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Comment Presence of pharmaceuticals (Score 1) 197

With the number of pills taken by the elderly these days, not to mention people who die in the hospital who may have all sorts of compounds pumped into them before they die, I wonder if the composting process fully breaks them down, or at least to safe levels. I didn't see any mention of it in TFA.

Comment Re:How long will the company stay up? (Score 1) 494

The irony is the real fall off in quality is Japan. Toyota and Honda aren't what they used to be.

What leads you to believe that? My empirical observations from owning two Toyota vehicles ('05 Prius, '06 Highlander hybrid) is that even with the complex systems on these vehicles, they have required nothing but regular maintenance. Seriously, I had to replace the water pump on my Prius at 175K miles due to seepage at the seal, and that's it. Both vehicles have been trouble-free. My brother's Avalon is pushing 200K, and he abuses vehicles. So I'm honestly curious whether your experience has differed from mine.

Submission + - After We're Gone: The Last Electrical Device Still Working 3

Leomania writes: After watching a post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi short on YouTube (there are quite a few) and then having our robot vacuum take off and start working the room, I just wondered what would be the last electric/electronic device still functioning if humans were suddenly gone. I don't mean sitting there with no power but would work if the power came back on; rather, something continuously powered, doing the task it was designed for. Are we talking a few years, decades, or far longer?

Comment Re:Very simple reason (Score 2) 377


The point made earlier by a poster regarding acceleration lag is very true, he described it perfectly. Other than that, the Prius is a great car. Mine has 160K miles on it and it runs the same as the day I bought it, and it has been more reliable than any other car I've ever owned (and I have owned many). Brake linings never replaced. Not a bunch of rattles and squeaks, although it's not the quietest care on noisy roads. I'm planning to take mine to 300K miles if at all possible, and I know others who feel the same - keep it as long as possible, there's no real reason to replace it.

Comment Re:Education does not qualified make... (Score 1) 491

Conspiracy may be too strong a word. Tech companies want to be able to hire in a buyer's market, which almost certainly requires a larger pool of talent to pick and choose from than would occur naturally. Having a position go unfilled for weeks or even months due to a lack of qualified talent isn't in their best interest, and if there's anything we can agree upon, it's that companies will always act in their perceived best interests.

That said, I must agree whole-heartedly with your statement regarding "qualified". Having participated in many phone screens and in-person interviews, it is astounding how much resume inflation goes on. If you say you know Perl, I'm going to ask you about it and ask you to write a short, easy script. Oh, you meant that you once ran a Perl script written by a co-worker? That's nice. And in most cases, when there's one inflated claim like that on the resume, there are more.

Beyond that, so many candidates say they know how to do something in particular - driver development, firmware, chip design/verification/layout, etc. But when you delve into the qualitative aspects of the job, many can only cover the mechanics of the tasks they perform -- they don't show more than a surface understanding of it. Yet they are already employed and have titles that have "Senior" in them, and they expect a raise and maybe even a better title.

The ratio of mediocre to "OMG this person really knows their shit!" talent is not nearly what I think it ought to be.

Comment Re:What's with all the hostility? (Score 1) 437

It's a mix of cryptography, freedom of speech, computing, networking, finance, economics, and even politics -- most of us here dig that stuff.

Yes, but we usually recognize things as belonging to one or more of these categories. For better or worse, trying to explain to the vast majority of the population what a Bitcoin is has been akin to saying "Play Minecraft for fun and profit!"

I don't think it's any more ludicrous for Bitcoin to have value than it is for gold to have value.

That's quite possibly fair. But if you buy into the theory that all of the gold on Earth was likely created during numerous supernova billions of years ago, you just might have a hard time comparing that to a Bitcoin.

Comment Re:bullshit (Score 2) 1271

You are unfortunately right. My father had a really nasty bout of shingles that laid him low last fall. I didn't see him for a couple of weeks during the worst of it, but he took a photo of what his shoulder looked like with the lesions and the discoloration caused by the silver-based topical medication prescribed by his doctor. I don't think a zombie ever looked as bad as that.

It laid him low, and he hasn't ever quite recovered. Chicken pox was nothing compared to this.

Comment Comcast offers free bot infection for up to 7 PCs! (Score 1) 196

From Krebs' article:

Comcast also is offering free subscriptions to Norton Security Suite for up to 7 computers per customer — including Mac versions of the Symantec suite.

At least most bots have the decency to let you use your own computer. Norton (and in my experience, McAfee) security suites are much less inclined to leave enough free resources for that to be possible.

Comment Some Buran Articles Online (Score 1) 226

There's a good history of Buran over at Astronautix. First the article about the craft itself, another (with a lot of overlap) about the project, then a short piece about the Buran Analogue. A very good write-up with several good photos (sad ones at the end) over at Aerospaceweb.

If you've got some time to kill, you can find a Buran mock-up sitting at the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Google Earth. Also the final resting place of the Buran that flew and the Energia reusable launch vehicle, but it's a little hard to locate.

Comment Re:Harddisks (Score 1) 715

I've had much reduced hardware failure since moving to only respected brand (mostly antec) PS + high quality power conditioning.

It's funny how varied people's experiences can be on certain brands. The most failed component I've ever seen (by a huge margin) is Antec PSUs. My company used Antec cases with their 350W SmartPower PSUs for years and I'd say that about 30 out of 40 went bad over the course of three years. At home, I burned through four Antec supplies in three different computers. The ones replaced on RMA then also burned out. I have never replaced a PSU of another brand once I moved away from Antec. Same story at work, PSUs of different brands used to replace the Antec supplies never failed.

If it hadn't happened to me personally, I would never have believed it. I love my Antec cases but I'll never buy another PSU from them.

Comment Re:Hoooly crap... (Score 1) 819

It's not as if there's no alternative if this happens. Pop in your live CD/DVD of a Linux distro, most people would be back online. Your data on the FAT32/NTFS filesystems can be read from within the Linux environment. Maybe your proprietary programs aren't there to access some of the data, but that's not blocking your communications. Those still forced to use dialup with their internal Winmodems, yes, their communications would be impacted. I suspect there are more people still forced to use dialup than we'd want in these "modern times".

Given how fast the geeks would get broadband-connected friends and family back online, I think you should be more concerned about the big ISPs being controlled. That's much more universal than just controlling ~85-90% of the PCs running a particular operating system.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 1) 180

I'm much more of a hardware (chip) guy than I'll ever be a software guy. I'd like to ask (honestly), how can Flash remain such a security nightmare? After all this time, all of the preceding versions of flash, how can vulnerabilities continue to be found in light of more scrutiny by the developers (code audits, bounds checkers, etc.)? I realize no complex piece of software is bug-free, but Flash (and of course, Acrobat Reader) have continuous vulnerability discoveries... must it be so forevermore?

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