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Comment: Re:Extradition from Sweden is easier (Score 2) 377

by coolmoose25 (#46237817) Attached to: Assange's Lawyers: Follow Swedish Law, Interrogate Him In the UK
"How could anyone reasonably expect him to willfully submit to that? It seems highly likely he would end up rotting in a US jail for life, unheard and unseen."

You are obviously not from the US so let me explain this to you. Our Constitution guarantees a right to a speedy trial. If JA wants a speedy trial, he'll get one, and will not "rot in a US jail for life" unless he was convicted and given a life sentence (Which in the US translates to roughly 10 years depending on your age and the leniency of your parole board)

What you are actually thinking about is Guantanomo, where I will agree we have imprisoned enemy combatants (ie. Prisoners of War) who are not subject to the Constitutional projections that would be extended to JA, like any other US resident...

Comment: Re:At least it wasn't an Aztek (Score 1) 94

by coolmoose25 (#46104247) Attached to: Slashdot PT Cruiser Spotted In the Wild
I bought a PT Cruiser for my daughter when she was in high school. It is a convertible. Her requirement was "convertible." It was by far the cheapest available. Bought it new for $17,500. It was the last one they had in Connecticut. Other than me breaking the seat belt buckle, which caused the airbag system to fail, and a crankcase sensor that needed to be replaced, it has been uber reliable and trouble free. Never stranded anyone, ever. Has 60,000 miles on it now, and have only done brakes, tires and oil changes. Maybe I got the only good one.

We call it the "Barbie Car" because it looks like one, especially when you drop the top and the roll bar sticks out like a barbie car handle. A friend said that every time he sees it, a little piece of him dies in side. It is a very maligned car. Yet it's basically a Neon with different side panels. And she won the category of "coolest car" in her high school year book. All in all, money well spent.

(and one more "perk"... it is a 2008 bought in 2009, right before Chrysler went belly up. So it has an unlimited powertrain warranty. I plan on keeping that car until the only thing that is left is the engine and transmission. Hopefully I'll bankrupt Chrysler with engine/transmission replacements through 2035)

Comment: Creationism is the tip of the iceberg (Score 1) 544

by coolmoose25 (#46090657) Attached to: Map of Publicly-Funded Creationism Teaching
It's just one school issue... not all of them. For instance, I live in the northeast. No creationism taught here. OTOH, the liberal nirvana of the People's Republic of Connecticut goes too far the other way. Take US History as an example. Non-exceptional students get taught US History in two blocks. The first block, the era of small government in the US is taught in 8th grade. It is taught largely as a fairy tale. I've read the book, cover to cover. It's slanted in too many ways to mention. It has ridiculous sidebars - with extraneous and/or irrelevant topics in US History put there to be "politically correct."

Meanwhile, the era of big government, Reconstruction through Today is taught in 11th grade. The focus of this book is things like the robber barrons, with little to no acknowledgement of the standard of living those "robber barrons" brought to the US. It shimmies right up to the notion that WWII for the US was started because the US cut off exports of oil and steel to Japan, instead of the fact that the Japanese bombed pearl harbor. The book glosses over the battles in the Pacific, and instead concentrates on the internment of Japanese Americans and the "questionable" decision to nuke Japan.

I insisted that both of my daughters take AP US History in high school so that they learn the entire history in one year, one devoid of this kind of historical revisionism that our school system foists on our children. Sadly, most of the students get the slanted version, and think that its reality. I doubt Slate will do an article on that, or the hundreds of other things I saw happen on my 9 years on the local board of education.

Comment:, - Beware! (Score 1) 129

by coolmoose25 (#45539167) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Review Sites Do You Consult For IT Equipment?
OTOH, Tom's does monthly reviews of CPU's and Graphic Cards... WRT these reviews, they often stop at around the $300 mark, especially in CPU. They will explicitly say that buying a CPU higher than their highest recommended CPU is governed by the law of diminishing returns, and that essentially you should only go to a more expensive CPU if you are "compensating for a shortcoming" shall we say? I'm often building fairly low end machines, and Tom's does a fair job at giving such configurations a fair shake. Their system builder marathons always have a $500-600 entry and they will show you performance per dollar. Often, I start with one of those configurations, and sometimes tweak their CPU choice as often I'm using embedded graphics rather than discreet. This is for a typical user in my house who is just surfing the web, using Office, etc. I've also built a fairly high end machine for my daughter that was purpose built to do video editing and post production. Tom's gaming recommendations helped there enormously, as high end gaming and video editing are similar in their graphics needs. Still, for about $1000 I built a machine that is as high as the spec recommended by her video production teacher. And I did that about 6 months before she took the class. When I let him know the specs on her machine, he just smiled and said she'd have no problems, except that she'll be spoiled when doing work at home compared to the anemic computers they had in school. So provided that you really read the articles and you make common sense adjustments, you can save thousands of dollars over time. And all of this wonderful advice comes free of charge. Amazing.

