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Comment One Use (Score 1) 174

Curved displays have one use: building an immersive cockpit environment for games. Flight simulators, racing simulators, and giant robot games could benefit from 210 degrees of curved display. Oh, and that farming simulator where you can drive the tractors and combines. There isn't much else that does. Of course they're only useful if you can afford enough of them. The large format ones tend to have a radius of 13 to 16 feet, requiring so many to surround your cockpit and so many stacked vertically to fill your field of vision that it gets prohibitively expensive and ends up with a goofy image distortion problem in the uppermost row of displays. That and some curved TVs are a parabolic arc, not a circular arc, causing further problems.

If you could get ultrawide curved screens with circular arcs of radius of 6 to 8 feet, you've got yourself a great way to build a serious cockpit for simulations.

The cockpit building community[1] has for years now been using projectors and curved projection surfaces. This keeps costs down, but of course means the cockpit structure has strictly limited height, or it will interfere with the projections. If the curved display fad among manufacturers lasts just long enough, they'll get to seriously upgrade.

[1] Yes, there's a community. With 7 billion people on the planet, there's enough people to form an interest group for literally anything.

Comment Re:The curve isn't for you (Score 1) 174

Manufacturers wanted to make the TVs thinner, but didn't want the top half flopping over.

This post deserves its +5 moderation for this sentence alone. The mental image it summons up makes me giggle. Pair it with an Abbot and Costello routine trying to prevent the top half from flopping over for even more giggles.

I tend to agree that the mechanics of the situation have made the curve attractive to manufacturers. It'd be different if all large screens were wall mounted, and the ISO mount was something like a bar along the top instead of the rectangle in the middle. As it is, with a large percentage of TVs sitting on stands supporting them from their ISO mounts, I can easily see the curve being exploited to make a thinner display, reducing material costs.

Comment Re:Never EVER us the USPS (Score 1) 143

The USPS was a great idea 240 years ago and they served their purpose for a long time, but it is high time that we fully privatize them and let them go bankrupt if they can't perform a competent service.

The USPS can not be fully privatized. It is an integral part of the US legal system, and the one and only courier service that delivers to all physical addresses in the United States. In nineteen jurisdictions, process service can be completed on an individual by mail: Alaska, California, Washington D.C., Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota (with prior written consent), Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. In three of those jurisdictions, a summons can be sent simply by first class mail. The rest require registered or certified mail.

Only two jurisdictions allow delivery by private couriers: Washington D.C. and North Dakota.

Only one jurisdiction allows delivery by "electronic means": Washington D.C. and only by prior consent.

Only one jurisdiction allows delivery by fax machine: Idaho. (Yes, Idaho. Go figure.)

A myriad of other legal things are tied to postal addresses, including that thing near and dear to everyone's heart: your taxing jurisdiction. The USPS maintains the legal "where everybody is" database, and even the private couriers depend on it. People file change of address forms with the USPS, not with UPS or FedEx. We've seen alternative attempts to provide such a database. Uptake of such systems is basically nil. The inertia of 240 years gives the USPS a fantastically powerful network effect. Quite aside from those nineteen legal jurisdictions, the sheer amount of software that depends on the existence and current method of functioning of the post office is mind boggling.

A functional, government-run or quasi-government-run post office is one of the cornerstones of civilization. One of the symptoms of a failed state today is not having one. You mess with the post office at your peril. Fix it if it needs fixing, sure, but privatization is not a fix: it would break everything.

Comment Re:Yet more skewed bullshit testing from AMD. (Score 1) 280

Please explain what you mean by better peripheral support?

24 PCI-e lanes between the CPU and the motherboard chipset, vs Intel's 16 in the same class, and therefore better able to saturate the throughput of modern high-bandwidth peripherals. Obviously not relevant for things like file transfers between NVMe and Gb ethernet because that's a DMA transfer where the data itself never touches the CPU, but helpful when the data requires actual processing prior to transfer.

Comment Re:Richard Feynman was an athiest (Score 2) 206

Thankfully, God has made a way of escape through Jesus Christ, His Son (John 3:16). The choice is yours alone to make. Do you really believe that the Creator is âoeThe God who wasn't thereâ as atheists allege. Every watch has a maker, and I assure you that the universe has a Maker as well. It is not only improbable; but impossible that this universe just happened, let alone that it evolved from some chaotic explosion... A BIG BANG! Please, what a joke! Chaos never leads to order. Order can only come from careful planning and meticulous precision, which God has certainly accomplished. It is man that steals, kills, and destroys as Satan wants them too (John 10:10).

So let's get this straight. The Universe is a big, complex place that doesn't show the slightest evidence of actual design or intervention. You assert without proof that it must have been created, even though all the laws of nature based on observation are CONSERVATION LAWS that suggest that NOTHING has ever been created in the history of the Universe itself. Everything that you think of as being the "creation" of something is just preexisting stuff moving around. You have never observed one single thing actually being created -- or destroyed -- only the changing of forms of that which already is. In some very deep sense, your error comes from this -- you misinterpret the actual, literal meaning of the verb "to create" as it applies to every single actual thing you've ever seen or experienced. A potter does not "create" a pot, not in the sense you are using the term to refer to an act of a hypothesized deity. A potter reshapes preexisting clay to -- very temporarily, on a cosmic scale -- have the form of a pot. You are conflating your experience with pots -- one day not there, another day there -- to misapply common language to Universes, forgetting that you've never seen anything actually come out of nothing and have no reason whatsoever to think that it ever has.

This big, complex place, then, is supposed to be like that pot, something shaped by some intelligent hand. You assert it because (implicitly) nothing can have complex shapes unless intelligence produces them. If we ignore for the moment the fact that every snowflake that has ever existed or will ever exist refutes you -- complexity arising out of thoughtless matter interacting with remarkably simple rules -- and grant the premise, then you immediately encounter a consistency issue and problem with recursion. The potter is without doubt more "complex" than the pot he creates. But that (according to you) is why we cannot view the pot as having been produced by a natural process, or the potter as being produced by a natural process. The Universe itself, with all of its apparently natural processes is really really complex, and complex things are NEVER to be found without being put there by intelligence that is even more complex.

If we ignore the long string of unprovable, unfounded assumptions (in most cases, assumptions that are easily refuted by actual examples in physics, chemistry, even formal mathematics) we find that your conclusion -- that God must exist to have been the greater intelligence that designed the Universe that -- through the pure unfolding of natural law -- evolved the potter that -- following the inevitable path of his life determined by those same natural laws -- appeared to "design" a pot that he then assembled out of some stuff that he dug out of the ground which was eventually sold, used for a dozen years, broke, and was then ground over centuries back into dust once again -- is inconsistent. God is more complex than the world, complexity only can happen through intelligent design, therefore God was intelligently designed, therefore God was designed and "created" by a still more complex God and isn't really God. There is no terminus to the chain thus induced -- any God you postulate must always have been "created" by a still smarter, still more powerful and more intelligent God and no God, any any level, can be certain that they were not! The God of any n+1 level in the chain could be invisible to the God of the n level in the chain, just as "God" in our existence is quite invisible, without a shred of actual evidence or experience supporting their necessary existence.

Once you open the door to believing in invisible things without actual evidence, where does it all end? Starting with belief in a contradiction -- or just a false assertion -- one can then "logically" prove just about anything. To quote Voltaire (since you like quoting people, let's quote somebody with a brain, shall we?) -- "It is a small step from believing an absurdity to committing an atrocity."

I ask you, sir -- are you not silently advocating atrocity in your absurd statements? Are you not openly inviting the persecution of those people you disagree with, with movie directors, entertainers, homosexuals, communists? Quite aside from the fact that Jesus and his disciples advocated what amounts to communism (if we are to take the patently false and openly absurd books in the New Testament seriously) and spoke out quite seriously against judging others, you seem to have set yourself up as a judge, qualified to know the mind of the God you imagine, and in his name you are giving support and encouragement to those that would commit violence against those you fear or dislike or merely disagree with. And so it ever is, when men convince themselves that black is white, that up is down, that it is perfectly reasonable to think that somebody rose from the dead 2000 years ago on the basis of hearsay evidence passed down by a religious cult that made it big but totally unreasonable if anybody were to make similar claims today.

