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Comment Re:Here's a start... (Score 1) 74

The US government already has several separate secure networks, and utilizes non-Windows OSes where appropriate.

Do you want the gubbermint telling you how to run *your* networks and computers? I'm sure that NSA patch is really just a clever way to let them spy on you.

Seriously, that's not a start, that's just a silly aside with no meaning.

People overestimate the planning and intelligence of government technology infrastructured. So much of it is left up to contracters who know how to write a MOU which sounds good, but then they execute the implementation with a load of cheap tech monkeys. Believe me, I work with this stuff constantly. Fragile systems, systems with competing heads, ignorance run amok. I have talked with some people in positions in the government and they are very frustrated, but every contract goes to the bidder who knows how to win, but may totally be inept at implmentation.

It's fun to see government talk about cleaning this up, but without actually hiring experts and technical staff into government to do the job on government payroll, don't expect much for your money.

Comment Re:Externalized costs (Score 1) 564

Sorry to hijack the thread here but everyone should read an article in this month's Esquire entitled "Do We Really Want to Live Without the Post Office?"

The fact of the matter is that the postal service does not LOSE money, but they are being forced to pre-pay their pension obligations (something no other government entity has to do). Other entities simply rely on the full faith and credit of the United States for their pension payments. Congress is using the pension payments to pad the budget. It's politics, pure and simple. The post office is one of the few things that makes our nation great.

One of the things currently dooming the Postal Service is the fact they once gave full pensions to people who put in 20 years of service. I've worked 30 years and still can't think about retirement.

My dear old grandfather worked for the US Postal Service for 20 years, retired in his 50's and lived to be 90+ The math geniuses who figured the average lifespan of retirees really blew it. Think about the life expectancy of people who were physically active in their work, got plenty of exercise, so exceeded lifespan of the average person.

Comment Re:A better job (Score 1) 564

Same here. Frankly, I don't care about Saturday deliveries. Parcel integrity, that's a different story.

Saturday is usually the one day I can get my packages, so I hope the post offices stay open even if they do not deliver.

My local PO is open most days from 10 AM to 3 PM, which works poorly for me as I'm at work those hours.

As for parcel integrity and how well the USPS performs, I find the USPS is still one of the best, most reliable delivery services in the world. I personally dispise Fedex SmartPost, which works with the USPS, as they move things at a snails pace. Anything sent Priority Mail gets where it is going fast enough to suit me, for over ten years. If you don't like how a package arrives then pack better or tell the sender to - these things are loaded into large containers and may shift in flight or along the roads. I find UPS (which is not in any way affiliated with the USPS or federal government services) has a pretty average to below average record of delivering packages intact and undamaged - if you ship by USPS you may assume 1,000 pounds of books may sit on your box at any given time - the bulk of their business is Business, not residential.

My background has included work in the logistics and shipping industry, and a mighty good education it was. To many people how their mail or parcels are handled are completly invisible to them, assumed the worst, no matter how you ship. Twenty five cents worth of reinforced tape and good packing skills are a small price compared to value of contents or time lost due to damage or lost items. Make that label visible and pack one inside, in case something does damage the original label.

Comment Re:Welp (Score 1) 228

Nature already does that. We only have to collect and harvest it. There is no technical reason to suffer any kind of water shortage.

Problem is, you divert a little here and a little there from the streams and rivers and you wind up with the Aral Sea.

Some places do get plenty of rain and could harvest from some collector system, say, around Seattle, and export it. There's an idea which will probably happen when the price of water gets high enough.

Comment Re:At the rate that we're drinking water... (Score 2) 228

Water that is absorbed by the ground and isn't directed into aquifers or similar structures is effectively lost. The rest is lost to the ocean or to evaporation. Granted, you could desalinate the ocean, but then the question becomes what to do with the leftover material, which is an environmental issue unto itself.

You sell it, duh!

Have you priced Sea Salt lately?

We still have operating salt ponds aorund the San Francisco Bay. Often easily identified by their giant piles of salt. Now if they trapped the water evaporated it would be a Win-Win.

Comment My Desk is my cupboard (Score 1) 172

In one drawer we have cans of beans, romulan noodles, micro popcorn, ketchup, wasabi amonds, sesame sticks, apricots, two baking potatoes, tea and bubble gum.

In another drawer we have pistachio nuts, two flavors (plain and chili lemon), spicy seaweed, lifesavers, candied ginger, vegie chips and lifesavers candys.

I don't snack often, but am well prepared for the repocalypse.

Comment Re:Instead of the FUD... (Score 2) 320

Say what you will about Apple devices (like the iPad), their devices don't run hot and they are silent or all but silent.

So why did Apple have those things right 5 years ago, but MSFT still can't do it?

Microsoft are scared to death that markets are abandoning them for mobile computing - i.e. tablets and smart phones, which is largely true. Dell and HP have seen sharp declines in demand for desktops and laptop computers. Most peopl never needed them, but got them because these devices allowed them to do some thing which were important to them, such as social networking, checking email, reading news, shopping, etc. Microsoft is very late to the dance and are trying to wedge themselves in the same way they have in other markets. They will likely hemorrage cash for a while and either carve out a piece or concede defeat.

Comment Re:Instead of the FUD... (Score 3, Insightful) 320

40C degrees (or 104F) is colder than your bath water

True. However you don't want a 104F notebook sitting on your lap. It makes you sweat quite a bit and is uncomfortable. It absolutely won't burn your or anything like that. But it sucks to have a machine that warm on your lap.

And to generate all that heat requires current, which is why the batteries aren't lasting as long as they should for something like this.

Steve Jobs, for all his evils understood the concept of a complete package, get everything right (aside antennas, apparently) before rolling it out. This thing smacks of rushed to market.

Expect big sudden price drops.

Comment Re:Memo to investors: (Score 1) 217

More importantly, they are getting Dell tech support.

My condolences.

Actually Dell's Enterprise level support is fairly good. Fortunately I haven't had much experience with consumer level support.

Back in the early days of the company had excellent quality products and support was excellent. Much more recently we've elimitated them as a source due to quality issues. Doesn't matter how good the support is if the machines keep failing.

Comment The Bar Has Been Lowered (Score 3, Insightful) 665

No longer do you need a sleazy music company executive to steal your rights and material, a posh recording studio, expensive band or studio musicians. You can now make up your own music in the comfort of your own home and sell it yourself. Perhaps, after all the megastars and millions and billions extracted by an industry, we are coming back to the common music of the people, no more difficult to obtain than to go down to the pub and listen to a band of minstrels who wandered into town.

You want quality music, you pay for quality music. You want garage music, you pay far less.

Comment Re:here comes more nuclear power (Score 4, Insightful) 141

say goodbye to anything that was a renewable energy movement of any sort.

Nonsense - he got the project started, now it's time for new people to come in and make it succeed.

As Winston Churchill was the man for the PM job during WW II, he was not the man to lead the UK through peace at the end of the war.

I for one thank him for his efforts. If we can't stop our need for using energy, at least we can find better sources of it with don't mess with the environment or geopolitics.

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