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Comment: I CAN tell you. Autoglobals, for 1. Much better (Score 1) 176

by raymorris (#49324471) Attached to: Modern PHP: New Features and Good Practices

I CAN tell you why PHP 3.x and 4.x were used in a lot of projects with security problems. I've made many posts here going into detail. The biggest thing was probably autoglobals. That was insane for a WEB language, even one then intended to be easy. It might make sense for local macros (vbscript) that are supposed to be written by non-programmers.

If you combined few of PHP 4.x blind spots with stupid Plesk running the script via suexec, you either found out you quickly got owned, or more often got owned and didn't even know it.

PHP really sucked in terms of security and there were several very clear reasons for that. Some will say even old PHP could be used to write secure software. Nope, not with the default PHP.INI configuration. Even a blank, empty PHP script contained a significant security risk.

Things are MUCH improved. People who actually know something about language design have gotten involved. Rasmus has said publicly that he doesn't know anything about language design and early versions of PHP proved that. Of course, he wasn't originally creating a programming language, PHP was a CMS, written in Perl. It was ABused as a general purpose programming language, and it didn't do a good job in that role, because it wasn't designed for that role. The newer versions ARE designed as a general purpose web programming language, and they are much better suited to the task.

Comment: Re:Morning exists (Score 1) 312

Let's have a look at molten salt. In order to be more than fair to molten salt proponents, let's take a salt company's marketing numbers and pretend they are actual numbers reliably achievable in the real world.

Torresol claims that in the summer, their molten-salt plant, Gemasolar, can provide power for 24 hours (barring any clouds or rain), so that's what "works just fine" as far as molten salt. They say they are hoping to get it up to 110 GWh/year., and it covers 185 hectares (0.7 square miles), and it cost $419M to build.

The US uses about 2,300,000 GWh/year of energy. Dividing by 110 GWh per power plant, we'd need about 21,000 plants the size of Gemasolar. That would cover 14,600 square miles and cost $9 trillion. That's more than the country spends on food in a decade, just to build it. That doesn't include distribution costs to get it from wherever you can find huge tracks of open, flat land to build the plant and off to the cities.

If you do all this, you've covered a 24-hour period in the summer. As long as you don't have a large weather pass over the country, you're fine. Large storm systems only come every three weeks or so, so your $9 trillion and 14,600 square miles of land does cover our energy needs for a couple of weeks.

Comment: Morning exists (Score 1) 312

> which has a handy graph showing 6 solar farms in desert areas that would work

From 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, modulo Loster's utter BS. If we believe his silliness, than solar covers us for a few hours, on sunny days. How about the other 21-22 hours per day? I know, you'll just do pumped storage, right? Pump a bunch of water into reservoirs and use it to power hydro plants. Brilliant idea. How big do these reservoirs need to be? Well, see GP. No matter if you fill the reservoirs with rivers or with pumps, you still need a few billion gallons of water, all sitting 30 at least 30 meters above the turbines.

Comment: Technically, toddlers and above (Score 1) 756

by raymorris (#49322441) Attached to: A Software Project Full of "Male Anatomy" Jokes Causes Controversy

> Yes but we are talking about infants here, how do they even know that cars means speed and power?

Technically, we're not talking about infants, but rather toddlers and above - those able to say "car! To quote you, for example, "A kindergarten ..". My littlest doesn't yet pronounce any words, she's working hard on "no", but it comes out "nyam". She sees that cars are big a little bit scary. So yes, by the time they can say "car" and certainly by the time they can ride a bike ("a kindergarten") , tey know that cars are big and fast and powerful enough to carry the whole family around.

My baby, who again cannot yet speak, also knows that the cat is soft and fluffy and she likes to press her face into the cat's fur. Soft and fluffy is comfy, she wants to be close to that. Big, loud and fast is a bit scary. Surprise, she's a girl!

Comment: mountains, canyons, droughts. Combination yes (Score 2) 312

>. So why do I not see an article where it says that Houston and it Suburbs are 100% green over a 3 month period.

Houston doesn't happen to be located beneath a mountain range, where it would get a nice flow of water coming in during the rainy season. Houston also chooses to have affordable electricity available year round. Steady, affordable energy is directly related to all the jobs which Californians are moving to Houston for.

Houston also doesn't happen to have the volcanic fault line that Costa Rica uses for geothermal - less than 1% of locations on earth have that. California does have geothermal potential, the rest of the US does not.