Which is a shame, because today we really do make the blind see, we make the deaf hear, we make the cripples walk again, and sometimes we even raise the very recently, technically, dead (by the standards of antiquity, anyway). We do this not by prayer, belief, of the direct intervention of an invisible deity bending the laws of space and time on your personal behalf, breaking the very laws you assert that they made. We do it by means of science. We've figured out how things work, what's wrong, and how to fix it. No prayer or belief required. Gravity works for you the same as it works for me, and not even Jesus was tempted to violate the law of gravity, if you believe in the Jesus myths.


Comment Re:Jesus saves (Score 5, Funny) 206

There are none who do not believe in Pink Unicorns! How can any man say, who has not travelled to the farthest end of the Universe, that Pink Unicorns do not exist? Indeed, anybody who says so secretly is claiming to BE a Pink Unicorn. Pink Unicorns hate fags and commies so you -- I'm talking to you, you apostatic Pink Unicorn believer wearing the halloween costume -- need to pass draconian laws punishing commies and let us arrest fags and send them against their will to a special school that will teach them to find only members of the opposite sex attractive, and then only within the bounds of holy matrimony. I'm talking about you, Robert De Niro and you, Billy Joel! You claim not to believe in the Pink One's Perfect Horn, but deep in your heart you have seen its Cornute Majesty as the twist in every spiral galaxy, especially those that radiate high in the Pink part of the spectrum.

DON'T BLAME ME, you anunicornists, if the great Pink Unicorn shows up one day and impales you on its Horn of Perfect Justice! It could happen! Seriously! You haven't BEEN to Alpha Centauri -- it could be liberally populated with Pink Unicorns for all you know! I have had a Holy Vision of Pink, and I Know! So sayeth the prophets, and everybody knows that people who wrote stuff down LONG AGO are always right and never made mistakes! Only that liberal commie activity known as "science" makes mistakes -- imagine, insisting on POSITIVE evidence for the existence of Pink Unicorns when the Holy Fathers among the ancients speak of "walking with the Unicorn" and tell of the many miracles performed by the Pinkest of them all. What more evidence do you need?

Oh, and by the way, pay no attention to the deluded fools in that cult over there who claim that Unicorns are not Pink, they are really Blue. Or that group -- Purple Dinosaurs (that walked with men back before the flood) are clearly right up there with Winkie-Tink, thinly disguised Faggery intended to corrupt the morals of our children and distract them from Pink! Besides, they have no evidence to back their claim, as clearly THEIR ancient prophets were just smelly old men who are lying to you to corrupt you. But the one true Pink Unicorn knows all and sees all, peering out from behind every rock and stone in the Universe, and...

What's that? Take your hands off of me, sir! I protest! Well of course I stopped taking that medicine! It was distracting me from my holy duty! I could no longer see Pink when I closed my eyes, my mortal body was in danger of being Holed and the prophets say that sinners who turn their back on the Unicorn will be trampled under hoof for all eternity! Let me go!

I will not be silenced! No! Don't put me in there! No! No! Not the needle! The TRUTH will soon be known! BEWARE, you foul, white jacketed sinners, the Unicorn that comes to trample you and everyone you love in the ni

Comment Re:Circling the drain (Score 1) 67

Shifting from stable except in specific ignition fuels to dangerous at all times lithium batteries that explode violently doesn't improve safety. Tesla was a failed business from the start.

As opposed to gasoline, which first catches fire, then explodes violently.

If Tesla was a failed business from the start, I presume you've shorted millions of dollars of TSLA. In which case, thank you for your money. Moron.

Comment Re:Yet more skewed bullshit testing from AMD. (Score 1) 280

I'd like to see a like-for-like benchmark between Ryzen and I7, such as single-thread at the same clock speeds.

Uh, they did. The Cinebench single-threaded results are in the slide. Right hand side. The 1800X is indistinguishable from Intel's 6900K at single-threaded performance. And Cinebench is compiled with Intel's compiler.

Undoubtedly there will be some benchmarks where Intel is still ahead, and yes we are waiting for third party testing. Still, from what we're seeing out of AMD, they're no longer down 10% in like-for-like comparisons. They're +/- 1% now. While being substantially cheaper. If the accompanying motherboards are competitive in features and build quality, Ryzen is a serious contender for all buyers, not just seriously budget-conscious buyers. It's no longer a matter of "oooh, I guess I can put up with not having the best to save some money." It's now "ooo, I can get exactly the same performance for half the price, and better peripheral support." (Well, I say now, but I mean March 2nd.)

