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Comment Not sure how I feel about that... (Score 1) 91

> A new injection makes male and female mice infertile by tricking their muscles into producing hormone-blocking antibodies [...] control reproduction in feral animal populations [...] similar approach could one day spur the development of long-term birth control options for humans [...]

Not sure how I feel about that. Part of me is going hey cool, technology! Part of me is going, wait, didn't I see that movie in the 1970's? I seem to recall it didn't end well.

Comment Re:Contrieved and Repetitive (Score 1) 203

I found the humour got very repetative, and the situations were so contrieved (entire episodes centering on people walking in at just the right time and hearing just the right snippet of some conversation) it was painful to watch.

Also something that stuck me early on. For a show about a bunch of hopeless socially inept geeks, they all end up with love interests and gags aside, they seem like reasonably healthy relashionships.

And that's because in real life, even socially inept geeks eventually have love interests and can learn to function in reasonably healthy relationships. Why should we expect otherwise?

Comment Yeah, wait, hang on (Score 4, Insightful) 203

Ok, not to break up a (somewhat) popular hate fest, but you HAVE to realize, for any given sitcom on commercial TV, there's inevitably going to be FCC complaints, many of which are going to be ... strange. Consider, in any group of people 300M large, a significant fraction of which watch TV, a significant fraction of *that* having no other damn thing going in their lives, what the heck do you THINK is going to happen? We used to call these people Fred and Ethyl, after Lucy's hapless elderly neighbors. Fred and Ethyl eat dinner off tin fold-up TV trays and watch TV in real time, including commercials. Fred and Ethyl can't tell the difference between rubber brains and the head meat of small animals. They think objects thrown from offstage must be from monkeys in a cage because that's what the dialog alludes to. They think the sounds of a cat squalling are being made by someone torturing a cat just behind that fake window there. Combine this with the current fashion of being offended at the tiniest opportunity, and what do you THINK is going to happen?

This article speaks more about the reporters than the reportees. It's non-news, but it bashes a show that some geeks don't like. So let's go with it. (In Kevin Kline's voice) DisapPOINTed.

And finally, it's not a laugh track -- it's a multicamera studio production in front of a live audience. Geeze.

I thought this was news for nerds. Not news for clueless nerds.

Comment Re:Seperate Passwords (Score 1) 223

> and one for immediate self destruct

I think this could be the real solution, if we could figure out a practical, effective implementation. I don't think a nuclear device necessarily, maybe a very small thermite charge. But probably the best solution would be something that imitates unrecoverable disk corruption. "Oh, darn. Well, you know computers. Always doing that."

Comment Re:Ummm (Score 1) 223

I used to trust my daughter implicitly. She and I shared the same PIN on our bank accounts, (and mine was rigged so I could easily electronically transfer funds into her account) and I didn't lock my PC at home. This worked until she was about 19, when she started developing an anxiety disorder. It took one incident of her rifling through my stuff during an hysterical episode, and I locked everything down. Including the router and my netflix account (which I later dropped). I understand, she's not well, but trust is hard earned and easily blown.

Wife and I used to share a bank account, until I realized that she was living off my paycheck [1] while hers was going into a separate account to which only she had access. A classic case of "what's mine is mine and what's yours is ours". We each have separate accounts now and wife does not know my pin.

But I don't really keep anything on the PC that wife couldn't see, I don't have a "porn pact" with any friends to delete specific folders if I pass, (I didn't even know this was a thing until recently), and I don't feel the need to pry into wife's tablet or daughter's computer. But I am a photographer, and having daughter rifle my PC and forward stuff to her shrink in an attempt to excuse her own behavior was a huge wake-up call. (The shrink says cautiously, "....ur, this is a photo of a fully clothed girl sitting on a motorcycle... what's the problem again?")

So yeah, I guess I had been ready for that kind of commitment, but learned my lesson.

[1] which wouldn't be so bad, if "living off" didn't also include being extravagant towards her friends and family with my charge card.

Comment Re:As a victim of childhood bullying... (Score 1) 207

Unfriending someone doesn't even come close to what I went through.

I agree. Same here. But people with a sense of entitlement are jumping on the bandwagon, because, hey, media coverage, instant fame, power over other individuals. And the real issues get that much more polluted.

Comment Re:In all fairness (Score 2) 203

I have been involved in several mainframe migrations. It is hard, requires a lot of planning and testing but it is quite doable. Having said that if HP bid a price to do it and failed their is no "in all fairness", they signed up to do, got paid to do it, they are responsible to do it, their is no excuse of it was too hard! If it is too hard for them then they didn't do due diligence or executed poorly.

I agree that from a technical standpoint, getting off the mainframe is (or should be) quite doable. The issues I've seen were mostly not technical.

I'm conflicted, because, --let's face it-- I want to see HP burn in hell. Just pointing out that in my own experience the chances of success in this kind of endeavor are very small.

Comment In all fairness (Score 4, Interesting) 203

Wow, the LAST thing I want to do is take HP's side in ANY argument. But (reluctantly...) in all fairness, getting off the mainframe is very VERY difficult, for a large number of reasons, not the least of which IBM's commitment to preventing that from happening.

In the decades I've been in IT, I've seen three fairly large companies make a concerted effort to get off the mainframe. All failed. One ended up upgrading the mainframe. One ended up renting mainframe time from ISSC. One is still trying, years later.

I don't know what happened in this particular case; maybe HP saw this as a cash cow they could milk for several years, due to the fact that the industry expectation of success is so low. But there is a possibility that HP saw this as a genuine business opportunity, and didn't realize until later that it just wasn't possible.

Comment Re:So, uh... (Score 5, Insightful) 203

At 50 million bucks, why didn't they emulate the old machinery or port the code to an interpreter running on a modern system? Off the top of my head, that sounds like the most reliable ways to duplicate exactly an old system.

That's a great question, and the answer is, IBM Z-series business unit has, bar none, the most aggressive, talented and ruthless customer retention team in the world. You're right, there's no sane reason why a mainframe application can't be emulated at least for a stopgap measure. But you'll find that there are a score of legal, political and business reasons why you won't be allowed to do that.

Moreover, you'll find that it's just impractical to port the application to any other reasonable platform. Even though your smartphone probably has more guts than the '60's era mainframe you're trying to get off of, actually making the cutover is very VERY difficult, for a variety of reasons, few of them technical.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"