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Comment: Re:First taste of Mac OS X (Score 1) 303

by jafac (#48170089) Attached to: OS X 10.10 Yosemite Review

You seem to have nailed on the head, pretty much all the "big problems" in OS X. Where I work, there was a huge migration from PC's to OS X, probably starting around 2003-2004-ish. The hardware (macbook pro) is actually among the best in the industry. Especially right now (omitting the 2011 models that had the NVidia defect, and Apple's appallingly bad handling of that). (Yeah - apple is really bad at acknowledging hardware defects, for a company that charges exceedingly "premium" price-points). Many of our developers switched, and they all pretty much have the same complaints.

The biggest gripe for me is the window (and tab) switching. Holy crap, it's terrible - compared to any other OS out there. Another big one is that there's no "home" or "page up" "page down" keys, and you have to use the fn-arrow key combinations.

A lot of the keybindings for terminal makes sense; but for some reason, you can't ctrl+a in minicom. That sucks, because you basically have to kill the program to exit. (and it's also useless, because you can't get into the config menu).

Anyway: If you really hate Mac OS, then you can simply install Windows 7, or Ubuntu. (Fedora also works, but I haven't figured out how to get the drivers for fan and cpu scaling to work right, so. . . heat, fans, crappy battery-life). The hardware makes an excellent platform for either Windows 7 or Ubuntu. (I don't think that there's another laptop in the world right now, on which, you can get a 6+ hr battery life, with Windows or Ubuntu).

I think the worst-case here, is someone who's a KDE nut, going to OS X. They are polar-opposites, in terms of customiseability.

The only reason I continue to use OS X, is because I'm invested in VMWare Fusion. It's a pretty nice product, and I use it a lot in my work.

Comment: Re:Prison population (Score 5, Interesting) 407

by jafac (#48169859) Attached to: As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal

When a black-mark can remain on your record forever, there's huge consequences.

I know a guy who was an engineer, FPGA specialist. Has 4 patents. Worked for 15 years, and his company imploded. I tried to get him a job where I work, but because he had a dishonorable discharge from the navy, no dice. (apparently, when he was 19, before he went to college, he failed to return from shore-leave for 24-hours, because he went on a bender, passed-out, and was basically kept incognito by a bunch of "bad people" with whom he had been drinking. Got in trouble for that, and it resulted in the dishonorable.) Bad judgement, for sure, but it was a small mistake. He went on to college, and go in at his first job through a professor. But now he's been unemployed basically since 2004.

Comment: not really a radically new idea (Score 1) 348

by jafac (#48165101) Attached to: White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

If you consider the concept floated (briefly) in the movie: Aliens, the company simply dropped a large atmospheric processing installation on the planet (LV 426, at that time) and began the terraforming process. That's not substantially different than "sending autonomous robots to various locations in space to create infrastructure using local resources with advanced manufacturing technology, such as 3D printing"

Comment: Re:Rising Tide Lifts All Boats Falling Tide Sinks (Score 1) 283

by jafac (#48156703) Attached to: Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science

Yeah - when pharmaceutical companies are spending twice as much on Marketing as they do on R&D. . . I'll believe that they're frustrated by lack of progress on the "big" problems of medical science.

LOL - the biggest innovation to come out of the pharmaceutical industry in the past 20 years is to patent the analogs of existing chemicals whose patents are about to expire. Double the profit! Oh yeah. That, and boner pills.

Comment: Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 263

by jafac (#48156409) Attached to: Carl Sagan, as "Mr. X," Extolled Benefits of Marijuana

I believe in Democracy: because people should always have a say in things that affect them.
But that democracy should be INFORMED by science.

Ideally, science is a perfect guide. But realistically, we've seen so many cases where science has been skewed by money. (just like Democracy). I think that there is plenty of room; GOBS OF IT, for scientific understanding, among laypeople.

As a non-scientist, I fully understand that lack of understanding of advanced math and statistics, knowledge of science can do more harm than good. (ie. science, as depicted in our popular media and entertainment). I understand that not everybody has the capacity to be taught advanced math and statistics. I think that is more of a failure of our educational and economic systems than say, for example, biology. We have to try harder, as a civilization.