AMD fanboys can place pre-orders without even a hint of remorse or compromise. The rest of us can hold off on any planned new system purchases until mid-March, when the folks at Tom's Hardware are done with their benchmarking. Odds are that unless you really really really have to buy the Intel system because you don't intend to use it for anything other than running that ONE piece of software that is an outlier in benchmarks (whatever it might be: 7-zip?), then you should be buying an AMD system if you can find a motherboard that meets your needs. Unless you really enjoy throwing away $600 for nothing.

Comment Re:Lifestyles of the Poor but Interesting (Score 1) 147

Things like getting married, starting a family, or even moving out from underneath Mom and Dads roof; all of these life events will likely cost more than the average "interesting" salary.

Many Chinese men will never have the opportunity without plural marriage. There's 27 million more men than women in China right now. By 2020, it's expected to be 35 million more men than women. As the linked article points out, that's the entire population of Canada. A country worth of young men will not be able to marry and start a family. It's 15% of their age cohort. Fifteen percent! That's insane. And they're already an economic force to be reckoned with. Singles Day sales in China dwarfs Black Friday sales in the US.

Gigging is one reaction to that massive demographic disparity. There's no need to look for the stability and independence that goes with a family because for tens of millions of Chinese men, there will be no family. The consequences of China's One Child policy are going to be with them (and possibly with us, the rest of the world) for the rest of the century, and no one really understands all of the ramifications. This has never happened before, in all of human history. The closest analog is perhaps the American West during the colonial period, but that gender disparity neither lasted as long as this one must nor involved anything like the sheer scale of the one in China. Gigging may be the least of the distortions that are coming.

Comment Re:EPB has 10Gb Fiber... Google is making excuses (Score 1) 107

Apparently, I still do not see the sarcasm must be some retarded wiring in my brain, but /sarcasm or some kind of hint at it usually helps.

You must be a little more autistic than most around here. what ever you said I've already forgotten because I know that it's wrong.
I also intend to misquote you.

That wasn't just obvious sarcasm; that was heavy sarcasm. Do you really think he forgot everything you said instantly? And the last sentence is, for all intents and purposes, a </sarcasm> tag. Really, it was clearly sarcasm.

I didn't know that Chattanooga was doing so well. I'd heard about the rollout, and the whining and crying in court from AT&T and Comcast. I hadn't heard that AT&T and Comcast had ultimately been told to go to hell, though I applaud the court that decided that. And one of you swarm of ACs says it was all paid off in 4 years... That's kind of fantastic, for that much physical plant.

Is it just me, or is Google doing it wrong? I think Google is doing it wrong, 'cause their quoted billion dollars per city is nuts. In fact, I'd say that's the clearest evidence yet that Google has become a classic American corporation, in the mold of GM and IBM and Lockheed Martin. They really have jumped the shark, despite all their precious interview puzzle questions. And that's for pole-hung fiber, too! Not even paying for burial. That's outrageous. That's like Lockheed's price tag for launching a payload to orbit, when the real cost should be what SpaceX charges. That's an epic failure of management on Google's part, and Chattanooga is the proof.

Comment Re:how far down does land ownership go? (Score 1) 226

If I happen to own some land in CA that Musk wants to tunnel under/through, can he really do so without my permission or even knowledge?

Of course not. And of course he knows that. Tunneling under roads always requires the city/county/state's permission, depending on which authority is most directly responsible for the road in question, and in the case of important roads, like the interstate highways, it may require the permission of all three at once. Tunneling under private property requires either the mineral rights (in which case the owner of the surface isn't the owner of the depths anyway) or an easement from the surface owner. In the case of utilities, there's usually a public easement that has been forced upon the property owner by the government. It usually follows the road, but can also include any or all edges of everyone's property for things like cable television.

Slashdot is so goddamned weird sometimes. Elon Musk is in the rocket business and in the automobile business, two of the most highly regulated industries in the world. He can probably quote chapter and verse of the top 10 regulations he despises, plus name multiple examples of regulations he thinks are highly appropriate. The guy knows more about government regulations than any Slashdot reader who is not actually employed as a government regulator or as a compliance officer, because he's up to his eyeballs in them day in and day out. Plus, you know, he has money, which buys lawyers. I'm absolutely certain he has three whole law firms on retainer, one for SpaceX, one for Tesla, and one for himself personally because billionaire. And when you're already paying them, you might as well ask them questions, to get some value for your money.

