702 posts • joined Thursday 24th May 2007 11:51 GMT
Reminds me of that Mitchell and Webb sketch...
"Have you noticed that our caps actually have little pictures of skulls on them?"
"I don't... er-"
"Hans... are we the baddies?"
The other arts subjects are soft, but not my one...
I studied Philosophy as a first degree and I can't imagine a better foundation for working as a programmer- a solid training in analytical thinking and a good understanding of logic and problem analysis is more useful in my day to day work than the operating system design and formal system algebra courses my computer science peers were studying.
Of course, I only know that because I went on to study computer science afterwards ( turns out there's not much money in Philosophy ) so I guess I'm not pure fuzzy anyways.
Also a subject with a long reading list and not too many lectures a week is way more conducive to an enjoyable university life. Back when one didn't incur a lifetime of debt by going to university, that was actually a real thing. I still feel that it is important for people to enjoy youth for the brief flash it is afforded to them, not just having to work three jobs to finance a degree course they don't even really want to be on except that everyone else in the job market will have one.
That said, if I was in charge soft degrees would subsidise hard ones, both for national economic purposes and for the betterment of humanity.
Playing into their hands
Those creationist birds are going to be all over this, leaving volichnia everywhere.
Re: Where is Bond when we need him?
Not enough fluffy cats? Are you sure? Have you seen the internet?
Re: It just goes to show....
If the money spent on spying on the populous was spent on almost any other social endeavour- mental health services seems particularly badly supported lately - how much better would life be for many people? We cannot eliminate risk entirely, but if our spending was commensurate how much risk there was of a given event maybe we could make a better effort to mitigate the highest risks rather than the high-fear, low-risk events.
The CIA actually encouraged the assassination of health workers as that was one of their cover stories they used when hunting down Bin Laden. I guess they considered that an acceptable price to pay.
Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
In fairness, there isn't much point worrying about what the Chinese know about us if a) we use chinese kit for almost all of our network infrastructure and b) China owns more of our currency and major businesses than anyone else. If we got into some kind of fracas with them they would just have to sell all the things they own and western capitalism would be over. They are making a gradual, careful and well planned move to taking over the world and fair play to them, it's probably going to succeed.
Re: Where to turn next?
Funnily enough a point will come where all a search provider needs to do to be way better than Google is be more or less exactly like Google were a few years back. Thus the wheel turns again.
Although I quite enjoyed Frasier I wouldn't say I'm a Grammer nerd.
Useful to know about, detail less important
I can think of a few times in the last 15 years of software development that I have been asked to do something that, when thought through in detail, could be regarded as one of the classic NP-Complete problems like the Knapsack or Travelling Salesman. In most case there was value in recognising them because we could go back to the customer and say "this is tricky, and therefore likely to cost more, are you sure it is what you want?" and suggest some alternative approaches to the problem that would get reasonable results without nearly so much work and they were happy to go for that.
Freedom through ignorance
I came up with almost exactly this theory in a Philosophy essay twenty years ago. I seem to recall my tutor at the time was unimpressed by what he termed "freedom through ignorance" but it's nice to see the idea popping up again, albeit far better expressed than my undergraduate ramblings could achieve. I still think it's as close as we're going to get to any kind of useful free will.
The flipside is that given an omniscient observer, our actions would be entirely predictable ( indeed all one needs to have absolute determinism is to consider time as a direction ) but if they don't feel that way from the inside, then we're still acting and feeling as though we have free will, which I think is probably what free will actually is.
Re: quantum non-determinism
Given that quantum events happen at a quantum level and are very predictable at any larger level and that their variability is truly random, then it only really means that we have free will at a sub-atomic level and that free will means the same as unpredictable behaviour.
How would free will of that nature be useful?
Re: So long M$
I hold Metro in absolute contempt, but I cannot fault the startup time in Windows 8, it is way faster than any other OS I have used, including Mint on the same machine.
That said, booting up into an operating system which is experiential equivalent of placing one's face in front of a jet of raw sewage rather negates the benefits- I only boot into Windows about once a month at most these days and then it makes me angry.
