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Comment Works for me (Score 1) 390

I've had IPv6 connectivity for the past 8 years, and native IPv6 connectivity through Comcast for the past two. The last time I installed a new modem and router, the configuration was automatic.

The deployment process has been extremely slow, but in 10 years, most connections will be happening over IPv6 and most people won't even notice. Even tech savvy people will mostly find out when they try to debug something and realize the IP address is funny looking.

Comment Re:Why stop at NYC? (Score 1) 226

Russia -> Alaska is two 30 mile bridges through Diomede Island. That's like crossing the English channel, which has been done.

The Atlantic is harder. You'd want to go north of Baffin Bay to get to Greenland, and then you'd be stuck with a ~300 mile jump to Iceland, another 300 mile jump to the Faroe Islands, and a third 300 mile jump to get down to Scottland. Building a 300 mile bridge is probably possible, but...

Comment Re:Pointing out the stark, bleeding obvious... (Score 2) 247

If it is, then we have to take drastic measures to avoid it, and that includes shutting down most fossil fuel power plants.

And this widely held belief is the reason why many people who *know that man-made climate change is real* deny it anyway.

Drastic action may or may not be a good idea, and the advantages need to be carefully weighed against the disadvantages. Modern industry *runs* on fossil fuels, and we can't just shut that off. Remember - food production at a scale that can actually feed everyone is only possible today through fossil-fuel based industrial methods.

If your plan is to develop and promote cleaner technologies, awesome. If it's to ban tractors, then you're on the wrong team.

Comment Re:Please, DIAF (Score 1) 215

And who, exactly, would have been hurt by learning to use a slide rule to solve problems 40 years ago?

Sure, the slide rule skills themselves aren't terribly valuable - although it's not a bad tool to reach for occasionally if you have one on your desk - but the problems and solution methods haven't really changed. Math is still a pretty damn useful thing to know.

Programming has been pretty similar over the same timescale. Specific tools come and go, but the general problems and solutions have only evolved. Hell, if you had learned to program back when slide rules were still common you probably would have learned FORTRAN. FORTRAN is still valuable to this day, because the problems haven't changed and the solutions still work. At most, you'd move to something like C++ or OpenCL for those problems, which is a smaller change than moving from a slide rule to a graphing calculator or computer math package would be.

Comment Re:Yes, I agree (Score 1) 564

Systems people just need to do their goddam jobs. Workers have enough crap to worry about.

Nonsense. If you spend 6+ hours a day working at a computer, you have some responsibility to know how to use that computer.

What next? Is every company going to have an "office chair support" department so people don't have to figure out how to raise and lower their own chair? A typist pool so that nobody has to learn how to type?

Comment Re:Unsettling science (Score 5, Interesting) 180

It's not clear that saturated fat is bad for you either. That leaves trans fats as bad, and Omega-6's as questionable.

The trick is that "the level of cholesterol in the blood" is not a meaningful health indicator. The ratio of LDL to HDL is much more useful. And saturated fat actually makes that ratio slightly better (while raising the values of both). Thus, the best evidence indicates that saturated fat is *good* for you.

Comment There's not much that's "as important" as GPG (Score 2) 51

The problem remains: it's very likely that other projects just as important as this one are probably facing the same kind of issues, but it would be nice to hear about them before they get in trouble, and not after.

Not really, because there aren't that many projects as important as GNUPG but without a foundation or something backing them up. OpenSSL is probably the next good example, but that's run by a consulting company.

Without GNUPG, no major GNU/Linux distros could security download updates. It's *the tool* that does digital signatures. It's at least as important as OpenSSL, but in that case there are viable alternatives (e.g. GNUTLS, NSS).

Really, the GNU project needs to spend some more money on maintaining the infrastructure that they sponsor. They'd get quite a bit more money if the had fundraisers directly for core GNU software (e.g. GNUPG / GCC / Bash / libc) development rather than generic funds that might get spent sending their mascott to protest at an Apple store or some nonsense. Activism is great and all, but it's a waste of time if the concrete infrastructure that the movement has built is allowed to rot.

Comment Re:jessh (Score 2) 397

Absoutely not.

Shutting a city down for a day *guarantees* huge damages. Let's look at Boston. There are 240,000 households, each with a median income of $70,000/yr. Let's use a really simplfied model, and say that there are 365 days in a year - so each day is about $200 per household in wages. That means that shutting down the city for a guarantees a loss of $48 millon.

For salaried workers, that's a loss for their employer. For hourly workers, that's a loss for the to the household.

Without a government intervention, people would have gotten to make their own judgement calls. And they could have made that judgement call based on the weather information this morning, not what we had yesterday afternoon. Based on the actual weather, lots of people would have said "lol, no - I'm not going into work today". And others would have made the completely reasonable decision that they could make it to work fine.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 332

It's physically impossible for the human eye to discern the difference between 720p and 1080p on an average-sized television, much less the difference between 1080p and 4k.

And in the 1970's, it would have been physically impossible for the human eye to distinguish between NTSC and 720p on an "average size television" at a "normal viewing distance", because people had 14" TVs that they watched at 20 ft.

Personally, I'm a fan of the 70" TV at 6 ft, or the 30" display at 18in. And for that, I can see the difference between 1080p and 4k clearly even without my glasses.

Comment Re:Households without a PC (Score 1) 648

I'm teaching a university level intro to programming course right now, and we have absolutely no problem supporting users with any reasonable operating system on their computer. We're using the HTDP curriculum with DrRacket. We start having the students write interactive GUI programs week two.

There are dozens of other platforms that handle cross-platform development equally easily. You can go whole-hog IDE with Java and Eclipse. You can teach Python with Idle. You can teach programming with C or C++ and the GNU toolchain (Cygwin is pretty easy to install). You could even teach C# with MonoDevelop. There's really no need to use single-platform stuff to teach basic programming.

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