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Comment Re:Oil Gusher (Score 1) 913

Explosives were used in Kuwait to put out well fires, via oxygen starvation, so that they could safely be capped. This well isn't on fire, and assuming the well casing is intact, we'd want to preserve that as best as possible. Blowing it up would do nothing but make the mess harder to contain.

Comment Re:Well... (Score 1) 913

In addition to the other responses, the Deepwater Horizon was drilling 13,000 feet below the seafloor to reach the oil (a very average borehole depth).

Earthquakes don't typically open up 2.5mile deep fissures to cause leaks like this. For the shallow reserves, they've probably already leaked out if they were geologically unstable, and we probably didn't notice because we weren't paying attention for a dozen or so millenia, not centuries, if we existed at all when it occurred. Most oil is produced from stuff that lived 10 to 160 million years ago. If it leaked out even 1 million years ago, we'd wouldn't see any current ecological effects.

To summarize Limbaugh, it is natural, and nature will take care of it. Just not in our life time, and depending on how bad we fuck up, possibly not in the rest of human history.

Comment Re:Maybe good... maybe bad (Score 1) 282

Apple isn't being douchey about video formats, unless you consider "we don't want to suck" as being douchey. It's that a dedicated H.264 decoder chip exists in the iPhone (and most new smartphones) and provides significant performance gains in terms of framerate, video quality and battery life vs. other formats that are decoded on the CPU, at relatively low hardware cost. As far as I'm aware, a Theora decoder chip is not in popular use, if it exists at all.

H.264 provides a better experience for the user, which is why Apple chose it. It's their same reasoning for denying Flash on their mobile devices. Flash, in their browser, degrades the performance to a level they are unhappy with. Flash, as a common programming target, becomes a lowest common denominator and hands API control and release cycles over to a 3rd party. I don't like Apple making those decisions for me, so I don't own their devices, but there are millions of people who don't care about this and just want the best experience.

While I'm happy Google is giving me a choice to use Flash on my phone, I'm not overly excited about its arrival either, I've programmed in Flash before, and I agree with many of Jobs' criticisms. My hope is that Apple's scorn will force them to improve their product.

Comment Re:Facebook Deepens Ties with Intelligence Agencie (Score 1) 287

If you're afraid of their intelligence gathering and profiling, the worst action you could take would be removing yourself from the honeypots. That's like waving a giant red flag saying "I've caught on to the scam!" If they're using the data for nefarious reasons, you're going to be identified as someone who, early on, proved troublesome. If you're already on the networks, you'd be far more likely to fly under the radar by gently subverting your profile into something that will be perceived innocuous instead of an abrupt removal. Corrupting their data is far more protective than merely limiting what they have available.

Comment Re:Newgrounds (Score 1) 532

Yeah, and you had to drive to a store or order from a catalog to get that 486 software. And you pretty much had to buy everything.

Browser based apps are about the "here and now...anywhere, usually for free". It's the delivery mechanism that matters. There are more games available to you at any moment on the internet than were ever available for the 486. Where's the 486 equivalent to Last.FM, Hulu/YouTube, or Picasa? Even stuff that was possible on a 486 was often much slower and/or far more expensive than current Google Apps alternatives.

Yeah, software hasn't progressed at all.

Comment Re:Opposite problem with Oracle licensing (Score 1, Informative) 217

Especially if you wanted to run it inside a VM and only allocate some fraction of the cores to that instance. Still gotta pay for the cores/box, not cores assigned. Thanks Oracle. Other than price rape, and a general level of half-assery that ensures they'll have to visit you on site to fix the shit they sold to your boss, I don't understand why enterprise software needs to know what hardware you're using anyways.

Comment Re:Rails 3.1 Comparison (Score 1) 125

Disclaimer: I'm not a PHP or Ruby programmer. I come from the land of Java and Python.

@posts = Post.where(:status => 'public').order('created DESC')

$records = $this->_model->blogs->fetchAll(array('status = ?' => 'public'), 'created DESC');

Assuming these would be returned from a framework library, or I can't readily access the source and this is just part of documentation.

The first example is fairly readable, concise and sensible. Knowing a little about how Ruby handles things as objects, I "get it" and am comfortable with what @posts would probably contain. I'm fairly certain @posts is a plural set/object of more Post objects, which represents a row in a database, where status is public, then ordered descending. I can probably iterate through it. As an outsider, I could read this, lookup the column names for the row and almost immediately start using it.

Knowing some of the problems with PHP and its community, I can make no assumptions about what $records will really be unless I know the author's style or am already familiar with the codebase. Ignoring your writeup justification for shortening, I can't guess what _model is, I don't know what blogs really represents, and I'm uncertain why fetchAll needs an array object passed as a parameter, I have to mentally replace the question mark with "public", then assume the second parameter is an order-by parameter since I see the DESC. Before I would be ready and comfortable to use $records in a meaningful way, I'd have to dump it to the screen or use a debugger, plus lookup the syntax for fetchAll, and I'd really want to know what _model and blog actually represented since you're now magically assuming the blog object links to a table somehow. I do not know if blog is iterable or if it's rows it has grabbed are even accessible. $records may be the result of some manipulation it performs on the query result. I just don't know, and that makes me uncomfortable.

So while you've reduced character quantity to near comparable levels, you've not matched readability or understanding. You've merely condensed complex code into short complex code. Honestly, I think it's a philosophy difference between PHP and Ruby. Ruby the language strives for the principle of least surprises, and if the programmers utilizing it adhere to that, I can grasp their code pretty quickly. PHP is a grab-bag; you can make no assumptions, which is both a strength and a weakness.

Granted, PHP can still be used successfully to start and run a business, but as a programmer with no professional experience in either language, I'm gravitated towards the Ruby example.

Comment Re:Sprint? (Score 1) 187

I don't know why Sprint is hemorrhaging customers, just go to the various sites and compare plans and prices. Verizon is a better network but often 40% more expensive for equal services (and Sprint gets to piggyback for free if needed), T-Mobile is close but not quite as good, and AT&T is currently considerably worse in all respects except offering the iPhone.

Unless you're an international traveler, refuse to use subsidized phones, or obsessed with the iPhone, Sprint is the clear winner.

Comment Re:yes (Score 1) 1049

What makes gmail better than AOL? Reputation.
  • 5 years of excellent service
  • Significant features (first great spam filter, threaded conversations, search)
  • First to offer generous storage quotas
  • Service integration with Chat, Docs, Calender, Reader, Maps, etc
  • Adequate and responsive mobile support
  • One of the first to bring IMAP and SSL connections to everyday email
  • Unobtrusive ads on page, and none have ever been injected into sent email

Sure, AOL has caught up to a lot of these, but strictly as a "me-too" effort to not alienate and lose [even more] users.

While it's probably not right to make judgments based on email domains, even while AOL has historically been associated with low technical competency, I see nothing wrong with discriminating based on usernames. For professional disclosure, I would expect a professionally acceptable username (i.e. no l33tspeak, nothing using "420", "69", drug-related or sexually provocative words, and nothing too crazy sounding unless you've got an significant and established online identity under that guise, and no generics like admin or webmaster@randomuselessdomain.com).

Comment Re:why? (Score 1) 580

But the last 35 minutes are non-interactive, it's just watching files transfer and letting it reboot. The important, interactive part of the install where the user must actually use stuff is entirely in a DOS/curses like environment. Setting the system time with a GUI is not an important step.

Vista and 7 improve on it, but neither are as slick as Ubuntu's liveCD method.

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