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Comment: The good news? (Score 1) 19

by Arker (#47443341) Attached to: Chinese Couple Sells Children To Support Onlione Game Addiction
It sounds like these two will soon be executed. Without being in favor of the death penalty it sounds like it may well have a silver lining in this case. If the facts are as presented, at least, it's probably a very good thing they wont be reproducing again.

Still, surgical sterilization would do the job as well, and unlike the death penalty, it is at least possible it could be reversed, should it eventually come out that the two were somehow framed and not really guilty.

Comment: Can I have an indigo pixel? (Score 1) 79

One possibility would be improving the color range, even if the resolution isn't improved. Rather than cramming in three phosophors per pixel, perhaps we could have four, or more. There's a considerable chunk of color space not well represented by RGB color.

I don't know how much of a difference it would make to TV viewers or gamers, but I know that artists would be grateful for a better color range. The conversion from RGB to CMYK is always a bit of a crapshoot; things that look great on your screen don't look as good when they come back from the printers, and there's a whole range of stuff it doesn't occur to you to try because you can't see it.

I could even imagine that it might be handy for medical imaging and other applications where you want to cram as much information onto the screen as possible: more pixels may not improve things but more colors might. Though more pixels could achieve that as well: it would be nice to be able to zoom in by bringing your face closer to the screen without simply seeing bigger pixels. Head motion is kinaesthetically appealing: you can move in and out without losing your sense of overall place.

Sharp already makes a four-pixel TV, with an added yellow (which is especially helpful in skin tones). I think it would be neat to be able to produce true indigo, violent, and cyan. If this lets you add more phosphors without costing resolution, it might not be a killer app, but it could be a desirable thing.

Comment: Re:Wow. (Score 1) 76

by jfengel (#47443077) Attached to: Rocket Scientist Designs "Flare" Pot That Cooks Food 40% Faster

I am intrigued by your ideas, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

I think that the combo tent/backpack/hammock would be a challenge, since each has different materials for different purposes. But the weight savings (or comfort from not doing without) could be substantial (at least, in an activity where people are said to snap handles off toothbrushes to save weight), and now that you mention it I'm surprised that somebody hasn't tried before. If I actually see the product on shelves some day I'll raise a glass to ya.

Comment: Kudos to Dennis Fisher (Score 1) 61

by Arker (#47440961) Attached to: Source Code Leaked For Tinba Banking Trojan
For writing an article about IT-criminals in which he refers to them as IT-criminals.

Even if it does appear on a page with a prominent link to another article which misuses the term 'hackers' in its very title. I am sure that was beyond his personal control.

Also it sounds like some really good programming! 20kb compiled, and full functional. From <a href="https://www.csis.dk/en/csis/news/4303/">this report</a> it appears that it's written in assembler. Does anyone have a link to the actual code?

Comment: Re:Needs functionality (Score 2) 319

by Arker (#47440677) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?
"I guess if you didn't turn it on, and I'm calling BS."

I had a laptop of that era that lasted me days between charges at times, and the battery on it was old, I could easily see it going weeks with light use and a fresh battery.

It had a low power monochrome display, and was mostly solid state. The only moving disk was the 3.5" floppy, the OS was built in on ROM, it had 2mb RAM so there was plenty for ramdisk. The only thing that really hit the battery at all was the floppy, and with the ramdisk that didnt need to be hit very often.

Just because it isnt part of your experience does not mean it didnt exist.

Comment: Re:Perfectly appropriate action for the FAA to tak (Score 2) 176

by jfengel (#47438001) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

It's time for Congress to do a lot of things. But when was the last time Congress did anything at all? Has there been even a single non-trivial piece of legislation in the entire 113th? Was there any in the 112th?

The bar to legislation is fairly high and there's always a large set of voters prepared to punish their legislators for allowing anything through that would be seen as a victory for the other side or even as a compromise with them, regardless of the issue. Those Congressmen have been trained in a Pavlovian fashion to loudly denounce anything anybody tries to do.

So don't expect Congress to fix this, or anything else.

Comment: Re:self-correcting (Score 1) 26

by Arker (#47436585) Attached to: These secular priests just keep slicing on the drive
Sure.

Which is why I do not in any way defer to their judgements, but make my own.

"To draw truths from reading for yourself."

Drawing truths from the book with the longest continuous editorial history known to man, one that warns you it has been tampered with by scribes with lying pens (Jeremiah 8:8) is not an easy thing, it is a puzzle. But our creator gave us rational minds to solve puzzles with.