Comment: Re:The Russian space program was amazing (Score 1) 122

by jafac (#48133563) Attached to: First Man To Walk In Space Reveals How Mission Nearly Ended In Disaster

You could argue that after a vehicle failure (STS/Challenger); we didn't shut everything down and analyze it to make it safer. If we had, we would have thrown out the ATK-booster and side-tank design, and built a new shuttle. Instead, we kept shovelling pork at ATK, and fired the program up again months later. It wasn't the same defect that destroyed Columbia, but it was the same design mentality: #1 priority was appease congress by sending their districts pork, no matter how technically irrelevant the design was. (don't get me wrong. ATK makes fine ICBM's. But that technology has no place in manned spaceflight). So, I'm not sure which system was worse, the US-1970's corporate welfare system, or the Soviets' "It works because the Kremlin said so!" system. Buran was similarly ballsy. . .

Comment: I don't blame the victim, BUT.. . . (Score 1) 622

by jafac (#48133061) Attached to: The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers

Sure - they have a right to take nude selfies - and I suppose I don't even blame them for expecting them to be private on a network-connected device; in a world where they're not paying attention to the tech-press, where any idiot really *SHOULD* know that it's not a bright idea.

(Even if all you're paying attention to is Snowden; you should know that the three-letter agencies see EVERYTHING, and they DO have employees who break the rules and violate your privacy for the lulz. - you don't even need to be well-versed in all the latest goings on of illegal 4chan hackery. This is something we pay taxes to have happen. So we can feel safe about "terrorism").

Who I blame: is the tech industry pundits, hucksters, and con men, who are trying to sell us the idea that network-connected devices, and privacy can work together.
(and I'd even say that maybe, they can: but just not in any current user-friendly way).

It's NOT blaming the victim to point this out. The point of this is: the "cloud" is a SCAM. They're trying to rent your own data to you, and trying to con you into believing it's safe. This is the point that really needs to be made. I really don't think that a bunch of self-absorbed overpaid entertainers' private lives actually matters here, compared to the massive fraud that is "cloud services".

Should there be an expectation of privacy? YES.
But in reality - nobody should expect privacy if you put your nudes on a network-connected device. Hackers gonna hack, and VERY BAD PEOPLE are going to con you into spending a crapton of money on supposedly "safe" devices and technologies, which are clearly NOT SAFE AT ALL.

Comment: Re: Yes yes yes (Score 1) 405

by jafac (#48098119) Attached to: One In Three Jobs Will Be Taken By Software Or Robots By 2025, Says Gartner

Single Payer is politically untenable in the USA.

There is NO WAY IN HELL that the current or next set of congresscritters, and most voters, are going to accept: "aaagh! Communist Socialist Takeover Plot!"

And if they did, I doubt that the resulting system would not be without significant gameable loopholes.

Comment: Re:Oh please, Biden said it best (Score 1) 425

by jafac (#48089385) Attached to: Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

Why are we picking on Muslims though?

Because, Israel.

This issue also dovetails nicely with our new Political Pundit class of wealthy upper-class washouts from MBA programs. These guys take a few history classes, and all of a sudden they see this threat from the great Ottomans who will rise again to wreak havock on Western Civilization. So these dudes get up there on FoxNews and cry about how there are a few hundred heavily armed illiterate thugs 10000 miles away sitting on their oil patch, threatening to kill infidels, and suddenly, a genocidal war is looking like a good idea.

And along with that, are the Christian Fundamentalist whackjobs in the US, who are mostly too retarded to make bombs, otherwise you wouldn't be able to tell them from ISIS. These guys get into their apocolyptic prophecy, and this Islam stuff fits right in with the story they all want to hear mommy and daddy read to them before tucking into bed: That Jesus is going to save them from the evil brown-skinned people.

It's also a nice recipe for self-sustaining endless war profiteering.

Add all that together, and it's no wonder this is our #1 national obsession.