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Comment: No. (Score 5, Insightful) 227

by eldavojohn (#48923389) Attached to: Facebook Censoring Images of the Prophet Muhammad In Turkey

To be fair to Zuckerberg and Facebook, the company must obey the law of any country in which it operates.

No. He came out in support of a universal maxim and then went back to his board who showed him X dollars of income they get by operating in Turkey. Just like the revenue lost when Google left mainland China. Instead of sacrificing that revenue to some other social network in Turkey run by cowards, he became a coward himself in the name of money. It is an affront to the deaths and memory of the Charlie Hebdo editors. His refusal could have worked as leverage for social change in Turkey but now it will not.

So no, your statement isn't fair to Zuckerberg and his company and the platinum backscratcher he gets to keep with "TURKEY" inscribed on it. Fuck that greedy bastard and his petty meaningless lip service.

+ - Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister->

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "A turnover in the Greek government resulted from recent snap elections placing SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) in power — just shy of an outright majority by two seats. Atheist and youngest Prime Minister in Greek history since 1865 Alexis Tsipras has been appointed the new prime minister and begun taking immediate drastic steps against the recent austerity laws put in place by prior administrations. One such step has been to appoint Valve's economist Yanis Varoufakis to position of Finance Minister of Greece. For the past three years Varoufakis has been working at Steam to analyze and improve the Steam Market but now has the opportunity to improve one of the most troubled economies in the world."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Rumor: Fox Is Planning an X-Files Revival (Score 1) 476

by eldavojohn (#48904215) Attached to: Best 1990s Sci-fi show?
In the news recently are rumors that Carter, Anderson and Duchovny will reunite for new X-Files episodes. Fox has sorta confirmed this.

I own all the DVDs, a couple years ago I rewatched them. I may come off as a rabid fan at times but the background music was atrociously horrid. Also the story arc plot became overly convoluted and impossible to explain at times. That said, one of the most convoluted characters (Krycek) was my favorite. Aside from several minor valid criticisms like that, I really think it's a great platform for modern storytelling.

I do have to ask myself, at times, if there is some level of insane conspiracy theory today that we owe at least in part to those people watching X-Files when younger. I have to admit that the 9/11 inside job truthers movement claims could have been ripped from the pages of an X-Files script.

My biggest concern, of course, is whether or not it could still be fresh. With recent high quality additions to television canon, we'd have to be prepared for Chris Carter coming back at us with a 90's angle when episodes like Home really aren't as shocking anymore. The bar has been raised (thankfully).

Right now, The X-Files is going to occupy a contextual place in television history like The Twilight Zone. A revival could very well tarnish that. On the other hand, I've never felt like I really received closure on the whole story arc ...

Comment: Re:a better question (Score 1) 592

by srussell (#48849189) Attached to: Why Run Linux On Macs?

- thunderbolt and the ability to drive an insane number of displays

Have you tried this? My wife's work HP has a mini-DisplayPort, and I have a splitter that allows us to plug one cable into the laptop and drive two DVI displays, for a total of three desktops. When plugged into the Mac, all it does is mirror; OSX doesn't see the displays as separate displays. Does the multiple-display-over-one-cable only work when daisy-chaining Thunderbolt, or did you find a Thunderbolt-to-DVI that actually works with OSX? I have to say, IME the Windows multiple display support has been superior. I haven't tried Linux yet.

Laptops that had all these features have always come in at similar costs.

Maybe. IME Apple quality control is crap.

Also, I really love how my current MBP plugs into my display. One cable for power, USB, and display. The thunderbolt displays are basically a solid docking station.

I agree, that's pretty awesome, as long as you have some sort of Thunderbolt-capable receiver, which always seem to be unreasonably expensive. Thunderbolt is serial, which means any device that doesn't have a pass-through becomes a terminator. This means that USB will always be in the mix, which means a USB hub, and most devices will be USB. Connecting multiple drives means USB, or finding Thunderbolt drives that have a pass-through, which limits options severely and again pushes up the price. As long as you enter into Thunderbolt with the expectation that it's only a glorified docking port, I think it's a great solution.

