Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Turning Point For Afghan War, And For Obama : NPR

I was reading an article on the NPR site (A Turning Point For Afghan War, And For Obama : NPR) and one line struck me: "While some U.S. officials say that Obama is considering a plan to pull back from daily battles with the Taliban to focus more strictly on counterterrorism options, Republicans are pressing him to approve McChrystal's recommendations." 

Why isn't this situation a bit of a win for him? That is, if Republicans are pushing him to accept the generals recommendations but are pounding him on healthcare then why not say "ok, you want more troops, let my healthcare plan go through" so at least the dems will get thier healthcare (even if they want out of Afghanistan) and the reps will get their war... of course all this begs the question, where will the money come from and more importantly how will we pay it back.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The death of Google's "Do no evil" mantra

I recently came across an article "Google's not fighting Gmail subpoenas" that tells about how google is just handing over the information of some of its users. I remember reading about an instance where google denied (but eventually had to cave) the DoJ (or was it FBI?) access to IP addresses or emails or something, either way it seemed like they tried to do the right thing; but now, this seems to be part of a downward spiral for google, hopefully privacy groups will successfully take google to task for this.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Fantasies of a computer hobbyist

Asides from the obvious (lewd) ones which I will not go into I am dreaming of an i7 Core with USB v3.0. Yup, those are the two biggies for me. Of course gratuitous amounts of memory (4+ gigabytes, which means i would need a 64bit OS which again means i would need a realtively powerful [or at least new] computer), a really fast hard drive etc but right now I need a fast processor and speedy external storage.

I am working on three huge tasks which require CPUs of the workhorse variety.

Task #1 Graphics: I have about 35,000 photos that I am sifting through and organizing. This involves everything from image stitching to geotagging to retouching to IPTC keyword tagging etc and in large batches.

Task #2 Audio: I have about 28,000 songs to sift through, the sifting is apparently the most laborious part as I have whole albums that I only one 2-3 songs out of but there is other stuff such as adding acoustical fingerprints, MusicBrainz IDs, finding duplicates, etc.

Task 3# Video: I have video from the internet, and tons of video from the past 8 years of digital camera ownership. I want to start chopping, cropping, combining, and editing this stuff into something watchable (to just string all the stuff together would be insanely boring to watch).

Geekness (techno geek, not the chicken head eating geek): This isn't a task but is a point dealing with techno-lust. I  love linux, i don't use it nearly as much as i would like primarily because the majority of applications i need are  windows  only (though the things i use the most , like Opera, are also available in linux). There is a way to run two operating systems at once (wrap your head around that!) with virtualization but that requires heaps of memory and a hefty CPU doesn't hurt. As I alluded to previously a 32bit operating system  has a 2 gigabyte memory limit, that is i don't think it can use more than 2gb of memory no matter how much memory you actually have installed so to run dual operating systems (running windows 7 inside of linux) would require alot of memory and in order to use all the physical memory installed you need a 64bit OS)... got it? Not to mention that alot of video/audio/graphic editing (especially batch editing) requires insane amounts of memory.

All of the above requires semi-to-very serious processing power (which the i7 will handily be able to provide) and serious storage (not to mention read/write speeds). A geek reading this might say “what about eSATA?!” but if you look at the USB v3.0 speeds (4gbit/sec) compared to eSATA II (3Gbit/sec) there is no comparison. Of course the biggest problems now are that 

#1 Due to my globetrotting line of work I need something semi-portable (which means a mobile Core i7 [Clarksfield] which won’t be out for another month or two and won’t come down to a price that mere mortals can afford until after the new year) 
#2 USB v3.0 isn’t expected to be out en masse until mid 2010, Windows 7 doesn’t even have drivers for it yet.

As painful as it will certainly be I am thinking I need to hold off until the second quarter of 2010 at least before I get something. By then hopefully USB v3 will be out, prices will have come down, software support will be out (with major bugs fixed)… but damn that’s a long time to wait.