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Comment: Re:Hillary is a divisive figure *among Democrats* (Score 2) 343

Well, it's an open question of who's living in a fantasy world. I'm actually old enough to remember these people. Show me a Republican today who'd be as aggressive as Nixon on regulation. Who would sign the Clean Water Act, or the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or appoint someone like Elliot Richardson the head of HEW. Nixon also took the single most intrusive act of economic intervention ever by an American president (including FDR): the wage-price freeze. It's fair to say that there's nobody in national politics anywhere on the spectrum that would undertake a step like that. For one thing it was hopeless; there is no way to stop incipient runaway inflation without restricting the money supply and reducing government deficit spending so as to induce a temporary contraction of the economy.


Khronos Group Announces Vulkan To Compete Against DirectX 12 60

Posted by timothy
from the cross-platform-good dept.
Phopojijo writes The Khronos Group has announced the Vulkan API for compute and graphics. Its goal is to compete against DirectX 12. It has some interesting features, such as queuing to multiple GPUs and an LLVM-based bytecode for its shading language to remove the need for a compiler from the graphics drivers. Also, the API allows graphics card vendors to support Vulkan with drivers back to Windows XP "and beyond."

Comment: Re:Hillary is a divisive figure *among Democrats* (Score 1) 341

A generation ago, Hillary was on the left fringe of the Democratic Party. She has not moved right, the Party has moved left.

A generation ago, Paul Wolfowitz was on the left fringe of the Democratic party. People change.

Nelson Rockefeller was to the left of Hillary. So was Richard Nixon.


Inside the North Korean Data Smuggling Movement 49

Posted by timothy
from the western-imperialists-violating-the-kim-family's-rights dept.
Sparrowvsrevolution writes A new Wired magazine story goes inside the North Korean rebel movement seeking to overthrow Kim Jong-un by smuggling USB drives into the country packed with foreign television and movies. As the story describes, one group has stashed USB drives in Chinese cargo trucks. Another has passed them over from tourist boats that meet with fishermen mid-river. Others arrange USB handoffs at the Chinese border in the middle of the night with walkie talkies, laser pointers, and bountiful bribes. Even Kim assassination comedy The Interview, which the North Korean government allegedly hacked Sony to prevent from being released, has made it into the country: Chinese traders' trucks carried 20 copies of the film across the border the day after Christmas, just two days after its online release.

Comment: Hillary is a divisive figure *among Democrats* (Score 5, Interesting) 343

That may surprise people here. The Republicans have done a good job painting her as the quintessential ultra-liberal Democrat, but really she is no such thing. She is, in fact, from the right wing of the party and could have been an establishment Republican a generation ago. She is widely reviled by the left over her vote on the Iraq War Authorization of Military Force (although to be fair, Joe Biden voted for it too and he's seen as generally reliable on liberal issues, as long as he doesn't open his mouth).

On the other hand she's the first really plausible female presidential candidate for a major party, and I think a lot of people who want to see that milestone project a great deal of their hopes on her. But what makes her plausible in the first place is her acceptability to the establishment.

And what makes her acceptable to the establishment is her competence and personal accomplishments; being married to Bill helps. But the Ivy League education, experience in high profile NGOs and partnership in a major law firm mean she's seen as serious by "serious people". But in this case that should be held against her here. She's not like old Uncle Joe (Biden), whose heart is in the right place but who the hell can tell where his mind might go a-wandering; Hillary is someone you expect to have her head in the game. She knew damn well that conducting official business on non-government servers is exactly what people do when they're breaking the law.

I'm neither a Hillary partisan nor a Hillary hater. On the political spectrum I tend to fall a little to the right of the most vocal Democratic base and to the left of the establishment "DLC" wing that dominates the party at the national level. When the Secretary of State does something this fishy, that's a big deal. I think there should be something like a special prosecutor appointed, even though when the words "Clinton" and "special prosecutor" are uttered in the sentence the word "circus" can't be far behind. But then if the special prosecutor finds no indictable offense I'd be happy with that result.

