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Comment Re: So... (Score 4, Informative) 339

Obama had both houses of congress with a supermajority in the senate. So no, he lied.

Obama had a supermajority for a month or so around July-August, 2009 (when Al Franken finally got confirmed to his seat) from Sep 2009 (when Ted Kennedy's replacement was sworn in) until Feb 2010 (when Scott Brown was sworn in to replace Kennedy's replacement).

Comment Re:Silent Running... (Score 1) 1222

Carl Sagan was not happy with the science in "Silent Running". From "Broca's Brain":

After weeks of painstaking study and agonizing searches through botany texts, the solution is found: plants, it turns out, need sunlight. Trumbull's characters are able to build interplanetary cities but have forgotten the inverse square law. I was willing to overlook the portrayal of the rings of Saturn as pastel-colored gases, but not this.

I like "Silent Running". I figured that Freeman Lowell was a little off his rocker and not thinking straight, which limited his ability to think through the problem of the plants dying, so can overlook him forgetting about the inverse square law.

Comment Re:Who Says That? (Score 1) 183

When I interviewed at Google, the office was filled with groups of people talking amongst themselves. The combined conversations and the design of the space resulted in a cacophony. Plus, the space was relatively tight, so through traffic was passing by not far behind people seated at their desks. I recall thinking that there was no way that I could focus, even semi-isolated with headphones, in that environment and was thinking that maybe I should have ended the interview then.

I have worked in a few open office environments. I vastly prefer closed (1 or 2 person) offices. But I have been working remotely at home for the last decade, so any work that I have to do in the office (2-4 times/year) is something different and I don't care whether it it is open or closed.

Comment Re:"Human Colleague"... Nope, You Just Don't Get I (Score 1) 407

The word is derived from the Slavic language root meaning "work" or "worker", and strongly suggests that a robot is to some extent intechangeable with human workers.

Did you not see "The World's End"? A running joke in the movie is that antagonists are not robots as robot means slave ("... and believe me, they are not slaves").

The word is derived from the Slavic word "robota", which could mean "forced worker" (peasants "obligated to compulsory service" under feudalism, see Robot Patent) or slave.

Comment Re:propaganda headline (Score 1) 243

bridges that need to be widened to handle additional traffic are not "structurally deficient"

Well, yes and no.

If traffic patterns result in a bridge continually carrying more load (of slowly moving and stopped cars) than it was designed for, then it is "structurally deficient". Widening it to handle additional traffic could remedy the issue.

The report distinguishes between "structurally deficient" and "functionally obsolete", which refers to bridges that simply don't meet current standards, like lane width.

Comment Re:That's a lot of wasted water (Score 1) 457

The Central Valley is not southern California. Southern California is an arid climate. Population growth was limited by the available water until the aqueducts and reservoirs were built. With the recent rain, southern California is not in a drought, but it is overpopulated for the available water resources.

Comment Re:Sigh (Score 1) 62

And it wasn't a problem when it was a handful of little old ladies doing this. But it can be a big problem (described multiple times in comments above) at the scale that AirBnB facilitates.

Also, do you really not think that municipalities haven't had officials out looking for little old ladies renting their grown-up kids rooms to strangers and collecting a cut of the action for hundreds of years? In medieval times, folks renting accommodations were subject to high taxes and do you think poor widows caught a break from their lords (who, even if benevolent, needed to pay the guy above him)?

The thing that I find most amusing about AirBnB, Uber and the rest is the "sharing economy" euphemism. When I share the things that I have, it is at no cost to the person that I am sharing with (except for costs directly related to its use, like fuel, or there is loss or damage during its use). Charging for its use isn't sharing; it is short term rental and a business and should be subject to the same regulations as other businesses.

Comment Re:Not worried (Score 1) 93

You seem to be trolling here. There hasn't been many hard science fiction films featuring any national space agency this century and very few in the last six years. Besides, a) it makes sense that Hollywood movies featuring American characters would have those characters get into space with NASA, and b) Chinese facilities (a rocket and a space station/return capsule) save the day in two of the biggest recent space films (The Martian and Gravity).

Comment Re:Won a battle, lost the war ... (Score 1) 95

As to Facebook's "rules", look at e.g. LinkedIn. I'm quite certain that headhunters take people's LinkedIn profile into consideration and use it to co-determine whether to contact someone and who to recommend them to at what salary level. So why not Facebook? One might say it's because Facebook is not explicitly aimed at job-marketing yourself, but that's but an extra service (agreement) away.

Not a valid comparison. One of the main reasons that people get onto LinkedIn is to look for work. I wish that headhunters would take more time reading my LinkedIn profile so they would stop asking me about positions that have a keyword match in my experience but are clearly not what I do.

Comment Why doesn't MS make their S/W better instead? (Score 2, Informative) 130

I had been using an old Macbook as my primary system for my day job, however I was forced by my employer to upgrade. The newest version of MacOS X supported on it was still so old that the anti-virus software that my employer uses was no longer being updated for it. All of the upgrade choices ran our corporate-build of Windows 10, so I ended up with a shiny new Windows 10 laptop.

I figured that it wouldn't be a big deal. Most of my work involves VPN'ing into a corporate network and ssh'ing into Unix-y/Linux systems where my real work is done. But, after a couple of months of this, I am ready to buy a cheap, used (but new enough for anti-virus upgrades) MacBook to do my work on.

There are just too many stupid bugs in Windows (when switching between displays and display modes, the desktop manager resizes windows to the smallest width and height even after switching to a larger display until restarted) and really annoying inconsistencies between applications (is consistent cut-and-paste behavior really so hard to implement?). And, then there is the battery life. The laptop nominally has a 10-hour battery, but, using it the same way that I was using the 9-year-old MacBook with a 5-year-old battery, I am getting less time between needing to recharge than I did with the MacBook (2.5 hours max). There may be ways to get the new Windows laptop to work as well as the old Macbook did, but shouldn't it just work well out of the box?

Comment Bye crossing party lines when appointing positions (Score 0) 822

I don't care which side is doing it. Reopening an investigation less than two weeks before an election is attempting to influence that election.

If proper handling of e-mail was so important, why isn't the FBI investigating the more serious e-mail violations that occurred during the Bush Administration? Oh, that's right. If it involves Hillary Clinton, there has to be at least three different investigations.

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