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Comment Re:Science Writers: Stop Causing Us Intellectual P (Score 1) 147

It actually could mean something: if there used to be an older 2-gallon-per-flush valve, then the 1-gallon valves save 1 gallon - and the 1 pint valves saves 1.87 gallons (compared to the 2-gallon valves), which is 87% more than the 1-gallon valves did. But I seriously doubt that's what they mean, and even if they did, do they actually expect people to do that math while they're peeing?

Comment Re:Science Writers: Stop Causing Us Intellectual P (Score 2) 147

There's one I see regularly that baffles (and disappoints) me: on the top of the flush valve for public urinals (sorry, I'm a compulsive reader) it says "This 1-pint-per-flush valve saves 87% more than standard 1-gallon valves". What the hell does "saves 87% more" mean? Uses 87% less, fine - but saves 87% more??? WTF???

Comment Re:This "nightmare" rigns a bell (Score 1) 240

They had the same problem prior to the year 2000, so why wasn't this lesson already learned?

No, it was a totally different problem.

Y2K was about an optimization made early in the history of software development, when every bit and byte was precious, and it was expected that the software would be replaced long before it became a problem. Well, not all of it got replaced before then - but everyone knew the problem was there, and exactly when it would bite us, so a lot of people worked hard patching system so that there were no major problems. And before you sneer at the short-sightedness of early developers, let me ask you this: how many of YOUR programs are Y10K compatible? Or Y2037 compatible? Or Y65536 compatible?

This is about security flaws (some due to criminally-negligent designs, some due to inevitable software bugs made even by skilled developers) that are NOT known about in advance, and that CANNOT be patched when they suddenly become a problem.

Comment Re:Nice try cloud guys (Score 2) 339

Or in the case of the situations and environments I work, your statement should read: "Move the applications to where they are not accessible when you have no internet connection while you need to do your work".

The definition of a networked system is "one you can't use because some computer you never heard of is down".

Comment Re:Nice try cloud guys (Score 2) 339

The cloud is highly shared and redundant clustering that is automated and agnostic. It can be public or private.

Wait, so I can save carbon by having a private cloud in my basement? I mean sure, that saves the lag and whatnot from the always-problematic last mile, but how does the movie get to my private cloud? I'm not seeing the carbon savings!

Comment Re:Fuck that guy. (Score 3, Informative) 397

so unless Jackson thinks HP should hire unqualified people just because they are black or latino, he should probably focus his efforts earlier in the pipeline

I doubt that's what he thinks - he doesn't actually care about black or latino people. He just wants the publicity, and some sort of "fund for underprivileged nerds" to be set up, which he can then "administer" in a way that benefits him and his friends. Shakedown, plain and simple.

Comment Re:Wrong. (Score 1) 461

But they could also turn up missing in due to any number of other causes! Only a tiny fraction of missing bodies are due to mid-ocean plane crashes - I still haven't heard why finding the corpses of a couple dozen such people per year is so much more important than finding the corpses of the thousands of other people that could be found by spending that same billion dollars more intelligently.

Comment Re:Does it really cost $100k? (Score 1) 461

Just for the record, I'm not suggesting that the 4 cent (or 9 cent) cost makes it worthwhile - I just got tired of reading wild speculation about the costs, and decided to do a little math and come up with a better answer. You're right about the 2 segments per day - short-haul flights do more, but when those crash it's over land, so they tend to be found pretty quickly. Only those flying over water would benefit from this system.

And I do think it's fair (and helpful) to bring it down to a per-passenger level. Sure, the airlines operate at a large scale, so any fleet-wide investment will cost zillions, and any fleet-wide savings will save zillions. But that's compared to overall costs in the mega-zillions, so the numbers are almost meaningless to most people. Suppose someone wanted to eliminate the padding on the seats, and just have you sit on bare metal, and quoted a large dollar figure savings - the first thing I'd do is estimate the per-passenger savings: if it's $50-$100 per pax, then it could make a big difference in ticket prices (PLEASE let's not go off on a tangent about how the greedy bastards at the airline would just keep the difference!) ... if it's $0.05 per pax, then no, even the meager comfort of the standard seat cushion is worth a nickle to me (besides, your metal seat couldn't be used as a flotation device)

Comment Re:Wrong. (Score 4, Insightful) 461

Worldwide, thousands (probably millions) of people turn up missing every year - it's sad, but true. The number of people who would be found significantly sooner by this device probably averages around a couple dozen per year. What makes those people worth spending billions of dollars on?

It's more likely you could use that same money to find a lot more than a couple dozen people by spending it more intelligently. The only thing that makes these people special is that they were rich enough to afford trans-pacific plane tickets, and they're in the news. If you think that makes them more important than other people, then YOU are the one barely attached to human reality.

Comment Re: Airline Ticket Prices (Score 0) 461

A few hundred people per day per plane ... what? ... this will pay for itself in a few days and then the airline will keep the extra fees and add it to its bottom line.
Win for the airline. Win for the government involved. And fuck the consumer.
Gotta love Capitalism - and crony capitalism as it is practiced in most of the World - fuck the people!

Wow - another poster claimed that NOT installing the boxes was proof of how capitalism sucks, and you're claiming that installing them (the exact opposite!) would prove that capitalism sucks.

I think you left-wingers have a stock answer ("capitalism sucks") and you're always on the lookout for a question to attach it to.

Comment Re:Yes. (Score 4, Insightful) 461

Once again, the free market fails where regulation would succeed - the former can only correct for the future AFTER everyone's dead and un-buried.

Why do you say that? What makes YOU the authority on the "correct" answer? Maybe people are perfectly comfortable with the status quo - after all, it's not like this box would save anyone, it would just help to find their corpses a little sooner. Considering only a few hundred people a year die in commercial plane crashes (vs around 100 million total deaths per year), and the vast majority of those are found very quickly, it's not really that big of a deal. There are probably better ways to spend $100K per plane to improve the flying experience (safer, more comfortable, less TSA, whatever), yet you've suddenly decided that the best thing to do would have been to bump this box (which you never even heard of until today) to the top of the list!

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"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." - H.L. Mencken