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Comment I thought Everyone Knew (Score 1) 124

I thought everyone knew what the real story was. After the Soviet Union fell, some of their KGB documents and defectors showed they used UFO reports in the United States and several other nations to spread distrust of their governments. But wait, as they say on TV, there's more.

Later FOA requests some few years ago from the CIA and other agencies described how, after the defeat in WW2, the US gained several rocket scientists/engineers, including, famously, Dr. Werner Von Braun. Also imported were several experiment aircraft seized at Pannemunde (not sure of the spelling), including at least one prototype with a circular (saucer-like) wing arrangement. As I am quite an ancient dude (ignore the handle) I remember seeing grainy photos of some of these aircraft, possibly taken by servicemen, which were published in either or both Popular Science or Popular Mechanics magazines. I was just a small kid at the time, so it was probably ca. 1947. These planes, according to the CIA response to the info request, were taken to a testing airbase in the New Mexico desert (think area-51) where they were studied and test-flown, and found to be quite unstable as they were involved in frequent collisions with the ground, causing numerous pilots' deaths. Contemporary reports of these crashes by civilians spread throughout the US, while its government denied the existence of these crashes and the erratic, saucer-shaped craft. It was the Cold War, and the USSR used their network to spread other fictitious reports (see above paragraph. Rinse and repeat.)

The CIA saw what they were doing and did it back to them, spreading false reports throughout northern Asia and then to the more populous western regions. Suddenly, UFOs were a worldwide phenomenon!

As Paul Harvey https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... used to say, "And that's the rest of the story."

Comment Re:ARMing servers. (Score 2) 110

AMD staying afloat in the face of Intel's market share is a pretty amazing feat. It hasn't been easy being the distant second while keeping up the pressure on the #1 player but AMD has kept going for decades. I expect AMD to continue to be the distant second competitor, but being second doesn't mean you are a failure...

Intel in the previous century needed AMD for Intel's own survival for several reasons:

In the 80s and 90s when Intel was considered a small player in computation, many contracts called for a second supplier of CPUs in case Intel failed or failed to deliver. AMD was that company, which is why it was a near-perfect clone of Intel chips until the 386. AMD kept its license to make x86-compatible, independently-developed chips for a couple of reasons, which evolved over time.

Later, when Intel's dominance in the home computer market made it a natural monopoly, Intel used AMD's existence to argue against US-Justice Department litigation.

Even later, AMD's better technical decisions, IMO, gave it a performance lead at the same time Intel made a serious tech blunder with the Pentium-4. AMD became a better processor than an Intel. So Intel mobilized their hugeness and designed chips which outperformed AMD both in performance and efficiency, in the Core series.

AMD became a player in the graphics chip side through acquisition. Intel tried to develop GPUs but proved to be inept at it. Now, Intel is contemplating using AMD GPUs integrated into their desktop offerings. http://www.pcworld.com/article...
https://www.extremetech.com/co...
http://www.nasdaq.com/article/...

Intel's relationship with AMD is existential.

Comment Re:I beg to differ (Score 1) 162

You proved my principle: Quality and depth-of-selection brings in subscribers and keeps them. Once subscribed, one may use the TV audience model where ppl will watch the "least worst" show or movie available.

This new policy will cap their subscriber numbers, as those who leave will be replaced, more or less, only by those newcomers who will be attracted by fewer and lower-rated movies.

Comment Re:My Apologies (Score 1) 174

While I agree with your conclusions, there is an important fact you ignore: PCs now have less than 50% of the internet market in general, and I suspect smartphones and other devices' share will only grow in future, considering the slowing sales of PC and the increasing penetration of alternate gaming platforms. MS doesn't seem to see a way to stem the flow from computers to other devices, so they are maximizing their profits for the short term.

MS has a habit of showing their hand -- remember when they sold Windows subscriptions to businesses when there were no OS upgrades for years between 2000 and the disaster called Vista?

