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Comment Re:Texas leads the way, again (Score 4, Insightful) 262

. . . which is why in the civilized parts of the world they put their soldiers in prison if they kill anybody in combat?

Every society in the world, without exception, allows agents of the state to use lethal force.

The implicit racism of declaring India, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan uncivilized is truly disgusting. The idea that they're barbarians because they don't adhere to a recently-invented purely European standard of what circumstances allow lethal force to be used by the state is intellectually indefensible.

Comment Re:Summary is Crap (Score 4, Interesting) 169

Corrected version of above:

Argentina is likely the right place to look at when you want to see the results of a government being more involved instead of less. Shocked by the Great Depression, like many other countries Argentina turned to a strongman. Once in power, Peron did a deep change to the country, and Argentina swiftly fell from being one of the wealthiest countries in the world to a basket case. Now, instead of being as rich per capita as the US or Switzerland (like it was in the 1920s), it's in the same economic class as Russia and Botswana.

Despite this abject failure, the media can't point this out, because people will label them as traitors. It's extremely hard for Argentinians to be entrepreneurs in this context of unremediated Peronism, which has wrecked the Argentine economy.

Comment Re:The farmer's recourse is to sue to sell (Score 1) 579

If your product will reproduce copies of itself, then your beef is with the product and your R&D department.

Yeah! Why didn't Monsanto simply protect their patents by putting in the terminator gene that would guarantee the soybeans were sterile?

Oh, right. Because when they were talking about commercializing that technology, all sorts of activist groups squealed like a stuck pig, the UN called for a moratorium on such seeds, and India and Brazil outlawed 'em.

Comment Re:The Age Old Story (Score 2) 157

Oh, yeah.

I mean, imagine if the Zune, instead of being an effort at an Apple-type ecosystem, had been an effort at a platform attack on Apple?

Imagine a Zune that supported PlaysForSureâ"and every other format Microsoft could manage to add. Even open-source formats like Ogg Vorbis.

That had a fully-documented, royalty-free accessories port, for both the hardware and software, and a sufficiently-documented sync protocol to allow third-party media players (even for *nix) to work with the device.

That launched in a massive cross-promotion with Walmart, which at the time was running its own PlaysForSure market. Which involved Microsoft and Walmart handing the Beatles enough money to get them to release their music on Walmart's market, but not iTunes.

That supported end-user replacement of old batteries, complete with such replacements being carried by (of course) Walmart.

In short, a device not designed to mimic Apple, but to aim at every single weak spot the iPod had, in an effort to create a replacement ecosystem of music devices where Microsoft would collect small royalties on device firmware and PlaysForSure music sales.

That could have actually worked.

It would have screwed the rest of us, at least for a while, because with PlaysForSure live the record companies would have at least delayed cutting the deals that let Walmart and the like sell non-DRM MP3s. But Microsoft would have been in a much better position as a result.

Comment Re:Twice as big as it needs to be? (Score 1) 332

No. The x86-64 does not support 16-bit real mode code when in long mode, whether directly or through a virtual 8086. Nor does it support unreal mode.

However, the x86 instruction set didn't directly jump from the 8086 to the 80386; the 16-bit 286 supported a 16-bit protected mode. And in long mode, an x86-64 processor can execute such code.

Comment Re:I must be stupid (Score 1) 255

since my understanding is that gravity is an inherent effect of mass warping space, wouldn't anti-matter possess mass in the same way that matter does, so why would gravity act differently?

It's expected that gravity would work normally. However, we don't know that until we see antimatter fall.

Moreover, if it didn't fall just like matter, that would be important information for constructing a new theory (which, since we still have GR and QM contradicting each other, we know we need).

Comment Re:Twice as big as it needs to be? (Score 4, Informative) 332

it's an easy choice unless you absolutely need 16-bit support.

The annoying thing being that an x86-64 processor in long mode can, in fact, run 16-bit protected mode code (like essentially all actual Windows 3.x programs) with the same compatibility sub-mode that runs 32-bit code. It's merely that Microsoft decided they didn't want to bother supporting it.