Comment: Re:a better question (Score 1) 592

by srussell (#48849129) Attached to: Why Run Linux On Macs?

Try to do the opposite now.

Build a $800 desktop PC and try to build a Mac with similar specs and look at the price. You will end-up with that expensive Mac Pro.

As I posted elsewhere in this thread, in my experience that would be a mistake. You'd get a superficially pretty device with third-grade internal components. Every one of the three MBPs I've purchased have had some sort of internal hardware failure within days of receipt (when I was lucky) or just after warranty expired (when I wasn't). I have no fewer than six non-Apple laptops in my basement, the oldest dating back to 1997, and they all work; they were changed only because I wanted to upgrade the platform. These include laptop upgrades for both my wife and myself, so we were averaging upgrades about once every 4 years. After we switched to Apple, we were averaging upgrades about once every 18 months, and every time prompted by hardware failures.

Comment: Re:a better question (Score 1) 592

by srussell (#48849077) Attached to: Why Run Linux On Macs?

I'm a "lapsed Apple guy"... ran MacBook pros for years, had iPhones... now I'm Android and Windows. Reason? The "Genius Bar".

Oh, man... I feel your pain. Although I'm still running Apple products, I'm slowly migrating away as technology upgrades permit. Your portrayal of the Genius Bar is right on, but the real reason for me is the quality of the hardware (which you later reference in passing).

Apple products are beautiful on the outside, but they're crap on the inside. My very first MBP had a faulty CDROM -- sounded like a Harrier jump jet when it span up. Since I took it back within a couple of days, they just swapped it out, and I wasn't worried. 14 months after they gave me the second MBP, something on the motherboard crapped out (or so they say... it was suspiciously immediately after an OS upgrade), and I had to pay $400 to get it replaced. Not long after that, the battery swelled alarmingly, deforming the case -- they fixed that for free, but I don't know if that's because I made such a stink about it just having come back from the shop. I upgraded to a Retina, and just after the warranty expired on that one, the hard drive went out. So, my take away has been: you're paying a premium price for crap hardware; when they offer you the extended warranty, take it, because the internal hardware is not designed to survive past a year.

All of this would be annoying, but the real kicker is that both heterogeneous and homogeneous Apple solutions are crap. Time Machine doesn't work well with mounts served by Linux; for me, after a few months the backups start taking hours to complete, so I bought an AirPort Time Capsule. Apple doesn't put software on either the Apple TV or the AirPort to allow streaming content from the AirPort to the Apple TV without a Mac in the mix: you also have to be running a Mac with iTunes for audio streaming (or use AirPlay with a third party app -- but it still requires a Mac). That's either gross incompetence, or blatant commercial greed driving customers to buy more products when there's more than enough processing power on either of the two devices to decode compressed video. AirPlay is really tempting, but it's flaky; I often need to reboot my MBP to get it to see the Apple TV (and in my house, this is with an AirPort providing WIFI, so there's no non-Apple technology in the mix), and sometimes the Apple TV would stop seeing the machine running iTunes and I'd have to reboot that to get streaming to work again.

After a couple of times having to run around rebooting machines just to watch a movie while the family waited, I gave up. I'm now running XMBC on an Odroid, connected to another Odroid running SqueezeServer. It wasn't as easy to set up as the Apple products, but ease-of-setup is worth nothing to me if the products don't work reliably. Oh, and the TV remote will control XMBC over the HDMI interface, meaning an end to having to use two remotes. I haven't gotten around to testing AirPlay, and I still have the AppleTV in the mix because there's no Netflix app for XMBC on Odroid; it isn't all rainbows and unicorns, yet.

My next laptop is going to be an XPS 13, or an X1, or whatever is thin and has decent hardware support in Linux at the time I make the purchase. OSX is nice, but if I'm spending that much, I want more than just a sexy shell: I want quality internal hardware, and I would really prefer to never have to deal with the Genius Bar again.

