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Comment Re:No surprises here. (Score 3) 292

You forgot:

- No one is willing to fix code that already exists because it works "good enough"
- No one is willing to expend the resources (read time and money) to go back and rewrite bad piece of code.
- Fear of new code exposing how bad the other code is.

(32 years of real world coding.)

Comment Re:The most important rule of gun safety (Score 1) 1013

The full and proper set of rules is:

1 - Always treat a gun as if it is loaded, unless you, personally, have ensured that it is not.
2 - If you do not intimately know how the gun is loaded or unloaded, or how to check for a chambered round -- consider the gun is loaded.
3 - If another person tells you the gun is not loaded, treat it as loaded.

My dad taught me those when I was 8. I've always followed those rules to the letter, and I have never had a single accident with a gun. I have taught my kids the same rules, and they have never had a single accident with a gun.

This is not rocket science.

However, one of my "gun control nut" friends continues to tell me that there is no safe way to have a gun in your home without your kids blowing their heads off. This, despite me demonstrating that, with proper training, a gun is completely safe.

Comment Re:Bias (Score 1) 1013

Horrible example. The term "Cancer Stick" for cigarettes was coined in 1873. "Coffin Nails" was a favorite term since the 1890's. We didn't need the tobacco companies to tell us anything, we all knew it. Personal responsibility is the fact that, knowing this, people smoked them anyway. And I say this as a person who watched his two pack a day uncle die of lung cancer at age 59. He knew damn well that they were killing him, but he refused to stop smoking. He never thought they were anything but bad for him.

Guess what, alcohol can kill you too, so can cheeseburgers. So can not exercising. I suppose you want Big Brother government to tell you what you can eat, drink, and do with your free time too. Funny, our current "health-conscious" president is a notorious chain-smoker.

Comment Re:Still haven't seen a good argument (Score 1) 1013

About three years ago in Colorado Springs, three drunk teenagers broke into the home of a 93 year old man and his wife. The teenagers were all swinging baseball bats and tire irons. The 93 year old male pulled out a Colt .45 ACP fired one warning shot and then drilled the first kid in the chest, one-shot. Great. The other two advanced, and hit his arm with the bat. At that point, his aim was no longer ideal. He took four more shots to get one in the arm of the attacker, then a second round that disabled him. At this point the third attacker fled, and he fired one more shot that grazed the buttocks of the third attacker. Police, called by the wife at the start of the attack, took 4 minutes to arrive. They followed the blood drops to the third attacker who was arrested.

Total rounds fired: 8
Rounds remaining: 2 or 3 (not sure if he had a chamber + 10, or just the 10 in the mag)

Had the third attacker continued to press, he would have had a chance to drop them. The three attackers were later linked to another home invasion where they had beaten an 80+ year old couple to death after repeatedly raping the wife. Your three round limit would have ensured two more dead victims, and only one dead attacker.

If you limit weapons to three rounds, all you ensure is that home-invasion teams will start having at least four members.

Submission + - Adapteva Kickstarts Hundred-Dollar Supercomputer (kickstarter.com) 4

An anonymous reader writes: Fabless chip vendor Adapteva Inc. has launched Parallella, a Kickstarter initiative that could fund the development of the startup’s multicore processors and create an open source community for parallel programming.

The startup is asking for $750,000 to pay for a mask set for its 16-core Epiphany chip. If it gets the money it promises to deliver a $99 reference board for the chip. With two days left, they are just about $100,000 short of their goal.

The parallela hardware is a credit-card sized board with an A9 dual core chip running Ubuntu 12.04, connected to their 16 core epiphany chip, offering a total of over 20GFlops of computing for only 5 watts of power.

Comment Re:Costs vs Promises (Score 1) 378

I've already demonstrated elsewhere in this thread that it's not "two cents a month". That's a number you've pulled firmly out your backside. The real number is somewhere between $0.60 and nearly $5 a month, depending on whose numbers you take as gospel. It's also been three days since this happened. I can guarantee you haven't gotten your next bill yet to see whether or not DirecTV *has* cut your billing.

