436 posts • joined 26 Jun 2007
"California's unusual ballot measure system"
Not *that* unusual-- roughly half the US has systems like it: http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/chart-of-the-initiative-states.aspx
Oh, *that* kind of attack
On first seeing that headline, I thought it was going to be about some kind of DDOS or other direct attack on a municipal network, trying to make it unusable. I guess we haven't quite gotten to the truly interesting part of the muni-broadband wars just yet...
Re: Six Earthsea books
Muphry's Law (sic) strikes again-- that should be The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, Tehanu, Tales from Earthsea, and The Other Wind.
Six Earthsea books
"The rather prematurely named Earthsea Trilogy (start with A Wizard of Earthsea – you've got another four after that)"
Five! The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, Tehanu, and The Other Wind. A fantastic (in more than one sense) journey watching a world evolve. She left Earthsea alone for a long time after the first trilogy, and again after Tehanu, and it's fascinating to see how her thoughts about it changed. Whichever one you missed, check it out!
How did PHP not win this contest
There are languages I don't want to touch unless someone is paying me. PHP is the first one where I've decided I never want to work with it again even if it comes with a good living.
PHP: a fractal of bad design covers a lot of it.
Google diversity memo: Web giant repudiates staffer's screed for 'incorrect assumptions about gender'
A simple scientific question
If I could ask the manifesto author one question, it would be, "How does your biological hypothesis account for the era when programming was a majority-female occupation?"
Focus grabbers must die
Slack is the most recent offender for me. Restart computer to allow patches to install, click a few things I always have open to let them get on with starting up, and when Slack was ready it jumped to the front and captured what I was currently typing. Which happened to be the end of my passphrase for my SSH key. Luckily it gave me just enough time for my conscious brain to stop me reflexively hitting Enter...
Speaking of patterns
If you take a look at Borra's past papers on arXiv.org, you'll see that statistical fishing expeditions are one of his specialties. In fact there's one that claims to find almost exactly the same kind of super-fast pulses buried in the noise from galactic centers.
Re: Incorrect and incomplete on the Hugos
"Seriously? Naomi Novik (female,) Neal Stephenson, Lois McMaster Bujold (Female,) Stephen King, Nnedi Okorafor (Female, POC) These are truly odious?"
Not those. Look up the Rabid Puppies slate. Novik, Okorafor, and Jemisin made it onto the ballot in spite of the Rabid Puppies.
There have been accusations that Hugo voters voted for all women because Hugo voters = SJWs; the bit I quoted from the Register story seems to agree with that. The Rabid Puppies have also been making that accusation, and they have spent the last couple years trying to stuff the ballot with works they deem less politically correct; ironically, the few non-slated fiction works that made it onto the ballot through true organic popularity have been by women and POC.
So I'm not calling the winners odious. I think they are all excellent and deserving. I'm trying to combat the implied narrative of "political correctness has taken over the Hugos".
Incorrect and incomplete on the Hugos
"All four awards for books at the Hugo Award"
I believe you're thinking of the four *fiction* awards: Best Novel, Best Novelette, Best Novella, and Best Short Story. Of those four, only Best Novel is likely to go to a standalone book.
(There is a second category, Best Related Work, which often goes to books, in which no award was given.)
"were won by women after it was plagued by claims, made by the group Sad Puppies, that it advanced a 'niche, academic, overtly to the left in ideology and flavour' viewpoint."
...and after another group, the Rabid Puppies, engaged in block voting to game a bunch of truly odious works onto the ballot, crowding out many fine possible choices with a variety of authorial genders. (Yes, rule changes have been made.)
My first thought as well. (Though the study was actually in 2009.)
Re: Home state of Oregon??
Yes, all that's in California is the HQ. Most of its US presence is here in Oregon, which is why it's big news in The Oregonian (front page of Saturday's paper, IIRC).
There are pieces of it in Beaverton, Aloha, and Hillsboro-- all suburbs of Portland, so from a sufficient distance (like El Reg Central), "Portland" is a reasonable enough approximation.
Also, those with allergies may be happy to know that development has displaced all the grass seed farms in between Hillsboro and Portland by now.
Don't worry, fellow humans...
