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Behind Apple's Sapphire Screen Debacle

Artifakt Re:LMAO (179 comments)

The trust usually comes because the small company assumes the big one wants to make money by completing an actual product line and selling it - normally the way just about everybody thinks Capitalism works. The small company says to itself, well, they've got to have X (like Sapphire coatings for screens) to make money - they can't actively want us to fail and take steps to make us fail or they take a hit too. So what we have to do is deliver the component at the price where they still make money, and as long as we do that, we're on the same side. So the small company focuses on distrusting the contract clauses it thinks are rational to distrust, in ways that it thinks might allow abuses a rational but dishonest actor might try..
      It's like buying a car and thinking you can't trust the salesman to tell you the truth - only you should have somehow known the salseman wasn't the real salesman but a psycho-killer who had just slain the real salesman and the big thing he wanted wasn't to make too much money selling that car, it was your home address so he could pop by at 2 AM with his skinning knife collection. Most people don't go through life checking with NASA in case the persons they are dealing with are secretly space ailens.
            From the summary, Apple seems to have had control over the decision to install back up power supplies, and to have chosen to save money on them instead. That sounds like an Apple executive brought in a good quarterly bottom line and then got out before the product couldn't be made as specced, and to heck with whether Apple still looks good five years down the road. The big company takes a small hit, the little one goes bankrupt. Apple is by this definition exceptionally untrustworthy, just because they won't take as much damage as their smaller subcontractors, or individuals, but if that's true, then Capitalism is a system where the bigger a company gets, the less it should be trusted, just for sheer size, and smaller businesses and customers should rationally start distrusting sheer bigness. How about that, free-market types and Randroids, do we need stronger Anti-Trust laws? The other solution seems to be extreme paranoia. If great market share or rapid growth mean everyone should regard that company as exceptionally untrustworthy, they why doesn't it make sense for consumers to always pick a smaller competitor for everything?

yesterday
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About 40% of World Population Online, 90% of Offliners In Developing Countries

Artifakt Re:Developing (45 comments)

It's not a few that are really developing and a lot that aren't, but the contrary. For example, if you look at how well Nigeria has dealt with the current Ebola crisis, you pretty much have to acknowledge that they have improved a lot since the 1960's. In the same way, Uganda today is not sliding downhill from some Idi Amin glory days, quite the contrary. We could fairly describe a few states as failed - that's not a racist term per say, it's a rational assessment if used correctly, but when people talk about developing nations like 9 of 10 are never going to develop instead of the contrary, that's an abuse of terms like 'developing' and 'failed state'. There's also this meme that foreign aid is just pumping money into corrupt regimes that will never actually improve the lot of their populaces, and again, that's more the exception than the rule.
      There's also a difference in comparing a failed state with a successfully developing one in 21st century terms and comparing it to its colonial past or some general colonial era. You can take the real numbers for famine deaths caused by the British raj in India and Irish potato famine deaths of about the same time, and with fair statistics, nobody should ever complain about anything Stalin did to the USSR again,unless they are prepared to compare Queen Victoria with Hitler and Stalin, to her disfavor. That's your colonial era, without even knowing the figures for Africa and how much they would make the totals worse. Somalia today probably has it about as bad as they did in the colonial era, but not worse. That's bad, a drastically failed state - there's no need to claim that somehow it's even worse than what Belgum did to its colonies or other cases which were unimaginable hells - by the time things get any worse than that, everyone is dead.

3 days ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

Artifakt Re:Well if two google engineers say so (630 comments)

Cheaper than coal isn't enough, until it's so much cheaper people shut down existing coal plants early. As cheap or slightly cheaper just means people will stop planning new coal plants and start building new wind farms to cover new demand - that is, it only impacts the increase in desired power generation, not all the power already being generated that already contributes to CO2 rise.

3 days ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

Artifakt Re:Is Nuclear going to be acknowledged? (630 comments)

Why do people keep mentioning the (presumably left wing) enviro-weenies, when the US stopped running breeder programs and reprocessing spent fuel based on the arguement that we couldn't stop the isotopes from falling into the hands of terrorists - various parts of the shutdown were started back in both the Carter and Reagan administrations, by people who were Homeland Security type policy wonks, who went to work for Oil companies after leaving the public sector. In other words, - generally right wing, even under a Democrat president. Movements to develop Thorium power have been opposed, in large part, because Thorium designs can't produce Plutonium for nuclear weapons use, again, something the right wing cares about much more than the left, which mostly wants to stop making more bombs at all. Yes, there are plenty of people in the environmental (green party) left who don't like nuclear power or nuclear deterance, but by singleing just them out for all the blame and ignoring the ones on the other side of the political spectrum, you have accomplished two things - you've helped kill the thing you desire, and you've taught the ones on the right that they can count on what Stalin called useful idiots. Making nuclear power all about right v. left is being played for a fool.

