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Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

gstoddart Re:Update to Godwin's law? (402 comments)

What I don't understand is the lack of concern about security.

Because they don't give a shit about your security or anybody else's, and they're too stupid to realize that by weakening it for them it weakens it for anybody.

They just want unlimited ability to get any piece of data they want without warrant, oversight, or obstacles.

They want it to be illegal for you to have information they can't readily get.

The scary thing is, they couldn't possibly not know that "what about the children" is a bullshit argument designed to get people to go along with it. Every mother in America says "well, if it's to protect the children, it must be good".

In reality, children and terrorism have become the magic keys to unlock the kingdom, and bypass any pesky laws and constitutional protections.

And anybody who disagrees with them is clearly in favor of kiddy fiddlers and terrorists.

If this kind of thing isn't fixed soon, America is marching into becoming a facist state, while pretending to still be defenders of freedom and justice. And people are applauding this as it goes along.

5 hours ago

Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

gstoddart Wow ... (402 comments)

These guys have decided to go straight for the "it's for the children" argument.

It's a stupid argument. It says that in order to protect hypothetical children from hypothetical threats, all people must give up their rights to make it easier for law enforcement to get information without cause or warrant.

And since you've already had your rights taken away, we will also use this for plenty of other things. Like parallel construction of what we charge you for, and whatever else we can think of to misuse this information for.

Fucking lying assholes and fascists.

America is pretty much screwed at this point, and unfortunately, that is affecting everyone else on the damned planet.

Obama is just as happy to create the surveillance state as Bush was. Audacity of Hope is such a fucking lie.

5 hours ago

Earth Gets Another Quasi-Moon

gstoddart Re:This sounds familar... (48 comments)

Sort of. ;-)

The quasi-moons are more moon-like than planet like, because the quasi-moons orbit planets and quasi-planets orbit the sun, so in that regard they're almost entirely different, except for how they're not. =)

If the quasi-moon orbited the sun it would be quasi-planet, but then it's too small, so then it just becomes another piece of space debris with an orbit around the sun. And then it's probably an asteroid. Unless it's a really big asteroid, then it's kind of like a planet. Or possibly a quasi-planet.

It's all very complicated. :-P

7 hours ago

Earth Gets Another Quasi-Moon

gstoddart Hmmm ... (48 comments)

2014 OL339 is awkward. It sounds like it needs a proper name.

How about Quasimoondo?

7 hours ago

The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

gstoddart Re:the solution: (439 comments)

Yeah, and when times changed it got amended. But the right to bear arms hasn't been amended, and until it does, it still stands as the law of the land that all arms are included.

Has the 4th amendment been updated?

Or are you under the illusion that this one amendment is sacrosanct while they crap all over the rest of it?

Because blanket surveillance, property seizure because police lie and say they suspected drugs, and parallel construction are pretty much in violation of your Constitution as well.

Absolutely! How else is the public supposed to support a revolt against tyranny?

Look, you're descending into tyranny now. So, either get on with it, or stop whining about how you'll do it when you get around to it or someone really outlaws jumbo sized soda.

Otherwise, it's just lip service. Your government is already ignoring your Constitution on a large scale, but apparently nobody gives a damn.

7 hours ago

The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

gstoddart Re:the solution: (439 comments)

As are those, who try to limit the Second Amendment

Everyone who isn't an American often finds themselves wondering at your fascination with weapons.

Because in the rest of the world, cops and soldiers are the only ones walking around with weapons, and the only places where people walk around with weapons have generally degraded into a fairly lawless state.

Honestly, it seems uncivilized to many of us.

yet, you chose to ignore them completely

You know, I assumed you were joking about brass knuckles and swords.

I thus doubt your honesty and sincerity here and am unlikely to respond again.

Awww, I'm utterly heartbroken, can you tell?

Do you bitch this loudly about when they violate your first amendment, or your fourth amendment, or your fifth amendment? Or anything else? Or is it just guns in particular you worry yourself about?

Your government is shitting all over your rights, as well as those of everyone else on the planet ... and you're on a screed about being able to carry swords and brass knuckles.

So, you'll excuse me if I discount you as yet another American gun nut who feels he should be allowed to own an assault rifle.

Most of your Constitutional amendments are to correct previous bits of stupidity, like not letting women vote. It's a recognition that situations change and that an overly simplistic set of laws doesn't help anybody.

That implies people think about these problems and seek solutions.

But when it comes to the second amendment, it comes down to "Yarg! Our guns!" (or swords, apparently).

7 hours ago

The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

gstoddart Re:the solution: (439 comments)

you can't even carry a freaking sword

Do you somehow find yourself aggrieved by not being able to carry a sword with you? Is it ruining your cyberpunk look or something?

