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Comment Re:Not just MS Office (Score 1) 130

Here's the specific notice I mentioned,, and they do have beta drivers for the hardware, but not yet for this:

Validation of AU (Audio Units) Plug-ins Fails in Logic Pro X

All Native Instruments Audio Units plug-ins will not pass the AU validation and therefore will not be available in Logic Pro X under OS X 10.11. The root cause of this issue has been identified and a workaround is still being developed in close contact with Apple. We will keep you updated on any developments regarding this issue.

I cannot confirm or deny anything, I'm a humble Windows user and the only NI product I use is Kontakt.

Comment Re:Can we get back (Score 1) 94

Man, how long I was calling that one "make make" instead of "ma kay ma kay"...

English is a bitch that way. Is "read" pronounced "reed" or "red"? Is "lead" pronounced "leed" or "led"? Depends on context. Just ask Sean Bean. (Seen Been? Shawn Bawn?) We need disambiguating accents, dammit -- and to stop retaining spellings intact when rifling through the pockets of other languages for vocabulary.

Comment Not just MS Office (Score 3, Informative) 130

I got a notice from Native Instruments warning against upgrading to El Capitan, as a number of their products don't work with it either. Apparently something about the sound driver model was changed. The result of trying isn't just failure, but complete kernel panics.

Is the typical OS X upgrade this perilous? I don't recall hearing warnings like this before.

Comment Re:Can we get back (Score 1) 94

Also, wouldn't you expect that a body with life on it should be classified as a planet, even if it is orbiting Jupiter?

Like Pandora? (Fictional, but relevant.)

No. What does life have to do with the definition of a planet or a moon? There's quite a good chance there are life-bearing moons Out There, quite possibly within our own solar system. That has fuckall to do with their physical characteristics or orbital mechanics.

Comment Re:Can we get back (Score 1) 94

The reason the IAU doesn't want to tackle extrasolar planets is pretty simple: while we know they exist, and have even imaged a small number of them directly, we really don't know that much about them. Is what we detect typical of the population, or is it an artifact of our detection methods? Do they have moons? Since we can't even pin down their characteristics yet, it doesn't make sense to attempt to make up standards for classifying them yet either. Yet. I'm pretty sure that at the very least, the planet/moon distinction will be carried over to other systems.

The ancients did not know about Uranus (as far as we know, it may have been detected and later forgotten) because it's not visible all the time, making it hard to track without photography. But it is naked-eye visible some of the time. It's also frigging huge, enough so that the orbital dances of Uranus and Neptune have had massive effects on the evolution of the entire system. Any definition of planet that excludes the two ice giants is willfully ignoring their significance. If it turns out there is another Earth-mass object out there substantially directing the evolution of the Sednoids, it would indeed be fair to argue that it too is a planet. It is busy clearing its neighborhood, however slowly.

As for lumping the terrestrial planets and the gas/ice giants under one name, you have a point. If the IAU demanded that they have two different (but short and easily spoken) names, I'd be happy to go with that.

Comment Re:Can we get back (Score 1) 94

I agree that the time spent arguing should be minimized. However, I disagree with the "leave it alone" idea to not arguing. Sometimes getting a definition in place now (and fighting over it) saves a lot of squabbling over what gets included later. There's a reason Eris is called that, you know. Discovery of the existence of another Pluto-size object threw the entire classification scheme into chaos. It can be argued the current definition is vague and arbitrary. That's fine, it is, and it will probably have to be tweaked later. Most notably, the use of "dwarf planet" is confusing. (It would have been better perhaps to elevate the eight big ones to "major planets".) My argument is with the people who want "anything my nostalgia says is a planet" to be the definition of a planet.

Comment Re:Can we get back (Score 1) 94

Extrasolar planets are subject to one rule and one rule only thus far: can we tell they exist? It so happens that Pluto-size objects in Pluto-size orbits are well beyond our current detection capabilities, so there is little reason to invoke any other definition, but the use of the word "planet" inside and outside our own system is admittedly inconsistent. It may and probably will matter at some point, but not yet.

Comment Re:Can we get back (Score 1) 94

These other objects have a name: Dwarf Planets. I will grant that this is moderately confusing, as you would expect anything with "planet" in its name to be a subset of "planets" as a whole, thus I've never cared for this nomenclature. However, it's pretty clear to my eyes that Pluto and Charon are Kuiper Belt Objects, fundamentally unlike the rocky inner planets or the enormous gas and ice giant outer planets. The fact that Pluto turns out to be pretty damn interesting doesn't make it not a KBO. It seems pretty apparent there is a need to distinguish between what are currently deemed planets, and everything else. If you wanted to call the eight current planets "major planets" and everything else just "planets", fine, whatever -- but you seem to be denying that there is any reason to draw the distinction at all. There is. For the most part, planets are visible to the naked eye. Inner planets are small, but close enough (to the sun, and to us) to be bright. The outer planets are large enough to make up for the increased distance. Neptune admittedly requires some optical assistance to spot, but it's so much like its cousin Uranus that it again becomes an argument over where to draw boundaries. Neptune has had a significant effect on the dynamics of the system as a whole. It was discovered because of the perturbations it was causing elsewhere, and likely had a great deal to do with scattering all those KBOs in the first place (as well as capturing one for itself). There is no such claim for Pluto. It is little more than a blob to the HST.

Don't get me wrong, I'm quite pleased we sent a probe there. I'm even more pleased it has returned results that are greatly in excess of expectations. We will find out with the trip past the next KBO whether it's typical. (If the next one is boring, that doesn't really tell us which of the two is typical, but if the next one shows similar signs of resurfacing, it's probably a safe bet that this is the rule rather than the exception.) That still doesn't mean it requires the use of the word "planet".

Comment Re:Can we get back (Score 5, Interesting) 94

We can, when you're willing to call Vesta, Ceres, Haumea, Makemake, Eris, Sedna, Sila-Nunam, Varuna, Quaoar, Ocrus, Ixion, and likely hundreds of other objects of similar size to Pluto (yet to be identified, as the Kuiper Belt and scattered disc are large search spaces) planets as well.

In order to retain the use of the word "planet" in a context that is relatively closely related to its historical usage, a line has to be drawn somewhere. It is far more logical to draw that line above Pluto than below it. If you are advocating for every object which is large enough to pull itself into hydrostatic equilibrium by gravity, and is not in orbit around another non-stellar object a planet -- you're going to have upwards of 100 of them, and that's just what we know of right now.

Comment Three classes. (Score 4, Informative) 108

There are three classes of business in China.
1. State-sponsored or owned businesses. Short of a scandal like the melamine dog food one, they can get away with practically anything. No foreign interest can hold them accountable.
2. State-sanctioned businesses. They've paid off the right people to look the other way, but if scrutiny becomes too great, they'll be thrown under the bus -- but only after high-ranking officials cash out, of course.
3. Everyone else. They have to play on a field with Calvinball rules and moving goalposts.

Sometimes joint ventures with foreign companies can make their way into class 2. Often they're allowed to languish in Class 3, especially if they're exporting everything they make.

Comment Re:VW Diesel's do have low polluting exhaust ... (Score 1) 203

Aviation engines especially - they're extremely big for the power. (160 cu. in., or over 5L, and it produces a mere... 140hp?).

Check your conversions again. 5 liters is about 300 cubic inches, as anyone with an old-school V-8 is likely to know. Thus, one or the other of your numbers is off. 160 cubic inches is not a large engine.

Backed up the system lately?