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Comment: Re:Single point of failure (Score 1) 113

by Solandri (#49153093) Attached to: Vandalism In Arizona Shuts Down Internet and Phone Service

The alternative is asking for bankruptcy. Running communications lines is about the most expensive part of any telecommunications / power infrastructure. This is one area where doing the minimum possible is the only financially sound move.

Why are you assuming they'd have to run additional communications lines to gain reliability? All they had to do was put half the lines in one pipe, and the other half in another pipe buried parallel to but (say) 3 feet away. Yes it would've been more expensive, but only slightly. It wasn't just vandalism that was a risk. The failure could've been precipitated by corrosion, a fire, a mouse getting in and chewing cables, etc. All of which make a case for splitting the cables among multiple pipes.

Comment: Re:Climate change phobia (Score 1) 155

by drolli (#49152999) Attached to: We Stopped At Two Nuclear Bombs; We Can Stop At Two Degrees.

I am not worried if humanity survives, but if you look into history, provoking wars was never a good idea.

What happens if, e.g. China falls apart in an uncontrolled fashion, or Russia, or India? Or even the US? limate change is a economic risk on a global scale.

I hope that this does not happen withing my lifetime.

Comment: Windows 8 equivalent (Score 1) 116

by Solandri (#49152215) Attached to: Microsoft Finally Allows Customers To Legally Download Windows 7 ISOs
I was opposed to recovery partitions when MS first started using them. But with Win 8 I think they've added enough options that the pros outweigh the cons. It took me a while to find all this info (or rather, learn that MS had even made this possible), so here it is as a PSA:

All Windows 8/8.1 computers come with a restore partition. I highly recommend you buy a 16GB or 32GB USB flash drive and convert that restore partition into a reinstall flash drive.

If you don't like the default recovery partition state (maybe too much crapware installed), you can create a custom recovery partition after you've uninstalled the crapware and installed your programs.

Finally, if you totally screw up, you can still create a Windows 8/8.1 recovery flash drive by using your Windows key and downloading a clean 8-16 GB recovery image from Microsoft.

Microsoft site for creating recovery image.

Instructions for finding your key

Comment: Re:Sick (Score 1) 258

I grew up as the only conservative in a family of upper middle class liberals. It always infuriated me that poor people were constantly getting free stuff, and I bought in to the whole poor people are lazy mentality.

Similar conservative here. I never really bought into the "poor people are lazy" meme. The hardest worker I've ever met was a poor Mexican who turned out to be an illegal alien. This guy was so dedicated to doing a good job I would've endorsed him for citizenship in an instant. (Likewise I haven't found the lazy, rich fat cat meme to be true either. The vast majority of rich people I know are some of the hardest working people I've met, frequently sleeping only 4-6 hours a night because they're working the other 18-20 hours. It's like they're always firing on all cylinders and don't know how to let up. Even when on vacation, they'll try to sneak off to get some work done.)

What I have noticed though is that poor people tend to make much worse financial decisions, moreso than not-poor people. e.g. A poor friend asked me for help buying a laptop. I knew he didn't have much money, he knew I knew, so I worked my butt off finding him a great deal. I eventually found him a refurb i3 laptop for $235 (when he sold it 2 years later, it was selling on eBay for $265). I felt satisfied that I'd done a good deed to help a poor person. Then the next week I learned that he'd bought a 64GB iPad for $800 (the extra $100 was to have his name engraved on it). ...

They don't need money. What they need is a systematic, comprehensive, plan for how to get them off the bottom. The single biggest factor keeping poor people poor, is the responsibility for children. As noted, often times, a parent finds themselves as the sole caregiver for children, and they are consequently trapped, as the responsibilities of childrearing often conflict with the responsibilities that employers would place upon employees (such as reliable attendance, and schedule flexibility). The simplest solution to the problem would be to do away with welfare and unemployment benefits entirely and replace them with guaranteed services for their dependents such as 50 hours of weekly daycare

That was exactly my conclusion too after managing a hotel with a lot of low-income employees. So many of them were single parents or were in families where both parents worked, that a good chunk of their income went to babysitting or daycare. Since the hotel usually had empty rooms that could be used for babysitting, I looked into what it would take to start up daycare services for our employees.

OMG. The legal liability and insurance requirements were crippling. Apparently parents are a sue-happy bunch when it comes to the tiniest scratch on their little darlings. Later I talked about it with a friend who ran a daycare center and he pretty much confirmed what I'd found. Liability insurance was his biggest expense, and he was always one lawsuit away from being put out of business. Eventually we just made it a policy where we would comp workers an empty room for a day for emergencies. What they did with the room was their business. If they couldn't find a babysitter and wanted to dump their kids in said room in front of a TV while they worked, and they and co-workers would check in on them every 10-15 minutes, we (management) would look the other way.

