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Comment Re:Why dual-boot Chrome OS and traditional Linux? (Score 1) 148

A better question even is why dual boot at all (as a user)? Nowadays what I care most about is the documents and tabs I have open.

I could probably remedy this with some utilities for session saving/restoration... but dual booting is a clunky solution for a user and it's especially unnecessary w/ the rise of virtulisation over the past few years. Want a different OS for some tasks or "just because"? Get another gig of ram and run a VM.

Getting a new/different OS to run on some hardware is cool, but multi-boot for a general purpose box? Forget it.

Comment Re:Bruce Perens, founder of the open-source softwa (Score 1) 216

Heh. I searched for "bruce perens" in the comments just to see if anyone else picked up on this. My first reaction was also "huh ?" especially since the summary doesn't capitalize Open Source and just refers to it as a concept. (note this is nothing against Mr. Perens, who is certainly a beg cheese in Free/free software, just against whoever wrote the summary).

Comment T-mobile's G2 doesn't even distinguish (Score 2, Informative) 120

T-mobile's own 4G "launch" phone doesn't distinguish in the interface between the HSPA "3G" and the HSPA+ "4G" as far as i can tell. The user interface used to say "G" "E" "3G" for GPRS, EDGE and HSPA now was just changed to say "G", "E" and "H" as far as i can tell.

Also, i live in one of the cities that supposedly has this coverage but I still only see speeds usually less than 1 Mbps down though now i get almost 2Mbps upload speed for whatever that's worth. Perhaps i should go around downtown in search of the supposed fast speeds.

Fortunately, 1 Meg is fine for my usage of the phone as i just use it for maps, web browsing and email etc, and the G2 has been a good phone, but the marketing around this stuff is deplorable as usual. (I say as usual because i've been paying for their unlimited data plan for something like 7 years now and the actual capabilities of the phones/network pretty much lag the advertising by one full generation.)

Comment Great. And Flash continues to be a plague (Score 4, Insightful) 139

This is good an all, but it doesn't address the biggest issues with Flash:

1) Adobe (and Macromedia before it) give virtually NO control to the end user over how flash objects run. You can't stop them, you can't pause them, you can't unload them, nothing. Technically you can control if they store local shared objects (LSOs) on your machine but the interface for that is terrible. Half the time the pop-up window it prompts with can't even be accessed because of various z-index issues on the page. That is you can't even click the button.

2) It is a CPU hog. Forget the fact that its inherent performance isn't great. The issue is that if you browse the web for any length of time and have multiple tabs open you'll find that your Flash plug-in is taking up all your cpu (or a whole core). Why? because there are all sorts of little flash movies playing in all the pages. Mostly Ads but also paused video players, random web bugs and such. Plus, some of these random are poorly written and have memory leaks. Thus BECAUSE Adobe gives the user no control, you have to just kill the plugin.

Instead of trying to horn in on HTML5 maybe they should fix the fact that Flash is the SPAM of the web. (And yes, Flash itself could be fine... but the business practices they've chose to pursue make it a scourge rather than a blessing).

Comment Re:That does it (Score 1) 589

There's no real reason not to.

If you're looking for an actual transactional database w/ constraints and things like that i'm not aware of any significant advantage that MySQL has over Postgres. I haven't really used Postgres since ~4 years ago and at that time it didn't have a good replication solution and you had to "vacuum" your tables via cron or other external process in order to maintain performance. However both of those issues have since been addressed so ...

Comment Re:Looking at the transcript (Score 2, Interesting) 589

I too was struck by the overall unprofessional tone of the discussion. The language barrier was certainly palpable, but what was up w/ all the "joking" and such. louis_to at least put down some statement of what he (and/or his faction) were demanding, but he didn't really explain how or why this was a conflict of interest.

His statements were a quoted appeal to "gentlemanship" and a statement that he didn't want to "confuse the users". That's fairly weak reasoning. There was, for example, no statement of how the two projects are in competition with each other or any statement about WHAT exactly the users would be confused about.

I'm not saying that there isn't a COI, but no theory of COI was even advanced in the "discussion".

