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Comment Re:Ideology not reality ... (Score 1) 151


Monetary and Fiscal policy (like controlling the interest rates) has actually lessened the boom/bust cycle since it was implemented. Before the fed controlled the interest rates, bubbles were far more common and much more disastrous when they popped. Just look at the USA's list of booms and busts... and how many "financial panics" there were long ago:


We used to have deep recessions every 10 years or so. Around the late 1930s, we started manipulating the rates and now the markets crash every 20 to 30 years, but when they do dip, we recover much faster -- except for this last recession. The housing market just touched every aspect of life -- banking, credit, home ownership, ability to move, investments... you name it.

And spot on about the housing bubble -- policies let people buy homes that should not have purchased those particular homes. People signed up for ARM mortgages and just incredulously believed the rates would never go up. People purchased huge houses they could barely afford while working paycheck to paycheck. It was crazy. Banks traded mortgages as if they were stocks or bonds -- ones with perfect credit ratings that could never go down in value. Stupidity and insanity all around. It was a house of cards that only took a little bump to fall apart -- and many saw it coming long before it folded.

Comment Re:Ideology not reality ... (Score 1) 151

Spoken like someone who has never taken micro or macro economics.

I can only imagine you get this idea from watching the news -- where political pundits have little grasp on what economics actually IS.

Economics on the micro scale is actually just common sense. We're talking simple supply and demand curves. There's no ideology involved. If people want X and we restrict the supply of X, the price of X will go up as there is now a shortage. Shortages are a real thing that are well understood. Typically prices go up on things that are in demand and have a shortage -- take the iPhone for example. Surpluses are also well understood -- especially for perishables. Just take a look at any clearance sale as a great example of prices being slashed to get rid of inventory. Where economics is fuzzy is the "how much" area. As in -- how much will the price of X go up? There can be a million variables, and it would be a damned near impossible math problem to solve for them all, so one can do models and get decent predictions -- but, much like the weather, any forecast can be off if there's unforeseen influences.

On the macro scale, economics is also well understood -- BUT, people have different ideologies about what's "best." If we have a recession, we can increase the money supply by lowering interest rates which will generally spur more spending and help us climb out of the recession faster... BUT, b/c we increased the money supply, the value of the dollar is now lower and inflation is higher... and the dollar is weaker vs foreign currency so that hurts the price of imports.... etc. etc. in a chain reaction of things.

Any economy is a hugely complex system -- the USA's Economy being among the most complex in the world. You can spin a lot of things as "good" or "bad", but really most meddling with the free market is both good and bad. You can trade shortening a recession for worsening inflation. Often things that are good in the short term are bad for the long term. Often things that are good for the individual are terrible for the economy as a whole. (Saving money and being thrifty is great... everyone saving money and not spending much leads to a recession, though!)

As for the crap that's tossed around on the news like "trickle down economics" and "voodoo economics" -- uh... I got news. Those are not economic theories taught in business schools. That's made up BS that rich people tell themselves is true, but real economists don't subscribe to that baloney.

Real economists are like particle physicists -- they can tell you what's likely to happen based on historical data and what's known to be possible, but what will really happen is a matter of statistics, not absolutes. Also, anyone who thinks they understand economics hasn't had several semesters of MBA level macro-economics. If you aren't confused BEFORE you take that, you will definitely be confused after. lol. (actually, it's not all that confusing, it's just so counter-intuitive until you realize how the dominoes fall in such a massive system... and then the feedback loops that develop in the near short term, short term, long term, and extreme long term.)

Comment Re:they don't ban installation of open source (Score 1) 235

Don't forget the FCC doesn't set the rules for the rest of the world's Wi-Fi. Many of the designs are sold overseas and the OS is what locks out improper use of the radio by region. Take 802.11G channels for instance -- USA allows channels 1 - 11. Most of the rest of the world allows channels 1-13. The USA technically allows channels 12 and 13 on low-power devices, but all Wi-Fi routers in the US restrict those just to be sure they don't overlap Channel 14 -- b/c interfering with CH 14 is strictly forbidden. Some countries like Japan even allow channel 14 for 802.11B only.

