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Comments

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This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

siriuskase Bigger, faster, cheaper, or smaller (268 comments)

People are much better at thinking of what we already have and making it better in quantifiable directions. That is what that Byte cover is showing, what we already had, just smaller. So called "disruptive" changes, where we go off in a new direction, is much harder to predict, but when it's done, we get the "why didn't someone think of this already" sort of talk. So many companies are focused on optimizing what we already have instead of playing with ideas without a ROI that is obvious to the people controlling the money. That's why I think technology companies should be managed by engineers and people who read a lot of sci fi.

2 hours ago
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Meat Makes Our Planet Thirsty

siriuskase Re:Alfalfa (545 comments)

It literally said "exporting water". Only way to make it true is to consider evaporation to be a form of exportation, maybe if the wind blows it into another jurisdiction. Sounds to me that they should recapture the water in the curing barn if they can't encourage it to rain again within their watershed.

In the meantime, I'll make a point of not eating crop grown in California, plenty of locally grown around here, except for pistachios and I can get them from outside of California, too. That would do more to reduce water consumption in California than the Asian alfalfa export argument since I'm not in Asia and can't influence the consumption of alfalfa in Asia. But, what about the California economy? Seems it would hurt if people stopped farming.

about a month ago
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Meat Makes Our Planet Thirsty

siriuskase Illogical (545 comments)

How does it help California for Americans to go vegan when the problem you choose to highlight is alfalfa shipped to Asia? The flow of your post seems to indicate we (Americans who aren't in California) should stop eating any product of California. Then, suddenly you started talking about alfalfa, which I don't eat, and beef, which I require to be grass fed in Georgia. I don't think much California beef gets shipped to the east, it's the cornfed stuff from the Midwest we gotta watch out for.

about a month ago
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Austin Has Highest Salaries For Tech Workers, After Factoring In Cost of Living

siriuskase The "Full" Report (285 comments)

Not much about methodology, but they show more rankings and pretty visualizations

http://www.trinet.com/document... [trinet.com]

Quality of Life is not factored into to Adjusted salary rankings, but is ranked separately. The rankings are almost inversely correlated with Austin in 2nd to last place and Atlanta in last place for Quality of Life.

about a month ago
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Austin Has Highest Salaries For Tech Workers, After Factoring In Cost of Living

siriuskase Full Report: Quality of Life inversely correlated (285 comments)

Big surprise, huh:

http://www.trinet.com/document... [trinet.com]

Quality of Life is not factored in, but is ranked separately. The rankings are almost inversely correlated With Adjusted Salary 1st place winner Austin in 2nd to last place, and 2nd place for Adjusted Salary Atlanta in dead last place for quality of life.

about a month ago
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Austin has highest Salaries for Tech Workers, after factoring in cost-of-living

siriuskase Here's the report, including actual salaries (1 comments)

http://www.trinet.com/document...

Quality of Life is not factored in, but is ranked separately. The rankings are almost inversely correlated With Adjusted Salary 1st place winner Austin in 2nd to last place, and 2nd place for Adjusted Salary Atlanta in dead last place for quality of life.

about a month ago
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Facebook Debuts New Gender Options, Pronoun Choices

siriuskase Re:What's the difference? (462 comments)

Terms are poorly defined because a lot of issues are still being worked out. Language tends to lag. People work things out for themselves privately. But when they want to discuss things, they need labels. Originally, all the labels were ugly medical sounding terms (or worse) that imply they are sick or immoral, in need of a cure, not just different. Words with healthy connotations did not exist. So when they go public, they must invent words. People don't all invent the same words even for the same situation and not everyone in the sexual configuration discussion has the same situation. The "normals" frequently aren't aware of the issues at all until they encounter the words, then society at large works on these issues, and eventually the terminology stabilizes. It takes awhile.

about 2 months ago
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Facebook Debuts New Gender Options, Pronoun Choices

siriuskase Re:What's the difference? (462 comments)

Stop whining and just live the life you were given.

