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Comment Re:What about "legitimate" use? (Score 3, Insightful) 154 154

Why bother in the first place? Seriously.

I think it's well past time to stop pretending that there's some special purity in these competitions, "athletic" or gaming or whatever, and acknowledge them as what they are: entertainment. And the competitors are entertainers. Their job is not so much to win the race or Starcraft match, or to put the ball through the hoop or into the end zone or whatever. Their job is to put butts in stadium seats and eyeballs on the TV.

We don't drug test Lady Gaga, and take away her Grammy when she tests positive for pot. Robin Williams gets to keep his Golden Globe awards for Mork & Mindy, despite being hopped up on cocaine half the time. And we don't drug test the Rolling Stones before they go on tour and suspend Keith Richards from the first 10 shows when he tests positive for... probably just about everything.

So really... What's do special about Lance Armstrong or Barry Bonds or some Adderall-popping gamer that makes their brand of entertainment any more "pure" than any other?

Comment Re:Shut up.. (Score 1) 174 174

> People are so weird about food some times. I can
> mention liking veggie burgers in here, and some folk
> go nuts, like I'm a radical vegan.

This. I've never understood what it is with people obsessing over other peoples' dietary preferences and trying to impose their own or convince the other that they're wrong.

When I was vegetarian, I got grief from both meat eaters (Oh noes... how will I get all the right proteins?) and vegans (Don't you know that by eating cheese, you're still supporting the meat-industrial complex?). Plain old ova-lacto vegetarians are pretty chill now that I eat meat again. Vegans are still vegans. But now the "paleo" crowd attacks normal omnivorous people for not being level-20 prestige-class meat-eaters. And now there's the gluten-is-poison thing.

It's a frikkin meal plan, not a religion. Stop preaching at me.

Comment Re:To teach kids to code you need an incentive (Score 3, Interesting) 133 133

Likewise. I learned a fair bit of my early programming (And a good bit of math too. Though I guess you can argue that programming is math. But they're still separate skills in my head.) from opening up Apple ][ game files and modifying the code to cheat too. And not just games. I also knocked up programs to open up the data files from some of those educational programs they used in school and pull the answers to the math and english quizzes they made us take. Sorry Mrs. Brown. But those quiz programs you thought were challenging problems were weak sauce compared to Rocky's Boots and Robot Odyssey.

I wonder how many kids are losing out in these days of developers' policies that: "Our code is ours, now and forever. You may never look upon it or change the way it runs in any manner whatsoever. And by virtue of that code, we may also screw with your hardware or online accounts.". Mess with their precious code, and Valve will flag your account as abusive and lock you out of some games. Microsoft will brick your xBox. Some companies (Sony, for one.) will actually sue you. It's pretty sad. I'm far from being an RMS acolyte. I don't think of "free software" as some kind of moral imperative. But does really bug me when corporations actively attack people for tinkering with the hardware or software they paid for.

Comment Re:Cars are investments. (Score 1) 654 654

> 1) Speed comparable, if not faster than cars.

I don't know if that's realistic or necessary. There's a lot to be said for being able to skip the hassle of driving, parking and etc. I'd even be fine with a 20% time penalty vs. driving. More than that, though, and the car really starts to look preferable.

> 2) Convenient public transportation

This. Plus, it needs to be convenient for all of my travel needs, not just going to and from a job downtown (For which it works fine for me.) It also needs to be able to get me to and from the supermarket and run often enough that there's room for me to bring two grocery bags home with me. Otherwise, car. Likewise for other errands and transit needs.

I'll throw in a third requirement:

3) Accurate timetables that are adhered to. A big problem here in San Francisco is that MUNI operators/drivers consider the published timetable to be somewhere between merely a suggestion and an open joke; and their union is so strong it's basically impossible to punish them for failing to adhere to it. So on-time performance is appalling on most routes, meaning that you can't count on items 1 or 2.

> Otherwise, you need to start imposing costs on
> using the car - as in expensive parking.

This is what San Francisco is trying. They're taking away parking and raising prices on what's left. They tried charging on Sundays, but that caused much outrage and got canned. And they're taking away traffic lanes on many roads. City Hall *claims* to be practicing a "transit first" policy. But what they are NOT doing is reforming and rebuilding MUNI into a service that people would happily choose to use.

Comment Re:Well, she was an interim. (Score 1) 467 467

> WTF happened to the basic American principle of
> dying for the right of the offensive to be offensive...
> not just when we don't agree but especially when we
> don't agree??

That's not really relevant. Your right to free and offensive speech does not impose on anyone else, person or corporation, an obligation to provide you with a platform for said speech.

What I have to wonder, though, is when in the history of the internet has this sort of thing actually worked? Every example I can recall of a site or service that established itself as a seedy, politically incorrect, or overly juvenile corner of the internet, that has then tried to sanitize itself and purge the trolls, douchebags and irreverent, and make itself all family-friendly and leave-it-to-beaver-ish, has wound up eventually collapsing and fading into obscurity. Indeed, It already looks like an exodus from reddit to voat has already begun.

