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The Site That Teaches You To Code Well Enough To Get a Job

thesandtiger Re:How is that supposed to work? (131 comments)

Because there's no value in overengineering things that are easy to replace and where the consequences of failure are trivial. Further, most people only need the features of their phones to be "OK" rather than "GREAT" and would rather carry one device rather than 10.

For some things - such as clothing or furniture, or items where there have literally been no earth shattering developments in the last 100 years (like, I dunno, silverware), it's okay to overengineer because doing so is actually efficient. I have a coat and a pair of boots that have lasted me 20+ years, some silverware that's maybe 200 years old, and the average of most of the "important" furniture in my home is over 75 years.

But my phone? I'm not a professional photographer. I'm not even an amateur photographer. I just want pictures I took of people and things and events I found worth photographing that are "good enough." I'm not doing professional video editing, so I just want a video cam that's good enough I can take footage of my dogs doing goofy stuff that I can send to my family. If I'm in a place where I'm watching movies or TV on my phone, it means I'm traveling and therefore unlikely to give much of a shit if the screen doesn't have perfect color fidelity or whatever because, well, there's a bunch of shit going on around me anyway. Ditto for music - why would I aim for some kind of audiophile's wet dream when likely the only time I'll be using my phone for music is when I'm out and about in situations where music quality isn't terribly relevant? Etc. and so on.

It's not that we don't value quality - I think we DO value quality very, very much - it's just that we can recognize that it's kind of stupid to waste time and money and effort on overengineering things that will be hopelessly outclassed in a few scant years.

Buy quality where it matters, buy cheap and replaceable where it doesn't.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

thesandtiger Re:Gee I do not know. (392 comments)

If I want someone with the potential to be brilliant, I'd go for the candidate who, despite NOT immersing themselves in the field for the last 4+ years of their life has just performed as well as the candidate who has dedicated their education to the field.

Even if things weren't precisely equal, I'd be inclined to go with the person who isn't trained yet performed well enough to be considered for the job, since they clearly have a lot more potential to grow and clearly have a desire to learn on their own rather than just because they "had" to in university. That person might have some deficits, but they will very likely be able to remedy them, given their already demonstrated desire to learn on their own.

If I'm just hiring a cog and they need to hit a few boxes on a checklist in order to be slotted in to a role where brilliance would actually be harmfully disruptive, then sure, give me the person who treated university like a vocational training course, I guess.

about two weeks ago
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News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

thesandtiger Re:It's a load of crap (748 comments)

Sorry, but no - I'm not responsible for other people's behavior, no matter how much you feel like I should be simply because I use the same term.

You've clearly got some issue with "feminism" and "feminists" - but it's not an issue I can help you with. .Not my monkeys, not my circus. Be well.

about a month ago
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News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

thesandtiger Re:It's a load of crap (748 comments)

You and I have a very, very different understanding of what feminism is. You're coming at it from a direction and conceptualization of it that is, frankly, alien to me, and while I would love to have a discussion of the details and the genesis for those different approaches, I don't know if that would be terribly fruitful here.

You're basically trying to make me answer for things I've never said and beliefs I do not hold, but that happen to be held by people who use a term I use to describe my thinking. It's like asking a random "Christian" to justify and explain Westboro Baptist's behavior because they both think of themselves as "Christian" despite that term meaning vastly different things. Other than saying "some people are assholes" I really can't be bothered to try and explain their behavior and shrug.

What I can say is what *I* believe and what *I* subscribe to. For me, feminism is recognizing that there is a pervasive and harmful current in society along gender lines, and that it hurts EVERYONE, be they male, female or neither. It's not about victimhood, it's about recognizing that harm is being done constantly and wouldn't it be nice if we could stop hurting ourselves over stupid shit?

What do I mean by "harm"? Here:
Guy has kids, wife makes more money so he stays at home to watch the kids while he works. Guy would get a ration of shit from buddies and probably a great deal from himself. He's been taught his entire life that men work, that childcare is women's work and god forbid he not make at least as much if not more than his wife. That's INCREDIBLY harmful to him.

Guy loses his job. Guy has to take one that pays less. He now may see himself as less of a man because men are defined by their work in many ways; their value gets determined by what they make. Harmful.

