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Comment: Re:You shortchange Mad Max 1 -- I want a prequel (Score 1) 211

by swb (#49792495) Attached to: In a 5-star rating scheme, the new Mad Max film ...

I guess it's a question of word choice.

  I think post-apocalyptic means after an apocalyptic event, usually a singular catastrophe like a nuclear war or other major event that has a massive scale and results in multiple and total systemic failures. TRW, MM3, MMFR are all literal post-apocalyptic because they imply or are directly the result of a war.

I think MM1 was "pre-apocalyptic" because there hadn't been a specific singular event yet there was something of a social, political and economic crisis happening concurrent with the storyline. Police service hadn't completely ended, just shrunk in scope and effectiveness. Fuel and other economic goods had become more scarce but not wholly unavailable and the social order was threatened but not totally broken down.

Probably not the greatest terminology, but it kind of seemed to fit better than "critical decline" or something similar, at least in comparison to films that mostly claimed to be sequels which took place after an apocalyptic crisis brought on by the declines seen in the first film.

Comment: Re:This has been played out before... (Score 1) 356

by swb (#49791669) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage

As a person who spends a significant amount of their time planning my fantasy boat, it looks like in terms of equipment selection, 12v and 24v seem to be kings with much less choice once you get to 48vdc.

Now this is mostly for recreational boats up to about 50'. The larger vessels seem to be more inclined to support 24v because they have the space for larger battery arrays and more flexibility to support 12v runs for the many accessories that only run on 12v.

The more run of the mill boats seem to be exclusively 12v because they have less space for battery arrays, their engines are default setup for 12v alternators.

But even when you get into larger trawler-type cruisers, they may have 24v or even 48v arrays, but that mostly seems to be because almost every appliance they have is 115vac and they're just looking for power efficiency when they're not running off the generator anyway.

Comment: Re:"low end" (Score 4, Insightful) 262

by swb (#49791267) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier

No, I don't see it as in issue for anybody.

Every iPhone I buy has been used *hard* for two years by two busy professionals working as consultants, and then used continuously as a home telephone (we kept our landline number and ported it to a cell number because it was actually cheaper than the monthly taxfest that is a landline) and then used pretty hard by a 10 year old boy after that.

I may buy a new iPhone every year, but every one of those iPhones gets used for four years and by then it's not even a question of battery that's an issue, but of software and processor obsolescence for any kind of a serious tasks, and I don't think that's really all that different for Android users, either. The only hardware issue I've ever had was a volume up button on a 4S that crapped out six months in, and it was swapped out in store for a replacement phone in 10 minutes.

I really don't understand guys like you that are so angry about people who do buy a phone every year. Admittedly the biggest "feature" add on year on year is mostly CPU/RAM, although the screen size bump with the iPhone 6 Plus has been the main thing this year. It's a fucking tax writeoff for us and even if we bought 2-3 phones individually we'd be looking at upgrades every 18 months or so anyway, so one every 12-14 months doesn't seem outrageous.

I sometimes think the hostility is because you're too broke, too cheap or just flat-out jealous.

Comment: Re:You shortchange Mad Max 1 -- I want a prequel (Score 1) 211

by swb (#49791161) Attached to: In a 5-star rating scheme, the new Mad Max film ...

I don't know that I totally buy into that, but I guess far enough to see "Mad Max" as a character concept that George Miller keeps making a series of seemingly related movies about.

What seems unfortunate, though, is that there's never been any real narrative or story developed after Mad Max I. RW and FR are highly entertaining movies, but they're just chase movies with outlandish costuming. Fast and Furious has more character development.

Comment: Re:"low end" (Score 1) 262

by swb (#49790621) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier

I'll be slightly less abrasive than above, but my experience with the "non replaceable" battery in every iPhone since 3GS is that battery failure has been a non-issue.

I buy a new iPhone every year, pass my old one to my wife, and her now "old" phone becomes our house phone, and the "old" house phone becomes an iPod for my son on trips.

