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Facebook Founder Presents Vision For The New Republic, Many Resign In Protest

sphealey Re:Who cares... (346 comments)

Supporting Excellent Iraq War II, pumping the _Bell Curve_, publishing the racist fantasies of Stephen Glass, joining the anti-public education movement, and also publishing the "No Exit" hatchet job on Bill Clinton's health care reform proposal isn't in any way shape or form liberal. And that's not even taking into account Martin Perez' racism and ethnic hatred which is of a variety that is a bit harder to criticize in US society but which most liberals reject.

Representative quote from Andrew Sullivan: "The middle part of the country—the great red zone that voted for Bush—is clearly ready for war. The decadent Left in its enclaves on the coasts is not dead—and may well mount what amounts to a fifth column." [note that he later altered that essay as published on his blog to make it less self-damning; this is the original wording]. Yes, he's gay. No, he's not liberal.

sPh

about two weeks ago
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Facebook Founder Presents Vision For The New Republic, Many Resign In Protest

sphealey Re:yea no (346 comments)

Which admittedly is darkly amusing as from 1980 forward TNR - under multiple editors - was as engaged as any neoliberal [*] entity in destroying economic security for the majority of US citizens. Now they get re-engineering/outsourced/disrupted and it is a tragedy.

Also, the failure of any of these people to resign during TNR's era of deep racism under Peretz/Sullivan should disqualify them from uttering even a peep.

sPh

[*] neoliberal = hard right Republican with a prettier face

about two weeks ago
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Facebook Founder Presents Vision For The New Republic, Many Resign In Protest

sphealey Re:Hard to say (346 comments)

Firing the editor who had at least made some progress in recovering the publication (the "franchise" or "brand" is corpro-speak) from the disastrous Peretz/Sullivan era via press release - without the courtesy of even calling said editor before he saw the news on Twitter - was not considered auspicious.

sPh

about two weeks ago
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Facebook Founder Presents Vision For The New Republic, Many Resign In Protest

sphealey Re:Who cares... (346 comments)

From about 1975 forward TNR was in the vanguard of "neoliberalism", which basically amounts to packaging hard right Republican ideas + hippie punching and selling in to "moderate" Democratic politicians and DC insiders who think they need to "move right" to get re-elected. Classifying TNR (cf Andrew Sullivan) as a 'liberal rag' is a bit, oh, silly.

sPh

about two weeks ago
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Physicist Kip Thorne On the Physics of "Interstellar"

sphealey Re:Total Boondoggle (289 comments)

So basically what he's saying is we might as well dump the money into a black hole. Sounds like most government programs.

Such as the government program that created the Internet, thus making it possible to post the quoted comment on Slashdot.

about three weeks ago
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Highly Advanced Backdoor Trojan Cased High-Profile Targets For Years

sphealey Re:Microsoft Windows only (143 comments)

There's now an entire generation of IS/IT managers, directors, and CIOs who not only prefer Microsoft technology but have an active dislike of anything related to Unix(tm) - including but not limited to Linux(tm). And along with dislike comes distrust and contempt. They firmly believe that Microsoft provides superior technology, tools, and usability, and that to choose other technology is not only to make a mistake but to expose themselves to professional risk.

You can disagree with them if you prefer (I tend to, myself). But people holding this set of technical preferences now makes up a substantial fraction - possibly a substantial majority - of technical decisionmakers in the US at least.

sPh

about a month ago
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A Mysterious Piece of Russian Space Junk Does Maneuvers

sphealey Re:Jeez, just come clean (146 comments)

Yeah, that's the scenario that affected every design choice on the Space Shuttle and led to the building of the Vandenburg shuttle pad. Many problems with it, including the one where it invites a strike by the grab-ee on the landing site leading directly to a Dr. Strangelove situation.

sPh

about a month and a half ago
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A Mysterious Piece of Russian Space Junk Does Maneuvers

sphealey Re:Jeez, just come clean (146 comments)

I'm not sure why Ars Technica took their well-written article about the Soviet decision to build the Buran off-line, but IIRC that was essentially the logic the Soviets were following at the time. All their calculations told them the Space Shuttle was a loser, but the Americans were building one so surely they must know something we don't.... 20 billion rubles down the drain.

sPh

about a month and a half ago
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Solving the Mystery of Declining Female CS Enrollment

sphealey Re:Boys are naturally curious... (608 comments)

Kinda weird how from 1942-1980 or thereabouts it was women who were considered better at programming "systems", and all of a sudden that natural attribute reversed.

sPh

about 2 months ago
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Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

sphealey Re:Bauhaus (370 comments)

As noted, Jane Jacob's famous _Death and Life of Great American Cities_ addressed the affect of Bauhaus and other modernist schools of architecture and urban planning on everyday human beings. William Whyte's _City_ touches on many of the same issues. Wolfe's _From Bauhaus to Our House_ was written for more of a general audience and shows clear signs of the Wolfe-ian obnoxiousness to follow but is nonetheless a biting critique of those design schools.

