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Comment Re:Oh, Linus; so adorable when you are angry. (Score 1) 208

Everyone locks down ARM. It sucks when Microsoft does it, but no more than when Google does it (you can't boot whatever you like on ARM Chromebooks), or Samsung, or Apple, or...

Have you not noticed that tablets and smartphones are dissolving away the PC market? There won't be a big consumer market for x86 for much longer. "It's just ARM" is a really shortsighted assessment.

Comment Re:Oh, Linus; so adorable when you are angry. (Score 1) 208

The fact is that Linus is still in charge of the 800-pound gorilla that Linux has become for one simple reason: he does a great job. He makes good decisions, manages the process well, and generally keeps things moving along well enough that no one is really even tempted to seriously try to fork the kernel in a way that pushes Linus out of the picture.

True, but chances are there is somebody better. Linus got the ball rolling, but how much of that was due to personal awesomeness vs. pure luck and being in the right place at the right time? Is your crush from when you were 14 in high school really the right choice for marriage? Yeah, she was cute, intelligent, and funny, but so are a hundred million other people -- you aren't even looking around.

Linus doesn't suck enough to have been ousted yet, that's all.

Comment Re:"In-browser popups?" (Score 2) 273

What they are doing is creating a "derivative work" by altering the content of the HTML stream you are receiving from the website in order to make the pop-up appear. If you're browing foobar.net when one of these pop-ups appears, perhaps you should contact foobar.net and inform them that Comcast is altering the content of their website to produce an unauthorized derivative work. Nail them with copyright law.

Comment Re:How about O2? (Score 1) 156

That'll get shot down because it'll violate HIPAA regulations. Collecting medical data without sufficient privacy safeguards.

The ignorance is astounding. HIPAA only applies to medical professionals (and even then, only those who conduct business electronically, which in practice means everyone, but in theory, some backwoods doctor with a paper-only record keeping system, accepting only cash for payment, and no land line could POSSIBLY skirt the law)

There is no law in the United States which generally prohibits storage and processing of medical information. It does not apply to you or to a company making security devices.

Comment Re:Noisy annoying environment (Score 1) 455

I have one child (almost 10 months old.) When working from home, I work in the same general area of the house as where she and my wife are playing, watching TV, reading, and doing all that other stuff you do with a baby. I change most of her diapers while I'm there, and sometimes I take a meeting or do work with her sitting on my lap happily burbling away and grabbing at the keyboard.

Hehehe. Oh, the ignorance of a new parent. Your kid is more like a blob than a child at this point. You haven't even hit the tough shit yet (no, that chronic sleep deprivation in the early months wasn't the hard part).

Comment Re:You use GPUs for video games? (Score 3, Informative) 112

It makes me sad that someone could run up a $12K monthly electric bill without assigning an environmental cost to where that power was coming from.

Making assumptions is bad.

Before the Bitcoin operation got started, my friend's business was making biodiesel out of local rendered chicken fat and other things. He single-handedly supplied most of the farmers in a 5 mile radius with fuel for their farm operations. Prior to the biodiesel years, he ran the largest privately owned solar grid in the county, providing something like 25 kilowatts back to the grid, for a couple of years solid. He is the most environmentally obsessed person I know, and has certainly contributed far more to the local green economy than he has taken out of it.

The ultimate plan, which did not come to fruition (because of the rising difficulty of mining bitcoin, as I stated earlier), was to completely cover the 40 acre property with an array of solar panels, each panel having a custom GPU mining module installed on the underside -- open air cooling of the machines, solar power for the bitcoins, and it would have qualified as the largest solar array in the United States.

To think that he's some kind of forest-destroying air-blackening capitalist is about the furthest from the truth as you can get. Check your assumptions.

Comment Re:You use GPUs for video games? (Score 3, Informative) 112

Dude, it's a farm. A fucking farm. 40 acres of red wheat.

He designed the rack system himself, along with custom power supply headers that he had fabbed at a nearby plant. He even tried to reduce equipment costs by hiring a Taiwanese company to produce custom GPU cards for him for $70 a piece (they didn't work very well).

Nobody does that shit anymore. It was like watching Steve Wozniak.

Comment Re:You use GPUs for video games? (Score 4, Informative) 112

Out of curiosity, what's your break even point?

I don't know where the break even point is, but once you pass it, you can be very profitable. One of my friends built a custom "supercomputer" out of cheap motherboards and graphics cards for about $80k -- along with completely custom software to automatically tune clock speeds and fan rates in real time (all of which was written in bash script). At peak performance, his machine generated about $20k worth of bitcoin every month, which easily paid for the $12k monthly electric bill.

After a couple of difficulty-doublings, and the imminent arrival of the ASIC miners, this lost its profitability, and he went back to being a DBA... The machine is still out at the farm, cranking away. I think he'll disassemble it and part it out for cash in a month or two.

Comment Re:Problem is, they're all morons. (Score 1) 728

If you go back 40-50 years, you will find people your age that think people around 20 are "completely narcissistic, entitled, helpless, infantilized little shits who don't take responsibility for anything, and who believe they can maintain a state of perpetual childhood even as they raise their own children." However, when they were 20, people your thought THEY were "completely narcissistic, entitled, helpless, infantilized little shits who don't take responsibility for anything, and who believe they can maintain a state of perpetual childhood even as they raise their own children."

So you're saying it's a trend. That's supposed to make me feel better?

Comment Re:Perhaps a less childish attitude. (Score 1) 770

He doesn't want to buy one. It's his house and his money, he can buy what he likes.

No, what the guy said was that "no Windows computers allowed." Not that he doesn't buy Windows computers. With that sort of wording, it sounds less like a personal preference and more like oppression of the other residents of the home. Will this guy seriously kick out family members/roommates who choose to use Windows?

Comment Same old objection (Score 5, Insightful) 198

Apart from doctors who will understandably not want to be rendered obsolete (and they won't be -- the computer can only prescribe a treatment, not administer it!), the main objection that would be raised to this is "What if the computer makes a mistake?" For some reason, people are really bad at understanding that even though the computer might make a mistake, it will make mistakes at a lower rate than a human. This is the same problem with computer-driven automobiles. Yes, the computer might screw something up and kill somebody, but this should happen at a much lower rate than caused by human drivers -- however, because the rate isn't EXACTLY ZERO it is seen as completely unacceptable, even though this is an irrational position to maintain.

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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman