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Comment: Re:Good? (Score 3, Insightful) 507

by TheGavster (#46710065) Attached to: How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

I don't think that allowing parents to select their child's traits will ever lead to "clones"; things like Down's syndrome get weeded out in 90% of cases because it's a horribly debilitating condition ensuring that parent nor offspring will never live a normal life. Physical traits, though, are in the eye of the beholder: one person making a designer baby to their idea of beauty will result in a totally different set of traits than another.

Comment: Re:Airbnb profiting on illegal activity (Score 5, Insightful) 319

by TheGavster (#46689613) Attached to: SF Evictions Surging From Crackdown On Airbnb Rentals

Generally when municipalities go after micro-rental users (particularly en masse), it's not to enforce the main tenants' leases, but to enforce hotel taxes. A reasonable analysis would say it's a typical case of a private citizen unwittingly crossing the line into small business, a cynical one would say that real hotels lobby for these taxes and push for their enforcement to inflate hotel rates.

Comment: Re:Lest we forget.... (Score 1) 509

by TheGavster (#46656141) Attached to: The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

When I first saw that video, I assumed due to the crummy resolution that some joker had voiced it over. I checked the congressional record, though, and that man actually asked those questions in front of the committee where the stenographer could hear him. Page 27: Props to Admiral Willard for maintaining a straight face?

Comment: Re:user profile location (Score 1) 353

I actually was able to direct all user home folders to their own partition for the first time with my last Windows install. It turns out that there's a key combo you can hit on a certain page of the install wizard that will drop you to the desktop for the preboot environment the installer is running in, where you can run regedit (which will at that exact tab of the wizard see the registry of the newly installed system) and move the default user folder location (this is before any users have been created, again the magical tab of the wizard). There was some other voodoo to basically "reseal" the install a get back to the wizard. Pretty much the polar opposite of every Linux installer I've ever used, where they (gasp) ask which partition to use for /home. Great to know that it's actually possible though, since even if you know the registry keys to change when moving a user, the account will never work quite right afterward (I assume some user attributes get cached by various services or something).

Comment: Re:500GB minimum for SSD... (Score 1) 353

The other thing with SSDs is that within a given generation, speed correlates to capacity. The 512GB model doesn't use chips with twice the capacity, it uses twice as many chips. Sequential write speed close to doubles because twice as many chips can be writing at any given time (random writes, and the latency of sequential writes, obviously doesn't benefit)

Comment: Re:how do you convince microsoft (Score 2) 353

The only company I've ever had to contact for authorization from "installing too much" was Apple to activate iTunes. Microsoft hypothetically has a limit, but given the number of times I've reinstalled I'm pretty sure they only keep records going back a certain amount of time.

Comment: Re:patented keyboard technology? (Score 3, Interesting) 205

by TheGavster (#46617921) Attached to: Typo Keyboard For iPhone Faces Sales Ban

BB did have a patent on the angled keys that they sued Palm over back in the late 90's. It actually is a fairly innovative design that optimizes the direction of the bevel on each key based on the kinematics of your thumbs so that the keys act much larger than they are (if they actually cloned it correctly). It has also become sort of a mark of BB (both because of the exclusivity and the general unpopularity of portrait QWERTY layouts), so I guess that might even be grounds after the patent expires (which has to be coming up soon ...).

Comment: Re:Bullshit Made Up Language (Score 4, Insightful) 512

by TheGavster (#46611745) Attached to: Why <em>Darmok</em> Is a Good <em>Star Trek: TNG</em> Episode

I think you missed the point ... the language was formed out of references to a common body of knowledge. The universal translator was doing just fine figuring out what the individual words meant, but without the common story to refer to they made to sense. It's essentially as if an entire culture communicated only in pop culture references. For example, someone might say "You're such a Samantha", but if you haven't watched many hours of Sex and the City, you would have no idea what they meant despite knowing all of those words.

Comment: Re:Why, oh why? (Score 1) 142

by TheGavster (#46554135) Attached to: AMD Develops New Linux Open-Source Driver Model

The GMA500 driver might be doing fine, but for some reason they keep licensing third party graphics for the integrated solution on Atom processors, or at least the ones making it into industrialized products. Getting OpenGL up under Linux on PC/104 or other embedded board is a royal pain in my experience.

Comment: Re:Don't they have to fly that thing around? (Score 4, Interesting) 330

by TheGavster (#46479055) Attached to: What If the Next Presidential Limo Was a Tesla?

As Truman famously said, The Buck Stops Here. The president is the head of the executive branch and the commander in chief of the armed forces. He absolutely has authority over his personal security. My opinion? Take a queue from the Queen and take public transit. Or from the Pope and walk. Even heads of states who have boots on the ground in Afghanistan fly commercial. Nothing supports a culture of fear more than a leader who doesn't have enough faith in his people to travel among them.

Comment: Re:No contract, wifi-only (Score 4, Interesting) 126

by TheGavster (#46470139) Attached to: Replicant OS Developers Find Backdoor In Samsung Galaxy Devices

Does anyone do verification on the "airplane mode" setting of phones? The FCC and FAA seem to have come to the conclusion that there's no way you can detect active radios via undesired behavior of an aircraft, and are down to sorting out the social ramifications of phone use on planes. I'd like to see an independent (and preferably paranoid) lab check to make sure that "all radios off" means that the radios are off, and not just that they stop passing traffic from the PDA OS.

Comment: Re:Here come the flippers (Score 1) 250

by TheGavster (#46450513) Attached to: Sony &amp; Panasonic Next-Gen Optical Discs Moving Forward

This. Every optical standard has had a double-sided variety, and every time it has failed to be adopted. The closest they got was with DVDs where there were different films or different aspect ratios on the two sides (so you still would never flip).

Also, the jump in capacity here just seems to be a plateau from previous optical technology:

0.6 GB => 9.4 GB => 50GB => 150GB

We were supposed to have 150GB/side blu-rays, for crying out loud (whatever happened to 5-layer discs anyway?).

Comment: Re:It will have problems in the real world. (Score 1) 242

by TheGavster (#46392063) Attached to: Walmart Unveils Turbine-Powered WAVE Concept Truck

I don't think the idea is to have the assembly weigh less, but for the overhead of the truck and trailer to be less. 4klbs less trailer means 4klbs more cargo.

The single tire trucks and trailers are on the road today, at least here in the northeast US. I haven't heard of any accidents caused by the tires, but advances in tire technology may make them less apt to blow out than semi tires years ago.

Some carriers go all-out and also install fairings under the trailer and around the trailer doors. Particularly the long under-trailer pieces could probably benefit from whatever manufacturing advances allowed them to produce the trailer side panels.

Comment: Re: Sure (Score 1) 500

by TheGavster (#46349775) Attached to: Supreme Court Ruling Relaxes Warrant Requirements For Home Searches

That's really the core problem worth this ruling. The police had probable cause up the wazoo, but it's been turned into a test case for how far you can go to coerce consent.

The police absolutely were in the right to enter this apartment, but it was because they were responding to domestic abuse, not because arresting someone removes their right to deny warrantless search.

Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repainting. -- Billy Rose