Comment: Re:Will SystemD feature creep ever stop ? (Score 1) 553

by srussell (#48838463) Attached to: SystemD Gains New Networking Features

The problem is that Poettering and company have hijacked mainstream linux that almost all linux users use and changed it into something unrecognizable.

This is amazing! Where did they get such an ability? If only we could convince them to use their hijacking super-powers for good; imagine, maybe they could finally make the Year Of Linux a reality.

--- SER

+ - Seismological Society of America Claims Fracking Reactivated Ohio Fault-> 1

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "There have been suspicions that fracking has caused minor earthquakes in Ohio but last year seismic data recorded by the Earthscope Transportable Array was analyzed by the Seismological Society of America using template matching and has resulted in a new publication and press release making the statement that Hilcorp Energy's fracking in Poland Township in March of 2014 "did not create a new fault, rather it activated one that we didn’t know about prior to the seismic activity." The earthquakes occurred in the Precambrian basement and lead the researchers to posit that further unknown faults may be activated by fracking. The press release ends with urging for "close cooperation among government, industry and the scientific community as hydraulic fracturing operations expand in areas where there’s the potential for unknown pre-existing faults.""
Link to Original Source

Comment: Early Soviet Computing? (Score 4, Interesting) 80

by eldavojohn (#48738403) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Alexander Stepanov and Daniel E. Rose a Question
Alexander Stepanov, I have never had a chance to ask someone as qualified as you about this topic. I grew up on the opposite side of the Iron Curtain and have constantly wondered if (surely there must have been) alternative computing solutions developed in the USSR prior to Elbrus and SPARC. So my question is whether or not you know of any hardware or instruction set alternatives that died on the vine or were never mass fabricated in Soviet times? I don't expect to you to reveal some super advanced or future predicting instruction set but it has always disturbed me that these things aren't documented somewhere -- as you likely know failures can provide more fruit than successes. Failing that, could you offer us any tails of early computing that only seem to run in Russian circles?

If you can suggest references (preferably in English) I would be most appreciative. I know of only one book and it seems to be a singular point of view.

Comment: Are You Joking? (Score 3, Interesting) 182

by eldavojohn (#48625017) Attached to: US Links North Korea To Sony Hacking

> It is not known how the US government has determined that North Korea is the culprit

Of course it's known. The same way they established that Iraq had chemical weapons. The method is known as "because we say so".

Are you joking? I thought it was well established that there were chemical weapons in Iraq we just only found weapons designed by us, built by Europeans in factories in Iraq. And therefore the US didn't trumpet their achievements. In the case of Iraqi chemical weapons, the US established that Iraq had chemical weapons not because they said so but because Western countries had all the receipts.

Comment: Is Bloomberg the New Buzzfeed? (Score 5, Informative) 461

by eldavojohn (#48531349) Attached to: Why Elon Musk's Batteries Frighten Electric Companies
What the hell is up with the title of this article? Nowhere did I find any indication of anyone being "scared" or "frightened." On the contrary the article presents contradicting information:

Still, the Edison Electric Institute, a trade group representing America’s investor-owned utilities, recently announced that its members will help to encourage electric vehicle use by spending $50 million annually to buy plug-in service trucks and invest in car-charging technology. “Advancing plug-in electric vehicles and technologies is an industry priority,” said EEI President Thomas Kuhn.

Uh, "advancing as a priority" is actually the opposite of fear.

Southern California Edison is planning to spend about $9.2 billion through 2017 to allow the two-way flow of electricity on its system, said Edison International CEO Ted Craver. “We are certainly big supporters of electric transportation,” Craver said. He added: “That electric car isn’t just going to stay at home. It’s going to go other places. It’s going to need to get charged in other places. And I think our ability to provide that glue for all those things that are going to plug into that network is really how we see our core business.”

