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Comment: Re:Impacts (Score 1) 425

by nine-times (#47766117) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

Well, we could still work to try to lessen/minimize the damage and instability.

Like, if you had gangrene on your arm, and the doctor announces, "I'm sorry, but we can't save the arm, the damage is irreversible," you wouldn't go, "Ah, well. It's impossible to save the arm. Time to wait it out and adapt."

At least, I'd hope you wouldn't. That's when you have an operation, try to save as much of your arm as you can. And then you think about what caused the gangrene in the first place, and try to not do that ever again.

Comment: Re:Not surprising (Score 2, Insightful) 488

by squiggleslash (#47759003) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

I've been wondering that too.

The point of driverless cars is supposed to be a way to get us to that utopian transportation vision where we can go anywhere automatically by telling our transportation device where we want to go. This has been "possible" for decades but for one problem: all proposed systems required new tracks/roads be built that were separated from the current road system. That's prohibitively expensive. So in walks Google, and a few others, and says "We have all this technology, let's create something that interoperates with existing traffic on existing roads."

And they do some demos, and everyone thinks they've solved the problem.

Only they haven't. Google's cars, for example, have to drive on a "virtual track". There are holes in the track. Some of them are holes in the map, others are temporary detours and or obstacles that means the cars are unable to navigate them because it doesn't have enough information. To make driverless cars "work" as well as they appear to do at all across the whole country, Google is going to have to keep a constant, updated by the minute, map of the entire US road system, not just the official roads, but the private roads, the position of every driveway, etc.

So the DMV's comments aren't actually entirely out of order. Forget emergencies, you will have to take over every few hundred miles, assuming Google can update its databases to some decent compromise between up-to-the-second and "good enough", simply because the cars are going to have problems continuing.

Me? I'd prefer we look at our transportation system again and ask if this is really what we want and need. And if we're going to continue legally mandating suburban development and banning urban development, perhaps we need to look into improving PRT technologies and making them work.

Comment: Re:Doesn't need much to make it right (Score 2) 248

by nine-times (#47757999) Attached to: New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

The real issue is that half of the OS uses the desktop UI, and the other half uses the "metro" UI.

And this problem, unfortunately, extends to the settings. Which settings are in the Control Panel, and which are in "PC Settings"? Who knows? Do the settings in the metro-based "PC Settings" only apply to the metro environment? Nope. There's not a clear distinction.

The built-in metro apps are inferior and redundant to the desktop counterparts.

I think part of the problem there is they were thinking, "Well we have all of these aging applications like Paint and Windows Photo Viewer. Instead of fixing them or making newer versions, let's just replace them with Metro apps!" So you have the metro apps which are simplified. They're simplified both because the metro UI requires simplification, and because they're new applications that haven't undergone years of development.

But they didn't seem to consider that, as a user, this leaves you with a dilemma between two unappealing options: Either use the old, dated "Windows Classic" applications that have sucked since they were written 20 years ago, or go with the new underdeveloped "Metro" applications that create a jarring experience every time you open them.

Can you remember which things are under "Accessories" versus the ones under "System Tools?"

Generally yes. "System Tools" is under "Accessories" and has like Windows Backup, Disk Cleanup, Disk Defragmenter, Task Scheduler. "Accessories" also included communication tools (Remote Desktop, HyperTerminal) and other things like Window Explorer, Notepad, Calculator, IE, etc. Of course, Microsoft made a regular habit of shuffling those things around a bit with every release, but it was relatively stable for 15 years.

In Windows 8? That stuff probably isn't on your start screen, so you'll have to search for it, or else switch the view to show all the applications. The list of applications is unfortunately flat, so you can't rely on the same kind of spacial orientation that nested folders provided in the star menu.

But they just haven't figured out how to offer full-screen apps with all the power of the desktop.

And they won't be able to. On the desktop, you can already maximize windows if you want a "full screen app", but most of the time, it's extremely useful to have non-maximized windows arranged freely on the screen.

Comment: Re:Why (Score 1) 248

by nine-times (#47757771) Attached to: New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

Google has enabled applications that are cached and run locally, without need of an internet connection, and basically appear to be local apps. Their strategy seems to be to use this method to enable cross-platform application development on any platform capable of running the Chrome browser.

Because honestly, what difference does it make if the browser was created using HTML, CSS, and Javascript? If it runs locally and looks like a local application, you might not even notice the difference.

Comment: To save you pouring through forum comments... (Score 4, Informative) 248

by squiggleslash (#47756757) Attached to: New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

If I'm reading the Neowin thread, followed by the Neowin articles, properly, the "two windows" speculation thing appears to be because of this:

- In September, Microsoft will release a preview of Windows 9 called "Threshold" to Enterprise customers. The idea is that Enterprises (large corporations) need some time to prepare for the upgrade.

- Threshold is mostly feature complete, but lacks the more significant UI changes that Windows 9 will bring.

- Windows 9 will be released much later and will have significant UI upgrades as well as everything in Threshold.

Because these two versions of "Next generation Windows" have been floating around, some have thought that there are two different versions of Windows.

Comment: Re:Like buying from a car thief (Score 2) 92

by squiggleslash (#47755997) Attached to: Early Bitcoin User Interviewed By Federal Officers

The problem is that very often someone who thinks he is (or is) completely innocent will talk to the cops, and as a result the cops decide he's committed a crime, prosecute him, and he goes to jail. Here's an example http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10... of the scientist Thomas Butler

For those who don't want to click on the link, it describes a situation wherea man was prosecuted for lying to the FBI, after he caused a major alert by pretending some vials of plague bacteria had been stolen that, in fact, he'd accidentally destroyed.

