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Comment Destroyed in Seconds (Score 2) 1029

MAD magazine had a spoof some 20 years ago, about a movie without any plot or any story. Just a huge series of explosions saying, "all action no stupid boring talking parts". TV shows were moving in that direction with programs like Air Disaster, "Most thrilling moments of .." "Americas Most Watched videos..." etc etc. Even they provided too much of context and so finally came the corniest show of the genre, "Destroyed in Seconds!". Some presenter comes in and says something stupid like, "It only takes a minutes for things to get DESTROYED in SECONDS!". Then follows series of accidents, speed boat crashes, race track disasters, floods etc. They did not even have to invest in special effects, They just get video some guy shot and package it into half an hour. People have seen enough real disasters in video enough times. The disaster porn thirst has been fully quenched. Hollywood is not going to make much money off it.

Comment Well, use drones. (Score 1) 270

Just last week I was reading that the less than 1000 or so combat planes in US Air Force has some 20 wings/squadrons whatever. And more than thousand unmanned aircraft have just two squadrons. (numbers very very approximate, quoting from memory and am too lazy to look up, not even sure what they call a brigade sized unit in USAF). Thus RPV pilots have much fewer promotion opportunities etc. So if there are not enough pilots, scrap the planes and do some retro mod and make them RPVs. Or ask Google to create a self flying plane.

Comment Re:Moronic writer. Old news with new data. (Score 1, Flamebait) 124

The y just suppresses the female parts.

So the suppression of females by the Y Chromosome is natural, and this is what evolution has intended and achieved, and the general oppression of the women in the society is just a natural extension of what is going on in cellular level. So all the male chauvinistic pigs can now breath a sigh of relief, "we can't help it. we are born this way".

Comment This outbreak is meta vaccination to the society. (Score 1) 668

An organism has to constantly renew its anti-bodies and virus detection signatures. We know immunity to certain kinds of microbes degrade as time goes by. It is expensive to maintain prototypes of all the microbes on had encountered ready to be mass produced at the sign of infection.

In some sense it is true to the societies too. We have not encountered measles for a long time. So we forgot how deadly this microbe is. And this allowed quacks and snake oil merchants to move it make some quick buck.

This measles outbreak, tragic as it is, will serve as a booster shot and help the society to appreciate the importance of the vaccination programs.

Comment Big fallacy (Score 1) 156

Basic math is, if 10% of users paying 10$ a month produces 1 billion a month revenue, it is enough for 100% of the users to produce 1$ in ad-revenue to be cost neutral. If the current set of users are not producing that much revenue, or if you have to be so obtrusive in ad serving to get just 1$ a month from the users, will it really work if it is not free? If FB users are split in two groups some getting "premium" and others not, what percentage of non-premium users would shun their premium friends?

Anyway, FB is a lek. Its main attraction is it is the main attraction for a significant percentage of others. All it takes is for a significant fraction of the FB users to skip FB, its status will decline exponentially. Microsoft Windows+ Office was a lek. Everyone used it because everyone else used it. At some point the negatives out weighed the positive, and it declined quite rapidly and seems to be struggling to find its footing.

Comment Re:OpenACC (Score 2) 198

It works in theory. In practice, unless you understand your code well, and the way compiler built the instructions well, and understood what these directives very well, you wont get any speed improvements. There are times when the over heads slow down the code and the simple minded implementation had brain dead locks, and you end up with slower code.

We have come a long way since the days of assembly and assembly in another name Fortran. But the overheads of the higher level languages have been masked a lot by the ever increasing speed and memory availability. Whole generations of programmers have come up, higher level languages with IDE and CASE tools from day one they fundamentally don't understand how the code actually works. They are continually stumped by the fact the code does what they tell it to do, not what they meant it to do.

Comment Re:Who is this Steve Lexus? (Score 1) 88

May be Facebook knows you are not arab. But it gets paid to hose you with arabic ads. It probably knows your pain tolerance well too. It know how much it can pelt you with ads and make money before you decide to give up in disgust and go away from Facebook. May be by staying with Facebook even after being pelted with stupid ads for weeks, you tole Facebook algorithms, "ok this guys is good for at least two weeks ad blasts. May be more. Next time let us try three weeks". May be Facebook is not the chump here.

Comment Now disprove the glass pane urban legend (Score 2, Interesting) 142

Claim A: glass panes in very old cathedrals in Europe is thick at the bottom and thin at the top because glass had flowed over the centuries.

Claim B: Claim A is an urban legend. citation 1 citation 2 and you can find more on the net.

Claim C: Claim B is an urban legend.

Now can someone set up some cameras and prove Claim C? That would be supercool, one level recursive urban legend.

Comment Why is it working on Model X? (Score 1) 452

Why is Tesla going with Model X after Model S? Model S has been booked and paid for. If it is going for the alleged "family car" 40K model I can understand. But putting people who have paid money on the hold to pursue another mild variant of S does not make sense.

BTW, BMW is taking Tesla challenge seriously. It is moving to i3 a plug in electric with a range of 100 + - 20 miles with a range extender engine giving another 80 miles of range. Scheduled for late 2013.

Lotus has been working on a integrated IC engine + generator on a single block, tuned for running for long periods at max efficiency RPM. There are going to be lots of competition in the Chevy Volt segment and the Chevy Spark Nissan Leaf segments. In fact BMW is trying to squeeze in the middle of these two segments. Tesla is conspicuous by its absence.

Comment Trying to add galmor to regular job. (Score 1, Insightful) 142

The author is trying to make a big deal about how great the network admins are. Can't blame him for feeling like working in a chain gang from some Alabama prison, deployed on contract in a quarry, with the tool chest consisting of just one sledge hammer. Looks like most of the time they ask the user to reboot their machines (trait 2) or reboot network switches (trait 4) or wait for the problem to solve itself (trait 3). Other traits seem to be putting on a brave face, telling themselves how smart they are. I am sure you could find nine such traits for plumbers clearing blocked sewers too, except they can't reboot the sewers nor wait for it to unblock itself.

Comment Why sanitize the pdf file? (Score 2) 238

Why don't you sanitize the reader? Use a reader with javascript ignored. Or build one from whatever open source pdf reader you can find, if there isn't one already. Or run the pdf reader inside a sandbox without internet access or permanent disk write. If that breaks the portability and the documents don't render correctly when javascript is diabled, tell the sender and blacklist the sender too for good measure. If enough companies lock javascript out of pdf documents eventually the authoring tools will stop using it.

Comment Microsoft is not a monolithic entity. (Score 3, Insightful) 180

The article talks as though Microsoft is a monolithic entity that will like a single intent. Like any large organization there it is a conglomeration of parts and they mostly act in their self interest than the interest of the whole organization. Most of the time there is a large overlap between the self interest and interest of the larger body. But Microsoft has some perverse incentives like giving part of the revenue stream from a product line as compensation to the top managers of that line. Sounds great in theory as a motivation factor but it can backfire too. These people in top management well versed in the palace intrigues have to let some other part cannibalize their revenue stream for the interest of the organization as a whole. The track record is they won't. Only when the "partner level" managers' bonuses (or is it bonii?) are tied to the over all performance of the company, not the individual parts under their control, they will let internal cannibalization. But letting their bonii depend on large parts of the company they have no control over is a tough sell too. It is a problem that developed over a long time. It won't be solved in short time.

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