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Comment: Re:This. SO MUCH This. (Score 1) 244

by rjh (#48901439) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

This is true and good, so long as you're interested in making software that can be done entirely with existing technologies. As soon as you hit the brick wall of "but there isn't anything in the standard library that does this," you need the old graybeards who spent their entire careers making the standard libraries you rely on.

Speaking as one of them, the pay and hours are both good and it keeps me on the cutting edge of some fascinating technologies.

The common idea is that we over-40s who've been doing this professionally for 25+ years can't adapt to modern software dev practices. Quite the opposite, really. Mostly we're kept so busy that we don't have the time.

None of this is meant to disrespect what the younger generation does with (as you say) "connect the dots library calls". That code needs to be written, and it's best if it's written by smart people who care about their work. :)

Comment: Re: nVidia w/ binary driver works (Score 1) 92

by drinkypoo (#48901225) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: GPU of Choice For OpenCL On Linux?

Well, nothing lasts forever. I, too, hope that someday we will have nVidia cards with open drivers. My understanding is that their geforce line is too patent-encumbered for that to ever happen to them (they pretty much went full-Microsoft during the original Xbox era) but that they more or less own their mobile (as in handheld) GPUs outright, and if they ever become the basis for a desktop product, we might see an open version of those drivers. Nouveau is pretty much unusable for a lot of users, and useless for even more.

Problem is, only a subset of ATI cards are well-supported by the FOSS driver, and the official drivers are poop. When more of the cards are supported and it takes less time for the cards to be supported, maybe I will consider ATI cards again. But every time I do, I regret it deeply...

Comment: Re: The fuzzy line between hobby and job (Score 1) 161

That would be a nifty argument if you could first show that force per square inch actually matters, as opposed to total weight.

I don't have to show this, it's common knowledge. We've discussed the fact here repeatedly.

Yet you admit that freight trucks cause the most damage. With its five axels and 18 wheels, a loaded freight truck should be too a Prius what your pickup truck is to a Prius.

But it isn't, because of the massive loads they carry, and the extremely hard tires which are designed pretty much exclusively for tread life and reducing rolling friction.

Comment: Re:What's unclear? (Score 1) 68

by drinkypoo (#48899179) Attached to: Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain

Did you RTFA? The whole point is that it IS legal to change your mind later, and no amount of promises, or guarantees, or written contracts can change that.

Ok, so I RTFA, and I see "One right that all creators have is to undo copyright transfers and licenses after thirty-five years have passed, under some conditions." [...] "Copyright termination means that any license, including a perpetual public license, can be revoked." But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about making a promise not to sue for use of the work, which is not the same thing as offering a license for the use of the work. If you make an explicit and public promise not to sue, separately from any licensing, that's different from offering a license and then revoking it later. Licensing something for any use is not the same as placing it in the public domain, and promising not to sue for any use seems the only way to effectively actually do that otherwise.

This is a threat to the GPL, the MIT, and other [F]OSS licenses. But it's not a threat to the public domain.

I do think that we should have a public domain registry, where we can explicitly give up our right to a work in perpetuity. But why should we need one? We already have a legal concept which should permit accomplishing the same thing.

Comment: Re:Insurance (Score 2) 161

Except that's not what's being argued. People can still use their cars as they see fit, they just have to pay more for licensing and insurance, to cover the increased road use and insurance liabilities.

Right, and the question is whether that is actually justified, or whether it's just a revenue generation scheme.

And, Uber isn't a ride-share program where you find people to tag along on your road trip. It's an unlicensed taxi service. I doubt a proliferation of slightly cheaper taxis keeps a non-trivial number of people from purchasing a car of their own.

No, a proliferation of taxis does that. See, under the current system, I can't get a taxi in a timely fashion, so I can't reasonably not have a car.

Comment: Re:The fuzzy line between hobby and job (Score 0) 161

Since road damage is exponentially proportional to vehicle weight, heavier trucks *should* be paying more in fees.

A prius exerts more force per square inch on the pavement than a large pickup, because of the reduced contact area and the increased hardness of the tires. Meanwhile, OTR trucks do vastly more damage than either — as it turns out, passenger vehicles affect the road very little (even hybrids, with their high weight carried on LRR tires) while OTR trucks do pretty much all the road damage.

In conclusion, if the basis for the fee is road damge, then a Prius should pay more than an F-350, but neither one should really pay anything compared to an OTR truck.

Comment: Re:Insurance (Score 2) 161

Those drivers wouldn't spend as much time on the road,

insurance estimates already account for this by charging for mileage

and would have fewer passengers in the car, if it weren't for their commercial activities.

They don't penalize you for having a family, although then you have more passengers in the car, unless you plan to let some of those family members drive. What's the difference?

As for Uber providing coverage, I did read that at least one did offer coverage for anything the insurance company doesn't cover.

Well, they do, but only while you are carrying a passenger.

Comment: Re:Might be difficult (Score 1) 391

by drinkypoo (#48899031) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

The rechargable NiMH batteries usually only last 1-2 months before they have to be replaced/recharged due to nominal leakage, which is too annoying (though I suppose one could buy low-leakage NiMHs).

pretty much the only AA batteries anyone who doesn't know better should be buying are eneloop... if not those, then eneloop XX. But those are heinously expensive. basic eneloops have been independently tested to be the best bang for the buck, especially if you get their starter packs at costco which come with a charger and some battery adapters. they're Ultra Low Self-Discharge batteries and they also have good capacities. eneloop XX is cool for super hungry devices, like some older cameras.

Comment: Re:Middle wheel/button seems to work ok, no? (Score 1) 391

by drinkypoo (#48898991) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

FWIW I use some Logitech mouse and this discussion made me notice that the wheel has a ton of subtle, discrete "stops" or positions rather than being a completely fluid or smooth spin. That might be why the middle button doesn't tend to register accidental scroll events.

I use a T-BB18 Trackman Wheel and it has those detents too, but at least one of them doesn't match up with the notches in the wheel, and the mouse will scroll while I barely move the wheel within it. This was basically the cheapest trackball they made, and it's been discontinued in favor of a wireless version which I don't like as much because of the weight.

Comment: Re:Middle wheel/button seems to work ok, no? (Score 1) 391

by drinkypoo (#48898989) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

It's under warranty and doesn't bother me as much. Not to mention I absolutely suck at small hardware tinkering.

this is a good project to play with then, because microswitches are cheap on ebay and their leads are fat. get yourself an el cheapo solder sucker and you're in there. you do need a halfway decent iron, though, because you want to get the job done quick and it always takes longer to reheat than to heat. I have a couple of temp controlled wellers and I got an 800 degree pointy tip for one of them which is really nice for that sort of thing.

Heard that the next Space Shuttle is supposed to carry several Guernsey cows? It's gonna be the herd shot 'round the world.

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