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Comment Re:A thought... (Score 1) 452

Or better yet, once in court and under questioning invoke the 5th Amendment. It does work once there. It cannot be used to trump a subpoena and skip out on testifying as a witness.

Until they give you a grant of immunity. Then it doesn't work anymore.

There are two kinds of immunity: Transactional immunity (witness can not ever be prosecuted for crimes related to his testimony) and Use immunity (they can't use your testimony, or any evidence they gather based on its information, against you - but if they find other evidence you're fair game.)

Unfortunately the Supreme Court has ruled that Use Immunity is enough to extinguish the 5th Amendment right and federal prosecutors rarely offer Transactional. Some states have more stringent laws, constitutions, or constitutional interpretations and Transactional immunity must be offered before their courts may compel testimony.

Of course prosecution is not the only life risk for a witness. I know of at least one person, here in the disarmed-citizen utopia of California who has stated an intent to "not have seen anything" unless granted a perpetual concealed carry license.

Comment Slashdot posts Press Releases? (Score 1) 201

So if I pay the WSJ to reprint my press release (which is what Segate did), will Slashdot post my marketing copy too?

Let's compare this drive to the size of an iPad mini (because I'm familiar with that tablet, insert your own tablet of choice).

This drive is 2.5" still; that's huge compared to the size of an iPad mini, 512GB of surface-mounted flash is half that size or less.

It is 5mm thick, the iPad mini is 7.2mm thick. Would there even be room for the screen? 512GB of flash is less than half that.

It weighs 1/3 of the weight of an iPad mini as well. 512G of flash is a rounding error by comparison.

In short, this is a company that was caught flat-footed by the rise of SSDs because they were too busy thinking about how to preserve their hard drive business. Now they are desperately trying to push spinning rust to the limit and still falling well short. The only thing they can do is sell them for dirt-cheap prices. That also probably means the scaling of hard drives will slow or stop at this generation as SSD sales cut the profit out of that market, thus reducing the capital available for R&D and deployment of new HDD technologies.

I'm in an all-flash household now, I have no desire to go back to spinning disks. I don't have a lot of data points to back it up but so far I have zero failures in the past three years since I installed my first SSD, compared to no less than four HDD failures in the previous three year period.

Comment Re:Dolphins and Bats are Mammals (Score 2) 164

they all start with some common underlying mamallian hearing genes and then they tweak them to develop echolocation.

Actually, a lot of animals that aren't credited with using echolocation actually use a variation of it: Sounds from their own motion (such as footsteps) create echoes, which their hearing system processes into a map of nearby objects.

People, for instance, do this. That's why you can "feel" the nearness of walls and objects in the room (especially those near or immediately behind you) without looking, when you're moving.

There's at least one recorded instance of a totally blind child who learned to ride a bicycle and avoid objects, by making clicking sounds with his mouth to provide excitation for this system.

(The hearing system of things like mammals is evolved from the lateral line of fish - which both detects other nearby fish by direction-finding on the sound from their muscle twitches and other sound-reflecting objects by detecting the echoes of muscle twitches of the fish doing the listening. (A flat surface, for instance, would produce an acoustic mirror image of the fish every time it twitched, identifying the return as an echo of the fish itself.) It would not surprise me if the processing for echolocation in other animals is just a revival or slight remapping of this same mechanism.)

Comment While you're at it, ... (Score 1) 478

please, please ... pass on this advice to a Progressive

While you're at it, point out that a lot of their prescriptions INCREASE risk while purporting to reduce it. It's doubly annoying when they work so hard, throwing money, effort, and restrictive laws into trying to solve a problem when the effort and sacrifice actually makes it worse, in a positive feedback loop.

Progressives have no monopoly on this, either. Neocons, consdrvatives, and even Libertarians do it as well. It's easy for all to do things to attack a problem and not see that the indirect effects of the effort cause more harm (even in terms of the problem being attacked) than the first-order effects help.

Some examples:

  - Gun control: Private ownership and carrying of guns REDUCES crime, violence, victimization, and death, while citizen disarmament increases them.

  - Attempts to police the world produce "blowback", creating new and/or motivating existing enemies, increasing, rather than decreasing, the risk and costs to the US from war.

  - Drug prohibition creates more drug use and criminal enterprises, rather than reducing drug use, and harms the drug users more than the drugs do. Its component programs often have counterproductive pathologies of their own. One example is the D.A.R.E. program, which attempts to use peer pressure to encourage kids to ignore peer pressure, and has been shown to increase drug use.

