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Comment Re:Thank god for Trump! (Score 1) 357

But what happened to all the good Republican candidates? I'm a long way away from the US, but trying to make sense of it.

The short summary: The primaries are extremely dominated by special interest groups (SIGs), because if they can get a sympathetic candidate the actual election will be a coin flip of who people dislike the least. So what happens is that a lot of moderates get caught in no man's land because the SIGs support their hardline candidate and if you can't get any momentum out the gate the chances of recovering 5-10 states down the line as people realize their favorite won't make it is slim and none. It's hard to find a moderate that many people would be happy with, until it's clear they'd lose and would rather compromise.

Comment Re:I get the feeling that (Score 1) 144

I get the feeling that dark matter is today's epicycles

Well you're not the first one, there have been multiple attempts to modify gravity so that it gives the right answers without introducing additional matter. Unfortunately that tends to break other results that our current theory of gravity gets right and trying to "fix" that usually ends up in just as convoluted theories as dark matter/dark energy. Personally I think it's easy to feel like solid matter is a wall but we know radio transmissions pass through it like it was nothing. And neutrinos pass through the planet without even noticing. I don't find it particularly hard to imagine that there are particles that have even less interaction, given what we already know.

Comment Re: So funny (Score 2) 171

To be fair, Tesla is doing better and is further along than any automotive startup in the US in recent memory. So, something is going right, and yea, if you count the capital expeditures associated with building the factories for the Model 3 and the Gigafactory, they're losing money per car they sell -- but that's not how things are typically calculated. Those things are called "investments", and are expected to pay off it the future. If Tesla scrapped the Gigafactory, the massive build factory updates, and other capital expenditures to non-growth levels Tesla would be profitable right now -- not as profitable as planned due to the aforementioned quality issues, but still profitable. Instead, they're investing in themselves to grow as a company. Pretty typical and expected at this stage.

They have a very, very tough road ahead and they're current performance isn't inspiring with the unrealistic Model 3 ramp up and issues with the Model X, but those are also solvable issues (and in many ways smaller issues than most other auto companies have).

Comment Re: The Republicans want to make everyone work (Score 1) 1127

Investing isn't just "doing nothing". You have to chose well and know what will take off and what won't.

Speculation is trying to pick the right horse. Investment can be just as much about trying to create a balanced portfolio that'll get you a reliable return. You tend to hear all about the spectacular successes and failures, but a vast number of companies produce the nuts and bolts, everyday objects that don't change much at all - not the production systems, not the demand, not the competition. But somebody owns it and somebody's getting a return on it. It's not very exciting to hear that they got 5% ROI while the stock market index 4% ROI though, so you don't read about it much.

What really matters is the value of labor vs capital, once we had artisans and master craftsmen whose work was highly valued. Then we had industrialization and it trended more towards capital, then it trended more towards knowledge workers and now with automation it's trending more towards capital again. If the rich accumulate wealth quicker through capital than people do through labor then the gap widens. The winner is the ones who can invest a billion in self-driving cars, the loser all the people who used to earn a living driving.

Sure, some people will gamble and bet on the right horse or the wrong horse and either join the capitalists or flunk out back to the working class. But they're just statistical noise when it comes to the rest question, how much of the wealth does the 0,1%, 1%, 10% control? It excludes the whole issue about who left and who joined, only how unequal wealth is distributed. And last I heard the differences were increasing, the rich are accelerating away. They don't have to be super good at investing, they just need to not be super dumb.

Comment Re:honesty (Score 1) 57

Slashdot used to be very pro-uber. What happened? Is this the result of the new owners? Are people's opinions so easily swayed? Is this a case of not thinking it through originally?

Same thing that usually happens, you make this new and "flat" power structure then it turns out there's actually a few people/companies with a lot of power or making a lot of money anyway. Before artists had to deal with a few big labels, then they had to deal with a few big stores like iTunes now they have to deal with a few big streaming services like Spotify. Love Wikipedia, hate Jimmy Wales. Love Ubuntu, hate Mark Shuttleworth. Love Red Hat, hate Lennart Poettering. Break Microsoft's monopoly, get the Apple walled garden. Break Apple's walled garden, get Google's mass data mining.

