Health IT interoperability (I'm in NZ but what I can tell is these problems persist across vastly differing policy/funding environments). Would be interested in getting your thoughts on the topic from the real world perspective of a health practitioner. It's been tricky 'recruiting' clinical people with appropriate technical expertise to comment on what the barriers are. I do have some US/Canadian people lined up already - only one is a currently practicing doc though.

about a month ago
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What Northern Hemisphere Astronomers Are Missing From the Southern Hemisphere

robot5x Re:"Crux is the smallest of all 88 constellations" (104 comments)

For anyone interested in reading a friendly introduction to the southern hemisphere I recommend Richard Hall's 'How to gaze at the southern stars'.

As you might imagine, there is a section specifically on Crux:

In your mind, draw a straight line through the axis of the Cross, through the tip and across the sky. You will find the arrow is pointing at another bright star. You cannot fail to identify this star, Achernar, because it is the only first-magnitude star in that part of the sky. Approximately halfway along the imaginary line between the cross and Achernar is the south celestial pole... Once you have established where the celestial pole is, you can determine your latitude. The celestial pole is always a number of degrees above the horizon equal to the latitude at which you are standing. Surprisingly, you don't need complex equipment to make this measurement. Polynesian navigators used a notched stick held at arms length, or sometimes nothing more than the outstretched hands and fingers.

about a month ago
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The Standards Wars and the Sausage Factory

robot5x The self-fulfilling prophecy (234 comments)

The Beta Version prophets of doom swamp every story with predictions that everyone will leave slashdot and hyperbolic comments about how awful the new version is...

The remaining few who visit to read intelligent posting on critical analysis of tech stories get served up page after page of hyperbolic comment on how awful the new version is instead. They also leave.

The end

about a year ago
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NYT: NSA Put 100,000 Radio Pathway "Backdoors" In PCs

robot5x Re: Where are they? (324 comments)

Oh for mod points.

all this talk of how to circumvent or dodge our own govts abuses of power are totally wrong. If we have lost faith we need to use democracy to change things - this can be done, even in Americas narrow 2 party system. Anyone who sneers at this should think about how - for example - big business would fail overnight if we all stopped buying stuff. People really do have power! Use it!!

1 year,15 days
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The First Prescription-Only App

robot5x Re:My data (84 comments)

Absolutely right. Despite finding some current apps really useful (currently using Glucose Buddy), they do tend to just focus on retrospective monitoring of glucose levels and insulin.

I'm finding this useful currently just because my phone is the only thing that goes everywhere with me, so it's easy to always record wherever I am. I would love to have them go the extra mile, though, and tell me:

  1. what my ideal insulin/carb ratio is
  2. suggest dosages for certain meals
  3. track injection times, and monitor the half-life in case of situations where insulin overlaps

I think there's a lot of potential for apps to help particularly with chronic disease, and I'm really looking forward to what comes out next - despite all the inverted snobbery and worst case scenarios elsewhere in this discussion.

1 year,28 days
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The First Prescription-Only App

robot5x Re:For those who have no cell phone (84 comments)

I'm in a roughly similar position; I have an iphone for work. I find the idea that people actually spend ~$1000 (NZ) on these things mind-boggling, but since I have one for free I've found that some of the 'glucose monitoring' apps to be very useful for managing my diabetes.

I've got no idea why there is so much snobbery on here by people claiming that you only need to monitor and record if you're some kind of moron who can barely tie their shoelaces together. I know how to manage my glucose, I understand the science and have many years experience, but - shame on me - I've found that real life can throw my plans into disarray. On those occasions when I've gone low or high, I find it VERY useful to flip back into my logs and make a mental note to be cautious of similar situations in the future. Managing diabetes is a constant and ongoing exercise in relentless execution, learning and adjustment - anyone who claims to have it all figured out is talking shit.

1 year,28 days
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Do Non-Technical Managers Add Value?

robot5x Re:Managers (249 comments)

new manager here - interested in what you're saying, thanks.

I'm confused though - you say that you had good support from your staff, you completed projects on time with no overtime etc. How come you got fired??

I'm also interested in knowing more about the incentive plans you used. Can you elaborate? Thanks!

1 year,28 days
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Ask Slashdot: Command Line Interfaces -- What Is Out There?

robot5x Re:systemd is there (383 comments)

yeah I just don't get what this whole story is about or what OP is actually asking.

a complete list of every useful CLI program? really??

