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Comment: Re:Buggy Whip (Score 3, Insightful) 119

by Alwin Henseler (#49333287) Attached to: GNU Nano Gets New Stable Release

Even modern, GUI based systems have tools that work outside the GUI, or in a text-mode terminal of some kind.

Maintaining such tools is just as needed as maintaining other parts of a system. Or creating new bits, for that matter. If not done, it would only be a matter of time before you'd have (badly) broken bits of software all over the place. To the point where a system becomes unusable to do real work. Text mode editors are just one of many components of modern systems (and imho, not in the "buggy whip" department anyway).

Besides: many people use it. Among other reasons, probably because it saves them time, or does some jobs better than other editors. As long as there are enough users, that alone makes developer's time well spent.

Comment: Progress can't be stopped (Score 1) 366

by Alwin Henseler (#49289487) Attached to: Uber Shut Down In Multiple Countries Following Raids

I wonder if this will backfire and people will want to support the underdog.

Somehow I doubt that... But the mere existence of services like Uber will open the public's eyes, to the fact that (beside public transport & taxis) there are other ways to get from A to B.

The free market & modern communication technology has enabled services that -from passenger's point of view- is more efficient, and/or preferable over what the establishment provides. Of course that establishment will fight to protect the old ways of doing things, but at some point they'll either have to adapt, or be left behind. Which is how it should be.

Questionable business practices aside, if Uber helps make that progress happen: power to them! (and f*** the establishment).

Comment: No "Yes" option? (Score 1) 192

by Alwin Henseler (#49220455) Attached to: Will you buy the new $10,000 Apple Watch?

Hell YES!

If for some unforeseen stroke of luck I'd become a biljionaire overnight, then SURE! I'd buy one, and toss it into a drawer until some friends come over that I could show it to.

Meanwhile, in the Real World, fat chance I'll spend money on Apple hardware when products with better price/performance ratio are out there. Especially products with questionable utility where customers serve as beta testers.

Comment: Re:Only 3G? (Score 3, Informative) 112

The summary says 3G only on the x3 and x5 models. You only get LTE on the x7 model.

Reading fail...

The summary says:
x3-C3130: integrated 3G (HSPA+) modem
x3-C3230RK: integrated 3G (HSPA+) modem
x3-C3440: integrated LTE modem
x5 and x7: no integrated modem, but support for Intel's next generation XMM 726x and 7360 LTE modems

Comment: Re:He will only act alone (Score 3, Interesting) 87

by Alwin Henseler (#49154001) Attached to: NSA Spying Wins Another Rubber Stamp

But when he's using the NSA to spy on you, he blames Congress.

"using the NSA" ?!?

I doubt anyone is "using" the NSA @ this point. Other than as a source of info - for those who have access.

More like the NSA is an 'entity' that operates on its own. With money flowing in from a variety of sources, some government, some non-government, some legit, some non-legit. Doing whatever it's doing without much oversight, possibly continuing to do some things even if declared illegal by a court of law.

I assume there's some people in that organisation that take orders from the US president directly, other employees may get note of what the US president wants & to some degree try to make that happen. But overall? A big-ass train that keeps on steaming ahead in whatever direction(s) it's going.

Of course the proper response would be to cut funding, bring people doing illegal things to justice, and strengthen oversight until the NSA does answer to those authorities it's supposed to take orders from. Fat chance that's going to happen in a climate where the "War on terrorists! War on drugs! Think of the children!" fire is burning strong. :-(

Comment: Politics, science & religion (Score 3, Insightful) 394

by Alwin Henseler (#49137739) Attached to: Lawmakers Seek Information On Funding For Climate Change Critics

If only there was some way of detaching politics from science.... Hm....

Easy: make sure to elect only religious people as politicians. So they won't need to bother with science, and can base laws & regulations on holy books alone. While in the meantime, the rest of society can use actual science to discover how the world around us works (and improve our lives in the process).

Oh wait...

Comment: Re: Not sufficient (Score 1) 95

by Alwin Henseler (#49104203) Attached to: Humans' Big Brains Linked To a Small Stretch of DNA

Not necessarily... you see, there's a relation between brain size, the occurrence of dupes, and how much they're read:

Reads = 2 ^ (X + 1)

With "Reads" being the number of permutations for "read the story" vs. "too many dupes, didn't read", and X being the number of [original story + dupes].

Any original story may be read by a /. reader, or not. Hence the power-of-2 in above equation. With original story + 2 dupes, you have 8 permutations: some who read the original story, not the 1st dupe, but then read the 2nd dupe. Some who missed the original, read the 1st dupe, and then missed the 2nd dupe. Some who missed the original story, but then read all dupes. And so on and so forth.

What these researchers uncovered, refers to the "+1" in above equation: for each permutation, there's readers with an enhanced size brain that read the story. And some with an enhanced brain that didn't read the story. Some with a smaller brain that read the story, and some with a smaller brain that didn't read the story. So 2x the number of possibilities we had before.

