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Comment Re:Unfortunately (Score 2) 467

These guys weren't armed with anything more than good training, and the mental preparedness to take action in a crisis, nevermind the guts to do so at considerable personal risk.

The average person will most likely freeze in a crisis, just out of sheer human nature. It takes a lot of training to overcome that, and to build up the instinct to act (nevermind in a beneficial manner), which in a combat situation is often the difference between life and death.

It's fun when people make assumptions based on their own biases... The latest update from CNN mentions that a civilian was also involved in subduing the shooter. "The three men -- a member of the Air Force, an inactive National Guard member and a civilian -- responded quickly, possibly preventing a deadly attack on the high-speed Thalys train." So, what were you saying about the average person again?

Everyone has fight or flight instincts and each situation is different. I would expect armed forces personnel to be more likely to respond quickly. That being said, it doesn't negate the fact that there are civilians who keep their heads in a crisis and who would respond.

Comment Re:I like games but I don't know about genres (Score 1) 119

I like lots of games, but I am not sure they fit into a genre. I like games with a robust offline experience, and I don't like to play online at all, especially against people who have way too many hours and way too many dollars to throw at mods so you can't enjoy your experience at all. I like Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto, Final Fantasy, Skyrim, Lego Movie Adaptations and Gran Turismo. Don't care for sports games or World of Warcraft or online FPS.

My tastes are similar but I do like FPS games... Oblivion, Skyrim, Far Cry, Uncharted, Fallout, Dark Souls, Wolfenstein, Bioshock

I don't like MMO games simply because I don't have the time to put into grinding to make it worth it. And don't get me started about today's online FPS games. It used to be that they were balanced enough that a casual player could survive long enough to at least explore the map a bit before getting killed. Most of them now seem to be designed to kill off fresh meat as soon as they appear.

Comment Re:Of course (Score 2) 119

Most chess players have no interest in checkers, poker, or go.

I'm not sure that's true. I've never met a chess play who couldn't play checkers. Chess players often switch to poker, and there are even chess + poker tournaments.

Funny, I play chess, not at a tournament level but for fun, and I sometimes like playing checkers and love playing poker. Of course, playing poker, for me, isn't about playing cards it's about having fun with my friends. As for Go, the only reason why a lot of people don't play Go is because it isn't all that popular, at least in the US and Canada. I would think that a lot of Chess players would also enjoy Go because it does require strategy.

Comment Re: Idiocy. (Score 2) 392

You must work for the same company I do. We have a huge group known as Engineering that does not fall under IT that absolutely does need to use such tools. Typical IT arrogance.

No, it's not IT arrogance, it's a generalization... Generalizations by their nature have exceptions to the rule.

The vast majority of users in a company that are not in IT do not need Wireshark or network analysis tools. However, there are companies that produce, engineer, and /or support electronics, software, etc. where these tools might come in handy to verify that the product is working correctly. Obviously, those users would be an exception to the rule.

With the move towards corporate web based applications, there is even less software that needs to be installed than in the past.

Comment "Challenge", a politically correct word for "Hell" (Score 1) 396

Judging by the information in the article, it sounds like Amazon is High School all over again. People sniping at each other to increase their status, the politically connected get protected, cliques banding together for survival, etc.. The only difference is the lack of life outside of the environment. Sounds like hell to me....

Comment Re:Will Ad Blockers Kill the Digital Media Industr (Score 1) 519

I honestly can't remember the last time I actually went to a store to do research for an online purchase. It just doesn't happen. If I actually take the time and go to a store and they have what I need/want it is very unlikely that I'll go back home and order whatever it was to save a few bucks and spend even more time waiting for it to be delivered. I don't doubt that there are people who do that but judging by the number of people living paycheck to paycheck I doubt they are in the majority.

I agree about the research comment. I've never gone to a store for product research except for vehicles like cars, boats, etc..

There are three situations where I go to a store to buy anything but groceries:

1. When I need something right away and overnight shipping is more than 3% of the item cost. Typically in this situation, the item wouldn't get to me on time if I ordered online with 2 day shipping. I would have to pay through the nose for next day. It's usually when I'm about to go on vacation and I forgot to buy something.

2. Clothes. Yes, most online clothing stores have free return policies but its more inconvenient than running down to the nearest clothing store. Shoes and sneakers are the hardest to buy as, it seems, not one shoe manufacturer uses the same sizing chart. Kohls actually does a good job here. I can try on stuff in store, scan the bar-code with their mobile app, and order through their online store. Usually I only do this if they don't have the size/style I want in the store. That being said, I have been buying dress shirts online.

3. Same Price. If the store has the item at a similar or same price as I can find online I will buy from the store. At that point it's more convenient for me to drive to the local store and pick it up or grab it while I am already there for something else.

Comment Re:Why not set a limit to total weight? (Score 1) 373

Not a bad idea. Each passenger gets a free 200lb total encumberance allotment, whether that's human weight or luggage weight..

Except that this would open up a can of worms like sexism, etc.. Why should an average guy pay more for a plane flight with the same weight of luggage as an average woman? Like it or not, men tend to be heavier, even if they are at their ideal weight.

