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Zombies As American Zeitgeist Proxies 263

blackbearnh writes "No doubt, there will be more than a few brain-munching glassy-eyed zombies showing up on the typical doorstep tonight, demanding brains, brains, brains, or at least some Milk Duds. But according to this essay over on Forbes.com, zombies are more than just the trendy monster on the block, they are to Americans what Godzilla is to Japanese: a personification of our fear of science and technology. 'It seems you can't throw a half-eaten cerebrum these days without hitting a posse of zombies brought to life by some kind of biological mishap (28 Days Later, Resident Evil, Planet Terror, Quarantine). Like Godzilla, zombies keep up with the times, always ready to mirror whatever aspect of science and technology people feel most uncertain about at the moment.'"

Comment Re:(Un)Surprising (Score 1) 297

Actually, I think even a cursory look at history would tell a different story. Probably because nation-states are a more recent development you have a larger definition of "total war", but in the era before the nation-state war was generally winner take all. There is a reason we have a definition for the word "sack" that includes the plundering, looting and destruction of a city. Take a quick google of "Carthage" for a better understanding of what the norm in conflicts was prior to the current era. The Romans leveled the city to the ground, took 50,000 survivors into slavery and generally raped pillaged and plundered their way through the etire city/state. They even took the extraordinary step of sewing salt into the fields so nothing would grow there. This is over 2,000 years ago - so no, I don't think you can point to the French revolution as a sea change in the style of warfare. In fact, as you go back farther in time and get to smaller and smaller civil aggregations you would see a greater percentage of the populace involved in armed conflict, and a greater likelihood that they would be involved in armed conflict in their lifetimes. I think the distiction between military and civilian populations is a more recent development.

Comment Re:Background downloading (Score 1) 107

Ok; but it could AT THE VERY LEAST resume interrupted downloads and let you pause them.

I mean, you can defend the "no background downloading" thing, but what's the defense for not being able to resume interrupted downloads? Let's go back in time to what the Internet was like in 1995, folks!

Also, I had desktop computers a lot less powerful than PSPs, that were capable of background downloading while playing single-player games. What makes you think you need a dedicated CPU core to *download a file*, of all things?

Comment Re:Tricky talk, in my opinion. (Score 1) 627

I agree. Microsoft is probably betting that the computers people are running XP on are so old that they will just replace the entire thing. That's really going to take a while longer for that to happen though. I predict Windows 7 will be a success, but it will be a delayed success. As the economy begins growing again, businesses will finally start upgrading their computers and consumers will begin buying again. If they offered a way to upgrade from XP to Windows 7, maybe it would be different as people wouldn't feel like they might as well buy a whole new computer for the upgrade. However, as you point out, if XP is still working for people, what does Windows 7 add as a new and necessary feature?

Comment Re:3D laptop? (Score 1) 151

I have one. The stylus input device works quite well for drawing, but the UI sucks. There's not even a delete function.

The erase function only works with Apple's special stylus that features a carbon-based tip. And *then* you have to fork out more for the "erase" tool itself.

What a load of lock-in crap.

Some people are even complaining that the carbon styluses appear to be wearing down after a relatively short time.

Comment Re:TFA is just plain BAD. (Score 1) 620

P.S.

I spent all morning going over a set of engineering drawings with a red pen, circling misspelled words and text that overlapped other text or parts of the drawings. I ended up dog-earing 16 pages of a 35-page document. Thus, my pedantry was already running full-tilt, and I'm pretty sure this partly explains why I got carried away.

Comment Re: Air power never wins wars (Score 2, Interesting) 419

I'd be tempted to say there's a good half of the west that doesn't have this luxurious blindspot America has. If anything big we to happen, they were on the frontline. Casualty previsions from the cold war in European countries basically ran in the high 80% range, and I'm pretty sure most major powers (India, China, Japan, the Soviets) in Eurasia had pretty similar things - sure, there's probably some of it in what are considered "side conflicts", but that blind spot is something you can't afford to have when you're not sitting an ocean away from where the shit will inevitably hit the fan.

Comment Re:From the year 2022 (Score 1) 620

You sort of missed what AC was implying.

In MS-DOS, since it has current directories per drive, I can do this:

c:\>cd nudiepics
c:\nudiepics>a:
a:\>cd nudiepics
a:\nudiepics>dir /w

a:\nudiepics>move a_*.jpg c:
a:\nudiepics>move b_*.jpg c:

Well, I could if I had such a folder as c:\nudiepics.

I don't have to type the full path both times – it knows drive c's current directory, and I only have to set it once.

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