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Comment: Re:older generation is totally clueless about tech (Score 4, Insightful) 84

by Antique Geekmeister (#49757875) Attached to: NSA-Reform Bill Fails In US Senate

Please actually look at the older generation, and revisit your own. Many younger people have _no idea_ how the technology works, much like their older peers. They have considerable hands-on familiarity with newer tools and no older habits to unlearn, but wait that same 10 years and they will be in a similar situation. I'm old enough to remember when 'C' and 'BASIC' were new and exciting. And it's a delight with my older colleagues and peers to learn new tools, and a personal delight to walk the young programmers through the same problems we had decades ago, problems they didn't realize the new tools would also have or which they ignored in testing.

Comment: Boys? (Score 2) 92

Measure. It.

I spent a very, very long week with developers and network architects arguing about the subtle disrepencies of their layouts and software and how their software works. And eventually, I took actual measurements and showed that for far less money, using the simplest tools provided the faster solution at a tiny fraction of the complexity and cost when you _actually measured things_.

This has been a consistent lesson throughout my career. People theorize and postulate endlessly with complex analysys and essentially fraudulent testcases, and don't examine it in the real world.

Just. Measure. It.

Comment: Re:A large load of sheets from BB&B (Score 1) 148

Philae did not have to apply significant force to the comet itself, especially applying consistent force as the comet itself melts, and to consistently apply force to the same side of the comet. Even if a solar sail is applied purely as a solar powered brake, the tumbling of a comet or asteroid will require that the attachment points be able to _spin_, and not to tangle the shrouds of the solar sail on the tumbling object itself. If the spin of the object has an axis on the side away from the Sun, it should be possible to attach there.

There are profound issues of how to attach robustly and avoid fracturing a comet, leaving a potentially deadly remainder still on target for Earth, if it is a porous, frozen object. I'd anticipate significatnt sublimation and thawing on even the backside if the solar sail does not reflect _away_ from the object. But the idea provides far more available thrust and control than draping coverings directly on a tumbling asteroid or comet.

Comment: Re:Wouldn't it be more useful if... (Score 1) 57

by Antique Geekmeister (#49724903) Attached to: Forecasting the Next Pandemic

> I know people with HIV can be kept alive for a long time, but they are obviously infecting other people,

HIV can be "clinically latent" for 10 years. That is a _long_ time to be infectious but without symptoms. For someone sexually active, that is also a long time to have a single sexual partner and rely on both themselves and that partner to be sexually monogamous. And given the sexual activity of some people and of their cultures, I'm afraid the continuing though much reduced spread is not surprising.

Comment: Re:2015 (Score 1) 57

by Antique Geekmeister (#49724825) Attached to: Forecasting the Next Pandemic

Doctor A died of AIDS? I'd not even realized, his family apparently kept it quiet for along time. Given Isaac Asimov's reported and repeated history of sexual harassment of female fans, especially in letters such as this one (, it does raise some interesting questions about other possible vectors by which he may have gotten AIDS. If you dig into old letters about him, he was what we would then call "an old rogue with a twinkle in his eye" and now we'd call "a sexual harasser" and eject form a science convention, even if here were a guest-of-honor.

Also: condoms sometimes break, sometimes they slip off, and sometimes they are used incorrectly. It is much safer not to point that gun at a person, even if you're sure the safety is on and the gun unloaded.

Comment: Re:Pay Settlments from Police Pension Funds (Score 3, Insightful) 201

Domestic disputes, one of the most dangerous duties for police, will get slower responses. People, especially bettered women and children as the most frequent victims, will die. Those are often cases where tempers are already flaring, and blaming, harassing, or trying to sue the officer who escorts a victim to shelter or helps the victim file charges is commonplace. Those are the kinds of cases where _limited_ immunity for the officers on the scene makes good sense.

There is a useful description of such immunity at http://www.criminaldefenselawy....

Comment: Re:not far enough. (Score 3, Insightful) 201

I would not bet that way. There are pnumerous private security companies, and even mercenary companies listed as "security contractors", who pay very nice hiring bonuses for trained policemen. And for tough districts short of capable policemen, such as Ferguson, Missouri this year, they're going to be taking whatever they can get.

Comment: Re:heh (Score 2) 248

> There is no such thing as "excess supply of labor": if labor is cheap enough

I'm sorry to contradict you, but _where_ are you getting this nonsense? "Labor costs" that drop below a sustenance level kill workers, and even prevent the workers from participating in the local economy. Between those two limitations, and all the others, one can certainly have an "excess supply of labor". It's especially apparent in seasonal farm labor when drought or blight ruins the crops, and it was certainly a problem for winter food supplies in harsh climates.

Please, actually work as a farm worker, a fast food attendant, a cab driver, or try to feed a family on a minimum wage before you make such absurd claims,

> The reason those store fronts are empty is because your town/city is keeping the cost of doing business high

This is, once again, complete nonsense. "The town/city" is not keeping the expenses high as a matter of tax or licensing policy. There simply isn't enough street traffic to support so many vendors, especially when modern consumers so easily order goods online from around the world. And for the service industries, such as hair and nail salons, they need parking, foot traffic, and customers who can attend their salons when the businesses are open.

According to your stated theory "That is, increasing supply lowers prices but it also increases volume, also for labor.". It ignores the _caps_ on volume of business, caps due to capital supply limitations, due to available numbers of customers and frequency of service, and due to the minimum costs of keeping the workers alive.

Again, I don't know where you're getting these ideas. They're refuted by the most casual reviews of economic disasters, such as the Great Depression in the USA, or famines such as the Irish Potato Famine or the mass starvations of North Korea of the 1990's. There was no "labor shortage", people would work for less than a survival wage or survival diet and starve to _death_ as they struggled to outlast the famines and poverty.

All great discoveries are made by mistake. -- Young