Of course, they could go with some sort of standard for height, weigh, sex, etc. and you only pay for the amount that you are over your ideal weight. But this, again, gets into privacy concerns because it would be recorded somewhere.

In other words, implementing a standard weight of passenger + carry-on just wouldn't work.

Comment Re:30 thousand? I think I'll just sit back and rel (Score 1) 110

The United States of America will still exist in 30-40 years?

Did you perhaps mean instead the New Confederate States of America? The Republic of Texas? The Free Republic of Idaho? Mexarkana? Absaroka? The Jefferson Freehold? New Deseret? The Republic of Sequoyah?

Nope... Canada... Canada will be the richest country in the world due to it's fresh water reserves and will buy up the US for pennies on the Loonie... (grin)

Comment Re:Do one thing well (Score 3, Insightful) 37

If you want an array of seismic sensors, build one. If you want an inter-continental data network, build that. Don't try to hack the one to do the job of the other.

Exactly. The complication and the added failure modes would go up drastically if sensors were incorporated into communications lines. What happens if all of the sensors fail? Do you tear up the communications lines just to fix them?

What you do is build a separate system, build relationships with the communications companies, and make a business deal to have it laid at the same time as undersea cables. I agree that there are economic benefits to sharing the same deployment resources, but they should be separate infrastructures.

Comment Re:It'd be hilareous if not so sad... (Score 4, Insightful) 338

There becomes a measurable, yet acceptable level of environmental consequence

That level for nuclear generated electricity would be zero, considering that we have multiple other options available. If we had to choose between whale oil and nuclear, it would be a different story, but face it, between solar, wind, and reduced consumption, we simply don't need to take the risk


Wind and Solar are unpredictable and cannot be stored for peak times. Geothermal and Hydro tend to provide reliable power but do not provide enough supply. Wave power may contribute to this, but they are still working on engineering materials that will last in the ocean and handle the currents. That leaves Coal and Natural Gas, both of which have their own detrimental effects on the environment and risks, some of which are as bad or worse than nuclear.

Modern reactor design is as safe, or safer, than natural gas and coal. Most accidents are occurring at older plants that are near their lifetime. We are in this state because of public fear and the near impossible process of bringing a new reactor online. This has slowed the development and deployment of newer, safer designs.

One of these days, we will learn how to store solar and wind energy. At that time, the other methods would quickly become obsolete. But until then, the sources of energy that we use will carry some form of inherent risk.

Comment Re:Honestly? (Score 2) 321

All our boxes at work are still on 7 and we're hoping they stay there. The big upgrade to Vista years back drove the IT people to their knees. They struggled endlessly to keep boxes that had been stable and working smooth before the upgrade to stay up and running for more than a few mere hours without locking up. When 7 became available it put everything right but we still remember how bad it was. At one time my shop had 13 machines and if 5 of them were working it was a good day.

The problem wasn't Vista. I get that to most users the problem was the OS, but that just wasn't the case. The problem was that Microsoft changed the driver model and device vendors just weren't ready with device drivers for Vista. They didn't believe Microsoft when they stated the release date for Vista and then actually met it. So, older drivers that worked with NT were not so happy with Vista. And even when vendors started releasing drivers for older hardware, they tended to be buggy. On top of that, a lot of vendors just didn't bother. If you wanted a vista capable device, you had to buy a new one.

Yes, there were also problems with users and IT departments getting used to how UAC worked, but once you turned it off those issues went away.

Comment Re:A huge risk, that's paying off well (Score 2) 232

Tesla took a huge risk by taking a completely new technology (battery-powered cars) ...

Electric cars have been around since the mid-1800s.

And the Prius came out in 2000, 3 years before the founding of Tesla. Musk realized that he would have to sell a car for lots of money to fund R&D. The only cars that sell for lots of money are performance vehicles and sports cars. Plus, they typically don't need the range of regular cars.

I'd say the risk was similar to starting a luxury yacht company, not much more. Electric motors have always been recognized at having a lot of low end torque. Its the development of high end torque that would have been a bit risky. That and finding early adopters.

Comment Re:What is the point? (Score 1) 103

This is much more useful than a Segway because when you step off, you can easily carry it, say up a flight of stairs and through the chikatetsu system (This is Japan we're talking about) carrying it in a little bag like a laptop. Later, it can be used to zip past that long boring stretch of roadside. Then you pick it up and duck into a Lawson's to do some shopping.

Stateside, you can step out of your Escalade at the mall, zip through that drab parking lot, while holding it up to deflect bullets if the need arises. Just try any of those things, in either country, with a Segway.

I wouldn't want to try to deflect bullets with it unless it was an extreme situation. You'd be better off throwing it at the shooter and getting someplace safe. My guess is that it has a Li-ion battery. I'm pretty sure that they don't react well to bullets...

Oh... and we wouldn't have Paul Blart Mall Cop 1 & 2 without the Segway... Oh wait... Yeah, you're right... it is useless... (grin)

Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature. -- Rich Kulawiec