So despite appearances, he's not going into this blindly. I'm sure the day he had a hole dug in his parking lot is also the day he had a lawyer down at city hall, filing the proper paperwork for a tunnel under the road to his parking structure. According to another poster, he's been trying to get a pedestrian bridge built for some time now, but for whatever reason, the city hasn't approved it. The interesting thing is it's a different department that approves tunnels. (Well, it is here, anyway. It probably is in Hawthorne too.) He's probably hoping to find a department of the city that will actually process the paperwork in a timely fashion.

Comment Re:Is it 1792? (Score 5, Insightful) 113

Glad to hear we're implementing that new-fangled 4th amendment I keep hearing about.

If only. It isn't possible to use a Stingray constitutionally, period. Here's the 4th Amendment, in its entirety:

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

A Stingray sucks up data for hundreds, thousands, even tens of thousands of people if run in a metro area, and there is no warrant for that. A warrant must "particularly [describe] the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized" and every court in the land has ruled time and time again that "I want to seize something from 100 people" is not in any way "particular" enough, let alone "I want to seize something from 10,000 people".

The proposed law is unconstitutional, attempting to provide legal cover for unconstitutional activities. The only constitutional warrant names an individual or individual device or a very small group thereof and is issued to the phone company. The government does not get to pretend to be the phone company, and Hoover up the data for thousands of people at a time.[1]

I would question whether or not the current Supreme Court would uphold the Constitution and strike down this law if it passes, but it won't come before this court. The legal gyrations to prevent a challenge of the Stingrays with standing will continue indefinitely. We know this because the same stonewalling is already happening with respect to NSA spying on the Internet. Add to that the length of time required to run through the appeals process and actually reach the Supreme Court, and I doubt either Kennedy or Ginsberg will still be alive if and when that case finally gets to the Court.

Unless we are exceedingly fortunate, and this unconstitutional bill becomes law and suckers some prosecuting attorney into letting a Stingray-based case that is being challenged go forward, we're probably in for a decades of unconstitutional activity.

Not that it will be the first time...

[1] No apologies for the pun. It was too appropriate.

Comment Re:Unless on the interstate system (Score 1) 243

Missouri had just switched from a Republican trifecta to Republican controlled state houses with a Democratic governor when it started and successfully completed a project to replace or repair 802 bridges in 4 years, with project planning beginning in late 2008 and construction starting in 2009 and ending in 2012, on budget and 14 months ahead of schedule. And then the Republicans cut the budget so now we can only handle 100 bridges a year, just barely keeping our heads above water, as about 100/year go into "poor" condition. We proved we're capable of twice that rate, if the budget is available. Admittedly, some of that money was Federal stimulus money after the Great Recession (we actually used it to repair infrastructure), but the rest of it was ours.

Missouri is nearly a Democratic state, but we got gerrymandered into appearing Republican with the 2000 census. Our state voting districts are so fucked up they have actual holes in them, with discontiguous pieces. We have one Republican and one Democratic Federal senator, a Democratic governor, and Republican state houses. At least one of the state houses would be Democratic if we had honest voting districts. It's not visible on the maps here but can be seen at the address by address level if you zoom in far enough in Google Maps. Our state Senate districts are fairly honest, since there's considerably fewer of them, but our state House districts are downright creative. Also, we'd be less Republican, but the Baptists are a force to be reckoned with, and they're stilling buying the anti-abortion bullshit the Republicans claim, but don't actually follow up on.

Geographically, we have a lot of hills, a lot of rivers, and a lot of streams. We have the largest river in the country, the Mississippi, making up the entirety of our eastern border and we have the Missouri river, the third largest river in the country that isn't mostly Canadian, after the Mississippi and the Ohio. Those two huge rivers have carved bluffs all over the place, many of which were subsequently abandoned as the river shifted. In short, we need a lot of bridges to get around. Replacing 800 in 4 years was significant, but we do still have a long ways to go. And we're not quite as politically backwards as we appear to be. By just a little bit.

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