Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:Least worst (Score 1) 829

Not really. Maybe, sometimes, if the popular vote mattered, but for the president it doesn't. Most states are pretty firmly in one camp or the other, and only in a handful of swing states will such thin margins even be considered.

Now, if we're talking local/state elections, especially in areas not gerrymandered out of democracy, then yes you're absolutely correct, and I'd love to see a credible third party concentrate on those instead of making a lot of mostly-pointless noise at the federal level.

Comment Re:Two candidates (Score 1) 829

Unfortunately, it's a built-in feature of first-past-the-post voting systems such as ours. There can, very occasionally, be upsets, but generally speaking if a third party candidate hasn't made a really impressive showing by this point, they're not going to have even a chance. Had Bernie decided to run independent or Green he might have had a credible shot at the presidency, but more likely he would have ended up splitting the vote with Hillary, and given Trump an easy win. That's an inherent problem with our voting system, and the reason things like instant runoff voting were invented.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1) 829

Oh please.

When has any bigwig ever been executed in the US, even for crimes far worse than seling contaminated milk? Heck, US banks did their best to crash the global economy while enriching the bigwigs, and got nice fat loans to keep them in business as punishment. Nobody even went to jail except for a whistle-blower or two.

Comment Re: Hmm (Score 1) 829

Don't kid yourself - even if global civilization were somehow bombed to pre-industrial technological levels, the only major resource there's a potential lack of is energy. Pretty much everything else is bountifully available in landfills in concentrations and purities far exceeding anything that was ever available naturally. And while destroying industrial capacity would be easy, destroying the technological knowledge needed to rebuild would be far, far more difficult.

Once the worst of the radioactive fallout had washed away, life would probably be quite comfortable relatively quickly. Even if we did have to deal with high infant mortality from mutations, and lifespans cut short by early-onset cancer for a few generations.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1) 829

Don't believe the propaganda. Chernobyl released about 400x the radiation of the bomb at Hiroshima, and aside from the epicenter itself, the exclusion zone is apparently doing quite well. Though the microbial life seems harder hit by the radiation, and it remains to be seen what the long-term consequences of that will be.

Even the "nuclear winter" fears were later admitted to being overblown, and had little to do with "nuclear" in the first place - it would have been the results of all the cities burning down due to infrastructure damage and the presumption that nobody would be willing to race into the radioactive epicenter to put out the fires.

Granted, if all the major cities and military bases in the world were taken out by Satan2 class missiles then the fallout would be more intense, but give it a year and most of the world would still be livable, you'd just have to accept much higher rates of cancer and mutation for a century or two.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1) 829

In fairness though, while it's been a while, the US was far more ruthless in conquering it's neighbors (the term "genocide" is often used in regards to the native peoples), and has ignored basically every treaty we ever made with them, right up to the current DAPL travesty where we're unilaterally appropriating sovereign lands to run an oil pipeline.

Not to mention that while we haven't engaged in open conquest in a long time, we have shown a rather disturbing fondness for installing puppet governments to deliver what we want while providing a nice buffer of (im)plausible deniability. Saddam Hussein and his atrocities? We put him in power, propped up his regime, and didn't displace him until he became uncooperative. By any reasonable accounting, we bear responsibility for his atrocities.

Comment Re:Saw this coming years ago. (Score 1) 186

Which is why Internet access should be a public utility, and not left to the private sector.

The last thing I want is local, state, or federal government being my ISP. Customer service from any of those entities, for anything in which they engage, is worse than any ISP, mom-and-pop or national. It's like watching Medicate or the VA, and then saying that going to the doctor for an ear infection should be a trip to a government office.

Comment Re:Please use 'bokeh' in a more useful way (Score 1) 50

I'm not too worried about that. Not least because an important part of the "portrait" aesthetic that they're going for, here, is the more flattering portrait perspective. Which is achieved by shooting from a decent working distance. The focal length on phone-cams is far too short to even come close to filling the frame with a well composed portrait that doesn't over-emphasize noses and whatnot. There's no hard and fast rule about distance, but generally you don't shoot decent looking portraits from arm's-length selfie distances.

