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Comments

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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

Calibax Predictable (457 comments)

1. Place immature people (of any physical age) in an anonymous, no consequences environment.
2. Give them the ability to address people whom they would never have the opportunity to approach outside of a virtual environment.
3. Supply a conduit such as Twitter or Facebook or email that requires very little effort compared to writing and mailing a physical letter.

The result is completely predictable.

about two weeks ago
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Hackers Demand Automakers Get Serious About Security

Calibax It's all about the costs (120 comments)

Automobile companies make a large number of vehicles - both GM and Toyota make around 10 million per year. Saving just one dollar on each vehicle adds millions to the company profits.

Something as simple as the extra wiring to create multiple data busses in the vehicle could add a couple of dollars to the vehicle cost. The auto makers will not do it unless it is mandated (either by law or their legal department fearing lawsuits) or they see some sort of a competitive advantage (somewhat unlikely) or there's a PR disaster.

about three weeks ago
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NVIDIA Tegra K1: First Mobile Chip With Hardware-Accelerated OpenCL

Calibax Re:False. (52 comments)

nVidia makes the chips and very recently a couple of reference designs and retail tablets. They don't make the OS and other software.

As you pointed out, Google (not nVidia) removed support for CL rendering to push their own product. I'm sure nVidia was unhappy about that as it removed one of their competitive advantages.

With the Tegra K1, nVidia is pointing out (quite rightly) that their hardware supports a bunch of new things. nVidia's literature describes the Jetson-TK1 as a development kit, not a product. It is made available so that people can write software that supports the features in the hardware

I completely fail to see where nVidia has been dishonest in this.

about three weeks ago
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My degree of colorblindness:

Calibax Re:Most of us have some weakness (267 comments)

Neat test. I worked hard on it but only managed a Total Error Score of 236.

I already knew I was color vision challenged. My mother became suspicious when I was playing with crayons and I colored a fire engine green and the grass brown. That's why my wife picks the colors for my clothes and sorts my socks so I don't accidentally wear a non-matching pair - which has happened a few times.

about three weeks ago
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Idiot Leaves Driver's Seat In Self-Driving Infiniti, On the Highway

Calibax Darwin Award Contestant? (406 comments)

It's pretty clear that this is merely a failed attempt to win a Darwin Award. Perhaps he needs to try the same thing on a windy road.

about three weeks ago
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Why Morgan Stanley Is Betting That Tesla Will Kill Your Power Company

Calibax Re:Load of Horse Shit (502 comments)

There is nothing to stop my neighbors from doing installing solar also - and several have.

Do householders thank their neighbors for the break they get on their mortgage interest that allows them to afford their houses?
Do the various fossil fuel industries thank every tax payer for the huge subsidies that they receive?
Do farmers thank everyone for their subsidies that permits them to grow crops like tobacco that kill tax payers?

Governments have always promoted certain types of behavior with subsidies and tax breaks. There's nothing wrong in going along with their wishes if it benefits you also.

about three weeks ago
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Why Morgan Stanley Is Betting That Tesla Will Kill Your Power Company

Calibax Re:Load of Horse Shit (502 comments)

Out of curiosity, what was the pre-subsidy and tax incentive cost, or alternatively what were those subsidies/taxes?

The installation is rated at 8.9 kW DC (7.5 kW AC) and the total cost was $65,000. I received a check from the state of California for $29,000 and a tax credit of $5,000. So my out-of-pocket cost was $31,000 . All numbers rounded and in 2003 dollars.

about three weeks ago
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Why Morgan Stanley Is Betting That Tesla Will Kill Your Power Company

Calibax Re:Load of Horse Shit (502 comments)

Will home insurance cover these panels in the event of hail and wind damage?

I don't know. I didn't think to ask as I haven't ever seen a hail storm here and we don't get very high winds. However, chemically strengthened glass is used for the panels so they are less likely to be damaged compared to float glass. The panels are solidly anchored to the rafters and the roof is metal tiles so they aren't likely to blow away.

I did check that everything is covered for theft or fire damage as the inverters were quite expensive back then.

about three weeks ago
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Why Morgan Stanley Is Betting That Tesla Will Kill Your Power Company

Calibax Re:Load of Horse Shit (502 comments)

Solar energy provides all the electricity for my house, and has done so since 2003. Not a single electricity bill since that time.

I installed 48 panels on my roof and I run the air conditioning, washing machine, electric dryer, dishwasher, and everything else electric from the roof panels. We do have gas heating and a gas range. I have a modern thermostat and I set the low point to 72 degrees and the high point to 76 degrees and let the system figure out how to keep the house in that range. I leave it set that way all through the year.

In the the year before installing the panels I spent $2800 on electricity, and prices have gone up considerably since then. The costs of the installation (after California state subsidy and tax incentives) was $31,000 so I've fully recovered the installations costs. I expect the panels to continue producing all the electricity I need for the next 20 to 30 years.

about three weeks ago
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"Secret Serum" Used To Treat Americans With Ebola

Calibax Secret, my ass (390 comments)

Mapp Biopharmaceutical have been publishing articles about their ebola research in scientific journals since 2011. They seem to be a very secretive at all.

Maybe CNN thinks it's a secret because it hasn't been covered in the mainstream press - TMZ and Entertainment Weekly have completely ignored the company.

about three weeks ago
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How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

Calibax Re:Glad to see you use the term 'assemble' (391 comments)

That's not what I remember. There were no small format hard drives in 1976. Hard disks were the size of a refrigerator or larger. The first hard disk that was not designed for a large mainframe wasn't available until 1980, and that was only 5MB. I begged my boss to buy one but he refused because of the cost (roughly one month of my salary at that time).

By the time CP/M 3 came out in 1983 there were several small format hard disks, but there was no standard interface. Each disk manufacturer created their own interface and drivers. There was no certainty that a hard disk that ran on an IBM PC-AT would run on a Commodore 128 - it depended on what systems and OSes the manufacturer was willing to support. Many manufacturers would only support IBM PCs with MS-DOS. Others emulated multiple floppies and used the CP/M USER command to switch between up to 16 separate emulated floppies on the disk, so the effective maximum size of a hard disk was 16 times the maximum floppy size supported by a manufacturer.

about a month ago
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How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

Calibax Re:Glad to see you use the term 'assemble' (391 comments)

Blame the IBM PC sales explosion. The original IBM PC in 1981 used the 8-bit ISA bus designed by IBM. The S-100 bus was dead by the time that IBM introduced the 16-bit ISA-AT bus in 1984.

about a month ago
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How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

Calibax Re:Glad to see you use the term 'assemble' (391 comments)

8 MegaBytes in 1976? Utter rubbish.

The 8080 had a 16-bit address bus and an 8-bit data bus. It couldn't handle more than than 64 kbytes of RAM. Yes, there were ways of getting more than 64 KB on a system but that involved very expensive memory bank switching. I remember lusting after a 1 megabyte S-100 bus board that was only $3,000, until I found that the memory bank switching made it almost impossible to run CP/M programs that needed more than 32 KB memory.

But 8 megabytes? Absolutely no way. Heck, the large mainframe system I used in my day job had less than 2 MB.

about a month ago
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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

Calibax Customer service? (928 comments)

Pulling a family off a flight and threatening to summon the police seems pretty intense. They must have done something very bad. What? One of them tweeted about poor customer service before entering the aircraft? That's it?

Did the SWA agent seriously think that threatening the family with not being able to fly and reporting the man to the police (for what?) unless he deleted the tweet would be the end of it? Did the agent think the whole thing would be erased from everyone's memory and it would be as if nobody complained? That's not the way it works. Now everyone in her management chain knows who she is, and not in a good way. Creating a PR incident like this will not go without notice. It's a variant of the Streisand effect.

It's not important to the story, but at least one airline I've flown has figured out that it's good customer service to allow people who spend a lot of money travelling on their airline have their children treated to the same boarding privilege - especially as it costs the airline nothing to do so.

about a month ago
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Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Calibax Re:Cry Me A River (608 comments)

I agree. Most of the time it's trivially easy to adapt to new procedural languages. And the more often you do it, the easier it becomes.

However, a primary problem is that although the syntactical differences are comparatively minor, the libraries may be structured very differently. You may well spend a great deal more time adapting to the gross differences in philosophy as well as the discovering the idiomatic nuances of the libraries.

about 1 month ago
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One Developer's Experience With Real Life Bitrot Under HFS+

Calibax Re:ZFS, Apple! (396 comments)

I would hesitate to call GE Healthcare a small company. I doubt that Lawrence Livermore National Labs would be considered small as it's part of the government. Joyent is the company that supports node.js.

Anyone can sue anybody about anything, but winning is different matter. ZFS is considered safe from a legal point of view.

about 2 months ago
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One Developer's Experience With Real Life Bitrot Under HFS+

Calibax Re:ZFS, Apple! (396 comments)

No they would not be sued by anyone.

Sun open sourced ZFS under a permissive license. Oracle close sourced it again. However, a number of companies are supporting derivatives of the open source version.

ZFS is available for a number of operating systems today. A non-inclusive list:
FreeBSD from iXsystems
Linux from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and also Pogo Linux
SmartOS from Joyent
OmniOS from Omniti
Osv from CloudOS

In addition a number of companies are using ZFS in their products:
CloudScaling
DDRdrive
datto
Delphix
GE Healthcare
Great Lakes SAN
Losytec
High-Availability
HybridCluster
Nexenta Systems
OSNEXUS
RackTop
Spectra Logic
Storiant
Syneto
WHEEL Systems
Zetavault

ZFS can detect and correct silent corruption when configured to do so. I have a NAS that has 24 TB of raw storage, 16 TB of useable storage, running under OmniOS. I have well over 10 million files on the NAS (it is used as a backup for 8 systems) - I haven't lost a file in 4 years and I don't expect to lose any.

about 2 months ago
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White House Pressures Legislators Into Gutting USA FREEDOM Act

Calibax I'm very confused by this story (284 comments)

The GOP has made it very, very clear that anything that Obama favors will automatically receive a negative from the House of Representatives that they control. They have done this multiple times. They have openly stated that their primary objective is to oppose Obama on everything.

Now I'm supposed to believe that Obama pressured the GOP to weaken the bill? That seems... laughable. The GOP would never bow to Obama's requests - they have their image to consider. It seems more likely that the GOP revised the bill because Obama said he supported it in its original form.

It's also strange that the mainstream press doesn't seem to have picked up on such a monumental achievement by Obama. I'd have expected that any such successful pressure from the White House on the GOP would be a major headline in most newspapers that cover US national politics. But the best we get is a press release from the Center for Democracy and Technology. The EFF also had a press release about the amendments to the bill but they don't suggest that the White House or Obama was generating any pressure for the changes.

about 3 months ago
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Who controls the HVAC at work?

Calibax Re:Nobody Works from Home? (216 comments)

I work from home often. However, I installed solar energy about 11 years ago. I have to rent the meter (around $6 a month) but other than that I haven't paid for electricity since that event. I have natural gas heating, and the cost of that has been reduced substantially over the past few years.

My point is that I leave the thermostat set to a low of 72 degrees and a high of 76 degrees and let the system figure how to keep the house in that range. Works well, all year around. Very comfortable.

about 3 months ago
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Programming Education Making A Comeback In Primary Schools

Calibax Re:Just don't make programming classes mandatory (138 comments)

The items you mention are all extremely useful when using a computer and should be taught in schools.

Speaking generally, programmers need to be proficient users but it is a separate skill that requires a substantially greater amount of energy to acquire.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Parallels Update Installs Unrelated Deamon Without Permission

Calibax Calibax writes  |  about a year ago

Calibax (151875) writes "Parallels recently released version 9 of Parallels Desktop, their popular hypervisor application for Mac. They also released a new product named Parallels Access that offers access to Windows applications from an iPad for $80 per year. Access has received less than stellar reviews.

When a user upgrades Parallels Desktop, he is asked if he wants a free six month subscription to Parallels Access. Even if he says no, the product is installed on his system and the application is started each time the system is rebooted. It is installed with ancillary files scattered around several directories in the system and Parallels has not supplied an uninstaller or listed the steps to fully uninstall the application, despite a number of requests.

In other words, Parallels has decided it's a good idea to silently install a difficult to remove deamon application on the system, even if the user has explicitly stated they do not want it. They have not provided an uninstaller or a list of files installed or instructions on how to remove the application files. These are scattered to at least four Mac OS X OS system level directories."
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Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejud

Calibax Calibax writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Calibax (151875) writes "A recent study by a psychologist at Brock University in Ontario finds that children with low intelligence are more likely to hold prejudiced attitudes as adults and that low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies. Those ideologies, in turn, stress hierarchy and resistance to change, attitudes that can contribute to prejudice."
Link to Original Source
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88 Year Old Scientist Hassled by DEA

Calibax Calibax writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Calibax (151875) writes "30 years ago Bob Wallace and his partner came up with a product to help hikers, flood victims and others purify water. Wallace, now 88 years old, packs his product by hand in his garage, stores it in his backyard shed and sells it for $6.50.

Recently, the DEA has been hassling him because his product uses crystalline iodine. He has been refused a license to purchase the iodine because it can be used in the production of crystal meth, and as a result he is now out of business.

A DEA spokesman describes this as "collateral damage" not resulting from DEA regulations but from the selfish actions of criminals."

Link to Original Source

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