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Comment Re:Goes back centuries ... (Score 1) 555

Extensive checks and searching goes back centuries...

Checks at international borders, sure. But today's network of internal border checkpoints is new.

As recently as the 1990s, Americans could travel freely within the country. But today, I can't drive from Texas to California without passing through one of their make-believe border checkpoints. That bullshit doesn't go back centuries.

No, in the 1980s (and possibly earlier) there were definitely "border checkpoints" in California. Agricultural inspection stations checking for and confiscating raw fruits and vegetables and other plants. Ordinary travelers were stopped. They definitely searched your belongings if they felt like it.

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Comment Re:Something new? (Score 1) 183

Seriously. Even in 1999 there were stories about how cell reception would leapfrog copper wire not just in Africa but in South America (where I was living, and it happened in a total no-brainer). There might as well be a story saying that Lagos won't see a huge Blu-Ray rental infrastructure built out.

redbox ftw!

Comment Re:How an unskilled labor job works. (Score 1) 196

You start out fine (first paragraph), but then go out to left field. The "Left" in the US is doing, and has done, the same exact things as the "Right". People claim Obama is a minority so does stupid things. Bush was just an idiot, so did stupid things. Clinton was just horny, so did stupid things. The other Bush was an asshole, and did stupid things. Reagan was an actor, and did stupid things. How many of these people are really stupid? How many times do you have to see both parties do the same exact things to convince you that the "Left" and "Right" became a false paradigm a very long time ago?

I'm not claiming that you and I can't have philosophical differences, I'm claiming that what we have had in politics since the 70s are from the same team and none of them work for the US Citizens.

People need to get over the bullshit they have been fed and open their eyes to reality. David Copperfield and Chris Angel do not have real magic powers. People are distracted from seeing what they really do in a performance, or things are hidden from view. I'm really not sure how people don't understand that what we have been seeing in politics is the same thing. They use race, religion, patriotism, "for the children" irrational arguments, and false "left" vs "right" arguments to keep you looking the other way. They always extend the same policies that are bad for citizens, and often pass even worse laws. Each new guy claiming "it's gonna change" and not a damn thing changes.

These tricks are not new, they date back to our earliest writings. Socrates despised the Sophists because they taught these arts to the noble class.

Thousands of people have been trying to tell people what has been happening. They rarely get media time, so you have to look for them. Gary Allen, George Carlin, Mark Dice, and hell go back and listen to what Eisenhower and Kennedy said.

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Comment Re:Another damned collectivist (Score 1) 1255

I think there is another side to this - with respect to 'high achieving' countries you mention. In my experience, parents in those countries are much more involved in the education of their children. Engaged parents cooperating with even competent (as opposed to excellent) teachers makes all the difference.

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Comment Re:if you were starving to death, would you work? (Score 2) 196

I've shoveled manure, mucked out barns, dug ditches and footings, all by hand, and pumped septic tanks and cleaned sewers with low-end power tools and a pump truck. Not my all-time favorite work but it's honest and at the time paid just about enough to survive on (rent, food, utilities, maybe some books and brewskis.) When you're young and healthy it's OK. Later, no. This was all thirty to fifty years ago; I've no idea the spread of pay these days.

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Comment Re:Leapfrog implies better (Score 2) 183

Wireless gets them some access which is better than nothing but not even close to fiber. Your not going to magic around the spectrum issues .

Yep, it would be much more accurate to say they're leapfrogging past copper - which is a Good Thing. But fibre isn't optional, not even with O3B's MEO satellites in the picture. If you look at the submarine cable map, you can pretty much see at a glance which countries are more aggressive about internet and technology in general, and which ones are being left behind. Fibre is going to be needed in most urban areas, even if it doesn't ultimately consist of FTTH.

Comment Re:"miniscule" (Score 2) 190

Okay, from what I'm reading here, this sounds like a gross over-reaction and a lot of rich old people taking shit way, way, way too seriously --

Have you heard about the covenants in gated communities? (Hope you don't want to ride a scooter!) You are talking about a bunch of rich guys. Their self-appointed function in life is to tell other people what to do, because they know better. The Augusta National golf club just started admitting blacks in 1990 and women just last year . Let us ponder on that for a moment.

Comment Re:Docs vs tutorial (Score 4, Insightful) 211

There's a difference between a tutorial and documentation? Who'd have thunk!

Actually, no there isn't. A tutorial is one type of documentation. Tutorials are documentation for processes. Non-process subjects require other approaches. It is important to write the right types of documentation based on the likely audience and the subject matter.

I disagree with many things in this article, not because the points are invalid, but because they conflate misuse of tools with low quality of tools. For example:

Wikis are great tools for writing documentation. They make it easy for people to fix minor errors when they notice them. They make it easy to collaborate on documentation without having to deal with the relatively high overhead of source code version control systems (which are particularly awful when merging structured content like XML and HTML).

What the author is complaining about is not the wiki, but rather the fact that those projects have no one who is responsible for maintaining the documentation. If no one is responsible for writing the docs and ensuring their completeness, the documentation will inevitably be half-finished, whether they use a wiki or some other mechanism. The wiki is not an alternative to writing documentation, but rather is a tool for creating documentation.

Doc generation software is great for writing reference documentation. By placing the content into the source code, it becomes the responsibility of the programmer to update any behavior changes when they modify the behavior of a function. It also means that the documentation for the function is easily readable right there in the source code when you're trying to understand a function. By producing the generated documentation, you then have a convenient reference for all your functions, methods, classes, data types, etc. that is readily searchable, indexable, and (perhaps most importantly) is viewed in a separate app or window from your source code so it doesn't force you out of your coding flow when you need to look something up.

Once again, what the author is complaining about is not the doc generation tool, but rather the fact that those projects have no one who is responsible for writing the documentation. When used properly, the output of doc generation tools is every bit as good as documentation produced by hand. However, it takes exactly as long to write that documentation in the source code as it does to write it in a word processor. It is not a tool for saving time, but rather a tool to aid in maintaining consistency between behavior and documentation.

To do software-generated documentation correctly, you need to add comments that explain every field in every data structure, every class, every function or method, and for particularly complex functions, even documentation for many of the local variables. You should write code in your build system to warn about undocumented methods and data structure fields. For example, in one project I regularly work on, there are almost 17,000 lines of documentation comments out of just shy of 59,000 total lines of code—a whopping 28.8% of the total code volume. The result is that it is fairly easy to learn what each piece does in the context of the code while you're looking at it, and the automatically generated documentation is pretty thoroughly fleshed out reference documentation for the project. One particularly complex class by itself produces a whopping 72 pages of reference documentation.

The problem that folks run into is that they usually don't put in any doc comments at all, or at best don't actually take the time to write the thorough comments that are needed to make the output from automatic reference documentation tools be useful. As a result, when you build the reference docs, you end up with an empty skeleton that isn't of much value at all. This is not a flaw in the tool; it is a flaw in the development team. They didn't take the time to write the documentation.

And so on.

Feed Google News Sci Tech: In Nokia, Microsoft Bets on Apple-Like Revival - New York Times (blog) (

New York Times (blog)

In Nokia, Microsoft Bets on Apple-Like Revival
New York Times (blog)
SEATTLE — With its purchase of Nokia's phone business, Microsoft is taking inspiration from Apple's way of making products, bringing hardware and software under a single roof where they can be more elegantly woven together.
Google-Motorola Deal Foreshadows Challenge Awaiting MicrosoftBloomberg
Nokia's Stephen Elop: Ballmer's heir apparent?USA TODAY
Microsoft buys Nokia in cash deal worth more than $7 billion (+video)Christian Science Monitor
CNET-Wall Street Journal-BBC News
all 1,921 news articles

Comment economics (Score 2) 78

"A complete viral inventory would also carry a hefty price tag: about $6.3 billion"

Who wants to pay for that? Government? Private industry? The Gates Foundation? It's a major gamble for an uncertain reward. When you do the numbers it just doesn't make sense.

Economics aside, the human factor says it should be done. Assuming that ever larger numbers of humans on our planet is desirable. Is this what we want? I, for one, am willing to sacrifice your existence if it leads to a better world.

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Google Glass app store will debut in 2014 - Engadget (

The Australian Financial Review

Google Glass app store will debut in 2014
Back in July, a Google Glass software update inadvertently spilled the beans on a forthcoming app store optimized for the device, and now it looks like it's official. According to The New York Times, a Glass-optimized app marketplace is set to debut sometime...
Student finance: top 5 student budget
What you should do if your Android phone gets stolenITProPortal
iOS still developers' first choice, then AndroidInferse

all 105 news articles

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Nintendo Stands by Videogame Strategy - Wall Street Journal (

Wall Street Journal

Nintendo Stands by Videogame Strategy
Wall Street Journal
TOKYO—Nintendo Co. is hoping players like Yukiyo Sugiyama will continue to drive sales as the company sticks to a policy of only allowing its videogames to be played on its consoles. The 42-year-old office worker in Tokyo said she doesn't play videogames...
Nintendo 2DS: dropping one dimension, adding one more choice (hands-on)Engadget
Gamers shrug at Nintendo 2DS consoleCNN International

all 101 news articles

Feed Google News Sci Tech: NASA to study moon dust on lunar surface - San Francisco Chronicle (

NASA to study moon dust on lunar surface
San Francisco Chronicle
When the Apollo 17 astronauts flew home from the moon 41 years ago, they left behind an enduring mystery. Eugene Cernan, commander of that final moon mission, had observed a strange sight from the lunar module: streamers of unknown particles were...
Nasa to launch moon probe this
New American Rocket Making Launch Debut with Friday Moon
NASA Readies Lunar Mission, Invites International ParticipationVoice of America
Prensa Latina
all 25 news articles

Comment Re:minus 40 degrees Celsius != (minus 40 Fahrenhei (Score 1) 225

Where I live +40C is a moderately hot summers day. It's when it tops 45C that I really start having trouble.

OK, personally, I start having trouble over about 37C, but we've had temperatures up to about 48C in recent years (Black Saturday fires).

We don't see a whole lot lower than -5C around here.

Comment Re:Neocons for a dystopian tomorrow (Score 1) 250

>So, it really was about terrorists in a way?

Terrorism is the excuse. The 9/11 truthers have it wrong with regards to the "conspiracy". (saying that it's a conspiracy implies the PNAC/FPI is a secret group - it's not, they published and are proud of what they do) 9/11 was an actual terrorist attack, but the PNAC guys needed their "Pearl Harbor." Without that, none of this shit would have worked. It was just a bad coincidence that it happened while these guys were running the executive branch (the PNAC members list looks like the Bush administration simply lacking their patsy - Bush). Notice how things quickly progressed with gathering up power in the executive branch shortly after. The policy papers were already written ahead of time just in case (think tanks do this all the time, nothing surprising).

Am I one of those people who think our government bombed our own people like the 9/11 truthers say? Nope, they're nuts. Do I think the PNAC/FPI group grabbed the brass ring when it came around on the carousel? Yup.

If you read some of my earlier posts about the Romney campaign, they found another patsy in Mittens. While Mittens didn't win, Washington is an incestuous town when it comes to politics, and you can bet that some of Obama's advisers have real good friends on the the PNAC/FPI side.

You really don't have to dig deep to figure this out, they publish their own stuff and put it all on their web pages. No third party "analysts" needed.


Comment You Still Need Wireless (Score 1) 183

Low orbit satellites are not going to carry a continent's worth of network traffic. On top of that you still need backhaul at your ground stations. All those cell towers, they need something for backhaul. Microwave repeaters are only going to carry you so far. On top of that fiber simply has the highest available and future bandwidth with the lowest latency of any available technology. Sure wireless may dominate the immediate future of Africa, but eventually they'll exceed it's limits and move to a wired infrastructure.

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Comment Re:That's cool and everything, but... (Score 2) 183

...shouldn't they focus on law and order first?

Sure, fine, but good communication and coordination are necessary elements of law and order, from developing a cultural intolerance for corruption right down to the cop on his beat and emergency numbers.

The moral of the story is, nothing comes 'first' before communications technology, because everything you do benefits from better comms capability, whether it's knowing the market price of the grain you grow, or finding job opportunities in your city, or organising a community protest, or just using plain old wikipedia to supplement your need for basic facts.

Comment Re:Suddenly, the money is in hardware. (Score 1) 535

You did nothing to refute the points that I made that show you for being a shill. Instead you attack me. Classic shill move.

I need to do NOTHING that a shill like you tells me to do. I've been around long enough to have used computers before MS clawed its way to the top via some, yes smart moves, but a hell of a lot of shady moves that ended up in them being a convicted monopolist.

It was because of a change in our government that allowed them to escape any real punishment for being a convicted monopolist and solidify those practices.

Only now with the advance of mobile devices, that MS has failed multiple times at, are we likely going to see a change in the power dynamic that they setup. However they do have a ton of cash reserves so they can afford to continue to try to enter markets where they see growth even if they are a day late and nearly a billion dollars short of a write of on.

Go away shill, I know more than you.

Comment Re:cases are in people who refused vaccination ... (Score 1) 622

Unfortunately, some people would rather believe that some *thing* - the vaccination - caused their child to "get" Autism rather than living with the understanding that it was genetic - and came from them.

Actually, autism is not purely genetic: it is a condition with multiple causes, lumped together for diagnostic purposes since often there is no way to be certain which particular cause or combination of causes is involved in any given case & tradition within the field of psychology.

If God exists, however, He is quite a fan of irony as it turns out that there is a very easy thing you can do to prevent autism: get your MMR vaccine--in utero exposure to Rubella can cause autism. (Depeche Mode's thesis has a lot going for it.)

Comment Re:bah (Score 1) 211

Is your name really "Charlie Mopps"? And do you really believe you're doing it right?

You are a process junkie pretending to be a tech writer, and I want to be sure to add you to our "Do not hire even if Hell really is freezing over" list.

If your company has the resources to waste all that time and effort on something as inefficient as wiki--no, they don't. They are kidding themselves.

Comment Re:Past Coverity reviews (Score 1) 187

I tried to be clear that the two results can't be directly compared. My main point is that Coverity likes to put open-source projects in a good light, because there's better PR value for them to do so. Any sort of "best project evuh!" claims from them should recognize that this is ad copy designed to draw attention with its superlatives.

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Comment Re:Pay attention burger flippers striking on min w (Score 3, Informative) 196

Wrong. Jobs still go overseas or go away, just that you don't see them leave.

Look at the plumbing industry. Drilling holes in a wall and sticking copper tubing through them seems like something that has to remain solidly on shore, right? Let's say it's 120 hours of work to plumb an average house. So you show up to work some day and your boss says "we're switching to PEX." Because you don't have elbows or joints, there is no soldering, and because those holes don't have to line up perfectly, plumbing a house with PEX now takes only about 40 hours. Where did the extra labor go? Some went overseas to the PEX factory, but the rest got laid off.

At the burger place? Where do you think those patties were manufactured? Do you see a McButcher shop in the back of the store? No, the animals were likely raised and slaughtered and packed in rural Brasil, or some other country with cheaper labor and farmland.

It's a global economy now. Parts and materials come from everywhere. Protectionism means little at the borders when it's only keeping out the $7.25/hour illegal immigrants. The total cost to the US economy of illegal immigrants is less than $30 billion. (Compare that to the Wall Street bailout of $750 billion, or to the Iraq / Afghanistan wars with their costs of over $2 trillion.) The real losses to the U.S. job market have come from increased efficiencies, more automation, and overseas manufacturing and labor, where $trillions of dollars have left our payrolls. But hey, let's get Fox banging the illegal immigrant drum and blame them for taking our jobs, because Mexicans are visible and the TV cop shows prove they're all criminals and drug lords. It takes our easily distracted minds off the facts of where the real losses are coming from.

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