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Comment Re:Ok, the real question - Why is it better than.. (Score 1) 118

R has been around longer than Java, and is based on S which is older than C++. There's a huge body of existing code and libraries to leverage. But from what I gather, the real reason to use R is because the only other option you're being offered is SAS, and you don't want to deal with that mess! Or so I hear.

Bottom line, if you're not being threatened with SAS, there may be little reason to learn R. But if you are, or if you think there's any danger you might be, R is probably something you want to learn ASAP! :)

Comment Re:No global deletion (Score 1) 91

Remind me again who is having their free speech silenced by this

Google. And in practice, the people who rely on it to have their content be found (i.e. everyone else).

3. Why does Google have free speech rights that normal companies don't, e.g. credit references can't report things that happened long ago by law, and can't claim free speech allows them to.

Maybe those companies should? The solution to "some idiots excessively weight events that happened 20 years ago" is not censorship of facts, it's to educate people that other people change and that needs to be taken into account.

Comment Re:Too bad they pushed Love out (Score 4, Interesting) 211

SYS V needs to go open next, not that overloaded slowlaris, but lean mean SYS V

I was under the impression that the entire POINT of SYS V was for the major UNIX vendors to re-implement the guts of Unix as a clearly, enforceably, proprietary product (after the CONTU recommendations and the resulting copyright law changes explicitly extended copyright to software), then move to it and orphan the original development thread. (This might make opening it a hard sell to the members of the consortium.)

There were at least a couple issues with the proprietary status of the AT&T code:

One issue was that AT&T was still a government-regulated utility monopoly and there were some requirements about disclosing and releasing non-telephone-related inventions they came up with.

The big issue was that, before copyright applied and before software patents were hacked up (by recasting software as one embodiment of, or a component of, a patentable machine or process), the only protection was trade secret and the related contract law. Trade secrets generally stop being enforceable when the secret out of the bag (with some details about whether the claimant contributed to the leak). Bell Labs had shipped code to a LOT of educational institutions. When the U of New South Wales used the System 6 kernel code and an explanation of it as the two-volume text for an Operating System class, the textbooks became an underground classic. This, along with AT&T's benign-neglect licensing policies, led to the burst of little, cheap, generic UNIX boxes, as this was also when microcomputer chips were just becoming powerful enough to do the job.

Up to then a big barrier to entry was that every new machine needed a custom O.S. to deploy, and these were enormous, machine specific, and mostly in assembler. That made it an expensive, undertaking, suitable only for financial giants. But all but under 2,000 lines of Unix was in C, and the entire kernel, which included essentially all the platform-specific code as a subset, was well under 10,000 lines of code. If you had a C compiler and assembler for your new machine, it was a matter of a few man-months to port it and get it up and running. Essentially ALL the utilities and applications came right over. You didn't have to train users, either, because they all worked pretty much just like what they'd used in college.

The game was:
1. Grab a bootleg copy of the code.
2. Port it to your machine and get it working.
3. Go to AT&T and ask for a license "to port Unix to our new machine and sell it."
4. AT&T, as a matter of policy, completely ignores any "violations" you may have committed during the porting phase and cuts you a license at a very reasonable price.
5. You "port Unix in an AMAZINGLY short time" (like the ten minutes it takes to tell Sales to go to market) and you're in business.
6. You (with your new business) and AT&T (with their small cut) slap each other on the back and laugh all the way to the bank. PROFIT! for you. (profit) for AT&T.
7. Because of the policy in 4., everybody ELSE manearly everbody's king a new machine knows they can do the same thing. So many do. AT&T gets a rakeoff from ALL of them. PROFIT! for AT&T. Far more than if they went dog-in-the-manger, held up the first few for all the traffic would bear, and got no more customers for Unix.

And because of this, it was in nearly everbody's interest to NOT challenge the AT&T-proprietary status of Unix. And it stayed this way until SCO's management screwed up and altered step 4. (Even then the case turned on other issues, so it never did come to the point of attacking AT&T's claim that Unix code was proprietary.)

Comment Re:Why only trees? (Score 1) 73

piezo generators have less than a percent of efficiency is why.

I thought it was closer to 80%, at least theoretically. Can you give me a reference for that "Less than 1%" number?

Whether this maps into anything like that number in a practical device for converting "found" mechanical power - such as tree sway or vibrations - is another matter entirely.

Comment Can this be co-installed with the stock version? (Score 2) 181

Can this be co-installed with the current version (for instance, on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, the latest Long Term Support Ubuntu release)?

