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Comment: Re:it could have been an accident (Score 1) 726

by WheezyJoe (#49347319) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

Armed passengers could dispatch any would-be terrorist to the magic land of seventy-two virgins.

Not if they're already in the cockpit (bullet-proof door). Any any stray shot by some trigger-happy gun nut would likely pierce the fuselage and start decompressurization, ala Goldfinger. Also, terrorist holds lady with knife to neck and tells you put down your weapon (while unseen terrorist sneaks up behind you with box-cutter). Besides, if you let "passengers" carry guns onto plane, then terrorists who are "passengers" also permitted to bring guns onto plane (they just have to get through our fine TSA screening).

And the flight crew should have an emergency switch to alert air traffic control of a non-normal situation.

This is a really good idea.

From the ground air traffic control should be able to regain control of the aircraft by remote control thereby locking out any manual control under the aircraft is safely on the tarmac.

I like this, too, but what's to stop the bad guys from faking the secret frequency and crashing the plane from the safety of their hideout? We can't even get HTTPS to be secure.

Bottom line, this problem sucks. Really sucks. And it won't be an easy solution.

Comment: Re:it could have been an accident (Score 1) 726

by WheezyJoe (#49344929) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

You, sir, have ruined my day. There's no question why those locks were put in place after 9/11, but a new problem arises that once a bad guy gets the cockpit it's all over. I can imagine some weird manual override built in, crawling around the luggage compartment Passenger 57 style, but then that could be exploited by the bad guys. This problem just sets your head spinning round until you can't get on an airplane anymore.

Comment: Re:Because people are whiny about Windows 8 (Score 2) 208

by WheezyJoe (#49313413) Attached to: For Boot Camp Users, New Macs Require Windows 8 Or Newer

It's a bit more than that. I'm no Windows hater. I just really like and work with Windows 7, and I don't like what Windows 8 and onward needlessly take away.

If the only PC I had to worry about was my own, than I'd be more ok with undo'ing all the stupid things that Windows 8+ did with the interface, ClassicShell, Window Blinds, whatever. But at work that's not an option. IT has a reasonable interest in keeping things supported and uniform, and adding and supporting tons of third-party interface stuff is something they just don't want to do. So the staff just have to live with this crappy interface stuff (ribbons, non-expected full-screen metro apps, charms popping up unexpectedly, buttons in the wrong places, colors that draw your attention to the wrong place) that, honest-to-god, slows down their productivity. Some staff don't love learning new PC stuff, they just want to get work done. Why the fuck did Microsoft change all this shit when there was no reason to?

I appreciate that Windows 8 is better under the hood, boots fast, and is mostly compatible (*cough* Adobe *cough*). But my staff and I spend our working lives on the desktop, and Microsoft just up and made things ugly and force everyone to drink it like Victory Gin. Particularly, they take away the means to customize the interface to something more 7-like. If they at least left the option to customize things up beyond what the lame "personalize" control can do so you don't have to rely on third-party hacks and unsigned system files, it wouldn't suck so bad.

That's why it doesn't take a Windows hater to hate Windows 8. I'm testing Windows 10 preview, and it's better 'cause there's no start screen or charms, but man the desktop and icons are getting more ugly with each new build, like they're time-warping back to the late 80's when 16 colors was all you had. WTF!

Comment: Dell XPS 13 (Score 2) 208

by WheezyJoe (#49313235) Attached to: For Boot Camp Users, New Macs Require Windows 8 Or Newer

I've worked with one of these, and it is very sweet. Honest PC alternative to a Macbook. I'm no fanboi (I use both platforms), but PC laptops have been flimsy plastic throwaway junk for years, whereas apple builds reliable, solid, throw-it-in-the-bag and go with no McAfee crapware to deal with. The Dell comes with a little McAfee crapware to uninstall, but in every other respect it is the first decent PC laptop I've seen in a long while.

Quality costs. The XPS with 8.1 non-Pro, 8GB RAM, the lower-resolution, non-touch screen, and a decent-size 256 GB SSD (upgrade) will run you $1099 (the "retina" touch-capable screen costs another $300). By comparison, a 13" Air with the same storage, RAM, and non-retina screen (and a slightly faster processor) is $1299.

The XPS 13 feels solid, stupid lightweight, really fast, long battery life, and the non-retina screen looks great (can't vouch for the higher-res screen, but I've heard mixed reviews of Windows 8 scaling up). And it's an actual "lap" top - it don't need no kickstand to hold the screen up. Here's a good review. I would really like to see more PC's built like this.

Comment: Re:Idea for an option. (Score 1) 229

I like the way the volt fixes range anxiety by allowing serial hybrid/generation. That makes it the only electric vehicle for sale that can easily be taken on long travel.

The forthcoming BMW i3 has an option (and an empty space under the hood) for a range extender. This vehicle looks seriously sweet. I am very much hoping that this new competition encourages GM to up its game with improvements to the interior and performance of its EV line. While I have admired the drivetrain tech in the Volt, I found the interior design and performance to be lacking, more econo-box than flagship. Owning a Volt needs to make the driver feel great, but too often car companies build-in these kind of compromises to encourage buyers to consider the next more expensive model.

Comment: Then, How Best To Learn? (Score 1) 407

The consensus has been that C++ is really useful, really powerful, but really complex, particularly in view of layer upon layer of features piled up along its evolution. How, then, to best learn how to code C++ "the right way" with its modern incarnation and features? Any recommendations?

