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Comment: Re: It Has Begun! (Score 3, Interesting) 51

by Sarten-X (#49501009) Attached to: Resistance To Antibiotics Found In Isolated Amazonian Tribe

Four comments in, and this discussion is effectively over.

Yes, random mutations happen randomly. Sometimes they happen in hospitals using antibiotics, but usually they happen anywhere else. Sometimes, those mutations happen to survive long enough to become widespread through a population. Sometimes that population is isolated, and the mutation becomes common. Sometimes a particular antibiotic (natural or synthesized) affects the balance of variants in the population.

Very rarely, we humans have suitable circumstances to actually notice.

Comment: Re:Substantiate "biggest vendor" (Score 1) 108

Despite the common misconception, there is actually no general legal requirement that corporations must act to the benefit of their shareholders. Rather, United States law holds only that the company act according to its charter, which may actually have practically any terms the founders see fit. There may be no terms, permitting executives to have free reign over the company, or there may be very restrictive terms detailing precisely how the corporation is to be run, which is particularly useful for incorporated charities.

With that out of the way, why should there be any question about giving away anything for free? I can't recall any large company whose marketing department didn't get a wide variety of samples or freebies to promote the brand. For anything with an engineering department, the offer to make an expensive system work with other expensive systems has been a common sales tactic. These ideas are not new or questionable at all.

Also falling into the "not new" category is Microsoft's ongoing strategy. For the last two decades, Microsoft's primary business model has been to attach their products to existing business dependencies, encourage their use (forming new dependencies), then drop support for the original dependencies in favor of their own new products, leaving their own product as the only upgrade path for a now-locked-in customer.

For several years, Microsoft has clung to a few bad decisions (most notably ignoring the Internet until it was too late, then ignoring the business need for easy provisioning), leaving room for open-source solutions to grow. Having now completed their compatibility phase, Microsoft moves on to encouraging their products' use. A low initial price tag helps that effort.

Comment: Re:Substantiate "biggest vendor" (Score 1) 108

Reading through TFA, the justification seems to be that Microsoft contributes to a large number of open-source projects:

...made it easier for Linux, Java, and other developers to use Azure...

...helped bring Microsoft’s services and APIs to iOS and Android...

...brought Office 365 to the Moodle learning platform...

...collaborating with the industry on standards for HTML5, HTTP/2, and WebRTC/ORTC...

In other words, Microsoft is still Microsoft. They've firmly established the "extend" part of their usual strategy, and now it's time to start slowly dropping support for those old, outdated open technologies in favor of the newest crap spewing forth from Redmond.

Comment: Re:This won't pay: system in London closed in 2003 (Score 1) 113

by Chrisq (#49495683) Attached to: UK Company Wants To Deliver Parcels Through Underground Tunnels

There was no congestion charge in 2003.

True, but since they say it cost five times a much to send things by the rail compared by road this would only swing the balance if 4/5 of the cost were the congestion charge. In other words it would have to cost four times as much as the driver's salary, fuel, maintenance, and vehicle costs - which it obviously doesn't

Comment: Re:Well that's rather the point (Score 1) 320

by sumdumass (#49491701) Attached to: Gyro-Copter Lands On West Lawn of US Capitol, Pilot Arrested

In these situations, I'm not entirely sure collateral damage is of a primary concern. The image of either building being damaged or destroyed or the threat to elected representatives likely presents a worse impact than collateral damage might. Its like all the special protections they already have. For instance, punch your neighbor and face a misdemeanor, punch a senator or the president and it is not only a felony but a serious one at that. Kill someone in an auto accident and it can be a charge with less than 10 years but run over a police dog and you face life for killing an officer of the law.

Our system has said they are special and more protected than most people for quite a while now.

Comment: This won't pay: system in London closed in 2003 (Score 1) 113

by Chrisq (#49491669) Attached to: UK Company Wants To Deliver Parcels Through Underground Tunnels
Until 2003 the royal mail used an underground mail railway. Even though the costs of building the tunnels had been paid off it was five times more expensive than using road transport for the same task. I can't see how any system involving new tunnels could possibly be viable.

Comment: Re:Shocked he survived (Score 1) 320

by sumdumass (#49490325) Attached to: Gyro-Copter Lands On West Lawn of US Capitol, Pilot Arrested

Anything is possible but they have helicopter rides at the county fair around my neck of the woods. They take off and land right next to the fair way with an area about 30 yards roped off. Of course they approach and leave from the far side and away from the rides but its usually still over a parking lot.

I'm not sure I would be overly excited about his landing. Still some concerns but likely not dangerous.

Comment: Re:Well that's rather the point (Score 1) 320

by sumdumass (#49490227) Attached to: Gyro-Copter Lands On West Lawn of US Capitol, Pilot Arrested

There is a surface to air missile battery on the capital building and white house. Likely in other areas around there to.

Because of his slow speed and open cockpit they had the opportunity to watch him instead of just reacting. If he got closer or appearedt to be threatening to the white house he likely would have been shot down.

Comment: Re:What? Why discriminate? (Score 1) 698

by Sarten-X (#49487729) Attached to: 'We the People' Petition To Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status

If I contribute to an open source project which forms part of the infrastructure for cancer research... do I get tax-exempt status..

If you can convince the government that your open-source project should fall into the 501(c)(3) category (which will involve a good deal of paperwork on your project's behalf), then yes.

What if that work were also part of my day job?

I'm not sure. Ask a lawyer and/or tax professional.

Comment: Re:Wikipedia is convenient, not accurate (Score 1) 183

by Sarten-X (#49485523) Attached to: How Many Hoaxes Are On Wikipedia? No One Knows

My opinion was always that Wikipedia should be treated as a single interview with an expert in a field. It is generally accurate, but almost certainly wrong on a few details, that other unrelated sources should be used to verify.

From that perspective, it's certainly a good starting point for learning about the "unknown unknowns" in a field, and getting a path for further study. It might even be suitable as the main source for a select few kinds of research.

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Journal: Chronicle: New glasses and contacts 3

Journal by Chacham

As i am having a harder time reading things up close, it seemed like a good time to get new glasses. Off to a local optometrist i went, a member of the community, and got my new prescription. I warned him i'd being going to Zenni for the frames, which he seemed to not be enthused about. Though he mentioned the reason being quality, and i do believe he was earnest in his comments, the loss of profit from selling designer frames had to be in the backgr

Dynamically binding, you realize the magic. Statically binding, you see only the hierarchy.