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

--George Bernard Shaw

What fucking horseshit.
Reasonable people do reasonable things and expect others to do the same, unreasonable people do unreasonable things and expect others to do the same.
Making the world change in an unreasonable way does not beget progress.

Unreasonable people expect everyone else to do and think exactly like themselves, and consider anyone who does and thinks rationally, but differently, to be unreasonable and irrational. Reasonable people know that in real life, there is usually more than one correct answer.

about 2 months ago
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Facebook Debuts New Gender Options, Pronoun Choices

siriuskase Re:What's the difference? (462 comments)

Here's an interesting chart and even some drawings:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...

The bottom line is there are two sexual extremes, male and female. People tend to concentrate on the differences and language reflects that, but in reality, men and women are more alike then different. Hormones have a lot more to do with development than genetics. Some people don't naturally produce enough to be unambiguous.. But, we have more or less the same organs. In guys they drop and either grow larger or atrophy. I don't know if anything atrophies in women, they just move and develop differently. When women get hernias, internal organs want to come out the birth canal. When men get hernias, internal organs want to come out the birth canal except in guys, it's called something else.

This chart shows scientific names, but if you take anything away from this, pay attention to the Skene's glands, which is usually called the G-spot. Unlike the prostate, it can be pressured from either side.

about 2 months ago
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How One Drunk Driver Sent My Company To the Cloud

siriuskase Re: why cloud? (290 comments)

Cloud is uploaded personalities orbiting in space, reference Rapture of the Nerds

about 9 months ago
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How One Drunk Driver Sent My Company To the Cloud

siriuskase Re: For all the drunks out there! (290 comments)

A lot of decades old computers and software were completely replaced just prior to Y2K. Plenty of Cobol programmers were writing patches, but I think plenty of companies realized that this was finally time to go new. Not enough cobol programmers to go around and besides it made for a good sales pitch. No way to know for sure whether it was necessary, but I do think there was a lot of truth in there. But, it's hard to analyze a problem that was anticipated and dealt with.

about 9 months ago
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Has Lego Sold Out?

siriuskase Re:In defence of Lego... (425 comments)

That's funny, but so true. You get the idea that it's the lawyers who design the toys and the packaging now a days. If your child wants to be a toy maker, you need to impress upon him early on that lawyers can be creative, too. I didn't realize that until I was a grown up engineer facing all kinds of constraints that were not physical or financial in nature as I was taught in school, but had to do with "compliance" and "legal".

about a year ago
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Has Lego Sold Out?

siriuskase Re:Never had a box of bricks (425 comments)

Legos have been around a lot longer than you. And they had kits years before they had movie tie ins. It's been an evolving product. The only thing that's stayed the same is the fact that the basic brick is colorful and connects to other parts using a consistent system that hasn't changed over the years. A block built in the 60's will work just fine with one built last week. But, the availability of special parts and the artwork on the box and in the instruction sheet, that has varied over time.

about a year ago
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Has Lego Sold Out?

siriuskase Re:Lego was not the ultimate do-it-yourself playth (425 comments)

My kids played with Lego when they were in single digits. A kid that young is more creative when they don't have to think about tolerances. Not all kids are interested in engineering, but if allowed to be creative in simple ways, maybe they will grow up to find the "hard stuff" worth doing. It's simply a matter of allowing the child to see the path from the toy version to the adult version and traverse if interested. Tolerances aren't exactly hard, but they aren't interesting either if all you want if a replica space ship. Let the toy maker deal with tolerance and kids deal with the part they are interested in.

about a year ago
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Has Lego Sold Out?

siriuskase Re:Response to customers (425 comments)

You mean we have a whole generation of kids who have no problem with RTFM?

Or maybe, LEGO used to be like a lot of other creative companies, they created stuff that the guys in R & D enjoyed rather than what real kids enjoyed. Then marketing showed up and convinced management that real kids weren't like the toy designers.

