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Comment: Re:it could have been an accident (Score 1) 625

by MightyYar (#49346597) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

Yes, there truly has been a rash of pilots deliberately crashing into mountains. We should make sweeping statements about the present state of humanity based on a single incident.

And, by the way, I strongly suspect that if this theory pans out, we'll find out that the co-pilot was mentally ill and so "moral relativism" or any other ideology would matter very little.

Comment: Re:What guarantees of longevity? (Score 3, Insightful) 47

by MightyYar (#49341479) Attached to: Facebook Makes Messenger a Platform

BTW, what would you guys suggest to wean non-technical friends off FB chat,

I don't know... we've gone backwards. We started out with competing and non-compatible IM clients - AIM being the biggest. For a while we were trending toward a bunch of competing but compatible IM clients. Then everyone abandoned IM for SMS. Now they are abandoning SMS for a bunch of competing non-compatible IM clients... just on the phone this time.

I currently have WhatsApp installed for a single friend who insists on using it. It's pretty good - give that one a shot. Sometimes people invite me to a Google Hangout - and that also lets you talk or video chat for free. Viber is another one that works pretty well and gives you free calling. The desktop version does video. I have exactly one friend on that.

Comment: Re:Check their work or check the summary? (Score 1) 469

by MightyYar (#49336151) Attached to: No, It's Not Always Quicker To Do Things In Memory

The worst is that they DO know, and yet still wrote a whole paper on it. They are concatenating strings in Java and Python - which is slow. Surprise, surprise, it is faster to write strings to a pre-allocated buffer, in this case the disk cache. That is the whole paper.

Comment: Re:Why Local storage? (Score 1) 184

Germany is really struggling with exactly the problem you dismiss. It is relatively simple to take one isolated pocket and only draw from the grid when the batteries start to run low. If you can give the utility an hour's notice, they can start spooling up generators. Give them notice again when you are going to disconnect and they can orderly shut generation down.

Requiring the smooth two-way transfer of power is a more complicated problem to solve, even if it eliminates the bank of batteries. It also requires that the entire system be set up to handle distributed generation, whereas the Musk solution makes no such demand. In practical terms, this might make solar more viable in places where it is politically difficult to make infrastructure changes.

Comment: Re:Elon Musk vs Richard Branson (Score 1) 105

by MightyYar (#49315865) Attached to: Virgin Could Take On Tesla With Electric Car

No, single stage was a non-starter - both projects failed at that goal. But there was still hope that it could be used for the stages individually - which is exactly what SpaceX is doing.

My point wasn't to be dreamy eyed and show that "with a little more time, NASA could have..." My point was only to show that others have (mostly) solved the problem that Mr. Musk is currently chasing. I applaud his very pragmatic approach to engineering - the man is really to be admired. But credit where credit is due :)

Comment: Re:How are HTML5, CSS and JS not proprietary? (Score 1) 95

by MightyYar (#49312663) Attached to: South Korea Begins To Deprecate ActiveX

You are right that you are "locking in" a certain development environment. But that is only part of your application... you will have end-users actually putting your application to use. It is one thing to lock in your single development machine or handful of machines to a single vendor - quite another to lock in all of your users as well. It was all well and good to blow off the 5% of people back when smart phones and Macs were marginal 10 years ago. It is quite another to blow off 50% of people on alternate platforms... the calculus has changed.

Comment: Re:Elon Musk vs Richard Branson (Score 1) 105

by MightyYar (#49312625) Attached to: Virgin Could Take On Tesla With Electric Car

It was mostly a dead end because NASA felt forced to play with it, and when it fell over and caught fire they felt very little motivation to rebuild it. Their money was on the also-doomed Lockheed space plane (Venture Star?). It's pretty clear that DC-X technology could have been used to land the first stage, even if the capsule itself still did a traditional "splashdown".

The perversity of nature is nowhere better demonstrated by the fact that, when exposed to the same atmosphere, bread becomes hard while crackers become soft.