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Comment Re: 29 years old (Score 4, Informative) 432

Just started a new job in Apple R&D. I'm 44.

No company will hire you if you don't have the skills they want, but I'm hardly the oldest person in my (fairly small) group; likewise in general on the floor around me. That's not to say there aren't younger people around - of course there are, it's just that age doesn't appear to be any sort of criteria.

Comment Re:Pilot error? (Score 1) 506

Planes are not landed by computer; they are landed by human beings. Typically three of them -- the pilot, copilot, and flight engineer.

The 1960s called, wanting their commercial flight ops back. Planes haven't had flight engineers in decades (unless the plane itself is that old). Likewise commercial jets have had autoland for decades. It's standard procedure for airports which often have low visibility (like Heathrow). Heck, the autoland is so good that -- again, decades ago -- they introduced a bit of dither into the system to avoid excessive runway wear from heavies (747 etc) always landing on the exact same spot.

Comment Re:Ouch! (Score 1) 330

Not only that, but if the airlines are sharing more than e.g. the last 4 digits of the credit card info, they're probably in violation of PCI (Payment Card Industry) regs and could have their ability to take payments that way suspended.

That would be a lovely data stream for identity thieves to intercept.

Comment Doing it the hard way (Score 4, Interesting) 280

A 79-cent plastic water pistol filled with cyanide* is even more lethal, and just as easy to get past security.

Sure, the assassin will likely die from the cyanide too, but what are the odds of him surviving long with a one-shot gun anyway?

*(and sealed to prevent premature leakage; substitute other poison of your choice)

Comment Re:Cool! (Score 1) 104

I live in CA. 4 years ago I installed a $70k ($50k after rebates) 8kW solar system on my roof and my garage's roof.

Prior to solar, my original electricity bill peaked at ~$1100/month, more commonly about $600. This is due mainly to my own choices, no doubt, but still that's what we are dealing with - in Summer, the AC is on quite a bit (it's been 106F this last week) and the pool pump needs to run 8 hours a day for good cleaning. There's also the 2 pond pumps which run 24/7 and the reef tank pumps which also run 24/7. Add in a baby (so lots of washing-machine and dryer activity) and it adds up...

After the solar installation, my bill peaks at ~$100, more commonly about $50. This gives me an average saving of ~$8500 per year, and if you divide $55k by $8.5k you get 5.88 years to pay for itself. By some definitions that's 5 years...

In terms of cost, certainly the main issue is that I consume a lot of electricity. I'm happier now that most of that comes gratis from the sun, but also partly it's California's (or at least PG&E's) electricity pricing which ranges in tiers (the below taken from

$0.1323 ... baseline
$0.1504 ... 101% -> 130% of baseline
$0.3111 ... 131% -> 200% of baseline
$0.3511 ... 200% -> 300% of baseline
$0.3514 ... 301%+

My baseline is set at 7.5 kWh per day (or ~225 kWh/month) , and I consume about 40kWh per day on a "good" (no AC, pool closed) day (pumping water is energy-intensive...). For me at least, the maths works out. When you're looking at individual cases, using average numbers is not such a great idea...


Comment Re:But technicians shouldn't lie. (Score 1) 775

"... an electric car is emission free, it's a lie, it's a big, big lie.

Fine. Let's do an experiment. Ulrich (or you) can lock himself up in a garage with the non-electric car of his choice, I'll do the same (different garage) with the electric car of my choice. Then we'll let the motors run for a couple of hours. Winner is whoever walks away afterwards.

Now, electric power production may not be emission free (depending on the source), but the car itself is (not counting trivial vapors from lubrication etc). Ulrich shouldn't lie.

Comment Re:why? (Score 1) 778

Are there still security issues with having JS enabled?

There are security issues ANYTIME you let someone run code on your machine. Javascript is code. Therefore, yes, there are "still" (and always will be) security issues with having JS enabled.

Yes, sometimes -- very, very rarely, about 1-5% as often as clueless developers obsessed with shiny things think -- Javascript is needed for functionality. But if you can't make your site safe to access with JS turned off, you fail.

And of course this changes nothing. Folks don't turn off JS entirely these day, they use Noscript.

Comment Re:How is this legal? (Score 1) 1103

If those programs didn't exist, people wouldn't even work at Wal-Mart because it wouldn't pay the bills, and when you don't have employees it's awfully hard to have a business.

Nope. If those programs didn't exist, people would still work at Wal-Mart because Wal-Mart destroyed other local employers, leaving them little alternative.

it all boils down to government being the problem, as usual.

Only if you understand that Wal-Mart, like all corporations (indeed, all "property", as we know it) is a creation of a government.

Comment Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (Score 1) 924

Years ago, I tried wearing a wristwatch, but I found it gets in the way. It makes typing uncomfortable for me

Agreed, wrist watches are uncomfortable. For everyday carry, I have a clip watch clipped to a beltloop. It's far easier to check the time there than to dig my phone out of a pocket, plus I have also clipped a keychain-style LED flashlight to it. It's occasionally useful just to have a light-duty carabiner at hand. And I'll take it running or biking, when I usually leave my bulkier cell phone home.

For fancy dress, have some real style and get a pocket watch.

Comment Re:Would you ride in one? (Score 4, Insightful) 205

Yes, the initial costs were high, but most of the costs you cite are reaction costs. How much did a week of grounding all airlines cost? How much does additional TSA infrastructure cost? How mush of that $1.4 trillion lost stock valuation was real vs just numbers in a computer, and how much of that was due to panic reaction?

As the grandparent pointed out, if we'd reacted with the attitude "shit happens, deal with it" (as was, for example, the attitude in Britain after the first few days of the Blitz), that final cost would have been far smaller; still 3000 lives, but probably less than $0.01 trillion dollars.

As OP alluded to, bee stings don't kill people, the anaphylactic shock reaction does.

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