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Comment: Re:What does the 'X' in 'UX' mean? (Score 1) 209 209

Where are my mod points when I need them! This is exactly right. I've thought the same thing ever since the hipster term, "UX" was introduced in the last couple of years. It's not even a matter of introducing new functionality. It's change for the sake of change. It's like developers get together at the local coffee shop and brainstorm new strange ways of doing common tasks and then they foist them on the world without any usability research, or watching how people actually use their computers. Because everyone should be as cool as they are. I can think of no other explanation for changes that firefox made, for example. I don't think the present class of "user experience" thinking is going to stand the test of time. Had UX people been in charge of cars or airplanes, we'd still be messing with with function goes on what pedal, or what controls should be linked together on the yoke. Would be a nightmare. Rudder isn't that important so lets put it on a blue knob behind the pilot's head. We don't use it, so we doubt anyone does either.

Maybe the UX teams at places like Mozilla don't know that real people use Firefox as a tool to get their work done, and constantly messing with it interferes with our ability to do what we need to do. It's not that change can never be done, but that change has to be done in the context of understanding what the end users' purposes are. MS certainly understood that for years with Windows, only to forget it when introducing Windows 8.

Comment: Re:Therac 25 (Score 3, Interesting) 209 209

A race condition in the software and counter overflows are not "Bad User Interfaces". They are software defects.

In the case of Therac25, the bugs were triggered by a sequence of keystrokes that the UI programmer did not expect. The deaths were the result of a cascade of errors. The programmer was incompetent, and never should have been writing critical code. After the fatalities, the code was reviewed by experts, and they were horrified that such a mangled mess of spaghetti was controlling a lethal machine. The code was never reviewed by anyone, and there was no testing by anyone trained on QA, and no third party testing at all. Most importantly, the radiation shield and trigger were under full software control, with no mechanical interlocks. Even after the first reported deaths, they continued to insist that the software could not possibly be at fault, when an experienced engineer would consider a software bug to be the mostly likely explanation.

Comment: Re:compensating? (Score 1) 378 378

Maybe you missed the part where he said 'allows'? Maybe your mind is made up?

The Soviet Union allowed many of its citizens to own guns. There were restrictions on handguns, and private guns were banned in some urban areas. But most people could legally own a rifle or shotgun, and many people did. The same is true in Russia today. Gun ownership is common.

The homicide rate in Russia is far higher than America, but Russia does not report gun homicides separately, so a direct comparison is difficult.

Comment: Re:Would not the oil start dissolving the parts? (Score 2) 58 58

It's an inert type of oil developed by 3M for exactly this purpose.

In addition to being chemically inert, a good liquid coolant should have other properties:

1. Electrically insulating (duh).
2. Low viscosity, so it flows easily.
3. High thermal conductivity.
4. High thermal expansion, to increase natural convection.
5. Low vapor pressure.
6. Non-flammable.
7. Non-toxic.
8. Cheap.
Liquid fluorocarbons have often been used. But the fluid in this case is not a fluorocarbon. It is specially blended white mineral oil.

Comment: Re:just let it go (Score 1) 834 834

This is why it is important to keep low-tech, inexpensively operated planes like the A-10 around. They've been so frequently used that the wings all wore out and they put new ones on. You still want to have a credible air force to protect the aircraft carriers and interests in Asia. Stealth is important to keep adversaries on their toes if they think they have air defenses squared away. Maybe the F-35 is the wrong plane, but you won't get to that decision by looking at how much was already spent - just what it will cost going forward.

Comment: Re:What happened to basic training standards? (Score 3, Interesting) 85 85

The goal here is to finally have women serving as equal.

Marksmanship is an area where women tend to do well. They have a lower center of gravity, less fast-twitch muscle, and a weaker systolic heartbeat. For the opposite reasons, black men tend to be the worst marksmen. In general, if you are good at sports that require sprinting, fast reactions, and upper body strength, you will be bad at shooting.

Comment: Re:How much electricity was used last month to min (Score 1) 177 177

I thought the current plan was distributed malware so that somebody else paid for the power?

You would need to run and manage a botnet of thousands of computers to generate as many hashes as a single ASIC. It just isn't worth it. Nearly all new bitcoins are mined on ASICs.

Comment: Re:How much electricity was used last month to min (Score 4, Insightful) 177 177

Anyone involved in bitcoin mining isn't one bit interested in environmental issues

They don't use hydropower because it is "environmental". They use it because it is cheap.

coal is still the cheapest form of energy.

No it isn't. Areas with plentiful hydropower have electricity prices much lower than coal.

Comment: Re:How much electricity was used last month to min (Score 2, Interesting) 177 177

My power comes from coal and natural gas and costs less than 11 cents per kWh.

Are you suggesting that is too expensive to mine with?

Yes. That is about twice the price of wholesale hydropower.

Are you suggesting that no one outside of those areas are mining Bitcoin?

There are a few small miners outside these areas, but the big ASIC miners are located in areas where cheap hydropower is available.

Comment: Re:How much electricity was used last month to min (Score 2) 177 177

So... how much power generated by fossil fuels was consumed "mining" bitcoins last month?

Very close to zero. Bitcoins are mined where power is cheapest, which means where there is plenty of hydropower, like in Iceland and the US Pacific Northwest. It is not cost effective to mine bitcoins using electricity from FFs.

There's a whole WORLD in a mud puddle! -- Doug Clifford

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