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Comment Re:Drones watching you scratch your balls (Score 1) 387


I think the clearest illustration of what's really being tested here is that these people are in situations where the common thread is the camera. The new element, the one that produces the reaction, is the person. I bet one million fake imaginary dollars that if you conducted this "study" by having some guy just walk up to people and stare at them, it would produce the same reaction. Conversely, hang signs on cameras in the middle of the street that say, "Smile, we're watching you and saving the footage for later masturbation!" you might get some laughs, but that's about it.

Comment Re:No, It's Way Over the Line and Abusively Ambigu (Score 1) 157

Oh, lord, not this argument again. Ok, so you think that, because you pay taxes and/or a health insurance premium, you should be able to tell people that they can't engage in potentially risky behavior that could result in their taking advantage of any public services or insurance.

Well, they also pay taxes, and may very well pay insurance premiums as well, but let's just set that aside.

You've convinced me. It's perfectly reasonable that, since I pay for a tiny, tiny fraction of the public services used by everyone, then I should have some say in personal behavior that could impact those services. Also, since I pay for health, car, and homeowner's insurance, the behavior of other people affects me within those contexts.

So, we'll go ahead and limit the amount of soda you can sell at once. Also, SUVs are top-heavy, so we'll ban those too; when people get into accidents, it affects my premiums. Ditto for people who live on the California coast, along the Gulf of Mexico, and Tornado Alley; not only do these people impact my homeowner's insurance, but federal money goes to bail those dopes out whenever weather happens. Since I'm paying for them, they shouldn't be allowed to live in dangerous places like Oklahoma.

Anyone else see any problem with this line of thinking?

Comment Re:But capitalism sucks... (Score 1) 157

Right on, eldavojohn. Capitalism and socialism are economic models. You can have a totalitarian state that allows the private ownership of capital, and you can have a democratic system with state ownership of capital. And certainly capitalism has never been a proof against corruption.

Granted, capitalism tends to go well with an open society and individual liberties simply because it's tough to keep a system going over the long run where citizens have economic freedom without political freedom, and because the success of a capitalist system depends on a legal system that protects private ownership, which is undermined when a government can seize property by fiat. And on the other side of the coin, socialist systems lend themselves to greater government involvement in daily life if for no other reason than that societies which see government involvement in ownership as appropriate, they also tend to find government involvement in other aspects of life as perfectly acceptable. But you don't have to look any further than the UK or Sweden for a good example of socialist economies with democratic systems, or China for something pretty close to a capitalist dictatorship.

Comment Re:Shocking (Score 0) 360

Well, but if the standard (which, to be fair, was changed very recently) defaults to violating user privacy, I fail to see how MS isn't on the side of the angels here. And we all know how effective shunning IE because it doesn't follow standards has been; anyone who's had to write the same damn page twice because IE doesn't support X can speak to that.

Now, since the standard shifted rather suspiciously, companies like Yahoo can track users as much as they'd like, with no notice, and claim that they're doing so for the lofty moral goal of supporting the W3's standards. IMO, it's a bad standard, and it ought to be restored to defaulting to privacy.

Comment Get a promotion (Score 1) 360

I haven't been in the industry for ten years, or even near it, and I know that unless I'm being hired specifically to create something new I'm going to be working with existing code. And I've worked for some very, very small companies where the code I'm working on has been written by people who've been short on time and resources. It's looked like total butt. It's been slapped together with bubble gum and bailing wire, and I've done my best to leave it better than I found it for the poor sap who comes behind me. Unless you're being hired to create something new, you'll be working on something old. You're probably being hired to fix what they've already got. Why would this surprise you?

Seriously, if you don't want to work on existing code, look for jobs where you're being asked to develop something from scratch. If the code worked great in the first place they wouldn't be looking for someone to fix it, would they?

