Chad Perrin: SOB

4 March 2008

News Flash: Don’t trust the news!

Filed under: Cognition,Liberty — apotheon @ 10:13

I have known for a long time that I can’t really trust the mainstream media. There’s a lot of slant, bias, and generally crappy reporting. Corruption and dishonesty can sneak in all over the place (just ask Jayson Blair). The mainstream media news sources are also prone to ignoring a whole lot of news, for one reason or another — as proven by the major headlines Bosnia got while Rwanda, Zaire, and especially Eritrea were ignored.

Don’t forget about South Africa, for another example. In the ’80s, apartheid was in all the papers all the time. For the last decade, conditions have in many respects been significantly worse than they were — but nobody’s reporting on it, because nobody wants to admit that post-apartheid South Africa is a bad place. Apartheid needed to go, but that doesn’t mean that anything after apartheid is gone is necessarily good.

So . . . yeah, I’ve known for a long time that I can’t trust the mainstream media for my news. I get little bits and pieces from there, and look up more information online, reading between the lines and trying to fit in other information from sources outside the US. The way political parties other than the Republicans and Democrats have been marginalized should be proof enough of that all by itself.

I had no idea it was this bad, though. It never occurred to me to seriously consider the possibility that there was a pervasive, widespread, deeply rooted, concerted effort in progress to lie to the American people about the news. I thought things were just afflicted by common misconceptions and the occasional bad apple, plus some spin and slant injected by people in positions of power. Outright lying, though . . . ? I wouldn’t have guessed it.

The goings-on of the current race for the Republican party’s Presidential nomination have opened my eyes, though. CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News, and CBS News have all been “reporting” variations on the same set of lies for more than a year now about this race — probably longer, but that’s about all I can personally attest to.

From CNN:

McCain wins GOP nomination

Actually, CNN lies!:

As of today, McCain has 874 bound or pledged delegates and 33 unbound or unpledged delegates. He needs 1,191 BOUND delegates for the nomination.

Note: I have no idea how this person comes to the conclusion that McCain “has” 33 unpledged delegates. How does he “have” them if they’re “unpledged”?

That was before the Texas primary. That means that for McCain to have gotten to the 1,195 pledged delegates reported in the CNN article he would have to have picked up 321 pledged delegates already. Texas only gets 137 delegates that are actually pledged, and they don’t all get pledged to the “winner” of the state — they are apportioned according to the percentage take of the per-district primary vote. CNN’s numbers (possibly inflated) show McCain only getting 70 delegates pledged to him.

With only 377 pledged delegates left to be assigned, and McCain only getting 70 from Texas, that would mean that there are only 310 pledged delegates left to be won. McCain needs to get 251 of those to win the first round at the Republican National Convention.

So . . . has McCain won, as CNN states? No. Far from it. In fact, he’s 251 delegates short at present. He needs to win 81% of the remaining pledged delegates to do that, and even in Texas it looks like he fell well short of that number — so, as an indicator of future performance, Texas shows the RNC going to a brokered convention at this point.

To recap:

  1. CNN says McCain has more than enough votes so that he’s locked up the convention.

  2. The actual numbers show that it’s extremely improbable that he will actually have enough pledged delegates to lock up the convention.

  3. CNN lies.

  4. Don’t trust the mainstream media about anything.


PS: Ron Paul has basically locked up his Congressional district election.

In a landslide victory, Ron Paul wins the Republican party nomination for his Congressional reelection campaign. Since there’s no Democrat candidate for the office, and no stand-out candidates from other parties have appeared, he pretty much has that one locked up. This, despite the fact that mainstream media news sources have been pretending Ron Paul was going to lose his Republican nomination for Congress for the last couple months.

actual vs. perceived importance in Vista

Filed under: Geek — apotheon @ 02:18

I just read Coding Horror: Actual Performance, Perceived Performance (hat tip to Sterling). The explanation seems plausible and makes a good case for Vista (pre-SP1) on the subject of file copy performance, within the context of the information provided. Of course, that’s not the whole story.

First, consider the fact that the problem isn’t just that file copying seems slower to the user, judging by reports like the Register article Vista sets 2007 land-speed record for copying and deleting. As you’ll see if you read the article, the problem actually involves file copying that never finishes, as well as problems with file deletion — which does not have the indicated problem with write-behind caching indicated by a progress bar.

Second, take the BSD Unix FFS/UFS as an example. Somehow, FFS/UFS is able to manage delayed writes in a manner that doesn’t take three years, and also doesn’t give a mistaken impression that data has already been written to disk when it hasn’t, all at the same time.

The conclusion to which I am inexorably drawn is that Vista’s file copying has problems not addressed by the perceptual performance upgrade, aside from those problems is probably actually better than XP’s on a technical level, and for all these years XP has been lying to you about when file copies finish to keep you happy with MS Windows by making you think it’s faster than it really is.

I guess there isn’t a whole lot of new information in this revelation that Microsoft gives an impression of greater performance by lying to the users of its operating systems. This is just one more piece of evidence of the sort of conflict of interest that occurs when you want the best possible software, but you’re getting it from an organization supported by copyright law in its attempts to “get away with” something — making people think they’re getting their money’s worth, rather than actually giving them their money’s worth.

All original content Copyright Chad Perrin: Distributed under the terms of the Open Works License