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Comment Re:Techy drone-boners must stop. (Score 1) 208

I visited Germany recently and enjoyed the graffiti tremendously. While there's some utter crap, I found the graffiti to be of significantly higher quality than what I typically encounter in my home country.

USian here, where graffiti is promptly removed, thankfully, because it's usually awful. But I think I know what you mean about Berlin, though I haven't been there personally. I have, however, been to Athens, Greece (around 2007). I swear, that city is just about the ideal environment for graffiti artists:

a. Nearly every building is made from concrete; my tour guide told me that there is a large concrete industry in Athens and that it is basically always the most economical building material.
b. Generally, plain concrete is irrepressibly bland, drab and awful to look at.
c. It's a "Mediterranean country", apparently; I asked a few of the locals, young and old, about the graffiti and their attitudes ranged from indifference to mild appreciation. Even the cops didn't seem to care - I asked one for directions once, and he encouraged me to check out some good graffiti a couple streets away from my destination. I was surprised at how relaxed the locals were about the whole thing.

Practically every wall of every building was screaming "I AM A BLANK CANVAS". Simple tags and anarchy signs were everywhere. Many city blocks had at least one elaborate spray-painted mural. Oddly, nobody seemed to spray-paint over one another's work; I guess there was just so much free space...

But at any rate, I took way more photos of the graffiti I encountered than of the Parthenon or any other famous landmarks. I'm glad I visited the place before all the riots started.

Comment Re:Can i please have two? (Score 1) 395

Chasing the upgrade dragon is a luxury, not a curse. Console games often do not render at 1080p and they often have a target framerate around 30 fps, which I find atrocious. Most PC gamers, myself included, prefer 60+ fps.

I've saved a lot of money by buying mid-range PC hardware and playing games that are one or two years old. Of course, this would not work so well with multiplayer games...

I think if you buy a mid-range PC a year or two after this next generation of consoles is released, you'll be set for a good 4-5 years at least.

Comment Re:Mythbusters show just how impaired you are at . (Score 1) 996

Usually, I would establish "less safe" with video and audio recordings of the driver's inability to maintain lane and other moving violations, as well as my encounter with the driver, and the sobriety tests administered during the stop of the particular individual.

Bravo, dear sir or madam. This is exactly how it should be done.

Comment Re:Privatize 2 help funnel the money 2 corporate b (Score 3, Insightful) 224

After noting the higher "efficiencies" of privatizing education, Adam Smith still concludes that a more broadly educated public through public education (even at the expense of wasting a bit more money on less-motivated students) is ultimately for the public good.

The current school system in the US is a bloated government monopoly, indifferent to competing models of schooling. You pay for it through taxes whether you send your kids to public school, private school, or if you homeschool them (or even if you don't have kids at all). There are alternatives to public school in the US, but the government doesn't care. They get their money, even if you shell out for private school or quit your job to homeschool.

At the minimum, parents should receive vouchers equivalent in value to what the local public school system pays per pupil, vouchers that could be redeemed at private schools, or used for homeschooling expenses. This would put real pressure on crappy public schools to reform themselves or face starvation, unlike the misguided "No Child Left Behind Act".

Comment Re:Reason number one. (Score 1) 564

Hell how many even OC or use liquid cooling? if it was more than 5% I'd be surprised.

Not too many people overclock, true. But I sure do; I found that a +20% overclock/overvolt on my aging Kentsfield CPU was well worth the +45% jump in peak power consumption, and it turns out Kentsfields really don't mind running at 80 degrees C under load. Framerates in Crysis 2 and L.A. Noire are playable now, and I didn't have to shell out for new cpu/mobo/ram. Oh and fwiw, it really pisses me off that you can't overclock low-end Intel CPUs anymore. I have fond memories of boosting my C2D e4300 from 1.8Ghz to 2.7Ghz. Props to AMD for unlocking the multipliers on basically all their CPUs these days.

However, a lot of people use cpu and especially gpu coolers with heatpipes, which is a liquid cooling of sorts. The "twin frozr" system MSI uses on my Radeon 7850 has heatpipes galore and keeps my card cool and quiet despite my overclocking.

Heatpipes were really a great idea, bringing many of the benefits of liquid cooling along in a compact, hassle-free package. No risk of leaks or water pumps failing, no need to construct a big radiator rack that requires a full-size or larger case...

