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Comment: Re:Cashless can't happen, here is why ... (Score 5, Insightful) 569

by arth1 (#47446257) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

The ONLY thing required for this to happen is secure communications.

That's like saying "the ONLY thing required is world peace".
What admins and engineers have known for a long time, and which people like Snowden provided evidence for is that secure communication is not a given, and highly unlikely to be an option for the masses.

If the government won't let people have a shadow economy they can't monitor or control, expect physical alternatives to take their place. There's plenty of precedence for turning to valuable metals when the currency cannot be trusted. And there are examples of governments banning both gold and silver trade as a kneejerk reaction, but that just moves the market to something else.

Comment: Re:LEDs (Score 1) 247

by arth1 (#47446001) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

I'm switching out my lightbulbs - to halogen lights.
I can't stand the visible flickering of LED lights, nor that they don't light in a continuous spectrum. Some colors will show stronger and some less in LED light, which irritates me.
It's like listening to music with an 18-band equalizer, and three random knobs turned all the way up, and the rest down.

Halogen lights don't have that problem, and you can get them in many color temperatures. They're far more efficient than regular incandescent bulbs, while still having the advantages of an unbroken spectrum and little flickering. They're also safer for the environment to dispose of than LEDs.

Comment: Re:Garbage In (Score 1) 231

by arth1 (#47442941) Attached to: Avast Buys 20 Used Phones, Recovers 40,000 Deleted Photos

Out of the 2 Android phones that I have had, zero of them came with Facebook preinstalled. I blame the mobile phone provider.

Your blame is at least partially misplaced. Manufacturers also bundle software, regardless of the carrier. The last two Android phones I had were bought directly from the manufacturer as never-locked phones (not to be confused with unlocked, which means the carrier lock has been removed). Yet there still was plenty of bundled and uninstallable software, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Drive, Hangout and Picasa apps and integration for pretty much everything. I have disabled more than 20 bundled apps.

The manufacturer assumes that everyone uses the big social media sites and want to tell their friends (and their friends) about everything they do, including what music (or audio books) they play, what pictures they take, and where they currently are.

It's good that social exhibitionism became acceptable (thanks to Jennifer Ringley more than anyone), but that it became the norm to the point that it's bundled is something I strongly object to. It's like buying a toilet and finding out that it (unadvertised) comes with wan connected crotch cams that can't be removed, just temporarily disabled.

Comment: Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (Score 1) 89

by arth1 (#47436569) Attached to: Lyft's New York Launch Halted By Restraining Order

It's rather the opposite. When people take a cab, they don't take a car, and won't spend time driving around looking for a parking space.
Having enough taxicabs also reduces the amount of drink driving, which is a serious problem here in the US.
And you free up parking lots and parking garages, which can be used for other infrastructure, which reduces the need to travel even more.

I've lived in cities with plenty of taxis, and I've lived in cities with next to none. The cities that had a surplus of taxis also had the least amount of traffic problems.
London has around twice as many taxicabs as New York City, for a comparable population size. Other European cities have an even higher ratio of taxis per citizens, with a 1:100 ratio not being uncommon. And those cities have the least amount of problems with automobile traffic too.

Comment: Re:I hate to imagine it (Score 1) 124

by arth1 (#47431477) Attached to: Child Thought To Be Cured of HIV Relapses, Tests Positive Again

If the reinfection is also from the mother (which is what is most likely)

How can you say that is most likely?
HIV does not spread easily. The panic times when people wore gloves and masks around the HIV infected are long gone, thankfully. The HIV virus spreading to family members is quite rare.
Diseases staying dormant for a long time is, however, not unusual at all.
So again, on what basis do you draw the conclusion that a re-infection is most likely?


Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment? 491

Posted by timothy
from the won't-fit-in-my-phone dept.
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Back in the day (which is a scientific measurement for anyone who used to walk to school during snowstorms, uphill, both ways), integrated audio solutions had trouble earning respect. Many enthusiasts considered a sound card an essential piece to the PC building puzzle. It's been 25 years since the first Sound Blaster card was introduced, a pretty remarkable feat considering the diminished reliance on discrete audio in PCs, in general. These days, the Sound Blaster ZxR is Creative's flagship audio solution for PC power users. It boasts a signal-to-noise (SNR) of 124dB that Creative claims is 89.1 times better than your motherboard's integrated audio solution. It also features a built-in headphone amplifier, beamforming microphone, a multi-core Sound Core3D audio processor, and various proprietary audio technologies. While gaming there is no significant performance impact or benefit when going from onboard audio to the Sound Blaster ZxR. However, the Sound Blaster ZxR produced higher-quality in-game sound effects and it also produces noticeably superior audio in music and movies, provided your speakers can keep up."

Comment: Re:And Joe Schmoe wont care. (Score 1) 358

by arth1 (#47423663) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

Half our registered voters don't even want to pay for healthcare for our citizens, why do you think we would pay for this?

I haven't met many fellow Americans who are willing to pay for healthcare for anyone. Half of them are willing to subsidize private health insurance, which is still a right-wing approach seen from a world perspective.

It seems like another way to move money from the middle class to corporations, giving the lower income workers extra expenses they can ill afford, even subsidized. It doesn't help to have health insurance if you cannot afford the co-pay and OOP expenses.

The very idea of funding healthcare directly, not going through private insurance intermediates who milk the maximum amount of money from both sides, is one that seems alien to Americans, no matter what party they claim to support.

Comment: As you ask... (Score 1) 57

by arth1 (#47401093) Attached to: Interview: Edward Stone Talks About JPL and Space Exploration

Someone should have vetted the questions. The very first one was painful to read:

Samzenpus: I'm sure you had great hopes for Voyager but did you or others working on the program dream that it would be so successful or travel so far?

Um, "it"? Is Samzenpus unaware that there are more than one?
And of course they expected them to travel so far. They're not like cars which can run out of gas. The risk of something stopping them is astronomical, so they'll of course travel on.

Comment: Re:Missing Option: I HATE fireworks. (Score 1) 340

by arth1 (#47399699) Attached to: On 4th of July:

Yes, because anyone who cannot afford to pay for a baby sitter should forego ever eating out or watching a movie.

If you can afford to dine out and go to the movies, you can afford a babysitter. If you can't afford both, then drop the restaurant and go to a museum or library or park instead. You might even enjoy the quiet of the first two.
It's about priorities, and others not being subjected to your child wailing is not high on your priorities. You want to have your cake and eat it too, not liking having to make sacrifices because you now have a child.

Comment: Re:4th of July? (Score 1) 340

by arth1 (#47399391) Attached to: On 4th of July:

Every country has a day in the year when they set off the fireworks.

No, thankfully this is not the case anymore. More and more countries ban the practice, which not only starts fires and maim and kill people, but frightens the wildlife and war survivors.
July 5 is roadkill day, because of all the scared shitless animals who ran onto the roads the night before.

A large number of installed systems work by fiat. That is, they work by being declared to work. -- Anatol Holt