So by the time it gets to iPod status it has been used as a daily phone with frequent charging (me), abusive charging (my wife lets hers get down to 10-20% constantly and doesn't charge in the car, etc), sitting in a charging dock, on, for a solid year as the house phone and then getting used intermittently by my son. It still seems to hold a reasonable charge -- he uses it constantly during a 3 hour plane ride and then more still after we get off the plane without any complaints of short battery life.

I don't really see the "non replaceable" battery as an issue. Even when I had a replaceable battery phone, I only just swapped batteries at home. The few times I decided to haul a battery around with me, I use it so infrequently that it was half discharged by the time I needed it.

If you suck down so much battery during normal use and can't charge off a computer or socket, any of the LiO USB chargers would be fine or even one of the battery cases.

Comment: Re:related news today re: Apple Car (Score 1) 72

by swb (#49789425) Attached to: GM To Offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto API In Most 2016 Vehicles

I don't think Apple wants to be in the car manufacturing business with a car of their own anymore than they want to be in the PC and smartphone manufacturing business. With consumer electronics, though, you only have to be in the design business (and only partially, since they buy a lot of technology from someone else -- AFAIK, they don't design display panels, radio chipsets, flash memory, RAM, etc).

With cars, though, there's not really a contract manufacturer who does the assembly, you have to do that yourself although you can buy a lot of parts from OEMs like Bosch and others.

I think Apple sees a way to become a marquis branded supplier to other car makers. Building an "Apple Car" is a design exercise, a way to see how what they do can be applied to electric cars and I'm sure it has a lot to do with dashboard electronics and "user interface" as much as it does with anything else. There may also be less sexy opportunities in terms of what they know about battery management.

Comment: You shortchange Mad Max 1 -- I want a prequel (Score 2) 211

by swb (#49789361) Attached to: In a 5-star rating scheme, the new Mad Max film ...

Mad Max 1 wasn't even a post apocalyptic movie. The director didn't have a lot of money so they just did some thing about a guy surviving gangs. He was surprised when he heard people uniformly fill in the blanks that it was post apocalyptic. Anyway, it isn't that great... but it isn't bad either. There is basically no plot period.

Mad Max 1 wasn't "post-apocalyptic" but I think it was more interesting than that -- it was *pre* apocalyptic. It was set in an era of severe social and economic decline. Petroleum was becoming very scarce. Government services were basically in tatters, law enforcement was marginal at best -- they had basically lost control of the countryside and rural areas -- there was basically no law enforcement in the small town where the biker gang picked up the Nightrider's coffin and terrorized the townspeople.

And of all four of the films, it has the most plot and narrative. It's characters were much more representative of real people and situations. It's true the social breakdown/decline weren't well fleshed out, though.

IMHO, this setting is actually more interesting than the post-apocalyptic wasteland of the Road Warrior. Road Warrior was a fun film, but it was really nothing more than an action film with an S&M wardrobe that recycled the character and car from Mad Max but made no coherent effort to conceptually link the two films.

I haven't seen Thunderdome in years, but in retrospect it was kind of a joke although I seem to remember being entertained by it. Fury Road was basically a reboot of Road Warrior -- highly enjoyable, but other than a name and a leather jacket it really had no connection with the other films.

Personally, I'd like to see a prequel to Mad Max 1 that traces the origin of the MFP, the rise of Max Rockatansky and does more to flesh out the decline of civilization. I think that setting is more interesting than the bizarre mythos of The Humongous from Road Warrior or the cartoon world of Fury Road.

There was a recent film with Guy Pearce called "The Rover" which was set in a modern, post-economic collapse Australia that would serve as a good inspiration for a Mad Max prequel. I think Guy Pearce would make a good Max Rockatansky, too.

Comment: Re:It has always been that way (Score 1) 392

by swb (#49777439) Attached to: Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed?

From what I've read the lack of respect for negative results ties into both the leadership for study funding and to the less informed people from outside the scientific community who often approve the funding.

The person in charge of a larger scientific entity may have even more invested in the "right" conclusion in terms of their leadership potential and may not want to fund or advance studies which could threaten their larger position on the issue.

