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Comment: Re:Doomed (Score 1) 293

by zorro-z (#46150369) Attached to: Satya Nadella Named Microsoft CEO

I wouldn't say that "OEMs really have no choice." Rather, they *could* choose desktop linux rather than Windows, but have chosen not to do so. Frankly, I don't much blame them- I consider myself a linux fan, and even I'm fairly sure that my next desktop computer will run some version of Windows rather than any version of linux, at least as a primary OS (I'll definitely keep my roll-your-own linux NAS, and will probably dual-boot linux). Desktop linux is the monorail of computing- it's the future, always has been, and always will be.

And, it's the choice that OEMs have chosen not to make.

Comment: Human body is also not cut out for a lot of things (Score 3, Insightful) 267

by zorro-z (#46099355) Attached to: The Human Body May Not Be Cut Out For Space

Agreed, 100%, the human body is not cut out for space. Certainly, like all life on earth, we require oxygen, we evolved with gravity, radiation is toxic, and so forth. Our bladders, for instance, tell us that we need to urinate based on a sense that depends on gravity holding urine down at the bottom; without gravity, if we wait until we feel the need to urinate, we need to be catheterised.

BUT... the human body isn't cut out for a lot of things THAT HUMANS DO ON A DAILY BASIS. We're not cut out for flight; we're not cut out for deep water diving; we're not cut out for rapid movement on ground. Yet, with technology, we do all of the above. Absolutely, space flight requires far more in the way of adaptations to protect our (very) frail bodies than air travel, SCUBA, or cars. But human history, broadly simplified, is the story of us using our brains to overcome our manifest physical handicaps.

Comment: The importance of education (Score 1) 730

by zorro-z (#45515115) Attached to: Geeks For Monarchy: The Rise of the Neoreactionaries

Government by the masses only works when the masses are well-educated. If the masses are, by and large, as ignorant as Americans have become, then they're easy to manipulate via fear, and produce government by those least-suited for the task. Sadly, the mass underfunding of public education in the US has been a bipartisan effort- people in the US overwhelmingly choosing lower taxes + poorer public education over higher taxes + better public education- and a self-perpetuating one at that. After all, poorly educated people are also easier to convince to further cut money from education.

The ideal form of government may well be the true Philosopher King, but I'm not sure that such a person has ever existed- or could ever exist. Barring that, self-government by an educated populace has produced the best results so far- quoting Churchill: "democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried."

Comment: Re:Mighty big "IF" (Score 1) 109

by zorro-z (#45337339) Attached to: India To Launch Mars Orbiter "Mangalyaan" Tuesday

Seeing as how I was the first to mention it in this , it's hardly as if *everyone* was saying this, the way you suggest. But, if the US + USSR aren't being forthcoming w/their expertise, then there is certainly less information on which to draw. I would note 2 things that may be available, though:

* Some aspects of failures are in the public record (such as the US experience w/conflict between Metric + US/Imperial measures)
* The scientists + engineers who worked on the past projects may be bought just as people fear that former Soviet nuclear scientists could be bought.

Comment: Re:Mighty big "IF" (Score 4, Insightful) 109

by zorro-z (#45332931) Attached to: India To Launch Mars Orbiter "Mangalyaan" Tuesday

Not to underestimate the difficulty of sending a payload to Mars, but they *do* have the combined 40+ years of US and USSR experience upon which to draw. When the US and USSR were putting people into orbit, landing them on the moon, sending probes to Mars, etc., it had literally never been done before. The mere fact that something has been done before- and that data collected during the attempt is available- gives the Indian Space Research Organisation an advantage that literally no country has had before it.

Again, this is not to minimise the challenge, which will be enormous. It's only to point out that they're not flying blind, so to speak.

Comment: Re:Should run on Win7 (Score 4) 953

by zorro-z (#43520617) Attached to: Some Windows XP Users Can't Afford To Upgrade

It's kind of the opposite problem, but I encountered governmental agencies- for a large American city to remain nameless- who, today, continue to produce Web applications that require Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP or earlier. When we encountered problems accessing them on 64 bit Windows 7 w/IE 9 (Compatibility Mode turned out to be the workaround), I called the head of the department in question to tell her that, well, most new machines today would be running 64 bit Windows 7 + IE 9 (or better), so it might help them to write code that didn't require IE 6.

She asked me to call her (apparently so that she could tell me something off the record) and told me that, for her department, a "new computer" was anything about 5 years old. Apparently, 5 years back, they got a bunch of Windows XP computers w/MS development tools, and that's where they still are today. Budget issues won't allow them to upgrade, so they're stuck writing code that would have been mediocre 5 years back, and is utterly horrid now. Wouldn't surprise me at all to see many governmental entities in the same boat.

+ - Emmy Winner Michael Reaves Helps Fans Take Ownership Of Sci-Fi->

Submitted by TrekkieNerfHerder
TrekkieNerfHerder (2887303) writes "Emmy winner Michael Reaves joins "Nobility" — a web series dubbed "The Office" in space. A sci-fi dramedy about fulfilling potential, "Nobility" is set on the C.A.S. Nobility — humanity's most powerful starship with a crew that's anything but noble. Nobility is intended to be a trial run for a new way of film making that not only puts high power talent directly in touch with the fans but creates a community and knowledge base so that sci-fi fans can begin supporting and even creating their own films so that the studios can't kill projects that fans are crazy for.

Also attached to the project are Babylon 5 actress Claudia Christian and Assassin's Creed and Argo actor Cas Anvar.

This seems like a natural outgrowth of the recent popularity of Kickstarter and the fan films that have been proliferating across the net. Perhaps if fans take ownership of sci-fi there'll be fewer disappointments for fans like the abrupt endings of Firefly and Stargate.

You can check out the project here:"

Link to Original Source

+ - Tylenol a Psychotropic Drug?->

Submitted by Mystakaphoros
Mystakaphoros (2664209) writes "Nobody's putting Tylenol up there with LSD or DMT, but a 2009 study shows Tylenol to lessen pain associated with social rejection, "sort of like alcohol or Xanax," says The Atlantic. According to University of British Colombia researchers, "Physical pain and social rejection share a neural process and subjective component that are experienced as distress." This giving anybody a headache-- and are you reaching for the Tylenol or the aspirin?"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Steve Forbes is clueless (Score 1) 692

by zorro-z (#43472311) Attached to: Steve Forbes: Bitcoin Not Money

Money is an odd concept, really- it's a matter of shared belief in its value. As others have pointed out, in the age of fiat money, currency has no inherent worth. 1 US dollar represents, quite literally $1 worth of full faith and credit in the US government. Were people to, en masse, decide that this was worthless, and to refuse to accept US dollars, then all the dollars in your wallet- or bank account- would be literally worthless. Money has value specifically- and only- because people doing business agree that it has value, and will therefore accept money in exchange for goods or services, rather than demanding barter- that is, exchanging goods and services for other goods and services.

Bitcoins work in exactly the same way. They have value specifically- and only- because people agree that they have value, and will therefore accept Bitcoins in exchange for goods and services. Were people to, en masse, decide that Bitcoins were worthless, then they would be worthless.

Forbes shows his clueless with his comparison of money to measurements that "don't float." If he had a clue, he'd realize that, under the Bretton Woods system, national currencies *continually* float relative to each other in their value.

Comment: Pointer! (Score 1) 591

by zorro-z (#43354739) Attached to: If I could change what's "typical" about typical laptops ...

OK, I know that I'm an outlier in this, but I can't stand touchpads. Heaven forfend your thumb wander just a *bit* too close to the touchpad, and suddenly you lose a paragraph (relying on undo to fix). I far preferred the IBM-style TrackPoint solution, to the extent that I even had a TrackPoint-equipped keyboard for my homebuilt desktop computer (that ran linux, natch). I suppose that the touchpad became the standard b/c it was cheaper than trackballs or TrackPoint-style pointers; I can't imagine that it was a matter of user preference.

But, as I said, maybe I'm an outlier. Or perhaps just batsh*t.

+ - SkyDrive 3.0: Microsoft Gave Up Fighting Apple's 30% Cut

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft on Wednesday released SkyDrive 3.0 for iOS out of the blue. Last time the app was in the news, Apple was stopping Microsoft from pushing out an update in the App Store because the company doesn't pay a 30 percent cut of the subscription revenue it generates. Now we've learned how Microsoft managed to update its iOS app today.

"We worked with Apple to create a solution that benefited our mutual customers," a Microsoft spokesperson told TNW. "The SkyDrive app for iOS is slightly different than other SkyDrive apps in that people interested in buying additional storage will do so via the web versus in the app."

Does this set a precedent for an iOS version of Microsoft Office?"

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long