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Comment Re:Don't they all? (Score 1) 43

As a rule of thumb, the colder electronic components are, the cleaner their signals are, the faster they can run, etc. All the fastest overclocking gets done via subzero temperatures (though this is dangerous as condensation of water from the atmosphere can cause catastrophic short-circuits).

Comment It's not affordability, it's safety (Score 3, Interesting) 211

Well, yes. It's affordability too, but try to imagine how soured on space the general public would get to see people slowly dying in an under-resourced "base" on Mars.

If you want to make Mars at all realistic, you need to start by building a set of space and mars-dust hardened machinery capable of doing remote controlled construction. What we send would need to have the ability to tunnel, create cement from Martian soils, smelt, and construct buildings. All to create an environment that might be capable of sustaining life. This is because keeping astronauts alive is orders of magnitude harder than anything else we might conceivably do.

Technologically, we're no where near there yet. Counter-intuitively, the hardest step is the first one: getting out of our own gravity well. The minimal amount of material that we would have to get into orbit to be able to construct a settlement is considerably larger than the International Space station, which is, I remind everyone, the most expensive human construct - at $100 billion dollars. The next most difficult stage would be landing on Mars with precision, not breaking anything.

Comment Re:What's old is new again. (Score 1) 320

Your historical perspective is admirable, but not apropos. In WW2, planes really only had bullets to shoot at each other. Large SAMs today can take any plane out of a fight. The A10 armor is really only useful against stuff that is handheld, and even then it's by no means perfect.

Comment My solution is to "DOX" myself (Score 3, Insightful) 370

Seriously. Anonymity is a legal fiction and an illusion, and almost nothing you say anyone gives a damn about anyway. I mean, my God, seriously, what do you think is going to happen? Being embarrassed because you hold some sort of unpopular opinion? Currently in the U.S., the big news is that Carly "HP rose 6% when I was fired" Fironina, is considered to have "won" the Republican debate over Trump the Clown, because she brazenly lied multiple times about Planned Parenthood! And you think you're going to be affected by some pro- or anti- Gamergate opinion?!?

The problem, ultimately, is that people really don't know who is wrong or right - so as a shortcut, they look to see if someone "caught" acts as if whatever it is they've been "caught" doing is embarrassing. This is why Trump is leading right now. No matter how wrong he is, or stupid, he never acts like it's important. So instead of clutching your pearls over some opinion you have, trying to "erase" someone DOXing you, when you really should be posting the entire DOX, saying "See what assholes these people are, trying to DOX me instead of actually engaging in a contest if ideas? That's because they're wrong and they know it. They can't fight my ideas, so they attack me. I guarantee that you will get an outpouring of support for whatever you believe in.

TL/DR: I don't censor my opinions. I call 'em as I see 'em. Under my own "brand", as you will. And I guarantee you, I'll never be embarrassed being myself. You shouldn't either.

Comment Hardly the only example (Score 5, Insightful) 441

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building."

- Anne Coulter

Please consider that just for a minute. Imagine if some commentator said "My only regret with Osama bin Laden is he didn't order the planes to fly into the Wall Street Journal." Would they then be welcome on news programs, asked their opinion, sell hundreds of thousands of books, and basically be a spokesperson for ideologically "pure" members of the Democratic party, instead of being rightfully shunned?

You need to open your eyes a little. One of the reason why blacks don't clutch their pearls quite so much over the relatively microscopic handful of terrorist deaths in the U.S., is because they've suffered terrorism for a century: the KKK burning crosses on their front yards, lynchings, and racist police on a hair-trigger, murdering completely innocent people and planting evidence (and getting off scott free, even when the evidence comes to light). But see, terrorism don't matter when it's just black lives being lost - at least not for the millions that Coulter, Rush, and many other mainstream Republicans. They don't even want to call it terrorism. White terrorists are all just "criminally insane", not like real terrorists - you know "them", "those people".

Comment Re:And this is News? (Score 1) 156

Either you've got to support a strong court system and the threat of force to back it up, or you've got to live by caveat emptor and not only let people simply deal with the consequences of fraud, but also make all debt the responsibility of the lender and not the borrower. Then you don't need a court system, and you can just work by might makes right. The only part which changes is not needing a court system.

There's another option, which is where a legislature sets some standards and a regulatory agency to ensure that the uninformed general public is not subject to too much danger and/or fraud before things get too bad. For example, ensuring that actual scientifically verified medicine is used to treat illness rather than snake oil. That way, there aren't quite as many lawsuits about whether or not someone would or would not have died with or without the non-treatment (in proceedings in which it is not at all guaranteed that justice will actually be served).

Of course grifters and con artists running businesses that depend on this kind of fraud, might band together and appeal to religious bigots (who are trying to shove their version of God down everyone's throats), along with war mongers and racists, to form a political party to call such oversight of their actions "government interference" and "bureaucracy". Because, as you know, accidents with customers and/or employees never happen.

Comment I disagree with your assessment (Score 1) 141

Openness means freedom to speak your mind, to share things that would otherwise be not shared, and to know things you don't specifically need to know.. This includes sharing information that is otherwise confidential, at least to people outside the company. But to do that, you need to be assured that people won't spread information with which they've been entrusted to people outside the circle of trust. It's not just social, either. Sometimes sharing things outside a company has financial or legal consequences to the company itself. So if he has someone who is giving confidential business strategy away to potential rivals, then he won't be able to share things he otherwise would.

Zuckerberg isn't being unreasonable here.

