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Comment Digging through the soil? (Score 2) 270

The way I heard it was that it was the use of untreated fertilizer in the fields and gardens that was the primary cause of the infections.

I suppose, sitting barefoot in an outhouse with no floor, that the hookworms working their way up from the pit could be a contributive factor.

But, shoes, yes. One of the reasons for the tradition of wooden geta in Japan was the general use of untreated (human) fertilizer in the rice paddies. The tradition of taking the shoes off on entering the house was also in no small part derived from the problems with the dirt.

And most parasites have a debilitating effect on the host, which is going to effect IQ and behavior in general.

Comment Checks and balances (Score 1) 114

There is a guiding force, but the leader of it all has this compulsion of self-contradiction. Likes to cause a lot of confusion by pretending to be God, and then saying that, since he is not God, God cannot be,. Etc., etc.

But you are right. Corruption is a continual and necessary part of the present natural world.

Which is the reason that national constitutions that waste little space on idealisms and focus primarily on checks and balances seem to be the most stable. (And why traitors to those constitutions attack them by trying to overload the checks and balances with idealisms.)

Comment learn anything from 1984? (Score 1) 114

No, we didn't.

My high school English teacher had it pegged:

1984 was neither predictive nor prescriptive. It was descriptive.

An allegory for society as we know it, through a lens double-tinted ever-so-slightly to two extremes, to bring a known secret out in sharp relief.

1984 is the world as we know it, viewed through the glasses of someone who thinks he is smarter than the rest of us trying to see it from the eyes of the rest of us.

Which is why it gave me a headache to read.

Very instructive book. Too bad most people don't think far enough to see the real message.

Comment Does youtube allow you to offer evidence? (Score 1) 455

I don't use youtube often enough to know about this, but can you ask youtube to look at the places in the video where the nutcase admits you produced the original?

Be aware, of course, of the Streisand effect. In this case, your attempts to shut his video down may give him fuel for his claims that he is being persecuted, adding slightly to his base of believers.

Comment IA64? (Score 1) 403

I think the people who designed the Itanium seemed to think you could optimize all conditionals out of your code with the right compiler.

Pushing things way too far to the extreme does not prove much about more normal designs.

Comment Apple ditched on us, not just on RISC. (Score 1) 403

Apple bailed, not on the PPC, but on Motorola and IBM's SOC ideas.

Jobs kept talking about the road-map during the switch. Not the CPU, the road map. Intel's (still vaporware) pseudo-UWB, on-chip peripherals dedicated to desktop functionality, etc.

Mostly they ran scared from real UWB, but that's a bit of history that Intel has effectively erased. (A little strong-arm here, a little bribe there, .... Maybe a little help from the government.)

Shoot, my single core Atom ultra-lightweight is about as slow as my (unfortunately dead) iBook G4 on most of the real-world loads I put on it. (Well, some, at least.) The Atom is no improvement over the G4 in battery use, either.

Intel really hasn't kept any of their promises, so we can see that all Jobs really got was road-map into the mists, and the approval of a bunch of lemmingeeks.

Comment Re:Misleading slant on mention of Atom's RISC core (Score 2) 403

I think you are confusing Intel with AMD in the '90s.

Sure, Intel (and Motorola) were using RISC tech in their CISC designs from back in the mid-'80s. Bits and pieces of the tech. Not full (almost-)RISC cores running CISC instructions by emulation circuitry (contrary to the propoganda), but cherry-picked RISC techniques. (8 GP registers do not a RISC make.)

AMD's 64 bit CPU was the first real x86 CISC-on-RISC. (And Intel had to go cap-in-hand to AMD for that, in the end.)

Comment but when you don't have a busload of passengers .. (Score 2) 403

My bicycle is significantly more efficient getting me to the train station than the bus is.

I walk because it costs 150 yen or so to park the bike. That's still more efficient. I don't live close to a bus stop. Lots of people near me don't live close to a bus stop.

More than half the people going into the station at any particular time of the morning have not come in on a bus. And most buses at this station are about half-full, not operating at maximum efficiency.

The plain and simple fact is that we are not all going from and to the same place at the same time. Buses and trains are very useful in certain traffic corridors, but rely on small-volume transport to fill in the very huge gaps.

That said, there is still more to say. If Intel threw as much money at ARM as they do at x86, ARM could be even that much more efficient at the smaller design rules Intel has to resort to to make x86 anywhere close to efficient. And if Intel had joined (for example) the PPC consortia with the engineers they head-hunted away from better designs, they could have much more efficient server CPUs than any x86 CPU they have now or ever will have.

But, if they had done so, they could not have maintained their practical monopoly on desktop processors, and they would have given up their strategic inroads on servers. (Because someone else owns the IP, you see.)

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