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Comment: Worth it? (Score 4, Insightful) 193

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49198379) Attached to: uTorrent Quietly Installs Cryptocurrency Miner
Aren't bitcoins, between the drop in value and the ASIC enthusiasts, at the point where clandestine CPU mining is close to pointless? I realize that free as in stolen has its virtues; but it likely wasn't free to get their shitware, rather than somebody else's, bundled with utorrent, so I'm surprised that it was worth it.

Comment: This will come down to implementation... (Score 1) 65

I'll be interested to see how this works out for them: Architecturally, MS is reasonably well placed to pull it off(to the degree that it is possible, no common language runtime is going to make a 40GB XBone game run on a low end Lumia phone); they can presumably produce whatever set of software services and shims a PC of sufficient power needs to run an Xbox game, given that this generation's xbox is mostly a PC and MS wrote the software on it; and their CLR is available across x86 and ARM, for programs that don't end up indirectly depending on some native binary.

What is less clear, and will be a matter for both MS and the people they hope will be writing 'universal' software, is how well 'cross platform' is going to work between platforms with different UI characteristics. An xbox and a PC with an xbox controller plugged in? Yeah, sure, no problem(though the compromises made to ensure snappy frame rates on the xbox might not look so hot on the PC, sitting closer to the screen). Meaningful interaction with a smartphone, though, will demand developer commitment on par with that that Nintendo needs to secure when trying to convince people to use the WiiU's weird little quasi-tablet controller thing. Will they bother? Will they half-ass something in order to get MS to pat them on the back and feature their game in some prominent location for a couple of weeks? Will they ignore it?

Comment: Re:... creates two gaps in evolution (Score 2) 87

True. At this point, I say 'Welcome aboard!' to any of them who decide that maybe trying science would be cool after all; but it's not even worth the effort to try to convert through additional evidence.

I just wish that there were more who were willing to be honest about it: "I'm a 6-day young earth creationist because I'm interested in faith, not empiricism." isn't my cup of tea; but I'm not interested in fighting with you about it. "No, no, empirical evidence actually proves creationism and a young earth for reasons wholly aside from my interest in it doing so!!!" effectively assures arbitrary amounts of bullshit, intellectual dishonesty, and atrociously bad science standards. Not Good.

Comment: Re:Funny Quote from Article (Score 1) 229

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49195503) Attached to: How Activists Tried To Destroy GPS With Axes
That is likely fair; though I would be curious to know if construction of the system would have been delayed by some years or decades if it turned out to be useless for those purposes: GPS is much more elegant and powerful, as well as useful for timekeeping and available more or less worldwide; but there were various RDF/ADF systems in use in specific areas at least as far back as WWII, and something like the LORAN system was comparatively mature and, being all ground based, cheap, before the first GPS satellite ever launched.

Sooner or later something GPS-like would almost certainly have become either cheap or compelling enough to be put into place (if the mind-blowing money pit that was the Iridium constellation before it was sold at bankruptcy to the present operators could be rationalized, GPS certainly could); but if it didn't offer something compelling to munitions and missiles I would not have been surprised if ships and troops and civilian applications had been allowed to handle themselves with existing radio beacon technologies and other inferior-but-available options for years, maybe a decade or two, longer.

Comment: Re: And was it really a punishment? (Score 1) 96

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49195399) Attached to: FTC Targets Group That Made Billions of Robocalls
Caller ID is pitifully weak because it was never really intended to be otherwise. At least with all the telemarketer crap I've run into, it is already being spoofed, even without the widespread presence of even basic filtering tech on phones.

I'm sure there is some totally-innocent reason why the telcos, who are definitely in no way complicit with the spammers, continue to let end users rely on it, rather than on ANI, which actually has some hope of working because it was designed to insure that somebody got billed for a call.

Comment: Re:Funny Quote from Article (Score 4, Interesting) 229

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49195329) Attached to: How Activists Tried To Destroy GPS With Axes
It takes a pretty straight face to describe GPS satellites as being analogous to 'equipment used for health care' in 1992, when the system's major use had been its (largely successful) guidance of assorted munitions and troops during Desert Storm...

At least now you have a much wider variety of civilian applications, some even not related to tracking, to point to in addition to the system's primary role.

Comment: Re:Simple Solution (Score 2) 92

by MightyMartian (#49193899) Attached to: Apple, Google, Bringing Low-Pay Support Employees In-House

I'm going to to be terribly pedantic here, but GST, like all VATs, does not work like that. It is not an expense (as in it does not effect profit and loss). Like all VATs, GST collected on sales is subtracted from GST spent on purchases, and if the remainder is positive, then you pay that to the government, and if it is negative the government sends you the difference. The point is to make a fairer sales tax, where goods and services are not taxed at multiple points. All these financial operations happen on the balance sheet as changes to assets and liabilities, and have nothing to do with expenses at all.

Comment: Re:I have said it before (Score 1) 379

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49187445) Attached to: French Nuclear Industry In Turmoil As Manufacturer Buckles
That is true. My comment was(in retrospect, very poorly explained) narrowly focused on an issue I heard a lot of complaining about from people operating reactors in the US(PWRs, if my memory serves): between stray hydrogen from the water in the primary coolant loop and massive neutron flux, a combination of hydrogen embrittlement and neutron damage had a way of pushing even very classy alloys into serious risk of developing cracks; and properly servicing internal parts wasn't something you did lightly, since you'd have to substantially lower output power or take the reactor offline while doing so(and when you've got that much capital equipment sitting idle, team balance sheet is not happy).

None of these stories ended catastrophically, or even dramatically, nothing even approached leaving the containment vessels; but the complaint was that speccing materials for use inside the reactor was even less fun than handling plumbing for chemical plants, refineries, and the like.

An engineering challenge, it's what engineers do; but not good for cost cutting.

Comment: Re:I have said it before (Score 1) 379

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49187119) Attached to: French Nuclear Industry In Turmoil As Manufacturer Buckles
The special demands of finding materials that work adequately in enthusiastically radioactive environments don't help. Some are worse than others; but I don't think that there is anything that appreciates prolonged neutron bombardment. Can make for some very expensive repairs inside the reactor assembly.

Comment: Re:Nuclear ain't cheap any more. (Score 3, Insightful) 379

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49187077) Attached to: French Nuclear Industry In Turmoil As Manufacturer Buckles
The tricky question(and the one that I've been bombarded with vehement and competing answers on, which has left me confused) is whether nuclear isn't cheap; but military procurement slush used to make it look that way; or whether nuclear could have become cheap; but military procurement slush made that unnecessary and potentially even directly inhibited it.

It's definitely the case that military purposes kept the money rolling in for R&D, pesky questions about safety and storage largely under wraps, purchases of a lot of equipment that could also make plutonium, and some PR-piece "Look at how fuzzy and peaceful nuclear energy can be!" reactor installs at home and in selected friendly-and-not-too-likely-to-change locations abroad.

It's likely that, at the same time, this left the industry largely in the hands of companies that are very, very, good at government contracting; but perhaps a bit shaky on less lucrative and parasitic forms of economic activity.

Where the optimists and the pessimists part ways is the question of whether nuclear energy is in fact just not terribly economic; and so achieved certain unique capabilities for cost insensitive customers, while largely floundering without them; or whether nuclear energy as an industry was wildly distorted by catering exclusively to select cost insensitive customers with substantially different needs than energy production, and simply needs to develop product lines that reflect current requirements.

Don't be irreplaceable, if you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.