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Comment Re:Trump's twitter (Score 1) 31

Trump seems to see his number of followers as a measure of support.

What Trump "seems to see" and what "is" seem to differ quite often. I've heard him brag about how many followers he has, but I think he's being selectively blind. He obviously reads at least some of the responses to his Tweets - He's re-Tweeted a few of his favorites. From what I've seen in the responses, there's a pretty healthy mix between fervent supporters and vicious critics. Mostly it's petty sniping back and forth (like here sometimes!), but it's inescapably obvious that many of his followers are not supporters.

Even he must see this - Even a 20 second glance makes it evident.

Comment Re:Trump's twitter (Score 2) 31

(By the way, use @DJTCopier instead- follow Trump without following Trump)

What's wrong with following Trump? I installed Twitter and have exactly one person I'm following - I've never tweeted or had a desire to. It's a means of seeing what our president (in hours!) is announcing to the world and I don't mind if it's visible that I'm watching. I don't see why any American wouldn't be following him - More policy announcements come out over Twitter than over news conferences with this leader.

I follow him as a concerned citizen. Whether I'm a supporter or not is none of his business.

Comment Count me as one of the few 3D fans. (Score 1) 257

Count me in as one of 3D TV's few fans.

We bought our current TV a few years back (2012 or 2013 IIRC). We weren't specifically aiming to get a 3D (or even Smart) TV, however we lucked into a Cyber Monday deal that had a Sony KDL-46EX720 TV with a Sony 3D BluRay player for $750 (CDN) -- only one of three being offered in all of Western Canada. We scooped it up -- and for the most part it has been an excellent TV.

A year or so later we were able to pickup two pairs of 3D glasses while in the US (where they were half the price we could buy them in Canada for). I dove into as much 3D content as I could. Sony had at the time a great Internet "channel" in its Internet Video section which features all 3D videos, most of which were of UNESCO World Heritage sites. They were short, but those were great to watch. I'd watch 3D YouTube as well from time to time, and of course I own a bunch of 3D BluRay movies.

Unfortunately, first they shut down their 3D online channel, and then they decided not to update the set when YouTube changed its API (as I had predicted when we bought the TV, the "Smart" features wouldn't last all that long. As I said, I wasn't looking for a Smart TV. We don't use the Smart features at all anymore in favour of using our PS4 or Apple TV instead). There was never any regular 3D TV content available here in Western Canada (i.e.: no 3D broadcasts on cable or antenna), so the choice was between short Internet clips, or full blown movies.

I unfortunately missed the PS3 era; 3D doesn't work over PS Now, and there have been only a handful of 3D TV enabled games on the PS4. That was one area where 3D TV would have really shined; I regret never having had the opportunity to play ICO and Shadow of the Colossus in 3D.

My wife never got into the 3D viewing, so I'm the only one in the house who ever uses it. About the only time I get to use it is when I'm home alone, or after everyone else has gone to bed. Still, I did get Star Wars VII on 3D BluRay when it was released back in November, and have been enjoying watching it again in glorious 3D. I'll probably still buy our movies in 3D BluRay packs while I can (the 3D packs generally also come with the 2D BluRay, a 2D DVD, and a digital download copy, so they can be a really good deal), and will probably have to keep our current TV somewhere in the house for as long as it continues to function to watch them. Ultimately what did 3D TV in was the lack of content (particularly TV shows in the 30 mins - 1 hr range), the cost of the glasses (the TVs should have come with two pairs each, and not sold them as $100 each add-ons!), and general apathy towards wearing the glasses. Oh well -- it was fun while it lasted.

Yaz

Comment Re:240hz (Score 1) 257

Except if I understand correctly the shutters are driven by the television itself. My version uses an external device to drive the shutters. The point is that there is little that needs to be done to make a 3d capable extened system with televisions that are still on sale.

I think the big problem would be properly synchronizing the shutter control to the screen. 240Hz is roughly only about 4ms per frame. Modern digital TVs impart a small delay between when a frame and received and when it shows up on screen. The box you propose would have to emit the signal to keep the glasses synchronized in time, however there is no guarantee that the glasses would then be in sync with the TV. You'd need either some sort of configuration system whereby the user could control the synchronization delay (which would be somewhat of a pain for end-users to setup), or you'd have to do something truly ingenious like somehow encode the sync signal into the frames themselves (current active shutter TVs generally use an IR out to sync the glasses to the screen).

I'm not saying it would be impossible, but there would be technical challenges that don't really exist when you're doing frame sync int he same physical unit that is handling the display as active 3D TVs currently function.

Yaz

Comment Re:Worrying (Score 3, Insightful) 136

The really worrying thing is that he is so easy to trigger.

