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Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price?

dbc Re:Half the price, half the range, none of the app (388 comments)

Well, not quite. People who chose a Leaf over a Tesla are looking for an econo-box to comute with. The Tesla is a no-compromise luxury car. The Leaf is an unappologetic economy car. I could afford Tesla, a couple of friends have them and they are nice. But we are looking at a Leaf purely as an econo-box. I'm long past trying to impress people with what I drive.

2 days ago

The Science Behind Powdered Alcohol

dbc Re:Boozer backpackers (171 comments)

The real question is how it does at water purification. It should take care of bacteria, no problem. How it does on organisms like giardia, though, is more relevant to a backpacker. Compare the weight/bulk of powdered alcohol to other water purification methods, and you might have a winner.

2 days ago

Eyes Over Compton: How Police Spied On a Whole City

dbc How is this not a general warrant? (188 comments)

This seems like a general warrant to me. For civilian aircraft, there are minimum altitudes, and no general expectation of privacy from overhead observation at that distance. But in this case, this is for the purpose of gathering evidence. How is that not a general warrant?

2 days ago

Plant Breeders Release 'Open Source Seeds'

dbc Re:Missing a rather large point (136 comments)

Well,not quite. It is anti-unstabalized-hybrid. In many cases, a single additional cross will stablize a hybrid. Seed companies don't, because it serves as built-in license enforcement. The reason Monsanto has so much trouble with soy beans is that there is no such thing as an unstable hybrid soy bean. With maize, OTOH, this works great, you can create an unstable hybrid and sell that as the seed companies do now, or with a single additonal cross, stabilize the hybrid.

5 days ago

San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

dbc Re:BS (359 comments)

I, personally, have no need to move, having gotten in some time back and now have a house that has gone *up* in value over $800K over the past few years. The housing prices are a problem because it makes it difficult to hire people, because the commute from Castro Valley and other points East is... ummm... unpleasant. Your attitude seems rather parochial and insenstitive, and doesn't really move the ball forward in either clarifying the problem or suggesting a solution.

about a week ago

San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

dbc Re:BS (359 comments)

Well, except that it is very, very hard to start buying real estate in the Bay Area on a junior engineer's salary. In my area, I would not want to live in most of the neighborhoods where you can get something for $800K. Your well-founded admonitions don't align with most peoples' reality.

about a week ago

LA Police Officers Suspected of Tampering With Their Monitoring Systems

dbc Re:Nobody should be constantly monitored (322 comments)

LAPD is notorious for corruption and officer abuse. What is *your* plan to fix that?

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Handle Unfixed Linux Accessibility Bugs?

dbc Re:No, contributing is contributing. Using is self (266 comments)

Using the software helps noone but yourself - it's inherently selfish.

That's an overly-simplistic analysis. Using software has network effects. ('Network' in the social sense, not the move bits from point A to point B sense.)

Simply being a user that uses Libre Office and trades documents with others in that format grows the network of Libre Office users. That is a beneficial network effect. Simply being a user of X-Windows creates a larger pool of X-Windows users and therefore more potential seats for any random X-Windows application, which is a beneficial network effect for X-Windws in general, in that it creates more potential reward for development effort spent on X-Windows applications.

I agree with your other points, especially about the benefits of organized testing and filing clear problem reports. You can't (or shouldn't) ship what you can't test.

about a month ago

Synthetic Chromosomes Successfully Integrated Into Brewer's Yeast

dbc New dimension for beer (107 comments)

Is anyone else thinking this could lead to some interest new craft beers?

about a month ago

XWayland Aiming For Glamor Support, Merge Next X.Org Release

dbc Re:Remote display across network? (83 comments)

Really care. I want a headless box running legacy X applications to be able to display across the network without a noticeable increase in latency.

about a month ago

XWayland Aiming For Glamor Support, Merge Next X.Org Release

dbc Remote display across network? (83 comments)

OK, so I need to buy a clue here... does this move the ball forward with respect to being able to run an X-Windows client application on one node, and set the display back to a Wayland-based display server running on another node elsewhere on the network?

about a month ago

Overuse of Bioengineered Corn Gives Rise To Resistant Pests

dbc Re:Nothing new (259 comments)

In Iowa, refuge rows are required. I forget if it is 10% or 20% refuge rows, but anyway, they are required by law. I guess this is not a requirement in other states?

about a month ago

The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

dbc Re:Home school (529 comments)

So my daughter completed multi-variable calculus at a local university at age 13 and got the top score in the class, sitting along side all the freshman engineering students. She took the AP Bio at age 10 and scored a 5. She herself feels the local schools would not serve her well, concluding this after taking with age-peer friends at gymnastics practice, track club, and orchestra, just three of the activities that provide social interaction for our daughter. You and all your nanny-state know-it-all kindred need to stop telling other people how to raise their kids.

