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Comment: Re:Happy President (Score 1) 569

by Skweetis (#44564921) Attached to: Obama's Privacy Reform Panel Will Report To<nobr> <wbr></nobr>... the NSA

No[me] it[me] isn't[me].

I apologize if this seems rude, but why should I be interested in your opinion? Are you an authority on economic policy?

The only way you can judge Presidents is how the economy fares AFTER their 4 or 8 years in office.

It's been pointed out to you that this is flawed and why, so I won't repeat it. However, there is a grain of truth in this. A president's policies with regard to economic matters don't really take effect until their second year in office, given the constitutional procedures regarding budgeting, etc. If you want me to take you seriously, take the figures in the links I cited, and demonstrate how accounting for this changes the premise I posted.

Comment: Re:Happy President (Score 1) 569

by Skweetis (#44564815) Attached to: Obama's Privacy Reform Panel Will Report To<nobr> <wbr></nobr>... the NSA

Sorry, bloggers and authors peddling their own books? Sorry, not convinced.

I tried to select sources that referenced actual numbers. Feel free to cite numbers of your own, but this is such a well-known phenomenon at this point that denying it strikes me as highly unusual.

And how convenient, that the most recent disaster is blamed on Bush...

I don't think it's very fair to blame former President Bush for the financial crisis. Though his 2003 tax cuts included a provision eliminating capital gains tax on certain home sales, which created structures that allowed the real estate and financial markets to become corrupted and eventually collapse, assigning blame to him is like blaming the owner of a gun shop when someone commits a crime using a gun purchased at that shop.

Democrats of the late 1990ies are to blame...

The core cause of the financial crisis was the over-leveraging of securities backed by subprime loans. Given that these loans were overwhelmingly not backed by Fannie Mae and/or Freddie Mac, I'm struggling to determine how the author of that article is making the connection between rules regarding affordable housing access for the poor and minorities and the financial crisis (I do like his books, though). After some cursory Googling, I located this, which, while interesting, isn't especially relevant.

...workforce participation...

This is why.

Comment: Re:Happy President (Score 3, Informative) 569

Until there is a Libertarian candidate, who is remotely viable, picking Republicans is what Libertarians ought to be doing. Because Republicans are far less wrong on economy. And economic freedom is required for prosperity...

The opposite is literally true. I don't personally vote economic issues (there's nothing wrong with doing so), but if I were to, voting Republican would not be an optimal choice.

On contrast, if an ultra-Conservative "RethugliKKKan" wins elections and, horrors, manages to outlaw abortions... Guess what? I'll still be able to afford my daughter's trip to Canada, should she ever want the procedure.

You seem to primarily vote your wallet, and you also have a liberal position on at least one social issue, or, at least, you're not crazy about the Republican platform position on that issue (please correct me if I read you wrong). Again, nothing wrong with that, but holding a Republican preference with what you've shared of your political views seems... decidedly strange. I'd honestly be interested in how you arrived at the preference you have.

...the deterioration of our economy...

What deterioration? Now, I'll be the first to admit that we're not exactly seeing Clinton-era growth, but we are seeing steady, albeit slow, improvement. Again, literally the opposite of deterioration.

Comment: Re:Love GoG (Score 1) 397

by Skweetis (#42121429) Attached to: GOG: How an Indie Game Store Took On the Pirates and Won

...what we need is a "Win9X Box" that will simulate say a 733MHz P3 with 384Mb of RAM and a Geforce 4 that will fake all the quirks that devs would use back then.

For 3D-accelerated games from that era, I've had good luck with dgVoodoo. Unaccelerated DirectDraw stuff often flat refuses to run on newer versions of Windows, but I've gotten some things to work with The DirectDraw Hack and similar programs, depending on the game.

But, that's not really what you're asking for. QEMU might be a good starting point; getting it to emulate a P3 and a Geforce 4 may be a lot of work (I haven't perused the source), but probably not impossible; I mean, it's designed to emulate selected CPUs and video cards already.

WINE is getting good, too -- I want to try this when it's working.

Comment: Re:Here be no surprises (Score 1) 608

by Skweetis (#41236481) Attached to: Obama and Romney Respond To ScienceDebate.org Questionnaire

And here's the complete context, where you can see that he was talking about infrastructure:

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don't do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

Good job proving the grandparent's point.

Comment: Re:Run the 16-bit applications in a real emulator (Score 1) 216

by Skweetis (#41236145) Attached to: AMD64 Surpasses i386 As Debian's Most Popular Architecture

...run the 16-bit applications in Windows 3.1 in a real emulator such as DOSBox.

This works really well, actually. DOSBox is good enough that it seems more stable than any 486 hardware ever was. It runs my old DOS/Windows apps handily, runs on any recent Windows/Linux/OSX OS with no drama, and the source is readily available in case I ever run into something that needs some tweaking to get running. Not that I've needed to do that much; I think I made a small hack to 0.72 to get it to run something, which ended up working in 0.73 and 0.74 without modification.

Comment: Re:The missing SEX option (Score 1) 125

by Skweetis (#41177895) Attached to: What Does a Virtual Assistant Do Best?

I initially misread the first option as 'gives erections'. And, frankly, that would be as good a use of a virtual assistant as anything else they do. As cool as the software can be, it's really just a UI paradigm; all of the operations in the poll options are straightforward enough to do with a standard smartphone interface. Not to diminish the importance of UI paradigms, as they can be industry-changing, but at the same time, I've worked through enough of them to be less interested than I used to be.

