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Study: Belief That Some Fields Require "Brilliance" May Keep Women Out

spasm Genius requires being self-centered (218 comments)

In my experience "genius" and "brilliance" tend to necessarily involve the ability to monomanically focus on things in a way which, socially speaking, is 'self centered'. We socialize that tendency out of most people, and particularly out of women.

about two weeks ago
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Peter Diamandis: Technology Is Dissolving National Borders

spasm For wealthy gadabouts perhaps (129 comments)

"Working remotely is now widespread, and will only become moreso once telepresence robots become ubiquitous."

Telecommuting (much discussed on slashdot over the past decade) is fairly common, but still hardly 'widepread' - only 2.6% of the U.S. employee workforce 'considers the home their primary workplace', and the single largest group of telecommuters are federal employees (3.3%), ahead of private for-profit sector workers (2.6%) (http://globalworkplaceanalytics.com/telecommuting-statistics). And even among those (like myself) who would say my home is my primary workplace (I live about 3 hours drive from my employer) still need to go in to the office once a month or so. Which might work in some parts of Europe, but for most fo the world is unreasonably complicated and expensive. And I suspect the vast vast majority of those of us who telecommute or work remotely are still doing so within national boundaries.

"Translation services, both for written and spoken language are approaching sci-fi-level capabilities."

Bullshit. Well, so far anyway. The linked slashdot story contained a bunch of comments from people saying the skype translation was just about good enough for scheduling another meeting time, but you couldn't use it to do actual work.

"The rise of cryptocurrencies is providing a method for people worldwide to move away from national currencies."

Right up until you need to buy groceries or pay rent.

Of course, all these things will change. Machine translation will definitely get better. Telepresence might get beyond novelty and/or uncanny valley and genuinely make 'going for a beer with the boss' on another continent work. And my landlord might even start accepting bitcoin. But with the possible exception of machine translation, the rest of it will remain the province of fairly well off people for a long time. Well off people like Peter Diamandis.

about a month ago
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Peru Indignant After Greenpeace Damages Ancient Nazca Site

spasm Re:What the hell is wrong with Millennials?! (465 comments)

"I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words... When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise [disrespectful] and impatient of restraint".
(Hesiod, 8th century BC)

about a month and a half ago
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California Sues Uber Over Practices

spasm Re: Go California! (139 comments)

Oh, I'm not a libertarian :) In a 'libertarian paradise' pesky 'regulations' which establish things like renter's rights (probably the single largest use of small claims court is by renters trying to recover their deposit when leaving a rental and the landlord claims the money is now theirs because [insert minor wear and tear here]) don't exist. Because 'the market' will somehow stop all that from happening..

I think the precise details of how easy small claims is to use varies from state to state. I've only had experience with it in California (and only once at that), and in CA the court doesn't give multiple opportunities to appear unless the defendant files paperwork each time giving a documented (and reasonable) reason they can't appear. And neither party is allowed to bring a lawyer with them. But yes, working out how to collect is up to you, and how easy that is varies wildly depending on the situation. Landlords tend to be easy to collect from because, by definition, they have fixed assets. Uber drivers, maybe not so much.

about a month and a half ago
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Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

spasm Megan's law for the unvaccinated (1051 comments)

We need a Megan's Law equivalent for people who refuse to be vaccinated. Sure, you can refuse to vaccinate yourself or your child because your skyfairy says so, or for any other reason you like, but you have to be registered like a sex offender and banned from living or going within a thousand feet of any school.

about a month and a half ago
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California Sues Uber Over Practices

spasm Re: Go California! (139 comments)

Yes, but it happens less often when 'government regulations' prevent people with known histories of raping and assaulting people from driving taxis.

Whereas you seem to be arguing that the inconvenience of running a background check on someone before letting them drive a taxi is so onerous that it's worth letting known rapists drive taxis just to avoid the burden on the taxi industry of 'all that government red tape'.

about a month and a half ago
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California Sues Uber Over Practices

spasm Re: Go California! (139 comments)

"if I take it to small claims court ... you probably won't show up"

In which case you automatically win.