Comment Re:Reasons I'm not a judge. (Score 1) 331 331

To be fair this was Canada. And while I'm not 100% up to speed on their police procedures; the impression I get from the news media that trickles down south of the border is that their police are not so much the thuggish, trigger-happy, militarized loonies that go into the house with guns blazing and dropping flash-bangs into babies' cribs (Yes, the police actually do that here in the US.) as our own.

Comment Re:It's not a dodge. (Score 1) 161 161

> Companies of this size are able to write of a lot of
> their own legislation to legalize their desired
> behavior. Once the tail wags the dog like that you
> can no longer use the letter of the law to argue that
> big companies like MS are being responsible
> corporate citizens.

The difference is that Microsoft, Apple, Google, and the various tech companies that people are attacking lately over these tax issues are not the ones that wrote those laws. Tech in general, until very recently, has done remarkably little lobbying compared to most major industries. Those laws were bought and paid for by the likes of Halliburton, Texaco, GE, and the Koch Brothers. What we're seeing is a manufactured controversy. The old-school establishment companies aren't happy that newcomers are playing with the laws without having paid for them. Those pinko upstart left-coast companies just happened to realize that once a law is on the books, it is available to everybody.

Comment Re:Very similar strategy to Cisco (Score 4, Insightful) 161 161

Apple does it too. IBM used to do so (when they still made PCs & AIX workstations). Juniper does it at the community-college level. And, back in the day, you used to see a LOT of Sparc/Solaris machines in academic settings where they were definitely overkill.

Nothing sinister here.

Comment It's not a dodge. (Score 2, Insightful) 161 161

I despise Microsoft as much as anyone. But it's, at best, a strawman (non-)argument to call them a tax dodge or to claim they owe your hypothetical billions. Tax evasion and tax avoidance are two entirely different things. Learn the difference, and maybe you can sit at the adult table.

If you think the tax laws are broken, advocate for whatever changes you think are appropriate. But if you're going to attack someone else for not paying more tax than they are legally obligated to; then put your money where your mouth is, file a new W-4 with an extra $1000/cycle withholding yourself, and don't cash the refund check when it comes to you next year. I'll bet a dollar that says you won't though.

Comment's the LAW! (Score 2) 423 423

Or you could try Singapore, or Tokyo, or Hong Kong, or Sydney, or Berlin or Taipei. The difference is, of course, that those cities actually have and exercise the political will to ENFORCE their gun laws (Well... their parent governments do, aside from the one that doesn't *have* a parent government.) and proactively imprison offenders instead of turning a blind eye until someone gets killed.


NASA To Waste $150 Million On SLS Engine That Will Be Used Once 141 141

schwit1 writes: NASA's safety panel has noticed that NASA's SLS program either plans to spend $150 million human-rating a rocket engine it will only use once, or will fly a manned mission without human-rating that engine.

"The Block 1 SLS is the 'basic model,' sporting a Delta Cryogenic Second Stage (DCSS), renamed the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion System (ICPS) for SLS. The current plan calls for this [interim] stage to be used on [the unmanned] Exploration Mission -1 (EM-1) and [manned] Exploration Mission -2 (EM-2), prior to moving to the [Exploration Upper Stage] — also to be built by Boeing — that will become the workhorse for SLS. However, using the [interim upper stage] on a crewed mission will require it to be human rated. It is likely NASA will also need to fly the [Exploration Upper Stage] on an unmanned mission to validate the new stage ahead of human missions. This has been presenting NASA with a headache for some time, although it took the recent ASAP meeting to finally confirm those concerns to the public."

NASA doesn't have the funds to human-rate it, and even if they get those funds, human-rating it will likely cause SLS's schedule to slip even more, something NASA fears because they expect the commercial manned ships to be flying sooner and with increasing capability. The contrast — a delayed and unflown and very expensive SLS vs a flying and inexpensive commercial effort — will not do SLS good politically. However, if they are going to insist (properly I think) that SpaceX and Boeing human-rate their capsules and rockets, then NASA is going to have to hold the SLS to the same standard.

Comment Re:Drone It (Score 2) 843 843

> The F-35 seems to have a maximum g-load of 9g,
> while the PAK-FA has one of over 9g.

I'm not sure that's a big deal though. It's not too hard to build an airframe that can pull better than 9g. The thing is, no one's really figured out how to build a *pilot* that can take more than 9 (positive) g's. That's the limit for sustained human g endurance; and that's with g-suits and special muscle training to force blood back into the brain.

So until we remove the pilot from the aircraft entirely (And how far away from that are we, really?) 9g is pretty much the limit for *any* aircraft, no matter what the airframe itself could theoretically handle.

If you have to ask how much it is, you can't afford it.