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Comment Skylon? Seriously? (Score 3, Interesting) 64

Sorry Keith, but while I'm a big supporter, AFAICT Skylon remains a pipe dream. It may be slightly closer to reality with a bit more research funding, but it still exists only in a computer simulation. I've been reading about Skylon for something like 15-20 years now, and I'm not holding my breath.

Skylon needs an 'Elon Musk' to put real money into it and build a working prototype vehicle (not just an engine). Then it might be a game changer, but definitely not now.

- Necron69

Comment Age related? (Score 1) 159

I'm guessing the submitter is a lot younger than I am.

When I was in college, I could (and did) easily sleep to noon or 1pm on weekends when I didn't have to work. Now in my mid-40s, I usually wake up around 5am without an alarm clock, and average at best 6-7 hours per night. I would love to sleep more, but I just can't.

Meanwhile, I have a hard time getting my teenage daughters out of bed before 9 or 10am on the weekends. Grrr.

- Necron69

Comment Varidesk (Score 1) 340

I've had my Varidesk Pro Plus 36" ( http://www.varidesk.com/ ) for about a month and I love it. They are relatively cheap, ~$350, easily adjustable, and I even got the boss the pay for it.

I've been sitting in front of a computer for a living for about 25 years now and definitely have my share of back issues. So far, I've worked up to alternating standing and sitting for 30 minutes at a time, although I sometimes get tired by about 3pm. Overall, the Varidesk is a great improvement over sitting all day, and I've not personally found any problems working/coding from a standing position.

- Necron69

Comment Re:Syntax hilighting (Score 4, Interesting) 443

Those of us who are colorblind often struggle with the default colors used in syntax highlighting. If you can (or bother to) adjust those, it can work, but colorized syntax highlighting on a white background can often be near invisible to me. It doesn't highlight at all, it HIDES the code.


ps. Colorized 'ls' - red on black? Are you out of your f*cking mind!?

Comment Sometimes (Score 2) 267

Several years ago, I fought tooth and nail over selecting the new test automation framework we were going to start using at work. I wanted a nice, modern, resume-building language like Python/Ruby/Java. What did they pick? - a legacy internal system written in Perl (and abandoned by the original author who had left the company).

Over the last year, I've become a moderately skilled, OO Perl programmer, and it's worth six figures to me. Good enough. :)

- Necron69

Comment Computers are not the answer (Score 1) 352

If you think one poorly trained 'teacher' is going to be able to control a classroom of 50 elementary students, you're going to have a bad time.

Studies have repeatedly shown that the number one factor in student performance isn't teachers or technology, it is the economic status of the student's families. In Denver Public Schools, where my wife teaches, greater than 50% of the students are non-native English speakers. You really think throwing a bunch of computers at them and taking away the teacher will help?


Comment Rampant Paranoia (Score 1) 394

I really don't get the big deal over Facebook or other social media. The only thing there is what you put on it. For me the value of FB vastly outweighs any possible privacy concerns. I have my account pretty locked down to friends and family, so the worst that is going to happen is that I might see some ADVERTISING. OMG! End of the world!! (and it isn't that bad with AdBlock installed either)

If an employer asked for my FB account, I would happily tell them that it is for private use. I even Google myself from time to time to make sure it stays that way, but I also watch my mouth when I post things. Keep it light, friendly, and absolutely no politics.

If my friends and family care, they will see on FB that I ski, bike, go to the gym and occasionally go out to eat at a nice restaurant. If they don't care, they don't have to look.

Facebook has allowed me to reconnect with long lost friends, 'missing' cousins and lots of other people I might care about. It isn't some deep friendship or family bond, but it is more of a relationship with those people than I had before Facebook came along. That alone is worth something.


Comment If you really think... (Score 1) 584

that girls and boys/men and women are identical except for plumbing, you are going to have a bad time. There is far more to our gender differences than mere marketing and stereotypes.

I say expose your kids to as many different things as you can, and let them figure out what they like or are good at. I tried ridiculously hard to get my son interested in computers and geeky things from a very early age. At 21, he is now a car mechanic and loves football and UFC. Go figure.


Comment Re:Finally! (Score 1) 59

Meteorite impact sites are in fact the locations that we mine lots of valuable minerals:


The heavy, denser metals largely sank deep into the Earth when it was still forming. This is thought not to be true for many asteroids, although we don't know for sure. Estimates of mineral value range from billions to trillions (at current prices) for even small metallic asteroids.


Comment You are kidding, right? (Score 1) 237

In order for Uber/Lyft to be a challenge to public transportation, you first need a public transportation system that is actually useful to a significant number of people. I'm glad folks in Europe, or the US East and West Coasts have good public transit, but the vast majority of people in the US drive their own cars out of necessity.

We've made great strides here in Denver, CO, but I've lived here for almost 40 years and I can count on two hands the number of times I've taken a bus, and my light rail/train rides still stand at zero. Three years from now, the NW light rail line will finally open in the direction I need to go, yet it will still end many miles short of my office.

I know of only one friend who has ever used Uber in Denver, and her New Year's Eve ride across town caused her extreme heartburn at the price. Uber/Lyft are fancy cab services for rich people. They aren't going to put a dent in public transportation (where it exists) anytime in the next decade, if ever.


"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen