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Handhelds

When You Really, Really Want to Upgrade a Tiny Notebook 104

Posted by timothy
from the faint-of-heart-attack dept.
Benz145 writes "The famous Sony VAIO UX UMPC may have been cancelled a few years back by Sony, but the community at Micro PC Talk won't let it die. Modder Anh has carefully removed the relatively slow 1.33Ghz Core Solo CPU and installed a much faster Intel Core 2 Duo U7700 (a process which involves reballing the entire CPU). On top of this, he managed to install an incredibly small 4-port USB hub into the unit which allowed for the further instillation of a Huawei E172 modem for 3G data/voice/SMS, a GPS receiver, and a Pinnacle HD TV receiver. All of this was done without modifying the device's tiny external case. Great high-res pictures of the motherboard with the modded hardware can be seen through the link."

Comment: Re:So....the CIA wrote it? (Score 1) 322

by big_paul76 (#33672596) Attached to: Stuxnet Worm May Have Targeted Iranian Reactor

Yeah, nukes are defensive. There's only one thing you can do with them that you can't do with conventionals. Nuke a city. Credible deterrence. That's the point.

Nukes aren't needed by Iran. They have all the deterrence they need in how they can threaten to close the straight. So for Iran, nukes are a "nice to have, eventually" kinda thing. Not something you move heaven and earth to get tomorrow.

Let's try and remember too that, the spirit if not the letter of the non-proliferation treaty is, all the non-nuclear states agree to stay that way and the nuclear powers agree to eventually get rid of theirs.

Well, for the lifetime of the treaty so far, the position of the leaders of nuclear powers has been that "eventually" means "not in my lifetime". Can you blame Iran for wanting nukes?

I mean, if you're a non-nuclear signatory to the NPT, then when exactly is it reasonable for you to conclude that the nuclear powers are bullshitting you, and that they in fact never intend, and never intended, to get rid of their own nukes? When the President of the USA gets up and states that he has to concede that the USA will not get rid of nukes in his lifetime? And what do you do then?

I guess the honest thing to do is, officially pull out of the NPT, and then develop your own nukes, but hey, uh, this is statecraft here, not Ethics 101 final exam, and it's not like the other side has been honest with you in the past, right?

Comment: Re:Waste (Score 1) 553

by big_paul76 (#33495394) Attached to: Ryanair's CEO Suggests Eliminating Co-Pilots

Which is why it's such a great example mentioning the flight that overflew their target.

We have aircraft that can take off, fly, and land by themselves. But they can't take off and land 747s 2 minutes apart with that sort of automated aircraft.

So, we have a tech (aircraft that "can't get lost") that can do this or solve that problem, but it isn't actually practical to deploy most of the time for various non-technical reasons, like economics for example.

Or, y'know, just not having pilots making $25K/year and so sleep deprived on standby shifts that they fall asleep mid flight would do it too. I know nobody's ever likely to prove it, but you talk to pilots who are willing to speak candidly about that case, who are familiar with the working conditions, they'll tell you the crew fell asleep.

(as a side note, pilots can be on "standby availability" for 8 or 12 hours, then 5 minutes before the end of their standby shift, get called to do an 8 hour flight. You'll fall asleep too.)

Comment: neighbors... (Score 3, Interesting) 825

by big_paul76 (#33158496) Attached to: Where To Start With DIY Home Security?

It's funny you mention that - my wife and I just moved into a neighborhood that is cheap, but slightly dodgy. Not so much dangerous, but a lot of break-ins and property crime.

When we were checking out our place, I was looking at the parking lot included. I looked across the alley and realized that I was looking at a 3-story building, maybe ten or twelve apartment balconies per floor, that was a retirement home.

At any hour of the day or night, there are at least one or two people on their balconies having a smoke. All of a sudden, I stopped worrying about break-ins.

Comment: Re:I'll probably be dead by then, right? (Score 1) 326

Well, didn't the human race almost die off completely about 75,000 years ago due to a big volcano? There's a genetic bottleneck that they detected or something?