Oh also, as awful as Netburst CPUs were (long execution pipeline? blech no thank you - I game...), I'd like to see someone overclock one to 10 Ghz for the lulz.

Comment Re:My theory (Score 1) 1010

The Ferrari (or any exotic foreign sports car) can attract women, usually without even turning a wheel. A PC (even with that SSD), not so much.

The Ferrari will attract gold-diggers, and the fancy computer will attract girls who like computers. I'll take the computer.

Also if anyone is considering buying a Ferrari, don't. I'd suggest buying two Corvettes and two walkie-talkies - one for you, one for a friend!

Comment Re:More person, more cost. Fine. (Score 4, Interesting) 587

If you sit in front of me, you're likely to find my feet right behind yours. This is part of the reason I no longer fly. The rest being accounted for by the TSA nonsense.

Same here, pretty much. The security took way too long at McCarran Int'l last time I was there. Then the plane ride was uncomfortable, even for a little guy like me.

What we need is a new approach to passenger seating that takes into account security, comfort, and economy. How about this: Replace all the airline seats with padded tubes stacked like firewood (think Bruce Willis's trip to Phloston Paradise in The Fifth Element). Mix nitrous oxide in with the passenger tube's air to sedate them (I imagine it would be hard for a terrorist to hijack a plane while sedated). Safety procedure for an emergency landing is: you do nothing, because you're already limp (and therefore less likely to break bones) and you're wrapped in a giant padded burrito. Awesome. Maybe wake people up if you're ditching the plane in water, but otherwise, nah. Just eject their tubes a safe distance away from the aircraft upon landing.

Imagine boarding a plane in Los Angeles, lying down on a comfy pad, and then the next thing you know... you're waking up in New York, or Paris, or Moscow, hearing the local time and weather from the soothing, confident voice of a captain who you just *know* held an eight-hour orgy with the rest of the flight crew while everyone else was sedated.

Some people would throw up from the gas as they disembarked, sure, but that's a small price to pay. Plenty of people get airsick during turbulence and the airlines just give them a sack.

Comment Re:dd (Score 1) 295

What about seek times in a low-RPM, high-capacity drive?

I have two 3.5" drives in my desktop. One is a Western Digital 250GB 7200 RPM ATA/133 drive from 2005, the other is a Western Digital 5400 1TB 5400 RPM "green" SATA 3.0gbps drive from around 2011.

The 5400 RPM drive is nice and fast for big files, but lord help you if you install a game on it. Load times are easily twice as long for a big AAA game like Crysis.

I checked and both drives have three platters. Is this what's killing my 5400 RPM drive?

Comment The End-Game (Score 3, Interesting) 398

Here's what I want to know about Bitcoin: What happens when the last bitcoin is mined? I think there's a max of 21 million bitcoins, and currently about half that many have been mined and are in people's hands.

If bitcoin continues long enough to reach the end-game, wouldn't it create a deflationary spiral?

Comment Re:That's what they said about Apple, but now.... (Score 1) 70

Apple is one of the most popular brands ever and that's because it re-invented itself. Dell has a shot at re-branding itself with the right leadership.

I think you're right on the money there. Apple re-invented itself; Dell will re-brand itself.

When Apple was in a slump it transformed from a computer company locked in a race to the bottom - fighting beige-box Mac clones with beige boxes of their own - into a design company that produces its own ecosystem of high-margin computers and online services (iTunes store, iOS / OS X app stores). Apple acknowledges this; "Apple Computer" is now just "Apple", officially.

I don't own a Macbook, and I don't want one, but I can totally understand why they're selling like hotcakes: elegant and sturdy design, luxury status, vertical integration of hardware / software / internet services, and now retina displays... the list goes on. Love them or hate them, but Apple's computers stand out.

Dell, on the other hand? They're still making cheap generic beige boxes, except these days they're "piano black". I'm sure that's exactly what their corporate/government customers want, but the question then is, "How do you re-invent yourself when your customers just want blade servers, cheap desktops, and on-site service plans?" Dell already does those things well.

I'm guessing that Dell's idea of "re-inventing itself" will be to buy Alienware again, or to imitate Apple. Hopefully, they'll try something none of us thought of and prove me wrong in the process.

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