3 days ago
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Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

Artifakt Re:Let's do the math (306 comments)

Now you're out of SF and just spewing outright fantasy! ;-)

3 days ago
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Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

Artifakt Re:Let's do the math (306 comments)

Even though he's probably right, it's unimportant - let's assume you're right, there really is some way to move at at least a high fraction of c, and even that it can open the stars themselves to humans. - WE certainly won't be looking for life in other galaxies before we have even looked around our own. We won't be looking for life closer to our own galactic core before we have looked at the immediate neighborhood in our own spiral arm. We won't even be looking as close as Tau Ceti until after we have checked our own solar system in such places as Titan and Europa, if we even get that far. Most probably, we won't be looking at Europa at all until we have proven the technology to tell absolutely and for sure if Mars has life. This whole discussion is like a young person speculating about what they would do after they have more money than Warren Buffett, before they have actually made their first million. The time to start speculating is after you've made a few hundred million or even a full billion or so.

4 days ago
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Nuclear Weapons Create Their Own Security Codes With Radiation

Artifakt Re:This is the voice of world control. (104 comments)

You left out his tragic end, drowning after his cruise ship hit an iceberg, and being replaced by his clone, Victor 2. Plus, if I recall correctly, there's some other monkey business in Dr. Forbin's sad history.

4 days ago
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Laser Creates Quantum Whirlpool

Artifakt Re: I thought the distinction was arbitrary alread (59 comments)

Then the mod system was abused by somebody who either doesn't understand what simple English means or deliberately chose to misuse their tiny, trivial amount of power, probably because they have such a lack of a real life that they actually get an ego boost from it. Why are you sticking up for that?

about two weeks ago
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Real Steampunk Computer Brought Back To Life

Artifakt Re:But alas (81 comments)

,,, and this and other early examples used all the luminiferous aether up, which is why there isn't any now. More proof, if any was needed, that "Science" only creates self fuffilling prophecies to keep its priesthood in jobs. ;-)

about two weeks ago
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US DOE Sets Sights On 300 Petaflop Supercomputer

Artifakt Re:Ehhh Meh (127 comments)

Well, you could just actually test old and unrefurbished nukes to see just what all those decay products accumulating beneath their shells do, or you could just simulate it. No wait, the politicians have sworn off all actual testing, you can only simulate. Back in the 2000's Supercomputers were all we had to tell us what was in the decomissioned former Soviet nukes they were asking us to open up and get the Plutonium out of - some were seven to ten years behind scheduled maintenance and nobody was sure just what had built up in it, but the Russians still had Chernobyl in their minds and would love to comply with the treaty by destroying it, it was just their technicians were getting readings as soon as they opened up the outer casings that convinced them they would have died if they had gone any further.
          It's no accident that most of the US title holders for fastest supercomputer have been built at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The whole US supercomuting program to date has cost much less than one decay induced explosion releasing the sort of stew of Polonium, Americium, and other incredibly virulently radioactive glop that builds up in old nukes, simply because all the possible scenarios are so ultimately nasty, as in covering the area of 100 Chernobyl's nasty.

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

Artifakt Re:ATTlas... (308 comments)

Atlas Shrugged is actually a mixed bag on that point. You have scenes where crooked businessmen like Orren Boyle or James Taggert act to manipulate the National Legislature, but then you have remarks in the authorial voice, or from the mouths of the heroes such as Galt and d'Anconia, where she claims it's always people in the government creating laws that encourage bribery and corruption of basically honest businessmen, not the other way around. It's incredibly easy to quote A.S. as support for the whole "Government isn't the solution, government is the problem." school of thought. Perhaps if you actually described what happens as businessmen and government agencies interact in various parts of the book, you might get a more nuanced version of Rand's views on that subject.
              But that makes the book at least a technical failure. Because a work where some priveleged character gets what they say rubber stamped by the author is a form of Mary-Sueism. Having scenes where a valid or complex theme is developed, but having all the good lines become soundbites for a much more simplified version of that theme, is a case of an author not having the skill to do their theme justice. That's really why it's a shame that A. S. is often the first long, complex work that a lot of 14 to 17 year olds read. I could criticise Catcher in the Rye for being somewhat of a Mary Sue book in the same way - it's not enough to make a book terrible, but it, too, is not a good book for a young person to pick up too early, before they've done some other serious reading.

