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Comment: Re:McArdle is astute (Score 1) 24

by mcgrew (#46787089) Attached to: Obamacare is Not a Single-Payer Conspiracy [Bloomberg]

What worries me about her is that she was in charge of Clinton's single-payer plan, and screwed it up royally. So far I don't like any of the candidates from either major party.

Either way I'll probably vote either Libertarian or Green. I cannot support a candidate who wants me in prison. The only way she'll get my vote is if the Republicans screw up in their Presidential nominations like they did with Illinois' Governor's race. They had one excellent candidate, two acceptable and a tea party billionaire who hates unions and middle class people. They chose the only candidate who could get me to vote for Quinn.

Morons. They'll probably nominate another tea party stinker who only cares about the 1%. If they do I'll have to vote for Clinton.

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Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Sixteen 2

Journal by mcgrew

When I woke up, all my muscles were on fire. We would have had to turn the ship around today, and in fact that's what was scheduled, except for the meteors and the drama that followed.
Destiny was sleeping peacefully. I got up, thankful that we weren't at Earth gravity but wishing we had turned around for deceleration then, because they have it plotted so that you start the journey close to the planet you're leavi

Comment: Re:McArdle is astute (Score 1) 24

by mcgrew (#46778449) Attached to: Obamacare is Not a Single-Payer Conspiracy [Bloomberg]

However, if there is anything in which I have confidence, it is this administration's commitment to slow, methodical, blame-laden screwings of the lower- and middle-class.

In what way has the lower and middle class been screwed by the present administration? I'll agree that the previous administration was great for the rich and crappy for everyone else, but I posit it's slowly improving.

The lower and middle classes have been getting royally screwed for at least half my life, and I retired earlier this year. The screwings started with Reagan's Capital Gains cuts, which caused an orgy of hostile corporate takeovers leading to layoffs and lowered hours. I was hurt badly when my employer staved off an attempted corporate pirate raid.

No, that suppository arrives with the Clinton Administration. I reckon she's wreckin'.

I certainly hope so, it would be nice for the US to raise to the level of the rest of the industrialized world from our historically barbaric health care "system". American health care is far from #1 in any measure except cost; ours is the most expensive. It's neither logical nor rational.

As to Clinton, if she's elected and half as good as her husband the country will be in fine shape. It would be incredibly hard for her to be anywhere as bad as George Junior, the worst President in my lifetime (AFAIC we've really only had two good Presidents in my lifetime, Eisenhower and Clinton, and as I was very young I could be wrong about Eisenhower but love that interstate highway system, as well as his cautions about a military industrial complex).

I'm more worried about Illinois. Dillard was Chief of Staff under Thompson and Edgar, and Illinois did pretty good until Ryan got in, and it deteriorated worse under Blago. It hasn't gotten much better under Quinn, but unfortunately Dillard lost the primary and the stupid Republicans nominated the only one of the four candidates that would get me to vote for Quinn.

Comment: Well said. (Score 1) 1

by mcgrew (#46778141) Attached to: Lies, damned lies, and ... oh no, you're going there.

Liars always lie. I think people mistrust statistics because they don't understand statistics, or worse, understand a little, just enough to be dangerous.

I worked with data and statisticians my whole career. I'm not a statistician, but learned a lot about the discipline from working with them. One of my co-workers had written a textbook on the subject that was used in colleges. Very interesting discipline.

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Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Fifteen

Journal by mcgrew

I started the long walk back to the pilot room wishing again for a bicycle or something.
A robot wheeled past. Hell, I should just flag down a robot. But, of course there was a reason for not having transportation; I remembered the climb up the boat when the whores locked me out and how tiring it was. A body needs exercise and the most I was going to get on a boat with two-thirds gravity was walking.

Comment: Re:It's not just the language, but the implementat (Score 1) 188

by davidwr (#46760321) Attached to: The Security of Popular Programming Languages

DOH! I *knew* I should've read the freakin' article before writing that.

Obviously, the article is talking about scripting languages, languages that (typically) run inside of a hopefully-OS-independent-behavior runtime rather than a traditional compiled language that doesn't contain a lot of "runtime" between the compiled code and the operating system.

Comment: It's not just the language, but the implementation (Score 4, Insightful) 188

by davidwr (#46760015) Attached to: The Security of Popular Programming Languages

If the language specification doesn't expressly say what happen when things "outside the design" happen, then different implementations may work differently.

For example:

If the language design spec says

"If an array index is out of bounds, exit the program and return a value of ABEND_ARRAY_BOUNDS_VIOLATION to the calling program,"

that may seem very specific, but if how to "exit the program and return a value of ABEND_ARRAY_BOUNDS_VIOLATION to the calling program," isn't specified by someone (usually the operating system), then it may not be specific enough. if different operating systems specify how to do this differently, then expected "under the hood" behavior will not necessarily be consistent across operating systems.