Comment: Re:Crime (Score 1, Interesting) 343

Not really. The really one remaining significant difference between the parties is that public shaming is still a career-ender in the Democratic party. There's no post-scandal career phase as an evangelical preacher, Fox news commentator, or both waiting for guys like Anthony Wiener or William J. Jefferson (the freezer cash guy).

Comment: Re:Won't make it to 50 (Score 3, Interesting) 57

by RogueyWon (#49169707) Attached to: Games Workshop At 40: How They Brought D&D To Britain

It's also been hilarious to watch their long-term relationship with the video games industry. They worked out ages ago that there's money to be made from video games and that they'd like some of it. But how they've gone about it defies belief.

Because the problem is that if the video games are too good, they might make people feel that they don't need the miniatures. So their history with the video-gaming industry is mostly one of third-party titles that were deliberately specced to be mediocre, a horribly misguided cockteasing of Blizzard (whose long term commercial consequences for Games Workshop almost stand up there with those for Nintendo after they played too hard with Sony over the SNES-CD) and... the Relic games (the Dawn of War series, plus Space Marine), which were actually dangerously good.

Since Relic folded, it's clear that GW aren't going to let anybody else that talented near the cash-cow WH40k franchise - all that's produced these days are mobile-style deliberately-inferior ports of GW's oldest board-games.

Comment: Having your Muon and Keeping it (Score 1) 111

by Roger W Moore (#49169105) Attached to: Photo First: Light Captured As Both Particle and Wave

I wish physicists would stop using the word "measurement" when talking about quantum mechanics....We don't get to keep the original particle after we're done.

Actually that is not true if you go to high enough energy: have a look at this. Those four tracks coming out of the centre of the ATLAS detector at the LHC are muons, a heavy cousin of the electron. The muons are neither stopped nor destroyed by the detector but they do lose a little of their energy as they pass through it but for high energy particles this really is a very small, non-instrusive fraction of their energy. We can even use the curvature of the track in ATLAS' magnetic fields to measure the momentum of the particle.

Even if you stay at low energies there are biophysicists who can use lasers to pull apart single DNA and other organic molecules in non-destructive ways to study how they fold which involves quantum transitions between different folding states. So there are plenty of non-destructive QM based measurements which we can do both on fundamental, and non-fundamental particles.

If your objection is that we have 'changed' the system by making the measurement then perhaps it is worth reflecting that, at a fundamental level, everything is quantum mechanical. Hence there is no measurement that you can make which will not involve changing the system you are measuring. So if your criterion is that your measurement must not change the system you have just ruled out any measurement which any scientist has ever made.

Comment: Two photons will interfere (Score 1) 111

by Roger W Moore (#49168987) Attached to: Photo First: Light Captured As Both Particle and Wave

every dual slit experiment shows light behaving as both particle and wave, because every photon only interferes with itself. Two or more photons never interfere with each other.

If you want to see two photons interfering in a double slit experiment you don't have to do anything more complex that direct a laser pointer at a narrow slit. This is generally what happens in almost all double slit experiments ever performed by school kids and undergrads to demonstrate diffraction. You are talking about a special version of it to show that photons self-interfere but this does not exclude them interfering with other photons if there are some present.

Comment: Re:FCC? (Score 1) 189

by hey! (#49168109) Attached to: Feds Admit Stingray Can Disrupt Bystanders' Communications

The device was approved by the FCC. However the approval process is not in this case transparent. We don't know whether the FCC took into account whether the device's capacity to create interference, or whether they may have played favorites.

One thing we can be certain about is that the FCC didn't worry about Constitutional or laws that protect citizen privacy, and certainly not the use of the devices without a warrant. That's not their bailiwick.

So to summarize the FCC approved this device but we don't know if they did their job. We can be certain they didn't do *more* than their job.

The universe does not have laws -- it has habits, and habits can be broken.