Comment: When it's REALLY bad (Score 1) 222

by WheezyJoe (#49147821) Attached to: Harrison Ford To Return In Blade Runner Sequel

after this sequel comes out, we'll be trying to 'unsee it' .

Very much this. Only a bad sequel or reboot has the power to leave you so disappointed that you wish you could purge your memory of it.

I've managed to forget nearly everything of The Crow 2, City of Angels (except walking out of the theater) and the Lost in Space reboot. Still working on forgetting Kick Ass 2, Ghostbusters 2, Alien 3, Phantom Menace, and Star Trek 5. Knew better than to see Highlander 2, SpiderToby 2-3, Alien Resurrection, the Robocop reboot, Attack of the Clones... such movies should come with a Warning that they may make you feel genuinely resentful for the money, time, and date you'll never get back.

Comment: This Can't End Well (Score 3, Funny) 222

by WheezyJoe (#49147191) Attached to: Harrison Ford To Return In Blade Runner Sequel

Blade Runner was a self-contained story. To my knowledge, Philip K. Dick didn't have a follow-up, and that means some Hollywood types are going to hash and re-hash sequel formulas that lure in the nostalgia crowd (1982 for chrissakes) and a whole new audience looking for their sci-fi blockbuster fix. Seriously, how can this possibly be good?

Most likely, some new replicant crisis will occur, bigger and badder than before, the Tyrell corporation will have a new head who's more morally ambiguous than before or even downright evil (Tyrell Jr.?), and Deckard has to be lured out of retirement somewhere, still mourning the death of Rachel, because somehow he has the key to solving the problem. An army of super Nexus 50 replicants have escaped from Tyrell's labs. Face-dancer replicants mind-controlled by the corporation have managed to take over key government posts undetected. The President himself may be a replicant, plotting to destroy all humans. Only Deckard has the uncanny talent to ferret them out.

There'll be explosions. Spaceships on fire. Flying cars with no wires visible. A soundtrack by Moby. And since Harrison Ford is so old, his love interest is his daughter by Rachel, with hidden super powers key to solving the crisis, threatened with retirement unless Deckard does what he's told! Edward James Olmos make his triumphant return as Gaff! You know I got at least some of this right.

+ - Cable Networks are Speeding Up Shows to Fit More Ads

Submitted by WheezyJoe
WheezyJoe (1168567) writes "After trying just about every other trick to squeeze more commercials into your Law and Order binge-fix, cable networks are now resorting to speeding up older shows and reruns in an effort to capture yet more revenue. TBS used compression technology to speed up the Wizard of Oz during its airing last November, causing pop-culture writer Stephen Cox to notice that the munchkins' voices were pitched higher than normal. TBS, TNT, and TV Land have also sped up shows including Seinfeld and Friends. “It is a way to keep the revenue from going down as much as the ratings,” a top executive at one major cable programmer said. “The only way we can do it is to double down and stretch the unit load a little more.”"

Comment: Re:Well damn (Score 1) 379

by WheezyJoe (#48985587) Attached to: Confirmed: FCC Will Try To Regulate Internet Under Title II

Major difference there are no practical physical barriers to competition in the ISP space as exists with other utilities.

How?

If you are talking about wireline broadband, the physical barriers are exactly the same as exists with other utilities: utility poles, underground conduits, and all the rights-of-way necessary to get your wire through.

Sure, theoretically, another electric, gas, water, sewage, or cable company can step in to your town and lay all their own new pipes and wires. But the city is not going to let them clog the streets with all new utility poles or new underground conduits; you gotta use the ones already there. And someone, probably your competition, is already leasing them, or owns them outright.

Unless you're google, or the city itself, that's enough barrier to keep all new competition out.

But perhaps you are considering wireless as being free from physical barriers to competition. Not so. Spectrum is a scarce resource; you have to buy, at auction to the highest bidder, the right to use it, which excludes anyone else from using it. And wireless is no replacement for wireline in performance or reliablility.

So much for robust competition. I say again, competition is for small fry and suckers. Once a company has reached a critical mass (e.g., Comcast-size), it becomes more cost-effective to simply crush competition or buy them out. Why compete, risk revenue on innovation that might fail, when you don't have to?

Comment: Re:Well damn (Score 3, Insightful) 379

by WheezyJoe (#48981773) Attached to: Confirmed: FCC Will Try To Regulate Internet Under Title II

it gets the government ever more involved in your life, and in managing how you can or must communicate

FUD. Either our government does the managing, or the corporations do. The government, at least, is accountable to the ballot box and the press. Comcast and their ilk are not. And don't say anything about free enterprise and competition. Competition is for small fry and suckers. Once you reach the size of Comcast, it benefits shareholders more to merge and acquire than to compete. Once monopoly status is achieved, hell with consumers and employees alike.

Markets without regulation are like sports without referees... there's nothing to prevent a nice pick-up game from turning into an all-out brawl, because who's to say it wasn't your fault for putting your face in the path of my elbow? Without rules and enforcement, you're a fool if you DON'T cheat like hell, because there's no downside and if you don't the other guy will.

If I'd known computer science was going to be like this, I'd never have given up being a rock 'n' roll star. -- G. Hirst

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