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Comment: Mmm, Delicious, Delicious Chemicals! (Score 1) 125

Why doesn't the industry just charge those people for the addition of chemicals to their water? Those people are getting those chemicals for free right now, and chemicals don't cost nothing! The industry should be billing everyone in that town for the chemicals they're currently getting for free!

Comment: Re:Volunteers (Score 1) 18

by Greyfox (#49621063) Attached to: The BBC Looks At Rollover Bugs, Past and Approaching
Oh we went to a 64 bit time_t ages ago. You should just have to recompile, even if you use long instead of time_t. Assuming you ever upgraded your machine to a 64 bit platform, which won't be a problem for most people by 2038. Even the US military and NASA should be on 64 bit systems by then. So essentially we've already fixed the problem for Linux. Specific installations that don't upgrade might have some problems, but most of those systems won't last another couple of decades and will require replacement sooner. Specific in-house software that was compiled 32 bits and the the source lost might also have problems. Any remaining SCO installations might also still have problems. I actually kind of hope I can spend my last couple of years before retirement stamping out the remaining SCO installations, naturally while billing $200 an hour.

Comment: Re:eh (Score 1) 225

by Jeremi (#49620957) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

But why did the third guy immediately recognize the problem (and put in place a very effective solution) without being prompted? Was that a "skill" he learned in a programming class?

It might have been that he was just a clever guy, but let me offer an alternate possibility -- the new guy recognized the problem precisely because he was the new guy.

Specifically, it's common for people not to think about minor annoyances they have grown used to. It's the boiling-frog effect -- a programmer who has been working on that app every day since the very beginning, as more image assets were slowly added, might not notice the gradual slowdown of the app's startup phase, because at first it was fast enough, and eventually he/she just got used to the slow startup because "that's just how it is with this program".

The new guy, OTOH, sits down with the app and because he's had little or no previous experience with the delay, finds himself noticeably annoyed and says to himself, "that is a problem... maybe I can find a way to improve that".

tl;dr -- a person with fresh eyes can often see problems that the old hands have grown too accustomed to, to notice.

Comment: Re:One (Score 1) 225

by Jeremi (#49620781) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

But he was a superstar, and last I checked he is now the CEO of the company, with 95% of the staff gone (and down to 1 or 2 developers), and he is credited with keeping the company afloat.

That's an ingenious way to accomplish layoffs without having to pay for any severance packages...

Comment: Re:Underestimate. (Score 2) 45

37% of wives and girlfriends are likely to cheat on you too. But what you gonna do about it? Dump your cheating girlfriend and just end up with another cheating girlfriend? What's the point of that? So most people just stay with their lousy operating system or girlfriend. Really it is all pointless anyway.

Er... presuming that the cheating is important to you, you have a 100% chance of having a cheating girlfriend if you stay with the current one but only a 37% chance if you switch to a new, randomly chosen girlfriend.

But... if you don't instinctively see that, then I have to conclude that on some level you want abuse from your girlfriend/software vendor. In fact given your track record of past choices it seems likely that your choice will perform worse than chance, although a probably bad new choice remains a better strategy than staying with the devil you know.

If you don't have the confidence in your discretion to improve upon chance, a randomly chosen girlfriend/OS is a reasonable next step. You should try *anything* that meets the obvious superficial criteria (e.g., is biologically female, has companies providing professional support services). In fact studies suggest that while attractiveness makes a huge difference in who people ask out on a date, it has no effect on their satisfaction with that date once it takes place. What we think we want and what will make us happy are often two different things.

Comment: Re:Confused (Score 2) 238

by hey! (#49618529) Attached to: Single Verizon IP Address Used For Hundreds of Windows 7 Activations

There is no key generator. It's Microsoft own fault if they keys were stolen.

Which does not make using a stolen key legal, any more than a broken window lock in our house makes that fair game for burglars. Nor is using a stolen key ethical (at least in most situations); the principled response to not approving of proprietary software is to use open source software with a license you can live with.

Comment: Re:Suicide mission (Score 1) 999

by Jeremi (#49618313) Attached to: Two Gunman Killed Outside "Draw the Prophet" Event In Texas

With how all the anti discrimination crap going around, do you really think that the churches will be allowed to not marry homosexual couples in the future? I just don't see that exception remaining around with all the anti religious positions of the left...

There is actually a good precedent that will predict the answer to your question. 50 years ago, interracial marriage was in a position similar to the position of gay marriage now -- widely considered "unnatural" and banned by many states, but becoming increasingly accepted and the bans were increasingly being found unconstitutional.

So the interesting question is, 50 years later, are churches that disapprove of interracial unions being forced by the law to hold marriage ceremonies for mixed-race couples?

AFAIK the answer is "no"... but what's more interesting is that it's largely a non-issue, since there are so few churches that actually disapprove of interracial marriages anymore. My prediction, then, is that 50 years from now we will see a similar situation regarding gay marriage.

Comment: Re:Apple may not keep that port forever (Score 1) 101

Dude, are you seriously this worked-up about a throwaway joke?

