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Comment: Re:What a nightmare (Score 1) 324

I think many of your (valid) complaints stem from weak and/or immature writers relying on "magical" things and/or super tech to achieve the desired story line. I dislike "magic" in most stories as it seems to be used mostly as a crutch for weak writing, or a writer unwilling to deal with unpleasant consequences in a story.

My understanding is that the transporter was originally used to workaround using a shuttle craft for all extra-vehicular excursions (for screen-time efficiencies) and later became a useful story device. But, you're right that this new trans-warp beaming-device is simply "plot magic". Kahn could have beamed to a near-by ship and flown to Klingon space. (Furthermore, why didn't an Enterprise retrieval party simply re-use the trans-warp transporter to beam themselves as did Kahn... saving themselves the trouble of the trip.

I've been watching Trek for like 30 years and didn't know that about TOS transporter. Thanks. I guess I need to read more Trekkie history.

The two J.J. Abrams ST films seem full of unnecessary / stupid things - like parking the Enterprise underwater to avoid being seen by natives when parking it in *orbit* would have accomplished the same thing. Granted, watching the ship rise from the ocean was a ST boner moment, but still technologically unnecessary. (JJ's signature move seems to be having the Enterprise rise up through clouds, water, etc...)

I wonder about orbit. They generally enter a moderate orbit, perhaps? A large starship streaking across the sky at regular intervals would be noticeable near sunrise/sunset. I'm nitpicking I suppose, but it reminds me of C.J. Cherryh's excellent Foreigner series, which had humans get really lost and end up finding a planet that happens to have an intelligent steam-age society. That light orbiting up there seriously got the natives thinking, "WTF?". (umm, I don't recall how much, it's been years since I read the first). But they were semi-advanced and had astronomers.

Oh, and in First Contact they *were* noticeable from orbit, and as we know at that point there were likely plenty of people around with telescopes and eyeballs and tech savvy. Nobody else noticed Enterprise up there? Well, probably I guess, but it didn't matter in that story. No more missiles to shoot it down, save Cochran's!

But I suppose the Prime Directive made an exception to being noticed as merely a light in the sky :)

Comment: Re:Top #1 Indicator That Correlates To Drive Failu (Score 1) 142

by SgtAaron (#48374465) Attached to: Data Center Study Reveals Top 5 SMART Stats That Correlate To Drive Failures

Let's be real here. You almost never get advanced warning from SMART. Maybe one in twenty. Almost without fail you'll go from a drive running properly to a drive that won't rotate the spindle or the heads smash against the casing or you've suddenly got so many bad sectors that it's effectively unusable. Failure prediction is almost (but not quite) valueless compared to the reality of how drives fail.

Yeah, I did mention smartd in an earlier post, and I said it "can be handy" but I suppose I must agree with you based on my own life as its been lived until now. We never put a server into service without at least software raid, usually with just two disks with some exceptions. A lot of our equipment are tiny supermicro 1u's that can only hold two. But after many years we have yet to have two go at once (knock on wood) so the warning of a raid out of sync has saved us.

Comment: Re:Cool data but... (Score 1) 142

by SgtAaron (#48373811) Attached to: Data Center Study Reveals Top 5 SMART Stats That Correlate To Drive Failures

I would like to see SMART tools built into Windows and other OS's (maybe there are some I don't know about). Especially since some of my computers are up for 6 months or more at a time, a drive could be fine 4 or 5 months ago when it was last booted, but I wont get a smart message until next reboot, maybe a month or two from now, after it's to late.

Linux smartmontools package has smartd, the "SMART Disk Monitoring Daemon", which will monitor SMART-capable drives and will log problems and send email alerts. Can be handy. Don't know about Windows.

Comment: Re:Meh (Score 3, Insightful) 245

by SgtAaron (#48365401) Attached to: ISPs Removing Their Customers' Email Encryption

I assume my email transits the internet in the clear regardless how I send it so I am having a hard time getting angry about this.

