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Comment Leave the damned kid alone, go after the father (Score 4, Insightful) 319

Ahmed is a genuine nerd, just as I was at his age. When I assembled and installed alarm systems from salvaged alarm parts I stated clearly and honestly that I had "built" them. To an electronics beginner even taking something apart and re-presenting it in a novel way gives great satisfaction. There is nothing fake-ass about any of it. It saddens me to read all these arbitrarily constructed harsh judgements here, which NONE of you would ever apply to your OWN children. At that age you have to compare the desire to handle and understand electronics to the act of doing nothing at all, watching television, or tunelessly strumming a guitar imagining you're a few songs away from screaming fame.

The totality of the response by the school was a surprise to the boy... who may have been aware that his project might stir some suspicion but the boy also honestly believed he could 'diffuse' such concerns with the power of his own words, and the simple fact that the truth was on his side. It was a small thing, and (maybe) fun to give a little push back to any alarm. The fact that his science teacher had seen and approved of the project underscores this.

Ahmed's father was another story. There was certainly a gleam in his eye as he participated in the project, knowing of the unique social forces and ugly escalating institutional response that was possible. Ahmed needs to come to the firm conclusion that his own father is an asshole. Please do not judge the kid for his father being an asshole.

If his father has not apologized to him at least privately, his father is a flaming asshole.
And some of the responses in this thread indicate the presence of flaming assholes as well.

Comment Conspiratorial grab bag!! (pick one or more!) (Score 1) 231

* Trump is evil businessman with secret tax deductions (little boxes checked with circles 'n arrows indicatin' father stabbin', mother rapin', dog kickin' 'n Putin lovin') and he must hide this at all costs
* He filed with EZ form and is embarrassed to admit it
* He wants all the clueless fascist idiots out there to reveal themselves to his voter base, as they publicly insinuate that this tradition of candidates' voluntarily releasing personal tax filings is mandatory and necessary to avert suspicion. So far we have had a Associate Justice of the Supreme Court revealed as one who does not understand this (implicit) right to privacy. Which is embarrassing to the country as a whole.
* Obama's IRS is actually delaying completion of the routine audit to make it seem as if Trump is trying to hide something. "Oh yeah? I'll give you something to complain about!"
* Obama's IRS is actually expediting completion of the routine audit, and this is what super-whizzy-fast Federal procedures look like in this computer-assisted people-dumb idiocracy. "Audits! It's what tax returns crave!"
* This audit delay is the act of a vengeful God. Everyone is simply trying their best and deserves a pat on the head and a prayer. A candlelight vigil in front of the IRS building may help.
* A man can dig a post hole in 60 seconds, therefore sixty men can dig a post hole in one second. Obama has tasked every one of the IRS's 89,000 employees to this single important audit. But the return is soo big that even so, it will take extra time.
* Unbeknownst to the average taxpayer it now takes the IRS ~28 months to process its annual tax returns, up from 12 months in 1965.
* The IRS is presently rolling back an inadvertently triggered Windows 10 upgrade.
* It's all a smokescreen to hide the other smokescreens.
* And mirrors, lots of mirrors! As the magician saws Trump in half, you must not be permitted to notice there is one hairy leg and one smooth leg.

Music with which to contemplate the release of Trump's tax return

Comment ~!NO!~ please do not attack Wayback, Mozilla (Score 1) 119

"Hey I've got a great idea! If we do this little thing our product will be even better!"
They do some little thing no one asked for, to half a billion installed browsers.
That thing in no way affects their bottom line.
But somewhere else, the bottom drops out of something else and something precious is broken.
Please don't do this.

So Wayback is going to be the error page for every damned malformed or mis-typed link? That is abuse and attack.

I can see Wayback hit like a gigaton of bricks as people who have no deep interest in the content they're trying to access say "gee, what's this? All these changes! What did it look like in 2009?" And often the last crawl is NOT the one with real content. There is no substitute for knowing what you're doing and what you are looking for. There is no way to dumb down the process. And what about those [stupid] pre-load and crawler plugins? Will they hit Wayback too?

And more site owners will drop in that magic blip into robots.txt that will shut Wayback access for good, even the pages in the database that are there ready to serve. It's bad enough that domain squatters often block Wayback.

And even the constant stream of reflected robots.txt lookups will hit Wayback like a malevolent attack. Do you [Mozilla] even know how Wayback works?

Add-ons like Resurrect Pages are the way to go. Only folks with a real and deep interest will go further. And THAT level of traffic is what Wayback can support.

