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Comment: Re:I genuinely cannot remember... (Score 1) 196

by _merlin (#47374007) Attached to: The lightbulb I've most recently acquired ...

Wow. Glad you got that out. You and the other four guys on the internet that are 1) from a non-US country and 2) like to bitch about every fucking submission that doesn't follow euro standards really gotta get that out or you'll die right?

He claims to have paid in sterling - they don't use sterling in Europe. Learn your geography, goddamn ignorant Americunt. He's not European, he's a Britfag.

Comment: Re:Of course it depends... (Score 1) 163

by _merlin (#47302287) Attached to: I suffer from jet lag ...

Three hours' difference is the worst for me. One hour I can absorb and just keep going, more than five hours is a clean break so my body clock "resets" itself. But in between I just can't deal with it - if I go west (e.g. Sydney to HK) I'll want to go to sleep before work finishes for the day, and if I go east (e.g. HK to Sydney) I can't wake up in the morning.

Comment: Re:Nice looking bike... (Score 4, Interesting) 345

by _merlin (#47279395) Attached to: Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle

My uncle had been riding a white BMW for decades, and one day he decided to paint it black. After that he noticed that people weren't keeping out of his way the way they used to. It may have been because people associate white BMW bikes with cops (NSW police used them for years before switching to Yamaha) and normally don't give a fuck about motorcyclists, or it could just be that a white bike is easier to spot.

Comment: Re:The actual appeal (Score 1) 240

DLSRs can produce great images but there are so many times it produces cold, lifeless images. You can take hundreds of images and choose the best.

White balance - learn to set it, or if that isn't possible to adjust it in post. If a shot looks cold and lifeless, the white balance is probably wrong.

When I used film, a cheapo camera produced more brilliant pictures per shots. Yeah, you have to wait and have them developed but in every reel there were always some amazing shots. Now, with DLSR there are thousands of lifeless images and you edit them and enhance them until they are good. There is just so much rubbish and then a good one among them.

The minilab operator was better at setting parameters when printing the photos than you are at your digital workflow. Minilab operator skill can make a huge difference to the quality of prints you get.

Maybe it speaks to my skill as a photographer but there are some film shots that are absolutely perfect to me - like something out of a magazine. I have perhaps 100 times more digital images but most are horrible and only a few that are amazing mostly because of the composition and I would probably have to set up a professional lighting to achieve that perfect shot I got a few times with film.

Firstly a new tool requires new techniques. You can't just shoot digital like film. For example digital clips hard on overexposure while film handles this more gracefully, but digital gives you more detail in underexposed areas. Secondly, you're likely doing the entire workflow yourself with digital while someone else was probably developing and printing your film. You need to learn about the digital equivalent to this part of the process as well. (If you were developing and printing yourself with film, the same applies: learn the equivalent part of the digital process.)

Comment: Re:Half a century (Score 4, Interesting) 113

by _merlin (#47260781) Attached to: Unisys Phasing Out Decades-Old Mainframe Processor For x86

I first became aware of Unisys in the '80s when the Australian TV broadcasters used their stuff for instant replay, drawing annotations over stills, and slow motion. They got to display their "Unisys Computer" logo in the corner. Never actually had to use them professionally though. Looks like the future is becoming homogenous. IBM dropped the specialised AS/400 and System Z CPUs and migrated to POWER; everyone else seems to be dropping specialised CPUs and moving to x86 or POWER as well.

Comment: Re:Let gay men donate (Score 2) 172

by _merlin (#47218975) Attached to: Human Blood Substitute Could Help Meet Donor Blood Shortfall

Well it comes down to statistics. In Sydney, there's now supposedly greater than 20% HIV infection rate amongst gay men. It's quite high, and much higher than the HIV infection rate amongst the general population. This probably isn't the case everywhere, but in Sydney, a randomly selected gay guy is far more likely to be carrying HIV than a randomly selected person from the rest of the population.

In Sydney the HIV infection rate amongst prostitutes is actually very low. However in Hanoi it's supposedly 30% (now this number might be inflated - prostitution is illegal in Vietnam, so the government might be stretching the truth a little to justify policy). One again, this is far higher than the HIV rate amongst the general population. A randomly selected prostitute in Hanoi is far more likely to be carrying HIV than a randomly selected person from the general population.

What's the HIV infection rate amongst gay men in Hanoi? I don't know, but for argument's sake let's say it's lower than the general population. If this were the case, using the HIV statistic alone, it would make sense to accept blood donations from gay men but not prostitutes in Hanoi. But it makes sense to accept blood donations from prostitutes but not gay men in Sydney (one again, based on the HIV statistic alone; there are other statistics that could be used to argue against accepting blood donations from prostitutes in Sydney).

Profiling is imperfect, but in theory it's still a useful like of defence. In reality it won't work so well, as people can lie pretty easily, especially if there's an incentive to doing so (e.g. prostitution is illegal in Vietnam, so a prostitute would be unlikely to list this as their occupation when donating blood). A lot of people also have some basic sense of responsibility, so gay or not a person who knows they're HIV positive is generally unlikely to donate blood (unless they're an arsehole, but then they'd likely lie to pass criteria anyway). Ultimately it's best to just trust no-one and test everything.

I took a fish head to the movies and I didn't have to pay. -- Fish Heads, Saturday Night Live, 1977.