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Comment Re:They did the same thing for dual booting Linux (Score 1) 200

I still dual boot -- but I almost never use Windows, which is kind of the point. I don't use it enough to justify paying for a virtualization compatible license, and it's just a static waste of resources to boot in Windows to run Linux under a VM.

I suppose one solution for those instances where you have to boot Windows yet also access stuff in your Linux partition is to use raw partition access in a virtual machine and serve the data over a virtual network server. I know it's possible but it's been so many years since I've had to do it I couldn't comment on how other than to say read the virtualization platform documentation.

Comment Re:That's 129.2F if you're interested. (Score 1) 186

I always wondered how everyone understood measurements given by the UK show Top Gear when they talk about miles, miles per hour and horsepower. Not to mention pints.

Well, basically it's a complete myth that everywhere but the U.S. converted to metric in everyday life. The UK has "officially" been using metric for 50 years, but imperial units are EVERYWHERE in common circumstances if you bother to look for them. (For a full explanation, you might look at this report from the UK Metric Association which seeks to promote literacy in metric.

There are obvious situations from everyday life where UK folks still use imperial units -- most prefer "stone" (or "pounds/ounces" for babies) for human weight, for example. But other units crop up all the time. Celsius is standard for weather forecasts, except when it gets really hot, in which case broadcasters love to point out it might get to "100 degrees!" Watts are the SI unit, but you get engines measured in HP and heating systems measured in BTUs. Clothing sizes are still commonly in inches. Road signs still commonly give distances in miles (or yards, for shorter distances and feet and inches for height restrictions). Paper is mostly metric, but photos are still standard 4"x6". Refrigerators are often still sold with volume given in cu. ft. House/apartment sizes are often still described by agents in sq. ft. Small grocers often still advertise in imperial units of weight or volume.

Etc., etc. There are also plenty of cases where more obscure units are still used in various skilled trades.

Most countries that claim to be "fully metric" have similar issues. This list is a bit old, but it shows how old non-metric units continue to be used in random places throughout Europe, even in countries that "converted" more than a century ago.

After reading a lot about this, my conclusion was that the most successful countries that really made a break with older measures did so by simply redefining their older units. Hence, the French still order a "pound loaf" of bread, but it's actually 500 grams -- they simply redefined the livre (pound) in the 1800s to be exactly half a kilo. Given the way that all the old imperial units have now been so precisely defined, it's no longer really feasible to do that anymore.

So most countries are stuck with weird hybrids, where officially everyone is supposed to use metric, but you get old units cropping up in all sorts of everyday places where they are useful.

I'm a big fan of the metric system and wish that everyone would adopt a standard measurement system -- but these residual units in most countries go to show how little utility the supposed "simplicity" of the metric system actually has for everyday life. People have a sense of how big a "X cu. ft." refrigerator is, and they can use it to compare when they buy a new one. The average person never really cares about the conversion of that unit to anything else -- they don't care that there are 1728 cu. in. in a cu. ft. and they'll basically never need to know that or do such a conversion. They just want to know how big their refrigerator is and how it compares to the new one they might buy. The units might as well be "7.2 standard refrigerator units" for all people care... and that's why these old units stick around. Very few circumstances demand conversion of units for everyday people in everyday life, so the "easiness" of the metric system means nothing to them. If they want to buy pants, they know the number that fits them -- it doesn't matter is it is centimeters or inches or cubits or furlongs.

Comment Re:Netflix has a unique and obvious strategy. (Score 2) 128

I know it's mostly not Netflix fault their movie selection is crap. But honestly I'd probably pay twice as much if I had a real selection of movies where I had a reasonably good chance that the movie I wanted to see was included.

Uh, your wish is already granted by Netflix -- pay "twice as much" and subscribe to their DVD plan and get access to roughly 100,000 titles.

I know that's not the answer you want, but if you're willing to wait just a couple days rather than demanding instant gratification when you decide you "need to watch movie X right now!" you might find there are options available. (Admittedly, if you just want the most popular and recent titles unavailable on Netflix streaming, there are better alternatives... if you want to rent old Soviet films or obscure silent flicks, there aren't that many alternatives.)

But I know DVDs and mail are so "old school" these days. Perhaps hipsters will bring them back in a couple years.

Comment Re:Even if it is money, I get it.... (Score 1) 124

Incidentally, Bitcoin probably can't be considered legal tender - it would violate the Constitution, which allows only Congress to print money and denies states the right to have their own currency. It does fall into a category not thought of by the founding fathers, though, which is non-printed money (so Bitcoin basically is a loophole).

There's always a lot of confusion when the term "legal tender" comes up. "Legal tender" is NOT the same as "valid money" or "valid currency" or whatever. "Legal tender" in the U.S. means precisely one thing -- it must be accepted for all debts, public or private.

And what that means is -- if you incur debt to someone, they must accept "legal tender" to repay that debt. If you don't pay and they sue you, the court can order payment -- and they must accept dollars.