Or do you have collisions which require you to purge the old one in order to try the new one, or which cause foulups if you don't?

(Honest question. I've seen a lot of that kind of thing with other projects. So now I'm a bit shy of trying the latest-and-greatest release of any tool on the production machines I depend on for time-critical work.)

Comment Re:Cue the SJW claptrap in.... (Score 0) 280

Cue the SJW claptrap in 3.... 2.... 1...

You may be right, but it'll be hard to hear over all the SIWs screaming about how horrible and misleading this study must be, because some person somewhere once overstated a completely unrelated fact about gender/sex bias on some obscure Internet forum, which proves (PROVES, do you hear me?) that all women and men who support them are always and everywhere wrong!!!!1!

Comment Re:Self-Selection? (Score 1, Insightful) 280

By "feel it necessary to point out their gender", do you mean going back in time and forcing their parents to give them a gender-neutral name like "Chris" instead of an obviously gendered name like "Maria"? Because I don't quite know how to tell you this, but time travel hasn't actually been invented yet... :D

Comment Re:Sue the government! (Score 1) 89

Ignoring sovereign immunity (and the all-too-typical American response of "let's sue!"), I can only imagine the results:

You: I'm suing the IRS for telling me my SSN was compromised!
IRS: Yes, when we discovered his SSN had been compromised, we notified him of the fact. Of course, we are in no way responsible for the compromise, so we have no idea why this idiot is suing us.
Judge: He is an idiot, isn't he? Case dismissed.

But on the bright side, you would have caused a federal lawyer and a judge to spend time reading your suit, and, in the former case, writing a response, or, in the latter case, reading the response and writing a judgment. With that sort of practice at wasting taxpayer money, you might end up qualified to run for office! :D

Comment Re:Subpoenas and the right against self-incriminat (Score 1) 170

It sounds to me like the problem is a flaw in the constitution or the way it's being interpreted, to be honest. The prohibition against incriminating yourself is very obviously there to stop people being tortured until they falsely claim they are guilty. But giving up a password is not a proclamation of guilt or innocence either way. All it can possibly do is yield more evidence, hopefully leading to a more accurate outcome of the case.

I mean, under the same logic, search warrants should be illegal because by letting someone into your house you'd be "self-incriminating". Doesn't work that way.

I think the simplest fix to this problem the FBI has is for courts to stop treating "you must tell us the password" as falling under the self-incrimination clauses. It doesn't make logical sense, would yield a reasonable balance of power (FBI/other agencies cannot do bulk data harvesting from phones, which is the real danger here), puts protection of the device or not under the control of the court, etc. This is the compromise other countries have arrived at and it seems to work OK most of the time.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 70

3D printed objects aren't the strongest due to the way the layers are laminated together. I imagine the last place you'd want a weak join is on a 150+ foot long blade swishing through the air.

You betcha.

Especially since a spinning blade gets more efficient as it gets faster. Higher speed = lower torque for a given horsepower density, so a higher tip speed ratio (TSR) wastes less energy "twisting" the air downwind.

Efficient wind turbines run at a TSR of 6 or higher - which means that in windy conditions the tips are running at an appreciable fraction of the speed of sound.

If one of those puppies breaks off it's NOT the kind of baseball bat or boomerang you want coming toward you, whether flying or summersaulting along the ground. (Imagine a caber toss with giants and redwood logs.) Not to mention what the resulting unbalanced spinning does to the other blades and the pylon.

Comment Re: No problem (Score 1) 659

No it isn't. Absolutely nothing stops ad blockers using heuristics to identify "ad shaped images" or simply having manually written lists of DOM paths to nuke.

I find this whole attitude of "shut up whiners, make your ads EXACTLY meet my unique criteria or else I'll just benefit from your work for free - see if you can stop my nya nya" to be appalling.

Apparently people haven't thought through where this ends. It ends with someone eventually making a non-web content platform that doesn't support ad killers, uses video-game like "anti cheat" techniques and which gets the lions share of the best content because publishers are sick of being ripped off. You know, kind of like how the PC used to be the primary gaming platform in the world and eventually most of the AAA games were coming out on consoles first, and PC maybe or never. Basically, because of piracy and the console makers commitment to fighting it.

Comment Re:Roll-back as in play-back? (Score 2) 72

Banks can roll back transactions for various reasons, e.g. bankruptcy proceedings, mistakes by their own operators or by customers, or ... transactions that are fraudulent. The Metel gang obviously had a sense of irony in exploiting this ability to undo fraudulent transactions to their own benefit.

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