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Comment Remarkable people (Score 5, Insightful) 359

A remarkable number of people believe homeopathy works. A remarkable number of people believe in gods, devils, prophets and an afterlife. A remarkable number of people believe scrying, remote sensing, dousing or fortune telling is real. A remarkable number of people firmly believe various economic, political or social "truths" in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

A remarkable number of people are intelligent, well-adjusted and successful in their lives, and still manage to hold one or several of the beliefs above without ever experiencing any sense of disconnect. Those remarkable people almost certainly includes myself, and most likely you as well.

Comment Good! (Score 1) 415

A step in the right direction. The solution is always going to be a mix of technologies. One size does not fit all

A couple of weeks ago I flew over Altamont Pass just east of San Francisco and the wind farms weren't doing much...but it was sunny, so solar facilities would be cranking out the watts. As it should be. Earlier in the summer I was in northern Alberta (Edmonton -> Peace River -> High Level) and the perpetual wind had me watching for wind turbines. Saw a few.

Here in B.C. we have lots of hydroelectric capacity (and some fossil fuel generation, alas...) and are playing with wind and tidal power. Our climate isn't particularly sunny (except for the Okanagan), so solar is a non-starter.


Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 448

Hey AC, see this big tear in my eye? that's me being all broke up about what some AC thinks. Not. Why don't you use your crappy experiences in school to try and improve others lives instead of trying to tear others down? Leave that crappy past and the losers that were part of it behind you, and build your life based on positive future goals instead of dwelling on a past you can't change.

Comment Re:Promote longer life? Not so fast (Score 2) 91

Japan's farmers are old because Japan is a segregated society. Farmers, fishermen, and other manual laborers who's professions are considered 'unclean' are a subclass heavily discriminated against.

No. You're confusing manual labour - well respected, fishermen and farmers especially - with "burakumin", the old class of people that did work forbidden by buddhism, such as butchering, leather tanning and so on.

Discrimination of burakumin still exists, but mostly among the kind of people that worry their daughters will marry the "wrong sort" of people, and "wrong sort" also includes not having a foreigner in the family tree, not being a member of the right country clubs, having insufficient money and so on. The recent mayor of Osaka, for instance, is burakumin, but while there are many reasons to dislike him, I've heard of nobody doing so for that reason.

Comment Re: Why? (Score 1) 448

Boo hoo - the bullys are being mean to me.
I grew up with a lot of bullying and it sucked - but I never thought it'd be a great idea to go all stabby stabby (no guns here in Aus) on someone to deal with it. I learnt the best weapon was to not give a shit about what they thought or the names they called me. Some one calls you some name - haha - is that really the best you can do? Come on you have to have a better imagination than that... They usually used the same old tired nickname I got in grade 1 for supposedly having an egg shaped head - not much you can do about that. After a while, they look pretty stupid carrying on and making a big deal about calling you names you don't care about. I didn't respect them or seek their approval as peers, so why would it bother me what they call me? Admittedly it did take until about grade 8 (middle school in the US?) before I came to this enlightened outlook.

As for physical attacks - I never really had to deal with any - but then I went to a school where that'd be a pretty quick suspension or expulsion if it came to blows. Perhaps that's not the case elsewhere.

Comment Re:Is it worth doing this in hardware? (Score 1) 128

I use Synergy too - and the multiple inputs of my monitors to allow reconfiguring of which PC has two screens.
eg. Linux 1 running linux on the left, workstation in the middle with two monitors connected with DVI cables, laptop on the right with Windows.
Each screen has an HDMI, DVI and VGA port - switchable by pressing the input button on the screen.
Each laptop is also connected to the closest monitor, using HDMI cables.
Synergy server runs on the workstation, with the mouse and keyboard connected to it.
Each laptop is a synergy client.
so all together 3 pcs, 4 screens, 2 different operating systems.

