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Comment: Re:FP? (Score 1) 942

by Maxmin (#48109199) Attached to: David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

Milk manufacturers- it's a label change, that's all, like all other packaged goods. Plus, it'll provide fresh material for whiners- "I remember when it was just one gallon, not this 3.785 crapola!"

Kph vs mph: the higher numerical value of kph sounds so much more exciting than miles: "Hello hon, I got arrested for going 200 on the freeway - can you come bail me out?" >click<

Tooling: there are a handful or more national tooling measures (e.g. Whitworth, UTS, shakkan-ho) that produce fasteners unobtainable in metric ISO fastener measures. At the very least, their production would continue to provide replacements for existing equipment. Conversion to metric equivalents would produce metric-seeming fastener measures all their own, easily confused for the standard ISO sets. I don't know what it would take to completely move off the old standards.

I learned metric as a schoolkid. It was fuckin' awesome! Completely made sense. Not confusing like English measures.

They even promised us the U.S. would be all-metric by the time I was in college.

That was thirty years ago.

Comment: Re:Here we go... (Score 1) 454

by Maxmin (#47509925) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

one side ready for peaceful coexistence

Yes, it is universally considered *very* peaceful to *steal land* and *build settlements* on the land of the people you're negotiating with.

I suppose that running a years-long economic blockade could be considered "peaceful coexistence" if ghettoizing your declared enemy is part of your world view. (Oh, we know, we know... it's all to prevent rocket-making materiel from entering Gaza. It's just so, so convenient that choking the flow *all* materials but the most basic stops missile-building (which it doesn't).

People believe whatever they want to believe and call it "truth."

Comment: Re: Anti-competitive (Score 1) 238

by Maxmin (#47029851) Attached to: Apple To Face Lawsuit For iMessage Glitch

Netscape Navigator was effectively free. I never paid for it, and consumer endusers rarely paid for Netscape. There was never a requirement, you could just download and install. I don't know anybody non-corporate users who actually opened their wallet for it.

Netscape *was* sold in computer and software shops, online and by mailorder, for a brief time.

Corporations bought Netscape Enterprise Server (for which I wrote code), and paid for desktop licenses - sometimes. I guess you could say the free browser was a loss leader, to stimulate enterprise sales.

Trivia: Netscape Enterprise Server ran a server-side Javascript implementation that was pretty good. Database access, shared objects... it was kind of like early server Java.

Comment: NYTimes.com has been going since '96 (Score 5, Interesting) 67

NYT Digital (the website) was a separate but wholly-owned company from 1996 until around 2007, merging with the newspaper as the new building opened. Pageviews in the mid 2000s were half a billion per month, with approximately half that going to the homepage alone.

IIRC, annual revenues for website advertising were $150 million in the late 2000s, damned good for a newspaper site. This was before NYT jumped onto the mobile and paid-digital-subscription bandwagons, which accounts for the $37 million revs. Adverts are still king, even on the website, and that combined with the homepage being half the pageviews is why you see the most expensive placements there.

While the rest of the newspaper biz has been slow to adopt, NYTD were actively educating the old-school news staff about FB, Twitter, RSS and other common or up-and-coming technologies. They have programmers assigned to the news floor, collaborating with reporters, to build topical databases, perform big data analyses, produce dynamic reporting and graphics and so forth. NYT are doing about as well as can be expected -they're a news organization, yes, but they've converted themselves into a technology firm from the inside-out.

NYT offers developers REST APIs for fetching newsfeeds and the aforementioned databases. Semantic Web is an area of research, and they're on a level with Thomson-Reuters, and to a limited extent Bloomberg. NYT's R&D department (originally attached to the newspaper, not NYTD) produces tools for latent semantic analysis of news, comments, etc.

When Twitter hit its initial growth spurt there were many predictions it would eat the newspaper business. It hasn't, in fact the news business relies on Twitter for distributing headlines and links. 140 characters and photo links hasn't eliminated the need for in-depth writing, analysis and professional photography.

Sure, the transition to an all-digital revenue model is their Achilles Heel. Most of the rev comes from the newspaper, and the demographic average is male, 40s and makes > $70K per year. Getting the younger generations to pay for news is the challenge.

I'm a former NYTDer. I still admire what they've done to adapt. I don't know how they'll survive the next decade, honestly. It'll take a revolution in paid subscriptions to get the younger crowd as part of the paid demographic. HuffPo was being eyed as the primary competition, for awhile, as an advert-only web operation.

Comment: Re:I donâ(TM)t suppose... (Score 1) 622

by Maxmin (#45275801) Attached to: Feds Confiscate Investigative Reporter's Confidential Files During Raid

The "utter failure" is encryption app developers have failed to see that, after 20+ years, non-technical endusers still cannot understand how PGP/GPG etc. work, for the most part.

Subtracting out your snark, there are two problems:
1) The software is abysmally awful, and
2) Independent journalists need to ally themselves with techies. And probably,
3) Don't rely on Apple or MSFT's encryption.
4) Get TC, and get a friend to help you set it up.

Comment: Mice! It was Mice. Misleading title (Score 1) 232

by Maxmin (#45197183) Attached to: Scientists Induce New Hair Growth In Balding Men

"After a few days, the cultured papillae were transplanted between the dermis and epidermis of human skin that had been grafted onto the backs of mice. In five of the seven tests, the transplants resulted in new hair growth that lasted at least six weeks."

