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Comment Just something to consider (Score 1) 749

Is that if you do renounce your citizenship, the US gets all spiteful and will blacklist you from coming back.

Obviously you have to evaluate your situation, but just make sure you factor that in. You wouldn't want to say "Ya, don't really need that citizenship anymore," only to find you can't come back and visit family because the government got pissey about it.

Comment It may get more interest if it is done right (Score 2) 346

The issue with Metro is that the "Only full screen mode," is a deal breaker on desktops. I do not have a 30" screen to run one program at a time, thanks (barring a few exceptions). However they become perfectly usable when they are in a window. Modern Mix for Stardock does that, and apparently Windows 9 will do it natively. Ok well at that point, Metro is just another API you can use alongside Win32 and .NET and maybe there's some interest. If a Metro program works just like any other then perhaps more people will be interested in writing them.

Of course that remains to be seen, but a new API that is cross desktop/tablet/phone isn't a horrible idea, forced fullscreen on a desktop is.

Comment Not nearly as big a deal as people pretend (Score 1) 346

Visual people seem to like it often. Mom loves the new start screen because of that (she's an artist/ex-art teacher). However it does have some issues for normal desktop use. Not the OMGWTFBBQ whine fest geeks make it out to be (which is largely MS bashing) but still.

The big issue is that it is clunky to use in a professional setting. Like on my desktop I have a whole lot of applications, and I often run and use many of them. The start menu is good because it doesn't occlude much of the screen. Also everything is nice and hierarchical, making it easy to find things. The start screen becomes a pretty big mess. It goes on for ever, even on my 30" monitor, because I have so much installed and it shows all icons. Yes, I can set up tiles with the most used stuff, but that really doesn't solve the issue since I already have task bar shortcuts for that, I go to the start menu/screen when it is a less used program.

Hence I run a start menu replacer (Start 8 in my case). It isn't that I can't use the start screen, I just find it inferior to what it replaced. It's perfectly usable, the 2012R2 servers at work all use it and that's fine, however a start menu is better/faster for what I do.

On a tablet, it works nicely. You need bigger icons to do finger navigation. However my desktop isn't a tablet, my screen is not and will never be touch (no finger prints please and thanks). So it is sub optimal.

Hence MS really is right to bring back the menu for desktops, and have the screen for tablets. However you are also right that the whiners need to STFU because it is not the dire disaster they like to pretend.

Comment And done elsewhere (Score 1) 242

In Tucson 10%ish of the drinking water comes from reclaimed water (aka filtered sewage). Makes sense in an area with not a lot of fresh water resources. Also in those areas you can have different kinds. You can purchase a non-potable (not for consumption) water source for irrigation. Again, reclaimed water, but it undergoes less filtering and thus is cheaper. Plenty of larger places get a hookup to keep their watering costs down.

It is a very sensible way of doing things and you actually have more control of purity than water that comes out of the ground.

Comment That and DACs aren't the issue anyhow (Score 2) 502

It is easy to make good DACs these days. Basically any DAC, barring a messed up implementation, is likely to sound sonically transparent to any other in a normal system. When you look at the other limiting factors (amp, noise in the room, speaker response, room reflections, etc) you find that their noise and distortion are just way below audibility. Ya, maybe if you have a really nice setup with a quiet treated room, good amps, and have it set for reference (105dB peak) levels you start to need something better than normal, but that isn't very common. Even then you usually don't have to go that high up the chain to get something where again the DAC is way better than other components.

Now that said, there can be a reason to get a soundcard given certain uses. For example you don't always want to go to an external unit, maybe you use headphones. In that case, having a good headphone amp matters and onboard sound is often remiss in that respect (then again, so are some soundcards). Also even if you do use an external setup, you might wish to have the soundcard do processing of some kind. Not so useful these days, but some games like to have hardware accelerated OpenAL.

Regardless, not a big deal in most cases. Certainly not the first thing to spend money on. If you have $50 speakers, don't go and buy a $100 soundcard. If you have a $5000 setup, ok maybe a soundcard could be useful, but only in certain circumstances.

As a side note, the noise in a PC isn't a big issue. Properly grounding/shielding the card deals with it. A simple example is the professional LynxTWO, which is all internal yet has top notch specs, even by today's standards. http://audio.rightmark.org/tes...

Comment Re:Reaching for symbolism - and failing (Score 1) 265

I think you have read too much of Karl Marx's twaddle.

Income inequality is what gives poor people a way of buying food - they work for the rich! Take it away, and no one works for anyone. If you are not self-sufficient, you die.

I know here on /. people like to say "Under capitalism, man exploits man, while under communism, its the other way round". Its not true. Under communism, everyone has nothing, not much happens and it gradually gets worse.

People dont risk death because their e-neighbour has a Hummer and they have a Ford Fiesta. They risk death because the alternative is a slower and more painful death of their entire family Whether by war, famine, of mafia inspired shootouts, its esactly the same reasoning.

I expect Dubai to go up in flames any time soon, but I doubt the dome will make a difference to when or how.

"Je suis Marxist, avec tendence Groucho!"

Comment They don't care about the cards (Score 1) 353

They track you using your credit card. The cards are because people want them these days. Albertsons finally knuckled under and started offering them. Not because they needed them for tracking, like I said they already did that, but because customers whined they weren't getting a "good deal". So they raised their prices, and introduced a card.

Comment Also (Score 1) 110

It doesn't take in to account the net speeds that people have. So you might well have a provider who has no problem doing HD video from Youtube all day every day, on lines that can handle it. However they sell slower lines and some customers have that, so that skews things.

Like say a phone company offers ADSL and IDSL for customers who are way out in the boonies, but VDSL for people in the city. Well those slow connections will bring down their stats, even if their network is quite fast and makes them look bad, despite them actually being the only option for some people.

A somewhat similar deal with cable companies can be people using old hardware. DOCSIS 2 cable modems only use one channel per segment, and those can get saturated these days. Well cable providers tend to be DOCSIS 3 to deal with that... but not everyone has a new modem. The cable company can recommend they get one, but if it is your equipment they can't make you (I guess other than cutting you off but they don't wanna do that).

Comment Re:One init (Score 1) 125

Given the disconnects between the documentation and actual operation, it is a bad thing. At least that's true for Fedora's take on systemd. I tried to come up with a work-alike of a System V set-up script, and found some issues. Yes, I posted a bug report. No, nothing has happened with that bug report.

We'll see if Centos/RHEL did a better documentation job.

Comment No shit (Score 5, Insightful) 203

Slashdot needs to knock it off with these "Child genius is going to totally upstage all those stupid companies and make something amazing!" stories they run some time. The thing is, they are essentially never true and we as geeks should know better.

Smart kids often have the problem of thinking they know everything. They have the brains to be well above their peers at pretty much everything, and so have a confidence in their knowledge and intelligence, but lack the experience to understand the limitations of both in the larger world. Hence they'll think that they have found an "obvious" solution to a problem in the world that nobody else has managed to think of. I'm sure most of us felt like that at one time or another as children.

However, it turns out that smart kids become smart adults, and those smart adults get job making the thing we use, solving the problems we have, and so on. So, usually if there's something that hasn't been solved, the reason is that there is NOT a simple solution. There isn't something that a kid will just say "Oh look, here's a better way to do it." Rather it is a complex problem and thus the solutions are complex.

So Slashdot needs to quit with stories on shit like this unless there' something to back it up. A printer actually gets released based on this kids design? Ok that's a story. Some kid says he can do way better than anyone else? That's not a story. That is, to quote the Reapers, "A confidence borne of ignorance." It's not news.

Comment Yes, there is climate change, but... (Score 0, Troll) 725

Anyone who says that climate isn't changing has their head in the dry dirt of the Oklahoma Dust Bowl. Recorded history shows clearly that there is climate changes over time. Indeed, climate shifts have influenced man's history more than any other single event source. Scientific evidence shows that climate changes constantly. The problem I have is the intensity which climate cultists point to humans as the cause.

Given that the magnetic poles have been shifting regularly, if slowly, means that the solar wind's interaction with the Earth will change as the magnetic field moves. ("Settled science"? I haven't heard any nay-sayers.) How about the argument that carbon dioxide has been "building up"? Yet one study I finally found, that looks at wider time periods than a century (http://www.biocab.org/carbon_dioxide_geological_timescale.html) suggests that (1) temperature has no significant correlation with CO-2 content, and that we are coming out of a period of low CO-2 concentrations.

