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Comment: Re:The Navy sucks at negotiating (Score 1) 116

by meustrus (#48676975) Attached to: US Navy Sells 'Top Gun' Aircraft Carrier For One Penny
Not sure what your point was, and for that matter, not sure what mine will be either.

One constant trend has been that soldiers are less expendable. In the first world war, sending men to walk slowly towards machine guns and throw a grenade if they survived to get close enough was their patriotic duty. By Vietnam, having large numbers of soldiers come back in body bags was politically unacceptable.

The Great War was a major reason that soldiers became less expendable. That war saw millions of casualties in a single day, multiple times, with none of it able to break the stalemate. In World War II, not one of the powers was interested in making the same kind of sacrifices, with technology making up the difference. Bombers and tanks prove more effective than meat anyway. But most importantly, ever since the end of World War II there has not been a single conflict that directly threatened the West. Sure, the Cold War propaganda had most of the country convinced that Communism as an idea was spreading and threatened the American way of life. But nobody seriously believed that the Veit Cong were even capable of (let alone interested in) mounting an assault on our shores. Neither were they likely to have any impact on any of our European friends by the 60s. Body bags are politically acceptable when the propaganda makes clear that they died to protect our lives and sovereignty. Not even propaganda could sell that message about Vietnam.

In the 1940s, Japan was flying aircraft loaded with bombs into American warships. A few years later, people realised [sic] that you could design aircraft for this purpose and make them a lot lighter and able to accelerate more if you removed the human pilot. They called them anti-ship missiles.

The first missiles were designed and deployed by Nazis before the Japanese got desperate enough to launch suicide attacks. I highly doubt that kamikazes had anything to do with their development.

In the next generation of ships a lot of this will be replaced by lasers, which reduces some of the resupply need

Megawatt lasers are a really cool idea but I doubt they will be ready for the "next generation". The power costs are enormous even for the working models we have now which don't have enough destructive force to blow up an attacker like a well-aimed missile. Energy weapons ultimately aren't practical without free energy.

Comment: Re:Stupid/Misleading Title (Score 1) 116

by meustrus (#48676671) Attached to: US Navy Sells 'Top Gun' Aircraft Carrier For One Penny
Since when did the government take over recycling? At least any more than they "took over" waste management in general? If there's money to be made in recycling (or anything else), the government providing an inferior service doesn't stop others from doing it better. Usually the government is interested in different objectives than profit though, such as recycling being widely available and easy to do.

Comment: Re:120hz tvs (Score 1) 179

by meustrus (#48676557) Attached to: Human Eye's Oscillation Rate Determines Smooth Frame Rate

120hz tvs make movies look like they were shot on a daytime TV cam to me.

That's what I remember being the original complaint: higher FPS looks like daytime TV (or home video). That's an understandable prejudice, but one that I think we can get over by watching more normal TV in higher FPS. For some reason though, after the initial wave of honest people like you there's been hack after hack trying to explain why low FPS is actually better for smarter sounding reasons. It hasn't exactly been great for the TV industry; real 120 hz isn't as available in mid-range TVs as it was a couple of years ago. The hack reviewers convinced us that better technology is not worth paying for, and now instead the upper part of the market is about "Smart" TVs. How exactly is it "smart" to pay several hundred dollars more for your TV to have a built-in Roku/Apple TV/Chromecast/Fire Stick that you now have to choose in a package with the picture quality instead of being able to choose a good (or cheap) TV and separately choose the interface you like best? Especially since most external options also have additional content networks you can buy into?

Comment: Re:Movie FPS (Score 1) 179

by meustrus (#48676503) Attached to: Human Eye's Oscillation Rate Determines Smooth Frame Rate

Maybe it's because, with such a big screen and a dark theater, the brain doesn't do so well without a major cue that what it is looking at isn't the world moving around it (and thus it needs to become dizzy), but it is instead an animated image, and the 24 FPS provides it with that cue. ...but I dunno, I just made that up

That sounds plausible. Much like everybody else's made up explanation.

Comment: Movie FPS (Score 4, Interesting) 179

by meustrus (#48667179) Attached to: Human Eye's Oscillation Rate Determines Smooth Frame Rate

why do movies at 48 fps look "video-y," and why do movies at 24 fps look "dreamy" and "cinematic."