Yeah. Use gnupg or something of its ilk for end-to-end encryption. It's not like a bazillion system administrators like myself can't read all of your email anyway. TLS in this regard would be handy if you're on an open wi-fi and are sending login information to the mail server... maybe.

Comment: Re:Wonderful (Score 1) 588

by SgtAaron (#48322255) Attached to: Marijuana Legalized In Oregon, Alaska, and Washington DC

Sorry, I'm not completely familiar with the US legislative system. Does this election mean it is the law now, or it is just the expression of voters that politicians now have to form into new laws?

I haven't actually seen anyone truly respond to the question. But I may have missed it.

Anyway, here in Oregon the ballot measure was written just like the legislature would draft a bill of law. Its wording becomes a part of state law. Our voter pamphlets have the full text of the measure. It's long. It starts with :

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:

This Act shall be known as:

Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act

Woohoo! It's about damn time. Let the dominoes roll.

Comment: Re:Marked Paper Ballots FTW (Score 2) 388

by SgtAaron (#48315411) Attached to: Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches

You're using quotes which attribute the text to the original author and hoping bold face will suffice to highlight your differences with his/her opinion. Who is to say whether those tags will survive. And what's the point, anyway? Why not just quote the text and use your own words to express your view? I do have this off-topic opinion: I'm sick and tired of "FTFY" and wish it would end. Optimism.

Anyway I live somewhere in Oregon, and am happy with mail-in ballots. Easy. Get to ponder the thing for awhile over coffee, beer and/or whiskey. Oh, humans have to count them in the end. What else is new?

Here's to the thing finally being over. :)

Comment: Re:Have to take personal time to vote... (Score 1) 401

by SgtAaron (#48298905) Attached to: US Midterm Elections Discussion

More places haven't gone to mail-in-only voting because they don't want to disenfranchise the homeless, who have no mailing address, or the poor who might change their address upwards of three times per year often staying in transient housing. The poor often have a hard time finding a single place to live, and they already have the least time to deal with matters such as ensuring that their ballot is sent to the correct address.

An interesting point. So I checked into that.

I know the ballot would come with an official addressed envelope like our regular mail ballots. I suppose the issue then would be getting to the county clerk's office.

Comment: Re:Have to take personal time to vote... (Score 1) 401

by SgtAaron (#48298729) Attached to: US Midterm Elections Discussion

And that's horseshit.

It needs to be a mandated holiday at all levels, with elections taking place at the same time everywhere.

Here in Oregon all votes are cast by mail. If you can't mail it in time, then you drop it by a collection booth during a lunch break or something. Standing in line at the local school gym has become a thing of the past here. I've often wondered why more locales haven't adopted such a thing.

Comment: Re:They tried to raise prices 20% unnanounced (Score 1) 392

by SgtAaron (#48274529) Attached to: Cutting the Cord? Time Warner Loses 184,000 TV Subscribers In One Quarter

This really is off-topic for this discussion but I have to say:

Well, I"m not that interested frankly, in the news of the world for the most part...why would I?

I don't expect that much of the world to be that interested in US news...?

Dude! You aren't 16, are you? Only caring about what happens in the US is like living in a surreal bubble. No interest at all in knowing what's going on in Ukraine, Hong Kong, the middle east, or Mars? And trying for balance by watching cable news? Eh, that's so weird to me. I guess it's just my opinion, but considering the nature of the world we live in these days, anyone who cares at all about the news should be caring about what's happening internationally.

Personally, I'll read the NY Times and maybe watch PBS News hour and 30 minutes of our local news (which they broadcast 1.5 hrs, but pretty much say everything in the first 30 min broadcast. Dumb). If my roommate weren't so attached to watching crappy history channel shows, I might ditch cable and watch those on rabbit ears, in HD! We won't pay our blasted cable company extra for HD.