Comment Re:Political categorization theorem: (Score 1) 686

Lots of good things have been done. However the United States elects a President, not a dictator. And so long as Congress correctly represents the dysfunction and division we see present in the US public, where too many believe that all our budget woes can be solved by having the US government not spend money on things that it already doesn't spend money on, we're really not going to get any real movement to solve anything. We seem to be beset by the twin evils of absurd political correctness among the young, spoiled, "Social Justice Warriors", while at the same time suffering the unhinged extremist Tea Partyers put in power by those kids' elderly senile FOX news watching racist grandmas.

Time, I hope, will fix this. The kids will grow up and get a job, while the old racists will simply die off, taking their ugly ideology with it.

Comment Re:Wait, what? (Score 3, Informative) 361

they're specifically talking about the Monsanto crops which are a: terminal (they do not produce viable seed)

If they are, they're not blocking anything, as Monsanto has never sold terminator seeds.

specifically resistant to insect and disease strains that have already adapted to the resistant strain crops such as triticale (a hybrid of wheat and rye)

If they are, they're not blocking everything, because all crops are being constantly bred for disease resistance

as synthetic strains, are patented, hence with marker genes can be traced into the wild and used to shut down farmers who refuse to buy Monsanto strains by litigating them to death when those marked strains are found sprouting in their hedgerows.

There has never been a lawsuit for accidental wind sprouting. The closest case was Monsanto Canada Inc v Schmeiser, in which Schmeiser bred roundup-ready seed, pretending to have had it been part of a wind-blow, but actually having purchased the seed before, and simply bred a new crop without paying for it:

Regarding his 1998 crop, Schmeiser did not put forward any defence of accidental contamination. The evidence showed that the level of Roundup Ready canola in Mr. Schmeiser's 1998 fields was 95-98% (See paragraph 53 of the trial ruling[4]). Evidence was presented indicating that such a level of purity could not occur by accidental means. On the basis of this the court found that Schmeiser had either known "or ought to have known" that he had planted Roundup Ready canola in 1998.

Lots of luddites on slashdot right now. I thought I ought to correct the record.

Comment Ain't it bizarre? (Score 2, Insightful) 176

We're talking a cool technology here (though not quite as new as many think - I remember cameras being put on model rockets in the 1970s), and all slashdot talks about is how to treat them like skeets. "Hurr durr. I'mma gon' shoot it down with my slingshot. No Clem! Use a waterhose, or maybe toss a polecat at it or somethin'."

When did Slashdot become a luddite website?

Comment Tizen? Don't make me laugh (Score 5, Informative) 80

I worked on a contract in which an auto manufacturer was trying to use that abomination, and we could never even get the source to compile. Literally a year later, it came out that Samsung was trying to use both git/gerrit and Perforce as version control for it, mixed between different teams:

Time went by and Bad Things started to appear. Git/gerrit was official in some teams, but Perforce was official in other teams (even working on the same component). Some patches went there, some there. The management finally decided Perforce code should be used as THE source for building OS images. Again, they only forgot to tell everyone else to stop using git

Both repositories diverged to the point of being almost incompatible. Issues in Perforce code were given to git teams, which resulted in a litany of WTFs. After all, there’s not many things more fun than being tasked with fixing a bug in code that you physically don’t have. ASAP. Meetings took place, arrangements were made to rectify the situation. Months later, the situation is still the same.

One implication was code review process. With gerrit in place, that was a non-issue. But the Korean teams didn’t (and still don’t) understand the notion of code review and pushed everything directly to the repo. The quality of some patches was so bad that enforcing code review became top priority for non-Korean teams. Finally, a solution was developed – MS Word based code review. Each changeset needs to be attached to a bug in the tracker. Each bug can have a Word document attached with a request for code review. That document is a three pages long form with information so useless, nobody even wants to read it. At the end there’s a place for copy-pasting a diff for each file changed, with the explanation why. Reviewers are supposed to fill a Word form with details about which line they comment on and what their issue with it is.

Submitting a patch, clicking through the awful issue tracker and filling the form takes literal hours. All this because using git with gerrit was too tough. Fortunately, the review form has fields listing times taken by various steps in fixing a bug. Maybe someday someone will read how long pushing the code actually takes.

No, they won’t.

Luckily, that contract was short term. But because I put it on my resume, I got a few head-hunters inquiring about it. Quickly though, interest waned. Not hard to see why...

Comment Re:At this point? Really? (Score 1) 76

I'm pretty sure that "Lawnchair" isn't a typical appellation given by right-wingers to President Obama. ( They typically go for things like "Obummer", "Binladen-lover", "Tyrant", "Dictator, and "Weak" - not that these make much sense.) It sounds like damn_registrars is mad that Obama hasn't done more, which equally senseless, given the dysfunction of Congress. But I count him as absolutely very left wing.

Comment Re:This Probably Won't Work... (Score 1) 153

Yes, they could potentially do this legally. Prosecutors quite often twist the law to try to make it cover things it does not. However, Twitter isn't some nearly unknown white-hat security hacker who just happens to know a few things, and can be quietly persecuted. Twitter is a service used by billions of people. And I promise you, "The U.S. government is trying to shut down Twitter because it refuses to turn over foreign data it isn't legally entitled to." is not a news story that will ever see the light of day - because that would move the uncaring populace (and hence, politicians) in ways that many other things would not.

Mark Twain has a good line about this effect: "Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel".

Comment Expert enough NOT to criticize everyone else (Score 1) 220

I'm a software architect, and after 30 years of experience and many (of those terrible evil) patents, I spend most of my time helping, suggesting, guiding, and giving options to other programmers. And I still learn things, every single day. Yes, even from the Indian kids.

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A firefly is not a fly, but a beetle.