"and even if I got the judgment you'd just stiff me anyway"

In which case the court will help you garnish their wages, order their bank to pay you from any funds they have in the bank, suspend their professional license and/or drivers license until they pay you, and a range of other things that will make their life a complete misery (http://www.courts.ca.gov/1179.htm).

But yeah, it does take time. But laying all this out to them in a demand-for-payment letter so they see that you know how the system works and are willing to grind through those steps is usually sufficient to get people to stop bluffing and pay you if you're clearly in the right.

about a month and a half ago
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Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk

spasm Avoiding the police (481 comments)

"It's unlikely that a high school student would come away with any other conclusion than the police are a fearful group to be avoided at all costs," says Eugene O'Donnell, a former police officer and professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice

That's probably because the police *are* a fearful group to be avoided at all costs..

about 2 months ago
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In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

spasm Re:Flawed, 'cos... (454 comments)

"3. Personalization and customization."

Scan a barcode on the dash with your phone as soon as you get in; your phone syncs with the car & the car changes all the radio station presets change according to the preference file your phone sent it. Ditto climate control preferences, seat position, throttle responsiveness, basically anything that can be controlled electronically.

The other three points I more or less agree with you on though.

about 2 months ago
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Favorite clickbait hook?

spasm Re:haha! (238 comments)

Nah, the early trolls just got bored and left. Making those who stayed seem erudite and witty by comparison :)

about 3 months ago
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David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

spasm Re:who cares? (942 comments)

Dealing with non-metric units isn't that daunting for people raised on metric either - I grew up in Australia and moved to the US in my 30s. I'm a scientist, so in my day-to-day worklife nothing changed at all. The conversions needed for daily shopping are rudimentary (a pound of fish is half a kilo of fish) and you quickly stop needing to even make the conversion. Inches for woodworking are sometimes actually an improvement (12 inches is divisible by 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12, which makes for a lot of easy mental arithmetic when dividing a length of wood into halves, third, quarters etc; 10 cm is only divisible by 1, 2, 5, and 10). Miles per hour is just a number on a sign which needs to be related to the same number on your speedometer - there's no need to convert at all. Temperature took longer to adjust to - it's really a matter of recalibrating your sense of which number matches to which relative feeling, and that took 4 or 5 years. The only thing I still struggle with is wrench sizes - quick, which is bigger, a 5/8 wrench or a 3/4 wrench? Quick, which is bigger, a 10mm wrench or a 12mm wrench? I just tried a 5/8 wrench on a bolt and it was slightly too small - quick, what's the next size up to try? etc.

about 4 months ago
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DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

spasm Short range transmission =! privacy concern (261 comments)

"The submitter notes that this V2V communication would include transmission of a vehicle's location, which comes with privacy concerns. "

For the purposes of reducing accidents and facilitating things like lane changes, there's no reason for the location to be transmitted more broadly than a few hundred metres around the transmitting vehicle, nor for either the transmitting vehicle or receiving vehicles to store that location for more than 10 minutes or so. I'm not too worried about the impact on privacy if that were the case. And I'm expecting car manufacturers to go with the cheapest possible solution which meets regulation, so they certainly have no interest in installing the kind of equipment needed to broadcast location beyond 100m or so, and lost of interest in resisting regulation which goes beyond that.

about 5 months ago
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California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

spasm Re:Stay within reason (327 comments)

Well, I just wasted about an hour rummaging through California's law relating to waste water from industrial processes, as well as law relating to drinking water, and in that time could not find anything which either supports or refutes the parent poster's assertion that waste water from semiconductor plants must be cleaner than tap water (links to the law and regulations below). Nor could I find any support for the parent poster's claim just randomly googling around (I figured if it were true there'd be multiple references to it).

I agree with you that if wastewater from industrial processes is held to higher standards than tap water, then that's ridiculous. However given it's such an extrodinary claim, I'd also suggest that the burden of proof lies with those making it - here's the law; knock yourselves out.

