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Comment Re:Could you gush a little more? (Score 1) 131

I've been debugging and rewriting a lot of legacy C# code recently, and I have to say that it's a breath of fresh air. I used to advocate Java, before Oracle went crazy, but after using C# I never want to touch that bureaucratic pile of over engineered crap and its litigious nutcase "owner" again.

Google: please, please, consider switching. You could even piss Oracle off by porting over the official JVM to Android, writing a Dalvik to Java byte code convertor, and letting legacy Java Android apps run at 10% of the speed they're supposed to, just to simultaneously encourage developers to move to C# and to end the lawsuit with Oracle completely unable to do anything about it.

Comment Re: Weirdly specific statement (Score 1) 55

What is the limiting factor? Buildup of CO2?

People need a certain amount of oxygen for their metabolism, you need to carry that much. CO2 effects the blood pH: too little and the body is too alkaline, too much and it's too acidic. So, you need to maintain a precise amount of CO2 and remove the rest. The scrubbers in the space shuttle were able to regenerate the CO2-absorbent material after use, so there was use of power but material wasn't consumed.

Beyond this, you need to control temperature and humidity. The other requirements than atmosphere for crew survival are that you water, feed and shelter the crew, maintain orientation, and maintain a G-force envelope that doesn't injure the crew.

Comment Re:This reminds me of my visit to the "Fish Man" (Score 1) 127

My client was an ex-special forces commando. He was working a modest-paying state job in the Department of Agriculture (he was an old time farm boy) for "vacation money" but after 9/11 he disappeared for a couple of years. Nobody knew where he was, but when he came back he had full-bird colonel's pension. Even though he now had plenty of "vacation money", he went back to his old Ag job, I think just to feel like he had something productive to do. His real passion, however, was painting wildlife. I wouldn't say his stuff was terribly original, but it was technically impressive. If I handed you one of his bird paintings and told you it was an original Audubon you'd probably believe me unless you were an art expert. This was a down-to-earth guy with a surprisingly sensitive side, and if he wanted to kill you with his bare hands you wouldn't have a prayer.

I know this sounds like BS, but there's really nothing like the Deep South for bizarre and colorful characters. And oddballs have a way of flocking together, which probably means I should worry about knowing so many of them.

Submission + - September 19th SpaceX Launch will be visible across California, Nevada. (reddit.com)

Bruce Perens writes: The nighttime launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 containing Iridium satellites at 9:49 PM PST Monday September 19th from Vandenberg AFB SLC-4 is likely to be visible across California and in some Nevada locations. Although Vandenberg has a landing pad for the Falcon under construction, this will probably be a drone-ship landing and some California observers might see two of the landing burns.

Comment This reminds me of my visit to the "Fish Man" (Score 3, Interesting) 127

I once bummed a ride from Tallahassee to Tampa with a client, and he asked me if I minded if he took a detour to see the "Fish Man". I thought he meant a fish-monger, but then he turned his car off the highway an drove it through a gap in the chainlink fence. We went up a dirt track through the scrub pines to a glade with couple of trailers -- one of which had no sides and was outfitted as a living room. There were chicken wire pens scattered around the compound full of empty beer and paint cans.

The "Fish Man" turned out to be fat, shambling, hairy mountain of a man. He was almost naked, and monochromatically red-brown: shoulder-length frizzy red-brown hair, sunburned skin with strawberry-blond fur, and red-brown denim cargo shorts. You almost couldn't tell where the shorts ended and his body began, except that there was no fur on the shorts and when he turned around he showed about ten inches of ass crack. It was about 10:30 in the morning and he was drinking his breakfast from a gallon screw-top bottle. From out in the forest came the sound of trees being cut down.

We were here because the Fish Man was an artist my friend collected. The people cutting down trees were his apprentices. They'd moved thousands of miles from their city homes to live in a squatter's camp and study under him. My friend handed the Fish Man $250 and got a fish sculpture in return, which he later explained to me was a terrrific deal because that sculpture would have fetched $1000 in a gallery, easily.

