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Comment Re:Decentralized source control (Score 1) 117

Isn't that why the enterprise version of GitHub exists for locally hosting the service? Isn't that how GitHub makes money and subsidizes the free services?
And you're putting up some pretty big barriers by saying neither user's box allows network shares or an sshd...

Now one big issue with github going down isn't it stopping programmers from writing code but preventing some people from deploying code.

Node.js npm and Rust crates package managers sometimes point to github repos for packages...

Comment Re:U.S. could lower carbon emissions 100% (Score 3) 346

A man-made natural disaster is something like the BP oil spill in the gulf.

Fukushima was a straight up natural disaster. They could have done more to prevent the tsunami damaging the plant due to cut corners but in the end it was still the tsunami's fault. Nearly 16,000 people died from the tsunami. I seriously doubt the Fukushima leak will kill that many (though it will likely kill some.)

And Flint isn't a man-made natural disaster either as it's not even a natural disaster. Nature is probably just fine in Flint (unless leaking pipes have significantly contaminated the ground water.)
Flint's pipe system has old lead pipes and they pumped acidic water through it without properly treating it. That's it.
The river they were getting water from isn't the best but it doesn't, afaik, have lead in it. If they could magically replace all of their lead pipes then there wouldn't even be a problem.

I live ~20 miles downwind from a nuclear power plant and I have no issue with that. I'd definitely rather live 1 mile from a nuclear power plant than live 1 mile from a coal plant.
And I'd definitely rather live near a power plant than not have power.

You're right, everything has risk, but history seems to say that nuclear power isn't actually that risky as long as you do it right. I'm not sure I'd put all of our eggs into the nuclear basket but I do think that coal and gas power need to go.

Comment Re:No Context (Score 5, Interesting) 186

I think the issue is more about trust. He has been shown to be complicit in immoral decision making when put into a position of power.

As a member of a Board of Trustees he'd be in a position of power involving potential moral decisions and the vote shows that he has yet to regain that trust.

It's not like the guy will be out of a day job and I'm sure there are plenty of other people that the Wikipedia editors would support.
It doesn't hurt that it's just deserts without any lives actually being harmed. From what I have read, he has disrupted other lives far more significantly than this will impact his own.

Comment Re:Does space belong to us or the the US? (Score 1) 43

I agree that sending people to mars is mostly pointless and definitely an inefficient way to go about exploring the solar system.
However, developing technologies to improve survival in space should provide insight and technology to help increase efficiency in a terrestrial environment.

The very nature of space is such a harsh environment that it demands innovation while sitting around and playing in the dirt doesn't.

Well, until we hit a resource crisis and then it does.

Comment Re:Homebrew used to be about doing better. (Score 1) 247

How was this modded up? I actually thought it was a troll.
A router != a wireless router or even a wireless access point and wireless support is not "critical functionality" for the device.

Anyway, he mentions that he used the much hyped Ubiquiti WAPs to cover the wireless functionality that he lost from the Nighthawk.
Assuming those live up to the hype then he gave himself a) better routing functionality than the previous solution b) better wireless functionality than the previous solution.
I call that homebrew success.

And then you go into a rant about the quality drop of Linux on the desktop which is kind of bullshit to be honest. I don't know if you remember how bad things were 10-15 years ago but it was definitely much worse than it is now.

Firefox has its ups and downs but it generally increases in performance. The only glaring issue I see with Firefox is not one of it getting worse but that it still doesn't compare favorably to Chrome in terms of multi-tab performance. Hopefully one day e10s will fix that.
And no one is forcing you to use gnome, systemd, or pulseaudio.

You want to restore the "glory" of homebrew projects but you don't even care enough to customize your systems to fit you?

Comment Re:New auto drive car = no more updates after 1 ye (Score 1) 279

Your make-believe scenario is unlikely given that there is safety regulation via the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and liability for bugs that kill people (see: lawsuits in the news related to normal car software bugs that cause issues with braking/accelerating/etc.)

Even in terms of hardware cars have recalls for faulty parts (see: airbags) over a decade after the car was designed/built/sold.

Cars aren't video game software.

Comment Re:didn't they ban biofuels in 2012? (Score 1) 115

The Senate amended that bill to remove the ban.
Though I'm guessing this law and any more recent laws are what really mattered in the end.

As an aside, I really wish the government used something more like git (or at least actual patch files) and showed commits/diffs/tags github style.