In any event, as the other AC noted, I was suggesting that this shipped port would never be official as it is not patented, and that a future watch would have a different and patented port.

My little bit of snark is somewhat founded on fact: Apple really does like to patent their connectors. MagSafe power connector: patented. Lightning: patented. So it is possible that Apple is going to keep this connector unofficial and undocumented, and later release a documented and patented connector. But really I was just having a bit of fun there.

Comment: Re:Windows 7 eol (Score 1) 124

by Zak3056 (#49617517) Attached to: Microsoft Office 2016 Public Preview Released

Says the guy that won't even put a pseudonym behind what he has to say.

I've got some news for you, AC: just because someone expresses a viewpoint you happen to disagree with doesn't make them a shill. I've been a UNIX user since the 80s, a Linux user since 94 or so, a postfix and sendmail admin for over fifteen years, and helped run a dozen MMOs back when they had text interface and were called MUDs. GPL beats BSD, vi beats Emacs, and my windows desktop runs Xming so I can do real work from time to time.

What I said was not marketing, and is not even an endorsement. I was not claiming that win 10 is the best thing since sliced bread, but rather simply stating that the economics are impossible to ignore. Win 10 adoption is GOING to happen fast, and it's going to be driven by the "free upgrade, but only if you do it right now" bandwagon. That was my only point, and wishing it were otherwise isn't going to change what's going to happen.

Comment: Re:Would anyone deny? (Score 1) 288

You can bet that if a theory of gravity came out and it threatened the political or economic status quo, it would provoke a political response. When Edwin Armstrong's invention of FM radio started to gain market traction, RCA used it's political influence to have the FCC take the frequency band Armstrong's radios worked on shifted, making all the radios he'd sold useless. And if that had been done today, the next thing you'd have is is an army of PR flacks and FOX selling the public on the idea that FM radio was "tainted engineering".

Climate science isn't politically tainted. That's only PR BS. If you want to see for yourself, use Google Scholar to search for climate science paper abstracts from the early 50s to the 80s -- well before anyone outside the field heard the term "global warming". You'll be able to actually see the scientific consensus shift from global cooling to warming over the course of thirty years, completely outside the public spotlight.

Comment: Re:Would anyone deny? (Score 1) 288

I would.

I've worked in a physics lab (fusion). I've worked in a geophysics lab. Here's the thing about experimental Earth science: you're not working with a idealized, simplified object under controlled laboratory conditions. You are working with something that is immense and messy and which inherently generates a lot of contradictory data. It doesn't make the big picture impossible to put together, it just means it takes a lot of hard to obtain data to shift the consensus one way or the other. It took forty years for anthropogenic global warming to become the scientific consensus; the first papers were published in the fifties and the idea that the world was warming was hotly contested for at least three decades

Contradictory data is something fundamental to empirical science. Empirical science generalizes from contradictory evidence.

When I was in college, "conservative" meant someone who was cautiously pragmatic. Now it refers to someone who adheres to certain conservative axioms -- a radical in other words (radical == "root"). Radicals by their nature prefer deduction from known truths to induction from messy evidence. This is evident in your citing mathematics as the gold standard, despite the utter inapplicability of its methods to geoscience. Mathematics doesn't deal in messy, mutually contradicting truths. Nor does political orthodoxy of any stripe.

That's why "conservatives" latch on to local phenomena -- like the snow outside their door -- that seem to confirm their preconception that the globe is not currently warming. In mathematics the number 9 disproves the assertion that all odd counting numbers are prime. In climate science the medieval warming period in Europe doesn't disprove that the globe as a whole was cooler at that time. To radicals the existence of contradictions in the supporting data is corrupt. To scientists the lack of contradictions in data is fishy.

Left-wing radicals are equally confused by apparently contradictory data points, and likewise seize on the ones that "prove" their universal truths (e.g. that vaccines cause autism).

Comment: Re:Why were IT professionals the beta? (Score 1) 124

by Zak3056 (#49616309) Attached to: Microsoft Office 2016 Public Preview Released

Wouldn't it make more sense to have users be the testers? The ones who use the products all freakin' day long? What do IT people know about how the product is used by the masses?

Oh wait. Microsoft. They don't care what the consumers really want. They want to look cool. Double fail.

Do you point your desktop Linux users (okay, so I'm kidding) toward the bleeding edge/preview yum repos? No? Then why harp on MS for aiming their previews at IT people rather than end users?

Comment: Re:Why were IT professionals the beta? (Score 1) 124

by Zak3056 (#49616275) Attached to: Microsoft Office 2016 Public Preview Released

Feedback is only good if it's listened to. As we have already seen with the demise of Visual Basic 6, the ribbon of Office 2007, the colors of Office 2013, and the not-desktop-or-start-menu of Windows 8.0, Microsoft does not listen to feedback.

Who the hell was screaming to keep VB6 around? Even the VB programmers I know almost universally hate it.

The decision doesn't have to be logical; it was unanimous.