Comment: Re:Sick (Score 1) 258

It's pretty sad to hear people suggest that sole purpose of a persons time on earth is to work hard and be productive.

Economic activity = sum of (productivity)

Productivity is the fundamental measure of economic output. The more productive the average individual is, the higher the standard of living is (everything produced is also everything consumed). If you're suggesting a person not be as productive as they can, you're advocating that the standard of living be lowered. That's really what all the economic development since the industrial revolution has been about. Leveraging machines and alternate energy sources (i.e. other than human and animal muscle power) to radically increase per-person productivity, which has proportionately increased the standard of living.

If you want to take a break and relax, that's fine. But you'd better be damned sure that your productivity while working is enough to "pay" for that relaxation time. The Germans are great at this (I've worked with them). They work super-hard when they are working and so are very productive. But once they're off work or if they're on vacation, they relax more than most people I've seen. It's ok though because their high productivity while working is more than enough to pay for it.

Money is actually just a (poor) representation of productivity, one whose value in terms of productivity isn't even constant. So thinking about economics in terms of money can result in very misleading conclusions. e.g. If you double everyone's pay, everyone becomes 2x as wealthy, right? Nope. If you double everyone's pay, then prices also double (prices of goods and services are what bring in revenue used to pay people). So in terms of income, it's a wash. Productivity hasn't changed, so fudging with the value of money doesn't change income or expenses. What does change is savings. The doubling of income and prices means the value of anything saved as money is halved. So anyone holding their savings as money (like poor and middle-class people do, instead of in non-monetary assets like real estate or stocks like rich people do) will find their wealth has been halved. Precisely the opposite of what you thought would happen when you doubled wages.

Comment: Re:Ah, Damnit... (Score 1) 487

by Solandri (#49139513) Attached to: Users Decry New Icon Look In Windows 10

No, it's not obvious. These days the video card takes care of all that. And whether the alpha channel is 0 or 255 the value is going to be read anyway. The performance hit is nil.

Clarification: Most video cards run at 32-bits (4 bytes) per pixel. Because that's a nice round 2^n number which is actually easier for computers to process than the old 24-bits (3 bytes) per pixel.

32-bpp graphics has 256 values (1 byte) for R, G, and B just like 24-bpp graphics. The extra byte in 32-bpp is used to store the alpha channel (transparency). So you're getting it for free anyway, and the video card is using it even with these new "modern" icons (it allows the background to bleed through on parts that are covered by the icon's 32x32 pixel rectangle, but aren't covered by the icon's artwork). Since it's being used anyway, you might as well use it to enhance visibility of borders, edges, and control surfaces.

Comment: Re:While you're at it... (Score 1) 103

by Solandri (#49139331) Attached to: Intel To Rebrand Atom Chips Along Lines of Core Processors
Just to clarify, some of the Pentium and Celeron CPUs are based on Haswell. Some are based on Bay Trail (Atom). As someone who helps recommend low-end laptops to friends and clients trying to get the best deal for a budget, it's become a hassle having to look up every model number of Pentium or Celeron to verify which type it is.

Comment: Re:Is that really a lot? (Score 1) 276

by Solandri (#49139235) Attached to: Drones Cost $28,000 Per Arrest, On Average

Your math is comparing apples to oranges.
Specifically you are comparing the cost to apprehend PLUS all the fixed costs of the agency vs the cost to apprehend with a drone.

That's actually exactly how the drone costs were calculated. They took the cost to operate the drones, then added all the fixed costs of the personnel, equipment, and miscellaneous agency overhead. That inflated the drone costs from $2,468 per hour to $12,255 per hour. It's actually your deportation cost which is missing some of the costs they attributed to the drones.

So OP's math was (inadvertently) in fact apples to apples.

Comment: Re:Wrong kind of drone? (Score 1) 276

by Solandri (#49139147) Attached to: Drones Cost $28,000 Per Arrest, On Average

That's what I was thinking. Equipping every border patrol unit with a commercial version of the ubiquitous quad-copter

For a given payload, rotary-wing aircraft consume about 2-4x as much fuel as fixed-wing aircraft. The quad-copter is actually an even bigger disadvantage since it's got 4 engines vs 1 on the Predator. (Fewer engines = more efficient. It's why airlines have been transitioning to twin-engine airliners.)

Also, if you read some of the linked docs in TFA, the $28,000 per arrest figure is the cost of the drone + personnel + equipment + overhead. The operating cost of just the drones themselves is about 1/5th that ( $2,468 per flight hour vs $12,255 per flight hour). So since the bulk of the cost is in the support personnel and equipment, changing the type of drone won't alter the cost per arrest much. The vast majority of the cost is still agents and their equipment - whether they be flying a Predator, a quad-copter, or have boots on the ground in the desert border.

Comment: Re:Bugs in Win 7 UI (Score 4, Informative) 487

by dissy (#49135815) Attached to: Users Decry New Icon Look In Windows 10

3. Delete a file
4. Whoa, the file is STILL THERE in the list

Err, wut?

I manage around 150 Win7 machines at work, and have 4 of them at home, and never once seen the behavior you are describing.

Are you sure there isn't more involved with recreating that? Have you seen this on more than one Win7 computer?

When I use explorer to delete a file, it is removed from the file list and placed in the recycle bin folder for that drive, just as has been the case for some time now.

If explorer is open to a remote file server it still removes the file from the list when deleted, just skipping the recycle bin part of things.
(Not to mention my complaint about a confirmation prompt being there when the recycle bin is used and so recovery is possible, and NO confirmation when deleting on a file share despite no recovery of the file being possible by default, which always seemed bas-ackward to me)
But you didn't mention browsing to a remote file share, the default explorer will open to your homedir or drive root typically on your system drive.

Comment: Re:If users complain about Windows X icons... (Score 3, Informative) 487

by dissy (#49135757) Attached to: Users Decry New Icon Look In Windows 10

Well to be completely fair, there are a TON of very nice features being put in Win10, on top of a ton of things fixed that they broke in Win8.

No GUI requirement similar to the choice of installing xorg (I believe introduced in server 2012?), a powershell version of apt-get using the windows tailored chocolatey package format, fixed the stupidest of GUI changes from Win8 such as no desktop by default and whatever they call the app tiles thing, improved filesystem and network file sharing (the latter bringing a HUGE speed boost, both being more parallelized), etc.

They are trying out a different (and IMHO better) upgrade path, and hopefully all that is claimed about the new IE will come true which will finally begin closing the huge gap between it and pretty much any other browser.

Sure there is still plenty of time between now and release day to drop the ball on for anything above, but I dare say direction under their new CEO has been pretty damn positive so far, and leaps and bounds better than when under Balmer (though I admit that is a pretty low bar anyway)

As someone who hates Windows mainly due to being forced to support it and its bullshit for the past 20 years, even I am quite impressed with the changes between Win7 and Win10, and don't have much to complain about. We will see if that still holds true after release of course.

But I can't help but agree, a lot of the serious problems are being or have been addressed.

We only complain about the icons and lack of theme support to fix them because Microsoft asked us, petty as that may seem.

Comment: Re:8bit (Score 2) 487

by dissy (#49135677) Attached to: Users Decry New Icon Look In Windows 10

They look like they are from the seventies and using an 8 bit colour pallet.

Except even in GEoS from the seventies with a not-quite-8-bit color pallet was still capable of showing the differences between each type of GUI widget, and between widget and non-widget.

Win8/10 (and iOS7+, and Unity) fail to differentiate buttons from drop-down menus from checkboxes from radio buttons from text input fields.
You can only tell widget from non-widget by the different square of color, which can and does happen frequently between different areas in a non-widget background image as well.

It more reminds me of those "item hide and seek" point-and-click games where you mainly just click on everything in the image until the game tells you everything has been found.

Comment: Re:I wonder why... (Score 2) 192

by dissy (#49135631) Attached to: Uber Offers Free Rides To Koreans, Hopes They Won't Report Illegal Drivers

Cities don't license plumbers, painter, interior decorators, electricians, doctors, lawyers, nannies, or nurses. Even though these people need much more training.

In Australia, plumbers, electricians, doctors, nannies and nurses all need to be licensed. You're talking out your arse or you live in the wild west.

Even over here in the wild west, plumbers, electricians, doctors, nannies and nurses all need to be licensed.
Lawyers do too.
Only painters and interior decorators on GPs list don't need licenses here.

Perhaps by "nanny" they meant "babysitter"? Baby sitters need no license, and many do call baby sitters a "nanny" despite the medical qualifications needed for the official title.
Not that such a mistake would make the GP any more correct of course.

Vax Vobiscum