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Comment: Ditch the White House (Score 4, Interesting) 112

For that kind of money it would be more economical to actually build a real work residence for the president. Why stay in a 18th century mansion when you can build a modern facility with serious infrastructure. Keep the White House for tourists and perhaps as a museum or special press meetings, but let real work take place in a secure environment that is actually designed for the modern state.

But I guess 8 million for a full-scale doll house is better for morale.

Comment: Re:Alarming trend. (Score 2) 37

by Celarent Darii (#49361513) Attached to: European Commission Will Increase Use of Open Source Software

On the contrary, not all OSS software is immediately useful to the task at hand. Someone has to install it, maintain it, and eventually rewrite it or add to it in order that it fulfils government requirements.

This is what you do in industry, it won't be much different. Perhaps there won't be any more cubical farms of coders (thank God), but there will be work for small teams all the time to add a feature or provide a patch.

What is even better is that they will be government jobs, which are about as secure as you can get. If I could get a government job coding, I would be a very happy person.

Comment: Re:Who's being censored? (Score 1) 53

by Celarent Darii (#49360217) Attached to: Notel Media Player Helps North Koreans Skirt Censorship

You must be new here.....

On Slashdot, breaking news is at least a week late.
On Slashdot, we don't comment on the news, but on the duplicate story.
On Slashdot, we don't even read the article. It's much better trolling in comments.
On Slashdot, we already have opinions so the actual news doesn't really matter

Maybe the *ancients* could add some...

Comment: MOST IMPORTANT (Score 1) 293

by Celarent Darii (#49357123) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

Code has to be AVAILABLE - this is the most important. That means it must be OPEN SOURCE.

If it is CRAPPY code, it can be MADE BETTER if it is open source.
If it is INEFFICIENT code, it can be REWRITTEN if it is open source
If it is HARD TO UNDERSTAND code, it can be COMMENTED if it is open source.

So any code that is OPEN SOURCE, even if it is crappy, inefficient and hard to understand, can be improved.

But any code that is CLOSED is absolutely useless in my opinion.

Comment: Re:TSA checks still useless (Score 3, Interesting) 374

by Celarent Darii (#49356953) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

And Shakespeare came so very close to doing so:

HAMLET [...] we fat all creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots. Your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable service, two dishes, but to one table; that's the end.

POINS [Henry IV, part 1] .... there are pilgrims going to Canterbury with rich offerings and traders riding to London with fat purses.

As a matter of fact, the Oxford English Dictionary says that Barclay wins the honor for using fatly first.

Some beast agayne, styll leane and poore is sene Though it fatly fare, within a medowe grene.

Magnificent thing, the English language, so fatly adorned with so many words.

Comment: Not much of a coincidence (Score 5, Interesting) 157

by Celarent Darii (#49231393) Attached to: Strange Stars Pulse To the Golden Mean

The two numbers Phi and Pi are actually related by trigonometry, so it is hardly surprising that they would show up in a ratio concerning the rotation of stars.

If you divide a circle into 5 sections of 2*Pi/5 each you will get the five points of a pentagon, whose dimensions are all based on phi relationships [i.e. the Golden Mean]. Thus one can state:

2 * cos (Pi / 5) = Phi or
2 * sin (Pi / 5) = sqrt ( 3 - Phi )

or even better:

Pi = 5 arccos (Phi / 2)

that is,

Phi = 1 - 2 * cos (3 * Pi / 5)

So it is not entirely strange that the simple harmonic motion of a star could be expressed as some ratio of Phi.

It's all numbers, numbers all the way down.

Comment: News speak == Newspeak (Score 1) 366

The modern media is no longer about communicating the news. Its is committed to instituting ideology. If you control the vocabulary of the debate, you control the outcome of the debate.

From Orwell's 1984

The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought — that is, a thought diverging from the principles of Ingsoc — should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words. Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meanings and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods. This was done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating undesirable words and by stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meanings whatever. To give a single example. The word free still existed in Newspeak, but it could only be used in such statements as ‘This dog is free from lice’ or ‘This field is free from weeds’. It could not be used in its old sense of ‘politically free’ or ‘intellectually free’ since political and intellectual freedom no longer existed even as concepts, and were therefore of necessity nameless. Quite apart from the suppression of definitely heretical words, reduction of vocabulary was regarded as an end in itself, and no word that could be dispensed with was allowed to survive. Newspeak was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought, and this purpose was indirectly assisted by cutting the choice of words down to a minimum.

Comment: Re:You need to rethink that. (Score 1) 274

by Celarent Darii (#49203379) Attached to: Laser Takes Out Truck Engine From a Mile Away

What is interesting is that this beam is made by several beams interacting at a focal point. What if they changed the difference of the focal point? Sure, one beam would dissipate over 70km, but perhaps they could manipulate intensity of the beam at a certain distance by the interaction....

What you describe are engineering problems. If history is any indication, the military is pretty good at [eventually] solving them. Nothing like the instinct to destroy someone else to get the human intellect working.

Comment: Re:Why an email client (Score 1) 167

by Celarent Darii (#49203197) Attached to: Hands-On With the Vivaldi Browser

Well, I often write a lot of technical emails and need documentation nearby. A browser tab is useful to have the manual that you can read and copy text from and then another tab to write the email.

However, I use emacs [mu4e] and w3 or eww in another buffer. But I can see why for some people an email client and browser would make some sense.

Also many people use webmail, which is similar in that it runs in the browser. With a built-in email client you get something like webmail but good for offline use. That is certainly a feature than many would like.

Also, don't forget Zawinski's Law.

Comment: Re:Why call them activists? (Score 1) 247

by Celarent Darii (#49198303) Attached to: How Activists Tried To Destroy GPS With Axes

But materially they are the very same act. The Tea is destroyed no matter for what reasons you do it.

  Motive has a certain relation to culpability, in that motive often determines the moral judgement on the act.

If a person places a bomb and destroys a store, there is damage. It makes no difference if you call him a terrorist or activist, the damage is the same. The words 'terrorist' or 'activist' is trying to give a moral judgement on the act by somehow defining his motive. Indirectly 'activist' means there is some larger issue that the writer wants to explain to the readers. "Terrorist" means he is just an enemy to be eliminated.

Thus I think 'vandal' is the best word, as it describes more clearly the physical act without reference to his supposed motives. Calling him an activist implies that his motive is somehow morally defensible.

Receiving a million dollars tax free will make you feel better than being flat broke and having a stomach ache. -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"