It's really hard to grok what changes with their current methodology. First you look at a change (ex. "beginning on page 590, strike line 11 and all that follows through page 595, line 7, and insert the following") and so you have to find a pdf with page numbers.
Then you hunt down what some bill is editing and it's editing the text of what's effectively another patch file on some version of U.S. code and figuring out what the file law would be for just that change is near impossible.

Maybe some day we'll get to have gitlaw

Comment Re:At $26/gallon (Score 2) 115

Except the military has to think beyond what the price is today to what availability will be tomorrow.
The biofuel concept didn't happen overnight. In January 2007, President Bush called for a sharp increase in the use of biofuels during his State of the Union address.
I wouldn't be surprised if the military planning went back even farther.

It wasn't that long ago that oil was ~$100/barrel and I saw some articles that said the DOD was having to move things around in the budget to cover billions in fuel costs. It also doesn't help that one big hurricane in the gulf can shut down a large percentage of US oil refining capability (see: Katrina).

Sure, biofuels are probably more expensive but if the market is less volatile and production is better covered by allies then it makes sense for the military to explore that option to protect itself from a middle east oil and as a buffer until we can develop something better.

We're obviously not going to be able to use oil from the ground forever...

Comment Re:Well deserved. (Score 1) 540

To be fair, mobile operating systems should have different default behavior.

The fine print and settings adjustments should be to turn on the ease of use "1-Click" saved-payment-info-without-confirmation options. Not to turn them off.

I don't actually know what Apple's default settings are like but Amazon tablets really want to make it easy for you to spend money.

Comment Re:Dat's racist (Score 1) 464

In the case of Murdock we really just don't know enough to make any sort of judgment about his twitter posts.
We know he was arrested, treated by EMTs, and bailed out of jail.
We have reports that he was drunk but there is no verification of that.
We know he died and that's about it. We need more facts to really understand why he died.

I agree that if he was facing potential jail over the tickets and arrest and killed himself because of that then it's truly an irrational tragedy. I suspect there was a lot more going on.

With regards to suicide, as someone who has personally experienced severe depression and most of the range of suicide ideation, I can tell you that you are very mistaken. Suicide and suicidal thoughts can be both rational and irrational. Hardship, short or long-term, is not even necessary.

Thoughts of self-harm can be sporadic irrational desires that sneak up on you unwanted, and unacted on, sort of like a craving for junk food that you ignore.
These sorts of thoughts, at least in my experience, don't have to be in response to short-term hardship and certainly not because one doesn't want to deal with something. Many medications even warn about giving them to teenagers because they are correlated with an increase in such thoughts.

My understanding is that they're also the least serious form of suicidal ideation. I'd guess that they're simply a chemistry fuck-up. It's pretty amazing that we're theoretically conscious self-determining beings in a (mostly?) deterministic universe so a few glitches are ok with me.
Ending your life because of such urges doesn't make any sense and it is truly tragic if anyone dies from that.

Thoughts of ending your life can also be well-thought out and quite rational. You can end up playing in your head what you think your future will be like, even if you persevere, and seeing only more suffering. Your judgment on the issue might be sound or it might not be

I haven't personally experienced severe, incurable, chronic pain or a terminal illness so I can't pretend to understand that mental state. I know that most non-religious people would agree that there is nothing wrong with ending your life with dignity in the face of terminal illness.
I suspect that the U.S. hospice system has a lot of "dirty" little practical secrets where overdoses are given to ease suffering and speed up dying -- which would not be politically acceptable by the religious masses.

I can say that I have dealt with illness and lifestyle changes that ended up with me taking both a very irrational/emotional and rational look at the new path of my life and if taking it was acceptable to me.

First, rationally, life has no meaning and is pointless (unless you irrationally believe in religion.) The obvious purpose of the state of life might be existence but almost certainly nothing you do will matter and in a few billion years humanity won't exist anymore. As the saying goes: life's a bitch and then you die.

That said, one sometimes has to find or give their own meaning to life. I personally think the meaning of life is to enjoy yourself (and before you think that's selfish -- I find joy in others finding joy.)

In the absence of ability to do that either due to environment or emotional state then suicide can certainly seem like the rational choice.

I think the strongest rational argument against suicide is that, statistically, one probably enjoyed life at some point and thus continued existence holds the chance of enjoying life again. Hell, even people with terminal illnesses sometimes survive.