802.11 N and AC are much more complicated. Different regions and countries allowed different parts of the spectrum -- which vary widely.

You're not going to get a global manufacturer to bake in all those different settings and effectively lock their hardware to a region. They're going to mass produce the hardware, then load a region-specific firmware "just in time" as they're ordered by region. For your solution to work, there would have to be a separate firmware control just for the radio that could be loaded separately from the OS -- one that was write once, read only after (or at least required certificates for future updates from the manufacturer only). Why would a manufacturer add that complexity and cost?

Come to think of it, you'd likely need 2 firmware chips and 2 processors... A main processor for the OS, a firmware for the OS... and then a firmware and radio-CPU just to access and control the radio and send I/O to the main CPU. Otherwise, your OS firmware can route around any other firmware and access the radio directly and select out-of-FCC-rule bands and power levels.

Your solution is not simple. It's like adding a BIOS chip and software to a simple system-on-a-chip board. That's never going to happen when they're pinching pennies to get the cheapest board for the router. Seriously... look at what happened to the linksys routers -- every new model had a smaller board and was dumber than the one prior (even reduced the RAM over time, too).

Comment Re:Lying scum (Score 3, Insightful) 303

Ding ding ding. We have a winner!

The entire purpose was to dodge Freedom of Information Act requests and to prevent her communications from entering into the National Archives. A nice side-effect was that her political enemies would have a tougher time snooping on her.

She believed she could skirt the law (as so many in DC do). Regardless of what happens with her over the issue, it looks like there will be severe penalties for future Secretaries of State that attempt this.

Comment Re:I remember ..... (Score 2) 284

You couldn't GET 32 MB of RAM even on a high end system back in 1995. I know. I purchased a top of the line Pentium 100 Mhz system with 8 MB of RAM that summer for several thousand dollars -- was starting school at USC's College of Engineering in the fall. My computer came with Win 3.11, and I anxiously awaited the Win95 CD's release.

I purchased an additional 4 MB of RAM a year later for several hundred dollars, and with a total of 12 MB, that baby flew... no more grinding on the swap file. I also had an ISDN line in my apartment and access to some of the newest computer equipment on campus while working for the engineering college. NOONE had 32 MB of RAM. Not even newest NT domain servers, and most definitely not our computer labs -- even the ones running AutoCAD.

Comment Re:Party loyalty is a huge problem ... (Score 3, Interesting) 676

The 99% are not in control. They simply get to choose between the options left after the 1% has chosen which candidates the 99% get to pick from. You cannot possibly believe that the 20 or so candidates for president are the best out of a pool of millions of Americans that could do the job. How did we get THESE candidates? Money. Only rich people or those backed by rich people can afford to run a presidential campaign. Recently, Rick Perry ran out of cash and his people are working for free while his SuperPAC takes over the advertising. I doubt he'll be in the race much longer as his funding has dried up.

When you have a 2 party system where both candidates are bought by special interests and 1%'ers, your choices are between a rock and a hard place. The Party is indeed what matters most -- because the funding for those candidates came from party supporters who have agendas to push for that party. I would vote for a chicken with a D on it before I'd vote for most Republicans in the race (Maybe Bush as the exception.. he seems more sane on immigration, gay rights, and healthcare than the rest).

If we had a sane voting system where a vote for one candidate was not the same as a vote against all other candidates, we might be able to support a multi-party system -- or even multiple candidates for the same party all the way up to the general election. Say, a Likert scale -- each candidate gets a vote from 1 to 10, we average out all the votes and the one that gets the highest score wins. 3rd parties wouldn't steal votes... and we'd have more room for moderates.

Comment Re: What a clusterfuck (Score 3, Interesting) 676

The point of the Clinton server was to shield the Clintons from Freedom of Information Act requests. It was intentionally set up to prevent both the government and the people from ever prying into their communications. Her office had a duty to secure and store those communications for posterity for the National Archives, and she rebuffed it.

This was not an accident, nor something set up on a whim to make life more convenient. It was deliberate -- and her office was warned multiple times that it was not acceptable before and during its use. Hillary's own office sent out e-mails to her staff advising them not to use their own private e-mail WHILE she was using her own private e-mail against the advice of the State Dept.'s own security experts.

