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Comment: Re:Doesn't seem simple (Score 1) 132

by nine-times (#48616557) Attached to: Microsoft Gets Industry Support Against US Search Of Data In Ireland

The fact here is that the individual(s) are refusing to provide access to the data voluntarily which requires the authorities to obtain it by force. This tells me there's something incriminating in the data which is why they didn't just hand it over.

This sounds suspiciously like, "If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear." I'm not on board with that idea.

Just so I've said it, my comment wasn't intended to be in favor of law enforcement being able to search anything without a warrant, or without proper procedure. I'm just pointing out that the issue, as it's stated in the summary, is a legal argument about whether data lies in a particular jurisdiction. I meant to point out that, with the ephemeral quality of data and the ease with which it can move through countries-- even unintentionally, it might not be the best policy to make it as simple as "data is under the jurisdiction of wherever the physical hardware is that happens to hold it at the moment."

However, it might need to be that rule, because I'm not sure there's a workable alternative. All data is automatically under the jurisdiction of the location where it was created? Under the jurisdiction of the creator's primary place of residence? Under the jurisdiction of the primary location where it is most often accessed? I'm not sure I see how any of those policies would be enforceable.

Whichever jurisdiction it is decided to be under, law enforcement should be required to follow the laws of that jurisdiction.

Comment: Re:"Michigan, give us your water!" (Score 1) 288

by drinkypoo (#48615807) Attached to: 11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed To End California Drought

Those wetlands keep the rain from flowing straight out into the ocean; part of the reason we're in this mess now is that we've spent the last 100 years plowing them into the ground and pouring concrete over them (see: LA river).

The general tendency to cover the ground with concrete is more than half of the problem of LA, they receive more than enough rainfall every year to cover 100% of their needs but more than 99% of it runs off because that's what they designed the city to do. It's not just wetlands, it's all the lands.

Comment: Re:In IT, remember to wash your hands (Score 1) 146

by drinkypoo (#48615751) Attached to: In IT, Beware of Fad Versus Functional

I'd say CUVs are a fad. They're for people who need a minivan but feel emasculated by not owning some ludicrous SUV.

Minivans are what happens when you take a car and stretch it into another vehicle. CUVs are what happens when you purpose-build a vehicle to do a job.

What's not to like?

Minivans get crap mileage and have crap handling.

Comment: Re:"You can always rely on the Americans... (Score 1) 288

by drinkypoo (#48614205) Attached to: 11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed To End California Drought

"coherent, effective strategies" all involve stealing water rights and destroying agriculture.

That's overstating the case a bit. I'm seeing grapes go in all over Northern California at a time when we can't afford the existing water consumption, let alone additional. Precious few of these vines are dry farmed.

Comment: Re:Created? (Score 1) 186

by drinkypoo (#48613923) Attached to: Jaguar and Land Rover Just Created Transparent Pillars For Cars

You may improve a safety system, but any 5-point harness without pre-tensioners would be removal, not improvement of a safety system.

That assumes your car has those, lots of cars don't. The W126 Mercedes was the first car on which they became standard... in the long-wheelbase editions, which means my 1982 doesn't have them. But lots of newer cars don't have them either, like most cars of the 1990s.

A 5-point system helps even without a cage.

Not really. The seat mounts can't handle the load, and the original mounts aren't in the right place. The racing harness is designed to keep you in place in a car with proper crash protection around you. In the 1960s race cars still had wacky little half-seats, around then they started to become part of the crash protection and that's when race cars got harnesses.

A 5-point system without a cage is usually mounted to the seat, and usually reduces the safety of the vehicle as a result. You can get a cute little half-cage or even a roll bar with a proper place to mount the straps, so you don't need a full cage, but you need to add something.

Comment: Re:spacer (Score 1) 186

by drinkypoo (#48613545) Attached to: Jaguar and Land Rover Just Created Transparent Pillars For Cars

You mentioned ABS, I was thinking it was like the blocks they put on pedals for short people.

Yeah, I self-replied much later with a correction, sorry. I meant SRS. I think in acronyms in car-land, too. Sometimes the wrong ones.

Spacers can dick with the airbag clockspring arrangement. If your car is old enough this ain't an issue. But ISTR it's illegal to defeat a working airbag.

Comment: Re:In IT, remember to wash your hands (Score 1) 146

by drinkypoo (#48613397) Attached to: In IT, Beware of Fad Versus Functional

Minivans are dying. They have turned out to be a fad. They are being replaced by CUVs. It turns out almost nobody actually wanted to carry cargo and a lot of passengers, and a minivan is half-assed at both. The only exception went out of production because buyers decided it was too old — the Chevy Astro. Only one engine but since 2000 it was awesome, and available in short or long versions and AWD or RWD. RWD with 3.23s gets up to 26 mpg on the freeway at speed, I wouldn't lie to you. We would have got rid of it already otherwise. This is on an engine rebuild and a trans rebuild and an axle rebuild and a brake rebuild, though, I'm not claiming it's great in all ways. But have you seen the kind of mileage minivans get? Mostly it's no better than that, and they don't behave like a truck when you want them to. The only one I ever wanted to drive was the mid-engined Previa S/C, and it gets like 22 on the freeway.

