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Comment: Re:The problem with traffic engineers... (Score 1) 579

by aethelrick (#47375015) Attached to: Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

Reminds me of a game I like to play. Whenever I'm at a red light and the driver in the next lane is playing with his phone, I like to do a false start lurch to make him think the light has changed. Sometimes I can get in three false starts during one red light. Funny as hell.

Your actions are irresponsible and dangerous. The road is not a place for your amusement. Trying to prank the idiot in the next car is just not a good idea, a funny one sure, but not a good one, the consequences could be fairly harsh if phone-tard actually pulls out into moving traffic and kills someone. In my humble opinion, both you and the dumbass with the phone deserve a fine to attempt to modify your dangerous and irresponsible behaviour.

In fact you're both proving the case for drvierless vehicles, you can't be trusted to behave in a safe and predictable manner towards other road users.

Comment: Re:Fsck x86 (Score 3, Insightful) 230

by aethelrick (#47180001) Attached to: Intel Confronts a Big Mobile Challenge: Native Compatibility
ARM is massively dominant in the embedded and mobile markets. These markets make up a vast quantity of electronics gear. Intel (the X86 pushers) even make ARM chips. ARM is starting to make in-roads into larger devices and encroach on traditional Intel/X86 stomping grounds. ARM have plans for servers and PC's running with their chips. They are low cost, low power and quite good at what they do. Admittedly they won't be replacing your PC gaming rig any time soon, but they're not chasing that market (yet). You are sadly unaware of just what ARM is if you think it's had it's "15 minutes" it's just getting started at the edges of the PC market, it's backed by many vendors and I for one think it'll be around for a while yet. Look at the market share tablets have stolen from the PC, they are mostly ARM powered. Sure netbooks seem a little crusty, and havn't had the uptake their manufacturers were hoping for, but ARM server gear is taking off. Also the IT nippers are playing with ARM with their Arduino and Raspberry Pi gear. I wouldn't count ARM out just yet. Hell, I just replaced my decade-old trusty Linux server at home with a Wandboard Quad running Arch Linux for ARM. Guess what, it works really well, as a Samba, Backup and Email server for the family and I'm not even an ARM enthusiast, it was just MUCH cheaper than a regular Intel or AMD replacement and perfectly up to the task.

Comment: Re:No steering wheel? No deal. (Score 1) 583

by aethelrick (#47105973) Attached to: Google Unveils Self-Driving Car With No Steering Wheel

ah you must be a Windows user, this mistrust of computers is common with your kind :P

All jokes aside though, will it get my favorite parking spot at the shop? Or stop spontaneously in a lay-bye to admire a spectacular view on a high mountain road? I do trust computers to do a better job than the average human when it comes to driving, but I must admit, a manual control input would be nice for some things.

Comment: I'm not sure about this (Score 1) 784

by aethelrick (#46988317) Attached to: Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans As Antarctic Ice Melts
Having just read the summary for policy makers from the IPCC's fifth assesment report http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/... and their estimates for sea-level rise by 2081-2100 were at worst less than a meter including allowances for the antarctic ice sheet going kablewy. Now I'm now expert but I'm fairly certain 10 feet is a long way off a meter and I'm more ready to believe the actual published scientific data than the crap in the new york times has carefully regurgitated in order to sell more copies.

Comment: Re:this is news??? (Score 1) 217

Wow, that's coming across as arrogant even for slashdot, yes Harvard isn't in Europe, but that dosn't mean the rest of us abstain from scientific research into the effects of neonicotinoids on bees.

The topic HAS indeed been "buzzing" around the news for a while over here (in the UK), it's not new, hell the EU has a two year ban on Neonicotinoids that began in December 2013 BECAUSE of the link between them and CCD, here's a couple of links for you to read to bring you up to speed with the rest of the world.

The ban from the EU... http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/...

Scientists from the University of Stirling in the UK submitted papers for publication in October 2011 in this regard http://www.sciencemag.org/cont...

as did French scientists from the French national institute for agricultural research in http://www.sciencemag.org/cont...

Comment: Re:Translation (Score 1) 589

by aethelrick (#46929535) Attached to: Microsoft Cheaper To Use Than Open Source Software, UK CIO Says

"Microsoft gave us a 98% discount..."

While this is undoubtedly true (at least it is in my own experience with the NHS). I also think that the "if it ain’t broke, don't fix it" approach to maintenance is partly responsible as well. I can't fault someone for taking this pragmatic approach to IT systems, but it does mean that once a vendor gets in, it's really hard to get them out even if the competition is cheaper, better and faster Etc.

I believe that many companies or government departments could run on open source software if will to do so exists within management. However, It's always easier for jobs-worth staff to maintain the status quo even if doing so is detrimental to the budget.