She's only now sending the server to the feds -- since it's verified she crossed a line with top secret info on it that's been sent unencrypted over the internet to others. I would not be surprised if that server has been scrubbed top to bottom with any incriminating evidence purged and over-written with excuses galore over why data is missing or not retained (and unrecoverable).

Still, slap her with a fine and send her on her way -- and make it an impeachable offense for future Secretaries of State to ever do this again. Worse case scenario, they charge her with intentionally divulging top secret info and give her a suspended sentence.

Comment Re:It'll never happen (Score 4, Insightful) 280

Most people who use mass transit use it because it is the most efficient way to get from A to B, not because they can't afford their own vehicle, nor because it's the cheapest option.

Case in point: I stayed in Atlanta for a 4 day weekend at a convention downtown. I drove to my hotel, then used the hotel's free airport shuttle to the airport to take the subway/train system MARTA to downtown Atlanta and back daily (sometimes 3 or 4 round-trips in a day). It cost me all of $10... and it was the fastest way to get from my cheap hotel to downtown as there was also a ballgame and another convention as well and the roads were bumper to bumper. I rode the train several times a day - got my money's worth and met interesting convention-goers on the train. I took a taxi back to the hotel one night when I stayed out later than the trains ran.

IF I had driven my car downtown to a lot, it would have taken two to three times as long - not to mention finding parking in busy downtown even with parking garages (I know - had a buddy that did that the next year we went), plus the cost of gas and parking for the day (for each day) would have been prohibitive. (We settled on staying at a guest hotel downtown the third year... no driving or trains. yay!)

People in cities with mass transit often prefer it over having a vehicle... and they hate the tourists who bring their cars and don't know how to drive or where to park.

But, back to your point -- you're incorrect. The efficiencies don't take hold when the vast majority of a system is automated -- they take place when only a small fraction is in place. There is a tipping point. If one single car stops to turn left into a parking garage, it can back up an entire left lane of traffic for a mile or more in a decent sized city. That's just one car. For each car that pauses to let someone out rather than turning and seeking parking, you get vast returns in traffic efficiency.

If you must make the public vs private argument, then I'd say you're just arguing quality -- if people care enough, they'll get 2 tiered taxis. One for Uber and another for Super-Uber for those that want to ensure their car is squeaky clean. Most mass transit seats are plastic and easily washable. Cars could easily be outfitted with uncomfortable, but sanitary plastic seating and a bottle of alcohol spray for the germaphobes.

Another aspect is that people junk up their cars with their own crap -- but, it's often stuff they want to keep, so they wouldn't be leaving that in Ubers... they'd just leave trash if they're litter-bugs. I bet Uber could record video and charge extra for damage or littering and put a stop to that (assuming it's paid by credit card).

They key issues for ownership of vehicles are - utility, time, personalization, and storage. People like to keep their baby carriers in the vehicle... sometimes their drinks or other groceries, napkins, kleenex, lotion, sunglasses, etc. Sometimes people store presents in trunks to hide from family members.... various other things.

The personal car isn't going away, but it could become an auto-driving personal car. Still, many families may only need 1 personal family car and use an Uber automated taxi for travelling to work, school, and most other short trips.

Comment Re: So what? (Score 1) 480

Business casual at a call center where I worked meant polo shirt, khakis, and dress shoes (I chose Doc Martins as they're like dressy tennis shoes). Polo shirts and khakis are just one slight nudge away from the full monkey suit I had to wear working for banks. Do you really want to spend half of your life wearing uncomfortable clothing? Most of your waking life, actually.

Seriously, I worked in government offices and universities where I wore jeans and t-shirts every day. Professors even taught classes in Hawaiian shirts and shorts with flip flops. People were happy and productive. They didn't look like slobs, either.

Millions of students go to college every day in jeans and t-shirts. Heck, some go to class in their pajamas. They still work hard, make the grade, and many even discover new things - just like an R&D division. Grad students that publish important new discoveries are seldom seen wearing anything but jeans, t-shirts,and maybe a lab coat and goggles if needed. It's beyond stupid to expect R&D to perform better with a monkey suit or business casual than if they were allowed to wear whatever made them feel comfortable and relaxed so that they could focus on creative solutions and new experiments.

