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Comment: Simple explanation (Score 1) 263

The default setting for most apps is to phone home every 15 minutes or at some absurdly-high interval. Once you lose 4G coverage your phone slows to a crawl. When you turn off automatic updates and notifications (which can be arduous or impossible for some apps) even older smartphones run well.

Every time my Samsung Galaxy S3 is running slowly, some app developer forgot my preferences and turned back on auto updates. The ABC News app was the latest violator.

There is no reason why an app can't load content on demand while running. When apps are not open, they should do doing nothing! Apps not being open can be a strong indication that you are not in a coverage area, or coverage is poor. So automatic updates when no apps are running is the opposite of what you want to do.

The only thing I want to be happening in the background is backing up my files, and even then only on wifi and while charging. If I'm doing nothing, apps should be doing nothing.

Comment: Re:Customer service? (Score 1) 866

I'm not disagreeing that having the families with small children board first makes sense, but what I see nowadays is that it seems like half the plane is either in business class or a member of the "gold star club". By the time all of them board, the lounge is half empty.

Comment: Ya, pretty much (Score 1) 956

by Sycraft-fu (#47513607) Attached to: The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

That is why when you play online shooters, which attract many immature males, "faggot" is the default insult. They are insecure about their sexuality, as most young men are, and thus being called gay is one of the more hurtful things to them. they externalize that, of course, and thus that is what they use by default against others. However if they find something that works better, they'll go after that. Race, age, nationality, etc, etc.

They are assholes, sociopaths sometimes, they want to hurt others and they choose whatever they think is the most effective way to do it.

For that matter humans in general do it, women included. Bill Burr ha some hilarious bits, based in truth as the best comedy is, about women steering a losing argument towards personal attacks against their man. Saying he has a little dick, is a momma's boy, that kind of thing.

Well, that really happens. It isn't because women are some horrible creatures, but rather because they are using the insults they have learned will hurt the worst, when they get mad and decide to turn to insults. It's what people do when they lash out.

The difference between a normal person and a troll/asshole/ITG/sociopath and so on online is that most people do it only when they are angry, when they are lashing out at another person. These asshats do it for fun, just to get a rise out of people, and so on.

It is not something to be celebrated, or even tolerated (in any community I moderate trolling is a fast way to the banhammer) but trying to act like it is a problem limited to or directed at women is silly.

Comment: Re:Let's draw a distinction here... (Score 2) 956

by Sycraft-fu (#47513585) Attached to: The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

Of course it is assholes acting out. That's what happens when you remove consequences. Games have been an excellent example of that in terms of gameplay and mechanics. There have been games that have tried the whole "No rules but what the players make, they'll work out a stable system." No, actually it devolves in to a bunch of griefer assholes, and everyone else leaves. These people can't do that kind of thing in real life because they'd face consequences.

Sociopaths learn to moderate their behaviour in the real world because if they don't, they get punished. Online, they can run rampant and so they do.

Comment: No shit (Score 2) 92

by Sycraft-fu (#47510777) Attached to: Buying New Commercial IT Hardware Isn't Always Worthwhile (Video)

We consolidated about 20ish old servers (and added new systems) in to two Dell R720xds that are VM hypervisors. Not only does this save on power n' cooling but it is way faster, more reliable, and flexible. It is much easier and faster to rebuild and stand up a VM, you can snapshot them before making changes, if we need to reboot the hypervisor or update firmware we can migrate VMs over to the other host so there's no downtime. Plus less time is wasted on admining them since there are less systems, and they are newer.

On top of that they have good support contracts, and some excellent reliability features that you didn't get on systems even 5ish years ago (like actively scanning HDDs to look for failures).

Big time win in my book. Now does that mean we rush out and replace them with new units every year? No, of course not, but when the time comes that they are going out of support, or more likely that usage is growing past what they can be upgraded to handle, we'll replace them with newer, more powerful, systems. It is just a much better use of resources.

Comment: Foreign workers (Score 1) 89

by jgotts (#47509899) Attached to: Researchers Test Developer Biometrics To Predict Buggy Code

Microsoft Research should also track how far the individual is working away from the main office of his company, because that has far more of an effect on bugs than any biometric reading. I recommend that they develop a special laser and a series of geostationary satellites and ground repeater stations. The total round trip time of the laser pulse will be a measure of how buggy the developer's code is.

1) Microsoft Research is wasting an awful lot of money to conclude that the reason why Microsoft's software is so terrible is that it's being written by outside companies in India.
2) Microsoft's well-paid American and European programmers are producing good or at least above average code, as would be expected.
3) Quality evaporates when they use foreign and H1B workers, who are educated in substandard universities, inexperienced in engineering, and/or do not have English superliteracy. [I've discussed elsewhere that basic language literacy is not enough to be a good programmer---you need to have enough language expertise to communicate without any ambiguity whatsoever to write good code because of the essential nature of interpersonal communication. By the same token, if you're writing software for Indians speaking Hindi your entire team should be Hindi-speaking Indians.]

Comment: Is this all necessary? (Score 5, Insightful) 98

Seems like you are trying to work out a solution to a problem you don't have yet. Maybe first see if users are just willing to play nice. Get a powerful system and let them have at it. That's what we do. I work for an engineering college and we have a fairly large Linux server that is for instructional use. Students can log in and run the provided programs. Our resource management? None, unless the system is getting hit hard, in which case we will see what is happening and maybe manually nice something or talk to a user. We basically never have to. People use it to do their assignments and go about their business.

Hardware is fairly cheap, so you can throw a lot of power at the problem. Get a system with a decent amount of cores and RAM and you'll probably find out that it is fine.

Now, if things become a repeated problem then sure, look at a technical solution. However don't go getting all draconian without a reason. You may just be wasting your time and resources.

Technology

MIT Combines Carbon Foam and Graphite Flakes For Efficient Solar Steam Generati 110

Posted by timothy
from the science-fiction-future-awaits dept.
rtoz (2530056) writes Researchers at MIT have developed a new spongelike material structure which can use 85% of incoming solar energy for converting water into steam. This spongelike structure has a layer of graphite flakes and an underlying carbon foam. This structure has many small pores. It can float on the water, and it will act as an insulator for preventing heat from escaping to the underlying liquid. As sunlight hits the structure, it creates a hotspot in the graphite layer, generating a pressure gradient that draws water up through the carbon foam. As water seeps into the graphite layer, the heat concentrated in the graphite turns the water into steam. This structure works much like a sponge. It is a significant improvement over recent approaches to solar-powered steam generation. And, this setup loses very little heat in the process, and can produce steam at relatively low solar intensity. If scaled up, this setup will not require complex, costly systems to highly concentrate sunlight.

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