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Comment: Re:Why not include the original IBM design? (Score 1) 100

by hey! (#48684259) Attached to: Know Your Type: Five Mechanical Keyboards Compared

I actually dug out my old Model M last year. Aside from the fact that the rubber.insulation had flaked off the keyboard cord, it still worked perfectly. And it was every bit as good as I remembered it being for typing, and if I replace the cord it will last forever.

There's only one problem with the thing: it's so damn loud. Every damn keypress is accompanied by a loud "POK!" Forget about annoying other people, *I* was annoyed. Years of typing on pretty good Thinkpad "scissor switch" keyboards had accustomed me to a low, pleasant sussuration.

Cherry makes a "brown" switch that is not quite as loud as the classic buckling spring. I have a cheap nixeus keyboard that uses "brown" knock-offs. They're pretty good and not so loud as to be annoying. I wouldn't use this keyboard in public, at a Starbucks or in the library, but it's fine in my home office.

Comment: Re:I hate to do it (Score 1) 47

by dgatwood (#48683843) Attached to: My laptop lasts on battery for ...

Apple got a lot of bad press a few years ago for massively overestimating their battery life and is now quite a bit more conservative. They've gone from claiming 6 hours to claiming 8, but at the same time they've shipped lower power CPUs and doubled the size of the battery. There was a Kickstarter for an open source compatible laptop with very similar specs to the MBP floating around last week: they were also claiming 8 hours on battery, but they were shipping a battery half the size of the MBP. I guess they think Linux users keep the screen turned off.

Yes, all of those things can help. Of course, if you're running builds in Xcode or similar, you'll still be lucky to get three hours from that eight-hour battery. And if you're using musical notation software like Finale (which keeps the audio hardware "hot" continuously), you'll be lucky to get four. Lightroom? Photoshop? Same deal.

The problem is, what I want in a laptop is to be able to use it all day without running out of battery, and by "use", I actually mean use, not sit around and browse the web.

IMO, Apple still needs to get serious about battery life, which can only be achieved by putting in a much higher-capacity battery. If they offered one model of MacBook Pro 15" Retina in the old (pre-retina) case (but sans optical drive), they could stick in a battery that would truly last an entire day under actual use.

Comment: Re:Now we're getting somewhere (Score 1) 121

by dgatwood (#48682395) Attached to: Tesla Roadster Update Extends Range

They can be a great option for folks who only occasionally travel long distances, because 98% of the time, you're not dragging the extra weight of an ICE around, and you're (ostensibly) using clean energy to power your car, and you only use gasoline when you're traveling too far for electric cars to otherwise be practical. For people who drive long distances regularly, obviously a hybrid or even a traditional automobile would be a better choice (less pollution, better emissions controls, and better fuel economy in all likelihood).

Comment: Re: FFS just keep the Warthog (Score 1) 242

Who the fuck cares about the hypothetical performance of the plane in some scenario that didn't come to be? What we have is a track record of A-10 performing a stellar job in the wars that have actually happened, from Iraq in 1991 onward. And with ISIS it looks like there will be more of that kind of thing in the future. Retiring a highly successful piece of military hardware when there's clear need for it now and in the future, and no suitable replacement, is just retarded.

Comment: Re:Wrong assumption (Score 1) 511

by shutdown -p now (#48681645) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

What about western Europe?

They don't really rely on skilled immigration to a significant extent. And for what they do, they have states in EU itself to cover it (Poland, Romania etc).

The US is the most populous developed country therefore in absolute terms will always have more jobs and more immigrants.

Even if you look at per capita numbers, US does beat Canada, which I would argue to be the most skilled immigration-friendly country.

However the quality of life is really debatable. Many people would prefer the quality of life of Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia. Personally I think oil rich Norway seems to offer the best quality of life.

The mistake that is often made when estimating said quality is looking at the averaged stats. Thing is, if you're immigrating for the sake of a good job, you need to look at what that job (and others like it) will give you, as opposed to the average or the median. In US, the average is indeed lower than most other western countries because of the wealth gap and piss-poor welfare policies. But people coming here for high-paid jobs (like IT) are getting a deal that's much better than average. And with enough money, you can absolutely have a great experience in US - a good house safe low-crime neighborhood, a great school for your kids in the same neighborhood, solid healthcare, and a private pension fund for retirement. And plenty of jobs to pick from.

