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Comment: Re:RFCs are not laws (Score 2) 53 53

The market not IETF process decides which protocols will continue to be used going forward.

The market loves when we have formal documents laid down by the Formal Documents People confirming what we've been telling our bosses for years. I would bet large sums of money that some tech, somewhere, just walked out of a meeting happy because he finally has permission to deprecate a long-broken system.

Comment: Re:Phase out fossil-fueled power plants by midcent (Score 1) 308 308

The price of solar and wind construction is finally starting to get to parity with other energy forms and you tack on the expense and replacement cost of batteries, and probably patented designs that manufacturers will charge a fortune to use...

Your "2-5 years" is now pessimistically 22-25 years.

I'd put my money on mechanical storage in the short term (vacuum sealed flywheel). It is more lossy than battery storage, but for short term is cheap, gives on-demand energy, and well out of patent (though more efficient designs may be patented).

Comment: Re:Phase out fossil-fueled power plants by midcent (Score 1) 308 308

Last I heard, the exact opposite was happening - manufacturers like Honda stopped making the Civic hybrid and were cutting back on Accord due to customers buying cheaper fossil fuel only models due to dropping prices of fossil fuels.

Comment: Re:We have more than nukes. (Score 1) 308 308

One small problem there - wind turbines depend on rare earth elements for the motor used and China has a monopoly on them (95% of the mining). To get them, China requires manufacturing to be done in China. Sure the turbine blades and tower are built in other countries, but the motor is not. China leverages its monopoly to get manufacturing done there.

Yes the US has plenty of reserves of rare earth elements, but the NRC doesn't allow the US to just ditch thorium by the roadside like they can in China, making mining extremely expensive.

Comment: Re:Phase out fossil-fueled power plants by midcent (Score 1) 308 308

Zero emission coal will happen when hell freezes over. Between the cost of carbon capture and storage and the 33% efficiency loss, no profit minded corporation would ever do it on their own. Maybe if they get approval to double utility prices AND the government forces them to do it, but I don't see the former happening anytime soon (Obama has pushed for the latter, but I don't think the Republicans will let it happen - he'll have to Executive Order it).

Comment: Re:Nuclear? (Score 1, Insightful) 308 308

We know how to build reactors that burn nearly all nuclear waste but Democrats killed that program because they were too ignorant to understand that the design required passive safety and even succeeded in testing a worse-than-Fukushima scenario The ONLY valid concern they had was proliferation risk, and as the Russians have proven at Beloyarsk, a once through design without reprocessing still burns 70% of the fuel (you can then reprocess it at a secure site), MUCH higher than the 5% at best for current reactors and typically .7-1%. Integral Fast Reactors cost quite a bit more to build, but you more than make up for that with fuel efficiency.

There also has been renewed interest in stuff like LFTR and the like (I'm more a fan of Terrestrial's Uranium version - single fluid 30 year run before recycling - this was also proposed for the MSRE). The anti-nuclear people complain that leaves long lived actinides, but you can separate these and add them back into the fuel for the next 30 year run. The anti-nuclear folk then complain that you still have some highly radioactive fission materials, and I say yeah - and the worst of them decay to background radiation levels in 300 years, not millions. I'm also very curious about the skunk-works version of fusion. Tokamak design was never realistic and far too expensive.

Comment: Re:More stupid reporting on SlashDot (Score 1) 192 192

At least MS isn't as bad as Apple where the literally force you to buy new hardware along with the new O/S (Ipad 1 anyone?)

You seem to be under the impression that backward and forward hardware compatibility are easy things:

1) That an arbitrary OS could be expected to run well on hardware made many years in the past and many years in the future, and
2) That arbitrary hardware can easily support ancient software.

Suppose you'd said this about DOS. Microsoft should support it in perpetuity! OK, then, but where are you going to buy a mouse today that supports the hardware ports that DOS knows how to handle (or would you think mouse makers would spend the effort to write MTRACKPAD.SYS so that a new Apple Magic Trackpad would work on it)? And it's not exactly free or cheap for a modern i7 to maintain 100% 8088 compatibility.