It amazes me how you blame everything here on DirecTV, who is a distributor of goods, and not on the manufacturer of those goods that is demanding an increase in prices. Do you expect the grocery store to eat the cost when the price of milk goes up from the distributor?

You point out that DirecTV wants to make a profit as if that were some horrible thing. Ask yourself how much profit they have to make to pay to launch a $2B satellite so you can watch Sponge Bob? And then you want them to have redundancy, so it's not just one satellite but two or three. And then everyone wants their local channels available, so it's not 200 channels, it's 2000 or more. Each satellite only has so much capacity. And when you reach that limit, it's another $2B to add the next channel. These aren't minor costs, and they can't pass those costs on to the customer. That's *their* cost of doing business. The only cost they can control at all is how much they pay to the suppliers for content to rebroadcast. And you criticize them for doing that.

Comment Re:Costs vs Promises (Score 1) 378

You expect a company to "absorb the costs". Hey, great idea, let's do that to all companies out there. You know, it costs more to make a car now than in 1903, when cars cost $800. You should go in to your local dealership and tell them they should "absorb the cost" of the increases from their suppliers. It's only fair, right? Heck, when I was a kid in the 70's cars were under $3000, and that's like a promise to me, so they should sell me a car at the cost it was when I was born, right?

Get real, it's not a rental contract. They wrote into the contract that they will pass on substantial cost increases to the consumer. Go get your contract, read it. It's in there. You signed it. Tough luck.

And, yes, if they can't resolve the issue with Viacom, then they should offer a rate reduction of between $1.20 and $10 per month (see calculations in another message) which is the cost of the Viacom channels. I expect if they truly reach an impasse, that's what they'll do.

Comment Re:Costs vs Promises (Score 1) 378

Fine, let's take the lowball of $144M. DirecTV has a well-known number of customers, namely 20,000,000. Viacom's channels are part of core programming, so everyone gets them. We divide $144M by 20M and we get $7.20 per subscriber per year. Okay, easy enough, that's a $0.60 per month increase, matching Viacom's claim of "pennies" per month. (60 pennies is still less than a dollar.)

DirecTV is putting a dollar figure on all their scrolls, a number I haven't seen Viacom deny. That number is $1,000,000,000 per year. Dividing by number of customers, that's $50 per customer, per year, or about $4.25 per month increase in the bill. Guess what, 425 pennies is still "pennies" per month.

If we go with your estimate of splitting the difference, it's $20 per year, and $1.75 per month. Again, if you want to stretch the term, it's still "pennies per month."

Now, if DirecTV is lying about the $1B number, why is Viacom not shouting "Liar Liar!" from the rooftops and giving out the real number instead? All they give us is "pennies per month" which describes absolutely *nothing* in terms of actual cost, other than greater than $0.01, since it's plural.

Both sides are using semantics. One is using them to defend my wallet, the other to pick my pocket. I know which side I'm naturally going to come down on.

Comment Re:Costs vs Promises (Score 3) 378

So, you would prefer that DirecTV simply accept any rate increase of the content provider and pass them on to you? So, the $1B increase ($50/year/subscriber) should just be passed on to you? Like Viacom says, "it's only pennies a day."

And once that precedent is set, when Disney want's another $5 a month, and HBO does, and every other network, and your bill goes to $400 a month, will you vent your anger at the content providers or will you scream at DirecTV for not attempting to argue with the content providers to maintain a fair rate?

I'm no fanboi of DirecTV (although I do have it) but I'd rather they fought against a price increase even if it means temporarily losing channels, rather than tagging another $5 a month onto my bill.

Comment Re:BB sized debris (Score 3, Informative) 137

Because space is big...

Imagine there were only 19,000 people on Earth, roughly evenly distributed. What's the chance you'd ever run into another person? Now, instead of just the land area, make sure that 3/4ths of those people are on the ocean. What are the odds of running into one of them now?

