Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:1000 times (Score 1) 622

by Tuidjy (#49531535) Attached to: Cheap Gas Fuels Switch From Electric Cars To SUVs

As if that's the only problem with his numbers. He is comparing a large luxury sedan to an entry level, small car.

I know two people who own Teslas, and neither of them got it to save money. Teslas are quite comfortable, halfway good looking, and offer good performance. They are also a statement that goes beyond 'I can afford this.'

I have a heavily modded 460hp S60-R Volvo, and a very clean 26 year old Toyota Supra. A Tesla pretty much covers all the strengths of my two cars: performance, turning heads, comfort on long trips, maturity... in one car.

If I wanted a Tesla, I'd buy one. Saving money on gas would not be amongst my reasons... but unless something drastic happens to my cars, I'm happy with what I have. I cannot imagine what would make me buy a new Civic. Losing my job, having my savings wiped out and becoming unemployable wouldn't. I'd buy an old car I could fix and maintain myself.

Comment: Re:Easy grammar (Score 1) 626

Well, now that I posted, I am thinking about exceptions. For example, in Russian, you have to know where the accent falls, or you may mispronounce the letter 'o'. There are a few tricky things about Hungarian, as well. But in general, English is much harder to get right than any language I know. Hell, I've been told that I can read a Japanese paragraph and sound perfectly understandable, and I have never studied Japanese, I just picked up the phonetic alphabet because I ran out of reading materials on a long flight.

As for Esperanto, I have found it an insanely easy language to understand, and I think it would be the case for every well-traveled European. But the rverse is not true - I would have no hope of speaking it correctly, because I have no idea how they decided which language to borrow from for specific words.

Comment: Re:Easy grammar (Score 1) 626

This is more of the rule than the exception in most languages that I know.

English is my fourth language, and when I started getting serious about speaking it properly, I realized two things:
- I had been pronouncing many words incorrectly, and to this day, 25 years later, I sometimes realize that I had the wrong pronunciation all along. Sometimes it is because I am familiar with the word in the original language, but it is pronounced differently in English, and sometimes it is because the pronunciation disobeys English rules.
- Many native speakers have no idea how to pronounce words that they have never heard.

But in Bulgarian, Russian, French, Spanish, Hungarian, Polish, German, there are very, very few words that you would mispronounce if you see them written down, as long as you know the applicable rules. Some of the languages above (not all) are also very easy to spell, because as long as you know the correct pronunciation, there is only one possible spelling.

Comment: Re:If i can't work on my car (Score 1) 292

by Tuidjy (#49400593) Attached to: EFF Fighting Automakers Over Whether You Own Your Car

Heh. A 2000 Toyota running strong is not an exception, it's the rule.

My daily driver is a 1990 Supra with 7000 miles on its rebuilt engine. It had 310,000 miles when I decided that I was getting too little compression. I have replaced a lot of things on that car (every hose, for starters) but I can do everything but truly major work myself.

On the other hand, I just paid $5,800 to have the clutch, angle gear, etc... of my S60-R Volvo replaced. I could not have began to do the work myself. My regular mechanic was unwilling to work on it, and he has been fixing my cars for two decades. I still like that car a lot, it's a 460 sleeper with a hydraulic suspension that's my choice for long trips... but every repair is a major expense.

If I really want to feel that I own a car, it has to be something that at least a dozen of years old. Anything more recent is either really cheap crap, or is beyond my skills to really fully understand, let alone tinker with. Sure, I'm an CS guy, not a gearhead, but I do have an MEng, and I like cars. When I was thirty, I felt that I could at least talk with my mechanic. Nowadays... Oh, will you kids get off my lawn?

Comment: Re: So What (Score 2, Funny) 324

by Tuidjy (#49375789) Attached to: Poverty May Affect the Growth of Children's Brains

Well, I think that ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE agrees that our taxes are spent on the wrong things. The young think too much is spent on the elderly, the healthy think too much is spent on the sick, the pedestrians think too much is spent on roads, the childless think too much is spent on education, etc... And I bet there are people who think that homeland security, the police and the military are getting way too much.

But until someone comes with a better way to decide where the money gets spent we are stuck with the time honored one: wherever it will bring the politicians more power, which in the US means votes and campaign contributions.

And a lot of noise will be made as to where expenses will be cut... usually, whatever programs do not have powerful, organized groups benefiting from them. You can't cut grandpa's check without losing his vote, but you can cut school lunches or fail to fund infrastructure maintenance.

There are no easy solutions. And speaking for myself, I can a lot more benefit, for myself, by working harder, than trying to influence how much I pay in taxes, and where it gets spent.

I have a choice where I live and work. I chose the US in the 90s, and I do not regret that choice, not even when I have to deal with our healthcare (which is the only thing I think is done better elsewhere). Pre- or post- Obamacare, with my experience of other healthcare systems, the changes are not worth commenting on. It was terrible, it is terrible, but as long as I have a good income, it's survivable.

Comment: Re: So What (Score 5, Insightful) 324

by Tuidjy (#49375539) Attached to: Poverty May Affect the Growth of Children's Brains

We get more from taxes. A poor person may get a pittance for food and lodging, but we, and by that I mean middle class professionals, get roads on which to drive our nice cars, police protection for our belongings, safe streets around where we live... and basically a nice life. And yes, we get it from the society that is made possible by taxes.