Causes are (as of yet) undetermined. It may be that increased brain size enhanced readers' ability to skip dupes. It may be that smarter readers enjoy some dupes, but not all. It may be that readers are too dumb to recognise a dupe, or too dumb to skip it. Or smart readers who actually enjoy complex dupe / no dupe / many dupes / etc patterns. It may even be that smart or dumb readers just enjoy whatever comments are posted to each story or dupe, and thus /. readership happiness (or brain size, for that matter) bears no relation to # of dupes. All this will surely be the subject of further studies.

You'll see, as the number of dupes increases, the number of possibilities for which /. readers read which dupe or not, grows exponentially. Only the number of /. effects observed, scales linear with the number of dupes.

Note that there is a feedback effect here, between readers of each story/dupe, and /. editors. Some may complain to editors that a story was duped. Some may not complain. Some may complain there's too many dupes, some may complain there wasn't a dupe when they expected one. Some may complain about the many dupes, but somehow be very happy with the last dupe (and thus, not complain!). Some may complain there wasn't a dupe, when in fact there was. Or complain there were 3 dupes, when in fact there were 5. Some may complain about the original story, because they prefer dupes-only.

Each complaint may cause the editors to change the number of dupes they produce. Which in turn affects # of complaints, which dupe each complaint refers to, etc. Some complaints may be about a 3rd dupe, but actually refer to the 1st dupe, confusing /. editors even further. So let's just give the editors some slack here, okay? They're only human, and it's extremely difficult to determine the optimal # of dupes for each story, or when to post them. It's not like the /. crowd is the easiest crowd to please...

Hope this clears things up for you all...!

Comment: Legalization activist agenda? (Score 4, Insightful) 328

by Alwin Henseler (#49073521) Attached to: Federal Study: Marijuana Use Doesn't Increase Auto Crash Rates

But, let's say what this is really trying to do: push the Legalization activist agenda.

As if that were a bad thing...

In my country (especially its bigger cities) it's almost a weekly occurence that a marijuana-growing operation gets busted. Sometimes big (hundreds of plants), often small (a few dozen plants). Typically this involves a half dozen to a dozen police officers and related personel, driving up to a house and seizing all product, plants, and equipment used to grow the plants. Which likely takes the better part of the day, meaning that's a whole bunch of cops not out on the street looking for real criminals. Product, plants and equipment are usually destroyed, which is capital destruction regardless what you think of marijuna.

If it's a regular house, and happens to be a rented one owned by a housing corporation, the people involved may face eviction from their house. Which has a decent chance of steering them towards a homeless / criminal path with a much, much higher cost to society than that marijuna-growing operation ever had.

Of course that doesn't stop us from criminally proscecuting those growers, which taxes already-overburdened justice system. If 'successful', people may get fines which they have 0 chance of paying since money shortages are a common reason to start a marijuana-growing operation in the first place. In severe cases they may even be locked up, and thus will be non-productive members of society for the duration. Once released, it will be much harder for them to find a regular job, again increasing the chances they embark on a career-criminal path (with asociated costs to society). All these things increases stress between the people involved & their significant others, family, friends and so on. Which helps to increase incidents of domestic violence, homicide, you name it.

Note that all the above is cost to society, mostly paid for using tax money, innocent bystanders footing the bill, etc.

As Europeans, I'm happy to say we tend to be more 'enlightened' in topics like these, and focus more on the practical issues. For example, many marijuana-growing setups tap electricity illegally somewhere. Which is a problem both from safety and economic perspective.

What would legalization do here? Simple: remove the bulk of those costs from the picture. Read: less burdened justice system, more cops out on the street, fewer people evicted from their home, etc. Increase marijuana use? Yeah, probably - a little. It's not hard to get hold of some weed, and those who want to use it will anyway, so legalization wouldn't change much on that front. Why doesn't it happen? Mostly because of an almost religious crusade of people like you, which (imho) are the real obstacle in improving the situation.

Sorry, pot is as much a drug as meth. So is alcohol.

Wrong again. You mention 3 very different substances, with very different properties, and very different problem sets attached. Yes there may be some overlap, but basically: apples and oranges.

Comment: Re:why google keeps microsoft away (Score 1) 280

by Alwin Henseler (#48936593) Attached to: Microsoft To Invest In Rogue Android Startup Cyanogen

If software vendors A, B and C all use the same underlying OS, that's a good thing for development / support of that OS (and thus its users). Even if users of A, B and C's products hate the other vendor's guts.

So I for one, welcome our MS overlord on Android. Simply because whatever MS publishes on it, will surely have some users. Which in turn helps to make Android more popular than it already is, and/or improve it further.

Fwiw: I hope MS would look at this solely as a vehicle to get their products & services out there. Read: not try to steer the direction Cyanogen / Android is heading in. We'll see...

"What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite." -- Bertrand Russell, _Sceptical_Essays_, 1928