You see the same thing with computers, the creatives have a hard time understanding why regular people are perfectly happy with whatever Microsoft and Fry's are pushing, Until marketing go involved, only geeks played with technology.

about a year ago
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Has Lego Sold Out?

siriuskase Re:Last time I went to the Lego Store... (425 comments)

I have no complaint with Lego. My only complain would be with people who think there is only one correct way to assemble a kit.

about a year ago
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Has Lego Sold Out?

siriuskase Re:And since when has Lego not done sets? (425 comments)

That's a great point. Sometimes they aren't ready for adult tools or need some guidance that parents aren't able to provide. I remember how when I had to work on the week ends, I'd take them to the office and set them up with a CAD program. They never designed anything worthwhile on their own, and I couldn't get my own work done if I helped them.

about a year ago
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Has Lego Sold Out?

siriuskase Re:I've felt like this for years, too (425 comments)

Once it is assembled just the way you like it, just pop it in the oven for a minute or two. It's plastic, it melts together. When I was a girl, I was allowed to play in the kitchen. No easy bake for me, my parents thought light bulb cooking was stupid, so I learned to do things the right way with grown up tools. Too dangerous for modern boys and girls. When I wanted a toy lathe like my friend had, my dad laughed and then decides he'd rather teach me how to use his tools.

about a year ago
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Has Lego Sold Out?

siriuskase Re:Waste of space. (425 comments)

Don't they have some sort of Lego CAD where you can design something and then order exactly the right parts? If not, they should. That would encourage people to buy the genuine article.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Boot Camp or maybe Parallels or Fusion

siriuskase siriuskase writes  |  more than 5 years ago

siriuskase (679431) writes "I've been checking out the various ways to run Windows XP on my Mac and have noticed that Parallels and Fusion are now the same price, about $40 after rebates. So, I asked the salesman in the Microcenter, which program was better/more recent/more reliable/etc. and he suggested that I consider simply running Boot Camp since it is practically free for anyone running Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. So, while simultaneously risking a lost sale, he made my decision that much more difficult, but it seems to boil down to the fact that whatever I do, I need a licensed copy of "Windows XP with service pack 2". Since I made the PC/MAC switch about 20 years ago, except for an ugly gray box under the desk I turn on every once in a blue moon, this is all greek to me. I know I have XP on the ugly box, but I'm not sure what Service Pack 2 even means. Besides, the Apple Support site says I need a disk, and I'm not sure an internal hard drive in an old box is what they mean. And I don't want to screw up the old box too much since it is where I have Linux installed. So, can I just copy stuff over somehow since I don't intend to use Windows on both boxes at the same time, or is a disk such as described by Tech Support available somewhere for a reasonable price."
Link to Original Source
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Madonna Signals Death of the Record Industry

siriuskase siriuskase writes  |  more than 6 years ago

siriuskase (679431) writes "Madonna is poised to leave her record company of 25 years to sign a $120 million (£60 million) deal with Live Nation, a concert promotion firm, in a move that many may regard as further evidence that the music industry of the last century is officially dead. The expected deal comes as Madonna's record sales are falling — despite her concerts attracting huge audiences — and is the latest in a series of moves by big-selling acts to bypass traditional record companies."
Link to Original Source
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siriuskase siriuskase writes  |  more than 7 years ago

siriuskase writes "A US lobby group, The Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch, is giving out awards for the most idiotic product warning labels.

A washing machine complete with a warning not to put anybody inside has been given an award for the "wackiest warning".
I can't help but wonder if there is a one to one correspondence between the recepients of these awards and the Darwins."

Journals

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Let's debate emergency communications, not gun control

siriuskase siriuskase writes  |  more than 6 years ago

It's been 2 days since the massacre and the gun control debate has been revived again with all the deaf loud people screaming the stuff that no one hears. As important as that might be, I think that the debate that needs to be promoted is how to communicate effectively in an emergency. Although plenty of unfounded rumors were mongered last Monday, the most effective communications among the Virginia Tech Community, the loved ones at home, and the rest of us were by new technologies such as text messages, camera phones, blogs and social websites. The performance of those with official responsibility seems at this time to have been too slow and incomplete to save lives, and completely unsuitable for survivors to get help or assure that they were okay. Traditional broadcasters are also unsuitable to deal with the volume of information flowing around and out of Blacksburg that day. With ham radio, which has traditionally stepped in to handle this "welfare traffic", being on the decline, it is only natural that new technology be used to contact loved ones.

