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Comment: Ignorant stereotyping (Score 0) 76 76

The MIT nerds are just ignorantly stereotyping BBQ chefs. You'd figure that they of all people would be sensitive about looking down on others, but I guess not. BBQ chefs aren't morons who use old oil barrels for pits (they're not food grade and will make your food taste like shit). If they do reuse an old barrel, it's one that has held food like olives, and it is reused because it's cheaper and better than buying a brand new one. Seriously, duh.

Just check all this out. Science, science, science. It's all over BBQ these days. All the wisdom of the elders has been tested, trialed, and the old myths like "salt gets into meat by osmosis" and "pink chicken is not safe" have been busted and thoroughly debunked. Just check out the following SCIENCE:

The Thermodynamics of Cooking
What You Need to Know About Wood, Smoke, and Combustion.
The Maillard Reaction And Caramelization
The Science of Wet Brines
Basic Meat Science
Why We Don't Need Grill Marks, and Why You Should Flip Often

And there are about a kajillion more articles like this on this one site. There are many, many more sites all across the internet. All of them are full of science. MIT isn't breaking new ground here, as much as they'd like to think so. Up to and including computer-controlled cookers that turn out perfect meat every time.

Comment: Re:Hillary Clinton says: (Score 2) 225 225

She had a choice between (a) defending the client assigned to her and (b) incurring the wrath of the court for failing to obey its lawful order. (b) could have meant gaol time and/or disbarment.

Apparently you think its Ok for someone to keep their job/career at the cost of someone else getting raped.

You'd imply that Clinton's defence of her client caused the rape to occur? That's pretty silly.

Comment: Re: Hillary Clinton says: (Score 5, Informative) 225 225

I've decided to blow off the downmod I just gave you in order to explain something to you:

1. Clinton was appointed by the court to defend an accused rapist.

2. She asked to be excused from the case, presumably because she knew or at least strongly suspected the defendant had actually committed the offence.

3. The judge would not let her off the case.

ExecSummary: Hillary Clinton was *ordered* by the State to act to the best of her ability in the interest of the defendant. And this is exactly what she appears to have done. You may or may not like her or her politics, but in this case *she did the job which she was legally and ethically bound to perform*. If you cannot understand why she did so, then you've never any business ever voting in a US election or especially ever serving on a jury in a US criminal trial.

Comment: Re:Routing around (Score 5, Informative) 197 197

So the Internet was designed with resilience unless someone has a strong pair of garden shears?

The Internet will do just fine. Your personal ability to access it, watch a movie or dial 911 will not.

The big networks all have many data centers and diverse physical routing paths between them. But most people seemingly fail to realize that your house, your neighborhood - heck, maybe even your county if you're rural - probably does not. There is more than one physical path to get data from a colo facility in San Francisco to one in Seattle (even if it adds a lot of latency). There is probably only one physical way to get data to your house. Yes, even your cable provider and the telco almost certainly share a conduit somewhere near you. Mostly that's because there are simply a limited number of good rights of way to run fiber (frequently railroad tracks, gas pipelines, etc.) in any given area.

And that's also because it makes doesn't make financial sense to spend the money to ensure that your house has two redundant cables coming out of it that take two separate paths out of your neighborhood to different COs, etc. That's true not just for houses but in many cases for cell towers, Central Offices and other telecom points of presence that make last-mile connections rather than backbone connections. So that's why a fiber cut is so bad - everyone served locally by that fiber will be out of luck, even if the Internet as a whole is not.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 2) 816 816

I have a car, but the new Mazda has a 10hp more powerful engine. Should I sell my Mazda 3 for $5000 and buy a new Mazda 3 for $21,000?

It's a fair question in the context of Mazdas. It is a much less clear answer in the context of should I buy a F-16 for $100 million that gets me a 20% chance of being shot down in an engagement vs. a F-35 that gives me a 5% chance of being shot down for $350 million.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 5, Informative) 816 816

It sounds to me like our current crop of F16 fighters are superior. Why do we have a $1 trillion plane?

There are plenty of reasons, good and bad. I'll assume you are asking a serious question, and give you the short version of the most often cited answers:

Good reasons include:

  • It's stealthy(ish), and has an Active Electronically Scanned Array radar . Part of the idea is that you can see the other guy but they can't see you, so you have blown them out of the sky at BVR (Beyond Visual Range) and never had to get to the point of a dogfight.
  • It's supposed to replace a bunch of different fighters and attack aircraft among the services' current fleets with a single airframe. Better QC, cheaper spare parts, buying in bulk, yadda yadda. The different models for the Air Force (F-35A), Navy (F-35C) and Marines (F-35B) turned out to be more different than expected, but that at least was the idea.
  • America's allies wanted access to a fifth-generation fighter for their own militaries - which they weren't going to build on their own - and if the US didn't build a relatively affordable one (we weren't going to sell anyone the F-22 since it's our trump card for air superiority) they were going to have to buy them from Russia or China.

Debatable reasons include:

  • It - like the military itself - is kind of a Federal jobs program. If you keep your existing jets and don't build new ones, then you lose the employees with the skills and experience needed to do the job. (Kind of like we may not be able to build new nuclear weapons if we wanted them because we haven't made them for so long and everyone with any experience has retired.)

Bad reasons include:

  • The military and its defense contractors need new weapons programs to work on in order to justify their careers and existence (military procurement officers) and make money (contractors). Both groups have strong influence in congress, not least because of all the jobs they support (see above).
  • The F-35 was intended to revolutionize weapons system procurements by using a strategy of "concurrency" - think of it like agile vs. waterfall development. The idea was better stuff, quicker and cheaper. It turned out - like some of the lessons Boeing learned with the 787 - that agile development may work great at Facebook but it's a train wreck when applied to aerospace, military systems and gigantic procurements. Oops.

There were also plenty of f***ups in assumptions the program made that were only really recognizable in hindsight, like the fact that trying to mesh the Marines' requirement for a V/STOL aircraft with the traditional designs for the Air Force and Navy hobbled the plane's performance for all three constituencies.

I know a lot of people are very critical of the F-35, and rightfully should be. But it's not as bad as it may sound - I think it will eventually turn into a decent (but never great) aircraft with a long service life. It's out there flying around today, but will take probably 10 more years to get to where everyone hoped it would be in terms of capabilities. Nonetheless, you will almost certainly still see F-35s flying around under US colors in 2050, so in the long run it will work out OK.

The UNIX philosophy basically involves giving you enough rope to hang yourself. And then a couple of feet more, just to be sure.