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Comment: A kids toy (Score 1) 298

by Alomex (#48926151) Attached to: The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

Nearly everyone of my colleagues bought one, fell in love it, realized its limitations and moved back to a phablet/laptop combo.

Nowadays I rarely see one in the wild. Not at coffee shops, not at planes, nor at work or university.

The exception seems to be elementary school when a lot of kids still use one. Even then many prefer an iPod because of portability factors.

Comment: Re:physical access (Score 1) 374

by Alomex (#48926103) Attached to: Why Screen Lockers On X11 Cannot Be Secure

X11 was written in the 1980s

Written? More like scratched in crayon in the walls of a padded cell.

The architecture of X has always been a mess going back to the very beginning. Need proof? the client is on the server and the server is on the client. 'nuf said!

p.s. notice that you need no elevation for this. This was a common joke back in the pre-security days. You wrote a cool user space application that after a few minutes of inactivity would pop up an xlock clone. The user would then type his/her password and "unlock the screen".

The application would then create a word readable .pwd file in the user directory which then you could use to mess up the users space, like hiding all files with a message "because you haven't paid your tuition/our logs show you've downloaded too much porn/you've used your entire yearly usenet posting quota".

Comment: Re:Reid Technique (Score 1) 291

by Alomex (#48844265) Attached to: Innocent Adults Are Easy To Convince They Committed a Serious Crime

They do not care that innocent people are sent to prison. They simply want convictions.

I got my hands on a few issues of the local police magazine and this was very clear. So long as someone ended up in jail they were happy. Even in the cases where the person was later exonerated using incontrovertible evidence (DNA match to another well known criminal) the rag would still defend the work and blame "pro-crime" lawyers for the reversal.

Comment: Re:Enormous debt? (Score 1) 206

by Alomex (#48808883) Attached to: China's Engineering Mega-Projects Dwarf the Great Wall

China can explode its population overnight by abolishing the One-Child policy

Wrong, the policy is essentially already gone. You can have more than one child if you want by paying a relatively affordable fee. Still, people choose to have one kid, like most of the rest of the semi- and fully developed world nowadays.

Comment: Never is a long time... (Score 1) 300

by Alomex (#48742381) Attached to: Why We're Not Going To See Sub-orbital Airliners

Never? really? never? and this person calls himself an SF writer?

Here are some of the things we can do to make faster speed travel more efficient:

1. Try to capture some of the potential energy stored in an airplane at 100,000 ft over the earth

2. Reduce the duration and speed of the portion of the flight that takes place at higher atmospheric densities

3. Try to capture some of the kinetic energy of flying suborbital at Mach 3 during deceleration.

Are those easy? not at all. But that is the kind of challenge that technology is very good at solving over a few hundred years.

Comment: Re:Trucking industry responsible for 30% of emissi (Score 1) 232

by Alomex (#48721011) Attached to: Aircraft Responsible For 2.5% of Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions

First, my statement was that brand new airplanes today are 30% more efficient than they were a decade ago.

But second, here is the data you want: traffic has grown 50% over the last 15 years, fuel usage has grown 3%.

There is nothing extraordinary about my claim unless you are particularly ill informed about fuel improvements in aviation.

Comment: Trucking industry responsible for 30% of emissions (Score 1) 232

by Alomex (#48720211) Attached to: Aircraft Responsible For 2.5% of Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Why are we obsessing over an industry that

  1. is making every effort to improve efficiency (airplanes are 30% more efficient than they were only a decade ago or so),
  2. is difficult to replace since it is not like you can walk across the Atlantic
  3. is more efficient per mile traveled than a Honda Civic
  4. while ignoring an extremely inefficient means of transportation, i.e. trucks, which can readily be replaced by a much more efficient one i.e. railways?

Sorry folks, but all this attention to airline emissions has astroturf campaign written all over it.

We can predict everything, except the future.