That was my bit. Here's a bit more from Wired Magazine:Lessons From Virginia Tech: A Disaster Alert System That Works.

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siriuskase siriuskase writes  |  more than 7 years ago Seems that matching exiting visitors with their entry visas would be relatively simple compared with all the other law enforcement related data keeping that goes on in this country. Everyone entering this country could receive a visa or some other document recording their entry. When they leave, they present the receipt and they are automatically eliminated as suspects of anything that happens while they are out of the country. If they have lost the paper, they waste time regenerating it (or faking it), hemm, there's an idea here, but it needs work. If you want to shorten the wait at the border, just collect the data and let the matching happen after the fact. It's better than not doing it at all. But this seems like mostly a techology problem. Are the algorithms for matcing entries and exits any more complicated than those matching people entering and exiting any other sort of database?

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Blog Content Based Solely on High Paying Keyword

siriuskase siriuskase writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I have published an article on this topic in Metablog, a blog on the subject of blogging and social networking. In general, I have no problem with money making schemes as long as they provide a useful service to all people affected, not just the schemer. In this case, that would be site visitors, advertisers and Google itself.

In a nutshell: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=139083&cid=11643762

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Marriage? who needs marriage?

siriuskase siriuskase writes  |  more than 9 years ago

This http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=138205&cid=11561542 starts an interesting thread. I didn't mean to get into it, but this moron who thinks anyone who disagrees with him about ANYTHING must be a homophobe, sucked me in. Well, not him, but the person who modded my response Flamebait. So, once we got past the bit about unnecessary namecalling being a poor debate tactic, we wound up with an interesting discussion about the sanctity of mariage.

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Revolution in the Valley

siriuskase siriuskase writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I got another comment modded 5 insightful.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=134229&cid=11212981

It's not that I don't like Microsoft. I think they are trying to have a good product, but for various reasons, I find their products very hard to use. Their marketing decisions seem to aim their products at someone different that me. Then there is the virus and other exploit situation. Windows and its siblings seem to be aimed at someone who doesn't mind spending a lot of time fixing problems fixing stupid little problems. I hate cleaning up other people's messes, especially when they are intentional. I'd rather use my time to keep up with the latest technological advances than with the latest security issues.

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Election Reform

siriuskase siriuskase writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Note that Julie is from Australia where citizens are required by law to vote, the the third party might tend to attract the people who would stay away otherwise.

"Simmadahn" , wrote

> Just curious, how many of those alternate parties actually make it into office? I mean, more than just local positions?
> We do have more than two parties, but they rarely get any farther than maybe mayor or something.
> Also, it seems like the mandatory voting is a good idea but does it actually work? Or do people just vote for "whoever" because
> they have to vote for somebody?
>

In article ,
  "Julie" , wrote:

> Yes you guessed right, it hasn't happened yet, but the third major party is
> the balance of power, and has a huge say in what laws or
> ammendments are passed, or not, or what ammendments need to be made for it to
> be acceptable to pass. So in Australia at the moment
> we have a Liberal (federal) Government, with Labour in opposition and the
> Democrats as our balance of power in the Senate.
>
> It is usual that the independant parties, or more alternate parties, give
> their preferences to a more major party. So if enough
> people were to vote for xyz party and they would get in, if not their votes
> are preferenced to a different party - this is disclosed
> so that you know that if you do vote for xyz party and they don't get in you
> know that your vote will be going to abc party and so
> on. Personally I think it is this preferencing that keeps the major parties
> coming back in.

