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Comment Re:Save 30%, retire early (Score 1) 131

Actually, it's hardly that simple. While you espouse a perfectly reasonable plan, there are lots of things that can get in your way. That job that concentrates on happiness (whatever that is) just laid you off. You run through your savings in 9 months looking for another job. Then your wife comes down with breast cancer.

I see this stuff all of the time. It's not just American Hedonism that is going to screw the Millenials - it's hedonism, no safety net and an economy run by those nice people that brought you 2008. If you're of the Buddhist persuasion then you can sigh, work some more on your karma and hope next time you get reincarnated as a housefly. The rest of us just get depressed.

Comment Re:jail / prison has better healthcare then the ER (Score 1) 133

No, it doesn't. It's a popular meme around here but completely untrue. In jail, they will offer you some base level of care for serious problems but prison officials get to determine how serious it is and if it gets treated. Jail providers tend not to be on the right side of the bell curve, so even if you get to see the doc or midlevel, you may end wishing you hadn't.

If you need to be treated for a psychiatric illness, your choice of medicine will be significantly limited since many of those drugs can make you feel good (and thus have a marketable value in jail and are heavily restricted. If you hurt, well, too fucking bad. You get a tylenol or, if you're very lucky a tylenol and an ibuprofen.

The major downside of going to the ER for care is that the guy next to you might be strapped down to the gurney and being rather vocal about it. He's the one that got the bill from the last time he was in the ER.

Comment It is true (Score 2) 282

However, like everything, if a technology comes along to supplant it, in this case, the cost of greener alternatives is lower than coal, it'll simply dwindle and fade over time, with absolutely no need for liberals trying to regulate the crap out of it.

This flawed argument ignores the incontrovertible fact that allowing coal to continue to provide energy on equal terms with other energy supplies rather than pressuring the market to switch to less environmentally damaging sources of energy would do real and substantial harm to us all. The bottom line is: the less energy produced from burning coal and supplied instead from less polluting resources, the better off the world is.

So in fact, there is a need for it to have the crap regulated out of it in a context where it can be replaced with (considerably) less polluting energy sources, which is exactly where we are today.

Comment Re:(sigh) You people still think you're engineers (Score 1) 641

Instead of identifying himself as an engineer, he should have said, "You are dicks." They clearly would not have been able to argue that.

Response probably would have been somewhat along the lines of "You are fined $500 for falsely representing yourself as an anatomist."

Comment Re:Market demand? (Score 1) 105

North Slope of Alaska. Siberia. Anyplace in the enormous expanse of the boreal forest / not-so-permafrost and targa regions that encircles the planet.

Roads are becoming a big issue with global warming (which, of course isn't happening except in the arctic and nearby regions). Even a month less of ice road makes a number of projects economically infeasible because helicopters and bulldozers don't get along all that well.

Of course, we are talking about things that are on the edge of possible, much less not actually existing at present. But the market is probably there if you can deliver.

And then, there is always Amazon.

Comment Re:It's true (Score 2) 236

Pixar was unique in Silicon Valley companies in that we had deadlines that could not move. The film had to be in theaters before Christmas, etc. I'd see employees families come to Pixar to have dinner with them. I took the technical director training but decided to stay in studio tools, first because Pixar needed better software more than they needed another TD, and second because of the crazy hours.

Comment Re:There's a semi-good reason (Score 1) 156

ADSL has a range of a few miles, but as you observed, it maxes out around 13mbps. VDSL2 is another matter entirely.

ADSL was viable for CLECs to lease wires, because they could rent rack space in the RBOC's CO and serve thousands of customers. VDSL2 blows that whole business model out the window... the only practical way CLECs could be accommodated with VDSL2 (due to short distance limits) is if the RBOC provided the VDSL2 network connectivity to the customer, then routed that customer's traffic over to the CLEC... and there's no way a CLEC (besides *maybe* Verizon, operating outside its home market) could actually make money doing that. And with U-verse, it would be largely pointless... the RBOC's customers would be paying more, and getting slower internet connectivity in return.

Comment There's a semi-good reason (Score 2) 156

With ADSL, you can upgrade one CO and spread the costs among rich AND poor areas. With VDSL2, your meaningful service area is about 1,000 feet... and deploying a new VRAD in an area without existing fiber within a mile or so isn't cheap. Unless they can find enough rich people within a thousand feet who can't get service through an existing VRAD, those poor areas aren't going to get faster service.

God, it hurts defending AT&T... but even if they were actively benevolent, VDSL2's short range makes it really hard to cost-effectively serve poor areas UNLESS those poor areas have lots of people willing and able to buy premium internet service.

Going back to the rural electrification argument, yes, you can force the power company to provide you with power almost anywhere adjacent to a public road or right-of-way... but if you decide to build an Aluminum-smelting plant in the middle of nowhere (Aluminum-smelting uses a STAGGERING amount of power), you can't legally (or reasonably) expect the power company to upgrade 100+ miles of wiring for free, even if they WOULD provide you with up to 500A service for free.

The best way California can get Uverse into poor neighborhoods? Find all the properties in the area owned by the city/county/state due to unpaid liens, and offer one per ~2,000 feet to AT&T for free (waiving those liens) as a neighborhood VRAD site. Most poor areas have vacant properties that can't be sold, because the liens exceed its value. Making some of them available to AT&T as VRAD sites would make it easier for AT&T to justify the cost of deploying 50mbps+ VDSL2 into those areas.

Comment Re: I thought Linux was supposed to be secure? (Score 1) 107

Insecurity isn't a necessary component of corporate data-harvesting... it's quite possible to make a device with robust, impenetrable security that encrypts & transports vast quantities harvested data to its corporate masters.

These are the REAL problems with most IoT devices:

1. Devices with 8-bit MCUs that treat the internet like a UDP-implemented serial port & have no meaningful security of their own.

2. Linux's (intentional) lack of a stable kernel ABI, which makes it all-but-impossible for end users to take control of their own destiny and upgrade devices long after they've been abandoned by their manufacturers.

3. The lack of meaningful public documentation of the underlying SoC. If MediaTek, Qualcomm, etc. doesn't make proper datasheets available to the public, reverse-engineering some generic nameless webcam is going to be *really* hard unless you have access to the hardware & software tools usually owned only by companies or universities.

If somebody can name a sub-$60 IP camera with official open-source firmware, I'd *love* to be proven wrong, but the fact is, sub-$60 IP cameras are practically large-scale integrated circuits *themselves*. Seven times out of eight, not even the nominal *manufacturer* of the camera has access to the full sourcecode to its firmware... they buy some SoC, assemble it into a camera based on some generic reference design, and get all the firmware & drivers verbatim from the SoC's manufacturer (like the thousands of knock-off "Foscam-type" IP webcams).

Comment Re:Fluid type manipulation with unions (Score 1) 405

Granted, you're not making it worse in any way by representing it with a union.

More to the point, you can't make it better by avoiding using a union. Because it's optimum as is.

The right tool for the right job.

pretty much the essence of obscure legacy cruft.

The job is the job. I have no problem using the right tool for the job.

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