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Survey Shows That Fox News Makes You Less Informed

crmartin Yeah, sure (1352 comments)

That 2003 study was flawed by one major thing: the list of "facts" on which "Fox viewers" were "uninformed" were latgely either simply false, or defined "informed" as "agreement with the Conventional Wisdom." Such as for example climate change issues: disagreement with carbon-forced anthropogenic global warming was identified as "uninformed".

It isn't, really.

more than 3 years ago

EA Spends 3x on Marketing Than Development

crmartin Sounds pretty normal (442 comments)

3× development costs is pretty well comparable to movies. Sounds pretty reasonable for any mass-market item; those PC vs Mac ads, for example, don't come cheap.

about 5 years ago

Behind Menuet, an OS Written Entirely In Assembly

crmartin Re:From the license... (419 comments)

Well, no. Assemblers are translated, but not compiled.

more than 5 years ago

Earth's Period of Habitability Is Nearly Over

crmartin Panic! (756 comments)

Yup. Recognizably human species have been around for, oh, say a million years, real like home sapiens sapiens for 0.1 million years. We should definitely worry about what will happen in 500 or 1000 million years.

As to the other point, I kind of hate to point it out, but the number of places with life that aren't really ideal for life is going to far exceed the number that are ideal. In fact, I think you can say that places actually ideal for life occur with probability 0.

more than 5 years ago

Mass Speculation Suggests Oracle May Kill OpenSolaris

crmartin Unlikely -- Oracle optimizes for Solaris 10/SPARC (205 comments)

Their highest capacity versions and licenses are all for Solaris 10 and SPARC. And, as someone else noted, it would be hard to kill OpenSolaris, because it's already Open. Like MySQL, if they tried to close it, it would just branch (as MySQL already is.)

more than 5 years ago

HTML Tags For Academic Printing?

crmartin Learn the tools first, then worry about changing (338 comments)

See, as someone has already pointed out, there's at least one such tool that's in wide use already: TeX and LaTeX. If you don't like that one, it turns out that HTML, with CSS and a little bit of Javascript, is perfectly capable of doing all the things you want, too. You just have to learn how. Have a look at Lie's Cascading Style Sheets: Designing for the Web (written and typeset in HTML/CSS) and at Prince XML for detailed examples.

more than 5 years ago

Where Does a Geek Find a Social Life?

crmartin Try therapy (1354 comments)

Seriously. A good therapist can help you by pointing you to the right sources, help you figure out anything that may be behind it. Also, a therapist of the appropriately opposite sex can let you develop some skills in dealing with them in a controlled, safe, way.

more than 5 years ago

Are Code Reviews Worth It?

crmartin Re:You may not be doing them right (345 comments)

NO one can suggest them during the meeting. Someone has to fix them after the meeting.

more than 5 years ago

Why a Hard Disk Is a Better Bargain Than an SSD

crmartin Or maybe not (403 comments)

... it depends on what you're trying to do. Just today, Sun published a Sun BluePrint Solid State Drives in HPC: Reducing the I/O Bottleneck showing that by using SSD as part of an HPC configuration, you can improve performance pretty dramatically. If buying 64GB of SSD can double performance on an I/O bound HPC program (these were finite element analysis programs) it might be a pretty good investment.

more than 5 years ago

Are Code Reviews Worth It?

crmartin You may not be doing them right (345 comments)

Honestly, code reviews, historically, have proven to be about ten times as cost effective as other techniques. If you're not seeing good effects from them, the odds are that you aren't doing them right.

Not that this is a big surprise, as few people do them well.

Get hold of some of the literature on Fagin reviews, and make sure you're following the guidelines:

(1) not too many people in the review: 3 minimum, 7 maximum.
(2) the programmer isn't allowed to speak, except potentially to explain something
(3) no one can suggest solutions: identify a potential problem and move on
(4) close the loop: make sure all solutions get documented and passed to review participants.
(5) a single review can last no longer than 1 hour.

more than 5 years ago

Why Our "Amazing" Science Fiction Future Fizzled

crmartin Re:Amnesia (499 comments)

If you can distinguish that from "political thuggery" you're a better distinguisher than I am.

more than 5 years ago

Why Our "Amazing" Science Fiction Future Fizzled

crmartin Amnesia (499 comments)