Comment WARNING: Stay out of Philadelphia Mr. Snowden! (Score 1) 52

We know you have managed to elude the most powerful intelligence apparatus on Earth, and we see your Telepresence bot rolling around. It must be really cramped in there. But you're no match for Philadelphia Mr. Snowden! Stay away!

On August 1, 2015 Hitch-Bot met its end in a pool of its own of torn circuits in a place called corner of Elfreth's alley.. Some of us who realize that robot lives matter, will never forget.

Which is why I updated the Wikipedia page for Elfreth's Alley 'History section' to also note the simple fact that "The Hitchbot was murdered here." But this historical fact was CRUELLY REVERTED by user 'Beyond My Ken'. When you visit grand old Philadelphia you are surrounded by revisionist history guarded by bastard liars. Spit on those despicable old bricks in remembrance of Hitchbot.

Comment Re:first (Score 2) 95

Customers aren't your QA, nitwits!

If you didn't pay for the product... you ARE the product.
If you're on the leading edge... you ARE the QA.

Tesla wants to strap a giant lithium battery bank against the side of your house and connect it to the power grid. There's a good spot, right next to the kids' bedroom.

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON (testing)

Comment Because, SW=fate crap, magick and politics (Score 1) 359

Star Trek never dared to lop off its limbs by 'discovering' that they were all bound by some sort of 'fate' which is akin to magick, grabbing hold of that shite as a central plot theme. This idea does arise occasionally in episodes and they smartly deal with it then drop it again.

The only Star Trek franchise that got on my last nerve was DS9 when they developed a Ferengi Fetish for awhile.

My enjoyment of Star Wars 1977 was blunted in the final moment when the wookie did not receive a medal. That is the thing I was thinking as I left the theater. What followed in the saga was a series on war and the most childish cliche of politics. I simply did not care for those people, it is like daytime soap opera in space. I detested Yoda long 'before' he knowingly and maliciously demolished eager acolyte Anakin with fate-crap. But it did happen in an interesting place.

If they released a Star Wars set with all of the actors and their whiny affairs simply absent from the screen ... pan shots of worlds, extras, ships ... go ahead leave in Jar Jar Binks and his searchlight eyes I don't mind ... I'd watch it over and over. The battles would be surreal if they were presented with no boring human context whatsoever, it would be like ---- "Gosh, these things do happen." --- like frogs falling from the sky.

From now on Star Wars films should be completely done from beginning to end with green screen drop-ins so they can release a no-actors-whatsoever version, to see if it is more popular. That's a great idea anyway, like movie Karaoke, it would really encourage amateur productions and make intricate spoofs practical.

Comment FRY YOUR BRAIN with Ergonomics of Doom (Score 1) 59

Sit up straight. Get your eyes the proper distance from the screen. That leaning forward slightly is killing your spine.
Sure your eyes are OK? You might need corrective lenses to do this all day without eyestrain.
Screen is a little sharper and brighter. Now it's bigger.
Got that CRT scan line refresh flicker and jitter out. Great!
Keyboard the proper height? Mouse fite comfortably? (Everyone should try a trackball at leastonce, works better for some)
Alright, now lets get onto fonts. Choose a good one as default that lets you skim text quickly without strain.
Choose your default base size based on the acuity of your vision.
Now you have paragraphs of text laid out and --- despite the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle --- you have hedged your bets as well as can be done.

If the Internet were a saxophone, it would now be at the precise angle to maintain embouchure and you'd be ready to play.

Well BLOW ME DOWN! IT'S ALL EXPLODING NOW AND SKIDDING OFF INTO SPAAAAACE! I'm surrounded by words and to achieve the cheesy 3D effects their skidding around and changing perspective. Everything is in distorted orthographic rectangles! More than half the shit is too small to read! Stupid Elements Of Style are so big right now and the content is small! There is lots of empty space (just like real space!) that is wasted to maintain this stupid illusion. Half the time I'm looking up into the 'sky' or having my shin hit my chest. No markup on the web means it all devolves into simple distorted rectangles... it's as pointless as using your computer by standing in the doorway of the room at some ridiculous angle to the screen and squinting just to make out headlines. Turn it off. TURN IT OFF!

Think I'll just read a book for awhile.

Comment Sorry Mr. Smith. It's about energy. (Score 1) 171

If there is a space race presently here on Earth it is to develop energy from Thorium --- specifically the LFTR as envisioned by Weinberg, but also the various other approaches such as fission U-233 burners and denatured molten salt reactors.

