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Comment: Re:That's government spending for you.. (Score 2) 109

SpaceX has promise, but Boeing has shown it can deliver.

...eventually, and only after the requisite pork has been spread across a multitude of states and subcontractors to keep the requisite congress-critters happy. :(

Not to knock Boeing's technical prowess, but damn - they do know how to play the game (which explains why they're getting a piece of the contract most likely...)

As a very apt comparison, go back to the days when the F-16 first came out: relatively cheap, by some upstart company (General Dynamics), a revolutionary design, the first 9-G capable fighter, and was an all-around workhorse that could do (within reason) damned near anything you demanded of it. It's still in production today (albeit as a division of Lockheed-Martin), with a design that stands to be around for decades to come. Compare and contrast this with, oh, the F-35/6/whatever that's been nothing but a massive money-sink to date.

Comment: Re:And by "monitor this situation" (Score 1) 49

by Penguinisto (#47922283) Attached to: The Case For a Federal Robotics Commission

Thinking the same thing. Ostensibly, a government agency would stay the hell out of the way save for basic health/safety concerns... but in the age of bureaucrats who want to puff up their service records, I can see such a commission going straight to hell in an awful hurry.

(OTOH, seeing how ineffectual the FCC is at doing its job viz. the Internet and Network Neutrality, who knows?)

Comment: Re:KIlling off the Microsoft Store Name Too (Score 1) 352

by Penguinisto (#47885117) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

One small problem with your statement:

The vast majority of smart phone users don't use iPhones, but Apple's done pretty well.

A very significant portion of the public does use iPhones (here in PDX it's roughly half and half). The only two human beings I've seen who use and *like* Windows Phones were as follows: a gent who wanted something cheap and worked in .NET for a living, and a visiting Microsoft TAM.

Comment: Re: Biggest archaeological event? (Score 1) 80

by Penguinisto (#47872635) Attached to: Northwest Passage Exploration Ship Found

Did you just suggest an Arctic expedition that vanished ~170 years ago and claimed 128 lives [...]

To be fair, the lives lost weren't due to the sinking, but due to the trek they were forced to make over the ice. IIRC, recovered tin cans from the first campsite, and testing tissue from the excavated remains of three buried crew members showed that lead poisoning was likely a huge factor in the decisions that led to most of their deaths.

Not sure if the ship itself will yield any further clues as to the conditions that lead to the tragedy (aside from knowing precisely where it was stuck in the ice, anyway).

Comment: Re:Copyright violation? (Score 1) 230

Well since you are getting connection to the internet for free...

Nope, not true.

I don't have Comcast's phone or TV service (both of which suck), and only have their internet service because that's what we're stuck with in this little town for broadband (at least until sat/wireless catches up in speed). ...and yeah, those bills they send me every month say that you're sadly mistaken.

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 4, Insightful) 524

by Penguinisto (#47857091) Attached to: AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

Agreed - I suspect that the translation from AT&T is as follows:

"Please don't up the definition... we suck, and don't want to have to explain why we can't provide "Broadband" to the majority of our customers anymore."

The sad part is, I bet that all the other ISPs are silently cheering AT&T on. :/

Comment: Re:Of course (Score 1) 75

by Penguinisto (#47830379) Attached to: White House Names Google's Megan Smith As CTO

Oftentimes, they do that when the candidate has little-to-no experience in the office.

Kind of odd in this case, but with most political appointees the press likes it's a means to hedge against cries of nepotism, favoritism, or suchlike. Gives them a means to shout "...see? Mr. So-and-So is qualified for the job!!!!11!!"

Comment: Re:Oh boy (Score 2) 75

by Penguinisto (#47830343) Attached to: White House Names Google's Megan Smith As CTO

No, the exact opposite of what we need right now is a series of executive orders enforcing implementations that hurt technology, rather than foster it.

Example? If one came down the pike demanding that all government agencies use only Microsoft-built operating systems (or worse, one forcing the use of .docx, .xlsx, etc in all government documents...)

Comment: Re:grow your own exchange (Score 1) 116

by Penguinisto (#47828883) Attached to: Oregon Suing Oracle Over Obamacare Site, But Still Needs Oracle's Help

Depends if you have a license or not - $200 and a doc's note is pretty much all you need, then you're pretty much off to the races if you're growing for yourself. IF you're on disability, the $200 is discounted substantially (my in-laws had a license... it was weird going to their house for the first time and seeing ganja *trees* growing right next to their house... okay, maybe not real trees, but these bastards were 12' tall.)