From my reading of this it looks like louis_to and mhu were giving the branchers/non-employees an ultimatum to resign by Tuesday (though no specific "or else" was specified). I assume otherwise they're going to be voted off the island?

(as a purely subjective matter, and perhaps as a result of their making demands without presenting an argument, mhu and louis_to came off as jerks in this exchange.)

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 1695

I don't think this is really "hate" speech, but what I find most relevant about this story is that it is a warning to anyone hosting w/ Rackspace for anything anywhere near mission critical. Do you really want your hosting company imposing speech codes ?

If Rackspace wants to get into politics, fine, but I'd rather not have to worry about downtime because my ISP doesn't like what my site or what my customer's sites say. This is not unlike the stories of GoDaddy and Paypal locking accounts because of some real or imagined breach of their TOS. If there's a court order or someone's spamming, distributing warez or doing something clearly illegal, then ok, but in this case none of that is true.

Ask them to move along at the end of their contract? Ok, that's reasonable (unless the contract has a clause guaranteeing renewal), but just to take a site off the net... that's not acceptable behavior.

Comment Re:News Flash! (Score 1) 438

Heh. BP looks to be down about 30% since this started (vs ~9% for the Dow). If i had stock, selling it now would be way too late.

No, i'm not trolling. It's just that everything here is relative. Let's look at a quote from the NYT article:
"BP documents released last week to The Times revealed that company officials knew the casing was the riskier of two options.

Though his report indicates that the company was aware of certain risks and that it made the exception, Mr. Hafle, testifying before a panel on Friday in Louisiana about the cause of the rig disaster, rejected the notion that the company had taken risks."

From these statements and others like it how can one judge whether BP acted "correctly" or not? One can't. What's an acceptable level of risk? How much riskier was the option chosen ? Without at least some framework to evaluate this, it's pure innuendo.

Or, let's look at another:
"
On at least three occasions, BP records indicate, the blowout preventer was leaking fluid, which the manufacturer of the device has said limits its ability to operate properly. ...
When the blowout preventer was eventually tested again, it was tested at a lower pressure — 6,500 pounds per square inch — than the 10,000-pounds-per-square-inch tests used on the device before the delay. It tested at this lower pressure until the explosion.

A review of Minerals Management Service’s data of all B.O.P. tests done in deep water in the Gulf of Mexico for five years shows B.O.P. tests rarely dropped so sharply, and, in general, either continued at the same threshold or were done at increasing levels.

The manufacturer of the blowout preventer, Cameron, declined to say what the appropriate testing pressure was for the device.
"

It certainly SOUNDS suspicious, but is it relevant? They don't say, and I don't know. This information could be very damning or it could be irrelevant. Without further analysis it's impossible to make a determination. I have yet to see such analysis (in the NYT or anywhere else).

This isn't just philosophical masturbation... in my unexciting career as a software engineer i've been involved in 100s of situations where we had to choose between alternative courses of action where we had to balance cost/time vs features and/or confidence usually w/ less than perfect information about costs and consequences. Much lower stakes in my case, but same general dynamic.

The transcript in the article could be turned into a template that applies to pretty much every project i've been witness to.

Comment Re:News Flash! (Score 1) 438

Even in your scenario one would have to show that the mechanic was correct and that the brakes failed (if you were in a criminal case at least; in a civil case it seems all bets are off as evidenced by e.g. airlines ALWAYS paying out if there's a crash)

More importantly I'd modify the scenario as follows: Let's say that the driver took his car in for service. The mechanic recommended set of repairs A. The driver instead asked for the cheaper set B. The mechanic did B and the government said that B is ok.

That's a lot closer to what's happened so far w/ this well. It could be the case that doing A would have prevented the accident that B allowed, and one could argue that the driver had undue influence on the mechanic and on the government agency... but now things are a lot less clear.

It's certainly possible that some people at BP acted badly, etc but, based on the information currently available i don't see how one differentiates between "negligence" and "accident".

