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Comment Re:Why, oh, why.... (Score 1) 35

I knew this would be the reaction to this article. It's got the two things that trigger certain posters: nuclear and women.

The nuclear fans hate everything that suggests that the disasters were worse than their preferred statistics suggest. The misogynists need no explanation. Here we have a book about how terrible a nuclear accident was, written by a woman.

Comment Re:Don't worry, rasing the minimum wage will kill (Score 0) 193

What colour is the sky in your fantasy land?

The same argument was made when minimum wage was first introduced. The same argument is made every time it goes up. In every case it just creates more jobs and more prosperity. More money in people's pockets, to spend on the economy instead of being hoarded by corporations.

Comment Re:Too little, too late (Score 2) 211

The MacRumors tests are less realistic than the Geekbench tests. MacRumors ran videos, which are mostly decided by the GPU and fetched by the WiFi or cellular modems. The CPU does very little when playing YouTube videos.

The Geekbench tests are a mix of different real world activities, like browsing, games and app use. Unless all you do is watch YouTube on a tiny screen for hours on end Geekbench is the more realistic test.

Comment Re:Too little, too late (Score 3, Informative) 211

Yep, it's most likely a problem with the design. Shrinking from 16nm to 14nm isn't simply a case of scaling your design files by 87.5%, you have to make separate ones. You can carry over most of the high level design and layout, but the computer has to re-synthesise the detailed transistor structure, you might have to use different cache memory, different power and voltage management devices etc. 14nm is a different process, it's not just a slightly better focus on a lens or something.

So the two were never going to be exactly the same, and chances are it's just that the 16nm design is a bit better optimized. Could be that it makes better use of the materials used, could be that the computer did a better job on synthesis, could be a number of things. I really doubt that Samsung sabotaged it though.

Comment Re:Too little, too late (Score 5, Informative) 211

They have a history of doing this too, because like like to have two suppliers competing. Most of the time no-one cares, but for example a few years back they had all those dodgy "retina" LCDs on their laptops. There were two suppliers, LG and Sharp, and all the LG ones were prone to ghosting while the Sharp ones were fine.

The only thing customers could do is keep taking the laptops back when ghosting appeared and hoping that the replacement had a Sharp LCD. I think that's what upset people, the way it was handled. On the other hand I can appreciate that Apple probably didn't want to replace millions of LCD panels if they could avoid it.

This is pretty shitty though, because the lesser of the two CPUs isn't defective and thus the customer can't swap the phone for a better one. They just have to live with reduced battery life and performance on their very expensive new shiny. It will be interesting to see what Apple do. For example, if they ban apps that detect which CPU you have then people will endlessly speculate about why their battery life is crap and keep worrying about it, but if they don't people will demand exchanges. Could affect resale price too.

Comment Re:The money quote (Score 1) 173

They are not proposing a ban outright, they are proposing to ban products that they can't circumvent.

Banks will be able to use encryption because they hand over financial records when asked. Shops will be able to use encryption because they need it and the purchase is logged elsewhere for the government to access anyway.

Facebook, Google and Apple will be banned from using encryption so that the government can simply tap a backbone or two and hoover everything up for later analysis. You won't be able to encrypt your phone unless (every) government (and criminal) is allowed to have a backdoor.

It's best not to straw man this argument. We need more direct arguments against their proposals to make sure that they don't happen, otherwise it looks like we didn't understand them and are thus easy to dismiss and crackpots or idiots.

Comment Re:A remarkable number of people are idiots (Score 1) 309

An IQ of 100 is supposed to be the average, so the test scores would have to be adjusted to make that the case.

I'm sure there would be complaints about the test being harder one year than the next, endless re-takes and the like. One day of Adderall does not make you a genius.

Comment Re:same as guns (Score 1) 173

So making encryption illegal will stop terrorists from using encryption?

Incredibly it seems that it will, at least for some subset of terrorists.

If you head over to Facebook or Twitter you can find lots of people and groups supporting terrorism and encouraging people to become terrorists, e.g. by joining IS or committing crimes. It seems crazy because surely they must know that it isn't safe, that their private Facebook messages are not really private, but actually the security services don't try too hard to catch people this way because they want the intel that Facebook chatter gives them. If you are going to join IS you probably don't care if MI5/the FBI has a file on you, and it's a fertile recruiting ground.

Often the security services do get wind of this stuff and manage to get the data with court orders. What they want is to ban Facebook from encrypting that data as it passed between the user and Facebook's servers, or between Facebook data centres. They want to use their existing backbone "full-take" taps to hoover it up without having to go to all the effort of getting a court order.

Comment Re:A remarkable number of people are idiots (Score 2) 309

Less than 100 IQ, can't vote.

50% of the population can't vote based on a test that you can easily improve at simply by practising.

If you support public officials voting based on religious beliefs you are out

Some people claim atheism is a religion. Also, not all religions are the same, e.g. Buddhists are not nearly as deluded as Christians, who are not nearly as deluded as Muslims, in general terms.

If you don't believe civilians should be able to own any weapon our military is allowed to use, your out.

If you believe any citizen should be able to own a nuclear ICBM or place land mines in the front yard, you're out.

And last but not least if you don't understand that individuals is the only group that includes every citizen and therefore any systematic disregard of individual rights by definition cannot be in the interest of "the community", you are out.

If you think rights are not a balance between opposing forces, and that include both freedom from interference and freedom to prosper and be happy, you are out.

I don't think this is going to work.

Comment Re:A remarkable number of people are idiots (Score 1) 309

Being intelligent doesn't mean you aren't an idiot. Look at the Hitchens brothers. Polar opposites, totally different ideas about how to improve the world, both pretty intelligent guys by all accounts.

This reminds me of that episode of the Simpsons where they put the smart people in charge.

A rock store eventually closed down; they were taking too much for granite.