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Comment: Virus (Score 5, Funny) 84

by Pharmboy (#49775827) Attached to: Hyundai Now Offers an Android Car, Even For Current Owners

I tried that and got a virus, and now every time I pass through a McDonalds, the car automatically maneuvers through the drive through, generating a "referral" fee for the virus writer. You have to order SOMETHING so you don't look like an idiot. Do you KNOW how many McDonalds there between Greensboro, NC and Charlotte? A lot, I will tell you that. I've gained 20 pounds in the last week.

Comment: What's old will be new again.. (Score 3, Insightful) 276

by xtal (#49664813) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Future of Desktop Applications?

Eventually people will get fed up with paying $4.99 in perpetuity to a dozen or more vendors, and we'll have single pay licensing again. Legislative changes relating to data protection will complicate cloud migration for some professions, and I imagine state spying is starting to have economic impact.

I've seen the cycles too; the difference there is a legion of programmers and a even bigger pile of code out there. Computers (hardware) are also trending to very low cost now as well.

Software trends to zero in volume as there's no marginal cost; I'd expect more and more core functionality to be free. This has already happened to some degree in the Apple ecosystem, and Microsoft is bundled with everything.

Another prediction: More and more functionality will come bundled into the OS, and you can factor on paying a subscription for it (or the fee when you upgrade).

You want to jump on the next big rage? Nice, clean applications, web based or not, devoid of crapware and malware and in-app-purchases and ads that do what they're supposed to, cleanly, nothing more, and easily connect together through standard interfaces. It's almost like someone built something like that before.

On the other hand, no application is complete until it has an email client..

Comment: Re:I'm all for DD (Score 1) 312

by xtal (#49640933) Attached to: Defense Distributed Sues State Department Over 3-D Gun Censorship

This isn't about plastic f'ing guns.

The mill they're making is designed to turn pieces of high grade billet (commonly available) into real, functioning, accurate gun bodies.

You could always do this, but it required investment of time to gain the required skill. You also needed at least a $2500 mill and some brains.

Things change when it's a $500 box you put metal in and a weapon comes out. You can do that with a specialized gig and inexpensive stepper motor drives.

3D printing metal technology is advancing on a near daily basis.

Interesting times.

Look for laws controlling ammunition to be more popular.

Comment: Depends how you evaluate the curve (Score 4, Insightful) 425

by xtal (#49619609) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

If you're looking for people who generate a profit from their time, the curve is almost certainly U-shaped based on my now not-so-light 30+ years in the trenches.

Why is this any different than the population of other skilled professionals? You will see the same curve for musicians, for example; it's not necessarily about being able to eventually get the skill, but it's about doing so in a reasonable efficient amount of time proportional to the effort expended.

In terms of actually learning, the guy probably has a point - eventually, I could learn to play the violin - but having tried, I'm never going to do it professionally.

Ask me to develop OMAP firmware or drivers, otoh..

Comment: Remember kids, sync to cloud. (Score 1) 489

by xtal (#49437115) Attached to: The Courage of Bystanders Who Press "Record"

Don't turn it off, either, until the event is long over.

I've had police in my face before, and there is no democratizing tool quite has powerful as a lawyer on retainer and/or a recording device.

Tools like Meerkat and other live streaming services are going to change the world, and not necessarily in the way their authors intended.

Comment: Mass unemployment (Score 5, Insightful) 477

The #1 job for men in the United States is.. driving a truck.

It pays well.

Those two things make it ripe for disruption as there is a clear economic incentive; autonomous trucks don't need to stop. It's not clear even if you'd ever have to turn them off, save for regular maintenance. That is a huge economic motivator.

Trucks also follow well defined routes that are easier for the autonomous systems to deal with right now.

The Teamsters will of course freak out; but change, it is a comin'.

Comment: Way to piss off customers, Apple. (Score 2, Insightful) 193

by xtal (#49369915) Attached to: If You Want To Buy an Apple Watch In-Store, You'll Need a Reservation

Yeah, I see this going well.

This runs contrary to any experience I've had with Apple, especially in their retail stores. If I can't walk in and try something without booking an appointment, it'll be awhile before I get around to buying one.

Boo, hiss. I hope they get an earful over this.

Comment: Re:Time to stock up on shotgun shells (Score 2) 162

by Pharmboy (#49361329) Attached to: How long until our skies are filled with drones?

That is silly. A falling bullet has a much lower speed than one that was just shot. I've been hit by shotgun pellets at the end of their range, it was like having gravel slung at you.

A returning bullet CAN hit someone, and possibly injure them if everything is lined up right, or there is a very low angle of fire, but they have a small fraction of the energy they had in the first km after being fired.

Comment: There's not one answer (Score 1) 496

by Fished (#49328553) Attached to: Hacking Weight Loss: What I Learned Losing 30 Pounds

My dentist once told me that I obviously have viking blood. (He was right; I'm essentially half Scot and half Russian.) I am also a diabetic. I'm not alone. Roughly a third of Americans at this point are either diabetic or on the road to diabetes. If I ate the kind of carbs this guy eats, I'd have to load up on hundreds of units of insulin, and I'd never lose a pound. That's not speculation, I've tried that sort of diet. (Was a vegetarian for years, and couldn't lose weight on a 1200 Calorie vegetarian diet. And I was ravenously hungry and depressed all the time.)

Instead, the diet that has worked for me (very successfully) has been cutting the carbs. Most of my calories come from meat. I eat 4 or more eggs and bacon for breakfast. I quickly learned, by following my blood sugar meter, that I simply could not tolerate the 200+ grams of carbs that the government recommends. Since making the decision to follow my blood sugar 100% and ignore studies that, at best, present an average of what worked for someone else, I've lost well over 100 lbs. while increasing my lean body mass. My trigclycerides, once over 1000, have plunged. My HDL is high, my LDL is low, and most importantly my last A1c (a measure of blood sugar over time) was normal for a non-diabetic at 4.9%.

I'm glad his diet worked for him. It wouldn't work for me. No doubt, my diet wouldn't work for him. And that's ok. The notion that there's one perfect diet for everyone is virtually idiotic. And, most importantly, it doesn't work. That's not to say that there aren't some useful general principles, some patterns that are more likely to work for you. But at the end of the day it's your health; take the time to figure out what will work for you.

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