MS in, is a way, in the same bind they put Sun, et al. in a decade ago: they are now the de facto business platform, and they want to leverage that, even at the expense of their future PC personal software. There is much more cash in selling licenses to businesses than delivering OSes to manufacturers at bulk prices which were sometimes nearly free.

MS is a mature monopoly which does not see any competitors on the horizon -- except for phones and consoles. Otherwise, they would act differently. They know what they''re doing and they expect their PC customers mostly not to care.

Comment Re:"You Can't Slander a Dead Man": Legal Maxim (Score 1) 380

The difference is subtler nowadays, but the act is exactly the same: libel is the widespread form of slander; IANAL but I have some experience in talking to lawyers about this as I spent twenty years as a broadcast journalist. If it is printed, broadcast, webcasted, shouted from rooftops or in public assemblies, or otherwise widely distributed, the harm is far greater than if it is simply spoken to individuals. Kinda like the difference between misdemeanor theft and felony grand theft.

I would have written "you can't libel a dead man," but that was not the maxim I learned.

Comment Re:Texting isn't typing (Score 1) 55

You're right, texting isn't as fast or accurate as typing, but I think you got the numbers wrong.

Near the turn of the millennium, speech recognition software (ViaVoice, etc,.) achieved a claimed 99% accuracy. So I tried it out. After training, I got over 95% by speaking carefully (and slowly). The problem was finding and fixing those 05% mistakes took longer than typing the whole document over would have taken.

And yeah, most touch typists can't get more than 35 wpm and touch screens are worse, so the deck is stacked to an extent.

Comment Re:Cats can do that too (Score 3, Informative) 171

While your examples could be simple aggressive behavior in cat culture, they are amusing.

However, cats indeed use symbolic reasoning. Mine, a mature shelter animal when I got her, loved to play with a boot lace tied off with feathers which I "flew" near her until she realiized it was only a toy controlled by me, at which time she lost interest and did not play anymore.

However, when she wants my company, she fetches the feathered lace and brings it to me. She does not want to play with it -- she uses it as a symbol to say she wants some face time at the places she hangs out in (the porch or the back room with the sunny exposure.)

Am I surprised? At first I was, but it looks like Noam Chomsky was right -- we (many creatures) are "hard-wired" for language.

Comment Re: Cannot be turned off? (Score 1) 491

Read the Digital Millenium Communications Act (US)(1998); I was amazed when I read the document as passed; I remember understanding it required "secure" hardware and software for playback of HD (1080p) content, disallowing VGA connection to such sources. HDMI was the industry's first solution; Secure Boot (EFI) the next and now....this.

Comment Re:Yeah, no (Score 4, Informative) 275

Wow! Exactly what I've learned in fifty years of audio/broadcast production. I wish I had written it; I certainly wanted to.

I would give the speakers/headphones more emphasis, however. No matter how expensive your rig is, speakers as good will be more. Much more. Including the speakers (especially cheaply-made and poorly designed) in the system evasluation gives an edge to the way bipolar transistors handle transients or square waves. A high power-to-cone mass speaker will follow the sharply cut off curve of a transistor well enough to make a listener's ears bleed, that's true, but a low power-to cone mass cheapie will not; its physics actually complements the transistor's characteristics by not following its sharp peak, but taking its lazy time returning to its accurate excursion limit. In effect, a cheap speaker "smooths' the spikey output of an overdriven bipolar transistor or IC.

But wait, there's more! Psychology is the number one influence. We like what we are used to hearing. We get used to good audio over time, and we become more selective. Or, if we have only heard distortion all our lives, we get to miss bad production if it is absent.

Comment Damn Lies (Score 2) 569

Which code (law scheme) are you talking about? Being in the Navy, the sailor in question was under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the rules of which are very different than for private citizens. For example, the US Constitution does not apply, except when the Supreme Court intervenes, which is rarely.

Even as Secretary of State, Ms. Clinton was a private citizen, under different laws.

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