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Comment Re:For the percentage impaired... (Score 1) 85

This is more a matter of how the phrase should be read, as jargon, and not how the phrase will be (mis-)understood by the general public in casual conversation.

As a writer, if you can't count on a technically-minded audience, you're (unfortunately) best served by avoiding relative multiples entirely, as well as relative percentages at or above 100%. Unlike "two times faster" or "330% faster", there is no confusion, generally speaking, about how to read "three times as fast" or "430% as fast".

As a reader, in the absence of evidence of the author's intent to the contrary, if you encounter the phrase "X times faster" or "X% faster" I believe you should treat it as equivalent to "(X+1) times as fast" or "(X+100%) as fast".

I understand that linguistic relativism is in vogue at the moment, and even agree with it to an extent. The point of having language is to communicate, after all, which implies that the meanings and customary use of phrases are not fixed in stone; they change depending on the speaker, audience, and context. However, by the same token, I think prescriptionism is warranted in cases like this one for the sake of preserving our ability to communicate clearly and concisely. Ambiguity serves no one, and we don't need another inconsistent way to say "X times as fast", whereas maintaining the regular structure of the language ("X00% = X times" and "X faster = original speed plus X", regardless of context) helps to reduce the reader's cognitive load, leaving more energy for the real content. While there is no inherently right or wrong way to design a tool, some tool designs are more fit for purpose than others, and the same is true for the tools of communication, i.e. languages.

Comment Re:Free market (Score 2) 270

Yeah, the Obama FDA, that hotbed of conservative activism!

Also, since when was price fixing by governments a "free market" solution?

You make it sounds like the Democrats are in favor of free trade from online pharmacies, when a quick Google search and clicking on the first link is enough to dispel that.

I'm not saying there aren't government-lovers on both sides in this area, but to cast it as 'the "conservatives" are against a free market, and the "liberals" are for the free market.' when it's more the opposite is quite a stretch there...

Comment Re:Logic Says It Should Be Legal (Score 1, Troll) 270

Many on the left love protectionism...except when they don't.

The FDA is no prize -- by being so tightfisted, they prevent politicians from having to explain why a drug hurt people, but this ends up delaying new drugs (and generics, as TFA shows) that trivially causes a lot more harm than they save being overly cautious.

But you know, a death or two in front of the camera is a tragedy the likes of which 10,000 offscreen because of delayed drugs is not.

Comment Re:Too secure for insecure? (Score 1) 511

If you're a Ron Paul supporter voting for Trump, I fear that "confused" is rather an understatement of your mental state.

I think not so much "confused" as "shallow". I can see a very surface correspondence between Paul and Trump: They both like to buck the establishment. The fact that the do so in very different ways and for very different reasons requires looking past the top millimeter of each. I suppose a vote for Obama (in his first presidential campaign) could fit as well if the same incredibly shallow analysis just focused on the "Hope and Change" slogan.

Comment Google does something like this (Score 1) 172

Google does something like this, on a selective basis.

I think it started as something done only for special cases, but I know a few people who arranged it. One woman I know works three days per week instead of five, for 60% of her normal salary. She has also taken a large chunk of her 18-week maternity leave and uses it one day per week, so she actually works two days per week but gets paid for three, until the maternity leave runs out. Her husband has arranged a similar structure with his employer (not Google), working three days per week so one of them is always home with the kids. She's a fairly special case, though, because she's a freakishly brilliant software engineer who any smart company would bend over backwards to accommodate.

However, it's now been expanded to be made generally available to full-time employees. It requires management approval, but the descriptions I've seen make it clear that management is expected to agree unless there are specific reasons why it can't work. Salary, bonuses and stock are pro-rated based on the percentage of a normal schedule that is worked. Most commonly, people work 60% or 80% schedules (i.e. three or four days per week instead of five). Other benefits, such as health care, etc., are not pro-rated, but either provided or not, depending on the percentage of normal hours worked.

I could see myself going to a 60% work week in a few years, having a four-day weekend every week in exchange for a 40% pay cut.

Comment Re:Yep. (Score 1) 166

One part of your experience that rings false to me is the level of support required for Windows machines vs Macs. My experience is narrower than yours, because I'm a programmer not an IT support guy, but I do get used as an IT support guy by friends and family because, you know, I "do computers". With that caveat, my experience is that the single biggest thing I can do to reduce my support burden is to get them to trade in their Windows laptop for something else. The very best alternative is a Chromebook, then a Macbook. Installing Ubuntu instead of Windows is also a good support-reducer, but not as many have gone that route.

As far as mobile devices go, I do more Android support than iOS support, but I think that's mostly because all of my immediate family, and most of my extended family, uses Android. Plus the Apple users are a little less likely to come to me for help because they know I'm an Android guy (because I work on Android system development).

