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How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

TheGavster Re:Good? (507 comments)

I don't think that allowing parents to select their child's traits will ever lead to "clones"; things like Down's syndrome get weeded out in 90% of cases because it's a horribly debilitating condition ensuring that parent nor offspring will never live a normal life. Physical traits, though, are in the eye of the beholder: one person making a designer baby to their idea of beauty will result in a totally different set of traits than another.

about a week ago
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SF Evictions Surging From Crackdown On Airbnb Rentals

TheGavster Re:Airbnb profiting on illegal activity (319 comments)

Generally when municipalities go after micro-rental users (particularly en masse), it's not to enforce the main tenants' leases, but to enforce hotel taxes. A reasonable analysis would say it's a typical case of a private citizen unwittingly crossing the line into small business, a cynical one would say that real hotels lobby for these taxes and push for their enforcement to inflate hotel rates.

about two weeks ago
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The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

TheGavster Re:Lest we forget.... (509 comments)

When I first saw that video, I assumed due to the crummy resolution that some joker had voiced it over. I checked the congressional record, though, and that man actually asked those questions in front of the committee where the stenographer could hear him. Page 27: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/C... Props to Admiral Willard for maintaining a straight face?

about two weeks ago
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An SSD for Your Current Computer May Save the Cost of a New One (Video)

TheGavster Re:user profile location (353 comments)

I actually was able to direct all user home folders to their own partition for the first time with my last Windows install. It turns out that there's a key combo you can hit on a certain page of the install wizard that will drop you to the desktop for the preboot environment the installer is running in, where you can run regedit (which will at that exact tab of the wizard see the registry of the newly installed system) and move the default user folder location (this is before any users have been created, again the magical tab of the wizard). There was some other voodoo to basically "reseal" the install a get back to the wizard. Pretty much the polar opposite of every Linux installer I've ever used, where they (gasp) ask which partition to use for /home. Great to know that it's actually possible though, since even if you know the registry keys to change when moving a user, the account will never work quite right afterward (I assume some user attributes get cached by various services or something).

about two weeks ago
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An SSD for Your Current Computer May Save the Cost of a New One (Video)

TheGavster Re:500GB minimum for SSD... (353 comments)

The other thing with SSDs is that within a given generation, speed correlates to capacity. The 512GB model doesn't use chips with twice the capacity, it uses twice as many chips. Sequential write speed close to doubles because twice as many chips can be writing at any given time (random writes, and the latency of sequential writes, obviously doesn't benefit)

about two weeks ago
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An SSD for Your Current Computer May Save the Cost of a New One (Video)

TheGavster Re:how do you convince microsoft (353 comments)

The only company I've ever had to contact for authorization from "installing too much" was Apple to activate iTunes. Microsoft hypothetically has a limit, but given the number of times I've reinstalled I'm pretty sure they only keep records going back a certain amount of time.

about two weeks ago
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Typo Keyboard For iPhone Faces Sales Ban

TheGavster Re:patented keyboard technology? (205 comments)

BB did have a patent on the angled keys that they sued Palm over back in the late 90's. It actually is a fairly innovative design that optimizes the direction of the bevel on each key based on the kinematics of your thumbs so that the keys act much larger than they are (if they actually cloned it correctly). It has also become sort of a mark of BB (both because of the exclusivity and the general unpopularity of portrait QWERTY layouts), so I guess that might even be grounds after the patent expires (which has to be coming up soon ...).

about two weeks ago
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Why Darmok Is a Good Star Trek: TNG Episode

TheGavster Re:Bullshit Made Up Language (512 comments)

I think you missed the point ... the language was formed out of references to a common body of knowledge. The universal translator was doing just fine figuring out what the individual words meant, but without the common story to refer to they made to sense. It's essentially as if an entire culture communicated only in pop culture references. For example, someone might say "You're such a Samantha", but if you haven't watched many hours of Sex and the City, you would have no idea what they meant despite knowing all of those words.

about three weeks ago
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AMD Develops New Linux Open-Source Driver Model

TheGavster Re:Why, oh why? (142 comments)

The GMA500 driver might be doing fine, but for some reason they keep licensing third party graphics for the integrated solution on Atom processors, or at least the ones making it into industrialized products. Getting OpenGL up under Linux on PC/104 or other embedded board is a royal pain in my experience.

about three weeks ago
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What If the Next Presidential Limo Was a Tesla?

TheGavster Re:Don't they have to fly that thing around? (330 comments)

As Truman famously said, The Buck Stops Here. The president is the head of the executive branch and the commander in chief of the armed forces. He absolutely has authority over his personal security. My opinion? Take a queue from the Queen and take public transit. Or from the Pope and walk. Even heads of states who have boots on the ground in Afghanistan fly commercial. Nothing supports a culture of fear more than a leader who doesn't have enough faith in his people to travel among them.

about a month ago
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Replicant OS Developers Find Backdoor In Samsung Galaxy Devices

TheGavster Re:No contract, wifi-only (126 comments)

Does anyone do verification on the "airplane mode" setting of phones? The FCC and FAA seem to have come to the conclusion that there's no way you can detect active radios via undesired behavior of an aircraft, and are down to sorting out the social ramifications of phone use on planes. I'd like to see an independent (and preferably paranoid) lab check to make sure that "all radios off" means that the radios are off, and not just that they stop passing traffic from the PDA OS.

