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Comment Re:Smallpox blankets (Score 1) 128

I was a bit surprised by that claim as well. I remember watching a black-and-white history film that talked about the smalltalk blankets thing, back when I was at school, at around the time that Churchill apparently first published his stuff. He may have been one of the leading proponents of the theory, but I don't think he can be blamed for originating it.

Comment Re: Research (Score 3, Insightful) 128

This post is at -1. I only see it because I have a low threshold explicitly configured, most people won't. That said, your post is at 0, so by replying to it you've increased the number of people who see it.

It's easy to be in favour of censoring people that you disagree with, the problem is that the censor is going to be a human making judgement calls. Most of us agree that censoring child pornography is fine, but the group charged with doing that in the UK managed to block Wikipedia because it contains a picture of an album cover that contains a naked child. So, if you want to censor racist posts, who do you want to give the authority to decide what is racist and what isn't to? If you can't name an individual, then there's a simple solution: log in and use your mod points.

Comment Re: The black death was a big up for society (Score 2) 97

It was one of the contributors to universal suffrage in the UK. When we sent all of our young men off to fight, women were required to do traditionally male jobs. There was a lot of attrition in the First World War, but then even more in the 1918 pandemic. The combination of these two meant that there weren't enough able-bodied men after the war to send the women back home, which led to the Representation of the People Act 1918, which allowed women to vote in Parliamentary elections for the first time.

Amusingly, lots of people are making a big deal about this being the 100th anniversary of women being able to vote, when it was not the first time that women could vote (some were able to vote - and even be elected - in local elections before then) and most still could not, yet it was the first time that practically all men could vote. Women didn't get equal voting power to men until 1928. The 1928 act was made possible by the social changes that followed the end of WWI and the 1918 flu epidemic, when women became a significant proportion of the workforce.

Comment Re:Quarantine works (Score 1) 97

Not all of them. Some will have natural immunity and the rest will have easier access to treatment than elsewhere. In some cases, it's feasible to vaccinate everyone in a quarantine area, but not everyone in a country, so the survival rate for uninfected people in the quarantine area may be higher than if the disease escaped into the general population.

Comment Re:OSX hardware has seen good updates (Score 1) 152

To put it in perspective: DDR4L uses about 10% more power than LPDDR4. Even if DRAM were the primary consumer of DRAM, this would translate to only a 10% drop in battery life. In comparison, DDR4 uses around five to ten times as much, and so would drop the battery life considerably. Only a few other vendors are using DDR4L, but the ones that are seem to get the kind of battery life that would make me happy. In addition, Apple added a bunch of support for hot-swap RAM to XNU back in the XCode days and so could probably support using 16GB on battery and 32GB on mains power. A lot of the RAM contents is read-only disk caching, so you don't even end up flushing much out to disk / swap / compressed memory when you de-power half the RAM in a typical machine.

Comment Re:Ah yes, the beginning of the dongle era (Score 1) 152

Apple isn't, but most non-Apple phones have USB-C at the high end and it's gradually propagating to the low end. Apple is in a bit of a difficult position, because Lightning is very similar to USB-C (similar size, reversible, carries USB 3 signal). It's not a huge improvement for consumers (there aren't many peripherals that you plug into both a phone and a computer, so you need a USB to Lightning cable anyway, and there's little difference between carrying a USB-A to Lightning or a USB-C to Lightning one) and there are now a bunch of phone / tablet peripherals that use it. In contrast, for most other manufacturers, USB-C is a better connector than microUSB (it's more resilient and it's reversible), so there's a bigger incentive for them to upgrade. I imagine that Lightning will go away at some point though.

Comment Re:EDM? Maybe 15 years ago (Score 5, Insightful) 477

New music has always sounded crap. It's a case of Sturgeon's Law (90% of everything is crap) combined with survivor bias (the 10% that isn't crap is more likely to be remembered and still played much later). For every great song you can remember from a prior decade, there are nine more that were such complete crap that you don't even remember that they were briefly popular.

Comment Re:Released by Steve Jobs (Score 3, Interesting) 152

I've seen a few, though to be fair most of them were on Apple employees. The one use I've seen for them that I actually like is two-factor auth. I saw a colleague use this and it seems pretty convenient. The watch connects to the computer via Bluetooth and when you need to do 2FA the watch beeps and prompts for a fingerprint and then signs the request. It's more convenient than carrying a U2F token around with you, but not quite so convenient that I would actually want one.

Comment Re:OSX hardware has seen good updates (Score 1) 152

The biggest complain is that the MBP hasn't seen a bump beyond 16GB of RAM. I have a 4-year-old MBP that has 16GB of RAM and, for my use, RAM is the single largest bottleneck. I'm sitting on equipment budget to replace it with one with 32GB (or even more, if available) as soon as it's available.

Part of the blame for this is Intel, who doesn't provide any chips that have memory controllers supporting LPDDR4 out (in spite of the fact the LPDDR4 spec is from 2014 and most phones have used it for the past few years), and support either 16GB of LPDDR3 or 32GB of DDR4. That's slightly misleading when you realise that they do support DDR4L, which isn't quite as low power as LPDDR4, but is a lot lower power than DDR4, and other manufacturers have made machines with 32GB of DDR4L and reasonable battery life.

Comment Re: I wish they were still trying (Score 3, Informative) 152

The only extra cost is maintaining OSX, but I have heard there are only a few dozen employees working on it full time, and there is a lot of source duplication with iOS.

That's quite misleading. Apple's CoreOS team, which is responsible for the XNU kernel, libc, and a few other bits is very small (and 95% of what they do is applicable to both macOS and iOS). On top of that, there are a lot of frameworks that are shared between iOS and macOS, and a quite large compiler / tools team that develops XCode, contributes a lot to LLVM/Clang/LLDB, maintains Swift, and so on, which is also shared between all operating systems (XCode is Mac only, but it is primarily used for iOS development these days). I think AppKit is about the only framework that is macOS only. There are also a lot of Mac-only Apple apps, and that's where the real costs come from.

Comment Re:Ah yes, the beginning of the dongle era (Score 1) 152

The problem is the transition era. We saw the same thing when computers started coming out with only USB for peripherals (original iMac and then a load of PCs). First you need USB to PS/2 adaptors and so on, then all of your new peripherals start using USB and you wonder why you ever needed PS/2, serial and parallel ports. In a few years, everything will be using USB-C (already almost everything is USB and USB 3 is fast enough for pretty much everything else, and the few other things can still use a USB-C port) and you'll wonder why everyone was complaining. Until then, there's going to be an annoying transition period when the computers use USB-C but no one yet has the newer peripherals.

That said, I yesterday stopped by a colleague's desk and saw that he has about 1cm of USB flash drive connected to his computer via a 10cm USB-A to USB-C dongle and couldn't help laughing.

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