Then again, if you don't want to do the paperwork, Vancouver, WA is only like 20 minutes' drive north of PDX.

Comment: Re:grow your own exchange (Score 1) 116

by Penguinisto (#47828807) Attached to: Oregon Suing Oracle Over Obamacare Site, But Still Needs Oracle's Help

There is a flip-side to that, though: The benefits are astounding for anyone who knows how to navigate the system.

Example? My father retired 3 years ago from the VA as a biomed engineer. His pay wasn't that great (though in Arkansas it was well above average given local cost-of-living). The real benefits came in when he was able to 'buy up' a full military retirement from his tour in Vietnam, add his full 30+ year retirement from the VA, and now pulls in something like $6k/mo in pensions after taxes... and this is *before* counting his rather massive 401k that still sits untapped. Oh, and he gets full medical/dental/vision benefits, paid-for.

Dunno about you, but the only way I can think of to get something similar is either to build your own business and sell it for a huge pile of cash, or spend an inordinate amount of time as a day-trader in your off-hours.

The closest I came to working for any government outside of military service was as a teacher (then later as a professor)... again, the pay wasn't the greatest, but the benefits were jaw-dropping (healthcare/vision/dental? free with ridiculously low co-pays. Before the tech school I taught at became a state college, I had three months off each year *with pay* - they had merely averaged my salary over 12 months. Even though I had only worked there six years, I'm still entitled to a small pro-rated pension from the state whenever I decide to retire since I was there at least 5 yrs.)

Notice that I never even mentioned the hours. Overtime is rare unless you're hourly and really want the extra dosh. Your day begins at 7-8am, and ends at 4pm - if that.

Also notice that as long as you never go into management, it's almost impossible for a federal employee to get fired or laid-off, even if you're a total fuck-up; that tends to appeal to the less competent among us. Even at the state level, I often stood with a dropped jaw as my two 'colleagues' demonstrated massive incompetence at CS, yet taught it (example? Every student workstation they had came with a public IP addy w/ no firewalls or proxy present, and they *all* ran Windows NT 4, then Win2k/XP. I was the lone *NIX teacher, but even on the infrastructure level, I never put up with that shit - one public IP addy fed the whole room nicely. My colleagues had to completely re-image their classrooms once every two days or so, mostly due to infections and zombification - and I had to build the imaging server for them, else they would have bought some expensive-assed 3rd-party solution to do it :/ I think you get the idea from there...)

Long story short? Yeah, civil service pay sucks, but it is a nice racket for those who want to get a whole lot for very little effort. You have to really love paper, though.

Comment: Re:grow your own exchange (Score 1) 116

by Penguinisto (#47828541) Attached to: Oregon Suing Oracle Over Obamacare Site, But Still Needs Oracle's Help

It's an oddity, but damn it's easy to get used to - especially in the winter.

The sad part is when you travel. I remember sitting at a gas station for something like three minutes in Atlanta... until my wife prompted me that I had to get out and pump my own damn gas.

Comment: Re: It ain't no Team Fortress Classic (Score 1) 170

Agreed - I held off until well into Quake 2 (Weapons Factory MOD) before I got the vidcard and OpenGL bump, and it difference was astounding...

And yeah, I did it because suddenly I kept getting sniped even in the darkest corners until I did upgrade. :/

Comment: Re:Straight to the pointless debate (Score 1) 136

If you can't bring yourself to care, why did you post?

That aside, it's good that it was recovered, though it is, to be fair, still a snapshot in time. Now if they had something over multiple years from that period, we could get a better picture.

Nota Bene: "way larger" isn't exactly precise, especially given any competent chart on sea ice coverage over periods as small as a couple of decades. We've seen sea ice grow like crazy over the past two years, after all. ;)

Comment: Re:Relates to safety and knowledge. News for Nerds (Score 1) 205

Apple != Oranges - In your example, the band would likely get busted for trespassing on private property, then would go to court and have at least some semblance of due process. In TFA, dude got locked up for "disobeying a police officer", which is a bit more ephemeral (and way too generalized) than trespassing would be.

Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up.

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