about a month ago
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Sony & Panasonic Next-Gen Optical Discs Moving Forward

TheGavster Re:Here come the flippers (250 comments)

I saw these at the time, and wondered if they actually did show speed improvements for a long sequential read. Since CD tracks are laid out in a spiral, wouldn't you only read 7 new tracks at a time for the first revolution, then each track would be re-read 6 times?

about a month ago
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Sony & Panasonic Next-Gen Optical Discs Moving Forward

TheGavster Re:Here come the flippers (250 comments)

This. Every optical standard has had a double-sided variety, and every time it has failed to be adopted. The closest they got was with DVDs where there were different films or different aspect ratios on the two sides (so you still would never flip).

Also, the jump in capacity here just seems to be a plateau from previous optical technology:

0.6 GB => 9.4 GB => 50GB => 150GB

We were supposed to have 150GB/side blu-rays, for crying out loud (whatever happened to 5-layer discs anyway?).

about a month ago
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Walmart Unveils Turbine-Powered WAVE Concept Truck

TheGavster Re:It will have problems in the real world. (242 comments)

I don't think the idea is to have the assembly weigh less, but for the overhead of the truck and trailer to be less. 4klbs less trailer means 4klbs more cargo.

The single tire trucks and trailers are on the road today, at least here in the northeast US. I haven't heard of any accidents caused by the tires, but advances in tire technology may make them less apt to blow out than semi tires years ago.

Some carriers go all-out and also install fairings under the trailer and around the trailer doors. Particularly the long under-trailer pieces could probably benefit from whatever manufacturing advances allowed them to produce the trailer side panels.

about a month and a half ago
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Supreme Court Ruling Relaxes Warrant Requirements For Home Searches

TheGavster Re: Sure (500 comments)

That's really the core problem worth this ruling. The police had probable cause up the wazoo, but it's been turned into a test case for how far you can go to coerce consent.

The police absolutely were in the right to enter this apartment, but it was because they were responding to domestic abuse, not because arresting someone removes their right to deny warrantless search.

about 2 months ago
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Why Your Phone Gets OTA Updates But Your Car Doesn't

TheGavster Re:Manufacturer Interest (305 comments)

The only software recalls I've ever had on a car were efficiency fixes for the fuel map. While hypothetically the environmental damage done by millions of mistuned ECUs pushes us one step closer to environmental apocalypse, I don't think we can say it's directly killing people. Even the Toyota "stuck throttle" bug was more of a training issue than a software flaw (yes, the off sequence for the push-start is unintuitive in the heat of the moment, but shifting to neutral isn't). The one company that might have a potentially-fatal-but-purely-software issue is Tesla, but even their fix for charger fires was a hardware one.

about 2 months ago
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Kicktaxing: The Crazy Complexity of Paying Tax Correctly On Crowdfunding

TheGavster Re:Business with non-calendar tax year? (128 comments)

He mentions that you can set up a fiscal year which deviates from the calendar year. He was unable to do this because he was already operating under an LLC and changing your fiscal year after you've set it is non-trivial.

about 2 months ago
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Kicktaxing: The Crazy Complexity of Paying Tax Correctly On Crowdfunding

TheGavster Re:tl;dr - it's just like a business (128 comments)

I read the article, and he brings up some interesting points that even a business owner might find interesting about crowdfunding. Because your revenues are exponentially larger for a single quarter, your tax situation gets all screwed up and you have to be very careful on your estimated taxes. He also brings up some timing advice: since businesses are allowed to deduct the costs of doing business, you don't want kickstarter to cut your check on December 31st.

It's really the opposite of most business tax situations. Rather than paying for material, wages, and capital expenditure and then waiting for invoices to come back, you're given a huge amount of revenue and then have to try and get it off the books as fast as possible.

about 2 months ago
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Rand Paul Files Suit Against Obama Over NSA's Collection of Metadata

TheGavster Re:Pick your favorite amendments! (380 comments)

There is much rumor of the Paul family having racist leanings, but the best citation I have seen is an article written by a 3rd party published in a newsletter published under his father's name. Do you have an example of a more overt act or statement to support the allegation? As someone who does support their calls for fiscal restraint and reduced powers of government, but who also finds an equal treatment of all mankind to be a higher ideal, I am interested in evidence.

about 2 months ago
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Rand Paul Files Suit Against Obama Over NSA's Collection of Metadata

TheGavster Re:I agree with the claimed motives... (380 comments)

In all but a small number of "battleground" states, all votes are wasted votes because the entrenched party will take all of the delegates. Given that the winner is a forgone conclusion, you should vote for the candidate you like best overall without trying to metagame the outcome (since you can't). I bigger message is sent if the vote in say, New York, gets split 51/39/10 than 51/49. The traction gained by a (losing) showing by a 3rd party presidential candidate can be used by 3rd party candidates at the state level, where they actually DO have a chance of winning (it isn't even unheard of (though it is rare) for such a candidacy to be successful even for representatives at the Federal level).

about 2 months ago

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