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Comment Re:Huh? I use these all the time. (Score 1) 253

This gets down to something that used to be a common UI design principle before software became so feature-ful it became impractical: manifest interface.

The idea of a manifest interface (which also is a principle in language and API design) is that if the software has a capability you should be able to see it. You shouldn't have to root around to stumble upon it. Tabs follow this principle; there's enough visual and behavioral cues to suggest that you need to click on a tab. The little "x" in the tab also follows this principle.

But context menus you access by right-clicking break this rule, which means that there may be millions of people laboriously clicking on "x" after "x", unaware that they can make all the extraneous tabs in their browser disappear with just two clicks.

This, by the way, is why Macintoshes were designed with one button on the mouse. But even Mac UI designers couldn't get by with just single and double-click, so you have option-click too, bit by in large you could operate most programs without it.

Anyhow, to make sure people know about this kind of feature, your program is going to have to watch their behavior and suggest they try right clicking. But that way lies Clippy...

Comment Re:Making NASA Great Again (Score 5, Informative) 299

Actually the Wikipedia article on the National Aeronautics and Space Act has an interesting list of the legislation's priorities, starting with priority #1:

The expansion of human knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space;

Historically speaking the act, which was signed into law in July of 1958, was a reaction to the "Sputnik Crisis" created by the Soviet launch of an artificial satellite eight months earlier in October of 1957 -- an act which filled Americans with awe and a little dread, knowing that a Soviet device was passing overhead every 96 minutes.

So arguably NASA was founded to achieve preeminence in Earth orbit, not necessarily manned space exploration, which isn't mentioned at all in the legislation. Yuri Gagarin's Vostok 1 flight was still three years in the future, and JFKs Rice Moon Speech followed a year and a half after that. That speech is well worth watching, by the way, if all you've ever seen is the "We choose to go to the moon" line.

Manned exploration of the outer solar system wasn't really what the founding of NASA was all about; in fact manned spaceflight has only a single mention in the unamended 1958 text:

... the term "aeronautical and space vehicles" means aircraft, missiles, satellites, and other space vehicles, manned and unmanned, together with related equipment, devices, components, and parts.

The main focus of NASA at its founding was to provide a single agency to coordinate space and spaced-based research, which at the time would have been largely (although not exclusively) Earth-focused.

Comment Re:So Hillary's account got deleted? (Score 3, Insightful) 199

As a moderate conservative and former Republican,

That sounds like a shibboleth...

I put the blame on the RNC nomination process — or lack thereof.

Specifically what part of the non-process did you find broken? What should the process/party have done to prevent Trump (or any other candidate)?

They had the responsibility to ensure that they fielded qualified candidates for the nomination.

Except they are sort of limited to who throws their hat into the ring... and unlike the Democrats, worked to not play favorites and let the candidates & their supporters duke it out.

Trump is neither a conservative nor a Republican, and, until a few short years ago, a Clinton Democrat. :/

A Bill Clinton Democrat maybe, but thanks to the wonderful DNC nomination process, they ended up with the worst possible candidate. Of course, I contend that it was actually the election of Obama which moved the Overton window enough to make a Trump run & presidency possible.

Comment Re:FAKE NEWS! (Score 0) 523

I don't know very many people claiming the Russians altered the vote,

Then why bring it up?

and I think most people are aware the POTUS isn't selected by popular vote.


The claim is that the Russians used a selective information/disinformation release campaign to undermine support for Clinton.

Often using the term 'election hacking', which is odd, because absent ballots/vote counts being changed, the only thing 'hacked' were private emails, not the actual election.

Would such a campaign have been acceptable if only US nationals were involved? What if it was a corporation in the form of a news agency engaging in similar tactics for their preferred candidate?

Oh right, the anger exists only because it was an op done against the left's candidate who lost, everything done to their non-preferred candidate(s) was alright.

And the US isn't the only country where this kind of these kinds of activities have been seen,

It's as if... some people may take a vested interest in the the political races and may try to influence the outcome, even in other countries.

Member that one time, when Obama & crew were working against Netanyahu's re-election bid? I member.

so why it's so damned unbelievable in the US is beyond me.

Except for the total lack of hard evidence that it was the Russians. Remember, intelligence agencies saying they think the Russians did it, or that Russia would probably prefer one outcome vs another isn't proof, only reasoned conjecture.

But at any rate, there seems to be this conflation between "interfering in the election" and "tampering with ballots" used by Trump defenders,

Says the person who brought up altered votes.

the reason being the former has some people in fairly high places stating it happened,

Aren't these the same people/positions who said WMDs in Iraq was a sure thing?

whereas the latter is indeed a left-wing conspiracy theory that no one takes seriously.

Yet you bring such things up.

