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Comment: Re:25 years is permanent? (Score 1) 241

by jridley (#33787962) Attached to: 15-Year-Old Boy Fitted With Robotic Heart

Where does it say that the heart is only good for 25 more years? It says that he can expect to live another 25 years. That's how long until they estimate the rest of his body will give out.

Also, there's nothing to stop them putting in another heart.

When they say "permanent" they are mainly drawing a distinction between this and early artificial hearts, which were only stop-gap measures to last until a real transplant heart could be found; typically people on them only had a few days or weeks until they died without a transplant. It was extraordinary the first time someone lasted 6 months on one, and I don't think he ever left the hospital.

Comment: Re:old hardware, probably (Score 1) 931

by jridley (#33780294) Attached to: 66% of All Windows Users Still Use Windows XP

I just built a new machine last fall. Quad core, 4GB, pretty decent graphics card, a few TB of hard drive. It runs Windows 7 just fine. After a month I gave up trying to get used to it and installed XP. They made changes to the GUI that made it impossible for me to do the sorts of thing that I do as efficiently, and XP will (just barely, I admit) run 4 cores and 4GB of RAM (close enough anyway).

I also try each new Ubuntu that comes out. I'm hoping that pretty soon I'll be able to switch, though right now there are still a few things that I can't do under Linux. My scanner will probably always need Windows (or Mac) because one of its main features (which I absolutely need) is Digital ICE and that's proprietary and they have zero interest in releasing a Linux driver.

In any case, I expect to move from XP to Linux some day. I'd just as soon avoid any Windows newer than XP, partially due to my dislike of the GUI, and partially due to my dislike of integrated DRM.

Comment: Re:...huh? (Score 4, Informative) 338

by jridley (#33676848) Attached to: Security Lessons Learned From the Diaspora Launch

I work HfH construction once in a while. They hire professionals to do the important bits and the large stuff; excavating, pouring the foundation, wiring, plumbing, and often the finish carpentry. If you happen to have someone relatively skilled there, they may assist the pros; I've helped with all; wiring, plumbing, finish carpentry. But you don't let someone who is enthusiastic but doesn't know what they're doing do finish carpentry, they'll probably just wind up wrecking a lot of material. And if you let them do plumbing in an area where code requires copper pipe, you'll probably wind up with a mess that will take a pro 3 times longer to fix than if he'd just done it himself to start with.

I think the latter may be the case when it comes to this project. I really, really hope this project comes together, but as a programmer I fear that if they've built this thing from the ground up without a good basic understanding of web security, the thing may have to be gutted and rewritten to get to where it needs to be.

Lots of people can write web apps. Heck, I pretty much write web apps all day long, but I write them for intranet use, they're not accessible to the internet at large. If my stuff had to be hardened against the kind of general attack Diaspora is going to have to endure, I'd have to learn a lot more than I know now.

Comment: Re:Remember? (Score 1) 332

by jridley (#33661954) Attached to: Introducing the Invulnerable Evercookie

It's pretty much impossible to use the modern web without cookies.

Heck, it's pretty difficult to use it without Javascript. Try disabling Javascript and see how far you get. Many sites simply don't work without JS turned on.

Cookies in and of themselves are not necessarily evil. You really need them to do shopping baskets, for instance. The problem is that they can be used for evil.

Comment: Re:Not hard to beat at first glance. (Score 2) 332

by jridley (#33661788) Attached to: Introducing the Invulnerable Evercookie

I also run NoScript + BetterPrivacy. Also CsFire, though it's difficult to leave that enabled, since so many sites (like PayPal) won't work with it enabled.

If all that ever fails, I'll just start running PortableFirefox and restoring all the files from a read-only master image on every browser startup.

Comment: Re:Hunters who don't hit much? Seems to be common. (Score 1) 1141

by jridley (#33647648) Attached to: Hunters Shot Down Google Fiber

According to a friend of mine who belongs to a local rod & gun club where I grew up, the worst shots around are cops. The local police don't have their own range and rent the rod & gun club for an evening twice a month so the officers can get their required range time in.

When it was just the members and guests shooting, a 4 foot high backstop (at 30 feet) was plenty. When the cops started using the range, they had to add backstops top and bottom because they were putting bullets out the back of the building. Heck, they even started noticing bullet holes in the CEILING.

I'm assuming that the cops were just screwing around, trying trick shots or something, because it's impossible for me to believe that anyone could miss a friggin 4 foot high backstop at only 30 feet, even with a snub nosed revolver (this was 30 years ago, before standard issue switched to semi-auto pistols). I'm not that good of a shot, and even with a pistol I've never held before it is unusual for me to even miss the paper target (12 inches on a side or whatever).

There are exceptions; most counties have sniper teams and they're usually quite good.

Comment: Re:I don't understand (Score 0) 410

by jridley (#33644280) Attached to: Online Shopping May Actually Increase Pollution

I think a lot of it is shipping. When you order online, a single item gets stuffed into a box and shipped hundreds of miles, passing through many vehicles and hands. Very inefficient, especially given the packaging talents of some companies that put a SD memory card into a cubic-foot-sized box.

By contrast, items in stores are shipped surface using more optimal routes (less time pressure) and in bulk packaging. It's a lot cheaper in gas and everything to ship 1000 items at a time from a warehouse in a truck that's full of stuff going from that warehouse to that store and then have 1000 people come a few miles to a store and pick them up than it is to ship 1000 items from a warehouse to 1000 people's houses.

Comment: Re:Begs the question. (Score 1) 410

by jridley (#33644232) Attached to: Online Shopping May Actually Increase Pollution

I do. But I think I may qualify for one of those exemptions. On the rare occasions that I do go out to buy something, it's at least 40 kilometers if I just go somewhere and back again, and usually it's more than 50 kilometers.

But I also shop online to save my own time. It's at least an hour, more likely two of my time to go out and buy something. Translated into working overtime instead, that shopping trip cost me $50 or more just in time wasted.

Also, I have access to much better information and can make a more informed purchase when I'm online. In a store, I just have to go by what the thing looks like in a plastic coffin, and I don't have nearly the choice I do online.

Comment: Re:Wow an adult recieving an average 10 etxts a da (Score 1) 468

by jridley (#33635588) Attached to: Texting On the Rise In the US

I have one. With the antenna on the roof and carefully pointed at the nearest tower (about 5 miles away, behind lots of trees) it did improve the performance a bit; now you can usually make a voice call that you can usually understand and probably will not drop more than once a minute, and texts now make it through in 30 to 45 minutes.

I only got it because my daughter came home from college and "couldn't live" with no coverage at all. Personally I don't really care. I use Google voice so as long as I'm near SOME phone, it doesn't really matter which one. If I'm at home, I use that phone, if I'm not, I use the cell.

Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repainting. -- Billy Rose

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