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Comment Re:Not impulsive at all (Score 1) 929

I can see where it comes from easily. You try appealing to someone's reason and it fails. You try appealing to someone's empathy and it fails. You're arguing against a closed-minded heartless brick wall of an opponent; you're not really going to convince them of anything, in any way, because their purpose in life is to disagree with you no matter what. So the best you can do is hope to dissuade others from falling in with their same lot, and one way to do that is to just publicly look down on the opponent, snub them, make them seem like the uncool kid who nobody wants to be like. So you get smug. Your opponent is an obvious moron and you publicly can't see any reason why anyone with two brain cells to rub together would so much as give them the time of day. They're not even worth listening to. Hopefully, if you give off that air, people won't listen to them, and won't fall into the trap out of which they can't be reasoned. Of course if someone asks what makes them so uncool, you still give reasons, but the default before that conversation happens is just an air of them not even being worth talking about.

Comment Re:Not a single time traveler? (Score 4, Funny) 929

Time travelers already learned their lesson with Hitler. With no Trump presidency, there's no WWIII, and the technology that leads to time travel never gets invented, so using time travel to prevent America from getting trumped is pointless because paradox. Just like with Hitler and WWII, so since we already learned our lesson about how futile such things are there, none of us bother trying to run face first into paradox over Trump. Sad.

Comment Re:That's what we call a buying opportunity. (Score 2) 156

If you're invested in index funds, as you should be, the performance of your investment tracks the performance of the overall market, so if things bounce back in a week, it doesn't matter to you if a bunch of inefficiently human-managed mutual funds lost a bunch of money in that dip, the market is back up so so are your indexed investments and you're still doing just fine.

Comment Re:Self-fulfilling Prophecy (Score 1) 303

$100k household income is about 200% the median household income, so that not the best choice for "middle class". (It is around the mean household income, but some 75% of Americans are below the mean. Then again, real middle class status based on rent and interest expenses vs unearned incomes is large unattainable to even that 75% percentile, so maybe that's not such a bad choice, somewhere between the "like most people" and "actually capital-neutral" senses of "middle class").

Not that that undermines the rest of your point.

Comment Re:Soooooo... (Score 1) 789

Yes, the dems exposed the sausage making process which isn't pretty but at the same time it wasn't as bad as I expected it would be. Having actually read a bunch of the supposedly bad parts I found nothing that wasn't probably the norm in any parties. Politics is a dirty game and always will be... prostitution is a cleaner business.

What cost the Dems is the media coverage and a public not paying a lot of attention. The repeat of the same old nothing "news" was like Pavlov's dog at the wrong time-- the news did damage which was overcome but then it was RERUN again which did almost as much damage all over again. It wasn't legit news, just rumors illegally disclosed and then heavily propagandized ...which counts as "news" today. The media is so incompetent today one almost wonders if they are not doing it on purpose.... then you just have to remember a lot of them probably did as well in school as Sarah Palin (who has a journalism degree!)

Comment Re:When are we going optical? (Score 1) 192

Alas, it's not quite general, as my Thinkpad is lacking the feature (the digital outputs are all labeled with "HDMI" in alsa).

Now you made me investigate. :) My laptop doesn't list any IEC958 devices either, but it does have a SPDIF control in alsamixer so I thought that it would work anyway—on my media center PC that switch was all that was needed to enable digital audio to my receiver, even without using the special "spdif" or "iec958" ALSA device. Much to my surprise, however, on the laptop it had no effect. From digging into the low-level details with /proc/asound/card0/codec* and the hdajackretask utility from the alsa-tools-gui package, it seems the chip (a VIA VT1802) does support SPDIF, but the SPDIF-capable digital output pin is not connected to the headphone jack (or anywhere else). Apparently the motherboard designers ran out of space for the trivial amount of off-chip wiring necessary to make SPDIF functional.

Comment because it is classified (Score 1) 732

Remember back before we knew the NSA was listening to everybody's packets and phone calls we would get declassified reports that were vague with statements that were essentially backed up with "trust us." Thing is we will not know because they will not declassify it and if it is political we can't tell and if it is 100% supported by proof they will not disclose that evidence. They will not even give evidence that leaks to the sources possibly how they collected it.

Remember North Korea? people were claiming BS politics on that until Obama announced/declassified we were into their computers and that is how we knew. We allowed the Sony hack because why would we stop them? We at least logged their actions. Giving away our secret just to help Sony? Forget that! Many people died in WW2 to avoid leaking we knew. Obama shouldn't have leaked just to shut up critics.

Instead of Trumptards preaching for the USA to harm itself, they need to get their heads out of their asses and realize that we should be galvanized against foreign influences in our elections. We should have expected it and prepared... but idiotically we don't despite the fact we do it to other countries. Obviously, you can't counter most of it without educating the public properly so they can THINK critically and not support our crappy media as well as reform the election system (instant run off; paper ballots; human counted - with checks) and campaign finance system is foobar -- foreign powers have unlimited access (even thru the US chamber of commerce!) Frankly, without limiting how much power a small group can acquire you can't make a system that can stand for long. "The Balance of Powers" must extend much further.