Re: How could one check
Oh man, this is Descartes all over again!
On the upside, I hated those tabs. For glancing over emails ( most of what you want to do on Spamhoo messages ) it was a total pain in the ass because it wasn't obvious that you were in tabs, closing them was counter-intuitive and there was no way to use the back button, which is pretty much #1 on the list of classic web usability gotchas.
How could one check
Is there a way to check if one has been man-in-the-middled? Like is there somewhere at Gmail I could send the certificate I have been authenticated with and they could say "no, that is not the certificate we sent you"?
Sharing in menstruation?
I am not sure what exactly co-menses are, or how it/they would interact with a Snowden cash-in.
No matter how much Wikileaks hates journalists, at least the journos are usually literate.
I don't know how the UK stands in this regard but as far as I can tell the Chinese own the dollar, so if America want to kick up a big fuss or start getting lairy, China could just render their currency worthless overnight. In the light of that, seems a bit trifling to worry about a bit of network infrastructure really. They already own the US, might as well let them have a play with it if they want to.
Re: Not the first cometary material recovered on Earth either
And yet they still haven't found what they're looking for.
Re: Parallels with blood donors
The Administrators, who I took the article to be considering paying, are the people who put in their time to managing the content users provide in addition to any content provision they are doing. One would hope that by the time someone was appointed to that role, they would have shown reasonable skill as editors.
Just going to buy some apples
Most of my shopping has gone through now, but I have these apples. No bar code.
Luckily we can add things from the nice list of pictures, but these aren't on the "popular items" page so you get to play the "guess which letter the creator of this list thinks this item begins with" game...
"A" for Apples? What is this? Playgroup? Far too easy.
"B" for Bramley Apples? Of course not.
"C" for Cooking Apples maybe? No.
After a long slog through the alphabet I find them under "Loose Apples ( Bramley)" because "L" is the OBVIOUS LETTER for this product. Fortunately this ridiculously poor usability will be fixed by my next visit. Unfortunately it will be with a swap to another totally incomprehensible letter.
Thanks "Fast" checkout. Really living up to your name there.
And another thing
A lot of albums ( which were a thing back in the day ) consist of songs in a particular order that the artists who created them felt fitted together in some way to form a whole that exceeds the components from which it is constructed.
It saddens me a little to think how infrequently the care and thought that goes into putting together an album as a whole is noticeable once we get to mp3 players on constant shuffle. I don't know if it will result in fewer great albums being made, but I hope not. ( As an aside there seems now to be such a glut of music that even when great music is made, it is very hard to find )
In spite of this my MP3 player is almost always on shuffle. But I do listen to CDs often too.
"Lukin, I am your fatherin," surely?
Re: Old consoles mean games must be dumbed down
Another way of looking at it is that older consoles are the reason that programmers working in game dev have to learn to optimise for their hardware rather than working with the constant assumption that the hardware will be able to handle it by the time they go to release.
Working within constraints often inspires originality and results in interesting work.
Re: EasyJet PR
And yet it seems that EasyJet have denied denying boarding due to comments on social media.
Re: Oh, the irony
Is it governmental policies that cause problems in California? I had got the impression they had a problem with too much democracy, where everyone can vote for everything and the outcome is an unplanned hotchpotch of policies with no facility for serious budgeting, but I would be interested to learn more.
Re: Thanks yes thanks
If you don't like lock-in then write some truly open games that require no kind of lock in at all, distribute them freely across all platforms and change the world. But if you happen to have a massive runaway success and find yourself supporting everyone and their granny installing it on every platform you can imagine and then blaming you because they have a broken hard drive, no video drivers, forgot to plug the computer in or it simply won't run on their Nokia 8210, you might start to like the idea of locking it to a slightly more limited range of platforms too.
Re: In addition to Steam it's also Linux
Since XP I don't think I have had any significant driver problems for Windows, meanwhile I have never been able to get my laptop's built in card reader to work at all under Linux in spite of a few wasted evenings trying to figure out what it is and where to obtain drivers.
