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Comment: Re: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later (Score 1) 550

by dgallard (#47558543) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

[The slashdot GUI makes it impossible to be sure I am replying to a post or creating a new post. My intention here is to reply to the original post having subject: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later]

The reason I don't have Lasik done is because I have bifocals for reading but normally am able to read and see clearly to about 18 inches. My optometrist informed me that after Lasik, my close up vision will be worse. I.e., I am now able to read and see things close to me without corrective lenses. But after Lasik the distance would be decreased substantially and I would need higher power corrective lenses for close up sight. I prefer to be glasses free for close up sight.

Comment: Re: Not, it is NOT impossible ... (Score 1) 580

by dgallard (#44745413) Attached to: Neil deGrasse Tyson Says Private Business Will Not Open the Space Frontier

How lonely it would be on Mars. What a horrible idea.

As for the super-rich going on space roller coaster rides, sure why not. The transfer of wealth upward (which Fundamentalist Libertarians think is natural since "government is bad" and the "free" market is good) is going to make it possible for the upper one tenth or one hundredth per cent to pay for and go on such rides. Maybe they'll notice that the odds of surviving a launch and successful return into space are in only one in a few hundred and decide to spend their money on moats or whatever new form of security systems will be needed in the future to keep the rabble out.

+ - Why does slashdot send news summary to my old email address?->

Submitted by dgallard
dgallard (64808) writes "It's bad enough trying to manage multiple email addresses, often necessary due to the inablity for even the likes of Google to allow one to copy an identity to a new identity (more on that someday in some other post but, for starters, just try to move your YouTube account from your old-style Google email identity to your new Google Apps/Sites/Whatever-it's-called identity — no can do).

Mostly, I am using this post to submit a problem report to Slashdot. I am going to disable my old google email identity that I used to use to receive the daily Slashdot news summary. I figured I was not getting it because I had not updated my Slashdot account with my main email address.

Alas, no, I *had* updated it long ago. But the daily Slashdot news summary is still being sent to my old address. I am going to disable that old address now (I keep one spare Google Apps/Sites/Whatever-it's-called email address for purposes such as this when I need to temporarily become an old identity).

My hope is that a slashdot sysadmin will see this posting and start sending the daily news summary to the email address I have registered in my Slashdot profile (and have had registered for quite some time).

Thanks for reading.
Dennis Allard
allard@oceanpark.com"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:A twinge of sadness at this passing (Score 2, Insightful) 273

by dgallard (#32275984) Attached to: Duke To Shut Down Usenet Server

Kjella (173770) wrote:

> The whole concept of usenet is out of date, you can argue
> back and forth about the nntp protocol versus the http
> protocol but today it is far more practical to have one
> group on one server and ...

Where to start...

If you think HTTP can replace NNTP you may as well also
think that HTTP can replace SMTP. I guess some people may
think that, if we can believe Facebook messages will have
any kind of longevity. Gawd.

Newsgroups provide an IETF standard format for providing
time-stamp, author, subject, and referenced predecessor associated
with a posted message body and, nicely, the ability to CC or BCC the
work to email addresses. In addition, NNTP provides the ability
to *remove* a posted article, something that even email has failed
to provide. Finally, owing to how it is implemented, USENET provides
archiving in a way that no single (HTTP) Web site could ever hope
to provide. The day Facebook dies will be the day all messages
in the history of Facebook die with it.

No, NNTP is not "out of date". It is, in fact, the least understood
sleeper protocol on the Internet and it is a shame that it has been
co-opted by "Forums", blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. Not that Twitter
and Facebook do not have virtues, they do. Just community forums
is not one of them, compared with the venerable USENET.

Comment: Re:It's not really that bad (Score 1) 913

by dgallard (#32085970) Attached to: How Bad Is the Gulf Coast Oil Spill?

You are in your mid-twenties and you have it all figured out.

You think that 200,000,000 workers all making individual investment decisions would result in a return on investment and retirement system better than social security. You think the logic of return above real growth + inflation can last forever (it cannot - eventually only some people would have all of the money - do the arithmetic).

You like the crap shoot that the market provides and are OK with a large chunk of those 200,000,000 investors getting screwed every 20 or 30 years?

Social Security is one of the best most stable investment programs ever invented and young Libertarians such as yourself have been complaining about it since I was your age.