You're spot on about the combination. The US has a couple of places suitable for geothermal, a couple for hydro, etc. If you do the research and the arithmetic, you find that renewables can make a significant impact - 11% to 13% of our total energy needs. That's significant. For the rest, we have the choice of natural gas and other petroleum, or nuclear. At least until we develop some Star Trek quantum generator.

Comment: Hoover: flooded 100 miles, 0.01% of energy needed (Score 2) 312

You said "look at Hoover Dam". Okay, I'm looking. I see it's situated in a nice canyon, flooded 100 square miles, and provides less than 1/10,000th of our energy needs. If you go find another 10,000 nice deep canyons, we can flood 1,000,000 miles of land and be okay, until there's a drought.

Since we don't actually have 10,000 canyons, you end up needing to flood basically the entire area between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachians - I've done the math.

Costa Rica has a population of a few million - think Houston and it's suburbs. They have a couple of dams, which is great when they get heavy rains. Their experience might be interesting to one or two American cities (the ones nearest Niagara Falls, specifically) ; it's nothing like powering the entire United States.

Comment: #1 for speed and power, by far. Mustang, Ram, Bron (Score 1) 756

by raymorris (#49319073) Attached to: A Software Project Full of "Male Anatomy" Jokes Causes Controversy

Yep, those who are wired for hunting and fighting just might have an interest in speed and power. Around the house, the car is by far the finest example of speed and power a kid will encounter. Who would have thoughy a Mustang, Ram, or Bronco could engage that part of the brain.

You might even notice that little boys have a disturbing* tendency to violently crash their toy cars, on purpose. Worse, dad doesn't even sit down and talk to the poor disturbed kid because dad is too busy watching football or rugby. We don't outgrow it; we graduate from watching toy cars crash together to watching large men crash into each other.

* Disturbing to some moms and imasculated men. If that includes you, your condition is not permanent; you CAN get your balls back. You just have to decide you want them back. Do not ask your wife for permission on this one.

Comment: does the media cause biceps and boobs? hormones (Score 1) 756

by raymorris (#49317837) Attached to: A Software Project Full of "Male Anatomy" Jokes Causes Controversy

Does "the media" cause young girls to associate boobs with women, and therefore cause the girls to later grow boobs, or is there perhaps a biological thing called hormones, which effect all manner of gender differences?

Of you look at people who take testerone or other steroids, you'll find that it has a very obvious effect on their behavior, by way of the hormone's effect on the brain. Over the course of millions of years, male brains evolved around their essential tasks of "go kill something and drag it home for dinner" along with "fight off the predator". See how muscle cars and football might stimulate something in the male brain which is now lacking in means to express the "kill something and drag it home" instinct? For these millions of years, females had a different role, to which their brains adapted. Neither is better or worse, our brains and other parts are different.

* obviously I'm speaking of the majority of men vs the majority of women. Exceptions exist - Chrisley probably wouldn't have survived and reproduced in the days of hunting wild boars to eat.

Comment: the truth is bad enough, no in need to lose credib (Score 2) 107

The truth about these agencies is bad. There is no need, and I would say it is harmful, to so distort their statements as to be lying about what they said. This story only harms whatever credibility Privacy International may have had.

What the court response actually said is that a court can grant a search warrant in a criminal case, not just a national a security related case. Okay, so what is the process for such warrants and under what conditions are they granted? What limitations are put on those warrants? What are the consequences for proceeding without a warrant or beyond a warrant? Those are very important questions, which need to be addressed. Pretending those questions don't exist and falsely claiming "they said they can spy on anyone they want, any time they want" is HARMFUL to privacy. A guaranteed way to always lose a fight is by misunderstanding what the fight is. PI has grossly misstated what we're fighting and done is all a disservice in doing so.

Comment: true, however many solutions WERE thought impracti (Score 1) 112

by raymorris (#49289803) Attached to: How To Make Moonshots

You have a point. On the other hand, many approaches that WERE impractical 10 or 20 years ago are quite practical now. Consider any solution that in involves a modern computer. Twenty years ago, you'd need a cluster of computers to do what can now be done on a cheap prepaid phone. Any solution to an individual's daily hassles that involves a multi-Ghz processor was written off as impractical. Now, there's an app for that.

Then there are all of the building-blocks that have become available. Facial recognition and machine vision in general cost a few million dollars ten or twenty years ago. Now it's a readily available service already built into the Android OS. When you have readily available modules to easily do what used to cost huge amounts of money, things suddenly become practical that weren't before.

