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Comment Re:Didn't need this elaborate set up (Score 1) 142

Let's try this. Take the can in which the die will be placed and screw two holes into it, one inch from the top and bottom along the vertical plane.

Drill two holes of equal distance into a large wooden disc and affix the can to the wheel via screws. Place die in can and securely cover open end of can with clear plastic.

Attach a reciprocating arm to the wheel such as those used in steam locomotives to turn the wheels.

As the wooden wheel turns the can turns upside down, rolling the die. On the way up the number of the die is set. When the can reaches the top the rotation of the wheel coincides with the 4 second delay of the camera.

Comment Didn't need this elaborate set up (Score 2) 142

Set the camera to take a picture every 4 seconds.

Instead of a tech-related roller, affix the can to a non-radial disc (i.e. a disc which has a small flat spot)

When the attached arm rotates the disc and reaches the flat spot, it will remain upright long enough for the camera to take a picture. The arm then pushes the disc over to tumble the die then brings it back up for the next picture.

Think of the arms of a steam locomotive and how they are used to rotate the wheels of a train.

Comment Re:Corporate death penalty (Score 5, Interesting) 112

I would advocate replacing the current practice of corporations being legally required to act in the best interests of shareholders only with a new hierarchy or rules, much like Asimov's laws if you will:

First, a corporation must act reasonably in the best interest of the general public.
Second, a corporation must act reasonably in the best interest of their employees where it doesn't conflict with the first rule.
Third, a corporation must act reasonably in the best interest of their shareholders where that doesn't conflict with the first or second rule.

A corporation jacks up the price of a generic drug by 7,000,000%? Sued by the general public.

A corporation informs employees that they will have to train their H1B replacements? Sued by their employees.

A corporation pays its CEO an unreasonably large salary with no evidence that that results in better executive performance? Sued by their shareholders. (This should be happening now...)

I like it better than a corporate death penalty, because many corporations do have value and importance to the general public that would be at risk of being destroyed because of a single bad acting CEO. With this scheme, the courts would have a framework for redressing these issues.

In the case of patent trolls, some patents are more obviously bullshit then others. The more obviously bullshit the patent, the more strong a case members of the general public would have to individually sue the trolls for obstructing their use of the technology. What if everybody who uses HTTPS could sue these clowns?

Comment Doesn't matter (Score 1) 19

During the primary you get to spout all kinds of shit. This is also why I tend to shake my head when people claim that Sanders is useful because "he forces Clinton to the left".

No he doesn't, he's just making Clinton pretend to like the left for a few months.

Rubio will be back to "The law is the law" as soon as drug decriminalization is back under discussion. And all of a sudden, any memory of nonsense involving ignoring gay marriages will be history.

Comment Re:Salomonic solution (Score 1) 754

I use Firefox despite critical components being designed and written by Brandon Eich, who's a contemptible homophobic jackass (and would have continued to use it even if he hadn't resigned.) I use OpenSSL despite the jackwagon who wrote it being some anti-GNU zealot. Those are two examples, and I'm sure I can find a thousand more utilities written by people I'd never go to a party with.

You're unwilling to work with systemd simply because you don't like the author, and are willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater because you are afraid to deal with your animosity against the author. OK, we get it.

But perhaps you need to reconsider your priorities if your approach to life is to decide what technologies to use on the basis of personality quibbles with people you'll never ever meet.

systemd's great. I can't comment on Poettering because, quite honestly, I've never really followed the guy. He could be as bad as Eric Raymond. He could be as nice as Bruce Perens. I'll bitch about him if I find out something that makes me think he's giving the F/OSS communit(ies) a bad name or is behaving in an exclusionary manner, but I'm not going to reject a long needed technological upgrade that's exactly what we need right now on that basis.

Comment Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 402

No batteries needed if it connects via the Lightning (or micro-USB for generic phones - let's be honest, if Apple goes there others will to) port. DAC and headphone amp will probably add about 25c to the cost of the device.

