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Comment Munich Schmunich (Score 4, Insightful) 579

Please, stop posting blather about Munich adopting Linux. This drama has been going on for years and years and I'm tired of it. There are stories going back past 2004; "City of Munich Freezes Its Linux Migration", "Munich to Go Ahead with Linux After All", blah blah blah.

Munich uses Linux to pressure Microsoft for better deals, which is just fine, but not interesting to me or most of the rest of us I imagine. Linux is not some struggling underdog begging for attention. So much computing today is Linux, from super computers to $90 smartphones, set tops, huge cloud infrastructures, corporate data centers, weapons systems, etc. — what Munich's government clerks happen to use to print emails or whatever just doesn't matter anymore, if it ever did, and I don't care either way.

Submission + - Solar plant scorches birds in mid air ( 4

Obscene_CNN writes: The new solar energy plant that is owned by Google and two energy companies is killing birds in mid air. The plant which works by concentrating the suns rays is killing and igniting the birds as they fall out of the sky. BrightSource Energy, NRG Solar, and Google say they are studying methods of reducing the bird deaths.

Comment Re:Just red tape? (Score 3, Informative) 142

The links provided in the story are the usual, information free sort one expects from mdsolar as he plies his anti-nook trade around Slashdot. There are better news stories written about this and the bottom line is a subcontractor is falling behind making "submodules." This story from yesterday points the finger at Chicago Bridge & Iron in Louisiana, and this story actually provides a little detail about the submodules that CB&I are trying to make. The builders are moving some of this work to other facilities and contractors because of CB&I failures. Another story a year ago also names CB&I as the culprit for delays.

So it's a manufacturing problem and not a regulator hold up. Manufacturing problems are solvable (we've built stuff like this many times) and not as appealing to mdsolar as a nasty regulatory tangle, so he deliberately avoided stories with specifics.

Comment Re:100 percent bullshit (Score 1) 200

What do you propose we do for kids who do not fit the standard model and are therefore thrown to the wolves without pharmaceutical help?

Does your question have as a premise that all those treated are supposed to be treated? I think it does and I don't believe that, so I wont address your question. I believe most shouldn't be treated because their behavior isn't wrong; it just fails to fit well into a badly distorted culture. So if you accept my premise of widespread over medication we're left with these alternatives; stop the abuse of drugs and let the wolves, as you say, have them or continue this sick spiral of pseudoscience and physco-engineering until we have secured our Stepford future.

There was an important word used above; "most." Most being "treated" today shouldn't. That means "some" should. Some, however, should not mean little Johnny spends his teens and early adulthood on medical grade speed because he got in a fist fight at eight and the libtard, kumbaya world view that runs everything involving children can't tolerate it.

Comment Re:100 percent bullshit (Score 2, Insightful) 200

He was right except for the part about "interactions with technology." We've built up some sort of model kid and heavily medicate those that fail to follow the model closely. That model kid happens to be highly risk adverse, entirely compatible with quiet suburban life and profoundly concerned with the sensitivities of its elders, their jet set lifestyles and half dozen credit lines. It's got little to do with stimulating boxes and everything to do with shoehorning kids into compliant slots in their parents world.

His skepticism of this supposed new diagnostic method is spot on. This is pseudo-science used to rationalize drugging people that don't fit the model, employ vast numbers of highly paid specialists and sink wealth into "health care."

Comment Re:Is the complexity of C++ a practical joke? (Score 2) 427

C# pioneered lambda's.

Ridicule of this has not been sufficient.

Your geek cred has been zeroed. Please turn in your membership card and leave the premises.

Before you go, please note that JavaScript, almost 10 years older than C#, has had lambdas from day one, and I don't believe any other language that has done more to expose the common programmer to lambdas. Eich took some if his design inspiration from Scheme, in which lambdas are central. Scheme, a LISP dialect, goes back to the mid seventies, perhaps before you were born.

C# is a fine Microsoft language, but it had nothing to do with pioneering lambda.