My 92 year old mom worked her entire life and saved and the marked F***ked her. Her social security is the one safety net she has. Her social security makes it less on hard on me to provide for her, which I do, btw.

I'll be curious to see what your opinions are when you are 55. I heard your exact same arguments from the Silicon Valley crowed 30 years ago. I was at Berkeley, they were at Stanford. That's funny, public vs private. Social Security was supposed to be broke by now. It isn't. And the only reason it will be is if the illogic of the Libertarian Fundamentalists such as yourself remain in control and the Goldman Sachs and other (overpaid) investment bankers of the world and the U.S. Oligarchy continues to transfer wealth to itself at so ably has done these past 30 years.

Read Les Leopold's book The Looting of America, How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity and What We Can Do About It.

Cheers,
Dennis Allard

Comment: Re:PostgreSQL (Score 1) 335

by dgallard (#27412417) Attached to: Locating the Real MySQL

> I doubt that the internally-released version of MySQL on non-windows
> platforms was so amazingly successful that PostgreSQL felt a need to
> copy the name.

I stand corrected (am humbled by the facts, per your sig).

My confusion is partly because I was familiar with Postgres from
the mid-1980s (and with is predecessor Ingres from the early 1980s),
so when it changed names I remember feeling that the venerable
old name had been ruined.

Funny one memory of facts can become corrupted. I should have
checked my facts before spouting off. The rest of my post stands.

Thanks for the history pointers.

Comment: It is all about community (Score 1) 335

by dgallard (#27406107) Attached to: Locating the Real MySQL

In a related thread talking about PostgreSQL, it was written:

> My guess is they weren't really buying MySQL for the technology,
> they were buying it for the community.

Good point.

AND, that is precisely why technologies such as Perl and MySQL succeed so well in spite of suboptimal even awkward design within the product.

First, beware of posters here, including me, that, as with religious text editor debates, tend to like what they know, and what they have used the most.

That being said...

I remember the first time I saw the Perl Book (way back when) my reaction after a 30 minute skim read was "there is no way I am going to use a language that has a manual this thick and is so out of touch with computer science". Yet now I love Perl and am kind of proficient with it. Why? Because the community that develops it not only cares about the community, they make things easy to do from the system point of view: installing, providing examples, being pragmatic about over overloading constructs in just the right way so that one can get things done and get them done quickly, etc., etc., etc.

In MySQL it is quite nice, for example, that '', NULL, and 0 all tend to have the same semantics in certain contexts. Or that on the command line, you can enter a comment beginning with any of //, --, or /* ... */ . Those are trivial examples but they illustrate the common sense pragmatism that the MySQL designers put into their system. It just makes life nicer for the user.

Look SQL itself is sucky. All of the RDBMs must cope with that. So the least one can do is provide system level ease of use. MySQL does that quite well, which is one important reason it has a thriving community.

Sometimes you get both - good design and community. Witness Python. I have not had reason to develop with Python but when the Python book first came out, unlike my initial negative reaction to the Perl Book, I thought "Now THAT is a good language. The manual is very understandable and the design is clean." The fact that a solid community arose is icing on the cake for Python and an *additional* fact about Python culture. There are excellent languages, such as Common Lisp, that failed to develop a vibrant community so excellence of language is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition to foster community.

MySQL designers and community make the right choices to support the fostering of the language. Postgres (I refuse to use the new name PostgreSQL which is a cheap cop out and attempt to leverage on the success of MySQL by copying the idea of the name) and Oracle do not share that basic thrust of making things simple to use at the system level. Oracle was first though, and is "real", very real. And very solid. So it continues to dominate based on sheer user base in critical applications, the complexity of building a complex solution in the RDBMS space, and, quite simply, because it is so very reliable.

Don't get me wrong, if I had my druthers, I might use Postgres. But, for the same reason I went with Linux and the world went with Intel chips over Motorola, it's all about pragmatism and just getting things done. I started looking for a UNIX on a PC back in about 1985. When FreeBSD came out I tried it. It was only when Linux, due to the sheer pragmatism of its community attracted so many followers and I noticed that friends of mine in the research community were going with it that I made the decision to do likewise, and have not looked back. Same reason I stuck with Red Hat after giving SuSE a sold try a few years ago.

MySQL is to easy use and, more importantly, EASY TO START USING. Then, once the community evolves, things feed on themselves. You get lots of example code, good documention, etc. You are off and running.

