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Comment Re: No? (Score 1) 375

True, but it does weigh towards them. If the intent was good and the effects were good, then it's fairly easy to argue that the action was moral and right even if it was illegal. If that is the case, a pardon would be justified. (The question becomes then if the effects were good - I've read decent arguments both ways, though the 'it was worth it' articles seem a bit more detailed and thought out.)

Comment Re:Don't buy a Mac for Specs. (Score 2) 472

Not to mention that the 4 year old model is a legacy model - the only Mac laptop with FireWire, a CD/DVD drive, and an Ethernet port. (As well as a non-Retina screen.) It fills a very specific niche in the Mac market.

Most of the rest of the Mac lineup is closer to a year old. Intel's bobble of the last processor refresh definitely affected Macs - the chips that would likely to be used for most Mac models were delayed (some long enough that Apple has obviously decided to wait for the next generation) or not released at all - and if you're tracking Mac refreshes thinking when's a good time to buy now isn't it, but the only 'seriously old' models are the one Macbook, the Mac Mini, and the Mac Pro. The MacBook is a legacy model kept for specific uses because it doesn't cost them much to keep it in the lineup, and the Mini and Pro are niche models that were scheduled for longer-cycle refresh when Intel bobbled their processors.

Comment Re:Scottish so can't vote but... (Score 1) 993

The problem at the moment is that to do such we need to get something through Congress - either a law, or (more likely) a constitutional amendment. And the people who benefit most from the current system are those currently in Congress.

Heck, we can't even get every American citizen a representative in Congress because it doesn't benefit Congress. (Washington D.C., the 22nd largest city in the country, has no representatives in Congress because it's not a state. To get it representatives would require an amendment - which no Republican will vote for because it's one of the most heavily Democratic areas in the entire country.)

Comment Re:That part of one line says it all! (Score 3, Insightful) 128

I'd argue that that one line is incorrect. TSA's job isn't to make airline passengers feel safer. It's to make them feel like they should feel unsafe except for the fact that the TSA is there.

That is: Their job is to make you think that you need them to do their job, and that without them you would be killed.

Comment BBEdit (Score 1) 286

BBEdit on Mac (my normal computing platform), in Markdown format. (Usually Pandoc-flavored markdown.) That's if I want the notes to last more than five minutes.

Under five minute notes are often on paper, using either pen or pencil. (Mechanical pencil preferred, but pen's easier to find.)

On other platforms I'll take whatever is the best text editor I can find commonly available - vi or some derivative on most Unix/Linux boxes.

Comment Re:I have an idea... (Score 1) 231

So? They have two industries that are hurting. They can help both with a fairly simple plan. Now, it may be better to send the electricity to a nearby country or something instead of transferring it internally - I don't know who could use it most, or what's most cost-effective - but it seems like a sensible plan either way.

Comment Re:All of the above (Score 1) 229

Exactly. The only reason I'm not still making nightly backups via Tarsnap is that I'm completely broke, and can't afford it. Otherwise I'd have all of the above. (And I'm nervous that I don't have off-site - I just can't afford the cost at the moment, so redundant on-site will have to do for now.)

Comment Re:Or is it the other way around? (Score 1) 310

There's also the general statistic that women are paid less for the same job on average, no matter the field. So, if you add more women to the field, the average pay for the field decreases because people pay the women less. So this could be just be a methodology problem.

(Well, and the general problem of why the heck we value the work less if it's done by a woman. But that then isn't an issue with the field's gender balance, it's an issue with how we compensate people across all fields.)

Comment Re:Why not a warp drive? (Score 1) 224

You don't need it to be delivered all that quickly, but you do need it to happen within some timeframe. (Important would be that you need to break orbit around the Earth and achieve your orbit to Mars within the same orbit around Earth, or you'll end up having to sped a whole lot more delta-v for the transfer. You can raise the orbit around Earth with a few different burns, so to minimize the delta-v needed for that final burn, but that burn is critical.) If you want to send a ship with a decent mass - like that you need for a manned mission, with habitation space and life support - than you need to have enough thrust to do so.

You typically want the highest ISP with enough thrust to do the job. The middle-ground engines can be useful sometimes then, for places where you need more thrust, but don't need the full lifting thrust of chemical rockets. We haven't done much in that space, as robotic probes can be an order of magnitude or more less massive, and therefore the VASIMR engines and other extremely-high ISPs can give enough thrust.

Comment Re:Can the autonomous vehicle pass a drivers test? (Score 2) 139

Because we know generally what types of failures humans have, and can design our tests around what types of competence we know will be required. Autonomous vehicles are a new situation, and have new failure or competence modes. Until we understand those modes, we can't understand what we need to test for correctly.

By letting them on the road with human drivers as overrides, we are limiting the worst-case modes, and allow for more real-world tests is a larger variety of situations so we can understand those modes.

Comment Re:MailStore Home is the Answer (Score 2) 177

PSTs have a history of getting corrupted and having you lose everything in them - and also have some issues with going to large numbers of files per PST. But it's a solution.

However, it's more complicated than dumping into an IMAP folder for the original requester (as everything would have to be imported into Outlook), and it costs more.

But this isn't particularly clunky or hard to understand - set up a IMAP mail server (like any other, using common and well-documented tools) and transfer the mail to it. (Using the tools of whatever mail service they are in at the moment.) Done. Now you can access it with just about any email program out there - including Outlook, if you so desire.

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