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Comment meaning it could do _whatever_ to the whole system (Score 1) 202

The point is, whatever operation you want the hardware to perform, it could do it to the whole system extremely quickly. Some examples:

At boot, it can load the entire system into RAM in under a second and never wait for a read from the flash drive again.

Next, it could download an update which replaces every file in the entire OS in less than 5 seconds.

A virus scan of the OS takes less than a second.

A complete backup takes less than a second.

Opening the web browser takes less than a millisecond (it was duly loaded into RAM during the 2 second boot .)

Searching the whole system for any files named "foo.lib" takes less than a second.

Comment printing, yes. pdf is zipped printer language (Score 2) 202

For transporting documents intended for print, or intended to look like standard size printed paper, off does a good job, and there's a reason for that.

For those unfamiliar with the history, Postscript is a popular language for computers to talk to printers. Windows, Mac and other computers could all speak Postscript. "Print preview" functions could also read the postscript commands to display a print-like view on screen. So if you wanted a platform independent document, you could just use those Postscript printer commands, zipped for smaller size. That's essentially what PDF is - a dump from a printer cable, zipped. There's no need for "select top tray" and similar printer commands that don't show on screen, so those aren't valid in pdf.

So yeah, pdf is good for printing because that's what the language was originally designed for.

* The above is of course a summary. Pedants can of course point out various changes from postscript to pdf.

Comment You feed it bacon covered in cheese and gravy? (Score 2) 519

As long as you satisfy all of the natural instincts that your cat has

My natural instincts tell me that bacon slathered in gravy and topped with cheese is delicious. My natural instinct says "I'd hit it" about eight times a day. My natural instinct is to punch that asshole square in the mouth.

I have a brain capable of rational thought, though, so I eat vegetables, sleep with my wife, and refrain from hitting people.

I hope you're not so cruel as indulge all of your cat's natural instincts.

Comment hell, a complete OS os smaller than most PDFs (Score 4, Interesting) 202

For that matter QNX, a complete graphical OS including essential programs like a web browser and even a web server is a couple MB - smaller than many odd DOCUMENTS.

I wonder how blazingly fast a 4MB OS is on 4GHz machine with GBs of RAM. The CPU could process the entire OS in less than a millisecond.

Comment true, even spun, more is better, unless misinforma (Score 2) 216

Indeed. It'll be spun, they are trying to frame the narrative, but it's awesome that they are being forced to try that. Info will come out. Some truth will come out accidentally. For example, when a leading democrat senator was asked about restoring funding for children's cancer treatment during the government shutdown he said "why would I want to do that?" - accidentally revealing that getting one over on the republicans is far more important to him than saving kids suffering from cancer. I'm sure NSA will have a few things like that.

However, as crioca points out, some of what NSA releases will be disinformation. We need to guard against not just the spin they put on it, but probably complete fabrications as well.

Comment try it, I have. Autoland okay in no wind but fog (Score 2, Insightful) 337

Autoland is useful when there's little flying to be done because there's little to no wind, little traffic, an uncomplicated approach, but the pilot can't see. That's when radar based systems have the advantage, when visibility is poor.

I've landed a plane a few times, with help from my instructor. You read Wikipedia. You go land a few and then come back and tell us about it.

Comment cash thrown away isn't available for new ventur (Score 1) 124

Obviously people can only invest by having assets invest. You don't build up a "war chest" by throwing away your money on a losing proposition. As you said:

  "when they see an opening, they can throw a bunch of money at it that was otherwise not working effectively."

In other words, stop doing things that aren't effective at generating a decent return. We saw this today on Slashdot. Auto maintenance wasn't generating a return near 9.8%, so Sears is closing it's auto centers and putting those resources towards datacenters, which do generate a healthy return.

You say "would only be true". Pick ANY industry and look at the average return US companies in that industry made over any 20 year period. You'll see it IS true. Pick various lines of business at various times. You'll see they all have an average return close to 9.8%. It simply IS true. The return is somewhat risk-adjusted; people will tolerate a slightly lower return if it's consistent, and require a higher return if it has wild swings. It's always close to 9.8% over any extended period of time, though.