For the same reason children are picky eaters. They say that people have to take three bites of a new flavor to really know if they like or dislike it. I have personally experienced that, going from "wtf this is so wrong" to "ok it's not so bad and I might actually like this" between bite 1 and bite 3. Well, we all grew up consuming 24 fps movies, and anything higher is new and different. Rather than "take three bites", though, so many of us recoil from the different experience and immediately start talking to all our friends about how it looks wrong, concluding that high FPS just looks bad. Try. Three. Bites.

Comment: Spies will spy (Score 1) 170

by meustrus (#48626897) Attached to: Verizon "End-to-End" Encrypted Calling Includes Law Enforcement Backdoor
Spies will spy. It is preferable for the spies to have private backdoors rather than for them to research (or create) and utilize hacks that could then be used by criminals. In this case the system design also requires human interaction and a court order, making it less likely for a hacker to gain the same access. The real question is whether we should have spies at all, because if we don't want them to be able to actually spy on people why pay for them? And I am including law enforcement agencies under the term "spy" because that's what they are doing when they are investigating a case. But if we decide (as others have in the past) that it's OK to spy on suspected criminals (with oversight to ensure that the definition of "suspected criminals" does not expand), this is the right way to do it.

Comment: Re:Ugh (Score 1) 125

by meustrus (#48556481) Attached to: Unity 8 Will Bring 'Pure' Linux Experience To Mobile Devices

And since you seem to be unaware of history, what you're doing is exactly what Microsoft attempted with Win8 and failed miserably at. No one wants this but you so please give up.

I've used Windows 8. Metro is pretty. And useless and annoying. But that's not because it was a bad idea. It's because like pretty much everything else Microsoft f***ed it up. Metro doesn't work the way it's supposed to, and Microsoft made it hard to avoid.

The goal is for Unity to be easy to avoid on a desktop computer. But even if that doesn't work out, you can always use Mint instead. Ubuntu doesn't belong to you; it belongs to Canonical. As long as they want Unity to work, they have a right to try and make that happen. And unlike Windows, if it doesn't work out you can replace Unity with whatever else. Or use any number of other distributions where somebody else has done exactly that.

Comment: Re:How about tell them of the benefits (Score 1) 127

by meustrus (#48556011) Attached to: Civil Rights Groups Divided On Net Neutrality
Grocery stores are an even less appropriate analogy than water. Internet service providers do not provide an endpoint service (usually). They provide the highways. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and YouTube are the grocery stores, and nobody is proposing that they be regulated as utilities. But it would be madness to put our roads to the grocery stores in the hands of for-profit corporations, especially if one of those corporations happens to also be NBC. Net neutrality is about telling that corporation that no, you cannot arbitrarily put up road blocks to Netflix to drive traffic to NBC. You cannot only maintain the roads to NBC. And if somebody builds a grocery store across town over and pays someone else for a highway into your residential neighborhood, you are not allowed to put up a toll booth. The residential customers are already paying for your roads in their neighborhood. Why should Netflix have to pay a toll for you to get from the residential network onto the roads they already paid for to get to their servers? Especially when NBC doesn't?

Comment: Re:What does Net Neutrality even mean??? (Score 1) 127

by meustrus (#48554895) Attached to: Civil Rights Groups Divided On Net Neutrality

It's bad for users but it is neutral to the data as long as you aren't purposely forcing routes to only use that link.

ISPs are forcing Netflix to only use saturated links. Although to be less cynical, it's possible that Netflix is forced there not by explicit policy but because the links haven't been upgraded in ten years.

Comment: Re:What? (Score 2) 127

by meustrus (#48554857) Attached to: Civil Rights Groups Divided On Net Neutrality

If 1mbps always meant 1mbps, that would be a solid connection to nearly anything on the internet. The only reason it isn't is because the networks are shitty, so you get somewhere between the advertised speed and a 56K dialup speed at random, usually with awful latency. The maximum bandwidth is a terrible metric by which to sell internet, because there are any number of reasons the network won't live up to it. Of course when I buy internet I've got some idiot customer service person trying to tell me that 15mbps is needed for gaming and 7mbps won't cut it when as a programmer with experience in networking and gaming I know that the bandwidth needs are usually quite small and it's the latency (which they don't advertise) that really matters.

I wonder if the light bulb market can ever get away from "60W equivalent" marketing. How that turns out should give us an indication of how to get away from the peak bandwidth marketing for internet connections.

"I've seen it. It's rubbish." -- Marvin the Paranoid Android