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Comment: Re:Don't blame me. (Score 1) 124

by drsmithy (#49368991) Attached to: Australia Passes Mandatory Data Retention Law

They have however maintained a farely solid voter base through recruitment of a younger generation who sadly don't seemed informed enough to see greens for what they really are.

The only remotely mainstream party in Australia politics with a progressive, centre-left, social democratic policy base ?

Pretty sure that's why they're getting the youth vote - because they're the only party that give a shit about demographics after baby boomers and have policies with a view past the next election.

Greens really are part of labor now, the only time they vote against labor is when they see a chance to gain publicity or popularity.

The Greens have a well developed and mature policy platform. They promote legislation that aligns with it.

no offense but it sound more like you are the one getting their information from Rupert to have such a positive view of them.

Murdoch portraying the Greens favourably ? You live in a very different world to me.

Comment: Re:The Canadian middle class is dying out. (Score 2) 191

by bmo (#49366127) Attached to: Best Buy Kills Off Future Shop

You blame the union members and the unions.

You blame them when the decision to sell shit products and ignore quality issues was an upper management problem, and remains to an upper management problem to this day.

Because if that responsibility doesn't lie with upper management, then why do they get paid fucking rockstar salaries? What do they do all day, financial masturbation?


Comment: Re:Delivery drones (Score 1) 100

by Kjella (#49365697) Attached to: How long until our skies are filled with drones?

You'll never get away from the fact that flying is extremely energy intensive and has some nasty failure modes. What happens the day the drone and cargo drops out of the sky and hits a kid on the head? Remember that a falling coconut or icicle is enough to kill, a drone clearly has lethal potential.

We're working so hard on autonomous cars, why not autonomous pedestrians? Something like this making its way to your doorstep, you swipe the card and collect your pizza. Or your package from Amazon or whatever. Or it's the robot mailman dropping mail in designated mailboxes. Of course you need a human manager nearby in case it malfunctions or gets tipped over by kids having fun or whatever, but there's a lot less that can go wrong with <5 mph rolling robot.

Comment: Live data would be more useful (Score 1) 402

by Kjella (#49364927) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

Most large airliners today have some kind of in-flight cell phone/internet access. Apparently the flight recorder data is about 6 kbps, if you want to include the cockpit voice recorder you may double that. You'd immediately know when it goes dark and send out a search&rescue party, it can't get lost or destroyed in a crash, you would have data right away not days and weeks later and you could often deduce the problem long before you find the boxes.

Comment: Re:Need the ISS (Score 1) 147

by Kjella (#49364361) Attached to: Russia Wants To Work With NASA On a New Space Station

which means we'd better stop dismissing lunar and asteroid mining and such as sci-fi dreams and start figuring out how to make them work

Well then start there, not build the Enterprise and say "When we're ready to build the warp drive..." because even Mars One got more realistic plans for travelling to Mars than anyone got for lunar/asteroid mining.

your workforce for the next step can have a place to stay in orbit rather than commuting to and from the surface all the time.

The effects of radiation and zero-g, not to mention humane working conditions means you'd want to rotate the crew a couple times a year. Nobody will live in space any more than they'd live on a nuclear submarine, unless it's another massively shielded artificial gravity sci-fi dream.

And ultimately it'll end up being recycled into raw materials or basic parts for something else once it's no longer needed

Nobody has such plans for the ISS, if you don't want to spend $3 billion/year to keep it in orbit all the plans I've heard for it is to deorbit it into the Pacific.

No, it's not going to be easy or simple. Colonizing North America wasn't easy or simple either, but we did it.

Who we? The 15th+ century colonists who managed to settle in a land already inhabited by Native Americans in the south to Inuits in the north? You're talking about living in an area where humans have lived since long before we had any kind of civilization or technology. It doesn't even remotely compare to the hostility of space.

