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Comment Re:Airstrikes on population centers (Score 1) 389

The Obama plan is to get rid of irrational groups (like Daesh), then gather the rational ones together at some negotiating table, and negotiate a timeline for Assad to leave.

This is not entirely accurate. The US say that before any negotiations Assad steps down, creating a chicken-and-egg problem. Others, such as the Russians and Iranians, say that Assad should be allowed to enter into a negotiation for a timetable to step down. You've confused part of the Russian plan for the US plan.

Comment Re:But it's OK to fantasize about killing men? (Score 1) 371

Jo Brand and Roseanne Barr got applause when they "joked" about wanting to stab men through the heart.

worse? in both cases they are just words...

Gravis Zero says that it is good to stab men through the heart. Truly a heartless monster. See it on twitter, facebook, and instagram. Let's all burn this witch at the stake before the next victim suffers terribly!

Comment Re:Not that snappy in virtual environment on linux (Score 1) 241

Fine. You are right -- my "test" isn't really that useful for gauging performance objectively. I do however feel like I've got a better handle on where things are going with it from playing with the technical preview and it's certainly worth more people doing this. I'm probably also a bit biased in what I write because I was hoping real hard that the whole "Metro" thing would disappear and it hasn't.

Comment Re:Not that snappy in virtual environment on linux (Score 3, Interesting) 241

I am running QEMU-KVM. My Windows XP virtual machine and other machines run really smooth and quick with the same type of settings (actually less much RAM and CPU allocated), adjusting for 32bit XP and 64bit Windows 10.

I don't think most of my performance issues with Windows 10 can be solved by moving to VMWare, or even running it native. The problem for me is that it is just a clunky interface that slows down the process of doing things (e.g. waiting for another mode to open for the 2 different control panels, WTF?). Some of the things actually appear to be time based in waiting, because I have a really fast setup hardware-wise and it should "just work" as the other virtual machines I've tried do.

I'm not a big fan of the Mac OSX interface either, but at least it appears smooth when you stick an SSD in an old Mac. I use Mac at work with Windows 7 in a virtual machine (VMWare) (I also use linux on servers) and am evaluating Windows 10 with enterprise deployment in mind. I wonder if the author of the article actually clicked the start button or tried to type much in the new integrated search bar of Windows 10. I mean things like this -- Firefox works well, but if you try to set it as a default application Windows appears to freeze for half a second as it loads some weird "default application" selecting application that is like it is part of a completely different OS that has to load with it.

Comment Re: Affirmative Action (Score 1) 529

We say "African American" because you have a huge swath of people that have no idea what country their ancestors came from, no idea what tribe, no idea the heritage, no idea the lineage, no idea the cultural connections...

Imagine forcing people to forget their families were Irish or Polish or Russian or French. Imagine no idea they came from Christian or Jewish communities. And all records from the time destroyed so that you have no hope of ever finding out. Ever. Your ancestral history? Gone. Poof.

No tell me again how you don't see any difference.

You can do a DNA test to find this information out.

Anyway we all come from Africa 100 thousand years ago, and before then likely from Germany according to Attenborough as rough precursors to apes. Before then mammals evolved in stages from reptiles and our earlier ancestor might well have looked like a rat mixed with a lizard. Before then... But who really cares? I couldn't give a toss where my great-grandfather came from and (in my opinion) most people don't care unless other people such as their parents or friends raise the question for them.

Comment Not that snappy in virtual environment on linux (Score 3, Interesting) 241

I've recently installed the latest 64bit Windows 10 technical preview on a new computer running a gen 5 Intel processer with 6 cores and hyperthreading, SSD raid array and nVidia graphics card and the performance appears to be suboptimal. It requires DEP on by default, minimum RAM and other weirdness like specifying the type of cpu name (which I set to "core2duo") just to install but does allow all the usual hardware acceleration. I assigned several CPUs and a good chunk of DDR4 RAM to it with 16GB of hard drive space.

Running next to my trusty virtual XP windows 10 is a dog, even with all the settings for performance switched on. The integrated "search my computer and Internet" is painfully slow and the start button brings up this wacky osd box with embedded "metro style" elements. If you click a couple of times as it loads (can take any random amount of time) it doesn't ever appear again. I suppose this is a bug that will be fixed, but the whole thing feels slow to respond (including the mouse pointer and drag+drop snappiness). Some of this seems to be due to clunky design rather than the optimization of the codebase.

The only thing I can say is quicker is the startup and shutdown. I suppose the new "Spartan" thing loads alright, but I'm not a fan.

Comment Re:Nine Posts, Seven of Which are ACs... (Score 1) 17

I know what you mean and I wish people were more active in talking about these things. However, the people who organise the public engagement aren't really that good and there is a sense that the missions are going only ever so slowly forwards.

