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Verizon CTO Argues For Metered Pricing

anomaly iPod storage ads (99 comments)

iPod storage is advertised in terms of "song" and "movie" because normals don't know (or care) about bytes!

Apple sold their "inferior" device to zillions of people who don't care about how it's technically "less good" than other options, because they value things other than specifications - ease of use, style, etc. Those are valid selection criteria, even if *you* don't value them, obviously the market *does.*

Consumers on the whole will never understand nor care about "data". They will care about music and movies and other entertainment.

Remember "amuse" means
"a" - not
"muse" - think

We love our amusement.

about 5 years ago
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The Rocky Road To Wind Power

anomaly Re:Oh boo hoo (281 comments)

Your post indicates that heavy object movement over roads is a solved issue. I respectfully disagree. It may be legal to carry heavy things on roads, but it's STUPID to do so.

Heavy trucks are the things that destroy the roads!

The weight and stresses aplied by cars are substantively less than those freight trucks. Of course, freight trucks pay more than you and I do in road use taxes, but not commensurate with the damage they do.

We need to fix the freight rail system to allow heavy things to transit via rail. This is what the rail beds were designed for (and our roads were not!) Unfortunately the rail system is mismanaged and @#$@#$#@ expensive!

more than 5 years ago
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Ireland Criminalizes Blasphemy

anomaly As a devoted follower of Christ, this is scary (1376 comments)

Free speech rights are important. I think that definition of hate crimes and speech limits are slippery slopes which can turn out to have consequences far different than the original intent. I found Penn Jillette's incessant blasphemy during his Las Vegas show offensive, but should not be criminalized.

I have a friend who recently visited Kazakhstan.He tells me that the growing influence of Islam there means that there will be a significant restriction of religious freedom there, and that Christians are very likely to soon be oppressed by those in power who oppose their religious beliefs.

As much as I value my religious beliefs and desire not to have them attacked, it is critical that freedom of expression be defended, even when it offends me. (Within certain limits - not yelling fire in a crowded theater, kiddie porn, etc.)

more than 5 years ago
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Early Abort of Ares I Rocket Would Kill Crew

anomaly Re:AA/EO in the military (414 comments)

I'm ignorant about the impact from a military perspective, but I can speak from a personal one. There were several large employers around my hometown. I applied for positions with them and was not offered a position with any of them. I spoke with a man who was employed with one of them, and he let me know that it was an "open secret" that only 30% of hires could be of a particular race (mine) due to affirmative action.

What did I do? Sue? Cry? Curse the darkness? No. I moved to where the number of employers was large enough that my skills were easily sold to the highest bidder. Thus launched my migration away from my family and into a pretty successful career.

Can I prove it was racial discrimination? Nope.

Do I believe that it was a factor in HR's decision? Yes.

Was it wrong to discriminate against me on the basis of skin color? Yes.

At the end of the day, unless you want to lose your mind, you need to accept that things are what they are and be like the internet "route around problems." There are consequences, but to live as a victim was not on the list of choices I found acceptable.

Just my 0.02

Anomaly

more than 5 years ago
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GPS-Based System For Driving Tax Being Field Tested

anomaly Trucks cause the damage (891 comments)

From an engineering perspective, we could significantly reduce the amount of taxes needed for road maintenance if we had the guts to do three things:
1. Fix the #$@#$ rail system - so bureaucratic and mismanaged that rail freight is not economical
2. Compel heavy items and large volumes to transit via rail. Heavy trucks are the things that destroy the roads! The weight and stresses aplied by cars are substantively less than those freight trucks. Of course, freight trucks pay more than you and I do, but not commensurate with the damage they do.
3. Be prepared to WAIT for products. This is the death knell. We're so impatient as a culture that the additional time it would take to manage freight efficiently over rail would mean that "air" shipments and "next day by 10:30" would likely be infeasible - unless we taxed their delivery a multiple of 10 or more to make up for the road damage.

more than 5 years ago
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Morality of Throttling a Local ISP?

anomaly Management is not evil (generally) (640 comments)

As a geek who transitioned to management - and who has worked in Fortune 500 and small companies, I think that it's fair to say that you don't understand the motivations.

Caveats:
1) Some management people are evil - a small minority may be - a la Madoff, but generally they are not evil

2) Some management people are incompetent. The Peter Principle applies, and some management folk are nincompoops.

3) Some management people are led by nincompoops and can't do the sensible thing

Now that I've got that out of the way, I want to challenge some of the /. groupthink about management.

I know of a company making the choice between $free DB and $notfreeDB. At a point in the dev cycle when it was reasonable to select a new platform, the company opted to pay thousands of dollars for $notfreeDB.

A HA! Management must be corrupt/stupid/evil! Right?

No! The technology evangelist for $freeDB could not make a sensible argument about why the company should invest the time in retraining and purchase of tools to support $freeDB.

