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Comment Re:Edge of space? (Score 1) 90

LOL. You oughta win the internet for the day. Wish I had modpoints...

I'd learned to put a 3 or a 7 into any fakebake number by the time I was seven. See, I just did it again! Apparently Le FAI and others didn't get the memo.

(now I'm goin' back over to reddit, where "everything's modded and the points don't matter!", to steal Drew Carey's Whos-Line introduction)

Comment Re:Outrageous Union Pensions Are Unsustainable (Score 4, Insightful) 90

Given the presence of Hollywood, Silicon Valley, defense contractors and farming economies like the Imperial Valley, implying that public employees and their union are omnipotent is laughable.

Your economy isn't faltering. Some areas were gutted by industry itself (manufacturing), some have tech-related disruptive challenges (movies/music), and farm revenue and silicon valley revenue are booming. Your tax rate above 200k income remains at record lows, percentagewise. Your tax rate overall is slim compared to years ago. Even CalPERS has trimmed down administrative costs steadily in the last 5 years (

Individual corruption is a red herring, too. Shine some light into those dark areas, root it out (corporate / private or public), and we'll... oh, wait, that's already being done.

The problem in Cali is the same as everywhere else: mere working stiffs not seeing any of 40 years of prosperity vs. corporate and 1%er's taxes plunging. Add in your state's epic damage from Prop 13 and similar right-wing nuttery, and you've created this economic pinch. Stop blaming the last bastion of union/pensioned people: when most of them got their jobs, they took lower pay in trade for stability and a pension. The problem isn't them, it's that you've screwed so many other middle-class people in the state and propped up banksters and billionaires with the proceeds until public employees' situation looks enviable enough to the rest of the citizenry to assault.

Comment At least patents expire (Score 1) 293

Meh, in less than 17 years, the knowledge that X does Y will be public.

Personally, I didn't map the fuckers out so I can't really be offended that someone that HAS mapped genetic data and suffered through the research to determine what they do gets payment for it for a patent term.

For what it is worth, I suspect there will be a lot more than 40,000 (isn't that number from TFA) unique rules hiding in DNA. In other words, 20 years from now, I still expect us to be making inroads and discoveries that deserve patent. Another few decades after that, if we survive that long, we'll have similar progress with nonhuman DNA, and another wave of patents with value either because our direct or indirect benefit from them (mods to human DNA or mods to critters, in other words).

Comment Re:hmm, where have I heard this one before... (Score 5, Insightful) 128

SpaceX is doing 'IT' cheaper? For 'IT's that are smaller, simpler, shorter-ranged, shorter-lived, based on existing tech, etc, sure they are. SpaceX is the bees knees. But that's like saying my RC car outcorners an F1 and costs like a million times less (based on a proposal to limit team budgets to $40M/year).

I don't say this to diss SpaceX: good research and bypassing institutionalization while fostering engineering creativity is a good thing. They're doing good work. Engineers just know there's no free lunch: Good engineering costs a lot and good fundamental research in unfamiliar physical domains (pressure, temp, chemical composition, forces) costs much more. What's more, established entities pick up constraints: safety rules, regulations, etc. As SpaceX's ambitions and constraints grow, so will their costs.

The cliche about rocket science wasn't coined for nothin'.

(in a moment, I'll be regretting (again) commenting to slashdot on anything involving NASA or rocket science... Slashdot never ceases to amaze me with commenters' delusions that they're qualified to bitch about other technical realms).

Comment Re:Ripoff City (Score 1) 127

CS101: Using live data as a primary key is bad database design in part because of the risk of two records wanting the same key.

Yet DNS does this. Artificial scarcity (and any alternative of gloom and doom) is a byproduct of an intrinsically flawed design. Call me crazy, but names, companies, etc all manage to cope despite redundancies by us resorting to more keys than just the name.

Inertia means DNS names being unique is a 'problem' unlikely to be 'fixed'. But don't trumpet $1.4B (ballpark -- 140M domains, $10 apiece) being charged users as a necessary evil because of domain squatters.

Comment Re:Resale? (Score 3, Insightful) 138

Until PDF's got to be easier, grad school with internationals gave me a lot of exposure to pirated books out of China, India, Brazil, etc. Everything matches except for the paper quality (had a faint-formaldehyde smell).

Books have cloned quite nicely for centuries. And there's preexisting laws to deal with them. Copyright, however, never superceded the doctrine of first sale. And yet now we're getting sold digital media that copies easier but is denied via other channels.

Three reasonable non-pirate use cases come to mind:
- buying and selling used content.
- transfer of an estate's content (who gets my vinyl when I die, vs. who gets my itunes catalog when I die)
- transfer of content purchased for a minor child, when that child is old enough to open an account (13 or 18 or whatever). News recently had this with a content buyer vs. Steam. This varies from the 2nd because derivative data (characters, experience, etc) makes 'just buy a new one' deeply unacceptable without transfer of that additional data.

Comment Re:800 days without any possibly of escape (Score 1) 108

Space exploration is to sea exploration like ... well, like hard vacuum is to getting stranded on a beach:

There's (forgive the pun) astronomically less chance of surviving a fuckup in space.

Going on fifteen years of wishing computer geeks would learn that ROCKET SCIENCE HAS THE 'ITS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE' REPUTATION FOR A REASON.

Comment Promising (Score 1) 179

I mentally and emotionally left ubuntu behind when this 'train wreck' started, and have been churning along with Mint and Debian (for servers) getting most of my love.

This clarifies what the intent is for Ubuntu. More importantly to me, it resonates in a way that win8 and 'just like tablets and the new windows' never did -- this hints at a unix / X11 / 'network is the computer' mindset, where the UI and the data/computation are decoupled in ways that add flexibility, rather than straitjacketing power users.

I'm still hesitant, but I'll give Ubuntu a second chance based on this. Personal cpu/data devices and UI portability / flexibility wouldn't suck -- As long as Canonical sticks with a goal/plan for the UI being a realignment-to *AND* extension-of tablet UI design concepts, and not just carving off the complexity, or rearranging shit to be win00b-friendly.

Comment Re:only programmers... (Score 2) 232

Yup. I really depressed some friends who were priming themselves to quit corporate and start up when I asked what their 'moat' was? A: The WHAT? Me: The moat... the barrier to competition? What is your 'secret sauce' that keeps some megacorp from letting you do all the hard work defining your niche, then asking a team to reverse engineer your product? What's the secret they'll never master, the patent, the copyright? It's like a moat around a castle. A: Um... uh...

They're still corporate drones, but they did create the project as FOSS. It's doing ok, they're happy and busy and one of them parlayed that project into a good raise at another company closer to what he loves.

OTOH, I know another guy who embraced a project that went big. Megacorps are good at balancing 'how much to reengineer' against 'can we just hire/buy the underlying code and talent'?

Comment Re:Are we all supposed to know what Airbnb is? (Score 1) 141

LOL, GP invokes strawman (all regulations are a liberal conspiracy) on your side of the argument. P responds with ORLY?! So you claim his answer is another strawman. That's some serious drain-bammage, bro. Do like P suggests and change stations, quick!

Seriously; if libertarianism is about being unencumbered to a point where every environmental, health or safety misdeed is allowed under the dual banners of 'capitalistic self-interest prevents abuse' and 'caveat emptor', it's even less viable than communism. But you may already know that. I've noticed that extremism tends to be pushed either by nutjobs, fools, or people knowingly working the Overton Window. Which are you?

Apologies in advance for the 'when did you stop beating your wife' tendencies to that question.

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