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Comment Re:Umm (Score 1) 342

If anyone is confused as to the effect of combining two words, just point out to them the meaning of "critical"

The problem is that in English, "critical" has two meanings. It can mean "critique", but it can also mean "important". So instead of meaning "to critique reasoning", it has come to mean "any thinking that is important".

Comment Re:He did this to his own car and drove it? (Score 1) 101

Look, if it's ok for google and co to have their half-baked crap navigate on public roads...

The difference is that Google has applied for, and been given, a license to test their SDCs on public roads.

Money doesn't bring people back from the dead.

But money does pay for repairs and medical bills. Injuries are far more common than fatalities, and non-injury accidents causing vehicle damage are even more common.

Comment Re:Rose tinted glasses (Score 5, Insightful) 314

The World Wars may have level the playing field somewhat, but the biggest leveler in Western civilization was the Black Death of the 14th century. Before the plague, labor was plentiful and cheap, and land was valuable and held by the wealthy. But with a third of the population gone, labor became much more scarce and expensive, while the value of land plummeted, and fields were left fallow for a lack of farmers to tend them. There was a huge shift of wealth from the landowning class, toward farmers and craftsmen.

Comment Re:My own dumb experience (Score 2) 112

I used to stay up late in front of my computer. Ever since I started using my computer glasses, bam, proper sleep cycle restored.

I often wake up about 3am, and I avoid using a computer because of the blue light. Instead, I read a book illuminated by a "warm" led light that emits little blue light, and I usually go back to sleep around 5am. If these glasses could allow me to get computer work during those two hours, it would be a godsend. It would be nice if there was real data about this rather than just anecdotes.

Comment Re:Umm (Score 1, Insightful) 342

Sniffing out Bull was pretty much the overarching goal of all degrees when I went to college.

When was that? When I went to college 35 years ago, it was about convincing all the students that capitalism is evil, Karl Marx was right about everything, we needed to advocate for the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the way to get an "A" in the class was to parrot the propaganda back in all your essays.

Comment Re:Umm (Score 4, Interesting) 342

Back when I was in school (when the Earth was still cooling) this was called, "Critical Thinking."

Indeed. "Critical thinking" used to mean recognizing logical fallacies and other flaws in reasoning. Unfortunately, the term has become meaningless through misuse. Today, it is often used to describe normal deductive logic and problem solving, which is not the original meaning of the term. Wikipedia lists nine different definitions, some of which contradict each other.

Comment Re:Beware the gig economy... (Score 2) 139

...and demand full time employment.

How does one "demand" full time employment? Can I demand that you provide me with a full time job?

The root problem is that we have pushed more and more social responsibilities and costs onto employers. If I hire someone to drive a truck, why should I suddenly be responsible for his medical care? If most people swap jobs every few years, does it really make sense for employers to be responsible for their retirement savings?

In Maoist China, each factory ran a school for the children of their workers. If you changed jobs, your kids had to switch to a different school. That seems crazy, but employer provided medical care, and changing doctors when you change jobs, is just as silly. The only difference is that we are used to it.

Comment Re: I hate euphemisms.... (Score 1) 139

What world do you come from?

Very few companies use "gig" workers for their core competencies. If an engineer on my team has to stay home with a sick kid, I can't bring in a temp for a few days to replace him. Skilled jobs don't work that way.

And, more important, how do I get there?

Learn a skill that is not an interchangeable commodity. If you want to be valued you need to offer something that is valuable.

Comment Re:what a coincidence! (Score 1) 181

Walmart recently ditched its Prime competitor, shipping pass, that offered free two day shipping for $49... half the cost of a Prime membership.

But Amazon Prime gives you a lot more than just free shipping. You also get free movies, ebooks, etc. Even if you just get Prime for the movies, it is cheaper than Netflix.

Comment Re:Nice. (Score 1) 181

Supply & demand might be the cause.

More likely it is lack of competition. I used to buy used books and DVDs on eBay, but now Amazon has a way better selection, a better search interface, and better seller feedback. Many big e-sellers, like Goodwill, aren't even on eBay anymore. Most brick-and-mortar used bookstores and music stores are gone. So Amazon can jack up the price with few repercussions.

Comment Re:Perhaps the constant overhype is the problem (Score 5, Insightful) 887

Why exactly would you expect to see sexism or racism that is not directed at you?

Because complaints would be directed through me. I work in a tech company, and over the years, I have dealt with about a dozen complaints. The thing is, they were never about the engineers, programmers, or other nerds. They were always about the salesmen, the marketing dept, or the warehouse crew. I am sure some nerds are misogynistic jerks, but I don't think that is common, and I believe it is actually less prevalent than in most other professions. My experience is that most nerds are welcoming to female co-workers, and judge them by their ability, not their gender. Ms Fowler's description of her experience at Uber sounds terrible, but I don't think Uber is typical of tech companies or representative of "nerd culture". She also describes a lot of backstabbing and chaos at Uber that have nothing to do with sexism, so it sounds like a very dysfunctional company on many levels.

Comment Re:I'm not surprised. (Score 5, Interesting) 887

We're supposed to believe that because this is Uber, and because everything about Uber is evil, this is News For Nerds.

This is news for nerds. Uber is a tech company, and the people that work there are nerds. I don't like vague accusations that tech companies are "sexist" because, while they are, I don't believe they are any more sexist than non-tech companies. But in this case, the accusations are not vague. Ms Fowler has made very specific accusations against specific people, and has hard evidence to back up what she is saying. Uber's behavior in dismissing her complaints was appalling.

Comment Re: Why not blame the manufacturer? (Score 4, Informative) 262

ECC memory doesn't do anything to help when the bits that get flipped are in the CPU. Or anywhere else that isn't a RAM chip.

Except that the RAM has hundreds or thousands of times as many bits as a CPU, and Flash may have millions of times as many, and dynamic ram has smaller feature size, and is more susceptible to SEUs. So correcting RAM and Flash helps because that is where 99.9% of the problem is.

Even within the CPU, most transistors are used to implement cache, and cache can also be scrubbed (although not with just software).

Comment Re:Why not blame the manufacturer? (Score 4, Informative) 262

Probably b'cos there is nothing that manufacturers can do about cosmic rays

Except that is not true. Electronic devices can be made more resistant to cosmic rays and other radiation. The easiest way to do so is to use depleted boron instead of "normal" boron as a semiconductor dopant. Boron-10 has a very high neutron absorption cross section while Boron-11 has a very small cross section. Use boron that has been "depleted" of the B10 isotope, and you cut way down on your neutron induced SEUs.

Another obvious countermeasure is to use ECC memory, and memory scrubbing.

The problem is not that there is nothing that manufacturers can do, but that consumers aren't willing to pay the extra cost. Would you be willing to pay an extra $100 for your phone if it meant one fewer reboot every decade or so?

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