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Comment: Re:*sigh* (Score 1) 164

by tlhIngan (#49360283) Attached to: Iowa's Governor Terry Branstad Thinks He Doesn't Use E-mail

Because smart people don't seem to want the job.

Let's not make the equivalence between tech savvy and intelligence, because /., is a perfect example of people who claim to be intelligent, yet painfully ignorant at the same time.

Just because you can use a computer doesn't mean you know how the world works. Heck, tech-savvy people are among the worst people in the world for a job that requires extreme interaction with people who are unpredictable, where how you say something is extremely important (more than what you say), and where how you dress and appear is critical.

Comment: Re:Ummmm ... duh? (Score 2) 344

by tlhIngan (#49357189) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

No, he's saying it should be illegal to keep things like mental instability and dangerous suicidal mindsets secret from the state when the state is what licenses you to be entrusted, day-in, day-out, with the lives of hundreds of people. If you've got mental problems, don't look for a job where that is by definition a disqualifier. It appears this German guy knew that, and was hiding his problems from his employer and the regulatory agencies that license his operation of giant passenger aircraft.

Except if that was truly the case, the economy would take a nosedive - approximately 1/3rd of people are suffering from mental illness (typically depression) at any point in time.

In fact, depression that's treatable is no longer a disqualifying factor - the FAA has just recently allowed a whole pile of antidepressants as safe to take without grounding.

This was done because guess what? Pilots WERE hiding mental illness from the FAA because it was, until recently, a grounding factor.

Truth is, mental illness is wildly under-reported - it's not seen as either a "real" illness, or they think you're headed to the rubber room - depression, etc., are all seen as "just man up, suck it up and get on with it".

So yeah, that's sort of why mental illnesses are problematic - no pilot wants to be associated with straightjackets, rubber rooms, short buses, electroshock, etc., so they're not likely to want to report it, nor take (until recently) medicine that grounds you. Plus well, the whole "man up and be happy" attitude prevails.

Comment: Re:"to provide support for the cultural sector" (Score 3, Informative) 232

And remember, when you're a Quebecer and want to participate in a contest, you're excluded, just like Iranians and North Koreans. Banana Republic of Quebec.

Quebec is an oddity because they have a ton of things that no one else does - they are ... special.

So if you want to hold a contest Canada-wide, you follow basic legislation that applies federally (generally easy) and maybe have to make adjustments for each province (again, easy). But if you want to add QC, you suddenly are beholden to a TON more regulations. Most companies simply choose to avoid it because the benefit of adding QC is very small compared to the burden.

It's also why in Canada you often run into things like "Not for sale in Quebec". Electronic toys are even more fascinating because you often have "Quebec edition" and "Not for Quebec edition" (usually marked as "Not for sale in Quebec").

It's really an independent nation of its own - they just happen to use the Canadian dollar and passport.

Comment: Re:Be careful of the term "terrorist attack" (Score 1) 724

by tlhIngan (#49346509) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

it could be as mundane as depression

but then we're talking about depression and overwhelming narcissism here

because depressed suicidal people still know right and wrong: they aren't going to take 150 innocent people out with them. the desire to harm the self for various reasons is not the same as the desire to harm others. so when you're talking murder/ suicide, such as when a dad or mom kills the spouse/ kids then themselves, you're at a level far beyond and far different than just depression and suicide, you're dealing with a narcissistic asshole

if it is simply suicide and not terrorism, this suicidal guy is still a complete piece of shit on the level of a terrorist. to be so overwhelmed with such a selfish egotistical internal drama that 150 lives simply don't mean a thing? wow

man, if this is all because some fucking girl broke up with him... fuck this douchebag

It could even be ... money issues.

Silkair Flight 185 is particularly controversial, but the captain had rather bad money issues so on the anniversary of getting his license. He lost it big during the financial crisis, running up a debt of $1.2M.

I say "controversial" because there are those who believe it was a mechanical failure, despite the only way to reproduce the performance was deliberate inputs. The co-pilot was locked out, and both recorders were disabled (the CVR and FDR were not recording at the time of the dive). It did lead to an investigation that determined if the recorders breakers popped naturally due to a short, the recorders had enough power that they recorded the event - the CVR would record the sound of its own breaker popping. But no such sound was heard.

