atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#918: MIttwoch

That's German for "Wednesday". It translates to "midweek". Pretty cool, nein?

I took three years of German when I was in school. The end result is that I--having spent a few minutes here and there over the past few years on learning Japanese--typically reach for the easiest phrase I can think of when constructing foreign-language sentences. So if want to say "this is a pencil", it might come out as Bleistift desu because those three syllables are easier than "Er ist einer Bleistift", which is six. This all happens when I'm thinking, not speaking, because my mind has no trouble switching between the phoneme set used for German and that used for Japanese. If I try saying something stupid like that, though, it immediately is obvious that something (only "something") is wrong.

Another Netscape-crasking link. [bad words] This one's about the size of the Milky Way galaxy. Apparently the galaxy is 12,000 miles* light years thick, not 6,000.

...what's that going to do for the observable mass of the galaxy? Double it? Do we still need "dark matter" to explain how the galaxy manages to stay in one piece?

"We were tossing around ideas about the size of the galaxy, and thought we had better check the standard numbers that everyone uses. It took us just a few hours to calculate this...." Emphasis mine, as always.

In other words, "everyone" uses the same numbers and no one bothered to check the validity of them until just now. We need "dark matter" to keep the galaxies, theoretically, from flying apart but no one bothered to check the size of the freaking galaxy before making such an assertion.

Feynman said it best: "And this is science?"

"Some colleagues have come up to me and have said, 'That wrecks everything!'" The guy went on. Well, morons, if you can't handle having your theory wrecked by an inconvenient fact, you should get out of astronomy and go into something more flexible, like climate science.

HD DVD is dead. Now Sony is considering "digital downloads" the primary threat to Blu-Ray.

You know, WTF. By definition any download is "digital". We sure as shit aren't getting analog stuff out of the intertubes. The stuff is stored on computers; what the hell else is it going to be but digital? Maybe these guys should consider saying "digital content" or something instead.

Three things that might have helped HD DVD. I would add, "not charging $1,000 for a stupid player". I have to wonder how much money Toshiba actually made on each player by charging $1,000 apiece for 'em--certainly in the long run it didn't do them any damn good. The cost accounting of research, development, and manufacture of a product is not within my experience, so I can't imagine what the cost of a player was when R&D is factored in. I do know that it couldn't have cost Toshiba more than a couple hundred to manufacture each unit once the engineering was taken care of, though.

I suppse a $1,000 price point looked very good from where they were before release day, but from the other side of the finish line it looks like they should have sold the things at cost and beat Sony with volume.

Five undersea cable failures in the same region within the space of a week, and some say "maybe" it was sabotage.

The article sneers, "Regardless of whether or not the tinfoil-hat conspiracy theorists actually managed to get one right,..." You know what? When you have five failures in a week in one area it's kind of hard to think they're not related somehow. It's in a politically rocky part of the world, surrounded by countries steeped in a censorious, backward culture which considers women with bare faces "pornographic", which hates the culture of the West--and the Internet represents a major threat to many of those in charge of those countries, because the last thing they want is for their people to find out what "freedom" actually looks like.

I don't know that it was sabotage, but I suspect it was, because there's no freaking way you get five failures in a week.

(Is "censorious" even a word? If it's not, it damn well ought to be. I like the sound of it.)

OMG I need this. Only my response would be "Funk Jamapi".

* * *

* [inhale]...

MILES??????? I'd ask "WTF was I thinking?" except I don't think any thought was actually involved. Jesus Christ!
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