Lastly, it's really hard to talk about suicide in our society because of how it's reacted to by authorities. People get angry at those who commit suicide, frequently calling the deceased selfish, and asking why the person didn't just talk to them.
Well, if you talk to someone and then they go behind your back to the authorities because they don't agree with you, you can end up losing (at least in the short term) your right to self-determination.
So when someone is facing depression and/or suicidal thoughts they're also facing guilt. As if distraught people really need more negative emotions to deal with.
It's really a shame that people who need help get treated so ham-handedly.

And it seems a bit weird to separate out suicide from other forms of death as selfish. Everyone you know is going to die at some point and, unless you die first, you're going to have to face their death and missing them. They're effectively calling others selfish for dying before them. How rude!

So, I guess that was a long-winded way of saying suicide is complicated and rational and irrational -- much like everything else we humans do. Sometimes it's a tragedy and sometimes it's a relief in the face of the inevitable.

We miss those who are gone regardless.

Comment Re:Only do the fun part (Score 1) 77

define: hobby
an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure.

I'm pretty sure that if you're a hobbyist programmer and you're not doing it for pleasure then you're doing it wrong. Or a masochist.

And they're right to angrily reject the idea that they should be forced to finish it. Because it's a hobby.

If anyone disagrees then they can have fun and fork it themselves and finish it. And maybe leave a note in thanks for the 90% that was written for them.
Github makes this so easy that it amazes me that we managed to get anything done without it.

In my experience most such projects are where the programmer is writing the code for themselves and "finished" is when it works well enough for their purposes.
Moving on to the next project to make their life easier isn't just novelty but also practical.

Note that I'm not saying there's anything wrong with having fun polishing and maintaining a project. All of our lives are much easier because of that mentality.
But there's also nothing wrong with unfinished hobby projects.
And, yes, my opinion is that anyone who feels entitled to anything from a hobby project is a weirdo.

Comment Re:Wh3r3f0r3 @r7 7h0u R0m30! (Score 3, Insightful) 242

It seems really odd to me that a culture which considers college degrees as superfluous and promotes experience and self-teaching would deride someone teaching pre-college programming because of their non-STEM background.

A good educator knows how to educate themselves as well as students. You can have a brilliant computer programmer and they can be the shittiest teacher in the world.

The best programming instructor I ever had pre-college was, I believe, originally a band teacher. He ended up teaching AP CS for at least a couple of decades and when I had him we had a lot of fun going to college hosted programming competitions and doing USACO challenges online.

One of my first programming "teachers" in middle school didn't know anything about programming (this was Pascal.) It was her first year and she had no experience but she had the coursework and managed to use the brightest students to teach the rest of the class.
Yes, she was terrible.
Yes, we didn't build good habits.
But it was still better than nothing as it exposed a lot of students to programming concepts and enabled them to start doing things themselves.

A summer class I took in middle school at a local university was taught by a hobbyist programmer who, I believe, mostly taught arts and crafts classes.
She was great and proficient. We had a ton of fun learning QBasic and the final project was to create a tiny video game.
I ended up staying after class to finish a simple space invaders clone because the class was so fun.
(As an aside: one could hate on Basic and GOTO here and yet I found it interesting that the guy who always won programming competitions used Basic while the rest of us mostly used C/C++)

So, anyone motivated can learn basic concepts and data structures like loops and arrays and recursion and teach them to others.

From what I read in the article they were basically saying you can use federal funds to educate non-traditional STEM teachers in CS so that they can teach students.

In that context I think a civics teacher can be fit for teaching CS, as long the civics teacher is motivated and uses the funds to become certified in CS in some form.
It's not like the AP CS curriculum is rocket science. The math requirement for students is fairly low iirc.

And DICE just wants us angry at the headline so that we'll give them more eyeballs on ads that we don't actually see. Or something.

Comment Re:Government should enforce more standards (Score 1) 401

It's pretty clear that when he's referring to "the cunt" that he means a Democrat because he follows it with "the other side is a mess" before he begins talking about Republicans.
And when talking about Trump he always uses Trump's name.

He'd like Bernie but Bernie is a socialist.
He doesn't like the Republican party.
He'd like Bernie/Trump/Carson/etc over Bush.
He'd like Bush over "the cunt."

I think he pretty much dislikes everyone but he really hates women.

Guys, we just found Donald Trump's Slashdot account.

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