Things "legal tender" is NOT: (1) "Legal tender" is NOT necessarily the only possible thing you can use to pay for something. A purchase contract can specify that you give me lunch in exchange for two goats. That doesn't make goats "money" or "legal tender." (2) "Legal tender" does NOT have to be accepted as payment for a debt not yet incurred, which means no business has to accept legal tender for a purchase for example. A business in the U.S. can legally say it will only take credit, no cash please. Or they can say "we only accept goats for purchases."

There are plenty of examples in normal life of "substitute currencies" or "substitute money" created and perfectly legal. If you go to a casino and they give you a stack of chips that are required to be used for betting or for paying for services within the casino, they are creating a de facto "in-house currency" that is perfectly legal. If you go to a county fair, and they insist you pay for rides and food or whatever in "tickets" rather than cash, they have also created "de facto money" to be used at that event. It serves as a standard medium of exchange for transactions.

States can also create money in a "workaround" by issuing currency through banks, and many states did that for the first 75 years or so of the U.S. Any private entity can do so.

Anyhow, here's the problem with all alternative currencies in the U.S. -- you have to pay the IRS in dollars. That effectively makes any alternative currency a pain to use except in limited short-term circumstances (like casino betting or fair tickets). Why? Because all alternative currencies -- whether coins or paper or goats -- are ultimately taxable property. And if you actually use an alternative currency that "catches on" and is used widely, you'll have to report any profits and pay taxes in dollars to the IRS.

So if you accept only goats as payment, you'll need to assess the value of those goats. Once you and all the towns in your area start using goats, they are bound to fluctuate in value, so you need to start keeping track of capital gains (in dollars!) that occur between transactions and pay taxes to the IRS. If you're printing your own money, you can get around this problem by tying the value to the U.S. dollar (thus ensuring no changes in value for taxable purposes), but then there's little justification for your alternative currency.... except in circumscribed venues for convenience. (The fair tickets simplify things -- all the stands and ride operators don't have to have a lot of cash on hand to make change, people don't waste time making change for each small transaction, etc.)

So, in sum -- yes, it's true that Bitcoin probably can't be "legal tender" under the Constitution (which only means stuff like you can't force your bank to accept Bitcoin for your mortgage payments). It may in fact be used as "money" or "currency" in other circumstances, but it probably doesn't fit the vague legal definition of "money" in "money laundering" laws (which tends to be focused on standard currencies).

Comment Re:Apple's on the wrong road (Score 1) 114

They occasionally undercut their competitors. The first flash iPods were cheaper than any other consumer device (including USB flash drives) with that much flash because Apple anticipated the demand and bought up an entire year's flash production capacity from several suppliers, getting a reasonable discount. No one else could get flash chips at close to the rate that Apple was paying for a while. More recently, they've used their cash reserves to build factories for suppliers in exchange for the first year of output from them. They end up paying less for chips than anyone else, and the suppliers then get to keep operating the factory and selling the output after Apple has moved on to wanting the newer process.

Comment Re:Free time (Score 4, Insightful) 307

I think part of this trend has to do with the desire to eventually turn a "side-gig" into a job that can offer full financial support, and the Internet has made it possible for a lot of people to at least make a fair shot at doing that.

I really don't think "the Internet" has a lot to do with this, nor do I think it's a "trend." Everybody acts like entrepreneurship was invented in the past couple decades. But how do you think people "got ahead" in previous centuries? How do you think we had a "rise of the middle class" that moved us out of the dark ages of feudalism, then led the charge for the Industrial Revolution, etc.?

A lot of those people were folks with ideas about what they'd prefer to do, and they kept working at a day job to make money to fund what might start as a "hobby" but then lead to a new business or a new invention or whatever. By the 20th century, big business had grown to the point that more people were employed in large corporations, so this idea of "hobbies" or "side jobs" leading to lead to bettering your life shifted instead to "night school" and credentialing/formal study on the side to convince an employer that you're qualified for something better.

The only thing the internet has done is "disrupt" some large corporations and their control in certain sectors, which perhaps makes it a little more likely for an individual to take the "hobby" route instead of the "night school" route again. But let's not kid ourselves -- the number of such people who eventually convert some online hobby to dayjob may be larger than similar entrepreneurs of the past couple generations, but as a percentage of people who dream of doing so... it's vanishingly small.

Comment Re:Free time (Score 5, Interesting) 307

Everybody needs a hobby, is what this article boils down to. For the people in question, part time job is hobby.

Actually, it's about more than "hobbies." Basically, TFA is about conflating a bunch of things that used to have different terms and corralling them under a new fancy appellation, i.e., "side hustle," which sounds like a really stupid dance people do at weddings.

A few things that are conflated here and had perfectly good terms before:

(1) "Hobbies" -- these are things that basically make you no money. Nominally, they might bring in a little income, but it's so small you don't really pay attention to it at all. You're more interested in the activity than the income. You might only sell some of your work to try to make the expenses "balance out" a little, not really to make a profit.

