atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1545: The end of a career?

Senator Arlen Specter will run for re-election as a Democrat. I suppose he's seen the writing on the wall; he's been a RINO for years and him changing sides will improve the average IQ of both parties.

But his change in party affiliation may not help him win against a "real" Democrat come the primaries. As a liberal Republican he's "Democrat lite", and those kinds of folks don't get the core party votes unless there is no other option.

As an incumbent he certainly has an edge, but I just don't know how much of an edge that will give him in the primary.

Look for all kinds of Democrats (and the media) to be full of praise for Arlen Specter.

* * *

I don't give a rat's ass who else will use them; I want this: a 500 GB optical disk.

Why do I want it? Because hard drives are freaking huge and they're not going to get any smaller, and I'm sick of having to back up my data to a pile of DVDs, that's why. (500 GB is about 10x what a BluRay disk holds. Writable BluRay disks are spendy.)

One disk, or two, or three--that's excellent. But to back up my F: drive would take one fricking hundred DVDs. (Or fifty dual-layer disks. I think those only cost about $.80 each now.) Forget the rest of the system, though; that's to back up one drive. This system has three.

I want to put a disk in the optical drive and tell the OS just to copy everything to it. I don't care if it takes a couple hours; WTF, I used to have to wait for a tape drive to back up my 400 MB drives and it never hurt any.

Tape drives! Yeah! ...except high-capacity tape drives cost an assload. Priced them lately? A drive that can store 1 TB costs two thousand dollars because they're for enterprise systems, not home systems. (This price has not changed much in the past ten years, I might add.)

People--like the article's author--who say things like "I'm actually having a hard time imagining a volume market for a 500GB disc, either now or in the future" are morons, though, because none of this shit is getting any smaller and as we climb the asymptotic curve described by Moore's Law there isn't any incentive whatsoever for data storage space to remain steady. We are going to need 500 GB optical disks and we are going to need them sooner rather than later.

There was an article the other day, on the same site, about the desire in some sectors for 4k video, the high-resolution digital video standard which is used in movie theaters for super-high-quality movie playback. ("4k" refers to the horizontal resolution of 4096 pixels.) Suppose that 4k catches on; do you think that a 500 GB disk might be a good storage medium for the video?

Imagine, if you will, the explosion of the video market if we can get an entire season's worth of TV episodes--in HD video--onto one disk? Imagine being able to buy all the John Wayne movies on one disk. (Even the serials!)

DVD made it possible for companies to make money selling obscure TV series by the season, series which formerly were the province of late-night TV and local channels--syndication. It also is having an effect on the overall quality of TV series, because the rewatch market comes from people who want to see the series enough to buy it, and who are going to sit through every episode: this tends to make TV series more serial in nature, rather than episodic.

I could go onto a long tangent here about episodic TV versus serial TV, but I won't; suffice it to say that networks prefer episodic because they don't have to worry about continuity if every episode begins and ends with the characters and their situation in the same place; they can show the episodes in any order and it won't matter. But it makes for boring television if you know that--at the end--Captain Kirk will be back on the Enterprise with Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy and Scotty. (Without having seen the episode before.)

* * *

Argh, I've already got too much to talk about, and here I'm going off on tangents--forget that. Let's get on with the post.

Young galaxies upset the commonly-accepted theory of galaxy formation.

...would this be happening in the same cosmology that needs dark energy to work correctly?


* * *

A 24-hour delay in sending email completely obviates the entire reason for using it in the first place.

So now the open nature of the Internet is "undemocratic". And when a Democrat says "undemocratic" these days, it increasingly seems that he acutally means "anti-Democrat".

It's "undemocratic" because users have control over what they see and hear--they don't have to sit through five minutes of global warming bullshit to see, for example--and the Democrats are worried that people might actually form their own opinons.
"A system of limitless individual choices, with respect to communications, is not necessarily in the interest of citizenship and self-government," he wrote. "Democratic efforts to reduce the resulting problems ought not be rejected in freedom's name."
Let me translate that: "An electorate which can read anything it wants is not good for us. Our efforts to censor stuff we don't like should be perfectly acceptable."

* * *

Obama administration is talking about rationing health care. No surprises here. John Lott is the same guy who gave us More Guns, Less Crime.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration is surprised that with all the talk about socializing medicine there is a shortage of primary care physicians.

A specialist makes more money than a general practitioner. The people who go through medical school to become doctors spend a lot of time, energy, and money to become doctors; is it any surprise they want to maximize their earning potential? (In fact, everyone wishes to maximize his income--even rich ivy league liberals who later go on to decry other rich ivy league liberals who head up corporations instead of working in government.)

Government interference in the medical system has made it what it is today, and increasing the amount of interference will only make matters worse. Look at Canada; there are waiting lists to see specialists because the governemnt actively discourages specializing; there's no economic point to being one because you don't make (much) more than a GP does.

* * *

So, the UAW and the government will own 89% of GM. Two things:

1) I'm glad I don't own GM stock
2) Let's see if they can make a profit on building cars. (I'm betting "no". See #1.)

* * *

If George Bush had done this, imagine the howls from the liberals. Obama cannot give a speech without his teleprompter. Do we need more proof of this? Yet liberals said that George Bush (and before him, Dan Quayle) was unfit for office and "stupid" because he "misspoke".


Here's a hint: you're not a great orator if you need a teleprompter to give a speech. If you can give a great speech from a teleprompter but you stumble and fumble and hem and haw without one, what you are is a great reader.

A great orator is someone who can give a great speech off-the-cuff, or from minimal notes. Obama is not one of those.

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