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Comment: Bull (Score 5, Insightful) 37

by TWX (#48217127) Attached to: Microsoft Exec Opens Up About Research Lab Closure, Layoffs

He also stresses that Microsoft will continue to invest in and value "fundamental research".

That's a load of bull. Just about every company that's had significant research institutions and has closed them down has suffered long-term from that choice. Xerox, Bell, IBM, and several others in telecom/computing alone have done this and suffered the consequences.

Fundamental research is what drives long-term profit. Sure, it costs money. But it also produces patentable products that can revolutionize the market and allow the company to profit from patent licensing even when they aren't interested in the market that the patent would apply to. Get rid of the research and the company's products go stale over time, no new ideas, rehashing of existing ones to the point that someone with new innovation comes along and steals away all of the customers. Short-term it might make more profit, but long term it's like selling one's investments for cash.

This is a terrible mistake for Microsoft.

Comment: Re:Security + Telnet (Score 1) 58

by TWX (#48212583) Attached to: Cisco Fixes Three-Year-Old Telnet Flaw In Security Appliances
Depends on how the network is VLANned. I agree, it's not optimal for certain, but in cases where the management team for the devices have one VLAN for just themselves trunked to them, and where they use a common set of credentials to manage (ie, no TACACS/Radius) then it's not really any less secure.

Admittedly if someone makes a mistake and puts the wrong user on that VLAN, or if they need to get to the devices from elsewhere then they may have to traverse the network before getting to that VLAN, so there are issues. I wouldn't use Telnet anymore either if it can be avoided.

Comment: Re:Here you go: (Score 1) 245

by TWX (#48210187) Attached to: Michigan Latest State To Ban Direct Tesla Sales
Sorry, forgot to add, I hate the looks of the Leaf. I'd be fine with an electric car that looks like a normal car, but I don't want a Prius or a Leaf or a Volt, I want something that looks normal.

I've considered converting an old pickup with batteries under the bed, but lead-acid would be the most likely battery, and the truck still runs too well to do that to it right now.

Comment: Re:Tesla wasn't the target, it was China (Score 1) 245

by TWX (#48210179) Attached to: Michigan Latest State To Ban Direct Tesla Sales
I want 150 miles based on the size of the (sub)urban area in which I live. My commute is 20 miles round-trip. My wife's is 40 miles round-trip. I want to be able to at least reach downtown after work and back home again. It's also not uncommon to do things on the weekends that are much further away than work.

I don't think that 150 miles is unreasonable. That's half of the range of a gasoline powered car on a single tank of fuel. I'd love it if a car could get a 300-mile range for $30,000, but I know we're not there yet.

Comment: Re:Tesla wasn't the target, it was China (Score 4, Informative) 245

by TWX (#48208353) Attached to: Michigan Latest State To Ban Direct Tesla Sales
It's a lot more likely that foreign auto makers would use a dealer network than sell direct though, as there are more storage concerns with the importation of vehicles compared to when they're produced domestically, plus the nature of international trade might require an American holding company to do business more easily.

I think this is more an auto-industry trying to screw with the very nature of the market itself with protectionist practices than it is anything else. American automakers have never happily sold non-petroleum-fuelled vehicles in any real quantity, and while Tesla's cars so far have been luxury, they're looking to ramp up economy of scale and pricing for mid-line products that could really threaten the status quo. Teslas might be more expensive to purchase initially, but their lower operating costs and lower maintenance costs make them attractive to those drivers that don't need to go more than a couple-hundred miles a day and plan to keep their cars for more than a few years.

I can state, definitively, that if a $30,000 electric car with a 150 mile range on a single charge became a thing I'd have to consider it. That's plenty for commuting and errands for my household, and since we already have a four door sedan with low miles as the out-of-town trip car, we wouldn't need extended range on something in the city. Having relatively clean maintenance would also be a plus.

Comment: Re:Just keep it off the servers.... (Score 5, Insightful) 334

by TWX (#48207625) Attached to: The Classic Control Panel In Windows May Be Gone
Why is there a resource-intensive GUI on a server anyway? Is the server supposed to be able to play Solitaire or World of Warcraft? Or is the server supposed to, oh, I donno, serve files and applications to client stations?

That's one thing I never understood, why Microsoft went GUI with the servers like they did, other than to know that they sold a lot of server OSes to people that had no business running servers in the first place...

Comment: Re:Just keep it off the servers.... (Score 4, Interesting) 334

by TWX (#48207143) Attached to: The Classic Control Panel In Windows May Be Gone

Had to maintain a Windows newer Server system last weekend.... dealing with the Windows newer configuration interface on a server makes me very angry.

Said every Windows admin, ever.

Though all joking aside, changes should make the job easier, or more intuitive, or more cohesive. The change from the 3.1/NT3.5 interface to the Windows 95/NT4.0 interface was an improvement, but slowly fragmented as the GUI design kept changing over time (I dare not call it evolving!).

It's already awkward enough having separate control panels, one for most functions, the other for "Administrative Tools - Computer Management". That needs to be addressed, along with reconciling between two separate GUIs.

Comment: Re:More changes I don't want ... (Score 5, Insightful) 162

by TWX (#48205659) Attached to: Google Announces Inbox, a New Take On Email Organization
One could thread messages before webmail if one's mail client had support for it. Hell, Usenet and Fidonet clients could thread messages, as could public message boards. That technology dates back to the dawn of the personal computer, and may well have existed on big-iron machines before that.

That's kind of what pisses me off about modern "innovation", it's reimplementing something that already existed, much of the time, and trying to call it novel or new. There are very few legitimate new technologies these days.

Even when they're going on about VPC and being able to spawn apps, that's just X Consortium all over again. From 1984.

Comment: Re:All the movies had women in business (Score 1) 755

by TWX (#48205285) Attached to: NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders
Don't forget the weird era between the invention of the personal computer and its modern ubiquitousness, where computers were not necessary for every day life, but were useful as communications devices for the lonely, introverted, inept, or ostracized. People that sought solitary habits got into computers, software development, and the like, and developed something of a counterculture of computers that drew in the computer professional to an extent, but also became easy to stereotype.

While there have been ostracized or otherwise non-mainstream women in society, they did not seem to adopt computer culture, such as it was, during this period of growth. Maybe chauvanism from the men, maybe greater options for women socially, whatever the cause, women didn't end up in this line of work as much as men, and the culture that was constructed wasn't terribly woman-friendly.

It takes a long time for a culture to change when it doesn't want to. If men don't want to see women in coding jobs, it's not difficult for men to make it less desirable or difficult for women without even having to break the law.

What I find amusing is that computing is one of the few places where gender, race, age, and any other characteristics of the flesh aren't necessarily identifiable or even important for doing the work, yet it still has these problems. It's almost easier to integrate a construction site than it is an IT department.

Comment: Re:Pros and Cons (Score 1) 160

by TWX (#48199535) Attached to: Cell Transplant Allows Paralyzed Man To Walk
My father-in-law worked for Boston's sewer department until he was forced to retire at 70. Approaching 20 years later he's still going strong, and last year actually dug-down to find a sewer drain pipe breakage in his own yard, probably six feet down.

I don't think that the man has had a sense of smell for close to 50 years, and it hasn't held him back.

It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. - W. K. Clifford, British philosopher, circa 1876

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