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Comment: Re:More importantly (Score 1) 393

by bmajik (#47932599) Attached to: Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

Sure, the regenerative braking probably reduces the wear on the brakes.

Point being, brake pads and rotors are normal replacement items. You should expect to replace them more than once in 12 years on a normal vehicle. I can wear down a set of pads in a weekend at the track. It depends a lot on how you drive.

I will agree that on the Tesla I test drove, I barely touched the brake pedal. The regen was turned up to maximum and that does a good job of slowing the car down if you are paying attention.

BMWs also tend to have static negative rear camber, and are RWD like the Tesla. But the wheels are smaller dia, which means the tires are more affordable.

I think over 12 years you will spend similar or more on Tesla model S brake and tire components as compared to an average BMW. I look forward to hearing from Model S owners 11 years from now...

Comment: Re:More importantly (Score 3, Informative) 393

by bmajik (#47930553) Attached to: Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

Heck. At 12-years on a BMW, there are any number of wearbale parts that replacement may exceed car value (tires, brakes (you have to replace the rotors with the pads on a BMW), etc).

Not unless the car has been damaged.

BMWs have very high resale value. 12 year old BMWs are currently 2002 models. Very few model year 2002 BMWs can be found for under $5000 in _any_ condition.

In fact, if you do a quick search on autotrader.com for model year 2002 BMWs, you'll see that there are 1200 listings with an average asking price of $9700

I happen to be quite familiar with the running costs of old BMWs. The drive train of a BMW will easily last 12 years without substantial work. The exceptions would be the plastic cooling system components, and, on some models, premature VANOS failure. Sadly, on the newer N54 engines the HPFP is a disaster, but that is not the majority of used BMWs, and certainly not MY2002 cars.

Even paying dealer prices, to replace brakes, suspension rubber, tires, cooling system, etc, will not cost you $9000.

The brake rotors and pads are a few hundred dollars per corner, and you could replace them yourself in your own garage with a jack and hand tools.

FWIW, I really like Tesla. I look forward to a time when buying one of their cars makes sense for me.

However, your consideration of the repair costs of a 12 year old BMW is way off. Thus, my response.

Also, Brakes and Tires are functionally identical between a BMW and a Tesla, and, on the Model S, the Tesla replacement parts are probably more expensive (I haven't priced them to be certain), because the Tesla has very large low profile tires and very large brakes, especially compared to the "average" BMW (instead of their X5 trucks with big wheels, or their high performance M models with larger brakes)

So comparing a 12 year old BMW and a 12 year old Tesla, the wear and maintenance parts differences are the Tesla's battery vs. the BMW's conventional drivetrain. The latter requires coolant flushes, oil changes, transmission fluid changes, air filters, etc.

The one maintenance surprise that I learned about when chatting with a Tesla service technician was that on the model S, the A/C refrigerant is serviced regularly, because it is an integral component of the battery cooling system.

Comment: Re:Don't lie (Score 2) 499

by bmajik (#47880081) Attached to: Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

Irrespective of what OPM might think of who she visited and why, the fact that she at minimum failed to disclose it during the interviews is a red flag.

It could be that she is getting a raw deal and she really had no nefarious intentions at any point in her life, and this was an honest mistake and a reasonable person could have thought it couldn't have been relevant and no dishonesty was involved.

Or, it could be that OPM has done their job correctly and has identified someone who is a future liability because of her past stupidity and her comfort in being dishonest about her past, associations, and politics.

The OPM is not the department of second chances and big hugs. They are charged with, for instance, trying to keep future Snowdens out of the US government.

(I think what Snowden did was a good thing, fwiw. That doesn't change OPMs job )

Comment: Re:Don't lie (Score 2, Insightful) 499

by bmajik (#47877599) Attached to: Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

The point is that lying is worse. If they find out, not only did you break a federal law, but you lied about breaking a federal law when applying for a government job that asks a bunch of pretty serious questions and explains the possible penalties for dishonesty.

Also, other posters have mentioned that she visited some of these group members while they were in jail for murder. You neglect to mention that hey, you're kind of friends with a murderer when you're interviewing for a government job?

I did an OPM interview for a friend who was joining the USAF and listed me as a reference. They are serious. They need to be.

This lady hung out with some dipshits when she was younger. She probably hung out with them a bit too much. Then when she was older she tried to get a grown up adult type job that uncle sam was interested in. She either lied or neglected to mention her 2 or 3 standard deviations out of bounds youthful activities. OPM caught up with her on it and decided that she wasn't worth the risk.

It's their prerogative. They're not in the don't-hurt-your-feelings business. They're not in the "forgive-the-stupid-mistakes-of-youth" business. They're in the business of assessing possible problems with people.

Comment: The wrong problem (Score 4, Insightful) 264

by bmajik (#47872313) Attached to: Using Wearable Tech To Track Gun Use

A cop firing a gun is morally ambiguous. Sometimes its justified, sometimes it isn't.

Deciding when it is vs. isn't justified is the problem. Knowing that the gun was fired is usually pretty obvious.

