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Comment: How much? (Score 1) 44

by fyngyrz (#47961545) Attached to: Trouble In Branson-Land, As Would-Be Space Tourists Get Antsy Over Delays

For a flight that doesn't reach orbit and stay there with the environment in 0G for at least a few orbits, I wouldn't pay anything. Heck, I won't pay a commercial airline to fly because the ratio of inconvenience to convenience+enjoyment is too high between the (id|patr)iot act's enforced paranoia and the seating designed by one-legged, one-armed engineers. Now an oceangoing cruise liner, that's something else again. I loves me a nice cruise. It's even worth going first class, which it definitely isn't in a commercial airliner.

However, for a flight that *does* go to orbit and stays a few turns, and doesn't require a spacesuit, and for which I could have a very private cubby with a view for two for the orbital duration, I might part with as much as five thousand for two seats, just for those few hours. They'd have to let me take my camera, though.

Which means I'm not going to get to go. :) Unless they build a space elevator or several in my lifetime. And apparently the materials science there is either too difficult, or nearly so. Oh well. There's always Firefly reruns.

Comment: Re:I FIND THIS HIGHLY... (Score 1) 441

by Coryoth (#47958797) Attached to: Science Has a Sexual Assault Problem

Logic is a binary function. Something is in a logical set - or it is not. Being illogical is not a synonym for being mistaken. Degrees of precision are irrelevant for set inclusion. Fuzzy logic is not logic.

Fuzzy logic is logic. So are linear logic, intuitionistic logic, temporal logic, modal logic, and categorical logic. Just because you only learned Boolean logic doesn't mean there aren't well developed consistent logics beyond that. In practice bivalent logics are the exceptions.

Comment: Re:Why I wired Ethernet in most rooms (and no WiFi (Score 1) 277

by fyngyrz (#47955245) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

2- Safety concerns: with baby and/or young children I felt I would rather not add RF generator inside my home. I know we are immersed in RF from everywhere, making some a few meters away is another level. I didn't want to add that. Just in case.

Ham radio operators -- of which I am one -- spend their lives immersed in more RF at various frequencies from kHz to GHz than you can possibly compare to unless you work at a broadcast radio or television station. And hams are one of the oldest demographics in the USA. So many 80 and 90 year olds, it's really kind of amusing. RF is not your enemy at wifi router and cellphone levels. Not even close.

I've been pretty much bathed in RF for the last forty years. I'm very healthy other than a few allergies I've had since I was a kid. Of course, I'm active, too -- but if RF at these levels was a problem, I'd *have* a problem by now.

Comment: Re:Why not stronger punishments for... (Score 2) 131

by bmo (#47954429) Attached to: Star Wars Producers Want a 'DroneShield' To Prevent Leaks On Set

all of this media that has already ruined the next Star Wars movie.

The only thing that has ruined a Star Wars movie is George Lucas.

http://redlettermedia.com/plin... - the best ever deconstructions of Star Wars that are more entertaining than those movies ever were.

Watch and learn, Grasshopper.

For a shorter version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

--
BMO

Comment: Re:Some criticism (Score 1) 167

by Coryoth (#47953649) Attached to: KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

... a lot of people respond to this by saying the criticisms are stupid, that "if you know what you're doing" then you'll understand what's really going on, etc.

Yes; "if you're just willing to get your hands a little dirty and muck in and learn then you can bend the hugely complicated interface to your needs" they'll say; they'll complain that your just not willing to learn things, and thus it is your fault. Such people will inevitably state that they are "power users" who need ultimate configurability and are (unlike you) willing to learn what they need to to get that.

They will inevitably deride GNOME3 for it's complete lack of configurability. Of course they'll gloss over the fact that GNOME3 actually exposes pretty much everything via a javascript interface and makes adding/changing/extending functionality via javascript extensions trivial (GNOME3 even has a javascript console to let you do such things interactively). Apparently actually learning an API and coding completely custom interfacdes from myriad building blocks is "too much work". They are "power users" who require a pointy-clicky interface to actually configure anything. Even dconf is "too complicated".

For those of us who learned to "customize our desktop" back in the days of FVWM via scriptable config files calling perl scripts etc. it seems clear that "power users" are really just posers who want to play at being "super-customised". Almost all the modern DEs do have complete customisation available and accessible; some of them just use a richer (scripting) interface to get such things done.

Comment: Re:Trustworthy Computing was a sham (Score 1) 98

by lgw (#47952045) Attached to: Microsoft Kills Off Its Trustworthy Computing Group

The engineers working on Windows 8 knew the Metro UI was crap for the PC. The usability studies all showed that the Metro UI was crap for the PC. It was senior management that forced the issue over the protests of those involved.

The reason I have hope for MS yet is the result from all that. The entire management chain responsible for that, right through the CEO, all of them gone. Gates, Ballmer, Larson-Green, and middle managers below her well fired or moved away from PC computing. Someone, somewhere, decided enough was enough.

Will the new guy be better? Who knows. But we've had decision after decision that left consumers saying "WTF?" being rolled back, starting with firing that X-Box VP whp insulted the customer base and reversing his decisions on used games and always-on DRM and hopefully through the restoration of the start menu. Of course, if Windows 9 ends up sucking, MS is as dead as a very dead thing.

Comment: Re:Treacherous Computing (Score 4, Insightful) 98

by lgw (#47952015) Attached to: Microsoft Kills Off Its Trustworthy Computing Group

Had TC been an open standard, it could have been a great thing. Think: locking down one VM such that no virus can taint it, which you can then use to scan the rest of the system with assurance that the results are valid.

But instead it was a joke. I was doing standards work while the TC "standard" was being hammered out, and while they were in the same Hotel as real ISO standards work, you had to be there from a member company and sign an NDA to even listen to the discussions. We didn't take them seriously (the normal ISO/INCITS rules are that anyone who shows up can participate, you only need to be from a paying company to vote, and that minutes are always public).

Comment: Re:No, It Won't (Score 1) 314

by lgw (#47951957) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

Forest coverage of America has grown quite a bit over the past 50 years because so much farmland - most of it, in fact - has been abandoned as unneeded to feed us, or to saturate the export market. By far the majority of arable land is no longer cultivated, out of lack of need, unless you count tree farms.

Comment: Re:Change Jobs (Score 3, Insightful) 254

by lgw (#47950377) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

I have found that asking the following about a potential workplace is a remarkably good predictor of the entire work culture and acceptability for devs:
* What version control tool is used
* What bug tracking system is used
* What technological measures are in place to prevent anyone breaking the build, with no need to back out changes
* What automated testing infrastructure is in place, and are new check-ins automatically sanity-checked immediately

You can really learn a lot from the tools used. Are the tools in place those that devs would choose, or some horrible crap sold to management by a good sales guy? Did projects to make dev life better by automating the programmer workflow get funded, or get blocked? How short-sighted is management when it comes to productivity?

Software dev as an industry is out of the downturn. Demand is way ahead of supply right now, mostly because devs still think there's no point in looking. Well, times have changed, and a dev has a lot of "pricing power" right now. E.g., my team has quite a few open positions, no one with experience seems to be looking, and we're definitely not going to lose anyone qualified we actually manage to find due to being cheap!

Most companies do not do this, they force people into management,

Sign of an engineering field that hasn't matured yet. Most big companies do have engineering promotion paths all the way up to VP-equivalent now, so that's something, but you still don't see as many devs in paygrades equivalent to senior management as you see senior dev managers. They're not really taking that career path as seriously as high-tech "real engineering" jobs yet. But, yeah, at least find a place that has a non-management paygrade above the one you're applying for!

Comment: Re:No, It Won't (Score 1) 314

by lgw (#47950215) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

We can trivially feed 11 billion today. The farmland once used in America alone could do it (though that would be a bad approach for many reasons).

Your ideas about nutrition are way off. Calories are key to survival, and meat is not where you get calories, carbs are. Meat is a tasty luxury that requires more farmland per meal than eating vegetarian.

Fresh-water availability, as I already said, is only an issue in large cities that insist on drawing down their aquifers (well, and a few low-population areas with regular drought). Cities tap their aquifers only because it's cheap compared to proper sewage reprocessing. No magic technology required, just infrastructure spending. There are very few big cities that actually lack the surface water (e.g., Dubai), but they have desalination already. Wikipedia has some notes on the plants currently under construction and operating around the world. Again, it's not high-tech, as long as you're on the coast.

nd while economic development might wind up with individual families having fewer kids, that doesn't mean total population goes down

Native-born net population change is either negative or barely positive in every industrialized nation. Many places with high barriers to immigration are in population collapse right now (e.g., Japan). America is only growing due to immigration. It's a common pattern, well, researched and well understood. People have enough kids such that enough survive to help them in old age. Pre-industrialization, that's 10 or more. Post-industrialization that's 2-3, or fewer once a good retirement safety net is in place. There's a one-generation blip seen in most places during industrialization when people are still having 10 kids, but all of them survive to adulthood, so population explodes.

The news that population was expected to peak at 11 billion is at least 10 years old - not sure why it's a /. story, but we do like old news here.

Comment: Re:why does the CRTC need this list? (Score 1) 316

by lgw (#47950129) Attached to: Canadian Regulator Threatens To Impose New Netflix Regulation

Sure, sure, preventing discrimination is good, but that's a somewhat limited excursion into regulating who can do business that ensures more people can participate in the economy. But what we usually see is government doing the opposite granting monopoly, and otherwise excluding people form the market, instead of busting trusts and otherwise enabling participation.

We see this in spades in the entertainment industry in the US, with cable monopolies being granted like localities were competing in "monopoly granting" as an Olympic sport or something.

But anyway, none of that has anything to do with giving the government access to what books you read, or what movies you watch, or the like. Governments just need to stay the Hell away from that data, even if it would be convenient for the government, well, too bad!

Comment: Re:why does the CRTC need this list? (Score 2) 316

by lgw (#47948625) Attached to: Canadian Regulator Threatens To Impose New Netflix Regulation

No, really, why is it anyone's business at all?

Governments' legitimate interest in regulation is in product safety and fraud prevention, not in deciding who gets to do business with whom and at what price.

We've had far too many "regulation: good vs bad?" debates here on /., and we should really stop that, as that's a silly question. The interesting question is "regulation: what scope?".

Is there any legitimate reason for a government regulatory body to inspect and control subscriber lists for an entertainment product? Any good reason for it to examine who has watched what? I can think of only evil reasons: to target people with the wrong tastes in (legal) entertainment as anti-government dissidents: likely troublemakers to take pre-emptive action against. That's an old song that many governments have seen before, and one we don't need ot hear in Canada or the US!

Comment: Re:Not answered in review (Score 1) 212

by fyngyrz (#47947485) Attached to: iOS 8 Review

Under IOS, apps aren't kept in an ordered system collection the way they are in Android. If they're on the device at all, they're somewhere on a page or within a folder, either where you put them, or where the system put them (always on a page) if you have not interfered. And finding them, if you don't know where they are, is a matter of typing the name into the search.

But -- just like Android -- you can have a lot of pages, a lot of folders, and you may or may not remember where a particular app or shortcut is located in your own personal folder/page setup. But then there is IOS search, which can find anything.

Under either OS, if you can't remember where they are, and you can't remember the name, it's down to looking around until you find them.

One of the arguments for folder organization is that if you even know the type of app it is -- for instance, if it is a photography app -- then if you're consistent at install time, you can look just in there, and it will be there, leaving you a lot fewer apps to check through until you find it.

But IOS has low limits on how many apps can be in a folder, and it doesn't allow subfolders, which seriously impacts how well you can really use them for that kind of organization. In my case, IOS's folder paradigm is insufficient to my needs. Android isn't significantly better, either.

Physician: One upon whom we set our hopes when ill and our dogs when well. -- Ambrose Bierce

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