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Comment: Of course do this, but... (Score 1) 360

by alispguru (#46827485) Attached to: Skilled Manual Labor Critical To US STEM Dominance

Don't go thinking that learning trade X or skill set Y or getting credential Z means anyone is set for life.

There are no simple fixes for the current situation where anybody's livelihood(*) can be reduced in value by automation. All the old middle-class certainties like:

- I own a house, which is an asset whose value will only go up
- I have a college degree, which guarantees me a middle-class job
- I have trade labor skills that have been valuable for many years, and will be valuable for the foreseeable future

are no longer certain.

(*) If you're lucky enough to have monetary assets of $500,000+ that you can invest conservatively, and are disciplined enough to live on only the proceeds, you're pretty safe.


The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money 693

Posted by samzenpus
from the coffers-are-bare dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The GNOME Foundation is running out of money. The foundation no longer has any cash reserves so they have voted to freeze non-essential funding for running the foundation. They are also hunting down sponsors and unpaid invoices to regain some delayed revenue. Those wishing to support the GNOME Foundation can become a friend of GNOME."

Comment: Re:Just like Nuclear Fusion (Score 1) 256

by Martin Blank (#46704189) Attached to: Navy Creates Fuel From Seawater

It's worth a thought experiment. A submarine fuel facility has the advantage of not being affected much by the surface seas. Perhaps it wouldn't go deep, but instead remain about 60 feet or so underwater. A float mechanism could be used to hoist the hoses to the surface, and then the hoses could be connected for fueling. This would keep the fueling platform itself stable and reduce the risks involved in a collision. It would probably require a significant re-engineering of the coupling mechanism, and I'm not sure how refueling underway would be accomplished, but maybe someone else has an idea.

Comment: Re: Great Headline (Score 1) 103

by Martin Blank (#46560301) Attached to: French, Chinese Satellite Images May Show Malaysian Jet Debris

Wreckage of AF447 (including bodies) was found within the first couple of days, so they knew for certain there was a water impact and approximately where. It took time to find the main wreckage, but it was located, and in fact new analysis of sonar data collected by a French sub within the first week after the crash was critical in finding it. The sonar had heard the FDR pings, but it was below the equipment's identification threshold at the time.

Here, a water impact is presumed but not certain. Aside from the engine pings, there's very little to go on, and even the satellite images and the civilian sighting of a pallet and belts the other day may be nothing more than shipping equipment that fell overboard.

Comment: Coal sludge is bad, hyping it doesn't help (Score 1) 290

One billion gallons is about 10 billion pounds.

There was 140,000 pounds arsenic in 10 billion pounds of sludge.

Concentration of arsenic in sludge is 1.4 * 10e5 / 1e10 = 1.4 * 10e-5

Or about 1 part in 100,000.

This is why they got away with it. Coal ash sludge is nasty, but not quite nasty enough to be a hazardous substance per se. Hell, one of the best ways to get rid of it is to add it to concrete, which is then poured where people live.

The figure you should worry about is the change in the arsenic level in the river after the spill. I didn't see that figure in the article.

Comment: Re:We need a US base in the Ukraine (Score 1) 623

by Martin Blank (#46518109) Attached to: Russian Army Spetsnaz Units Arrested Operating In Ukraine

China and India may become friendlier and work together on more issues, but will probably not become allies in the short term. Their interests do not intersect well enough, the Himalayas prevent significant cross-training or war games to allow their militaries to interoperate, and both are interested in expanding their influence over fellow Asian states. China's belligerence over claimed oceanic territory and their growing navy threatens Indian trade. India's growing population seeks food supplies that China may need for its own population.

They're unlikely to become very close. Fortunately, the same Himalayas that help prevent them from becoming close also make a war between them unlikely because neither side could actually hold territory. There is a risk of nuclear exchange, but the rest of the world has strong reason to keep that from becoming likely.

Comment: Re:We need a US base in the Ukraine (Score 1) 623

by Martin Blank (#46517777) Attached to: Russian Army Spetsnaz Units Arrested Operating In Ukraine

Calling the Warsaw Pact "allies" is perhaps a bit of a misnomer. Even within the governments that nominally looked to Moscow for guidance and direction, there was often a great deal of quiet grumbling. When Czechoslovakia was invaded by Soviet troops, many of the Eastern European countries protested privately to Moscow but were either ignored or threatened into submission. They did so, knowing that the West wasn't about to get involved in their affairs because the risk of war was too high.

The same thing is happening now. As much as the West would like to see Ukraine become closer, it's not about to risk outright war with Russia over it. This is going to be played out over years or decades.

Comment: Re:We need a US base in the Ukraine (Score 1) 623

by Martin Blank (#46517703) Attached to: Russian Army Spetsnaz Units Arrested Operating In Ukraine

It's "mostly populated by Russians" because the Soviets forcefully exiled much of the native Tatar, Greek, and other non-Russian ethnic populations in the 1930s and 1940s and replaced them with ethnic Russians. There was a Russian population before then, but it was a minority population.

Comment: Re:Sour grapes (Score 1) 381

by Martin Blank (#46502955) Attached to: <em>Sons of Anarchy</em> Creator On Google Copyright Anarchy

That's an artifact of how movie accounting is done. The studios tack on so many fees and have access to so much of the gross that the subsidiary companies (almost always used when filming movies, with one created per movie) almost never show a net profit. The studios show a profit, of course, due to the "fees" they charge. So a movie production may rarely make a profit, but an individual movie, when factored through the entire revenue stream, often does (though many are spectacular failures and the studio loses money on them, too).

Comment: Gates and Woz are bad privacy references (Score 2) 335

by alispguru (#46493547) Attached to: Snowden A Hero? Gates Says No, Woz Says Yes

Both of them can choose exactly how much privacy they want, because they're both rich. Gates is maybe three orders of magnitude richer than Woz, but both of them are at least three orders of magnitude away from the American median income ($45K or so).

Also, neither of them can just go out in public in the US without being recognized.

That's the problem with the privacy "discussions" in the US - most of the people who can actually change things are members of a minority who gave up big swaths of their privacy, voluntarily, as an entrance requirement for their profession. They can say "privacy is an illusion - get over it" with a straight face, because they haven't had any themselves for decades.

They may be over it, but I'm not, and it pisses me off that they get to choose my privacy level.

Comment: Re: Just for a browser? (Score 2) 240

by Entrope (#46462323) Attached to: Google To Replace GTK+ With Its Own Aura In Chrome

Qt has a lot of overhead that can be useful for writing desktop apps but requires extra work for a web browser. Qt wants all apps to be web apps, except you get your "choice" whether to write layout and logic in Qt Quick, C++ or overhead-added HTML; this gives you some degree of interop with the other two, but web browsers don't need that or the overhead it brings. Qt also pointlessly reinvented lots of the C++ standard -- witness QString and all their container classes -- making it hard to integrate with libraries written in non-Qt C++. People who use Qt are mostly allowing themselves to be locked in to a dead vendor's proprietary library.

% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis