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Comment Re:Swearing (Score 1) 227

Experiments prove that swearing when in pain reduces the pain.

Google Stephen Fry and Brian Blessed video for a pop-science demonstration of such.

And in such instances, "fake" swear words do not have the same effect, even if you know what they stand for...

So... swear words are magic? I don't buy it. They may have an effect in people who normally think and use them, but that certainly can't be true for those who don't.

Comment Re:It's about landmass (Score 1) 378

So if you only need a non-EV a dozen times per year, have you considered renting for those trips? You can rent a small (but decent) car for about $30 per day. Assuming each of your long trips was for two days, that would run you about $600 per year in rental fees. Whether or not fuel savings the rest of the year would offset that cost depends on many, many factors. Of course, this assumes that you have a car rental location within driving distance for your EV, but unless you're really out in the sticks, you probably do.

on top of which it's extremely expensive for what it is

Perhaps. I find that I really *like* driving an EV. The relatively high acceleration, especially off the line, plus the silence -- and the ability to warm the car up with the garage door closed on a cold morning -- are nice. I enjoy driving an EV more than I enjoy driving a combustion-powered vehicle, which is worth something to me.

I should mention that I own two vehicles. One is an EV (Nissan LEAF) which we use for running around. We live 20 miles from town, but it has enough range to run into town, do some running around, and get home. If we absolutely need it, there's a quick charger in town that we can use to "top up" to get home. 15 minutes there gives us enough charge to get home, but it's rare that we need it. My other vehicle is a full-sized pickup truck (Ford F350) with a big diesel V8. We use that for hauling stuff, towing stuff (boat, tractor (on flatbed trailer), camp trailer, etc.), tooling around in the mountains, etc. We sometimes use the pickup for long trips, but usually if we don't actually need the pickup we rent a small car. It's cheaper than feeding that big diesel (which gets 15-19 mpg).

My LEAF is leased and the lease expires next month. I normally buy vehicles and drive them until they die, but EVs were new enough that I wanted to be able to walk away. I think we're going to go test drive the Chevy Bolt, and if we like it we'll get one of those. We like EVs, but would appreciate just a little more range than the LEAF gets us -- to ensure we never have to stop at that quick charger.

Comment Re:Swearing (Score 2) 227

People who don't swear scare the fucking life out of me.

I don't, except in circumstances where I'm deliberately trying to shock, or at least surprise. It's not a matter of "repression", it's that profanity is not part of my vocabulary. You assume that people who don't swear are "repressing" or "censoring" themselves, but that assumption presumes that they actually do swear in their internal dialogue, but then don't say it out loud. But I don't use profanity in my internal dialogue, either, though I suppose I have some stand-in words (dang, etc.) which fill more or less the same purpose.

To put it another way, a good friend of mine like to say "If you don't scream FUCK when you hit your thumb with a hammer, your head will explode." My response is "When I hit my thumb with a hammer, I'm in way too much pain to go to the effort of remembering to scream FUCK." He's assuming that the curse word will be naturally present and that if you don't scream it it's because you're holding it back. For me, the curse word just isn't there, so what happens when I hit my thumb is a wordless howl of pain. No repression involved, and my head remains intact.

In addition, I think profanity is generally counterproductive. Rather than saying that something is "fucking stupid", why not spend two more seconds thinking, and articulate why it's stupid, or what about it is stupid? Your phrase accomplishes exactly nothing other than to make people understand that you're angry. It conveys no other information and does nothing to rectify the stupidity. Also, it's pretty common that when people bother to think about what exactly it is that's making them mad, they discover that, in fact, it's not stupid and that they just hadn't thought the whole situation through.

Finally, I find that the fact that I hardly ever use profanity makes it a really powerful tool on the rare occasions I do choose to use it. Those who use it constantly have basically nowhere to go when the situation deserves a really strong statement.

Comment Re: most vulnerabilities != most vulnerable (Score 1) 147

because people report vulnerabilities against very old versions of Android which, while they do still exist in the wild, constitute a fairly small number of devices...

Android KitKat, which was released in 2013, is still being used on 22.1% of the devices out there. And 36.3% of the devices out there run KitKat or older versions of Android.

Gingerbread 1.0% Ice Cream Sandwich 1.1% Jelly Bean 11.6% KitKat 22.6%

Very true, and part of the reason that the Play store and Verified Apps protections are so important.

Comment Re:Why can't there be an open phone? (Score 1) 478

The problem is that nobody goes after manufacturers that violate the GPL. If Google were to put their money where their mouth is, they should pursue ALL the manufacturers that refuse to release the GPL code to their Android software.

Here are some of the big GPL violators: Amlogic MINIX Samsung HTC ...

What would that accomplish? The only thing that you could get is whatever kernel modifications they've made. Do you really think there's a lot of really innovative kernel work being done by those players? And, AFAIK, they do publish the kernel changes to comply with the GPL. Samsung and HTC do, anyway. I'm not sure about the smaller ones.

The rest of Android is under the Apache2 license, so OEMs have no obligation to publish their changes. Not even to Google.

Comment Re:Making America great again (Score 2) 128

What do people mean when they say "make America great again"?

I think most of those people actually mean "I want the world to revert back to how it was X years ago". With X depending on personal experiences.

Of course, that's impossible.

Very true. And I think what Trump is thinking of when he says it is the greatness of the captains of industry, like Rockefeller, Sinclair, Carnegie, etc., with himself and his friends in the leading roles.

