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Comment: Re:Affirmative Action (Score 1) 529

by Reziac (#49763981) Attached to: Harvard Hit With Racial Bias Complaint

Another consequence is that because it digs deeper in the pile, it tends to put a lot of affirmatively-actioned applicants in over their heads, who otherwise wouldn't have qualified academically. So it actually increases the failure rates among those minorities. And this is somehow seen as evidence that we need more affirmative action...

Comment: Re:Kaspersky is not special (Score 1) 287

I bought the Hacking Exposed books.... they were enlightening: Linux isn't really 'safer' than Windows; it just has a different set of vulnerable points (fewer of 'em, but penetrating deeper into the system and more likely to persist across versions). If you want true security, run Netware.

The patching system may be the real culprit, tho: It's been pointed out that when a Windows version becomes "unsupported" there's an abrupt cessation of newly-found vulnerabilities. Why? Because the bad guys discover the holes mostly (perhaps entirely) by reverse-engineering the official patches ... which with Windows, tend to be monofocused on a single bug, making the hole fairly easy to ID, and thereby paint a handy target on unpatched machines. Conversely linux updates are, to my grok, more likely to address a bunch of stuff at once, making any single hole harder to identify. Likewise, Windows service packs (which address a bunch of stuff at once) have not typically been followed by a rash of newly-found vulnerabilities.

Comment: Re:Nostaligia (Score 1) 123

by Reziac (#49744841) Attached to: Jason Scott of Wants Your AOL & Shovelware CDs

I used to maintain a BBS list for my local SoCal calling area. That was about 55 BBSs, and as you say -- all different, all with their own unique flavor -- which depended on the mix of board software, file areas, message areas, and the users those attracted. A few survive as internet-accessable (including Techware, which was also the last of our local dialups) but for the most part... a lost era.

Comment: Re:Oh please (Score 1) 284

by dtmos (#49725119) Attached to: The Auto Industry May Mimic the 1980s PC Industry

. . . so a company would outsource the design and manufacture of the one feature their customers cared most about? I don't think you'll find many examples of that in history -- at least, examples in which the parent company survived very long. You're more likely to find examples in which the outsourcing company found itself in competition with its vendor, and then went out of business when the vendor kept feature improvements for its own designs.

You really believe that Apple or Google or Tesla would be content making just the software for cars, when the rest of the car is a commodity? (Check their cash reserves before you reply.) Or that GM or Toyota or Volkswagen could defend itself from them, once they made their move into a commoditized car industry serving customers who only cared about the car's OS?

Comment: Re:Cats vs windmills (Score 1) 164

by Reziac (#49719559) Attached to: Wind Turbines With No Blades

I had a neutered male cat who from about 9 months old spent all day, every day, killing gophers. Within a few months he'd completely exterminated them within about half a mile of my house. He only ate part of the first gopher of the day, far as I ever saw.

Most predators kill for fun as well as for food and for training their young; it's not at all unusual. -- That's the real problem with wolves vs domestic sheep; it's so much fun to shoot fish in a barrel that they wind up killing a whole flock just for jollies.

Comment: Re:Oh please (Score 1) 284

by dtmos (#49718775) Attached to: The Auto Industry May Mimic the 1980s PC Industry

I don't doubt that the industry has such contingency plans, but I wonder just how effective they will be. Business history is rife with cases of large companies that failed to move as rapidly as their industries, and disappeared as a result. See Clayton Christensen's The Innovator's Dilemma for a bookload of examples.

The problem is that the companies are built on a certain premise of customer wants and needs and, due to their installed asset base, organizational structure, and culture, can't react fast enough to supply products emphasizing the new customer wants and needs. By the time the company is willing to invest the capital needed to meet the needs of the new customers, they are so far behind their smaller, innovative competitors that they cannot compete. Whether they buy one of their upstart competitors or try to compete with their own new division, the corporate mass and culture almost inevitably dooms the venture.

Suppose the automotive market did change, to one in which customers didn't care about fuel mileage, or number of seats, or whatever it is they do now, and instead cared only about what OS the car was running. How many decades do you think it would take to remove all the car- and engine-geeks from the company and replace them with digital-geeks?

Kodak was aware of the digital photo revolution (it invented the digital camera, and its Board of Directors hired George Fisher from Motorola as CEO back in 1993), but a fat lot of good it did them. They had too many chemists, dye specialists, and high-performance camera designers, and an organization and profit structure built around discrete cameras and physical camera film. It was never clear how Kodak could maintain its market dominance in the digital camera world -- and it didn't.

Comment: Threshold of old (Score 1) 284

by dtmos (#49718219) Attached to: The Auto Industry May Mimic the 1980s PC Industry

Sitting on the floor is still easy, but getting up involves a lot of aching bones/muscles.

I think a good working definition of "the threshold of getting old" is the age when overexertion causes more pain in the joints than in the muscles.

As a young person, running an unusually long distance or lifting a weight an unusually large number of times causes sore muscles. As a not-young person, running an unusually long distance or lifting a weight an unusually large number of times causes sore joints -- and, unfortunately, it takes a lot longer to recover from sore joints.

Comment: Re:Groups a bit slower than the others. (Score 1) 220

But here's no outrage activism available if it's due to a fungus and virus. How can you have a good outrage if the cause is something natural and not *gasp* the fault of man??

I've pointed out that same research IDing the fungi/virus cause multiple times here, and been pooh-pooh'd every time. This last time, I was informed that neonics had to be the cause even when the nearest use of same is hundreds or thousands of miles away, because, ya know, pesticide.

Comment: Re:Compares well (Score 2) 408

No-fault is about taking money away from lawyers, who used to litigate each and every auto accident as a lawsuit in court before the insurers would pay. Eventually the insurers decided that they spent more on lawyers than accident payments, and they had no reason to do so.

If you want to go back to the way things were, you are welcome to spend lots of time and money in court for trivial things, and see how you like it. I will provide you with expert witness testimony for $7.50/minute plus expenses. The lawyers charge more.

In general your insurer can figure out for themselves if you were at fault or not, and AAA insurance usually tells me when they think I was, or wasn't, when they set rates.

Comment: Re:More than $100 (Score 1) 515

If we don't have more than two children per couple, the human race would've died out a long time ago.

I think the proper way to state that is "If we didn't in the past", not "If we don't". If we were to have 2 children per couple (approximately, the real value is enough children to replace each individual but not more) from this day on, it would not be necessary to adjust the number upward to avoid a population bottleneck for tens of thousands of years.

"The Amiga is the only personal computer where you can run a multitasking operating system and get realtime performance, out of the box." -- Peter da Silva