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Comment: Re:Obama killed it. (Score 1) 75

by tnk1 (#49552905) Attached to: FCC Chairman: a Former Cable Lobbyist Who Helped Kill the Comcast Merger

Obama appointed the commissioners, but they're more independent than your usual government department. If Wheeler did Obama's bidding, it is likely because Wheeler and Obama were on the same page, not because Obama forced it.

And of course there is a difference between the two parties, just not one that makes any fundamental difference in the long run. They both want the government to be bigger, so much so that they will even occasionally steal from the other team's playbook to make it bigger. I don't actually think it is a conspiracy, per se, I just think it is a bunch of people who like exercising power, and by doing so at the Federal level, they drag more and more into its orbit. Centralized power, whether built on the basis of defense expenditures or entitlements, will eventually be used for the benefit of the opposite side.

Comment: Re: So surprising... (Score 1) 75

by tnk1 (#49552865) Attached to: FCC Chairman: a Former Cable Lobbyist Who Helped Kill the Comcast Merger

I'm pretty happy it didn't go through. That may not make me happy about the government, but I'm happy about anything that kept that abomination of a deal from happening. This is a legitimate cause for celebration, even if it doesn't really mark a significant change. Most systems are at least a little corrupt, so it is a fine thing to see a good decision come about sometimes from that mess.

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 3, Insightful) 75

by tnk1 (#49552853) Attached to: FCC Chairman: a Former Cable Lobbyist Who Helped Kill the Comcast Merger

There's no need to be skeptical. No rule is without exceptions. He could easily be good intentioned in this case and still not really disprove the rule of regulatory capture.

Of course, you're right that he could have a reason that this particular merger met his ire. He may have a job lined up with a competitor. Maybe Comcast pissed him off when he was on the phone with them once. Maybe his friends at the country club don't like Comcast.

Still, he could easily have been annoyed about how transparently bad the arguments that Comcast and Time Warner Cable made were. I mean, just listening to the commercials they were hitting us with and how they tried to somehow convince people that Comcast, one of the most hated companies in America, is somehow going to be good for us because they planned on implementing Net Neutrality without being told to (a line that went away right after the Title II changes). As if they could be forced to keep that promise after they merged with TWC. And gee whiz, they sometimes give away internet to poor kids, which I'm sure no one else has ever thought of, ever. Right.

Comment: Re:Bad use case (Score 1) 118

by tnk1 (#49552039) Attached to: Giant Survival Ball Will Help Explorer Survive a Year On an Iceberg

The downside is that you'd have to have 1.4 million people who are perfectly positioned to take advantage of these devices with sufficient reaction time to be able to get to them, and sufficient warning time to know to try and find one. And once they did, you'd probably have two people trying to fight their way into one, while another at a less useful location was completely unused.

In the same vein, nuclear bomb shelters were an iffy idea even if you ended up being able to get to them and use them, but they never really addressed the issue of what happened if you got nuked while you were at work or school, or if you were on vacation. They only really made sense when tensions raised publicly and for a protracted period of time. Most ICBM attacks would have been done pre-emptively with very little time for even the military to react. You *might* be able to get to your shelter if you were at home, awake, and happened to have your TV or radio on or your neighbors clued you in.

A 7 billion dollar seawall could not only save a lot of property, it could potentially save more than 1.4 million people because it heads off the problem at the most likely point of attack instead of relying on positioning of people in relation to an escape pod.

This sort of thing could be useful, but only in high risk scenarios like the iceberg one where you know you have a high risk of needing it, and you also don't need to leave the near vicinity of the object (or even leave the object at all).

Comment: Re:earthquakes in Nepal? (Score 3, Informative) 107

by tnk1 (#49551845) Attached to: 7.8 Earthquake Rocks Nepal, Hundreds Dead

The Himalayas are there because they are on a plate boundary where one plate is colliding with another. At this one, instead of subduction, we have collision and uplift. And this uplift we happen to call the Himalayas.

I'm surprised that there aren't *more* earthquakes of high intensity there.

Comment: Re:Shaming? More like helping (Score 4, Insightful) 52

by tnk1 (#49548129) Attached to: Github DDoS Attack As Seen By Google

"As the representative of the Chinese government, I can categorically deny the Chinese government's use of Baidu for a highly effective attack on GitHub. We did not make use of this capacity, which can be used to quickly and efficiently shut down any networked target at will.

As China is a responsible citizen of the world, we would never use specially trained teams of professional PLA hackers to provide a demonstration of our significant power.