There was also an Egypt Air flight that was potentially caused by deliberate human inputs, again contested by the authorities involved (usually between the NTSB and the local investigation board). Of course, national pride is often at stake as well as political pressure within the country.

Comment: Re:I'd rather the FAA get it's ass in gear (Score 1) 60

by tlhIngan (#49346341) Attached to: Amazon Blasts FAA On Drone Approvals, Regulations

I'd rather the FAA take a proactive, and active, role in creating rules which allow operations and enforce existing damage and nuisance laws. Letting the FAA "take it's time" is like telling ID that there's no rush on getting Duke Nukem Forever out as long as they do it right.

Drones are tricky.

The FAA has no choice BUT to take it slow because there are a lot of stakeholders to consider - including regular airspace users, air traffic control, etc.

I mean, there's a hobby advisory circular that's just that, advisory. People flying drones under those terms are still deemed to be flying aircraft, and there has been a case where a drone pilot flying their drone in an unsafe manner has been charged under the FARs (it was initially appealed but the NTSB upheld that advisory circulars were not law).

At best, the FAA can apply what they feel is appropriate, i.e., advisory circular rules. But if your drone exceeds it, then it has to be part of the big boys including see and avoid, communications, transponders, etc., if it comes close to controlled airspace.

And then there's the whole controlled part of it - if it's in controlled airspace, then it needs to obey ATC. We've already had issues where drones piloted by people who really do know better still not properly doing their part. Enough so that the FAA had to basically declare areas of airspace as "drones only" because testers couldn't assure that their drones would participate properly.

then there's the whole taxing thing - if drones use ATC, they need to pay for it. Right now aircraft pay for it through fuel taxes (thoughts of user-based taxing keeps coming up as the airlines keep proposing it, though it gets shot down because GA objects - they already pay the taxes for it).

You want agile drone development, you need to go into a place where airspace is controlled and there aren't so many stakeholders. China is one, for their military controls all airspace. GA is practically non-existent (the military has started allowing local GA flights though). Now there the only stakeholder is the military.

Europe works too since GA is suppressed through high taxes leading to mostly only airlines having to be consulted.

Comment: Re:Most degrees from India... (Score 1) 264

I used to do a lot of contractor hiring. I started with the attitude "if you lie on your resume, I won't even consider you". After realizing that I would never hire anyone - I backed off on the attitude. The interview process became an exercise in determining what the candidate knows, while the candidate made every attempt possible to deceive me. It was very disheartening and I hated hiring someone who lied to my face for 60 minutes straight because he lied less than everyone else and was the most likely of the bunch to get the job done.

Well, you simply judge it by the degree of lying. For example, someone who lies about going to a college or university and graduating is far worse than someone who may have minorly overstated their duties at a previous job (e.g., wrote the reporting module for internal application even though they really just integrated a COTS module into the application).

Anything easily verifiable is a lot worse than not verifiable - if you lie on anything that can be verified, you're disqualified. (I mean, you don't blatantly lie like that). Getting a date wrong can be minor or major, depending on how far off - a year is a big deal, but a month is not so much (e.g., I was hired as a contractor for a month before being brought on full time - my official record of employment will be a month less since it doesn't include the month I worked as a contractor).

I've been in interviews where 5 minutes in it was obviously becoming a train wreck. - it becomes a hard decision on whether it was more humane to tell the candidate that they couldn't continue immediately and save themselves the rest of their day and any potential expectations, or stringing them on since they do believe what they're saying.

Comment: Re:my experience: (Score 1) 264

by tlhIngan (#49336039) Attached to: Developers and the Fear of Apple

Professionals working for bigger companies who build apps for millions of users or on commission for businesses get paid pretty well. But for people working alone on in small groups, developing apps for smaller crowds, the income isn't all that good, because they are competing with hobbyists. Another factor is the size of the market: in principle it is nice for any developer to have a market of 10s of millions of potential customers, but in practice it alters the economics and customer expectations to their disadvantage.

There are really two kinds of apps. You have the ones by companies who are selling products incidental to the app - e.g., banking, shopping, social media, streaming media and other apps. The app makes life convenient and increases sales of the core service,.

