August 2012 Archives

Representing weather data as an image is only part of the magic behind the scenes:

The reason we encode velocity data as an image is so we can pass it off to the GPU on the iPhone and iPad. Both the storm prediction and the smooth animations are calculated on the device itself, rather than the server, and all the magic happens directly on the GPU.

Read the rest of the article here.

via SplatF

From TUAW:

Each company proposed investing more than US$1 billion in order to have TSMC set aside chip production capacity exclusively for them.

I know Tim Cook is a very bright guy and that he has an extremely competent leadership team, but I can’t help wonder why Apple hasn’t decided to build their own chip fab plant in the US? Since chipmaking is almost completely automated, it can’t be because of labor costs. And if not labor costs, then what? Is it lack of cash? (Heh…)

Ah, President Obama. The only thing missing from your tribute to Neil Armstrong is working yourself into the caption. How your campaign missed that, I’ll never know.

Year-old stock photo of celestial bodies shining down upon The Chosen One can be found here.

Oh, wait, I guess he did work himself into it, but not as blatantly as usual.

(The references to Obama have been removed from the presidential histories, for what it’s worth.)



I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer, born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace and propelled by compressible flow.

Neil Armstrong (August 5, 1930 - August 25, 2012)

via It’s OK to be Smart

Charlie Crist, apparently still off his meds:

“I applaud and share [Obama’s] vision of a future built by a strong and confident middle class in an economy that gives us the opportunity to reap prosperity through hard work and personal responsibility,” said Crist, in an op-ed published in the Tampa Bay Times.

Wait, what? Is he endorsing the same guy who said, “It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. blah blah blah …you didn’t build it. blah blah blah”? Is he endorsing the same guy who gutted the workfare requirement of welfare?

Obama doesn’t even begin to understand “personal responsibility.” In his view, if the government isn’t responsible for your prosperity, then nobody is.

via MM

The verdict is in, and the companies respond. Samsung:

“Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices. It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies. Consumers have the right to choices, and they know what they are buying when they purchase Samsung products. This is not the final word in this case or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals around the world, some of which have already rejected many of Apple’s claims. Samsung will continue to innovate and offer choices for the consumer.”

It’s funny how the losers in patent battles always say it’s about a loss of choice for the American consumer. Except that if they copied someone else, was there ever a choice?

If you like Downton Abbey, this is absolutely frickin’ hilarious, and well worth your time.

Part I

Part II

Chock full of data and explanation, such as:

In 1972, when the highest tax rate on the rich was 70 percent and the top capital-gains tax rate was 35 percent, the richest 1 percent of Americans assumed 18 percent of the income-tax burden. Today, with a top income-tax rate of 35 percent and a capital-gains rate of 15 percent, their share is 39 percent, more than twice as much. This is true because, faced with high tax rates, the rich of 40 years ago put more of their income into tax shelters or foreign countries. They invested less, and they worked less. And the rest of us suffered during the years of stagflation—as we will again, if rates are raised.

Read the rest of this article by Stephen Moore, Senior Economics Writer, Wall Street Journal Editorial Board.

If you think this year’s presidential election is about anything other than the economy, you’ve been listening to the Democrats too long.

Well said, and worth the read.

And Linda McMahon gets it, too.

Folks, I don’t care what party you align with. You can’t argue with history, and history says that the path Obama is taking us on is dooming this country. Our only hope is to support the work of Ryan and McMahon and to dump the current batch of politicians who blame their predecessors and call what they’ve been doing for the past 13 years “a work in progress” (all while not showing up for work in the first place).

And history is on their side.

Vote Ryan. Vote McMahon.


I have never seen quite a laundry list of Obama’s failures in such a public presentation.

And it’s quite a list. Read for yourself here

The cover is worth calling out specifically.

If you want to identify who the liberal mainstream media are, just look at who’s yelling loudest about it. I’ll give you a hint: most start with “New York”.

And if you want to see who’s the conservative media, look at the ones who are laughing loudest in the wake of the “Mitt Romney: Wimp” cover. I’ll give you a hint: they’re being drowned out by the category above.

Go read the article. It’s a good read.