Comment /. is getting slow with actual news (Score 2) 207

Clearly, this is now a problem with all the always-on listening devices that are now becoming wide spread! Barbie dolls that listen, Google, Amazon are listening all the time.

Then you have permissions given to websites, apps on other devices plus security holes for when permission is not given. Don't forget company policy changes which can turn allowed permissions against you without your knowledge (unless you are a lawyer and read updated user agreements... many which are broad and vague already.)

So now Google and Amazon know even more of what is going on in the house and can link your devices. Furthermore, they can link you to PEOPLE who come within range of the microphone. Your associations can be analyzed which means the NSA is going to use it (do you really believe they haven't forced their way into these systems somehow already?)

Google watch could notify where you are moving around which could provide their assistant context information to better understand your speech. They might have some useful things to do with it, I can't think of any so far where bluetooth couldn't do it better and more likely with our knowledge..... but would something less covert really matter if they did the same stuff? people don't seem to care.

Comment Re:When are we going optical? (Score 1) 192

Incidentally, S/PDIF isn't doing too great these days, which is a shame. One of my old laptops from 2005 had optical audio output, and it was awesome especially given the poor quality of its analog output. Since then, this feature has been missing from most laptops, and even with desktop mobos you have to be careful.

Current systems can generally output S/PDIF digital audio through the line-out port; it's a standard feature, though somewhat hidden. You just need to connect an RCA adapter (use the right/red channel) and enable the S/PDIF output switch in the sound card settings. Audio quality is the same as Toslink (optical S/PDIF), though the signal may attenuate over very long coax links. There are devices like this one available which convert from coax to Toslink.

It seems since HDMI came out, you shouldn't need any other way of getting raw digital audio, which seems especially silly with something like 5.1 or better...

Unfortunately, S/PDIF doesn't support multichannel PCM; to get more than two channels the audio has to be compressed (e.g. AC3). If you want uncompressed multichannel digital audio (e.g. Dolby TrueHD) the only option is an HDMI connection, and the relevant standards say this is only allowed in combination with HDCP. It is at least possible to live-transcode multichannel PCM to AC3 to get surround sound without the DRM, albeit at some cost in quality, CPU time, and latency.

Comment Re:wow, great (Score 1) 181

The solution is easy and has been mathematically proven for literally hundreds of years: use a Condorcet method to count ballots and strategic voting is a thing of the past.

The much harder followup problem, however, is how to get the people in power, who benefit from the broken system we have now, to implement that easy solution to something they consider a feature, not a bug.

Comment Re:How many seconds (Score 1) 58

Netflix says UHD video is 7 GB/hr, or 10.5 GB for a typical 1.5 hr movie

You can certainly compress UHD video (or just about any resolution) down to 20 Mbps or less, but quality will suffer as a result. What is the point of ultra-high-resolution video with visible compression artifacts? Streaming at Blu-ray-equivalent video quality would require around 40 Mbps. This also happens to be in line with the Youtube UHD video upload guidelines.

Specific content providers may, of course, offer varying levels of control over video quality, at their discretion. At the moment there is no uniform system in place to give the user control over bandwidth consumption across all sites and applications. Netflix cuts some corners to save bandwidth, but not everyone else does the same.

In the end, even 10 GB for 1.5 hours of entertainment isn't much better than 24 GB when a typical mobile plan includes less than half that amount for the entire month. The biggest single-line plan Verizon currently offers (32 GB for ~$155/mo. + taxes and fees) would cover three films, more or less, in overcompressed quasi-UHD. Three movies in a month is hardly extravagant—and there is no requirement that you actually watch the video on your smartphone. Streaming in UHD to a smart TV or set-top box is not unreasonable, and in some places mobile providers are the only real options for Internet access.

Comment Re:Did a non-technical person write this? (Score 1) 73

For example, it can store and process data as 0, 1, 2, or 3, known as Ternary number system.

The Ternary, or Base-3, number system uses digits 0, 1, and 2 or (for Balanced Ternary) -1, 0, and +1. The Base-4 system with digits 0, 1, 2, and 3 is properly referred to as the Quaternary number system.

Comment Re:How many seconds (Score 2) 58

Higher bandwidth does not mean you use more data to stream a movie

Actually, in most cases it does. The provider automatically selects the video quality based on the available bandwidth, so more bandwidth available equals more bandwidth—and data—used for the same duration of video. Up to a point, anyway: 4K or UHD video, the current "gold standards", require 35-45 Mbps; this is also the approximate maximum bitrate supported by Blu-ray discs. At that rate you'd need to download a GB every 3.5 minutes, or over 24 GB for a typical 1.5 hour movie. I suspect the peak mobile bandwidth available in most places is considerably less than 40 Mbps, though results may vary in major metropolitan areas.

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