Whenever we get a picture from Mars it is in black and white with "color correction" when they have a perfectly good colour camera on-board and a sunset is taken. Here in the article we have a relatively dull picture with lots of writing that can't easily be read embedded into it. I think people would be more inclined to comment if it was more apparent what this is all about and exactly how this discovery is an incremental improvement in our understanding of the early solar system formation. (Maybe with a link to something like The History of the Earth for those new to this topic)

The other thing that makes me a little unhappy with the Rosetta mission is the Philae lander being the "poster child" for solar panel success. Of course the thing landed in a cavity and promptly lost all its ability to make new power. Even the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity used nuclear thermal power to make sure the solar panels would still be able to work without problems. This kind of political interference wasn't needed I don't think.

That all said, yes, it is great that the Rosetta mission is achieving things we haven't done before and is a testament to human endeavour.

Submission Winston Churchill's Scientists writes: Nicola Davis writes at The Guardian that a new exhibition at London’s Science Museum tiitled Churchill’s Scientists aims to explore how a climate that mingled necessity with ambition spurred British scientists to forge ahead in fields as diverse as drug-discovery and operational research, paving the way for a further flurry of postwar progress in disciplines from neurology to radio astronomy. Churchill "was very unusual in that he was a politician from a grand Victorian family who was also interested in new technology and science,” says Andrew Nahum. “That was quite remarkable at the time.” An avid reader of Charles Darwin and HG Wells, Churchill also wrote science-inspired articles himself and fostered an environment where the brightest scientists could build ground-breaking machines, such as the Bernard Lovell telescope, and make world-changing discoveries, in molecular genetics, radio astronomy, nuclear power, nerve and brain function and robotics. “During the war the question was never, 'How much will it cost?’ It was, 'Can we do it and how soon can we have it?’ This left a heritage of extreme ambition and a lot of talented people who were keen to see what it could provide."

According to Cambridge Historian Richard Toye, Churchill was a “closet science-fiction fan” who borrowed the lines for one of his most famous speeches from H. G. Wells — to depict the rise of Hitler's Germany. "It's a bit like Tony Blair borrowing phrases from Star Trek or Doctor Who," says Toye. A close friend of Wells, Churchill said that The Time Machine was “one of the books I would like to take with me to Purgatory”. Wells and Churchill met in 1902 and several times thereafter, and kept in touch in person and by letter until Wells' death in 1946. "We need to remember that there was a time when Churchill was a radical liberal who believed these things," Toye adds. "Wells is often seen as a socialist, but he also saw himself as a liberal, and he saw Churchill as someone whose views were moving in the right direction."

Comment Re:Fact (Score 1) 300

As one of the YouTube comments say it is a little known phenomenon called a coronal cavity .

At high temperatures the protons and electrons in hydrogen move so fast they aren't bound to each other any more and form a plasma. Both have charges (negative for the electron and positive for the proton) and any moving charge will create a part of a magnetic field. Magnetic fields in turn deflect other moving charges and when you have so many particles flying around fast in all directions that are bound together in a loose sphere shape by gravity on the edge there will be some interesting effects.

I don't think coronal cavities are well understood, but are thought to have a connection to coronal mass ejections, which are pretty much what the name suggests. More computing power would be helpful in studying models of the sun with so many particles and better mass distributions and magnetic field geometry from satellites. Maybe then we could really understand what these things really are in detail.

Submission 2014 - Hottest Year on Record->

Layzej writes: Data from three major climate-tracking groups agree: The combined land and ocean surface temperatures hit new highs this year, according to the United States' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United Kingdom's Met Office and the World Meteorological Association.

If December's figures are at least 0.76 degrees Fahrenheit (0.42 degrees Celsius) higher than the 20th century average, 2014 will beat the warmest years on record, NOAA said this month. The January-through-November period has already been noted as the warmest 11-month period in the past 135 years, according to NOAA's November Global Climate Report. Scientific American reports on five places that will help push 2014 into the global warming record books.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:What a (almost) complete waste (Score 1) 156

And the extra money saved could go to such worthy causes as hiring more lawyers or programs that stimulate banker bonuses?

To many people here the only important thing that we do, apart from keeping things going, is to explore and understand more than we did before. None of this really costs that much compared to other things budget-wise (e.g. about a quarter of NASA's yearly budget is what the Walton's who own Walmart get for sitting on their asses ~$4B USD).

Space is the next frontier. Compare this to the times when sail ships were used to travel vast distances to map far away land masses. You could image people asking why would anyone sail for long times on perilous voyages only to map the southern skies or survey animal & plant populations. Now we enjoy the benefits of this in the Western world and surely we should venture forward again with our surplus prosperity, lest we become lazy and ignorant.

Comment Re:too many words (Score 1) 45

Of course! How do you solve the problem of identifying digital representations of cats? Imagine identifying a single cat in a box. Then 2 cats in a larger box, etc. and you can identify in such a way any arbitrary cat configuration in the universe via machine learning. Genius.

Err... except how do you tell if the cat is alive or dead?