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Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

RightwingNutjob Re:Wrong Title (496 comments)

Again, baloney. The US constitution explicitly enumerates your right to *peaceably* advocate for the overthrown of the US government. The background check forms ask about *violent* overthrow. I hope for your sake you understand the difference and aren't so blinkered by your conspiracy theories to discount the former.

5 days ago
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Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

RightwingNutjob Re:Wrong Title (496 comments)

Knew her acquaintance through the group went to jail. Didn't connect it. Like I said, the best excuse is obliviousness.

5 days ago
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Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

RightwingNutjob Re:Wrong Title (496 comments)

Baloney. As someone who deals with the military industrial complex on a daily basis, I know for a fact that the forms you submit to the OPM ask you in plain English "have you ever belonged to an organization dedicated to the violent overthrow of the US government" and these forms are retained by the OPM for something like 7 or 10 years, after which you are required to resubmit them. If she said "no" to the question in question, but knew that her acquaintances went to jail, something objectively doesn't add up. The best possible excuse is that she's just pathologically oblivious, not that the OPM has trumped up charges out of nowhere.

5 days ago
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

RightwingNutjob Re:Just don't try to write an OS in Java (511 comments)

A good programmer would know to return an unsigned long long int (not an unsigned long int, because that's only 32 bits on 32 bit unix), and use one internally.

about three weeks ago
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

RightwingNutjob Re:What's the point? (511 comments)

Exactly. Java programs aren't multiplatform. They're single platform: the JDK/JVM that you compiled with/for. If you're done everything on Sun Java 1.5, and suddenly Oracle changes it to "Oracle Java" 1.6, you're SOL.

about three weeks ago
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If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

RightwingNutjob Re: Nope (511 comments)

Java is the new COBOL as far as I'm concerned. I work in a large research lab that got bitten by the java bug in the early-mid 2000s. And now we have a large codebase that's locked in to a particular vendor, that only works with other java code, and a whole bunch of "programmers" whose only skill is java. Which means if we need something in C or C++ for low-level hardware interfacing or for running faster than dead slow, we need to reimplement it from scratch, except we need to hire programmers to do it if it's big because all of our "programmers" only know java, except we can't hire anyone new, because we've already got all these "programmers" on staff.

about three weeks ago
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Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?

RightwingNutjob 10 dollar CVS scope (187 comments)

For $10, you can pick up a very very basic refractor with a flimsy tripod mount at any CVS. This will let you look at the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn, which are the most interesting things to look at without going up several orders of magnitude in price. It's dead simple to set up and focus, and the challenge of wrestling it into position so you can see the planets, and see them move away as the Earth rotates, will give you the chance to teach reasonably mature kids about basic astronomy and to gauge their interest without spending a lot of money. If you live in particularly dark country, you can just barely begin to see things like the Orion Nebula with this kind of scope (though it looks like a smudge--we've all been spoiled by nice pictures from 2m+ telescopes mated to CCD cameras).

about three weeks ago
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2 Galileo Satellites Launched To Wrong Orbit

RightwingNutjob Re:Stupid metric system (140 comments)

And if you're doing any unit conversions in realtime software, you're the retard. You can have the fundamental unit of distance be the meter, the foot, the nautical mile, the astronomical unit, or the earth radius, but why would you ever need to do unit conversions in the code? It's just as easy to fuck up a decimal point in metric as it is to mix up a mile and a nautical mile.

about three weeks ago
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2 Galileo Satellites Launched To Wrong Orbit

RightwingNutjob Re:fuel reserves (140 comments)

That's only for stuff that goes up into the heavily populated geostationary belt. GPS orbits are about half-way down and much more sparse, so there's no need to have a graveyard orbit the way there is in GEO. Besides, a higher orbit analogous to the geostationary graveyard is still a usable orbit for GPS, so there's nothing to be gained by moving there at the end of life, and the orbits are too high for re-entry burns to be practical the way they are for certain LEO orbits.

about three weeks ago
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Why the "NASA Tested Space Drive" Is Bad Science

RightwingNutjob Re:A little behind the times (315 comments)

* they did pretty much all of the things you would like to see (such as reversing the direction and making sure the thrust reverses).

* they seem to have done a thoughtful and careful job, including testing in vacuum.

So, I still think they are likely wrong, but this ups the ante. In my opinion, you can't just say "this is obviously wrong."

Sure I can. Was the apparatus temperature controlled during the vacuum test? Was it tested in all orientations (not just backwards) to remove any gyroscopic weirdness from the rotation of the earth (think Michelson-Morley experiment). Was there EM coupling between the cavity, the torsion balance, and the chamber that could manifest as an anomalous torque, not thrust (that is, did they just make a big brushless motor)? Does the instrument register a thrust when the cavity is radiating but is bolted to the chamber floor and not the balance? Is there no thrust when it's oriented orthogonally? Does it still work if the power supply is electrically isolated from the vacuum chamber without a common return (ie did they build an electron gun)?

about a month ago
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NASA Announces Mars 2020 Rover Payload

RightwingNutjob Re:Why do we do these things? (109 comments)

Because being twenty trillion+ in the hole because you spent too much on welfare and robots deployed to other planets is better than being twenty trillion+ in the hole because you pissed it all away on welfare and don't even have any robots to show for it.

about a month and a half ago
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Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

RightwingNutjob Re:So (160 comments)

I remember a study making the news in the 90's comparing men and women's brain activity while doing tasks that require 3d reasoning. It was kind of a similar result: men and women would score about the same on the task, but the women's brains lit up like a Christmas tree while the men's brains had fairly localized activity.

about 1 month ago
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Why China Is Worried About Japan's Plutonium Stocks

RightwingNutjob Re:Hmm... (398 comments)

In 1990 yes. In 2003...it's complicated.

about 3 months ago
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The Coming IT Nightmare of Unpatchable Systems

RightwingNutjob Re:Repetitive (broken) OS abandonment (240 comments)

It's a two cultures problem in IT. The vast majority of Microsoft's, or Apples, or Oracles, or whoever's customers use their OS on laptops, workstations, or servers, where the consequences of bugs are fairly well approximated by "nuisance". The other culture of computer software customers are folks who use computers handle large amounts of money and control moving machinery (power plants, drones, etc), where the consequences of bugs and unintended features start at "oh shit, we've lost millions of dollars" to "oh shit, the crane dropped its load 200ft" up through "oh God, the power plant has exploded!" People in the second camp have a healthy suspicion of getting the latest and greatest upgrade from companies run by and for people in the first camp. And that dichotomy is why most embedded OS's come with source code that you get to debug yourself if it doesn't quite work for your application (VxWorks, QNX, Windows Embedded, RTLinux, etc).

about 3 months ago
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China Looks To Linux As Windows Alternative

RightwingNutjob Re:Oh China... (222 comments)

Yeah... didn't the NSA contribute a whole bunch to SELinux and some of the crypto API as well? Might not necessarily be the smartest thing to switch away from an OS developed by a private American company to one developed by several mainly American companies AND the NSA.

about 4 months ago
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China Looks To Linux As Windows Alternative

RightwingNutjob Re:os agnostic (222 comments)

Ooh! I know. They should use Oracle Java (TM)! That's multiplatform and not subject to vendor lock-in on any particular OS!

about 4 months ago
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China Looks To Linux As Windows Alternative

RightwingNutjob Re: Good. (222 comments)

China's a big country with like a dozen languages and accents of the same language. In some of them, L and R are closer together than they are in English. In others, W joins into the mix.

about 4 months ago
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Become a Linux Kernel Hacker and Write Your Own Module

RightwingNutjob Re:just because (143 comments)

Ah! So Captain Obvious finally has someone to report to! It's all falling into place...but where does Major Pain fit into the picture?

about 4 months ago
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What qualifications should the 'driver' of a fully autonomous car need?

RightwingNutjob Re:Putting people in an autonomous car (301 comments)

Well, if the cars only went on special roads, you'd be right, and just like the elevator, the people who are responsible for maintaining the roads are responsible for any accidents. But normal elevators don't pop off their rails and walk you to some arbitrary location on your chosen floor. My point is that autonomous cars should be considered like an airplane with a super-duper autopilot. Sure, the pilot just pushes a button and the plane does its thing, but the pilot is still responsible for a visual inspection and preflight check every single time.

about 4 months ago
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What qualifications should the 'driver' of a fully autonomous car need?

RightwingNutjob Re:Putting people in an autonomous car (301 comments)

Well, yes and no. If you're going to let autonomous cars drive in the same environments where you let people drive cars right now, as opposed to separated lanes on a few specially designed and maintained roads, the human ultimately should be responsible. Like if the car crashes because you didn't clean the bird-shit off the camera, or you didn't notice that the radar antenna in the front got dinged by a shopping cart and is about to fall off, it is your fault when it falls off and the car crashes.

about 4 months ago

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