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Comment: Don't make the individual conform to the goal (Score 1) 686

So very sad to hear about your impending demise.

This was a letter written by Hunter S Thompson when he was 22 years old.
He tackles the grandest question of all, the proverbial "meaning of life".

I normally dislike reading self-help literature of any kind, but this is not it. This is just a honest introspective letter, and a letter he writes to his friend who asks for advice. Although the friend's question was different from what you are asking, I thought that the real underlying question was the same. Hence I write. Quite likely, this is also the letter that I will ask my children to read. Or I will read it out to them.

All the very best on your onward journey.

To quote the Hagakure:
Among the maxims on Lord Naoshige's wall, there was this one: "Matters of great concern should be treated lightly."
Master Ittei commented, "Matters of small concern should be treated seriously."

Comment: Re: They are just trolls with lots of money (Score 4, Interesting) 418

by asliarun (#49026863) Attached to: $10K Ethernet Cable Claims Audio Fidelity, If You're Stupid Enough To Buy It

You bring up some good points in your post. But I have to disagree on one thing. Good quality music reproduction is today more accessible than ever. There was a time when you had to get horn speakers or at least speakers as big as cabinets, class A amplification -solid state or tubes, and a really hard to setup vinyl turntable. Then there was room treatment, speaker placement, and all those shenanigans.

Not saying this is still not relevant. But today, you can get a decent pair of headphones (sennheiser, audio technical, akg, grado, fostex/MrSpeakers, etc), a decent DAC and amp (Schiit, Audio GD, etc), and good quality source and good quality digital (hi res or even redbook) - all at even a college dorm budget, and similarly compact.

I remember the days of the walkman and audio cassettes, and for sure, the progress has been dramatic. The only irony being that the single most important piece - the quality of mastering and quality of recording - has largely gone for a toss. Today, it is all about loudness wars and auto tune. But that is a different matter.

When people pursuing any hobby go beyond a certain expense level, they make purchasing decisions for most things other than money. Why is there no Slashdot argument about people paying $3 million for a vintage Ferrari or a Jag? Is there any basis to that price! Is the buyer, no matter how much an auto enthusiast, ever going to take his or her vintage Jag for a really rough spin that could risk damaging the car?

Maybe the analogy is not accurate. Fair enough. But a lot of audiophiles with really high end systems do find a difference in sound even with trivial component swaps. They will even claim that placement of certain objects in the room alters the sound.

But before dismissing them as twats, it might be worth thinking about how idiosyncratic and bizarre other people are who are equally immersed in their hobby or pursuit. The guy who is cooling his Intel CPU in liquid nitro to get the last bit of over clock - really, what practical purpose did he serve? And he probably spent a bunch of money on his rig too.

The strangest thing of all is that music is one of those strange beasts that changes quality with every trivial change in component, room, source, you name it. That is what gets audiophiles hooked. Maybe and probably it is psychoacoustics. But if you can hear the difference, it is there, right?

Now how much tweaking and money you want to throw at this pursuit, that is a very subjective thing. But dissing it and ridiculing it is also wrong. It is only one of the many things that continue to fascinate us as a species. And music is indeed very very special to most of us. We just don't pay enough attention to this sense.

Comment: Re: Different markets... (Score 4, Insightful) 458

by asliarun (#48946205) Attached to: How, and Why, Apple Overtook Microsoft

I disagreed about apple being jewelry alone. Microsoft made products that people grumblingly put up with - so they could get the job done and be more productive.

Apple made products that people finally liked to use, and could use it easily enough, and fairly intuitively. When you create a great user experience like this, especially with a very low learning curve, people will adopt and use it in extraordinary ways. Once they feel good about using your products, they will feel special, like it was their private special thing. They will then become your biggest marketing team.

If anything, the industrial design aspect of Apple's products and even high price were side effects. The first was a nice to have, the second not so nice to have. But it didn't change a damn thing. It was always about the core user experience.. And how even most of the third party apps gave you the same sense of familiarity and consistency.

In a cynical way, this is like marketing a drug. You give the first few doses for free and make people realize how easy it is to use the drug and how shiny their world becomes when they use it regularly. Then step back and enjoy the fun. Apple gave people a tiny little pill yto swallow and even gave them little travel packs. Microsoft made people goto the doctor and get the drug injected up their backsides.

Comment: Re:OK, based upon notebook shopping thus far (Score 2) 118

"8GB was something acceptable back in 2008... but a laptop should be at 16, if not 32 gigs of RAM."

On what basis are you saying that? What are these deal-breaker applications that will need 32 or 16 gigs of RAM? Mind you, this post is about an ultra portable 13" laptop - I would assume that no one in their right mind would want to use this as a full blown workstation. I would imagine most users would use a laptop like this for standard stuff like browsing, Office apps, for presentations, etc.

Maybe a few would run Photoshop or Visual Studio or Eclipse. Is 8GB not enough for Photoshop or Eclipse anymore?? And I do feel that with HD 5500, 8GB RAM, and a speedy SSD, Photoshop would run just fine.