Then there are apps that are designed for the device itself - which can be subdivided into two more categories - indies and non-indies. Non indies would be the big publishers in your platform - the EA, Ubisoft, Microsoft, Google and others, while the indies are everyone else.

And just like on the PC, indies have practically never made money - sure you get maybe the 0.01% that rise up and become mainstream and make tons of money, but the rest of the crap gets released, forgotten, and doesn't make money. Doesn't matter if it's Apple's App Store, Google Play, Steam (though its curation is even more stringent than Apple, so a lot of the crap is filtered out, but there's still a large chunk), Xbox Live Indie Arcade, or the general entire PC ecosystem.

As for the 30% cut, running your own ecommerce platform isn't easy - if you want to deal with re-downloads/updates, accounts (and security!), merchanting (Paypal or direct credit cards and PCI-DSS) and other things. It's why sites like Shopify and Amazon exist, but surprise surprise, they also have their cut (typically 10% if not more) and you still have to do a lot of work on your end.

You can try to do it yourself, but then you have security issues - ongoing maintenance is expensive and even today there's still a bunch of sites vulnerable to Heartbleed (!). Or SQL injections making them one step away from having your personal information compromised.

Sure 30% seems expensive, but in the end, having a lot of that stuff taken care of for you makes it more worthwhile for a bunch of developers who would rather work on their app, not figuring out why updating the SSL library to fix Heartbleed broke their ecommerce system.

Comment: Re:What makes it so expensive? (Score 1) 56

by tlhIngan (#49335917) Attached to: Stanford Breakthrough Could Make Better Chips Cheaper

PV cells apparently require a lot of material compared to a lot of other potential applications of GaAs (RF? Optoelectronics?).

Well, one look at a silicon PV cell should tell you how much material is used - practically the entire wafer. I mean, the big panels with the blue squares are basically single wafers of silicon. The cheaper ones use cut up wafers which is why they're a lot more irregularly shaped (the wafers are circular for processing, and then sides are lopped off to square them up. Those sides are then used in much cheaper PV arrays which is why they're practically always curved on one edge and straight on the other.

And remember for semiconductor manufacturing, area is everything - the smaller your IC, the more you can stick on a wafer (per IC cost is lower), the chance of a chip being patterned on a bulk defect is a lot lower (bulk defects are small, so they generally only affect one die. The larger the die, the larger amount of the wafer is now useless as the defect scraps that die) so yields are higher, meaning even more good dies, lowering per-die cost.

Modern digital ICs using CMOS technology use big 12" (30cm) wafers since the mid 90s, because bigger wafers mean more dies and lower per-die costs since you can produce a lot more per processing step. It's why CMOS camera sensors are stupidly cheap, and why full frame sensors are practically all CMOS. Non-CMOS technologies still use smaller wafers

Comment: Re:How is this front page worthy? (Score 1) 35

by tlhIngan (#49335791) Attached to: MuseScore 2.0 Released

MuseScore is also one of the few FOSS projects for music that actually start to rival its commercial counterparts.

Far too often we hear the question "I'm a musician and want to use Linux. What software can I use" only to really hear that the reality is the FOSS alternatives generally suck compared to the more polished commercial versions (even the ones that run on Linux).

So MuseScore is extremely important in that aspect. The rest of the programs for music that are FOSS still suck but at least there's one that rivals commercial offerings in quality.

Comment: Re:I'm fine with (Score 1) 282

by tlhIngan (#49333597) Attached to: Ford's New Car Tech Prevents You From Accidentally Speeding

preventing accidental speeding, just as long as it leaves me alone when I'm speeding deliberately.

Well, it does just that since you can override it in the most obvious way possible - give it more gas. So if you need to overtake and speed to do it, you'd probably floor the accelerator which disables the system to quickly pass.

Speed traps are always interesting - I've seen a case where we spotted a speed trap, slowed down, and the guy behind us got annoyed, changed lanes and floored it right in front of the cops. Who proceeded to pull him over.

Comment: Re:As a recent buyer of a mid-2014 MBP (Score 1) 204

by tlhIngan (#49327341) Attached to: Apple Doubles MacBook Pro R/W Performance

I am pretty miffed to read this. Nothing like paying a load of cash for a shiny new laptop only to find out a couple months later that you'd have been way better off waiting.

