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Comment Re:Superficial and wrong (Score 1) 1116

And what happens when that "90%" includes all the teachers, law enforcement, hospital workers and fire crews? . . . Most people do the least-worst job that allows them to keep a roof, feed their kids and keep the lights on. . . . Would you do a dangerous, unpleasant, stressful or demeaning job if you didn't need to? I don't see those sectors having many volunteer workers.

My mother aspired to be a nurse from youth. First she volunteered as one. Apparently volunteer nursing is a thing. She would complain at times about the nursing administration bureaucracy or the physical exhaustion that pervaded her week. But still she loved it. She is retired, but still keeps trying to volunteer from time to time, despite frail health. My stepmother was also a nurse and volunteers as a social worker. I've heard of volunteer firefighters and volunteer policework. I also have known two professional policeman, and neither of them were the dumb or lazy people who just can't do anything better that you describe. The fact is, none of the teachers, nurses, firefighters, and cops I've seen or met match that description at all. Quite the opposite, really. Very generous-hearted people, for the most part. And quite intelligent.

Comment Re: Will be? (Score 0, Flamebait) 618

This is why AGW pseudo-skeptics are like Creationists. No matter how many times you demonstrate some meme they brainlessly repeat was never true, they just turn around and make the same claim again. You simply cannot debate someone who is so divorced from reality that they think some slogan they picked up off a Heartland-funded website somehow falsifies an entire scientific discipline.

As a deep-thinking creationist, I feel a bit written off. Is it not possible to be thoughtful and a creationist? Take this article.

I would love to have a step-by-step debate with an atheist, but every time I run into a discussion, it has already devolved into emotional mud-slinging, generally by the atheists.

Comment Re:Uh, just pay extra (Score 1) 644

You can't budget based on individual charity. The rates set a reasonable expectation of incoming receipts for not just the next year, but future years.

Saying, "Check the box" doesn't provide anything that anyone can build a budget on.

At this time I shall trot out an ancient practice called Saving. Let the extra donations pile up. Then spend them. If you wait, you know exactly how much money you have, not just a "reasonable expectation."

Comment Re:"visually lossless" sounds a lot like lossy... (Score 5, Informative) 156

I thought the same thing until I read an article by David Newman, an engineer for Cineform. He personally defined visually lossless as "when the compression error falls well below the inherent noise floor of the imaging device" (Visually Lossless and how to back it up).

He says, more or less, that if you set a camera on a tripod and shoot a still life of, say, a bowl of fruit, there still will be a difference from one frame to the next in the video, even in a totally uncompressed signal. This can mainly be blamed on noise in the image sensor. All sensors have a noise floor. So first you measure what that noise is. Then you measure how much degradation a certain compression introduces. If the difference between the uncompressed and compressed signal is less than or equal to the difference between uncompressed frames, then you might call the codec visually lossless.

Actually he takes it one step further. He averaged 72 frames of the stationary object to mostly remove the noise even from the image sensor. He then saw whether the compressed image differed from this "golden frame" by more than any given uncompressed frame differed from it.

Yes, yes, yes, there's no telling what standard VESA used, but at this point I think visually lossless can have some meaning. Usually, in fact, video that's called visually lossless is very, very good and can only be discerned at much closer-than-average viewing distances and often with various image enhancements to bring out the noise. In normal viewing conditions, most video professionals, and certainly even more consumers, cannot tell the diffference between the original and any of the codecs that tout themselves (scientifically or otherwise) as visually lossless.

Comment Cool but so small (Score 1) 285

If my reading and math are good, this year will add 17.4 gigawatts of solar, wind, or nuclear. That's good, and it's also good that there will be no new coal plants this year. However, Wikipedia says that the United States uses 4 petawatt-hours of electricity per year. So I imagine we have a long way to go.

Comment Re:Then he's doing it wrong. (Score 0) 720

If his model says that Earth should not exist, then there's something wrong with his model.

What the scientist is saying is nothing new. He's saying that there are so many variables to get just right that it's statistically impossible to have happened by chance. Yes, this is a fact in support of a supreme being who transcends the universe to have created the universe.

