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Comment Re:That won't last long... (Score 2) 814

My first thought was to wonder how she knew the test worked. For example, if I wrote a C parser I could feed known valid C programs into it for testing. If you make an Ebola test, a 16 year old can't just feed Ebola into it for testing. This article does a good job of explaining how she gets around that. The test doesn't need the whole virus. It just needs a protein that the virus makes. I don't think you can run down to the drugstore and get that either, but at least you could probably order it from somewhere without causing an international incident.

Comment Use standard batteries when possible (Score 1) 505

I understand it's not possible to put our current standard batteries in the latest phone. OTOH, a bulky DSLR has no excuse for a proprietary battery.

Related: make your equipment capable of running on both the lower-voltage rechargeable and alkaline. I'm pretty happy with my NiMH charger and AAs, but I know my lantern could be brighter if it hadn't been designed for alkaline. The only reason I have any alkaline in the house is because of this stupid irrigation timer--I just assumed that all modern stuff would work with a wider range of voltage now, but the timer doesn't. It doesn't draw that much power either--worked all summer and barely drained the alkaline batteries, yet it insists on the higher voltage.

Comment Re:Fortran's use of GT (Score 1) 304

C has iso646.h and trigraphs and maybe digraphs to work around this issue. Strangely, gt doesn't appear to be in there, perhaps because and there is no trigraph for < either unless I'm missing something. Maybe those characters are mor universal than I thought, and others less so. I've never been in an environment where I had to use these things; but it's something to be aware of...

Comment An aging population generally won't care (Score 2) 154

I tried to get my father interested in some tech stuff once. He had retired right around the time DBASE III was in general use, and he used that program to do some stuff for a government contractor. So, it's not like he wasn't capable. He just wasn't interested. He had his checks, his visits to the store, occasional trips to see people, good food, a good house, the remote control, etc. He literally told me he just didn't care about that kind of stuff at his age. If the rural population is mostly elderly that are set in their ways, and they've been planting corn and raising chickens twice as long as the presenter has been alive, in ain't broke. They ain't fixin' it.

I don't think this has much to do with the South. I bet it's an aging population they've got.

Comment You would think these companies would learn (Score 3, Insightful) 330

This has been going on for years. Companies offer unlimited service, and then a hand full of customers try to see how far they can take it. You would think that they would have some standard boilerplate specifying something to the effect that while there is no specific limit, they reserve the right to cap accounts that are at or near the top of usage. I imagine these things are a typical bell curve with a long tail. I think clipping the crazy long tail of users who are using 100,000 more resources than average is perfectly legit. The lawyers need to put their heads together and come up with a commercial definition of "unlimited" that 99.9% of us can live with. The 0.1% who think they have a right to store 70TB for nothing are just as much dick-heads as anybody else.

Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.