* Posts by Getmo

104 posts • joined 28 Jan 2015

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Start or Please Stop? Power users mourn features lost in Windows 11 'simplification'

Getmo

The greatest irony is they keep changing shit in the name or "usability" or being more "intuitive"... ignoring the fact that, for 99% of the people who need to use a computer today, this isn't the first time they've touched a computer. Meaning, they've already been trained how to use it, and what to expect.

One of the best ways to make something "intuitive" is to make it familiar to people, make it like something they've used before already. So if people have already been trained to use computers a certain way, and expect certain things, the most "intuitive" thing to do is keep it as similar to the last version as you can.

"Let's keep changing all the things to be more 'intuitive'" = forcing all your users to re-train themselves everytime = direct opposite of "intuitive".

Getmo

Re: Eh...

"creating program groups isn't really necessary anymore because you can just search for an app name."

Uh... that's not how human beings work though. It's a lot easier for our brains to remember things like color, position, and icon shape than a strict name. Mainly thanks to our ape brains evolving in the physical world, the spacial reasoning section of our brains is much more developed than the language processing. Mainly because in the real world, if you leave something in a certain location, for the most part it's still there when you come back for it. If you need a special tool, it's a lot easier to remember which drawer or box or bag you left it in, then trying to recall the exact name. For one, recalling the exact name won't help you find that tool at all. If in the real world you could immediately summon whatever you're looking for just by speaking it's name, our brains would've evolved to work better that way. But we didn't evolve that way. We evolved in physical spaces, with colors, shapes, and locations.

The Win8 & Win10 Start Menu "tiles", while a nightmare to set-up and arrange, are really useful to ALL users. I'll bet that a much larger percentage of long-term Win10 users, power-user or not, actually use the tiles they arranged in their Start Menu than you think.

Plus, Win 10 could already do search like this! You press the windows key and start typing, and it'll automatically search for apps, files, folders, etc.... they haven't added anything. They've removed functionality. Every dev should know, even if you think a feature should be deprecated, and you want to turn if off by default for everybody, you should at least leave it as an option in settings for picky users to turn back on. You've already invested the work to design the feature; don't delete it, make it optional.

Plus, as has already been mentioned, maybe I use that app once a month, or once a year! I can't remember the name, the name isn't descriptive, but because I have to use it regularly I left it in a special group at the bottom of my start menu. So the only thing I have to remember is, click start, scroll to the bottom until you recognize the icon & color, click & done. If it's a multi-step task, I can keep all related apps in that group together. But if I can't remember the name, I'd have to either sit there daydreaming until I remember it, or go full brute-force and open the All Applications list and keep scrolling until something looks familiar. Again, goes back to how our brains work. You can't even protest, "get good at remembering names then!" if it's a symptom of all humanity.

Virgin Galactic goes where it's gone twice before, for the first time in two years

Getmo

EMI

It's good to hear they have the EMI issues sorted now, but at least to me as an armchair engineer, that seemed like a fairly amateurish mistake to make.

EM Interference is not a new problem. When I was working on semiconductor tools early in my career, one tool design we sold (designed in the 80s) was appalling how overkill they went with the EMI protections. Even the custom drawer (rack-mount) cases that had the bare metal face & back panels attached with metal screws, had at minimum a redundant ground/earth cable, and sometimes also had these flat extruded foam gasket strips, that were wrapped in conductive fabric with conductive adhesive on one side. These foam strips were applied to every edge surface where a panel would meet the case, creating a type of gasket, I guess to make the "EMI seal" essentially "air tight". We regularly had a laugh about how overkill it was, but were told to keep doing it for new tools just in case the customer wanted to install it right next to another gigantic noisy-EMI machine.

For most of us it's so rarely an issue that it's ok to forget it exists until it creates a real problem. But for rocket engineers, I dunno, I guess I expected better.

Big red buttons and very bad language: A primer for life in the IT world

Getmo
Flame

Re: "Mike learned an important lesson..."

Electricians? Sounds expensive! Cancel that appointment, tell 'em we found some tape that holds the breaker closed just fine.

Apple's macOS is sub-par for security, Apple exec Craig Federighi tells Epic trial

Getmo

Why not just make the power-user mode password or pin protected? Most older folks I know who aren't technical (like my mom) will coming running to me when they get a new device, to "set it up for them" (install their apps, and hold their hand while they log in to stuff) and to get a bit of training while you're there. That's the perfect opportunity to set a pin.

Same goes for children as well, I assume as the adult you'll want to lock down the device first before just handing it over to your kids.

Samsung shows off rollable and foldable displays, suggests they'll arrive in 2022

Getmo

Re: Transparent screens?

Creating a HUD on your car's windshield is already elegantly easy. All you need to do is place a standard screen on the dashboard facing up. Try it with your phone.