But there's a large amount of Bauhaus (and/or Chicago School) criticism out there; you may need to look a bit harder.

sPh

about 2 months ago
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Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

sphealey Re: I don't follow (370 comments)

I'm referring more to the general perception that sans serif fonts are "cleaner" and therefore easier to comprehend and read. If you track down the FAA study (ironically published from a manuscript typed on a typewriter IIRC) this is not the case. That matches my personal perception - sans serifs are fine for titling but serif fonts are almost always easier to comprehend - but goes against the conventional wisdom. As evidenced by the "cleaner" trope.

sPh

about 2 months ago
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Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

sphealey Bauhaus (370 comments)

Highly accomplished designers tend to fall in love with and become obsessed by Bauhaus style in its various cyclical incarnations. The remaining 99.999% of the human race finds Bauhaus objects and systems very pretty to look and impossible to use for more than a few days, as documented by Jane Jacobs, William White, Tom Wolf, and many others. The designers believe the rest of the critics are blind and the human race is just using their wonderful Bauhaus stuff wrong.

sPh

about 2 months ago
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Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

sphealey Re: I don't follow (370 comments)

- - - - - It's general knowledge in typography that Helvetica is the most legible typeface. - - - - -

That is very much convention wisdom, yes. There are surprisingly few scientifically designed studies on typeface legibility, but the ones I have been able to find (particularly the FAA-sponsored study in the early days of CRTs in the cockpit) have indicated that serif - NOT sans serif - fonts are easier to read, even at low resolution.

sPh

about 2 months ago
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Fuel Efficiency Numbers Overstate MPG More For Cars With Small Engines

sphealey Re:Overstated or misrepresented? (403 comments)

Curious as to why the fuel economy readouts on a modern car would be inaccurate. The computer has fuel flow readings down to about .001 ml and precise wheel rotation readings 6/sec from the ABS system. Unless the owner puts tires of a non-standard diameter on the car what would cause the inaccuracy?

sPh

about 2 months ago
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Fuel Efficiency Numbers Overstate MPG More For Cars With Small Engines

sphealey Re:Well DUH! (403 comments)

There's also the European preference for small high-revvers combined with the disdain for automatic transmissions. Yes, up through about 1990 a well-driven manual could provide better fuel economy. Today's computer-controlled automatics are more efficient than human shifters, and that's before any fancy radar-driven predictive shifting is brought into play.

sPh

Note that I am saying nothing about personal driving enjoyment preferences or ability to play boy racer, just fuel economy

about 2 months ago
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Fuel Efficiency Numbers Overstate MPG More For Cars With Small Engines

sphealey Re:metric you insensitive clod! (403 comments)

Up until just a few years ago, the ultimate measure of fuel economy in the UK was:

miles/liter/stone/cubic meter

So I wouldn't gripe about US ANSI units too much ;-)

sPh

Haven't been to the UK since road signs were officially changed to km, but I understand most UKians still think of distances in miles.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?

sphealey Re:Listen to Sales - as hard as it may be (159 comments)

I guess you only buy bug-free software, then.

I think what sphealey was saying is that, if a vendor say "you don't want to see our 'dirty laundry'" or something like that, then that vendor is an immediate no-go.

It isn't about bug-free software, it is about making sure you avoid vendors that may try to deliberately hide/ignore bugs.

Spot-on AC.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?

sphealey Re:They are just lazy (159 comments)

I had a software vendor once that had an odd bug in its telephone system: when a support person would put you on hold it would occasionally transfer you into conference with the technician's queue. You know what really, really angers a customer? Being told for the third time by second-level support that he is closing your case as "can't reproduce/no other customers reported/not a bug" and then being put into an impromptu conference call with two other customers waiting to speak to the 2nd level developer about the very same bug - each for more than the 1st time. Makes the user conference a bit uncomfortable for the support group as well.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?

sphealey Re:Advertise it as a positive thing (159 comments)

ASK (of MANMAN fame - predecessor of 80% of the ERP products on the market today), Novell, and several of the large networking vendors of the 1990-2005 period were all organizations that openly published their bug lists to the world during their growth phases. It was the restriction of those lists that signaled to their customers and the market that it was time to be careful, not their original existence.

sPh

Yes, I know: I'm sure none of the above published 100% of their non-security bugs. But it was clear to any experienced manager of those technologies that a very large percentage were publicly acknowledged.

about 3 months ago

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