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Comment: Re:News for Nerds? (Score 4, Informative) 586

We have an incomplete description of this bronze plan. To qualify as an exchange-eligible plan, there will be a yearly out of pocket maximum after which insurance pays 100%. It's probably in the vicinity of $8k or so. It also must cover defined "preventative care" items 100% and those items are not subject to the deductible. The idea here is to get people to go to their doctors regularly in the hopes of catching issues early when they are the least expensive to treat. It's also intended to keep people who do have serious issues from being bankrupted by $100k and up medical bills.

Comment: I don't know what the "next big thing" will be... (Score 1) 217

by Orange Crush (#42412407) Attached to: 'Connected' TVs Mostly Used Just Like the Unconnected Kind
I don't know what the next killer app I'll want connected to my TV will be (Redbox? HBO, Showtime, Cinemax bypassing the cable companies? Some yet-to-be founded Internet channel?) but I'm willing to bet whatever it is will never get added to the Smart-TVs being sold today. Services change too fast. I'd rather replace a less expensive streaming device than a whole damn TV.

Comment: Re:Design Reuse (Score 1) 146

by Orange Crush (#36776858) Attached to: SpaceX Dragon As Mars Science Lander?
Because congress forbids it. NASA has little control over its own budget. It probably would've cost less and worked out better if they could have manufactured a few dozen identical Spirit/Opportunity rovers with a few changes to the instrument packages and drop them all in different spots around the Martian globe. But congress authorized only two. Subsequent rovers get carved up in committee. Congressman A will vote for it, but only if a favored software company in their district gets to write the control software, Congresswoman B will vote for it, but only if the solar panels are manufactured in her district, etc. The end result is NASA only winds up being an efficient means for the distribution of pork to various congresscritter's preferred contractors, and can seldom reuse designs.

Comment: Re:But why? (Score 2) 159

by Orange Crush (#36053506) Attached to: How Far and Fast Can the Commercial Space World Grow?
Launch costs are the killer right now. Com sats and government funded programs are the only things that can afford to get there right now. If SpaceX and others like it really manage to cut launch costs down to $1,000/lb, it opens the doors for a LOT of interesting uses that never would've been funded at today's costs to orbit.

Comment: Re:So it's a solar cell.... (Score 1) 326

by Orange Crush (#35654722) Attached to: Artificial Leaf Could Provide Cheap Energy
Rather than compressing the hydrogen, you can convert it to liquid hydrocarbons via Fisher-Tropsch and use our existing infrastructure to ship that around (and ultimately burn it where you need it). You lose efficiency in the conversion, but it really all boils down to what's economically viable.

Comment: 10 gigs of documents? (Score 2) 218

by Orange Crush (#35589688) Attached to: Man Finds Divorce Papers, Tax Docs On "New" Laptop
That's quite a lot for a single individual to amass in a (presumably) short period of time between buying and returning a computer. I think they perhaps mean 10 gigs in personal files alltogether. If the previous user imported their music library, photo albums, video*cough*porn*cough*, then that's easy enough. Documents alone would be surprising, tho.

Comment: Re:If Microsoft wanted to be evil... (Score 1) 337

by Orange Crush (#34021374) Attached to: Windows 8 To Be Released In October 2012

While it does that, it should make Windows 8 the first release that breaks with the past by moving all legacy technologies into a sandbox a la what OS X originally did.

Doing so would likely break many of the duct-tape and hot-glue bodge-jobs holding together a slew of mission-critical legacy applications. For example, I've worked at four very big financial institutions and interacted on a daily basis with various systems of a dozen others. And I've noticed something they all have in common. Their "legacy" systems were built decades ago and connected to via an assortment of terminal emulators such as Attachmate, Hummingbird, and others I only dimly remember by their gaudy splash-screens. In fact, the workstation image contains several different terminal emulators as some systems only work properly with a specific version or brand. Some even have funny little wrapper-programs that run on top of these terminal emulators.

And then there are some other applications developed in-house or by a hired third party that present a whole new interface, connect to different databases, yet still interact with the terminal emulators in unclear and often bizarre ways.

And what web-apps there are only work properly in IE6. Maybe IE7 if they're lucky.

And then there are the Excel macros . . .

How would you sandbox these applications without breaking all the tenuous and shoddy linkages that hold the whole house of cards together?

It's easy to say "screw 'em, shoulda coded right in the first place" but a major financial institution isn't going to roll out a new operating system that forces them to redevelop large swaths of their legacy application base without a damn good reason. These same banks have been "working on" migrating away from legacy apps for the better part of two decades and all they have to show for it are a couple of web apps and thin graphical veneers shoving commands through a terminal emulator and ridiculous piles of shockingly retarded Excel macros. They'd just as soon stick with what they have.

Comment: Re:Wait till the religion fanatics hear this. (Score 5, Insightful) 183

by Orange Crush (#33384806) Attached to: Follow Up On Solar Neutrinos and Radioactive Decay
And that's a key difference between science and faith. To steal a little from Steven, scientists shouldn't "believe the same thing on Wednesday that they believed on Monday, regardless of what happened on Tuesday." That's not how science works.
If a researcher discovers something surprising, the next steps are confirming their results and measurements were accurate and are repeatable. Then experiments can be devised to test why this might be so.
Nobody should do much believing in science. String Theory, Dark Matter and Dark Energy aren't things to be believed. They're just potential and incomplete explanations for what might be going on. The next step is trying to devise experiments to detect these things and/or test the implications.

Comment: Re:Debian or IE to last? (Score 1) 225

by Orange Crush (#33265110) Attached to: Happy 17th Birthday, Debian!
Between Apple, Google, RIM & HP/Palm all using WebKit, it looks poised to become the dominant mobile browser engine. If that happens, I think MS may swallow their pride and follow suit. Why keep spending money on their own engine just to play catch-up? It could be a wise business decision in the near future.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead