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Comment They did the same thing for dual booting Linux (Score 2) 146

Ten years ago, it was relatively straightforward to install Linux in one bootable partition, install Windows in another, and share data partitions between them.

Try that now, and you'll be forced to wait somewhere between 20 seconds and a week every time you boot into Windows after writing to a NTFS partition. Every. Single. Goddamn. Time.

It's gotten so bad, I know people who've set up a NAS just to keep Linux and Windows from directly touching each other's files.

The fucked up licensing for exFAT is another example of Microsoft making it intentionally hard for Linux and Windows to directly share hard drives. It's damn near impossible to get proper exFAT support under Linux, using ext2fsd under Windows is slightly brittle, FAT32's inability to deal with large files has gotten too annoying, and Windows goes full-on psychotic whenever it notices that someone else has been touching a NTFS filesystem it regards as its sole property.

The NTFS problem is particularly frustrating, because it's the only modern filesystem we have LEFT that works under both Linux and Windows. Unfortunately, Windows enforces limits on NTFS filesystems that go above and beyond the limits imposed by NTFS itself. It's absolutely possible to get a NTFS filesystem into a state that's completely legit as far as NTFS is concerned, but Windows won't touch with a 40 foot pole.

I've personally been living dangerously and using ext2 via ext2fsd, but when you do that, it's REALLY easy to accidentally mangle or delete files by mistake... especially if you go a step further and try to selectively move certain special directories, like "my documents" and "my pictures", to the ext2 volume. Moving personal special directories is semi-undocumented black magic to begin with, and it doesn't take much to end up in Windows Permissions Hell (where not even a user with admin rights can touch a file, and attempts to recursively take ownership of files in a directory STILL fails because Microsoft decided to treat unknown ownership GUIDs and permissions as "deny everyone, INCLUDING administrator".

God, I miss the days when being a local admin was as good as being root under Linux. Under recent versions of Windows, admins are more like Orwellian "outer party" members who can do slightly more than proles, at the cost of having their every move watched and second-guessed by the inner party. Microsoft needs to add a third option to their "access denied, contact your administrator" that says "I *am* the Administrator!"

Comment Re:Free time (Score 2) 304

You're leaving out the core reason all of this works - someone else has to want what you're producing with your hobby for it to have a chance at becoming a new business. Big companies work because they've found something lots of people want, and have made themselves super-efficient at producing that something. To succeed at doing your own thing requires (1) you be good at doing it, and (2) it be something someone else wants (i.e. will pay) you to do. (2) is what allows something to transition from hobby to business. Even if you're the best person in the world at catching Pokemon, if nobody else is willing to pay you to do it, you can't turn it into a career.

Personally, I blame the parents of the millenials (i.e. my generation). We insulated them from failure as they grew up, teaching them that they could be whatever they wanted to be in life, ignoring how good or bad they were at it, and whether or not it was actually a job someone else would be willing to pay them to do. And when they moved out on their own and real life threw failure at them, they didn't know how to handle it because they'd never experienced it before while growing up.

IMHO, my parents generation taught us right - hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Try to achieve our dream career, but to have a "safe" backup plan in case that didn't pan out. Yeah you can try to become a rock star or pro athlete, but you really should make sure you first complete that employable college degree (i.e. not art or English lit unless you're really, really good at it). Y'know, just in case your dreams of music or professional sports superstardom don't pan out like it doesn't for 99.999% of people who try it.

Comment Re:22 Days? (Score 1) 44

Unless they were covering up the solar panels while on the ground, and only using them to charge batteries while in the air, there is no point.

Technically all energy sources except geothermal are solar. Fossil fuels are solar energy collected by plants millions of years ago. Wood is solar energy collected by plants in the last few decades. Nuclear is energy from stars which went supernova to create the elements heavier than iron that we use for fission. Wind is the air's movement in reaction to differences in localized warming by the sun. Hydro is water which was evaporated by the sun, and traveled to a higher potential energy state.

So if you're charging your batteries with solar panels while the plane is sitting on the ground, then it's really no different from using any of the above energy sources. It's all just collecting solar energy in one time period, and using it to fly a plane around the world in a different time period. They're just doing it with solar panels (collector) and batteries (storage), instead of with plants (collector) and oil (storage).