Election Reform is the great unacknowledged American issue. As long as only two parties hold virtually all the political power, those two parties have no incentive to mention it, and as long as those two parties can make the rules regarding debates and press conferences that punish news agencies that cover this issue or acknowledge the existence of alternative parties, it will be hard to fix.

Most existing alternative parties have postions that turn off people, such as the social darwinism for the Libertarians, the "God" stuff for the Constitution Party, and the sheer greenness of the Green Party. Any time a position held by an alternative party gets popular, one or both of the big 2 coopt it. The idea of single issue parties isn't popular, but I think we could use one whose single issue is election reform with the promise that if they won, they would establish a ranked voting sytem such as instant runoff or condorcet, and hold a national referendum to decide the other issues until such time that a reformed presidential election could be held.

I also wrote this:

> We usually have many more than two. There are several reasons you only
> here about the bipartison duopoly.
>
> 1. We have a "first past the post" system where whoever gets the most
> votes wins a states electoral votes, even if it isn't a majority.
>
> 2. this is complicated by the fact that most states give ALL there
> electoral votes to the winner even if he wins by a narrow margin.
>
> 3. Most voters have an intuitive understanding of Duvergers Law which
> states that when you have a plurality system, only the top two
> candidates really matter.
>
>
>
> 4. The bipartisan duopoly refuses to publicly acknowledge the existance
> of other candidates. If other candidates are invited to attend a
> function such as a debate, the duopoly candidates refuse to attend. If
> a reporter asks about an issue popularized by a third party candidate,
> the bipartisan duopoly candidate will look at the reporter funny and
> then see that he is excluded from the next press conference.
>
> It's a system with obvious biases against free, fair elections. The
> fact that both the parties comprising the bipartisan duopoly ran
> candidates from the same fraternity of the same university (W's father
> is another "brother") should indicate something, but neither candidate
> made a point of addressing a fact that would have weakened both of them.
> When reporters brought it up, they both dismissed it as being
> insignificant since they were a few years apart in age and didn't really
> know each other. Sure the two men have different personalities, but
> they have very similar old money prep school backgrounds.
>

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Pair-Wise Ranking

siriuskase siriuskase writes  |  more than 9 years ago The following is a work in progress, so I'd appreciate some comments. I've come up with new way of explaining Condorcet voting that eliminates both the French Fry problem and the complex math problem. Too bad it is too far down an old topic for very many people to see. So I'll stick it here for future reference.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=126686&cid=10635068

Why not Pair-Wise Ranking (PWR)? (Score:2) by siriuskase (679431) on Tuesday October 26, @04:58PM (#10635068)

Systems like Condorcet's Method voting are technically superior but use a lot of math and are complicated to explain. If you can't explain it in a thirty second sound bite you won't get able to get enough popular support to get it passed.

It all boils down to how you explain things. Not everyone is going to stay awake long enough to understand the math and matrix explanations. So use a different strategy, one that hinges on two nonmathematical concepts.:

Experts have proven that better methods exist, such as IRV which is used in Europe and numerous other jurisdictions and Condorcet which is even better but has yet to be adopted anywhere.

It is unamerican for an innovative nation such as the US to use an obsolete EC system that even morons know to be defective. We should be the first in the world to use the superior and innovative Condorcet Method.

The only problem left to solve is what to name the darn thing, condorcet is too French, condoset (that's the GA pronunciation) sounds like its only for city people, these names and others such as "Fair Voting" are too vague, subjective, and unscientific sounding. Not that everyone wants to understand the details, but just slapping the world "Fair" onto a system doesn't make it so. Most Americans are wise to the subjective labeling trick.

How about Pair-Wise Ranking? That sounds meaningful without exactly contradicting itself. It communicates that candidates are ranked and every pairing is significant. That's a good enough theoretical explanation for most and a start in the right direction for those who want to know more. Even the smartest person in the world can't infer anything useful from the word "Condorcet" except that it's French. --

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Colorado, Electoral Votes, and Proportional Representation

siriuskase siriuskase writes  |  more than 9 years ago This is sort of long and I didn't write it, but it is good source for something I might write:

The Los Angeles Times' Brownstein notes that under Colorado's proposed initiative to split the state's electoral votes, "it would require a 61% landslide in the popular vote to win the sixth Electoral College vote." The state seems most likely to split its votes 5-4.

