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Comment Re:What the hell? $600K? (Score 1) 54

Just the accounting you'd need to sell the thing to the government would cost you $100K. Oh, and you'd have to pay yourself or someone else to take part in the bidding process or apply for the granted, and that has to be recouped as part of the sale cost. Er... you were planning on paying yourself for your time, weren't you?

Also, there's a big difference between building a prototype from junk you scrounged and building a reproducible product. When you build a product the second copy should be exactly the same as the first but cost less. Duplicating a one-off prototype exactly usually costs more. Why? Proof of concept prototypes are cheap because you make them with surplus stuff you have lying around or can buy for fractions of a penny on the dollar. You can be opportunistic. The problem is any particular set of opportunities (e..g the $10,000 assembly you picked up at auction for $50) aren't reproducible.

I had a colleague whose first job out of school was writing up a detailed specification for a prototype midget submarine a defense research lab built for the Navy. The Navy was pleased at the low cost and so they wanted to be able to build a second one just like it. Well it turned out that a second one would have cost a hundred times as much they'd have had to pay manufacturers to reverse engineer stuff or start up production lines. It was one of the pointless, futile tasks you dump on newbie engineers before you know you can trust their work.

Comment Re:Basic Journalism... (Score 3, Insightful) 105

That's an asinine argument. Other people who should do it don't do it, so I won't do it either.

Wikileaks won't do it because Assange is a chaos-monger posing as a crusader. Wikileaks should do curate its leaks because when you possess information you act responsibly with it, e.g., don't expose people it is about to identity fraud.

Comment Re:All the stories I'm seen look horrifying (Score 1) 433

The true believers have been predicting "a mass migration to Linux" on the desktop after every round of Microsoft shenanigans for the last 20 years, and it hasn't happened yet. I'd like to see Microsoft dead and buried as much as anyone. But I really don't see yet another round of abusive BS kicking off the exodus. If anything is going to kill Microsoft, it's going to be the same thing that killed Palm and Blackberry: A combination of their own hubris and complacency causing them to overlook an agile new company that will totally blindside them with something "knock-your-socks-off" good. Linux is good. But it's more "reliable-work-truck" good. And if it hasn't caught the general public's awe yet, I doubt that it will. Buy hey, it's the king of the server room and data center, and that's a good thing to be.

Comment Oh, for the days of analog... (Score 1) 161

Thing like this do make me pine for the days of actual switched circuits; when an airhorn, or even a really good whistle, could send enough signal and generate a loud enough noise to cause pain to the person on the other end, especially if they were wearing a headset. Yes, I know we're talking about robo-callers here. But they're almost always solicitations such that some keypress or another will connect you to someone in the organization calling you.

Comment Re:Pants on fire (Score 1) 54

Forcing countries like Japan and South Korea to build nuclear weapons because his resolve to continue US's longstanding defense of its allies is not going to make a better world. The last time the United States retreated behind its borders and let its Allies fend for themselves, we ended up with the most destructive conflict in history, and the costs dwarfed what it would have cost to keep a proper military presence in potential trouble spots.

Comment Re: So in other words... (Score 1) 304

With vehicles, most of the damage is now well understood. There is an accident, people die. Some issues took longer before we understood that they were a big problem (car emissions causing smog, greenhouse gasses, and other airborn pollutants; drunk driving claiming lots of lives) but now, after a hundred years of almost every american being in or near vehicles daily, we have a pretty good handle on it.

Consider tobacco. For a very long time, smoking tobacco was considered healthy. Even when studies started to show the terrible effects, corporations and deniers tried to deny the studies. I remember my best friend's dad saying "I'm not a lab rat, how they do testing is totally different than how people smoke, so obviously those studies are wrong." Now we know better.

And now we have e-cigs. We have studies which show, not proof yet, but strong cause for concern. We have a market full off cheap products which you say are dangerous, and expensive products which you say are not dangerous, and no labelling or education to teach consumers to avoid the cheap shit. And we have people saying "how they do testing is totally different than how people vape, so obviously those studies are wrong."

The harm from e-cigs isn't "you use a cheap one and you die". It's "some products, or maybe all products, emit toxins which are then inhaled". With cigarettes, we know that inhaling certain toxins has little immediate effect but extremely large effects over many years. Do the e-cigs cause the same issues? We're not sure, but it's not exactly rocket science to say "maybe we should study this and put some regulations in sooner rather than waiting until a few generations have damaged their lungs."

I do like your "Reputable studies that actualy say how they tested the e juice come back with no harmful toxins." Do you remember the reputable studies that tobacco companies did which showed no harmful effects? I don't know if the e-cig companies are lying or not; I don't know if they are fooling themselves or not. But I do know that I don't trust companies to regulate themselves; I've seen how that works out.

Comment Re:My compendium (Score 1) 153

No, you interpret what he said as sarcasm. But with Trump, it's virtually impossible without applying a filter, either in his favor, or biased against him, to sort out much of what he means. To have a man who wants to be the leader of the Free World speaking in a rantish and often incoherent fashion, and then constantly being informed by his followers as to what he really meant doesn't inspire confidence.

Comment Re:Yeah so (Score 1) 174

If you expected Sanders to be non-compromising, you clearly haven't done your research on him. The man has a solid track record of a pragmatic idealist - he has clear ideals that he strives to fulfill, but at the same time, he is perfectly able and willing to work with people whom he disagrees with, so long as it gets him one step closer to his goals. Look at what he did in Congress - constant scheming to add riders to bills. Go even further back, and look at what he did as a mayor.

And it's exactly what made Sanders such an awesome presidential candidate. Most "revolutionaries" dismiss incremental change outright. This guy realized that it's the only chance that he and his platform has, and mastered it. I actually put more faith in his ability to navigate through the gridlock in Congress as a president, than Hillary's. Alas...

Comment Re: Oh noes (Score 1) 105

I quit watching the Walking Dead when all the human characters devolved into such a loathsome bunch that I was actually rooting for the zombies to kill them all... but they went the rest of the season without doing so. At least the most awful people in GoT qualify as magnificent bastards, not just bastards. And GoT does offer up some sympathetic characters like Tyrion, Daenerys, and Arya.

Really though, I'm hoping for some genuine Roddenberry-style optimism in the upcoming Star Trek series. I'm seriously burnt out on "dark, gritty, humanity at its worst".

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