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Comment: Re:Remember the good old days? (Score 1) 347

by jc42 (#48910387) Attached to: Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

Remember when news organizations didn't so blatantly try to push agendas?

I can't remember that far back. It must've been well before the sinking of the USS Maine.

It must have been before recorded history. We have documented examples of such behavior for as long as we have documents.

Comment: Re:No it is a combo of 2 factors (Score 1) 347

by jc42 (#48910371) Attached to: Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

Precisely. The study asked a question that results in an expected answer 80% of the time. So why would such a study be conducted in the first place?

Well, duh, they did it to verify that the people did give the "expected" answer most of the time. There are lots of scientific studies showing that something the "everyone knows" isn't actually true, so such beliefs are often worth actually testing. In this case, a number for what fraction of the people haven't a clue about DNA is interesting and potentially useful. It does put a lot of other such surveys in an "interesting" light.

Comment: Re:who writes this shit? (Score 1) 38

by rwa2 (#48908741) Attached to: Virgin Galactic Dumps Scaled Composites For Spaceship Two

Eh, I've had it happen to me... I won a small paper airplane competition (really more of an art project) years ago, in just one category out of several, and not really anything notable. But all of the news sites ran a little blurb with the headline "Engineer from $AEROSPACE_GIANT (NYSE:$BLAH) wins airplane competition"

I try not to assume too much these days, like that the corporate-controlled media isn't in it for the money if there's money to be made.

Plus, they subliminally put the word "dump" right there in the headline next to the company names, and you know all the robotic stock traders make trades automatically off of the incoming stream of news feeds.

Comment: Re: There are still contingency plans (Score 2) 242

It depends on the specific service member in question.


During the time of the US Civil war, Americans shot their literal brothers - not just their squad mates.

It starts with one soldier. How many follow, and when they follow, depends on the rhetoric of the separatists, how they conduct themselves, how they spread their message, and the counteracting rhetoric and actions of the government.

All of us are alive because people on both sides of the Atlantic with their finger on the "launch" button skipped opportunities to press it. Soldiers are people in difficult situations, trying to balance many opposing directives.

Comment: Re:Hints from an over-the-hill programmer (Score 1) 463

by Reziac (#48908415) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

"To be a great programmer, you need to write code that reads like English."

That's an interesting observation, and see what I (not a coder but an interested bystander) say above about two programs I know equally well as a user -- one in Pascal (I can pretty much grok what all the code does despite zero comments), the other in C (lots of comments, but still makes my brain hurt even when I can figure it out).

Comment: Re:One important use left for Pascal (Score 1) 463

by Reziac (#48908347) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

From the user standpoint (I'm not a programmer, but I take an interest, and have rooted around a bit in various source codes), these are my observations:

1) When a program written in C crashes, it may do damnear anything on its way out.

When a program written in Pascal/Delphi crashes, it simply closes down and returns you to the OS.

2) I have an ancient (1990) database program I can't live without. When it was retired from the market, its owner kindly shared source with me, which happened to be in Pascal. There's not a single comment in it, but as I know the program so well, I can tell what nearly all its code does.

I can't say that of the other antique program which I still use and know very well (and have perused much of the source), but is written in C.

I doubt it's entirely coincidence, or even relative marketshare, that's given us those marvelous Obfuscated and Underhanded Code contests for C, but no such for Pascal.

Comment: Re:who writes this shit? (Score 1) 38

by rwa2 (#48908145) Attached to: Virgin Galactic Dumps Scaled Composites For Spaceship Two

Yeah, sounds like someone is tweaking the headline so they can pick up some cheap stock after it gets dumped.

From actually RTFA, it sounds like VG is just assuming responsibility for further testing. The accident sounds tragic, but it looks like it may have been the co-pilot's ... "fault" is a strong word, but they mentioned he unlocked the stabilizer a bit too early and then it automatically feathered when it wasn't supposed to.

SC may do good work, but these kinds of things happen, unfortunately. But it's really bad press for VG, and I can see their board upset about why they're letting a relatively "small" engineering outfit determine their fate. It sounds like VG should be in charge of this project and their own future now, for better or for worse. Now they're fully responsible for the risks and can certainly handle them differently.

+ - Bill Nye Botches Deflate-Gate Science 1

Submitted by spiedrazer
spiedrazer (555388) writes "It looks like America's favorite non-scientist science authority has weighed in on the physics of the NE Patriots Deflate-Gate "scandal", saying that to change the pressure in a football, you need to have a needle to either let air in our out. This, of course, completely ignores the Ideal Gas Law and the effect that changing temperature would have on the pressure of the gas within the ball. MIT did a "slightly" more scientific look at the physics here and found a pretty significant effect.

I didn't realize that Bill Nye had so little science background, but from his wikipedia page: "Nye began his professional entertainment career as a writer/actor on a local sketch comedy television show in Seattle, Washington, called Almost Live!. The host of the show, Ross Shafer, suggested he do some scientific demonstrations in a six-minute segment, and take on the nickname "The Science Guy".[14] His other main recurring role on Almost Live! was as Speedwalker, a speedwalking Seattle superhero.""

Comment: Re:Lack Of Faith (Score 1) 76

by Tom (#48907991) Attached to: Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

Are you aware that BMW and Mercedes reliability has gone into the toilet since the 1980s?

The M3 I drove last year begs to differ. As did the SLK the year before. :-)

Maybe they have problems, I don't know, I don't own a car, I just rent them pretty often, and I'll take one of those every day over almost any brand. At least until my car rental company gets Teslas.

Comment: Re:The solution is obvious (Score 1) 496

I don't understand the point of buying a non-Google Android device.

I've looked at them, and I just never saw anything that made me think "that's clearly so much better and cheaper than the Google device that I should be reliant on the manufacturer and carrier to support it."

When my Nexus 4 went tits up I bought a Moto G 2014. It's got an SD slot, it's got KitKat (now) and it's unlockable/rootable. Indeed, unlocked and rooted. It was under $200 with a ringke slim backing added, from Amazon. That was pretty compelling. I miss the GB of RAM but nothing else.

Comment: Re:BUT - will it auto-calculate folder sizes? (Score 1) 334

by drinkypoo (#48907897) Attached to: Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

It's too slow to be useful


and will utterly kill network drives.

Seems like Microsoft can address this one of two ways. One, just don't do it to network drives, the OS knows which those are. Two, by now they ought to have been able to implement this in SMB or whatever it is called now, where the client just asks the server for the size of the directory so it doesn't have to do all the calls manually. The server can prioritize that stuff last.

Comment: Re:Oh please, you act as if they're computers (Score 1) 72

by drinkypoo (#48907823) Attached to: Modular Smartphones Could Be Reused As Computer Clusters

A modern smart phone can barely compete with a desktop PC from 2000 (CPU wise anyway, smartphones do have much better GPU's).

Gee, is that all? I remember doing quite a lot on my desktop in 2000.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if a 1GHz Pentium 3 could beat a dual core 2GHz ARM CPU. Sure the P3 would be chewing 30W and the ARM only 6.

I'm betting it would depend on which benchmark you were running.

"There is no statute of limitations on stupidity." -- Randomly produced by a computer program called Markov3.