Apple stuff is fairly predictable. Unlike everyone else, Apple generally releases on a set schedule the same time every year. Enough so that there are many "buyers guide" for Apple products.


If you're ever contemplating an Apple purchase, check that out first. Anything beyond midlife is a caution - if you can wait, then wait. Anything marked as "Don't Buy" is basically meaning it's going to come out in the next 3 months.

Comment: Re:noatime,nodiratime (Score 1) 204

by tlhIngan (#49325401) Attached to: Apple Doubles MacBook Pro R/W Performance

I'm still waiting for the next laptop to even meet 2 years ago Apple's model. Hint: 750Mbs continuous speed is the limit of SATA-III. Show me a standard SSD that hits that. Hint, the brand new relatively well thought of top brand I just bought only comes near that number, and not on continuous mixed R/W operation, even in a 2 drive RAID0. Last year's MBP handily beats it in disk I/O performance. Maybe if I get 4 in RAID0 I'll be equal. Unless, of course, you're talking about those PCIe drives (they're a whole different class of SSD, and priced appropriately.)

Actually, SATA3 is 6Gbps, which could be 750MB/sec full tilt, but after protocol and PHY stuff, 540MB/sec is the practical limit. Which all SSDs pretty much hit these days - both reading and writing. It's not that it's a magic limit, it's what the practical limit is for SATA3.

It's why Apple went PCIe for their SSDs because SATA is a bottleneck, and SATA3 only came out a couple of years BEFORE we maxed it out.

Comment: Re:Nothing new (Score 1) 178

by tlhIngan (#49320953) Attached to: Gaming On Linux With Newest AMD Catalyst Driver Remains Slow

I think you are wrong, and I think you are not going to get a proprietary alternative that's as fast as it could be. The interfaces needed to make graphics faster on Linux are all EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL, meaning that they can't legally be used by proprietary (read: faster) kernel modules. So basically, the interfaces that are needed are, in fact, politicized.

I thought APIs couldn't be copyrighted? You know, like what the Oracle v. Google Android-Java lawsuit was all about?

If so, then without copyright protection GPL is worthless - GPL requires copyright in order to work (because copyright gives you certain rights - GPL gives you MORE rights in exchange for agreeing to certain conditions - if you don't agree, your basic rights under copyright law apply). In that case the APIs are unprotected.

But if you want to claim GPL protects those APIs, then it also means Oracle has a point w.r.t. Android's implementation of Java.

Comment: Re:How well forethought of dice (Score 1) 119

by tlhIngan (#49320751) Attached to: OS X Users: 13 Characters of Assyrian Can Crash Your Chrome Tab

Did Dice ditch unicode support? I thought the slash code always had issues/didn't support it, long before Dice acquired them.

Slashcode always supported Unicode.

The reason it appears it doesn't is that thanks to a bunch of wankers who decided to abuse Unicode to no end, it ended up screwing the site layout up thanks to abuse of control codes.

So what was added was an input filter that limited what Unicode could come in - pretty much just ASCII at this point.

Unicode IS complex, and you really cannot blindly handle "all of it" because there will be odd edge cases you will NOT have thought of. And even more so as it's not a static character set - today you might think you handled all the edge cases, but tomorrow the new Unicode spec may introduce more and now you have more edge cases and combinations to test.

A couple of years ago it seems Slashcode implemented an output Unicode filter as well - because the old pages that were screwed up by the Unicode abuse no longer are screwed up. But their legacy lives on - Google for ":erocS" on /.

(Yes, abuse of the right-to-left override meant you could "fakemod" yourself by pretending you had a +5 mod)

Comment: Re:ActiveX (Score 1) 95

by tlhIngan (#49320565) Attached to: South Korea Begins To Deprecate ActiveX

And ActiveX got a severe makeover in IE7. So much so that practically everything broke. Which is why IE6 hung around so long.

Of course, you have admit that South Korea is FINALLY getting around to fixing it given IE7+ has been around for years now. I'm guessing Windows 7 and XP Mode support is getting harder to come by?

The trouble with being punctual is that people think you have nothing more important to do.