I can flip between using a single screen or dual screens with the laptops, (which of course means using only a single screen or no screens for the workstation)
in practice, I don't usually need to bother dual-screening with the linux laptop, as I tend to use it's screen to edit files on the workstation anyway, or just use it to browse documentation on the web - but I do find it useful to sometimes dual screen the windows laptop at the expense of one of the workstation screens, such as when I am doing a lot of windows development and debugging. Of course if you have 3 or 4 monitors it's easy to just insert that in the mix and not have to flip screens at all - and if you have a few more old crusty laptops or a mac or something they can very effectively become part of this setup by just adding them as additional Synergy clients.
The only downside is that if you have the laptops set up in multi monitor mode when the workstation has use of both screens, you have to move the cursor across the 'hidden' screen - but of course you can just switch back to single display mode for the laptops if you aren't going to be switching displays back and forth much, and you get used to the 'blank' spot (in the mouse's travel) pretty quick .

Of course you can also copy and paste text back and forth between all three machines, which I don't believe you could do with a traditional KVM setup.
On Linux, as soon as my laptop wakes (from sleep or hibernate) , it happily reconnects to this config, and works without having to reset anything.
Unfortunately with Windows, sometimes when it comes out of sleep, you have to stop and restart the synergy client for it to reconnect, though it seems to have fewer issues with hibernate.

You can also layer in something like VNC or remote desktop into this mix if you need to connect to additional desktops too, of course - but the main thing is you have a whole lot of screens, a whole lot of PCs and only one keyboard and mouse to rule them all.

Total cost: $0
Utility: priceless


Comment Do it yourself! (Score 1) 106

A few years ago I measured my longitude myself, just for fun. I measured the time of local noon, using a portable shortwave radio tuned to WWV. Correct local solar time to mean time with the equation of time, read off my longitude. I would have won the prize. Shows what an accurate clock can do.

I've read Captain Cook's logs and in his time they observed things like the moons of Jupiter to get a time reference. Reasonably accurate, but time-consuming.


Comment Re: Switching (Score 1) 147

2) Compatibility with .docx sucks. Compatibility with Excel is _terrible_.

Excel is almost hopeless, since you really need the full scripting environment as well.

But docx has not really been a problem in practice. If you make sure you have the fonts installed, it's good enough. I asked one of our secretaries once about the doc files I send her. She said there were always some oddities - but there were oddities in files from everybody at the department. And most of them do use Office. Different versions; some use the US English version while others use the Japanese one; different base settings and so on.

Libre Office incompatibilities were in her eyes no worse than Office incompatibilities with itself. She didn't know I wasn't using Office, in fact.

Comment Re:Color me shocked (Score 1) 96

You assume that in a world where robots do all the work humans who do not own robots get nothing.

That assumption is correct, under a purely capitalistic society.
Unless there is also a move to a more socially oriented society, there will be a lot richer few and much poorer many, when the majority of all work is done my machines.

Comment Re:Easy, just stop procrastinating (Score 1) 125

i used to use virtual desktops - in the last millenium. Since it becamse possible to use more than one monitor, this is m preferred method of work.
At work I use an Ubuntu workstation with 2x 24" monitors for my main work area - typically with one running a 3d view of whatever i'm working on (robotics stuff) and several consoles for running processes, and my main IDE on the other monitor.
In addition I have an old laptop running ubuntu that I use to do stuff like pull up documentation and sometimes edit a script or config file (remotely on the workstation vis ssh), with a newer laptop running Windows 7 and visual studio. On occasion I flip the setup so the workstation has a single monitor and the laptop dual screens with the second monitor. All tied together using Synergy so I am only using the one keyboard and mouse across all the screens and machines, and allowing me to copy and paste from machine to machine.
Virtual desktops are an annoyance when I accidentally drag a window too low and it flips to one of the other virtual desktops - I could really do without them. If anything, I'd like another monitor or two - because by the time you have a 3d viewer, several consoles, a linux IDE, visual studio with the client app running, some documentation open and a logfile or two open, and a couple of pgadmin windows open for seeing whats going on in the database, I still run out of desktop realestate, though switching from one virtual desktop to another would not be a very happy solution.

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