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Comment Electrics Cargo Ships (Score 1) 345

Why don't we make electric cargo ships first?

Cargo ships release a huge amount of CO2, the only reason we don't complain is because they are efficient per ton moved. But switching them over would greatly reduce CO2 consumption. I think it would make sense to do them first since the ship designs are much much less sensitive to mass and volume relative to airplanes. Further, we have had ship based electric propulsion in the form of submarines for a very long time. Once the prise of batteries comes down I'd like to see high voltage lines to the major ports on hand to re-charge ships while the are being unloaded. Since they don't need to be charge 24/7 they would make a great place to dump excess capacity when solar/wind are producing at their maximum.

Comment Re:Also, see the A-10 (Score 2) 290

I think most pilots would prefer to not be shot at all.

The problem with the A-10 is it's whole philosophy is low and slow. You can't build a flying tank. Sure can put some armour on aircraft, but it's a losing proposition. Armour is heavy, and heavy thing don't fly too well. It's also hard to upgrade the armour of a plane. Case in point is the A-10 which was designed to withstand the Soviets 23mm AA, to which the Soviets responded by upgrading their AA to 30mm.

This is why every other plane flies high and fast. It's why everyone is investing in stealthier planes.

Comment Re:Also, see the A-10 (Score 2, Insightful) 290

Except the A-10 isn't successful at it's job, never has been.

The A-10 was designed to strafe tanks during the Cold War, but never got used for that mission. They tried to use it to attack Republican Guard tanks during First Iraq War. But the A-10 proved too vulnerable to anti-air defences and the job was given to F-16s using laser guided bombs. The majority of ground attack missions in the Second Iraq War was conducted by F-16s and F-18s. The same is true for Afghanistan. The only reason the A-10 is still around is because congress won't let the USAF get rid of it. It's never been good at its job.

Comment Whats the difference (Score 1) 735

I'm not sure why people are hammering Trump on this, he isn't saying anything different than Clinton or Obama.

Here is what Clinton had to say: “We’re going to hear all the usual complaints, you know, freedom of speech, et cetera. But if we truly are in a war against terrorism and we are truly looking for ways to shut off their funding, shut off the flow of foreign fighters, then we’ve got to shut off their means of communicating." And Obama has proposed outlawing encryption.

At least Trump has has the balls to admit that the media are part of the problem.

Comment Re:Defense systems? (Score 1) 331

Cruise missiles launched from what?

The thing about ships is that they can go places and carry a lot of fire power. You can send the airforce and army if there are friendly countries in the neighbourhood willing to base them. But only the navy can project power on a global scale. Further, pretty much anything can be put on a ship. Cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, air planes, you name it. So if you are close enough to launch a missile at a ship, there is a pretty good chance that the ship is close enough to launch a missile at you. But the ship has the added benefit that it can move around pretty quickly. Fixed installations like missile sites and airfields not so much.

Lately there has been a lot of talk about Chinese anti-ship missiles. But the problem is that those are an asymmetric response. Area denial might help China keep the US out of the South China Sea. But it isn't going to do much to help Chinas allies in Africa. It isn't going to protect China trade routes through the Strait of Malacca. Nor will it lend credence to Chinese offers of military assistance to new allies.

To win a war, you have to show up in the war zone. Without a Navy, you aren't going to get far from your immediate neighbourhood.

Comment Coding, coding never changes (Score 1) 279

Probably the same way I do now.

Spend the first quarter of the day in meeting either day dreaming or staring off in to space. Spend the second quarter of the day responding to email, talking to customers on the phone, or talking to coworkers about interfacing our code. Spend the third quarter of the day doing some vim. Spend the fourth quarter of the day browsing the internet and waiting to go home.

Really, the actual typing away part of my job is pretty small. I probably spend at least as much time whiteboarding, talking to coworkes, and talking to customers as coding.

Further I work in embedded systems, I don't see the C language going anywhere soon. I don't expect the Linux kernel to be rewritten in Haskell anytime soon.