Disclaimer: I have not used Postgres very much. I have and do use both Oracle and MySQL a lot. But I tried PostgreSQL (OK, I'll call it that) enough to be frustrated by its lack of community and approachability. I am sure that if I applied myself on some serious project, I could become a fan of PostgreSQL. I might yet do that if the right opportunity arises. Buy MySQL now HAS the community and, like with Windows, people have to make a choice that is swayed by the sheer momentum since, after all, you need community. It takes a village, as someone once put it.

Comment: Re:PostgreSQL (Score 2, Insightful) 335

by dgallard (#27401525) Attached to: Locating the Real MySQL

> My guess is they weren't really buying MySQL
> for the technology, they were buying it for
> the community.

Good point. AND, that is precisely why technologies
such as Perl and MySQL succeed so well in spite of
suboptimal even awkward design within the product.

First, beware of posters here, including me,
that, as with religious text editor debates, tend
to like what they know, and what they have used
the most. That being said...

I remember the first time I saw the Perl Book (way
back when) my reaction after a 30 minute skim read
was "there is no way I am going to use a language
that has a manual this thick and is so out of touch
with computer science". Yet now I love Perl and
am kind of proficient with it. Why? Because the
community that develops it not only cares about
the community, they make things easy to do from
the system point of view: installing, providing
examples, being pragmatic about over overloading
constructs in just the right way so that one can
get things done and get them done quickly, etc.,
etc., etc.

Isn't it nice that '', NIL, and 0 all tend to
have the same semantics in context in MySQL,
for example? That on the command line, you
can enter a comment with //, --, or /* ... */?
Those are trivial examples but they illustrate
the common sense pragmatism that the MySQL
designers put into their system. It just makes
life nicer for the user.

MySQL designers and community make the right
choices to support the fostering of the language.
Postgres (I refuse to use the new name PostgreSQL
which is a cheap cop out and attempt to leverage
on the success of MySQL by copying the idea of
the name) and Oracle do not share that basic
thrust of making things simple to use at the
system level. Oracle was first though, and
is "real", very real. And very solid. So it
continues to dominate based on sheer user base
in critical applications and the complexity of
building a complex solution in the RDBMS space.

Don't get me wrong, if I had my druthers, I would
use Postgres. But, for same reason I went with
Linux and the world went with Intel chips over
Motorola, it's all about pragmatism and just
getting things done. I started looking for a UNIX
on a PC back in about 1985. When FreeBSD came out
I tried it. It was only when Linux, due to the
sheer pragmatism of its community attracted so
many followers and I noticed that friends of mine
in the research community were going with it that
I made the decision to do likewise, and have not
looked back. Same reason I stuck with Red Hat
after giving SuSE a sold try a few years ago.

MySQL is to use and, more importantly, EASY TO
START USING.

Disclaimer: I have not used PostGres very much at
all. I have and do use both Oracle and MySQL a lot.
I tried PostgreSQL (OK, I'll call it that)
enough to be frustrated by its lack of community
and approachability. I am sure that if I applied
myself on some serious project, I could become a
fan of PostgreSQL. I might yet do that if the
right opportunity arises. Buy MySQL now HAS the
community and, like with Windows, people have to
make a choice that is swayed by the sheer momentum
since, after all, you need community. It takes
a village, as someone once put it.

Comment: what is the outbound bandwidth? (Score 1) 119

by dgallard (#27299121) Attached to: BT Shows First Fiber-Optic Broadband Rollout Plans

I am more curious if this is symmetric bw.

As time goes by we will continue to need high
speed outbound (outbound video, etc.)

I also don't think it hurts to be able to
have more distributed servers and that
means more outbound bandwidth everywhere.

We have not yet invented all the reasons we
will want outbound bandwidth.

SELECT noprivacy FROM census, socialsecurity, irs 169

Posted by jamie
from the stop-crying-or-I'll-beat-you-again dept.
"The Congressional Budget Office, with the surprising help of some Congressional Republicans, is angling to get its hands on Census Bureau files," reports the New York Times today (free reg. req.). Here's the interesting thing. A staffer for Rep. Dan Miller (R-Fla.) told the NYT that there is no problem with doing a little cross-correlating of your census, Social Security, and IRS files: "The Census Bureau is the government, and Congress is the government." Last April, that same Dan Miller was blaming the Clinton adminstration for making the American people distrust their government through mishandling of sensitive files.

The moon may be smaller than Earth, but it's further away.

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