Though I'll admit that attitude does seem kind of insane to the couch potatoes. Not really my problem though, my entire career my motto's been "They don't pay me to not get the job done." and the older I get the less reason I see to change it.

But on a wild bet I'd say it's not NASA paying you... if I'm an armchair naysayer, you're an armchair quarterback. And if you worked for Ford, we'd all be travelling around in flying cars by now.

Comment: Re:Economy (Score 1) 191

by Kjella (#49363353) Attached to: Best Buy Kills Off Future Shop

Certain kinds of products are moving online. But I have a feeling the electronic retail stores are making their money on selling refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dishwashers, TVs and everything else too big to fit an ordinary parcel. A lot of other goods are selling on look and feel where people want to see the actual product in person, I got burned on this before Christmas when I bought something that... I mean all the specs and images were correct, but it was just underwhelming in reality. I certainly don't think they're worse off than specialty stores. The thing is, when people look at specialty stores what they often want is the selection, not necessarily the service. Online stores can often have an even wider selection and really there's no better service than getting what you want. I guess if you really want useful help but I suffer from a general distrust of clerks/salesmen, are they really helping me or their profit margin. Most of the time I'd rather trust my own judgement.

Comment: Re:Its a shame WebM sucks (Score 1) 68

by Kjella (#49363295) Attached to: Another Patent Pool Forms For HEVC

I've can't decide if you're a troll or just lack sane opinions, you seem to hate on most things except AMD for which you have a major boner. The average person doesn't use an encoder, ever. The only reason they care about decoding formats is because they download stuff off the Internet want their MKV to work on their gizmo, not just their computer. Both "DivX 3.11 ;-)" and MKV gained popularity that way.

Ordinary users upload videos to YouTube, but they don't have any say in what codec/settings/resolution/bitrate Google chooses to use. The people who edit video want it in their save/export dialog of whatever editing software they use, which Google can do fuck all about and those who transcode for "the scene" are 99% fine using a CLI. They just don't give a shit about legality so if WebM beat H.264 they'd use it and it'd be popular. Absolutely nobody cares about encoder GUIs.

Comment: Re:Broken window fallacy (Score 1) 68

by Kjella (#49363187) Attached to: Another Patent Pool Forms For HEVC

[Patent FUD] encourages the use of older higher-bandwidth codecs which encourages provision of higher bandwidth internet connections.

Textbook broken window fallacy.

Isolated speaking, yes. However, you can consider it a cross-subsidy to enable other and presumably more worthy causes for high speed broadband than watching YouTube. Or you can assume that at some point we'll want higher bandwidth anyway for 4K TV so using a less efficient codec now means you're doing most of the roil-out for later when you'll use a more efficient codec. It's hardly unusual that creating less favorable conditions for some individuals may benefit the group as a whole or that different short-term incentives benefit the long term result.

Personally I consider broadband to be the electricity, telephone and running hot water of the 21st century, if you're not online you're more or less detached from contemporary society. Not that we all need to be on gigabit fiber, but dial-up just isn't cutting it anymore. Not like necessity of life because people lived without 100+ years ago and I guess in poorer parts of the world many do but it'd just not the way I'd like to live now.

Comment: Re:Need the ISS (Score 3, Informative) 147

by Kjella (#49363117) Attached to: Russia Wants To Work With NASA On a New Space Station

If the US wants to go to Mars for more than a single short mission, it's going to need the ISS or a replacement. We'll need to be able to build ships in orbit so they aren't limited by the constraints of the first hundred or so miles of the trip (lifting the ship up from the surface to Earth orbit), that's the only way we'll be able to build them large enough for the crew, supplies and equipment needed for a mission of more than a week or two. And if we want this to be a sustained thing, sending more than a couple-three missions, we're going to need to be able to build ships without shipping the majority of their components up from surface.

