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Comment: misleading (Score 1) 462

by Elwood P Dowd (#47079785) Attached to: Fiat Chrysler CEO: Please Don't Buy Our Electric Car

The issue is that in California they have to sell a certain portion of their fleet with zero and low emissions. He is saying that in order to convince people to buy the zero or low emission vehicles in adequate proportion, they have had to subsidize the price by $14,000. He does not expect that they will "sell too many" â" they picked this price because it's the number they expect will sell exactly the right amount.

Comment: 2nd SOMALGET country leaked by contractor resume (Score 1) 241

by Elwood P Dowd (#47079741) Attached to: WikiLeaks: NSA Recording All Telephone Calls In Afghanistan

The 2nd SOMALGET country was first leaked by defense contractor resume. Hinted at, in any case. Defense Contractors put all the illegal shit they do in their resumes to get more jobs doing those things.

Christopher Soghoian's tweet on the subject.

Erica A's resume

Erica A spent December 2012 to October 2013 in Afghanistan, is an expert in "Somalget Retro GUI" and is available for hire immediately.

Comment: Tragic, but useful (Score 2, Funny) 814

by Moraelin (#44294439) Attached to: Hardly Anyone Is Buying 'Smart Guns'

Well, we're talking types who think they absolutely need a loaded gun everywhere they might be in the house, including racks by the bed and whatnot. And that their life WILL depend on it any day now, when squads of evil government black muslim communist ninjas will burst into their home to confiscate their bible and replace their medicare with an evil socialized one. And their kids who think that playing cops and robbers with daddy's gun, presumbaly in between eating paint chips and being homeschooled in how many dinosaurs fit on Noah's arc, is a good idea.

I dunno, it certainly is tragic, but their noble sacrifice to improve the species' gene pool will be remembered.

Comment: You don't really want a black hole (Score 1) 284

by Moraelin (#44268623) Attached to: Mastermind of 9/11 Attacks Designs a Secret Vacuum Cleaner

Actually, you probably don't want an appliance powered by a black hole, because those convert matter into energy via Hawking radiation and the energy output actually ramps UP as the size decreases. A very small black hole, say, 1 kg in weight (a little over 2 pounds) would convert itself into energy in about 84 attoseconds and release the same energy as a 21 megaton nuke or so.

You'd need a pretty big one for it to be stable, and I doubt you really want a vacuum cleaner weighing as much as the Everest :p

On the other hand, if we ever tame one, it would make an awesome source of energy for something that needs a lot more energy. Such as a continent. Or a warp-capable ship. Hmm, the Romulans were up to something.

Of course, it would still be a Tamagochi that blows up with the fury of a supernova if you forget to "feed" it, but, hey, it's all good as long as we call it a warp core breach. Right?

Hmm, maybe I shouldn't have mentioned Romulan singularity warp cores though... I hear the Tal'Shiar are nastier than the NSA and CIA put together ;)

Comment: Re:Wait, what? (Score 1) 133

by Elwood P Dowd (#44190053) Attached to: Can Ride-Sharing Startup Lyft Survive the SoCal Heat?

It's not carpooling. These are cars and drivers that would not be on the road without the service.

It may not purely increase congestion - the riders might otherwise use a car of their own. But it's basically a taxi with 10x better service (in function, not just attitude), slightly lower prices, and total dependence on GIS for knowledge of local geography.

There are a variety of reasons to regulate taxis, but the original one was that otherwise, taxi drivers would run a ton of scams. This isn't a problem with Lyft, specifically. Now we have additional concerns about traffic congestion and ecological impact. I don't know whether that is a problem with Lyft, but it's not crazy to suggest regulation.

Comment: True story (Score 2) 641

by Moraelin (#44174265) Attached to: Things That Scare the Bejeezus Out of Programmers

True story, at some point in the past I had to work on a company's internal application for data entry. Well, it was a lot of data and, as requested by the PHBs, pretty much half the fields were needlessly mandatory. (Which brings us of the fear of working for incompetent people;))

Most of them were pretty much impossible to validate too, because they were stuff like city or street names, and even in telephone numbers people tend to use letters. So the only real restrictions were field lengths and that they're mandatory.

So then comes the request to basically make reports and searches on that data.

And I kid you not, half the records had stuff like "n.a.", "I don't know", "no idea", etc in at least one of those fields.

And these were internal users, not some 6 year old over the internet.

Comment: Re:Tea, Earl Grey, hot. (Score 1) 193

by Moraelin (#44132047) Attached to: Scientists Work To Produce 'Star Trek' Deflector Shields

Why not spend that time trying to produce a replicator?