And the index you cite is a laugh. It had Apple's brand new Swift language floating around in the type 10 last month, gone this month. Search engine query frequency is not a terribly meaningful measure. All it means is that those interested in a given language have done a lot of searches, and that fluctuates with events such as press releases.

Over here is a little more comprehensive study of programming language popularity. As you can see, C/C++ give up nothing to C#. Not a damn thing.

Submission + - The flight of gifted engineers from NASA

schwit1 writes: Rather than work in NASA, the best young engineers today are increasingly heading to get jobs at private companies like SpaceX and XCOR.

It is a long article, worth reading in its entirety, but this quote will give the essence:

As a NASA engineering co-op student at Johnson Space Center, Hoffman trained in various divisions of the federal space agency to sign on eventually as a civil servant. She graduated from college this year after receiving a generous offer from NASA, doubly prestigious considering the substantial reductions in force hitting Johnson Space Center in recent months. She did have every intention of joining that force — had actually accepted the offer, in fact — when she received an invitation to visit a friend at his new job with rising commercial launch company SpaceX.

Hoffman took him up on the offer, flying out to Los Angeles in the spring for a private tour. Driving up to the SpaceX headquarters, she was struck by how unassuming it was, how small compared to NASA, how plain on the outside and rather like a warehouse.

As she walked through the complex, she was also surprised to find open work areas where NASA would have had endless hallways, offices and desks. Hoffman described SpaceX as resembling a giant workshop, a hive of activity in which employees stood working on nitty-gritty mechanical and electrical engineering. Everything in the shop was bound for space or was related to space. No one sat around talking to friends in the morning, “another level from what you see at NASA,” she said. “They’re very purpose-driven. It looked like every project was getting the attention it deserved.”

Seeing SpaceX in production forced Hoffman to acknowledge NASA might not be the best fit for her. The tour reminded her of the many mentors who had gone into the commercial sector of the space industry in search of better pay and more say in the direction their employers take. She thought back to the attrition she saw firsthand at Johnson Space Center and how understaffed divisions struggled to maintain operations.

At NASA young engineers find that they spend a lot of time with bureaucracy, the pace is slow, their projects often get canceled or delayed, and the creative job satisfaction is poor. At private companies like SpaceX, things are getting built now. With that choice, no wonder the decision to go private is increasingly easy.

Submission + - World's Fastest Camera Captures 4.4 TRILLION Frames Per Second (

Diggester writes: The race for faster and more furious just got big in the imaging and photography department. Japanese researchers have recently designed a motion picture camera which is capable of capturing 4.4 trillion frames per second. That’s right; it makes this snapper the fastest the world over. This technique that is known to be STAMP (sequentially timed all-optical mapping photography) is able to boast 450×450 pixels. The work by the Japanese researchers has been so popular that the Nature Photonics has published it.

Submission + - Pentagon Supplied Ferguson Police with 'War Zone' Supplies (

An anonymous reader writes: The Pentagon has given the police department hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of surplus military equipment down the years, it has emerged.

The Ferguson Police Department is part of a federal programme known as 1033, which distributes military equipment such as armed vehicles and even grenade launchers to police forces across the US.

The force has been accused of using this equipment during the ongoing unrest in the town of Ferguson following the shooting of Michael Brown.

Comment Re:It's just a battery factory (Score -1, Troll) 327

OMG you ignorant fuck. Tesla batteries are made of wonderful shit like Nickel. A fire in such a plant could loft heinous amounts of contaminates which would promptly precipitate out in the vicinity downwind of the plant.

Do you want cancer with that battery?
January 19, 2014

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy undertook a study to look at the environmental impact of lithium-ion batteries for EVs. The study showed that batteries that use cathodes with nickel and cobalt, as well as solvent-based electrode processing, have the highest potential for environmental impacts, including resource depletion, global warming, ecological toxicity, and human health. The largest contributing processes include those associated with the production, processing, and use of cobalt and nickel metal compounds, which may cause adverse respiratory, pulmonary, and neurological effects in those exposed.