And the ISS will help how, exactly? The entire ISS came from the Earth's surface. Unless you have a really fancy plan to do asteroid/lunar mining, that's where all future materials will ultimately come from too. The ISS is way, way down in Earth's gravity well so if you could do mining you wouldn't build it there anyway. We can assemble a ship in orbit with or without the ISS, nothing really gets easier. What we're building must have a crew module, so any astronauts working on assembly can just live there. Not that I really see the need, the assemblies could dock like spaceships do and just interlock with bolts.

Star Trek has ruined a generation's sanity when it comes to space stations. The only reason you'd want a space station is so you can have a ship come in for maintenance, repair, upgrades or refueling in orbit so they don't have to go down the gravity well. If all you're doing is sending ships out never to return, it's a total waste of time. Unless you get to the point where you have a shuttle taking things from Earth orbit and Mars orbit and returning for a refuel it doesn't make sense. And it probably doesn't make sense unless you can refuel in Mars orbit. Which means it's not happening in this century.

Space stations are not like gas stations where you just drop by as you pass one by. Unless you're planning to be in Earth orbit, entering Earth orbit to dock with the ISS and deorbiting to get to your destination costs a helluva lot of fuel. And that is the crux of the issue, it almost never makes sense to build a waypoint into your route as opposed to just going to whereever you were planning to go in the first place. If possible you might not even want to assemble in oribt, just launch multiple rockets on the same trajectory and have the bits assemble in zero g before firing off to their final destination.

Comment: Re:After H.265 (Score 1) 68

by Kjella (#49362049) Attached to: Another Patent Pool Forms For HEVC

What comes next? H.266? Is anyone working on it? Is it even possible?

Of course it is, the question is if anybody will care. We know there are many better image compression routines than JPEG like JPEG 2000, JPEG-XR and WebP, but it's "good enough" nobody cares and it is now absolutely guaranteed patent free. Same with PNG, there are arguably better compression algorithms but it works. Everywhere but the US the MP3 patent has expired and in 2017 the last patent will expire there too. In 2018 the MPEG2 patents including AAC end, which I think will make AAC the de facto codec for lossy audio.

Video is another ball of fur, there's Theora and VP8/9 and WebM but none have gained any real traction and from what I understand not even MPEG2 is patent free yet while H.264 is 10+ years from becoming patent free. In that kind of marketplace what's another patented codec? I assume the gains for each generation will be less though and with bandwidth and disc capacity increasing we might not care that much anyway. I know it's not the JPEGs slowing down my browsing experience...

Comment: Re:*sigh* (Score 4, Informative) 283

by StevenMaurer (#49359911) Attached to: Iowa's Governor Terry Branstad Thinks He Doesn't Use E-mail

Huh? You can just forward classified material to non-secure servers outside of a classified network? I think not!

As Secretary of State she would have access to incredibly sensitive material.

A couple of things, that might set your mind at ease. According to reports:

  1. Ms. Clinton did not "forward" material to her private server. People were just emailing to her at her personal email address at "clintonemail.com".
  2. Those emails she received considered to be official business, her staff forwarded to the State Department for their IT operators to save.
  3. She also produced a huge amount of documents to various Congressional Committees.
  4. None of these emails were classified. They appear to have been sent to her unencrypted
  5. Sensitive material never went through this email system.
  6. Apparently the State Department isn't very good at IT. They only recently were able to figure out how to even just save Secretary Kerry's email; his top staff using the @state.gov address still do not have their email records saved. So by using @clintonemail.com, HRC likely was preserving more email than if she'd saved used an @state.gov address.
  7. Personal emails (and presumably spam) was not sent on. But no law covers that anyway.

This is much akin to the media breathlessly discovering that Hillary Clinton also has a private phone number, which maybe official calls were received. Except that because this is "email", it's totally different somehow. (By which I mean, as she's the presumptive Democratic nominee, the nutcases and conspiracy loons are going to do their nutcase conspiracy theorizing, which Blogs and FOX will pick up - because it sells eyeballs.)

Money will say more in one moment than the most eloquent lover can in years.