Comment: Re:Lost some funding? (Score 1) 387

by Skweetis (#37397982) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Use For a New Supercomputing Cluster?
'Decent speaker cable', according to the reply to your original post, is simply cable of sufficient diameter to lower resistance. This is correct -- any two conductors of sufficient size will work fine in this application. Induced noise isn't an issue at the voltage levels required to drive a loudspeaker, so no shielding is required (or desired -- shielded cable would introduce capacitance issues that would potentially cause your amplifier some distress). I do sound reinforcement for extra cash sometimes; I have personally used two sets of booster cables and 500 feet of barbed wire fence as a speaker 'cable' for an outdoor event. I mostly use bulk lamp cord in normal situations. Monster Cable is largely unnecessary and overpriced (and, frighteningly, is generally regarded as low-end among the cork-sniffing segment of the pro-audio world).

Comment: Re:Even and odd harmonics (Score 1) 685

by Skweetis (#37059308) Attached to: PC Designer Says PC "Going the Way of the Vacuum Tube"

A tube amp may emphasize either even or odd order harmonics, depending on the circuit design in the output stage. A single-ended output stage (one in which one or more tubes are used to simply amplifies the current of the input waveform) will indeed tend to emphasize even-order harmonics. Many tube hi-fi amps use a Class A single-ended output stage for this reason. An amp with a push-pull output stage (one in which the input waveform is split into two, with one phase-inverted 180 degrees from the other, and each new waveform sent to one half of one or more output tube pairs, which are biased so that each member of each pair essentially amplifies the current of one half of the original input waveform) will tend to emphasize odd-order harmonics, as even-order harmonics present in the signal will be canceled out when the signals are recombined by the output transformer. Most guitar amplifiers (probably the most common use of vacuum tubes anymore) are Class AB, push-pull amplifiers, which, aside from being much more efficient than single-ended amps, add mid-frequency punch to what would be a somewhat thin tone otherwise.

/Finally, a chance to use my archaic, outdated electronics knowledge for something. =P

Comment: Re:Size matters (Score 1) 80

by Skweetis (#37023638) Attached to: Making Microelectronics Out of Nanodiamond

Transistor amplifiers typically have a much faster slew rate than tubes. The slowness of tube amplifiers is mostly related to the rectification stage, though -- in older amps, a diode tube such as a 5AR4 or 5U4 is used, which can have a slew rate of 100 ms or more under some circumstances. Newer tube amplifiers typically, though not always, have solid-state rectification (usually 1N4007 diodes in a bridge configuration), which slew much faster.

Another characteristic of tube amplifiers that is of interest to musicians is harmonic content. Where a transistor amplifier simply takes an input sine wave and outputs an amplified version of the same wave, a tube amplifier will output dozens of harmonic waves as well. A "clean" sounding tube amp likely outputs a signal with 10 to 15% THD. A single-ended amplifier (one in which one or more output tubes simply increase the power of a signal) will tend to emphasize even-order harmonics (even-numbered multiples of the input frequency). An amplifier in a push-pull configuration (one in which two or more output tubes are paired, with each member of a pair amplifying one half of the input waveform) will tend to cancel even-order harmonics and emphasize odd-order harmonics (odd-numbered multiples of the input frequency).

A couple of weeks ago, I worked on a modern tube amp which was designed to allow flexibility in all of these areas. It had multiple stages which could each be overdriven separately or together for different overload characteristics, rectification switchable between tube and solid-state, and an output stage switchable between push-pull and single-ended. It even had multiple bias/plate voltage presets to allow use of multiple tube types in the output stage. Complicated, but kind of cool, too.

And the grandparent is correct regarding the gullibility of audiophiles. Anyone who would spend $60/foot on "premium speaker cable", when dollar-store lamp cord will conduct the same voltages and frequencies in an identical fashion should probably have their picture posted next to 'gullible' in the dictionary. =P

Music

+ - SkreemR Comes Back From the Dead->

Submitted by Hodejo1
Hodejo1 (1252120) writes "Back in October the principals behind the music search engine SkreemR decided it was time to pull the plug. Unlike SeeqPod, which was besieged by major label lawsuits, the decision to kill SkreemR was based on simple economics. "We had a good run of 3 and a half years", James Gagan wrote in his email, "but everyone involved has other interests and ultimately it was not a hugely profitable enterprise". Normally, that would be that, but it looks like the folks behind SkreemR have had a change of heart. The search engine has been quietly revived and even added improvements such as voice activated search for Chrome users."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Yet another Apple "standard" (Score 1) 311

by Skweetis (#35269600) Attached to: Apple To Unveil Light Peak, New MacBook Pros This Week?

Who's using PS/2 Mouse/keyboard connectors?

/me raises hand sheepishly. I'm still using the IBM Model M keyboard that I got with a cast-off 286 (the first computer I ever had that was mine, and not shared with someone else) in the mid-1990s. It's the only keyboard I've ever owned; I found it to be a little surreal when they became collectors' items in the past decade or so. I'm also still using a no-name $8 PS/2 mouse (one of the early optical mice) that I got about ten years ago. Maybe I should turn in my geek card for not bothering to upgrade my old junk, but it works fine for my purposes, and the last time I bought a motherboard (a couple of years ago, IIRC) it wasn't difficult to find one with PS/2 ports. When the ports are finally gone, I'll buy a cheap PS/2 to USB adapter.

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