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OS X 10.10 Yosemite Review

jafac Re:First taste of Mac OS X (298 comments)

You seem to have nailed on the head, pretty much all the "big problems" in OS X. Where I work, there was a huge migration from PC's to OS X, probably starting around 2003-2004-ish. The hardware (macbook pro) is actually among the best in the industry. Especially right now (omitting the 2011 models that had the NVidia defect, and Apple's appallingly bad handling of that). (Yeah - apple is really bad at acknowledging hardware defects, for a company that charges exceedingly "premium" price-points). Many of our developers switched, and they all pretty much have the same complaints.

The biggest gripe for me is the window (and tab) switching. Holy crap, it's terrible - compared to any other OS out there. Another big one is that there's no "home" or "page up" "page down" keys, and you have to use the fn-arrow key combinations.

A lot of the keybindings for terminal makes sense; but for some reason, you can't ctrl+a in minicom. That sucks, because you basically have to kill the program to exit. (and it's also useless, because you can't get into the config menu).

Anyway: If you really hate Mac OS, then you can simply install Windows 7, or Ubuntu. (Fedora also works, but I haven't figured out how to get the drivers for fan and cpu scaling to work right, so. . . heat, fans, crappy battery-life). The hardware makes an excellent platform for either Windows 7 or Ubuntu. (I don't think that there's another laptop in the world right now, on which, you can get a 6+ hr battery life, with Windows or Ubuntu).

I think the worst-case here, is someone who's a KDE nut, going to OS X. They are polar-opposites, in terms of customiseability.

The only reason I continue to use OS X, is because I'm invested in VMWare Fusion. It's a pretty nice product, and I use it a lot in my work.

3 days ago
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As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal

jafac Re:Prison population (405 comments)

When a black-mark can remain on your record forever, there's huge consequences.

I know a guy who was an engineer, FPGA specialist. Has 4 patents. Worked for 15 years, and his company imploded. I tried to get him a job where I work, but because he had a dishonorable discharge from the navy, no dice. (apparently, when he was 19, before he went to college, he failed to return from shore-leave for 24-hours, because he went on a bender, passed-out, and was basically kept incognito by a bunch of "bad people" with whom he had been drinking. Got in trouble for that, and it resulted in the dishonorable.) Bad judgement, for sure, but it was a small mistake. He went on to college, and go in at his first job through a professor. But now he's been unemployed basically since 2004.

3 days ago
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White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

jafac not really a radically new idea (348 comments)

If you consider the concept floated (briefly) in the movie: Aliens, the company simply dropped a large atmospheric processing installation on the planet (LV 426, at that time) and began the terraforming process. That's not substantially different than "sending autonomous robots to various locations in space to create infrastructure using local resources with advanced manufacturing technology, such as 3D printing"

3 days ago
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How Nigeria Stopped Ebola

jafac Re:That works fine if you manage to nip it in the (381 comments)

If the hospital had admitted every uninsured foreigner who showed up with a fever, and then broke out the best protective equipment and procedures, well, then, that would be bad for the shareholders.

4 days ago
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Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science

jafac Re:Rising Tide Lifts All Boats Falling Tide Sinks (283 comments)

Yeah - when pharmaceutical companies are spending twice as much on Marketing as they do on R&D. . . I'll believe that they're frustrated by lack of progress on the "big" problems of medical science.

LOL - the biggest innovation to come out of the pharmaceutical industry in the past 20 years is to patent the analogs of existing chemicals whose patents are about to expire. Double the profit! Oh yeah. That, and boner pills.

4 days ago
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Carl Sagan, as "Mr. X," Extolled Benefits of Marijuana

jafac Re:Who cares? (263 comments)

I believe in Democracy: because people should always have a say in things that affect them.
But that democracy should be INFORMED by science.

Ideally, science is a perfect guide. But realistically, we've seen so many cases where science has been skewed by money. (just like Democracy). I think that there is plenty of room; GOBS OF IT, for scientific understanding, among laypeople.

As a non-scientist, I fully understand that lack of understanding of advanced math and statistics, knowledge of science can do more harm than good. (ie. science, as depicted in our popular media and entertainment). I understand that not everybody has the capacity to be taught advanced math and statistics. I think that is more of a failure of our educational and economic systems than say, for example, biology. We have to try harder, as a civilization.