(2) "Dream jobs" -- these are things that people would like to do with their lives, but they can't "make a living" at it. So they have what used to be called a "day job," and then they work as a musician some evenings or on the weekends. It's more than a "hobby," because they actually would prefer a job as a musician, but the income isn't enough to make it work.

(3) "Second jobs" -- these are what poor people do to survive (i.e., put food on the table and make rent), and what middle-class people do to afford some desirable luxury or send their kids to a nicer private school. (The latter sometimes use the word "side job" too, avoiding the "electric slide" and the "side hustle.") Often they are menial part-time gigs, but they are distinct from the above categories because people generally would prefer NOT to do them.

The author of TFA seems to confuse all of these categories, which used to be straightforward in previous generations. Moreover, he adds his extra "first world problems" twist to his examples:

Maybe that's because many people assume the side hustle is just financially oriented, simply another adaptive response to recession-era economics. Google "side hustle" and you will find thousands of stories, but they are all focused on the how. As in, Dear internet, how can I make another $200 a month to cover my Verizon bill?

If you are struggling financially because of your Verizon bill, maybe your financial priorities are a little screwed up.

Last year, writing for the internet earned me a grand total of $415 before taxes, or about the price of two hotel nights on the outskirts of Manhattan or San Francisco. To say I'm not in it for the money would be understatement. Not because I'm above such earthly considerations. There's just very little money in it to be for.

The side hustle offers something worth much more than money: A hedge against feeling stuck and dull and cheated by life. In fact, given all the hours I've devoted to it, there's no question in my mind that I've lost more than I've made, if only in terms of my Starbucks spend.

If your metric for your side job is that you're spending more money than you're making at Starbucks, you don't have a "side job" or even a "side hustle." You have a hobby. And you have enough disposable income to not give a crap that you're spending that much money on coffee. Good job! Now stop meditating on your first-world problems and trying to conflate them with things real people do to survive or to get things that will really make their lives better.

If your writing hobby gives your life meaning, by all means, keep doing it. But please stop acting like most other people who have to work a second job on the side might also just throw away all their proceeds at Starbucks. Or... well, is that really what a "millennial" budget looks like these days? $200/month Verizon bill, $100/month coffee bill... but can't make rent or afford a car so you still live with your parents?

I really don't want to give into Millennial stereotypes (which I think are often inaccurate), but TFA is just BEGGING for it.

Comment Re:Why would Putin fear Clinton? (Score 1) 755

Trump can't even run a business.

I think that is political BS. IF I understand things correctly each project is usually a different corporation. Different investors for different projects, one failed project won't impact other projects, a failure doesn't impact anyone personally, etc. Basically look up all the reasons you want an S-Corp or LLC rather than a sole proprietorship for your own business. I think his bankruptcies are several of these projects failing. If only several projects failed out of dozens he's doing pretty well.

All of that said, if Trump had merely cashed out his portion of his father's inheritance in the mid-1970s and invested it in index funds, he'd have more money today.

This isn't surprising as most CEOs (and even most fund managers) have trouble beating the market consistently. But still -- Trump's amount of business success is hardly noteworthy, given the assets and company already put in place that he inherited. He could have had more money if he just sat back and did nothing for the past 40 years.

Comment Re:I believe you've already found tge problem. (Score 1) 516

This is the problem with your analog headphone jack -- there's no vendor lock-in possible! This grievous error must be stopped.

Apple almost had this going on with the original iPhone... And what could Apple do? ... Apple can make money without lifting a finger now... I can't wait to hear how Apple spins this as being a good thing at the next iPhone announcement in a few months here.

Yeah, Apple sure are horr- wait, what was the summary?

In the Android camp, phones like Lenovo's Moto Z and Moto Z Force and China's LeEco have already scrapped the 3.5mm headphone jack; to listen to music on the company's three latest phones, users need to plug in USB Type-C headphones, go wireless, or use a dongle.

So, Apple has done nothing yet, while Lenovo and LeEco have, and yet all you rant about is how terrible Apple is, and not them. So, which is it: hypocrite, or Android propagandist?

Comment Re:because it's universal (Score 1) 516

That's exactly the problem. The companies want proprietary. Hell, this goes back the earliest Macs, with their unique mouse, keyboard, and printer ports, and their scuzzy drive connectors..

SCSI, or the small computer system interface, was a set of standards created by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), not Apple. You want a unique port? Look at PS/2, created specifically by and for IBM and IBM-compatibles.

Comment Re:In other words, Moore's law will continue (Score 3, Insightful) 126

Google it, you'll get that it has to do with number of transistors, not complexity.

Read Moore's papers.

The AC is strictly incorrect in stating that it has "nothing to do with the number of transistors on a chip". It has something to do with that. However, they did state what Moore said accurately, unlike whatever source Google took you to.

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