And people from outside the scientific community may see negative outcomes wrongly as "failed" science -- why look, you couldn't even prove your theory. As you point out, this is wrong, but I think these people look at it kind of like a failed business venture. If Joe Scientist's theory is disproven, he must be an incompetent idiot and we should disown him because clearly he's going down the wrong path.

Comment: Re:RTFM..? (Score 1) 106

by swb (#49775869) Attached to: No, Your SSD Won't Quickly Lose Data While Powered Down

Do SAN vendors intentionally mix production runs of drives when they ship them?

I would kind of expect them to, and it might explain why I've never seen a group of drives bought at the same time (installed in a server or SAN) fail as a group.

Although I would kind of expect some logistical challenges if I was a SAN vendor trying to keep inventories of multiple production runs in stock for populating new SANs, especially when some single unit devices can ship with as many as 24 drives. Keeping a half-dozen unique batches on site for populating systems, sure, but 24? I would think some SANs would have to go out with drives from the same production run and the logistics just get more complicated with mismatched supply/demand/production curves.

Comment: Re:It has always been that way (Score 2) 392

by swb (#49774725) Attached to: Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed?

I think there's two other interrelated things that contribute to this.

"Big Science" these days, especially in healthcare, often involves long-term, expensive studies which take years to perform. People who commit to this mode of science make both a commitment to the field, but often to the hypothesis being tested.

To get the study funded requires basically betting your career on the validity or at least the likelihood of the validity of the hypothesis.

So, if I've bought into the hypothesis that dietary cholesterol influences serum cholesterol and it takes 10 years to design, fund and implement the study involved in it when the results turn out negative, what of my career? I've invested a good chunk of it basically being wrong.

And I think a fair amount of the people involved in these big theories aren't just scientifically interested in them, they are invested in them in terms of scientific reputation since they kind of have to be to get them funded. They often become advocates for the theory before it's proven, and if it isn't sustained by the study there's the risk of looking foolish because you were wrong.

So between personal reputations and career commitment and the size of the science involved, people have a lot of personal stake in seeing their hypothesis validated.

Comment: Re:Isn't the phrase "kicked upstairs"? (Score 2) 147

by swb (#49774359) Attached to: Apple Design Guru Jony Ive Named Chief Design Officer

I think it's more the Peter Principle -- people get promoted for success in their current position and stop getting promoted once they become ineffective.

I think the last "kick upstairs" is done for employees who are too ineffective but too loyal/valuable to have working elsewhere.

Comment: Re:E-mail client? (Score 2) 83

by swb (#49773837) Attached to: Attackers Use Email Spam To Infect Point-of-Sale Terminals

I see this at two clients with POS systems. They don't handle any cash or credit card transactions, everything is billed to internal accounts, but they still want to use some of the terminals for productivity software because the POS systems are underutilized as POS systems, they lack the space for additional productivity PCs and don't want to spend money on them anyway.

I opposed it on principle in terms of providing advice, but as a matter of practicality since they're not handling real money or credit card information the risk is a lot less.

Comment: Pay phones! (Score 3, Interesting) 69

In the late 1970s in junior high we would ride the bus and get off at random stops and write down pay phone numbers. Then when we got home we would call the numbers and do all sorts of gags.

The one that inexplicably worked well was telling people that had won money from a radio station. Why they believed that an 8th grader sounded like a disk jockey is still beyond me.

It's almost kind of sad that kids of today can't get that experience. There's very few pay phones left and I bet none of them accept incoming calls. It was also pretty safe from a get in trouble perspective. Call logging and tracing would have been a huge endeavor and we never called any one pay phone more than a few times or suggested anything violent or even all that ribald.

Comment: Re:it's not "slow and calculated torture" (Score 1) 742

by swb (#49770745) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

They don't pay it off now by printing money because other people keep buying the debt.

The dollar represents 2/3rds of the world's reserve currency. The rest of the reserve currencies combined aren't enough to replace it.

Hyperinflation probably isn't always a guarnateed outcome, I would wager political pressure not to manipulate monetary and fiscal policy that much is a bigger reason.

"When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest." -- Bullwinkle Moose