You familiar with this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permian%E2%80%93Triassic_extinction_event

96% of all marine species dead, 70% of land animals?

Take a look at "canfield oceans".

Comment: Re:More Info & Dashboard (Score 1) 1657

by big_paul76 (#33077760) Attached to: Global Warming 'Undeniable,' Report Says

I'm not sure that Canada is going to benefit from increased frost-free days at higher latitudes if the glacier fed rivers that make farming viable everywhere west of the great lakes dry up or become seasonal rivers.

I mean, it's not like Southern Alberta for example, has a water surplus, right?

f

Comment: climate denier bingo... (Score 1) 1657

by big_paul76 (#33077722) Attached to: Global Warming 'Undeniable,' Report Says

Hmmm... Anybody keeping track of the checklist of climate-change denier bingo here?

First, we get the "the earth isn't warming. And if it is, it isn't anything humans did. And if it is, it isn't a problem" progression.

Now the AC above me gives us the (so thoroughly debunked I'm not gonna bother searching for links) "in the 70s climate scientists told us the earth was going to cool so it's all a big hoax!" argument.

I have a theory that, the reason a lot of people get so upset about this issue because, when you're trying to have a logical, reasonable discussion with someone, and you realize, they aren't having a discussion at all, they're doing something between deliberate disinformation and a political speech, you realize that your opponent has been entirely deceptive and mendacious.

That tends to make people angry. Especially if the former in this example is a scientist or a researcher, and they're used to dealing in something like objectivity, and don't have much in the way of "political skills" or "media literacy", and you realize you just got ambushed by somebody with a hidden agenda.

Comment: A warmer planet is a better planet for life, (Score 1) 1657

by big_paul76 (#33077686) Attached to: Global Warming 'Undeniable,' Report Says

" A warmer planet is a better planet for life, period."

Yes, for "life", in general, a warmer planet is "better". On a geological timescale.

Myself, I'm less concerned whether or not something is good for "life" or not, and whether or not it's good for "humans". And some consequences of warming are crop failures. A 2 degree mean global increase in temperature means that, in july and august, in the non-coastal areas of North America, a six degree rise in daytime temperature high.

So it takes very little to have massive, massive crop failures.

And that's if nothing happens to water supplies. OK, some areas, depending on your latitude, might end up with more rainfall. But there's a lot of people, and a lot of farming, in the regions where expanding Hadley cells means more deserts.

Sea level rise - personally, I think the effects of this on coastal cities has been much overblown. The dutch figured out how to build dikes a long time back. However, if you think about the big river deltas of the Yellow or the Yangzee, you have millions of people living within 1 meter of sea level. Oh, and, those millions are frequently farmers who feed billions. Anyway. How much of a sea level rise do you need to destroy an awful lot of rice paddies?

So yeah, in a sense, a warmer planet is "better for life". However, on the much-shorter-timescale of a human lifetime, it's going to be very unpleasant for a few lifetimes.

Oh, and, your argument about "telling a family in Africa that they have to watch their children die of malnourishment", um, that really only makes sense if your budget for combating climate change comes out of your foreign aid budget. Maybe that's how it works in the Free Republic of Ayn Rand-ia, but I don't know of any _real_ countries where it works like that.

Comment: think of it like a movie prop... (Score 1) 452

by big_paul76 (#32590530) Attached to: The Truth About the Polygraph, According To the NSA

"the subject believes that they work and the polygrapher CAN see changes that can indicate that the person under scrutiny is having an issue with something."

Yeah, or, the polygrapher could have some sort of bias, couldn't he? Couldn't the polygrapher mistakenly _believe_ that, but be wrong?

If the polygraph is NOT 100%, weapons-grade bullonium, then what about the National Academy of Sciences report on the polygraph? What about the Aldrich Ames case? More specifically, why hasn't the polygraph been subjected to the kind of scientific, rigorous, double-blind testing that most other knowledge claims would be subjected to in this day and age?

