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Comment Re:Mint (Score 1) 499

That more or less sums up the issues with Linux installs. Unsupported wireless LAN cards are particularly problematic in my experience, requiring either cat 5 or another working machine and a USB stick and much frustration searching. I'd probably only look at a new laptop now if it was manufacturer-supported as Linux compatible. I also want a free BIOS too...that truly restricts your options.

So if you start with the right set of hardware, you don't get problems and at that point I think it's really down to preference. The "friendly" distros are superb and at the least are no more complicated to operate than the pricey/closed alternatives.

As a web developer I am on Linux for the foreseeable, absolutely no doubt about that. My choice. I'd work a Mac if I had too; I will never again have an MS desktop or server environment. Pretty sure about that.

Comment Re:Uber is pursuing the wrong thing (Score 1) 334

They would have to change their entire business model first.

The business model, for a cab firm, is very simple. Match driver(lesscar)s and passengers. Nothing changed. The rest is sales and marketing. A truly functional cab system needs a neutral brokerage platform that is used by all parties. The most efficient way to run it is as a public service: a non-profit or profit-regulated entity. Each request for a ride initiates an auction amongst cab firms for the business. Cab firms and drivers are registered and certified. The alternative system is to have access to the cabs of only one cab firm at a time, and each cab firm's business model (apart from matching rides) is to destroy all competition until they stand alone and corner the entire market.

When you want to hire a cab, you want to have the ability to request a ride with every available cab in the region to have the best possible service. The cab firm used hardly matters, although they will try desperately to micro-differentiate amongst themselves on frivolous aspects of service. The base parameters are safety, reliability, cleanliness and comfort. That can be regulated easily.

Comment Re:A few misconceptions there. MORE elastic (Score 1) 149

Once steel reaches plastic elongation, there's no further gain in tensile strength to be had, so you have to design respecting the limit of elastic deformation either way. Then you apply working safety factors, but i don't see why they would be any different unless the tensile strength of CF was more intrinsically variable than steel - it isn't tmk. And of course, it has quite different properties anyway so it's never going to be like-for-like in design.

Your point about inspection and detection of defects is correct. But after a generation or two of commercial development of Composites and CF manufacturing techniques there are other ways to monitor structural health appropriate to the material: Airbus 350 and Boeing 787 have composite fuselages etc and they will reliably detect any defect in the laminate in good time, I certainly hope they will.

Comment Re:Permissions (Score 1) 278

Yup. When the business model is data, fake data is the way forward (for us who inexplicably distrust them). This concept needs to be massively extended, in fact. I shouldn't try to hide my data, I should flood with incorrect and meaningless data. You can run fake-data, but you can't hide. If only Streisand had known (or had a good geek friend). She only had to knock out a few fakes, pollute the search index and hey, no meme.

Comment Re:It's wildly unlikely we should exist (Score 1) 267

Well, what if the odds you quote were actually ten thousandth of one percent? 1 in 10**6
stars: 10**9 x 10**9 = 10**18
ILife: 10**6 x 10**6 x 10**6 = 10**18
That's one planet with ILife

and at your odds:
ILife: 10**4 x 10**4 x 10**4 = 10**12
That's 'only' 10**6 planets with ILife

Furthermore that's over a period of something like 10**9 'years' or whenever second generation stars started (no ILife possible on a first generation star). Our Intelligence Life has been around for 10**5 years. Which means the odds of two ILife species existing contemporaneously (or shifted for speed of light) is slim.

Although, in case of Earth, I would expect more intelligent species to arise. The diversity, raw material and time still available for further evolution would make it highly unlikely our species will be the last (ILife) on this planet. I think once life establishes on a planet, it's highly tenacious.

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