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Comment Re:Self-inflicted (Score 1) 31

Yes, and those idiot's votes count the same as yours and mind. It is amazing how many people "me too" jump on some bullshit I've already proven to be false a few times before. Hoax is the poisoning of the mind for people too stupid to do their own thinking and prefer their news in a 600x600 image square. Whoever controls these drones, controls the vote, because they are half the population.

Or to paraphrase George Carlin, think about how stupid the average person is, then remember that half the population is dumber than they are.

Comment Re:We burn a ton of DVD's every week (Score 1) 323

One of the tricks in production of litigation documents is to produce them in the least convenient form that conforms to the rules. So if the opposing side requests a bunch of e-mails and Word documents, and they don't have the foresight to request them in native format with metadata intact (or the rules don't require you to send them that way), you send them a stack of CDs full of TIFFs. There are even programs that will load up all the documents for review by the baby attorneys* and then convert them all to TIFFs for production. And when the other side sends you a bunch of TIFFs on CDs, it will load those all up, OCR them, and tag them with keywords. This is in part why production is so ridiculously expensive. (The other reason is that the attorneys will spend half a million dollars filing motions and counter-motions fighting over the search terms to use on document and e-mail searches.) (This is why attorneys always win lawsuits, as long as the client is solvent. Occasionally, one of the clients wins too.)

*If you retain a big law firm, they will still bill you $300/hr. for the baby attorney to sit in front of his computer all day, flipping through documents looking for stuff that should be tagged as "hot" or "damaging" or whatever before they go out. Then when the opposing side sends their production, baby attorney sits and reviews all of those too. The whole time, baby attorney is thinking, "I got seven years of post-secondary education for THIS?" But he'll do it, because the partner told him to, and they're paying him a salary of $160,000 plus bonuses that depend on billable hours, and as mind-numbingly boring as it is, it is the easiest way on earth to rack up billable hours, and he still has $200,000 in student loans to pay off.

Comment Re:Why haven't we done Voyager 3 and 4? (Score 2) 58

For an idea of how much that alignment helped, here's the crazy path Pioneer 11 took from Jupiter to Saturn without the benefit of alignment. Instead of flying from Jupiter's orbit to Saturn's orbit, it had to fly almost to the opposite side of the solar system to intercept Saturn. Nearly 5 years, compared to approx 2 years for Voyagers 1/2.

Original paper describing the travel benefits of the alignment.

Comment The difference isn't that big (Score 1) 127

It's important to understand that while we benchmark storage in MB/s, those units are actually the inverse of how we perceive their speed - wait time. Wait time would be sec/GB. To see what the consequences of this are, imagine loading up a game involves reading 1 GB of data, and for simplicity imagine you can read that 1 GB at max speed.

33 MB/s = 30 sec - old IDE HDD
66 MB/s = 15 sec - newer IDE HDD
125 MB/s = 8 sec - SATA HDD
250 MB/s = 4 sec - SATA2 SSD
500 MB/s = 2 sec - SATA3 SSD
1000 MB/s = 1 sec - early PCIe SSDs
2000 MB/s = 0.5 sec - newer PCIe SSDs

Notice how every time MB/s doubles, wait time is only cut in half. This means perceive speed increases are the inverse of MB/s, and thus not linear in terms of MB/s. The difference between SATA and SATA3 (125 MB/s and 500 MB/s) is "only" 375 MB/s. While the difference between SATA3 and newer PCIe drives is a whopping 1500 MB/s. But that doesn't mean that upgrading from SATA3 to a newer PCIe SSD will feel 4x faster than upgrading from a HDD to a SATA3 SSD felt.

The reduction in wait time going from the SATA HDD to a SATA3 SSD was 8 sec vs 2 sec - a 6 sec reduction. But the reduction in wait time going from SATA3 to newer PCIe is only 2 sec vs 0.5 sec - a 1.5 sec reduction. So upgrading from a SATA3 SSD to a newer PCIe SSD will only give you 1/4 the perceived speed increase you got when you upgraded from a HDD to a SSD. Not 4x. Compared to a SATA HDD, a SATA3 SSD gives you 80% the wait time reduction of the newest PCIe SSDs (6 sec vs 7.5 sec).

In other words, for the typical amounts of data we need to read off of storage, SATA3 SSDs have already given us most of the speed benefit we can expect by making our storage media faster. (The same problem plagues cars and using MPG to measure fuel efficiency. MPG is actually the inverse of fuel efficiency. It's the metric you want to use if you have a fixed amount of fuel and need to know how far you can travel, like if you're in a boat. The vast majority of people's driving is the other way around - they need to travel a fixed distance, and want to do it using as little fuel as possible - which is GPM. So the biggest fuel savings actually comes from making fuel hogs like tractor trailers, buses, and SUVs more efficient, not from econoboxes like the Prius. Despite how big 50 MPG sounds, going from 25 MPG to 50 MPG actually only represents half the fuel saved of going from 12.5 MPG to 25 MPG.. The rest of the world measures fuel efficiency in liters per 100 km for this reason - equivalent to GPM.)

Comment Don't dismiss WORM media yet (Score 2) 323

Optical media is WORM - write once, read many. This makes it secure against tampering after it's been written, so something like a ransomware virus can't destroy your backup even if it's still online. You also can't do something stupid like find that a file you need has become corrupted, plug in your backup drive, and accidentally copy the corrupt file over your backup instead of the other way around (I've done that).

I've been saying for 20+ years that our random access storage media like HDDs and flash memory needs a physical write-protect switch. It would solve so many problems. A significant percentage of the computer support customers I get are to recover media which has become unreadable because they plugged it into a device to watch a movie or copy a few files, and when they unplugged it (without first unmounting) the device screwed up the partition table or FAT making it unreadable. "All my kids' baby photos are on there and my wife will kill me if I can't get them back."

And if OSes were designed to run off read-only media (write temp files and log files elsewhere), they'd essentially be invulnerable to rooting. A buffer overflow vulnerability might allow an attacker to execute an arbitrary command, but they wouldn't be able to leverage it to modify the system so they have root access after a reboot. Data breaches wouldn't be impossible, but they'd be much, much harder.

But aside from write-protect switches on SD cards and WORM media, everyone seems to overlook the usefulness of being able to store data as read-only.

Optical media is also dirt cheap. SSDs/Flash memory is around 30 cents/GB. HDDs around 10 cents/GB. BD-Rs are around 2 cents/GB and if they follow the same pattern as CD-Rs and DVD-Rs, will eventually settle at around 0.8 cents/GB.

Comment A picture is worth a thousand words (Score 1) 81

There's something to be said about the improved efficiency of just posting a picture or a video, instead of writing a couple paragraphs trying to explain what happened. All communication mediums have their advantages. And their disadvantages. Trying to proclaim one as invariably inferior to your preferred medium does nothing but reveal your personal bias. There are always situations where each medium is better than the others.

Privacy concerns and general Facebook scumminess aside, a consolidated text/photo/video feed like Facebook/Instagram is the natural evolution of the web. At first everyone makes their own web page. But then it becomes burdensome to constantly check the web pages of all your friends to see if they've posted anything new. So you off-load that task onto a computer, which checks for any updates, and presents you with a consolidated list of updated pages. I would've preferred it to have happened in your browser which could automatically poll certain bookmarked sites every x hours, and put any of those pages updated since your last visit into a special folder (would be really handy for the list of web comics I follow). That way this functionality would cover the entire web instead of being limited to certain sites. But the masses seem to have picked Facebook/Instagram for this purpose.

Comment Re:Don't blame Pokemon GO (Score 1, Insightful) 171

TFA does not make clear whether the women were crossing legally or jaywalking.

Our laws promoting safety have a lot of redundancy built into them. This redundancy allows multiple failures before producing a catastrophic result. Limiting street crossings to crosswalks concentrates pedestrians in locations where additional safety features can be installed (red lights, painted stripes on the road). It also frees up drivers to keep their eyes on the road when away from intersections, instead of having to constantly watch the sides of the road for pedestrians who might suddenly jump into their path. Accidents more frequently happen because of infractions by each party involved which strip away each layer of redundant safety.

While it's probable the driver bears most of the blame, I wouldn't be so quick to jump to conclusions. I have to think even an irresponsible Pokemon player would, as a matter of self-preservation, at least take his eyes off the game long enough to slow when approaching intersections. This may well be a case of two women trying to save some time by crossing in the middle of the street (yes it happens even in Japan), and being struck by a driver who assumed no pedestrian would do such a thing so decided to play the game between intersections. He might even have been unable to avoid hitting the women even if he had been watching the road. Jumping to conclusions makes you no better than the assholes who beat up the driver in the above video.

Comment Re:Defective by Design (Score 2) 222

Also, what is this facetime equivalent you speak of, assuming you're not just talking about Skype?

Google Hangouts has let you make video calls for almost as long as Facetime. It's actually functionally superior to Facetime - it allows multiple people in the hangout (basically a conference call with just text, sound, or video, or any combo, also supposed to have a whiteboard feature though I never used it) across multiple platforms (phones, tablets, PCs; Android, iOS, Windows, OS X, Linux). Or at least it used to be. For some reason, Google is in the process of shuttering Hangouts and will be moving the video call feature to Google Duo, which is only available on Android phones and (as the name implies) only connects two devices - no more conference video calls.

Google's problem is they have a lot of great stuff that nobody knows about. They had a voice assistant before Siri, they just never thought of giving it a spiffy name and didn't market it so nobody knew it was on their phone. I only learned about it via the xda-developers forums. They moved Google Voice over to Hangouts a few years back essentially making every Android phone a VoIP phone, but they never said anything about it so nobody who wasn't using Google Voice before knew about it. Hangouts has been great because it combines multiple platforms - I can respond to short text messages on my phone, but more involved messages I can type up on my laptop since Hangouts shows up in my Gmail sidebar (which incidentally is also how you make video calls from PC). But they never even tried to publicize that capability, and are now in the process of dismantling it (Hangouts no longer combines SMS and hangouts conversations, and MMS has already disappeared from the PC, I expect SMS will go next).

Comment Re:I've gone through four iPhones due to this issu (Score 2) 222

A "failure" here includes an app that crashes. In your case you're saying the touch screen has failed to work, 4 times in a row, and somehow you know it's about to be 5 times.

The chance of a failure involving the touchscreen is statistically (from the report you didn't read) 3%. Raising 0.03 to the fifth power gives a failure rate of 0.0000000243.

Still going with Occam.

Comment Re:I've gone through four iPhones due to this issu (Score 1) 222

Well, literally hundreds of millions of people (per year) buy iPhones (last 12 months was 215 million) and don't have this problem.

I could see you getting a bad phone - shit happens. I could (just about) see you getting *two* bad phones out of two. There is no way I'd buy that you got three successive phones that failed in the same way, as for five ? Well, I'll be charitable and say you must be the unluckiest person on the planet. Is your name Brian by any chance ?

For reference: "In line with the firm’s fourth-quarter report, a study that analyzed smartphone failures during the first quarter of 2016 determined that Android devices cause far more problems for their owners than iPhones. According to Blancco Technology Group’s new data, 44% of Android phones experienced failures between January and March of this year, compared to 25% of iPhones"

Occam's razor says I still think you don't look after the phone, assuming you're telling the truth. Sorry.

Comment Re:So much for Apple's "better design" (Score 1, Troll) 222

Yep, in an nutshell.

You sell 215 million (how many phones Apple sold in the last 12 months) of *anything*, and there's going to be a tiny percentage of them that go wrong in some pattern-like way. Even 0.001% of 215 million is 2150 people with a problem, and although a failure rate of 0.001% is pretty damn good with such a complex device, that's still enough for "many" people to come up with a common problem and someone to get some ad-revenue from the click-bait headline.

(Also own an iPhone, a 6+, and haven't seen any issues)

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