Further: it's going to be very difficult for software-faked shallow depth of field to handle things like stray hairs, raggedy clothing textiles and other detailed bits against exactly the sort of complex backgrounds that photographers use shallow DoF to throw out of focus in the first place. To the casual observer at relatively low resolution, the faux shallow DoF may appear at least more interesting than no treatment at all, but to an eye that looks at such things even occasionally, it's going to ring false. Further, it's going to be extra-not-good if there's an attempt to apply it to video, looking for a more cinematic result from control of DoF (racking focus, that sort of thing). No, there won't be anybody who bought a $1000 85/1.4 for their Canon or their Nikon suddenly wishing they hadn't because their phone can do the same thing. Just isn't going to happen.

Comment Re:Waiting for the "just as good as a dSLR comment (Score 1) 50

The problem isn't the 'bokeh' of the tiny lens and sensor. That's a discussion about the quality of the out-of-focus area rendering. No, the problem with the tiny sensors and tiny lenses with their very small apertures is that they cannot produce shallow enough depth of field in the first place to even produce an out of focus background in the first place. Basic physics. So there's no point trying to compare the OoF rendering quality (is the bokeh harsh? smooth?) of that tiny platform to a larger format sensor with a quality fast prime lens, because simple physics makes that comparison pointless. That's why they're faking this in software: because there's no physical way to do it with the tiny camera. Light doesn't work that way.

Comment Re:Have fewer babies. (Score 1) 156

Yes, yes. You're either actually a fool, or just pretending to be one so you can score some sort of lazy rhetorical points with an imaginary audience of lower-information-than-you audience.

If you do the things that make you a first-world country, you'll have fewer babies and need fewer resources (like water) so you don't have to chase your tail trying to squeeze water out of the air. As usual, everyone is so paralyzed by political correctness that their afraid to point out that places like India are suffering a culture problem, not a water problem.

Comment Re:Please use 'bokeh' in a more useful way (Score 2) 50

Yeah, yeah. That's what the word means. But since it was fashionably inserted into discussions among actual photographers, it's been used in the context of discussing the quality of the blue, not the existence of the blur. It's useful - it's a succinct word that conveys that specific meaning. Trying, here, to preserve that clarity (if you'll pardon the pun) instead of letting it dumb down like so many other terms do.

Comment Please use 'bokeh' in a more useful way (Score 4, Interesting) 50

'Bokeh' is used when referring to the quality of the out-of-focus background (or foreground) of the image, not the fact that it is out of focus. Shallow depth of field images have blurry elements. By definition. But different lenses render that OoF area differently. Some lenses have a jittery, doubled-up, or ring-like pattern, or render OoF highlights as oblong smears or as hard circles. It just depends on the lens design. So when we talk about this, it's about the quality, not the quantity or existence of blurred areas.

Think of it like this: every lens of a given format, focal length and aperture will produce essentially the same mount of OoF areas. It's just physics. The focal plane is where it is, and the meaningfully in-focus area (say, on the subject's face) is going to be a given depth (for a given display size and resolution). Period.

But that's like saying all pianos can play a middle C note. They can. But some sound twangy or harsh, while others sound more pleasing to the ear. Likewise with the OoF rendering by some lenses. With the piano we can say "it plays middle C, but the tone is harsh" - and with the camera, we can say that the lens when wide open can render shallow DoF and thus blur the background, but the bokeh is harsh (or, creamy, or busy, or smooth - whatever... it's the "tone," the visual quality of the blur rendering, generally considered to be more appealing the more creamy it is - though sometimes harsh, nervous bokeh is desireable for certain cinematic moods, etc).

Sorry, pet peeve. "Shallow depth of field" doesn't mean "has bokeh." That's like saying the car's suspension has ride. All cars do! But what's the quality of the ride? More like a sports car, or a limo? Better bokeh usually comes from much higher quality glass, and more of it in the design of the lens. Big, fat, fast prime portrait lenses are built - among other things - to play that visual note more elegantly than cheaper lenses do, even though they both hit the note when told do if they can achieve the same aperture at a given focal length.

Comment Re:Have fewer babies. (Score 1) 156

The point is to stop being a third-world country so that - just like throughout the developed world, families don't feel the need to have so many babies to use as slave labor on the farm. There's a reason that countries like the US, or Germany, have their resident populations shrinking. Because people living more prosperously have fewer babies. And thus use far less in the way of resources like water (and especially, use it less wastefully than those who are doing old-school agriculture in a more primitive way). Prosperity makes for smaller families, which relieves stress on resources. So: India needs to stop carrying on like a third world country. Culturally, legally, governmentally, financially, agriculturally. And they will start having fewer babies. And need less water (and food, and energy, and everything else).

Slashdot Top Deals

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.