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Comment: Go drink yourself into a Pimms' stupor... (Score 1) 459

by Dogtanian (#47946943) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

it is much more productive and beneficial for their sanity if they direct their political woahs at Westminster

What are "political woahs"? It sounds like something out of "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure in Scotland". ;-P

And as if the English are any better; go out in any crap nowhere provincial town there late on Saturday night and I'm sure you'll see as much drink-fuelled disorder as anywhere in Scotland.

Comment: Re:Continues a worrying trend (Score 4, Informative) 459

by Dogtanian (#47946449) Attached to: Scotland Votes No To Independence

People want to live in a country without paying for its upkeep. What's next, city-states?

What's your point? That Scotland won't be "contributing" when it remains a part of the United Kingdom, somehow?

Your comment on "city states" sounds far more reminiscent of the direction in which London is heading. It's already approaching an entity in its own right within England, increasingly unbalancing the United Kingdom and heavily influenced by tax-dodging multinational companies.

The "City of London" (a historic title which refers only to the financial "square mile" rather than the other several hundred square miles of London itself) is notoriously undemocratic, prominent way, *way* beyond its nominal area, and interferes on behalf of its corporate paymasters in the working of the UK in general:-

Comment: Take the long view (Score 5, Insightful) 490

by JanneM (#47926185) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

Charlie Stross recently posted a very good take on this: This is a permanent change. Whatever happens during the first few years is basically irrelevant, compared to the long-term results. Did Norway separating from Sweden cause short-term economic upheaval? Does that matter at all a century later?

This is a long-term change, not a short.term one. Any voter should consider the probable situation twenty or fourty years from now, not whatever happens in a year or two.

Comment: Re:WAAAHHHH!!! (Score 1) 172

by Dogtanian (#47919135) Attached to: Quickflix Wants Netflix To Drop Australian VPN Users

Sounds like a case of tall poppy envy to me.

Sounds like a badly mixed metaphor to me- tall poppy syndrome- which I assume is what you had in mind- tends to have a more specific use referring to people attacked for their achievements or prominence by their peers within a particular society, and I'm not sure this is a good example of that.

Comment: Re:Crude? (Score 1) 99

by Dogtanian (#47913129) Attached to: Original 11' <em>Star Trek Enterprise</em> Model Being Restored Again

This is why they had to redo all of the special effects shots in the TNG Blu-Ray release. While the film had enough resolution for an HD transfer, all of the special effects shots (ie. warp stretch, light boom, etc.) were done on video tape.

That's correct. Though I intentionally left it out above of the above post (I'm longwinded enough and it was less relevant there), I've commented in the past (e.g. in this post and several others in that thread) that TNG's effects shots were at best (AFAIK) composited on SD video from film sources, if not entirely generated on SD video.

Hence a 100% authentic HD transfer of the original unmodified TNG episodes would be impossible, purely because certain shots only ever existed in SD.

(If they were to be upscaled- as I understood they did for some regular scenes were they couldn't locate the original footage- they would stand out like a sore thumb among the HD-scanned shots, as ST:TNG's analogue NTSC video was soft and crappy even in SD and there's no way on earth they'd be able to convincingly upscale it).

Comment: Re:An end to XBox? (Score 1) 329

by Dogtanian (#47912387) Attached to: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion
Funny you should say this. A while back I was thinking that- for this reason- MS should have "partnered" with a Japanese company for the original XBox launch there, paying them a cut of the profits there in exchange for "contributing" some token (but easily played-up) role in its "development" and the agreement to use that company's name prominently in marketing the product.

In reality they'd actually be paying the Japanese company near-free royalties in exchange for the right to use them as a trojan horse for the notoriously hard-to-break Japanese market. Yes, it might grate slightly, but 80% of ten times as much profit is still preferable in the long term. The exaggerated "development" role would be a way of countering accusations that the Japanese company were doing little more than marketing an American console... of course they weren't, it's well-known that they contributed significantly to the XBox joint-venture!

The agreement would have to have been drawn up carefully in advance (without being overly explicit about its cynical intent) to avoid MS being held hostage later on, and ultimately the XBox brand is the one that should be being promoted- the Japanese company's name being a means to get a foot in the door, and possibly phased out or reduced later on.

Comment: Re:Crude? (Score 2) 99

by Dogtanian (#47904161) Attached to: Original 11' <em>Star Trek Enterprise</em> Model Being Restored Again

Models built for TV in years past often weren't built with much detail, simply because it wouldn't show up on screen anyway. That said, the TOS Enterprise did have a lot more detail than one would expect for a TV show (there are markings and such that are too tiny to see on TV), but it pales when compared to the Enterprise built for "The Motion Picture" which has much, much finer detail.

