October 13, 2016

Nobel foolishness

It almost seems as if there's been a concerted effort to turn the Nobel prizes into a laughing stock.

Awarding Obama the Peace Prize for not being George Bush was bad enough, but another prize committee has decided to top that:

Bob Dylan has won this year's Nobel Prize for Literature.

Fortunately, the Chemistry and Physics award committees retain a bit of dignity, but I suppose it's only a matter of time before one of them does something contemptible like giving an award to a Warmist, or something like that.

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October 05, 2016

Engineering malpractice

Samsung's latest phone, the "Galaxy Note 7", has a small problem: the batteries are exploding. Or catching fire. Or going up in smoke.

I am AMAZED that Samsung Q/A didn't notice this during the design process. It makes me wonder just what in hell QA was doing. Or has Samsung cut QA to the bone as a cost-saving measure? Talk about false economy!

At Qualcomm I think we had as many QA engineers as design engineers, and they put our phones through the wringer (not literally). Plus all the senior design engineers were given prototype phones with the bills paid by Qualcomm, and told to use them heavily. I myself found a hardware bug that way.

Actually, it was already known but they couldn't make it happen reliably. My contribution was that my phone and my charger would do it reliably enough so they could use it to chase down the problem. So they took them away and gave me another one.

In consumer products, poor quality is unforgiveable. You can destroy your brand reputation with one huge mistake, and customers aren't forgiving. It may take Samsung 10 years to live this one down, if they ever do.

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September 27, 2016


Glenn Reynolds is off the hook, free and clear, fancy free, acquitted of all charges. He may continue to live his life as he sees fit, and say what he wants, until the next time he offends the SJWs at which time he'll be back on the fire again.

To achieve this, he had to bend knee, abase himself, and submit to ritual flogging. Unlike Henry II, he doesn't have to do it every year; once will suffice. He just has to acknowledge that the SJWs are right and he is an evil heartless son-of-a-bitch. And a racist (and never mind his sister-in-law). And so on and so forth.

It would have been rather difficult for the university to actually terminate him because he has tenure and he holds an endowed seat, but only a fool would underestimate the resourcefulness of SJWs with their teeth in it, and there were a lot of punishments short of that which could have been imposed, so I'm glad it came out alright.

This witch hunt shouldn't have happened at all. The Dean talks about talking to all kinds of people, for and against, and gives lip service to "due process", but the only due process that should have taken place is to tell the SJWs to stick their complaints where the sun doesn't shine.

If Glenn hadn't been as famous and influential as he is, it might not have come out the same way. And if this had happened before Mizzou, likewise. We've raised a generation of perpetually-aggrieved who think that the First Amendment doesn't protect speech when it causes some listeners, any listeners, to feel uncomfortable. Which, if actually the law, would totally gut that clause of the First Amendment.

There is no exception in the First Amendment for hurt feelings. You do not have a right to never be offended. Offensive speech is definitely protected by the First Amendment. I learned that in school, but apparently they aren't taught that any longer. I saw a picture of a student holding a sign that said, "Free speech doesn't include Offensive speech" and it was a head-desk moment for me.

Anyway, certain universities have learned the hard way the cost of giving in to the perpetually aggrieved. There are people who carry signs and parade all over the place and make demands, and there are people who don't do those things but do vote with their feet and their wallets. There are a lot more of those, and they have long memories. That's why the University of Missouri is facing horrible economic problems right now: it's not an organized boycott, it's just lots of students deciding they'd rather go to school somewhere else.

And as a result income is not what was expected and they're having to cut staff.

Others are starting to realize that the cost of giving in can be extremely high.

If Glenn had actually faced any kind of punishment beyond what he did, University of Tennessee would have had its name blackened the same way as Mizzou did -- because it would have been front-page news all over the country, and certainly in Tennessee.

So two cheers for the dean. But not three; it shouldn't have gone even as far as it did.

UPDATE: Glenn says it wasn't all that bad. Of course, he wants to limit the damage to his university and I can't blame him for that. But I'll take him at his word.

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September 26, 2016

Truth is stranger than fiction

Down in California there was a multiple murder plus a kidnapping. A married couple who had three daughters, plus a family friend, were killed. The oldest daughter, 17, was taken. Their younger girls, ages 6 and 9, were left alone and the 6 year old called the police.

Two men have been captured and arrested and the oldest daughter was unharmed. She might be implicated in the crime.

So what's strange about that? All the adults were furries, as was the 17 year old. That just seems astoundingly out of character. Furries are odd people, of course, but I don't think of them as being particularly violent.

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The Narrative: Tonight's Debate

The pollsters are all reporting that Trump is rising, and even in the lead all over the place. I think they're doing it on purpose.

Pollsters can to some extent adjust the results by controlling who they call, and I think that they're deliberately trying to pump up Trump's numbers, so that they can depress them tomorrow and announce "See these polls? Hillary won the debate".

But I think they're wasting their time. The Democrats and their pet media are trying to make Trump the issue, "Sexist racist bigot" and "Totally unsuited to be President", but after tonight's debate Hillary's health is going to be the issue.

I don't think she'll make it through the debate. She's going to have another seizure, or brain freeze, or it will be impossible to avoid her problem with her eyes, or she may outright pass out.

UPDATE: Looks like I was wrong: she made it all the way.

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September 23, 2016

Real and virtual shopping malls

More and more people are doing their shopping online and relying on package delivery to get their goods. This is causing much grief and anguish among the top management of stores that rely on their presence in big shopping malls.

There are a bunch of reasons for this. One has to do with sale taxes. But I think another, which will become more and more influential as time goes on (unless something changes radically) is that no one ever died when a swarthy young man with a gun tried to shoot up a web site.

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September 10, 2016

Basket of Deplorables

Can I be part of the Basket of Deplorables?

"To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.”

Well, I don't think I fit into any of those categories except maybe the last one. Surely being an otaku is "you name it". (It's always convenient to include a wildcard in a list like this.)

Of course, to liberals, anyone who denies that they are racist, sexist, and so on automatically proves that they actually are what they deny. So maybe I qualify for the basket anyway.

I think this might turn out to be like "Four Horsemen of the Ablogalypse", only a lot bigger. Instead of trying to insult a handful of bloggers, Hillary has expressed contempt for a quarter of the citizens of this country. Let's all embrace the insult! I want a "Proud to be Deplorable" T-shirt!

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September 09, 2016

Peak Oil

When's the last time you heard someone use the term "Peak Oil" without it being mocking or ironic?

Someone has just found a new oilfield in Texas which wasn't known previously. Seems it's also rich in natural gas.

Oil is so plentiful now that its market price has crashed. OPEC can no longer maintain discipline among its ranks and all the big producers are pumping for all they're worth because they need the money.

It is to laugh.

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September 05, 2016

Meet the Candidates!

This commentary on the US election is awesome. (And if you go up a level, there are a bunch of other picture groups about it, too.)

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August 10, 2016

Rule #1: treat every gun as if it is loaded.

Some people are too stupid to get out of bed.

Mary Knowlton died Tuesday night after being shot during a role-playing exercise conducted by the Punta Gorda Police Department. OfficerLee Coel, playing a "bad guy,"shot Knowlton with live rounds from a gun all thought contained blanks.

All together, now: TREAT EVERY GUN AS IF IT IS LOADED. Someone should face criminal charges for this.

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