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Comment Re:That was one of the details wardriving and late (Score 1) 75

I'm sure that a makeshift homebrew directional antenna could sniff these signals out in a suburban or office park area just fine.

Even in your high-rise case, the signal could be narrowed down to a small subset of all devices. Processing the sum of a few signals to pick out "words" shouldn't be too hard, either.

Not to mention, I said three times the distance to frigging PLUTO. Presumably, attackers could get within 100m of most targets. I don't think you realize how much easier that is.

Comment Re:That's 129.2F if you're interested. (Score 2, Insightful) 300

What does Fahrenheit relate to? Who knows?

0F is the temperature of a particular ice/brine mixture, and it was approximately the lowest temperature typically experienced in Fahrenheit's area. I suppose that one advantage of that is not having to use negative values very often.

100F is approximately human body temperature. That's pretty easy to relate to.

One nice property of the system is that 0F is often dangerously cold, and 100F is often dangerously hot.

Comment Re:Code should be as concise as possible. (Score 1) 236

I never use variable names of more than one character unless all possible single character names have already been used, which rarely happens.

If you're not routinely using up all possible single-character variable names, then you're not making your functions large enough, and/or you're not using enough global variables. You can do better.

Comment Re:Most "automation" isn't, just like this. (Score 5, Insightful) 325

No, "better healthcare outcomes" is a measurment anomaly.

The fact that the average is dragged down because a large percentage of the US population doesn't get adequate health care is not a "measurement anomaly". It's an epic failure.

It's like a C average student claiming: "I'm really a straight-A student! I got As in all the classes I didn't flunk. (And BTW, for some reason my education cost twice as much as that of any other student.)"

Comment Re:Just reformat it to your liking. (Score 1) 523

Reformatting code is a big no-no in shared version-controlled environments.

In many version-controlled environments, a hook is added to the check-in command to automatically run the reformatter, so there are never any diffs in the history caused by the formatting process.

I really don't like some of the settings that were made on the formatter my current project is using, but at least I never have to worry about things like typing lines too long. They're automatically fixed up on commit.

Comment Re:Second sun (Score 4, Funny) 131

Not having a single sports molecule in my body, I had no clue what they meant by "Juno is a spinning, robotic probe as wide as a basketball court."

Remember when you were in high school and they sometimes made all the students go to a big room where you sat on hard benches and the principal emceed for some brief talks and activities?

That was probably a basketball court.

Comment Re:90% of dinosaurs survived? (Score 3, Insightful) 265

That word, as defined by pedants, is utterly useless. Other than those who hail from one particular ancient civilization that had a certain peculiar military punishment, nobody kills exactly 1 in 10 of anything.

That's why the vast majority of the population who have normal minds use an entirely different definition of the word. A definition that's actually relevant to enough real situations to justify the word's existence.

Comment Re:mcdonalds to get sued? (Score 4, Informative) 274

Coffee is to be served hot.

No, not nearly that hot. Most drip coffee machines *brew* it at the McDonald's temperature, but it is kept at a much lower temperature (around 160F) in the carafe. One reason for this is that it rapidly loses quality if you keep it too hot.

People know what temperature coffee is almost universally served at, and they take the appropriate care. If you fill a cup of coffee from a coffee machine to the brim and carry it around, you just don't need to be that careful because it's just not that hot (unless it's from McDonald's). If you fill the same cup to the brim with water at a full rolling boil out of a pot, you're damned well going to be instinctively much more careful with it, because a small splash could give you serious burns.

You may now post one of your typical obscenity-laced abusive replies. It won't make you any less wrong.

Comment Re:Copyright (Score 1) 428

You'd be free to use their code without restriction, so they wouldn't be selling it back to you. They could try to lock it up in a hardware device, but there'd be no DMCA to prevent people from cracking such attempts and freely distributing cracking tools and software extracted with them. You might need a decompiler in the worst case, but I imagine that in such a world highly refined decompilers would be one of the most popular developer tools.

Comment Re:Why is legislation needed? (Score 1) 223

If it exists, what is the name of the economic principle that explains why people can't reliably effect policy change by way of boycott?

The situation is a variation of the multi-player "prisoner's dilemma" game. Basic game theory says that the best choice for any individual player is "defect", which in this case means sign the agreement and take the job.

Comment Re:Copyright (Score 1) 428

Simulating a world without copyrights would mean they should be ok with someone taking their code and reusing it however they want.

You can't have it both ways.

If the world actually had no copyright, in turn you could use whatever *they* did to your code however *you* want.

Given that the simulation isn't perfect and that's not possible, you're stuck with the restrictions that come with viral licenses. I'm sure that most free software advocates would happily ditch those viral restrictions in return for abolishing copyright laws.

Comment Re:Copyright (Score 1) 428

This is the sort of thing people on slashdot always say until someone rips of open source code without giving changes back...

That's because the creators of the "viral" licenses you refer to used licensing to try to roughly simulate a world without copyrights. (Hence, they are often tagged with the ironic name "copyleft license".) People get mad in your example because somebody else is trying to pull the content out of this simulated non-copyright world and put it back under the usual copyright restrictions.

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Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. -- Albert Einstein