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Comment I wish I were 12 (Score 2) 126

... because then I would think this was so rad. Seriously, if my 12-year-old self had this game, he would have been in heaven. All I got back then was Rebel Assault, which blew my mind at the time because it came on a goddamn CD-ROM. Sadly, my older self does not share this enthusiasm. But to all you 12-year-olds out there, have a ball driving around in AT-STs.

Comment Re:Well, was it stronger than steel? (Score 3, Interesting) 74

Glass was always "stronger" than steel in that it will take more stress without bending. Glass will just shatter, whereas steel will bend but not break. Glass has more "strength," but steel has more "toughness." An article at Popular Science explores this distinction: "Strength refers to how much force a material can take before it deforms. Toughness explains the energy required to fracture or break something." The article is from 2011, and is entitled "NEW METALLIC GLASS BEATS STEEL AS THE TOUGHEST, STRONGEST MATERIAL YET."

Comment We prefer Type II errors (Score 2) 372

Our criminal justice system is biased in favor of Type II errors (false negatives), rather than Type I errors (false positives). We think it is worse to jail, kill, or harass an innocent person than to let a criminal go free. Recently, we have had a lot of Type I errors (false positives), and we have corrected our procedures to reduce this type of error. There is a corresponding rise in false negatives (criminals going free), but this is the way we have deliberately designed the system. We are going back to the way we want things to be.

Comment Laptop, monitor, speakers, Netflix (Score 1) 236

I just plug a laptop into an external monitor and some bookshelf speakers for Netflix/Hulu streaming. The monitor sits on an old piano bench in front of my bookshelves. When I want to use the monitor for my desktop computer, I unplug it and carry it across the room to my desk. I also have an old Android phone that I use just for music from Pandora/Spotify. I switch the speakers between the phone and the laptop by unplugging the audio cable from one and plugging it into the other.

Submission + - This is What a Real Bomb Looks Like ( 2

szczys writes: You see them all the time in movies and TV shows, but is that what an actual bomb looks like? Probably not... here's what a real bomb looks like.

This story stems from a millionaire gone bust from gambling addiction who decided to extort riches back from the casino. He built a bomb and got it into the building, then ransomed the organization for $3 million. The FBI documented the mechanisms in great detail — including the 8 independent trigger systems that made it impossible for them to disarm the thing. The design was so nefarious it's still used today as a training tool.

Comment I don't feel bad (Score 3, Interesting) 307

Because I have never intentionally clicked on an ad ever. AdBlock is doing the same thing my brain does, except more efficiently. It also has a benefit for the advertisers and site owners: it doesn't make me enraged at them for serving me extremely annoying advertisements that are completely irrelevant to my interests. So, advertisers and site owners should be thanking AdBlock because it is improving their reputation among people who get annoyed by advertisements.

Actually, I have been aiming to cut down on my random web browsing lately -- maybe I should turn off AdBlock and make all of my favorite sites so unbearable that I never go back to them again.

Comment Re:A more interesting question... (Score 2) 889

Duplicity, and by extension rsync. I tried using Duplicati on Windows for a while, but it didn't really work, so I migrated my server to Linux to get a more robust backup solution. It is true that this is a server and not a desktop, and all of my office and home desktops still run Windows. Microsoft has really improved Windows a lot in the last 10 years, and I don't miss Linux on the desktop at all anymore -- except for rsync. And if I really wanted it, I suppose I could use Cygwin.

Actually, I also miss Debian package management. apt-get is so incredibly easy and elegant. Nice try, "Windows Store."

Comment Industry-specific applications (Score 2) 889

There are a few application that I use in my business which are specific to my industry. My office can't function without them, and they only run on Windows. Many businesses have similar software that caters to their niche. The developers probably only sell a few dozen licenses every year, so it doesn't make sense for them to port to a different OS. I'd love to use Linux on my office desktops (my office server runs Linux), but I need to be in Windows for these applications, and they are definitely never coming to Linux.

Comment Re:Most people hate their job (Score 2) 474

Many other commenters have pointed out that one factor is thinking you're special when you're really not. There are a whole lot of highly-skilled people in the world, and it's not really special to be highly-skilled anymore. Lawyers are highly-skilled, but they are among the least-satisfied of workers. As a society, we have learned how to make highly-skilled laborers interchangeable, which yields productivity gains. In the top echelons of every profession, there are those who work creatively and enjoyably, but the vast majority are doing routine tasks. Doctors perhaps have slightly higher satisfaction, but keep in mind that they are at the top of a highly-regulated and stratified industry; a more apt comparison would be healthcare workers in general vs. IT workers in general. It is possible to be high-skill and low-level.

"Today's robots are very primitive, capable of understanding only a few simple instructions such as 'go left', 'go right', and 'build car'." --John Sladek