Guy goes to see a movie, it's got a sad ending, he's bawling. Has to toughen up and say "it's dusty in here" or hide it, be ashamed of feeling something. Harmful.

Woman goes out to a bar and picks up a guy, they have sex. He's a stud, she's a slut. Harmful - to both parties, actually, since he's being defined by something stupid like his ability to find women to have sex with (making him less of a man if he fails) and she's being denigrated because she's having casual sex.

One common theme to all of these is that a man who doesn't act in a typically manly fashion is often insulted by being described as feminine, showing a general belief that "feminine masculine." Which is why many who try to address this harmful current in society: If feminine were seen as equal in status to masculine, there would be less damage done to ALL genders because it wouldn't be shameful to be more or less masculine or more or less feminine or to do manly things if you're a woman or womanly things if you're a man. Equal in status, not identical in function.

about a month ago
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News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

thesandtiger Re:It's a load of crap (748 comments)

I guess that's the message one would get if they only look at the noisy assholes, but that's fair, since they are noisy assholes and make a disproportionate amount of noise. Fact is, though, that most feminists are actually just advocating for human rights for all.

Kind of like how one might get the impression that Slashdot is full of racist fucktards because a few noisy assholes are constantly posting crazy racist shit. Thing is, most people here are actually just nerds who want to discuss nerd stuff with other nerds, which is totally cool.

Or how one might get the impression that all gun owners are crazy morons with inadequacy issues who think it's somehow proving a point to get a bunch of yokels together and show up at various family restaurants armed to the teeth when public shootings are constantly being hyped up in the news. Fact is, most gun owners are just regular people who know how to comport themselves in public and don't think scaring the shit out of people is good pr.

Point here is that you (the general "you") would be well served to realize that if you're trying to dismiss a rather large segment of the population by using some kind of cartoonish stereotype, it might be worth looking at some of the quieter members of said group. Just sayin'.

about a month ago
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News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

thesandtiger Re:Sigh (748 comments)

The thing is, why should it matter if it's biology or a choice or a combination of both? We protect choices all the time. We protect biological destiny all the time. We protect things that are likely a mix of the two all the time. Why (other than that some people find it icky) should sexual orientation be any different?

People choose to follow a particular religion, and religious freedom is seen as a Good Thing in much of the western world. Yay tolerance for other people's choices.

People are born black, and racism is seen as a Bad Thing in much of the western world. Yay tolerance for other people's biology.

To be honest, as long as all parties are capable of and willing to consent, I don't give a fuck about who people fuck or why they fuck them. Maybe if I am one of the people involved in the fucking I might give a fuck, but really unless the "why" causes some kind of issue, I don't give a fuck. It might be of some academic interest, along the same lines as "why are some people left handed" but it seems like using "why" as a basis for tolerance or whatever is goofy.

Mind you, I agree with you that being gay is almost certainly very largely a result of biology, and I actually think that the people who are trying to do "conversion therapy" are monstrous just as it would be monstrous to try and get straight people to go gay. I'm just saying that choice or biology, people need to get the fuck over it and stop giving so much of a shit about other people's bouncy bouncy fun time.

about a month ago
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Psychology's Replication Battle

thesandtiger Re:WTF? (172 comments)

Actually, hell let me throw a challenge at you:

Please explain the value in trying to understand gravity in a way that is general enough to also apply to numerous other fields that are deemed to "have value" but that excludes trying to understand human behavior.

If you can do so in a way that is meaningful and isn't intellectually dishonest I'll be surprised.

about 2 months ago
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Psychology's Replication Battle

thesandtiger Re:WTF? (172 comments)

I use "probably" because I'm able to recognize the weaknesses and potential for flaws in the results inherent in any study that involves humans as the subjects and more importantly, the mind and behaviors. It's funny that you're taking someone being honest about known limitations of a field as somehow a bad thing. Instead of being intellectually honest and acknowledging that, should I have tried for rhetorical points and overstated my case?

