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Comment: Re:School me on well water (Score 1) 307

I'm not offended. I'm just correcting what swb said. The reality is that most well water doesn't have to be filtered for safety. In some places you need a radon bubbler to get the radon out of it, but for the most part the stuff is fine. When I was on well water in southeastern Arizona, we definitely filtered it, because it had a high sulfur content and didn't taste very good, but it was fine to drink.

Comment: Re:Lives be damned (Score 1) 307

We put those congresscritters there. The fact that we were bought by bread and circuses does not mean that the people who gave us the bread and circuses are at fault. This is why I bother getting into these arguments. The only people who have any power to change this are we, the citizens. Sure, it sucks that [name your favorite despotic billionaire] is trying to buy the election, but what they are actually buying are are votes. We need to learn how to stop letting them buy our votes, or nothing will change.

Comment: Re:Bad title (Score 1) 395

by nine-times (#49622311) Attached to: No, NASA Did Not Accidentally Invent Warp Drive

That's cool. Sounds about like what I said: We don't really know if warp drives would be possible, or if they are, exactly how they could work. We don't really know that this drive does anything (though it seems to), and if it does, quite how it's doing it.

But if this drive does work, and it works the way some people suspect it does, and warp drives are possible, and they would work the way some people suspect they would, then this drive might be doing something like what a warp drive would do, supposing that the measurements are all accurate.

Or any number of other things could be going on. We don't know.

Comment: Re:School me on well water (Score 1) 307

Um. Have you ever heard of "natural spring water?" Mostly a marketing ploy, but it's based on the idea that water filtered down through hundreds of feet of rock is amazingly pure and good. I have been living on well water for the past four years, and it's the best water I've ever had. There is no need to filter it, because mother nature already took care of that. The idea that I could be obligated to add expensive post-processing to my well in order to render unsafe water safe is deeply offensive. You are proposing that it should be okay for some corporation to come in and fuck something that was really great, and then I have to pay to unfuck it to the point where it is not great, but merely not as toxic.

Where I come from we call that shitting where you eat, and we consider people who do it lower than a snake's belly.

Comment: Re:Lives be damned (Score 5, Insightful) 307

Actually I would blame the regulator, and the regulations, and the congresscritters who voted for there not to be any. By the time the product reaches the final point of sale, we are powerless to discriminate between ethically-extracted and unethically-extracted fuels. The only way to get companies to behave ethically is to require that they behave ethically. This isn't because the people who run them are unethical bastards (maybe they are, maybe they aren't). It's because it's a commodity, and no producer can afford to do anything that costs more than what any other producer is doing, no matter how good their intentions.

To move the higher-priced ethically pure stuff to the customer the ethical producer would have to control the entire distribution chain, all the way to the customer. That's not as practical as it might sound. The major market for natural gas is in gas-fired generation, and those buyers then wholesale the electricity to the grid, and then we purchase it from our power company. So we are two or three steps removed from where we could vote with our wallet. We have no power to affect this market.

We customers of the grid are actually, a lot of us, paying a premium for clean power, but that power isn't coming from burning natural gas, because natural gas is not a clean source of power. So while we can reduce the total demand for natural gas, and we have, we aren't affecting the functioning of the natural gas market.

Because it's a commodity market, because producers really don't have any choice, the only way to make it possible for them to behave ethically is through regulation. Regulation prevents the race to the bottom: prevents the producers who would prefer to behave ethically from being forced to behave unethically in order to keep their prices at the same level as the producers who don't mind behaving unethically. This idea of just letting the market take care of it, and blaming the customer when they don't make choices they can't make, is futile and absurd.

Comment: Re:Measurements (Score 1) 408

by nine-times (#49620295) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

Those conflicting motivations could easily create a bimodal distribution (between programmers who are passionate, and those who are just doing a job). I don't know if that's happened because I haven't measured, but it seems plausible to me.