Comment landing difficult, flying easy until something (Score 1) 337

The cruise portion of the flight can be handled by autopilot, 98% of the time. Landing is a totally different matter. Landing is HARD. During my first flight lesson, I flew figure eights at altitude. I never could manage to learn to land safely. Landing requires a skilled pilot.

Also, while 98% of the cruise can be handled by the autopilot, there's another 2% that can't. Shit happens, just like with any other activity, and when shit happens aboard an airliner you want a good pilot handling the situation.

Taking off is the other dangerous part. If you've flown a few times you've probably felt turbulence, when the wind blows the plane up and down. If you're at 30,000 feet and a downdraft pushes you down 150 feet it feels like going over a hill. If you're 120 feet off the ground when you drop, you're dead.

Comment Only for most of the books Google did, public or (Score 1) 124

For most of the books Google did, yes. They are either public domain or Google has the publisher's permission. For the others, unless there are facts I'm not aware of, I don't suppose that would be legal. However, I haven't read the entirety of the court's opinion. It's quite likely there was a reason the court ruled as it did - some matter of fact or law not mentioned in the page or two we read from the 30 page opinion.

Comment i wish the story weren't bs (Score 4, Informative) 337

I love a good story about government ineffectiveness.
Unfortunately, this particular story is bull. Their conclusions are based on "meta-analysis of 400 studies over 60 years", not an analysis of the TSA's current procedures. They looked at studies on whether college students can tell when reach other are lying.

The TSA has some problems for sure, but this article doesn't address those.

Comment You can copy it, read it all, just can't sell it (Score 2) 124

Generally, you CAN copy a whole book, it isn't necessary to claim you only read a few pages.
You can copy it and read all of it, or copy a whole album on tape and then listen to the whole album.
What you can't do is sell whole copies.

Yes, that's a three sentence summary of 100 pages of law, so of course there are more details than that.

Comment Easy solution to "fair return" 9.8% like it or not (Score 5, Interesting) 124

> I don't mind people who did both processes getting a fair return but we need to decide what a fair return is.

It's 9.8%. Over the long term, they'll average 9.8% per year and there's nothing we can do to change that.

Suppose for a moment that there was a very high return. Let's say 50%.

Microsoft and their Bing divison, along with Amazon and others would be watching that and thinking:
      We have $50 million dollars to spend on our next project.
      We can either spend that on developing a game console, with an expected return of 2%, or
      on digitizing books, with a return of 50%.
      Fire up the digitizer!

People generally invest in the type of projects that are getting the best returns. So due to the 50% return, you'd have Google, Microsoft, and Amazon all offering different versions of the service. Maybe Microsoft would have no ads, but it would only work in IE11 on Windows 8.1.
Amazon's would be similar to Google, but with fewer, more obtrusive ads for full books that float over the digital pages.

With two competitors, Google's return would decrease. Specifically, new entrants keep coming in with different (better, cheaper, etc.) versions as long as the return is higher than other projects. It turns out that "other projects" return 9.8%, on average. So anything with a risk-adjusted return higher than 9.8% draws competitors.

If money goes IN to lines of business where it'll make more than 9.8%, where does it come FROM? From shutting down (or foregoing) operations that make less, of course. Any business with a risk-adjusted return less than 9.8% has some providers leave the market for greener pastures.

With the competitors close, their market share goes to the remaining competitors, so the remaining people get increased returns. Specifically, competitors keep leaving and the return keeps increasing until the return is as good as other options - about 9.8%.

So that's what you end up with - in the long term, any industry in the US has a risk-adjusted return of about 9.8%. Some, like oil or farming, are subject to high volatility - good years and bad years. Exxon for example is affected by oil prices, so it goes up and down. Exxon averaged 11.62% over the last 10 years, 7.86% over the last 15 years - everything swings up and down around that 9.8% mark.

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