I once lived 6 miles from the US/Canada border and we only had Canadian tv over the air. Let me tell you, watching the nightly Canadian news broadcasts is an *entirely* different news experience. I really preferred it, frankly, though I wasn't too interested in stories about the price of tea in Whitehorse :)

Comment: Re:This was no AP. (Score 1) 339

by SgtAaron (#48256351) Attached to: LAX To London Flight Delayed Over "Al-Quida" Wi-Fi Name

That's only three syllables. The original arabic is tough to phonetically spell because there are two letters not in our alphabet. For instance, the "Q" is used because the first letter is a hard K, which you use your throat to pronounce. And in the middle is the "ain" letter, which also one uses the throat. The word is prounounced *something* like "al QAA ih duh". There's actually an official government transliteration alphabet that is used when that needs to be done. But I can't remember it and it wouldn't help you :)

It always grated my ears when I heard Bush call them "Al kayda". It offended my arabic language neurons every time!

Comment: Re:This was no AP. (Score 1) 339

by SgtAaron (#48256285) Attached to: LAX To London Flight Delayed Over "Al-Quida" Wi-Fi Name

Huh -- I've always heard it translated as "The Base" (which is also what Wikipedia says:; I think there was an SNL episode in which GW Bush referred to his "base" as his "al-quaeda," which I thought was a clever language joke ...

The terrorist network's name does mean "The Base". It's used a lot, such as in "miltary base", "base of operations". Heck, even a meeting place can be qaeda. Like "Al qaeda is at the store 1pm". Let's meet at the store at 1pm.

I have no idea what Al quida is supposed to mean. I suspect it's a typo, OP says it's network in Arabic, but my check says it's "shibka". I studied arabic in the army but I had to google that, it's been awhile.

Comment: Re: Physical requirements are not all that tough (Score 1) 308

by SgtAaron (#48238223) Attached to: US Army May Relax Physical Requirements To Recruit Cyber Warriors

We all have our talents. First and foremost that's the thing to remember. Here I go starting this thread talking about being able to do push-ups, when my brother is a ballroom dance instructor and has talent enough to take a piece of clay and turn it into Patrick Stewart. Umm, btw, even in my best years you'd have beat me in sit-ups.

Comment: Re:The military saves lives! (Score 2, Interesting) 75

by SgtAaron (#48236509) Attached to: The Man With the Golden Blood

He first donated as an 18-year-old in the army

As a 18-year-old Greek conscript marine i did the "1 day honorable leave donation", even if just the "1 hour away from the barracks" was good enough for me - 20 years later i proudly am in the process of getting a new donors card because the old is full with the records of my donations.
Donate blood!

That's interesting. Some things are the same everywhere. In the US Army we got the day off for donating blood, too. It's a great idea and was one of the few really nice perks. (Side note: every three-day weekend we automatically got a fourth day off. See the Army's not *that* bad, hah).

I eventually earned a five gallon donation lapel pin from the Red Cross after I left the service. I told someone this once and she said "You donated 5 gallons of blood today?" *faceslap* Well I'm B+ which is not rare but isn't really too common, either, it seems.

Though I've slacked on my donations lately. This is reminding me I should start thinking more about that.

Cheers AC Greek veteran!

Comment: Re:Why do they need to be in the Military? (Score 3, Informative) 308

by SgtAaron (#48236371) Attached to: US Army May Relax Physical Requirements To Recruit Cyber Warriors

Why can't they just be hired to do specific work like millions of other federal employees? This seems a bit stupid.

I can think of a couple of reasons, there may be more. A new army recruit is probably going to be payed less than a civilian government employee. Also, in the military, you can work 18+ hrs a day and there is no such thing as overtime. Civilians are also not subject to the uniform code of military justice, which means punishing bad guys--or, heh, good guys doing bad--is always made easier than dealing with messy civilian justice.

Real programmers don't bring brown-bag lunches. If the vending machine doesn't sell it, they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche.