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Comment Re:Peer review (Score 1) 707

So far, all attempts to find exceptions to Einstein's equations have failed; i.e., observed results agree with his equations to as many places as we can measure, but this doesn't mean someone won't find situations where his equations are wrong in the 237th decimal place.

Einstein famously said he didn't believe in "spooky action at a distance" when quantum physics was described to him, but we're using it now...

Comment Re:Bullies like being bullies (Score 1) 835

Is that enough reason to pull you over? Hell, yeah it is. For the sake of other people on the road.

If people on the road behind me are flashing lights at me when there's no reason to do so, then they should fuck right off. If I could see a non-cop doing it, I'd only show them my finger. And if a cop is doing it when there's no need, it's harassment. I could see out of the vehicle sufficiently to navigate Mission St. at 2AM, and they pulled me over because it was closing time and I was driving a beater and my name (tied to my license plate) said I was a beaner, a holy trinity of "good" reasons to harass a relatively law-abiding taxpayer heading home from a friend's house. I have only their word that they put any lights on my vehicle, and their word isn't any better than anyone else's. They certainly didn't make any noise. That's considerate to the people who live in the neighborhood, but it's bullshit to escalate from alleged flashing lights to guns in my face without employing some noise.

Comment Re:Banksters (Score 1) 116

Merril Lynch and Lonestar are big boys. If they can't read and understand the fine-print, it's their own stupid fault. Both are global companies with plenty of lawyers.

If they made false claims with the intend to defraud, it's a crime.

It doesn't matter what they 'knew,' it matters if they followed the rules of accounting.

If they made false... oh, you know.

Comment Re:Where is the refund for consumers ? (Score 1) 116

The cost benefit analysis of your strategy is obvious. You not only don't have to spell it out to them, you weaken your case by stating the obvious. Doing so also exposes your inexperience and undermines your credibility.

You're both right. You point it out to them, but only in the process of sending them a document detailing the basic facts, which are that the battery costs such and such retail and that you are seeking such and such dollars. Unfortunately, if the letter doesn't come from some other lawyers, they will probably treat it as if it were written on a placemat with crayon.

Comment Re:Prison is being misused (Score 3, Interesting) 116

Sadly, The People respond positively when it is announced that "criminals" have been imprisoned for their "crimes" almost regardless of why. In general there is a tendency to believe that they wouldn't have locked them up unless they were dangerous. But there are at least two obvious retorts, the first of which is that it is profitable to have a large machine which employs people in the pursuit of locking people up, and the second of which being that people who look for danger find it everywhere, and it's easy to get carried away even (or perhaps especially) when acting with the best of intentions.

Comment Re:Core market decline + fail to launch in new one (Score 1) 467

PS/Valuepoint IBM486SLCs (and IBMSLC2s) at either 25 MHz or 33 MHz came with VLB slots. VLB was pretty much okay if you only had one card, but a lot of people tried to use VLB video and storage at the same time. This was encouraged by the fact that motherboard makers often put three VLB slots on the motherboard, as if you could actually use them. It's true that ISA bus bandwidth is very poor, which is why we had EISA and MCA to begin with; mostly to run very expensive OpenGL accelerators and to run very expensive storage controllers. Gamers bought lots of VLB video cards and the situation was moderately atrocious, and then we got PCI and there was no longer any reason to buy a "workstation" because PCs finally had a good or in fact great bus and the PCs and workstations were largely being built out of the same parts from CMD or whoever, once you got past the CPU and chipset.

Comment Re:I don't like where things seem to be heading... (Score 1) 56

Almost every state has laws against electronic eavesdropping.

The problem is that states are vulnerable to attacks from the federal government, which has taken on excessive powers for itself. This particular attack involves being threatened with federal PMITAP if you expose the fact that you're ordered to violate the constitution, and the states are powerless to protect you even on the assumption that they would do so.

Comment Re:Bullies like being bullies (Score 4, Interesting) 835

I got stopped for not pulling over when they flashed lights, which I couldn't see because my mirrors and back window were fogged (no working defrost, sadly) and I was driving under traffic lights and streetlights, which meant my whole back window was flashing anyway. I got two guns pointed at my face and I got to sit on the curb for an hour in the cold with no shoes on (hey, it's legal in Santa Cruz to drive without them) while they rummaged through it and found nothing whatsoever. This was nearly twenty years ago now. And they had pulled me over for nothing whatsoever. I hadn't sped, run lights, et cetera. They just didn't like the look of my '83 Citation on the road at 2AM. Neither did I, but it's no justification for a traffic stop.

I don't even have to imagine.

Comment Re:Ask me what ads (Score 1) 156

Netflix is pretty much the poster child for what people will pay for. No commercials, few restrictions. What's on offer is so good that people will go to extensive lengths to circumvent platform lockout, or simply Netflix ignoring platforms, in order to get the content onto their chosen output device. But that's in large part because you literally cannot go anywhere else to get what they have. Much of the content you can stream from Netflix simply cannot be streamed legally from any other location, and even people who don't care about breaking the law care about the PITA factor.

But Facebook? There's really nothing they can add to their platform that's worth money, and if they take things away and put them behind a paywall they really will see mass defections to G+.

Comment Re:Core market decline + fail to launch in new one (Score 1) 467

Yeah, plug a floppy into the PC before you're even allowed to boot after installing a new MCA card. That was bullshit.

I remember DOS drivers being a pain. Don't remember the specifics but yeah you had to always mess with settings in config.sys when you made hardware changes. My guess is that was all the floppy did.

Nope. The floppy was there because IBM decided it was better to stick the user with the responsibility of maintaining and inserting a config floppy than to stick the makers of option cards with the bill for a config ROM. The floppy contains the information needed to perform the hardware configuration of the card. There was nothing plug-and-play about Microchannel. This permitted "automatic" configuration of cards so simple they didn't have their own CPU or even ROM, just a pile of logic on a board. EISA was the same way, except in a slot that could also accept an ISA card. The EISA contacts were deeper.

The primary thing that was shitty about the PS/2 was the value proposition. They weren't any faster than the competition (which in many case offered higher clocks) and they cost a lot more. Further, they were highly proprietary. Besides their custom and expensive and only nearly auto-configuring MCA bus, they also used ESDI HDs on a custom connector in most models. And let's not forget that the machines were well large enough to carry full-sized DIN sockets, but they chose to go to the tiny PS/2 mini-DIN instead, which offered the user nothing but additional frustration. And they went with the same connector for both keyboard and mouse, yet nobody supported freely interchanging them until Intel did it much later. (On some Intel motherboards, you can swap PS/2 KB and mouse around into the wrong sockets and they'll both still work.)

IBM realized that the market had spoken against their tactic of making Workstation-style machines with PC processors and operating systems, and created the PS/Valuepoint line, but they failed to actually meet the point at which they would have been a good value, and they failed miserably. They deserved to fail, of course. They did have some machines priced competitively with other systems, but they were the lemons of the line. Their only big hit in PCs was the Thinkpad series, which has since been sold out and ruined.

It's ironic that everything after the PC AT was some kind of failure. They even labeled their first commercial RISC processor as a PC, the PC RT. It failed in part due to branding, because it wasn't a PC. It was a workstation- or even server-class machine at the time, but it had an ISA bus.

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