Comment Re:News Flash! (Score 1) 438

Seriously. I don't understand all of the hate being thrown at BP. We don't even know what happened yet (and probably will never know). It's possible that some of the decisions they made contributed to the gas explosion, but it's also possible that this would have happened no matter what. Until the last hour before the explosion or so everything was "ok". Not great, but not terrible either.

In addition, BP seems to be doing the right thing in terms of response and clean-up so far. They have already spent close to $1B on response and mitigation/ clean-up without anyone twisting their arm when technically their liability is limited to something like $10M or $75M and there is still no end in sight.

Finally, given the volume of oil that's been spilled, the impact SO FAR has been pretty limited. Only a small amount of wetlands have been affected (36 acres was the number i saw) and ~150 miles of shoreline. The bulk of the oil is in these underwater "plumes", but those have yet to be shown to have any serious impact. (see e.g. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127263477 (note that the phrase "The oxygen levels are crazy low..." is mis-transcribed. If you listen to the audio the prof says "AREN'T" which makes more sense in context)). The long and the short of it is that oil in the deep waters and these oil plumes MAY be bad but they may not be and really we don't know much about them.

So yes, this spill is bad, and it might get worse, but right now it's not the end of the world and BP seems to be behaving quite well so far during the response.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 204

They also don't specify what "80 mph" means. Is that indicated air speed or true ? If the top speed is 80mph true at 20000 that would mean less than 60mph near the ground.

More importantly if you consider that 80mph = 70 kts so this thing would do well to stay away from the jetstream if it wants to stay in one place, even at full power
http://www.wunderground.com/Aviation_Maps/Winds_Aloft/FL200-24.html#a_topad

Comment I hate the prevalence of "portmanteau" on wiki. (Score 1, Flamebait) 553

It's just a strange word that people don't normally use yet every such wiki page is prominently labeled and wikified in the introduction. This particular word has bugged me for years. It is pretentious and out of place even though it is correctly used. I don't have a problem w/ the parallel word "acronym" when it is used correctly, but that's because normal people actually USE the word.

(I was similarly rankled recently, but nowhere to the same degree, by an article that described a fictional character as a "gynoid". WTF? It's supposedly the feminine form of "android". Ok... gender warriors... you keep on fighting the good fight...)

Comment Re:There is nothing to see here, move along (Score 1) 807

The defense in the rebuttal seems pretty strong, though i haven't read the original works or, of course, the unreleased critique discussed in the OP.

It certainly doesn't seem that Friel is acting in good faith here. For example, Lomberg points out that Friel chose to critique the shorter American version of "Cool It" instead of the more heavily footnoted British version ("The full 354 pages version with 59 graphs and about 50% more text" ) even though the British version is apparently MENTIONED in the American version. ( see .http://www.lomborg.com/cool_it/uk-version_354_pages/ )

It's also unfortunate for Friel that he apparently makes some arguments using the now retracted 2035 date for the disappearance of the Himalayan glaciers to counter Lomberg's moderate claims that said glaciers will at least last out this century.

Tone wise Friel comes off as shrill and snarky and wheras Lomberg seems cool and collected. As to the claims, at least the tens of such claims rebutted by Lomberg, don't seem to hold up in the least.

Comment Re:Totally faked. (Score 1) 212

What's the point of showing a "mock-up" of a video card ? For some other product, one for which the physical design is important, say a car or a blender or a house , then a mock-up provides some information and it also shows that a lot of work has been done. In fact it is a work product that is actually used in teh process of production. In the case of a video card , the fact that it's a, 2 slot PCIe card doesn't show that ANY work has been done etc. The mockup itself was only interesting BECAUSE it was sold as a functional product. To put it another way, this particular object would not have been produced for any development purpose other than to manipulate the impression of the press.

  Most likely the marketing people thought that showing the prototype would cause the public to "misinterpret" the level of development because they'd see a bunch of wires and breadboards. So, to protect us public from our own "mis-perceptions" (and so that their stock price wouldn't suffer from same) they embarked on this path.

Is it the end of the world ? no, but this kind of marketing spin and storytelling should be condemned and punished whenever it raises its head because all it does is inject noise into the system.

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