I think some of the idealism and naivety have gone out of the /. crowd, they're much quicker to see what the end game will be and people's true agenda. And it's hardly as selfless as to revolutionize a taxi service stuck in the whip and buggy days. And I think a lot of the tech optimism I remember from the dotcom days has passed, I'm so good I can negotiate my own way I don't need any organization with dead weight holding me back. And then they outsource the whole thing to India or hire in cheap H1-Bs to replace you.

Not that regulation is all good, of course. But it's a bit more complicated than being all bad. Like the "here's a license that's practically a sale, without any of the benefits of ownership" or "here's a work contract that's practically employment, without any of the benefits of being an employee". Because companies have to problems sourcing labor where it's cheapest but sell you region-locked content so they can sell it expensive, they don't have any moral integrity. The social contract only works on small scales, on large scales with faceless mega-corporations answering to thousands of shareholders the only contract is the letter of the law.

Comment Re:Candy (Score 1) 415

I got her in to the pain clinic at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and the doctor there did a nerve ablation that gave her relief from the pain. It came back and she had to have further treatment but the last 3 years have been pain free. It seems that if doctors can't figure what to do they just throw pills at it.

I'm glad you figured out a way to end the pain, just realize that there are many painful diseases and injuries we don't have a cure for no matter how long and hard you search. Using medication to numb the pain is in many cases the best we can do to reduce suffering, whether it's short term until it heals, more or less permanent against chronic disease or just to ease the passing for terminal diseases. I don't think doctors want to "throw pills at it" if they can see a better option. But sometimes specialists can see possibilities others don't, that's why we have them so sure try all options. Just don't expect it to work for everyone.

Comment Re:it's a small step, but... (Score 1) 45

Real progress would, in fact, be not having to compile for dozens of different architectures. Such as describing a way, in a standardised language, of being able to do anything, no matter the underlying hardware. Remember those days? When languages did that for you?

Not really, no.

No more reinventing the fucking wheel for every platform, no more having to compile multiple versions and formats (...), the best performance you can get for that particular architecture

Hardware has different capabilities. Platforms have different capabilities. Abstractions and layers of indirection trade performance and simplicity for interoperability and reuse, you will never write code that is "perfect" on all metrics. So you want your application to output sound, great. So tell me how would you write code that runs on everything from a Sound Blaster from the 90s to bitstreaming over HDMI and any and all future formats yet to come? Does the OS have some kind of configuration if you want this to play on headphones or not?

That's when you start stubbing out APIs, my game wants to output sound and I'll make my own function do to the right thing for this sound card. Then maybe the OS will abstract that away and your app just hands it off so it can do the right thing. And then maybe the hardware will abstract that away so the OS can talk one standard like USB audio. But all of this is a work in progress that's constantly expanded because we want hardware or software to do new things. Maybe we want hardware mixing or don't want to play sound on this machine but pipe it somewhere else over the network.

What you are asking for is essentially like every other attempt at cross hardware/platform development ever. Write C, no more hardware-specific assembler. Don't write for 3dfx, matrox, nVidia, write for DirectX or OpenGL. Write Java, write once run everywhere. There's many reasons we move in that direction. There's also many reasons we sometimes move in the other direction, like now with Vulkan we're basically scaling back OpenGL and saying game engines use this low level interface instead of the abstractions because they're holding you back.

Comment Re:Enron down under (Score -1, Troll) 269

Of course there was! All this government-funded eco-insanity is predicated on the convenient fiction of CO2 being evil and causing the imminent destruction of the habitability of the planet. Without that, it all falls apart. We're seeing the whole thing start to unravel now due to reality reasserting itself over narrative and it ain't gonna be pretty.

Comment Re:One more reason ... (Score 4, Insightful) 95

For starters, the only bird type that can hover in one spot is the Hummingbird. If you see a large bird hovering perfectly still in one spot, you can bet your ass it's a drone.

Well if you bothered to properly disguise your drone as a bird I'm sure you'd have a program to fly in gentle circles like a bird searching for pray to "hover" over an area. Otherwise it'd be kinda obvious.

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