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CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

wonkavader Re:Justice (769 comments)

Well, actually, he mostly did. But just "mostly".

about two weeks ago
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CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

wonkavader Re:Justice (769 comments)

No, there are lots of protections (practical as opposed to writ-in-law) for presidents. Bush is basically pre-pardoned. But it's important for others to go to jail so that people given POTUS instructions won't think that they are untouchable next time.

about two weeks ago
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CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

wonkavader Re:Really? .. it comes with the job (769 comments)

Nah. You're confusing cause and effect. They just expect it from God because they'd do it.

about two weeks ago
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Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?

wonkavader Re:Ban Disney movies (584 comments)

No, you don't get it at all. Al Gore famously said "we are strip-mining our children." When you become a parent, and in particular a parent of a girl, you see quite clearly that they are strip-mining yours.

about two weeks ago
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Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?

wonkavader Re:Ban Disney movies (584 comments)

This doesn't work.

The grandparents will show them to her when you've trusted them to babysit. And your relatives will send Christmas gifts all wrapped up and when your little girl open's 'em -- yep: Disney products. And she'll see them at her friends' houses... she'll come home singing some crap song from Frozen over and over.

Her baby-sitter will buy her a Barbie. Women in lots of ads she sees will have their necks lengthend with photoshop. Her school will sell her princess books just like the ones they stock their library with. Costco will aim 90% of the female children's halloween costumes at the princess segment, half of those will be marked Disney. Your daughter will drag you back to the costumes over and over looking for Disney princesses she's seen and beggining you to buy one while you want to just get some cheese and get out.

Because it's not just your daughter who's the target of this long-necked, big-eyed, princess bullshit -- everyone is. And that's why you do get concerned about it, because it's not just Disney telling her to be a pricess, it's EVERYONE.

It's really frustrating having some stranger on the street tell your daughter she's a princess, but it happens all the time. I suspect it's not socially acceptable to snarl back "you calling her a parasite?"

At 4 or 5, she has all the time in the world to decide what she wants to do and be and plenty of time to change her mind about things, but this crap isn't going to stop when she's 10 or 15 or 30 or 60, and her whole life she will be judged and praised or criticized by a nation of people who are hit with the same propaganda.

about two weeks ago
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Chromebooks Overtake iPads In US Education Market

wonkavader Re:Uh yeah? (193 comments)

Sorry, neglected to say "and saw the same result." Father is fairly technical -- has a Linux box and runs Windows in a VM on it. But I bought him a Chrombook and that's now his primary sitting-on-the-kitchen-table computer. It gets the day to day use, whereas the VM box gets to do his taxes.

about two weeks ago
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Jackie Chan Discs Help Boost Solar Panel Efficiency

wonkavader Because it's Jackie Chan (194 comments)

There is no way a Jet Li disc could accomplish this.

about three weeks ago
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Battlestar Galactica Creator Glen A. Larson Dead At 77

wonkavader Re:2 seasons 1978 and 1980 (186 comments)

Dirk made shallow trivial playboy flier work in the first 5 seconds if screen time. Katee was going for tough marine, and it NEVER worked. Her character was unpleasant from the first scene to the last one I watched. I think I watched all of season one. But I disliked the show right away and it only got worse. I personally stayed watching because of Grace Park (for the obvious reasons) and Mary McDonnell, because she was really the only character who did well.

They couldn't keep me watching past season one.

about a month ago
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AT&T To "Pause" Gigabit Internet Rollout Until Net Neutrality Is Settled

wonkavader Re:No you aren't (308 comments)

And they, together, own a corporation which owns the presidential debates.

Hilarious, yet true.

about a month ago
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AT&T To "Pause" Gigabit Internet Rollout Until Net Neutrality Is Settled

wonkavader Re:Bah (308 comments)

This is a routine part of their normal strategy. AT&T is very inefficient by design so that it employs many people. They call them "voters" and use the threat of layoffs to get local politicos to do everything they want. They've done this again and again.

This is just the same sort of threatening on the national level.

about a month ago
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AT&T To "Pause" Gigabit Internet Rollout Until Net Neutrality Is Settled

wonkavader Re:What rhymes with "douchebag"? (308 comments)

Because Google doesn't really want to be in the business. They do it to push the telco/cable ISPs. Or so they say.

