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Comment Re:no process (Score 1) 314

As far as I can see, English is a 'bastardised half-breed language'; in some cases speakers of English are proud of this fact, in other cases they are embarrassed of it and in yet other cases they are ignorant of it.

If you wish to argue that 'American' (USian?) is a distinct language from English (even though speakers of 'American' when asked what language they speak will say 'English' - the simple solution to this of course is to say that the American word for American is 'English' and that American's don't know the word for what the rest of the world refers to as English), then who are you to say that the American idiom 'I could care less' is not the correct translation of the English phrase 'I couldn't care less'? Note the distinction between idiom and phrase.

Comment Re:Understanding (Score 1) 207


I am willing to bet that most (not all) people that complain that "people today don't know how to fix a faucet" haven't spent hours under a sink, trying to wrestle the stupid plastic (why plastic, since that means it will deform under the least misalignment) nut that's corroded (yeah, neither the plastic nor the brass significantly corroded in the years it's been there, but gunk has migrated into those threads) into place up inside a space you can barely see, using a crappy-ass specialty tool which keeps pinching your fingers better than said corroded slippery worn plastic nut. Have I mentioned the under-sink cabinet space is not nearly big enough to fit your body comfortably into? Have I mentioned that the edge of the cabinet is digging into your kidney or rib the whole time? And did i forget the drip drip of water and sweat and grime making the whole thing even more of a pain in the ass? Oh, and the space you have to work with? Take a look at your kitchen sink. Eyeball the distance between the back of the sink-well and the wall behind it. Notice how deep the sink-well is. Guess what, there is no magic cavern inside - you have to get your hand, tool, light and vision up inside that space to reach the nut. The task itself is simple - "unscrew these two plastic nuts". If it was on my workbench, it would be a 5 second task. Where it is, it's a multiple hour struggle with horribly awkward angles and mystery filth dripping in your eyes.

For those that think I must be incompetent, I'll have you know it took a matter of minutes to put the NEW faucet & nuts in place once I had the old one out and it works like a charm.

It's no wonder people hire someone else. It isn't because we don't know HOW to turn a wrench. It's because getting the job done is a pain in the ass and it is worth the cost to avoid it. If I did the task all the time, I'd work out the little tricks to make it go smoother, and I'd just learn to get used to the filth of it. In the end, I respect the plumbers that do the work, and I say "better them than me".

Comment Re:Cars??? (Score 1) 444

You have this backwards, it's much easier to discard waste heat in a car than it is in space. Consider - you have a multi-year mission, surrounded by an insulator that does not allow convective or conductive cooling. In fact, the only practical cooling methods are A.) heating part of your mass and shedding it, and B.) radiating it (as signal or as noise) at some EM frequency.

Comment Firefox on OpenSolaris/Linux/Windows (Score 2, Informative) 493

I recently went through a round of attempting to use OpenSolaris on my work laptop (damn I want that ZFS juju)... and there were a couple of things that drove me back to Debian - one of them was the horrible performance of Firefox under OpenSolaris. Under VirtualBox on OpenSolaris host, Firefox was faster on either a Debian or a WinXP guest than it was on the host... the difference between usable and not. The specific application that really showed this was Zimbra (pretty heavily AJAXy). In trying to track this issue down, the general feedback on OpenSolaris forums was "Firefox on OpenSolaris kinda sucks, sorry". My personal experience with Firefox is that under Linux or Windows it's subjectively close enough not to worry about (on a variety of hardware, not just the laptop that I tested OpenSolaris on).

As of next Thursday, UNIX will be flushed in favor of TOPS-10. Please update your programs.