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New AP Course, "Computer Science Principles," Aims To Make CS More Accessible

sartin Reaching every girl (208 comments)

They want to "reach every individual girl in her house." I foresee ten million restraining orders being issued soon.

about a month and a half ago

Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

sartin Re:There is no vaccine for the worst diseases (1051 comments)

You should read the Texas curriculum standards and textbook reviews. It would be an education about "education".

about a month and a half ago

Is Dolby Atmos a Flop For Home Theater Like 3DTV Was?

sartin Re:media cos killed it w/compression+Bitstarvation (197 comments)

a wooden volume knob

It has to be teak for best sound. I mean walnut is OK and a really good Oak diesn't suck too much, but real audiophiles know it should be teak. Preferably salvaged from the deck of a wooden sailboat.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What's New In Legacy Languages?

sartin Re:Still Waiting (247 comments)

I'm still waiting for FORTRAN to make a comeback. And none of this sissy FORTRAN 77 or FORTRAM 95 stuff either; real FORTRAN IV.

Yay for old timers!

I once worked in a shop that used RATFOR. One of my cow-orkers took great pride in the fact that his code passed through the preprocessor unscathed.

about a year ago

Elevation Plays a Role In Memory Error Rates

sartin It only makes sense... (190 comments)

I know I have trouble remembering when I'm high. Seems like electronics should have the same problem.

about a year ago

Do Recreational Drugs Help Programmers?

sartin Re:Contradictory ... (878 comments)

What about that is contradictory?

OP said he was happy. OP said he uses weed to forget work stress. To some that appears contradictory.

more than 2 years ago

The Day Leo Traynor Confronted His Troll

sartin Re:Trolling? (594 comments)

So you have "for all intensive purposes"

I used to design physiological monitors. They monitored ECG, BP, PPO2, and one or two other things (this was a while back). They were used in CCU, ICU, NICU, SICU, and stepdown units. So, I designed heart monitors for all intensive purposes.

more than 2 years ago

Apple Rejects Drone Strike App

sartin Re:Exactly (234 comments)

would allow users of the app to kill foreigners with drones as easily as they are currently allowed to kill fellow Americans with handguns.

I assume that would be through an in-app purchase? What an awesome way to work on deficit reduction.

about 2 years ago

Former Facebook Employee Questions the Social Media Life

sartin Re:Fake users? Hah! They have Facebook in heaven.. (171 comments)

The town's beloved food truck, the Food Shark, has nearly 1,700 'Likes' [...] According to Wikipedia Tammy Wynette died in 1998. Facebook was launched in February 2004.

The Food Shark is that good. Went there on Spring Break this year while visiting Guadalupe Mountains, Davis Mountains, and Big Bend. Best meal we had all week.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Preempting Sexual Harassment In the Workplace?

sartin Re:Good grief... (1127 comments)

Great..so, now, the group turns into a souless, business only work entity...no more joking around, camaraderie, or for that matter....discussing many things as innocuous as what was on TV last night...because someone might get offended.

I find what was on TV last night to be offensive. You should be fired.

more than 2 years ago

TSA Defends Pat Down of 4-Year-Old Girl

sartin The problem is fundamental (1174 comments)

"TSA has reviewed the incident and determined that our officers followed proper screening procedures in conducting a modified pat-down on the child," the agency said.

TSA is a bureaucracy interested in following procedures rather than creating any sort of real security. It will always be invasive because they will constantly add new rules to deal with old threats. It will never be effective because they only follow the rules rather than looking for real threats.

more than 2 years ago

This American Life Retracts Episode On Apple Factories In China

sartin Re:This American Lie (326 comments)

Seriously, exactly how much fact checking do you expect someone to do when someone presents them with news?

Fact checking is hard. One of the great benefits of publications or shows that are less frequent should be that they have time to fact check. As an example of what I expect:

My son was interviewed for a Sports Illustrated cover article (he was not the subject, but was on the cover) and was apparently interesting enough that the interviewer included two paragraphs about my son in the article. I was on the phone with an SI fact checker for 10 minutes about those two paragraphs, confirming every little detail (and in a couple of cases pointing her to external confirming information).

An example of what I don't expect:

The Boston Globe published an article about a friend of mine who went missing and died as a result of an accident. I was the one who initiated the search that found him and was there several minutes after they found him. My name was on the police report (I'm certain since an insurance investigator tracked me down). The Globe did an article based solely on a single interview with his two apartment mates (who barely knew him and hadn't noticed he was missing) and got all sorts of details wrong. Never contacted me (or anyone on the team that did the search) to fact check.

This incident probably falls in between the two, but too far towards the latter. Certainly a show with the production time of TAL should perform, and honor the results of, some fact checking. The good news is that they fixed it, and did so far more visibly than most corrections.

more than 2 years ago

Apple Could Lose $1.6 Billion In iPad Lawsuit

sartin Why is "China" one country? (286 comments)

That's a huge topic, but is partially summarized by the 1992 Consensus which is basically that both PRC (mainland China) and ROC (Taiwan) agree there is only one "China", but disagree over which government is legitimate.

more than 2 years ago

5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons Announced

sartin Re:exponential version growth (309 comments)

1970 - Waterfall, 2000 - Iterative, 2010 - Agile

Wow, it would be hard for those dates to be less accurate. Phased software development was described at least as early as the 50s, and by 1970 the "waterfall" method was being criticized (by Royce most publicly in what Wikipedia credits as the first formal presentation of the method) . The history of iterative goes back to the 50s with the name being applied in the 60s and was (in my world of medical software development) in common usage in the 80s. The Agile Manifesto was created in 2001 and was the result of meeting about a variety of already existing agile processes.

As a last ditch attempt to not get totally labelled off-topic: my very best DM ever was an awesome storyteller, but wanted to appear to be "always following the rules". He would roll dice and do table lookups, which he would then completely ignore in creating a story. He only told me this when our group disbanded. He also saved my character's life several times "just because I loved the way you play him."

about 3 years ago

The Challenges of Building a Mars Base

sartin Re:FAT ASTRONAUTS!!! (228 comments)

I think you just designed a new reality TV show: The Biggest Loser Goes to Mars.

about 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Way To Deal With Roving TSA Teams?

sartin Re:Just keep calm... (1059 comments)

[...] all the liberals were complaining (rightfully) about these attacks on our civil liberties. But now that Obama's in charge and he's making them 10x worse, they're all for it.

I think you are confusing Democrats with liberals. I am continually disgusted (by both parties, and the system that supports only having two strong parties) when they support stupid ideas simply because they are the ones promoted by the leadership, usually as a wedge issue or to respond to a wedge issue.

Without the party politics, civil liberties should be a bipartisan issue. They are part of our founding principles.

about 3 years ago

Book Review: The Economics of Software Quality

sartin Re:"Software quality" even exists? (83 comments)

On the other hand, /bin/false is totally broken. It returns an error every time I run it.

more than 3 years ago

Should Social Media Affect Your Creditworthiness?

sartin Re:No, obviously (344 comments)

"Anyone can run for office" in the same sense that "anyone can bench press 400 pounds"

Maybe true if the statement were "anyone can win an election", but really anyone (who meets basic eligibility requirements) can run. We have a homeless man who has run for Mayor in Austin several times. I'm pretty sure Leslie didn't transform anything about himself in order to campaign, right down to the women's underwear he wears.

more than 3 years ago



HSBC Learns Extent of Three Year Old Data Theft

sartin sartin writes  |  more than 4 years ago

sartin writes "Herve Falciani, a former employee of HSBC stole about 15,000 customer records "around three years ago". Swiss Federal prosecutors passed the stolen data files back to HSB a week ago. When the breach was originally discovered HSBC had claimed that potentially fewer than 10 records had been compromised, but after reviewing the data files, they have determined that 15,000 HSBC customers (from October 2006 or earlier) around the world were affected."

A Financial Turing Test?

sartin sartin writes  |  more than 4 years ago

sartin writes "Economists say that in a perfectly efficient market, price data should be random. Burton Malkiel is famous for his book "A Random Walk Down Wall Street" in which he argues that our financial markets are largely efficient. Real markets frequently exhibit less than random behavior, but the notion persists that financial data "looks random" and people can't tell the difference. Researchers Jasmina Hasanhodzic, Andrew W. Lo, and Emanuele Viola decided to perform "a financial Turing test" and determine whether people could tell the difference between real market data and random data. They generated the random data by doing a temporal permutation of the market returns from real data (we can only hope they didn't make Microsoft's permutation mistake). They presented real and random data to humans over trials of up to two weeks and found (p<0.5%) that humans could in fact distinguish the real from the random.

You can play the game or read the paper and decide for yourself."


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