Now, imagine that, instead of just the surface of the Earth, you stack up about 500 layers, each one of them the surface of a sphere wrapping the entire Earth, each one a mile higher than the last and starting about 160 miles up. Now instead of just the surface of the Earth, spread those 19,000 people across those 500 spheres evenly and evenly spread them around the surface of the sphere they're on. And all of those spheres have more area than the surface of the Earth.

Now, would you consider that area "dangerously heavily populated?" On top of that, you need to shrink the people down for most of the debris.

Now, to be fair, the real test is that many of these "people" are moving really, really fast, although most of them are moving in roughly the same direction. But a few of them are going in different directions. And some of those are jumping between spheres. But it's still areas larger than the whole surface of the Earth. There have been only a tiny number of collisions between these objects. (I think the number is actually -- one.)

Like I said, space is big. Really big. Bigger than the biggest thing you can imagine. You may think it's a long way down to the pharmacy, but that's peanuts compared to space. (With apologies to Douglas Adams)

Comment Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (Score 1) 734

Sadly, you take the definition of a Progressive think tank (run by ultra-1%'er George Soros) as the source of your definition.

"Gee, Mr. Fox, what's your plan for Hen-House management?"

I doubt that Stalin, or Pol Pot, or Mao defined their socialist/progressivist regimes as, "A long-standing ideology to repress the people, destroy the economy, stifle innovation, and kill millions while insuring the continuation of a decadent, hedonistic lifestyle for a carefully chosen elite."

Funny how you criticize the US educational system, but have clearly never read or understood what the socialist movement (started in the latter half of the 18th century) and the newly re-named Progressive movement of the 20th century (renamed when the muckrakers and guys like Lenin made "communist" and "socialist" into bad words) have done or how they've been implemented. The fact, alone, that you don't see them as the exact same movement, with one version having a "candy-covered coating" is a truly sad commentary on your "critical thinking" skills.

Comment Re:Breathless summary by the clueless (Score -1, Flamebait) 734

Sadly, you have bought into the redefinition of the language that the Progressive movement thrives on. There is nothing "progressive" about progressivism. The end result of progressivism is a small cadre of "elites" who control the lives of the underclass "for their own good." This is no different then the Feudalism of the middle ages.

Explain to me how the socialist ideal of a society where all people are taxed using a "progressive" scale so that there is no one who is "unfairly" rich, leaving a large group of people who work endlessly to feed a government of cultural elites (bureaucrats) whose job is to dole out largese to the people -- just enough to keep them hooked on the system but not enough for them to escape it -- is any different from the Feudal lords and the idea of Noblese Oblige?

We had that system, we've tried that system for 2000 years or more. Oh, it "works" in it's own way, namely a short, brutish existence for 99% of the population. But for that 1% it's a wonderful system.

And that's the huge irony here. The progressives of the last century have managed to convince "the 99%" that they really want to have the socialist system installed.

The most ironic statement in history: "Workers of the World Unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains." Because when they rose up, all they really did was forge shackles for themselves.

The USSR killed at least 25,000,000 people.
Pol Pot killed 10,000,000
Mao and his Cultural Revolution? Probably in excess of 30,000,000.

And this is the system you want to champion? I bet you think you were taught "critical thinking" as well...

Comment Re:Really, that much fuel? (Score 1) 106

A typical launch carries a 3-5% excess fuel load for safety margin, so there was always some extra fuel aboard at separation. The big factor that changed the game was that the Merlin 1-D engine was suppposed to reach 120,000 lbs of thrust each, but instead is testing at 145,000 lbs of thrust with a higher ISP, which IIRC is about 310 seconds, which is phenomenal for a Kerosene/LOX engine.

With the extra thrust and the better performance, it meant that they could either expand the payload by a few thousand kilos, which would still be an option with a more expensive, expendable flight, or they could have 6-8% fuel reserves at the end of the stage separation.

