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Comment Roughly? (Score 1) 77

"The 3,500 graves represent roughly 3.5% of London's 100,000 victims of the Great Plague"

If there were 100,000 victims, then 3,500 graves is *exactly* 3.5% of the total.

Perhaps the author meant to say "The 3,500 graves represent 3.5% of London's estimated 100,000 victims of the Great Plague."

Comment Re:In the name of Allah ! (Score 5, Insightful) 1350

Matthew 5:17

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."

He's speaking about Jewish Law, not Roman Law, and he's speaking about Jewish prophets. Unless you completely ignore what he's saying, he's explicitly stating that Jewish Law is still in effect, and that his teaching are *in addition* to what his Father has already laid out. Note that The Father/Son thing isn't really accurate, either, because the Trinity is One, so it's really his own law via his other manifestation.

The *only* piece of Jewish law that he specifically overrides is performing sacrifices, as he states that he is the final ultimate sacrifice from now until Judgement Day.

So if you're a fundamentalist Christian (for example, a Calvinist) you adhere to the Ten Commandments because that's just as important as the direct word of Jesus, because it's the same god commanding them. This extends to the other lessons of the Bible. Being gay will get your whole town obliterated, so don't do it.

You cannot claim Christianity and then only use select passages to back your specific interpretation. Either you believe the *whole* book is the inspired message of your deity, or you're just engaging in a self-affirming tautology.

So you are 100% incorrect, unless you wish to parse words like the pharisees that Jesus so notably denounces.

Comment Re:Did they study the health effects of starving? (Score 1) 356

Effects are cumulative, not discrete. And in many cases the combinations are likely more problematic than the individual effects of a given toxic chemical, which you can think of as the inverse of a cocktail of medications. If several medications combined can cure a problem that the individual medications cannot, then doesn't it stand to reason that the wider the variety of harmful chemicals your cells are exposed to, the greater the chance that the induced damage will overcome the cell's ability to cope, or the body's ability to properly regulate and repair itself? By your logic these people may as well start smoking, because they're already exposed to so much environmental latent pollution. (Yes, I'm being hyperbolic here, but not unduly so.)

Comment Concert to movie comparison kind of sketchy... (Score 2) 663

In my town of less that 100K people I can easily see any movie in glorious Doubly (it's in Doubly!) Digital THX brain-surround. No problem. However, most larger musicians don't play a date anywhere near me. So comparing lost movie revenue due to digital piracy to lost concert revenue due to pirated music is a specious argument. They really aren't parallel, except in the loosest thinking.

Comment Re:Allegory (Score 1) 1014

The crux of the problem is that "original sin" (by which we are all equally born sinners and require divine grace for salvation) stems from Genesis. It also posits a paradox in that the fruit of the three of knowledge was eaten by Adam & Even, who at that point did not have the knowledge necessary to understand the implications of the action. God commanded them to not eat of the tree, which was pointless since they would have to have the knowledge imparted by the tree for that act to be a sin in the first place.

So, what we have is entrapment. Entrapment where the prime mover created the beings to be entrapped in the first place, since God foresaw everything with his omniscience. So it's not even entrapment... just the capricious designs of a venal, jealous entity. I'm not sure how you get from there to the "I love you all" declarations of Jesus. And, no, the claim of inscrutability are not a refuge from simple logic. We are told that we must use our judgement to avoid temptation and sin, yet that same evaluative logic cannot be brought to bear upon the foundational tenets of the faith... because it is verboten and your judgement is not sufficient.

If thine eye offends thee, pluck it out. What happens if you discover that your whole faith offends you?

Comment Re:iPads provide a superior user experience (Score 1) 523

That's extremely light computer use... it smells like how much executives use their machines. In this case, yes, an iPad is fine for them.

However, for any job that requires any substantial amount of slightly more advanced behavior -- say, editing documents with lots of cut & paste, selection & replacement, and so forth -- the iPad is going to lose to the workstation that has a mouse. Having to touch the screen means that you've taken yourself way out of the normal ergonomic comfort zone of the keyboard-mouse section of the desk. I find that even typing email replies gets onerous on an iPad if you're saying very much or interlacing your comments in with the original email.

Furthermore, there's usually some ancient custom line-of-business apps that have been carried along for years. This could be an Oracle app, or some vendor's work solution, or something similar. These apps are most likely going to not work at all on an iPad. In my case we're now looking at using a Citrix client to get people to the business apps they need, which is of course a poor solution at best because you now have something running on your iPad that doesn't integrate with the normal interface behavior you'd expect on an iPad.

But, really, the killer is the lack of a mouse and a cursor on the screen. They've been clever about designing around this issue, but it's a very poor environment for doing serious work.

The iPad is a platform of possibilities, but replacing the corporate workstation is not one of them.

Comment Re:Not bothered (Score 1) 1162

I've bumped into a couple old black and white movies that have been properly re-mastered: they re-scan the original prints at HD resolution. In these cases the answer is, yes, HD does make a difference. Would you rather have a blurred print of a masterpiece, or a close-to-original-as-possible copy? Most would say, "Meh..", but if you care it's nice to be able to get the best (to date) representation.

Comment Re:Oblig. XKCD (Score 1) 1162

Except that XKCD gets the topic completely wrong by talking about horizontal resolution in that comic, where 1080P is the vertical resolution. And the benefit of HDTV is that HD source material displayed on it is, you know, HD. Just because there are legions of people who really don't care about quality doesn't mean that everyone shouldn't care about quality.

Comment Color of the night sky? (Score 1) 140

So there's some young stars contained within that glowing green cloud... and that makes me wonder if (should the radiation be low enough that life could flourish) the night sky on the worlds that orbit those stars would glow bright green across the heavens. Also, is the effect inside the cloud enough that it is akin to our daytime atmosphere in that it occludes visibility of the dimmer objects in the sky?

Comment Re:Oh super. Just what we needed. (Score 1) 308

No, it isn't jealousy at all. It is the fact that he is misleading the techno-illiterate down a path that is filled with partial truths, hyperbole, and fatuous fantasizing. Furthermore, he suffers from exceptionally bad lack of judgement when it comes to the rather sophomoric crap that he's pushed in the past... see the old videos of his "Ramona" e-persona for a glaring example of this. If you want some rather more practical and interesting musings about where technology might be going in the long run, try "Report on Planet Three" by Arthur C Clarke. It might not purport the man/machine fusion that Kurzweil is praying for before he dies, but it does delve into the questions of long-term space exploration and AI in a more realistic fashion... and did so from the distant year of 1972. Kurzweil's vision is all about how technology is supposed to transform human existence, while Clarke speaks more to what could plausibly be the future... rather than a self-aggrandizing dream of what he'd like to be true.

Comment Re:The Diamond Age? (Score 1) 272

The entire book Nell sits and reads her "primer," learning everything she needs to know about her world.

That's not correct at all. There are huge sections of the book where Nell is dealing with reality: Having a drugged-up mother, having her mother's boyfriends abuse her, having her brother come to her aid, losing her brother to, essentially, black lung disease caused by the nano-bot "toner wars", learning to survive on the streets for the first half of the book, and so on.

In fact, a good fraction of the story explains how three girls with the same book develop completely differently. And it is implied that this is due to both the raw starting materials (genetic and background experiences) as well as the inputs (having a racter backing the primer's narrative who essentially becomes a distant mother figure.)

Do not forget that the book ends with the foreshadowing that the architect/engineer, the racter, and Nell unite in one big happy family.

Comment Re:The Diamond Age? (Score 1) 272


(Like you care if you haven't read this in the past decade.)

No, that wasn't the point at all. All three girls had racter-driven primers. They simply developed differently due to their inherent personalities and completely different social upbringings. Remember the scene where all three girls were going to pass through the tunnel? (I think this was on the original patron's land.) One girl was brash, the other timid, while Nell was careful but still adventurous.

The girls who were raised *solely* by machine weren't "problems" either. The architect/engineer *specifically* inserted his own sub-programming into their primers that made them into a willing army of the standard-bearer, who turned out to be Nell.

No offense, but you didn't recall correctly. ;)

Comment Re:Daft Punk did it too! (Score 1) 103

You're close, but you've got quite a few of the details wrong. Daft Punk did film a couple of their massive Alive 2007 tour dates, but were completely unhappy with the result... it was all just the same overly-slick swooping camera shots. There is at least one live video posted to youtube that comes from this footage, and it's reminiscent of every other concert video out there. The fan-made video is not "available" in Europe, as it's just as bootleg there as it is here... so you have to find a copy to download in the wilds of the internet.

The fan-produced concert DVD (ISO of a PAL-format video of one of the several Bercy, France shows) is a bootleg (that Daft Punk has nodded at in appreciation but has never formally blessed or condemned because they can do neither without either angering their label or their fans) splicing together video from about two dozen high-quality digital cameras that were shot by various fans during the show. Read some of the commentary surrounding their opinions of the fan-made videos over on wikipedia:

As a side note, it is incredibly easy to transcode the PAL DVD into NTSC. I used Nero's tools to do it, and it was no hit to the quality since the original is mostly shaky hand-cam to begin with. I've got several copies of the show on a DVD laying around here somewhere... and while you're at it you can insert some proper chapter markers for the "before the show" segment and the "encore" segment, although I went whole-hog and put in chapter markers between the songs as well.

For those interested, the video was originally hosted all over... I got mine from, but it appears it is no longer available there. If you want to roll the dice on the torrent world, it should be fairly easy to get your hands on the PAL ISO and then transcode it to something more Region 1 friendly.

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