As to your request for empirical evidence about the value of the experiments, you do understand that "value" is inherently subjective, right? There are plenty of people who find no value what-so-ever in science or any other intellectual pursuit (and we make fun of them here on /. quite frequently). Given this discussion, I'm quite certain that you and I ascribe different values to a great many things. I personally think there's a cost/benefit to any field of study, and that if the benefits outweigh the costs, there's value in that study. In this case, you may not find value in trying to understand why human beings do the things they do, and that's your right; I, however, do find value in trying to understand human behaviors. In fact, I find enough value in it that I'm willing to accept that the investigation into those behaviors will be challenging, probabilistic vs. deterministic, and often frustrating when compared to other disciplines.

The tl;dr thing is this: I find as much value in trying to understand gravity as I do in trying to understand why human beings do the things they do, even if it's a hell of a lot harder to design experiments and the results are a hell of a lot muddier when you involve subjects as complex as humans.

about 2 months ago
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Psychology's Replication Battle

thesandtiger Re:WTF? (172 comments)

There's different levels of replication.

In physics, you can generally replicate an experiment vary precisely if you've got a handle on the factors that went into that experiment - control the environment, etc. You can have an almost perfect replication. Yay, science!

In social psychology research you can't ever even approach that same level of control over the environment the experiment takes place in. The subject will be different - even if it's the same subject used in the first experiment, because people change over time/exposure. The interviewer will be different because people change over time. The dynamic between interviewer and subject will be different. The history of the subject will be different as will the history of the interviewer as will the place the interview is taking place, etc. etc. etc.

The best such research can do is to either find that there is a tendency for x to happen in y circumstances, but it might not always be the case.

And, actually, there is a fair amount of basic replication that goes on in many psychological studies; when I was in the field working on studies we would routinely include certain basic measures that had been used in tens of thousands of studies before and compare anticipated vs. actual outcomes.

But even if it doesn't get replicated it actually has some value in that it would indicate that whatever the original experiment felt was a contributing factor to the main reported effect, a lack of easy replication under mostly similar circumstances indicates that that factor probably isn't as strong as hypothesized, and it cuts off a (probably) blind alley.

about 2 months ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

thesandtiger Re: Pft (962 comments)

Dude, seriously, you are such the caricature of an internet tough guy, it's fucking awesome. And I admire your commitment to the charade, too.

Just remember, some people aren't in on the joke and might take you seriously and think the incredibly stupid shit you're claiming you have done is a good idea.

about 2 months ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

thesandtiger Re:Pft (962 comments)

Just saying "that's not cool" would do more than sitting around passively when you do see it happen.

I won't shit on people who don't say anything when they see something happen - maybe they're afraid, I don't know - but I certainly will applaud people who do say something.

about 2 months ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

thesandtiger Re:This has nothing to do with sexism (962 comments)

Actually, what I want is for people to quit being assholes to each other over pointless bullshit, but that's not going to happen. It's not so much "treat me better" but more "treat EVERYONE better." That's not a man thing, a girl thing, a woman thing, or whatever - it's a person thing. And to be honest, the whole "men should put up with constant verbal abuse because they are manly" thing (paraphrased, of course) is pretty fucking stupid.

If one is incapable of engaging in an activity without a massive amount of insanely crude shit talking, perhaps one should not be spending time around other people until one becomes more civilized, no? In online gaming, fortunately, we have many options for removing those who won't remove themselves. Ignore lists exist for a reason, and being willing and able to kick or ban people who routinely go out of their way to shit on other people helps as well. I don't take shit-talking personally, as the person doing it knows nothing about me, but that doesn't mean I care to have my gaming time be an unending stream of abuse. I give people engaging in it 1 chance, and if they keep going after I politely request they tone it down, they (usually) functionally cease to exist for me. And, I should say, my threshold for what I consider egregious is pretty high, though usually some kind of highly targeted insult (usually to race, gender, etc.) will do the trick.

The reason for trying to cultivate a more civil community is not that I want to control what other people do or how they behave. It's that I really, really like gaming, I enjoy gaming online, and I want it to thrive and be something more people can partake in without feeling like they need to take a shower after every round because of all the terrible people they run across. A community dominated by trolls will die off very quickly; the best communities I've seen online are ones that have a bit of cultivation/moderation so that the absolute shitlords at least get weeded out.

about 2 months ago
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US To Auction 29,656 Bitcoins Seized From Silk Road

thesandtiger Re:I hope they get whatever they can for them (232 comments)

If the government sold US dollars for bitcoin, I would say that sets a precedent that they are treating bitcoin like legal tender. A weak precedent, since the argument could be made that they "sell" US dollars for fighter jets, and yet fighter jets are not legal tender.