4 days ago
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Carl Sagan, as "Mr. X," Extolled Benefits of Marijuana

jafac Re:Who cares? (263 comments)

I agree; I actually love Bill Nye and Neil DeGrasse Tyson; but I don't think that either of them have been even slightly effective, compared to Sagan. Sagan really did it best, and our world is far dimmer with his loss.

4 days ago
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Carl Sagan, as "Mr. X," Extolled Benefits of Marijuana

jafac Re:Prove him right some more (263 comments)

I dunno. I lose the ability to do simple arithmetic when I'm stoned. I have no idea how Sagan was able to comprehend multivariate calculus.

4 days ago
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Carl Sagan, as "Mr. X," Extolled Benefits of Marijuana

jafac Re:1996 called (263 comments)

Grandpa!!

4 days ago
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Battery Breakthrough: Researchers Claim 70% Charge In 2 Minutes, 20-Year Life

jafac Re:It's about time (395 comments)

Right after the cure for diabetes!

5 days ago
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First Man To Walk In Space Reveals How Mission Nearly Ended In Disaster

jafac Re:The Russian space program was amazing (122 comments)

I don't think he was an enthusiastic/ideological Nazi. He was just unfortunate to have been enmeshed in the German industrial hierarchy when he was recruited to work on their missile program.

about a week ago
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First Man To Walk In Space Reveals How Mission Nearly Ended In Disaster

jafac Re:The Russian space program was amazing (122 comments)

You could argue that after a vehicle failure (STS/Challenger); we didn't shut everything down and analyze it to make it safer. If we had, we would have thrown out the ATK-booster and side-tank design, and built a new shuttle. Instead, we kept shovelling pork at ATK, and fired the program up again months later. It wasn't the same defect that destroyed Columbia, but it was the same design mentality: #1 priority was appease congress by sending their districts pork, no matter how technically irrelevant the design was. (don't get me wrong. ATK makes fine ICBM's. But that technology has no place in manned spaceflight). So, I'm not sure which system was worse, the US-1970's corporate welfare system, or the Soviets' "It works because the Kremlin said so!" system. Buran was similarly ballsy. . .

about a week ago
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The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers

jafac I don't blame the victim, BUT.. . . (622 comments)

Sure - they have a right to take nude selfies - and I suppose I don't even blame them for expecting them to be private on a network-connected device; in a world where they're not paying attention to the tech-press, where any idiot really *SHOULD* know that it's not a bright idea.

(Even if all you're paying attention to is Snowden; you should know that the three-letter agencies see EVERYTHING, and they DO have employees who break the rules and violate your privacy for the lulz. - you don't even need to be well-versed in all the latest goings on of illegal 4chan hackery. This is something we pay taxes to have happen. So we can feel safe about "terrorism").

Who I blame: is the tech industry pundits, hucksters, and con men, who are trying to sell us the idea that network-connected devices, and privacy can work together.
(and I'd even say that maybe, they can: but just not in any current user-friendly way).

It's NOT blaming the victim to point this out. The point of this is: the "cloud" is a SCAM. They're trying to rent your own data to you, and trying to con you into believing it's safe. This is the point that really needs to be made. I really don't think that a bunch of self-absorbed overpaid entertainers' private lives actually matters here, compared to the massive fraud that is "cloud services".

Should there be an expectation of privacy? YES.
But in reality - nobody should expect privacy if you put your nudes on a network-connected device. Hackers gonna hack, and VERY BAD PEOPLE are going to con you into spending a crapton of money on supposedly "safe" devices and technologies, which are clearly NOT SAFE AT ALL.

about a week ago
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One In Three Jobs Will Be Taken By Software Or Robots By 2025, Says Gartner

jafac Re: Yes yes yes (405 comments)

Single Payer is politically untenable in the USA.

There is NO WAY IN HELL that the current or next set of congresscritters, and most voters, are going to accept: "aaagh! Communist Socialist Takeover Plot!"

And if they did, I doubt that the resulting system would not be without significant gameable loopholes.

about two weeks ago
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Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

jafac Re:Oh please, Biden said it best (424 comments)

Why are we picking on Muslims though?

Because, Israel.

This issue also dovetails nicely with our new Political Pundit class of wealthy upper-class washouts from MBA programs. These guys take a few history classes, and all of a sudden they see this threat from the great Ottomans who will rise again to wreak havock on Western Civilization. So these dudes get up there on FoxNews and cry about how there are a few hundred heavily armed illiterate thugs 10000 miles away sitting on their oil patch, threatening to kill infidels, and suddenly, a genocidal war is looking like a good idea.