How come when I read something like this:

“AT&T will offer FaceTime over Cellular as an added benefit of our new Mobile Share data plans, which were created to meet customers’ growing data needs at a great value,” the company said on Friday afternoon. [source]

…I somehow read “consumer… value” as “We’re going to continue to milk our customers like our very own herd of moneycows”?

I’ve said similar, but not as eruditely: tolerance isn’t tolerable anymore. But why not?

Don Carson explains:

This shift from “accepting the existence of different views” to “acceptance of different views,” from recognizing other people’s right to have different beliefs or practices to accepting the differing views of other people, is subtle in form, but massive in substance.

Please read the rest of his scholarly answer here.

The right wing blogosphere has been whipped into a frenzy because Soledad O’Brien used Talking Points Memo, a far-left blog, as a source during her interview with Barbara Comstock.

O’Brien’s obvious bias has always been clear as she campaigns for President Obama, and she does a good job of pounding the Dem’s message home for them in her interview. And if there’s anybody who appears flustered, it’s Comstock. She hardly gets a complete statement in and could take a lesson from the unflappable Condoleezza Rice. O’Brien, biased or not, is actually prepared for Comstock’s response and only appears to be searching through her material to locate the exact quote she requires.

So she found the quote on TPM; it’s a non-issue. TPM actually links to a Slate article which sources the original quote to the HuffPo-where Wyden published his piece in the first place. I.e., HuffPo is the barn in which the horse (or ass?) spoke. Which liberal media outlet would you rather she quote?

Comstock would have been much better off sticking with the “Is there a question in there?” line. “I thought this was to be an interview, not a campaign stop for President Obama,” would have been a much better response.

At any rate, this kind of video is the kind that makes me sick because we conservatives look like idiots for rallying around a hollow, meaningless non-victory, instead of having real victories to promote. What we need is superior firepower (think Rice) based on sound facts, not contrived campaign rhetoric. The R&R campaign should never have attempted to make more of Wyden’s policy statement than there was to make in the first place. Yeah, they should say that the Medicare aspects of Ryan’s budget were, in fact, derived from a liberal Democrat’s policy statement. But to imply that it was co-sponsored? Sigh…

I am a staunch conservative, but this is a meaningless rallying point.

I am no tax history scholar, but I know a thing or two. But this? This shocked me.

From comes this bit of economics history:

These tax policies enjoy a history of bipartisan success. [He] proposed legislation to reduce income tax rates across the board by 30 percent, explaining:

“It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today, and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the tax rates….[A]n economy constrained by high tax rates will never produce enough revenue to balance the budget, just as it will never create enough jobs or enough profits.”

[His] proposed tax cuts were adopted… and pulled the top rate from 91 percent down to 70 percent, while reducing the lower rates. The next year, economic growth soared by 50 percent, and income tax revenues increased by 41 percent! [Two years later], unemployment had fallen to its lowest peacetime level in almost 40 years. U.S. News and World Report exclaimed: “The unusual budget spectacle of sharply rising revenues following the biggest tax cut in history is beginning to astonish even those who pushed hardest for tax cuts in the first place.” …[T]he administration’s chief economic advisor estimated that the tax cuts expanded the economy in just two years by 10 percent above where it would have been.

Wow. I never knew that Reagan Bush no… JFK understood taxes so well.

Yes, John F. Kennedy’s tax cuts were adopted in 1964, and the direct result was economic growth and significant tax revenue gains. So while you Obama worshippers think that the only way to balance the budget is to ask the rich to pay more (you say “fair share,” but that’s a load of crap and you know it) and everybody else knows that won’t even put a dent in the mess Obama has made, your own beloved JFK proved you wrong! Reagan and “W” were also students of history with identical successes to JFK’s, and also proved you wrong, too.

Well, you can ignore Reagan and “W” all you want. But JFK? You’ll ignore the success of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and listen to the lies our current president spews forth on the campaign trail, all so he can continue to buy voters and further plunge our economy into the toilet?

It’s time for you to wake up. Barack Obama doesn’t have a clue and isn’t likely to get a clue. He simply does not understand that good rhetoric is not good tax policy.

So… what to do? You hate Romney. That Ryan guy is from Wisconsin and is therefore the devil incarnate. And you’d never vote for America’s Comeback Team.