I'm kind of wondering if that's the example the parent poster actually planned to use, or if he cut and pasted the wrong link. I'd have thought Bulter would have been aware of the consequences of pretending someone had stolen such a thing, that it would result in a major investigation, with a lot of resources wasted.

Comment: Re:No (Score 2) 493

This is the correct response. Net neutrality is the only way to preserve freedom in the "market" of Internet services. The ISP market is not an example of free market capitalism. There are various governmental restrictions on where you can lay infrastructure, and the cost of that infrastructure presents an extremely high barrier to entry. This results in a monopoly or duopoly in most areas in the United States. Therefore, we're not talking about a "free market".

So if you want to allow for a free market of services provided over that infrastructure, you have to bar the ISPs from playing favorites, or using their control to further their own agendas. For example, if you want to allow services like Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Box to all compete in a "free market", then you need a level playing field. You can't allow Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon to all decide that they'll partner with Box, and throttle access to the rest. If they did, that would give Box a de facto monopoly over the market, and no one would have an opportunity to compete.

And it's the competition that provides all those nice features that capitalism is supposed to provide-- the "invisible hand" and all that. So that's all that "net neutrality" does; it provides a level playing field, which enables competition. It's actually a very capitalist policy.

Comment: Re:Urgh (Score 4, Insightful) 493

Hate to break it to you, but nothing about socialism has anything to do with "occupational licensing". Socialism is simply about people cooperating with one another to work for the public good, which might be via the government, but can equally be in voluntary groups - the cooperative movement, for example, is considered socialist by virtually everyone, be they rabid anti-socialist or red hippie alike, yet has nothing to do with government. And let's not get started on unions... Robert Owen, considered by most the "Father of Socialism", had no government role at all in what he was working on, he'd be admired by many libertarians if it wasn't for that damned dirty S word blinkering them.

Part of the problem with the US right now is the propaganda has gotten so ridiculous that the word "socialism" has been redefined here to the point of meaninglessness. Most Americans seem to use it to mean "Anything the government does (that I don't like)". That's a silly definition, and if we want a meaningful discussion of the way the world should work, we need to eliminate it. "Anything the government does" has a variety of words to describe it already. And nobody in their right mind worships prisons, oil subsidies, or indeed the military-industrial complex, as examples of cases where people come together to work for the public good.

Comment: Re:It's job security (Score 2) 781

by nine-times (#47750687) Attached to: Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

Old-school Unix admins don't WANT anything to change, or get easier. It threatens their livelihood.

I would have my doubts that this were the real explanation. Maybe for a few people here and there, but most techies that I know wouldn't mind things being much easier. I think it's more of a stubbornness and resistance to change, maybe with a little bit of laziness in the realm of "I don't want to have to relearn things." And as you say, "I've developed some ways to make my life easier, and I don't want to re-develop them all."

Of course, there's also the possibility that some of the new ways of doing things are actually not as good as the old. That can happen too. All of these things can happen, but I don't know many IT people who actually go looking for ways to create job security. For most of us, the "laziness" overcomes that, and we're overloaded enough with other work that we're just looking to make things as easy as possible.

Comment: Jehova's Witnesses Knew This Years Ago (Score 1) 272

by turgid (#47750561) Attached to: Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor

Blimey, in about 1998 this old guy from the Jo-Hos knocked on my door and presented me with some literature including something about how "all scientists" believe in god, especially the Great Fred Hoyle, so God must be there.

It also said that "scientists are telling us" about this vast, untapped wealth of hydrocarbon deposits on the deep sea beds in the form of these methane thingy-ma-bobs, so God had provided us with all the energy we'll ever need. He's a great guy that God dude! He didn't mention atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and global warning, though.

So, the Jo-Hos are right. God is really there! And we will never run out of energy!

Comment: Slackware Forever (Me Too!) (Score 1) 781

by turgid (#47750403) Attached to: Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

Slackware does things The Right Way(TM). I've been using it since 1995 as my main distro with a brief detour into SLAMD64 in 2007 when I bought a 64-bit AMD and Slackware was still x86-32.

I've had the misfortune to have to suffer Debian. RedHat/CentOS, Ubuntu and Arago for work over the years, but Slackware is the best. Everything I've learned from Slackware has empowered me to be productive with all of those other distributions.

Comment: Re:I forced myself to watch it (Score 1) 299

by nine-times (#47749283) Attached to: Put A Red Cross PSA In Front Of the ISIS Beheading Video

So you're saying, "You can't claim that there's no value in watching the video unless you've seen it." On the face of it, it seems reasonable. But then, if I were to claim that there's no value in watching it, then why would I have watched it? If I had chosen to watch it of my own accord, then it would actually undercut my argument that there's not value in watching it. Obviously I would have thought that there was *some* value, or I wouldn't have watched it.

It's a little like saying, "I'm against gun control, but don't even argue with me unless you own a gun. If you don't own a gun, then you don't understand guns, and so you should just stay out of the conversation." It kind of almost sounds sensible until you think about it.

I think, rather, that it falls on you, as someone who has seen it, to explain what value I would get from watching it. Other than a sadistic juvenile rubberneckinig enjoyment from seeing something awful, what would I get out of watching it?

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