If they really wanted to succeed on this, they'd provide free consulting/lawyers and other help to the Next Century Cities group (http://nextcenturycities.org/). This would get a BUNCH of fast Internet going really quickly and would terrify the monopolies. It would also very quickly multiply the number of cities in NCC.

about a month ago
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AT&T To "Pause" Gigabit Internet Rollout Until Net Neutrality Is Settled

wonkavader Re:What rhymes with "douchebag"? (308 comments)

Yeah, but repeating the same second word makes it a crappy one. I'd go with "Smootch Tag", or (getting further from the rhyme, but closer to the meaning) "Mootch Flag", or "Tush shag".

about a month ago
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AT&T To "Pause" Gigabit Internet Rollout Until Net Neutrality Is Settled

wonkavader Re: Obama screwed us intentionally or intentionall (308 comments)

I'm not sure you should attribute to malice/planning what could very well be complete, blithering, lazy, cowardly incompetence.

We'll find out in the next decade what people within the president's circle attribute it to.

I suspect H. Clinton will be more competent and you'll be able to safely claim malice when she does all the same crap as Obama.

about a month ago
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Police Body Cam Privacy Exploitation

wonkavader Re:Bad precedent (301 comments)

I think this is a great idea. They should set up a site with every single second of footage on it, with all faces and letter/numbers fuzzed and all the audio turned into mwaw-mwaw-mwaw sound ala Peanuts-adult-speech. That's just not technically all that hard anymore. It doesn't require any human work. Then the cops'll know that if they use force or anyone or pass cash, bored seniors will see it and request the clear footage where a human would make sure that it would be acceptable (manual censorship). Don't like th emanual censorship in the clip you got? Fight that.

You get an honest police force and very little actual labor, as compared to people making blanket requests becasue they don't know what's there and they're looking for something good to show.

Yes, you can request the footage now of when that cop hit your kid, but you can't find out about someone getting a bribe unless you do the blanket requests described in the story.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Data Warehouse Server System?

wonkavader Re:Microsoft? (147 comments)

I recommend against MSSQL not because it's not a good DB

I'm assuming this is based on your extensive MSSQL experience, right?

Yes, it is.

You're right on the replication. I think that's Postgres's obvious weak point. It's what you'd find that you didn't like. I assume that's why you ignored Red Shift. The rest of your arguments simply prove my point.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Data Warehouse Server System?

wonkavader Re:Microsoft? (147 comments)

I recommend against MSSQL not because it's not a good DB (it is -- it was originaly Sybase) but because it's cumbersome to work with outside of the Microsoft ecosystem. You mainly interface with it using ODBC and that's a pain outside of Windows. You're stuck with windows boxes on the back end AND on the front end. You can add ODBC systems to the mid-layer/server boxes you'd rather have (Linux, usually) but now you're paying money to add a kludge. Furthermore, because it absolutely needs to run on Windows on the back end, you have to pay employees who are generally of the sort who are going to want more Microsoft tools, so you'll be creeping more and more away from free stuff which is easy to maintain to a bunch of licenses and a complex setup. (Had to get a bunch of Windows boxes set up with precisely this sort of issue just a few weeks ago -- man! was it painful.)

You could start your project with Postgres and find out why you're unhappy with it and plan for a migration to something which is better for you post-hoc: Don't write SQL procs, and don't weave your SQL through a whole lot of code. Though frankly, the suggestions for Red Shift seem right on the money. They use Postgres drivers, JDBC, and ODBC, so you're set on any platform you want to work on without any added cost. They have a two-month free trial. You could try that out first and figure out what you're unhappy with there as a first step. Same rules apply -- keep things simple.

DBs are not for chewing data -- they're for giving you just the data you need so you can chew on it. You use the right tool for the chewing job once you have the data. (Some DB pre-chew is fine in situations where it's efficient and easy -- group by's, mostly.) So it doesn't matter that much how long the feature set of your DB is. What matters is that it's fast and you can get data in and out of it just about anywhere you want to. I've seen shops where they do all their data chewing in SQL server. They write reams of ugly, ugly code. They do this because they know how, and don't realize that a little work learning other things would make them vastly more efficient. The thing to always remember is that you don't buy a hammer and assume everything is a nail. Buy something which works with lots of other tools and pick the right ones for your job.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Data Warehouse Server System?

wonkavader Re:Skip Oracle. (147 comments)

I don't get it. Why are you denormalizing your tables?

If you're talking about denormalizing, you're talking about a relatively complicated data set, else there would be nothing to denormalize. Almost nothing you'll do in SAS on any resonably complex data requires all the fields. So any DB on the back end (postgres, mysql) should be able to join up what you need from a well-normalized dataset quickly.

Or do you mean you're just making a big text file (or SAS data blob) and using that in SAS? If that's the case, I'm still left with more confusion. SAS is a terible programming language -- truely ghastly. So adding even an SQL layer can be useful in fixing up data for SAS churning.

What's your general technique?

about a month and a half ago
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PC Cooling Specialist Zalman Goes Bankrupt Due To Fraud

wonkavader Re:socialism (208 comments)

In your first statement, you make a false dichotomy. I'll take getting handed 2.5 million bucks in twenty-four Scooby-Doo lunch boxes over Germany invading Russia any day.

Your first statement is about "free market capitalism", then your second one is about something with a "democratic form" -- these two things are not related.

In your third statement, you're confusing Socialism with Communism.

about a month and a half ago
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PC Cooling Specialist Zalman Goes Bankrupt Due To Fraud

wonkavader Re:Just (208 comments)

No. You're right that if you end up in jail, you did it wrong. But if you end up bankrupt, well, that's normal and shows you're good at taking risks. Lots of entrepreneurs wind up going through several bankruptcies. When they do the bankruptcy right, they still come out rich, and have something else already lined up. I know this sounds insane, but it's really quite normal. Fiscal responsibility, the kind we normal wage earners have to maintain, is a sign of not taking risks. It's a negative attribute, as far as the VCs are concerned. (Until it's their money being lost.)

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Mayday Anti-PAC on its second round of funding

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  about 6 months ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "Lawrence Lessig's MAYDAY.US Super PAC to end all Super PACs (and more) is now on it's second round of funding. The PAC has been reported on here before, but now the numbers are bigger. They hit their $1 million first goal easily, but now they aim to get another $5 million in the same time period. Lessig says that he's arranged for matching, again. It seems like the goals will be even higher in 2016: "For 2014, our goal is to raise $12 million and use it to make fundamental reform the key issue in five congressional races. And we’ll apply what we learn then to 2016." While his initial funding campaign got some reporting in the mainstream media, there seems to be general silence this time around."
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Iron-air batteries look promising all of a sudden. And cheap.

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  more than 2 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "USC researchers have an article in JES on improvements to iron-air batteries. They seemed like a good idea 40 years ago, but were abandoned because hydrolysis cost them 50% of their energy. The researchers have solved the hydrolysis problem. Because iron is incredibly cheap, these batteries could be 25% the cost of lithium-ion batteries per kWh."
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India's "$35" tablet becomes real

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  more than 3 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "There's talk of it costing a little more (perhaps $49) and the low price is in quantity 1 million, but the device works, and it looks like the Indian government is poised to make good on their idea. They'll pay half the cost of the device and the schools providing these to their students will pay the other half. The $35 (or $49) price isn't retail — expect to pay more for these if you want one yourself."
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Nufront ARM Cortex-A9 at 2Ghz Aimed at Desktop

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  more than 3 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "Nufront's Cortex ARM-A9 Dual core chip now runs at 2Ghz, and they have a couple of examples of systems using it. Articles/videos showing it in a desktop, and a laptop/netbook can be found at here, here and here.
Details which can be gleaned from the videos include: The laptop's target price is about $200, as is the desktop's. The chip itself should cost about $30. It needs a heat sink, right now (though not a fan, even though one is mounted in one of the videos) but is being optimized to try to eliminate even that heatsink. The chip represents a PC on a chip, such that few if any support chips are necessary and will run at something below 2 watts. The laptop they show is very thin, and I certainly want one. They currently run Android and Ubuntu. The desktop system is snappy, though it seems like their Ubuntu setup doesn't benefit from any hardware video acceleration, currently. They are partnered with Microsoft, and clearly really aiming at being a desktop for the new ARM-compatible Windows which is supposed to be in the works."

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Turns out BP is comprised entirely of saints

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  more than 4 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "Not in one single instance did BP cut corners to minimize costs. It's official. The government investigative panel says so. "'We have not seen a single instance where a human being made a conscious decision to favor dollars over safety,' Fred Bartlit, the trial lawyer in charge of the investigation, said today." Not one."
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BP Cofferdams Explained via Fishtank

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  more than 4 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "The Guardian has a cute little video demonstration [http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2010/may/06/cofferdams-bp-solution-deepwater-horizon] of what BP has in mind to stop the oil leaks which are creating the mess in the gulf of Mexico, which just recently made landfall [http://www.bellona.org/articles/articles_2010/spill_hits]. Apparently, BP has constructed a 180 ton plastic water bottle, then cut it in half and... well, the video makes things pretty clear."
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Foxconn and Hon Hai both planning ARM smartbooks

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  more than 5 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "Tuesday was a good day for smartbook news. News articles from Sep 8 tell us that both Foxconn and Hon Hai are developing ARM-based smartbooks.