The ideal time for this tool would presumably be while grabbing an after-work pint in a local Wetherspoons - if they're preparing food, the microwaves will be going crazy.
Those with nothing to hide
"Those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear from Whistleblowers."
Re: A downside?
Would probably need to be less than 40% as there would presumably be a jump in unemployment resulting from the redundancies.
Also because we have fewer novel experiences- driving a new route or to a new destination always seems to take ages the first time we do it. I think this is why holidays have so much experiential value- being in a new place and doing new things lays down many more memories than being in the same place doing much the same thing most of the time.
It seems plausible to me that people who seek out novelty most of their lives may well have experientially longer lives than those who have fitted largely into the same activities and the same rhythms.
It would be interesting to research that, actually.
It certainly seems as though big horses react way slower than small ones to most rider cues, but they all react pretty fast if they perceive peril of some kind.
The weird thing is there seem to be some pretty awesome engineers at Yahoo! they are just harnessed in the direction of maximum idiocy most of the time.
Yahoo somehow manage to be one of the great online also-rans, never seeming to quite be able to make the most of the talent and user base they have.
I tried to transfer away from BT only to realise after waiting 6 weeks to get an unreliable internet connection that my new ISP ( Plusnet ) was in fact wholly owned by BT. Sad times.
What is a stock market for?
The question that is interesting to me is what stock markets are for?
If they are about providing capital to companies then there really is no place for high frequency trading in them and maybe something like a Tobin Tax or a turn-based market of some kind would help to limit their antics. If they are about creating an interesting and entertaining computer game where different algorithms play against each other then wicked, sounds like this is just the thing!
Often in yokel country where I reside, it can be a bit tricky to get decent phone signals, so anything that improves communications when near fields could be a boon for farmers.
Can anybody recommend a bank that actually has a modern site and that allows you to do anything interesting/useful with your money that is facilitated by the web instead of just offering some very basic account management functionality.
My bank hasn't changed any aspect of their website in the 8 years I have been with them and I can't help but feel they could have introduced at least *one* new feature in that time...
Good so far
I got one a couple of weeks ago because I needed something that could survive life around horses and Samsung seem to be doing better than Sony in reviews even where their devices have a lower on-paper spec.
So far it seems pretty good- my last phone is a fairly old Xperia, so I don't really have a modern benchmark, but it does far more than I need a phone to do and the battery life seems quite reasonable- certainly if I forget to leave it on charge overnight my alarm still goes off in the morning, which is a marked improvement over what I had...
Where do I sign up
Seems like they need someone competent to run it. I may not be the best in the world but compared with the bumbling imbeciles who have been doing this so far I would basically have to be able to do a better job and my rates are probably lower. Who do I write to?
Oh, Lewis is going to ban you so hard for that one.
Re: 8 years
I still think of the 360 as "that new XBox" :(
Re: Product Placement
Maybe the accurate term as it passes through the jet streams is "windbreaking"?
And lets face it- anyone who would dedicate the time and effort to do that would have no time for subverting the state and, dare I say it, possibly even be a tiny bit boring so the only secure system in the world would be in the possession of someone nobody would ever want to listen in on.
It occurs to me that the world - and in particular America - would be a better place if whoever was writing the congressional budget cheques made the same mistake.
Re: “looking up the answer in the back of the book”
It doesn't matter which direction the control is going, but it would be interesting to see what the unmolested data was to see whether human pattern recognition could spot it. If we could, then maybe there's something interesting here.
I suspect that mind control will not be widely used for a wile because it will require exactly the kind of focussed and concentrated thought that our entire culture is training our brains to be incapable of. I suspect it is way easier to type than to concentrate hard and clearly enough to be machine readable and consequently it will also be slower for a very long time.
Thinking really clearly is a non-trivial activity.
Re: Since its a big red button...
Or along very similar lines: Gadzooks! - Space Plane Operation Termination
Heh, remember when one was more secure using Firefox or Chrome than IE because they were minority browsers?
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