"Historically, the best argument for the proportional system has been that it makes every vote valuable, since every ballot would affect the candidates' ability to reach the 270 Electoral College votes required for election. The modern era's polarization has added another justification. Today, most voters never see the candidates because their states are safely in either the blue or red column. A proportional system would give candidates the incentive to campaign even in states they are sure to lose."

But, Brownstein notes, "If the idea spread, it would increase the risk that no candidate would reach a majority in the Electoral College. That's because proportional representation makes it much easier for third-party candidates to capture some Electoral College votes."

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Government should take over clinical trials, not healthcare

siriuskase siriuskase writes  |  more than 9 years ago Government shouldn't take over the entire healthcare industry or even healthcare insurance. It would do much to improve healthcare in the US simply by allowing the FDA to take over clinical trials. It would be even better if clinical trials could be taken over by independent organisations that are to clinical trials as UL is to electrical products or Consumer's Union is to a wide range of consumer products.

This recent fiasco with the Merck drug Vioxx highlights why data created by clinical trials should be publicly owned and available to everyone. Although, I don't think that the government should take over the healthcare industry except as the insurer of last resort, clinical trials should be considered a public good, since the complete data is useful to everyone, not just the company who is paying for it and has a reason to suppress anything it doesn't like.

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Recent post to www.the-leaky-cauldron.org

siriuskase siriuskase writes  |  more than 9 years ago TLC which is normally a Harry Potter news site recently had a "get out and register for the vote" thread. Since it is hard to find posts there after the fact, I've reposted my most recent post to that thread here.

This is it, the last day to register if you haven't yet. This has been a very big year for new registrations. Most of the new registrants are in neighborhoods populated by minorities and low-income people. My impression is that there is quite a bit of interest among the teenagers even, someone thought it was worthwhile to set up a registration table in our High School lunchroom.

According to the polls, Bush and Kerry are in a dead heat. But pollsters only poll people who have voted before. Quite a few middle aged and elderly people apparently have never voted before, lot of disenfransised people in this country, so if all these newlly registered people make it to the official polls, the unofficial polls may be way off.

IMO, the most glaringly wrong feature of the US voting system is the tendency to polarize the electorate. This is because we use a very simple, primitive, first-past-the-post coupled with the Electoral college system. This was state of the art 230 years ago, but it is obsolete now. To understand why we are stuck with the lessor of two evils system, please study up on Duverger's law. Here's the wikipedia article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duverger's_law

The movement to reform the basic procedure of our election law probably won't be successful any time soon. but when it happens, we will finally have a system where third parties matter and most people won't see the election as a choice between 2 dudes that aren't in reality very different from each other.

I've been participating in various political threads on slashdot.org, ya know "News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters". Here's one recent thread: http://politics.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/10/01/2139227&tid=226. I apologise in advance if the editors think this post is out of place. My intent is to take people to another website if they want to continue the political stuff. IMO, it is no more OT and inappropriate than Melissa's original posting (which I don't mind at all).

that mostly summarizes a lot of my postings here, there, and everywhere lately. I'm mostly interested in long term reform of the voting system, but various fuckups lately, including the Fla debacle in 2000 and the Max Cleland thing here in Georgia are highlighting the need to get everyone thinking about the political system, not just the in group that always votes and usually benefits from keeping the system as it is.

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Science, creationism, Isaac Newton, metaphysics and Harry?

siriuskase siriuskase writes  |  more than 9 years ago http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=119723&cid=10115831 I like this comment, it's long, talks about science, creationism, Isaac Newton, and metaphysics, and has lots of links, so it's interesting even if I haven't yet read it all and tried to understand it.

I've been pasting a lot of links here lately and I'm not sure if I'll ever come back and visit, I'd like to.

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