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Comment: Re:Mostly done by 1985... (Score 2) 69

by swillden (#47523999) Attached to: Black Holes Not Black After All, Theorize Physicists
Interesting, but not surprising. It's unlikely that any new idea in cosmology (or anywhere else) is actually truly "new" by the time it garners sufficient support to warrant widespread serious consideration. The process by which knowledge is created -- conjecture and criticism -- almost precludes it. Ideas, even correct ideas, assuming this is and assuming that Greenstein actually had the same idea, not less-correct variant, nearly always come before the knowledge needed to identify them as correct, or at least as more correct than competing ideas. This is why simultaneous invention is so common, because the groundwork is thoroughly well-laid before the crucial bits fall into place that make it possible to put it on a firm foundation.

Comment: Re:SUV vs pickup (Score 1) 205

by swillden (#47503485) Attached to: New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids

An SUV does NOT fill the role of a pickup truck unless you don't actually need a pickup truck. You need a pickup when you are toting things that you do not want to carry in the interior of a vehicle like loose dirt, stone, certain bulky supplies, trash, etc. Messy stuff. Very bulky stuff. If you can put what you are likely to carry in an SUV then you don' t actually need a pickup.

An SUV plus a utility trailer does fill the role of a pickup truck.

Why would you "need" a commuter vehicle? The cost of any commuter vehicle is going to hugely outstrip any fuel savings you might possible generate.

The cost of a minivan plus a pickup plus the fuel to commute in the pickup is greater than the cost of an SUV plus a small sedan plus the fuel to commute in the sedan.

Comment: Re: minivan dead? (Score 1) 205

by swillden (#47501935) Attached to: New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids

The Minivan is the practical and logical choice

Agreed, unless you also need to tow stuff and/or go off road. Even if you don't do that stuff very much, renting an SUV or truck for those occasions isn't feasible, because as far as I can tell all rental car companies prohibit towing and off-road use. I do tow stuff regularly (boat, camp trailer, ATV trailer, utility trailer), and need to seat at least six people, which has made an SUV the practical and logical choice.

Now that my kids are moving out I no longer need so much seating, so a pickup truck is becoming the practical and logical choice. I'd like to upgrade to a bigger camp trailer, so one with a powerful diesel engine is looking particularly attractive.

Comment: Re:I don't see the problem. (Score 1) 665

by prisoner-of-enigma (#47500643) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

It seems that the launch site has been rather precisely determined. Perhaps you missed that memo.

And no matter how much evidence the US or Ukrainian government produces, no matter how detailed and annotated, Russia will dismiss it with a wave of a hand as fabricated, slanted, biased...whatever they want. They'll never admit responsibility.

Comment: Re:I don't see the problem. (Score 1) 665

by prisoner-of-enigma (#47500627) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

What they need to do is to organize UN peacekeeper mission there, not wage proxy war with US.

Yes, because UN peacekeepers have such a long, sterling reputation on stopping stuff like this from happening.

But regardless, the UN will never do anything in this conflict. Russia holds a veto in the Security Council, and they will stop any such measures from ever happening.

Comment: Re:Corporate culture (Score 2) 272

by swillden (#47483303) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

My son is certified as a Microsoft Architect and at one point in his career was a senior Microsoft executive.

He described the upper levels as very political. There was little team spirit.There was a lot of jockeying for position, backstabbing and attempts to degrade people to to elevate yourself.

He eventually left and started his own company (which is doing quite well. He just bought a 40' RV)

I'm honestly not trying to Godwin anything but that sounds alot like career politics in the Third Reich.

With the small difference that in the Third Reich those who failed badly enough at the politics ended up with a bullet in their brain.

It sounds a lot more like career politics in most corporations. Not all, certainly, but most.

Comment: Re: This makes sense. (Score 1) 278

Watch out for key loggers. It is pretty easy for the bad guys to get your info. They do it all the time ...

If the bad guys are installing system-level software, or -- even worse -- plugging hardware into your box, you're sunk. There's basically no defense against that. Two-factor auth helps, but only for sites that support it, and even then a real-time attack can get in.

Comment: Re:Only because they're stupid. (Score 1) 435

by swillden (#47474997) Attached to: FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

Not to mention it will probably have a police override allowing them to remotely either stop it

No need for any special remote control. One of the laws the driverless car will obey is the rule that requires you to pull over and stop when emergency vehicles approach with lights and siren. Emergency vehicles like, say, police cars.

Whoever at the FBI said this really didn't think it through.

Comment: Re:Railroads killed by the government... (Score 1) 195

by swillden (#47473979) Attached to: The Improbable Story of the 184 MPH Jet Train

Unless you count gas-taxes re-appripiated for mass-transit as a 'profit'.

Most of the Interstate is supported by fuel taxes. Fuel taxes are paid for by drivers. Who use the Interstate. So, I'd say that it's a pretty good case of 'user pays'.

Your argument would work if the fuel taxes funded the construction and maintenance of the interstates. They don't. If we wanted them to, we could get there without raising the fuel taxes paid by passenger vehicles, in fact those might possibly be reduced (though the reductions should probably be replaced with carbon taxes, used to fund carbon sequestration). Taxes on the fuel (or whatever) paid by trucks, however, should increase several fold, since they cause the vast majority of the highway construction and maintenance costs.

I really wish we'd fix up our highway funding so that it is usage supported, ending the massive subsidy we give the trucking system. Doing that would cause most of our bulk freight to move from the highways to rail, which is more energy-efficient and would make passenger highway travel safer. Unfortunately, it would also cost a lot of jobs in the trucking industry which wouldn't be offset by jobs in the more manpower-efficient rail industry, and that makes it politically impossible.

Comment: Re:More Like Subsidized (Score 1) 528

by swillden (#47472379) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

There was no point in saying it unless you thought I felt otherwise.

You mean unless I thought Kjella thought otherwise, since that's who I said it to.

And my response would be that libertarians' response is in turn that people would willingly contribute to a fund to improve the air we breathe.

Some would say that, sure. I wouldn't, and neither would many others.

Comment: Re:This makes sense. (Score 2) 278

by swillden (#47472367) Attached to: Selectively Reusing Bad Passwords Is Not a Bad Idea, Researchers Say

Yep, as opposed to the morons that use password keepers and safes where all you have to observe is One password and then you have everything.

One password which is never sent anywhere from their device, plus you also have to get their device.

I don't think that word "moron" means what you think it means.

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