There was a public inquiry here in Canada back in the 80s. The report the judge who presided over it produced is instructive reading. The judge was consistently frustrated by his inability to get a straight answer out of polygraph "experts" when he'd ask questions like "OK, show me where on these results that deception is indicated."

One of the things that this inquiry found was that you could replace the polygraph with a purely theatrical device and you'd get about the same results.

 

Comment: publishing's elephant in the room: (Score 1) 684

by big_paul76 (#31196994) Attached to: It's 2010; What's the Best E-Reader?

"In the course of the production of my book, it is touched and receives positive benefit from (in no particular order): A writer, an agent, an editor, a copy editor, an art director, an artist, a book designer, a marketer, a publicist, a distributor and a bookseller. As an author, if I lose one of those people, the final product — a saleable book — suffers in one way or another."

Yeah, surprise, surprise, everybody thinks their own position, work, and revenue stream is essential.

The last 2 in that list of 11 positions are middlemen between the author and the consumer/reader. Pardon me if I (as a reader) don't see them as essential. The agent works for you, the author, and provides a service to you, the author, not me, the reader. If his services are valuable, it seems like it's up to you to pay for your own agent, actually.

As Cory Doctorow likes to point out, most of us find our favourite authors by word-of-mouth. So the assertion that the marketer, publicist, artist, and book designer are vital is um, unproven. Burden of proof is on the person who makes the claim. And, uh, as far as I can see, ugly-ass cover art and bad design are not necessarily an obstacle to a book's success, just ask Robert Jordan's heirs.

The assertion that everybody in the production chain is really really important reminds me of (I don't actually know if this is true or not, might be apocryphal) that thing about record execs in the 90s saying how MP3s weren't a threat, because, c'mon, who wants to listen to music on a lossy format?

You know what the real problem with books is? They cost too much. In 2008 dollars, John Updike's "Rabbit, run" sold for something in the range of 5 or 6 bucks when it was released. Currently it's only available in trade paperback at $20-25 a pop. The biggest cause of this is that, when you buy a book, you're not just paying for that book, you're paying for all the books that the publisher puts out and didn't sell, and get sent back to the publisher and get pulped. Bookstores get to take books basically on consignment, and send back the ones that don't sell.

Now this unique arrangement is designed to get Barnes and Noble to take a chance on unknown authors so they don't stock nothing but Stephen King and J.K. Rawling or something. This is the elephant in the room for the publishing industry, and e-distribution could solve it. So don't tell me that your cover art designer is an essential part of the supply chain, thanks.

Comment: Re:Dominionism at play (Score 1) 1252

by big_paul76 (#31125950) Attached to: Texas Textbooks Battle Is Actually an American War

You're confused by the "small government" creed of conservatives?

What about the fact that people who call themselves Christians vote right-wing? Christianity is, in it's texts, a very very left-leaning religion. From "love of money is the root of all evil" to "easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven" or "what you have done for the least of my brothers, you have done for me", the real thing to be confused about is why it is that Christians, at least in the USA, seem to think kicking people off welfare and blaming the victim is just what Jesus would've prescribed.

Comment: Re:Does curriculum matter anymore in the Google Ag (Score 1) 1252

by big_paul76 (#31125932) Attached to: Texas Textbooks Battle Is Actually an American War

Didn't Jefferson say something about how an educated population is essential to democracy succeeding?

Of course, then 30-odd years later De Touqueville predicted that american democracy would succeed, unless elected representatives realized that they can bribe the American people with their own money...

Comment: Re:Everyone Gets Their Own Truth Now (Score 1) 1252

by big_paul76 (#31125920) Attached to: Texas Textbooks Battle Is Actually an American War

You ever read any Greg Egan? He talks about how the postmodernists et. al. destroyed the civil rights movement, sorta tongue-in-cheek, presents it as a CIA plot. They managed to transform the civil rights movement from "Hey, you liberal democracies? You like to talk about great things like civil rights. Can we have some too?" to "your reality narrative is different but equally valid to my reality narrative".

When you think about it, it almost seems plausible...

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

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