The glass is not perfectly transparent, it will always reflect some light like a mirror. As long as the light source is slightly brighter than surrounding environment, you will see the faded, slightly transparent screen image hovering in the middle of your windshield.

I know some production cars already use this to display speed, and I've even seen one that shows GPS directions (as a red line) as an overlay on the real road. Not sure why it isn't more widely used, perhaps could be seen as a driver distraction, or obfuscates the driver's view of the road.

Activist millionaires protest outside Jeff Bezos' homes to support tax rises for the rich

Getmo
Facepalm

Re: A useful little test

Anonymous Coward: "Tax avoidance is completely legal."

Are you actually this stupid? Or is this a stupid game you like to play, pretend to be dumb, then when you get called out for being dumb, "ho ho, I was just pretending!"

Do you have no idea what the word loophole means? Here's a quick definition: they tried to make it illegal, but failed. The wording of the law, combined with all the other laws before it, make it so the thing they tried to make illegal can still be legal in certain circumstances.

The IRS tax code is more words & pages than the bible. It contradicts itself in several places. No one human being on the planet knows what it all says together. When politicians try to close the loopholes, they write a bill that gets appended to the back end of the tax code, which creates different loopholes. It's swiss cheese. It's a labyrinth, and the ultra-rich have helicopters with spotlights showing them the secret exits.

Example: New tax laws made it illegal to write-off a cruise as a business expense. HOWEVER, if that cruise has a stop, say in the Bahamas, and there's a restaurant in the Bahamas where your business meeting is held, then the cruise is simply transportation to your meeting, and the whole trip can be written-off as a tax deduction. That was certainly not the intent of the lawmakers, in fact they intended the opposite, to make this type of thing completely illegal.

This was told to me by an ex-IRS agent who had worked there for 10 years, now doing taxes for the rich, literally at a real estate convention where she was advertising her services. Bezos and Buffett have an army of these types of people. Buffett is also in support of major tax reform, he made the point when Obama said he was going to TRY to raise taxes on the ultra-rich, that he still paid into a lower tax bracket than his secretary. Because he already knew it wasn't going to work, Obama would only create more loopholes. Major tax reform means burning the whole book and starting over, but that's scary to everybody.

"Tax avoidance is completely legal." while technically correct, is not supposed to be, and you missed the point so completely it might as well be in orbit over your head. Literally everything you wrote after that about how "that's the way they intended it to be" is not only wrong, it's the exact opposite of that. Look up the word "loophole".

Chinese rocket plunges into Indian Ocean, still lands sharp rebuke from NASA

Getmo

Re: Chinese secrecy working against PR

I've seen that video as well. The only indication we've been given is, some Chinese viewers who watched the launch stream posted translations showing they heard one of the launch control operators make a call-out for a de-orbit maneuver to happen later, after the launch sequence.

The problem with this is, the PRC has been known to lie to their own people as well. It's entirely possible they just told their teams "We're going to de-orbit the booster later, it's a separate team you've never met before, do not worry comrade."

But from what I've gathered from Chinese culture, they are also against admitting failure, some kind of family/honor damage. So it could ALSO be possible that, in China's mind, even if they actually had the hardware in place and it failed, they think it's much better to just pretend like it never existed and the entire mission went to plan with 100% success. Somehow, in their minds that could be better than just coming out and telling the rest of the world "We were already trying to do that, but that part failed."

Satellites, space debris may have already brightened night skies 10% globally – and it's going to get worse

Getmo
Facepalm

Re: It doesn't actually get dark here.

> If astronomers are unhappy about light pollution affecting astronomy, they need to persuade their local councils to change to streetlights that light the ground and not the sky as well before they complain about stuff in orbit.

You've missed the point so much, it flew so far over your head, it's probably still in orbit.

Observatories ALREADY ARE located far away enough from cities & bright towns that they don't affect their measurements by that much.

The light pollution they're concerned about comes from space.

EVEN IF you created some fictional law which required every town, city & village across the entire planet to turn off every light after dusk, this light pollution from space would still exist. Your point is moot.

Getmo

Re: Starlink Visors

I found this paper, might be of interest to you: "Review of black surfaces for space-borne infrared systems"

https://wp.optics.arizona.edu/optomech/wp-content/uploads/sites/53/2016/10/persky-1999.pdf

The paper mentions several uses for painting certain parts of satellites black, the most common being to protect optical sensors on space telescopes from stray light reflected into it, or as a calibration surface for telescope instruments to measure from. It does say the article is intended to be a broad overview of black surfaces in space, but specifically painting a whole sat black to reduce the light reflected back to earth was not mentioned.

So it does talk a lot about out-gassing of the paint/coating, and durability of the micro-structures on the coating's surface in space, if the black relies on surface texture to reduce reflectivity. Doesn't talk about how much heat gets absorbed.

