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Comment Re:What about other life goals? (Score 1) 115

I used the unpaid example to draw a sharper contrast. A large block of time off is generally unavailable under any terms, except at companies like FB (or apparently everywhere in Europe) that explicitly call out child-rearing.

Since you seem to know of the system: If European democracies have a state system for paying for the leave, did the debate include proposals to allow payments for other avocations?

Comment Re:What about other life goals? (Score 1) 115

Let me turn that around: Should child rearing be restricted to those who can demonstrate that they won't raise them to be horrible? I know plenty of complete jerks who had a parent stay at home.

In any case, if this leave is special because it appeals to a higher purpose, then there are many other higher purposes that I can think of that are equally deserving of paid leave. An engineer could take time off to educate underserved populations, or to apply their skills to solve basic problems in developing areas. Even the assistant manager at McDonald's has skills with logistics and sanitation that could be applied to standing up a soup kitchen.

Comment What about other life goals? (Score 2) 115

Allowing employees to take a big block off to get started on what may be the biggest achievement of their life is great, but what about for people whose aspiration is something other than being a parent? Even a guaranteed job after an unpaid sabbatical is a rare benefit. A generic "life goal" leave is, I would think, even cheaper to offer since the leave can be planned in advance to avoid crunch times (not that parents can't plan, but it's a rare one that seems to).

Comment Now if only the memory pressure metric worked (Score 1) 231

My concern with any memory management strategy under Windows is that even the current, disk-based virtual memory system is horrible at determining the "memory pressure" statistic. Under Windows 7, when I have a memory-intensive operation running, I'll hear the disk grinding away paging the whole time, while the system monitor shows physical memory usage at 60%. Even if the other 40% is disk cache, I'm pretty sure the foreground process should take precedence.

The other frustrating scenario is in sleep mode: after an overnight sleep,you can watch the physical memory line go from near zero back to where it was before the sleep as the disk grinds away paging things back in. That's hibernation, not sleep! My suspicion there is a feature which gets the machine hibernated while sleeping, to recover in the case of a power outage. The feature pretty much kills the usefulness of sleep, though, if every wake is a wake from hibernate.

Long story short, I'm pretty sure that this new compression feature means that Windows will simply keep itself to an even tinier corner of the physical RAM, while wasting CPU cycles in addition to disk accesses.

Comment Water cost is regional ... (Score 1) 62

Water use certainly is an environmental impact factor ... if the data center is located somewhere where water is scarce. If the metric doesn't take into account where the center is located when evaluating externalities, then it's not really doing its job. Sure, blowing through millions of gallons a month is a problem in California, but in upstate New York it's not really an issue.

Comment Re:No different than any other home brew (Score 1) 66

I wouldn't say that this is quite like homebrew. Wild yeast in your beer might just make it taste a little different. Wild yeast in your insulin bioreactor will either kill off your modified strain and ruin the batch, or at a minimum introduce unexpected byproducts that will mess up separation. Oh, about separating: you can drink beer and wine straight. To get an injectable product you need some precise chemistry to separate the insulin from the dead yeast, leftover growth medium, and alcohol. Moonshiners have very favorable boiling points on their side, and still sometimes screw up and make a batch of poison.

Comment Re:From the TFA (Score 1) 334

It's not right, but you stand by it? They say you meet some reprehensible people on the Internet, but holy cow. What other evil acts to you stand by?

Imagine how this would work out in your neighborhood: The guy down at #5 finds some dog poop on his step. He's seen you with dogs a lot, so he asks if it was your dog. You respond that you don't actually have a dog, but that as a veterinarian, you often see dogs. The situation here is the same as if your neighbor came and accused you of letting your dog defecate on his steps every time it happened, even though he knows that it couldn't have been you.

In the real world, all societies need defenders who will protect them from the wild. A free society is predicated on those defenders being able to differentiate that which is suspicious from that which is actually hostile or criminal.

Comment Re:From the TFA (Score 1) 334

So, what hypothetical threat are the DHS agents protecting America from? I would note that, in all 40 instances, she was eventually allowed into the country, and in none of those instances did she commit a crime before leaving again. Perhaps the first time, her associations overseas might raise questions. But hopefully, somewhere in those multiple hours, they worked out that she is a journalist, and that communicating with people is part of her professional work.