Here’s what you should do in November:

Stay home.

Don’t vote. Or vote for Ron Paul if you must participate. Just don’t vote for Obama. Because if you do and Obama wins, all you’ll get is another four years of “It’s not my fault” and clueless tax policies which will grind this nation into complete and total economic disaster, the likes of which we’ve never seen before.

(Read the rest of the source article. It’s worth your time.)

[Edited: Ooops. I had Kennedy adopting his tax cuts in 1964. He didn’t do it himself, obviously. His proposed tax cuts were adopted in 1964. Thanks, Darren, for pointing out this error.]

Ω Jurnalizm


If the number of errors I’ve seen this week in big-name, highly regarded online wings of print publications (most were homophone errors, e.g. “it’s” vs “its” and “rappels” vs “repels”) is indicative of the quality of journalism in this country, then it’s a no wonder why I don’t trust journalists to sweat the details and to report them correctly.

If they can’t do what they supposedly know correctly, can I trust them to report what they don’t know correctly?

Wow. Some eye-openers in here.

Go. Read. Now.


There are numerous “discussions” on Facebook about the Romney ads which show people who say “I built this business.” Detractors say that they really should have said, “I built this business, but I had a lot of help from the U.S. Government and the American taxpayer and couldn’t have done it without them.” Detractors also say that these people are “liars.”

What absolutely galls me about this stance—that these people are liars, a very strong choice of word—is the insistence that passive participation is somehow meritorious of credit and therefore diminishes the role of the business owners in their own successes.

I believe that this insistence is an underlying difference between conservatives and liberals and is indicative of a pattern of thinking which defies logic and the natural order of the universe. It is the same reasoning which blames the maker of the gun for a massacre. It is the same reasoning which blames the alcohol, not the alcoholic. It is the same reasoning which goes further than merely awarding trophies to the losing team “just for playing.”

This reasoning takes the trophies from the winning team and gives them to the moms who drove the kids to the games, to the road builders who made those roads, to the Chrysler employees who made the minivans, and to the taxpayers who subsidized those minivans during this administration.

Congratulations, American people! President Obama thinks you won a soccer game! Thanks for not playing!

Speaking of sports, tonight I watched three men run 10,000m in less than 28 minutes thereby placing them on the podium to receive gold, silver and bronze medals. There isn’t a person in the world who would deny that they achieved that victory, that the race was theirs to win or lose, and that they won…

…except, apparently, President Obama. By his own reasoning, he would stand at that podium and denounce their victories.

“You didn’t win that race on your own, somebody else won that race for you!”

“I’m always struck by people who think ‘well, it must be because I was just so fast.’ There are a lot of fast people out there! ‘It must be because I ran faster than everybody else.’ Let me tell you something—there are a whole bunch of fast people out there!”

President Obama would remove the medals from the necks of these athletes and place them around his own neck, all in the name of a shared victory. You know, because we earned it.

I’m sure there aren’t many business owners who wouldn’t give credit where credit is due, just like I’m sure that there isn’t an athlete who wouldn’t credit coaches and training partners with helping. But coaches coach. Training partners train. Business partners partner. Investors invest. Spouses spice or whatever it is that we do as we support our business builders in their quests.

What President Obama is missing is that all of these activities are active in their support of those who build businesses, of those who run the races, of those who clear the bar, of those who play the game. For one to claim any sort of credit for the success of another requires active participation—doing something.

Yes, the government can do something. For example, if a Small Business Administration adviser helped that business succeed, she can claim some credit because she actively participated. But just because we paid taxes to pay her salary does not mean that we built that business, not one bit. That’s called a “passive activity,” by the government’s very own definition. (See “IRS.”)

It means that I, Bill Eccles, taxpayer, had nothing to do with the success of your business. I don’t deserve the credit, nor do I want it.

The good news is that most Americans don’t want the credit which President Obama is offering them. [source] So, wise Americans: are you going to re-elect a president who is willing to blame others for his own failures, while stealing success from others, distributing it to anybody willing to accept the handout?

I didn’t think so, because you’re one of those “smart people out there.”

Vote wisely in November.