Again, sounds positive. Actually the only negative thing in the article is that electric cars might cause a load our infrastructure isn't ready for -- to the contrary a solar charging station in the home would mitigate this. Is the new journalism format to title your articles with a thesis directly contrary to all the actual evidence you're about to present?

Comment: Re:we ARE different (Score 1) 355

by eldavojohn (#48506121) Attached to: James Watson's Nobel Prize Goes On Auction This Week

Higher IQs are correlated with a long history of urbanization and economic specialization, where higher IQs provide a selective advantage.

There's no arguing this. But, from what I've read about James Watson, he never said anything close to this. Instead, I can even find on his wikipedia page this quote from one of his books:

He writes that "there is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so"

So it's related to a long history of urbanization and economic specialization? And also Watson's unequal powers of reason? What is he implying if not to say that genetically some people are born without the equal "powers of reason"? He didn't quite say that due to "a long history of urbanization and economic specialization" instead he said due to geographic separation followed by their evolution. Watson's position as a genetic researcher commenting on something that is almost certainly attributed to socioeconomic status is strange, wouldn't you think? Was he commenting on this as an economist or perhaps historian?

I also like how you link to wikipedia pages but not their internal discrepancies on your open and close case that IQ is inherited. Including this quote from your first link:

Eric Turkheimer and colleagues (2003) found that for children of low socioeconomic status heritability of IQ falls almost to zero.

From this source.

You present a perfectly acceptable and fairly logical argument about the advancement of some cultures outpacing others. One need only read "Guns, Germs & Steel" where this sort of thing is discussed in a very sound and well researched way. Do we raise our pitchforks and chase after Jared Diamond with fervor? Not at all. Then again, his arguments didn't rest entirely upon some imaginary gene expression he just hadn't found yet.

Your "political correctness" claim is largely rubbish. While it may appear a knee-jerk reaction, this is the case of people objecting to a statement with no underlying scientific basis while Watson makes claims that we should be able to isolate the "Intelligence Gene." Have we had success in isolating such a gene from the Ashkanazi? Furthermore Watson implies (though never directly says) that lack of similar genes is what keeps Africa repressed -- while making zero reference to the reverberating effects of hundreds of years of European colonizations and their leeching of wealth & resources.

Comment: Of Course It Was (Score 3, Insightful) 355

by eldavojohn (#48505703) Attached to: James Watson's Nobel Prize Goes On Auction This Week

Your comment is extremely racist.

You're goddamn straight it is. The point is that any population -- no matter how high and lofty it is can be the target of stupid shit attributed to their genetic structure with "just so" fallacies. He makes inflammatory statements, doesn't even offer correlation as evidence for them and completely ignores socioeconomic conditions of even the past two hundred years.

How hard is it to turn James Watson's high minded lofty DNA superiority complex against his home city? Not hard at all, it turns out. Simply cherry pick from painfully recent history the horrible stereotypes and wars that their ancestors have and totally ignore any outside forces like ... oh, I don't know, the slave trade ... and then just "painfully" wish you were wrong. Notice how I apologized for having to be the one to first acknowledge something I'm not proving.

What blows my mind is that Africa was for tens of thousands of years in the same state that the rest of the world was in -- hell it's the birthplace of homo sapiens. And the time scale we need to talk about for DNA to change is at the very least tens of thousands of years. 25 million years of human evolution and James Watson measures 'genetic skin-color-intelligence correlation' from his apparently very short knowledge of history. Let's be generous and say he actually considered the past two thousand years which would be odd that he chose not to acknowledge that Europe's age of colonialism had something to do with Africa's current state.

Just like my post listed zero gene expressions, I'm not aware of any he's presented backing his statements. Furthermore, how would one divorce the nature versus nurture in such a test? The long history of racial discrimination the world over would need to be carefully controlled out of the experiment and the fact of the matter is that you can't. I'm not a Nobel prize winning geneticist and even I recognize this.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke