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Comment hello? dock? (Score 2) 93

Get a dock if you want to use lots of (legacy) ports on a compact laptop! I bring my computer home and plug in TWO cables. (power and thunderbolt) and suddenly I have: printer, scanner, SD card reader, firewire backup drive, speakers gig ethernet, 1080p display, and several more open USB3 ports. (as well as another thunderbolt and mic port I'm not using atm)

Compare that to plugging in ALL that crap one cable at a time before the dock. Now with USBC hubs, ONE cable will do all of that since C combines the data and the charge. I'm still running a 2010 mbp, I'm due for an upgrade, and a dock will be the first accessory I get for it.

This is just a headline grabber looking to wind up the haters by giving them something to hate that they have no real reason to hate. Anyone that's somehow finding it possible to be hurting for an additional $25 after buying a $2,000+ computer can just get on ali or amazon or ebay and pick up two cables for $6 shipped or something like that. But considering how few ports the computer has, you'd be stupid to get a handful of cables and adapters that you can only use one or two of at a time. Get a dock! Problem solved, and solved well.

Comment Re:Home internet (Score 3, Interesting) 90

WTF will it be looking like with consumers torrenting @ 10Gbps? Meh. Not really thought through this article...

Would we download more though, or just faster? A Netflix 4K stream is 25 Mbps, BluRay Video has a max rate of 54 Mbps, UHD BluRay 128 Mbps. I have a 150 Mbps line and apart from occasionally downloading a season and figuring out it's junk after a few episodes I use the bandwidth regardless. The only advantage is that huge game patches and such download quicker so I don't get stuck just because Steam wants to install a 2GB patch right when I want to play. Even a big family streaming half a dozen UHD monsters shouldn't be able to saturate a 1 Gbps link.

His huge downloads are probably hogging the whole bandwidth because of poor QoS, so 10 Gbps solves the problem with brute excess capacity. Either that or he ran into some kind of soft limiter because 30000*10GB = 300TB a year is way, way outside the norm but they let it pass if you pay the 10 Gbps price. And if the software was a little smarter at caching 30000 images / 2000 working hours = average 4 minutes/photo, download takes about 10 seconds so if it would preload he wouldn't be waiting at all. I'm sure he can well afford the extra $3k/year to just make the problem go away though.

Comment Meanwhile, On The San Francisco Peninsula... (Score 1) 90

I live on the San Francisco peninsula. Google, Facebook, NVIDIA, AMD, Intel, Hewlett/Packard, NASA Ames... They're all within 20 minutes drive of each other.

...And I can't get better than 50Mb/sec.

"But Comcast has..." (*SMACK*) I will not let Comcast be my ISP, for reasons which should be obvious by now to every member of this site.

The weird thing is that, about a year ago, a truck from HP Communications (no relation) strung fiber up around my residential neighborhood, allegedly on behalf of AboveNet (now part of Zayo). Since then, however, not a peep out of anyone even hinting at a residential fiber service offering.

Comment Re:I hope Apple knows (Score 1, Insightful) 142


Any new computer hardware on the market these days is plenty powerful enough to handle anything a typical user might ever want to do.

That means that unless you're a power user (or video game or VR enthusiast), there's going to be very little difference between your experiences using a modern low-end vs a modern high-end system; either one will work just fine for you.

So the remaining criterion (other than purchase price) is the quality of the user-experience -- i.e. how much of your time at the computer is spent getting accomplished the things you want to accomplish, and how much is spent dealing with computer problems?

Minimizing the latter is what Mac users are willing to pay extra for.

Comment Re: great (Score 1) 330

I think I remember reading about a study done in Africa where somebody found old blood samples from the 1950s (maybe earlier?), tested them for HIV antibodies, and found not one, but *several* that subsequent testing confirmed. HIV might not have reached *America* until the 60s or 70s, but it was *definitely* making its way around Africa at least a decade or two earlier.

