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Comment: Re:The elephant in the summery (Score 1) 155

by fireboy1919 (#32685362) Attached to: Study Finds Google Is More Trusted Than Traditional Media

Since they do totally different things the comparison is meaningless

Not totally different. They do one overlapping thing: they issue statements to the public.

trust in a very generic way means our belief that they'll do their "given task"

I didn't say that. I didn't imply that. I was very specific in my definition of trust, and I think this definition is rather obviously gleaned from the survey, and, in fact, that the definition of trust as "reliably telling the truth" is actually used at least as frequently as "behave predictably in doing what they do," if not more so. It isn't terribly meaningful to survey people about whether or not they trust that they can predict the behavior of one group more than another (at least, not nearly so as the alternative). So...as I said, it is a bit obtuse to completely ignore the context and select the wrong definition of truth as the one that they mean. Perhaps I was wrong...you did get a lot of moderation there.

They want to sell it to me, even if they have to lie to do so. With traditional media, truth sells...some of the time, anyway. If a paper always lies, they're not going to have as many sales. With corporations, they just call that marketing.

...and once again you drive home my other point. Living in a world where people don't know the difference between marketing (or, as the case may be, newspaper bias) and lying sucks. They aren't the same thing. Lying is much, much worse.

Comment: Re:Don't let reality get in the way of your anger (Score 1) 1217

by fireboy1919 (#32684872) Attached to: MA High School Forces All Students To Buy MacBooks

These are students being taught for their future and will need the skills required for their future jobs. Pushing the Mac platform is a horrible idea and a form of playing russian roulette with their computer skills and future job possibilities.

Keeping in mind what is possible through *freely available* VMs, and the programs that are available on any platform, if the skillset that you gain in high school computer usage is so specific that you *need* a windows machine to do your work, because it probably means that you need Windows 7, and won't even be flexible enough to handle Windows 8.

Regardless of anyones personal opinion of computer OS's, Windows still rules in both the personal and business OS level. And I don't care what anyone else has to say on the level of 'but, but, Macs are slowly gaining.' Thats great for Mac. But here's a good dose of reality. OSX was released in March of 2001. Its now June of 2010, just over 9 years later. Mac has been able to improve its market share from 1-2% to 6-9%. That means less then one in 10 computers is a Mac even after 9 years and one hell of an aggressive marketing campaign (we've all seen those 'Pc vs Mac' commercials).

None of this stuff matters. I can go sit down at a Mac, PC, linux box, whatever. Tell me how to get to the word processor. Tell me how to get to the software that I use the most.

The school is also mentioning security as an issue, but thats getting more and more of a questionable problem. Fact of the matter is, Windows 7 is pretty secure (but not the most secure). And computer security is no longer as simple as how fast a virus/worm can spread. This keeps being shown on the Pwn2Own contests, as security is now based on what else is running on the computer. The biggest security risk seems to be running Flash on the system.

Do you think, from an administrative level, that it's ever been about that? That's just a symptom of the problem. The biggest security risk is stupid users, and nothing you do can stop them from getting their computers infected with something. The cure is having separation of security concerns to limit the damage, and it's still more of a (only a) problem for Windows than it is for anything else. If I was a computer administrator that had to support 1600 laptops that I didn't actually have control over, I would want something to make it easy to fix them and isolate problems.

Also to consider is things like hardware compatibility. Most hardware is written to support Windows, with some to little to no support for Mac. Sure, Macs play great with other Mac hardware but if Apple doesn't make it things get iffy (again, depends on what it is your talking about exactly). These students go home and will want to use their laptops with their devices at home. Have a blackberry phone? Good luck doing anything but the basics of syncing (and no, showing me some complex set of instructions doesn't count. We are talking students of different interests and backgrounds, not the slashdot crowd). Printers and scanners?

From the perspective of the school, though, the things that they're going to worry about are the things that everybody has and that teachers are actively told to encourage the use of. And it's a lot easier to support 1600 identical machines than it is a huge number of completely different kind of machines.

I completely agree with you here. These are students being taught for their future and will need the skills required for their future jobs. Pushing the Mac platform is a horrible idea and a form of playing russian roulette with their computer skills and future job possibilities.

