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Comment: Re:Maybe it's just me ... (Score 2) 131

by Altus (#47503761) Attached to: The "Rickmote Controller" Can Hijack Any Google Chromecast

Once you have set a chrome cast playing some media it is doing it all on its own and it requires commands from another device to get it to stop... or it comes to the end of the media but it could be set up to repeat over and over. If you can't control the chromecast anymore its pretty useless.... I'm guessing there is a way to factory reset the device and start over.

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 1) 608

by Altus (#47416001) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Barely, it ignores the actual bulk of developers back then. Few people did real work in HyperCard. Sure, some larger apps were build in COBOL and VB but the reality is that the more advanced work, the apps that were actually worth their salt were mostly written in C and then C++. These apps required serious serious skill to develop.

That said, the web is a mess, web development is a mess and that is a problem. It would be great if we could tear it down and start over, but the reality is that anything you build always compiles down to the basic languages that all browsers understand and until you can change that I think it will be very difficult to empower regular people to make complex, useful web apps. The foundations were never built to support what we have now.

Comment: Re:Now I'm confused ... (Score 1) 380

by Altus (#47327417) Attached to: New Chemical Process Could Make Ammonia a Practical Car Fuel

natural gas is a serious greenhouse gas, if we start shipping it around and pumping it even more chances are more will leak into the atmosphere.

Also, it is explosive so that is a downside too. Of course we do actually use compressed natural gas for some vehicles (municipal busses for instance) so its not totally crazy, but maybe not the best thing to scale to everyone using it.

Comment: Re:waste of time (Score 3, Insightful) 380

by Altus (#47327341) Attached to: New Chemical Process Could Make Ammonia a Practical Car Fuel

4. Find out "fresh" battery has gone through so many cycles it only has half its capacity left and find yourself stranded just short of the next "filling" station.

Look, all of these technologies have issues... maybe those batteries made from carbon that supposedly don't loose their capacity will end up being practical in a large scale, that would be great, but also, maybe this design will turn out to be a huge boon for the hydrogen car industry, basically solving one of the biggest problem in hydrogen fuel cells.... how to store enough hydrogen safely to have a reasonable rage.

Now I would be curious how the energy density of Ammonia, converted using this process, compares to that of gasoline which is currently pretty much top of the heap for portable energy density. It would also be nice to know how it compares to the current generation of batteries.

Everyone has their own particular chosen winner/looser but that is stupid. Innovation could come from anywhere and right now we need all the irons in the fire that we can get. We can't afford to put all of our sustainability money behind one thing that may or may not turn out to be the best choice in the long run.

Comment: Re:Doesn't give warm fuzzies (Score 2) 162

by Altus (#47324935) Attached to: Hospitals Begin Data-Mining Patients

The HIPPA rules are quite importnat, they do a lot to protect privacy in that data is not simply allowed to be shared without consent (unless you are incapacitated in which case a doctor in an emergency can get just about anything he wants. There are rules for tracking access to sensitive information along with auditing of the stated reason. Its pretty good stuff.

That said, it only requires people to provide a certain level of data security.... since, say OpenSSH is an industry standard used for protecting information, it is sufficient for HIPPA requirements. Obviously a company would need to upgrade their systems in the face of a heartbleed style attack but would only be liable if they dragged their feet on it and not liable for the data lost before the bug was public. Its maybe not as secure as people would like it to be in that respect. Still, better than what we had before.

Comment: Re:Families come first (Score 2) 370

by Altus (#47300501) Attached to: Age Discrimination In the Tech Industry

Maybe its money that motivates him or maybe he is sick of having less purchasing power than he did 5 years ago as everything has gotten more expensive and wages have remained flat. I have had that experience here, I will likely need to move on in order to get back onto the earning curve I was on before so that maybe, one day, I can retire.

That said, if my company did other things better I would be less likely to be looking for a job over money... so it really isn't just about the cash usually.

Comment: Re:Speaking as a guy in his 40s... (Score 1) 370

by Altus (#47299207) Attached to: Age Discrimination In the Tech Industry

I did that a few jobs back. I found a much better way to manage the SDK my company had developed and been using for about 2 decades. It relied on a feature that had been added to C++ since the work had been done. I talked to the head of dev about it and he was convinced it was impossible (he had tried you see). I brought up that it may not have been possible back when he did the work and he took it as a shot at his age.

Plot twist, he was 1 year older than me.... stuck in your ways is stuck in your ways no matter what the age.

Comment: Re:No (Score 1) 218

by Altus (#47284425) Attached to: It's Not a Car, It's a Self-Balancing Electric Motorcycle (Video)

Certainly not a chore to put your feet down at a stop light.

I can see a use for this, although it would be a shame if it needed a motorcycle license. I can't see why it should. You don't push to turn, you dontt put your feet down, you don't back it up manually.... what about it requires any of the skills I learned in the rider ed course?

I mean I would never take one of these to bike week, but as a small commuter vehicle for city living it might not be a bad thing.... though maybe not around here. How well will it handle snow and ice?

Comment: Re:As a Motorcyclist, I Declare "Meh" (Score 1) 345

by Altus (#47284305) Attached to: Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle

to be fair, people said the same kinds of things about the V-rod and that has sold quite well. As it is I think this bike has some issues, too expensive (well, most harleys are) for a commuter only bike, too short a range for a long weekend adventure, but its a first step in a new direction.

A penny saved is a penny to squander. -- Ambrose Bierce