And along with that, are the Christian Fundamentalist whackjobs in the US, who are mostly too retarded to make bombs, otherwise you wouldn't be able to tell them from ISIS. These guys get into their apocolyptic prophecy, and this Islam stuff fits right in with the story they all want to hear mommy and daddy read to them before tucking into bed: That Jesus is going to save them from the evil brown-skinned people.

It's also a nice recipe for self-sustaining endless war profiteering.

Add all that together, and it's no wonder this is our #1 national obsession.

about two weeks ago
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Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

jafac Who the f**k is Leon Panetta? (424 comments)

This dude is nothing more than a rightwing political hack. And his delusional fantasy of a 30 year war is absurd - because you have to ask; after 13 years, and somewhere between $4-$6 Trillion dollars; and a wrecked economy, who, exactly is going to PAY for this 30-year-war?

It's too expensive. We can't pay. The cartel of private banks who run the FED are no longer interested in running the printing presses to continue paying for this shit: they made that fact abundantly clear in 2008. Until Corporate America ponies up the cash (ie: pay your taxes, bitches), our budget for building bombs, planes, and other expensive disposable toys, is about zero.

about two weeks ago
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Studies Conclude Hands-Free-calling and Apple Siri Distract Drivers

jafac which is worse? (208 comments)

I could be a little bit distracted by using the navigation function on my smartphone, or I could be extremely distracted, and even make sudden maneuvers to catch turn-offs when I'm totally fucking lost because of incompetent or non-existent road signage.

I know who I'd rather share the road with.

about two weeks ago
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Lost Sense of Smell Is a Strong Predictor of Death Within 5 Years

jafac Re:Erroneous Summary (139 comments)

great comment! Thank you!

about two weeks ago
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Will Apple Lose Siri's Core Tech To Samsung?

jafac This will fail (161 comments)

Even if they get Nuance, and put it on their devices to replace S-Voice; I predict it will be completely useless, because they're still going to wrap it with their craptacular TouchWiz interface.

They will attempt to force-tie it in to other craptacular Samsung apps, and it will die because NOBODY LIKES VENDOR LOCK-IN, STUPID MOTHERFUCKERS!

about two weeks ago
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Will Apple Lose Siri's Core Tech To Samsung?

jafac Re:Tech Companies have become warring fiefdoms (161 comments)

I think it's also true, largely, with outsourcing.

If a company cuts high-paid domestic workers, and contracts out to an overseas consulting firm (or call center, or whatever) - whether or not this actually saves money overall (in most cases, it actually does NOT) - is irrelevant.

The only relevant factor, is it makes the CEO seem "ruthless in the pursuit of profit" - and this boosts the stock price, much in the same way as "brawndo's got what plants crave". It's also the same with high CEO compensation. If a company pays a well-known rockstar CEO 300x what their average worker earns, it's seen as a "smart move" - even if it starves the operating budget of revenue for workers to produce actual products or innovate. (this is the same reason that sales-guys tend to buy overpriced luxury cars: for the appearance of wealth and therefore "success" as an effective salesperson).

  Institutional investors are pretty smart people, but there are a LOT of idiots out there, and even institutional investors will follow a trend if they think it will make them money. Fundamentals be damned. Hence, the invisible hand shoves itself further up the bunghole of our economy : lube-free.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Natalie Portman: Not Petrified (of Science)

jafac jafac writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jafac (1449) writes "Turns out, that Natalie Portman, much abused by slasdot geeks, was, herself, a Science geek, in High School, and studied Neuroscience at Harvard. Who knew?

Okay, don't answer that. I don't care."

Link to Original Source
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jafac jafac writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jafac (1449) writes "As discussed in this SpaceDaily article, the video footage from the launch, earlier this week (available at www.spacex.com), of the Falcon 1 vehicle, seems to show a problem with the stage separation. I noticed this when I watched the video last night — it appears that the top of the first stage bumps the engine nozzle.

The upper stage guidance does a good job of setting the craft straight after this bump, but some odd things happen after that, including some kind of ring flying off the engine, and a wobble that gets progressively worse until the vehicle goes completely out of control. I've been fascinated by the availability of these kinds of videos more and more; but this is the first one I've seen that documents a failed launch — (Elon Musk's denials notwithstanding), and because of that, it's probably the coolest video I've seen all year."

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