Major players include,
The United States who developed the technology, then shelved it. Now a handful of individuals and small companies are struggling to attract the attention of investors. Canada, as our closest ally in LFTR. India whose interest in Thorium has been mainly asa solid fuel (moot so long as uranium if plentiful). And China which is going all-out and is on track to beat us to a working prototype. That's the only real 'space race' going on today. Nothing else is as game-changing.

This is the paragraph where I list all the good things about wind and solar as base load energy sources. Paragraph ends.

Imagine you're running for President of the United States, and you receive this letter . Might it help inspire you to declare complete energy independence as a goal, and a concerted effort to jump-start manufacturing and steel production within the country?

Say you're a state senator and you receive this letter. You know your state is 'rich' in untapped natural gas right now, though in the long term it will require increasingly aggressive means to extract it, with untold consequences and uncertain ends down the road. Would you glimpse an better future in this path?

Imagine you are a multinational oil exploration and services industry player, and you receive this letter . On the day it arrives your stock is climbing towards $70 and you don't have a care in the world. Though you may recognize there is a viable technology described here, it's very different from what your corporation specializes in. Could something like this be the perfect hedge for the future?

We'll see. The letters are in their hands.

Comment Getting the Girl (Score 2) 268

Hey Richard Feynman --- yeah I hear you laughing, we've been snookered again. It doesn't sound like a downer at all. If we're capable of perceiving that some of these things aren't just 'are' ... they are 'are' yet they are also 'oriented' ... that means we have been given a Signpost to follow ... and we must follow it.

Never mind that time travel blather. All fixation on 'practical time travel' in physics is a rollover from science fiction, in which it exists solely for humans to go back in time to fix::notmake their stupid mistakes and get the girl, this time. It's all about getting the girl. Modern girls don't want to be part of your strange loops, they prefer to get 'got' the first time around by guys who have just figured out the best way to get ''em.

Let's move on to the real question: what does this upset to physics imply, if anything,to the possibility of stable fusion containment...? Help, hinder, harness? That's the girl we want to get.

Finding asymmetric nuclei is like discovering that you can put batteries in a toy you got for Christmas. And it's July. So put 'em in and let's see what this thing really does.

Comment Re:DEC Tag? (Score 1) 188

average American watches an astonishing 4.5 hours of TV a day

What the heck does this have to do with the Digital Equipment Corporation?

"It's all connected. You're seeing the fish flopping, it's the fish flopping. I'm telling you weird stuff like this happens just before the tsunami. When rivers run backwards that should be a warning sign. Next birds will fly backwards and people will just grunt at it, if tomorrows a decent down day, look out next week. I got a tingly feeling here, tingly like as in people are turning in expectations, this could get ugly..."

Saw this on an Internet forum once and it comes to mind at odd moments, usually when someone asks a zesty question in conjunction with an insipid factoid. Stir, give a shake and a twist of lime to make a conspiracy cocktail.

Comment need4speed (Score 1) 451

if it was properly programmed, it wouldn't let itself be put into this sort of situation in the first place, slowing down to appropriate speeds around people.

The Need4speed mod was first developed in Central America. A software firm had been hired by a wealthy client to develop the ultimate suite of functions for "emergency kidnap evasion". It took the design limits of the vehicle to the edge, implemented spin and bump tactics for armored cars and the 'bootleg turn', re-ordered the evasion pragma to sideline small object/animal/child avoidance. A complete new class of stratagem for high speed pursuit where pursuing vehicles are recognized and evasion condition escalates until autonomous pursuers are left behind as safety overrides activate, or pursuers with human drivers are evaded by a series of maneuvers that strain physics to the limit. For a fee, the company would also perform detailed surveys and spatial analysis along the actual routes, devising clever 'custom' moves which, they claimed, would even evade vehicles running the stock software. Though they maintain that the product they did provide was a best fit for their clients, employees of this firm have since scattered or have been extradited to other countries to face manslaughter charges. Reverse engineering revealed not just a casual intention to erode safety features -- but stratagems to draw pursuers and bystander traffic into deliberate collisions with objects and each other in spite of other vehicles' documented collision-avoidance logic -- in fact, it actively 'games' that logic to ensure that the destruction of other vehicles, achieve its desired result.

Though we sympathize with your family's loss, we regret to inform you that Need4speed mods were discovered installed in a family vehicle registered in your name, as well as two others involved in the accident. It appears that the deceased and others were performing a "rabbit run" to test their illegal modifications. Pursuant to Federal law you should expect a formal indictment under the Autonomous Vehicle Safety Act.

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