The only way this would be a technology demonstrator is if they're only using the solar panels to charge the batteries while in the air. That would be demonstrating that a plane can carry enough solar panels to sustain itself in continuous flight through both day and night. I've been following this project on and off since it first began with their first plane, and I still haven't figured out if this is what they're actually doing. It's like they want to do it because Solar! Not because it would indicate we've crossed a fundamental engineering threshold with PV technology (generating capacity / weight has exceeded a certain point which makes continuous flight possible).

Comment Re: Not much features when they list non-features (Score 2) 298

And loss of access WILL eventually happen. I made the mistake of buying three WMV-HD discs back around 2006 (when Microsoft was threatening to back a renegade red-laser DVD-ROM based 720p24 competing format unless Blu Ray and HD-DVD made VC9 a mandatory codec). None of them will play as HD .wmv files anymore, because Microsoft took down their fucking DRM keyserver.

Comment Re: Basically... (Score 3, Insightful) 298

> What is it you want

1. A Start menu that isn't the nemesis of anyone who has ADHD who gets easily distracted.

2. A start menu that works like Windows 7's. I'm not a Luddite. If Microsoft came up with a genuinely better idea, I'd use it happily. Windows 10's start menu is an unambiguous step downward from Windows 7's. And it's butt-ugly, too.

3. I want Microsoft to quit crippling desktop apps and making them ugly for the benefit of tablets and phones that statistically, nobody even owns or wants anyway. I want Ubuntu to quit doing it, too, btw. At least with Ubuntu, Unity can be ignored and replaced.

4. I want the ability and right to decline future updates. Microsoft wants to make sure we can never again snub a future fuckup like Windows 8 and turn our backs on it. Sure, it's only a matter of time until openwrt adds an option to block windows update... But it's also only a matter of time until Microsoft has Windows deactivate itself if its attempts to download updates get frustrated too many times.

5. I want Aero Glass back, dammit. I paid $400 extra to get a discrete Quadro 3-D graphics card for my laptop just so I could enjoy Aero Glass in all its hardware-accelerated splendor. I really like it. Yes, I know we can (temporarily) re-enable it by copying dll files from Windows 7, but how long until Microsoft takes that away, too (see point 4)

6. I want Windows Media Center with full CableLabs-certified support for DVR'ing cablecard content flagged COPY_ONCE... Just like Windows 7 has.

Did I miss anything?

Comment bitcoin is money, that's its only function (Score 0) 120

I am not saying at all that anybody should be charged with anything, AFAIC anybody should be able to do whatever they want, money laundering is a nonsensical idea in the first place, however bitcoin is money.

Bitcoin is money because that is its only function. It is not a commodity, *bitcoin has no intrinsic value*, which means that outside of its use as money it has no other uses. It is used to transfer, store, account for value. It is as pure money as it gets, however because it has no intrinsic value at all (it cannot be used for anything outside of money, nobody needs it for anything but for its quality of being money) its ability to store value is questionable.

On a side note bitcoin is money and currency at the same time, that's because it is money that is also very easy to exchange and transfer from person to person.

Gold is money but it was not a very good currency (until recently), which is why people carried paper notes around to exchange quantities of gold (money). Currency is what circulates around, money is what stores value, can be traded/exchanged, can be used for accounting.

Modern technology makes gold, which is money also into currency, makes it extremely easy to use as currency without introducing any other medium of exchange to replace gold. Modern tech allows gold to be currency instead of having paper currency representing amounts of gold.

The judge in this case doesn't understand money or currency but at least he didn't use his lack of understanding to convict somebody on something that is not a crime AFAIC at all.

Comment All of this has happened before (Score 2) 191

All of it will happen again. Before Yahoo (before the Web actually), there was a Veronica which did a fairly reasonable job of cataloging the big gopher sites. And before that, there was an ftp site (can't recall the name) which tried to mirror most of the content hosted on other popular ftp sites (and was eventually displaced by Archie).

Yahoo foundered because their core web search was built on people hand-picking what should be the best results for a search term. I remember trying to find a decent car mechanic in Boston, and being able to drill down their indexing tree for businesses, Massachusetts, Boston, car mechanics. And there was a list of repair shops who'd either registered themselves with Yahoo, or someone else had taken the time to add an entry for them. AltaVista gave that tedious indexing job to a computer, with mixed results since computers don't understand context or what people find valuable. Google succeeded because they realized the very structure of the web itself (i.e. number of links to a site) gave them that context - what sites other people found valuable.