Comment: Re:Anecdotes aren't statistics (Score 2) 453

by coolmoose25 (#45492517) Attached to: Imagining the Post-Antibiotic Future
Here's another one... My brother had a cut on his foot. He dressed the wound daily, with a topical antibiotic and new bandage. Long story short, he was dead within a week. Sepsis kills more people in the US than any other disease. Take antibiotics away, watch that number skyrocket. It will finally be too hard to ignore, as is happening today.

Comment: Apple vs. Other Devices (Score 4, Insightful) 240

by coolmoose25 (#45471959) Attached to: Not All USB Power Is Created Equal
I'm an Apple Abhorrent... I don't use any of their products, not even an Ipod. I'm an Android/Windows guy. But my daughter decided she had to have an iPhone and bought it with her own money. I have one of those little plugs you put in a cigarette lighter in the car. My car has two up front, one that is ignition keyed, the other is always on. The dongle is in the one that is always on. And I have a standard USB cable to charge phones and other devices from it. It charges all of my Android phones fine. It charges the GPS fine. It charges pads like the Galaxy Tab and the Nexus fine. It won't charge my daughter's iPhone, even with her white Apple USB cord. To this situation, my daughter tells me that the little dongle I have is a POS. I smiled and was reminded, yet again, why I won't buy Apple products.

Comment: Re:Blockbuster failed like Sears (Score 1) 385

by coolmoose25 (#45414309) Attached to: How Blockbuster Could Have Owned Netflix
Don't count Sears out. They own K-Mart now, and they do have a flawed but fairly comprehensive website. They need to capitalize on their strengths, which is NOT apparel. That is their bugaboo... they ceded apparel when they did the "Go Goolagong" campaign.

So what are their strengths? Tools and Appliances. Bedding. Automotive. They can win in those spaces easily if they concentrate on them. My tractor and snow blower are both Craftsman. Sure, Craftsman is crap lots of people will say. Well I say it isn't. At the low end, $1100-$1800 for a tractor, and $650-$1200 for a snow blower, they are selling the SAME product that you will get anywhere else regardless of name brand (including Deere, which doesn't make its own low end stuff anymore, but still charges you like they do). I replaced my circa 1970's Craftsman tractor with a 2000's model that has a hydrostatic drive, cast iron axles, and a B&S engine. It is bulletproof so long as you change the oil. The hydrostatic drive is sealed, and never needs new fluid. Will it die in 10 years? Maybe. Will it die in 15 years? Probably. But I paid $1200 for it, so about $100 a year. My snowblower has been rock solid too, with the notable exception of last year, when it would not run when wet. In the spring, I figured out what had happened... A mouse had taken up residence in the cowl and had chewed almost all the way through the ignition wire. The replacement part for that was readily available from Sears, and I installed it myself. Runs like a champ now, and frankly, that wasn't a quality issue and would have happened to any other brand of snowblower I bought. So I'm a big fan of Craftsman power equipment and their tools because parts are readily available. When you buy the whatever brand from Home Cheapo, not so much. And in the end, all these are built by one of two manufacturers and are rebranded for each store.

When your battery dies on a Sunday, where do you go to get it fixed? Sears is open, and they have your battery, and its overpriced but is decent quality. I've taken to replacing them myself now that my family has a whole fleet of cars, but if I only owned one or two, I would just go to Sears and get the battery done there. Tires? Some of the best prices on tires. Competitive with Walmart even. I bounce between Walmart, Sears, and Firestone for tires. Again, Sears has a strength here.

I know I'm coming off as a fanboi here, but I would NOT like Sears to disappear. I've bought a lot of stuff from them - Appliances I often buy at their scratch and dent warehouse... My fridge sits in an alcove, you can't see the right side at all, and only the top half of the left. So when my fridge died, I bought one with a huge gouge down the right side. I can't see it. And the thing has water, ice, all the bells and whistles, and I paid like $600 for it. Again, drifting into fanboi-dom, but I want Sears to survive.

Comment: Re:Furloughed workers (Score 1) 346

by coolmoose25 (#45372273) Attached to: "War Room" Notes Describe IT Chaos At
Okay... I've had it with the "you should spend less money on the military" as the answer to the US problems, while talking about how we spend too much and tax too little... Let me guess. You're from Europe?

It takes a lot of hutzpah to say something like that when you've lived and slept under the blanket of security the US has provided to you for decades. Yes, perhaps we SHOULD spend less on the military - lets start by closing all US bases in Europe. Europeans are so much smarter than us, why would the US need bases there? After over 60 years since the end of WWII, can't Europe take care of itself?