I'm not an art person, but even I could see the thing was a masterpiece; it was breathtaking. It wasn't exactly representational, you might even have called it a little cartoonish, but somehow he'd captured a sense of movement; it looked alive.

The Fish Man invited watch him turn a curved blank from a hollow cypress into another one, a process that took only about ten minutes because he did it with a goddamn chainsaw.

There's a lesson in this about powerful tools. They can't make you into anything you aren't already. If you're a genius, they allow you to express your genius faster. If you're undisciplined and lazy, they make you unproductive on a grander scale.

Comment Re:These are good changes (Score 1) 66

Binge-on isn't a data cap, it's a bandwidth limiter.

If you think that 10+ phones using DASH, RTSP, etc, to try to stream an HD video (5Mbps+) out of a single 50Mbps LTE tower, isn't going to cause severe problems for everyone else using that tower, then you have a strange understanding of network protocols and video protocols in particular.

I'd also like to know where the "money making ploy" is in a system that gives you unlimited video for free if you're willing to stream it at lower, DVD-quality, bitrates.

Comment Station wagon full of DvDs (Score 1) 66

I think what they are saying is they are going to screw with your latency and data rate such that an HD movie will stutter and an SD will play.

Basically, they are going to give you unlimited bandwidth in the same sense that a station wagon full of dvds is unlimited bandwidth. Yes there's a very very long latency but when the wagon arrives the delta function is so large that if occupies the entire spectrum. Voila unlimited data with unlimited bandwidth, very high latentcy

Comment These are good changes (Score 2) 66

The daypass thing is mildly more confusing, but I suspect part of the logic is to encourage use of the Binge-On technology, without which towers are likely to get clogged pretty quickly. I also suspect that the soft limit of 27G a month will be torn through pretty quickly by anyone making heavy use of HD video. Go over the 27G and you're "deprioritized" - you'll get full service during quiet times, but you'll be throttled when everyone else is trying to use the network (which is fair, but you probably don't want it to happen to you!)

The big improvement is that Tethering is now an acceptable half-megabit/s, rather than 2G speeds. That makes "Unlimited tethering" actually useful again.

The big question for me is how to encourage video streaming companies to sign up to Binge-On if there's no incentive. In theory, they can just transmit 1080p over HTTPS (protocols like DASH are HTTPS friendly) and T-Mobile will never know.

With the original implementation, the advantage was that your viewers could watch your services without worrying about it coming out of their data. But if data is unlimited...

Comment Corporatism and Facism (Score 1) 295

Where independent unions are banned.

Basically when China and Russia gave up on socialism, they created a version of capitalism in the image of what they imagined capitalism to be; not the kind of liberal society you find in advanced Western democracies with their regulated market economies and worker's rights guarantees.

Intriguingly it's almost the very definition of Fascism. Mussolini preferred the term corporatism. But either way it's a paternalistic monopoly on power run in collaboration with corporations for the benefit of the common good. The problem of course is that monopoly on power thing sometimes gets in the way of common good and pateralism. But in the short run it's always produced world beating results. Until he invaded Ethiopia, il Duce's italian miracle in the midst of the depression was the envy of the world. Even FDR sent him mash notes.

SO it's more than ironic that China diverts socialism with Communism then bypasses capitalism for fascism.

Comment Re:see what the Union free work place get's you! (Score 5, Interesting) 295

Where independent unions are banned.

Basically when China and Russia gave up on socialism, they created a version of capitalism in the image of what they imagined capitalism to be; not the kind of liberal society you find in advanced Western democracies with their regulated market economies and worker's rights guarantees.

Comment Re:indigenous? (Score 2) 49

Indigenous means "originating where it is found", or "naturally occurring in a particular place". It can be used referring to individuals, groups of people, flora, fauna, minerals -- pretty much anything. It shares many of the same dictionary definitions as "native".

The word usage problem is using "indigenous" for an artificial, mobile invention, which is a bit unusual. You wouldn't say "indigenous airplane" because it's not something naturally found in a place or confined to a place. That would be an unusual usage, but people would understand what you meant -- you'd mean "domestically produced".

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