For what it's worth, the geeks most comfortable with $notfreeDB pushed HARD against a switch, and argued that a change was a risk to success due to it being an unknown, and it would cost time and slip the schedule.

All in all, IMNSHO, selection of $notfreeDB is sub optimal, but the geek could not make a case in business terms. That geek's thinking that $feee is inherently better than $notfree should be enough of an argument.

Silly.

Management values finding a way to monetize technology. This is NOT evil. It is what EVERY geek does. If geeks focus on technology, they miss the point. Failure to understand that there are levers other than "technically better" is the fauls and failure of the geeks, not the fault of management.

If you (the general you, not parent specifically) are unable to understand that - that would be YOUR fault, not the fault of management.

Think outside the technology box - find ways to monetize your brilliant ideas, and you will go much farther than the geek who blow out the candle then curse the darkness.

more than 5 years ago
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Oldest Weapons-grade Plutonium Found In Dump

anomaly Re:Mystery Pits (552 comments)

The US may provide less "official" foreign aid than the EU, but there is a significant cultural difference to be addressed. The state in the EU provides the lion's share of aid. In the US, it's the INDIVIDUAL who provides the lion's share of aid. When you combine the individual aid and the "official" aid private contributions, it dwarfs giving by others.

The US is a generous nation, prosecuting soldiers who break the UCMJ, and rebuilding the infrastructure that we blew up as a part of war efforts. We don't steal, rape and destroy. Those individuals who commit acts like that are prosecuted.

Compare this with the acts of Germans, Japanese, and Russian armies during WWII.

We're not perfect, but we're FAR from evil, and we do a great deal to help those less fortunate than us. We make mistakes, and there are civilians who die when we are at war. That makes me sad, but I know of no other nation that does as much to help people as the US.

more than 5 years ago
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IRS Eyeballing Virtual World Tax Policies

anomaly Re:feh (226 comments)

I don't know if we share the same legislators, but I have had the same experience over and over and over again. Each time I contact my representatives, I am sent a FORM LETTER telling me that they are going to do whatever they darn well please and I can stuff my opinion, but hearing from their constituents is *very* important to them and thanking me *so* much for sharing my views.

Representatives, indeed.

more than 5 years ago
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Why Use Virtual Memory In Modern Systems?

anomaly Re:Can't hibernate (983 comments)

There was probably another problem. There is ALWAYS another problem.

I don't disagree. There is always something else.

3. The KB article explicitly mentions fragmentation.

So it does. However it doesn't say that you could fix that by running a ram defragmenter. If you could, MS would have included a little ram defrag routine into the hibernate code :)

Just like Microsoft included a full disk defragmenter with XP? The way they included anti-spyware software with it? The way they included anti-virus with it?

Nope, It's not the MS way to include the full suite of tools needed to keep your box running. That's what they 3rd part market is for!

4. In my experience, use of the ram defragmenter tool eliminates the hibernation issue.

I'd be shocked if it did anything like defragmenting....
Despite this, it IS possible that this could help with the old hibernating with over 1GB of ram issue, as only physical ram needs to be saved to disk when hibernating. If you've just forced everything into the pagefile, there will be very little to write. However, this is a side-effect of what the program actually does, not it actually working, and the problem with hibernating with lots of ram has been fixed now.

Nope. Thinking that perhaps you were right, I disabled the "questionable" software. After going into standby twice during the workday, it blue screened on the third "wake up."

Could be mere coincidence, or it could be that the software adds value. I'm going with the latter.

The problem is not fixed. Windows does not wake reliably.

5. Windows is STUPID when it comes to seeing more than 1GB of RAM. Look into the gyrations required to to enable the PAE settings. Yikes!

PAE is enabled by default in Windows these days, it just doesn't use the extended address space feature on the desktop versions, only things like NX.
PAE is required to see more than 3 to 3.5 GB of ram, not 1GB.

Bzzt! Wrong answer! My machine did not see more than 2GB until I enabled PAE.

PAE was not enabled by default on my machine! There were arcane incantations required in order to make the configuration change.

What you state simply does not match my experiences over time. You may be right for some use cases, but they seem to be exclusive of *my* use cases.

Respectfully,
Anomaly

more than 5 years ago
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Why Use Virtual Memory In Modern Systems?

anomaly Re:Can't hibernate (983 comments)

Read the KB article.
1. Installing the patch didn't fix the problem 100% of the time.

2. Service Pack 2 reduces the frequency of the failures, but doesn't eliminate the problem.

3. The KB article explicitly mentions fragmentation.

4. In my experience, use of the ram defragmenter tool eliminates the hibernation issue.

5. Windows is STUPID when it comes to seeing more than 1GB of RAM. Look into the gyrations required to to enable the PAE settings. Yikes!