However, one bit I found VERY interesting is the sections about temperature do mention great "emissive" performance. At one point they imply a black coating on anti-sun-facing side can help cooling, to the point where a failure-prone liquid radiator system could be designed out of a satellite. See page 2, paragraphs 2 & 3.

Also see page 7.

This tells me that it could be entirely possible for Starlink sats. I believe only the bottom (earth-facing) side of the sats reflect light that we see post-dusk/pre-dawn, so even if a black coating produces quicker heating, the time windows where heating is occurring should be minimal, and then once the black side of the sat is in earth's shadow (or on the sun-side but facing anti-sun), it should provide extra cooling.

All in all, with a slightly different thermal design, I think they could definitely do it if they wanted to. Source: whale biologist.

Surprise: Automated driving biz finds automated driving safer than letting you get behind the wheel

Getmo

Re: It occurs to me

Human beings don't actually work like that though. There was a study linked here, but there's probably more, on how automated systems affect human behavior. They not only lower our attentiveness & alertness (obvious), but the study had shown they lower it to the point that if something happened that required immediate human intervention, the delay it takes for our brains to get back into a "readiness" state necessary to make corrective action is so long, our ability to prevent or minimize catastrophic accidents is diminished. The proposed solution they gave is for the automation to simulate failures more often, to keep human workers more attentive. E.g. If a supply line automation actually fails 1/10,000 operations, change it to simulate failure once every 1,000 operations, to keep humans on their toes.

Being the test driver would most certainly suck. By definition your ability to take over an already-moving vehicle when the automation fails is significantly diminished compared to if you already had your hands on the wheel and turned the self-driving completely off. It's a perfect storm: you automatically will have severely delayed reactions compared to if you just did the driving yourself, BUT your job is not to drive but let the AI do as much of the driving for you, AND said AI is still dangerously incompetent at driving. Plus all the legal might those companies have if something does go wrong, like top commentor pointed out.

I also recommend reviewing the Tempe Uber crash footage if you haven't yet. Yes, the driver was on her phone, but the pedestrian was jaywalking/not using a crosswalk, it was late at night on a long empty road, the road was lit using streetlights AND the pedestrian was crossing in the dark between the streetlights. You can't see her until the last second. I'm not entirely convinced a human driver paying 100% attention to the road ahead could've done any better. The pedestrian seems to have a death wish. PLUS, auto-drive systems have an array of lidar, radar, and night-vision cameras specifically for situations like this, so they can potentially be better than human eyes. This is not a simple case by any means. If she had just not been looking at her phone, I think this case might've already been dropped.

Google says once third-party cookies are toast, Chrome won't help ad networks track individuals around the web

Getmo

Re: You're alright, Jack?

DoH isn't that widespread yet, and so far it mostly only seems to be used by those devices & companies that have a vested interest in slurping your data: Google, Amazon, smart tvs, etc. I'd even say this push is due to the rising popularity of DNS filters like pi-hole and it's effectiveness.

Plus, I'm still not ruling out a potential backlash against these devices that don't honor local network settings. All it would take is for one of their products, like a streaming stick or smart TV, to be setup in the lobby of a business with a highly-secure network, like a bank, and someone to notice bank & customer data being illegally exfiltrated. Then it's billionaire companies vs billionaire companies, and massive potential lawsuits.

Getmo

Re: You're alright, Jack?

The Pi hole software has a DHCP server built in. As long as whatever type of (crap) router you have that doesn't allow you to change DNS settings (I've never experienced this before) allows you to disable its DHCP server, it's almost trivial to set up.

Yeah it's true DoH is eroding some DNS filtering, but you'll notice that DoH and devices that ignore local network settings come from certain types of devices, usually of a particular brand. Like Chromecast dongles, Amazon Fire sticks, Samsung and Roku "smart" TVs, the usual suspects. You know, the behemoth data-collection players who have everything to lose if their slurp pipe gets pinched.

If you haven't installed any of those things in your home, it'll be much more effective. And if you have, many people don't connect them to the internet, or VLAN & firewall them into a corner. These companies' push for DoH is almost certainly due to the rise in popularity of pi-hole, and it's ease of use. Mine still regularly blocks between 35-60% of DNS requests, depending on browsing activity. DoH isn't as widespread as you claim, pi-hole still does good work, mine's blocked 51% today. And most importantly, it saves my smartphone battery life when browsing news sites, and removes most of the cancer they've developed.

The wrong guy: Backup outfit Spanning deleted my personal data, claims Cohesity field CTO

Getmo

Re: If you cannot touch it do not complain when it evaporates

Business users too. Back as a networking tech we were on the phone with customer's ISP trying to negotiate symmetrical speeds. They simply didn't offer it. Customer had 100 down/10 up, would've even taken 50/50 Mbps. But just to get better upload speeds, they said the only plans available were 300 down/25 up, or 1 gigabit down/50 up, for 2X or 3X current bill. Arizona.