Comment: Re: This is MY suggestion on how to start to fix (Score 1) 133

by causality (#48681541) Attached to: 13,000 Passwords, Usernames Leaked For Major Commerce, Porn Sites

Instead of passing harsher laws, maybe we should require that you (and people like you) should be only allowed to use the internet under the supervision of a caretaker.

Of course, if you seriously advocate that people take responsibility for their networks, their equipment, and their decisions and realize the part they play in enabling the problems they complain about, you'll be accused of "blaming the victim".

Still, unlike the harsher laws that vary by jurisdiction (of which some have no extradition treaties), this actually stands a chance of working. On a hostile network like the Internet, nothing other than hardening the targets is going to actually improve security. It would also be nice for the rest of us not to have to contend with botnets and other problems made possible entirely by the clueless who want all the benefits of a general-purpose global network but don't want to put forth the effort to learn how it works and how to use it responsibly.

They strongly resemble the child who wants a pet cat but doesn't want to feed it and change its litter box because that part isn't fun.

Comment: Re:Cards are safer than cash. (Score 2) 133

by causality (#48681451) Attached to: 13,000 Passwords, Usernames Leaked For Major Commerce, Porn Sites

Dependency: Of course the people who can't afford to keep their CC balance at zero end up paying for my peace of mind via increased interest rates. Ultimately CC's are an unfair burden on the "working poor" and become "just another bill" when they inevitably hit their limit (been there, done that). The sad fact is that if everyone at every point in their life could afford to keep the balance at zero nobody would pay interest and CCs would not exist.

That last sentence is false and shows you don't fully understand what you're discussing. The merchant is charged a fee, usually a small percentage of the transaction, each time you use your credit card. Even if you never personally pay interest because you pay in full each month, the bank issuing the credit card is making money from your use of that card.

Incidentally, this is also why some small, local, mom-and-pop stores won't accept a credit card unless your total purchase exceeds a certain amount. The fee they must pay isn't worthwhile to them if the transaction is too small. Larger stores are better able to absorb it and just consider it a cost of doing business.

Comment: Re:why not have an impact in their own countries? (Score 1) 511

by shutdown -p now (#48678987) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

I can assure you that even the most pessimistic prognoses that I hear here in US are still way better off than where my home country is, much less where it's heading with all the recent events.

Unless you're into the whole TEOTWAKI stuff. But even taken that for granted, the consequences of such a thing would be just as severe everywhere else. In fact, I would dare say that US (well, at least some parts of it) would be more likely to survive pretty much any conceivable doomsday scenario with something resembling a functional society.

Comment: Re:Visas, or Green Cards? (Score 1) 511

by shutdown -p now (#48678983) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

The point is that US effectively does have a program to bring high tech workers into the country as immigrants. It's just that it's not actually designed as such, and so the end results are much worse (for everyone) than a properly designed and managed program like that.

I don't see the point of comparing with most of those other 160 countries. Unlike US, they don't have a history of relying on immigration to maintain population and workforce growth. OTOH, the countries that I have named do. But unlike US, they're smart about how they do it.

Comment: Re:Visas, or Green Cards? (Score 2) 511

by shutdown -p now (#48678383) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

What you and a lot of other people don't understand is that for many of us, H1B visas are the only viable path to a green card. US immigration policy is rather ridiculous in that respect in that it doesn't have a properly designed, dedicated skilled immigration track, the way e.g. Canada, Australia or New Zealand do. So in practice that role is subsumed by the "dual-intent" H1B, where you come into the country on that as a "temp worker", and then get your employer to sponsor you for a green card.

Thus, H1B has two kinds of people lumped together into it: the true temp workers, usually paid low wages, and kicked out as soon as their visa expires; and people who are trying to actually immigrate and using it as a stepping stone. In most other countries, the two pools are separated much earlier on.

Comment: Re:why not have an impact in their own countries? (Score 1) 511

by shutdown -p now (#48678359) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In

Why not stay in whatever country they currently reside and try to have an impact there?

As an H1-B from Russia, let me give you the answer:

Because I get paid waaaay more in US (even accounting for cost of living and cost of property). Because this is a more stable and prospering society with crime levels several times less. Because I can actually get into politics here on any level from local to national without risking my neck.

Basically, because the grass is greener on this side of the fence.

A method of solution is perfect if we can forsee from the start, and even prove, that following that method we shall attain our aim. -- Leibnitz