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Comment: Re:Unchanging UIs? Not just for old people (Score 1) 255 255

Changing UI's have caused him to eventually give up using the computer...

I'm not quite as old as your father, but I still prefer the type of UI that I used back in the days of Win95 because it does things the way I expect, and doesn't have an ever-growing set of bells, whistles and gongs getting in my way. That's why my computers all use Xfce, because it's trivial for me to set up the way I like it. And, for somebody like your father, who isn't interested in knowing what's going on "under the hood," switching to Linux isn't hard at all, especially if you pick a distro such as Xubuntu, which is designed with new users in mind.

Comment: Re:The moderation here is very liberal (Score 2) 233 233

To the Republicans it isn't. To them, they believe their invisible man in the sky told them the entire Earth is theirs to use.

Not to all, or even most Republicans. That's mostly the Religious Right, and they have far, far more influence than their numbers say they should because the GOP needs their votes to win elections. Just because the far right extremists act that way doesn't mean that the party as a whole agrees with them.

Comment: Re:Something I won't put on my resume (Score 1) 210 210

There are some bosses who are so self-important that they'd fire anybody who suggested that they can fix for themselves, and I agree that I'd not want to work for one, but that wasn't what I meant. I was thinking of the kind of boss who'd fire you for phrasing your suggestion the way I did; of course, following the link may help you understand my thoughts.

Comment: Re:Something I won't put on my resume (Score 1) 210 210

I think I'd have been tempted to tell him that he knows how to fix it if he knows how to whistle. Of course, a lot depends on his personality; if he's an arrogant stuffed shirt, you'll be looking for your next job before you know what's happened.

Comment: Re: Really ? (Score 1) 255 255

The moon has no atmosphere.

I remember, almost thirty years ago, running across a book with that title. It was the story of a girl (about fourteen, I think) whose family relocated to a lunar colony because her father got a good job up there. The title is a bit of a play on words, of course, but both meanings were appropriate and it wasn't a bad book.

Comment: Re:What is the point? (Score 1) 141 141

A robot can only do what it's designed to do. It can only use the tools or probes you built into it unless you've added to the cost, weight and complexity of the device by giving it the ability to reconfigure itself, and even then, there are a limited number of configurations it can use. A human, with a tool kit can swap things around however needed, limited only by what's available and can stop in the middle of an experiment if needed to record some unexpected phenomenon. You can't do things like that with a robot because by the time the controllers back here see what's happening, it's too late.

Comment: Re:What is the point? (Score 1) 141 141

What do we get from sending a meat robot to mars, other than the sort of daredevil glory?

We get something on the scene that's able to adapt to the situation, take advantage of the unexpected and do things on its own initiative. I don't know about you, but I find the Risk well worth the potential benefits.

Comment: Re:Because titan has ice, pluto isn't even a plane (Score 4, Informative) 98 98

One of the things accomplished by taking Voyager I behind Titan was a direct measurement of the thickness and density of Titan's atmosphere. They did this, btw, by measuring how much of the probe's signal was absorbed before it was completely occluded and by how long it took the signal to come back to normal strength after it came out on the other side. And to show you how good the navigation was, closest approach was less than two radii out, meaning that if it had been cut in half, Voyager would have collided with Titan instead of just passing closely. I know this, because I spent some time at JPL in the mid 1980s and am slightly acquainted with the man who came up with the idea and did most of the work involved.

Comment: Re:well done. (Score 2) 289 289

Back when the (then) newest version of Windows would reboot when there was a problem instead of giving you a BSOD with the option to kill whatever caused it and try to continue, I had a friend who was a senior developer. He actually insisted that if something went badly wrong, he wanted his computer to reboot right then and there. He didn't care what program had crashed, he didn't want a chance to save his work, he just wanted it to reboot without asking. I never did understand his attitude, but I can only guess that a lot of people must have shared it because there wasn't the type of mass protest that I would have expected. Clearly, when it comes to Windows, spontaneous rebooting has been acceptable behavior for decades.

Comment: Capital of bad drivers (Score 1) 203 203

If it's true that there are more traffic fatalities every year in San Diego than there are murders, it must be the world capital of bad drivers. Maybe they should be putting some of this money into improving their Driver's Education and Driver's Training classes instead of trying to make it harder for people to use the streets.

The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.