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Comment Re:At least he still has a sense of humor (Score 1) 206

Many very, very sad people can have senses of humor. I'm not saying Snowden is depressed or whatever, but ... I have read/heard about the apparent significant rates of depression when it comes to comedians. Funny != happy. I'm not depressed, either, but I know I can be quite funny even if I'm hurting. Partially, it's a way to hide the hurt/pain from others.

(again, I have *no* idea about Snowden. Just commenting on the idea of being sad being mutually exclusive with being humorous. :) )


Robots' Next Big Job: Trash Pickup 112

Nerval's Lobster writes: You've heard of self-driving cars, fast-moving robots, and automated homes. Now a research group led by Volvo, a waste-recycling company, and a trio of universities in the United States and Sweden want to bring much of the same technology to bear on a new problem: trash disposal. Specifically, the consortium wants to build a robot that will collect trash-bins from in front of peoples' homes, carry those bins to the nearest waste-disposal truck, and empty them. While that's a pretty simple (although smelly) task for a human being, it's an incredibly complex task for a robot, which will need to evaluate and respond to a wide range of environmental variables while carrying a heavy load. An uneven curb, or an overloaded bin, could spell disaster. Hopefully Volvo's experiment can succeed in a way that some of its other self-driving projects have failed. It's struck me, too, how the trash collection vehicles that come by my house are mostly piloted robots already; the humans are there to deal with problems and control the joysticks, but hydraulic arms lift and empty the garbage containers themselves.

Comment Re:as a linux user, i can explain. (Score 1) 165

So even within Linux distros, there's differences in how much they do without you "knowing." This was my point. :)

I haven't actually setup Gentoo... I played with Sabayon at one time, but that's a just a Gentoo-based distro, as I recall. I don't think I had to do the whole crazy long Gentoo installation and configuration process.

But I've installed and configured a whole lot of aix, linux, solaris, hp-ux, and windows servers for work, so I'm not unfamiliar with the way *nix works. :)

Comment Re:as a linux user, i can explain. (Score 1) 165

when he accepted the defaults in good faith

Exactly. So, the issue here isn't so much what MS is doing, but not being more up front about it. In other words - documentation and probably some better decisions (heh). But the OP said that malware was a program doing anything that he didn't *tell* it to do. Telling something to do something is active; accepting defaults is fairly passive, I would argue.

Maybe it's a nitpick, but I see it as a pretty big one. Linux distros do a lot of things that I didn't actually ask them to do. It just so happens that they do a lot less without me knowing than Windows or OS X.

Here's a good example: what does a given Linux distro do when you plug in a USB drive? I'm not sure. :) Most seem to prompt for what to do. As does Windows. Some may open the folder automatically. Some don't even mount it automatically. Offhand, I can't remember what the distro that I use most at work (RHEL) does.

Comment Re:as a linux user, i can explain. (Score 2) 165

So, you specifically told every single Linux program what to do? You actually told gdm to start? You told your web browser to cache data? You told vi to automatically make backup files?

I get your primary point. But the way you put it may be a little bit simplistic for a complex system. My Linux boxes do a lot of things that I didn't actually tell it to do. Cron runs, and I didn't tell it to. I know it does it, but I didn't TELL it to. It's default behavior. Some distros have sudo automatically setup. Some distros have ntp setup. Some automatically check (but don't install) for updates. All of that, I didn't tell it to do. Unless that also counts as malware?

Comment Re:Male teachers (Score 1) 148

Male teachers are getting more and more rare, and discrimination is the reason.

Could it also be pay? I hear teaching (well, below college level) isn't particularly lucrative. And it is still at least partially the case that males tend to be the primary breadwinner. If you are making $40k a year teaching, or you could switch to software engineering or something and make $70k ...

I'm not saying it's not disrimination, either, I'm just wondering if we can really blame it solely on those sorts of societal pressures and not on economics, too.

Comment Re:12 clicks for basic info? (Score 1) 184

I've seen one extremely frustrating EHR in action. And it's true, the UI is awful. I don't think it was a manger, though, it looked to me like it was designed by an techy, heh. I would have thought that generic non-techy PHB would want something like TurboTax.

And it's not just the UI, it's also the specificity that is sometimes required - like, in medical history, someone says they broke their arm. There's no selection for "broken arm," it has to be a specific bone. So, patient who broke your arm when you were 6... what bone was it? :)

If it's worth hacking on well, it's worth hacking on for money.