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Comment Re:Blame Maven (Score 1) 130 130

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) 531 531

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) 181 181

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) 182 182

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) 297 297

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) 116 116

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) 701 701

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) 185 185

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.

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

If I am not thinking ahead, it's because I don't see anything appealing about the scenario you apparently expect. Keyboards are great for entering text. We have been refining them for decades. If there were a better way of building a keyboard someone would already have tried it. I do not believe that keyboards are going away, because people will continue to need to enter text, and will continue to need to enter large amounts of text. Anyone whose job involves a lot of text entry is not going to be happy about the idea of using a tablet instead of a normal computer.

As far as attaching an external keyboard, well, if you take a tablet and attach a keyboard, how is that different from having a laptop? If you are regularly using a home-assembled laptop, why wouldn't you just use.... a laptop? Or are you simply suggesting that laptops of the future will have touch-sensitive screens in addition to their keyboards? I can't see the form factor working particularly well, but I suppose it's possible.

Comment Re:You are fundamentally clueless (Score 1) 185 185

The ipad (because that's what we really mean by "tablets" here) is a new kind of computer, but it doesn't replace the existing kind of computer, because it doesn't have a keyboard. Touch is great for certain kinds of things, and keyboards are great for other kinds of things, and it simply doesn't make sense to do anything text-heavy on a touch interface.

Smartphones didn't replace computers. Tablets won't replace smartphones. "Post-PC" doesn't mean the PC is going away; it means the PC is no longer the sole center of the computing universe.

Comment Re:How to disable these cameras for cheap (Score 1) 342 342

My friend "admitted" his actions to the person in the store because he was hoping to spread the idea and encourage others to participate.

Red light cameras are a racket. Private companies install and operate them in exchange for a per-ticket fee. The city government gets money, the private company gets money, and we the citizens get screwed. The "public safety" angle is nothing more than a cover story - as we have seen many cities end up adjusting the length of the yellow light downward in order to increase revenue generated by the camera. This practice actually makes those intersections less safe. Furthermore, people are more likely to panic-stop at intersections with red-light cameras, making rear-end collisions more likely.

My friend believes that this situation is illegitimate and unfair. He further believes that the democratic process will accomplish nothing, because it's too small an issue to get people excited about, but too profitable an issue for the city government to yield without a great deal of pressure.

My friend chose his "vandalism" strategy carefully: he is not trying to destroy or even damage someone else's property, but merely to force the private company running the camera to spend more money maintaining their equipment, thereby making their operation less profitable. The glue is water-soluble and does no permanent damage to the camera. A worker can clean the glue off in a minute with nothing more than a wet rag, and the camera works just as well as it did before. But as often as my friend goes by and glues up the camera, the company has to send someone out to clean it, and that costs them money. If enough people keep costing the red-light company money, the venture will stop being profitable, and then we can use the normal political process to get rid of the cameras.

The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to work.