That would be a great argument if you're talking about measuring programmers' attitudes, or maybe even the quality of their code. It seems that what's being talked about here is "talent", which is often (generally?) thought to mean a kind of innate ability.

Comment: Re:Proxy? (Score 1) 300

On the other hand, my work has 30,000+ computers that communicate through no more than ten public IP addresses, so if we weren't using a corporate solution for Windows activations then we might pop up in much the same way.

The summary makes it sound like Microsoft is suspicious just because there are hundreds of activations from the same IP, but I don't think that alone would have attracted the same kind of attention. Because you're right, it could simply be a company with incompetent IT people, or even just a computer fix-it shop that is installing and activating Windows for people. The article says:

Microsoft says that the defendant(s) have activated hundreds of copies of Windows 7 using product keys that have been “stolen” from the company’s supply chain or have never been issued with a valid license, or keys used more times than their license allows.

So it's not an issue of "Microsoft thinks these activation are suspicious because they all come from the some IP address," but rather, "Microsoft knows these activation are suspicious because they're using faked/stolen license keys. A lot of them are coming from the same place, which makes Microsoft want to know what that place is."

Comment: Re:Bad title (Score 1) 395

by nine-times (#49616491) Attached to: No, NASA Did Not Accidentally Invent Warp Drive

I don't know. The first article I read quoted some scientist saying something to the effect of, "The effect is consistent with what we might possibly see if it were a warp drive, according to what we guess a warp drive might possibly do, which is all kind of cool. But I don't actually know what's going on here." I thought that's where all the talk of warp drives came from.

But it didn't sound to me at the time like the guy who said it, whoever that was, was even really positing that it was a warp drive. Just more like, "Well the whole thing is kind of neat. We don't really know how warp drives would work, if we assume they're possible, and we also don't know how this thing is working, if we assume it's not experimental error. However, with as little as we know about warp drives and as little as we know about this thing, this thing could technically be a warp drive. It's total bullshit speculation, but fun to think about."

Comment: Re:Bad title (Score 3, Insightful) 395

by nine-times (#49616343) Attached to: No, NASA Did Not Accidentally Invent Warp Drive

It's premature to throw a Singularity party but it's definitely premature to declare the device to not be a warp drive.

I guess you're right in the sense that if we don't know what's generating the thrust, it's premature to declare it to be *not* much of anything. It's premature to declare it not-a-time-machine or not-a-perpetual-motion-machine. It might be premature to declare that it's not witchcraft. But on the other hand, it's a pretty safe bet that it's none of those things. If it really does work, it probably works via some very reasonable mechanism.

The author is right: we should reserve judgment until there's something more substantial. From what I've read so far, it sounds more like a couple of scientists played with it and said, "Huh, this is actually pretty cool. It does seem to generate thrust, and we're not sure how. Wouldn't it be cool if it was a primative warp drive? Yeah, that'd be cool. Oh well, we need to test it more before we're even sure that it's generating thrust." The whole warp-drive thing is wild speculation, picked up by fanboys who desperately want it to be true.

Comment: Re:A useful link for all of ya ... (Score 1) 1055

by Pfhorrest (#49613727) Attached to: Two Gunman Killed Outside "Draw the Prophet" Event In Texas

How's this for an idea: some form of visual media (video or drawings, whatever) depicting Muhammad and Islam in a very positive light, marketed and clearly honestly intended to educate westerners about the positive elements of the Muslim community and their history.

Then see if the kind of people who try to shoot people for drawing Muhammad throw a fit over even something like that.

Comment: Re:Outdated (Score 1) 210

Not sure why you're being dense. Both managers and project managers "manage", and so there's going to be some overlap in what they do. The biggest difference between a project manager and a manager in that a project manager has specific projects, with specific scopes of work, and essentially only has purview over those specific projects.

A manager may also manage projects. That doesn't mean it's the same job. If you treat them like the same job, you're going to do a very bad job at one of them, if not both.

Parts that positively cannot be assembled in improper order will be.