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Comment: Re:pernament employees per MW (Score 1) 475

by vslashg (#36229608) Attached to: Large Scale 24/7 Solar Power Plant To Be Built in Nevada

What planet are you from? 80%? Complete fiction. Vermont Yankee is very reliable, and had, from 2003-2009, an amazing 92.6% capacity factor. Which gives an employee/Mwatt ratio closer to 1.09, which while still slightly higher than the solar plant, isn't particularly bad.

Are you implying that a user with account name "mdsolar" is spreading FUD about non-solar power sources? Why would he do that?

Comment: Re:Not as bad as it sounds (Score 2, Insightful) 177

by vslashg (#30917922) Attached to: Newsday Gets 35 Subscriptions To Pay Web Site

If you read the article (I know, I know) you'll discover that 75% of the people in the region already have access to the site via package deals. So it's actually surprising that 35 people did sign up for it.

So the potential regional market is only 1/4 the size that it otherwise might have been? Think, without these other access deals, they might have gotten 140 people to sign up.

Comment: Re:Do you hear me now?? (Score 1) 510

by vslashg (#30525132) Attached to: Verizon Removes Search Choices For BlackBerrys

Doesn't matter. Contracts can't override the law, regardless of how hard they try to make you think they can. They can say they have the right to change service at any time and that you can't terminate, but that is simply not true.

If the service materially changes, you can terminate the agreement, regardless of how many times they tell you that you can't.

And if they fight you on this, sue. Oh, wait, you can't: you signed away your rights to do so in an arbitration clause in your plan contract.

Comment: Re:Wait, what? (Score 1) 391

by vslashg (#28755865) Attached to: New Linux Kernel Flaw Allows Null Pointer Exploits

Ok, but how is offsetof() macro defined? Using something very similar to &(((struct foo*)(void*)0)->bar)

Perhaps, but perhaps not. That expression might be safe for some implementations of C; if so, there's no reason for the library that ships with that implementation to use something along the above lines to implement the offsetof() macro. But that doesn't mean it's generally safe or portable code.

Your fundamental premise is wrong, anyhow; not every implementation uses that trick to define offsetof(). In fact, gcc defines a special extension to C/C++, __builtin_offsetof(), to do the work. (gcc is allowed to introduce this new keyword because the standard reserves identifiers starting with a double underscore to the implementation.)

Comment: Re:Wait, what? (Score 3, Informative) 391

by vslashg (#28741095) Attached to: New Linux Kernel Flaw Allows Null Pointer Exploits

&(((struct foo*)(void*)0)->bar) will also give the value of the offset of the bar field.

You're speaking with a voice of authority, which is dangerous because of how incorrect in general your post is.

Others have already pointed out that you are wrong about NULL. Here's precisely what the spec says about the argument to &:

The operand of the unary & operator shall be either a function designator, the result of a
[] or unary * operator, or an lvalue that designates an object that is not a bit-field and is
not declared with the register storage-class specifier.

(((struct foo*)(void*)0)->bar) in particular is none of those things, and your expression is not legal C.

Some apparent dereferences of null pointers are allowed. For instance:

void *a = 0;
void *b = &(*a);

The above is legal not because dereferencing a null pointer is legal, but rather because of an explicit exception to the rule carved out in section of the spec, which says that in this case, the & and * cancel, and "the result is as if both were omitted".

Your expression is neither safe nor portable. If you do need to check the offset of a field in a structure, use the standard library offsetof() macro -- that's what it's for.

Comment: Re:Users can't tell the difference (Score 2, Insightful) 359

by vslashg (#28678539) Attached to: R.I.P. FTP

If you don't know that FTP refers to a specific protocol, you don't know enough to be running a web site.

This is akin to saying if you don't know what a carburetor does, you don't know enough to be driving a car. Now, some people believe this, too, but this statement, and yours, are wrong.

Hey, look, I made a Slashdot car analogy!

Comment: Re:There is a significant difference: (Score 1) 362

by vslashg (#28641163) Attached to: Comcast DNS Redirection Launched In Trial Markets

OpenDNS is "free-as-in-ad-driven". You don't have to pay for it, but they need to make their money somehow, so they have their own special page when you type an invalid domain in the location bar, with text ads on. Comcast, on the other hand, which the end user is already paying for, is trying to inflict the greedy bastard business model they use for TV (hooray for paying for content that's 1/3 ads!) on their ISP customers.

This distinction is true, but irrelevant in the context of this discussion. If someone is unhappy with a DNS server because it redirects invalid lookups, then it's actively unhelpful to suggest they use a different DNS server that does the same thing.

Comment: Re:This is about poker, and hypocrisy (Score 1) 205

by vslashg (#28110059) Attached to: A Push To End the Online Gambling Ban

Go download the number histories and do some nCk calculations to see the expected vs actual outcomes on odd/even combinations, distribution of the numbers, etc.. Yeah, you probably won't win but you'll considerably increase your chances by playing the numbers that come up more often.

What this approach fails to consider is that there are two competing forces in games of chance. As you have noticed, there are "streaks", that is, certain numbers, patterns, distributions, etc. can get "hot". So yes, one approach you can take is to pick hot numbers. What you haven't noticed is that numbers and patterns can also become "due"; a number that hasn't shown up in a long time builds up potential, and must eventually show up again so that the law of large numbers will be maintained.

It is only by carefully considering the fragile balance between hot numbers and due numbers that a skilled lottery player can tilt the odds more in his favor, for example, by noticing that a large streak of even numbers is due.

(Yes, I'm making fun of you.)

How can you work when the system's so crowded?