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Comment In fact a new version often is how it should be (Score 3, Insightful) 251

Companies should regularly update their products to use the latest tech. There is no reason to freeze a product and not update it for a long time just to make owners feel like they still have the "latest". Rather they should update as often as changes in available technology/manufacturing/etc dictate. Customers then buy new ones as often as they feel it useful.

That's how it has been with desktop computers, excluding Apple, forever. Few, if any, people upgrade every time something new comes out because the changes are usually minor. They buy something, stick with it for a few years, then buy something new when they feel like they want or need it.

The problem is that Apple devices seem to be something that some people wrap their ego in. They feel a need to have the newest device to be "cool" or some such and thus get mad when a newer device comes out that they cannot or do not wish to purchase since they feel it somehow lessens what they do have.

Comment Not too hard (Score 1) 181

1. Detection
Pulses of prime numbers. Not natural phenomenon, same in all number systems. Simple beat with silence:

01111111111 111111111

2. Binary, you speak it
We repeat this in binary, which should be fairly easy to recognize as the previous information aligned to 8 bit = byte values.
00000010 00000011 00000101 00000111
00001011 00001101 00010001 00010011

3. Length of payload in bytes + payload
00000000 00000000 00000001 10110000 = 432
432 x ????????

4. Goto 1, rotate payload.

As for the actual payload.... You could for example send atom configuration from the periodic table.
1 - 1
2 - 2
3 - 2,1
10 - 2,8
11 - 2,8,1
18 - 2,8,8
19 - 2,8,8,1
20 - 2,8,8,2
21 - 2,8,9,2
22 - 2,8,10,2
23 - 2,8,11,2
24 - 2,8,13,1

It will be pretty obvious to any physicist this is the list of elements. Using that and a bit more you can explain the units of mass, time, distance and so on.

For math you can send a list of (input A, operator code, input B, result) and it will be obvious that this operator means addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and so on. Once you have subtraction, explain 0-1 and two's complement and you'll have negative numbers.

Then you can start making advanced concepts like C+O+O = CO2 and describe properties of that gas. I really don't think it's going to become a problem bootstrapping communication, if we could just find someone to communicate with.

Comment Re:A remarkable number of people are idiots (Score 4, Interesting) 359

Anyhow, if we were to reinstate some sort of poll test, it may not be used to disenfranchise according to racial lines, but you can be sure that whoever is in power will find a way to stop others from voting or to make their vote count less. It's probably impossible to design a system that couldn't be manipulated once you start disenfranchising people. Who gets to define the relevant "knowledge"? How do we measure " intelligence"?

And you must realize that political parties immediately get incentive to do this if the voters most likely to be excluded lean a particular way politically. Say party A is strong with the low income families and party B is more of a middle class party and that statistically if you make the test harder more low income families will drop out because they're already working their ass off making ends meet. Now one party has obvious incentive to set the bar higher, the other to set the bar lower. Here in Norway there's a campaign to lower the voting age from 18 to 16, you can compare the youth vote scores with the parties supporting it and it's obvious why. Voters who've mostly never had a real job, never paid taxes and never had to balance a budget because they live at home with mom and dad with an allowance tend to vote quite differently than people who've had to support themselves.

Comment Remarkable people (Score 5, Insightful) 359

A remarkable number of people believe homeopathy works. A remarkable number of people believe in gods, devils, prophets and an afterlife. A remarkable number of people believe scrying, remote sensing, dousing or fortune telling is real. A remarkable number of people firmly believe various economic, political or social "truths" in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

A remarkable number of people are intelligent, well-adjusted and successful in their lives, and still manage to hold one or several of the beliefs above without ever experiencing any sense of disconnect. Those remarkable people almost certainly includes myself, and most likely you as well.

Comment Re:You're a funny dinosaur, and wrong (Score 3, Insightful) 67

You have to remember that Christianity is at its core a guilt trip. We are all pitiful sinners that can be redeemed by the mercy of our Lord, who selflessly sent his only son so he could die for our sins. That's how it starts in the garden of Eden with the original sin, the seven deadly sins of lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride and so on. Who has never had a touch of any of them? Not to mention all the implied ones by breaking the commandments and so on, unless you're a walking saint everybody needs forgiveness for something. Sexuality is of course a big one, take a basic instinct humans have and turn it into something shameful and you'll have a never-ending supply of people needing forgiveness for their sinful thoughts. Fortunately this institutionalized manipulation is in massive retreat though there's still some slut shaming at the fringes but for the most part people seem to feel good about their sexuality. As it should be.

Comment Re:Just (Score 2) 186

Side note: the guy that installed our new furnace a couple years ago said he runs solar in his home with no battery pack, at night he just switches over to the utility power (actually I think it switches automatically).

Assuming that guy is doing the standard grid-tie configuration, it's not that the house "switches over" at night, so much as that all power generated by the solar array goes out to the local grid (and causes the electric meter to run backwards), and all power used by the house comes from the grid (causing the electric meter to run forward). The actual electric bill is therefore calculated by subtracting the amount generated from the amount used during each billing cycle.

Comment Re:RAM is not cheap (Score 1) 208

Yeah, DDR3 prices hit rock bottom right before Christmas 2013. I was considering upgrading to 32GB just because it was so cheap, but really I had nothing maxing out 16GB. Still don't really, even now running a ton of crap I'm only using 8-9GB and the rest is cache. For prosumer money ($1000) you can even get 8x16GB DDR4 for an X99 motherboard, prices have bottomed out but so has demand for most people too. Faster CPU, GPU, SSD and so on great.... more memory? Meh. I suppose it could be cheaper, but at least on the PC it's not much of the total anyway. It's usually the tablet and laptop producers charging an arm and a leg for RAM upgrades.

Comment Deconstructing diversity in tech (Score 0) 685

Lets break it all down.

1) The desire to have a diverse workforce is inherently prejudicial. The workers should be judged on their abilities, not their sex, not their race.
2) When women express a desire for more diversity in tech, they are being sexist. Workers should be judged on their abilities, not their sex.
3) When men express a desire not to have women in tech, they are being sexist. Workers should be judged on their abilities, not their sex.
4) When men express that their anger at the push for diversity in tech, they are complaining that they are the victims of sexism.
5) We need wives and mothers. If we don't have them, we will all die of deprivation when we reach retirement age.
6) We don't need computer programmers. Nice to have, but we can totally do without it.
7) When industry leaders express that there is a need for diversity in technology, they are not expressing a desire to be inclusive, rather, they are expressing a desire to coerce women to abandon other roles and serve them, regardless of the larger needs of society. They are acting in the best interests of themselves, and themselves only.

In summation, every person who expresses a desire for more diversity in tech is prejudicial, and a bully. You do not occupy the moral high ground, and you should stop.

Comment Re:Waaaahhhhh!! (Score 2) 684

Considering Garrett's SJW credentials, it's more likely about working on his own, with his own mailing list where he can block anyone not adhering to his particular set of prejudices. I doubt it will be particularly productive. Or inclusive.

Comment Re:Who? (Score 4, Insightful) 684

While I think it's unfortunate that some innocents get caught in the crossfire, the toxicity of SJW culture is simply so damaging that I think the approach of not giving an inch is the only tenable one. Once you start coddling specific individuals by sanctions against other individuals you immediately start up the competition of the most offended, the community fractures into group politics and productivity rapidly dissipates.

There's no utility in being deliberatly uncivil unless it's necessary to get a point across, but as soon as someone starts requiring special snowflake status and demonstrates a sense of entitlement to special care for theirs or others feelings then they should get that discussion shut down asap. Allowing the SJW mindset to start festering will do much more damage than the cost of losing a few good developers.

(And it's hardly the first time Matthew Garrett has figured in an SJW context...)

Comment Ya I'm having trouble imagining it (Score 2) 170

Everyone I know, even the cheap types, keeps some kind of wired Internet. It is usually faster than wireless and always cheaper per GB. If you were an EXTREMELY light user I suppose you could go all wireless all the time, but even for the casual user who likes to surf the web on a daily basis and watch cat videos, you'll easily use more data than a wireless provider is interested in letting you have cheap and they'll charge and/or throttle.

Simple example: T-Mobile gives me phone, text, and 1GB of data for $50/month. It would run me $30/month more to get unlimited data (they'll throttle if you get too excessive though). That's for a single device, and gives 7GB of tethering. Speeds are in the realm of 40mbits max, 20-30mbits normally. So that'd work only if your phone is going to be the one-and-only device you use for most things, and do a little surfing on something else. If you want to add a tablet to it you'd be talking adding another line/device which brings it up to about $100/month with 10GB of data per device.

Ok well then having a look at the cable company for about $60/month they'll sell you a 50mbit connection with a 350GB soft cap (meaning if you go over they complain at you and try to upsell you, they don't charge or throttle). You'll really get those kinds of speeds too, pretty much all the time.

That's more money, but not a ton more. Presuming you would have the basic phone plan anyhow you pay about $30/month more than the unlimited or $10/month more than the two devices. With that you get a faster connection, the ability to connect as many devices as you like, enough data to watch Netflix, download games, and so on. Also, you can, of course, upgrade your speed. They'll happily sell you 100mbit or 300mbit for a bit more per month (about $75 and $100 respectively) whereas the mobile speed is what it is.

Not surprising then that all the people I know keep a wired connection. Personally I don't find I need much LTE data, I use WiFi most of the time at work and home, so the 1GB cap is fine for me (more than fine actually) but I need a lot more on another connection. Looking at my usage I used about 350GB last month. Not the kind of thing a wireless provider would be ok with.