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When Did Irene Stop Being a Hurricane?

axlrosen Counter-argument (426 comments)

Here are a counter-argument from comments on the blog:

mike_s said...
They presumably use Doppler radar, which can measure speeds throughout the system, instead of relying on point sources, which can't.

more than 3 years ago

Russian Resupply Crash Could Mean Leaving ISS Empty

axlrosen Is that bad? (291 comments)

The ISS, and manned spaceflight in general, is a pointless waste of money. Not a troll, just a (well-justified) opinion.

more than 3 years ago

Massive Diamond Found Orbiting Pulsar

axlrosen Reminds me of 2010 (204 comments)

In the novel 2010 by Arthur C. Clarke (the follow up to 2001), Jupiter is revealed to have a diamond the size of the earth at its core.

more than 3 years ago

Stanford CS101 Adopts JavaScript

axlrosen Re:Ideal IDE (255 comments)

Every language has warts. If that's your definitely of "bad language" you can find such problems in any popular language.

more than 3 years ago

Computer De-Evolution: Awesome Features We've Lost

axlrosen Re:Loss of features? (662 comments)

Have you seen an average person's Windows box lately? It's full of random crap they've downloaded, each of which installs a desktop shortcut, a toolbar in the browser, a tray icon that pops up daily. Each one is "free" so you'll download it, but then uses all of these various ways of getting in your face to try to get you to spend money somehow. And that's if you're lucky, and don't have any malware.

Now think about an iPhone/iPad. They don't have nearly as many extension points, so they're not as customizable, but the upside is that there's less hooks for programs to get into and pop up in your face (and slow down and destabilize your system). Not to mention that the App Store blocks crappy/malicious/deceitful software.

I really hope that iOS will take up the mantle of an it-just-works machine for the average non-nerd. Walled gardens have their disadvantages, I agree. But they sure are pretty.

more than 3 years ago

Thousands of Blackbirds Fall From Sky Dead

axlrosen Re:fools (577 comments)

Doubt that, turns out the same day 100,000 Drum Fish died the same day.

Um... not the same day. The day before. And: "Biologists believe the bird deaths were stress-related from either fireworks or weather and are unrelated to the fish kill near Ozark, Stephens said."

more than 3 years ago

Is Cyberwarfare Fiction?

axlrosen The Atlantic things otherwise. (205 comments)

"When will China emerge as a military threat to the U.S.? In most respects the answer is: not anytime soon -- China doesn't even contemplate a time it might challenge America directly. But one significant threat already exists: cyberwar. Attacks -- not just from China but from Russia and elsewhere -- on America's electronic networks cost millions of dollars and could in the extreme cause the collapse of financial life, the halt of most manufacturing systems, and the evaporation of all the data and knowledge stored on the Internet."


more than 4 years ago

IBM Breaks Open Source Patent Pledge

axlrosen Re:Claiming infringement (359 comments)

Your comment is not so helpful unless you explain the difference. They sound like synonyms to me.

more than 4 years ago

Midwest Seeing Red Over 'Green' Traffic Lights

axlrosen Re:If ND doesn't have this problem... (839 comments)

No, but they do have an "inside" for snow to pile up in. And that's probably worse since the place where the snow rests in this case (the bottom of the shield) would be higher up than in the other case (the top of the shield below it).

more than 4 years ago

Apple Wants Patents For Crippling Cellphones

axlrosen Differentiation is good (371 comments)

If you don't like a company crippling a product, what are the alternatives?

Well, one alternative is that the company couple sell different physical products with the different capabilities. Of course, that would increase costs, so both the crippled and uncrippled versions would cost more.

Or, the company could only sell uncrippled hardware. Now, what price would they sell it for? They certainly can't sell it for the lower price of a crippled product, because they'd lose money. So now you've lost the choice between a lower-price/lower-featured product, and a higher-price/higher-featured product. In other words, richer people win, poorer people lose.

So we should recognize that there's a benefit to being able to sell different sets of features to different consumers. More people get what they want at a price they can afford.

more than 5 years ago

Tech-Related Volunteer Gigs

axlrosen Work + donate (252 comments)

I hope this doesn't come across as cynical, because it's not meant to be. But one very reasonable strategy is to work hard at your regular job, and donate money to charitable causes.

I've often thought about how to put my software engineering skills to good use, and that's the best I've been able to come up with. If you can't find a great outlet to directly put your skills to use at a charitable organization, this is a pretty reasonable proxy. It lets you do what you do best, for the people that find it most helpful (i.e. a company that's willing to pay you for it), rather than having to shoehorn your skills where there may not be a great match.

If there's an volunteer opportunity that's actually a good fit, that's obviously a good mechanism (and probably more psychically rewarding). But if not, I think this is an efficient alternative.

more than 4 years ago

Bill Gates Calls for a 'Kinder Capitalism'

axlrosen Re:Really Bill? (601 comments)

This is guilt and arrogance. "I have so much, I am so smart, let me device a plan to improve capitalism."

Rich people who want to help the poor are arrogant? I guess they should just stay home, drink their champagne, and keep quiet?

Note to Bill, its been tried at least twice in the past 100 years and they were called communism and socialism. The only change for the poor in those systems is there is more of them.

Your logic is iron-clad. The fact that 2 systems have failed obviously means that no other system could possibly work. Our current form of capitalism is the best system possible. No other system is worth even considering.

To paraphrase Churchill: "It has been said that capitalism is the worst form of economy except all the others that have been tried."

We have decades more experience with capitalism and its effects on the world's poor than we used to. Is it blasphemy to try to improve on things? I'm actually pretty skeptical of his proposal until I hear more details... but I think it's great to consider it, rather than try to close my ears to it like you do.

more than 6 years ago



Third World Saves First Word

axlrosen axlrosen writes  |  more than 4 years ago

axlrosen (88070) writes "Dx1W is "a competition for Third World minds to solve First World problems". After all, developing countries are presumably developing into developed countries. And developed countries aren't exactly problem-free.

"We have been focusing our energy and resources on trying to solve our Third World problems to become more like the First World. But perhaps it is time that we, the so called Third World minds, focused our energy and creativity on solving some of the First World problems. We will have a brighter future to look forward to, and perhaps this can help us rethink and approach our current problems from a different perspective.""

Link to Original Source

Please correct the solar panel story

axlrosen axlrosen writes  |  more than 4 years ago

axlrosen (88070) writes "Please correct the summary of this story. The panels are 15-20% efficient, not 86% efficient. It would be sad if people thought that super-efficient solar power would soon be available, thus discounting the need for other energy improvements.

Details of the correct data are in this comment: http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1566304&cid=31312864

Thanks! :)"

Link to Original Source

What Are We Searching For?

axlrosen axlrosen writes  |  more than 7 years ago

axlrosen writes "A great analysis from Slate, using Google Suggest to tap into what people are searching for. The results can be kinda weird:

Want to know what questions are flummoxing mankind? Type in "is it true that." The fourth suggestion: "is it true that if you don't use it you lose it." The fifth: "is it true that ciara is a man." Enter "how bad is" to figure out everything the English-speaking world thinks might not be OK: smoking, followed by global warming, soda, marijuana, and McDonald's."

Link to Original Source

axlrosen axlrosen writes  |  more than 7 years ago

axlrosen writes "The biggest Mix '07 announcement made on opening day of this week's show was one that Microsoft didn't call out in any of its own press releases: Microsoft is making a version of its Common Language Runtime (CLR) available cross-platform. The CLR is the heart of Microsoft's .Net Framework programming model. So, by association, the .Net Framework isn't just for Windows any more.

More here."


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