Comment: Re:self-correcting (Score 1) 26

by Arker (#47434269) Attached to: These secular priests just keep slicing on the drive
No, I am sorry but you are wrong. They were certainly not part of the original Bible. They were *added* to some Greek translations of the Scripture, somewhere around 100bc, but no one considered them Canonical until centuries later. We are talking the 4th century AD on the "Christian" side and perhaps a couple of centuries earlier on the Rabbinate side, but in each case it was a multi-generational project to ultimately *add* these books, to elevate the works of men to the status of scripture.

Comment: Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (Score 1) 200

Interesting.

Given MAD, it's hard to imagine another WWII-type scenario (though it would be a bad day if China invaded Taiwan). But I could foresee something like Afghanistan spreading to the entire Middle East, where they couldn't nuke us (at least, not more than a couple of times, not like Cold War-style "nuclear winter" barrages), and we'd be strongly pressured not to nuke them. But the theater would be so wide that we'd need vast, vast number of ground troops.

Comment: Re:self-correcting (Score 1) 26

by Arker (#47431411) Attached to: These secular priests just keep slicing on the drive

That may be a matter of opinion and perspective as well.

Those are late compositions in Greek and clearly not part of the original Hebrew Bible (properly called the Tanakh.)

The books you mention, along with the so-called New Testament books, both those declared 'canonical' by the Imperial Roman authorities and the other books that were banned instead, along with the Talmud, are all in my mind defensible and even in cases valuable, as Midrash, as Commentary, as a record of what men at the time thought on some important subjects - but NOT as scripture to be elevated to stand with the Tanakh, let alone to actually be set ON TOP of the Bible proper as so many do.

Comment: Re:self-correcting (Score 1) 26

by Arker (#47430995) Attached to: These secular priests just keep slicing on the drive
"What was the last time there was a retraction of inaccurate or harmful material from the Bible?"

It's actually a good question if refined a bit.

I would propose to you that what you see as 'inaccurate or harmful material from the Bible' is better defined as 'inaccurate or harmful interpretations of the Bible' and while retractions of those are not unheard of, they are certainly relatively rare.

I think the deeper point here is simply that the theoretical bright-line between science and religion has a worrying tendency to evaporate in practice, and simply pointing out that tel-evangelists are even worse is not much of a defense.

There's a huge difference between appreciating the scientific method and having faith in whatever the 'scientist' says - in fact they are mutually incompatible.

Comment: Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (Score 1) 200

The closest we get to that is the airport, where rights have been considerably and visibly curtailed (as opposed to the comparatively invisible loss of rights due to government intrusion in electronic communications). People seem to have accepted that more or less gracefully: they bitch, but it's not seen as a massive imposition on most people's daily lives.

I don't know if we'd ever get to the point of rationing food. Even if we declared a full-scale war, technology means we grow a lot of surplus food in this country. Prices might rise, but I don't think we'd ever see "grow victory gardens" posters as we did in the last unlimited war.

Oil, however, would skyrocket, and technology might be severely curtailed. It would be interesting to see how people reacted to that. It's hard to say whether that would be a bigger factor than outrage at a draft of manpower. In Korea and Vietnam, a lot of the public seemed to take the draft with equanimity since it came without the kind of rationing we saw during World War II.

Comment: Re:To what end? (Score 1) 215

by Arker (#47427281) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart
"My impression, also from German newspapers etc., is that most germans including politicians are truely mad and are seriously considering to cool down relations with the USA."

As they should be, frankly the reaction seems inexplicably mild.

Can you imagine the reaction if the shoe was on the other foot? If this was a BD spy caught infiltrating the CIA?

A 'cool down' in relations would be a serious understatement.

Comment: Re:Technically, it's not a "draft notice" (Score 1) 200

I recall some talk during the lead-up to the Afghan war about the potential for a draft. It wasn't clear at the time just how big that particular conflict would get. It wasn't impossible to imagine it turning into World War-sized scenario against a lot of Islamic countries. The resulting conflicts were small compared to that, but we had to scale up the military substantially and if they'd grown any bigger we'd have had to have a draft.

Now that women are allowed access to combat positions, it's going to be very hard to exempt them from a draft should one be necessary. I can't conceive of the legislature passing any such bill right now (I can't imagine this Congress passing any non-trivial bill, and I don't see that changing), but a wise legislature would want to do that ahead of need rather than after the fact. If women are going to be drafted, you'd need to start registering them now.

I sincerely hope that it's never necessary. And if a war of that scope does happen again, we'll probably be a lot less selective with our weapons of war. (Afghanistan and Iraq were fought house-to-house, because as bizarre as it sounds that was a way of reducing civilian casualties, at least compared to just flattening entire cities as was done in World War II.) So we may well not have a draft even in a bigger conflict. But I think that, while it's politically impossible, a really good pragmatic case could be made for starting to require Selective Service registration for everybody right now.

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment. -- Robert Benchley

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