The two earliest confirmed HIV samples are from Leopoldville (now Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and were collected in 1959 and 1960. Their genomes are about 12% different to each other, suggesting divergent evolution of virus strains had already been going on in infected humans for years or decades. Current estimates suggest the true 'patient zero' probably dates back to the early 20th or possibly even the late 19th century.

Comment Re:"The app was never a revenue driver..." (Score 1) 50

Well, clearly they'd be making money hand over fist if it wasn't for Vine ;-)

Must admit I'm baffled by the uproar on Twitter. It was never that popular a service, and it sucked when your timelines were stuffed by autoplaying Vines, as they were when the service started and it was still novel.

Comment Re:except it wasn't people renting out their rooms (Score 1) 259

And you ought to be free to make such decisions for your private associations. You ought not to be free to impose such restrictions on other property owners.

Unless the HOA has the rule at the time every single person in the neighborhood has moved in, then no, it shouldn't be able to make that decision.

HOAs are not democratic governments. They are only allowed to enforce the rules in their charters, and given the power they have, and the ease with which that power ends up being controlled by a tiny group of people, it's absolutely right they're limited in that way.

Bans on AirBNB need to be addressed through the democratic process.

Comment Re:FINALLY (Score 4, Informative) 101

Depends on the technology. The failure mode for a lot of aircraft is that they simply glide to the ground. Even helicopters / autogyros do something similar - there's still a lot of momentum in the rotors and you sycamore down to the ground. It's not like the antigravity suddenly fails and you're back to having weight again.

When I was learning to fly, engine failure was one of the things that I had to practice a lot. Engine failure immediately after takeoff is potentially dangerous, because you don't have an engine and you don't have enough speed or altitude to go very far. You typically have to land in a field (or, if you don't want to damage your aircraft in a training exercise, you throttle the engine back and feather the prop, then line up your emergency landing and turn the engine back to maximum late in the approach so that you stay in the air).

Comment Re:Positive development (Score 1) 157

Means more room for humans. We're succeeding as a species. I suspect it wont end well for us though.

I don't see any reason to believe it will end badly, at least not for reasons related to this issue.

Homo Sapiens has proven to be an extraordinarily adaptable and successful species, a global superpredator, which has inevitably displaced many other species. The Holocene Extinction, which has been in progress for thousands of years, is the result. The rate of extinctions accelerated dramatically in the last few centuries, particularly as the human population has exploded.

However, in the last few decades humans have become aware of the issue and have begun to care about it. This isn't to say that we'll ever value other species as highly as our own, but we've begun to think that it's important to avoid destroying them. That coupled with the fact that human population is likely to peak within 30 years and then begin declining and the fact that new technology is enabling us to tread more lightly means that extinctions directly produced by human activity (e.g. habitat expansion) will slow and perhaps cease.

Indirectly-caused extinctions will likely continue for millenia, though. Global warming is going to do in a lot of species (though it may create a good number as well), as climate shifts exceed the ability of species to migrate. It may also provoke some more directly-caused extinctions as it causes humans to migrate. Not much, though, since we already live pretty much everywhere. The accommodation of human-transplanted "invasive" species is also going to take a lot of time, and transplantation is probably going to continue as much as we try to avoid it, so there's going to be a sort of homogenization effect across the globe which will wipe out a lot of species as more aggressive and capable species get moved into their area. If humans choose to begin engineering planetary climate and stabilize it, so that it stays permanently within a particular range, that large driver of new speciation will be eliminated which will also contribute to the establishment of an equilibrium that will likely contain many fewer species than the planet has had for most of life's history upon it. It's also possible that we'll begin engineering biodiversity as well. That's hard to say.

Or maybe we'll have a massive nuclear war, simultaneously removing ourselves from the picture, ending the Holocene extinction with a spike, and kicking off an explosive new round of speciation. I think that and similar humanity-caused, humanity-ending disasters are unlikely, but I am an inveterate optimist.

