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Comment This is why you save. (Score 0) 219

Listen up, kiddos. This is why you save your money from day 1 after you graduate. Forget the new beemer, swank apartment, and $50 bottles of vodka. From the day you graduate you should be stuffing as much as your income as you can into a tax-advantaged plan, and an equal amount to liquid investments (including a Roth).

You lived like a poor college student until you graduated, and so there's nothing wrong with living like a slightly less poor college student. That way, when something like this happens, you can be the hero who says "fuck you, you can keep your severance," and then head right over to the local TV station to spill all of the beans.

Freedom isn't free. When you take your $70K/year out of college and blow it on a nice car, a party lifestyle, and expensive booze, you should not be surprised to find yourselves in shackles eventually.

Comment It is still a net energy loser (Score 1) 155

Because, you know, thermodynamics.

Methanol has more chemical potential energy than CO2, and that energy must come from somewhere. This is the same unicorn fantasy that the "water as fuel" people constantly buy into.

Sure, you can sequester CO2 from the atmosphere and turn it into combustible fuel, but you're going to spend a lot of energy to do it when there is a perfectly natural process for doing so, called "planting trees."


Carbon Dioxide From the Air Converted Into Methanol ( 155

Zothecula writes: The danger posed by rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide has seen many schemes proposed to remove a proportion it from the air. Rather than simply capture this greenhouse gas and bury it in the ground, though, many experiments have managed to transform CO2 into useful things like carbon nanofibers or even fuels, such as diesel. Unfortunately, the over-arching problem with many of these conversions is the particularly high operating temperatures that require counterproductive amounts of energy to produce relatively low yields of fuel. Now researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) claim to have devised a way to take CO2 directly from the air and convert it into methanol using much lower temperatures and in a correspondingly simpler way.

Comment Regulating Games was Never About Violence (Score 1) 239

The massive push to regulate games was never about preventing violence. In fact, the big push to regulate anything is never about what they say it's about.

It is always about one thing and one thing only: money. The gaming industry is enormous, and largely unregulated. Politicians see a cash cow here but need a way to convince voters to give them the authority to regulate and tax it to death. Currently the federal government has very little authority, even under the Commerce Clause, to regulate or tax video games.

Politicians on both sides of the two-party aisle would love to get their grubby little paws into the gaming cookie jar. The leftists would love to say how they're protecting children while the whackjobs on the right want to protect our morals. Of course, that'll cost money - a lot of money - which they will spend on making policy friendly to their sponsors.

I imagine game companies everywhere would be busting down the doors on Capitol Hill the morning after game regulation authority was passed to make sure they set up large campaign contributions to the right politicians.

Comment Indifference (Score 4, Insightful) 159

I've concluded in the past couple of years that large parts of Microsoft as an organization have stopped being able to coherently sell to the end user market, and whatever people in the management that would have in the past noticed this sort of thing and taken steps to correct it have left or moved on to other roles.

Signs of things slipping I've personally noticed in recent years:
- The faulty Microsoft web-based store (do they expect developers whose first experience with Microsoft is a web site that can't even sell a Windows upgrade are going to turn around and want to build things on
- Contradictory descriptions of the different Windows SKUs (with respect to use as upgrades, new machine installs, usability by end users vs. system integrators, etc.)
- Software with seriously flakiness in features that worked in previous versions (e.g. Windows 10 Start Menu search and keyboard navigation), with broken help links, without an integrated installer (e.g. Lync, Sharepoint)

Comment Re:Economies are AC-coupled (Score 1) 412

You're right. AC coupled circuits actually don't arrive at a new quiescent point after a DC bias is applied to the input (which was actually the point, even though the words didn't add up). Too early in the AM, I guess, but thanks for calling that out so I could correct it.

Busch league mental error, for sure.

There is no need for the ad hominem, though.

Comment Re:LIES (Score 2) 279

It's hard to try to do something that IS protected by the constitution:

Buy a gun
Film the police
Record a government meeting
Speak out against your government
Get a fair trial
Receive a punishment that fits the crime

The list goes on. And on. And on.

So, given that it is so difficult to do things that ARE protected by the Constitution, it really should come as no surprise that it would be difficult in the extreme to do things that aren't specifically protected.

After all, the government has slowly changed the tack to "it is the Constitution that grants rights, and the only rights you have are those enumerated in it," even though this is as false as it is farcical. My kid's social studies book even has a chapter section on how the Constitution grants rights. It'd be funny were it not so scary.

Comment Re:Reminder.. (Score 1) 50

The PCI DSS is a set of basic set of system/network administration goals related to security. It means what it means. It doesn't mean that known vulnerabilities have been patched, or that specific security measures have been taken to secure card data. It does mean that system default passwords have been changed, that users have unique IDs, and that there is some kind of auditing going on.
It's a fair assessment IMO to say it's a "veneer" that is going to continue to allow giant breaches because it doesn't prescribe specific security measures. But it is definitely related to security.

I should also add: In many cases, it's all there is ever going to be in terms of policy. While most sophisticated organizations are in a position to hire staff who know and understand normal security practices and will allow them to be put into place, there are as many transactions going through those as through small businesses where no one knows anything about network security and no one would ever do any reading to learn about anything under any conceivable circumstance. The PCI DSS is as much a security policy as it is a message to the public about how little security it thinks is actually achievable in real businesses.

Comment Here be dragons (Score 1) 191

This case is a journey into barely touched judicial territory of things like civil aiding and abetting and first amendment civil law.

I think Americans' (rightful) pride in the First Amendment has blinded many to the fact that legislators have basically stopped paying attention to the whole area of speech, and so there's a huge amount we'll-know-it-when-we-see-it arbitrary case law around things like free vs. criminal speech, what speech acts are protected from civil liability, etc.

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