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Comment CDDL and GPL don't mix (Score 2) 185

Regardless of what Ubuntu has convinced themselves of, in this context the ZFS filesystem driver would be an unlicensed derivative work. If they don't want it to be so, it needs to be in user-mode instead of loaded into the kernel address space and using unexported APIs of the kernel.

A lot of people try to deceive themselves (and you) that they can do silly things, like putting an API between software under two licenses, and that such an API becomes a "computer condom" that protects you from the GPL. This rationale was never true and was overturned by the court in the appeal of Oracle v. Google.

Comment Dash Computers are Suboptimal (Score 1) 344

In 10 years, it will still be a fine car but the dash computer will be an antique. My car has bluetooth and a phone jack, and that will allow me to hook up the latest equipment to navigate and entertain me, for a long time, and replace it on my own schedule.

Comment Re:Are and storms that fierce on Mars? (Score 1) 115

You know, it occurs to me that you probably quit reading the novel at the worst possible place. You are so qualified to spot mistakes with chemistry and indoor gardening that you were repeatedly outraged and stopped a quarter of the way through. You missed on the later parts where the problems being solved had nothing to do with chemistry and indoor gardening.

I read an article where a couple of orbital dynamics guys said that Any Weir got the orbital dynamics stuff basically right; I've read multiple comments that said that the NASA politics stuff was believable; and in one of my favorite parts, Watney was stuck with a spacesuit whose helmet faceplate's glass had broken and he had to solve the problem of getting back to safety with a rather leaky spacesuit. There are other parts I don't want to mention because they are too spoilery.

You are probably too soured on the book to enjoy it, but if you ever try finishing it, I think you will find that the rest of the book offends you less than the first quarter of it did.

Comment these two firms will go under (Score 1) 163

but this type of gambling will continue

the NFL got a specific carve out for this crap when sheldon adelson and other las vegas oligarch assholes got online gambling in the usa shut down a few years ago as threat to their business (welcome to capitalism! aka, cronyism, but this is what most american morons don't understand about unregulated "capitalism"... also amazing that adelson donates to republicans, you know "free enterprise, get government out of business"... lies the poor morons believe for some reason while they do the bidding of the plutocrats)

too many idiots easily parted with their money for this gamblign shit not to continue

Comment Re:Wow! (Score 1) 89

i actually did subscribe to the dead tree service, and will be doing so again. i have no problem with accessing my existing account through the paywall in the interim. if nytimes has a problem with that, they can contact me. i believe you don't have any authority on this matter, as much as it pains your trollish heart

Comment Re:ITT (Score 1) 273

You can sometimes legislate around them (which is legal), and in theory you can make a contradictory law not subject to judicial review by SCOTUS

thank you for repeating what i said

you can attack the problem from another direction and render the supreme's decision moot

why do you feel a need to disagree with me when you agree with me? the point of arguing is to make a point, not to just argue for no fucking reason

Comment Re:Wow! (Score 2) 89

or mangle the url

when i get back a page that is paywalled i go to the url and i

1. chop off the domain upfront
2. chop off the trailing querystring
3. hit enter, you get a google result, the first link always being the story you want
4. follow that link

the referer is now sanitized

so you get the article. you even stay logged in

Comment Re:what KIND of wildlife? (Score 1) 136

what are you babbling about? are you trying to support the lame excuses of a neoimperial mafia country?

georgia, ukraine: invaded because they were neighboring weak countries. and russia just takes territory from them. it's living in 1815. the lame ass bullshit excuses for the thugging don't mean one fucking thing, except as a barometer of how many people are ignorant gullible retards who will believe lies

but russia is failing. it exercises it's military muscle because it is all it has left. but tanks rust, you need a strong economy to back up that military. and it's corrupt oligarch petrostate economy is crumbling, putin never diversified it. it alienates all it's neighbors it thugs on, it has no friends except other authoritarian jokes like kazakhstan and belarus. it's society is rife with authoritarian abuse: of the press, of freedoms of speech and sexuality, of political expression and to assemble. it's destroyed all political maturity and replaced it with immature cult of personality bullshit from north korea, centered around a kgb goon. when he dies, there's no mature succession because there's no mature political apparatus

so russia is at an end game. it will revolt and collapse. could take 20 years, could take 5. hey maybe they can make the 100 year anniversary in 2017. russia is a pathetic joke of a country that deserves all of the misery that is coming to it, because russians haven't learned a fucking thing since 1917, apparently. "we need big strong leader" yeah, actual strength doesn't work that way, complete morons