Comment Re:I would prefer a train where I board in a city (Score 1) 72

Just make a normal working WiFi in trains. Still in 19th century there was a direct train from Saint Petersburg to Nice via Vienna. Nowadays despite a lot of talking about European Union Association for such countries as Ukraine, it is not possible to go by train from Vienna to Kiev directly. The same as during the Cold War, nothing changed.

In the past decade I went by plane between Kiev and Vienna a decent number of times. There are probably a couple of reasons for a lack of a direct train line. One is that Ukrainians need visas to go everywhere in the EU, even next door Poland. Some former members of the Warsaw Pact made it pretty easy for Ukrainians to get visas to visit there, but once Schengen came into force, that all changed. Austria wasn't particularly easy for Ukrainians to get visas for, even before Schengen. The other is that there simply may not be that much demand for it. I've flown into Odessa, Kiev and Donnetsk (RIP Donnetsk Airport, a casualty of fighting in the east), multiple times for the first two and almost always from Vienna on those, and the planes were usually half full at best. On the flight over to Ukraine there were a few times that the plane was mostly full, but on the way to Vienna it almost never was, probably due to the visa issue. Keep in mind too that until roughly 11 years ago Ukraine required visas for just about everybody unless they lived somewhere in the former USSR. Visas were easy to get and Ukraine never had that crazy visa registration nonsense that Russia used to do to tourists, but the fact that you had to get them in advance did discourage a lot of foreigners from going there at the time. On the flights I took, most of the passengers were businessmen. There's been talk of the EU dropping visas for Ukrainians and that has finally gotten approval to negotiate the terms between the EU and Ukraine. Once that happens, the chance of a direct train line may increase. Note that Ukraine, as a former part of the old Russian Empire, uses a different gauge than western Europe, so even if a "direct" line is established, it will require a train change at a border.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1) 990

That's indeed the kind of ideas that is now floating around. I rank it in the category of Iraq coming to kill us all, with the same combination of inflating the threat and at the same time regarding the opponent as a pushover. I think Colin Powell has made some sensible comments on that. Russia is paranoid about us, about NATO. We scare them. They are a small power, we're a big one that is surrounding them more and more, and then sabre rattling is a sensible response.

That doesn't explain why they weren't rattling their sabers a few years ago. The Economist has a recent article that does offer an explanation that covers that as well The thesis is basically that domestic troubles caused by a weak economy have motivated Putin to seek ways to distract his people from domestic concerns. Specifically, he's tried to recapture the superpower position of the Soviet Union. He can't, really, because Russia isn't the Soviet Union. Without the central planning structure to force the massive overproduction of military resources, the Soviet Union wouldn't have been the Soviet Union, either.

But his people don't really realize this and, frankly, the rest of the world tends not to realize it much, either. So Putin can rattle his rusted and broken saber and the rest of the world reacts as though he was the mighty Soviet Union. Except... there is one area in which is military isn't so rusted or broken: nuclear weapons. Oh, his nuclear armament is aging and dilapidated, but it's still very real and Russia has the technological wherewithal to build highly functional nukes and missiles to carry them. Russia can't afford to build very many of them, but it doesn't really take all that many.

So, as it becomes more and more apparent that Putin doesn't really have the conventional forces to make the world treat Russia with the fear and respect that the Soviet Union got, he's almost certainly going to be making more and more use of the nuclear threat that the world can't ignore. And that will help to keep his people feeling like they're a major world power again, which will keep him in power.

Is this true? I don't know. Makes sense to me.

Comment Re:Am I missing something? (Score 1) 142

Hangouts used to have seamless SMS/Hangouts.

No, it was never seamless in the sense that iMessage is. The seams were harder to see, and that was exactly the problem that motivated the clear separation; the failure modes of the combined messaging were subtle, hard to understand and opaque to users. The upshot is that the combination made Hangouts messaging appear to be unreliable.

Actually, iMessage isn't really seamless either. It breaks badly if iMessage thinks the destination device is an iPhone but it isn't. It's very good in a pure-Apple world, though.

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