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Comment Re:Baddly worded summary (Score 2) 70

I suspect this may enable them to lower their prices or increase their margins.

Linux support on popular high-end hardware is close to flawless -- or becomes so after that hardware has been out for a year or so. But if you start looking at the plethora of low end laptops, especially, you are in for a world of minor headaches. I find it takes me about a week of research to get a cheap, relatively new laptop working flawlessly. Sometimes the fixes Google turns up for your model don't work because you have a different revision number. Most people, if they attempted to install Linux onto a recent, low-end laptop, would find a lot of things not working, like sound, or keyboard special keys. It's not rocket science to fix, but for them it might as well be.

This is not what 99% of the world signs on for when they buy a laptop, so it makes sense for someone to have a business that does this for people. But if you're in the business of doing that, you have to pay yourself for your labor. That means you can compete at rock bottom prices because that's where you're starting from in your costs; and in any case starting with a better quality device minimizes the work you have to do dealing with stuff like broken ACPI firmware.

Which means when you count the cost of your value added, it's really hard to sell a rebranded laptop at a competitive price. Selling high quality rebranded hardware at relatively high prices and small profits may be a way to bootstrap your business, but the only way to get serious volume sales at a profit is going to be to have a computer manufactured to your specifications.

Comment blantant-predator moral honeypot (Score 1) 118

A public act by an organization ignoring robots.txt will only lead to the justification of other organizations ignoring robots.txt.

So what? When DoubleClick argues that they ought to have the same advantages as Archive.org, they'll only manage to look like douchebags reaching their filthy hands into a cookie jar.

It's not always a bad thing to set up douchebag-honeypot moral exemption, even if it does depend on the mass audience (mostly) managing to find two sticks to rub together.

The real solution here is to make the directives in robots.txt more explicit concerning the predatory/non-predatory use cases.

Comment This might offset *warming* but not *change*. (Score 1) 186

Most of the greenhouse effect warming takes place in the summer, for the simple reason that's when the most solar radiation is received and trapped. This doesn't eliminate that effect, it offsets the increase in the *average* by adding an unnaturally cold winters -- which by the way would increase fossil fuel use dramatically.

Now this would -- if it is physically and economically feasible -- blunt *some* impacts of global warming, such as glacier retreat and sea level rise. But it would accelerate *other* effects, such as habitat loss and changes in rainfall. Other carbon driven changes like the emergence of carbon-loving weed populations would continue unabated.

Consequently assuming that it's practical, its effects would be at best mixed, and there would be some big-time winners and losers. People with a lot of money in waterfront property would be big winners; interior farmers who rely on historical rainfall and summer temperature patterns would lose. Trout fisherman would lose as warm-water species outcompete salmonid species in their historical range. Etc.

These kind of problems are inherent in any attempt to treat the *symptoms* of rapid, anthropogenic climate change. I you aren't going to use conservation and efficiency to attack the problem, then the most promising geoengineering solution is carbon sequestration -- if it can be achieved on the scale needed. In the ideal case you would set the CO2 levels back, say, to 1960s levels. Not necessarily pre-industrial, because people have already adapted to changes from pre-industrial levels, but low enough that the rate of climate change is closer to natural than what we have today.

Submission + - Second parchment manuscript copy of Declaration of Independence found (bostonglobe.com)

Okian Warrior writes: Two Harvard University researchers announced Friday that they have found a second parchment manuscript copy of the Declaration of Independence in a tiny records office in southern England.

The only other parchment copy is maintained by the National Archives in Washington, D.C., researchers Emily Sneff and Danielle Allen said in a statement.

The newly discovered document — which the two have dated to the 1780s — was found in the town of Chichester archives, and is believed to have originally belonged to Duke of Richmond who was known as the “Radical Duke,’’ for the support he gave to Americans during the Revolutionary War, the researchers said.

Comment Re:On-site service; cargo (Score 2) 204

Yes, but few strength training exercises require sticking your ass up in the air and waving it back and forth like that.

Straight leg dead lift. bent rows, and back hyperextension off the top of my head. And while we're on the subject of distracting and embarrassing, there's always leg abduction.

Anyhow, people are jerks toward anyone who gets serious about anything, whether it's biking, power lifting, or building electronics. You're supposed to be normal, not exceptional. That makes it easy to be a sanctimonious prig toward people who like things you don't have what it takes to try.

Ever go to a gym where there's rules about making too much noise because you'll scare the casuals? It's stupid. There's a woman in my gym, an ex-marine, who can dead lift over 2 1/2 her body weight, which for a woman puts her in the elite range. When I walk into the gym and she's doing it, I have to walk out because she sounds like a harpy ripping the head off a dragon. But it's my problem, not hers. That's what it takes for her to do her thing, and I'm not going to make her feel bad about it because it's awesome. Literally.

Celebrate people who dare to look, sound, or even be ridiculous. Even if it bothers you, that's not the same thing as harming you. The people who do harm are the self-appointed conformity police. The ones who automatically go after anyone who doesn't appear normal. "Normal" is must another word for "mediocre".

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