No, the really worrying part is that the stock market is so fucking fragile that such a stupid comment can bring prices down. I mean, it can't be because millions of shareholders suddenly grew a conscious and realized "y'know, he's right, they are charging too much. I'm gonna sell my stock to show that I don't support such high drug prices">

I don't know about you, but when it comes to fragility, I'm a whole lot more concerned about Trump than the stock market.

The stock market has a multitude of agents across the world, pushing in different directions. Trump is one single person who has control of the most powerful bully pulpit on Earth. You tell me what/who is more likely to fly off the handle.

And to put a finer point on it: the stock market doesn't have nukes.

Comment Re:Cairo vs. Copland (Score 1) 127

Was Apple any worse with its "Pink" and "Copland" projects?

I think the difference here was that Apple wasn't announcing their plans from a monopoly position in order to keep people away form the competition. Indeed, when Pink became Taligent, one of the idea of the AIM Alliance was to use a microkernel architecture that would permit various OS "flavours" to run on top of it, including Mac OS "Pink", OS/2, and Windows NT, all running on PowerPC CHRP.

My feeling was always that the problem with Apple surrounding Copland and Pink was more incompetence rather than malice, whereas Microsoft knew they were promising things they would never be able to deliver purely as a way to keep people from leaving the Windows ecosystem. Of course, it helped them quite a bit that their biggest PS OC competitor in the 90's, IBM, had a policy not to announce any product releases until 60 or 90 days before shipping (as I understand things, this was a legacy of the IBM antitrust case in the 70's). Microsoft took advantage, announcing things years in advance that they would never ship while a major competitor would basically not give anyone any information on what they were planning until it was pretty much in beta.

Maybe I'm jaded by experience, but Project Scorpio feels much the same. Sony has made no announcement about a PlayStation 5, the PS 4 and PS4 Pro are now known quantities, so now MS promises "the most powerful console ever built" before even showing anyone a prototype. Sony at least had a PS4 Pro at the PS4 Pro announcement (sure, the rumour mill expected the announcement for months, but Sony didn't officially announce anything until they were nearly ready to ship, so it wasn't a vapour announcement). This pattern feels all too familiar.

Yaz

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 1) 143

Other posts in this thread have pointed out that this is in fact news, because this is the first record of a previously sexually-active female shark giving birth asexually, with no DNA from the father.

And BTW, fake news is not what you seem to think it is. Fake news is written by fake reporters. It is a deliberate fiction intended to deceive, frighten, or enrage the reader. It is not old news. It is not a good-faith news story that contains errors.

Comment Re:Catastrophic man-made global warming (Score 2) 258

Perhaps, perhaps not. Venus is still very poorly understood. In its high temperature environment its conditions are largely self-sustaining (preventing the sequestration of CO2 in rock), although it's also unstable, prone to broad temperature and pressure swings. It also appears to have undergone a global resurfacing event about 300-500mya, if that gives a clue as to how unstable the planet as a whole is. ;) We don't know what caused it, or really anything about it. Part of the planet's properties are now a result of it having lost its water rather than being a cause, such as its hard crust. Obviously its lack of a magnetic field is responsible for its loss of water, but we don't know exactly when or why it disappeared (there are of course theories... I had always just assumed it was the slow rotation rate, but the last research I read suggested that not enough to account for it). Other issues as to how Venus ended up as it did may be related to size - although it's only a bit smaller than Earth, that may be the initial factor that set its fate in motion - for example, its lithosphere in general appears to be thicker and higher viscosity on Earth, which could have hindered or prevented plate tectonics, and thus subduction of carbonates.

Either way, it's a mess now at the surface (though rather comfy ~55km up ;) ). And I'm not so sure I buy into some of the proposed ways to fix it (terraforming). For example, some have suggest mass drivers ejecting the atmosphere. Let's just say you can pull it off, and then you start building oxygen in the atmosphere - what happens next? The crust is something like 7-9% FEO; it's going to rust away whatever oxygen you make in short order.

Interestingly, I'd argue that this is possibly the salvation to Sagan's airborne-microbe concept for terraforming Venus. The main criticism is that if you engineered some sort of carbon-sequestering microbe on Venus (or artificial equivalent), you'd end up with a deep surface layer of graphite surrounded by some hugely hot, dense oxygen layer, and the atmosphere would explode. But that would never happen; at Venus surface temperatures and pressures, the surface rocks would rust away the oxygen as fast as it was created, even in tiny quantities, with the wind blowing the dust around to collect at low/eddy areas. So you're laying down bands of carbon and iron oxide as you burn through the planet's iron buffer. Where have we seen this before? Right, Earth, ~2,3 billion years ago, banded iron formations. Just like on Earth, you'd eventually burn through the iron and start to accumulate oxygen. But by then the graphite is already underground, buried in iron dust.

It's not a fast process. But it has precedent. Microbes already rusted at least one planet, and that planet's surface conditions weren't nearly as favorable for rusting as Venus's.

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