If the government accepted bitcoin for other things they offer, I would say that sets a precedent that they are treating bitcoins like legal tender. That would be a much stronger precedent.

If the government purchased things with bitcoin directly - as in used it to settle debts - then that would be the strongest possible precedent (short of them flat out saying "bitcoin is now legal tender") that they are treating bitcoin as legal tender.

The government is not treating bitcoins like they treat legal tender, not in any way, shape or form. I know you're probably just being silly with the "buy bitcoin with bitcoin" line, but there are - as I pointed out above - ways that you could establish a precedent that don't involve sophistry.

about 4 months ago
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US To Auction 29,656 Bitcoins Seized From Silk Road

thesandtiger Re:Laundering (232 comments)

I didn't say anything about the intelligence of the process, or the fairness - just it is what it is.

They want their money as fast as they can get it, and couldn't care less about being "fair." They organize the sales of their items in whatever ways will make it more likely to sell and to make it as easy as possible for them to get rid of those things because they are not in the business of managing assets.

They are allowed to bundle things in a way that allows them to sell stuff and minimize overhead. To wit:

If there were a ton of buyers out there who would be willing and able to buy 3000 $5000 cars in one go, then yes, you bet your ass they would lump the sales of cars they take in that way. But, there aren't many buyers out there willing to spend 15 million dollars on a bunch of shitty used cars, so they instead sell them in smaller lots or individually, because that's the only way that those cars will sell.

With bitcoin, there are a ton of buyers out there who would be willing to pony up the deposit of $200k, as well as who would be willing to buy lots sized of 3000 coins at ~500-1000 dollars per coin, and it's a LOT easier to sell to those people than it is to sell to thousands of people who are buying a single coin or whatever.

And, actually, this is in a way MORE fair than having it open to everyone. Normal people - read: not rich - would not be able to get their hands on a single one of these coins UNLESS the bidding got up so high that the people with tons of money decided that yeah, there's no potential for profit to be made by buying them at that price. So "normal people" wind up paying so much/taking on risk for the coin that moneyed interests aren't willing to touch.

And, to pre-empt any silly "how is this different than the car auction" comparisons again, it's different in that selling a bitcoin on an exchange is (probably) easier to do than selling a used car is. When there are easier ways to make money, shitty used cars aren't worth snapping up to keep away from other people. And, actually, if you ever go to an auction of non-shitty cars, they wind up going almost ALWAYS to someone who has plans to flip the car, not actually use it. "Normal people" aren't going to be getting to participate in the auctions that are about making money rather than just obtaining a shitbox to help with your daily commute.

about 4 months ago
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US To Auction 29,656 Bitcoins Seized From Silk Road

thesandtiger Re:Perhaps they want to see who's interested in it (232 comments)

Okay - I take it back, and you will forevermore be considered "adorbs."

With regards to they (in this case law enforcement agencies involved in busting Silk Road) knowing everything:

I think as part of their investigation and bust of Silk Road, they almost certainly became aware of the identities of multiple people who are both interested and able and willing to buy the bitcoins at auction. I'm also willing to bet, given the strong libertarian/fuck the federal government bent of many people participating in bitcoin, they probably at least sent a memo to other agencies not involved in the Silk Road case directly.

The converse of this is that anyone who participates in this auction AND who cares about the privacy/anonymity aspects of bitcoin would have to be catastrophically stupid and pettily greedy. Not an uncommon combination, unfortunately, but they probably weren't flying under the radar to begin with, you know?

Basically this is just going to be a chance - maybe - for someone who already has money to make a few more bucks; the privacy/anonymity angle is interesting, but it doesn't seem like anything with teeth, I guess.

about 4 months ago
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US To Auction 29,656 Bitcoins Seized From Silk Road

thesandtiger Re:So is this the US govt giving Bitcoin legitimac (232 comments)

I dunno how meaningful it will be as a data point:

- You have a seller who (probably) doesn't give 2 shits about what happens to the value of what they are selling once the sale is complete dumping the things as fast as they can.

