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Comment: Huh???? Chipping, anyone? (Score 1) 114

by sgt_doom (#48887009) Attached to: Apple Agrees To Chinese Security Audits of Its Products
But what about all those semiconductor chips out of China, which are part of those American drones, which allow Iran to bring them down (when they are illegally overflying their airspace)?

The socialist response to Obama's SOTU:

And the Real Obama:

Comment: Re: Wow... Just "no". (Score 1) 203

by PapayaSF (#48869857) Attached to: Sends Personal Data To Over a Dozen Tracking Websites

The Heritage Foundation proposal did include an individual mandate, but that's like saying your bedroom ceiling is based on the Sistine Chapel because they both are covered in paint. The Heritage proposal was for minimal, catastrophic insurance, what used to be called "major medical." That's the sort of insurance people used to be able to buy for maybe $50/month. But the ACA larded everything up with countless mandates (birth control, etc.), so that even minimal insurance is now expensive. And then, in one of many ironies, deductibles are now so high that many people avoid going to the doctor. Remember when the ACA was needed to ban "junk insurance policies," which were defined as policies with high deductibles? Down the memory hole!

I said years ago, before this monstrosity came online, that it would not work as claimed, and in fact might never work. I believe that prediction still holds. They've stopped talking about the problems with the backend, but AFAIK they have not yet fixed them, and are still doing things manually or with estimates. It will also be interesting this tax season, when millions of people find that their tax bill is higher than they thought it would be, thanks to the ACA.

Comment: Re:So what (Score 1) 158

by PapayaSF (#48853615) Attached to: A State-By-State Guide To Restrictive Community Broadband Laws

The rural areas say they hate government and redistribution of wealth - fine - then let them do without the wealth redistributed to them and maybe cities, unshackled by them, can begin to turn their own finances around.

Oh, how I hate this simplistic meme about how "blue" cities support the "red" suburbs and rural areas. One thing that it ignores is that a great deal of the wealth generated in cities is created by people who live (and vote) in suburbs and rural areas. it's called "commuting."

Or try this thought experiment: cities stop "distributing their wealth" to the suburbs and rural areas, and the suburbs and rural areas stop distributing their wealth to the cities... as well as "their" food, water, oil, gas, and electricity. Now who needs who more?

Comment: Thank you, President Obama! (Score 3, Insightful) 105

by PapayaSF (#48847491) Attached to: President Obama Will Kibbitz With YouTube Stars

Thank you for having dealt with all the other more pressing problems, domestic and foreign, so that now you have extra time for these folks! I'm sure they'll have lots of informed, trenchant, challenging questions for you, the answers to which will be informative and enlightening. It'll be the adversarial press speaking truth to power!

Comment: Re:Prediction: another Google flop (Score 1) 61

by PapayaSF (#48817875) Attached to: Google To Test Build-It-Yourself Ara Smartphones In Puerto Rico

I agree that "too thin" is an issue. I'd be happy if Apple stopped making iPhones thinner and instead used the space for more battery.

I'm not sure you're right about technological advances, though. While I'm not obsessed with the latest and greatest, I think it's impressive and meaningful that phones are getting to have near desktop-level processors, excellent cameras, etc. But I find it hard to image that Google will be able to create modules 1) with more impressive specs than an iPhone 6, and 2) be able to sell them at a competitive price.

Comment: Prediction: another Google flop (Score 3, Insightful) 61

by PapayaSF (#48817723) Attached to: Google To Test Build-It-Yourself Ara Smartphones In Puerto Rico

This has all the earmarks of another sounds-cool-at-first Google project that won't amount to much in the end.

Modularity sounds like a good idea, but in practice, in cellphones, I don't think it'll work. In objects of that size every millimeter counts, and modularity takes up quite a bit of space at that scale, because each part needs to be enclosed, securely attach to the others, etc. The trade-offs will mean you'll be able to pick one or two things (e.g. speed, battery life, extra features, etc.) but not all at the same time. And the prices won't be good, because manufacturer(s) will not have economies of scale: it'll be hard to compete with Apple and Samsung making millions and tens of millions of identical units.

Comment: Re:Please be good... (Score 2) 254

by sgt_doom (#48767205) Attached to: Heinlein's 'All You Zombies' Now a Sci-Fi Movie Head Trip
In reading an interview with Verhoeven about the movie, Verhoeven believed both the book and Heinlein to be pure fascist, never understanding the concept of meritocracy and citizenship responsibility RAH was pushing. Just don't think Verhoeven grasped the book, and therefore the movie was skewed accordingly.

Comment: Ditto (Score 1) 254

by sgt_doom (#48767167) Attached to: Heinlein's 'All You Zombies' Now a Sci-Fi Movie Head Trip
Heinlein was at his best with that story (zombies referring to the blithelessly ignorant, if I recall correctly). It was a flashback to his old self, when he was a progressive and before he became a righwing libertarian type, and Goldwater supporter.

Best time travel story I've read recently, The Revisionists, by Thomas Mullen (while comparisons are odious as Voltaire once opined, his writing style is a combination of Robert Silverberg, John Varley on his best day, and Graham Greene).

+ - Seismological Society of America Claims Fracking Reactivated Ohio Fault-> 1

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "There have been suspicions that fracking has caused minor earthquakes in Ohio but last year seismic data recorded by the Earthscope Transportable Array was analyzed by the Seismological Society of America using template matching and has resulted in a new publication and press release making the statement that Hilcorp Energy's fracking in Poland Township in March of 2014 "did not create a new fault, rather it activated one that we didn’t know about prior to the seismic activity." The earthquakes occurred in the Precambrian basement and lead the researchers to posit that further unknown faults may be activated by fracking. The press release ends with urging for "close cooperation among government, industry and the scientific community as hydraulic fracturing operations expand in areas where there’s the potential for unknown pre-existing faults.""
Link to Original Source

Comment: Early Soviet Computing? (Score 4, Interesting) 80

by eldavojohn (#48738403) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Alexander Stepanov and Daniel E. Rose a Question
Alexander Stepanov, I have never had a chance to ask someone as qualified as you about this topic. I grew up on the opposite side of the Iron Curtain and have constantly wondered if (surely there must have been) alternative computing solutions developed in the USSR prior to Elbrus and SPARC. So my question is whether or not you know of any hardware or instruction set alternatives that died on the vine or were never mass fabricated in Soviet times? I don't expect to you to reveal some super advanced or future predicting instruction set but it has always disturbed me that these things aren't documented somewhere -- as you likely know failures can provide more fruit than successes. Failing that, could you offer us any tails of early computing that only seem to run in Russian circles?

If you can suggest references (preferably in English) I would be most appreciative. I know of only one book and it seems to be a singular point of view.

Unix is the worst operating system; except for all others. -- Berry Kercheval