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Comment Re:My view of this (Score 5, Insightful) 662

There's no new evidence here - it was obvious the instant we saw the photo of his project that he'd repackaged the guts of some old AC clock! Good for you that you figured out exactly which one it was, but really, so what? I worked on similar projects when I was his age. You have to start somewhere, and casemodding a piece of old garage-sale junk is a totally reasonable project for a 14-year-old newbie.

We aren't making a fuss over him because he's an extraordinary genius; rather, we're making a fuss over him because he's just an ordinary kid who *ought* to have been treated with ordinary respect, and we're trying to make up for the unforgivably shitty dumbass bullshit he's been subjected to.

And really, it's less about him than it is about all the other kids like him: the message is "don't let those fucknuts in Texas scare you, smart young Muslim inventor kids; America at large thinks you're cool".

Comment Re:Blame Maven (Score 1) 130

That sounds like the most useful way of doing things. If I haven't built and tested my codebase against a specific library version, how can I assert that my codebase works properly with that specific library version?

The counterargument holds that this should never happen as long as people use semantic versioning properly, but that's no more realistic than expecting people to release bug-free libraries that never need to be upgraded.

Comment Re:How about ... (Score 1) 531

I would be happy to do without the free stuff, most of which is crap, if it meant I would never have to deal with advertising anymore.

Ad-supported "free" stuff feels like a bait-and-switch; "here's something cool, oh no wait it's just an ad-delivery medium". I'd rather know up front what I'm getting into, and not have ad-encrusted crap constantly trying to sneak past my filters by acting like real stuff.

Adblockers help a lot, and making a general rule of avoiding commercial media helps too, but it'd be really nice if I could relax and let my guard down sometimes. It's not fun knowing that there is an army of trained professionals out there doing their crappy best to manipulate me into buying certain things or thinking about things in certain ways, and that nothing short of constant vigilance will protect me from them.

Comment Re:Loadsa uses! (Score 2) 181

I use my flamethrower for gardening - my back yard has a strip of asphalt for parking, but all the rest is gravel, so it's easy to keep the weeds down by hosing the place down with fire every now and then. It's a great way to start fires in the firepit - no need to mess around with kindling and wait an hour for the flame to really get going; just toss in some logs, torch 'em for a minute, and you're set. Beyond that, it's also a great way to grill vegetables - hold a bell pepper or an ear of corn in a pair of metal tongs, then give it a quick squirt with the flamethrower. Cooks right up, ready to eat in seconds.

I am not kidding about any of this.

Comment Re:You know what this means (Score 2) 182

Not just some - all. White LEDs *are* blue LEDs with a phosphor coating; the amount of phosphor determines whether it is a "cool white" or "warm white" style LED.

You can also make "white" light by running all three components of an RGB LED at max, but nobody does that because it is way more expensive in terms of dollars and in terms of lumens-per-watt.

Comment Re:Hyperbole in a headline? (Score 2) 297

Given that your idiosyncratic definition of "ownership" can, by definition, only ever apply to a sovereign government, it's not a term that is likely to come up for conversation very often. In the meantime, we would need some other term, which could apply to the state we currently call "ownership", an everyday situation which frequently comes up in conversation, as it involves billions of people.

Gee, I have an idea! Why don't we use the common, everyday word to describe the common, everyday situation, and invent some complex, specialized, technical term to describe this rarefied form of national-sovereignty "ownership" you have in mind?

Comment Re:Not really.... (Score 1) 116

Hear, hear. The people who use their personal phones or laptops to do official work confuse me. I've never been asked to do such a thing and have no idea why I would want to. I had a business cell phone once but that was just because it was a small company with no PBX; I just left the phone on my desk like any other office phone. Never had any problems, and I never had any risk that my employer might have any knowledge of my personal email or phone conversation.

Comment Re:Saddened :( (Score 1) 701

Hi. I was home schooled all the way up through high school, before the word "homeschooling" came along to describe what my parents were doing. Neither of my parents was "specifically trained" in the manner you suggest. Huge disservice? I don't think so. They bought ordinary textbooks and set me to work studying them, taught me how to write papers and made me write up what I learned, got me a library card and let me check out as many books as the library would let me take, bought a computer and a modem and generally left me free to explore with them. I got a better education than most, and I never had to deal with bullying or all the social crap that comes with a herd of barely-supervised children who have not yet learned how to behave socially. I learned how to interact competently with adults and wasted very little time on other children. Sure, I always felt a bit awkward around other kids, but by the time they grew up into adults I basically knew how to handle them. It's worked out pretty well so far.

Comment Re:I NEVER said replace (Score 1) 185

You might well be right; I just hope things don't go the way you expect them to, because it doesn't sound like much fun. I have been disappointed by the steady disappearance of physical keyboards from phones; my current phone has a touchscreen, and while I can get along with it, typing more than a sentence or two just sucks. It's slower and far less accurate - it is only the presence of an extremely aggressive autocorrect system that makes the touchscreen keyboard usable at all.

In a world where your average home PC is actually an iPad, I'd rarely, if ever, write a comment as long as this one, because it'd be so much irritating work.

if you take a tablet and attach a keyboard, how is that different from having a laptop?

None, but you just agreed with me.

Not so much. A computer is a computer is a computer, so all we're talking about is the form factor. "Tablet" is a form factor which works for situations where you are lounging around: sitting on the couch or the easy chair, in bed, something like that. But what are you going to do when you need to write a bunch of text? You can stick your tablet into a tablet holder, pull out a keyboard, and start working - um - wait, except you've just re-invented the laptop, badly. So now you have an awkward laptop for doing desk type things. This is in fact a very significant amount of the work people do with computers today, and I believe that we will continue to have many devices available which are designed for that type of usage.

Obviously tablets are going to grow much more quickly than PCs, because they are a form factor which is suited to a range of computing activities that previously went unserved. That means the hot development money is going to move to the tablet world, all the aggressive young startups will go work on tablet apps, etc. It's just the same cycle that we saw with phones. But that doesn't mean PCs become any less important than they are now: it just means there's a huge new market which is drawing all the new attention.

Without life, Biology itself would be impossible.