Or am I to expect a "Replicating food is killing farmers, and it's illegal!" response?

There was news recently that NASA _is_ paying someone to develop a 3d printer that prints food, for their spaceships. Which I suppose is as close as we can get to a replicator with the tech level we have for now.

Comment: Err, no. Both were deflector shields (Score 3, Interesting) 193

by Moraelin (#44131981) Attached to: Scientists Work To Produce 'Star Trek' Deflector Shields

Err, no. Both kinds were called deflector shields, in the canon. See: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Deflector_shield

The lower level one emitted by the navigationa deflector (a.k.a., deflector dish) dish was nothing else than a lower intensity force field, but still a deflector shield. (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Navigational_deflector)

Comment: Well, sorta (Score 5, Informative) 193

by Moraelin (#44131933) Attached to: Scientists Work To Produce 'Star Trek' Deflector Shields

Well, sorta. If you do enough technobabble and you're willing to count close enough as a hit, then getting it right isn't that hard.

Point in case, in ST's case the Navigational Deflector (emitted by the deflector dish) was actually supposed to protect against space debris, micro-meteorites, etc. (Still a good idea, mind you, because when you're moving even close enough to the speed of light, a single grain of sand packs more energy than a broadside from a 20'th century battleship.)

Dealing with particles via magnetic field was actually the job of the Bussard Collectors (you know, those red glowing things at the front of the nacelles), a.k.a., ramscoops. Which actually didn't deflect it, but collected all that mostly hydrogen in the ship's path.

So, yeah, if you make a complete hash of which did what, and how, and still call it a ST deflector shield, yeah, you can count it as a hit.

But then by the same lax standard I can claim that Jesus endorsed binary code. Matthew 5:37: "But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." :p

(And yes, I'm a huge ST and SW nerd. I know, I know, I'll go not get laid now.;)

Comment: Two wrongs don't make a right, though (Score 4, Insightful) 572

by Moraelin (#44060699) Attached to: Why Your Sysadmin Hates You

Well, yes, but my experience is that even if I've never screamed at an admin, nor informed them of their mothers' extramarital activities, the majority seem to make it their duty to keep me from doing my job anyway.

In fact, for some (I'm looking at the fucktard duo administering the MQ server,) the nicer you are and more willing to explain why you need a queue for the application already approved by anyone who had a legitimate say, the more they'll abuse that and your time by MAKING you have to explain for weeks or get nothing from them. The guys who do tell them to STFU and do their own job, now those get what they asked for.

Now I have sympathy for admins, and understand that other people shit on their day. But WTH does it solve to in turn have them shit on MY day and my coworkers' day?

If X bullied admin Y, and Y bullies innocent bystander Z in turn, what did it solve, other than make an extra person unhappy? And how does the former even excuse the latter, anyway? Much less make it right. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Comment: Actually, now that makes me wonder (Score 4, Interesting) 259

by Moraelin (#43128309) Attached to: EA Offering Free Game to Users After SimCity Launch Problems

Actually, now that I said that only morons would believe EA's BS about the CPU not being enough for their game, and that they're actually processing your city on the server... it kinda makes me wonder if they ARE trying to get morons as a target demographic.

I was reading a paper a few months ago about Nigerian widow scams and such. The question they had basically asked themselves was: why those scams don't try to be a little less ridiculous and more plausible? Why don't they try to snag more people?

Their conclusion was that basically the scammers don't really want everyone. They actually want only the morons, who are more likely to then go through with it. If a smart person gets tipped off that it's bogus... GOOD! That's one less dead end to waste time on.

So I'm thinking, hmmmm, maybe that's EA's plan. Maybe they do want to reach the morons. More morons with money probably means more crap DLCs sold down the line :p

Comment: Well, that much is clear (Score 4, Insightful) 259

by Moraelin (#43128291) Attached to: EA Offering Free Game to Users After SimCity Launch Problems

Well, that much is clear.

In fact, here's a thought: they said that the processing was so complex, they had to do some of it on their servers. But... if my still fairly top of the line 4 cpu / 8 thread Intel couldn't do it... what was EA going to do that actually makes a difference? Add one more CPU of their own for everyone who plays at a given time? Yeah, I'm so going to believe that they'll buy a 1 million CPU server farm just to handle everyone at launch. NOT.

So, yeah, it was clear that they're just shovelling ridiculous BS and hoping that enough morons would actually believe that.

The sad part, though, is that I've actually seen morons repeating it in excuse of the crashing servers fiasco.

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