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Comment: Re:because drinking water is so pristine (Score 2) 130

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47439187) Attached to: Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water
The drugs are often exotic molecules we've cooked up for the purpose; but hormonal birth control exploits the same hormones that would naturally show up, since those are the ones that there are receptors for and that cause the desired changes. The quantity that a dense human population will put out is something quite different; but the chemistry won't be markedly different between humans and other placental mammals.

Comment: Re:Not new, and not shocking. (Score 1) 130

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47439137) Attached to: Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water
There might be an RO system somewhere that uses gravity and an input reservoir at higher altitude than the output to supply some or all of the pressure; but I don't think that that is anything like the typical configuration. Cleaning up after a leak in zero gravity isn't going to be lots of fun; but everything else should work largely as planned.

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 4, Insightful) 158

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47438915) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System
In the case of SDI the PR might actually be worse than useless (playing mutually-assured-destruction isn't much fun to begin with; but if one or both sides come to believe the hype about a missile defense system things could really go downhill). In the case of 'iron dome', though, it might actually be helpful. Barring fairly substantial increases in rocket construction expertise, or acquisition of something particularly nasty to fill them with, the attacks it is supposed to defeat are only modestly dangerous; but extremely inflammatory.

Given how lousy the alternatives for appearing to be taking action against the rocket menace are (grovelling through every last hidy-hole in Gaza is militarily doable but a PR debacle and unlikely to turn up more than a few bits and pieces of impoverished machine tools, because low-end rockets just aren't that hard to build. Paying Hezbollah a visit might turn up somewhat more interesting stuff; but that hasn't turned out well in the past) a system that postpones or prevents somebody taking the bait and trying them might be quite helpful.

Comment: Re:Manager (Score 1) 167

by MightyMartian (#47438405) Attached to: New Microsoft CEO Vows To Shake Up Corporate Culture

The issue, in the long term, is does it really matter? Microsoft still had a big chunk of the enterprise workstation and groupware market, but in many other ways they're becoming irrelevant. Despite throwing boatloads of money at the search and tablet markets, they're not moving those products. To make up for that they're hiking the prices of the very enterprise offerings they need to survive. Volume licensing, Server, Exchange, SQL Server and the like have Alli been jacket up to fund their failures. The last batch of Server licenses I bought may very well be the last.

Let's be blunt. Microsoft is all but irrelevant in the mobile and tablet markets. About the only thing they have going for them is the scam patent tax they have on Android devices.

Comment: Re:Idiots (Score 4, Insightful) 138

What the hell they are complaining about now? If court ruled that how Aereo previously defined itself was illegal, then obviously it has to change it. First they win now they complain about it?

As best I can tell, they are whining because they preferred the imaginary world where the lawsuit against Aereo was actually over whether the filthy, disruptive, upstarts shoudl be burned to the ground and have the earth beneath them salted, rather than whether they were more like an antenna rental service or more like a cable company.

Aereo obviously didn't want to be a cable company, hence its ongoing defense; but the tone of the rhetoric against them was never "Yeah, because of a raft of tedious reasons, Aereo ought to be classified as a cable company for regulatory purposes"; but rather a bunch of fire and brimstone nonsense about the signal-stealing piratepocalypse.

Comment: Re:Aaaaahahaha ... gotta love it: (Score 1) 128

by MightyMartian (#47428549) Attached to: Prof. Andy Tanenbaum Retires From Vrije University

At the time, the closest the DOS world had to multitasking was TSRs. Beside my first PC was my CoCo 3 with OS/9 level 2 with 512k of RAM with a true preemptive multitasking kernel running on an 8 but 6809 CPU. Microsoft's dominance at the time meant in many ways the most common 16 bit opposing system in the world was only marginally better than a CPM machine from 1980.

Comment: Re:A legend of OS design (Score 4, Interesting) 128

by MightyMartian (#47424441) Attached to: Prof. Andy Tanenbaum Retires From Vrije University

Minix was really the first of its kind; a Unix-like OS that you could run on cheap (relatively speaking at the time) commodity hardware and that you could get the source code for. A lot of the computing we take for granted now comes from Tanenbaum's work.

My first Minix install was on a 386-SX with a whopping 4mb of RAM I borrowed from work back in the early 1990s. I quickly abandoned Minix for Linux once it came out, but for several years I had Minix running on an old 386 laptop just for fun.

Comment: Re:His epitaph in future years: (Score 4, Interesting) 128

by MightyMartian (#47424411) Attached to: Prof. Andy Tanenbaum Retires From Vrije University

I really miss the good old days when technical debates were over the merits and faults of such simple things as different kinds of kernels, and not about whether or not every single thing you do online is being stacked into half a dozen nation's permanent data storage facilities.

The Linus vs. Tanenbaum dustup is from a simpler, more positive age.

Comment: Re:Law Enforcement has been doing this forever. (Score 4, Interesting) 221

If memory serves, the ostensible logic was that civil rights groups were pawns of International Communism(because clearly only sinister foreign influences could have given the negro the crazy idea that certain aspects of American life were less than ideal) and thus a terrifying internal threat. That, and Hoover just didn't feel alive if he wasn't wiretapping somebody.

Comment: Savings? (Score 2) 149

Even in areas where all the cabling is buried(which definitely isn't all of them) how much do you save by putting some fancy and expensive widget within a couple hundred meters of every customer's location? Aside from the joys of managing a zillion touchy network devices out on the poles in all winds and weathers, you'd better hope that there's no secondary market for such gear or people will be harvesting them faster than you can install them...

backups: always in season, never out of style.

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