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Comment: Re:So? (Score 1) 256

by bill_mcgonigle (#48023307) Attached to: Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

Sorry but if you can afford a Tesla you ARE on the fringe!

Not really. We had a 2005 Pontiac minivan. Between acquisition cost, gasoline, repairs (and repairs and repairs), and depreciation, it cost us $50,000 over three and a half years, and that was before the inflationary boom when steak was half the current price.. We had to unload it due to the gas and repair costs and ate it so hard on the depreciation.

The Tesla is slightly more expensive than that, and that was aimed squarely at a typical young American family. The 10-year cost on a Tesla model S is going to be a lot cheaper, not to mention the model 3. It's simply a matter of financing.

Comment: Re: Best outcome (Score 2) 198

when the US petrodollar is completely decoupled from oil it loses about 5/6ths of its value intrinsically. The subsequent run on the currency could be an order of magnitude higher. Putin knows this and so do the Chinese but don't look to the Chinese to suddenly weeken its largest single purchasing market. The IMF will likely try to float SDRs to replace FRNs as the world currency but Russia and China stand to gain little by supporting it. Don't keep your long term wealth in current financial instruments.

Comment: Re: Bash is a very crappy programming language. (Score 2) 322

by bill_mcgonigle (#48019125) Attached to: Bash To Require Further Patching, As More Shellshock Holes Found

To be fair, perl had these problems in the early 90's and "taint mode " was introduced to protect against them and unforseen future variations on them. I seem to recall a release of PHP in the past couple years has adopted some of the same techniques. Bash folks won't be able to achieve a great result over a weekend. That we're here two decades later tells you most of what you need to know about the appropriateness of selecting bash for this kind of work.

Comment: Re:If there's a systemic problem (Score 1) 185

by bill_mcgonigle (#48007567) Attached to: Security Collapse In the HTTPS Market

If there's a single systemic problem with HTTPS, it's that we're still largely relying on Certificate Authorities which charge a lot of money. The expense and complexity discourages people from using SSL more ubiquitously.

I don't think that's really it - I can get as many commercial-grade SSL certs for 7 bucks as I want. I got a couple at Namecheap for $2 when they were running a special. That's a large coffee at McDonald's. I've purchased 5-year wildcards for $150.

How cheap does it need to be to be usable? For most people setting up a CA takes more time than $7 is worth.

If there's an immediate problem, it's the default root stores. Why would I trust the US DoD to sign certs for Google, or, heck, even my own mail server? A default install of most browsers and OS's will. Oh, but we should be afraid of the NSA exploiting heartbleed? Heh, ceilingcat don't need no protocol exploits.

Comment: Re:Impressive but a bit much... (Score 1) 131

by bill_mcgonigle (#47994165) Attached to: Euclideon Teases Photorealistic Voxel-Based Game Engine

However, I could still easily tell that these were not real world images.

I was thinking they weren't blurry enough. The camera pans should have depth-dependent motion blur compensation to make the look more convincing. Since they have the 3D model, this is simply a matter of having the time to program the algorithm - all the parts are well-known. They'll be hearing from Hollywood when they get that and perhaps a bit more accurate lighting (but, hey, throw the thing on a tracing farm for Hollywood money). We're probably not too far from principle location photography consisting of a small crew with a .1mm laser scanner for blockbuster-level movies. Even with the cost of the render farm, it's still cheaper than housing hundreds of people for weeks or months. All the data in this video says we're only 7 Moore's doublings away from realtime photoreal, which is pretty darn amazing.

While the narrator is talking about a thousand artists on a game, I don't think he's implying that this technology replaces them all. If somebody needs the chandelier in the cathedral to swing ('cause Nightcrawler just ported onto it e.g.) then they will still need modelers to handle all the mechanics. But I bet this tech saves them a bunch of time on modeling and texturing. They can either do with fewer artists (the crawls at the end of blockbusters are insanely long) or the existing number of artists can do more amazing things.

I'd still rather see five fewer modelers and one more great writer, though.

Comment: Re: This is huge (Score 1) 308

Antarctic ice has actually increased significantly in the recent cold period (see the ancient Asian maps), at the same time as desertification has been on the march. It's hard to comprehend just how much water is locked up in the *miles* thick ice sheets. And yes, of course no matter low the oceans get, humans will move down to the seaside and build settlements. Whenever the oceans rise again those people will be affected, inevitability, and they will be both the subsistence poor and the wealthy in their mansions.

Comment: Re:Solution (Score 1) 405

Too complex - there's no need for taxation anymore. It's all a holdover from real money. With fiat currency (since 1971) the government can just print as much money as it needs. The personal income tax raises about $400 billion, which is only about 10% of the budget.

The only reason for taxation in 2014 is to show that the labor of "citizens" is collateral for the borrowing of the Federal government. But with debts > 1x GDP and unfunded mandates in excess of 10x GDP, even that appears to be unnecessary at this point.

Comment: Why the Hell did you get PhD? (Score 1) 471

by bill_mcgonigle (#47976155) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

No, seriously, why? I hope it's because there was a topic you're interested in. You didn't say, but it'd have to be an awfully bullshit topic to have no interest to anyone anywhere.

Obviously sending in resumes through the front door is a waste of time. Work your network.

If you just did a PhD to kill time, then you're just a C++ developer who's been out of work for six years. If your thesis had nothing to do with the job you're applying for then *FOR THEM* you're just a C++ developer who's been out of work for six years. Maybe they wanted to know if you're aware of C++11 or whatever and that's why they were asking those questions.

But, for Pete's sake, you owe it to yourself to discover who your network knows (do you do LinkedIn?) in an industry that could use your interest's knowledge, and apply it. Unless you decided that after the PhD you hate that topic (it happens) and then you're just starting over.

You should have made friends with all of the faculty at your school while you were there, and not hidden in a cave for six years. Did you do that? Ask them for favors - maybe you can return them some day. The way it works is they help you then you help then, and it's a non-zero-sum game, but somebody has to go first.

Comment: Re:Funny how this works ... (Score 1) 184

by bill_mcgonigle (#47975289) Attached to: Netflix Rejects Canadian Regulator Jurisdiction Over Online Video

and Netflix can support customers paying via alternate methods who are willing to stream over a VPN -- so the result of this conflict is that both sides lose, and the citizen (not consumer, although them too) loses even more.

It's a conspiracy by the Bitcoin illuminati! Who knew they had moles inside the CRTC?!?

Comment: Re:Funny how this works ... (Score 1) 184

by bill_mcgonigle (#47975149) Attached to: Netflix Rejects Canadian Regulator Jurisdiction Over Online Video

Really? A radio and TV communications commission can block legal credit card transactions?

Presumably they simply rule the product as being 'illegal' and then the transactions also become such and there are extant mechanisms for interfering with those.

And, yes, political regulators have the ability to find a way to destroy ANY business - that seems to be what most voters want. The current system is based on silent consent - those not loudly objecting are considered to be supporting.
It's a stupid framework, but that's how it is.

The only difference between a car salesman and a computer salesman is that the car salesman knows he's lying.