Brave buys a search engine, promises no tracking, no profiling – and may even offer a paid-for, no-ad version

Getmo

Re: Guaranteed ad delivery?

I believe DDG also inserts their Amazon affiliate link in their search results. So if you want to support them, search for your Amazon purchases with DDG then buy.

Hacking is not a crime – and the media should stop using 'hacker' as a pejorative

Getmo

Re: The quick hack

"Duct tape programmers", but I've been told that title is for those who know how to do it right, but also know how to implement a quick fix that probably won't cause horrible problems down the line

Getmo

Re: Too late

Blacklist / Whitelist is an odd one, and is still very popular and widely-used, I think my pi hole still uses it.

It's very in-your-face terminology, when you're setting it up you can't really ignore the fact it's saying black represents "bad"/"reject" and white = "good"/"pass". I think it's harder to ignore than master/slave.

If one day the labels all changed to "deny list" (not in your source code, Mozilla, just the visible labels) it wouldn't change any meaning, so who cares, why not change it? Or "Blocklist" which is just changing one letter.

Splunk junks 'hanging' processes, suggests you don't 'hit' a key: More peaceful words now preferred in docs

Getmo

One of the greatest ironies is that the very term "mentally retarded" is a PC term that got pushed into medical communities to replace the old terms, because the medical terms for the condition (moron, idiot, imbecile) at the time had grown to be used as insults.

Now that the term has become the very thing it sought to destroy, Wikipedia states the new PC term to replace it is "Intellectually Disabled". However it also admits that due to the nature of this condition, it is most probably just a matter of time until "intellectually disabled" grows into a horrible insult as well. Also, they're still having difficulty removing "mentally retarded" from international medical textbooks, and doctors say "intellectually disabled" isn't specific enough to describe a patient's condition to be a full replacement term.

Atheists warn followers of unholy data leak, hint dark deeds may have tried to make it go away

Getmo

Re: Same could be said about religious people

I guess my definition of 'atheist' is still a bit more loose than yours (again, I've admitted the definition is strict, but the practice is not).

I've always considered myself atheist. But I like virtual reality theory. So for example, what if it turns out to be true, that "god" is a gigantic computer, and we're all just playing a MMO RPG? Maybe multiple times? Maybe "heaven" is an endless arcade game store of multiple different realities?

Would that mean atheism is wrong? I mean, I wouldn't define that as "God", I'd define that as reality. Even if proven, I'd still consider myself atheist. But the religious definitions do line up as well. I.e. if VR turns out to be the grand unified theory, wouldn't that mean everybody was right?

Getmo

Re: Same could be said about religious people

That's called an "infallible hypothesis", it can't be proven wrong, i.e. "you can't prove God *doesn't* exist." You're using well-known textbook definitions of bad science. A valid hypothesis must be provable one way or the other.

You can't just say atheism is making broad conclusions about God, because you yourself believe the default state of the universe is 'there is a God'. When there's a lack of evidence, the onus is on you to prove it real.

And just how you shouldn't lump all atheists together saying they've made rigid conclusions, you shouldn't lump all Christians/etc. together saying they've made rigid conclusions. Most of all of my Christian friends have found a way to reconcile evolution with their faith. The ones who never did, well, it turns out we didn't actually have that much in common. The definitions of atheism/Christianity/etc. may be rigid, but that doesn't mean people are in practice.

And if you really did believe in God, I'm surprised you people aren't more interested in quantum mechanics and the rising popularity of virtual reality theory, which actually does imply the existence of a "God". Really it's just a slight modification of the already popular parallel universes/Multiverse/string theory theories, the scientists say the math works out. It may turn out we're both right, and a grand unified theory may include the existence of God. But that's what makes it funny to me that those people ain't more interested in that research, because it means the scientists will figure out the true math behind how 'God' works before the faithful do.

Subnautica and Below Zero: Nurture your inner MacGyver and Kevin Costner on an ocean-planet holiday

Getmo
Happy

Re: moved up the list in my backlog

Hahaha LMAO, sounds great. I'll make sure to play it at night in the dark, only when all the roommates are out of the house, alone. At least I'm still a smoker.

Getmo

moved up the list in my backlog

Purchased this gem during Black Friday sale on Steam, thanks to all the good reviews. I just skimmed this review because I don't want any spoilers yet.

I also have a somewhat moderate case of submechanophobia - fear of mechanical things underwater - so the entire premise of the game (at least the first one) being on a water world with no land, and the goal being to investigate underwater wreckages and construct underwater bases, promises to be especially terrifying for me!

Good to know there's a sequel out there, I'll definitely have to grab that too when/if I finish the original. Wish me luck!

The Fat iPhone, 11 years on: The iPad's over a decade old and we're still not sure what it's for

Getmo

> if only because of the choice of software you can use on it.

