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Comment Re:The elephant in the room (Score 1) 174

It could be changed, by reforming the welfare programs to stop making having welfare babies out of wedlock pay. There are a lot of possibilities for doing this, such as not giving out welfare benefits on a per child basis, not giving out services to the parent but directly to minors (a soup kitchen type setup). Also get rid of the Earned Income Tax Credit. The problem with the way that many of these programs work is they give more money to the parent or every illegitimate child, the parents can then use this money how they want, on themselves.

You make it sound like the biggest problem is that women sit down and say "You know what? I think I need a baby so I can screw the welfare system."

AFAICT, the actual problem is that not having control of reproduction leaves the women unable to implement long-term goals of not being on welfare. In which case there would be more impact from making access to long-term birth control like IUDs and implants cheap and easy.

Comment No arrow keys means I don't care. (Score 1) 240

The useless part of the keyboard is the number pad. I want that space so that my arm isn't hanging so far out to reach my pointing device. But I'm not willing to gain more space in that area at the expense of high-usage cursor-movement keys, that's completely unacceptable. So feel free to drop the 6 entirely.

Comment Re:Congratulations, Microsoft! (Score 1) 231

Yeah, I had RAM Doubler for Macintosh, too. But this is actually included with the OS. The sibling commenter pointing out that OSX wins by a year wins that competition, though.

I was actually imagining that some crusty old fart would crop up to tell us you could do it in VMS or something but so far nope

NeXTSTEP 3 (I think) had this in the early 90s. Then the rationale was that compressing pages on the way to disk reduced I/O load.


Comment Re:Efficiency (Score 1) 904

It is known that hydrocarbon powered cars typically turn chemical energy into mechanical motion at about 35% efficiency (45% for Diesels). It is known that large power plants generate electricity from fuel at about 50% efficiency. The process of charging a battery is about 75% efficient, turning electrical energy into chemical energy. The reverse is also true, for battery discharge (75%), and the electric motors of an electric car are about 95% efficient. We multiply these numbers to get the overall efficiency of conversion of original fuel energy into mechanical motion for the car: about 27%. Even allowing for regenerative braking energy-recovery, it looks like ordinary cars win the efficiency thing here. We need better than that!

Traditional cars and power plants don't use the same inputs. Even if electric cars are less efficient, they can potentially be powered by renewable energy sources rather than hydrocarbons.

Comment Re:When they get rude (Score 1) 217

When people hear that I can program apps I often get hassled by someone who of course has the next multi million dollar idea. I'm not interested but they rarely take no for an answer.

The variant I love is when they want you to evaluate their idea, but they're so cagey about actually _telling_ you the idea that there's no plausible statement you could make about it. I suspect this is all very highly correlated - if you don't know what you're doing and have never seen how hard it is to actually make working products, you don't know whether other people could run with your idea or not. But if you know how hard it is to accomplish something, you know that telling someone else about your idea doesn't matter, they won't be able to accomplish it either.

Comment Precalculate your dependencies and parallelism. (Score 1) 119

Init systems seem to model themselves on Makefiles, reading everything at startup and detecting dependencies on the fly then deriving ordering and parallelism. This should all be invariant stuff, instead model things on ninja, where you calculate a giant wad of info and mechanically grind through it at startup.

Comment Re:Systemd and Gnome3 == no thanks (Score -1) 300

>As far as I can tell, there is no root account I could log into directly


$ sudo passwd
$ sudo passwd -u root

There, now you can log into root directly and have all the security issues you want. Thanks for playing the "I don't know how to use linux" game

So what you're basically saying is that by default, there is no root account to log into directly? Thanks for spending your (surely very valuable) time verifying this trivial aspect of that post, even though it was irrelevant to the poster's overall point.

Comment This should be the common case, though. (Score 5, Insightful) 140

Big deal. If you are running a program which costs money or time, you should be considering whether it is worth running periodically regardless of whether it's a program to collect phone data or bringing donuts to the office. If you aren't revisiting that decision, you're doing your job badly.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying they're doing a good job. Just that "Oh, yeah, we considered cancelling that program" is a stupid comment which doesn't excuse anything. Most likely they kept the program more because you don't give up power and money once you have it, and they really didn't care about efficacy.

Comment Re:Heisenberg compensator ... (Score 1) 83

You think you have problems? I'm still trying to get my head around "It's both a particle... AND a wave!". How the f--- does that work? It doesn't even make any sense! It's insane! Wave things are not particles, and particle things are not waves!

Don't misunderstand our ability to comprehend something for the reality of the thing. We have tools for particles, we have tools for waves, so we see a thing and think "It's a particle! No, wait, it's a wave! That's weird, it's both!" In reality, it is what it is, regardless of our ability to comprehend it. In some sense there is no human-scale reality to these things, they are mathematical constructs of a certain sort, with interpretations that happen to simplify things in certain cases.

[When I say "human-scale reality" I mean that an electron is not like a tiny tiny baseball, with well-defined boundaries and position and speed.]

Comment man rm (Score 4, Interesting) 329

From the rm(1) man page on most Linux distros:
              --no-preserve-root do not treat '/' specially (the default)

                    fail to operate recursively on '/'

Why --preserve-root isn't the default is beyond me, since it would be generally faster to re-create the filesystem if that's what you _really_ wanted.

Comment Re:To be fair (Score 1) 200

It's simply not realistically possible to always perfectly plan multiple complex multi-year projects, when every your budget gets cut a little further, and you never know -- it's a roll of the dice -- if or how much it's going to get cut by -- then there is the secondary knock-on effect that of the small budget that remains*, the managers need to very carefully decide where to constantly try shift things around to try keep remaining projects going. The rocket program canceled in 2010 was probably canceled due to budget cuts. NASA's budget has consistently been cut, what, every year for the past 15 years? You can't entirely blame NASA - nobody can plan properly under those circumstances. Nobody, not you, or me, could end up not wasting any of it as a result of the constant shunting around.

If NASA had that same attitude in the 60's, the U.S. would still be trying to put its first man in space.

I think the point is that it isn't NASA's attitude which makes these things happen, it's the attitude of Congress.

Byte your tongue.