about two weeks ago
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Philae Lands Successfully On Comet

Artifakt Re:second picture (188 comments)

That's amazing - you've finally come up with a convincing argument why teenage girls aren't the foundation of all wisdom. I would never have suspected that!

about two weeks ago
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Philae Lands Successfully On Comet

Artifakt Re:second picture (188 comments)

Based on numerous examples, it's acceptable on /. to whoosh at the very presence of idocy, funny or not. Predeclared cases invoking this rule are also the only cases where a first party follow-up whoosh (FPFW, pronounced Fip-Fwu) is acceptable, but I'm going to be socially responsible and wait to see who's dumb enough to set themselves up for one and not just hand them out like candy. Don't even ask about Meta-Whooshes - The Foo-Whoosh, Bar-Whoosh and their ilk are for situations which cannot happen unless /. fixes their text encoding.

about two weeks ago
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The Strangeness of the Mars One Project

Artifakt Re: It's a scam (246 comments)

I'm a big fan of every single one of these things you mention, from more leisure, to equitable resource distribution, to political and social sanity in general. I'd add some things like educating many more people much closer to their true potential, moving away from a permanent wartime economy, curing the vast bulk of unaddressed diseases and finding the answers to a great number of fundamental mysteries of science. However, all these things make a good case for a counter-argument.
            This is, all of the economic models we widely use seem to run counter to achieving every single one of those things. Dismissing the "space-nutters" on any grounds relating to economy means we are using the same tools that seem to prove we can't have a more leisure focused society (or even to count a 30 hr .week as fulltime for any benefits). It's using the same tools that are moving us constantly away from equitable resource distribution, to 'prove' that what the 'space nutters' want doesn't make sense. It's letting failed ideas such as gave us trickle-down economics and perpetual austerity tell us what, if anything, we can do in space.
              That's one reason I'm putting 'nutters' in single quotes. We should preserve some respect for them, because it is quite possible that if we came up with computer algorythms for food distribution that were a tremendous step towards making sure everyone got enough to eat, the same sort of math might show that the cost benefit ratios of something like a Mars colony made a lot more sense than we thought. I keep remembering the economic arguments against high speed trains in the USA, that 'show' high speed rail doesn't work in any of those other countries that ARE making it work either., or all the puffery about why the USA can't have nice internet because it only works for densely populated nations such as Canada, or ones that don't have cold weather like Japan and Korea, or whatever BS it is this week. Until we start moving solidly toward at least some of these planet-side goals we are discussing, we may never be able to realistically judge just how nutty a given goal in space really is, or isn't.

about two weeks ago
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The Largest Kuiper Belt Object Isn't Pluto Or Eris, But Triton

Artifakt Re:Does the rock run Linux? (61 comments)

Eris and its moon were provisionally Zena and Gabrielle for working names. Sometimes I wish the IAU wasn't so formal. I'm also old enough to remember 70's era suggestions that if successors to Pluto were found, they should be Mickey, Goofy, Donald, and so on. I understand people feeling this is serious, formal, black tie dinner stuff and wanting to keep the humor out, but I keep thinking of how The Culture's starships feel about accusations they need to cultivate more gravitas.
            It used to be we were respecting Classical Greek and Roman culture with Astronomical naming, even though very few people actually beleived in those names as gods anymore. Then we got less dismissive of various Esquimaux, Nordic, Polynesian and other cultures, but it's still all about religions most people don't believe in anymore, just more inclusive of all the different ones. Being culturally inclusive of all the religions that can't field a modern army but none of the ones that can seems like the least justifiable cultureall sensitivity of all.
            Meanwhile, the special rituals of my people involve combining large amounts of H2 and O2, compressing Plutonium spheres, and wiggling electrons more and more quickly. Most of the other cultures alive seem to have even odder rituals, like bashing any persons standing too near crude oil sources and taking it, pretending all our wiggling electrons are their real money, or country-western music. If we're going to be absolutley dripping with gravitas, how is it that naming a new object after some other cultures old god or goddess show cultural sensitivity, but naming it after a historic person of their culture doesn't?

about three weeks ago
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'Star Wars: Episode VII' Gets a Name