Not the form factor as well? That's an easy #2 that puts laptops firmly in the "media creation" category and keeps tablets in the "media consumption" one. Namely, an adjustable hinge for angling the screen, keyboard, and mouse are all built into the device, while for a tablet all of those things are separate pieces. You know, the pieces necessary to actually use the thing on your lap. Meaning if you actually wanted to use a tablet like that, you'd need a laptop bag to carry all those pieces together...

That's why I think the Microsoft Surface tablet at least had a much more complete vision, by integrating a kick stand into the device, and having keyboard cover ready to ship day 1.

Getmo

Re: Phone for the living room

That's exactly what makes the product so odd - as soon as you admit it's only real consumer use is being a media consumption device, perfect for the couch/bed and nowhere much else, you'll also realize how horribly over-priced and over-powerful it is. The most resource-intensive app that device will probably ever run in its life is Facebook.

Because it's so expensive, you'll rarely want to take it outside of the house. And what would you do with it outside the house anyway? Only thing I can think of is loading it up with movies for kids in the backseat during a long car trip. Which yet again, now that we're talking about grubby children's fingers on the device, brings to mind how god-awfully expensive the thing is. It all screams, "buy a different tablet for 1/10th the cost that will do exactly the same things."

Look, we've sent space probes to Jupiter and Mars – makes sense to keep them going a while longer, says NASA

Getmo

Re: Hmm ...

"We heard the husband is a gamer, so we converted his den into a gaming room!" Complete with a gaudy mural of Mario painted on 3 walls, the doorknob being replaced with an 8 ball, and every time you flip the light switch an 8-bit "power up" sound plays through the speakers they installed in the ceiling. (Which have their only input wired to the switch in such a way that you'll never get your own music playing through those speakers.)

Then again, the premise is interesting. You can get your house remodeled for free, but you get absolutely no input or insight into the changes being made. Those shows were entertaining at the very least for watching the home owner's reactions during the "reveal". They all obviously put on a smile for the TV cameras, but behind their eyes sometimes you'll see a definite "as soon as these people leave that crap is coming down off the walls and we're repainting." Or even better, after seeing what the 20 tons of concrete in the backyard was for: "Oh god... what have I done... why did I ever let these people near my property?"

Loser Trump is no longer useful to Twitter, entire account deleted over fears he'll whip up more mayhem

Getmo

Re: An elephant in the room

Here we witness the Trumptards blindly lashing out at anything and everything, in this case the entire UK, and for some reason trying to take offense at the outcome of WWII. Maybe he thought there might be a "gotcha" angle there. Or maybe they're finally smelling the end of Trump's term, and fight-or-flight reflexes are kicking in.

As an American reader, how about we change the tld back to .co.uk to keep more of these idiots away? We're sick of their verbal diarrhea on all sides of the pond.

Trump silenced online: Facebook, Twitter etc balk at insurrection, shut the door after horse bolts and nearly burns down the stable

Getmo

Re: Hmmm

> As Ken White puts it, "Holmes' [fire-in-a-theater] quote is the most famous and pervasive lazy cheat in American dialogue about free speech". Just stop using this bogus example, please.

I read your link(s), and it seems to equate this Holmes guy who maybe made up this phrase as an argument to prosecute journalists publishing any anti-war sentiment.

It should be obvious, but obviously needs to be said: just because a guy made a good point once, but then later tried to use it as a slippery-slope argument to arrest dissidents (which, btw, "free speech" encourages dissidents, that's kinda the point), doesn't make the original argument invalid.

Even somewhere in your second link, it quotes, "... nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

The letter of the law says it right there, but to summarize the whole 'theory' of Free Speech: "you're allowed to say whatever you want, UNLESS it [unlawfully] denies others their rights to LIFE, liberty, or property."

To put it simply, if you shout "fire" in a theater just because you think it's funny, and 2 children get trampled to death because of it, that's the exact limit of it. You will get charged criminally for inciting a panic, especially if there are deaths.

If you rally all your supporters to travel out-of-state to Washington D.C., then give a speech crying for them to march on the capitol and overtake it. You [should] get charged criminally for inciting a panic, especially if there are deaths.

Your man Holmes tried to equate a direct call for panic, like yelling fire in a theater, to people publishing a newspaper which might contain words they don't like. The line is very strict, even your examples seem to be ignorant of it.

Getmo

Re: They are only doing this since the Democrats will be in power in two weeks.

It depends - what's the legal definition of "funding terrorism"?

Getmo

Re: Hmmm

> if there is a lock down on free speech then it has to be even handed

This response doesn't seem even-handed to you?

I'm just as big of a supporter of free speech, but you have to admit the restrictions on it are very specific: you can't yell "fire" in a theater, you can't yell "bomb" on a plane, and you can't incite panic or violence.

He's been doing the latter for a very long time. I'm surprised these services haven't elected to ban his accounts permanently, or dish out longer suspensions than a few weeks. That seems a bit more even-handed.