That this can be done is easy enough to prove; take a Win16 app and run it in WINE on 64-bit Linux.

Comment Re:I could be wrong but.... (Score 1) 179

I was explicitly talking about escalation of the war in Afghanistan. So I talked about fatalities caused by hostile action in Afghanistan.

If the US quadrupled the number of troops it had in Japan, there would be an increase in the number of US troops killed in Japan, but that wouldn't tell you anything about a war being escalated (since there is no war in Japan to escalate); it would just be evidence that you get more fatal accidents in a country when you have more people in a country. On the other hand, deaths caused by hostile action tells you about how much more intense a war is.

Similarly, whatever happens in Iraq doesn't say anything about what's happening in Afghanistan, and so doesn't say anything about an Afghanistan escalation. It's like saying, "Truman presided over a great reduction in US casualties in Germany, so it's unfair to say he got into a war in Korea". Say what? Again, the point was to show there was a general escalation in Afghanistan, as opposed to a transitory spike during a few specific months.

So, dealing with the real numbers:

US fatalities due to hostile action in Afghanistan under Bush (for simplicity's sake, all from January 2000 through the end of January 2009): 424

US fatalities due to hostile action in Afghanistan in Obama's first term (for simplicity's sake, February 2009 through the end of December 2012): 1,305

(Go ahead, follow the link, use the US filter, the Hostile action filter, and the Afghanistan only filter.)

Hey, guess what? 424Ã--3 is 1,272, and 1,272 is less than 1,305. US fatalities due to hostile action in Afghanistan were more than three times higher in Obama's first term than in all of Bush's presidency. That probably indicates that Obama escalated the war in Afghanistan.

Comment Re:I could be wrong but.... (Score 2) 179

Obama received the Nobel peace price while expanding military operations in Afghanistan and ordering extrajudicial murders of American citizens abroad.

War is peace, right?

Nope, he received the prize before any of that stuff happened.

Ignorance is strength?

In fact, between the February 1 nomination deadline and the October 5th award, Obama did in fact direct an escalation of the war in Afghanistan that increased US personnel deaths from hostile action in Afghanistan by +64% compared to the same months of the previous year.

And it certainly was due to escalation, not a statistical blip. By the end of Obama's first year in office, such deaths were twice those in Bush's last year. And for Obama's first term, they ended at a total triple that of Bush's entire presidency.

Comment Re:Tall screens, essentially square (Score 1) 591

I guess you missed the class where they showed everyone the Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V commands which are probably far more common than anything the Insert key does.

The "insert" combinations are from the 1987 Common User Access standard, which wound up implemented in a number of DOS apps, MVS/ESA, VM/CMS, OS/400, OS/2, Microsoft Windows, Java AWT, Swing, CDE, KDE, and GNOME.

"Ctrl+C" and "Ctrl-V" are from the Microsoft bastardizations of the Macintosh HIG "Command" combinations, and do show up in a wide variety of places as a result of Windows' popularity, but are substantially less widely-implemented than the CUA standards.

Comment Re:WP8 compatibility - forward and backward (Score 1) 505

When the host OS is 64-bit, yes, it is. It is just as backwards compatible as a x64 CPU is to x86.

Jesus fucking Christ, did you read the damn thread? Claiming you can't provide backwards compatibility without a VM because of the processor is provably bullshit, because, as was already pointed out, Wine on 64-bit Linux on an x86-64 cpu can run 16-bit Windows programs without a VM. Yes, 16-bit Windows binaries running on an x86-64 CPU in 64 bit mode, no VM layer.

It's not that Microsoft could not provide real backwards compatibility. Hell, the Wine code is all LGPL, so there's nothing stopping them from taking the Wine code as the core of their own effort to provide the backwards compatibility. It's that Microsoft, deliberately, by choice, did not provide real backwards compatibility.

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