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Comment Re:Explanation (Score 1) 252

Once Wayland components developers started trying to implement something practical, they discover, one by one, that they need those "unnecessary" X features after all.

Wayland has shot itself in the foot by being marketed as a replacement for X. But it's not really meant to be the entire car: this is just a new engine (that exploits low-level features of the Linux kernel). You could retrofit this engine into the old car (X Windows) or you can build entirely new cars with it. You won't see it on the highway tomorrow, but ~10-20 years from now it might be powering everything and putting a lot of exciting new cars on the road.

Comment Re:One of these days .... (Score 1) 76

Bullshit. Without patents, there is no motivation, at all, for him to tool up and make them.

Um... I doubt the tooling costs for a little rubber coating would be all that significant for an existing cable manufacturer. If you have that idea first, you'd definitely wouldn't sit on it because your competition is going to figure it out sooner or later and snag (heh heh) the opportunity for product differentiation. You see, there is a motivation for R&D other than patents, and it's called market forces. Keeping your R&D at zero is an non-optimal strategy (classic prisoner's dilemma) when you have healthy competition. Heck, even if you had a monopoly on all cable manufacturing, it would still be smart to do the R&D so you can offer products at different price tiers (like how Monster makes a cadillac HDTV cable, cause some folks will always pay more).

Comment Re:Discovery and limitations (Score 1) 205

And people so like to believe that science is objective, free of self-interest and politics, and trustworthy as a source of real world insight...

Sorry you bought the Hollywood version. In my mind, the magic of science is NOT that it transform us (naturally selfish and biased) people into paragons of impartial objectivity, but that it provides tools and rules for testing our ideas to effect (out of imperfect man) an institution that achieves (or nearly achieves) those ideals over the long term. It has a self-correcting aspect to it that, um, most other human institutions lack.

Comment Re:Fundamentally Flawed (Score 1) 183

at what point does someone wake up and develop a system that can be trusted out of the box to be secure

Never. Security is subtle, complex, and in contention with most other design goals. Oh... you see attempts to build sandboxed hardware, OS'es, runtimes, and languages from the ground up, and these are worthwhile efforts, but as long as people are doing new stuff with computers, other people will finds ways to exploit it.

Comment Re:There will always be a physological need (Score 1) 622

When you have a 20 foot long drone that can withstand 20G's of stopping force and 20G's of takeoff force from a relatively short magnetic rail gun, you don't necessarily need a 1000 foot 100,000 ton aircraft carrier to service it.

It opens up some fascinating possibilities... will we have destroyer-sized "micro-carriers" that can rack-and-launch an internal warehouse of drones with minimal crew? Or how about sub-carriers that surface, launch, and dive down again? Could a cargo plane (like the massive C-5 Galaxy) launch an entire squadron?

Comment Re:Its racist (Score 1) 183

Does that bother you? I mean, that people (on both sides of the aisle) automatically assume voter ID laws disproportionately affects Democrats?

No. It's not a wild hypothesis... people of lower means are more easily deterred from accomplishing an objective when administrative hurdles are introduced. You seem to assume that these politicians are ignorant of demographics and voting patterns and so forth... that's nonsense.

It basically shouts to the world, "We have such a strong association as the party of complete losers, of illegals, of 3rd gen welfare dynasties, that we just assume all the human trash in our society will vote blue".

No, it shouts to the world that lower- and working-class people are part of the Democratic base. I'm sure that includes many of the losers/illegals/trash you mention, but I'm not going to paint 50% of Americans [depending on what definitions of social class you use] with that brush.

Comment Re:it always baffles me (Score 3, Insightful) 113

Why the hell are mission-critical systems connected to business networks that are themselves connected to the Internet?

Because the functioning of the business relies integrally on both.

Look... I sympathize with the "air gap" argument, but it's not the mid-90's anymore. Business has been transformed by the ability to connect industrial systems with centralized command centers with payment systems with other companies. It's not for execs to have bullshit ipad dashboards... it's for the business to make operational decisions that will take effect in the upcoming hours/minutes/seconds, to meet contractual and legal obligations, to feed customer- and billing-related systems (no point in running a business if you can't cut a bill, eh?).