Although China is a global superpower and leader in computer science education, and we certainly have the ability to call down multiple, simultaneous, and devastating defensive DDoS's, (a tactic that we refer to as the Great Worker's and Peasants' Rain of Steel), we are a peace loving nation who does not resort to aggression to pursue our policies.

We condemn in the strongest terms this attack, although we do note its effectiveness and our preparation to do battle on these terms, if such a thing was necessary to maintain the sovereignty of the People's Republic of China from similar aggression.

Thank you."

Comment: Re:That shouldn't surprise anyone (Score 2) 337

by tnk1 (#49542561) Attached to: Median Age At Google Is 29, Says Age Discrimination Lawsuit

I suppose, but I'd rather take my time asking you your knowledge of key libraries and interfaces and more complicated concepts, rather than asking you to code me a sort.

If you really wanted to test someone's rote memorization of the Big O notation values of various algorithms, then just ask them to give you some examples of n or n log n or whatever. You do need to understand the reason that a sort is better than another, and it's nice to have a set of sorts handy for general purpose use, but really, is that what you want to ask about in a limited time?

I usually don't bother. You can look that shit up in books or on the net. More to the point, you should be looking up that shit on the internet if you need to code your own, because there is a decent chance someone has written a better sort or search algorithm for the type of data or structures that you are working with than the ones you memorized in CS 101 for general purpose utilization. You're a developer, not a CS academic researcher. Go to the net, check the benchmarks on some libraries and then get back to coding the actual special sauce of your business.

Comment: Re:The great problem of integrity (Score 1) 337

by tnk1 (#49542519) Attached to: Median Age At Google Is 29, Says Age Discrimination Lawsuit

Why? Linux didn't come from some company. It came from one person, originally. That person happened to be a male Finn, but it could have been a black woman who was interested in writing operating systems.

Einstein couldn't get a job as a professor, so he joined the Patent Office. Did that stop him from devising special and general relativity?

Sure, writing code for companies is the well trod path for coding, but you don't need that in the age of Open Source to get your good code out there. If you have what it takes, you can make it happen. It will take work, but that work pays off much more than being lumped in some group who needs an opportunity spoon-fed to them.

Comment: Re:Interesting, but that is all (Score 5, Informative) 152

by tnk1 (#49542267) Attached to: Yellowstone Supervolcano Even Bigger Than We Realized

Yes, it could cause what we'd think of as a "nuclear winter". Which is really how it would do most of it's global damage. The ashfall would also be off the charts, but likely confined to North America.

Basically take the entire Yellowstone park, dig out every cubic centimeter of dirt and rocks from the surface down to the lava reservoir and just throw all of that into the stratosphere. All at once. Of course you don't want to be in the radius where the heavy stuff starts coming down on you, and that will probably be a number of entire states under significant debris.

The rest of the world will merely need to deal with the sun being blotted out for a few years. This is what happened when Mount Tambora erupted which was only a "normal" VEI-7 eruption.

Spoilers: The Year Without A Summer (1816)

A supervolcano is VEI-8+

Note that they are supposed to be 1/10,000ish year events. Thereabouts, that seems sort of high. While Yellowstone might not go off any time soon, there are other places that might much sooner.

The Toba eruption about 74,000 years ago is thought to have caused a genetic bottleneck in humans were we were cut down to the mere tens of thousands of people in the entire world.

Toba being principally responsible for this bottleneck is disputed, but it should also be pointed out that humans at that time were fairly mobile, so their strategy for survival would probably not be possible for most of us. Our ancestors at the time didn't rely on agriculture and with humans only in the millions in population, we could have probably foraged and moved.

Humans today... well let's just say that our urban populations would not have the ability to switch hunting grounds.

I'm not sure any of the known calderas are actually thought to be ready to blow in the near future, but Yellowstone was supposed to go off in 600,000ish year intervals and I believe we're overdue. It doesn't mean it will go off any time soon, just that it's starting to look like it is time again, assuming that the characteristics of the lava reservoir are similar to last time.

Comment: Re:Deccan Traps (Score 1) 152

by tnk1 (#49542155) Attached to: Yellowstone Supervolcano Even Bigger Than We Realized

It would probably not cause humans to go extinct, but it could come close. It would probably be the equivalent of a fairly substantial nuclear war.

Deaths would be in the billions, although mostly from secondary effects like crop failure and disease. And yeah, you could kiss the Western USA goodbye.

Two can Live as Cheaply as One for Half as Long. -- Howard Kandel