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Comment: Re:Damn... (Score 1) 473

by bzipitidoo (#49557765) Attached to: Woman Behind Pakistan's First Hackathon, Sabeen Mahmud, Shot Dead

Are you volunteering to feed and provide health care to all these unwanted babies you want to force women to bear? No? You hate Obamacare? Then you aren't really pro-life, you're pro-overpopulation. You want those babies born, but how to care for them, how to feed all those extra mouths, well, that's someone else's problem, not yours, huh? You willing to go to war, kill off some other mouths so those babies can eat? And you think the mother can always find a way to feed her child if you make her desperate enough? And if she can't do it, then I suppose you'd blame her and call her a bad mother.

Comment: Re:Wrong Wrong Wrong (Score 2) 115

Obligatory Head of Vecna story. They didn't think about the meaning of the location of the brain....

In Spock's Brain, they could have taken Spock's entire head. Or, why not just kidnap Spock? Grab first, then take brain out. Or, or, if they have the technology to remove a brain intact, and reprogram it to serve their purposes, wouldn't that imply the ability to just copy it or make up their own brain? Oh well, that episode is unfixably bad anyway.

Comment: Re:Women CEO's. (Score 1) 194

by bzipitidoo (#49542987) Attached to: Yahoo Called Its Layoffs a "Remix." Don't Do That.

Until the Republicans stop their anti-science, party of stupid and mean rhetoric, no thinking person should take them seriously. And certainly don't vote for them! Anyone, even Hillary, is better than them. I'm not saying they don't have their points, or that the Democrats don't have big problems of their own, but they've really screwed up in recent decades.

The War of Choice was one of the stupidest and meanest actions performed in decades. We haven't done anything that dumb since Vietnam. Cost a great deal of lives, and cost us a lot of money and credibility. Their thinking that Iraq would happily turn into a prosperous democracy as soon as Saddam was gone, was shown to be a particularly naive fantasy. For that alone, they deserve a long sit out. But there's so much more. Why this denialism on Climate Change? Who really benefits from that? Oil companies, of course. Even the saner pro-business wing of the party royally screwed up, as the gross mishandling of Wall Street shows. They did the equivalent of sending the referees home, because the players could be trusted to obey the rules of the game. How unbelievably stupid is that? With deregulation in full force, the players of course cheated massively, and caused the Great Recession. Before that crash there was even talk of privatizing Social Security. With eagle-eyed hindsight, we can be very, very glad that didn't happen. The primary victims of the market collapse were pension and retirement funds. The banksters wanted to get their claws on the vast savings piled up in Social Security only so they could keep the bubble going a little longer.

Comment: Re:They should be doing the opposite (Score 4, Insightful) 299

Keep the goal in mind. We want more and better art It doesn't matter how it happens. Careful that what you are calling plagiarism really is plagiarism. And even if it is, if it is to the net benefit of society, then it is good. We can work out ways to compensate the original author, in those cases where plagiarism has really happened. It has been a long established principle that you can't copyright laws of nature or basic information. We're already contemplating the problem of someone generating every possible sequence of notes up to some small number, maybe 4, and copyrighting them all. 88^4 is only 60 million, which might seem too many to register at the copyright office, but definitely is not too many for a computer to go through.

Everyone loses when more money goes to lawyers than artists. Everyone loses when established industry bribes lawmakers to outlaw new distribution methods no matter how much more efficient they are. The entertainment industry would love, just love to turn the clock back to 1985, before mp3, Napster, and the Internet, and force the public to get new music on CDs. Never mind that distributing music via CDs costs hundreds of times more money in overhead. They would throw 90% of all our wealth away, their own included, if that increased their control. They've been told, repeatedly, that he universe does not work the way they imagine and wish, but that hasn't stopped them from foolishly wasting money on lawyers to try to force things to work the way they want.

Comment: Re:Mandatory xkcd (Score 1) 229

by bzipitidoo (#49494687) Attached to: GNU Hurd 0.6 Released

It's likely desktop related. Probably don't have to worry over text based server boxes. I'm running Lubuntu 14.04, and I often see desktop errors on startup. As soon as I log in, a window pops up telling me that something experienced an error and has been closed, or a crash happened, and would I like to report it to Ubuntu? What cleans up a lot of that kind of trouble is wiping out all the hidden directories that the desktop environment generates in the home directory, like .local, .config, and .gnome. Had a problem in which after yet another update, the Flash plugin started running video at something like 4x normal speed, with no audio. But when I switched user accounts, Flash worked fine. Back to the first account, I deleted those hidden config directories a few at a time until I hit on the one that was messing Flash up. Would have thought the .mozilla or .macromedia directories were where the problem was, but no. Or, not enough. As I recall, it was .local. After deleting those directories, Flash worked normally. The deletions seemed to clear up a few other problems, made the desktop more stable. Of course you lose some configuration settings.