Comment Re:Mall shooting in Germany (Score 1) 173

Way to ignore suicides, accidents, children accessing guns in the home and all the other bad things that happen that wouldn't happen if people didn't have guns laying around

I would've thought the events of the last few months would've put to rest this flawed line of logic. The folks saying "guns don't kill people, people kill people" were right. If you take away access to guns, people don't magically become non-violent and pacifist subjects. They figure out other ways to accomplish their goal of killing people. Like build bombs, or drive a truck into a crowd. These things still happen.

The number of people killed in the U.S. in 2013 from accidental discharge of firearms was 505. By contrast, the number of people killed by drowning (mostly in pools) was 3,391. 2,780 people were killed by fires. The number of people killed by going to the hospital was 2,768. Heck, the number of women killed due to complications from pregnancy was 1,138. All of these are a much bigger danger than gun accidents. You just have a warped view of the relative size of these risks because the media disproportionately over-reports gun accidents (probably because most of the people who work in it would like to see the 2nd Amendment repealed). If their reporting reflected the actual statistics, every single news story about a child accidentally killing someone with a gun would be accompanied by 7 stories of a child drowning in a pool, 5 stories of children dying in a fire, 5 stories of children dying due to a botched surgery or mistaken treatment at a hospital, and 2 mothers dying while giving birth.

21,175 people committed suicide by gun. But 19.974 people figured out some other way to kill themselves. So it's pretty safe to say banning guns wouldn't affect the suicide rate in the slightest.

The 11,208 murders by gun are the only area where the argument holds some ground. 4 people were only wounded in the Wurzburg train attack because the perpetrator only had a knife and axe. 1 person was killed and 5 wounded in the Reutlingen attack because the perpetrator only had a machete. If they'd had guns, the toll probably would've been higher. But it's foolish to think the number would've been zero (4,913 people were murdered without a gun). And 29,001 people were killed due to alcohol, 30,208 people were killed due to falls, 35,369 from car accidents (some overlap with the alcohol stats), 38,851 from overdoses and poisonings, 41,149 from suicide. If your goal is saving lives, all of these are much more important issues we should tackle first, before gun violence.

Fundamentally, violence, terrorism, and suicides (which account for 97% of gun deaths) are social problems. Eliminating the tool via which people are acting out on those problems doesn't make the problem go away. These things will still happen. Just not with a gun. This is a common logical error made by people with bleeding hearts (I won't say liberals because many conservatives make the same mistake too). They don't want to hurt anyone's feelings by blaming people for having faults, so they instead shift the blame onto other inanimate things that have no feelings. Like rap music, or playing too many video games, or porn, or frat parties, ... or guns.

To address these problems, you have to tackle the root social cause. Which is hard, scary, will hurt lots of people's feelings, and there's little consensus on what's the best way to tackle them. So nobody wants to do it that way, when you can take the easy way out and convince yourself that some inanimate object is the root cause, and that eliminating that object will cause all those other problems magically go away.

Comment Re:So much for the singularity (Score 2) 126

Technically, we've ALREADY started to "go vertical". There are ALREADY combo chips that stack RAM and Flash chips (sandwiched between heat-removal structures and separated by some kind of insulator), but they're limited to chips where you have one chip that's not terribly hot, and one chip that's relatively cool (like slow-clocked PSRAM and NOR flash). If you tried to stack a pair of i7 cores, they'd fry each other within milliseconds.

Heat removal is a nontrivial problem. If Intel wanted to, it could sell boards the size of an old Pentium II packed with Sandy Bridge-ish i7 cores... but it would generate SO MUCH heat, you'd literally have to refrigerate it and somehow exhaust the heat outside unless you didn't mind working in a 90 degree room (with your air conditioner running nonstop). Back around 2002, my computer generated SO MUCH heat, I literally cut a hole in the wall, moved it into the adjacent guest bedroom, and pulled the monitor, keyboard, USB, and other important cables through the hole into my computer room, because it generated more heat than a 500-watt halogen torchiere used to, and made almost as much noise as a vacuum cleaner. I don't personally care about energy conservation, but it IS kind of nice to be able to use my laptop without burning my legs or fingertips (the way several generations of laptops USED to), and to have a HTPC sitting next to my TV that doesn't generate intolerable amounts of noise.

That said, the massive consolidation of cables enabled by things like Thunderbolt means someone COULD conceivably build PCs with the approximate form factor of a window air conditioner (and in fact, contain the guts OF a window air conditioner), then allow me to run up to a 100' Thunderbolt cable to a hub/port replicator on my desk. Maybe then we could finally have 3840x2560 @ 120fps with realtime hardware-accelerated raytracing (for Aero Glass type transparency effects in everything)...

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