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Comment Re:Welcome to Clueville, population: You (Score 2) 417

I develop software for a small company, and it sounds like you administer a large one... but when you say: "Dislike of portables has nothing to do with controlling you", I think you are lying. You would like to force me to install AV software (you can't, I develop in Linux), clean up my machine (whatever that means), wipe it without my permission, stop me from taking it with me, and generally have control over everything I do on the system.

I can imagine this making a certain amount of sense if computers connected to the work network had special privileges over external machines (they don't), or if we prevented remote login to our servers (we don't). Other than protecting me from my perceived incompetence, they only reason I could see for taking away control of my own machine is that you don't trust me not to run off with IP or company secrets. But I doubt you'd be able to accomplish that no matter what you do.

In short, it seems to be more about control than security. I'm not sure that up-time is an issue here either, since I can always put my laptop away and switch to the IT-administered PC on my desk if it should die.

Comment Re:Renewable or infinite? (Score 1) 835

Well, I guess you could alter the charger to stop charging the battery once it reaches 60% capacity... I believe the Prius stops drawing from the battery before it is completely drained as well. But in that situation, you'd be looking at making very short trips only.

I would just use up your battery as you see fit. I suspect the price of lithium ion batteries will continue to drop within the next 5-10 years.Tthe US government expects the cost of an electric vehicle to fall to $3,333 by 2030: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/gas_graphic_fullsize.jpg

Comment Re:Since when... (Score 1) 487

I've never had a problem with the stability or performance of a Linux system. I've had significant problems with BSD systems with poor hardware support. Why should I "actually put some time in to making the system just the way you want, and RTFM" for a negligible gain?

Comment Inside a black hole? (Score 1) 171

I have often wondered if the Universe might be the single particle at the center of a black hole, which are always created with a high spin. I understand that this particle takes the shape of a disk due to its rotation, rather than collapsing to a single point. It would explain why galaxies are spreading apart rather than joining together - somehow the stretching of the black hole translates into a 3D effect on the 'inside'. If the black hole were not spinning, I would expect matter in the universe to condense to a black hole, and there would be no 'inside' or 'outside', only a black hole regardless of how you look at it.

To me, this makes sense as energy seems to flow into the patterns of matter - subatomic particles and atoms - like jelly into a mold. There are some hidden rules at play that make matter the way it is, and not some other way. No matter how you convert energy to matter, you end up with it forming these elementary particles. I would expect that to be true for the mass inside of a black hole, in the same way it's true for matter on the outside. The black hole, viewed from the outside, would have the same mass as our Universe.

Unfortunately, I can't think of any way to test this hypothesis, though it might be interesting to the compute the spin of such a black hole, and see if we can correlate it to any phenomenon we can observe.

Comment Damn that's expensive (Score 1) 348

An SMS message has a maximum of 120 characters, which is packed into 140 bytes. $10 per 1000 messages works out to 1 cent per message, or 1 cent per 140 bytes. That gives us 7.31 cents per kilobyte, or 73.1 dollars per megabyte. Of course it's actually a lot higher, since you don't always send exactly 160 characters per message. If the average message is only half the maximum length, we get a whopping 146.2 dollars per meg. I don't know how many texts people send a month on average, but if it's less than 2000 the new plan is no better.

So I guess SMS is still on par with the cost of communicating with the Hubble space telescope: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/14/txts_r_v_pricey/

Comment Re:Here's an idea (Score 1) 897

I subscribe to the theory that the price of oil is about to skyrocket as demand gradually outstrips supply. If I'm right, wouldn't it be better to have Americans driving fuel-efficient cars before this happens, rather than 5-10 years later? I mean, not everyone's able to immediately buy a new, fuel-efficient car when gas prices rise.

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