Without the payload to push, that 6-8% is more than enough to slow down a very light "empty tin can" and get it out of it's sub-orbital trajectory. If you watch the video, they're only burning three engines to deorbit, and one engine to land the first stage. The claim is that the first stage actually has the thrust to return it to the launch site, which might be possible. First stage separation is only a few hundred miles downrange, and you could actually just slow down and let the Earth rotate under you to move back west. In any case, you'd want to bring the speed down to where you are basically in a straight line free-fall back to the launch site, using only maneuvering jets for stability until a few miles above the ground, when you light the center engine and tail land it.

Clearly this isn't something simple, either. They aren't going to be flying this by next week or anything, and the actual fact is that they are likely to be unable to recover some of these first and second stages to bad or uncontrolled landings -- which is exactly the same as what happens now, so this can only be a win scenario for them if they get it working. I'd love to see $10/lb to LEO pricing.

As for the use of parachutes, the first launch of Falcon 9 attempted to parachute the first stage back to the ocean, but from what I heard, the aerodynamic forces on the tumbling, uncontrolled reentry of the stage caused it to break up before the parachutes were deployed. The second stage reentry is under even higher stresses, and I don't think they even tried to recover it before the grasshopper program.

Comment Re:RSA rocks (Score 1, Insightful) 282

I don't know any native-born American who is anti-immigrant. In fact, I am a third generation American, and I never even found anyone who'd call me anything but an American, and that includes my wife's family, who came over on the Mayflower. About the only people I know in America who'd call me anything but an American are those with names like John Crazy Horse. Of course, they do have some basis for that...

I have absolutely no problem with, and I don't know a single person who does have a problem with, every person who fills out a legal visa application and shows up in the country to work and become part of the productive society. I do, however, know a lot of people who are anti *ILLEGAL* immigrant -- cutting through a fence, sneaking into the country, stealing someone's identity through their social security number and then using it to take a $7 an hour job from a worker because the employer knows he can pay the illegal $4 an hour to do the same job since they can't complain about minimum wage violations. Then jumping on the welfare system or other public programs that don't report illegals, to add to their income with taxpayer money. That kind of crap is what's destroying a lot of the entry-level jobs in this country. And largely, that's not the fault of the illegal immigrant, but the fact that there's estimates of as many as 20 million illegals in the country means the problem is wide-spread. We tried amnesty in the 1980's and it was a disaster of epic proportions, as all it did was cause a new rush for more illegals to get into the country. After all, if we did it once...

My 18 year old son can't get a job right now with teen unemployment in the city over 70%, but not one of the clerks at the local McDonalds speaks a word of English. You try to figure out why that is...

There's no "anti-immigrant rhetoric" in the news, except for the lefties *claiming* that the republicans hate anyone who isn't white. It's the tired old democrat playbook of race warfare they've been going to since the late 1960's. Every Republican I've met is in favor of Immigration, heck the republican from Texas (whose name escapes me) keeps doubling the H-1B visa rate every year, despite the fact that it keeps depressing salaries in the computer programming field.

Sorry, I know you are talking about how accepting most Americans are about immigration, but that one line about anti-immigrant feelings just steams me.

Comment Re:More info and video (Score 4, Interesting) 282

Just to be pedantic -- Elon Musk has said he could design the Falcon XX for $2.5B. Bigelow Aerospace can put up a "Mars Mission" space station using BA-300's for less than a Billion dollars more. Assuming six launches of the Falcon XX to put those six BA-300 segments into an interplanetary transfer orbit at $150M each (SpaceX's estimated cost per flight of the XX) and you have a total of right around $4.5B. Now, Apple has a warchest of $80B in cash, so Apple could launch not one, but about 30 missions to Mars and remain solvent.

Whether they'd get a return on their investment is a tough question, since I'm not sure whether FoxConn will set up slave labor camps on Mars to make iPads or not.

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