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Comment Silicon Valley is a great place to be from (Score 3, Informative) 103

Worked and lived in Mountain View in the late 1980's; visited the peninsula many times since then.

Got out when I realized that I would not be able to afford a house unless I hit the startup lottery.

Also, realized I did not want to rear children in either side of Palo Alto (east or west).

Still, having some direct experience of Silicon Valley has been useful ever since; it helped me get every job I've had since that time.

Comment Beginning another malware experiment? (Score 1) 177

For ages, there have been less problems with malware on Macs than on Windows PCs.

For ages, one main excuse for this has been "more people use Windows, so it's naturally a bigger target". Technical arguments about vulnerability are dismissed by people who make this argument.

OK, so now in Chromebook we have a new malware target which may be both bigger than the Mac market AND theoretically less vulnerable.

This could be amusing...

Comment Situational awareness (Score 2) 696

Two principles to be aware of when you are on a bike in auto traffic:

1. You are in the most danger when auto traffic crosses your path. Intersections are the most obvious example. Especially dangerous are turning lanes and off-ramps when you are going straight - cars that are changing lanes or preparing to turn are looking for other cars, not bicycles.

2. If you hear a siren, get off the road NOW. Cars will be trying to get out of the way of emergency vehicles, and looking to avoid other cars, not bicycles.

I've been a short-distance commuting cyclist since 1994. I've been hit once in traffic - at an off-ramp, by a car that was getting out of the way of a fire truck.

Comment Make it symmetric and I'll consider it (Score 1) 253

I live in a blessed neighborhood that has both FIOS and Comcast, so I can credibly threaten to switch. I almost went for Comcast recently; they offered me

105 Mb down + basic cable + phone

for the same price as Verizon's

50 Mb down + basic cable + phone

The deal-breaker was Comcast's up speed is 10 or 20 Mb, and Verizon's is 50 Mb. Not in this age of video calling and torrenting, thankyouverymuch.

Comcast's infrastructure is still apparently fundamentally biased toward broadcast. Verizon at least understands communication should be two-way.

Comment Wanna know why people like Bill Gates now? (Score 1) 292

Because his goals and your interests are now aligned.

Broadly speaking, the Gates Foundation wants to improve the world. It doesn't care about making a profit, it just wants to get the most improvement for the money it has available to spend. It can choose freely what kind of energy production to promote, and it is clearly choosing based on a bang-for-the-buck basis.

When Gates was running Microsoft, his goal was to make Microsoft bigger. Microsoft's mission statement of "enabling people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential" was actually subordinate to the goal of growing Microsoft, which is why one-Windows-running-on-everything was promoted over, say, clear standards and interoperability for Office files.

Comment So, ignorant people are easily influenced (Score 3, Insightful) 133

Who knew?

Seriously, I personally know the difference between sponsored and unsponsored links. I use the short-cut links in the sponsored section when the same place shows up near the top of the unsponsored section. Otherwise, I take those links with a big block of salt.

Folks, Google is about as good as we can expect to get for a company that makes its money off of advertising-supported services. They need to be watched and called out when they do marginal things, but they aren't deliberately evil as corporate policy goes.

Facebook, on the other hand...

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