Comment Re:Good for greece (Score 3, Interesting) 1307

Everybody inflates these days, because it's just easier to pass a silent flat tax on wealth than anything on earnings (realistically it's probably recessive, since the wealthy are likely to have a greater share of their wealth in investments more resistant to inflation). Modern central banks also feel an obligation to inflate their currencies at accelerated rates in times of recession. The thing is, a tourist economy is going to experience recessions that lag those of the industrialized nations where the tourists live. In this case, the industrialized nations who dominate the Euro got through their recession, sounded the all clear, and turned down the tap. Problem for Greece was, they were a couple of years behind.

Comment Re:I can see it now (Score 3, Informative) 44

The metal bits aren't what go obsolete. The tooling to produce the engines, the frames, the aerodynamic surfaces were destroyed only after the planes were retired. 3D printing doesn't help build microchips, wiring boards, etc.

Could some of those parts have been produced better with 3D printing? Sure. Particularly inside the engines, there are very complex forms that are difficult to make subtractively. But the whole plane? Big simple forms are far stronger and consistent when stamped from rolled stock than sintered up from powder.

The reason those planes were retired is that new requirements emerged, and it was decided (rightly or wrongly) that a new design was the right way to meet them.

Comment Re:How would aereo tv service work into this? (Score 2) 188

Taxation of Illegal Income in the United States

At least in the US, tax collection agencies have never balked at collecting their share of your ill-gotten gains. In fact, it's a worse tax situation than legitimate business, because there are classes of expense, such as bribes, which cannot be deducted.

Comment Re:Knowledge (Score 1) 312

What I'm saying is that jailing a teenager for giving a lift, no matter how much he knew, isn't going to fix anything. Sure, he knew is buddy was going abroad to "wage jihad".

But how much meaning does that have for a 17-year-old who grew up in Virginia?

He needs to be taught about the horrors of war, and the difference between an independence movement and a terrorist organization. 15 years of prison is going to intensify his misguided anger towards western democracy, not weaken it. When he gets out, all he will have is no future (because he's an ex-con), social bonds only with criminals (because that's who he's had to talk to for half his life), and an abiding anger towards America.

Yes, this kid is screwed up. Yes, he was a tiny part of someone else's journey to do something very screwed up. But I don't think it's a felony, I think it's something that could be corrected by talking and by teaching.

Comment Re:Mixture (Score 1, Insightful) 312

I'm not sure that "giving a ride to the airport" is really what laws against "material support of terrorism" are supposed to be about. Heck, even flying to Syria isn't against the law (though the State Department has a two page explanation of how terrible an idea it is). It's more of a "teachable moment", if anything.

Brutal responses are what the terrorists want; this kid was misguided, but when the US government is done with him, he'll be radicalized.

Comment Re:Service, not software (Score 1) 49

I would think that open-source SaaS products would be, if anything, MORE viable than open-sourcing a traditional, locally-hosted application. The code only gets written once, so the provider isn't really producing a product afterwards. This makes it hard both to keep rivals from releasing the same product, or to charge for the product in the first place. With SaaS, you're providing maintenance, hosting, and reliability to your customer continually. Any competitor would have to do the same thing, keeping the bar to entry high.

Comment Re:Transparency (Score 1) 103

I concur with your points, but have a few corrections to (3) and (4), as the best way to win an argument is to not allow any holes:

The "winner takes all" system means that all of a state's electors are pledged to the winner of the popular vote in that state, regardless of the margin. What happened in 2000 was that Bush won his states by narrower margins than Gore won his states, resulting in the "packing" situation that is the principle argument against an electoral college.

The electors in 2000 all voted as they were assigned. The controversy over Florida's electors was over who to assign them to vote, as the results were within the margin of error for the voting process. If electors were assigned proportionally, the "hanging chad" would have come down to the one odd elector, rather than all 25, and we would never have heard about it.

Separately, I think that (2) is one of the most important points, and the one that is least likely to see attention. I remember my frustration in the run-up to 2008's election to hear Howard Dean in an interview on NPR defend not only the primary system, but having different states vote different ways. If one of the more progressive voices at the time is married to that system, we have a long way to go to change it.

You don't have to know how the computer works, just how to work the computer.