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Comment Re: How can they patent it? (Score 1) 68

You might tell that to India. Parts of traditional medicine involving plants that grow locally have been patented by US companies. India objected and was ignored.

Note that in this case neither the use nor the product were either discovered or invented by the US patent holder. Check Tree-tea oil, for one example. (Unless it's Tea-tree oil.)

Comment Re:Good Idea (Score 1) 43

Having to print out the html pages is unreasonable. Having to print a pdf would not be unreasonable.

Possibly after I'd installed Gentoo once or twice I'd feel confident enough that I wouldn't think I needed the instructions in front of me as I did it, but just now I would want the full instructions. Which is why I said "a second computer on your desk".

P.S.: Why you format your disk, and have a boot disk, it's difficult to tell what info you are going to need to proceed in a way you haven't previously gone. You don't *KNOW* what info you are going to need. Before I get in that situation I like to have a visible plan of action. Thus a printed pdf would be reasonable. I don't have a phone or tablet that would act as a surrogate internet browser. So I want a printed copy of instructions before I get into something really new.

Comment Re:Online ? Authors never shopped in real life (Score 1) 230

Because I hate to tell you, but stores in Beverly Hills charge more than they do in Compton for the exact same product.

Personally, I would lump the surcharge for blowing smoke up the customer's ass as part of the actual product for most of the merchandise available in Beverly Hills. When you're wealthy enough, the retail experience is the product, and what you actually take home is just the Broadway playbill souvenir.

Comment Re:Fluid type manipulation with unions (Score 1) 405

Granted, you're not making it worse in any way by representing it with a union.

More to the point, you can't make it better by avoiding using a union. Because it's optimum as is.

The right tool for the right job.

pretty much the essence of obscure legacy cruft.

The job is the job. I have no problem using the right tool for the job.

Comment Re:structs and fundamental OO (Score 1) 405

You are just reinventing machine language where data, instructions, and address pointers can be mixed willy-nilly.

Because machine language varies hugely, and c varies little or none, when working on one platform and then another, c is a convenient low-level way to get as many advantages of working close to the metal (obvious ones are speed and executable size) as possible.

Higher-level languages merely try to introduce discipline and consistency to such practices.

Yes, they do. And in the process, they often cause the resulting product to suffer in speed and/or execution size (and the source code in clarity.) When "mere" means "the product is less good", I translate it as "not mere."

There are reasons to go one way or another. It's not as simple as "HLL's are always better." Sometimes even machine language is the best place to go, embedded controllers with limited storage and small tasks that must be accomplished efficiently, for instance.

Comment Re: Unimpressive performance. (Score 1) 136

You can buy a 128GB SSD for less than $77 (plus the cost of a new CPU and motherboard). Exactly what is Intel's value proposition?

Here, let me do your thinking for you.

1 TB NAS drives are running about USD $65 at Newegg today. You'll want to run two in a mirror configuration. (This will double your pathetic read IOPs over a non-mirrored drive, and double your sequential read performance to 300 MB/s.)

Both of those, plus the Optane SRT, works out to $207.

A single Crucial MX300 1 TB M.2 will run you USD $289 all by itself. The SRT-boosted system will probably allow you to search your file system metadata faster than the SSD. 300 MB/s sustained sequential read is actually pretty fast, if the hard drives aren't constantly interrupted to fetch small-block metadata.

Clearly, though, this product does not displace an SSD in your single, small SSD consumer box. Like, for a guy with nothing much to store, and infinite faith in angular's 50 different shades of cloudy "I agree".

While we're at it, let's clear up a second common misconception. Most people think that "pair" in "pair of pants" refers to the biological bilateral symmetry. But no, it actually refers to the sociological bicoronal symmetry—the imperfect, candle-light symmetry between front and back. Because I just know that you're going to complain that Joe consumer is not going to pony up for a NAS drive pair.

Well, Joe consumer does not have to pony up for a NAS drive pair. Best Buy will sell him the front half of the NAS pair for exactly half the price. And then the Best Buy moron-vultures will tell him that with only one drive, now he only needs the smaller Intel SRT, and now the wallet bump for 1 TB of SRT-enhanced NAS drive is down to a very attractive $109 and shoeless Joe gets some new shiny to crow about, too.

"But the other store told me all I needed was 128 GB!"

"Have you heard about the number of pixels in the camera of the new iPhone 9?"

"Really? The iPhone 9?"

"Yeah, it'll be so amazing. Don't be caught short with a tiny little SSD. Hey, and check out the mirror, too. You're looking gooood."

For this purpose, Best Buy has a special hand-held mirror, only slightly larger than a dental mirror, which makes it almost impossible to see the startled expression on the face of anyone milling around behind you.

Comment Impartial journalism? (Score 1) 161

impartial journalism is entirely possible.

It's certainly possible, but if you can actually show me an instance of it, I'd be quite surprised. I don't recall seeing such a thing. Ever.

There's selection bias, where the story that is told is not the only story, and/or leaves out pertinent details that variously pollute the information transfer to the information consumer. This occurs at the publisher, editorial, reporter and information source levels.

There are errors in collecting information, which can be characterized as "impartial but wrong" which entirely undermines the value of "impartial."

There's the social underpinning, such as the assumptions by the platform from publisher down to reporter buy into memes like the drug war, human trafficking, mommyism, military adventurism, etc. as right and proper undertakings and tell stories in the context of the presumptive matrix that results from those memes.

There's ad-pumping, where the advertising pays more money in when more eyes are attracted, which creates a loop based on popularity rather than accuracy.

There's comment "moderation", where "I disagree / am offended / am trolling" can strongly affect visibility of information -- depending on the site, that can come from privileged (and usually wholly unqualified) individuals, as here on slashdot, or from the crowd, as on reddit.

It all adds up to an extremely formidable gauntlet that information has to run in order to get from wherever it arises over to the consideration of the consumer.

And, not that it's part of the problem of actually achieving impartial journalism, but were you to completely get past every aspect of that somehow, then you still have to find an impartial audience or all that work is for nothing.

IOW, if you manage to present the facts, all the facts, nothing but the facts, and your audience cries "fake news" or drags prejudice, superstition, confirmation bias, or anything from a very long list of similar cognitive failure modes into it, well, there you go. You might as well have written an SF novel.

Comment Just an overview (Score 1) 161

If there's anything I've learned about journalism in the last 41 years, it's that everyone puts their own slant on it.

o Publishers - slant, selection bias
o Advertisers - selection bias on source and slant by rewarding max eyeballs
o Editors - slant, selection bias for stories
o Reporters - slant, selection bias for sources
o Information sources - slant, winners get to write history
o Reader's choice of media - slant, selection bias
 
...it's not like it's showing any signs of getting better, either.

Comment Re:Myth: Mayer didn't do well for Yahoo! (Score 3, Insightful) 148

The bottom line is that CEOs are supposed to generate value for shareholders

Reports say that Meyer ordered underlings to not buy the resources to prevent and then not report the security breaches at Yahoo! That cost shareholders more than $1B in valuation on the Verizon deal.

That's one heck of a negative RoI. She had the wrong instincts, she did the wrong thing, and her owners paid dearly for it.

speculation about what someone else might have done is unproductive

No, all her competitors invest in security and are not punished by the market for doing so. This is comparing her to the field, not some ubermensch ideal.

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