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Comment: Re:Availability (Score 1) 499

by jdavidb (#49798655) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?

Because it's cheaper to have an immortal serf class than it is to have to train up larval serfs for 20 years at a net negative value before they're useful? Young people are generally a resource sink with no return on investment for a couple decades.

Historically speaking, a young person began to earn an income much earlier than age 20. It's only our modern laws and policies that have been pushing this later and later. Even today this continues as more and more young people start their careers laden with high college debt.

Comment: Re:I'm sure /. will ridicule it, but... (Score 1) 234

BTW, you call chemistry "basic"? Why is chemistry of any practical use to anyone but anyone but a chemist? I can't recall a single instance in my life when I had to apply any sort of chemistry-based knowledge.

Sigh. I'm shit at math but I can easily recognize many places where more math would improve my life, especially since I like to make things and customize them. By the same token I never got any chemistry (it was not required, and by the time I got to college I had other interests) but I can recognize that it would be cool to have more of it. Even cooking is chemistry, and a lot of that fancy-pants "molecular gastronomy" (what, other food doesn't have molecules?) stuff is applicable to more mundane foods. Or looking at the back of the shampoo bottle and knowing the difference between one thing and the next.

Let's apply that same logic to computer programming. How often are these kids going to be interacting with computers in their lifetimes?

A lot more deeply, odds are, if they're programmers. That's the point of teaching them young.

Might it not be handy to understand how those computers work, and perhaps even know how to write scripts to automate tasks, for instance?

Yeah, but you could do that without learning a whole lot about programming, simple if-then-else and pattern matching will cover most needs there. But programming is still very valuable. On the flip side, not all the kids will take to it, so spending a lot of time on it is probably a bad idea. They only make you spend a year or so on a foreign language (if that) in school, programming probably ought to receive about the same amount of mandatory attention.

Comment: Re:Power User? (Score 1) 337

by drinkypoo (#49795745) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier

Honest question, how do you directly modify your android OS due to the source code being available?

I don't. I indirectly enjoy the benefits: I am running SOKP on my Moto G. Before that, I ran similar AOKP-based Android releases on my Nexus 4 (before its digitizer and radio went tits up.) And before that, various community releases on my Xperia Play. In every case the rewards have been many and varied. These days I run ordinary kernels (no overclocking) and try to keep things simple.

The argument was over which phone was more like its desktop counterpart. Your argument applies equally to both platforms.

Is it just "hey look I can run top" or what?

Actually having a nice userland means being able to use your phone as a troubleshooting tool. You can actually do pretty well just by installing busybox (from the app, it's free, or there's some features you don't strictly need which won't cost you very much... or do it manually) and android terminal, as well as anysoftkeyboard plus the ssh layout, which you're going to want very much. But having the option to go Wayland one day means being able to recycle the phone, use it for other purposes. My oldest phone is now a clock and occasionally plays me some MP3s. It's not really worth selling.

Comment: Re:Article is trole. (Score 1) 337

by drinkypoo (#49791033) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier

Microsoft powered phones don't exist in the real world. I have yet to see one. They are apocryphal.

I am shocked that in the hours since you wrote this comment, no Microsofties have showed up to tell us how wonderful their Windows Phone is. I literally only ever see those comments on Slashdot, but normally they are as reliable as the sunrise.

Comment: Re:Power User? (Score 2, Insightful) 337

by drinkypoo (#49790993) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier

Not true, a jailbroken iOS device is essentially a small BSD box.

Oh? So you have the source code? Snicker snort.

A jailbroken Android device, on the other hand, really is a small Linux box. You can trivially install a more complete userland on most interesting phones. You can install an X server. You can get the sources to everything but the Google Play stuff, and you can use the phone without that stuff. In theory you should even be able to throw away the GUI and all the apps from Android and switch to Wayland someday, at least on relatively modern phones whose graphics drivers will be usable by Wayland.

Now, tell us again how much your iOS phone is like a computer, please. We're fascinated.

Comment: Re:Limits? (Score 2) 34

by drinkypoo (#49790941) Attached to: New Technique To Develop Single-Molecule Diode

Obviously, our technology is not at the point where such a thing could be created. It may very well require molecules to be assembled atom-by-atom.

That doesn't actually preclude our doing it, although we won't be able to do it with a robot arm any time soon. (Would love to be wrong.) It might be possible to do it with biotech, though.

Comment: 20-40% overblown (Score 1) 528

by drinkypoo (#49790929) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage

If you're using somewhere near the inverter's peak output, then you can get as much as 90% efficiency. Inverters are getting smaller all the time, which makes it more feasible to gang modules instead of using monolithic units which will provide very low conversion efficiency for low outputs.

It's still unfortunate to leave 10% on the table. But a lot of DC-DC power supplies are also not very efficient. Best-case, they are only around 95% efficient, and you can easily lose another 10-15% if you execute them poorly. So yes, optimally they have half the peak loss, and even bad ones are likely to be better, but we can make better inverters and we will as the demand increases.

Disobedience: The silver lining to the cloud of servitude. -- Ambrose Bierce

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