Comment Re:Why can't there be an open phone? (Score 2) 478

Remember the original PC was "open" because IBM were forced to under anti trust law.

That's not true. There was no anti-trust ruling against IBM related to the PC (though when they created the PC they were already operating under the terms of a consent decree related to anti-trust prosecution for actions in the mainframe space), and the PC's openness was really a result of Compaq's careful cleanroom reverse engineering of the BIOS, rather than any legal constraints on IBM. The previous anti-trust action against IBM probably did have the effect of making them more circumspect about trying to control the PC, but that was less of a factor than Compaq's work.

Comment Re:Why can't there be an open phone? (Score 1) 478

Boy, I was wrong :-( Android we all hoped would be a GNU OS with all rooted phones and terminals and hacks back in 2009 when we read about it. Nope. Is it too late and why won't Google be more open?

Android is open, rootable and hackable. Most OEMs make phones that are locked down, but Google's Nexus and Pixel line have unlockable bootloaders (note, however, that Verizon required the Pixels to be locked down; buy from Google for the open version), and full source code to the OS is available, including build toolchains. There are binary blobs for firmware (as is the case for lots of PC hardware, too), and Google's own apps are closed source, but the operating system is absolutely open and hackable. There's also no cost for writing your own apps, and nothing requiring you to use Google's "walled garden", the Play store. In fact there are other play stores out there, and you can download and install individual apps.

Comment Re: This will never happen, even if I want it to. (Score 2) 269 You can refuse a presidential pardon and still be convicted.

The precise Supreme Court ruling is kind of interesting. The holding was that a judge cannot recognize a pardon unless it has been introduced into the court. The mere fact that a judge knows the pardon was granted isn't enough; someone has to actually bring it up in court. So, you can be prosecuted even if you've been pardoned, but all you have to do is to say "Hey judge, I've been pardoned" (more or less) and the judge will dismiss the case (with prejudice, I'd expect). But if you refuse to bring it up, the trial and sentencing go forward as normal. Unless the prosecution brings it up, but that would be dumb.

Of course, in most cases if you've been pardoned and haven't rejected the pardon, the prosecutor won't even bother trying to prosecute you because he knows you have a get-out-of-jail-free card. But in theory he could try to prosecute anyway... until the defense files a motion to dismiss.

Comment Re:...without sacrificing photo quality (Score 4, Insightful) 103


It's really impressive how much a difference sharp eyes make. I like taking close-up portraits with my 85mm f/1.4 on a full frame sensor. 99% of the whole picture is basically completely out of focus. If the other 1% falls on the eyes, the picture looks perfectly sharp. It's junk otherwise.

Yup. When people look at portraits, they look first, last and middle at the eyes. My slight oversharpening brings out detail in the irises and lashes that people don't consciously notice but really make the image "pop".

Most of photography is understanding how humans see images and enhancing (with various techniques, including composition, focus, lighting, post-processing etc., etc.) the portions that the photographer wants the audience to look at, in ways the audience finds compelling. In hindsight it's obvious that you can take random photos and go the other direction, losing detail that no one cares about, without degrading human perception of the image. Doing it well requires some understanding of the content of the image, though, so it takes a smart-ish system.

Comment Re:Google is AAF (Score 1) 103

And everybody agrees JPEG is old, tired and long in the tooth the old patent issues. Then there was JPEG-2000 but again patent issues. Again, why would Google push this on top of what's essentially something that collectively we've been told is dying and encumbered by *possible* patent issues? I can see from the press info and details that they've come up with a way to use ML in a new way, great. But again, why not on top of WEBP they're own great new way of doing this and not JPEG? you can convert JPEGs to WEBP why not? Oh the browsers don't support WEBP but do JPEG?

You're missing the forest for the trees, I think.

This technique is entirely independent of image format. You could do it with JPEG, or WEBP or anything you like... you could even do it with lossless compression formats, though you'd obviously be making them lossy. The researchers used JPEG because it was convenient.

Comment Re:...without sacrificing photo quality (Score 4, Insightful) 103 a lie, it reduces image quality just in a way you cannot see visually

If all you want to do is look at the image this is fine, but anything else that needs it full quality will be sacrificed

Actually I think you could probably see it if the device are using isn't already so high def you can't tell the smallest details anyway. What they do is just request a 1/4 size image and then upscale it. Woo clever.

No, they request a 1/4 size image, then upscale it, then selectively restore details to portions of the image that humans pay attention to. The result isn't much larger than the 1/4 size image, but looks much better to people.

I've been doing something vaguely similar (though not automatically) for years in my portrait photography. I selectively sharpen (actually, oversharpen) key facial features (especially eyes) that are the things that people focus on when looking at a portrait. This makes the whole image seem sharper and more vibrant, though it isn't. In fact, if the entire image were sharpened in the same way it would look terrible. This is especially useful when I shoot with a soft-focus filter which creates a very nice dreamy effect but can make the subject look dull. Soft focus plus sharpened eyes (and, often, lips -- it depends) make a beautiful portrait which people find more appealing and "realistic" than without the phony sharpening. Similarly, reduced overall resolution with detail retained in the right places makes an image look as good as the full resolution version, even though it's not.

Comment Re:Google is AAF (Score 1) 103

Google you're annoying as fuck with the moving targets on your open standards, and while I think it's great that we now have another way to store images but we still have GIF, PNG, SVG, JPEG and even your own )(*@)(*! WEBP

This ins't a new standard. The images processed by this algorithm are standard JPEGs, just adjusted in a way that reduces image complexity in a way that is imperceptible to humans.

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