Comment Re:How safe? (Score 5, Informative) 109

I started on LinuxMint 17 and rolled into 17.1 and 17.2 without any problems, and I don't expect any problems for 17.3.

The thing to remember is that LinuxMint 17.x series is based off of the Ubuntu 14.04LTS. So the upgrade from 17.2 -> 17.3 is like going from Ubuntu 14.04.2 -> 14.04.3. The major changes are to the parts of the software stack that are added by the LinuxMint team like the Cinnamon DE and the Mint* series of apps. Although this release does include a kernel upgrade from 3.16 -> 3.19, that still isn't exactly bleeding edge. And an upgrade for LibreOffice from 4.4 -> 5. So these are all pretty safe upgrades. These aren't Arch style rolling releases, morel like Windows service pack upgrades. There shouldn't be any major changes to the core of the system like switching to systemd or moving from python2.7 -> python3 or anything like that.

Also note that the upgrade will not install automatically. To do the upgrade you have to open the Update Manger like you do for normal upgrade, and select "Upgrade to 17.3" from the Edit menu, or something like that (sorry it's been a while). Accurate instructions will be posted on the LinuxMint blog in a little while. If you are concerned just wait a week or so and see if people on the forums have had any issues.

Comment Wrong way around (Score 5, Insightful) 785

The questioner has it the wrong way around.

The systemd team didn't create those dependencies, the DE maintainers did. All of these DEs ran just fine without systemd and they still could if someone was interested in doing so. In fact given the maturity of the old interfaces, and the code already existing in previous releases it should be much easier to maintain say, KDE or Gnome, without systemd that it is for the team trying to add it in. There is nothing stopping people from forking the existing code and running their own project, we have seen this happen in the open-source world dozens of times. If there is a lot of demand for systemd less distros, the community will make them.

The question isn't "Will You Be Able To Run a Modern Desktop Environment In 2016 Without Systemd?". The question is "Where are all the systemd-free projects?".

Linus said talk is cheap show me the code. So where is it? For all the complaining, flamewars, and cries of fleeing to *BSD you would expect systemd-free projects to be springing up left and right. So where are they? If Red Hat is making such a huge mistake switching to systemd, then surely their competitors at SUSE, Cannonical, and Mandriva will capitalize on that mistake in the name of profits no? It isn't surprising that seemingly everyone is adopting systemd. systemd is solving problems and implementing feature that people want. That is easy to explain.

What is remarkable here is the massive disconnect between the amount of outcry about systemd and the amount of code being written to avoid it.

Comment Berlin Wall Take 2 (Score 3, Insightful) 674

Haven't we already played this game?

After WWII the West and the Soviets split Germany. East Germany has socialism, where everyone's needs were provided for. West Germany had a capitalist system, where people got what they worked for. Well it didn't take long for people working in the East to figure out that they could do much better in the West, so they left. Yes, some of it was politics, yes some of it was about freedom. But the Berlin Wall wasn't built to stop political activists, pensioners, university students, or those in need of longterm care from fleeing. It was to stop professionals: engineers, technicians, physicians, teachers, lawyers and skilled workers. The drain of those with the largest net contribution to society was crippling the East German economy. So they built a wall to stop them. It's not an accident that most socialist countries enforce(d) exit visas.

Here in Canada we already enjoy a brain drain of our medical professionals. Why stay in Canada with lower incomes and higher taxes, when you can jump across the boarder and make out so much better. And I predict that Finland will see the same thing. Many Fins already speak Swedish and English so the barrier to exit is low. If you are a high paid professional why lose a huge chunk of your income to those who don't work when you can leave via the Schengen agreement.

Now might say that it won't cost extra because we will cut funding in other programs. Well that's bullshit. But don't take my word for it, or the media's word for it, sit down and do the math yourself. Basic income that provides any meaningful level of income is crazy expensive, well beyond what a few cuts here and there is going to cover.