Comment: Re:Created? (Score 1) 186

by drinkypoo (#48613085) Attached to: Jaguar and Land Rover Just Created Transparent Pillars For Cars

So a 5-point harness is essentially illegal in the US for street cars, despite being provably better than 3-point belts.

Nah, it depends on the state. You can improve the system in some places. Also, if you mount a 5-point to the 3-point mounts you're a fool, that's a waste of effort. You really need a cage.

Comment: Re:Or just make the A-pillar narrower. (Score 1) 186

by drinkypoo (#48613069) Attached to: Jaguar and Land Rover Just Created Transparent Pillars For Cars

I agree a narrower width has to be compensated for, but there's plenty of room for that if you increase the depth.

If you make the A-pillar too deep, you'll have the same problem. You won't be able to see through it sideways. You can see this effect at work in the back of many cars, where it's often quite annoying. Hopefully advances in materials science (e.g. cheaper carbon fiber) will let us have skinny A-pillars again.

Comment: Re:Not a Real Question (Score 2) 254

by nine-times (#48613023) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM?

I'm with you on this. STEM is a term that's being pushed on us by political/media types for who-knows-what reasons. It reminds me of people talking about "ya". I saw that thrown around a lot as a genre of books, apparently meaning "Young Adult (literature)", and it took me a while to figure out what the hell people were talking about. It's not really even a genre, but a classification of the target audience. It's pretty dumb use of jargon.

Back to STEM. Science, technology, engineering, and math. As though those are the same things. As though astrophysicists and programmers and marine biologists are all doing the same thing, and their expertise is interchangeable. Whoever lumped all that stuff together either has an agenda, or has no idea what they're talking about. In the contexts I see it being used, I assume that the intention is either:

(a) Companies that rely on software developers complaining about the lack of people with "STEM degrees", in an attempt to justify more H-1B visas; or
(b) Dimwitted programmers who want to lump all kinds of people into a subculture of "science people" to make themselves feel important. Like, "I'm a STEM person, just like Einstein, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Carl Sagan. I'm just like those guys, because we're all STEM, unlike the filthy common people who like reading fiction and looking at art."

I mean, I'm not sure what else I'm supposed to take away from the whole STEM thing. Nobody talked about it 10 years ago. Having a lot of biologists does not help with developing software. Having lots of people capable of making iPhone apps does not push particle physics forward. I really think we need to drop the whole classification of "STEM" as a thing.

And the whole "preferably within the space industry"... what space industry does this guy mean? Does he want to work for NASA designing probes, or Boeing trying to design a space plane? Or is there some other "space industry". It'd be great to know, because it would really help narrow down what he'd need to do to accomplish that goal. But doing something related to space would probably mean, yes, you need to go back to school and get a undergrad in that particular field. Go find out what schools have the best Aerospace Engineering departments, and work your ass off, because that's going to get competitive.

Comment: Re:spacer (Score 1) 186

by drinkypoo (#48612919) Attached to: Jaguar and Land Rover Just Created Transparent Pillars For Cars

My personal problem is that the pedals are too close, the seat too high, and the steering wheel too far away.

Right, if you have a spacer behind the steering wheel, that brings it closer. Unless, of course, it doesn't have tilt. My latest car has a telescoping column, so it's not a problem, I just adjusted the wheel back towards me.

Comment: Re:Implementation not the technology. (Score 1) 146

by nine-times (#48612825) Attached to: In IT, Beware of Fad Versus Functional

I would say that it's not just the implementation, but choosing which thing to implement in the first place. A lot of these fads, whether it's "big data" or "cloud computing" or "agile development", have become popular because they're extremely useful in some cases. The mistake, sometimes, is in thinking that you've found a single solution to solve all problems, and applying it everywhere will fix everything.

Someone else here used the example of the language "Ruby" as a fad that was useless because Ruby is "awful". That doesn't seem right to me. In my experience, which is admittedly a bit limited (I'm not actually a programmer), it seems like different programming languages have their own strengths and weaknesses, so you may want to choose a specific language for a specific goal. However, realistically, in the projects that I've managed, it always made the more sense to take into account (a) the language any current code is written in; and (b) the languages my team is most comfortable working with. If you have a bunch of PHP programmers who only know PHP well, working to revise a web application written in PHP, then Ruby is probably a terrible choice. But then, Perl and C++ would also be terrible choices. Those aren't bad languages. They're just not the best choice for that particular project.

I don't want to start a shit-storm by talking about languages, since as I said, I'm not a programmer, but I think that example is simple enough. Similarly, "cloud storage" like Dropbox can be great for small teams working from different locations on small office documents. On the other hand, if you're a big company with tons of people working in a central office, editing video files that are multiple gigabytes each, then you're going to want some kind of internal storage. The issue isn't about implementing your Dropbox well, but making an appropriate choice for your needs.

"Buy land. They've stopped making it." -- Mark Twain