Does this mean that man is completely blameless? No. Temperature is a function of released energy, and the Earth had stored sunlight for millions of years. We are releasing that stored sunlight at an increasing pace, which eventually ends up in the atmosphere, one way or another, as heat. How much is due to technology, and how much is a by-product of man's actions such as the clear-cutting of Amazon rain forests and covering the land masses with asphalt and concrete, and how much is caused by other, non-man-made changes? So the question is whether the existing natural system for expelling heat are up to the task. More importantly, details are important. How much heat does technology dump into the atmosphere? Clear-cutting (and clear-burning) of land? Other sources? Without numbers, everything is just opinion. And when it comes to such "science", one option is equally as good as another, absent accurate and provable forecasts -- I believe that is why the climage deniers hold to their beliefs. Cultists haven't proven their case, or even shown their case has merit.

Are there other solutions than those proposed by the client cultists? One way to keep heat out of the atmosphere, if that is the goal, is to keep sunlight reaching ground level from being converted to heat in the atmosphere. Photovoltaics can help, although the energy would be released -- just perhaps in a different spot or a different time; the benefit would that such energy would displace energy released from fossil fuels -- current sunlight instead of ancient sunlight. Ditto solar thermal power plants -- using today's energy instead of million-year-old energy.

Sunlight that never reaches the ground can't contribute much to the heat load. How about reflection and dispersion? Some of the energy would be converted to heat by the air itself, but the rest would escape into space in the form of radiation (light, infrared). Another way to trap sunlight so it doesn't contribute heat is to increase the surface area of leaves, to increase photosynthesis -- and that has the benefit of eating up CO-2 as well as keeping heat out of the air. (Cultists: when did you re-roof your homes with grass? It would lower your air-conditioning bills, too, by keeping the heat out of your attic.)

But is that all there is? There is considerable heat trapped in the core of our planet. Further, there are energy sources in the ground that contribute to the atmospheric heat load...but I never see that heat source mentioned in the Climate Cultist literature. What is the effect of volcanos on the solar balance sheet? We know that ash can bring down airplanes, but what is the effect of that ash in the air? It could well be that geothermal power generation, replacing fossil-fuel generation, would be an excellent way to keep the atmosphere in thermal balance. Don't hear much about geothermal from climage cultists, do you...

I was part of the generation that "grew up with the Bomb" -- and I remember all those discussions about "nuclear winter" that would be brought on by The Ultimate War. Block enough sunlight, and you drop world temperature. But you won't like the side effects.

And so I come to the end of my thoughts on the subject. If you have faith that we "need to do something" about the problem, show us your work, your accurate predictions of change, your proofs. Instead of trying to make us "believers" by trying to evangelize your faith, show something that can be vetted by the scientific method.

Comment DMCA process? (Score 4, Interesting) 148

I used to run the abuse desk at a web hosting company before I moved on to automation control. Our company developed a procedure -- and published it -- to handle takedown notices. First, the notice has to be sent to the contact on record with the copyright office, that's part of the law. That meant it came directly to my desk. Further, the person submitting the notice had to provide some proof of copyright. Finally, the notice author has to demonstrate that the infringement didn't fall under fair use, or some of the other exceptions.

I then investigated the claim, and if I felt there was reasonable cause for the claim I would take down the site and notify the allegedly infringing customer of the notice and our analysis. The customer could then deal with the copyright owner and then the two parties would let us know how it's resolved. Or the customer could remove the infringing material (they still had access to the data even when the site was shut off), let me know, then if I was satisfied that the infringement was removed I'd turn the site back on, and let the complaining party know what had been done.

There was the case of a person whose site sold knock-off watches. The original manufacturer took exception to the pictures on the site, claiming trademark infringement (which was pretty obvious). The customer took the pictures off. Case solved.

Then there was the customer who posted MP3s of music. That was a no-brainer. We terminated him for violation of the acceptable use policy.

There were some trolls, too. One customer had material under copyright, but the customer's use of the material fell under fair use. The troll could not demonstrate how the infringement went beyond fair use. He threatened to sue. Our lawyers took that threat and ran with it -- replied with a threat to counter-sue.

So different companies have DMCA policies and procedures. It helps to look what they have in place.

Comment Re:sound and sides (Score 3, Insightful) 579

More unintended consequences: you cant see the signals from the cab of a truck! You also cannot see them from other important places. These things are often a hazard to safety.

It is generally better to give drivers information than hide it.

More importantly, drivers have to pass a test, pedestrians don't, and may be (often are) drunk, insane or just mildly stupid. There is no law against stupidity, and never will be - it would not be in the interests of politicians. Some politicans appear to be both drunk and insane. There may be a law against it, but it does not seem to deter them.

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