This touches on something I've mentioned previously- namely, why older TV shows shot and mastered entirely on film still aren't necessarily "HD", even though the medium itself *happens* to be capable of resolving that much detail.

An HD production requires *everything* to have been done to HD standards. If not, it's quite possible that props, makeup et al that were only ever expected to look good on a standard-definition set of the time will show their deficiencies far more obviously under the scrutiny of HD.

There were no doubt good reasons for shooting on film- either technical or aesthetic (film converted to standard-def video for transmission still looks different to natively-shot video)- but decades before HD was even a twinkle in anyone's eye, I doubt they were going to waste their limited TV budget on detailing they (reasonably) assumed no-one was ever going to see.

I suspect that the original Enterprise model was more detailed as it would have been used a lot, and having a higher-quality model in the first place would give them more flexibility in terms of close-ups, etc.

Compare [Star Wars movie props] to some of the ST:TNG props that I've seen that look fine on screen, but when examined closely look like someone gave a 5-year old a couple of shots of vodka and turned them loose with a paintbrush.

Bingo. I bet the one-off single-show models were done as well as required- and no more. (Particularly as ST:TNG was from the shot-on-film-but-mastered-on-video era that- ironically- gave poorer quality than the all-film ST:TOS).

Comment: Re:MOOC is designed like a physical classroom (Score 1) 182

by JanneM (#47896993) Attached to: The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

"Also some of the science and tech courses are very demanding but the teachers don't simplify it leading to many whooshing sounds for the student throughout the courses. Such courses could benefit from a simplified overview of the course material."

How many employers would like to hire people that can't understand the actual content and need "simplified overview" to get a grade? If you really don't grasp it to the point where you can actually apply the math for new, novel problems, then you don't actually know it, do you?

MOOCs have a serious credibility problem already. The very last thing they need is to dumb things down. If it becomes common knowledge that, say, an engineering MOOC graduate can't even handle a system of differential equations in an intelligent manner, or don't understand the implication of Green's function, then the credits will become truly worthless.

Comment: Re:Philosophical Point (Score 1) 100

by Dogtanian (#47896753) Attached to: Scientists Capture the Sound Made By a Single Atom
I accept what you're saying, but the point was that he mirrored the OP's comment in order to make a point- presumably- that this form of "seeing" was just as valid as seeing with the eyes, or rather that, if that wasn't seeing, then "touching" with the fingers wasn't "touching" either.

But it doesn't work because putting "touching" in quotes implies that this isn't actually touching, when it *is* in effect the definition of touching- there's no more direct way you can "touch" something with your own fingers, and it's arguable whether it's meaningful to argue what constitutes touching below that scale.

The "seeing" example quite plainly *was* more indirect, and that's the point I was making.

Comment: Re:Philosophical Point (Score 1) 100

by Dogtanian (#47891833) Attached to: Scientists Capture the Sound Made By a Single Atom

This concept also applies when people claim to "touch" a tree with their hands. They are, in fact, just extrapolating from the repulsion of electron charges. That shit is far removed from the nervous system, yet we still prefer to make sense.

No- you're trying to be a smartass here, but it doesn't really work, because there isn't any more direct form of "touch"- i.e. the sensation- than that. Insofar as the sensation of "touch"- or the mechanism underlying it- has any meaning when you examine it at such a close, microscopic level, that *is* what "touching" is.

This contrasts with the OP's example of scientists "seeing" on the screen on an electron microscope, where there quite obviously *is* a level of abstraction from directly seeing something (via the interaction of photons with the object and then one's own eyes). So, no- you didn't make a point.


iPhone 6 Sales Crush Means Late-Night Waits For Some Early Adopters 222

Posted by timothy
from the who'd-a-thunk-it dept.
Even after the months of hype and speculation, the behind-the-scenes development and manufacture, and then the announcement Tuesday, it seems Apple's servers weren't quite ready for the workout they got from would-be early adopters of its newest iPhone. Preorders through Verizon Wireless and AT&T largely started without a hitch at midnight, though some customers on Twitter have since complained about issues. Those problems were nothing compared to the issues experienced by Sprint and T-Mobile customers. The Sprint and T-Mobile sites were still down for many users nearly two hours after presales were slated to start. Access to Sprint's site faded in and out, while the T-Mobile site continued to display a form to register for a reminder for when the preorders began. Some people joked on Twitter that they "might as well wait for the iPhone 6S now." Apple's store itself was down for a few hours, too.

Prediction is very difficult, especially of the future. - Niels Bohr