Comment Re:Yes, Because Optical Media Is Durable (Score 1) 363

Except that optical media isn't that durable or reliable. Every DVD or CD I've ever burned has become unreadable after a few years. The inks just don't hold the data for long.

HTL BD-R uses an inorganic phase-change alloy sputtered onto the disc surface. I have media files going back 4 years or so backed up to a bunch of Blu-rays at work, and they've mostly held up pretty well. I recently scanned all of them to see how they were holding up, and out of 300+ discs, 5 had some unreadable areas. They would've been recoverable because I augmented the images before burning with dvdisaster, but it was faster to just mark their contents as not backed up and let them get burned to a newer disc.

LTH BD-R, OTOH, uses the same organic dyes as CD-R and DVD-R, and is just as susceptible to bit rot (though in all honesty, I have plenty of DVD-Rs and CD-Rs kicking around that are still readable.)

Most BD-Rs on the market are HTL. They tend not to be marked as such, but LTH media are. Verbatim seems to be the most prominent of the LTH BD-R brands, though I think I've heard that Taiyo Yuden also produces LTH BD-R. dvdisaster identifies my backup set as a mix of Ritek, Philips, and CMC Magnetics media; they carried a variety of other brands on them (some well-known, some not so much).

If you're not set up for Blu-ray, M-Disc has applied its inorganic recording layer (they describe it as a "rock-like carbon compound") to DVD as well as Blu-ray. You need a drive that can burn them (not just any DVD burner will work), so if you're in the market for a compatible burner, you might as well get one that also handles Blu-ray. Wikipedia says the discs, once burned, are readable in any drive.

Comment Re: Archival grade (Score 1) 363

Leicester (spelling) = lester (phonetic)

That applies to all of the *cesters (there are more than a few...used to live not too far from Bicester, for instance), so at least they're consistent.

You want weird? Try to puzzle through how they say Derby should be pronounced "darby." I don't see an A anywhere in there.

Comment You think it matters? (Score 0, Troll) 511

She & Bill have been protected, since they were in Arkansas. Look how many people connected to them have met with "accidents". Count is up around 100 by now. This election is a farce. She was already picked. Trump got into the election to steal the spotlight from any other Republican candidate. He is called to a meeting with Bill before he even considered running, then all of a sudden runs for president. The Clinton's and Trump's have been friends for DECADES. Wouldn't surprise me if he drops out at the last minute. About the only thing that will stop Hillary from becoming the president, is if she has a major stroke, or drops dead before being nominated, sadly. We the people are just pawns in this nation anymore. We are too preoccupied with Pokemon, "reality" tv, hollywood fanism than what is going on. Plus, our education system in the USA is to politically correct and has a couple generations of SHEEP, that believe all that is bad with this nation is capitalism, white privilege etc, and have been lead on a path to socialism by the (un)education system, who is nothing more than a bunch of grown up 60's radicals.

Comment Re:I'm getting old. (Score 1) 138

I understand your concerns, but these adapters are basically just wiring and physical supports. There are hardly any electronics involved (perhaps a discrete voltage regulator, judging from the images). If you would be willing to trust a non-OEM SATA cable and mounting bracket then I wouldn't see any reason not to trust a non-OEM M.2 to SATA adapter.

There are some higher-end models which provide a full 2.5" enclosure for your M.2 drive for $20-30, if you want the extra peace of mind.

Comment Re:We burn a ton of DVD's every week (Score 1) 363

One of the tricks in production of litigation documents is to produce them in the least convenient form that conforms to the rules. So if the opposing side requests a bunch of e-mails and Word documents, and they don't have the foresight to request them in native format with metadata intact (or the rules don't require you to send them that way), you send them a stack of CDs full of TIFFs. There are even programs that will load up all the documents for review by the baby attorneys* and then convert them all to TIFFs for production. And when the other side sends you a bunch of TIFFs on CDs, it will load those all up, OCR them, and tag them with keywords. This is in part why production is so ridiculously expensive. (The other reason is that the attorneys will spend half a million dollars filing motions and counter-motions fighting over the search terms to use on document and e-mail searches.) (This is why attorneys always win lawsuits, as long as the client is solvent. Occasionally, one of the clients wins too.)

*If you retain a big law firm, they will still bill you $300/hr. for the baby attorney to sit in front of his computer all day, flipping through documents looking for stuff that should be tagged as "hot" or "damaging" or whatever before they go out. Then when the opposing side sends their production, baby attorney sits and reviews all of those too. The whole time, baby attorney is thinking, "I got seven years of post-secondary education for THIS?" But he'll do it, because the partner told him to, and they're paying him a salary of $160,000 plus bonuses that depend on billable hours, and as mind-numbingly boring as it is, it is the easiest way on earth to rack up billable hours, and he still has $200,000 in student loans to pay off.

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