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How the World's First Computer Was Rescued From the Scrap Heap

wallsg Chimera (124 comments)

Next you'll be claiming that the US didn't single-handedly win both world wars!

We did pretty much single-handedly stop the Chimera invasion in 1949 though.

2 days ago

Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X

wallsg I just knew it (327 comments)

When I saw the title of the thread I just knew. This behavior is total unacceptable and would be considered anti-competitive if another company did it, but I just knew that this thread would be full of Apple apologists trying to explain that this was OK because Apple. I was right.

What other company would you give a Big Thumbs Up to for refusing to install drivers for third-party hardware because SOME drivers MAY be implemented poorly? Or make it difficult to install a competitor's software? Microsoft? It was a major scandal that they INCLUDED their own software (IE), let alone if they were to actively suppress the competition's.

about two weeks ago

The Downside to Low Gas Prices

wallsg Re:Stupid, trucks cause the problem (554 comments)

There is no downside to lower gas prices. lower prices on anything is always a positive.

  we as a group are saving billions a day after a very long recession. The gas prices are still not low enough to help those who need it most, the poor and lower middle class.

Not entirely true as a long term downtrend in overall prices (deflation) is a huge drag on an economy as people put off purchases waiting for things to get cheaper. This leads to a lower volume of products being made (and fewer jobs making them) and slower innovation. In the PC world you sometimes see people skipping a generation (or two) of graphics adapters just for that reason, but fortunately not enough to have a real impact. Now imagine that behavior applied to every tangible good that people buy. You have a less "wasteful" society as things aren't thrown away as quickly, but you also have a market in which a new or improved product, after selling through the early adopters, has few buyers and may never get mainstream adoption. No demand for new products means less R&D into making them and slower innovation. Why waste the money?

As far as lower gas and oil prices, that is HUGE. Like $40,000,000,000 huge according to this (and several other) articles:

Falling Gas Prices Could Provide $40 Billion Boost to Economy

Just how big of a boost can lower gas prices provide? Joseph LaVorgna and Brett Ryan, economists at Deutsche Bank, offered one answer in a note to clients Tuesday. “According to our calculations, every one cent annual change in gasoline prices is worth approximately $1 billion in annual U.S. household energy consumption,” he wrote. “The bottom line is that if the current 40 cent decline in energy costs is maintained, then consumer cash flow would improve by roughly $40 billion; this is equivalent to almost three-tenths on annualized GDP growth.”

Just how much of that extra money consumers actually spend on goods and services may depend in part on how confident they are that the economy and job market will continue to improve. But with stagnant wages still holding back consumer spending, every extra dollar will help.

Most people pushing for a higher gas tax to "save the highway fund" really care most about increasing the price of gas for "environmental reasons". If they really just cared about saving the highway fund then they would propose means of funding it that applied the burden either equally on ALL PEOPLE as all people benefit from the highways whether they use them directly or not, or on EVERYONE WHO USES THEM regardless of the type of fuel/batteries they use to motivate their vehicles. This is just the opposite of what they want though. Their true cause is to use the highway fund problems as an excuse to raise the gas tax to punish the troglodytes who still use gasoline-powered cars. Most of these people would be perfectly happy with a low- or no-growth economy since that would slow carbon emission growth.

Slower growth in carbon emissions, gas burning troglodytes punished, electric car owners pay less than their Fair Share for highway use. Win-win-win!

about two weeks ago

Washington Dancers Sue To Prevent Identity Disclosure

wallsg Hypocrisy (461 comments)

I bet there are quite a few people arguing that this is a Bad Thing here but were all in favor of the New York fiasco of publishing maps to the homes of people with firearms permits, because it was after all, you know, "public record".

about three weeks ago

Mayday PAC Goes 2 For 8

wallsg Re:Nothing's gonna change. (224 comments)

We put a lazy absentee senator (Pat Roberts) back in because the Democrats dropped out of the race to support an "independent" that out 'cratted the Democrats, bobbled his head when he talked and avoided taking a stand on any issue that might show him to be a Democrat in disguise. Honestly, he must've thought the state were simple peasant rubes.