You might say that only a few people care enough about higher taxes to leave. And you would be right. The problem is that it is the people who pay the most taxes who are going to leave. And when they leave the tax burden on those who stay goes up. Which creates more incentive for people to leave. It's a vicious cycle where the highest taxed leave and the next highest tax bare the burden.

I'll leave you with a thought experiment. Let say a nice liberal state like Vermont decided it's going to implement basic income, but no other state in the union follows suite. What do you think would happen?

Comment Re:We've already got TWO (Score 1) 237

Well for starters the B-2 isn't going to be replaced by the LSB, only the B-52 and B-1B are. The B-2 will be replaced by a new bomber design sometime around 2037, but that is ways off. More B-2s won't be built because they are expensive, and after 20 years the state of the art has changed a lot.

The B-1B was designed to defeat Soviet radar by flying low and fast. We now know that this won't work against a modern air defence systems that know how to deal with ground clutter. While at present only the big boys have these radars over the next 15 years Russia will be exporting them all over the world. Further the fast-and-low is hard on the airframe and hard on the engines. Making the B-1B expensive to operate and short on lifespan. By 2030 the B-1Bs are going to be almost 50 years old and at the end of their lifespan. So you either spend a lot of money extending the life of an old plane with an outdated mission, or you spend a lot of money on something modern.

The B-52 is a dinosaur and the USAF keeps flying it because they've never gotten the money to replace it. By 2030 those airframe will have no life left in them. And the B-52 has been outdated since what? The 80s or 90s? The USAF has extend its life by using it as a missile truck, but it can't bomb targets in contested airspace. They use it because that is what they have.

Comment Cash Cow (Score 1) 307

The problem is that a lot of studios are trying to produce cash cows, and audiences aren't buying it.

These shows establish a basic over arching story that people are actually interested in. But spend 90% of the show with monster of the week crap that no one is interested in. With the goal being of milking the show for as long as possible. With two predictable results: Most shows are just garbage that never pick up a fan base and die after a season or two. While a handful shows get lucky and they milk it for years until the audience gets pissed off.

Studios need to start producing shows that are designed to end. Stop producing comic-book style never ending stories, and start producing long movies. Shows like Dexter and Battlestar Galactica had amazing ideas in them, but the writers just lurched from season to season trying to keep the things afloat. There needs to be a story with a fixed end point, and once the show gets there it ends and that talent moves on to something else. I'd much rather watch a bunch of long-miniseries type shows like Rome, Band of Brothers, Sherlock, Jekyll, Babylon 5, etc. That are designed to end. Than all these shows that just milk a good idea to death.

Comment Re:hmmmm (Score 2) 502

It's a test the F-35 will win easily.

Back in 1991 the A-10 had to be pulled off attacks on the Republican Guard and given a blanket lower flight deck because they were getting shot down. Think about that. The air defences of a 3rd world dictatorship bested the A-10 almost 25 years ago. The replacement were F-16s using precision weapons and a new method called 'tank plinking'. The USAF has been trying to kill the A-10 ever since. Its an aircraft designed for killing tanks, but it haven't been able to do that job in decades.

Even during the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, most of the strike were being done by F-16s and F-18s. Multirole aircraft like the F-16 and F-18 plus drones have already replace the A-10. Congress just doesn't want to do that for political reasons. Not because of cost or effectiveness.

Comment Re:didn't happen in Manitoba (Score 5, Insightful) 755

Tried and abandoned.

There were a number of problems with the Dauphin study. The biggest being that it wasn't sustainable.

To be viable economic policy needs to work in a closed system. The money given out through mincome needs to be matched by the money coming in through taxes. But the Dauphin system didn't work like that. Instead, the government pumped in outside money, without raising taxes to offset. So the people living in Dauphin got all benefits of socialist style government handouts, without the accompanying higher tax rate.

No one doubts that many thing improved during the experiment. Improving the quality of life in a small community by pumping in free money from the outside is easy. The hard part is making it work as a system.

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