Whether that has anything to do with systemd, I don't know. It shouldn't, but as desktop environments do rely on udev to detect flash drives and discs, and udev may now have dependencies on systemd, maybe systemd is the root of those problems.

Comment: will public libraries have to pay royalties? (Score 1) 218

by bzipitidoo (#49470497) Attached to: Legislation Would Force Radio Stations To Pay Royalties

Libraries buy copies of music, then loan those out to the public. No royalties needed. Maybe not the same as a radio station, but if libraries are ever allowed and able to go mostly digital, they will become able to broadcast all over the world as easily as radio stations now broadcast to small areas near their transmitters.

This royalties scheme sounds like an attempt to quietly add a whole other business model and profit mechanism to the music industry, without them having to give up anything. Typical of the rotten deals big business offers the public.

Comment: Re: What Would be a Trivial Amount? (Score 1) 198

Yes, warranties are weasely that way. LG pulled the same stunt on the front loader washer we bought. Not only was labor not included, but work had to be done at an "approved" facility, which charged inflated prices for labor! Way to turn a warranty on its head, into a way to make more profit. Except we didn't bite. Was cheaper to pay for the part and do the work ourselves. We could have paid for the part and had an independent repair center do the work for less than what it would cost under their so-called warranty plan.

Another weasel was that they didn't cover everything, only parts they knew would last. Drum and motor were covered, but not the spider to connect the drum to the motor. The spider is conveniently defined as not being part of either the drum or motor, although it is the shaft of the motor.

Comment: Re: What Would be a Trivial Amount? (Score 1) 198

Hadn't thought of a timer switch for the water heater. Only thing I did was lower the temp to 115F. That seems to be as low as you can go and still have a hot shower. Run the shower at maximum hot. Safer too, can't get scalded.

I really want to go to a solar water heater. But $5000 and up, when a cheap tank is only $350, is too much money. Would take a century to pay that difference back. I want payback times to be no more than 10 years, and that's stretching it. I'll take 5 year paybacks every time, but between 5 and 10 I have to think about it. Mroe than 10, forget it. Just too many other random events can intervene: dramatically improved tech or lower prices, or you might move or yoru house is damaged or destroyed by vandals, fire, tornado, earthquake, or flood. Well, I don't have to worry about a flood, as I refuse to ever live in a flood plain.

I looked into tankless as well. They cost about $1000. But mine is a gas powered unit. To change from tank to tankless, have to put in a larger diameter gas pipe, and a larger diameter flue pipe. The tankless unit is not freestanding, has to hang on a wall. It also needed an electrical outlet. To make all the changes needed to switch added about $500 to the cost. At $1000, switching was a toss up. At $1500, the tank wins.

At any rate, the new tank is way more efficient, using about half the energy of the old one that was made in the 80s and lasted 27 years. Only a 6 year warranty, and it's been a bit more than that now. I was hedging, hoping it lasts just long enough that solar will be a good deal by the time it fails.

Comment: Re: What Would be a Trivial Amount? (Score 5, Interesting) 198

10 watts is bad. It's also typical. Last time I checked, some 6 years ago, AT&T's U-verse DVR box used about 10 watts while on standby. While 10 watts at a cost of a dollar per month doesn't sound like much, it adds up. If you have 3 game consoles, 3 DVRs, and a bunch of wall warts for recharging cell phones and whatever other battery powered devices you have, you could be spending $10 per month. And why burn it if a better design can work just as well and not use so much energy?

I have done a lot to cut my power use. And it's made a big difference. Went from about 10,000 KwH per year to 5,000 KwH. You don't get there by ignoring 10 watts. I did it by living with higher temps in the summer and lower in the winter (83F and 68F respectively). That was the biggest. Even after that, heating and cooling is still by far my biggest energy user, accounting for about 50% of my total usage. Have always had heavy drapes. But it's always frustrated me just how bad the cookie cutter house I have is for keeping temperatures comfortable without wasting megawatts of energy. The moronic builders put the outdoor part of the A/C on the west side of the house. Those guys who want to sell the expensive double pane windows could never justify the price. 30 year payback? Not doing that. I changed all the incandescent light bulbs for fluorescent, and now am moving to LED, and would like to employ skylights. Have had too many times when the electricity went out while I was in the shower, leaving me in total darkness though it was daylight, as the bathroom is an interior room. A skylight would fix that, and save energy. I got low energy computers, basically laptop designs that were packaged as a desktop. My best one uses 30W max, and that only when running an intense 3D game. If playing video on Youtube, it takes 20W, and if just reading and writing email, it takes 10W. Even so, I have them set to go to sleep after 10 minutes and use almost no power. The best old style desktops with the classic +12/+5/-5 volt power supplies take around 80W. The 80plus program helped with those kinds of power supplies, but it's better to run off a single voltage as laptops do. Another big help was the move from CRTs to flat screens. A CRT uses from 50W to 120W, depending greatly on how bright an image it's displaying and the resolution. Early flat screens use 30W no matter what's being displayed, and now with LED backlighting, that's down to 20W. In 1996, refrigerators took a big leap forward in efficiency. Unfortunately, we had a 1995 model. Finally ditched it, and got one that's twice as efficient. Another appliance that used an unexpected high amount of power while off was the Maytag gas drier of all things. 5W while "off" and doing nothing! Felt warm to the touch on top.