  - Grabbing advances to any program, rather than considering whether achieving goals in the wrong order makes things worse rather than better. (A Libertarian example: They want both open borders and an end to government wealth distribution such as welfare programs. Unfortunately, opening the borders first leads to an influx of social program dependents, making the overall problem worse (and increasing the voting block to preserve and expand the programs), when fixing or eliminating the programs first would remove most of the downsides to opening the borders later.)

Comment Re:Still limited to 60Hz? (Score 1) 293

Yes, but I'd like it to 3,840 x 2,160 resolution video at 120 or 240fps.

You realize that's 24 gigabits/second *minimum* just for 4K 120fps raw video, right? (With 4K's better color, it might be 32 Gbps, I'm not sure.) That is not a trivial challenge.

Comment Re:Too little too late? (Score 1) 293

or just 2160p as it should be called

Movies come in different aspect ratios. At 1.78:1 you get 1080p or 2160p. At the also popular 2.35:1 you get ~817p. 720p likewise becomes ~544p. Those aren't really helpful for comparison since 817p isn't lower resolution than 1080p. Only the horizontal resolution is constant, so it actually makes sense to use it. The use of vertical resolution comes from the days of analog TV when only horizontal resolution was continuous, not discrete.

(I'm sure the marketing folks were salivating over it anyway.)

Also, while I haven't watched your hour-long video (summary?), I'm not sure why anyone would target 4096 pixels wide, which would make upscaling existing HD very painful. Doubling the resolution is much simpler, and I very much doubt that 4K was ever a spec as opposed to a marketing term.

Comment Re:The real question (Score 1) 293

Have you seen the price of gold recently?

We're talking microns of gold plating on the surface of another metal. If you're paying more than a few dollars extra for that, it's not the gold that's driving up the price.

That being said, I agree that digital signals and error correction along with electrical and mechanical standards make cable quality almost irrelevant.

Comment There's NOTHING blocking production ramp-up (Score 1) 351

If we extrapolate this curve and assume everything else remains constant, DOOOOOOOOOM!!!!

Darned right. (The authors seem to think the battery makers won't respond to a market for more batteries by building more batteries. Duh!)

As I understand it there's NOTHING blocking production ramp-up for Li-Ion batteries except lack of customer demand, which the auto industry is now rectifying. There's nothing exotic or rare in their composition.

Pretty much ditto for NiMH (except maybe for the price of nickel).

Henry Ford built a bunch of infrastructure to supply his auto company with necessary materials - including building his own steel mills, power plants, and soybean warehousing and processing operations (for early plastics). Any bets on whether Elon Musk would build his own battery plants if the current industry doesn't make him enough (or gouges him on the prices)?

Comment Plastics, too. (Score 1) 351

Sure it can. A process can generate a lot of some material which nobody currently needs. The manufacturer will then go and look for a market which can use this material and try to develop that market.

That was the case long ago for gasoline, it was a useless by-product for a long time was actually thrown causing some environmental problems, till they could finally figure out a use for the stuff.

Other examples:
  - Plastics
  - Asphalt
  - "Coal-tar" dies.
  - Liquified Natural Gas from remote oil fields (like the Middle East).

One of my favorites: Stove Pellets: They're made of sawdust from lumber mills, which used to be disposed of by burning it on site. They can sell them very cheap and still be far ahead of spending money to get rid of them (especially after EPA regs made burning them pricey). As a result, my house heating (in a mild climate place where shipping raises their price substantially) costs me maybe $300-400/year, vs. several thousand if I were still using natural gas. (It's carbon-neutral, too.)

Comment 12 inches per century, max? I'm SO scared. (Score 1) 341

Records and research show that sea level has been steadily rising at a rate of 1 to 2.5 millimeters (0.04 to 0.1 inches) per year since 1900.

Four to ten inches per century. Look out for the tidal wave.

Variation by a factor of 2.5? That's VERY noisy data to use for the extrapolation of rates. How few samples and what level of noise do they have that they can't come up with better error margins?

This rate may be increasing. Since 1992, new methods of satellite altimetry (the measurement of elevation or altitude) indicate a rate of rise of 3 millimeters (0.12 inches) per year.

And with noisy data you occasionally get an outlier on one end or the other. Of course if you want to produce panic you treat the biggest excursion as if it's the average, and extrapolate it out for a century. But even if you do that you're talking a whole 12 inches sea rise in a CENTURY.

It's been less than 2.4 centuries since the American Revolution, a little over five since Columbus made his famous trip. Don't you think that, if the sea level gradually rises by a foot per century the new construction will just be up the hills a little more and the companies will move?

And while we're at it, how OLD are these high-tek companies, and how long before they're replaced by a new generation? Do they actually expect to be in existence and in the same buildings after fifty or a hundred years? The mind boggles.

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