In summary: the premise that a particular piece of software is necessary to gain an understanding of how computers, technology, or anything that one would learn in high school is ridiculous. Of course, if I ever have children, I'm sure that mine will be unbelievably competitive compared to yours if you teach 'em that full mastery of how to navigate windows and use office products will take them somewhere in life while I'm teaching them the underlying concepts that govern how all computers work. ;)

Comment: Re:The elephant in the summery (Score 1) 155

by fireboy1919 (#32676482) Attached to: Study Finds Google Is More Trusted Than Traditional Media

Well...the poll is clearly trusting its readers to be able to glean the rather obvious context of "trust" from the question.

We're asking how much we trust news outlets, google, apple, and Microsoft to tell us the truth.

And I have to say, the news seems to have done a fantastic job at indoctrinating us with their crap.
Looking through this thread, I don't see a single article that differentiates between "bias" and "lies."

If we're going to talk about semantics, that's a lot more important. There must be a line of trust beyond which any transgression makes me trust that you're trying to fool me into believing something that you don't believe.
And past that line we're not talking about bias.

This is why I don't trust MS as much as traditional media. I know that they will never tell me when their product isn't suitable to my needs (which usually happens because it isn't ready for market yet). They want to sell it to me, even if they have to lie to do so. With traditional media, truth sells...some of the time, anyway. If a paper always lies, they're not going to have as many sales. With corporations, they just call that marketing.

Comment: Re:No sensible, honest person would work for HP? (Score 1) 651

by fireboy1919 (#32338062) Attached to: HP Explains Why Printer Ink Is So Expensive

Sounds like there's a design flaw in the rubber that's being used...or in the ink that most everybody makes. I would much rather have a printer that makes due with any kind of ink over one that requires super-fancy-awesome ink.

Perhaps the flaw is using ink at all, rather than using heated powder?

In any case, I don't really care if they've solved the our-ink-doesn't-destroy-our-printers problem, because the actual problem that I want solved is "how do I convert this image on my computer into a printout?" If the tech that does this has a huge number of ancillary problems that come up because of it's weaknesses, then perhaps it isn't the best solution.

Perhaps we should be using laser. I've got a laserjet 5si that I've had for years. I use 30 pages per week. I get a new cartridge once every five years or so. The last one cost me $30. The printer cost me $100. When a part on the machine wears out, I buy a new one. This has happened once, and I paid $30.

We have no economic reason to buy into this game. Laser looks absolutely fantastic.

Comment: Re:Except of course it isn't REALLY that simple... (Score 2, Informative) 163

by fireboy1919 (#26735759) Attached to: Scientists Create Compound With a Single Element

You're saying that there's no such thing as table salt. This is obviously false.

Compounds with strong ionic bonds tend to disassociate completely in water forming the constituent ions (completely being as previously indicated - not really complete).

However, the moment that they leave the water, they're back to what they were - full molecules again.

Comment: Re:Nobody is starving in the US (Score 2, Interesting) 111

by fireboy1919 (#25691709) Attached to: Chandrayaan Enters Lunar Orbit

just aren't willing to fund the social programs and mental health infrastructure to take care of these people, so they end up in the streets. and not all cities with a homeless population have shelters

You seem like someone who has never spent any time with any crazy homeless people. Nearly all big cities do have shelters. All the ones I've visited and had the chance to look do (Orlando, Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Indianapolis).

Those are generally *not* for the crazy homeless, though. They're for the temporarily homeless. If you really want to keep being homeless, and you refuse any medical treatment that will help you get better, you are allowed to remain homeless. You are not forced to change. I know that the primary city in which I've lived - Orlando - has *plenty* of ways of keeping people from being homeless and of giving the very, very poor homes and medical treatment - both through the government and through local philanthropic organizations.

little has been done about it

Thanks especially to this, we realized that "fixing" such people means that we're curtailing their freedom - freedom to be crazy, and freedom to make the choices that leave them homeless.

Let me have my own self-destructive vices; let the homeless have theirs. It is their right as human beings. Don't try to make decisions for them. I am proud that we live in a country were we don't lock up our crazy people like criminals just because we don't like the way that they think, and am glad that "little is being done about it."

Comment: Re:new territory (Score 1) 243

by fireboy1919 (#25688633) Attached to: Should the United States' New CTO Really Be a CIO?