- It's a one-off transaction selling the things in bulk, through a process that is unique/doesn't follow the regularly used methods for bitcoin selling.

- It's getting a lot of attention because.

One way or another, whatever they get sold at, this bit of data isn't really too meaningful, except, maybe as just being kind of interesting to nerds.

about 4 months ago
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US To Auction 29,656 Bitcoins Seized From Silk Road

thesandtiger Re:Perhaps they want to see who's interested in it (232 comments)

And sorry, I didn't mean to be condescending there by saying adorable - I was more trying to shit on the snooping the US government does on random, inconsequential shit.

about 4 months ago
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US To Auction 29,656 Bitcoins Seized From Silk Road

thesandtiger Re:Laundering (232 comments)

I'm going by the stated intent to prevent that which is in the summary. I don't know if there are laws about those associated with a civil forfeiture being eligible to bid on items from that forfeiture, but it seems like that's the intent, and it seems like since it's stated there it would be something worth investigating if trying to set up an entirely new process for handling this kind of disposition of assets.

My point here being not so much "what is right" but more "there are a lot of questions to be asked and answered about changing the way this kind of thing is done, and they are all very expensive to resolve, probably more expensive than the potential improvement of efficiency will ever be worth."

about 4 months ago
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US To Auction 29,656 Bitcoins Seized From Silk Road

thesandtiger Re:I hope they get whatever they can for them (232 comments)

You're very confused.

Being able to pay for something with legal tender (US dollars) does not somehow make the things you buy with legal tender into legal tender itself. Nor does it somehow turn it into a currency. It sets no precedent.

Selling bitcoin - or ANYTHING ELSE - at an auction in exchange for US dollars does not set ANY kind of precedent establishing that bitcoin - or ANYTHING ELSE - is now legal tender. In fact, it establishes the opposite.

What WOULD set a precedent is if the government called up some suppliers and gave them bitcoin directly in exchange for things that aren't legal tender, because then they would be saying that bitcoin is the same as US dollars.

What they are doing here is saying "we have these bitcoins (and other things) and we would rather have US dollars, which are legal tender. We will give you these bitcoins for dollars, which we will then go and use like real money."

This isn't difficult.

about 4 months ago
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US To Auction 29,656 Bitcoins Seized From Silk Road

thesandtiger Re:Perhaps they want to see who's interested in it (232 comments)

It's kind of adorable that you think they don't already know this kind of thing, given the amount of internal snooping they do already.

Also that you think they couldn't tank the value much more easily through other means, if they cared to.

Or that they actually care much about bitcoin beyond "how can we tax it?" type of questions.

They have a thing that they want to turn into cash. They want to do this as quickly as possible, and they don't want to spend time or money trying to take into account the vagaries of all the different kinds of things that they take in order to get maximum value.

Seriously, asking them to try and deal with the details of getting as much as possible from bitcoin would be like asking them to restore classic cars they seize and then try and sell them at various shows or through private channels to get the maximum return. Sure, they could squeeze a few extra bucks out of it, but who gives a shit?

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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OSS & Academia - how to forge a relationship?

thesandtiger thesandtiger writes  |  more than 4 years ago

thesandtiger (819476) writes "I work for a university doing research in a field that, to date, has not really made strong use of technology. My research program has developed some tools that have greatly increased our efficiency and ability to maintain methodological rigor for our projects, but the tools are ones that are basically thrown together with spit and bailing wire; we'd like to take these basic versions and turn them into something that is more robust and generally useful, so that other researchers can benefit.

What we would like to do is partner with a commercial OSS entity to apply for grants which could then be used to subsidize development and refinement of the tools, and their subsequent release, with the seemingly standard "free software and source if you want to DIY, but you pay for support and services" model being the eventual goal. Ideally this commercial OSS group would be local (in state at least) because that would open us up for many, many more grants.

We're doing our research into different projects and I have spoken to many people locally about their ideas, but I wanted to throw the question about how to find a partner and things to keep in mind out to Slashdotters to get some more.

How can we find an OSS group with a proven track record, that's local? What kind of things would that OSS group want from us? Has anyone engaged in these kinds of joint efforts before, and if so, what were your experiences?"

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