The idea that it is cheaper to pay for windows and office as opposed to using open source alternatives is incorrect in my own experience. I know that MS advocates like to talk about total cost of ownership and the cost of retraining staff, the price of a UNIX admin vs the price of a Windows admin etc however in my own experience, the average government employee is woefully under-trained with their current windows system never mind a new one and you don't need as many UNIX admins as you do windows ones because a well configured UNIX environment is far more smooth running. One of the most significant cost differences presented in TCO analysis is the bespoke software that will need to be re-written to run on the open source OS. The reality is that these systems are still running on a dusty COM+, Windows 2000 and SQL 2000 cluster in the rack. What the non-technical management bods don't get from the TCO analysis is that this lot will all need re-writing for the next version of Windows anyway.

It is incorrect and disingenuous to suggest that change needs to be all-or-nothing or that the cost of change needs to all be paid in advance, reality is that many versions of many operating systems are already running in Mr Creese's organisation, he's probably got more than one version of MS office installed in his organization as well. At the very least he will have migrated from old versions of office to newer ones in the past and frankly if he's moved staff from any previous version of office to any version of office after they changed to use the ribbon menu he's already had and paid for the level of change and retraining he could expect to migrate from MS office to LibreOffice.

It's good management to minimize unnecessary cost and protect your organisation from over-exposure or reliance on any one vendor, this is especially true when you are running a government department. What is Mr Creese doing to manage this risk of over-reliance on Microsoft?

Comment: Re:So why not evolve longer hair? (Score 1) 190

by aethelrick (#46659473) Attached to: Scientists Solve the Mystery of Why Zebras Have Stripes

All other hooven animals in Africa found it easier to evolve longer hair to thwart the flies. Why Zebra did not choose that path?

Evolution is not a choice, their is no intellect driving it, it is not an active design process. It's more like throwing scrabble tiles at fly paper in the dark then seeing if any of the letters that stick make words. You keep the words and throw the rest away.

Any random mutation that provides an advantage to a group or indivdual that makes it better able to procreate will do.

There is no one true way for evolution, many solutions work imperfectly to solve any given problem. Having randomly mutated some stripes, does not have to provide a massive advantage, just a tangible one in order for it to make a difference to a population

Something else to consider is that random mutations that DON'T have an effect on an animals abillity to procreate also occur all the time and many stay around in population groups simply due to dumb luck, geography etc

Comment: Re:Sync on Hardware and software (Score 1) 367

by aethelrick (#46544279) Attached to: Linux May Succeed Windows XP As OS of Choice For ATMs

WILD SPECULATION ALERT!

practically speaking, maybe the urge to update is being driven from the other end... i.e. the developer tools (on windows) keep getting changed and updated, windows application developers who specialize in yesteryears Visual Studio get harder and harder to find not to mention that the desktop environment they're targetting is now no longer running on the developers own machines.

If your development team is having to jog to keep up with the constant change in the development tools I can see how they may end up in this mess.

If this is close to describing their problem, they'd probably be better off with something like (dare I say it) Java running on a stripped down to bare essentials Linux

Comment: Re:Homeschooling is at best a niche-performer. (Score 1) 529

by aethelrick (#46524715) Attached to: The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

I did not use the term "most" at all, this is your word not mine. I do not speak for everyone, I'm simply relating my own experiences. There IS only one simple point to my post; home schooling works for MY kid and MY family.

You have an idea in your head and you have bent my words to fit your assumptions, don't read things into my words that are not there to begin with.

We had many trips to the school, visits and phone calls with teachers, heads of departments and the principal, this took place over nearly two years until we finally decided that we would take matters into our own hands and teach our child ourselves. We made the best decision possible for our child after carefully considering the options available to us.

You don't know me or my child. Your post jumps to uninformed conclusions. You have warped my words to fit your preconceived idea of who I am and what motivates me. You even filled in the gaps in your argument with your own words where mine won't do. Contrary to your belief my child was quite capable of doing the work he was given at school, he had (and continues to have) an active social circle. I took action because he was not reaching his potential, he was just doing "very well" by the school's standards but alas these standards are significantly lower than what my child is capable of. That was the crux of the problem, I didn't want him to quietly read a book at the back of the class to keep him content, I wanted him to use his brain and get stretched, challenged and tested by his educators. They were not capable of this as individuals or as an institution.

Hopefully this clarifies my post and my reasons for posting it for you

Comment: Re:Home school (Score 1) 529

by aethelrick (#46511921) Attached to: The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

I agree, homeschooling is not a general solution, I don't think education has a general solution. I do think it's the best I can do for my kid with the resources I have available though.

I've met some odd-ball home schooling parents who choose to not teach their kids much of anything I regard as useful. While I think they are crack-pots and that they're hampering their kids development I also respect their choice to teach their kids the things they value (even if that is knitting sandals and howling at the moon in the woods). It's not my place to judge what is right for their kids.

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