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Comment: Re:wot dafuq (Score 0) 203

by SirSlud (#49788119) Attached to: In a 5-star rating scheme, the new Mad Max film ...

"A poll about the new Mad Max film - i didn't even know a new release existed"

Are you sure you're not living in a bunker in Pakistan?

"... i can guess that the story is about a lonely girl that had a long career in IT as a twitter/facebook account manager, driving a Tesla around the Apple headquarters, assembling an army of H-1B warriors, so she can fight for social justice against the evil Republican gang that try to extend the copyright period of a manuscript kept inside the sacred temple of holy Richard Dawkins"

Ah, okay, you are.

Comment: 3.11 hit the sweet spot. (Score 3) 386

by caseih (#49756835) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

I remember my neighbor running a brand new installation of Windows 3.0 a 386. The only native app was, if I recall, was Word, and it was pretty crappy back then. Windows 3.0 would UAE at the drop of a hat and hang completely. It wasn't until 3.11 that Windows became actually usable, though the architecture (cooperative multitasking) was so bad that I'm surprised any programmers stuck with the system long enough to develop any apps. I guess the promise of a stable GUI API and a standardized hardware abstraction layer (printers, etc) was enough. And Windows 3.11 introduced truetype fonts, which were pretty amazing compared to what we had before that time in Windows and MacOS.

At college we used to say that only a fool would have win at the end of his autoexec.bat. The rest of us would run windows when we needed it, from the DOS prompt as God intended. I had a friend who ran OS/2 2.1 with a text-mode shell that multitasked MS-DOS apps, and that was far more useful at the time than Windows was, since all our apps were DOS apps back then.

Comment: Re:All using ancient devices (Score 2) 92

by caseih (#49750285) Attached to: Factory Reset On Millions of Android Devices Doesn't Wipe Storage

Meh. Android 4.4 broke SD cards completely. My phone runs android 4.2, and it works, so I don't want to mess with it. I think that's how a lot of people are, despite security bug risks. I like Android in general but there's a lot I don't like. One of them is that updates are dependent on the vendor. The other is the murky world of semi-legal firmware distributions that rely on crappy forums for developer interaction with no public version control, no nice spots for download. Who knows what's in Joe's firmware posted on some random forum post? Leaves a bad taste in my mouth the way most android development is done.

Comment: Re:Anecdotal evidence (Score 2) 241

by caseih (#49710963) Attached to: How Windows 10 Performs On a 12-inch MacBook

Hardly. Windows Me (and Win 9x), as bad as it was, was lightyears ahead of classic MacOS from an architecture pov. It was fully preemptive, multitasking. And it was to a large degree really 32-bit, though it was bootstrapped from a 16-bit environment, and some of the drivers appear to have been 16-bit. But it did run in protected mode. Wasn't nearly as good as Windows NT of course, which was also pretty darn good, based on the venerable VMS operating system's architecture.

As for Vista, under the hood it was similar to XP and Windows 7. There were horrible UI decisions (the UAC mainly), but the core was solid and stable, and fast. Windows 8 was just fine too. It was just a UI mess.

OS X, while not particularly speedy under the hood, is solid and stable also. Of late their UI has started to suck more and more though.

Comment: Re:It's not limited to the US (Score 4, Informative) 220

In Australia and western Canada, neonic-coated seads are typically placed in the ground via a gravity-fed metering system (box drill), or via an air drill that blows the seed into the ground behind shanks that open the soil. So dust particles laden with neonics get buried in the soil where bees won't be exposed directly to them. In the midwest US and eastern Canada, where the crops are predominantly things like soybeans or corn, they use vacuum planters which suck the seeds from storage one at time and drop them into the ground. Unfortunately the vacuum planters blow a lot of dust from the seeds into the air. So neonic-laden particles get blown everywhere and we know they affect bees and any other insect. So it could very well be that widespread use of vacuum planters is a part of the problem. Unfortunately air drills don't work very well for row crops that do best with rows of singulated seeds.

The Alberta Bee Keepers Commission refuses to back any attempt to completely ban neonic use in Canada as it would decimate their industry. Fewer crops means fewer bees are required by farmers.

The reason neonics are used is that when the plant is young, the neonics are taken up through the plant and make the plant toxic to pests that would eat the little leaves, killing the plant. On one of my dry bean fields last year was seeded without neonic seed treatment, and we did see some yield reduction from pests eating the plants at an early stage, including from works eating the shoots underground. If there's a chance neonics can be used safely, then for sure they are a huge benefit.

There is the other issue of neonics present in the pollen, leading to bees getting a bit of a buzz. It's not clear to me how much neonic there is in the flower at that late stage of the plant's growth, or what the consequences of that are. Bees around here are heavily used to pollinate hybrid canola, all of which was treated with neonics. So it's really hard to say what the consequences are.

It's true we can control the use of pesticides, and we should and do. This doesn't have to mean an outright ban. A complete ban would mean the return to more toxic insecticides being sprayed at more regular intervals on a crop, which none of us wants.

Comment: Re:Take A Bow For Your Accomplishments (Score 3, Insightful) 220

In Alberta, where there are more commercial bee keeping operations than anywhere in Canada, of honey and other types, and where neonic use is higher than in many other places. Bees are simply are not having the problems seen elsewhere. The bee keepers association here in Alberta is strongly opposed to an outright neonic ban because it would severely hurt their pollination and honey business. Without neonics there would be a lot less Canola and other crops to pollinate.

Now, this isn't to say that neonics aren't a big part of the problem of bees dying elsewhere. It could have to do with how the neonics are being used. In Alberta they are used when treating the seeds with fungicide, and typically they are placed in the ground with a gravity-fed drill, or an air drill that blows them into the ground. So all the neonic residue gets placed under the soil. In other places, they use vacuum planters (corn, soybeans) which blows neonic-laden dust into the air. So it could be this that contributes to the problem.

Reactor error - core dumped!