atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#826: Saturday morning news digest! The hits keep coming!

More nonsense from Ars Technica. If Hillary wins in 2008, the GOP will apparently booze up and riot:
My point is that given the simple fact of who she is and the feelings that she stirs in her opponents, a close Clinton victory—especially if that victory is at odds with pre- and post-election polling—could precipitate a major electoral controversy to a degree that is not true of any other candidate on either side. Unlike Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004, no Republican candidate is likely to roll over and let Clinton take the White House if they can get substantial traction with accusations that she stole the election.
Jon Stokes, who wrote the article in question, doesn't seem to understand how the past several elections have gone.

2000: Democrats lose; "We was robbed!"
2002: Democrats lose; "We was robbed!"
2004: Democrats lose; "We was robbed!"
2006: Republicans lose; "Dang! We'll have to do better next time."

...despite the fact that Republicans have had more and better examples of Democrat vote fraud since the 1960s at least. Remember Nixon vs. Kennedy? How Chicago mayor Richard Daley delivered Illinois for Kennedy? In retrospect that was as dirty as a nuclear waste dump; Nixon could have contested it but instead he took it in the butt for the good of the country.

Al Gore! Al Gore lost his home state and made an utter mess out of the 2000 election, for an election which he never won and never would have won, and the Democrats treated the result as if George Bush had personally sent tanks and SS in to force Floridians to vote for him. And to this day they still say George Bush was "selected, not elected" and that Gore actually won the election of 2000.

Now, Mr. Stokes' scenario would be correct with the addition of one thing: if there is credible proof that Hillary's campaign tampered with election results--and I am talking about "admissible in a court of law" credible--then yes, we can expect a shitstorm. Republicans don't like people who cheat or break the law, regardless of what letter comes after their names. Republicans don't close ranks behind criminals like Democrats do (*cough*Clinton*cough*); when a Republican commits a crime, that's it for him.

But Al Gore did not "roll over and let" George Bush "take the White House". It took the Supreme Court of the United States telling Florida to have its electors in DC on time to force the end of the recounts. If it had been up to Gore, they would have gone on recounting and recounting just the heavy Democrat districts until they found enough votes to give him Florida--and the Electoral College meeting would have been late, and Clinton would have been President for a few more weeks or months.

Hillary is an expert at hispandering. She hits all the major points. "No woman is illegal"? That's perfect. Hillary Clinton is on the record stating that the US welcomes any and all women from anywhere in the world, with or without papers. Good for her!

...okay, that's not really true. She's just pandering, pulling out BS to garner votes, like that stupid crying stunt she pulled that gave her New Hampshire.

Hillary Clinton once tried to make Kool Aid. Chemists called her concoction "Zyklon B".

Hal Clement, Needle, 1949. Corporation uses bioengineered bacteria to make petroleum out of biowaste. The only thing new is the actual technology, not the idea.

Just wait for the eco-luddites to start screaming about "franken-fuels". Just wait for it.

The American Bar Association is left-leaning? Say it ain't so! This is another "big surprise", by which I mean to say that it's not even remotely surprising. Any conservative with reasonably acute perception knew this 20 years ago. (Assuming, of course, that he existed and/or was interested in such matters 20 years ago.)

The fact that the ABA is apparently uninterested in policing said bias doesn't surprise me, either.

* * *

Friday afternoon, while waiting for some help at Best Buy, I looked at the TVs they've got there. They've devoted two large chunks of wall space to displaying big-screen flat-panel TVs. When you look at the array of huge screens, it looks like the future.

I was thinking about how I'd love to take a picture of that and show it to myself in 1987. I wonder what my reaction to that would be?

I saw a TV with a 60-odd inch screen that cost more than my Jeep did. I saw a nice-looking LG TV that ran $1,500, that I thought looked like a pretty good buy. (The monitor on my main computer is an LG monitor--a 22" widescreen--and it's like having an acre of display on my desk.)

Back in 1987 I used a 12" black-and-white TV as my primary monitor. When I worked at Rockwell I had a 21" CRT, and that was the biggest monitor I'd ever used until I got this one--and it utterly ruined me for small screens. I can't stand tiny monitors any more. 17" is the bottom end; for years I used a 19" CRT until it died, shortly after I got this computer. (Argh...)

But I don't really want to buy a flat-panel TV just yet. I have three reasons for this.

First, the prices are still dropping. The more TVs get sold, the more LCDs (and plasma displays) have to be made, which lowers the cost-per-unit--and time's on my side with this one.

Second, the technology isn't mature, not the way CRTs are. There are still longevity issues to consider. Granted, I don't use my TV much--not more than 10 hours per week--so a TV with a 5,000 hour MTBF (mean time between failures) ought to have a chance of lasting me at least eight years.

Third, OLED displays. OLED is the wave of the future and it's a technology I've been following with some interest since 1998. The displays have been "five years away" since then, but the technical issues are gradually getting sorted out. OLED has the advantage of being much easier to fabricate than conventional LCD or plasma displays; the manufacture of LCD screens--particularly active-matrix screens--is still something of a black art, and you can still expect bad pixels to crop up.

OLED displays can be printed on flexible plastic with a modified inkjet printer. They use less power and have better viewing characteristics than LCD or plasma screens do. The only real problem with them is longevity, particularly of the blue OLED elements.

Personally I think the best paradigm for OLED is to make the screens cheap and user-replaceable, like light bulbs. If you've got a machine which can print OLED displays like newspapers--and I don't see why that would be impossible--you could make the things dirt cheap in any size.

...of course, that would render the billions that companies have spent on LCD/plasma fabs utterly wasted money. Because of that, OLED's not going to make the scene any time soon, I'm afraid.

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