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Comment: Re:This is a great excuse (Score 5, Interesting) 119

by mcrbids (#49332969) Attached to: GNU Nano Gets New Stable Release

I'm a *nix neckbeard, I respect my skills, and I use nano daily. It's a simple, fast, straightforward editor with controls similar to Word Star. Ctl-K to delete line, etc. As I've been busy building my neckbeard for 15 years or so now, and originally learned word processing with WordStar, it's a simple, natural fit.

I code in NetBeans with an IDE but for sysadmin work on any of the 50 or so servers I admin? Nano + mercurial all the way.

Comment: Re:Why not just deliver it yourself? (Score 2) 296

by mcrbids (#49293779) Attached to: To Avoid NSA Interception, Cisco Will Ship To Decoy Addresses

It's a company, not a military. Of *course* they're compromised! Or at least, compromisable! I mean, every single employee comes to work because they are getting paid. So the NSA leaves a suitcase full of cash at an employee's house, and is asked to leak data, and is offered full legal immunity for doing so.

You wouldn't take an extra $20,000 risk free? If not, you don't know somebody at work who would? Many people would do this for much less.

Comment: Re:Made for the task: Linux too! (Score 1) 385

by mcrbids (#49286869) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Laptop To Support Physics Research?

PS: My son is an engineering student and has the previous generation, M4500. He says it runs AutoCad "like water" and blows away the workstations provided by the University.

It's not as light but still quite powerful.

And I forgot to mention that the M3800 has support for 2 HDDs as long as one of them is mSata.

Comment: Made for the task: Linux too! (Score 1) 385

by mcrbids (#49286817) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Laptop To Support Physics Research?

I have a Dell Precision M3800. You can buy it from Dell with Ubuntu pre-installed. I didn't know this, I bought with Win 8 and installed Fedora 21, and was surprised when *everything* "just worked" - literally no futzing at all after a yum update and dickering with the sound volume.

Advantages:
1) 4K support right out of the gate.
2) Screen is amazing
3) Fast as f**k
4) Built as an engineering/physics "mobile workstation", and it shows.
5) Very thin, very light!
6) Native Linux support.

Cons:
1) It's a bit spendy. $1200 in the basic config, I think. Mine with 3 years of next-day support and a case came to about $1550.
2) Ethernet is provided via USB3 dongle. It's a full Gb so performance won't suffer but it can be awkward if you really *need* ethernet on the road. I have ethernet at work and wifi everywhere else so it's a non-issue for me.

Comment: Not particularly useful, unfortunately (Score 5, Interesting) 204

by mcrbids (#49243367) Attached to: Endurance Experiment Kills Six SSDs Over 18 Months, 2.4 Petabytes

As SSD cells wear, the problem is that they hold charge for less time. Starting new, the time that the charge will be held would be years, but as the SSD wears, the endurance of the held charge declines.

Consequently, continuous write tests will continue to report "all good" with a drive that is useless in practice, because while the continuous write will re-write a particular cell once every few hours, it might only hold a charge for a few days - meaning if you turned it off for even a day or so, you'd suffer serious data loss.

SSDs are amazing but you definitely can't carry conventional wisdom from HDDs over.

Comment: Re:Gut flora (Score 1) 152

by mcrbids (#49207431) Attached to: Sewage Bacteria Reveal Cities' Obesity Rates

Some 10 years ago, in response to rising blood sugar levels, I lost almost 60 pounds. Although I have an annual 10 pound cycle, (gain in the winter, lose in the summer)

In all that time, there has not been a single day that wasn't filled with angst about eating too much. Satiety is rare, and must be paid for with future deprivation. Most of my family has no idea, only my wife is really aware of the constant struggle I fight.

I would happily transplant fecal material if it would help with this.

Comment: Re:The benefit of Science (Score 1) 398

It never is, and never will be if all goes well. Wouldn't you rather be honest about what you (don't) know than work on stupid old data, like "cloved hooves are bad to eat"??

We continuously learn more, and the "flip flops" are the result of continuously better understandings. Your life expectancy has increased as a result, and this continues to improve each and every year.

Comment: The benefit of Science (Score 2) 398

There is a tremendous amount of ignorance and stupidity the world over. People get ideas from random sources, make their choices, and are very prone to making the mistake of believing everything they think. So we have people who *still* swear by Laetrile as a cure for cancer, or Scientology as a cure for arthritis caused by grumpy souls stuck in their elbows.

However, science offers a way out of the maze: the idea that ideas are only as valuable as they can be *validated* by peer review and experimentation. Validating ideas is painful, costly, and time consuming, so it takes *time* to find all the stupids and work them out, one by one. Combine that with the often significant economic interests in the ideas being cross-checked, and you can see it often takes even more time and expense to get the word out.

The change of tune that you point out is perhaps the single biggest strength of science, not some evidence of *ahem* irrational design.

Comment: Re:Upside Down? (Score 2) 142

by mcrbids (#49078377) Attached to: Breakthrough In Face Recognition Software

There's lots that you are missing.

The issue isn't the input data, it's the processing method. The processing method mentioned here as "revolutionary" is just about exactly the method that Raymond Kurzweil posited: a hierarchy of "nodules" that pattern match on a cascading network of pattern matches....

We're living with a modern-day Turing. Do we give him ample credit?

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.

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