Knowing the entirety of the situation when a cop fired is considerably more important than if the cop actually fired.

Pervasive, tamper proof cameras on officers and their vehicles, that police cannot withhold from the public without a pretty serious conversation with a judge. That's the starting point.

Let's see what problems remain after we've had that running for 5 years.

Comment: After weeks of delay.... (Score 4, Insightful) 32

bmajik launches a first post.

According to the mission profile, due to moderation, his positive karma will burn up during re-entry.

More seriously, I'm glad Space X is apparently doing things right. More successful launches... not just more launch attempts. The eyes are on them and lots of vested interests are looking to pounce and capitalize once they make a serious mistake.

Comment: Re:What's wrong with Windows Server? (Score 1) 613

by bmajik (#47815771) Attached to: You Got Your Windows In My Linux

Nothing.

One critical difference: services.msc isn't actually responsible for orchestrating system startup on windows.

Services.msc is an administrative tool meant for interactive use. It is one of several administrative surfaces for interacting with windows service configuration. The commandline tool "sc" still exists and is still functional, and powershell undoubtedly has a more robust suite of tools for manipulating system startup.

The actual inner plumbing of starting up a windows machine is in some way abstracted from the management surfaces used. For instance, during the Windows XP era, a bunch of work was done on making bootup faster. Part of that work was done by allowing some parts of system startup to happen in parallel that were previously serial.

In versions of windows since XP, other subtle changes have been made to windows startup behavior to positively impact performance. The measure people most care about is how long until you can see your desktop, so some startup services have been moved into Deferred groups if they aren't implicated in giving you a login desktop.

All of these changes have been possible without critically altering the different management surfaces that exist for windows administrators. Service dependency chains, run levels, etc have been in the NT family since early days.

New features show up in these experiences over time; e.g. once upon a time every single service ran as the SYSTEM credential; now there are lots of pre-built discrete identities with different rights to effect some degree of privsep. But these were new values showing up on combo boxes in the existing tooling; not throwing away everything you knew and asking you to start over with something entirely foreign.

One key difference between Windows and rc/sysV is that the latter makes it much easier to promote a random shell script into something the unix startup orchestration knows about.

Windows services have a richer interface contract (start, stop, query status, etc) that is based on C-style calling conventions (iirc). Implementing something as a windows service as a practical matter requires knowing that's what you want it to be before you start coding.

The downside of the unix flexibility is that people ship broken ass shit like Ubuntu LTS where half your stuff is reasonable and half your stuff tells you, "hey, i'm an upstart job! So what you tried won't work any more for some reason that has no fucking bearing on your life! fuck you buddy!"

I got my start on linux in the a.out binary days, and simultaneously worked on Solaris and IRIX machines about 20 years ago. I've added other unicies since then. I'm very comfortable with both rc and sysV. Recent follow-ons like "upstart" have jut felt like hacky shit to me that unceremoniously throws out what met my needs and provides a fundamentally worse experience.

I spent a great deal of time debugging OSX startup a while back (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/mattev/archive/2004/06/21/161770.aspx) and that system was at least sensical and consistently implemented.

If you want the real deal on windows internals, the Windows Internals Books with Mark Russinovich are excellent, and explain the internal kernel concepts and data structures in tremendous detail. System startup is also covered, including the orchestration between smss.exe, lsass.exe, csrss.exe, and all other associated friends.

Comment: Re:Apparently the trolls are out here, too (Score 1) 1262

In the long run, humanity would be better served if people just learned to lighten up and not get so upset about things written by people they don't know and will never meet.

Death threats in the real world? Yes, that's a thing that is actionable. That's not what I'm talking about.

You do not have a right to never be offended.

It was a hard lesson for me when I was an opinionated teenager who hopped on IRC in the 90s.. all of these older smarter people were trolling me and being mean to me! Poor me!

It was also a GOOD lesson for me. In the internet of back then, the trolls were smarter, and there were no feelings police... no forum moderators... people said what they liked and you either dealt with it or you didn't.

And I look at people who come unglued over what they read on the internet and just shake my head.

An online forum with no rules and no judges and no consequences is one of the most interesting and wonderful things in human history.

I don't want it to die because of your hurt feelings. I'd rather you went somewhere else.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 2) 441

by bmajik (#47734635) Attached to: Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

*raises hand*

I've posted about this before many times.

I have a pulse
I am not sure about having a conscience -- that may disqualify me.
I have an IQ over 30
I am a citizen
I am not a politician
I am not a CEO.

I've been an engineer at Microsoft since 2000. I've worked on developer tools and ERP products. I've worked in Redmond; I currently work in Fargo.

I have interviewed hundreds of people for Microsoft positions. I am not a manager, but I've played manager at times. I understand the compensation system quite well, and how it has evolved over my 15 years at the company.

I have also worked with non-citizens and non-native born my entire career, including many who are on H1-Bs currently.