For example, does "exit the program" mean simply returning control to the caller, or does it mean explicitly returning any resources that were previously granted to the program by the operating system first? Or is that optional? If it's optional as far as the operating system is concerned, does the language provide a compile- or run-time switch to force such a cleanup? Does returning memory to the operating system guarantee that the OS will sanitize the memory, and if not, does the language guarantee it? If the language doesn't guarantee it, does the language provide a compile- or runtime switch so the program will sanitize memory prior to returning it to the operating system?

These differences in language implementations and even differences in how operating systems handle the starting and stopping of processes can lead to differences in what the code actually does. Usually these differences are unimportant but sometimes they are very important.

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Journal: The third time wasn't a charm.

Journal by mcgrew

I've hardly logged on to the internet at all this past week, too busy correcting a mistake software houses frequently do: Trying to rush a project out the door. The fact is, I'm tired of The Paxil Diaries, but I don't want to ship a flawed piece of crap.

Comment: The distinct "black middle class" is dying/dead (Score 5, Interesting) 509

by davidwr (#46710051) Attached to: How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

Back in the days of race-based "red-lining" and "Whites-only" legally-enforced racially-segregated neighborhoods, rich and middle-class African-Americans had to live in the "non-white" part of town, along with the poor African-Americans and other non-Whites.

Once the zoning laws, deed restrictions, and race-based morgtage- and homeowners-insurance redlining disappeared, non-Whites had as much choice as white people when it came to where they wanted live. Money or lack of it still limited their choices, but their skin color was no longer a barrier.

Now, middle-class African-Americans who move into a city are likely to move into a "middle class" neighborhood, not a "Black" neighborhood.

We went from a society that had a more distinct "Black middle class" that was created out of racial discrimination into one where if there is a "Black middle class" that's distinct from a "Middle class" the distinction is much weaker than it once was, but where there is no legally-enforced racial discrimination and much less (and someday soon I hope, no) racial discrimination denying African-Americans and other non-Whites the same rights and opportunities enjoyed by White people.

I for one don't want to undo the last 50 years of racial desegregation just to bring back the distinct "Black middle class."

Likewise, I don't think we should deny today's children the ability to hear - albeit in a limited way - just to preserve "Deaf culture."

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Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Fourteen

Journal by mcgrew

As I was floating back to the pilot room, Tammy was waiting outside her quarters, hanging from the doorway with one hand. "Is Destiny OK?" she said with a worried tone.

"She will be," I said. "A little anoxia." They'd warned us about anoxia in Captain's training and I'd seen it before. "She's in the infirmary getting oxygen. You can see her if you want but she was still unconscious when the robot took her."

Comment: Free flight ... to prison (Score 1) 144

by davidwr (#46661637) Attached to: Hacker Holds Key To Free Flights

Getting on the plane is only part of the "game."

Unless you plan on doing something bad on the plane that will get you arrested or killed anyways, you also have to never be caught, even after the fact. Or at least delay your capture until all relevant criminal and civil statutes of limitations have run out.

Given that there are cameras everywhere these days, "Good luck with that."

Even then you have to worry about countries retroactively extending the statutes of limitations if their Constitutions/Basic Laws/whatever allow for it (In the last 10-20 years, California [USA] retroactively re-instated the right to sue for damages for certain decades-old torts).

To those who say "it's the bad guys who plan on hurting themselves or others once onboard" I say "You are right, that is an issue that needs to be addressed, but that's outside the scope of my comment, please start another thread."

Comment: Alternative suggestions: Encourage bus use (Score 1) 273

by davidwr (#46661527) Attached to: Algorithm Challenge: Burning Man Vehicle Exodus

For people who are packing light ("what fits on your backpack, no more"), increase the use of buses and provide (more?) safe/monitored parking in a "nearby" town at a reasonable price. Better yet, increase any fees paid by attendees to subsidize the cost, so those who do not use the in-city parking pay for part of the cost so as to encourage more use.

I don't know if this 2-lane highway has "full-service" shoulders on it, but if it does, get a permit from the state to allow these buses and other very-high-occupancy vehicles to use the shoulders, the same way that some roads in hurricane-areas have "full service shoulders" that are open during a hurricane evacuation.

Heck, for that matter, if the 2-lane road "could" be safely re-striped as a 3-lane road, pay to have it re-striped with the middle lane going inbound at the start and outbound at the end. Yes, that's a lot of money so barring a big donation it may not be feasible, but it's worth at least looking into.

Comment: When valuable people can't work together... (Score -1) 641

by davidwr (#46661403) Attached to: Linus Torvalds Suspends Key Linux Developer

... everyone suffers.

A general word to any leader who prevents a highly-valued contributor from contributing: If enough influential downstream users don't like this, you may not have the political capital to do this the next time you think you need to do the same thing.

This is not a comment on this specific situation - I am way too ignorant to even begin to know if Linus or Sievers has the higher moral ground or for that matter if either of them have the higher moral ground. It's just a general warning that this kind of action may require spending "political capital," and political capital can run out quickly if it is not continually re-earned.

The test of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Aldo Leopold