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Comment: Re:I'm confused (Score 3, Insightful) 570

by Sir_Sri (#29829255) Attached to: Some Users Say Win7 Wants To Remove iTunes, Google Toolbar

Supposedly windows 'upgrades' are basically an install of the new OS then it tries to copy over/grab all the stuff from the 'old' windows. It's an ugly process, and probably errors are caused by programs it doesn't know how to copy over. Stuff that embeds itself in the OS, itunes messes with USB, Google with search and god knows what, Anti virus with everything could work fundamentally differently on a new OS than an old and figuring out how, if at all, to copy that over is probably a difficult business. This might even be problems with specific versions of said programs rather than the application as a whole.

Uninstalling applications in an automated way is a bad idea. They may or may not remove *data* associated with the application that the user wants to keep, and may not know how to easily copy over. Believe it or not most people care more about their data, and access to it, more than the OS they use to launch the applications. It's probably better that people who know something about what a 'directory' is, and how to browse them, try to figure out how to copy data over than a lot of users for whom such a terrifying concept is completely foreign.

Comment: Re:The Moon (Score 1) 703

by sofar (#29828465) Attached to: Where Should We Focus Our Space Efforts?

There are several misconceptions in your reply:

We haven't even tried to build a permanent structure on another celestial body yet

You could argue the rovers were permanent, albeit their battery power isn't. They were still designed to last longer than a brief visit. Plenty of pieces of equipment were left on the moon with a more permanent function as well, just take a look at the reflector left by apollo 11 ( http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEhelp/ApolloLaser.html )

a crappy space station in low orbit that keeps falling into the atmosphere and needs to be boosted periodically

This is absurd. The earth has an atmosphere that extends well beyond just the 50km you think of. A large station the size of the ISS creates plenty of friction with the remainder of the atmosphere and thus "slows down" in its orbital speed, causing it to slowly fall. This is a natural physical phenomenon that has nothing to do with the inability to design spacecraft, but is just a net effect of choosing an orbit at the altitude that it's currently at.

We shouldn't even be thinking about colonization of another planet until we've figured out how to build a permanent space station with artificial gravity,

Why? If we could successfully colonize the Moon/Mars, then why would we need artificial gravity stations? Artificial gravity sure is nice to have, but I'd rather have an atmosphere to shield me against radiation, and it's kinda nice to take a drive out to the Martian cliffs or even to just hit a golf ball in the moon sands.

and there's no atmosphere to cause problems

arguably, it's preferable to have an atmosphere, as it will reduce the engineering requirements for preventing leaks, IOW the structure will be safer if there is some atmosphere, even if it's not breathable.

atmospheres also reduce temperature fluctuations from day/night events, causing the temperature changes to be less drastic, again a win.

it would be fairly simple to build enclosed, pressurized greenhouses on the Moon to grow things

Plants might not grow that well being directly exposed to radiation for longer periods. They're also not growing as much in the 2 weeks that they are in the darkness, so it would be a lot easier to just use artificial light.

we'd just need to figure out how to make the soil suitable

The stuff the moon is covered with, "Moon dust" if you must, isn't "soil" at all. It's just ground up non-organic minerals. The word "soil" means that organisms have changed it in a geophysical sense, which hasn't happened on the moon. As such, the "moon dust" is highly unusable other than filler, and it will take massive quantities of organic matter to actually make stuff grow in it. You can't just plant a tree in the middle of the Sahara sands, water it and expect it to grow (it will just stay the same size, not grow fruit etc., and eventually just die due to depletion). The missing nutritional elements in moon dust will be a killer, and the fine grain will likely cause all sorts of watering issues.

Comment: Re:Did the US regulators have the same concerns? (Score 1) 251

by rsborg (#29828349) Attached to: Sun Microsystems To Cut 3,000 Jobs As Oracle Deal Drags On

The EU has been the leading anti-trust regulator in the world for a long time now simply because they believe it's in societies best interest to force companies to compete whereas the US believes more in the innovative power of unregulated companies and thus have a more laissez-faire attitude.

It seems more and more that the US has become completely controlled by big business who are in turn owned by the elites (the top 1% who own more than 50% of everything).

(Economic) Freedom isn't Free. So tell me who believes more in Capitalism, the (so-called socialist) EU or the US?

Comment: People will game any system for maximum reward ... (Score 2, Insightful) 163

by bleuchez (#28216103) Attached to: Clemson Staffer Outlines College Rankings Manipulation
This brings to mind an article I read way back in Inc magazine where the author talks about how employees will figure out how game any system that rewards them.

http://www.inc.com/magazine/20081001/how-hard-could-it-be-sins-of-commissions.html

Clemson is just gaming the system, I imagine other schools that change quickly change their ranking probably are doing the same. Even if US News and World Report changes their ranking methodology, I guarantee that schools will simply change their tactics to beat the system agian.

Comment: Best engineers - Ninjas (Score 1) 491

by bleuchez (#28215253) Attached to: Best kind of engineering:

Ninjas

Civil: Scale tall buildings in order to assasinate your enemies!
Mechanical: Death ninja stars to kill your enemy from afar!
Genetic: Genetically modified ninjas!
Electrical or Computer: Hacking into your enemy for the perfect assasination!
Reverse: Double back flip land and throw ninja star!
Social: When you can't sneak past the secretary!

I've got all the money I'll ever need if I die by 4 o'clock. -- Henny Youngman

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