Or are you just looking for things to kvetch about?

I should think there's very little call for walking around with a sword.

8 hours ago

China Worried About Terrorist Pigeons

gstoddart Hmmm ... (89 comments)

A ceremony at Tiananmen Square would release 10,000 pigeons at sunrise to symbolize an era of peace.

I wonder if any appreciates the dichotomy of those two things.

Because, it's not exactly true.

The Cultural revolution wasn't exactly a shining moment. Or the other reason Tiananmen Square is famous. Or many other things that's happened over the last 6 decades.

10 hours ago

China Worried About Terrorist Pigeons

gstoddart LOL ... (89 comments)

The pigeons' feathers were checked, and they were given a cavity search as well.

Worst ... job ... ever.

"Oh, hey honey, how was your day at work?"
"You know, the usual, stuck my finger into a couple hundred pigeons, just like every other day."
"*sigh* Looks like I need to clean the poop off your uniform again"

10 hours ago

Which Cars Get the Most Traffic Tickets?

gstoddart Re:well thank god im at the bottom of the list. (235 comments)

LOL ... so, "bandwidth of a minivan full of magtape" then?

Why am I picturing Recaro baby seats, five point harnesses all around, a NOS system, and an express ticket to the grocery store/soccer match?

Because, really, the mommy buses often seem to be some of the craziest drivers on the road.

I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've been cut off by someone with one of those "Baby on Board" signs ... I don't know if they think that gives them license to speed, or if they're just assholes. But don't expect me to be extra safe because you have a kid on board when you're driving like an idiot and cutting me off.

You kids and your fancy cars, with the neon running lights and bass which can be heard for miles making the wiki wiki noises, your pants that don't fit, smoking the mary jane, and texting the person across the table from you.

What was I saying? Oh, yeah ... get off my damned lawn.

10 hours ago

Which Cars Get the Most Traffic Tickets?

gstoddart Re:correlation != causation (235 comments)

It's like red cars. They get a higher amount of tickets, apparently.

Is it because cops target red cars? Or because people who buy red cars are more likely to drive fast?

Who knows.

In the case of the WRX, I'm not surprised ... this is a car which can break any posted speed limit in North America while still accelerating in second gear. I remember being in a friend's as he merged into traffic ... and we went from surface street speeds to passing the cars on the highway in a really short period.

I was quite impressed, since my non-turbo Impreza seemed plenty speedy to me prior to that. Though, I was just as happy with my slower version.

11 hours ago

Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

gstoddart The cost? (475 comments)

But you would also need a lot of cargo to support those people. In fact, your cargo to person ratio is going to be quite high. It would probably be 10 cargo trips for every human trip, so more like 100,000 trips. And we're talking 100,000 trips of a giant spaceship.

And what is the cost, both in terms of resources and pollution, of launching 100,000 times? Even if you kept it in orbit and brought people up to it it's a huge cost.

And I'm betting 100,000 launches is more than have been done in all of history. By a rather large amount, I'd think.

As usual, when I hear futurists telling us about the awesome the future will be ... I find myself thinking "this is impractical, way more than anybody will ever be able to afford, and probably never going to happen".

It sounds like we'd need to pretty much strip the Earth of resources to pull this off, and unless Musk is paying this out of his own damned pocket, I think the entire idea is doomed to fail. And that doesn't change the fact that you're diverting a huge amount of resources for a relatively small percentage of humanity.

This is flying cars, Mr Fusion, and a vast amount of engineering, plus ponies, unicorns, and cats living with dogs ... all in one big overly-optimistic ball of fantasy.

The sheer amount of energy required to do this is so mind boggling as to make the whole idea laughable.

I think the romantic idea of space colonization is pretty cool. But I don't really think it's quite as viable as people like to think it is. At least not with current energy requirements and sources.

11 hours ago

David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

gstoddart Re:FP? (790 comments)

Don't know about you, but my car's speedometer has ... gasp ... both kph and mph on it.

I can magically change from Canada to the US and back again, and still know what speed I'm going in the correct units.

It's really quite a marvelous invention to apply two scales to a dial. I've even seen some of them new-fangled digital ones where you could change all of the units pretty easily. Imagine, the same car can display either at the touch of a button.

Sorry, but requiring car makers to make it possible to have both has been a solved problem for a couple of decades now.

Besides, if it's anything like over here, nobody is going to pay attention to the speed limit anyway. :-P

13 hours ago

Grooveshark Found Guilty of Massive Copyright Infringement

gstoddart Re:Now sharing music is illegal? (161 comments)

Now sharing ANY music is illegal?

If the copyright cartel had their way, any piece of technology which could possibly be used for things they don't approve of would be illegal.

They've been trying very hard to get that for years. If they keep bribing the right people, they might eventually get it.


Robotic Taster Will Judge 'Real Thai Food'

gstoddart Re:Say what? (102 comments)

Gordon Ramsey is not a culinary genius. I think you miss the whole point of the shows if you get that idea. He's a business chef and his goal is to make money, not to make food necessarily taste great.

Except, you don't get Michelin stars just for nothing. He trained under Michelin star chefs.

He's turned that into a lot of restaurants, a lot of money, and a lot of fame.

You may or may not like Ramsey (not everybody does, and that's fair), but if you think he's "just a business chef" out to make money, you're woefully unaware of the fact that he's a real chef, who worked in, and now owns, restaurants with Michelin stars. Which is about the snootiest rating for a restaurant you can get, given out by hard core foodies.

By the time you're there, you have some pretty mad skills, and a pretty refined palate. In fact, far better than most.

He probably knows more about food, and what it's supposed to taste like, than most professional chefs ever will.

Is he the greatest chef ever? Probably not. Is he one of the better chefs around today? He's certainly up in the lists.


Microsoft Announces Windows 10

gstoddart Re:we are DOOOMED!!! (633 comments)

based on previous rollouts, we are doomed. xp - good, vista - garbage

You know, vista wasn't terrible if you threw enough resources at it.

I've been running it on a quad-core machine with 8GB of RAM since 2009. It's my daily desktop.

And I can honestly say I've been quite happy with it. Which, I know isn't something you hear every day. :-P


HP Introduces Sub-$100 Windows Tablet

gstoddart Re:Battery life? (181 comments)

Can we stop with the "Windows on less than X amount of RAM is unusable" rhetoric?

Rhetoric??? Really??

Sorry, but in my experience recent versions of Windows are using almost 2GB of RAM on system startup. My wife's work laptop had (until recently) 4GB of RAM ... and by the time it booted and had one program running on it, it was already thrashing. It was slow to the point of being painful.

My mother owns a laptop with Vista and 1GB of RAM on it .. and doing anything on it is pathetic.

It wasn't true then and with multicore processors and SSDs, it's even less true now.

The speed of your processor is completely irrelevant if all it's doing it paging to VM.

I've said for years, if you want to get the most longevity and usefulness out of a computer, don't worry about buying a faster CPU, buy a truck load more memory -- because over time everything wants more damned memory.

When my wife's work laptop got upgraded from 4GB to 12GB, the speed and the utility of the machine changed drastically ... as in, actual multi-tasking worked because the machine wasn't thrashing. It went from "it's still booting, I can't start task manager" to "it's still booting, but I can start task manager, launch Outlook, AND fire up a VM". Because it's no longer wasting all of it's time paging.

It has been true since Windows 3 that if you run Windows with the minimum Microsoft suggested, you'd have a useless machine which did everything slowly. And this was when computers came with more like 4MB of RAM.

When Vista came out, it was pretty much unusable with anything less than what seemed like a vast amount of memory at the time, certainly more than was in most systems at the time.

If you think saying Windows with not enough RAM is rhetoric, either you don't use computers much, or you're entirely too willing to put up with a machine which is too damned slow.

Put a full version of Windows onto a tablet with a small amount of RAM, and you most certainly will end up with a slow and useless device.

Rhetoric my ass. It was true then, and it's true now. Windows with insufficient RAM is a dog.


Microsoft Announces Windows 10

gstoddart Wait, what? (633 comments)

So, most people still prefer Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 is only slowly getting market share and people apparently don't like it much, Windows 9 is supposed to come out this fall ... and somehow we're also expecting a Windows 10 next year?

Does Microsoft think people will pay them annually for an upgrade? Or that we'll buy new machines to run this new thing?? They might be sorely disappointed with that.

With the new version of the operating system, they'll be unifying the application platform for all devices: desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones

Hmmm ... so they're going to have one big enormous bloated build for all platforms? Is that what this means?

Right, because your phone should carry all of the bloat which goes along with a server.

And, once again, one wonders if Microsoft really has any understanding of the mobile market.

Unless your phone has the same specs as your desktop, this isn't really going to be workable, is it?

I commend them for finally adding virtual desktops ... a feature they've only occasionally realized people actually want, but the rest of this just makes me think they've lost the plot a little.


HP Introduces Sub-$100 Windows Tablet

gstoddart Battery life? (181 comments)

All are running Intel chips and full Windows

A full windows install with Intel chips isn't exactly tuned for mobile battery performance.

So will these things have an exceedingly short battery life?

And I'm betting they will have so little memory as to be unusable -- because Windows with anything less than 4G is a complete dog in my experience.

I predict a terrible product on this one.



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