Comment: Re:Check their work or check the summary? (Score 2) 486

by Coryoth (#49336973) Attached to: No, It's Not Always Quicker To Do Things In Memory

And this is why we should not teach CS101 in Java or Python. If they'd been forced to use C this whole experiment would have turned out differently.

Not at all. If you wrote your C in memory string handling as stupidly as they wrote the Python and Java you will still get worse performance in C (e.g. each iteration malloc a new string and then strcpy and strcat into it, and free the old string; compared to buffered file writes you'll lose). It's about failing to understand how to write efficient code, not about which language you chose.

Comment: Re:WTF AM I DOING HERE! (Score 1) 109

by bzipitidoo (#49313047) Attached to: New Alzheimer's Treatment Fully Restores Memory Function For Mice

My mother has Alz, which has become severe now. I think she still remembers me, but maybe not. It's hard to really know. She doesn't know anyone's name anymore, and her speech has become fragmentary.

Big Pharma may have caused or contributed to her condition. About 15 years ago, this Hormone Replacement Therapy, for women only, became quite popular. My mother was given this treatment. Then some more information about HRT came out. Seems the treatment doubles the risk of the patient developing dementia. It might also increase the chance of breast cancer, and cause hearing loss. The HRT treatments and drugs were quietly stopped and dropped, pretty much without explanation.

The issue is complicated. Newer research suggests that whiel synthetic versions of estrogen increase the chance of dementia, perhaps the exact molecule decreases that risk. What to believe?

Comment: Re:Moving Parts (Score 1) 307

Or, go fanless. For hard drives, SSDs are looking good.

I love being able to move up to a better technology. Sometimes an otherwise good product has a weakness that causes early failure. Most people throw the whole thing away and buy another one. That is often a sensible thing to do. But sometimes an upgrade can modernize an old product enough that it's still worth keeping and using. Haven't been able to do much of that with computers, they change so rapidly and radically in such short times. I have a 200M hard drive that's still good, as far as I know. Too bad it's pretty much useless. But for other products, have had somewhat more success.

I have kept a front loader washing machine in good working order through 3 failures. First, a defective Hall effect sensor, fairly easy and cheap to replace for $20. Then the "spider", the piece that attaches the motor to the drum, was made of die cast metal that quickly corroded upon exposure to the water and detergent, breaking after a few years of being weakened. (The idiots at LG who pulled that stunt thought they could get away with being cheap there.) We got a new spider and had it coated. Finally, the door seal became moldy, and we replaced it. We now know that the door should be left open between washes, so it can dry out.

It's similar with cars. 1960s cars were good for as little as only 50K miles. It used to be remarkable to get the odometer to roll over. Upgrade a few things, and those old cars can last far longer. About the first high maintenance item to toss is the ignition system. Points have to be replaced at least every 10K miles, but one of the early solid state systems, so that you don't have to add a computer, can last the life of the car. Whenever an incandescent bulb goes out, replace it and every other one within reach with an LED. A big help is that lubricants have gotten much better. Even if you don't modify anything at all, old cars last longer just by using modern motor oils and the cleaner gasolines of today. Aftermarket parts often benefit from superior understanding or better availability of better materials, and can be much better than the originals. For instance, the original brake pistons on this 1960s car were chrome plated steel- they called that "hard chrome", as opposed to the "soft chrome" used for a bumper. Nevertheless, the plating eventually wore through, and the pistons began to rust and stick. I thought I'd just get them replated, but no, they make pistons out of stainless steel now. Much better. One reason for this change is that over the years, other improvements in metallurgy, mining, and trade, have made stainless steel cheaper. I am eager for the day of the electric car, which may be sooner than the year of Linux on the desktop. Electric motors are far simpler, more reliable, more efficient, smaller, quieter, and all around better than combustion engines. Good enough batteries will enable electric cars to sweep gasoline and diesel completely off the market, the same way that flat screen monitors swept CRTs away.

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson