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Comment: Re: I thought we were trying to end sexism? (Score 1) 554

Call this a guess, but I expect that if the other gender isn't present, the reduction in social problems resulting from a sexual difference compared to the majority would probably be greater than the social problems of homosexual students being around only their heterosexual peers of the same gender.

Or in short, homosexual adolescents are attracted to their same-sex peers and cannot express that attraction will occur in either situation, but a lack of the opposite gender being present might make it less obvious since there's no opportunity to perceive that they're ignoring the opposite sex.

Comment: Re:A dollar in design... (Score 1) 77

by TWX (#49498735) Attached to: Incorrectly Built SLS Welding Machine To Be Rebuilt
Yup. I've had to deal with contractors in the physical realm (cabling and other physical infrastructure) and in the logical realm (switch and router programming) and with the cabling if we weren't constantly inspecting them we got absolute crap. Punched the wrong color pattern (sorry we're T568A, but deal with it), leaving out drops, leaving out service loops, leaving out cabling supports, attempting to pass-off PVC in a plenum airspace, attempting to use lesser jacks (we called for Leviton for a reason dammit!), and lazy, lazy bastards that couldn't comprehend no zip ties.

On the switch side, they're getting $1200 per switch to program and rack them. We started calling it $300 a screw but that suddenly became not-funny after we found them using 10-32 screws in 12-24 racks, or leaving half of the screws out altogether, and that's before dealing with the crappy programming that I've had to go back and fix. It's so much fun when they never test the user VLAN, but the management VLAN trunks through, so the switch MUST work, right?

Anyway, Contractors are lazy bastards that will do as little as possible to satisfy the contract, and when called on their mistakes will try to weasel out of them. A NOAA satellite fell over at the manufacturer's assembly building because the morons forgot to check all of the bolts in the assembly hoist, and they got away with simply 'making no profit', when they should have paid the entire cost of the SNAFU. Perkin Elmer, who ground the Hubble mirror wrong, should have had to pay for the cost to repair it IN SPACE or should have suffered the corporate death penalty, had their charter revoked.

Screw contractors. They'll screw you.

Comment: Peak 3d printer (Score 4, Interesting) 153

by TWX (#49496073) Attached to: MakerBot Lays Off 20 Percent of Its Employees
Looks like we've hit peak 3d printer, at least as far as the near-term is concerned.

I'm wondering if this will be analagous to the daisy-wheel printer. For certain applications it's the best choice, but those are very few and far between, and are entirely based on fixed fonts and software made to do a standard set of rows and columns with fixed-width characters. They work great for printing multi-part forms and for where one wants text that's more readable than dot-matrix, but that's about it.

These first generation consumer-grade 3d printers are like that, but worse, because there's not much in the way of a business market compared to those paper printers. They were bought by businesses that specifically needed rapid prototyping, or they were bought by hobbyists that got into it as the latest craze. There's only so much of either, so once that small market is saturated there's less need for companies supplying whole printers.

Comment: Re: I thought we were trying to end sexism? (Score 1) 554

I've actually made a similar argument before. When boys are socially ostracized they've tended to turn to technology. Turning to technology gives them peers, and as a group they tend to delve deeper into the nuts and bolts at a young age. When those kids become adults they tend to gravitate toward technical subjects, especially computers, because they've developed a ken with the machines from such a young age.

It makes me wonder, if all of the people that came into tech in this fashion were discounted from the numbers, would those numbers be closer to parity?

The causes of the gender divide begin in childhood, and become integral with society to where genders are expected to be certain ways. I suspect that this girls' school will probably drain girls from other schools that were already interested before it establishes new interest.

Comment: Re:I thought we were trying to end sexism? (Score 1) 554

What do you mean by, "don't see a future for themselves."?

As in, they've looked to the future, and what they see bodes ill, so they don't see a reason to participate, or they haven't really even considered the future too much, and are screwing around in the same way as the parable about the grasshopper with winter approaching?

Because I can tell you, it's probably more of the latter than the former.

Comment: Re: I thought we were trying to end sexism? (Score 4, Informative) 554

Based on my experiences at work, there are lots of 'boys' that really don't give a damn and would have been happier in other careers anyway.

I'm actually in favor of gender-segregated junior high schools, mainly because of the showboating that goes on due to the hormones. It's been demonstrated that it's significantly curtailed when the other gender isn't present to display toward.

Comment: Re:Mandatory xkcd (Score 3, Interesting) 211

by TWX (#49490415) Attached to: GNU Hurd 0.6 Released
Well, I dislike it because it makes it much harder to administer a box as a UNIX-type machine with a simple text editor. Now it seems like I'm stuck with meta-scripts invoking meta-scripts invoked by other scripts to do something as simple as changing my DNS servers. A whole lot of stuff just got a lot harder because of an abstraction layer.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 4, Informative) 139

by TWX (#49490115) Attached to: Google Helps Homeless Street Vendors Get Paid By Cashless Consumers
People are not smart.

There are panhandlers at the freeway offramp lights around here, usually because they can stand on the left side of traffic near the driver's side. If you consider that your average light takes about 90 seconds to cycle, there are about forty times an hour when cars are sitting there. If one driver, every other light gives $2, then the panhandler can make $40/hr while sitting at the light. The advantage the panhandler has is that since the potential givers completely flush and replace every 90 seconds, there are new marks constantly, and it's unlikely that any would see anyone else giving money, so they may feel obligated to be the one to do so.

I figured out it was a borderline scam when I saw the bicycle that the panhandler had sitting off in the bushes. It cost more than the car I was driving.

Comment: Re:0.6? Are you serious? (Score 1) 211

by TWX (#49490083) Attached to: GNU Hurd 0.6 Released

They announced work on Hurd when I was still in university. I've worked a career, ended up disabled, retired, and spent years on a pet project since then, producing 13 point releases. Over 30 years have gone by.

Yet they've still only reached release 0.6? So one decimal point release every FIVE YEARS?


Stick a fork in this project.

It's done -- as in dead. Pushing up daisies. Pining for the fjords. Defunct. Deceased. Non functional.

It's not even worthy of being called a pipe dream any more. Even "Duke Nukem' Forever" beat them to the punch, and everyone gave up on that project long before it was released.

What do you want to name the fork? I vote for flock.

I don't think that there ever was supposed to be a Duke Nukem Forever. It was supposed to be a joke, as in, no game development would ever happen, so we would be waiting forever. Unfortunately someone else ended up with the rights to the franchise and didn't realize this.

Comment: So... (Score 1) 139

by TWX (#49490023) Attached to: Google Helps Homeless Street Vendors Get Paid By Cashless Consumers
...now we either have to come up with another excuse or else tell the person something along the lines of, "sorry, not interested"?

No one is under any obligation to buy from or to give money to someone panhandling. Given that there are enough actors out there to make one question if any given pandhandler is actually hard-up or not, I don't tend to give out money like that.

Comment: Re:Video from the barge (Score 2) 109

by TWX (#49489525) Attached to: An Engineering Analysis of the Falcon 9 First Stage Landing Failure
Damn that was close. Kind of makes me wonder if using the barge as such a small target is contributing to the hard landings, simply because it's such a tiny target relative to the area that the rocket has to come down on. It's about the length of a football field; makes me wonder if they could set-down on an area ten times that large if most of these control problems simply wouldn't matter.

Behind every great computer sits a skinny little geek.