And back in 2008, Windows XP 64 bit had barely come out and almost no one was using 64 bit apps. From what I remember, almost everyone had between 2GB - 4GB RAM in standard laptop builds. Much less 8GB.

I'm honestly scratching my head to try and imagine why 32 GB or 16GB would be considered bare minimum for an ultraportable laptop.

Comment: Electrically-coupled counterweight (Score 1) 248

by Aardpig (#48920837) Attached to: Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

Many posts suggest doing away with the cable by putting the motor on the elevator car; but this overlooks the fact that the elevator needs to be connected to a counterweight for efficiency reasons.

However, here's a thought: you put motors on the elevator *and* the counterweight. As the elevator goes up, the counterweight goes down and uses its motors as generators to partly power the elevator's motors. And vice versa.

Sure, you're not going to break even due to electrical losses; but it'll be a damn sight better than no counterweight.

Comment: Re:Bye_bye, Blackberry (Score 2) 307

by asliarun (#48879293) Attached to: Blackberry CEO: Net Neutrality Means Mandating Cross-Platform Apps

Why don't you educat yourself?

When Apple first introduced the MacBook, you could get it in white or black. The black version, of course, cost an extra $200 for the coolness factor. Considering that my MacBook lasted for eight years, it was a worthwhile investment.

When my Black MacBook stopped working, I took it into the Apple Store. Most the Apple employees heard about the Black MacBook (discontinued in 2008) but never saw one in person. They took turns looking at it. Surprisingly, despite being a six-year-old laptop at the time, the Apple Store replaced the keyboard top and battery with identical replacement parts.

Did you stick an Apple logo on a Thinkpad? :-D

You must work at Google. :P

That is great service support indeed. And I can see why you wouldn't let go of this model.

P.S. I wasn't aware of black macbooks (but I have never owned a mac) - and saw an opportunity to sneak in some stinkpad love.

On a side note, check out the new XPS 13. Those near zero bezels look mighty nice.

Like the Sharp Aquos phone that is near bezel-less.

(Sorry for the OT - got carried away a bit)

Comment: Re:Bye_bye, Blackberry (Score 1) 307

by asliarun (#48878029) Attached to: Blackberry CEO: Net Neutrality Means Mandating Cross-Platform Apps

No one wants to switch from a Mac/Windows to a Windows/Mac system if their files or programs are not 100% guaranteed to work.

When my vintage Black MacBook (2006) died last year after eight years of faithful service, I exported my data into neutral file formats (i.e., cvs and xml), switched over to my Windows gaming machine, and imported my data into corresponding programs. Minimal downtime. Meanwhile, I'm saving up for a new Mac system.

"vintage Black MacBook" - Sorry, I am not a Mac person - what's a black Macbook? Or wait a minute... Did you stick an Apple logo on a Thinkpad? :-D

Comment: Peer reviewed (Score 1) 329

by tanveer1979 (#48562731) Attached to: Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

Any study is valid if its peer reviewed. So first of all you need to apply this filter. You are not qualified to believe in a study. So people like you and me look for peer reviewed studies.

Secondly, you have to understand that a study is one study.
So if 20 sites quote Study X
and 2 sites quote study Y
It does not mean there are 2 studies Y and 20 studies X

Many times, these denier sites all quote one study, and in the cacophony confusion arises.

So whenever you find something, see if you can follow the breadcrumbs to the source paper.
Find if its peer reviewed.

Then store it.

Collect a few such papers. You will realize that the papers supporting human cause will vastly outnumber those opposing it.

Comment: Science does not work like that (Score 4, Informative) 329

by tanveer1979 (#48562553) Attached to: Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

Humans are 100% responsible is a claim which makes headlines.
But have you read actual research.

It says, there is enough evidence to prove that most of the warming can be linked to human activities.

Science looks at evidence, and then presents a hypothesis. This is how it has been in the scientific method. When an evidence is discounted science looks at new evidence.

Science is never always right. Scientists make mistakes. And that is why its science. For example, some hypothesis about climate change was proved wrong. Does it mean that entire climate change argument is wrong?
Scientists will update their models, gather more evidence and then present the findings again. Being wrong does not discredit science. It merely improves it.

The problem is, people view science as they have viewed faith. There is no room for error or mistakes. So any process which makes mistakes is ridiculed. IPCC has made mistakes, so have other climate scientists. Some evidence may not be relevant or nonferrous. But it does not matter. We just move on.

There are some things about climate we do not understand. That is also acceptable. Sure, faith based systems have all the answers, but that is not science. You first have to understand what is science, and once you do, you will figure it all out.

Do not fear science. Embibe it. Question. But not because somebody told you to, or some rich publication says so. Question on your own merit. If you do not believe something to be true, instead of ridiculing and pointing to some site on the internet which says its wrong, ask the question.

What site X says, is it true? If not, why? You will find answers to all of it if you start looking for it.

But if you let your faith cloud your judgement, you will never understand. If you want to understand, question. Now ridicule.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"