PC World reports that Foxconn's devices "use a few different Linux operating systems, including one similar to the Intel-backed Moblin OS and one developed by Foxconn. The company is currently looking into Google's Android mobile OS for possible use as well."

Reuters reports that Hon Hai is also developing them. Hon Hai makes the iPhone and the Wii."
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Dell selling ARM based SmartBooks?

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  more than 5 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "According to the Article: "In an effort to expand its Linux offerings, Dell is researching new netbook-type devices and will soon offer netbook Linux OS upgrades, a company official said on Wednesday. ... The company is researching the possibility of offering new Linux-based mobile devices called smartbooks, said Todd Finch, senior product marketing manager for Linux clients, at the OpenSourceWorld conference in San Francisco. ... Smartbooks are netbook-type devices that are powered by chips designed by Arm."

I don't think Finch said "ARM" but he apparently did say "SmartBook". Then again, he also said "researching the possibility"."

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Subaru's opposed diesel hitting the streets

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  more than 6 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "Subaru has made opposed enginies for a long time — this means that the cylinders pound directly into one another, which when properly tuned, reduces vibration, amongst other things. They came up with an opposed diesel engine, last year, and now are putting it in cars. They expect "fuel economy of 49.6mpg and a 151g/km CO2 rating" on one of their first offerings. They also expect it to be very quiet.

These sources are somewhat old, but talk about the opposed engine:However Car Keys has a much more modern article, which talks about the cars which are about to come out."

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Newegg's a lot better than Buy.com on rebates

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  more than 6 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "Two small articles in the Consumerist juxtapose the policies on rebates of Newegg and buy.com. Newegg will, at least sometimes, honor rebates for companies which go out of business. Buy.com implies that it won't. This doesn't absolutely mean that Newegg would do it every time, or that buy.com would never make good in any situation, but the responses:
  • Newegg: "All rebates are issued through the manufacturers directly. However, as you are our valued customer, we have made an exception and credited you $20.00..."
  • Buy.com [paraphrased]: "...buy.com was currently legally pursuing Connect 3D and a full rebate would not be issued."
seem to confirm a general impression of the two retailers."

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Constitution Visitors Expelled for Caps/T-Shirts

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  more than 6 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes ""On Jan 12, members of John Niremberg's impeachment march (which started over a month ago in Boston) were either denied entry to or expelled from the National Archives for wearing clothing printed with the articles of the Constitution concerning impeachment."

The National Archives bars or boots people with parts of the constitution printed on T-Shirts? Yikes. The excuse used was that the Archives security should prevent protests in the Archives, but clearly, the people were expelled because of who they were, not what they did (which was apparently nothing other than get in line to see the Constitution). Does a national resource have the right to expel anyone based on political leanings? (The audio referenced is a little shrill, but has some interesting details.)

Stories are here and here."

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Judiciary Chair Conyers Make It Clear

wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  about 7 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "Detroit's Metro Times has a story on U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, and his dilemma over impeachment. On one hand, he says, his best friends urge him to impeach. And as the article says, "He knows, more than most people, how deeply lawless President Bush is. He knows he deserves impeachment, and knows that Cheney does, probably even more so."

But Conyer's priority isn't the constitution or justice or limiting presidential power. "Listen." he told me. "The most important thing is that we don't elect another Republican. That is the most important issue. I am supporting Obama, but any of the Democrats would be better than any Republican."

Is he saving his country or placing the needs of his party over the needs of the people?"

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wonkavader wonkavader writes  |  more than 8 years ago

wonkavader (605434) writes "The New York Times [UR:http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/18/technology/1 8chip.html?ref=technology] reports today that "Researchers plan to announce on Monday that they have created a silicon-based chip that can produce laser beams. The advance will make it possible to use laser light rather than wires to send data between chips, removing the most significant bottleneck in computer design." The work is from Intel and the University of California, Santa Barbara. This suggests breakthroughs in both computing performance and networking."

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