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Comment: Re:jessh (Score 1) 391

by the gnat (#48930081) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

Yes, indeed, they are free to quit their jobs — without having to give up on their house, country, and friends — if their assessment of the risk of coming to work is so drastically at odds with that of their employer.

Are you really so dense and solopsistic that you are incapable of understanding that for most people, this is no choice at all? For many Americans, yes, they will have to give up their house if they end up unemployed. Not to mention their health insurance - and I assume you aren't in favor of the government helping out with that either. You're pretending that personal autonomy isn't constrained by economic considerations, which is completely at odds with reality. You're also pretending that managers actually give a shit whether their employees are safe driving to work, when the history of industrial economies is full of evidence that they are often utterly careless without government intervention.

And if you don't like being told to move to Somalia, try getting some self-awareness and honesty, and admit that there are real tradeoffs to your utopian fantasies, with genuinely negative impacts on other people's lives. There are many persuasive and intellectually honest arguments for smaller government, but you're not making them.

Comment: I thought the point of the charge ... (Score 3, Interesting) 37

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48929295) Attached to: Spider Spins Electrically Charged Silk

I thought the point of the charge was to make the "wooly" side-fibers of the strands wrap around the prey's limbs and/or the microscopic irregularities in the exoskeleton, tangling to it. "Tying" the fibers to the prey would have a similar binding effect to gluing them to it, without the need for glue, and lots of little fibers could make a very strong attachment.

(Stretching fibers made of long chains makes them stronger by aligning the chains along the direction of the stretch.)

Comment: Re:Privacy (Score 5, Informative) 50

by swillden (#48929123) Attached to: Amazon Takes On Microsoft, Google With WorkMail For Businesses

Though you have to trust AWS with the plain text at some time since every mail server and client has to hand the message over in plain text (it may come in over an encrypted tunnel, but it needs to be decrypted by their mailservers).

No, it doesn't. S/MIME, PGP-mail, etc. Of course that only works if the party you're e-mailing can also use client-side e-mail encryption.

Google is working on enabling OpenPGP-encrypted e-mail for Gmail with a Chrome extension: https://github.com/google/end-...

Comment: Also: lots of code has been vetted for decades (Score 1) 46

Why are they still using C to deal with network protocol? Is the performance so critical that it's worth all the troubles?

Also, because there's a lot of C code that has been in heavy use, and tested for correctness, for decades, suitable for reuse with substantial confidence that it's correct (though you check it anyhow...).

Let's see you find code like THAT for a language that hasn't been AROUND for decades. B-)

Comment: Everything is bigger than Hollywood (Score 1) 131

by swillden (#48928943) Attached to: The American App Economy Is Now "Bigger Than Hollywood"

Meh. Everything is bigger than Hollywood.

Okay, that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but honestly, on the scale of major first-world institutions that people know and recognize, Hollywood is pretty small potatoes. Apple alone rakes in more than double the entire worldwide film industry's take. 2013 worldwide film industry revenues: $88B, and Hollywood is only about 2/3 of that. 2014 Apple revenues: $183B. IBM also is also bigger than Hollywood. Google is about as big as Hollywood. Ford is bigger than Hollywood. GM is bigger than Hollywood. Exxon Mobil is more than six times as large as Hollywoood.

The film industry is almost noise in the US national economy. It's chump change.

Where Hollywood is a heavyweight, though, is in politics. It has massively disproportionate power in comparison to its segment of the economy. Why? Simple: political power is about influence, not money, and Hollywood has direct access to the voters' brains. Large quantities of money can also buy access to said brains, but there is no amount of money that could buy as much political advertising as Hollywood can pack into its entertainment output. And any individual actor of note can stand up and say something and get press coverage that would cost tens of millions if purchased, free.

Luckily, Hollywood isn't politically homogeneous, so to a large degree the politics of our entertainment media reflect the same varied sets of opinions found in the nation as a whole. Not perfectly, but largely. There are some areas in which the interests of Hollywood are highly homogeneous, however, such as around copyright law, and there they wield incredible clout.

Anyway, my core point here isn't about that, it's just that Hollywood's visibility and influence makes it seem much bigger than its actual economic status.

Comment: For starters, because it's transparent. (Score 1) 46

Why are they still using C to deal with network protocol?

For starters, because it's transparent. The "K&R compliant assembly laguage", as one of my former colleagues once characterized it, translates to object in a clearly understandable way (especially if you turn optimization down or off). Though it gives you more opportunities to create bugs, it makes it hard for the bugs to hide from inspection.

The "higher-level" the language, the more it takes over and inserts its own stuff between you and the metal, and the more opportunity for that to inject an invisible vulnerability - which you might have trouble removing even if you DO discover it.

Meanwhile, many of the things "higher-level" languages protect you from can also be detected and flagged by both modern C compilers and code examination tools - starting with the venerable "lint".

Comment: Re:Sort of like shitposting... (Score 1) 265

by Jeremy Erwin (#48927167) Attached to: The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

I use my iPad to stream Amazon Prime video to my AppleTV-- technically I could use my Macs to watch the same streams, but they wouldn't be HD. This proved a welcome surprise, as many of the other services like Macs-- but demand additional payment for streaming to the iPad.

Comment: Re:CA requires commercial licenses for pickup truc (Score 1) 209

I can guarantee you that if the Govt. left it up to drivers to get the proper training and instruction on how to operate vehicles safely, people wouldn't do it.

Interesting claim - since it doen't work that way for guns.

Where the government requires training, most gun purchasers take the minimum required, then stop. Where it doesn't, most people start with the course recommended by the gun stores (which is far more comprehensive - and more focussed, with less time spent on political indoctrination B-) ) and also do substantially more range time, until they feel adequately competent. (Then there are those that get interested in shooting as a hobby...)

A similar effect is the reason police normally don't shoot at private ranges simultaneously with civilians. Most police are embarrassingly HORRIBLE shots and pistol-handlers - because they do only the minimum training and practice required by the department (which has lots of other stuff for them to do while they're being paid for their time), and almost never have to actually fire their gun during their work.

Comment: Re:CA requires commercial licenses for pickup truc (Score 1) 209

Ford F150 Lariat.

For the 5 1/2 ton towing capacity (which also translates to "won't blow the engine head gasket towing a loaded trailer up CA 88 like the van did" - turns out they designed that vehicle's engine with the cylinders too close together so this one pair had a very thin piece of gasket between them,..).

(No time to get the GVR before I have to get to work...)

Comment: Re:jessh (Score 1) 391

by the gnat (#48919933) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

individuals and businesses, made aware of the risks, can (and are supposed to!) make their own decisions

No, most individuals are at the mercy of whatever their employers decide, even if their employers decide that yes, they need to be at their jobs today even if it means driving in two feet of snow. Yes, they're quite "free" to quite their jobs, in the same sense that you are "free" to move to Somalia if you're unhappy with having a functioning government.

Comment: Re:I want to have to support another browser (Score 1) 157

by swillden (#48918311) Attached to: Opera Founder Is Back, WIth a Feature-Heavy, Chromium-Based Browser

Funny, and I want to have three open browsers so I can sandbox various activities from one another.

One browser that supports multiple profiles should accomplish that just fine.

Who said you had to support it? Are you the support guy for the entire interweb or something?

Nobody is forcing you to use it or support it.

You're not a web developer are you?

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