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Comment: Re:Bolt is a 20k car (Score 1) 247 247

They have dealers and showrooms and distribution already set up all over the planet. If the market takes off they are MUCH better positioned to get cars made and distributed and sold and supported than a company with basically no distribution network and no dealers.

Well, maybe. On the other hand, given how much people hate car dealerships, I'm not sure having a big network of dealerships (and forcing anyone who wants to buy your product to haggle with them) is necessarily such a big advantage anymore.

Comment: Re:Windows without a SSD isn't worth it (Score 1) 512 512

If you are in any way in control over your corporate purchases, never *ever* buy another laptop without a SSD.

While I'm all in favor of using SSDs, note that there is also another way to skin this cat -- install as many gigabytes of RAM as you can afford. Any additional RAM not needed by applications will be used to cache previously read data from the hard drive (and to cache updated file data that needs to be written to the hard drive), so with enough RAM (and assuming you don't reboot/power-cycle very often) you won't spend that much time waiting for your hard drive anyway, no matter how slow the drive is.

Comment: Re:Mob Programming, huh? (Score 4, Insightful) 124 124

When I hear of group-programming styles like this, I always think of a network of modern multi-gigahertz computers, all linked together over a 1980's-style 10MB/sec Ethernet LAN.

Whatever benefit the additional CPU cycles might add is more than taken away by the low throughput and high latency of the communications medium. (What is the average throughput of a spoken conversation, anyway? Maybe 1200 baud on a good day?)

Comment: Re:Useless without thrust (Score 1) 102 102

Well, its nice to have levitation (although it requires a very specific environment to work), but riding a hoverboard without thrust is as much fun as wind surfing without wind.

If I recall traditional skateboarding correctly, thrust is provided by pushing one foot backwards against the ground. (whether that is more or less fun that having the board itself provide the thrust depends on what you consider fun)

Comment: Re:I'm spending 60% of my monthly income on rent (Score 4, Informative) 937 937

The ones that do are mostly doing it because it's a legal way to keep the riff-raff from moving in and ruining your building's NPR-listening vibe with a bunch of twangy country or loud-ass hip-hop.

That's a bit uncharitable. Landlords do credit checks because if a tenant cannot (or does not) pay his rent, the landlord stands to lose thousands of dollars. It can take months to get a non-paying tenant evicted, during which time the landlord still has to make all mortgage payments, entirely out of his own pocket. Furthermore, serving a tenant with an eviction notice is no fun for either party, and a pissed-off tenant may well cause thousands of dollars of damage to the landlord's property before he leaves -- again, money that the landlord will have to pay out of his own pocket before he can put the unit back on the market.

So yes, there are really good reasons why a landlord would want to vet a potential tenant thoroughly before giving them the keys to the property. The landlord is taking a big risk every time he/she rents out a unit.

Comment: Re:Criminalization of homelessness (Score 1) 937 937

No, the transaction itself is not coerced, no matter how essential it may be to your survival.

Heh. The slave's labor is not coerced either, it's just that if he doesn't work, the overseer will beat him. Whether the slave prefers to work or to be beaten is totally up to him. :P

Comment: Re:Masters know their limitations. (Score 1) 342 342

C++ does have this opportunity but never takes it. Instead it just heaps another layer of features on top of the old,

Correct, and that's an excellent example of why C++ is both popular and messy. If the C++ committee started "cleaning up the language" by removing backwards compatibility with old features, the language would split into two languages ("old C++" and "new C++"), neither of which would have the compatibility or the marketshare of the current C++.

Comment: Re:"Other types of electromagnetic radiation" (Score 1) 528 528

Systems with hidden antennas (on a roof for example) give almost no complaints.

That must be the source of the selection pressure that is causing cell towers to evolve into pseudo-trees.

(One day I hope to come across one while it is bearing fruit -- I assume that is how new cell phone varieties are cultivated)

Comment: Re:Masters know their limitations. (Score 1) 342 342

And that in a nutshell is what's wrong with C++. It has bloated and bloated over the years, never deprecated anything of note and now its this behemoth that few compilers implement in its entirety and few programmers now how to use including all the gotchas, weird semantics and vast complexity.

Much like the English language, which is also quite useful and therefore widely used. Being useful over a wide variety of scenarios and being bloated-and-complex are often two sides of the same coin.

Comment: Re:As much good as I think these things can do (Score 1) 130 130

If one wanted, one could design a scanner whose only data-output path was an audible tone. You could download a list of license numbers into it (using a unidirectional data transfer, e.g. via a serial port with the device's TX pin removed), and then it would beep if it saw one of the plates in the list, and that's all it would do.

To hack it to output a list of license plates it had scanned that day would both require hardware and software modifications -- not impossible, but inconvenient enough that it's unlikely most police departments would be capable of doing it.

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil