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Comment Store it in the cloud (Score 1) 217 217

Store it in the cloud. 1/2 petabyte isn't even the "highest tier" requirement.

On Azure it will cost $168k/year to store this much data instantly accessible. Whatever other solution you come up with, if it takes more than 1 full time person to support, then it's already more expensive (and that's not even including the up-front capital costs, installation and setup costs, training costs, deprecation, maintainance, ...)

Comment Re:Unhealthy food is tasty. Healthy food is boring (Score 4, Insightful) 244 244

If you shop for and buy processed foods (the goop in the center aisles of the grocery store), again, yes, this is all your gonna get. But if you take a little time and look around, VERY good food choices can be had.

It's not that easy. At QFC and Safeway, EVERY bread they sell is overly sweetened. The only bread I've found without too much sugar is Trader Joe's rye.

Comment Visual Studio is free (Score 5, Informative) 255 255

reliance on a single expensive, proprietary, vendor-driven tool. Whether it's the predominance of Adobe in design programs, of Visual Studio in many computer science programs, ...

Visual Studio is free for students, OSS contributors, and small teams. It's only larger enterprises that have to pay for it.

Visual Studio Code is free and cross-platform, runs great on Linux (and mac), and is a pretty handy tool for working in node.js and other languages.

(disclaimer: I work in the Visual Studio team)

Comment Re:Apple Developer Program now all inclusive (Score 1) 415 415

Wait, you guys (Apple developers) have to pay *licenses* to Apple to write programs and apps on their platforms? How are you guys OK with this? Like, what discourse goes through your mind to justify this when you are forced to pull out the credit card? I'm actually now getting pretty curious as to how the cognitive dissonance gets resolved in your minds.

What cognitive dissonance? Dissonance is when you simultaneously hold two contradictory ideas in your head. I don't!

I have a hobby - coding. For some of it I pay money for web hosting so I can offer my code, my web-services, my online apps, for free without ads. For other bits of it I pay money for software tools, and for hardware. The sums of money are pretty small. They're more than I pay for some hobbies (e.g. windsurfing) and less than I pay for others (e.g. driving a classic car). The money I pay for the apple dev license is smaller than a date night out with my wife, once you factor in the cost of dinner and babysitter.

Comment Re: Apple Developer Program now all inclusive (Score 2) 415 415

What cognitive dissonance? There is none. Apple have lots of money. I'm comfortably well off. I don't mind paying this money to them to pursue my hobby.

Other bits of my coding hobby cost a lit more, like paying for web hosting of my ad-free resources that I put up. And paying for equipment.

The developer fee is pretty cheap. Last date night out with my wife cost more, once we factor in dinner and gabby sitter.

Comment Free college education == civilization (Score 4, Insightful) 1032 1032

I got free college education. It wasn't at a small local college - it was at Cambridge, one of the top ten universities in the world. The government also gave me a "living stipend", enough for room and board in college and a tiny bit extra. Free college education continues in Scotland today, but has been abolished in England and Wales.

Government funding for education managed to keep prices low, maybe similar to how the NHS keeps healthcare costs lower than in the US. I never had to spend any money on money-mill textbooks because in most courses the lecturers provided us with notes, and where we needed books we just worked with them in the library.

I'm deeply grateful for it all. It feels crippling for young folks today that don't have wealthy parents, to have to start out their lives burdened by crippling debt. What an awful psychological burden for the next 20-30 years of their lives. How awful that they get turned into cogs in a corporate wheel where they have to grind through functional jobs to pay back that debt. How divisive that the children of rich kids are spared this.

I think it's a mark of civilization that we can educate our children and young adults, broaden their minds, give them a liberal arts background, let their creativity fly. So what if they learn poetry or philosophy or literature. So what if 90% of these educations we give them don't show a return-on-investment? I don't care. That's what society and civilization MEANS:

“I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematicks and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, musick, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelaine.” John Adams, Letter to Abigail Adams, May 12, 1780.

(As for me? I'm now a software engineer. Through my professional work I've given back lots to society, making lots of developers more productive through my language design work. I gladly pay the top rate of taxes, and would gladly pay more. I asked the tax office how to donate higher levels of tax, and the person was very confused, went off for thirty minutes to get help from her supervisors, and ultimately told me it was impossible. Every election, I always vote for the parties that will benefit the people worse off than me, at my own detriment, because that's how I think civilized people should behave. I've not seen a charity that manages to control overall education costs, or provide universal benefit, as well as the UK government did through taxes.)

Comment Re:think of advanced civilisations in fiction (Score 3, Insightful) 176 176

Think of advance civilizations in fiction... See, the Romans had it right. Give the plebs just enough food to survive and keep them entertained, they stay compliant and content. Hence, "Bread and Circuses".

Don't you think the fiction *copied* from past human cultures, particularly the Romans?

Comment Re:How to read f*ucked up code (Score 1) 336 336

The biggest skill in C++ is how to read code that's got templates, generics, overloaded operators, and custom keywords. "What do you mean they overloaded '+' to merge objects?"

Irony: a C programmer who doesn't like languages that let you shoot yourself in the foot :)

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 5, Interesting) 39 39

Wonder if "untangling" proteins could help with Alzheimers and "Mad Cow?.

There are two main theories about Alzheimers. The dominant theory is that it's caused by beta-amyloid protein which forms plaques. The minority theory is that it's caused by tau protein which forms long filaments called "tangles"; these tangles gum up the neuron and eventually cause it to burst.

My father during his PhD discovered that a common dye, methylene blue, causes those filaments to untangle. He formed a small pharmaceutical company to pursue this idea. They tweaked the chemical a bit, including with heavy duty computer number-crunching to simulate its 3d structure and mode of interaction. They had great results in Phase 2 trials, and their Phase 3 trials are currently underway. Fingers crossed.

That said, Alzheimers disease is a graveyard of pharmaceutical funding. $18+ billion dollars put into drug trials so far (not just "foundational research"), primarily on the beta-amyloid hypothesis, but with nothing yet to show.

Comment Re:How about ... (Score 2) 531 531

No one likes advertising, but everyone wants free stuff. Why do you think advertising is attached to free stuff? Who do you think is paying for the free stuff?

WE are paying for the advertising and the free stuff. I only saw figures from early 2000s, when the total amount spent on advertising in the US averaged out at about $20k per citizen.

That's a HUGE advertising tax that we're all paying. And what do we get from this tax? Better healthcare? Job security? Vacations and time off? No, what we get is to subsidize the parasites working in the advertising industry, and we enable them to force unwanted ads onto our eyeballs, and we get a few tiny geegaws thrown our way.

I can't opt out of paying the advertising tax (through everyday higher prices of every single damn object I purchase). But I sure as heck will opt out of everything I possibly can.

But it's two-year-old level childish thinking at it's finest to think you can get all the free and subsidized stuff out here in the world without the advertising that pays for it.

I think you have a mental block on the question "who pays for the advertising that pays for the free stuff". Please hold off the accusations of childish thinking.

Comment Re:Reality Check (Score 3, Informative) 228 228

Strip mining companies spend millions on giant trucks whose only function is to shuttle minerals on a private road, from the bottom of the mine to the unloading dock. Until the technology of driving robots has clearly proven itself in a setting like this, it should be kept off the public streets and highways.

The technology of driving robots has already clearly proven itself in mining. For instance:

(from a google search for "robot mining truck")

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.