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NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders

Primate Pete No, you're wrong. (350 comments)

In the dawn of computing, women were largely typists, inputting data.

I was doing computer work in the 1980s. I worked with women who were programming, doing VAX & mainframe admin, and performing actual rigorous systems analysis.

The claim that women are not interested in technology or computing is just false.

2 hours ago
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Gmail Security Is a Problem For Tor Users In Repressive Countries

Primate Pete Re:Stupid (74 comments)

You don't need a cell signal for the authenticator to work. You do, however, need an internet connection for email. So "off grid" use is very limited.

about two weeks ago
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Fusion Reactor Concept Could Be Cheaper Than Coal

Primate Pete Re:"will present results Oct. 17 (315 comments)

The heat is used to create steam in most power generation schemes. The amount of heat needed to create a stated amount of steam is the same regardless of source. The fusion reactors would only need to be scaled up to the point that they create heat comparable to current coal reactors. "Mini-suns" are not part of the plan.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Announces Windows 10

Primate Pete MS did this before with MS Word (644 comments)

MS Word jumped directly from version 2.0c to version 6, so that MS could catch up with WordPerfect.

Oddly, changing the version numbering doesn't actually make the product better. Who'd have guessed that?

about three weeks ago
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Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

Primate Pete Maybe some state other than Virginia? (364 comments)

Radar is widely used in Virginia (which I know from unfortunate experience). Also, radar detectors are illegal and are themselves enough to prompt the police to pull you over. The people who I knew that had radar detectors ultimately lost them to police seizure. None of this should have been a surprise to anyone, given the many "RADAR DETECTORS ILLEGAL" signs at the state borders.

about a month and a half ago
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Could Tech Have Stopped ISIS From Using Our Own Heavy Weapons Against Us?

Primate Pete Re:Here's what I don't get... (448 comments)

Just because I can see the moon in a telescope doesn't mean I can reach out and touch it. It's a matter of physical and logistical problems, not just telemetry.

about a month and a half ago
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Seagate Ships First 8 Terabyte Hard Drive

Primate Pete Re:anyone remember when (316 comments)

I remember IBM selling a 5MB hard drive for the PC for $5K. It was a great deal at the time.

about 2 months ago
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Aussie Airlines To Allow Uninterrupted Mobile Use During Flights

Primate Pete Good, but not the first ones (51 comments)

Over the last two weeks, prior to August 23, I've been allowed to keep devices on during flights from the US to Asia via Europe, and back on European airlines. The airlines in the articles are not the first to do this.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Preparing an Android Tablet For Resale?

Primate Pete Just so you're clear on this.... (113 comments)

"Will no longer boot" does not go along with "no obvious sign of damage."

about 3 months ago
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Wikipedia Blocks 'Disruptive' Edits From US Congress

Primate Pete Re:Citation needed? (165 comments)

Sorry, that would be disqualified as "original research."

about 3 months ago
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Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples?

Primate Pete This seems unnecessarily complicated. (138 comments)

Why not just press dimples into the plastic/fibreglas/metal panels of the car? No expensive technology needed, and "good enough" dimples can just be made part of the parts molds/presses.

On a second topic, I would be investigating this if I owned a racing team because anything that decreases the fuel consumption of my car improves overall race performance. Skipping a single refueling stop is a big deal. Since the teams are already making custom cars, the cost of adding dimples should be negligible compared to the overall cost of the vehicle. Not quite something for nothing, but close.

about 3 months ago
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The Improbable Story of the 184 MPH Jet Train

Primate Pete Amtrak subsidies (195 comments)

Yeah, it competes with road funding, but Amtrak also takes huge funding from the government, too... near 30% of operating expenses or about half of revenue:

Bloomberg: "After automatic budget cuts, Amtrak is getting $1.3 billion in taxpayer money for fiscal 2013, with $905 million of that going to capital costs and debt service, Kulm said. That’s less than the $1.4 billion the railroad received the previous year."

Amtrak: "In FY 2012, Amtrak earned approximately $2.877 billion in revenue and incurred approximately $4.036 billion in expense. No country in the world operates a passenger rail system without some form of public support for capital costs and/or operating expenses."

It may be a good social service, but it's a lousy business, and it is nowhere near self-sufficient.

about 3 months ago
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Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

Primate Pete A success story (401 comments)

When I needed to cancel Comcast a few years ago because I was moving to a new apartment, they wouldn't let me go without giving them a forwarding address, which I did not want to provide. (The bill was already paid in full.) The solution I finally found was to lie to them. I called and told them that I'd found Jesus, and he didn't want that filth in my house anymore. They let me cancel without complaint or argument.So there are two lessons here: (1) find an excuse they don't want to fight with, and (2) don't tell them you're moving unless you want them to stalk you.

about 3 months ago
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Aereo Embraces Ruling, Tries To Re-Classify Itself As Cable Company

Primate Pete No, no, no..... (147 comments)

......the whole point is to avoid competition, restricting consumers' choices and forcing them to pay premium prices. A low-price offering doesn't really fit into that model, now, does it?

about 3 months ago
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Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

Primate Pete Re:Simple solution (579 comments)

I think it would be difficult to make the numbers visible to pedestrians, but invisible to cars. The cars and pedestrians are only a few degrees apart.

about 4 months ago
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Mayors of Atlanta & New Orleans: Uber Will Knock-Out Taxi Industry

Primate Pete Re:Taxi Medallions (273 comments)

And this is why Sidecar, Uber, etc. will not put cabs out of business. Riders want to go where they want to go, not just where someone else is going. You will always need a cab to get to a bad part of town from a nice part of town because yuppies won't drive you there, but taxi drivers (usually) will.

about 4 months ago
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Hospitals Begin Data-Mining Patients

Primate Pete HIPAA? (162 comments)

How is not a HIPAA violation to share my health data (which is necessary for the marketing to be profitable) with advertisers? Under most circumstances, just identifying people as patients is not allowed, let alone saying that John Doe, who has hypertension, has been ordering pizza.

about 4 months ago
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Searching For Ocean Life On Another World

Primate Pete Water ice floats (49 comments)

...making a hole won't create a geyser, no matter how deep the water is.

about 4 months ago
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Canadian Court Orders Google To Remove Websites From Its Global Index

Primate Pete Um, if I understand this correctly... (248 comments)

Canada doesn't like the things that are imported to Canada from Country X, so they've decided to sue the printers in Country Y who publish maps of the roads to Country X?

about 4 months ago

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