The world's not going back... VPN's, firewalls, segregated networks, etc., etc., but "air gap" won't do it anymore. Data is the lifeblood of business.

Comment Re:Problem with egos really (Score 2) 525

The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

Not related to the story, but watch out for this "split the difference" bias. Often, the truth is somewhere in the middle. But also often, the truth is 90% toward one side or the other. Sometimes (rarely), everybody's right and they just don't realize it. More often, the truth lies far outside the two sides you are listening to. A good solution for that is to listen to more sides. An even better solution is to study chemistry, economics, probability, computer science, sociology, and so forth... not because these fields offer direct insight on contemporary issues (though they often do), but because they help us appreciate the difficulties of understanding (and tinkering with) complex systems. That cautions us against the political certainties we so frequently espouse.

Comment Re:Can't Go Backwards (Score 1) 736

To be honest, progress bars shouldn't be used for indeterminate timescales.

Um... the point, as I took it, of indeterminate progress bars is to show that the program is "busy" and hasn't crashed. In the past ~5 years this has been more or less universally replaced with the "spinning circle of arrows" animation, but the indeterminate progress bar is still useful for dialog boxes that need to express both determinate and indeterminate waits (e.g., because it would be awkward for layout and aesthetics to switch b/t a determinate progress bar and the spinning circle of arrows).

Now granted: the longer the wait the more your design "owes" the user in terms of communicating progress, time remaining, etc.

Comment Re:Online security for banks is a joke. (Score 1) 195

Even then I don't fancy dangling around with key fobs.

Hunh? Really? I wish all of my online institutions supported key fobs, but none of them do. Or rather, none of them have volunteered the option to me... I guess I really should start asking, because this "just a password" thing seems very, very silly. Heck, I'd probably setup a dedicated PC for banking in my house, but that one would be hard to get past my spouse. :O

Comment Re:Solution (Score 1) 320

You miss the point... the carefree/flippant attitude of WTFPL can be seen as implicit criticism of the "permission culture" thing the summary is talking about, whereas your alternative is a direct kowtow to the need to "license" everything by default. At any rate, it's not "nasty" language... it's not mean in spirit or viscerally disgusting. "Crude" maybe, if you want to be prudish about it.

Comment Solution (Score 1) 320

Use a license that pokes fun at the concept of licensing: the WTFPL (the DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO PUBLIC LICENSE).

Seriously though, to change this "permission culture" thing, you need to get ahead of the intellectual property movement by starting a "right to think" movement. It won't be long (historically speaking) before computers and networks access is weaved into every tool we use--if not the human brain itself.

Comment Re:Just drop I think (Score 1) 23

Talk about narcissism.... We have gone beyond the me generation to now the I generation.

Whoa there buddy... people like to check themselves out in the mirror, even if it's a sort of abstract statistical mirror. Think you're any better? Just watch whose face you immediately look at the next time you see a family photograph... 10-to-1 you look for yourself first.

Also, if you're going to go off moralizing about changing societal attitudes, you can find better examples than a statistical demo developed by a first-rate narcissist of the baby boomer generation.

Comment Re:I don't understand the "high cap" magazine ban (Score 2) 1862

Every year, an average of 9,200 Americans are murdered by handguns.

Okay, now read the studies on defensive gun use. Numbers vary widely and there is much argument over methodology, but a reasonable estimate is that there are 300,000 such defensive uses per year (among Americans). If even 3% of those DGU's avoided a murder, that's on par with your number.

The bigger issue though is that, a well-armed populace disincentives genocide and tyranny. And no, I'm not talking about the "I was forced to buy health insurance"-type tyranny, I'm talking about the Red Terror, the Night of the Long Knives, Operation Condor, etc., etc. Let's not forget about how bad things can be or presume that it "can't happen here".

Comment Re:this is like trying to make people good drivers (Score 1) 251

Most of the people who disrupt movies are not jerks, just forgetful.

Yes, the ringers are forgetful (and thus forgivable), but the texters who insist on blinding the whole theater are just outright jerks. Seriously folks... either go to the lobby or wait and read it later.

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