Comment It'll live until something better comes along. (Score 1) 625

The PC killer will have to have:

1. A better input scheme than mouse and keyboard, suitable for everything from gaming to typing.
2. A power supply that is effectively unlimited.
3. The capacity to be easily modified, either by attaching external devices or by adding internal components.
4. Processing capability suitable for at least moderately intense applications.
5. A display that is clear and easily viewed.
6. Storage or access to storage capable of operating independently of web access.

Essentially, the most important aspect of the PC is the fact that it sits on a desk. You can hook a PC up to a television (or use a console with a keyboard) and it's not nearly as useful--try typing a lengthy document or doing anything work-like hunched forward over a coffee table, and don't get me started about wireless mice. The PC/desk combo has been developed to be the most effective, efficient, and comfortable workstation since the two became involved in the 70s.

Laptops come close, but only when they're--you guessed it--used on a desk, and then they're hampered by battery life. Unless they're plugged in, as most are, making them essentially small, cramped PCs. Consoles aren't anywhere near PCs for ease of control, and of course they have virtually no use beyond watching movies or playing games due to the lack of effective keyboard peripherals and the whole coffee table thing. Tablets and phones are fine for checking email or looking something up on the Internet in a pinch, but they're awful for typing, still lag far behind in processing power, and have battery life issues.

Until someone comes up with something that basically replaces the desk as the primary place of work, the PC will be king.

Comment Insurance (Score 2) 1199

I'm posting this once instead of replying to the 45 or so posts that mention this. Smokers do not raise your insurance premiums.

I'll repeat for emphasis:

*Smokers do not raise your insurance premiums.*

Smokers pay higher insurance premiums because they are in a different risk pool. You might be paying higher premiums for fat people, but the moment one of those tubsters develops diabetes or whatever, their premiums go up, so you're not paying as much as you think. Under Obamacare, granted, that changes slightly, because the law now makes it more difficult for insurance companies to raise premiums on policy holders who develop ongoing health issues. But smokers are already paying higher premiums just for smoking, before they even get in the doctor's office door.

So, you are not paying for smokers' health insurance premiums. Get off your respective high horses. And loosen up, god, you must be the people who go to a party and complain about the music being too loud.

Also, this is how you know that south Florida is not actually part of the South. It's actually a southern colony of Connecticut, and should be treated accordingly.

Also also, if you live in a country with socialized medicine, you may very well be paying for smokers via taxes, but they're also probably paying a ton of tax on cigarettes, so get over yourself, commie.

Comment Re:Full Audio or it didn't happen... (Score 1) 413

The President didn't, but the Justice Department did, and by the policy of "the buck stops here" the president is at some point responsible. Problem is that the first series of "gunwalking" operations started under Bush. So, AC isn't a "bigoted coward" unless he or she is of neither African or Caucasian descent. And I don't know where the cowardice comes in, unless you're referring to posting as AC, in which case I totally agree. Except for the general tone of your reply, which seems sort of, I don't know, bitter and stupid.

Comment Not to beat a dead horse, but... (Score 2) 474

I mean, obviously, moving is your best option. Cities are loud places. Although a city with 350k is pretty small, if you're living in the center of the place, you're going to have to deal with noise. If you haven't gotten used to it yet (which is kind of surprising, really), your long-term solution is to save up some money until you can afford to move to the 'burbs, or out to the country. Or to a smaller town.

That said, I lived in a bigger city (600k or so) in a bad neighborhood (so there were cars and sirens all night) for a little while. Heavy drapes help, with the added benefit that people can't see in your windows. Sirens are made to be heard, so you might have a hard time really insulating yourself from them, but as for just general road noise and city sounds, I'd move your office into an internal room, i.e. one that doesn't have any windows, and that preferably has rooms with doors between it and the outside. As others have said, you could certainly install double- or triple-pane windows, but at that point you're better off spending the money on a down payment on a house or condo somewhere other than the busiest part of the city. Plants, bookshelves, basically stuff to get in the way and create more surfaces between the windows and you seem to be somewhat effective in reducing sound. Also, since you won't be able to get rid of the sound, you might try doing stuff like leaving the tv or radio on in the background, just as a low-cost "white-noise" alternative.