Conversely, should iOS 9 be expected to run on an original iPhone, with CPUs and GPUs many times slower, an eighth the RAM, a fraction of the storage, and utterly obsolete in many other ways? Even if the minimal core could be made to run, so many features would have to be stripped out (at great development and testing expense) that it'd be pointless.

There are good reasons for dropping compatibility. Software isn't easily made to scale down to ancient predecessors, and hardware leaves stuff behind regularly - I don't have serial ports or ISA slots on this motherboard. It's not plausible for Apple to carry iOS all the way back to hardware that almost no one is using, and it's not realistic for Microsoft to drag Windows 7 all the way forward to hardware that hasn't even been conceived yet. At some point, you just have to let go.

Comment: Re:A more accurate summary might be: (Score 1) 192 192

xp was released in 2001. mainline support ended in 2009 and extended support ended over a year ago. sure, they need to insure critical systems stay online but they've known for the better part of a decade that this day was coming. it's maybe "only" nine million dollars, but it's a nine million dollar bandaid on an issue that they'll still need to address in the near future.

Comment: Re:As always (Score 1) 368 368

And yet people think it's fair that the artists man up and shoulder the cost of a few months of streaming.

Apple did not do this unilaterally. They approached the rightsholders who actually own the music - that is, the labels and not the artists - and proposed this arrangement. After much negotiation, everyone agreed that this was a solid plan and started moving ahead with it. How much money Apple does or doesn't have is immaterial because they could not legally do this without the consent of the people who own the material, and those people thought it was a fine idea and signed on the dotted line.

So yes, it's perfectly fair: not because you or I think so but because the people capable of vetoing it said it is.

Comment: Re:Relatively difficult to get a work visa for the (Score 1) 410 410

Intra-company transfers for an existing employer (e.g. IBM), limited to a year if you are making £40,000/year; call it $63,500 at todays exchange rate; this is generally not hard for someone employed by IBM, actually

Did I misinterpret that, or did you really mean to say that £40,000/year is a plausible amount for an IBMer to make while living in London? What would you say is a nice salary for a senior engineer?

Comment: Re:Do they ever follow up? (Score 1) 283 283

but if all this does is provide free entertainment I'm not so sure

Don't underestimate the value of free entertainment. Sometimes that guy coming home from his second job really needs to unwind a little before he gets his 6 hours of sleep, and a little YouTube is probably a healthier and cheaper alternative to an after-work beer. Also, entertainment has traditionally proven useful to help prevent the proles from revolting against the bourgeoisie. It's generally not a great idea to insist that the poorest be made more and more miserable for their own good.

Comment: Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (Score 3, Insightful) 323 323

Software engineers like me who won't touch the kernel with a 10' poll because I don't need the aggravation of dealing with him.

You shouldn't worry about it. From everything I've seen, he's a lot more sympathetic to new contributors making mistakes than he is to old-timers who should know better. It's fair and reasonable to hold them to a higher standard, and that seems to be exactly what he does.

Comment: Re:Aftermath (Score 1) 546 546

You have to wonder, then, what will happen in the United States a few years down the line when the many social programs implode. Digging out of it seems impossible given that unfunded liabilities are, as of this writing, over $818000 per taxpayer (see bottom line) and that is an optimistic number (pessimistic numbers more than double that). Food-wise, with cuts to Social Security, I expect we'll have senior riots - old and slow and easy to machine gun down, but who knows what kinds of people the failure of the health programs will bring. Since I will be approaching being a senior around that time, I've been hedging against expecting anything from the government and likely will move out of the country before then (my wife wants to retire to Ecuador, I'd prefer Europe, as my German is far better than my Spanish).

"Ninety percent of baseball is half mental." -- Yogi Berra