Money is at the crux of this issue, in two ways:

I noticed in your sig that you are a consultant. I am as well...to government agencies. I convert gibberish into cash-flow...but it's not the gibberish I spew. Bear all that in mind when I bring up my other points, also related to money:

3) The *domain* in which an agency works determines what is optimal IT-wise for them to do their work. Some of that can, and should, be standardized way more. This is not always intuitive. (For example, a police department actually needs to spend much more on Geographical Information Services software than does a transit authority). Believing that a single man is going to know enough to actually make standardization of every kind of government agency is a recipe for disaster. IT improvement has to come from within the agencies themselves.

4) People with knowledge and vision to do Things the Right Way are almost never in a position to do so because experienced government work pays so badly compared to its industry counterparts. What you get, then is the people who either won't leave their government jobs because they don't have the motivation to do so (which means that they *naturally resist change*), or people who aren't competent enough to learn new things.

Comment: Re:It's knowing when (Score 1) 429

by fireboy1919 (#25639411) Attached to: Reuse Code Or Code It Yourself?

Part of that is knowing how to use the libraries that you need.

There is but a single construct within normal SQL that can't be represented in Hibernate - functions in subselects anywhere except the select subclause.

You can do absolutely everything else, and there's even a workaround for that - use functions only within the select subclause, or use formulas (same thing). My guess is that you didn't actually look into how HQL works.

Anyway, what I'm getting at is that there are libraries for a single task, and libraries to make programming itself easier. You've chosen libraries that fall into the second category. If it's not making your life easier most of the time and at *every* level of scalability, you're probably using them wrong.

My general experience is that libraries that implement a lot of extra functionality that you don't need, but that you *have to use* in order to use them are generally more pain than they're worth. If you need to extend, you often have to implement lots of extra stuff that you're not using. Otherwise, the libraries give you a good starting place, if nothing else.

Comment: Re:recommended for advanced programmers (Score 1) 224

by fireboy1919 (#25626153) Attached to: Programming .NET 3.5

Hibernate also chooses to hide those SQL differences

Wrong. Reread my last comment. You're perfectly free to use any function, aggregate, or other feature defined only within your database when you're using hibernate. The ONLY thing the ORM is doing is combining relational with OOP. It isn't binding you to some whole new language that limits the features you can use (other than the aforementioned lack of aggregates in subselects).

It needs backend drivers to recognize the small portion of SQL that it actually uses to do such a mapping. Hiding the functionality of the database is well and good, but sometimes databases have fantastic functionality that you don't want to miss.

I don't want to be bound by the lowest common denominator of database functionality when I'm writing my code, and if Entities always requires this, then it is certainly always going to be much less functional than the databases it supports...and so will not be used.

Portables

Researchers Re-Examine Second Law of Thermodynamics 125

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the in-this-house-we-obey-the-laws-of-thermodynamics dept.
Many readers have written to tell us that researchers are examining the possibility of using Brownian ratchets to help combat the problem of heat dissipation in miniaturized electronics. "Currently, devices are engineered to operate near thermal equilibrium, in accordance with the Second Law of Thermodynamics which states that heat tends to transfer from a hotter unit to a cooler one. However, using the concept of Brownian ratchets, which are systems that convert non-equilibrium energy to do useful work, the researchers hope to allow computers to operate at low power levels, and harness power dissipated by other functions. 'The main quest we have is to see if by departing from near-equilibrium operation, we can perform computation more efficiently,' Ghosh told iTnews. 'We aren't breaking the Second Law — that's not what we are claiming,' he said. 'We are simply re-examining its implications, as much of the established understanding of power dissipation is based on near-equilibrium operation.'"
The Almighty Buck

+ - RIAA Receives $1 Billion Donation for Anti-Piracy

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The RIAA has recieved a billion dollars US from an anonymous donor in order to fight against the "threat" of piracy. This news is particularly disheartening and does not bode well for actions to reform intellectual property law. It sure looks the RIAA lawsuits are gonna come faster and harder than ever."
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Journal by fireboy1919

You want to know who I am? I suppose some of you have journals for that, but I put it all on my webpage. If you're looking for something amusing, check the humor section, or try the text adventures. Oh, and now there's a projects page, which is statistically unlikely to be of use to anyone - it's documentation on how I solved some of the common Linux problems that I couldn't find any good documen

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