But, really, the core issue here is not how thick your windows need to be to live in the middle of an urban area and not hear anything. It's why you would locate yourself somewhere that you're not going to be able to work, or, the way it sounds, live comfortably. I don't know what you do for a living, but, if cost is an issue, a long-term solution might be to relocate to a cheaper area nearby, where you're still close enough to meet with clients in the city if need be, but you're not in a noisy area. Based on where you're posting and what you're posting, I'm assuming you're not a glass blower or a mime or anything, so I'd also point out that the wonder of telecommuting is that you can do it from quite far away...

Comment Re:Winblows, LOL (Score 3) 515

I disagree, but I'm much closer to your opinion than the two hopeless fanboys that posted earlier.

Full disclosure, I use Linux in a professional environment. We use it to run wifi hardware, and in LAMP configurations for websites. Personally, I have used Linux off and on for the past six years, and Windows since it existed.

For the combination of low resource overhead and stability, Linux (CentOS in our case) beat Windows hands-down for the hardware that we sell to clients. We need something that will act as a router, bridge, or access point, so we need it to stay up and running for as long as possible. We don't upgrade hardware often, so as long as it works when it's installed it'll probably be fine, and we don't need to update the OS for the same reason.

In all other regards, Linux has been at best something that we can work around, and at worst a hindrance.

In 2012, being limited to a command line is archaic and counter-productive, so a user should be able to accomplish most if not all tasks from within a GUI. We can argue about command line interfaces and how 1337sauce they are all day, but the fact that all serious OSs on the market, including Linux, incorporate GUIs tends to indicate that moving away from command lines considered a good move by people that design and develop operating systems. It might be faster for people who are used to it to live in the command line, but the overwhelming majority of users want GUIs that provide all the functionality they need, and people who are in the business of making operating systems respond to this. And, overall, if the GUI is well-designed, it's generally more efficient than the command line. My opinion, yes, but I'll argue it all day.

Any security gains in Linux (and there certainly are) are mitigated by the obscurity of the system itself. Yes, you can batten down a Linux installation to a level of security you don't see with MS if you know what you're doing. The problem is that you have to have a high level of comfort and expertise with the OS to see these benefits; you can realize at least base-line security on a Windows machine without having to know anything about IPTABLES. It's like the classic martial arts dilemma: Chinese boxing might be superior to all other martial arts, but it takes decades to achieve mastery; a student of Krav Maga or jujitsu can become competent in a few years.

At our office I and another person write the documentation. With Open Office, we ran into formatting issues that, frankly, made it impossible to produce a professional-looking document. Even the person who'd been doing the documentation before, who is a self-described "Linux guy", admitted that he'd reached the limits of what could be done with OOo, and recommended I use Wine to install Office. This required that I switch distros, because CentOS doesn't support the latest version of Wine, which was required to install Office 2010 (a copy of which had already been purchased for a previous employee). Admittedly, the alternative was to install some flavor of Windows on a VM, but that would've required buying a license; I work at a very small company where cost is always an issue. Eventually, after some tweaking, I got Wine to install Office and launch it reliably, although there are stability issues.

As a gamer, too, I can speak to Wine and Linux in home applications. Yes, some games run under Wine. Certainly not all, and not even most. Also, big releases, especially multiplayer games, remain the province of Windows. It's changing, slowly, and Steam going to Linux is a promising development, but a PC running Windows remains the best platform for gaming. And, sure, you can run a VM, but then you're adding to hardware requirements that new releases already stretch on most PCs.

I know it's sort of de rigeur to hate Windows if you like Linux, but it's not the 1990s. Linux has come a long way, especially Ubuntu, and I think the argument can be made that some distros are no longer "hobbyist" OSs, but Windows remains the authoritative PC operating system because it's actually a really good product. Yes, it has problems, but the overall plus/minus is better with Windows than with Linux. Linux is getting much closer, but you can't just say that a solution to web security is to switch everyone to Linux and make them run things in Wine.

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