Submission + - Neither sysvinit nor systemd: the daemontools family

Art3x writes: It seems everyone was fine using sysvinit until systemd came along, but history is more complicated. A third way, the daemontools family, has ridden alongside since the '90s. Recent examples include runit and nosh. With its small programs and heavy use of the filesystem, it sounds at least as unixy as sysvinit. But with its parallel start-up and elegant set-up, could it also compete against systemd?

Comment Thought Ownership (Score 4, Insightful) 204

Intellectual Property, translated from Latinate words to Anglo-Saxon ones, is Thought Ownership. Then the absurdity is clear.

Of all the I.P. laws --- patent, copyright, and trademark --- trademark to me made the most sense. I don't want another company calling itself Apple Computer. Trademark, then, is just like namespacing, just common sense.

But here I see that even that can be abused. It just goes to show that any law in the category of intellectual property should be sharply restricted, dealt with as if it had a big radioactivity symbol on it.

As for patents, they should just be completely obliterated. I have never seen a patent where I said, if we didn't grant this patent, we would never have got this thing invented. The inventor would have been too scared.

As for copyright, I can't yet say it should be obliterated. But the current terms are way too long. 30 years tops.

As for trademark, like I said, it just helps fight confusion, but still it should be dealt with with the utmost contempt for the requester. It would be better to hold off on granting one, and see what happens, than to grant too many. This is nothing but abuse by the Fine Brothers to unfairly stomp out competition.

Comment Re:I thought it was the desktop... (Score 1) 167

Sincerely speaking, when I read the headline, I thought the choice was for the desktop.

The headline leaves you wondering. It doesn't say where. If a company just uses Linux on some servers, then it's not news. So you wonder if they mean the desktop, at least for some employees. It's clickbait.

The article itself is poorly written too. It hedges things with virtually and arguably but then exaggerates, with dramatically and runaway. It uses bloated words like utilize, partner, and mutualistic. It's riddled with cliches, like "everyone and their mother," "the venerable," and "some much needed money". Sentences are puffed with needless words: "Canonical will provide continued engineering support too" means nothing more "Canonical will provide support too." The whole first paragraphs should have been crossed out.

Just like poorly written code, this article could do the same thing in a tenth of the space if the writer refactored it. But just like with code, it's a hundred nitpicky things like I said above, which all add up. Most schools don't how to write. They encourage you to use big words and many of them. But the persistent student of writing will eventually find gems like The Elements of Style and On Writing Well. These are short. The first book is around a hundred pages. The second is longer but you need to read just the first four or so chapters.

I doubt that the writer has read either of those two books. He quotes from press releases, the worst food for anyone. So it's little wonder why he writes such sop.

Comment Re: Love PostgreSQL (Score 2) 104

You just basically repeated what I said. PDO is the way to go, but it actually takes a little more effort to find that it exists. Why don't they deprecate MySQLi and put a warning on the documentation that you really shouldn't be using MySQL specific functions at all? If you look up tutorials for PHP and MySQL, almost none of them recommend the use of PDO or even mention it.

That hasn't been my experience. Even before PDO was out, I was positively assaulted by articles about database abstraction, including distinctions between abstracting just data access (like PDO, where it uses the same functions no matter the database but you still write SQL) to abstracting the data itself (like Object-Relational Mappers, which keep you from having to write any SQL).

That being said, I'm against writing the app in a way that you can just change out the database back-end. I used to be for it. I used to try to use just the subset of SQL common to most databases. But I got spoiled by PostgreSQL over the years. There's too many useful things that it has and MySQL doesn't. No, I can't one day switch from PostgreSQL to MySQL, but never will I want to and hopefully won't need to.

The use of ORMs just moves the problem. If I don't use an ORM and instead write PostgreSQL-specific code, then I'm locking myself in to one particular database brand. But if I use an ORM, then I'm locking myself into that ORM and that scripting language. I can't one day switch my application from PHP to Python. Not that I would, but I'm more likely to want to move from PHP to Python or Node.js, than to move from PostgreSQL to MySQL or any other database.

I recommend picking either PostgreSQL or SQLite from the get-go and sticking with it. I strenuously suggest PostgreSQL no matter how lite your database needs. But if that's impractical, then I suggest SQLite. Forget the rest.

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