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Comment: Re:Minecraft itself is a phenomenon, but (Score 1) 330

by Apharmd (#47909227) Attached to: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion
How long is your "long run"? 5 years? 10? I know Minecraft has had some pretty serious legs on the NPD sales charts, but will MC merchandise be relevant for long enough to recoup that investment? It just seems to me like Microsoft is getting on board late in the game, and that they overpaid.

Comment: Re:Seems reasonable (Score 1) 462

by Apharmd (#47893575) Attached to: CBC Warns Canadians of "US Law Enforcement Money Extortion Program"

Grow up. Any country looks bad when compared to a perfect castle in the sky. For almost 2 centuries the United States stood tall among the nations of the world.

My ancestors were African slaves in Mississippi/etc. I'd like to borrow the rose-tinted glasses that you are wearing.

Comment: Re:Well at least they saved the children! (Score 1) 790

You would think so. In a way, it's lucky that they don't. Google could use a similar technology to the one that some digital forensics software does, which actually analyzes the pictures themselves. Basically, an algorithm matches the percentage of pixels that fall in certain color ranges and matches them to known illegal images. It's not a home-run like an identical file hash, and requires human intervention, but we have had some success with it in instances that involve a very large number of files.

Comment: Re:Because of the Limited Lifespan? (Score 2) 202

by Apharmd (#45296183) Attached to: Panasonic Announces an End To Plasma TVs In March

Have you ever owned a Plasma? They die... all the time. I had 3 plasmas die in as many years. I've had the same LCD for 7 years now. Every time I go over to someones house and their TV has a giant glitchy white or black stripe running down the screen I know they have a plasma. I'm sure there are some success stories but when even the $7k+ luxury models have higher failure rates, that technology needs to die.

That's funny, I just pulled a plasma off of the wall yesterday at one of our remote offices (getting rid of local workstation/security camera display). It was an old ED (480p) display TH-42PHD5UY, model year 2002. This thing still works just fine. Additionally, Panasonic has, in the past, scored pretty well for TV reliability. Yes, the black/white stripe is a (rare) plasma-specific failure. LCDs have their own failures, like bunches of dead pixels in the center of the screen. I'm not sure why you were modded "5, Interesting". We can all post anecdotes about how something is reliable or unreliable.

Comment: The "best" product didn't win. (Score 3, Interesting) 202

by Apharmd (#45294159) Attached to: Panasonic Announces an End To Plasma TVs In March
At least by the metric of visual quality. Plasmas have pretty much led LCD TVs in that arena for the entire period where both technologies competed from the same screen size/price range. This includes the 2013 model year HDTVs- Panasonic's VT-series plasmas were consistently rated as the best-quality displays by most reputable reviewers. Now once you start looking at other elements, like LCDs requiring less power, not being subject to burn-in, better peak brightness, and so on, the competition becomes closer, but I would have liked to think that pure visual quality would have kept Panasonic in the market at least a while longer.

This is pretty much the end of another display technology. Panasonic and Samsung were the last two plasma manufacturers targeting the mid- to high-end display market with their own panels.

Comment: This is an amazing feature (Score 3, Insightful) 171

by Apharmd (#44924133) Attached to: Xbox One's HDMI Pass-Through Can Connect PS4, PCs and More
for users who are disappointed that their cable company isn't showing them enough ads. No, but seriously, this feature sucks. You get voice-activated input swapping, but when you go to the Xbone's interface to swap it shows a pane completely bordered by advertisements ala Idiocracy. Who would find such a thing desirable?

Comment: You are hitting a lot of different things here. (Score 1) 344

by Apharmd (#44760549) Attached to: Martin Luther King Jr's Children In Court Over MLK IP

MLK's legacy has largely been decimated by those who claim to support him the most.

One of his most famous sayings was that he had a dream that his four children would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

People like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who are now seen as civil rights leaders, basically threw that out completely.and shit on it at almost every turn. Groups like the NAACP are pushing for criminal prosecution of, for example, the rodeo clown who made fun of Obama, even though people in much bigger areas of the limelight have done much worse things to make fun of other presidents.

Jackson and Sharpton are a mixed bag, like many public figures. Some of the causes that they pick up are more noble than others. I agree that hate speech ought to be protected where it doesn't directly incite violence. The NAACP is wrong to try and criminalize mockery of the president; that's one of the things that separates the United States from countries like Russia, where mockery of the leader is verboten.

George Zimmerman would never have seen prosecution if he was black or Trayvon was white; guilty or not the evidence just wasn't there which is why they originally chose not to prosecute, and only did so after pressure from racial groups, which goes to show that in America, now the only requirement for prosecution is that public opinion be against you regardless of whether or not you can be proven guilty.

I don't think you can say this. There have been numerous other Americans tried when they murdered another person and claimed self-defense. Trying Zimmerman was not a race thing. Not trying Zimmerman was what many of us felt was a race thing. Maybe there was enough evidence to convict and maybe the prosecution did a poor job; maybe there wasn't enough evidence and the verdict was correct. However, Zimmerman was charged, as he should have been in a case where there was some doubt as to how valid his self-defense claim was.

And how are programs like affirmative action following in that spirit? They tell you that, for example, if you have slanted eyes then you immediately deserve lower preference than anybody, but if you have black skin then you automatically get to be first in line.

What a joke the civil rights movement has become.

How does affirmative action make the civil rights movement a joke? It was one of the movement's crowning achievements. You do realize that affirmative action was instituted to counteract widespread institutional discrimination against African-Americans, Native-Americans, Hispanics, women, and so on, right? Are you claiming that institutional discrimination no longer exists, and that the need for affirmative action is no longer there? I totally disagree, and I think information such as this supports me.

There will come a day when AA is hurting more than it is helping. I don't believe we have reached that day, yet.

Comment: Re:Justice Has Been Served? (Score 4, Interesting) 491

by Apharmd (#44633259) Attached to: Bradley Manning Sentenced To 35 Years

"He has taken what Bush did further than Bush ever dreamed "

that is completely false. Frankly, it's getting old and has been factual shot down 1000 times.

Obama did expand drone strikes in his first year in office. He did assassinate American citizens, which Bush didn't dare do. You cannot say that statement is completely false.

I think Obama is actually more dangerous than Bush. Bush was a bit of a buffoon; a caricature of a Texas cowboy or a "Joe Everyman" (neither are accurate, but that's how he presents himself. Obama comes across as more refined, more intelligent, more compassionate. He promised transparency, an end to Gitmo, and a renewed focus on diplomacy over military intervention. The current president won a Nobel Peace Prize as the world hoped he'd be the change he preached! But, by his actions, he is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

I blame myself too. I voted for Obama, twice. The second time I did so with my nose pinched shut. When our broken system gives you two choices, "bad" and "worse", then sometimes you just have to hold your nose and do the practical thing rather than the right one. I didn't vote in 2000 because both candidates were flawed,and sometimes I think that the many of us who abstained from the process during that election set the stage for a lot of the mess that we're in today as a nation.

FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies.

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