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Comment Re: Notice the timing on the propaganda piece (Score 1) 452

Not according to every single UN report on the subject, up to and including just days ago, but by all means, keep being a dictator's internet propagandist.

FYI, since you're late to the party, there no longer is anything called "Al-Nusra". The name changed to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham when they broke from al-Qaeda.

Comment Re:No, they didn't. (Score 1) 452

Thank you, I read this headline and immediately sighed at the stupidity of it as well.

Russia likes doing these sort of braggadocious product unveilings; they're often rather disconnected from the reality of how their development goes. That's not to say that Russia can't develop good products - they can. But every time they make these product announcements it's like "The world will imminently fall at our feet due to the obvious revolutionary technological superiority of our latest offering!", when it's most often anything but.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 2) 452

Aluminum was largely the key to the "missile gap" that developed between the US and USSR in ICBMs in the 1960s. Before that, ICBMs had been liquid-fueled, which presented storage, complexity and bulk problems (also prevented underwater launch on submarines). The US discovered that the addition of aluminum powder to solid rocket propellant mixes would simultaneously increase ISP, thrust, density, and burn stability, and moved immediately toward the development of a series of solid ICBMs; the Soviets were late to catch onto the significance of aluminum in propellant mixes, and fell over half a decade behind as a consequence.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 2, Insightful) 452

Quotation needed. And no, Ukraine does not count. They had a vote and voted to be part of Russia; that's a far cry from rolling in the tanks and taking it by force.

They did send in their military, that's who the "Little Green Men" were. Even Putin has publicly admitted this. The "vote" was held under occupation, not internationally recognized, boycotted by significant segments of the population, and even Russia at one point accidentally released the "real" numbers from the vote which didn't match the official ones.

Do recall that Russia is a country where Chechnya "voted for" United Russia (Putin's Party) 99% in 2001. Some parts of Grozny voted for "The Butcher of Grozny" by well over 100%. You seriously think that's legit?

Amazing how many apologists for Russia there are here. False equivalencies are clearly alive and well.

Comment Re:I own one... (Score 1) 101

Most everything you're complaining about is on the government, not VW. Basically the situation you're describing is like buying something from a store and paying sales tax, finding out it's defective, returning it for a refund, and the government refuses to reimburse you for sales tax initially paid, and then tries to tax you when use the refund to buy a replacement product.

They shouldn't be able to have it both ways - either tax the initial purchase or the replacement purchase, but not both. But logic goes out the window when it comes to government and taxes. I'm even reading that some states will try to charge income tax on the buyback amount. Basically making you pay income tax on a refund.

Comment Re:How much more crap do I need? (Score 1) 322

So what you are saying is that it is a really expensive watch that has to be put on a charger every day.

Doesn't sound like a very good watch to me.

I like my solar Casio. It has survived everywhere I've taken it. Up in the mounts and scuba diving in the ocean. It doesn't need to be recharged. It tells time and has a compass. It does that job very well without me having to do anything more than put it on.

Comment Re:I've got a solution ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H problem (Score 1) 155

What you mean me using all that water in the first world is not stealing water from poor people in the third world?

That is big news. Someone needs to tell the UN and all their little SJW, tree hugger buddies about it.

You know though an extra 73 Billion gallons per year in the first world will have an impact on the 3rd. The tech for water capture will be made cheaper and make it's way into the 3rd. The extra food and manufacturing that will come with a drop in the price of water will result in more goods and services which too will find its way into the 3rd.

You don't make people's lives better by showing up with a tanker truck full of water. You make it easier for them to get water on their own and they will.

Comment Re:Companies keeping records... (Score 1) 148

The way it should work: Bob wants to buy something from Frank. To facilitate this, he gives Frank his personal cell phone number. Mary wants to contact Bob. She finds out Frank has his cell phone number, so asks Frank for it. Frank calls Bob, says Mary wants his cell phone number, and asks for his permission to give it to her.

The way it currently works: Bob wants to buy something from Frank. To facilitate this, he gives Frank his personal cell phone number. Mary wants to contact Bob. She finds out Frank has his cell phone number, so asks Frank for it. Frank says he'll give it to her for $x. Bob has no say in this.

We need something like patient confidentiality rules for business transactions. If you need personal info about me like my name, age, phone number, address, SS number, location, where I went to college, what I like to buy, whatever,. so that we can conduct business, that does not give you a blanket license to sell said information to someone else without my authorization.

Comment Re:Hockey Stick is NOT the full story (Score 1) 338

What's important is not the source of the measurement (despite what the anti AGW crowd like to claim) but rather the accuracy and repeatability.

So the source of the measurement isn't a strong factor in the accuracy, repeatability, and precision of the measurement? Perhaps we should think about this before making such statements?

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.

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