US Department of Homeland Security warns American business not to use Chinese tech or let data behind the Great Firewall

Getmo

Re: Not long to wait

> modern commercial Ariane launchers (certainly the A4/A5) are basically French ICMBs

Hm, what? Really? Somehow I really doubt that, considering nuclear warheads can be made into briefcase size, <10kg. Commercial satellite launchers like the Ariane 4 can launch >2000kg into orbit. ICBMs don't even need the capability to reach low-earth-orbit, since a sub-orbital trajectory that reaches half-way round the world can reach any point on the world.

Orbital launch capabilities, when they were first demonstrated by the USSR, were merely a scare tactic. Sputnik was essentially the same mass & size of a nuclear warhead. They demonstrated the USSR missiles were not only capable of sending warheads to the USA, but also anywhere on the planet.

Literally all orbital capabilities developed beyond that only added to exploration, and spying. The larger mass satellites were first for spy telescopes, but also convenient for commercial applications like satellite TV.

I can't believe the large-mass, high-capability Ariane rockets would also be used for nuclear ICBM rockets. Not only are they hugely over-capable, most liquid fuels, even if not cryogenic, are highly-corrosive, can't be stored for long periods in regular tanks. Solid rocket fuel is much better for ICBMs. Even the Indians and Chinese use it for main-stage boosters on their non-military payloads.

Getmo

Re: Not long to wait

From what I've read, Ariane space was helped greatly by the cancellation of it. British boffins freely shared details of their work with both French & German counterparts afterwards. Even old Blue Streak parts were used for the first Ariane launches.

And because "rocket science is easy, rocket engineering is hard", it's said that once the team that understands their launch system gets dismantled, that collective knowledge essentially evaporates. To start again means essentially starting from scratch.

At the time it was true there weren't many commercial applications, but hopefully it was obvious that would change in the future. It's been claimed that to tally all the launch costs for UK satellites on foreign boosters to date, it would've been cheaper to keep the internal development going.

The super heavy lift launcher market is mostly already occupied by commercial companies now. Hopefully the growing small-sat market has potential for Skylon and Virgin Galactic. But even that market has competition from NZ's Rocket Lab now, and a few others.

Getmo

Re: Not long to wait

And the only way to enforce it is if your country has similar powers of their own.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson claims that the only reason real progress was made in space has always been military motivated. "If China announced a base on Mars, the USA would have one there within 3 years." Right now China is essentially recreating the Apollo program, so it makes sense.

In Scott Manley's video, "The 10 Dumbest Mistakes in Space Exploration," he lists #1 as the UK developing an orbital rocket, then canning it. It tied for 1st place with the entire Space Shuttle program. https://youtu.be/Xsqe3utT6rs?t=798

Google reveals version control plus not expecting zero as a value caused Gmail to take an inconvenient early holiday

Getmo

Re: UAT

When I was doing internal development creating an inventory system, I realized I needed to get input from practically every class of employee just to get the full picture. First you talk with the stock girl, because she actually knows the current inventory system the best. Then of course the shop techs, who actually need to use the system to order more parts, and to track remaining quantities needed for their future delivery deadlines. They might give you unique ideas, like an option to put a part on hold that's still being ordered, so they're the first to get it. Then of course management, they can be clueless but if you offer up simple features like, "what about a cash flow report, that shows the cash value of all parts flowing into and out of the inventory that month?" it helps them feel included, 'special'. And the CEO, sometimes they may actually have a simple, good idea, like getting that same cost report the other managers get, but produced weekly, and automatically emailed to him Monday morning.

Then after merging all your notes from these different people, you may have enough info to finally start designing this system on paper! (I couldn't imagine what it's like doing that from the external perspective.)

Hong Kong's Hutchison Group, which runs mobile carrier ‘3’, protests as USA puts it on new China ban list

Getmo

Re: Dear World. I'm sorry.

Obama stated that when he took office, Bush & his team were very cordial with training & preparing them during the transition. So, it was only fair that Obama did the same for Trump's team.

Something tells me that even though Trump's White House staff have already initiated the transition to Biden's team, Trump himself will not be on board. Wouldn't be surprised if he throws a tantrum and hides all the presidential pens, or unplugs all the phones on his desk.

Elon Musk says he tried to sell Tesla to Apple, which didn’t bite and wouldn't even meet

Getmo

Re: Offered to sell the company for 1/10 current market value

Elon is very much a tech guy, in his mind (and possibly done on paper) the only way Tesla & the Model 3 was going to be profitable is if 99.9% of the production was automated. At the time, he was apparently having a lot of trouble teaching robots to weld his new aluminum frame, was even hiring human hands to weld some, to get a few cars out the door and fulfill customer promises.