Well, maybe not, considering the fact that you let the Balkans burn down while hurrumphing that "someone" should do something. It took Bill Clinton to bomb them into peace. And that was in your own back yard.

Again, I think you're right and have a point. Lets NOT deploy a missile shield in Europe. The Russians will be happy. And when Iran finally gets its nuke and can lob it in to Geneva... well no great loss, right?

We can learn from your outstanding economic wisdom. It's not like there are any problems with government spending in Europe... right? Oh, hold on... is Greece and France still in Europe, or is it just the Germans now?

So we are agreed... The US should go home. We'll let you all handle that whole IslamoFacism thing... and you can make sure China doesn't take over the world... and Putin will sell you all the gas you need... no worries there. Have fun... if you need us, just send an email to We'll get back to you real soon.

Comment: Re:Kindergarten mentality? (Score 1) 85

by coolmoose25 (#45082473) Attached to: How DirecTV Overhauled Its 800-Person IT Group With a Game
Hate to admit it, but I'm a VP (ie. Manager) of a technical team. I was a programmer for a lot of my life, and have been in management twice now. First time I wanted it SOOOO BAD. Thought being a manager was the best thing that could have happened to me. Then I ended up working for a boss who wouldn't let me run my team. He was the guy everyone is talking about. He had authority, but showed no leadership. At one point, he asked me what a leader meant to me. I told him a leader was someone people follow. He blew a gasket at that one. I was impeaching his authority, and saying, in effect, I'm a leader and you're not. After that I decided that management wasn't what I wanted, and went back to the tech side. Stayed that way for another 10 years.

I got to my current job not because I wanted to be a manager, but because that was what the company I work for needed me to do. I was under no illusions. For those of you who are not managers, you have your own problems. When you are a manager, EVERYONE's problems are your problems. Even so, I took the position and have been largely happy with my decision. I still get to do architecture. And I get to influence a lot of people I could not influence if I was strictly an architect or coder. My coding skills have languished, but my architecture skills have matured.

And for those of you reading this that are going to turn me into a caricature of the Dilbert pointy haired boss, I consistently get outstanding feedback from those that work for me. I've gotten personal letters from consultants who left saying I was the best boss ever. I won't continue to brag about it, but suffice it to say that you CAN move into management, AND add value to your organization, AND treat your reports well, AND keep their respect, all while maximizing you and your team's value to the organization.

Comment: Re:Yet US oil producers pay no taxes, get subsidiz (Score 1) 416

by coolmoose25 (#45060345) Attached to: US Now Produces More Oil and Gas Than Russia and Saudi Arabia
A Constitutional Convention has only been held once. It was done to write the Constitution.

The surest way to destroy the Constitution is to hold an Article V Convention. At such a convention, they can rewrite the entire Constitution.

You are the biggest fool in the world if you think it will yield anything better than "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others"

Comment: Um... 1971 wants you to know Intel=Hobbist (Score 2) 130

by coolmoose25 (#45038223) Attached to: Intel Launches 'Galileo,' an Arduino-Compatible Mini Computer

"Although Intel is Chipzilla, the company can't help but extend its reach just a bit into the exciting and growing world of DIY makers and hobbyists."

The 4004 gave rise to the z80, the 8008, 8080, and 8086 chips that before the IBM PC came along were mainstays in the hobbyist community. It was all hobbyist, all the time back then, and heady days. So wouldn't it be fairer to say that Intel is going back to its roots rather than "reaching just a bit" in the DIY and hobbyist arena?

Comment: Re:Reminiscent of Titanic's "watertight" compartme (Score 3, Interesting) 76

by coolmoose25 (#45026395) Attached to: Fukushima Leak Traced To Overflow Tank Built On a Slope
IIRC, there was a show I watched on the sinking that took the premise of counterflooding and tested it. They built a scale model, and they were able to fairly accurately recreate the actual sinking, without counterflooding. They then tested what would have happened if they had counterflooded the ship to maintain its trim. Counterintuitively, the ship actually sank faster with counterflooding. I think they explained it by showing that while the out of trim condition contributed to the "ice cube tray" phenomenon that finally sank the ship, the counterflooding would not stop that. It wouldn't even slow it down. With the flooding in the bow from the strike of the glacier, combined with the negative buoyancy of the counterflooded aft, the ship was so low in the water at that point, it allowed the compartments aft of the comprised compartments to fill the adjacent compartments even faster, while the ship was now that much closer to sinking due to the negative buoyancy of the counterflooded aft. They also explored the stability of the ship in such a condition. They found that the ship became unstable laterally, and thus it would have risked a capsize as well. Overall, it was better not to counterflood.

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk