Comment Hang on. Haven't we been here before? (Score 1) 59

Apparently, if one is cisgendered, the matching gender of one's mind and reproductive system conspires to weld the idea of gender so inextricibly to the experience of existing or being that one then neurotically seeks to paint every last thing in the world with gender!

I don't see that state of affairs as justification to assign to the transgendered some magical insight into gender, nor to disparage the cisgendered as sufficiently incapable of understanding the subject that they become almost universally neurotic in the way they deal with those concepts.

As an aside, I also see no justification for being so dismissive of the ability of the cisgendered to understand things. You cross a line into the territory of "rude for no good reason" when you say things like that.

Besides, isn't this an old concept that has nothing to do with being cisgendered? For example, I'm terrible at learning new languages but I occasionally take a stab at it. In my very limited experience, there are a number of languages that seem to want to assign a gender to everything. I don't see that as proof that those languages are inferior or derive from neurotic roots. I only see a different take on categorizing everyday objects. That's not actually bad, is it?

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Comment Re:Russian Times to the rescue (Score -1, Flamebait) 431

The only little problem with that is that and the likes are even more tightly controlled by the Russian government and will present whatever information they have in an even more slanted way, probably as a part of a plan to harm you.

And that's different from the far-left government-lapdog U.S. press how, exactly?

It seems a much better idea would be for y'all to get a grip on your government and make it better instead of relying on bunch of foreign crooks to do it for you.

On the other hand, the U.S. didn't win the Revolutionary War all by itself. France helped a lot.

I won't even touch the many Russian conspiracy theories that explain how Putin (whose children live in the West and whose personal money holdings are also in Western banks) is actually on a leash, probably tightly held by the US government ;)

That's just what they WANT you to believe...(cue "dramatic look chipmunk")

Comment Re:Enough already... (Score 1) 215

The only reason why US is harmed by those releases is because US (or rather its government) did some seriously fucked-up shit in secret. Now that it's out in the open, instead of owning up and apologizing, you keep pretending that it's nothing bad, while at the same time scrambling like mad to get revenge on Snowden for exposing you with pants down. It would be sad if it wasn't so hilarious to watch. I wonder what it is the next thing that Obama (or Holder) is going to deny that will be proven to be false by the next release, showing them for the assholes that they are. Gotta get some more popcorn...

Comment Re:Riiiiiight... (Score 1) 116

Just because the default behavior is to ask you to opt-in to the sending of searches hardly makes it any less 'free'. In fact the source code can be downloaded, modified to automatically opt-out and re-distributed if you really want to, because it's free! That's the whole point of free software, that if you don't like the default or want additional features you can add them.

Comment Re:You think that government is apolitical? (Score 1) 640

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Comment Re:Ivory tower attitude (Score 1) 453

Except he's quite far from an academic. Academics tend to have a modicum of common sense and won't insult other academics for no apparent reason. Remember, many academics could run circles around your coding/physics/mathematics/ skills. The entire point of academia is what you seem to dislike: honing one particular skill to the very apex of its field, be it literature, mathematics, computer science, theology or whatever else. It's an important part of our society, as at this point our pool of knowledge is so large that we can't reasonably expect most people (or heck, most academics) to understand enough in multiple disciplines that they can actually do breakthroughs. It takes years of learning in a particular subset of a field to be able to move the field along.

It's not because you haven't noticed the influence of academia that it isn't there. You may simply have to look a bit further.

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Comment Re:Why luxury safer electric cars should be free (Score 1) 389

1. $30k for a 'luxury' auto is probably unattainable. $30k gets you a not-quite baseline Taurus, Malibu, Impala, Avalon, etc... Even a basline Tesla S is over $60k today, and the price has dropped.
2. 'Reducing some of the defense budget' - easy to say, but as I work in defense(AD USAF) I can say that it's complicated to reduce the defense budget right. To put it bluntly we need to be allowed to reduce platforms if you're going to reduce spending - Fewer bases, ships, planes, and tanks to make it short. Congress doesn't like letting us do that.
3. I readily acknowledge that the US Federal Government alone spends almost enough on healthcare to provide universal coverage for all US Citizens if we could reduce our spending per person down to that of the EU average. When I last looked the shortfall was under $100 per person.
4. How do you define safe? Teslas are still traditionally driven vehicles, no reason to believe that the accident rate will be that much less. While they're certainly safer on average in an accident, doubling the average cost per vehicle will offset a lot of the prevented injuries and deaths. For that matter the situation can become quite complex as you convert deaths into expensive medical bills*. Not that I'm against reducing accidents, but it's what I tend to call a 'freakonomics' point, like smoking - where the vast majority of smokers still make it to retirement, but die quickly enough that their healthcare and reitrement payments are actually less than non-smokers, making them cheaper for pension funds.
5. However, I'm all for pushing auto-drive vehicles, but the technology isn't there yet. Before I saw the progress on auto-drive tech, I was pushing for PRT(Personal Rapid Transit) which is a ultra-light rail(3-5 people per pod) system with individually powered and routed cars.
6. Not as big of a chunk of our military goes towards defending oil supplies as you think. Speaking from the inside, the real situation is a lot more complicated.
7. I disagree on how similar technology between credit card processing and radar guidance on a car would be.

