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Comment Re:This is Why... (Score 1) 101

I prefer driving as well, and even though we have a lot of direct flights from MSP, I find that security, delays, car rental, and so on worth nearly 3 hours or nearly 200 miles of road time on the Interstate. My limit, though, is about 500 miles because distances beyond that are just too time consuming for driving. I did have a trip to Springfield, IL, though which ended up being longer flying than driving would have been due to a cancelled flight and getting re-routed via Chicago.

The upside even if driving is long is you can take stuff with you -- food, full-size monitor, a decent electric kettle, cooler, etc. All that makes a week at a budget hotel much more bearable, especially when you're working 12 hour days. I've worked a couple of projects where I literally didn't need to leave the hotel for 2 days (on one of those trips the manager called me on day 2 asking if everything was OK -- she explained they get edgy when guests at this location don't leave the room for a couple of days as it makes them think of crime/drugs).

From a rights perspective, though, I think it's a mixed bag. The whole TSA experience is like visiting a prison, but I've kind of gotten to the point where I think they don't give a shit about anything but potentially violent people and no longer have the cop's what-can-I-bust-you-for-today mindset.

And in your car, with out of state license plates? You're basically an engraved invitation for a moving violation and an intensive search, and god forbid the cop that pulls you over is anything other than a major city squad or a state trooper. The former don't generally bother with anything but egregious traffic violations and the latter the same, provided your car is late model and in decent shape.

But small-town cops and county sheriff deputies can be real assholes to out of state cars. They are hot shit in their jurisdiction, shitkicker ex-football bullies making $20k/year and just convinced that someone from out of state is carrying mary-wanna and they just love to offer you a deal -- let me search your trunk, or you can have a stay in the county lockup, eat a moving violation, impound fees and lose 48 hours of your life.

Comment Re:Life goes on (Score 1) 109

I remember rumors a few years ago that VMware was going to make a smartphone hypervisor that would allow for smartphone VM partitioning.

The downsides would be battery consumption, paltry RAM on smartphones and the fact that you would basically need a major OEM to bake it into the design.

Of course the unachievable dream would have been iOS and Android VMs on one piece of hardware.

Comment Re:String theory is just that: a theory (Score 0) 133

Um, you do realize that scientists do have experimental evidence that dark matter exists indirectly, right?

So, um...indirect experimental evidence is not actually empirical. It is absolutely, completely un-the-same as experimental evidence.

The case for dark matter is more inductive or abductive reasoning. Given certain premises based on our current understanding of gravity and our observations of the universe, dark matter makes sense. However, our observations could be wrong, or our models could be incorrect.

Comment Not to say I told you so... (Score 0) 133

But I fucking told you so!!

I have nothing to go on other than my own impertinence and pigheadedness, but I am convinced that simply adding mass to the equation is not what is needed to solve it. Yes, our models look right when we add that mass, but I think it's something else going on. Something fundamental, misunderstood, and/or some emergent interaction of other forces.

Comment Re:Hah! (Score 1) 434

Safety is an illusion that we are selling our freedoms for.

I wholeheartedly agree with everything you stated with the exception of the above statement. Safety is a state of being you generate. It is a status of prepared existence. No you cannot prepare for every occurrence. No need to worry if you will get shot by a sniper, blown up by a nuclear strike, or hit by a falling meteor. You can't prevent or minimize those things. You cant avoid lightning strikes either and they are much more likely.

Recognizing what you can avoid, minimize, or eliminate with precautions, premeditation, constructive habits, and (dare I say it!) forearming yourself is where safety begins. Training and rigorous execution of the aforementioned is how safety is generated. Expecting safety from external sources is complete insanity. Just about every other person, law enforcement included, will put their life ahead of yours. This is natural and should be expected. Add in that old truth "when seconds count, the police are minutes away" and the list of parties responsible for your safety when it really matters drops precipitously. So when life and limb are on the line, how then can you have the expectation of safety from someone other than yourself? The hard truth is that in almost every circumstance you can't. To expect otherwise is to surrender your self determination to the hands of "fate" and the tender mercies of criminals.

An exception to this would be certain friends, my children, and my wife when I am with them. I will put myself in harms way, lay down my life if necessary, to prevent harm to them. While this dedication to the life of others may not be rare among friends and family, it is exceedingly rare with strangers. I can't stress this enough: Do not expect strangers and law enforcement to save you when the shit hits the fan. Rely on yourself, train yourself, take precautions, act intelligently, and know that you will win no matter what. And if winning means dying to save those you love or those you decide should live, act decisively and without restraint.

Sorry for the rant, but this is something I feel strongly about.

Comment Re:Happens All The Time (Score 5, Interesting) 105

But presumably the Brazilian Google exec was just that -- a Brazilian living and working in Brazil, and presumably under the jurisdiction of their justice system (no matter how non-local the video hosting was).

What I as an American find kind of unappealing is the jurisdictional claims that US law enforcement makes against a foreign national living in a foreign country whose actions took place in a foreign country and only tangentially involved the US, like the guy happened to have a dollar bill in his pocket at the time, so therefore all US laws apply.

I think it's serious overreach and it makes me wonder how safe I am from the reverse situation, some foreign prosecutor who decides that because I said "boo" on the Internet and it breaks some law in Fuckedupistan that they should get to prosecute me.

Comment Re:Not *really* selling student loans (Score 1) 49

I figure there has to be some risk with even the apparent advantages.

For one, you still have to collect on deadbeats. That's not easy.

There could be some kind of shift in the so-called gig economy where like minded student loan evaders eke out some kind of cash-only existence, making them even harder to trace and collect on.

Then there's potential for political action. It's not hard to imagine some kind of "student loan debt relief" where Congress basically forces the holders of these loans to take a haircut after 10 years or rewrites the rules to allow them to be discharged in some manner.

Comment Re:Commingling Inventory (Score 3) 334

This is one of my main complaints -- you find a specific item and there's a dozen or more sellers of the item, including Amazon itself.

I usually filter by Prime and try to choose Amazon as the seller to make sure I have the best chance of getting the real product and a recourse for a failed product.

I think Amazon could benefit itself and its reputation by forcing greater differentiation of products by seller. You would think they would want to for brand identity purposes and to claim more sales, especially when the alternative sellers are often underpricing Amazon. I know they're making money either way, but usually they're making more when they are the seller and not just the transaction handler.

Comment Re:This Adds to my Nest Frustration (Score 1) 52

I'd wager that's the value of the AI analysis, sifting the performance demands across the variables -- I/O, CPU, etc -- to find patterns that indicate where you ought to home workloads, the return on migrating workloads on demand and so on.

It may be that the metrics they had targeted previously suggested similar kinds of workload distribution merely for the power benefits of idling or spinning down nodes but without taking into account the HVAC-related aspects, resulting in fewer nodes but with no HVAC zoning priority, resulting in inefficient using of HVAC.

I'm sure there are limits, as they have other probably more important priorities like available network bandwidth, redundancy, risk mitigation from too much concentration in a single HVAC zone, etc.

Comment Re:The Finest Day.... (Score 3) 184

Your post pretty well captures a key value of manned spaceflight. It demonstrates a pretty astonishing human achievement that is largely bereft of politics and presents an image of human civilization moving forward.

I'm sure the lander/robotics crowd are right that we can do more *science* (as measured by dollars per mission) without people in space, and while the achievements are no less amazing in terms of technology, they don't capture the imagination quite like human space fight.

Comment Re:A good reason to replace old reactors (Score 3, Insightful) 140

The land question is an interesting point, but the water basins can be used for storing fresh water, water surface can be used recreationally, and in places like the Tennessee Valley and other places, more land is usable downstream because flooding has been controlled.

I think the nuke plant land argument is mostly bogus because unless you have a Chernobyl event, the lost land to a decommissioned reactor is relatively small in the scheme of things.

Comment Re:So many shared (dynamic?) libraries (Score 1) 112

That may be the reason for commercial applications, but even in the free software space shared libraries are completely dominant, so dominant that in some cases it's becoming impossible to statically link even if you control the build process.

I ran across this mailing list thread from Freebsd-Stable about static linking:


I'm not enough of a developer to fully comprehend the reasons, but it sounds like dynamic linking is so baked in that it's just not possible to statically link in some libraries. Perhaps if you built the source code into yours and tweaked the limiting functions, maybe, but the level of effort it involved would be huge.

Comment Re:So many shared (dynamic?) libraries (Score 1) 112

I've often asked the same question, and at first the answer was usually "disk space" as shared libraries cut the amount of space compiled executables needed since the code was in the libraries.

Most recently, the answer has been "security updates" since you can just update the library and the application will inherit the security fixes.

It's all application development stuff beyond my knowledge, but I do miss the days (like on old Macs) where the applications were one giant file and would Just Run without installation or without a maze of dependencies.

It does seem, though, that the PortableApps craze hasn't abated and you see more and more portable versions of apps that can be just plain copied around and run directly. So at least somebody else thinks there are situations where it makes sense.

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