"More work needs to be done before the method can be tested in humans, according to the researchers. “We need to establish the origins of the critical intrinsic properties of the newly induced hairs... blah blah blah."

Did the OP even read the linked article? Still, "Scientists Induce New Hair Growth In Balding Men" did get it onto /.'s homepage. A much-used strategy.

Comment: Re:But it has no viewfinder (Score 1) 68

by Maxmin (#44709645) Attached to: The Camera That's Also a Mac Mini, Or Vice Versa

Did you see it has a monitor? Off-body monitors are how digital camera operators view through the lens today, for the most part. Yes, for some handheld or shoulder-mounted work, operators use monocular viewfinders, but on digital rigs they're still built around a miniature lowres LCD panel anyways.

I'm sure it's a future option on this one-off experimental rig- digital camcorders have gone all-modular, from the imager, recorder, processor etc to the monitor, viewfinder, lens, mounting, light shielding and so forth. They're extendible platforms.

Comment: Re:Your false dichotomy (Score 1) 239

by Maxmin (#44223049) Attached to: Sent To Jail Because of a Software Bug

With OSS the issue may never need to go to court. since they (anyone in the chain) can simply look (or pay someone to look) and it might have been settled right there without any costly suits.

Your optimism is so cute! In this case, the P.O. threw a blue-ribbon panel at the complainers; it's plain they've got a problem, but TFA was so vague, I can't tell if they were open to investigation and negotiated settlement.

OSS will always have the same options as closed source and on occasion more

Agreed; I use FOSSy SW every day, as well as proprietary. I occasionally contribute to OSS projects. I'm down, but just wanted the choices to be clear.

you are aware that plenty of expensive software with serious support is OSS?

I keep hearing this ... have you got some good examples?

nothing in OSS that says it cannot be sold/supported exactly like closed source... with the added bonus of 2nd or 3rd party verification of the code

I know -- financial incentives are like water to a software project.

Comment: Your false dichotomy (Score 2) 239

by Maxmin (#44222841) Attached to: Sent To Jail Because of a Software Bug

In the context of a court case, judges have discretion to turn over closed source to for-hire special/expert witness review and presentment to the court. So your claim of only two choices for review (OSS wins the day, vs the P.O. can refuse to do anything) is evidently meant to convince the more gullible reader into believing OSS would have made the problems experienced by Ms Hamilton & co. easier to resolve. The sub-post masters would have to sue for satisfaction either way, and hire the special witness either way.

The Postal service (and Horizon by extension) clearly wish avoid liability in this, as do any institutions of its size. Given the soft and squishy language in announcing the report, with total avoidance of addressing specific sub-post masters' claims, they'll continue that way. But as their system is already closed source, your false dichotomy claim is most unhelpful to their plight, making you out as an opportunist.

Comment: Re:Rock & A Hard Place (Score 1) 564

by Maxmin (#42922991) Attached to: On the end of USPS 1st Class Saturday delivery:

Where in the law the USPS is required to future pay pensions of 75 years?

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-109hr6407enr/pdf/BILLS-109hr6407enr.pdf

Sec 8909a(d)(3)(A) defines the amortization table of advance payments, and the enclosing section defines further payments beyond FY 2017.

PS The 75 years comes from the OPM requirement that government agencies us that number of years for accounting purposes for figuring furture liabilities. It is used by the DoD, Social Security, etc.

You're asserting that the OPM requires all federal services to, essentially, fund in advance the retirement plans for workers that have not yet been born. How about a link to the law defining this, or an article from a credible site?

Comment: Re:Rock & A Hard Place (Score 3, Interesting) 564

by Maxmin (#42867767) Attached to: On the end of USPS 1st Class Saturday delivery:

USPS was entirely self-sufficient on postage fees alone, with surplus revenues, up until Congress passed legislation that mandated USPS pay forward *75 years* of retiree health benefits within *ten years*. No other organization, business or government, has such a mandate.

"Taxpayer-funded" kicked in after that point, as you'd expect it would.

Wealthy congresscritters want to kill off USPS so their cronies in the private sector will benefit, IMO.

http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/07/20/how-congress-is-killing-the-post-office/
http://www.politifact.com/georgia/statements/2011/nov/11/sanford-bishop/bishop-signs-letter-saying-post-office-faces-big-p/

Comment: Re:stupid observation... (Score 1) 909

by Maxmin (#42445525) Attached to: USMA: Going the Extra Kilometer For Metrication

You're talking about the size of the fitting attachment from the ratchet to a socket? "Drive" isn't that common of nomenclature, in my experience anyways. We referred to it as the socket "head size" oddly enough.

I do know that they are ONLY measured in English fractional inches, and that those sizes are used internationally. There are no metric-sized socket fittings.

Comment: Mormons got xenophobia. (Score 3, Informative) 540

by Maxmin (#42445007) Attached to: Scientology On Trial In Belgium

If you're living in a predominately Mormon area, and you're not one of them, you're a lot less likely to be part of their circle, do business with them, marry their children and so forth.

This as told to me by various Mormon and non-Mormon friends from SLC.

I suppose this isn't a lot different from other religious groups. But it's worth pointing out.

Reference the NULL within NULL, it is the gateway to all wizardry.

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