Roughly speaking, I'd say that we don't have the technology to release a self-driving car that would reduce accidents as much as you say, much less one that can be built as cheaply as you say. Instead I figure you'd end up with vehicles that are the equivalent of the 'common cars' produced by the USSR and other communist block countries - more expensive, less safe and operational than their commercially produced counterparts.

That's BEFORE getting into the problems with waste that occur when you give people people stuff for free - they tend to not value it like they would if they have to invest effort into obtaining it.

After that, you have the 'problems' of personal preference. Do I need extra cargo space, room for more passangers, towing, off-road, hostile climate, etc...?

*Sadly, it's quite possible for an injured person to end up more expensive to society than a dead one.

Comment Re:sysvinit is dead; long live sysvinit!!! (Score 1) 362

Daemontools is simple... Too simple, and quite end-user unfriendly. It can only replace part of SysV, so here we are with one starting the other, and half your services running from here, and half from over there...

I'd like simple as much as anybody, but we need a bit more feature and complexity to fill the roles of both. That upstart and systemd went overboard is unfortunate, but they are long overdue.

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Comment Re:Understanding (Score 1) 453

Plus ça change... I recommend C P Snow's The Two Cultures from 1959!

A good many times I have been present at gatherings of people who, by the standards of the traditional culture, are thought highly educated and who have with considerable gusto been expressing their incredulity at the illiteracy of scientists. Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is the scientific equivalent of: Have you read a work of Shakespeare’s?

I now believe that if I had asked an even simpler question — such as, What do you mean by mass, or acceleration, which is the scientific equivalent of saying, Can you read? — not more than one in ten of the highly educated would have felt that I was speaking the same language. So the great edifice of modern physics goes up, and the majority of the cleverest people in the western world have about as much insight into it as their neolithic ancestors would have had.

Note however the valid criticism of the essay (see the wikipedia entry).

And personally, I want artists and engineers thanks. I prefer my engines to be beautiful---most especially my engines of mass destruction :)

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Comment Re:brace yourself (Score 5, Interesting) 453

I have to tell a story... yeah... I'm old. My little bother was hot. He couldn't help it, girls just couldn't leave him alone. Someone convinced him to do modeling as a career for a while, but after missing shoots to enter skateboard contests, his modeling career was over. Still, Hallmark's "Hunk" calendar ran him as Mr April two years running.

Anyway, while he was screwing every girl who ever wanted a hot guy, I got my engineering degree. I dated the president of the math club, and spent a night in jail for hacking phone systems. One night during summer break, my brother had something to say to me. He said, "I respect what you're doing." I knew he meant he respects what I'm doing even though any reasonable person would not. I couldn't argue with the guy living every hormone driven teenager's dream, but I thought it was funny. I was preparing to make the world a better place, but I suppose being a girl's dream date counts.

We are geeks. There's something wrong in our minds that makes us happy spending time typing on a keyboard rather than chasing women. When I change the world in concrete measurable ways, the feeling is euphoric, and programming is the way I help change the world.

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Comment Re:In the footsteps of Arduino (Score 1) 42

...where-as the AVR does not have a debug protocol or JTAG, you have to replace the chip with an emulator. Have fun soldering all those wires from your emulator to your application board!

What about debugWire? Not full-blown JTAG, but it is an in-circuit debugging interface (uses the RESET pin). I believe it's now on all but the simplest of devices.

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The Verge
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is one of the biggest proponents of living more and more of your life in the public, and a new website is ensuring that Zuckerberg himself does just that. On Friday, researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee...
The Zuckerberg Files: Getting schooled on Facebook's CEOCNET
“Zuckerberg Files” collects everything Facebook CEO has ever said in publicArs Technica
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all 25 news articles

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Apple's iWork upgrade screwup has Microsoft laughing all the way to the bank - C (

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Computerworld (blog)
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Comment It's all about fair competition (Score 2) 569

But in France we had the most expensive Mobile Phone Bills in the world. Because the major companies made an confidential agreement to not change their prices.
And then another company entered the game, and now we have very low mobile phone bills.

It's the same company who several years ago made the ADSL prices drop:

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