...we've still got contract bridge!
Not Trump, but the GOP
The notion that poor people bear the blame for being poor has long been part of the Republican orthodoxy, but a large part of what's drawing the working class to Trump, and making the Republican establishment apoplectic, is that he's telling them it's *not* their fault.
The overall story of the current US campaign season is, in fact, poor people becoming tired of this crap. It's what's driving both Trump and Sanders, and why many of their campaign promises look remarkably similar. (Where they part ways is in deciding who is really to blame for poor people being poor: for Trump, it's immigrants and political correctness getting in the way of the Real Americans who should be winners, and for Sanders, it's the elites rigging the game so that no one else has a chance.)
Re: From the article
My thought at that quote was that I'd be hard-pressed to understand some Economist articles if I didn't have a solid grounding in history first.
Coming soon: Ring
With a little more technological advancement, it's only a matter of time until someone can create a DVD with a virus that haunts you for seven days...
Thanks for mentioning him. I didn't know Hartwell personally, but I know a number of people who did. The sf world has been flooded with tributes.
Unfortunately, I need to point out a typo: His widow's last name is Cramer, not Kramer.
And she's asking for donations in his name to the Elizabethtown Community Hospital so that it can get a mechanical respirator. Explanation why here: https://www.facebook.com/kathryn.cramer/posts/10153923650809853
And actual donation link here: http://www.ech.org/make-a-contribution.html
Thanks for the details-- I'll pass them along.
Re: Help! Handwriting to text on Android?
"I am very disappointed with the build quality, and warranty service, to the point that I don't even consider Samsung products anymore."
Okay, that's definitely a warning flag. What exactly broke?
Help! Handwriting to text on Android?
I have a family member who is eyeing the Galaxy Tab + S Pen for the following workflow:
1. Enter text via handwriting
2. Export said text to a PC (via Dropbox or somesuch would be okay) as text
3. Do final polishing in a traditional word processor
I've having a suprising amount of trouble locating a suitable app. There are a number of apps that mention handwriting recognition, but I've yet to find one that will export files in some obvious format like plaintext or RTF. Anyone know of a good one I'm overlooking?
Alternatively, is there some other device/software combination that would be better suited to this process?
Why is there sound in space?
This was actually explained in the radio version of A New Hope-- the weapons system computers on the ships are generating the sounds to help the pilots and gunners visualize what's going on around them.
If this bug-finding approach could be scaled up somehow...
...this could bring a new meaning to the phrase "tiger team".
"But you can't hack a sextant, or the planets"
How do you know that your sextant is accurately marked, and your ephemeris is correct? There was probably software involved in creating both of them. And they've both probably spent some time sitting in a cabinet that multiple people had access to, and a supply depot before that.
Swipe is still the rule
This article gives the impression that most US businesses have duly complied with the deadline and only a few lone luddite holdouts are sticking with swipe terminals. Nope. In the entire metropolitan area where I live (Portland, OR-Vancouver, WA), the only chance I've ever had to use NFC is when using the fare machines for the light rail system. Most of the readers I commonly encounter don't even look like they have ability to read a chip.
I seem to be ahead of most US-based commenters in this thread, though, in that all but one of my cards *have* chips at this point.
What could possibly go wrong?
1. Autonomous cars become common in an area which depends heavily on fines for municipal revenues (e.g. St. Louis County-- https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/09/03/how-st-louis-county-missouri-profits-from-poverty/ )
2. Cars behave in predictable ways reacting to something that's invisible on cameras
Re: JMcA obviously!
Of course McAfee. Not that he'd be able to fix it retroactively, but it's all about "a good fit for the company culture" these days, isn't it?
Re: "...it happens a lot earier than college"
"This is then reinforced at school - teachers offering different praise to girls than boys"
Or just offering flat-out bigotry. When I was in grade school (primary school, elementary school), the teachers were very clear that only boys were supposed to be good at math. Luckily, I hated that school and thus felt no need to conform to their expectations.
(The teachers were equally clear that only girls were supposed to be good at spelling and composition, with equally predictable results.)
And timely! I'm sending this link to anyone I see questioning the point of Sysadmin Day.
Super Cali goes ballistic – Uber says it's bogus (even though its contract is something quite atrocious)
I wish to nominate this for Headline of the Week.
Re: Attractive girls don't make me buy stuff
A/B testing supports this subject line. One example: http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/13/booth-babes-dont-convert/
Booze in games
One of the most essential game bars I recall was the chain of identical bars in the Bard's Tale games, where the only way to recharge your bard was to take them to the local bar and get them a drink.
Re: Copyright law only
*Federal* copyright law does not cover sound recordings pre-1972. However, those sound recordings are still subject to *state* copyright laws, which vary hugely (part of the reason sound recordings were brought under federal law). Some of those state copyrights are actually more stringent than the current federal ones.
Re: Obvious missing entry:
Another couple: "All About the Pentiums" and "Virus Alert" by "Weird Al" Yankovic.
Come to Portland, Oregon!
The Silicon Forest has your startup culture without the insane rents, decent mass transit for the US, PLUS the ability to handle rain, thanks to a climate every bit as drizzly as the UK.
"For what it’s worth, I think it is that all true hackers (no matter how that trait manifests itself) love problem solving. Whether those problems are manifest in code or engineering is essentially immaterial."
Or science, or any human technology or process. I loved reading this, and I don't even drive.
Whale? How about a ship?
Yes, France may beat us on exploding whales, but Oregon has long since set its explosive sights on much larger beach debris. Put "New Carissa" in your favorite search engine for all the details.
As a fan of MST3K and Thog's Masterclass, the feature I'm looking for is a way to nominate especially entertaining bits of bad prose for the delectation of my fellow readers.
Re: Fact alert!
I believe it's BBC America that actually cuts it up and inserts ads.
Either way, I for one would also welcome a way to watch it just as it appeared in the UK. Maybe even, dare I hope, just after it airs, instead of waiting for some arbitrary period for the news to get stale?
Re: Webcast please?
Same here! Never mind what planet we should be on, I can't even manage to be on the right continent on this one...
Expect the best, prepare for the worst
I really liked this trilogy, even though I haven't been able to enjoy any of Robinson's subsequent books that I've tried. Done properly, it would be a genuine epic. Done badly... eugh.
Economic sense isn't enough
"But as a rough guide, a UK yearly household gas and 'leccy bill is some £1,400. So, if anyone comes along with a piece of kit that works for 10 years and costs, say, £5,000, then people will buy and install it."
Having learned a fair amount of situational psychology, I feel confident asserting that far fewer people than you expect will rush out and buy it. The slow adoption of more-efficient light bulbs may be instructive here.
Thumbs-up anyway because I'm always happy to hear about new advances in cheap energy.
It is obligatory at this point to mention Duane Elms's song "The Terrific Centrifugal Still".
I want The App That Says "Ni".
"Does anyone know if Oregon is at least suing Oracle?"
Nothing's been filed yet, but various officials have been dropping hints that it will.
Re: Go boffins!
Isaac Asimov said it best: "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'"
Proposing a rail link across the Bering Strait gives me two knee-jerk reactions:
1) The person who thinks this would ever actually get built is insane.
2) THAT WOULD BE SO COOL
What it really sounds like
It sounds a lot like their early stages of the English-language version of Alteil, which I enjoyed a great deal. Later on Alteil underwent adjustments that made it basically impossible to play for free.
The deck-building mechanism for the Arena, relying on random cards rather than the ones you've collected, sounds very promising for keeping things balanced for non-paying players. Which is why I'm suspicious that it won't stay that way forever.
Anyway, this sounds like something I'll probably check out regardless.
Speaking of the law...
I've seen a lot of assertions about what should or shouldn't be allowed, but this, the one commentary I've seen referencing actual California employment law, hasn't gotten nearly enough attention:
Re: I think people here are missing the point
"This basically pulls the rug from under the feet of the 'think of the childrenz' game-censoring crusaders, which is a good thing."
Nah, it only says they're choosing the wrong reason for censoring games.
Next up, a usability rating system! Sorry kids, you can't play this one, it's labeled AO for Awful Organization...
Goon Show moment
This makes me think of the Goon Show, with the characters' habit of paying each other in pictures of money.