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Comment Re:Electricity, Phone, Fiber (Score 5, Insightful) 108

Keep in mind that a big reasons we managed to wire up the whole country with electric, phone, and cable is that we gave those companies local monopolies on delivery of power, telecom, and TV.

If you were to offer Google a monopoly on Internet access in an area, it would appear profitable VERY quickly.

Comment Re: Sorry - whose car is this? (Score 1) 305

The real isn't isn't who owns the car or the software, it's the always-connected online services that will be required for autonomous operation.
The ride sharing limitations will almost certainly be covered under the TOS for those services. If you don't agree, the car is still yours but they can cut your services access at any time.
The good news is that competition will eventually solve this problem. Tesla is far from having a monopoly on self driving cars.

Comment Re:Radical thought here (Score 4, Informative) 307

Stanford had a good approach to this, at least when I went there (probably still do).

The intro-CS courses were offered in two parts (CS106A/B) or a single accelerated course (CS106X), with the requirement that students taking the accelerated course have previous programming experience.

All students end up covering the same material (which is important, since high school instruction varies greatly in quality), but you don't have half the class getting bored and the other half lost at the same time.

Comment 12 hours to update the certs? (Score 5, Informative) 176

The really amazing thing is that if you look at their service dashboard, it took them 12 hours to update the certificates on their site:

They spent several hours doing "test deployments" ... while it's great to make sure you aren't going to make something worse, updating an SSL cert isn't exactly rocket science. I'd had to see how long it took to recover from a more serious service issue triggered by a software bug.

Comment Er.. not quite (Score 2) 329

Looking at the first picture in the article, I thought they did an amazing job - even the geography was a match to what I remembered. Then I realized that was just a stock photo of the real Hallstatt.

The other pictures tell the real story. It's about as authentic as their Loius Wuitton purses or iFone knockoffs. The scenery around the location is also a poor imitation of the original.

Comment Start writing software (Score 1) 293

The only real way to learn a programming language is to use it in a real project. Come up with something you've always wanted but can't find and make it happen. That's the great thing about programming. You'll learn more doing that than you ever will from a book.


Top Scientific Breakthroughs of 2009 57

Wired has posted their favorite scientific breakthroughs of the past year. The feats include things like the confirmation of element 114, a cancer-detecting breathalyzer, the power of jellyfish and more. What other discoveries should have made the list and what might we look forward to in 2010? "Also this year, researchers at the University of Washington cured two adult monkeys of colorblindness by giving them injections of a gene that produces pigments necessary for color vision. After the treatment, the animals scored higher on a computerized color blindness test. In the coming years, gene therapy will be tested as a remedy for all sorts of inherited diseases, cancer, viral infections and even high cholesterol."

Comment Jungle Disk now has Sync in version 3.0 (Score 1) 305

You're in luck! Jungle Disk 3.0 was released this week, with Sync support (for Windows, Mac, and Linux).

Since you're already a Jungle Disk customer, the upgrade is free. Jungle Disk 3.0 also has a new backup engine that does block-level de-duplication and compression, making it by far the most efficient method for doing online backup.

Comment Wrong article link (Score 5, Informative) 403

Should have been this article.
That said, I don't think anyone claims SSD is better than HDD if your bottleneck is capacity or sequential read speed. However if you do lots of random reads/writes, this line from the comparison says it all:
OCZ's drive had a random access time of .2 milliseconds; Seagate's 16.9 milliseconds.
That's an 84X difference.

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