This was from the news & twittersphere, so Cook probably knew as well. If there's some fundamental flaw in the company, that's one reason not to meet. But the problem with Tesla at the time was well understood to be purely a technical one. It's one thing if the company has cancerous tumor, it's another if they have a limited runway and the problem can be fixed by throwing more money at it for long enough.

China unleashes fearsome new cyber-weapon: A very provocative meme

Getmo

Re: A well written account of what's going on

Oh, hi China.

Let's check in now with the new California monolith... And it's gone, torn down by a bunch of MAGA muppets

Getmo

Re: Video is still on his Twitter feed

rt.com reposted his video, and he even wrote a tweet on it saying "Thank you Putin!"

Getmo

Re: "Christ is king in this country"

Worse, "In God We Trust" wasn't added to the paper bills until 1956.

I don't hate the Christians, I'm not saying it's all their fault. But they did take what was supposed to be an "open" nation and turned it decidedly Christian. The whole "freedom of religion" bit actually ended up helping them out, by giving them a farcical ideal they can hold up in defense of their actions anytime someone accuses the Christians of pushing their own agendas into law.

A tale of two nations: See China blast off from the Moon as drone shows America's Arecibo telescope falling apart

Getmo

Re: Radar vs radio

There's Meteor Crater, which is already in a nice dish shape.

However it is only about 30 miles away from Flagstaff, AZ, which is a fairly large town with its own FM & AM radio stations. I'm guessing with Arecibo being a radio telescope, part of choosing its location has to do with minimizing local interference.

Getmo

Re: Perspective

This here is the real problem. The absolutely absurd military spending has been going on for so long, it feels strange & uncomfortable for officials to even *think* about suggesting we curb it.

Meanwhile, despite all the great innovations NASA has actually provided for us terrestrial folk, like memory foam and Velcro, you'll still see people regurgitating the same words in protest of it, even on this forum: "Why are we spending so much money on space when there's problems here on Earth? Cut all space funding until land-life is made better!"

And so NASA budgets are always on the chopping block, while the elephant in the room is wearing camouflage.

Trumpian politics continue as senators advance controversial Republican FCC commissioner nominee

Getmo

Re: liberals aren't too bright

stopped at "destructive partisan politics...

liberals are such idiots and wimps...

Huh, don't think I've ever met anyone who openly called for more destructive partisan politics. Anyone who admitted it in public, at least.

I'm honestly kinda sad to see Trump leaving office, he offered your type a lot of perceived protections that gave you the confidence you needed to stick your neck out like this. Now it's like whack-a-mole, where the smarter ones in your lot are already pulling their head back under the sheets, yet a few dummies still like to pop out and spew more garbage & hate.

Let's see, does the comment contain crippling insecurity and projection?

"haven't met a lib i couldn't slap around"

Check. I'm very familiar with your type, the louder you cry means the bigger the lie. You've never slapped anyone around ever, have you? But you're so insecure about yourself you have to invent a tough-guy Rambo image of yourself in your head? That's not just sad, dude. That's pathetic.

You should seek out a therapist, please get help.

Linus Torvalds worried Linux kernel might get messy around Christmas

Getmo
Coffee/keyboard

Re: Call me silly

*chokes on brew over keyboard*

Beer? During working hours? Right in the middle of Thanksgiving week?

Who would do such a thing...

Apple's global security boss accused of bribing cops with 200 free iPads in exchange for concealed gun permits

Getmo

Re: Why didn't he just buy out of state?

States rights is a double-edged sword, it does good and bad. In practice, it makes law evolution faster because states get to practice and "play out" certain changes in law while everyone else looks on patiently.

For example, marijuana is still illegal federally and can carry serious criminal penalties. But after this election I think the number of states with medicinal mj is now over 50%, and there's a dozen or so now with recreational weed legalized. Back under the Bush presidency this became a hot topic after California made medical marijuana legal. Local authorities would issue grower & seller permits, then the DEA or FBI would raid their business and arrest everyone involved.

After a point the White House just decided to turn the other cheek, wait and see what plays out, and that's the state we're still in today.

Another great example is gay marriage: started at the states level, then once others realized it didn't cause the apocalypse, they followed shortly. Ending in a Supreme Court case that made it legal federally.

It cuts both ways, but personally I like the extra freedom in this system. E.g. here in Arizona few years back, we made medicinal mj and concealed-carry without a permit (no CCW license required anymore) legal in the same year. And this year, we made recreational marijuana legal.

Unexpected victory in bagging area: Apple must pay shop workers for time they spend waiting to get frisked

Getmo

I'm sure it still runs great once you get it all put back together.

If you think Mozilla pushed a broken Firefox Android build, good news: It didn't. Bad news: It's working as intended

Getmo

Re: Positives and negative experiences

My job is currently in process of implementing Agile company-wide, (so manglement will probably be overly zealous about it for a time) I can't help but think about this war against waterfall.