Comment Re: um...yay? (Score 2) 480

Psychology -- the theory being that putting on work clothes puts you into a different frame of mind which is conducive towards work.

Frankly, I think it's BS, but that's the real answer. The HR droids believe (and lots of psychological experiments show) that when people put on certain clothes - especially uniforms - they tend to change their behaviors and thought processes. People who wear their pajamas all day tend to be calmer and lazier. Those who wear suits and ties tend to be more active. Women especially change their emotional states and attitudes in response to what they're wearing.

The reason I call BS is because regardless of whatever lab experiments show, no one knows how specific individuals will respond to such changes - especially in a place where the work is a CREATIVE work. I would think creative minds should be allowed to wear whatever clothing makes them most comfortable so that their minds are free to relax and imagine creative solutions.

Having worked at a business casual call center with casual day Fridays (and even casual weeks at times), I can say that the jeans actually improved the workplace. We were on phones all day talking to irate customers. Anything that helped us relax was helpful to everyone.

I hate business attire. I'd wear t-shirts, jean shorts, and sandals every day of my life if I could... heck, maybe gym shorts if they didn't look horrendous.

Companies that don't have customer-facing personal contact should drop the BS. Clothing rules should reflect workplace safety and avoid offensive content -- and maybe also reduce distractions for other workers.... but, I say some distractions at work are healthy.

Comment Re: Title condradicts summary (Score 4, Insightful) 144

Depends on what you mean by "faster." If you mean clock frequency, then perhaps. Also perhaps if you mean an individual core of a CPU vs a core of a GPU.

In this sense, it's the time to perform massively parallel instructions. GPUs are generally hundreds of times faster than CPUs for such calculations. Part of this is because a CPU can have a few cores, but a GPU generally has thousands of floating point units. The other part is that CPUs are general purpose central processors while GPUs are very specialized to optimize them for specific kinds of tasks.

Think of it like a CPU is 4 guys with Swiss Army Knives while a GPU is a team of 1,600 guys each with a battery powered, professional screwdriver. Guess which one's faster at screwing 1,600 wood screws into 400 posts for a building. Now guess which is faster at cutting a traced outline on a single piece of paper.


Comment Re:Banks vs Manchester. Law, no. Indexes by publis (Score 5, Informative) 292

Obamacare did originate in the House as HR 3590. (HR meaning House of Representatives.) It was a "shell bill" that was gutted and stuffed with Obamacare to get around the rule. It's not a novel approach either, and the courts took no issue with it.

HR 3590 passed the House first as required, went to the Senate which altered it into Obamacare and then congress "resolved the differences" between the House and Senate versions passed before sending it to the president.


The rational behind starting tax bills in the HR is that it's "closer to the electorate" - or was before Senators were elected by popular vote. Now, the differences between the two as far as being held to the will of the people is lessened.

Comment Re:Too Far Away (Score 1) 134

1400 years is indeed a long time, but if there is a civilization broadcasting, who knows what we might be able to learn from those broadcasts?!?

ET could be beaming out their PBS documentaries with the answers to nearly all our questions for them.

Even if there's no advanced life there, we now have a great target for sending a probe to detect life -- the fact that the humans that send the probe won't live to get the reply isn't important. Someone, someday will know if we send a probe now and it is successful in its mission.

Submission + - Experiment: Installing Windows 10 on a 7 Year Old Acer Aspire One->

jones_supa writes: Windows 10 will launch in less than a week and it is supposed to work flawlessly on devices already powered by Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, as Microsoft struggled to keep system requirements unchanged to make sure that everything runs smoothly. Device drivers all the way back to Windows Vista platform (WDDM 1.0) are supported. Softpedia performed a practical test to see how Windows 10 can run on a 7 year old Acer Aspire One netbook powered by Intel Atom N450 processor clocked at 1.66 GHz, 1 GB of RAM, and a 320 GB mechanical hard disk. The result is surprising to say the least, as installation not only went impressively fast, but the operating system itself also works fast.
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