Artifakt Re:No thank you (267 comments)

It's hard to blame anybody else for screwing up Star Trek with Time Travel, given the original series had time travel by Slingshot maneuver around a stellar mass, the Guardian of Forever, visiting a planet that looks just like Roaring 20's Chicago or Alternate History Rome, and something involving roling in the snow with a fur clad Mariette Hartley. There's at least 5 different ways to get displaced in time in TOS, It's the series biggest weak spot. Some of these were very good episodes - City on the Edge of Forever is certainly one of the top ten SF videos of the decade, even if video includes full feature length films. But, taken as a group, they leave the viewer thinking any plot problems can be fixed by the end of the episode, by using one of the many forms of time travel available.

about three weeks ago
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'Star Wars: Episode VII' Gets a Name

Artifakt Re:No thank you (267 comments)

Midiclorians is a special grade of boner - it doesn't make sense, goes against the existing continuity, AND if it's true, the whole moral stance of the Jedi is a lie (as in, they don't get more power by meditating, learing to control their emotions (all that stuff Yoda was teaching Luke in the original series), and somehow becoming morally fit to serve as the galaxy's force for order and niceness, their power comes simply from being genetically prone to high Midiclorian counts). Midiclorians mean no one can become even the poorest grade Jedi by trying to follow all of Yoda's teachings, even if they practice for their entire lives. All that talk about not giving in to fear because it leads to anger is just guff to manipulate the masses. This is all something the film that introduced Midiclorians specifically announced was affected by heredity, and the whole point is reinforced by Luke being a descendent of the most powerful Midiclorian bearer known.
          With Midiclorians, the Jedi are genetic superhumans who lie to the rest of the galaxy and only claim their authority comes from their moral code and devout worship of the Force. The Jedi and Sith become nothing but two cabals of hidden Nazi Ubermensches, and whichever one wins will continue lying to the common people, practicing cynical realpolitik, but neither group will really believe in such values as truth, democracy, or freedom - the Jedi will just use their lies to put the old Princess system back into power instead of the new Emperor. I quit watching the series after that, because I fully expected the next movie would reveal Yoda was a cannibal necrophiliac and Han's grandmother was really Heinrich Himmler. Frankly, Star Wars would have to stand on a stack of Wookies equal to the total number of Midiclorians every Jedi in history was infected with, just to be able to see the slimy underbelly of the morally bankrupt ending to Ralph Bakshi's Wizards. (Which was repugnant, if funny, but much more palatable than what Star Wars became).

about three weeks ago
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New Particle Collider Is One Foot Long

Artifakt Re:NEXT Thing you know. (161 comments)

Nonsense, if YOU personally caused the rise of feminism, my ex-wife would clearly be wrong, and of course that's impossible.

about three weeks ago
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Boo! The House Majority PAC Is Watching You

Artifakt Summary is misleading (468 comments)

The summary starts by mentioning the House Majority Pac, and then segues to a claim a Democratic Pac wants to push people to vote. The House is, of course, where the Republicans have the majority, not the Democrats. Both sides aren't doing it, one side is.

about a month ago
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Creationism Conference at Michigan State University Stirs Unease

Artifakt Re:Why at a place of learning? (1007 comments)

There are more Christians (by denomination) who don't believe in Biblical Inerrancy, and more English speaking Christians who don't beleive the KJV is the best or only correct translation, than vice versa. One of the big points people like Luther and Wesley claimed for the Protestant Reformation, was that the Bible was sufficient for grace - not infalliable, and particularly not an infallible guide to matters of ethics, science, or politics. It's a minority of spin-offs of spin-off churches that have adopted Inerrancy as a position, and in claiming all true Christians believe that, they are not just supporting Creationism (and Young Earth Creationism in particular), they are saying that a whole lot of the people who disagree with them are Heretics, That's just the sort of thing that needs exposed to the general public. This is precisely the problem with closing off Universities to such debates as creationism. Limit the debates to a particular someone's church, and how can there be any neutral ground to address the underlieing assumptions of the Creationists, and how does anyone expect anyone to change their mind if you can't address any of the underlieing assumptions?
        Anne Coulter wrote a book about how many Christian denominations were not really Christian, because they tended to vote 'Liberal'. Should that claim and all related politics be off limits at universities and only debated in those churches that actually believe only Republicans are going to Heaven? Do we stop having televised debates between candidates until a sufficiently small percentage of churches are equating Republicanism with Jesus, and how small is sufficiently?

about a month ago

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