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Comment Re:Retards (Score 1) 59

When your power grid management interfaces are directly connected to the Internet you must suffer. There's no excuse for that.

There are plenty good reasons. You're being extreme.

The grid management has to be connected to *some* network. That's so you can monitor the health of the grid from a central location, and coordinate a distributed response to events. (Heck, it's also useful if you can connect to control it even when weather conditions make it too hazardous to travel on-site).

[1] You could do that with suitable VPNing over the public internet. That way you benefit from its extensive reach, its cheap price, its resilience, the rapid repair time that ISPs offer. All you need to build is a network connection from each of your grid nodes to the nearest internet.

[2] Or you could do it with dedicated leased lines that aren't part of the internet. You'll pay a heck of a lot more, and loads of grid nodes won't have convenient connection.

[3] Or you could put up your own network. (You're a power-grid so you're used to putting up networks!) But this isn't your core competence, will suffer from longer outages, and will be most expensive.

Bear in mind that every subcontractor who prepares a bid using the public internet will produce a *LOWER* bid with *INCREASED* functionality. The only way that a higher-priced bid will ever win is if they someone demonstrate that the downside costs (in terms of expected cost of future hacks) will be significantly larger than the higher upfront bid. And any such attempted demonstration would be instantly met by the answer "why not use just a secure VPN to get best robustness at the cheapest price?"

So I think that infrastructure like this *can* and *should* be connected to the internet.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 180

It boggles my mind why people are more prepared to keep paying for bandwidth and the associated problems such as connection dependencies, interstitial ads and increased battery usage, rather than just using local memory to store music.

I have 20k+ songs in my personal library, collected according to my interests and tastes since the 1990s. But I still end up getting a better selection/mix when I stream music from Songza. Why? ... I suspect it's because putting together a good music selection really is a skilled career path, but not my career path, so it makes sense to outsource it.

(This is for home listening on powered devices, so your problems like bandwidth/ads/battery don't apply).

Comment Re:They. (Score 1) 397

Wasn't that just a reversal of the earlier push to establish gender-neutral "he"? Gender-neutral singular "they" has been in use since the 14th century. Gender-neutral "he" came about in the 18th century but never entirely displaced "they". Depending on which style guide you used, either or both would be considered correct.

What's happening today is simply that gender-neutral "he" is falling out of use since it's ambiguous and has led to interpretation nonsense when people weren't clear about whether a use of "he" was supposed to be gender-neutral or not.

Comment It doesn't work that way, kid. (Score 1) 376

They ship a lot retailers for sure, but they don't sell any.

Retail margins are thin and nothing is stocked or shelved which can't be moved quickly. The girl working check-out at the Dollar Store learns at least this much about running a business.

The numbers change hourly, but currently four of the best-selling 2 in 1 laptops at Amazon are Surface models in the $800-$3000 price range.

Comment Re:What do you need? (Score 1) 288

TBH, I'd rather lose the numpad than deal with an offset trackpad. I spend vastly more time clicking on things than I do entering numbers. If I were an Excel jockey I could see the need for redundant number entry hardware but as a programmer I'd rather have a centered keyboard and trackpad instead.

Comment Re:What do you need? (Score 1) 288

Those specs look nice but I noticed that it's yet another notebook with the trackpad offset as far to the left as possible. Why it's so hard to get a decent notebook with a centered trackpad? I usually use my right hand to operate the trackpad so a left-aligned trackpad is rather unergonomic - but I wouldn't want a right-aligned one either because I often switch to my left hand when I'm holding something in my right.

It's one of the reasons why I liked Apple's designs until Jon Ives went insane in 2012. Unfortunately my Mid-2012 non-retina MBP won't last forever and at some point I'll have to replace it. I'd like to do so with something that doesn't require me to lug around a portable trackball when I'm on the go.

Comment Re:Why not just use Splenda? (Score 1) 328

Actually, the Mayas and Aztecs didn't really eat chocolate. They made a drink out of cocoa; solid chocolate bars were developed in 1847's Great Britain. Milk chocolate and the modern creamy texture were both developed in Switzerland in 1875 and 1879, respectively. Solid chocolate only became popular after that; the original bars were gritty and bitter (and if you've ever get the chance to try unconched chocolate you'll understand why nobody wanted that shit).

Oh, and you forgot about the Olmecs who first cultivated cocoa well before the Mayas and Aztecs were relevant.

(BTW, I recommend visiting a chocolate museum if you get the chance, especially if you can get a guided tour. Interesting stuff. The Imhoff Chocolate Museum in Cologne is pretty good.)

Comment Re:...Extinguish (Score 3, Informative) 75

Microsoft had nothing to do with this beyond picking up the pieces. Cyanogen Inc.'s penchant for spectacularly bad business decisions (such as offering an unrestricted worldwide license to one company while simultaneously offering an exclusive license for the Indian market to another) doomed the company from the beginning. And PR moves like "We'll kill Google by releasing a product based on one of Google's products." didn't help either.

A shame, really. Affordable handsets with known-good CM compatibility, no crapware and actual, real updates would've been a nice thing. But due to Cyanogen's leadership being farcically inept that just wasn't possible.

Comment Re:"easy" way to preserve (Score 1) 124

If there were a reasonable limit on copyright duration, then preservation occurs naturally by the public.

No it doesn't.

Preservation demands money and expertise that can be hard to find.

You have a spool of tape, but do you have a compatible recorder for playback? If the signal is degraded can you recover it? That's often not a trivial problem even for the mathematician and electrical engineer. Now and again a successful solution might win you an award.

The Disney archives remain essentially intact because they remain commercially viable and the studio has always been alert to the potential of new media.

Comment Re:With one hand he giveth; with the other he take (Score 1) 177

I'm actually trying to think of the use-case for SMS in Skype. As opposed to using the normal instant messaging feature I mean. You want to SMS someone that doesn't have their phone number linked to Skype, but not using your phone? Am I missing something?

I think you must be missing something :) Loads of people don't use skype at all, or do use it but aren't currently on a skype-active device. But most of them carry an SMS-capable device at all times. While you're at your desk, you want some way to message these people.

Could you use a different messaging service like Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp or whatever? Maybe, if you already know they have that app installed on their phone and it's set up for notifications. But SMS is guaranteed to always work.

Comment Re:p0wned (Score 1) 1321

Accurately pointing out violent, criminal illegal immigrants is not xenophobia.

Accurately pointing out violent, criminal illegal immigrants when you omit the statistical context about violent, criminals who aren't illegal immigrants *IS* xenophobia. Literally. It is fear+distrust aimed specifically at foreigners.

Comment Re:Modern kids are retarded (literally) (Score 1) 403

If I had to guess, I'd assume that UK kids are probably somewhat better off in terms of "book material" than their forebears, though independent assessments of reasoning skills (i.e., non-curricular tests similar to IQ tests), etc. seem to show mild declines.

I thought that IQ tests showed marked improvements in abstract/conceptual reasoning skills, and moderate increase in vocabulary skills (4 point increase in vocab skills amongst schoolchildren from 1953 to 2006).

I never trust Malcom Gladwell, but he's quoted in that second article saying the exact opposite of OP: "And, if we go back even farther, the Flynn effect puts the average IQs of the schoolchildren of 1900 at around 70, which is to suggest, bizarrely, that a century ago the United States was populated largely by people who today would be considered mentally retarded."

Comment Re:Fascinating to watch (Score 1) 403

For example, Scott Adams being shadow banned from twitter for having insightful views on the election.

We never actually saw evidence that Scott was shadowbanned. He said that some of his readers had claimed that his stories weren't on their twitter feeds. He issued a challenge to the CEO of Twitter to respond within three days. No response was reported, and Scott didn't explain the resolution. I personally continued to see Scott's tweets on my twitter feed just fine throughout that time.

I think a more likely explanation is that Scott was never shadowbanned, and that some of his followers didn't notice a tweet from him or it got buried under a load of other things. It matched their cognitive bias about twitter following a shadowban agenda against right wing folks, and it matched Scott's cognitive bias about him being important, and so he went ahead and "asked the question" (i.e. "I'm not saying I've been shadowbanned, I'm just asking the question"). And that naturally laid the cognitive bias for it to evolve into a statement of fact.

...shadowbanned for having insightful views on the election.

That's a pretty dishonest misrepresentation. Scott says he was probably shadowbanned because he asked people to tweet him examples of Clinton supporters being violent. (Indeed Scott has had insightful views on the election both before his alleged shadowbanning, and after, so I don't know how anyone could think he was banned because he had those views.)

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