The only serious issue really is that nobody has these headphones. I don't mind us moving to digital audio transmission, but I'd like all the manufacturers to agree upon a common standard first. Apple unilaterally deciding to go Lightning is about the worst possible outcome.

Comment Re:This! (Score 1) 130

Are they selling an object like a car or a service like access to a fairground?

Even ignoring quasi-legal arguments like software licensing, I'm inclined to feel this is an example of the latter.

This is not like selling costume packs for Skyrim, where both parties were involved in a transaction presented as a purchase of an object (again, legal arguments like licensing aside - user buys a box called "Skyrim", expects that to be the end of their relationship with Bethesda and Bethesda expected that to be the end of their relationship with the user, save for bug fixes and purchases of other products or services)

This is a straightforward "You pay us $X for access to our service.

And as such, just as paying money to access to a fairground doesn't mean you can reconfigure the rollercoaster, likewise you don't get to mod a multi-user game just because you paid money for access to it.

Comment Re:Wrong way around (Score 1) 754

Better explanation:

sysvinit is widely considered awful by most distro maintainers.

How do we know this? Well, because distro maintainers have been trying to get away from it for years. Even when everything was run from 'init' there have been multiple refactorings of /etc/*.d to try to produce a better start up environment.

At some point, some distributions, notably Ubuntu, switched to an initd replacement called Upstart. Because they were desperate to get away from sysvinit. ChromeOS, possibly the most widely used Desktop GNU/Linux distribution, was also an early adopter of Upstart. Again because it was considered better - more reliable, faster, etc - than horrible old init.

So why are they switching to systemd? Because systemd is considered better than Upstart (which in turn is considered better than sysvinit.) systemd has a better process model, and doesn't ignore required functionality (yes, the same program that configures devices at start up probably should configure USB devices that are plugged in dynamically, and the same processes that configure the network based upon what devices are plugged in at start up should probably configure the network based upon what devices become available later, etc. So yes, this supposed "monolithic" approach is basic common sense.)

Most of those complaining about systemd are actually fighting an argument they lost in 2006, when Upstart became part of Ubuntu 6.10. They've lost it not just in the GNU/Linux world, but also in, say, the Mac OS X world, where sysvinit was unceremoniously ejected back in 2005. Or the Solaris world. etc.

You know, I could understand this if we were actually losing anything by switching to systemd. The desire to remove X11 from *ix, for example, replacing it with a dumb graphics engine with a fraction of the functionality, I think is genuinely a tragedy. We'll lose much of what made *ix what it is if and when Wayland is adopted. But systemd doesn't remove anything. It's fast, efficient, and it fixes huge holes in GNU/Linux, problems we've been aware of since the mid-nineties but haven't had the spine to fix.

It's something to be welcomed.

Comment Just another example of useless insurance (Score 1) 100

How much do you think Cox has been paying their insurer? How long has Cox been paying their insurer?

Now when they need it, the insurer gives them the big middle finger.

Just goes to show what a scam insurance is. You pay, and pay, and pay, and pay, all for nothing.

Cox would have been better off keeping the money they paid for insurance. At lest then they would have gotten some use from it.

Comment Re:I'm going to enjoy this more than I should (Score 2) 480

You are making a very common mistake of free enterprisors here... you are ignoring (or denying) the externalities. Government intervention is necessary to deal with this problem. Some of the interventions, such as bumper design requirements to minimize harm in collisions effect both gasoline and electric cars, while others, such as emissions and fuel economy requirements only effect gasoline cars.

While there is certainly much to criticize about government subsidies for $100,000 luxury cars, they start to make more sense when the technology works its way down to the lower end. I would favor phasing out the subsidy based on the vehicle price, it should be $0 for anything over $50,000.

By the way, how much do you think gasoline would cost if all the subsidies for petroleum went to $0?

e-credibility: the non-guaranteeable likelihood that the electronic data you're seeing is genuine rather than somebody's made-up crap. - Karl Lehenbauer