Your nephews, perhaps, are not getting the kind of social experiences that you think they should -- and you may have a point, they may not be served well by their current social experiences. First of all, don't paint all homeschoolers with the same brush. Secondly, is there a permanent harm? Thirdly, you'll never convince me that the socialization of a typical public school with all of it's dysfunctional cliques, dysfunctional fashions, and bullying is somehow better. I can only imagine the kind of severe bullying that my daughter would have to endure at the typical high school, just because she is a girl that likes math and science. Go read "They Sibling Society" by Robert Blye and then try to tell me the current public school system is good for kids' socialization.

I really get tired of people who haven't thought deeply about the problem, haven't read widely about the issues, and don't face the problem in their own life somehow thinking they should be able to dictate to me.

about a month ago

The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

dbc Re:Home school (529 comments)

Stop spreading uninformed drivel. In one large, mainstream, local homeschooling group, about 45% of the members homeschool for religious reasons. The rest have a large variety of reasons. In the homeschooling group we are most active in, it is 100% gifted students who's parents were dissatsified with the various public and private school options.

Modern homeschooling doesn't happen so much at home any more anyway. There are many online options. It becomes online schooling with home tutoring. You might want to read "Disrupting Class" by management consultant Clayton Christensen. His thesis is that soon public schools will switch to the same model -- online class delivery according to the students' needs, with teachers reinforcing and tutoring on a more individualized basis.

Homeschooling is a great option for gifted kids. They crave challenge -- as a parent, you want to find good mentors and activities for them, and then stand back.

about a month ago

UK Government Wants "Unsavory" Web Content To Be Removed

dbc Yes, well, when the tide comes in... (250 comments)

.. it washes away my sand castles. Let's stop the tide from coming in.

In theory, anyone can point at any DNS root servers that they want to. In practice, most peoples' moms don't know how to do that. In practice, "the internet", as far as most moms are concerned, is whatever Google indexes. If the big search engines decide to start indexing from some alternative set of root servers, then all the ISPs will point there, too, and ICANN won't survive a week.

about a month ago

Is the New "Common Core SAT" Bill Gates' Doing?

dbc Re:Uhhh... (273 comments)

Well, so there is guaranteed access to free study materials. It doesn't mean that pay-as-you-go study materials won't also be available. I'm having a hard time finding a huge problem with there being free materials availble to everyone, and alternative materials available on the market. If the free materials suck, that is a problem, in that the population that can only afford the free materials is *still* at a disadvantage. But given Kahn's record, I don't see that happening. My daughter just went through SAT's this year, and used two different study guides because the material is presented differently and she connected better with one than the other.

What disadvantaged kids are more in need of is someone to tell them how important the SAT is, and to get them pointed at *any* study materials at all, and encourage them to use it. The conversations that I hear among helicopter parents here in the suburbs where I live now (people pay up to live where I do because of the schools) are light-years removed from the conversations I overheard as a kid, where for a good 1/4-1/3 of my contemporaries, their highest ambition in life was to have a dairy farm that milked more cows than their dad's farm did. My parents, fortunately, emphasized education. But for kids that don't come from that culture, they need to be, quite literally, led to and shown the study materials and benefits thereof.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: Does Your Employer Perform HTTPS MITM Attacks On Employees?

dbc Re:No (572 comments)

At some point, why not? Verbal warning #1, verbal warning #2, written warning, written Corrective Action Plan with consequences up to and including termination, and for the *really* slow learners, termination.

At a manager, at some point you start thinking "Am I better off sinking more of my time into this clown, or with an open hiring req?" I've had a couple of occasions where the open hiring req was the more attractive option.

about a month and a half ago

Bugatti 100P Rebuilt: The Plane That Could've Turned the Battle of Britain

dbc Re:What is "computer-directed flight control"? (353 comments)

Interesting question. "Computers" as we think of them today, were built using vacuum tube logic at that time. I'm not sure when miniature tubes came into being, but I think they are post-war. Vacuum tubes have reliability problems, dislike vibration, generate a lot of waste heat, and consume huge amounts of power. Not really good choices for a fighter aircraft. In any case, if it were a vacuum tube computer, it would have been an analog computer, no doubt. But, recall that at the time, the term "computer" was used to refer to all different kinds of mechanical computers. Battleship targetting computers, for instance, were marvels of mechanical design and intricate gearworks. Perhaps there was some kind of analog computation done with a gear box.

about 1 month ago

Apple Closes OpenNI the Open Source Kinect Framework

dbc Re:So fork it (82 comments)

Oh, yes, that will help. Not. The current generation of hardware will have a driver stack. Effectively meaning that PrimeSense-based projects are dead, because new generation hardware will have a closed stack. PrimeSense in open projects now has no future.

about 2 months ago


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