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San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

dbc Re:BS (329 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.

yesterday
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San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

dbc Re:BS (329 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.

yesterday
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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 a week ago
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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 three weeks ago
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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 three weeks ago
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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 three weeks ago
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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 three weeks ago
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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
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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
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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
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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 1 month ago
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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
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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
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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 a month and a half ago
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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 a month and a half ago
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Why Nissan Is Talking To Tesla Model S Owners

dbc Re:two different animals (335 comments)

You are exactly correct. In California, all autos with 2 or more occupants (3 in a few places), or motorcycles can use the HOV lane. Zero-tailpipe-emmissions vehicles can get a sticker that gives single occupant access until 2019. There is another sticker with a quota cap (these are about 1/2 gone) for gas/electric vehicles that run on battery for some minimum number of miles before their engine starts. I think alternative fuels vehicles are also eligible for this one. This sticker also expires Jan 1, 2019. Hybrids like the Prius used to get a sticker, too, but no longer. See http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/c...

So, yes, a Tesla gets the HOV sticker, too. But if all you want to do is get to and from work as cheaply and quickly as possible, the Leaf is perfectly adequate. If you want more range, or want to impress your friends, then the Tesla is for you -- if you have the cash.

Actually, here in Sili Valley it is a good place for electric vehicles. I see multiple Leafs and Teslas on the road every day. We have that magic thing called "infrastructure" -- charging stations at shopping centers and employer parking lots are actually relatively plentiful compared to most places. Multiple Nissan and Tesla dealers within a few miles. Then, too, we have climate going for us -- not too cold in the winter, not too hot in the summer -- so you don't have cabin climate control eating into your battery range. Plus, the Leaf's battery pack does not have cooling lines running through it -- Leafs in hot places have had some issues where batteries go to an early grave because of poor temperature management. A Leaf outside of a mild climate is a questionable choice.

I just got back from a couple of days in Minnesota where i did two 200-mile days in a rental car, driving mostly in rural areas, with day-time high temperatures of -2F. A Leaf would have been completely unusable for that trip. A Tesla would have been a risky adventure, assuming I could have strung together enough charging stations, which would have required considerable logistical planning.

about a month and a half ago
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Why Nissan Is Talking To Tesla Model S Owners

dbc Re:two different animals (335 comments)

I think the "overpriced" ding on the Leaf is valid if you look at the full sticker, but there is a $7500 federal tax credit, and in California a $2500 state tax rebate that brings it down to where it does pencil out as an economy car.

Your comment regarding the Leaf as a student car makes me chuckle -- as a *parent* I kind of like the idea of an 80 mile range in a student car :) :)

about 2 months ago
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Why Nissan Is Talking To Tesla Model S Owners

dbc two different animals (335 comments)

The Tesla model S and the Nissan Leaf are two very different cars. We have friends that own both, and have been doing the numbers on getting a Leaf.

The Tesla is a no-compromise luxury car, at a luxury car price. Has good range. Can be your main sedan.

The Leaf is an unapologetic economy car, priced to be a good value (at least in California after various rebates.) It's a commute car -- you don't go on road trips to the mountains with it.

The Leaf can be driven single-occupant in the the high-occupancy-vehicle (commute) lane. My wife figures that could take 45 minutes a day off her commute. So... what is getting 4 hours of your life back every week worth to you?

As I see it, Tesla has nailed down one end of the market, and the Leaf has nailed down the other with something that is *not* just a street-legal golf cart, but a real car. Anybody else that wants to make an electric car either has to wiggle in between, or try to move the goal posts. And IMHO, both the Tesla and the Leaf do a good job of defending their respective goal posts.

about 2 months ago
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Stack Overflow Could Explain Toyota Vehicles' Unintended Acceleration

dbc Go Amish? (664 comments)

"How can users protect themselves from sometimes life endangering software bugs?"

Amish buggies typically don't have software throttle failures. Run-away horses can be an issue.... and actually having to share the road with dipshit drivers who don't understand the number of slow moving vehicles (not just buggies) that there are out in farm country are a real danger.

Seriously, software has bugs. Mecanical throttle linkages can stick, too. Life has risks.

about 2 months ago

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