If you are one of the brainless retards who think that their guns and mad macho skillz will keep them on top if there is a breakdown in law and order, I won't even bother arguing with you. I'll just say that I lived through Bulgaria's transition from a police state to a society run by organized not-quite-criminals, and saw how happy people were to see an end of the truly lawless times.

Without taxes, there is no law enforcement. Without law enforcement, there is no security. No one is tough enough to guarantee their own security without organizing with like minded and skilled people. Once they have organized, they decide that they don't be keeping themselves secure, they are protecting others as well, and... start collecting taxes.

Comment: Re:What good is this? (Score 4, Informative) 103

by Tuidjy (#49322969) Attached to: Finland To Fly "Open Skies" Surveillance Flight Over Russia

No, it is not funny. It is actually quite amazing how carefully you have to read the article to understand that the incident was in international airspace, and how little "nearly collided" means.

It reminds me of the CNN report about the Russian missile inscribed "To be delivered personally in Omaba's hands" . You know, the one that our ex-ambassador twitted about, the one that showed how Putin is threatening the United States, the one pundits were discussing, as in "can it reach the United States."

CNN even went as far as to intersperse pictures of the missile into footage from the main Feb 23rd parade on the Red Square. The catch? It was a papier-mache prop carried by two member of a fringe party (Stalinist Youth!) that was marching on a back street. Of course, the picture was cropped by CNN as not to make that immediately obvious.

Frankly, the report worried me. Then, in 10 seconds, I stopped worrying, because I found the original picture, and had a laugh. I was scared again, a few days later, when I could not find the CNN clip, or the MSN article, or pretty much anything about the epic fail on English language sites. Good cleanup.

Comment: Re:Out of respect for Dice's agenda, let me ask... (Score 5, Informative) 109

by Tuidjy (#49305199) Attached to: The Stolen Credit For What Makes Up the Sun

I think that SJW is a quite appropriate subject to bring when talking about this article.

Let me list a few ways in which just the summary is wrong, deliberately twisting the truth so that SJW can get their righteous anger on.

o Cecilia Payne-Gaposhkin is not someone I have not heard of. She was a professor at Harvard, a department chair, and hers is a name that you are very likely to hear even if you have just taken classes there.
o Her credit was not stolen. The man who dissuaded her from publishing part of her theory thought that the claim, unsupported, would expose her to ridicule. He did not do it to steal the credit - once he actually proved the claim, he gave her credit in the paper, and actually admitted there, without having to, that he was originally wrong.

And seriously, do we have to twist the facts to make things more interesting? There are enough wrongs to get angry about, and every time lies that are meant to inflame are discovered, assholes get to cast doubt on other, true injustices.

Comment: Re:People (Score 1) 216

by Tuidjy (#49287821) Attached to: France Will Block Web Sites That Promote Terrorism

Why is it okay for Charlie Hebdo to insult Muslims, but illegal for them to insult Jews?

Say what? They are insulting Christians more than Jews, and Jews more than Muslims. Of course, they are mostly insulting French right wingers.

Fuck, one of the last things published before they got massacred was a defense of Islam against someone they considered a crazy right wing fear-monger. There was quite a bit of schadenfreude over that is some circles.

Comment: Re:I'll just wait for the app (Score 1) 340

by Tuidjy (#48770771) Attached to: Researchers "Solve" Texas Hold'Em, Create Perfect Robotic Player

It already isn't. One of my friends is a pro-player, and he says that it was never allowed anywhere close to tournaments - not because of being singled out, but because it is banned by at least two different, preexisting rules.

Poker is far from the only gambling activity that could be helped a lot by a computing device. Hell, there are rules against doing math in your head, let alone an app.

Comment: Re:Tablets age well (Score 1) 328

by Tuidjy (#48696981) Attached to: Is the Tablet Market In Outright Collapse? Data Suggests Yes

I still have my original Nook Color. Two years ago, my wife got her own tablet. The Nook at least has been jailbroken and reconfigured so that it does everything I want to do off my gaming and coding PCs.

I upgrade my gaming PC when we get a bigger monitor, my programing PC when I need to, my wife upgrades her phone when she doesn't want to appear out of date... But the tablets? They are only dropped on the bed, never get scratched, and don't do anything that taxes their modest capabilities. I cannot see myself upgrading them unless one gives up the ghost, and considering that my first American PC (1993 IBM PS2) is still managing CNCs on a machine tool floor, I'm not holding my breath.

Comment: Re:Just tell me (Score 5, Informative) 463

by Tuidjy (#48150879) Attached to: Positive Ebola Test In Second Texas Health Worker

Too late. The second infected nurse flew from Ohio to Texas, while symptomatic. Which means that the infection could, theoretically, have been spread in both Ohio, and wherever her co-passengers went.

Forget quarantining areas. I think efforts should be focused on
- educating citizens on measures to reduce chances of exposure (hygiene)
- training medical personnel (the infected nurses are a disgrace to their hospital's procedures)
- purchasing equipment to deal with Ebola (better suits, gloves, etc...)

But hey, I'm just an engineer. I do not have constituents to please so that I keep my cushy job where I can trade the common good for personal perks. So if any of the above gets implemented, it will be later, as opposed two weeks ago.

As for panicking? There's never a time to panic. There is a time to punish the guilty, after the emergency has been dealt with. They can panic them, if they wish.

My computer can beat up your computer. - Karl Lehenbauer