Comment Re:FAKE NEWS! (Score 1) 523



Waiting a few more days to due proper vetting on the new information

How do you want them to do 'proper vetting' without conducting a search? A search which required a warrant no less? Had the news of the warrant leaked to congress without them being informed of the change of status, then yes, legal jeopardy.

Comment Re:Something stinks (Score 1) 379

Well, at present Putin's facing a financial crisis that is going to force him to drop military spending from 69 billion to 48 billion dollars. Germany is raising its defense spending to 40 billion, and if you factor in it doesn't need to defend vast terrain or have a multi-ocean blue water navy, Germany alone should be more than a match for the conventional forces of Russia.

Things may have looked different ten years ago when Russia was riding on high energy prices -- one of the reasons that the Obama administration was so pro-fracking: to contain Russian power. But today Europe really doesn't need the US to defend itself. Sure it'd have to shift some of its defense spending away from things that support US military operations to things that replace them.

In fact support of US power has been a major reason for continuing NATO since the collapse of the Warsaw Pact. The multinational force in the Iraq War wouldn't have been possible without NATO, although it wasn't a NATO operation per se. Afghanistan was a NATO operation; in fact it is the sole time in the history of the organization that the Article V mutual defense provision has been trigger -- by the US in response to 9/11.

Comment Re:TLDR: UN says more whites = happiness? (Score 2) 379

Well, you can prove anything if you get to make up the categories, but seriously, lumping Europe with Asia? 60% of the world's population lives in Asia, and 15% of the world's population lives in Europe. So it's hardly amazing that if one of your categories comprises 75% of the people on the Earth that there there doesn't appear to be a lot of diversity. Your friends could include a Pakistani, Tibetan, Uygher, Eskimo, Finn, Scot, Basque and Serb and they wouldn't be a "diverse" group.

Comment Re:Meh... (Score 1) 379

Translation, he's an actual conservative, as in Edmund Burke, who supported the monarchy, but wrote about monarchists as self-evident idiots. He was well aware that monarchs don't have any moral claim to rule; he just thought that Britain had managed against all odds to make it work. He'd feel about the free market exactly as he felt about the crown.

Burke was the kind of ferociously skeptical conservative who loves liberty but despises theories of liberty, even when those theories support his own position. In other words he had integrity, which is rare in thinkers of any stripe.

Comment Re:FAKE NEWS! (Score 0) 523

What the hell does any of this have to do with the fact that the Director of the FBI has confirmed that they are investigating links between Russia and the Trump campaign?

Re-read what I was replying to.

Nobody is contesting that Trump won.

Really? I still see/hear plenty mentioning the popular vote & Russians.

Hell, no one is really contesting that Clinton wasn't a horrible candidate who ran a bad campaign (her own husband has said as much).

Must be nice in your circles, or did you miss 'the resistance'?

But again, that has fuck all to do with what is happening right now.

Re-read what I was replying to.

It seems you're the one with the badly over-aged talking points.

Re-read what I was replying to.

Comment Re:FAKE NEWS! (Score 0, Troll) 523

I know that many on the left still haven't come to terms with how/why they actually lost... but you really need to update your talking points.

By not informing congress, he would be risking perjury charges for failing to disclose the new information based on his previous testimony.

But why let facts get in the way of a comforting (but false) narrative?

Comment Re: Cost (Score 2) 266

Good luck with that.

Recently I had a lengthy international trip which I was dreading, so much so that I read our travel policy word for word to see what options there might be for me, a man of 6'5". The policy allows purchasing only the cheapest coach/cattle seats... Even fot executives.

In the end, it was easier for me to spend $2000 of my own money for a second seat so I would have sufficient leg room (economy plus doesnt do it, and still less than a business class ticket).

Usually I drive, everywhere because of the love I have fot my knees and hatred of thr airlines, but for this trip driving 6500 miles over thr ocean simply wasn't an option, thankfully me dropping the $2k was, though an expensive one.

I can see such a law being far easier to pass than getting every company out there to have a more sensible travel policy with regards to their employees who have so.e height to them.

Comment Re:It's all a simulation (Score 1) 167

My wife did a physical simulation for her thesis of the ocean halocline by using an 8' wide rotating tank filled with water and sugar solution. Now the tank was a body of water rotating every 24 hours by virtue of being on the surface of the Earth, but the angular velocity was much too low to have an observable effect, so the tank rotated every few minutes on top of the 11.57 microradians/second rotation of the Earth.

It was a real time experiment in which a short but fixed period represented a much longer one -- and if you think about it this would likely be the case for any kind of simulation of a macroscosmic universe. The bigger the physical scale of the thing being modeled, the longer the time periods.

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You mean you didn't *know* she was off making lots of little phone companies?