Well, of course he did. All national Democrats do. At least the national Democrat party perspective is that everyone between the two coasts (except Chicago) are a bunch of rubes. It's "fly-over country", after all. Nothing there is important except every other November.

about three weeks ago

Undersized Grouper Case Lands In Supreme Court

wallsg Re:If they're going literal.... (251 comments)

Nevermind the consequences if they limit the meaning -- it will be legal to destroy most kinds of evidence in a criminal investigation. It's all A-OK if it didn't contain financial records right? Right?

Considering that Sarbane-Oxley is supposed to be about financial crimes and that destruction of evidence is already illegal under other statutes, then yes. Charge people under the statute that actually logically applies, not the one that gives the steepest penalties.

This is as stupid as charging two 18-year-olds under RICO laws because there was a "conspiracy" as the two of them drove around looking for someone to buy them liquor.

about three weeks ago

Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Crashes

wallsg Re:Not a good week... (445 comments)

We can't forget that space flight is a challenging, dangerous, risky affair for private industry as well as governments. It will be interesting to see how the private side deals with these setbacks.

It is hard. I don't mean to sound flippant, but the comparison to "rocket science" (or rocket surgery) is made for a reason. People forget that sometimes and just take it for granted. I think Science Fiction movies have a lot to do with that. We see how easy it is there and don't realize that IRL how lucky we were that we lost only two Space Shuttles.

about a month ago

Italian Supreme Court Bans the 'Microsoft Tax'

wallsg Re:And so therefor it follows and I quote (353 comments)

Can I get a refund for my Mac OS too?

No. To summarize all of the apologists below, Because Apple.

about a month ago

Mars Orbiter Beams Back Images of Comet's Surprisingly Tiny Nucleus

wallsg Re:The incredible shrinking nucleus (47 comments)

No boom today. Boom tomorrow. There's always a Boom tomorrow.

about a month ago

Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

wallsg Re:I don't follow (370 comments)

So what's so "tomorrow" about change from Lucida to Helvetica, which impedes legibility, requires more screen space, and makes the GUI appear fuzzy? Is that the definition of "tomorrow" now?

The real answer, of course, is Because Apple Did It.

The rest of the arguments here are an attempt to justify it.

about a month ago

Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

wallsg Re:Of course! (571 comments)

Why stop at 100 MWs? You need...

1.21 gigawatts!

about a month and a half ago

First Shellshock Botnet Attacking Akamai, US DoD Networks

wallsg Re:Confused. (236 comments)

Italian? wopbot?

I'm at a loss for words - other than that seems offensive, even for non-politically-correct me.

That's only for the PC crowd. This is Linux.

about 2 months ago

FBI Chief: Apple, Google Phone Encryption Perilous

wallsg Re:Rich like the Twinkie Filling (354 comments)

I would say that speaking like that will get you on an NSA watch list, except we're already all on NSA watchlists.

If you've ever used TOR you are.

about 2 months ago

Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

wallsg The 70's Called (848 comments)

The 70's called. They want to know what we thought was wrong with their foreign policy.

about 2 months ago

For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

wallsg Re:Since they're freeloading on the Rest of Us. (316 comments)

They aren't paying for any protection provided by the US.

So... The US should be able to tax foreign companies on their income earned in foreign companies because of the general protection and stability that the US provides (or at least use to provide) to the world in general? Aren't they "freeloading" too? "If you want to sell in the United States we get to tax your global profits?" Is that what you want?

about 3 months ago

China Pulls Plug On Genetically Modified Rice and Corn

wallsg Re:Off topic (152 comments)

With AdBlock and NoScript you don't see any of that crap. X10 pretty much started it in the late 90's and it's pretty much gone downhill ever since.

When I first started using those tools I wanted to only block the bad actors, but I quickly found that pretty much everybody was bad to some degree. Now with malware attacks through served ads I don't understand why anyone wouldn't be using these tools.

Checking the "reward" box from SlashDot to turn off ads doesn't change a thing that I see.

about 3 months ago

News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

wallsg Re:Will they ban this ? (748 comments)

Some of the stuff on Jezebel might cross that line occasionally.

about 3 months ago

Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

wallsg Re:god dammit. (521 comments)

Oops. Math error. Divide all of my numbers by 365.

So only about 1.5 to 2 million birds (BrightSource) to 46 million (green group) to 145 million (government).

about 3 months ago


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