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Comment The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists invented fear (Score 1) 384

It's a riot that at the top of this (otherwise sensible) article is a Doomsday Clock announcing that humankind is "5 Minutes to Midnight." That's closer than it was for much of the cold war! Sure there's a pretty good chance some third-world nutjob will get his hands on a tiny nuke soon, and yes, over the next CENTURY, several million people will need to migrate inland to avoid flooding, and probably learn to farm different crops.

But Doomsday? In five minutes?

That clock is, literally, the single most needlessly alarmist message coming from "experts" since... Ever.

Comment Yes and no (Score 1) 175

I know some of these people. I see them at events and wonder why they're on stage and I'm working so hard to grow my little business that has been profitable for 7 years and pays 4 people's salaries without relying on any "angels."


They're human beings and I don't despise them with the anger Inigo Montoya felt for the six-fingered man. They're no different from any of the thousands of people who make a living one or two degrees away from other ludicrously wealthy outliers like athletes or entertainers.

I do sometimes laugh at the job descriptions of these phonies, you know, stuff like:

"Milo Yiannopoulos is a journalist who specializes in privacy, piracy, start-ups, Internet culture and the media."

Oh wait.

Comment Re:"first they ignore you" (Score 1) 610

Apple is making products that users (even corporate users) are demanding, instead of making products that make IT managers happy. They've realized that successful companies listen to their core creative talent, not their bean counters.

The first company to produce iPad apps that can secure enterprise data (if they haven't already, I don't look for those apps) will make a mint. With cloud-everything, it shouldn't be a problem. Just don't store anything on the device, including passwords.

Comment Don't listen to the workaholics (Score 2) 335

Don't listen to all the stressed-out middle agers pining for a care-free high school summer. Save kicking around Europe for a time when your life is crazy and you need to decompress. You're young and fired up and ready to learn and grow. Seize that.

I had two jobs at my university the summer between high school and college. One was doing data analysis and writing software for the school's particle accelerator. The other was changing out rat cages in the medical labs. You can guess which one paid more. Both were valuable experience. I got to know my way around campus, I got to know some professors -- I even got an email address over the summer. NOBODY had email addresses back then! After changing the rat cages I'd sit in my boss's office and use his computer and connect to systems all over the world. I know it's hard to imagine, but that was a rare opportunity at one time.

Universities are gold mines of opportunities -- outside the classroom. Get a job - even if it's changing rat cages - and get to know people. If you keep quiet and do what you're told it'll be years before you're doing anything cutting edge. Seek out those opportunities now. Find the profs doing ground breaking work and change the batteries in their robots or something.

And yes, between working at the particle accelerator, another job at the med school, and learning my way around the fledgling internet, I still managed to go to the beach with my girlfriend a few times and go to a bunch of movies I can't remember now. So I had fun. You will too. But don't listen to the workaholics telling you this is the last glimmer of freedom you'll ever have so make the most of it. Take the opportunity to get a leg up on the rest of the incoming freshmen by catching the attention of some profs now. Even if it means cleaning rat cages.

Comment Re:uhh... does anyone still use mutt? (Score 1) 93

I used to use mutt. I had it all pimped out to support bunches of lists and a few dozen email addresses and do cool things on the results of procmail filters and so on. While everyone else was fighting with Outlook or extolling the virtues of Eudora I was the only person I knew who could search nearly 10 years of email from any computer, including my (barely) smartphone.

But then my coding chops ossified, I got annoyed bouncing mail to another POP box to deal with attachments or images, and I plain got tired of it. I jumped straight to web-based GMail since I couldn't stand the idea of my email history living on only one computer. I know it seems like the web interface is limiting for email but I'm totally happy with it, and it's been years since I've fought with my email program or lost a single message.

But, yeah. mutt is awesome.

Comment Re:Question should be about reactor design ... (Score 1) 324

Shouldn't the question really be "is this nuclear reactor design (including its associated fueling, storage and waste handling) safe?

No, the question always has to be "Is X safer than Y?"

The second law of thermodynamics will tell you that however you try to generate power, there will be waste and there will be pollution. Any single page from the history of mankind will tell you that when people are involved, there will be mistakes. No electricity generation options are awesome on their own merits.

Is nuclear power safe? No.
Is it safer that all other economically viable alternatives? Yes.

Comment Re:Fukushima proved nuclear cannot be made safe (Score 1) 324

Make public policy decisions based on historical fact and statistics rather than fear and ignorance.

The facts show nuclear power causes less pollution and fewer deaths than any other economically viable energy source.

But accept that "less pollution" does not mean none, and "fewer deaths" does not mean zero.

Anyone unwilling to accept that needs to stop using cars and electricity.

Comment Re:its because of the time scales (Score 1) 324

> And just like after Chernobyl we were all assured by the nuclear proponents that "there can never be another nuclear disaster", we're being assured that now too.

Nobody said that then, and nobody is saying that now. There will be another nuclear power disaster. It'll probably happen in another decade or so, in a country that least expects it, in a scenario that seems avoidable in hindsight but happens nonetheless. It'll kill a few dozen or hundreds of people, and it'll make a few hundred or even a few thousand acres unsafe.

But meanwhile, coal, gas, large hydro, and other conventional power sources maintain a steady, background rate of several thousand deaths per year. Land is made uninhabitable by mining, villages are flooded by hydro [], groundwater is contaminated by fracking, etc.

Nobody - NOBODY - says nucelar power is safe and "you have nothing to worry about." What nuclear power proponents say is that historically, statistically, objectively, it causes fewer deaths and less pollution than conventional energy sources. That's all.

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