Someone else already said it: evolutionary, not revolutionary. Even when doing iterative development, you can still make revolutionary changes, as we can see (just like with waterfall, we can make evolutionary changes). I get why people like Agile and why it's useful, everybody (not just devs) get to participate in the process, and change direction of the project if requirements change.

But can't help but think this has caused people to forget some of the key features of good-ol' waterfall method. Mainly: what's the end-game here, boys? Agile, taken purely at face value, would have you think the goal is continuous, endless development. There's not enough exit conditions in the Agile loop. At least waterfall has a very clear start and end point.

When you don't think about "What's the FINAL version of our product going to look like?" you start to see these software projects go off the rails with these radical re-designs and changes, like nobody raised their hand to ask why we're fixing stuff that isn't broken.

Sun welcomes vampire dating website company: Arrgh! No! It burns! It buuurrrrnsss!

Getmo

Re: Inappropriate garb

Perhaps you're right, if it was purely an interview meeting. Thinking back I just realized that for my past 3 positions, I was already hired before the first face-to-face meeting or even stepping into the building.

Two of the those three advised me on dress code for my first day. Only one of those left it up to me (for IT Director position), so I wore the full suit & shoes, and got dinged for it. After first walking in the door, and meeting the boss for 15 mins in his office, he commented twice on how "well dressed" I was, and at the end said, "you know, you won't have to dress like that while working here."

Surely these traditional views on wearing the suit the for the interview / first day are still widely practiced, but it's definitely no longer gospel. It's best to play it by ear for the company you're with.

Getmo
Coat

Re: Inappropriate garb

I'm a big believer in "dress for the job/for the work", not necessarily the interview. So I dress how I would expect to show up for the work everyday. If it's a non-customer-facing desk job, I'll probably be wearing polos or a nice shirt with either slacks or nice jeans everyday; so I wear that to the interview. If it was a painter's job, I'd wear painter's clothes. If I was interviewing at a law firm and expected to wear a suit everyday, only then would I wear a suit to the interview. You get exactly what it says on the tin.

It just seems so silly to say "if you're not in a full suit for the interview you're underdressed" and "I'll never work a job where I have to wear a suit everyday" in the same breath. Seems flatly dishonest, almost an acknowledgment that your interview was just a pony show to get you in the door, not a true reflection of what kind of worker you'll be now that you're hired.

(Plus, I have been dinged before for being overdressed even for an IT Director position, but I was technically already hired on that first day.)

We've heard some made-up stories but this is ridiculous: Microsoft Flight Simulator, Bing erect huge skyscraper out of bad data

Getmo
Devil

Re: "Of course if you're using the program properly, you do not get close

If you might recall, the training videos for Flight Simulator 2000 were shot with live actors. There's a scene at the very end where one instructor is flying low through NYC, between the buildings. The other instructor says, "You almost hit the Empire State Building!" The one playing the game turns to the camera and says, "That would've been cool!"

As you might imagine, this choice scene was quickly stripped from future copies of the game post-9/11.

Here's the scene @4:35 in all its horrific glory: https://youtu.be/ssig3LUCwng?t=274

It's on you if you want to play gatekeeper and fun police for a video game, but don't pretend like there aren't plenty of professionals out there who like to dick around too, every now and again.

iFixit horses around with Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G to discover glue in abundance

Getmo

I held onto my replaceable-battery smartphone models as long as I could, until they literally stopped selling any flagship models with that feature. Now I'm playing the same game with the headphone jack, bought the Note 9 with unlocked carrier for this reason, for roughly $600 shipped, about half the launch price.

Been a while since I owned a Samsung, so maybe things have changed but I didn't realize how locked-down the bootloader is with their enterprise Knox on everything now. I was planning to wipe sammy's ROM off it and replace with vanilla android or a similar flavor, but looks like that's a no-go.

A nice feature with the unlocked carrier phones is the FM tuner is also unlocked. Sad to see how many phones had the hardware, but disabled it in firmware, probably in hopes it would drive listeners to buy their internet radio offerings. Such a useful feature that we'll never know how popular it could've been, just like the IR blaster & recorder some early smartphone models had hardware for but usually disabled in some way.

Donald Trump thought-bubbles an Alibaba ban as Chinese clouds clam up about Clean Cloud plan

Getmo

Autonomous drone swarms

I've been thinking about these micro murder drone swarms that keep getting talked about.

It seems to me, they must wirelessly communicate with each other in order to coordinate an attack. I'm guessing in the form of bluetooth or wifi, both of which are in the 2.4 GHz spectrum (+5 GHz Wifi). I wonder how they would act if you actively disrupted their communications.

I believe it's fairly simple to acquire or build your own 2.4-5 GHz portable jammer, even if it's highly illegal to operate. Still, might it be worth it to look into securing your own device for use in our dystopian future? I'll keep mine next to the homemade EMP in my bomb shelter.

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