CA law and regulation relating to drinking water: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic...

CA law and regulation relating to waste water: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/...

All code relating to water in CA: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/...

about 5 months ago
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California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

spasm Re:So, such rules are bad for keeping people worki (327 comments)

"Why would the rest of the world care? If Californians eliminate themselves as a competitor through insane regulation, other countries benefit."

Well, another way to look at it is Californians have calculated the real cost. Sure, you get a couple of hundred FAB plant jobs, and a dribble of corporate and payroll tax out of it, but FABs are notoriously hard on worker health and on the surrounding environment. So the state ends up paying big dollars down the track to clean up the toxic mess left behind (and remember the only thing prop 65 bans is businesses dumping known carcinogens *into the drinking water supply* - under this law you can still dump carcinogenic waste wherever else you want), and pays again for healthcare costs for workers and their families (or we all pay it through increased insurance premiums if the state doesn't end up paying for it with our taxes).

About the only reason you'd want a FAB plant in your state that wasn't willing or able to comply with California's environmental laws is if you want to be able to boast about how you 'created more jobs' in the leadup to the next election, and didn't give a shit what the real cost to the state would be over the next 30 years.

about 6 months ago
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California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

spasm Re:So, such rules are bad for keeping people worki (327 comments)

The law just says "Businesses are prohibited from knowingly releasing listed chemicals into drinking water sources."

The law *doesn't* say industry is held to higher standards than water treatment facilites - just that industry can't deliberately dump known carcinogens into the water supply. Per this particular law, industry could still dump known carcinogens into any other random body of water they like.

about 6 months ago
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California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

spasm Re:Screwed... (327 comments)

You forget that allowing companies to expose workers to toxic crap and to dump waste everywhere comes with economic costs to the state as well as economic benefits. Sure, you get a handful more jobs and the tax revenue which comes with that, but usually it's the state who ends up paying for the cleanup afterwards, and it's everyone in the state who pays for the downstream healthcare costs for workers and others affected by it, both through higher insurance premiums and through taxes to pay for medi-cal and medicare. Sometimes the economic benefits to the state of allowing a semiconductor fab plant to skip environmental regulations so they don't leave to Texas or Mexico don't actually add up. Unless the *only* thing you care about is being able to boast about how you 'created more jobs' between now and the next election.

about 6 months ago
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California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

spasm Re:So, such rules are bad for keeping people worki (327 comments)

That particular regulation (prop 65) was voter initiated, not legislature initiated. All it requires is: the state must publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm (defined as having a 1 in 100,000 chance of causing cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm); businesses must label products and areas, like workplaces or apartments, that contain or release *significant amounts* of those poisons; and businesses are prohibited from knowingly releasing listed chemicals into drinking water sources. Many businesses have taken the position that they're better off posting warnings when any amount of a carcinogenic substance is present.

Given that semiconductor manufacturing is one of the more hazardous and polluting industries out there, I'm not surprised fab plants have a difficult time meeting environmental regulations in CA and have been willing to deal with the costs associated with moving to states or coutries who don't care as much about the health of workers or the cost of environmental cleanup. The solution to lost jobs isn't to drop regulation so employers can go back to putting employee health at risk, it's to improve the standards of the rest of the world so there isn't an unregulated bolt-hole for fab plant owners to run off to.

about 6 months ago
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WebODF: JavaScript Open Document Format Editor Deemed Stable

spasm zotero (91 comments)

Link zotero to this and you'll have a solution academic collaborators have been looking for since the beginning of word processing.. Seriously, we need a collaborative writing platform which allows multiple authors to add citations.

about 7 months ago

Submissions

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US Army migrating all servers to linux

spasm spasm writes  |  more than 6 years ago

spasm writes "The Register (among others) are reporting the the US Army is doing prep work to migrate to linux, with RHEL expected to be a bridge system to allow interoperability between existing Windows-based systems and planned linux systems."
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