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Comment Missing, or location is classified? (Score 1) 343

After 9/11, US intelligence agencies, led by the NSA, embarked on a massive world-wide surveillance program, monitoring voice, text, email, web, IM, and even video game chat, for signs of terrorist plots. How many billions of dollars did this cost? It seems like they had a blank check.

Given that 9/11 involved smashing commercial jets into buildings, wouldn't you expect that JOB FUCKING ONE on their list of things to monitor would have been the location and status of commercial jets that could be used to attack American targets. And given that the US has military, diplomatic, and commercial interests around the globe, that pretty much means worldwide. It just seems to me THAT would have been top priority, and failure would not have been an option. Monitoring WHERE THE FUCKING KILLER JETS ARE would be top of the list, ahead of thing like monitoring text messages between two 12-year-olds in France or whatever other sleazy shit the NSA/CIA get up to.

So I think that people already know damn well where these planes are. They just don't want us to know that they have the ability know, because that's how intelligence agencies think.

Comment Re:I don't want to live in this planet anymore (Score 1) 678

Because the more people who have guns, the greater the risk of somebody getting shot. If somebody has a gun and they happen to be enraged and/or intoxicated and/or mentally ill and/or stupid and careless, then there is a chance they could shoot an innocent person.

In Canada, I have to worry about getting shot by criminals. When I travel to the US, I have to worry about getting shot by EVERYBODY.

Comment pop culture space trivia (Score 3, Interesting) 51

Akatsuki carries 68 fan-made images of Japanese crowdsourced digital pop star Hatsune Miku, etched onto three aluminium plates. I suppose this makes Miku the solar system's first interplanetary celebrity. (Also last year, a Miku music video was beamed into deep space by the European Space Agency as part of its "Wake up, Rosetta!" campaign).

I believe the only other pop music purposefully represented in deep space, is the Chuck Berry song Johnny B. Goode, which is on NASA's Golden Records carried by the two Voyager probes.

Comment Re:That was easy (Score 3, Interesting) 867

Other than Linux failing to suspend and resume correctly on a laptop.

YMMV, but I recently switched my Windows netbook to Linux and I can't believe how lightning fast it suspends/awakes now. I spent several days just showing it off to friends and co-workers. Suspend - awake - suspend - awake. It's like magic compared to how it used to be under Windows. This is a machine that under the light edition of Win7 had become so slow, I couldn't even use it to browse Twitter from a fresh reboot. Now it's finally a fully functional computer and not just a toy.

Comment Ounce of prevention (Score 4, Insightful) 203

Maybe if they'd spent the 11 years using these resources to rein in police racism and brutality, there wouldn't be a need for protests.

Bad cops and systemic police racism are what's terrorizing the populace in cities like Baltimore - that's your terrorist threat right there. But law enforcement are also the ones running these centers. It's the old problem of who's watching the watchers.

Comment Re:Sigh (Score 1) 143

I get your point, but I think a representation of a hologram is a representation of a hologram, regardless of whether or not the subject is a fictional character.

Plus, I can't think of many good alternatives to calling representations of holograms anything but "holograms".

You could call it a "virtual protest", but "virtual" is a weak and vague term. It's really more suggestive of VR or AR technology.

"virtual projection" is better than "virtual" on its own, and would work in this case. But it doesn't work for the many well-known hologram effects that are done using Pepper's ghost (like 2pac, MJ, etc), because those are reflections, not projections. It replaces one technically inaccurate term with another.

"pseudo-hologram" is the best blanket term I can think of.

Eventually though, in 50 to 100 years, we will have actual video hologram tech. People will then be able to see and understand the difference, and these cheap smoke and mirror tricks will be abandoned, and the problem will go away on its own. :-)

Comment Re:Sigh (Score 3, Informative) 143

First, projection onto a semitransparent material is not a pepper's ghost illusion. Pepper's ghost is a reflection onto a 45-degree transparent screen.

Second, you are confusing implimentation with representation.

Full coulour video holograms are science fiction. The technology to create them doesn't exist and probably won't within our lifetime. But many representations of hologram individuals are commonly referred to as holograms, and nobody questions or challenges this.

For example, Arnold Rimmer on Red Dwarf and the EMH Doctor on Star Trek Voyageur are universally accepted as holograms, as is the projection of Princess Leia in Star Wars that was produced by R2-D2. I've never heard any nerd or pedant challenge this. But none of these holograms were made using holography. Rimmer and the EMH were just actors standing on set. Very occasionally they would use visual affects to indicate their hologram-ness. The projection of Princess Leia was also a visual effect. They weren't created using holograms. They represented holograms.

Likewise, this protest involved representations of holograms, created using non-holographic means (because there is no other way to do it). They are as much holograms as any character that is universally referred to as a hologram.

If this was a protest involving people waving toy lightsabers around, I don't think many pedants would complain if the media called it a lightsaber protest. You'd sound kind of stupid complaining that they weren't using "real lightsabers". So I don't know why people get so irrationally bent out of shape over representations of holograms.

Comment Re:The HUGOs have always been about politics (Score 1) 587

If 80% of all SF writers are white males, then you can expect around that same fraction of the nominees to be white and male.

Maybe, but not necessarily.

If roughly 50% of English speakers are white, and roughly 50% of those are male, then around 75% of English-speakers are NOT white males.

If one were to assume that writing talent is more or less evenly distributed among the population, and that the truly gifted are increasingly able to rise to the top despite cultural and social biases, then I would expect that the majority of outsanding writers today to not be white males, regardless of the underlying distribution of all the mediocre writers.

Just saying.

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