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Comment Re:It's a clear case of NIMBY, but I agree with th (Score 1) 533

Same thing here in the Columbia Gorge. I used to love the drive out to NE Oregon where for long stretches the freeway was the only sign of human activity or development anywhere. You could stop on the side of the highway, walk up over a hill, and suddenly it was nothing but grassland and sky all the way to the horizon, exactly as my ancestors might have seen it from a wagon train 150 years ago.

Now it's miles and miles of huge white windwills. They are pretty in a way, but it kind of broke my heart the first time I saw it, knowing I'd never get to see that uninterrupted expanse again. However graceful, they are undeniably mechanical and human, and they change the landscape in a very real way. I think it's also the inescapably huge scale of these farms that makes people like me hate them. You can (visually speaking) get away from a big cooling tower or even a dam. But these stretch on for hundreds of miles and remind you, every direction you turn, that humans have turned the wind and the landscape into yet another resource to be harvested and sold.

Comment Re:Distance calculation is trivial... (Score 1, Insightful) 316

If your managers are really complaining about spending a few grand for real GIS and database software, then it's time to either smack these guys hard, or fire them. For something this trivial it should take any good manager a few hours research to find an off the shelf solution rather than a homemade kludge. Basically it sounds like these guys aren't willing to spend a little capital, and are far too used to throwing developer hours at a problem others have solved instead of paying for something standard and letting their developers work on real problems. Projects live and die by organizations willingness to actually invest in them.

Comment Re:Leave Tech/IT alone! (Score 1) 518

Except, those unemployed workers aren't unemployed because their skills are out of date, they're unemployed because outside IT (and a very short list of other healthy industries) there aren't any jobs. Automation, outsourcing, overseas competition aren't just IT problems. You can be as skilled and up-to-date as you want at mechanical engineering, or office management, or loan underwriting. If nobody is hiring in the first place, it doesn't matter.

The point is that there seem to be a lot of techies out there like yourself that have put a big Somebody Else's Problem Field up, and are pretending it's their innate specialness and not just dumb luck that's kept our sector employed for the last couple years. I'm not sure what we're supposed to do about it, but a little humility would be a good start.

Comment Alternative narrative (Score 1) 523

As I understand it, the current Lotus Elise, on which the Tesla is based, is also being discontinued. In Lotus case, they're replacing it with a brand new Elise built on a slightly larger chassis - and they can afford to do this because (compared to Tesla at least) they're high volume.

Tesla on the other hand doesn't have the time & money to reengineer the Roadster to work with the new Elise chassis at the same time they're trying to launch their sedan model. And they certainly don't have the clout to force Lotus to keep churning out an obsolete chassis for them.

End result: they disco'd an old model to focus on a new model. For every other car company on the planet this is called "Business As Usual", but apparently when you're Tesla it's a sign of impending collapse.

Comment Re:PS3 backwards compatibility (Score 1) 329

Same here. There's not enough content on the PS3 that I care to buy one just for that, but I'm not excited enough about my old PS2 games to hook that up and keep it in the living room again. If I could still get the twofer deal, I might go for it, but as it is I figure I have enough time & money wasting crap lying around.

Comment Re:Cultural effect? (Score 4, Informative) 404

Yes - the Japanese as a rule will not speculate on worst case scenarios the way westerners do. They will say what they know has happened or is wrong, not what could be wrong or might have happened. This is often perplexing to both sides, so that they'll think we're being hyperactive or paranoid, and we'll assume they're being obfuscatory or secretive.

Comment Re:quit with the gossip (Score 1) 469

Yes, but it's also the role of an elected leader to lead.

Disclosure sometimes discourages compromise, and nobody likes to talk to the kid who can't keep secrets. Now thanks to Julian Assange that kid is the US State Department. If you prefer that America's foreign relations be maintained by the Secretary of State, rather than the Secretary of Defense, this is a very bad thing.

Comment Re:Golf Diesel (Score 3, Interesting) 576

Sure, fast cars are fun. I've owned my share, and they have their place. There's no replacement for displacement, as they say.

But it's like volume: if the only thing that makes your music listenable is to turn it up louder, you're probably listening to bad music. If the only thing that makes your car enjoyable is adding horsepower, you're probably driving a crap car.

Comment Re:Golf Diesel (Score 5, Insightful) 576

BS. This is always the next argument - "I can't get on the freeway without a billion horsepower!" or "An underpowered car is too unsafe. I once had to outrun an avalanche while driving a carload of orphans down a mountain pass, and my bi-turbo V8 saved our lives!". Speed is not a safety feature, and if slow acceleration was all it took to keep vehicles off the highway, interstate trucking and Greyhound would have collapsed a long time ago. It's not that fast cars aren't fun - they're incredible fun. But we've let ourselves be sold the idea that they're a necessity instead of a luxury, and it's costing us dearly.

Comment Re:Golf Diesel (Score 5, Insightful) 576

No, it's because for the last 25 years automakers have catered to people's very marketable desire to go faster over their only recently discovered desire to go "green". Fuel was more expensive in Europe, and money less plentiful in the rest of the world, so they focused more on efficiency. Over here in the states we had plenty of money, and plenty of cheap gas, so we designed our cars for that environment. All engines have gotten more efficient over the years, but where a Euro might use that extra efficiency to save gas, we used it to go faster. What's worse is that American drivers now think that if their basic commuter car can't outrun a sports car from 25 years ago, they're getting cheated somehow.

1984 Porsche 944 - 150hp, 2900lbs
2011 Honda Accord EX - 190hp, 3300lbs

There's zero reason for a commuter car to have a 0-60 time 8 seconds, or a top speed of 120mph+, yet that's become a totally normal performance envelope. You have to push boundaries that would have been muscle car territory not that long ago to officially be considered "sporty".


Microsoft to Issue Emergency Patch For File-Sharing Hole 348

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft said late Wednesday that it plans to release a critical security update today to plug a security hole present in all supported versions of Windows. The company hasn't released any details about the patch yet, which is expected to be pushed out at 1 p.m. PT. Normally, Redmond issues security updates on Patch Tuesday, the second Tuesday of each month. The Washington Post's Security Fix blog notes that each of the three times in the past that Microsoft has departed from its patch cycle, it was to fix some really nasty vulnerability that criminals already were exploiting to break into Windows PCs." Reader filenavigator points out an article which describes the hole as an SMB vulnerability, and says it "allows anyone to access a Windows machine remotely without any user name or password. Any machine that exposes Windows file sharing is vulnerable." Update: 10/23 17:42 GMT by T : Reader AngryDad adds a link to Microsoft's more detailed memo.

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