You could go and dig through my old posts if you wanted to. I'll try and give the short version

1) In my opinion, Microsoft pays very well. If i lost my job in North Dakota, I think i'd be taking a huge pay cut to work anywhere else. I base this on the numbers people throw out when I've interviewed with other companies. (You get frustrated from time to time in 15 years with the same company. I've shopped around. I've stayed put)

2) There are a lot of "paper qualified" people out there. I can't hire even half of the ones I talk to.

I see both ends of the "funnel" of candidates. For university recruiting trips, there is essentially no filtering done before I get to talk to them. For industry hires, they had to get through a few people before they talk to me.

We're already paying a competitive wage and we cannot hire many of the people we talk to. The obvious move is to try and expand the # of people we're able to talk to.

3) For a variety of reasons, it is MORE expensive for Microsoft to deal with H1-B candidates. There are all kinds of legal costs and challenges, as well as employee time wasted dealing with immigration bullshit -- that normal domestic employees do not incur.

For each domestic job type at Microsoft, there is a flyer posted in the breakroom that says what the title is, what the qualifications are, and what the salary range is. The salary ranges are the ones I am familiar with. Any H1-B could simply look at the flyer, and if they were getting paid less than that, they could lawyer up and retire. Every state's attorney in the US would want in on that lawsuit. Saving a few thousand dollars a year on salary costs couldn't possibly be worth it to us.

4) I feel no particular allegience to "the american worker". So you were good at choosing where your parents were when you were born? And the benefits of this should accrue to you WHY?

I am interested in people who will improve the caliber of my company and the caliber of my society. Hard working, intelligent people often have that potential. I don't care about where they were born. i care about what they will do.

I want the US to suck every brilliant engineer out of India and China. I don't want China getting any better at matching the US military industrial complex, and I want India to change its society so that innovators can effect meaningful change there, instead of being trapped in a hopeless system of patronage and bribery.

(have you talked to Indians who are in the US? There's a reason they are here...)

I would love to have the problem of drowning in qualified American talent. But that isn't a problem I've ever had in my entire career.

Finally, before you run your mouth about Microsoft not doing anything about to help with the domestic labor supply, Microsoft pays for me to volunteer 1 hour a day teaching Computer Science at a local high school. I start my 2nd year this Monday. I'll be helping teach a section of AP Computer Science -- in JAVA. Do you think this is some kind of sweetheart deal for MS? They are losing my work time, they are giving money to the school, and I am teaching the kids using Eclipse and the Java stack -- the direct competitors to the product and ecosystem that I work on (i work on Visual Studio).

What we're doing, is widening the pipeline of people who get exposed to CS, so that hopefully, more of them do CS in college, and more of them are GOOD at it. That is going to help the entire industry.

I don't know what experiences you've had, but I feel confident in saying that they haven't been at Microsoft.

Comment: Re:you must not have done well in math class (Score 2) 214

by bmajik (#47686907) Attached to: Figuring Out Where To Live Using Math

Focusing on gun crimes is the tactic that gun control advocates use.

The problem is that victims don't care if they are stabbed to death or shot to death.

The correct metric is _total_ crimes of bodily threat or assault. Good guys use legally carried weapons to deal with bad guys irrespective of what the bad guys did or didn't bring.

So, don't focus on gun deaths (which, btw, also counts suicides.. which is also totally disingenuous)

Focus on murders. How does Illinois compare to say, North Dakota, in murders?

I'll stay in rural North Dakota, thanks.

Comment: Changing form factors, changing software (Score 2) 125

Suppose for a moment that you are building a new processor for mobile devices.

The mobile device makers - Apple, Google, and Microsoft -- all have "App Stores". Side loading is possible to varying degrees, but in no case is it supported or a targeted business scenario.

These big 3 all provide their own SDKs. They specify the compilers, the libraries, etc.

Many of the posts in this thread talk about how critical it will be for the compilers to produce code well suited for this processor...

Arguably, due to the app development toolchain and software delivery monoculture attached to each of the mobile platforms, it is probably easier than ever to improve compilers and transparently update the apps being held in app-store catalogs to improve their performance for specific mobile processors.

It's not the wild west any more; with tighter constraints around the target environment, more specific optimizations become plausible.

Comment: Separation of Powers (Score 1) 427

by bmajik (#47633523) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Life Beyond the WRT54G Series?

Claim: the routing and security features on the edge devices your ISP provides as CPE are not sufficient

Claim: You want the ability to reset the shitty CPE your ISP gives you without losing LAN connectivity

Claim: Specific purpose devices are often better suited to their tasks than all-in-one devices

Solution: Treat your ISP-supplied CPE as a dumb device. Put a smarter device behind it that does routing, segmentation, translation, dhcp, etc, the way you want those things done.

Ideally, do PPPoE or something from the smarter device across the CPE, because CPE firmware is so often just terrible, but if not, double-NAT is often fine.

Critically, make your wifi APs a separate function both from your core home router and your edge device.

For a trivial amount of money, you can keep buying Ubiquiti APs and place them all over your property, as needed, and get an arbitrarily high level of speed and coverage. The configuration is completely painless, and this setup is completely independent of your edge device and edge connectivity.

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson

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