1 year,30 days
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Tech Startup Buffer Publishes Every Employee's Salary, Right Up To the CEO

robot5x Re:Wow, I'm speechless (229 comments)

Second, "seniority" and "experience" are part of the forumula? Experience in years?

Apparently not, from TFA 'experience' is calculated like this:

  • Master: 1.3X
  • Advanced: 1.2X
  • Intermediate: 1.1X
  • Junior: 1X

I have no idea what the criteria is to meet a particular rank, but all but one of their people are apparently 'Advanced' (including the CEO). I did want to post this question on their page but couldn't bring myself to sign up with disqus.

about a year ago
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Tech Startup Buffer Publishes Every Employee's Salary, Right Up To the CEO

robot5x Re:Free Market (229 comments)

eh? GP did not say everyone should be paid the same or that everyone is worth the same amount

The point was simply that not all of the things that are crucial to effective free market operation (perfect information being a pretty central one), are present in the current labor market.

It's a very good point, in fact.

about a year ago
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Tech Startup Buffer Publishes Every Employee's Salary, Right Up To the CEO

robot5x Re:It's more like a stunt to me (229 comments)

You reminded me of an economic thought experiment I read about a while back, I can't remember the name or anything but it goes something like this...

You take an upper middle class family, who generally have more stuff than most of their friends and family. They're pretty happy. But then the parents have a chance to earn a MILLION times more money somewhere else - the only catch is that everyone else who lives there earns at least ten times what they do. The supposition is that the family will stay where they are.

Human beings, within reason, don't particularly care how much they earn. What they care about is what they earn compared to others. It reflects my experience with other people at least, and is why I think this transparency is really important

about a year ago
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Tech Startup Buffer Publishes Every Employee's Salary, Right Up To the CEO

robot5x Re:It's more like a stunt to me (229 comments)

You manage boxes and machines, but you lead people

Absolutely agree, but if everyone in my team is getting say $65k and quite happy, then my dickhead predecessor decides to pay this other guy $100k because he knows how to use excel and shit, everyone finds out, then everyone's unhappy. - this is a big problem for me as a leader. If the wages were transparent, this would never have happened and this problem would have never occurred.

In this particular case, I can lead them all they want, but it is a gross injustice I'm powerless to do anything about.

about a year ago
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Have a Privacy-Invasion Wishlist? Peruse NSA's Top Secret Catalog

robot5x Re:Dell (259 comments)

thanks for the link, its fascinating stuff

But how on earth can I tell if my HDD is up to no good? Is it even possible?? I'm thinking like checking firmware revision or logging activity or something.

Honestly, the thought that my own hardware might be compromised is quite disturbing.

about a year ago
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France's 'Culture Tax' Could Hit YouTube and Facebook

robot5x Re:Not Culture (314 comments)

Placing this debate in the geo-political context is important - the internal pressure in most EU countries to assert their 'national identity' (real or imagined) is becoming stronger. The perception of French culture outside of France is determined mostly by watching movies I imagine - 'hey, look at all those quaint cobble stone streets, the laid-back cafes etc - we have to go there on holiday next year!!'.

The same kind of thing has been happening here in NZ - although there is no 'culture' to speak of here, the revenue from attracting tourists is ginormous and important to local economy. The govt here recently increased a taxpayer rebate for movie makers with a 'good chance of commercial success' from 15% to 25%. Yes, from taxpayer money. Apparently this is reason James Cameron decided finally to locate the new Avatar movies here.

Nobody here is complaining about where their tax dollars are going - either because they support this move, or they just don't care. Either way, if the situation was changed to taxing youtube video consumption I'm sure there'd be a riot.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are Tech Job Requirements So Specific?

robot5x Re:Answer: HR departments (465 comments)

yeah I know. I work in health, and we only take on HR staff who've been to medical school or can otherwise prove they have a workable theory on how to cure AIDS.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are Tech Job Requirements So Specific?

robot5x Re:To hire specific people (465 comments)

where I work all job descriptions and advertising that HR draft have to be checked off by the hiring manager - so this doesn't ring true for me. I'd pick that up in a flash and insist that 'essential skill $FOO' was moved to 'desirable skill $FOO' exactly as I told them it should be.

about a year ago
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Google Starts Tracking Retail Store Visits On Android and iOS

robot5x consumer power (157 comments)

Right - so we're all agreed that neither android or ios fully respect our privacy?

Great, so all we need to do is stop using their products and they'll change their ways!

Right?

btw my niece thinks this is totally cool

about a year ago

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