You are wrong.

Respectfully,
Anomaly

more than 5 years ago
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Why Use Virtual Memory In Modern Systems?

anomaly Re:Can't hibernate (983 comments)

Nothing in the article? What about the part that says:

"Note It is still possible to experience a hibernation problem after you install this fix if the memory becomes highly fragmented"

Without that RAM defragmenter, the PC bluescreens when hibernating. With it, it hibernates and un hibernates without issues.

You're right. The fact that I presented facts combined with my experience must be completely irrelevant.

Feel free to continue in your superstition about windows memory. That software must be complete crap, and the KB article must be completely wrong.....

Got any science to back up *your* point of view?

Anomaly

more than 5 years ago
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Why Use Virtual Memory In Modern Systems?

anomaly Re:rephrasing his question charitably... (983 comments)

Of course, getting Windows to *use* that RAM can be an issue.

I spent a while the other day setting up the BIOS PAE and then editing the boot sequence for Windows to use the PAE flag - and the machine may - or may not - be using more than 2GB, depending what part of Windows you ask......

I hate some things about Windows. Memory management is one of them

more than 5 years ago
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Why Use Virtual Memory In Modern Systems?

anomaly Can't hibernate (983 comments)

Windows makes me CRAZY about this. the OS is internally configured to use an LRU algorithm to aggressively page.

("Technical bastards" who question my use of paging and swap interchangeably in this post can send their flames to /dev/null \Device\Null or NUL depending on OS)

What I found when disabling paging on an XP pro system with 2GB RAM is that the system performance is explosively faster without the disk IO.

Even an *idle* XP pro system swaps - explaining the time it takes for the system to be responsive to your request to maximize a window you have not used in a while.

I was thrilled to have a rocket-fast system again - until I tried to hibernate my laptop. Note that the hibernation file is unrelated to the swap/paging space.

The machine consistently would blue screen when trying to hibernate if swap/paging was disabled. Enabling swap enabled the hibernation function again. Since reboots take *FOREVER* to reload all the crap that XP needs on an enterprise-connected system - systems mangement, anti-virus agent, software distribution tool, and the required ram-defragger which allows XP to "stand by" when you've got more than 1GB of RAM, plus IM, etc

I reboot as infrequently as possible and consider "stand by" and "hibernate" required functions. As a result, I live with XP and paging enabled, and tolerate the blasted system "unpaging" apps that have been idle a short time.

Poo!

more than 5 years ago
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Copper Thieves Jeopardize US Infrastructure

anomaly Re:Unless you plan to bring back consequences... (578 comments)

No, the problem is that
a) most bad guys don't get caught until they have done it a lot of times
b) the "justice" system lets them go over and over again,
c) it takes forever from arrest until incarceration.

Each of these adds up to make justice neither swift nor sure. That is what makes the idea of punishment less of a deterrent.

If the average person looked out for his neighbor and reported crime when he saw it, if we tried people within a short time (e.g. 24 hours of arrest) and when convicted of a first offense people received significant punishment, crime would drop.

more than 5 years ago
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Beating the College Bubble

anomaly Re:two bad assumptions (616 comments)

When I got married, the budget was determined by the amount of money I had available to fund the event. My wife and I threw a wonderful party - the process included having friends coordinate the piza and sodas for the rehearsal dinner, and then we funded the reception at a quaint restaurant that my wife loved dearly.

People who take on debt, or worse than that, convince their parents to take on debt to fund a party - particularly when about 50% of marriages end in divorce - make a terrible financial decision.

In the same way, people who can't afford college and decide to take huge student loans to fund the life experience also make a terrible financial decision. It's possible to get married without debt, and a B.Sc. or a B.A. are possible without debt, too.

more than 5 years ago
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Beating the College Bubble

anomaly Re:College Debt? (616 comments)

I think that there's huge value in liberal arts education - and in some ways I got a better technical education than friends who went to school someplace well known with "Tech" in the name....

More than that, I simply cannot understand the logic in borrowing huge money for a degree that qualifies for a job that pays too little to service the debt!

People should look at college/university in terms of an investment. There's no reason to spend a bajillion dollars on undergraduate education, unless you plan to make your career in education and the "brand" of the degree matters - or the connections you'll make in school really matter - like the friend who went to Wharton for his MBA - because in that market, that name matters. (Incidentally, he went to Wharton after working in industry for a few years, setting aside money to pay for the tuition there.)

Other than that, students should work and save money before college, then go to community college for the core credits, then go to state school for their major credits - working during breaks to earn cash to minimize the need for debt.

Why kids think that they are entitled to go to an expensive school, borrowing a crushing amount of money in the process, while trying to party like a rock star and buying endless streams of consumer junk they can't afford (like iPhones) is beyond me. Kids need to learn to live within their means - and that includes education!

more than 5 years ago

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