See, the real issue here is that the guy doesn't actually remember, say, 1960. We may not have flying cars, but we have cross country plane trips for $14 (in 1960 dollars). We don't have videophones, but we've got Skype with video on computers -- and it's free. We're very rarely arrested for being queer, we're rarely getting arrested for voting while incorrectly complected, no one anywhere in the world has smallpox, and hardly anyone has polio. Famines are the result of political disruptions and the thuggery of Mugabe and his ilk, not lack of food.

more than 5 years ago

Al-Qaeda Used Basic Codes, Calling Cards, Hotmail

crmartin The best part about this story is (285 comments)

how completely clueless it is. Let's see ...

(1) The NSA doesn't wiretap the US. For all the hysteria, the NSA is only looking at calls crossing the border. Inside the US its FBI, and the Feebies are very jealous of that.

  And it certainly doesn't wiretap the whole US, because there's so much ohone traffic and 0.999999 of it is uninteresting.

(2) Could the NSA hack -- could DoJ simply subpoena -- the contents of a hotmail account? You bet ... but which hotmail account? Or fluffibuni387? Or what?

(3) Now, with prepaid phone cards etc. If I'm getting this, you're saying NSA is bad because they can't get intel from something like a prepaid phone. Now think it through: Achmed al Boomaboom goes into WalMart, and buys condoms, a bag of Fritos, and a prepaid phone. He makes six "busines" calls, talking in code words, calls a hooker, and throws the phone away. How is the NSA supposed to figure out which phone it is, and capture the phone calls, before he pitches the phone.

More to the point, how can they intercept those phone calls without intercepting all calls, or at least all prepaid cell calls?

more than 5 years ago

Is Alcohol Killing Our Planet?

crmartin Lie down on the floor and keep calm (468 comments)

Okay, first of all, you can forget about the CO2 in the pressurization: that was collected from the atmosphere, and goes back, net carbon is zero. Similarly, since beer is made from plants, pretty well all the CO2 produced by making beer is absorbed again making next year's beer.

Just for fun, though, let's do a back-of-envelope calculation of how much there is. According to Wikipedia, humans brew about 133 gigaliters of beer a year, and we can assume it's about 5 percent alcohol, so that's (133×0.05)=6.7 gigaliters of alcohol. The specific gravity of ethanol is about 0.8 so that's 5.3 billion kilograms of ethanol per year. One mol Ethanol (CH3CH22OH) masses 45 grammmes. So that's 5600 billion grams of alcohol, 120 billion mols, and it turns out that there's 1 mol of CO2 per mol ethanol.

Thus we get 120 billion mol of CO2, a mol is 44 grammes, about 5.3 million tonnes. According to WikiAnswers, a car produces about 5.2 tonnes of CO2 per year, so all the world's beer production is about equivalent to a million cars.

So if it worries you, buy a couple CFL bulbs or soemthing. It's pretty small.

(PS. This would look better if /. allowed the sub tag.)

more than 5 years ago

US Cybersecurity Chief Beckstrom Resigns

crmartin History didn't start in 2003 (117 comments)

I wish journalists would do a little research. NSA has had the lead role in cybersecurity since before he term was invented, back to the National Computer Security Center when Bob Morris the Elder was Chief Scientist. Mid-80's, in other words. Communications security since Truman.

What this guy is complaining about is that he wasn't able to wrest control of cybersecurity away from NSA.

more than 5 years ago

Spectrum Fees May Preclude US Low-Cost Cellular

crmartin Passing the fees to customers (246 comments)

Actually, that could be better phrased as "idiots imagine those fees won't be passed on to the customers."

more than 5 years ago

Obama Staffers Followed Palin's Email Lead On Inauguration Day

crmartin Re:Kind of a side note... (407 comments)

Yes, it's actually just you, because the number of dopes who think the White House doesn't have an IT staff is very small.

Now, for a little puzzle, ask yourself how long it would normally take to create hundreds of email accounts in a secured system?

more than 5 years ago

Wind and Sun Beat Other Energy Alternatives

crmartin Riiiight (584 comments)

And if you choose your metric carefully, you can get any answer out that you like.

more than 5 years ago


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