Additionally, but in the same vein, the experts doing all the deep study for decades wouldn't have even THOUGHT of how to leverage technologies which were not available at the time. Knowing about the different technologies that are available or likely to become available, one sometimes sees solutions that you wouldn't think about if you weren't familiar with the tools.

Lastly, in my experience domain experts know a lot about how things are done. Their idea of how things should be done is often based on how they were taught to do it. That's an entirely different mindset from looking at it fresh and considering which methods are actually best suited to the current situation. I've been able to significantly improve processes simply by asking "why"? "Why is this data held in a Word document (actually three versions of the same document) rather than a spreadsheet?". The domain experts knew exactly which version of the Word document to send to each person, and had procedures for change control so that updates to one version normally ended up being reflected in the other versions. I pointed out the "hide column" menu item in Excel and now they no longer need to maintain three different copies of the data in order to look at different sets of attributes.

Comment: speaking of being knowledgeable vs ignorant (Score 1) 139

by raymorris (#49289715) Attached to: Google 'Experts' To Screen Android Apps For Banned Content

>. If one is not ignorant, then one need not concern themselves with such things.

You seem like the type of person who appreciates good information. Here's something I found interesting. It turns out that the people "ignorant" about computers are at significantly LOWER risk of exploits than those who work in IT, and the highest risk are programmers.

The highest amount of _damage_ is executives, but IT workers and programmers get hit more often, not less. I suspect it's because we a) install a lot more software, like VNC, open source stuff that occasionally is distributed with trojan attached, etc. b) muck about with admin privileges, allowing exceptions in our firewalls and such, and possibly c) have an inflated sense of security we attribute to our knowledge. I'm not sure of those reasons are correct, but statistically we do get exploited more often.

Comment: specifically, Nature says the top solar company is (Score 3, Funny) 190

by raymorris (#49264255) Attached to: UN Backs Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign

>. The reality is that the smart money is now with those who divest in fossil fuels first and put their earnings in alternative energy stocks will be the big winners

To be a bit more specific, the journal Nature has called Nanosolar "the poster child for Silicon Valley's interest in solar power". That sounds like an interesting stock. You might want to consider putting some of your money in that company.

Six years after Nature started pumping Nanosolar, in 2012 they announced they planned to actually start making solar panels pretty soon. I understand their stock is _real_ cheap right now.

Also, I heard Obama is backing two other promising companies, Fisker and Solyndra. He says they'll do great, so you might scoop up some of their stock.

Comment: Leopard can become Snow Leopard (Score 1) 166

by raymorris (#49142917) Attached to: Microsoft's Goals For Their New Web Rendering Engine

I'm sure there is still some culture of embrace, extend, extinguish within Microsoft. I'm sure some in the business products group still feel like they have no competition and they can treat customers as poorly as they wish. However, the worst elements of Microsoft's culture were rooted in their monopoly, the fact that they could do whatever they wanted and customers would still buy from them. Today, the MAJORITY of hardware purchased runs Android, not Windows. I think Microsoft has taken that fact to heart in some ways.

Comment: SAG rate $3400/week - interchangeable people (Score 1) 145

by raymorris (#49121489) Attached to: Attention, Rockstar Developers: Get a Talent Agent

The SAG rate sheet specifies about $3,400 per week for most performers. Recognizing that they only get paid for the time they are on set, not the "work" time put into going to auditions, etc, so figure that's about $1,700 per week of work that they put in.

$1,700 week - yeah sounds like interchangeable people to me. Not the people hiring agents to negotiate for them.

Comment: It's well documented, and I've seen it (Score 1, Insightful) 145

by raymorris (#49119623) Attached to: Attention, Rockstar Developers: Get a Talent Agent

A productivity difference of 10X-20X is well documented. I've seen it several times. Note that's average productivity over a year, not consistently every day. Here's an example:

  I've seen more than one instance in which a average, "competent" developer will spend 10 days writing a module to add feature X to some software, to solve business need Y. The expert/guru/rockstar will spend ten minutes changing a setting to solve the same problem.

So the average person spent ten working days, the expert spent ten minutes in this one case. The expert could then be only equally as productive for the rest of day and they will have accomplished in one day more than the first person accomplished in ten days. I very often solve business needs by _removing_ code, removing a restriction or problem. You can imagine that removing a blocking problem can easily be ten times as productive as the typical approach of solving new problems or handling new tasks by building new systems. Simply asking "why can't we use the existing system for this new task?", then tweaking the existing system to handle the new requirement, can be hugely more productive than starting out with the idea that new tasks require new systems to be built.

If you can't understand it, it is intuitively obvious.

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