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Comment Or, you know, radio (Score 1) 75

I have a weather radio that NOAA can trigger for warnings, and if I want real-time tracking information (like while I'm hiding in an interior room due to a tornado warning), local radio broadcasters simulcast the local TV station's audio feeds. Much more reliable, and doesn't require apps.

Comment So many things wrong (Score 1, Insightful) 338

As someone that started in school for an engineering degree and later landed in IT, IT is not "engineering" (it can be the T in STEM but it is not the E).

How many bills did Rep Lofgren introduce/vote for that would have increased the IT budget for the UC system? If they are like most places, IT is considered a "cost sink" and has to struggle to just keep an even budget (as costs increase). You can't hardly blame them for doing what they feel is necessary to maintain the service they are expected to provide with insufficient resources.

Comment Re:Great firefighters (Score 5, Informative) 243

For larger buildings, the first thing they'll do is shut off the power. That's the reason data centers usually have the "big red button"; that is there to make it "safe" for firefighters. The 240VAC main in a typical house (at least in the US) is much less dangerous than the high-voltage DC found in electric cars.

Also, while you can get a short by spraying water across live electrical lines, they are not liable to explode like lithium batteries.

Were they overly cautious? Possibly. Are there legitimate concerns about how to deal with the electric cars? Yes. Should they be handled with better training? Also yes.

Comment Re:Have they heard of Virtual Machines? (Score 4, Informative) 378

If none of your processes require more than 4Gb of virtual memory, there is no reason â" other than the developers' laziness â" to go 64-bit.

First, addresses/pointers aren't normally the largest chunk of code or data memory usage, so the include in RAM usage is far less than double.

Also, in the specific case of the Intel x86 architecture (which is what this is about, not general 32 bits vs. 64 bits), there is a significant reason to move from i386 to x86_64. The i386 architecture has a very small CPU register set, compared to most modern CPU architectures (and some instructions can only use certain registers). That means lots more things require memory loads/stores, which is bad for performance. When AMD created x86_64, they added a bunch of registers (and got rid of most of the usage restrictions), so 64 bit code performance is better.

Comment Re:Weird Al is the opposite (Score 1) 482

I saw his Friday show in Huntsville, AL. Some people around me were taking pictures and/or video occasionally during the show, but nothing distracting to me (since the backdrop was dark, their screens weren't particularly bright).

I don't get trying to video a significant part of a performance though, especially with a cell phone; just like some people on vacations, you end up looking at a small blurry screen instead of the actual event/place/whatever in front of you.

Comment Re:Political parties are private institutions (Score 3, Interesting) 338

While I agree with you, the "public" primaries are also there to keep our choices from being completely controlled by back-room deals.

I'd prefer to abolish party primaries and allow more open general election ballot access (although I don't think having 20+ people on the ballot for a single position is necessarily an improvement, so some legitimate signature minimums or something should exist). Go to a ranked voting system, where you can rank up to 3 candidates, and you rarely would need a run-off.

The Repubocrats and Demlicans would never allow that though. In my state, the Libertarian Party got to "major party" status for one election cycle (where their governor candidate was "featured" at the top and had the "vote party line" option); the R&D powerhouse quickly got the state laws changed to eliminate that competition as soon as possible. Anything other than politics and they'd be considered an illegal cartel and shut down for restraint of trade...

Comment Re:Vaporware car (Score 1) 270

Except they don't have a reputation of producing quality cars. After Consumer Reports gave such a glowing review, they pulled their recommendation. Surveys of owners of cars that had been on the road a bit caused CR to give it a "worse than average" reliability rating. Some of the issues were specific to Teslas (charging system failures, drivetrain problems) as well as normal issues (rattles, squeaks, leaks, door handles).

A company trying to rapidly ramp up production is bound to have more issues than before, at least for a while; if they can't get door handles working and sunroofs sealed now, what will happen when they're trying to satisfy an impatient public?

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