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Comment: Re:How to totally screw up my ability to code: (Score 1) 130

by bill_mcgonigle (#49194301) Attached to: Musician Releases Album of Music To Code By

If you play music, my code will go to crap, since I'm trying to do two things with the same set of neurons.

Some of the most amazing brain work is done by /dampening/ the neurons, not hyper-exciting them. For me, music distracts enough of them that the rest can stay focused on the code. aka "in the zone".

For some reason, instrumental is fine for me and talk radio is fine for me, but lyrical music does not work at all. Maybe I'm programming more in the 'song' region.

Comment: Re:We almost lost two! (Score 1) 83

by bill_mcgonigle (#49194197) Attached to: Harrison Ford's Plane Crashes On Golf Course

'Geek' is more the 'script kiddie' version of a nerd. Nerds know what a wire-wrap gun is, even if they're more into grinding lenses for homemade telescopes.

This is fairly well-trodden territory. Nerds are hard-core specialists, fascinated with particular topics. Math nerds, bio nerds, telescope lens nerds (sure, why not?), etc. It's possible to be a multiple-nerd, but Geeks are more obligatorily generalists and tend to be makers.

Comment: Re:Ah, come one, don't we trust the Feds? (Score 5, Insightful) 86

We support the government when it acts in the interest of the public, and oppose it when it acts against the interest of the public

Obligatory car analogy: Toyotas mostly get people around just fine. They had a problem with uncontrolled acceleration. It happened a few times with bad consequences. They were shady and tried to hide it but finally came clean. So people still drive Toyotas and the acceleration problems are fixed.

Now ... imagine that there were at least three stories a day about people being killed by malfunctioning Toyotas and then we found out that Toyota was using its onboard electronics to record everything everybody who rides in them is saying, to be used against them in the future, and remotely detonating a few of them every few days. Most people still get from point A to point B, but still a bunch of people are getting killed because they own a Toyota.

We'd stop driving Toyotas and their resale value would fall to almost zero. It's good that we have Honda and Nissan and Tesla (et. al) to choose from, because we could quickly and relatively easily make that choice.

Now, what do you do when Toyota is the only car manufacturer and they're constantly running people into brick walls at high speed, and the frequency is increasing rapidly? Why should they even bother fixing the problems?

Comment: Re: International waters (Score 1) 61

The first stage is suborbital, so that's not really an option.

Yes, you're right of course. I must've been thinking Dragon v2 rather than the first stage burnback. durr.

Still, fuel is currently only a couple percent of the total cost of a launch, so even if you had to double the amount used you'd still see negligible effect on the total launch cost.

Interesting - kerosene may well be cheaper than shipping a rocket across an ocean.

Comment: Re:I'm dying of curiousity (Score 5, Interesting) 162

by bill_mcgonigle (#49190219) Attached to: Software Freedom Conservancy Funds GPL Suit Against VMWare

it's a fairly cost-efficient way to buy more time and make business.

It sure is, and the people making such decisions face no consequences for violating the license. Yeah, maybe the corporation will get slapped with a tiny fine that reflects some small percentage of the money saved by incorporating the GPL'ed library, but how is that really any disincentive? It's more of an inconvenience, or simply a cost that gets processed through the EMC legal department, and then only maybe.

The money being spent on the prosecution won't actually change much behavior - there might be better causes to donate your money too (especially if you don't believe in imaginary property) than funding this expedition to behead a hydra.

Comment: US Reasoning is Decent (Score 1) 320

In the US, if the cops can convince a judge that they know the evidence is on your device (say, they saw you recording when a murder happened), then they can compel you to testify your knowledge of the crime.

If they want to go looking on your device for information to incriminate you, then that's compelling testimony against yourself, so it's forbidden.

The first case is, of course, subject to lying cops saying, "we saw kiddie porn on his screen when we broke in", which will happen (the way they plant drugs, shoot people and animals and lie about it, etc.). Then it's up to a non-corrupt judge to throw out such evidence based on the cops' lies. But if you're up to something illegal you have to weigh the contempt charge against the danger to yourself of disclosure, and if your password sucks or the judge and cops are corrupt, both.

Frustratingly, the USG claims that the rules for itself don't apply at the border - ostensibly it's operating outside the Law in those scenarios. What could SCOTUS really say about this? - they only judge the Law, not lawlessness.

Comment: Re:Do pilots still need licenses? (Score 1) 343

by bill_mcgonigle (#49185927) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

People need to get over this notion that next year a car will drive itself and you'll sit in the back with a Martini and the paper. That probably wont happen in our lifetimes

It'll happen during the next decade. Bet against Dr. Moore at your own peril.

(granted, the government will lag 20 years behind the technology, so we'll still have drunk drivers killing people when the autopilots would have been safer)

Comment: Re: International waters (Score 0) 61

by bill_mcgonigle (#49185549) Attached to: SpaceX's Challenge Against Blue Origins' Patent Fails To Take Off

gosh, it'd be rather un-aerodynamic without the nose-cone. I rather suspect they'll wait to deorbit until the timing is right for the desired landing zone.

Unless there's a crazy-orbit launch with no good rendezvous, in which case landing on a barge is still going to be much cheaper than building a new rocket by an order of magnitude. This is good enough reason to proceed with clearing the patent. That and spanking BO's deserving ass.

Comment: Re:scientific computing (Score 1) 124

by bill_mcgonigle (#49180095) Attached to: Linux 4.0 Getting No-Reboot Patching

scientific computing. One of the weak points of OSX

I would have guessed that the high price per unit work for their proprietary hardware would be the limiting factor. Can't you hire for "free" a dedicated linux admin for the cost difference between clusters?

Or is there a specific advantage OSX is bringing to the table? XGrid is long dead, right?

Comment: Re: Closed source GPUs (Score 1) 111

agreed (and they know it) - this is probably their 18-month holding pattern while the Israel team gets the power out of Iris. Not having a market position until then is a worse option for them. Not paying a video royalty is obviously better for cost/profitability and developers.

Comment: Re:Last straw? (Score -1) 532

Let me repeat that, in case you appear to misread it. 16,000 airstrikes
I'm not exactly sure how anyone can say we're not "stopping them"

I know if a foreign adversary had launched 16,000 airstrikes on the US, I'd harbor no ill will towards them! Doubly-not if they'd killed my loved ones!

Because people who live in the middle east are the black-haired equivalent to the soulless gingers who roam our strees, except more mindless and probably much-gatherers - amirite?

Oh, wait, did you mean the airstrikes were IMPROVING our safety? ROFL WAFL!

"Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit!" -- Looney Tunes, "What's Opera Doc?" (1957, Chuck Jones)