Comment Re:what KIND of wildlife? (Score 4, Informative) 136

chernobyl is actually in ukraine, just outside belarus

it was a soviet disaster (although the soviet union was merely a construct of russian imperialism, so it can be thought of as a russian disaster, so perhaps i'm just tweaking the meaning of your joke)

but like the holodomor ( ), and the continuing vivisection of east ukraine and crimea, russians sure do treat their slavic brothers like shit

Comment Re:Are and storms that fierce on Mars? (Score 1) 115

Seriously, how can you read this tripe without wanting to hit your head against a wall? How can you call a novel that has this sort of nonsense and does almost every single chemistry equation wrong "hard science fiction"? Does anything that spouts pseudoscientific BS qualify as "hard science fiction" these days?

IMHO you are being too hard on the book. In the book, the things Watney does are plausible solutions to problems that make sense to me.

Andy Weir said he didn't want Watney being "hit by lightning" over and over. The initial chain of events that leads to Watney being stranded is implausible (and Andy Weir is the first to admit that the physics is wrong there, because the atmosphere of Mars is so thin). But once Watney is stranded, the rest of it makes sense to me.

This isn't like a story where someone needs to "restart the sun" by flying a ship made of "Unobtanium" into the sun and lighting off nuclear bombs. If you fix the science mistakes in a story like that, there is no story left; it's just fundamentally wrong.

In an interview, Andy Weir mentioned getting feedback from some chemist, and he said something like "I loved that, because chemistry is what I'm worst at". It sounds like you are so expert at the chemistry stuff that every mistake was a torment for you, and I think I get it... I can picture how annoyed I would be if the book was about software development, and lots of little stuff was constantly wrong.

One of his mistakes: someone actually calculated how much the Hab would heat up from burning up the rocket fuel to make water, and concluded that if Watney burned the fuel as fast as described, the Hab would heat up to 400 degrees C. But that mistake doesn't ruin the book for me, because we can assume that he just didn't burn the fuel as fast, or he arranged some sort of heatsink or something to get rid of the heat. Fundamentally, you can make water by burning hydrazine in the presence of oxygen, so it works for me.

I also liked the way he portrayed NASA. On the one hand, everything NASA does is expensive and takes forever, but on the other hand, his equipment works and he trusts it; and there was one launch that failed, and Weir listed two places where NASA procedures would have prevented the failure if there had been more time. (Someone would have studied the effects of a "shimmy" on protein cubes, and also someone would have found a minor defect in a bolt and replaced it with a perfect one; either of these would have prevented the failure.)

A novel that I hated, that I just couldn't get through, is The Windup Girl. I bought it figuring "anything that wins both the Hugo and the Nebula must be worth reading" but I hated it. I couldn't swallow the science upon which the whole plot rests. It's the future, and the worst predictions of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming came to pass: the sea levels have risen, temperatures are high, lots of people died off. As a result, fossil fuels are no longer used by anyone, and the world is in a horrible depression. So, you might think that nuclear power, solar power, and Internet telecommuting would be a big deal? Nope, cities are lighted with methane gas lamps, and the methane is made from animal feces, and moving things are powered by kinetic energy stored in "kink-springs" and the springs are wound by elephant-sized bioengineered animals. No buildings seem to have solar panels on them, and at one point the protagonist uses a computer powered by a treadle! The Internet barely seems important, which is hard to believe given that the Internet is already hugely important... but in this future catastrophe world it now takes months for a business executive to travel from America to Thailand (he has to travel by wind-powered ship), yet they still send the executive instead of using teleconferencing.

I hated The Windup Girl as much as you seem to have hated The Martian. So I guess I understand how you feel about The Martian, but I don't feel the same way.

I think the difference for me is that The Windup Girl feels like the author worked backward from his desired goals: "biopunk" is cool, so let's explain why everything is biopunk now; I want to have big factories full of elepant-sized animals walking in circles to wind "kink-springs". Whereas The Martian feels like one situation flows to another. And in fact in an interview he said that this is how he wrote the book: after he had Watney do something, he thought about what would likely happen next, and worked from there.

P.S. In the book, Watney joked about poking a hole in his glove and flying around in space like Iron Man, and they discussed just how stupid and unworkable that idea was... even Watney didn't think it would work. I gather that the movie changed this part quite a bit.

This is the theory that Jack built. This is the flaw that lay in the theory that Jack built. This is the palpable verbal haze that hid the flaw that lay in...