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Comment: Re:Mod parent up. (Score 1) 368

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48678647) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

... the companies pushing for more visas are NOT doing it because they're looking for the best and the brightest from around the world. They're doing it to drive the price of programming

They're also creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. The depressed prices for programmers and refusal of employers to hire Americans (for any but a few top-level jobs requiring rare or broad-ranging talents and experience), while importing H1Bs from several countries for any position short of startup principals and early-hires, has not been missed by the Millenials. The latter are, entirely rationally, avoiding computer science degree programs in droves.

There is no shortage of US computer scientists now. But if this keeps up, in another 20 years there WILL be a shortage of YOUNG US computer scientists.

Comment: Re:The Navy sucks at negotiating (Score 2) 117

by Richard_at_work (#48673225) Attached to: US Navy Sells 'Top Gun' Aircraft Carrier For One Penny

It isn't in pristine condition, its full of heavy metal contaminants, asbestos, oils and other problem materials, and requires maintenance just to remain afloat in decent condition - a huge amount of effort is required to do anything with the ship, and the Navy doesn't want it on its budget any more. If the museum project had raised its money, they would have got it.

Having watched a documentary on another scrapping a few years back, the metal in these ships do not command a premium on the scrap market, and any scrapping company takes it on with complete uncertainty as to whether they make a profit or loss as they also have to deal with the toxics and those cost a lot these days.

Comment: Re:WTF UK? (Score 1) 350

by Richard_at_work (#48671649) Attached to: UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

We aren't punishing him for swearing, we are punishing him because his actions have a negative effect on people around him. Just like playing music, having sex, talking etc etc etc. All are fine when they dont affect other members of society in a negative manner, and again all have cases brought because of them.

I dont see why people around him should have to put up with his swearing.

Comment: Not the first time hammering caused trouble. (Score 1) 132

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48670187) Attached to: Many DDR3 Modules Vulnerable To Bit Rot By a Simple Program

Story I heard about mid-20th-century IBM mainframe. (I think it was the 360 series).

Core memory was tight and had cooling issues. The designers examined the instruction set and determined that, given cacheing and the like, no infinite loop could hammer a particular location more than one cycle in four (25% duty cycle), for which cooling was adequate. So they shipped.

Turns out, though, you could do a VERY LONG FINITE loop that hit a location every other cycle, for 50% duty cycle (not to mention the possibility of hitting a nearby location with some of the remaining cycles). Wasn't too long before a student managed to do this.

And set the core memory on fire.

Comment: Re:WTF UK? (Score 4, Informative) 350

by Richard_at_work (#48669141) Attached to: UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

John Terry was suspended because the FA had a grudge against him, he had already been cleared in an actual judicial court of the same offence but the FA decided that they were better than the Crown Court and found him guilty - but he had been subject to a long running series of issues with the FA regarding captaincies etc.

The Suarez case was totally different.

Also you seem to be deliberately mixing up actions by private bodies (the FA) with judicial court actions. Private bodies can do whatever they damn well please, within reason - there is a zero tolerance approach to racism in English football, hence the action against Suarez and Balotelli.

And the "man threatened with life for swearing too much" had a slew of breached orders behind him, so he escalated that himself.

Comment: astroturf (Score 3, Insightful) 482

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48633483) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

As you can see, the moderation converged on a more proper +5 Insightful

  I've read the post carefully and it doesn't qualify as Flamebait IMHO. It states a controversial political opinion and thus invites a discussion, which may lead to flamage, but does not itself lead with a flame.

So this looks like someone who doesn't like the position trying to suppress it, by hitting it with the most plausible -1, in the hope that one more like-minded person will have mod points and get it suppressed before very many people see it. That works for "politically incorrect" subjects (such as criticisms of the "heat death of the Earth, everybody panic and suppress technology" interpretation of climate data), where a crowd of like-minded free speech haters are ready to suppress opposing opinions. But pro-pot doesn't appear to attract that much system-gaming opposition.

Right now it only takes two downmods to hide a non-anonymous itme. It seems to me that we have enough people willing to moderate that it's time to scale up the mod system, so a small astroturf operation can't shut down debate. Say: double it: Mods get 10 points, -2 hides, non-anynomous starts at +2, high-karma at +4, doulble everybody's current karma and readjust the cutpoints for bonuses, caps, and the like. That would mean it would take two moderators to suppress a anonymous post and four for authors willing to risk reputation. (It would also mean more work for those who are willing to moderate - but they might be more willing to spend a point if they had more to spend.)

Comment: Re:What a gap... (Score 1) 132

by Richard_at_work (#48632201) Attached to: Review: The BlackBerry Classic Is One of the Best Phones of 2009

Myself and my wife switched to the N900 in 2010 - we both ended up hating it, I switched back to my iPhone 3G within 3 months, while my wife stuck it out until she could renew the contract, by which time the keyboards on both our phones were dead (she had to switch to my phone after 9 months due to the fact her keyboard had lost all coating on the keys and several keys had stopped working).

The screen was terrible, the OS was bad, the keyboard was horrific.

Why do people love the N900 so much?

Comment: Gun practice teaches calm - biofeedback style. (Score 2) 580

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48631389) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

Have you seen people drive? Road rage? Now think many of these same people with guns.

Target range practice is a very powerful biofeedback mechanism for teaching the suppression of the production of adrenaline and of all symptoms of excitement. Aligning gun sights - a pair of visual targets separated by about the length of the gun barrel (inches, a foot, or several feet), aligning them with a target (at tens of feet), and holding the alignment, gives visibility to even microscopic tremors and movement. Getting the image right and stable means drastically suppressing this movement. Over a number of range sessions, this leads to learning how to be icy calm, as a reflex, in the midst of a very stressful environment (full of intermittent explosions, bright lights, acrid smells, and odd-temperature winds).

(The effect is extreme. It was discovered that good target shooters, thinking they were just controlling their breath, had actually learned to "stop their heartbeat" - compressing the time between the pairs of beats before and after firing a shot and doubling the time between beats during the trigger pull.)

The result is that, after just a few good sessions, this becomes imprinted. Even in a rage, putting your hand on a gun drops you into that icy calm state.

Comment: Re:Land of the fre (Score 1) 580

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48629431) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

Indeed, though antagonizing your opponents like that probably isn't going to help the cause.

There is no long a point in trying not antagonizing them. Pretty much anyone who is still actively lobbying against private ownership of guns is either ignoring the evidence, incapable of uncerstandng it, or has a hidden agenda (such as creating victim-rich zones for govenment or criminal activity).

These people are not going to be converted. Things are far enough long that we no longer need them as straw men to raise the bogus argumets to be knocked down with logic. (Those who can be convinced with logic are now mostly either convinced or subject to information shortage). But they remain useful as targets of ridicule, so those who are more interested in being with the in crowd than making smart decisions can be converted.

For those still uncertain on the issue: Do you want to reduce murder, rape, assault, robery, criminal victimization, and institutional suppression of minority groups? Or do you want to want to reduce gun possession? There is no longer any question: More guns mean less of all those things.

Comment: Re:Embrace (Score 1) 217

by Richard_at_work (#48624543) Attached to: What Will Microsoft's "Embrace" of Open Source Actually Achieve?

Actually you are wrong - the cross platform .Net Core is a new implementation entirely separate from Mono (the demo they showed running in a Docker Linux container involved no Mono code at all, it was all MS inhouse stuff), although MS are working with Ximaran to expand their development tools and support the Mono platform.

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.