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Laser Creates Quantum Whirlpool

prisoner-of-enigma Next up... (59 comments)

Next up, Halo light bridges!

about a week ago
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Sweden Considers Adding "Sexism" Ratings To Video Games

prisoner-of-enigma Re:More detailed ratings are a good thing (639 comments)

On the flip-side of this though is the MPAA. They are not a government organization, nor are they mandated by the government. They do possess quite the power to stop certain things from being shown in movie theaters though. Plenty of producers have forced the editing of movies so they could avoid certain ratings. And we are not even allowed to know who the people are who produce the ratings, or how they are created. It is a black box that controls what gets shown in theaters. Check out the movie "This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006)" [imdb.com] if you want more details.

Ironically, the MPAA you cite possesses no power that the public doesn't give it voluntarily. The MPAA puts ratings on its movies. Movie theaters show these movies to the public. These theaters are under no obligation to ban unrated movies. That they have collectively decided to do so is a social phenomenon, not a regulatory one.

In this sense, the MPAA has no more power than, say, Consumer Reports Magazine. If I decide to open a theater chain showing any movie, regardless of rating, nobody can stop me. But my success will depend upon the public's willingness to ignore that lack of rating. Honestly, it might make a fun social experiment to see what would happen, but I lack the funds and time to do it. I suspect the results would surprise the MPAA, as social and moral attitudes have changed markedly in the last several decades. I don't think many people really care all that much about ratings anymore. It should be enough to note if a movie contains "adult content" or is "suitable for children" and that's about it.

about a week ago
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Scientists Optimistic About Getting a Mammoth Genome Complete Enough To Clone

prisoner-of-enigma Re:I can see the curiosity aspect.. (187 comments)

Can't you be spending your time doing something more productive?

Consider that any successful experience in cloning anything adds to our knowledge base about cloning. By perfecting cloning, we can do a lot more than just bring back extinct species. We could, for example, grow entirely new organs cloned from your body to replace damaged or failing ones, organs that could be transplanted into you without fear of tissue rejection. Further, the practice of being able to reliably modify cells at the genetic level can lead to all sorts of other benefits in medicine, biology, and even far-flung fields as nanotechnology when you consider the scale you have to work in.

The whole "can't you spend your time/money better" argument is pretty short-sighted when you consider the enormous ancillary benefits. It's like saying why bother going to the moon when you can spend money on Earth. But without that impetus, we might not have the very computers and Internet you're currently using to read this post, or lasers to correct your vision, or lightweight, strong materials used to make the planes you fly on, or the fuel cells used to power zero-emission vehicles, or...you get the idea.

Stop thinking in checkers. Think chess. It's not the current move that matters; it's the move you make three moves from now that wins the game.

about a week ago
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Drone Sightings Near Other Aircraft Up Dramatically

prisoner-of-enigma These idiots are going to ruin it for everyone (132 comments)

Expect to see them heavily regulated or banned soon.

Exactly how are they going to ban them? Short of banning them completely from stores -- a heavy-handed move that would likely meet significant legal obstacles -- they're going to be out there. You can't control where people fly these things, either. You could try jamming commonly-used RC frequencies to stop people from manually flying them here or there, but you can't stop someone who might pre-program a GPS-guided drone to deliberately go into controlled airspace without also jamming GPS -- and that would piss off too many people. And if that fails, really determined bad guy/idiot could put together an inertial guidance setup and *still* get into your airspace.

The only way to be sure is to shoot them down, but that's also impractical. These things are here to stay. I'm not saying I like it anymore than you because, I agree, some fool is going to fly their shiny quadcopter into the intake of a plane during takeoff and kill a bunch of people. I just don't see a way to stop them that's both legal (i.e. respects the safe, legal use of drones for legitimate purposes) and practical (you can't just shoot them all down).

about two weeks ago
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The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

prisoner-of-enigma Re:the solution: (651 comments)

Technology has been in an arms race between arms and armor since the first man picked up a stick. One thing that stands out is that armor always is playing catch up. I don't see that changing. Even a mythical force shield would just create the atmosphere for a weapon designed to pierce it.

The issue here isn't to go after the weapons. Nor is the issue to develop defenses against the weapons. The issue is to go after the men and the mentality that would use them for ill. If this sounds like racial profiling and pro-active anti-terror ops, you're right. I'm not debating the morality of them, I'm just saying I see no other option.

about 2 months ago
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The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

prisoner-of-enigma Re:the solution: (651 comments)

The truly scary time will come when the same is true of more serious weapons, like chemical, biological, or even nuclear weapons. As technology progresses these may become more accessible to individuals as well. It will be an interesting world when the disgruntled kid at school can just blow up the city instead of shooting up the school.

Agreed. And the worst part is, I don't see a way to defend against it in a passive sense. Imagine, if you will, a scenario were a single bad guy could personally possess and use a weapon with the capability of killing tens of thousands of people. It's not a big stretch to see that coming to pass in the next half century. If such a weapon were easily portable, easily concealable...what can you do to stop it? The answer is, you can't. At least not once the weapon is in his possession and close to the target.

As offensive as it may seem to civil libertarians, isolationists, and non-interventionists, the only way to stop such an attack would be to pre-emptively seek out such plots and terminate them in their infancy. Waiting until they're actualized is too late. How can civil liberties be preserved in such a scenario? I honestly don't know. People won't tolerate a government that won't protect them. Nor will they tolerate an external entity -- state or non-state -- that incubates such activities. The world is going to be a much more dangerous place sooner than anyone thinks.

about 2 months ago
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The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

prisoner-of-enigma Re:the solution: (651 comments)

No, if a cop/soldier shoots and kills someone, it's much better PR for the government if that person is armed.

The best martyrs are unarmed and offer only passive resistance.

But you miss the point. If I'm unarmed, the government has no need to use deadly force to remove me. A few flashbangs and a SWAT team and there's very little I could do about it without my own stash of firepower.

about 2 months ago
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Lost Opportunity? Windows 10 Has the Same Minimum PC Requirements As Vista

prisoner-of-enigma Missing the point (554 comments)

I think this minimum spec idea misses the point. We're talking about an operating system, not an application. The OS should provide a platform (and, to a certain extent, services) upon which users will run the applications that actually get things done. The OS shouldn't have huge minimum specs because it's supposed to be relatively unobtrusive. When we start trying to load the OS down with all kinds of things that ought to be done with apps, we end up with a bloated mess, a one-size-fits-none concept that inconveniences everyone equally. I'd much rather they kept the specs low and pared some of the fluff from the OS instead.

about 2 months ago
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The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

prisoner-of-enigma Re:the solution: (651 comments)

I think your post, while well thought out, misses the point of an armed citizenry. No one is realistically thinking a lightly-armed, poorly-trained citizenry can effectively wage war against a well-equipped, well-trained professional military force. Nor do I think anyone is suggesting a straight up guerrilla-style campaign for asymmetric warfare.

No, the point of an armed citizenry is to give the government pause. An unarmed populace can be brought to heel without much in the way of bloodshed. But an armed populace? Even a lightly-armed one means the government can't just march in and round up potential dissidents. There is the strong possibility of a firefight. Sure, the little guys will probably lose. But it means the government must escalate to lethal force just to get started on whatever nefarious course it may be planning for its citizens.

In a way, it's little like conventional vs. nuclear combat between nation-states. When both sides were purely conventional, wars were fairly common (call this analogous to both sides being armed with swords). When one side has nukes and the other does not, the side with nukes gets its way pretty much whenever it wants without ever having to drop a nuke (analogous to a police state with a disarmed citizenry). But when both sides are equally armed with dangerous weapons that require either side to really think about whether they want to invite a deeply damaging and dangerous conflict...you get very few actual wars (analogous to an armed state and armed citizenry).

If I'm unarmed and the government (for whatever reason) decides I need to be removed, not only can I not stop them, but I probably can't even inflict significant harm on them. They will most likely even take me alive, without a protracted fight. The risk to them in this case, both in blood and bad PR, is minimal.

If I'm armed and the government (for whatever reason) decides I need to be removed, they will most likely succeed. I will, however, most likely succeed in causing casualties and/or making a big PR spectacle of being taken down. I might even achieve martyr status if I'm killed, causing a PR debacle for the government. The government will want to avoid these things, thus they will try to find means other than brute force of arms to remove me. Or they might not remove me at all, deeming the political risk too high. This is why we need to be armed. Not as a credible army-in-waiting, but as a deterrent.

about 2 months ago
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How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

prisoner-of-enigma Re:Ethernet still the best (260 comments)

It still raises the question of exactly what you plan to do data-wise that will require 40Gbit Ethernet. While I admit nobody knows what the future holds, we can make reasonable extrapolations. Word and Excel documents aren't going to magically ballon in size. It's highly unlikely you run a 100TB database on your home server. MP3's and even FLAC audio files aren't magically growing in size, and even some new fangled HD audio format an order of magnitude bigger wouldn't stress GigE. Your Internet connection isn't going to be 40Gbit anytime soon (and even if it was, your ISP is unlikely to provide an upstream link that isn't woefully oversubscribed). Netflix 4K streaming already works fine over typical 20Mbit Internet service. And as I stated in earlier posts, even Blu-ray's, which are the higest definition standard media currently available for sale (with no real successor in sight) peak at 40Mbit/sec with average bitrates well below that.

The only conceivable thing that's even remotely close to logical would be uncompressed 4k video editing. And most people do that off high-speed local storage array or, if you're a big boy, a Fibre Channel array. If you've got the need for a FC array at home...well, my hat's off to you. You're unique.

about 3 months ago
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How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

prisoner-of-enigma Re:Ethernet still the best (260 comments)

Seriously, unless you plan on having the need to stream uncompressed 4K video to every corner of your house, Cat6A is ridiculous overkill. The average Blu-ray video stream is well under 40Mbit/sec, and that's decent HD for almost anyone. 4K could maybe quadruple that (depends on codec) but you STILL have plenty of bandwidth for something like that in plain Gigabit Ethernet. Hell, you could put perhaps 6-8 4K streams on GigE and still be fine.

And there's really no logic in trying to future-proof your home network for something that's not going to be remotely affordable until maybe 10 years from now (have you priced 10Gbit gear lately???). In that time frame, lots of things can and will change and the likelihood of you still wanting AND being able to use that Cat6A for its original purpose is dubious.

about 3 months ago
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How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

prisoner-of-enigma Re:Phones + 1 laptop. (260 comments)

10BaseT? Bah! if you really want them off your lawn you'll put in 4Mbit Token Ring!

about 3 months ago
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China Pulls Plug On Genetically Modified Rice and Corn

prisoner-of-enigma I know... (152 comments)

...somebody forgot to mail their bribe check to the appropriate official. Or perhaps a competitor mailed a bigger check.

about 3 months ago
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Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

prisoner-of-enigma And I want... (727 comments)

And I want a week long orgy with the Victoria's Secret supermodels, but I'm intelligent to know the likelihood of that happening is pretty damned small. Linus should be exhorbitantly happy Linux has made the inroads it has in the server and mobile markets. Desktop, if it ever does follow, will probably not resemble "desktop" as we now know it.

about 3 months ago
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If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

prisoner-of-enigma Re:Who needs oil? (305 comments)

Why would they need to create a new hate conflict? There's plenty of that to go around as is. Arab vs. Jew, black vs. white, East vs. West...it's not like conflict wasn't around before banking cartels, you know.

about 3 months ago
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If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

prisoner-of-enigma Re:Who needs oil? (305 comments)

Fusion would break the stranglehold of petro-exporting countries in the Middle East as well as belligerent exporters like Russia and Iran.

You're assuming said fusion plants would be radically cheaper to construct and operate than existing fission plants...something the anti-nuclear activists would probably complicate despite the obvious benefits of fusion over fission. Never underestimate the public fear of the word "nuclear" even if the processes involved are ridiculously different.

I can hear the rallying cry now: "They want to build a plant that works the same way as a thermonuclear bomb! Do you want a nuclear bomb IN YOUR BACKYARD???"

People are still terrified of fluoride in their water. Can you imagine their reponse to the above?

about 3 months ago
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If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

prisoner-of-enigma The power of the future... (305 comments)

Fusion power is roughly 20 years away from being viable...and has been for the last 40 years LOL.

Seriously, I'll start worrying about proliferation risks when a commercially viable fusion reactor DESIGN is created. Building one -- assuming it's ever viable to begin with -- would take years, which is plenty of time to address proliferation concerns before it came online.

about 3 months ago
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Man-Made "Dead Zone" In Gulf of Mexico the Size of Connecticut

prisoner-of-enigma How big is it? (184 comments)

To put this in perspective, 5,000 sq. mi. is a square about 71 miles on a side. Compare this to the total area of the Gulf (615,000 sq. mi) and you'll see this "dead zone" occupies just 0.8% of the Gulf. Is this something that needs addressing? Absolutely. But it's not some horrific cauldron of death like the headline tries to make it out to be.

about 4 months ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

prisoner-of-enigma Re:I don't see the problem. (667 comments)

It seems that the launch site has been rather precisely determined. Perhaps you missed that memo.

And no matter how much evidence the US or Ukrainian government produces, no matter how detailed and annotated, Russia will dismiss it with a wave of a hand as fabricated, slanted, biased...whatever they want. They'll never admit responsibility.

about 4 months ago
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Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

prisoner-of-enigma Re:I don't see the problem. (667 comments)

What they need to do is to organize UN peacekeeper mission there, not wage proxy war with US.

Yes, because UN peacekeepers have such a long, sterling reputation on stopping stuff like this from happening.

But regardless, the UN will never do anything in this conflict. Russia holds a veto in the Security Council, and they will stop any such measures from ever happening.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Ziff-Davis files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

prisoner-of-enigma prisoner-of-enigma writes  |  more than 6 years ago

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) writes "Ziff-Davis, publishing icon of the 1980's and 1990's and home to such classic two-inch-thick tomes like Computer Shopper, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. ZD lists more than US$500 million in debt with only around US$300 in assets, including ZDNet.com. ZD's assets will likely be sold off to try and pay creditors, but obviously at least US$200 million will never need the light of day. ZD's chief executive Jason Young says the filing will put ZD in a "position poised for wonderful growth," which is management-speak for "things are doomed, get out while you can.""
Link to Original Source
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Toshiba to throw in the towel on HD-DVD

prisoner-of-enigma prisoner-of-enigma writes  |  more than 6 years ago

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) writes "http://www.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSL1643184420080216 Toshiba to give up on HD DVD, end format war: source Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:40am EST By Mayumi Negishi and Kentaro Hamada TOKYO (Reuters) — Toshiba Corp (6502.T: Quote, Profile, Research) is planning to give up on its HD DVD format for high definition DVDs, conceding defeat to the competing Blu-Ray technology backed by Sony Corp (6758.T: Quote, Profile, Research), a company source said on Saturday. The move will likely put an end to a battle that has gone on for several years between consortiums led by Toshiba and Sony vying to set the standard for the next-generation DVD and compatible video equipment. The format war, often compared to the Betamax-VHS battle in the 1980s, has confused consumers unsure of which DVD or player to buy, slowing the development what is expected to be a multibillion dollar high definition DVD industry. Toshiba's cause has suffered several setbacks in recent weeks including Friday's announcement by U.S. retailing giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) that it would abandon the HD DVD format and only stock its shelves with Blu-ray movies. A source at Toshiba confirmed an earlier report by public broadcaster NHK that it was getting ready to pull the plug. "We have entered the final stage of planning to make our exit from the next generation DVD business," said the source, who asked not to be identified. He added that an official announcement could come as early as next week. No one answered the phone at Toshiba's public relations office in Tokyo. NHK said Toshiba would suffer losses running to tens of billions of yen (hundreds of millions of dollars) to scrap production of HD DVD players and recorders and other steps to withdraw from the business. Hollywood studios had initially split their alliances between the two camps, meaning only certain films would play on any one DVD machine. The balance of power tipped decisively toward the Sony camp in January after Time Warner Inc's (TWX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) Warner Bros studio said it would only release high-definition DVDs in Blu-ray format. With that, studios behind some three-quarters of DVDs are backing Blu-ray, although some release in both formats. Toshiba responded by slashing prices of HD DVD players, but the loss of retail support has hurt. In addition to Wal-Mart, consumer electronics chain Best Buy Co Inc (BBY.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and online video rental company Netflix Inc (NFLX.O: Quote, Profile, Research) also recently signed up to the Blu-ray camp. The exclusive backing of Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) was also put in doubt when the software giant said in January that it could consider supporting Blu-ray technology for its Xbox 360 video game machine, which currently works only with HD DVD. Sony has spent large sums of money to promote Blu-ray in tandem with its flat screen TVs and its PlayStation 3 game console, which can play Blu-ray movies. The Toshiba source said the experience would not be a total loss for the sprawling conglomerate, whose products range from refrigerators to power plants, which would learn valuable lessons. "Marketing was a weak point for Toshiba. We learned a lot from HD DVD. Strengthening marketing will continue to be an issue for us going forward," the source said. (Reporting by Mayumi Negishi, Kentaro Hamada and Nathan Layne, editing by Mike Peacock) © Reuters 2007. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world."
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