This is what CA is throwing it's precious regs under the bus for; it's politically correct industrial golden boy.

You know what the worst part of all this happy horseshit is? At the end of the day all we're really doing is off-shoring our impact. The elements that Tesla is going to need to feed this "giga" factory are going to come from Africa and Asia, far beyond the reach of EPA, DOE, OHSA, NLRB and the rest of the gang;

Tesla’s Gigafactory: Needs 6 new graphite mines, but where will cobalt be sourced?

Nickel refining is particularly heinous. It's worse for the environment than copper mining and refining. Downwind of a third world nickel mine or refinery is a dead zone. That's why we won't tolerate it near ourselves anymore.

And yeah, doesn't this story just put the lie right to the Left when they argue how environmentalism and economy aren't in conflict. And what happened to Tesla here? Playing one state off against another for regulatory wavers? Tsk tsk.

All these regs and legislated morality have a price. It really does. I'm sorry about that. A magic fairy wand would be nice, but we don't have one. Get that through your la-la land head and grow up a little.

Comment Amazon (Score 3, Insightful) 165

I've been purchasing used books on history, politics and science from Amazon for almost the cost of shipping, which is close to or less than the cost of the fuel it would have taken for the two round trips to the library, and it takes a lot less of my time. Funny thing is, about half of these have library card sleeves. These books sat unread in libraries (you know, the places that supposedly have "content you want to read") for decades almost untouched (based on the condition I find them and the empty cards I find in said sleeves) until the libraries sell them off to make room for more new books almost no one will read. Here are a few from 2013;

(shipping included with these prices.)
Nuclear disaster in the Urals, Zhores A Medvedev, $6.98
The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin's Russia, hardcover, Tim Tzouliadis, $6.78
Red Atom: Russia's Nuclear Power Program from Stalin to Today, Paul Josephson, $4.94
The Future and Its Enemies: The Growing Conflict Over Creativity, Enterprise, and Progress, Virginia Postrel, $4.00
Behind the Facade of Stalin's Command Economy: Evidence from the Soviet State and Party Archives, Paul R. Gregory, $5.36
The Legacy of Chernobyl, Zhores A Medvedev, $4.49. (got 2x for some reason; gave one to a co-worker.)

I could go on all day as I've been reading this sort of stuff from Amazon for going on ten years now. Most of these are hard covers in excellent condition.

The truth is libraries are dead to me as a source of reading material. I can't afford the time or fuel it takes to frequent them, and they simply can't host the selection I demand, which is why they purge themselves of their stock using Amazon. Right or wrong that's how it is.

Comment Re:It's more than the tie (Score 3, Informative) 166

It's the rules, the bureaucracy and the paperwork

Don't forget the corruption.

As we've learned from multiple agencies that flaunt records keeping laws by deliberately employing systems that are incapable of meeting statutory requirements, the motives of these people are criminal. As an IT person you `will' or `will not' based on their perogatives, legal or otherwise. If they want a twenty year old email system maintained because an upgrade would mean their traffic is recoverable after six months, you're going to find yourself maintaining an ancient POS and ignored (at best) anytime you point it out.

If they want a massive, possibly illegally obtained or misused database analyzed for extra scrutiny of political opponents you get to help them abuse power. And you'll keep your mouth shut about it too, or they'll put you and your stapler in the basement.

Comment Re:I don't get it. (Score 1) 541

Geneticists admit that physical appearance varies thanks to mutations and variations in the expression of the genome, so why is intellectual variability so verboten?

Exactly two stories before this one we learn from Nature Communications, a bimonthly peer-reviewed scientific journal; "approximately half of the children's math and reading ability stemmed from their genetic makeup."

The problem isn't that intellectual variability due to genetics is verboten. The problem is that certain people must not be permitted to extrapolate awkward conclusions from these results. If, however, one were to write that Caucasians are, say, genetically predisposed to ruin the environment, subjugate non-Caucasians as slaves, engage in industrial warfare, eat too much meat or any of a number of politically acceptable assertions, that would be just fine.

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