Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Video card question

So, my computer has a very weak video card (it's a Vostro, created for business needs, and so the video card has a hard time handling some games). My current video card is Intel(R) G45/G43 Express Chipset. My desktop is a Vostro 220. I've been trying to study up on what video card would work for my needs; I need at least a NVIDIA GeForce 6800 (around $40 on ebay).

My two questions: first, I don't want to mess with getting another power source. How do I find out what watts my computer has, and what video cards would be compatible with that? From what I've read online, a Vostro 220 claims 300 watts, and the 6800 claims that it's 350 watts, but most people say that, as Dell underestimates the power and most video cards overestimate the power, mixing 300 with 350 should work. However, I couldn't find reports of anyone combining a Vostro 220 with a NVIDIA GeForce 6800. And I'm not sure how I can confirm that my computer's power is 300 watts.

And second, where is a good reliable place to buy?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What's worse than attack ads? Fearmongering racist attack ads

Like most of you, we've been pelted by numerous political attack ads these last few weeks. I'm not a fan of attack ads, as they focus on anger and fearmongering rather than on logic or ideas, but I didn't think they were a big deal until I got one attacking Boyce, an African American man running for state treasurer, that managed to combine the attack aspect with things like "his lobbyist friend Mohammed Noure Alo" and "Boyce hired Mohammed Noure Alo's wife for a sensitive position in the Treasurer's office, after advertising the job only at their Mosque." Then, of course, the big question: "Do you trust these guys with your hard-earned dollars?"

Look, attack ads are pretty standard. But an attack ad that stresses Muslim-sounding names and stresses that a job was advertised at a Mosque (while being intentionally vague about whether "their" referred to Boyce, and thus insinuating that Boyce, a Christian, is actually a Muslim) takes things a step too far. (Interestingly enough, Boyce's competitor is not a Christian--he's Jewish).

I wish I could find the ad online (although the TV ads apparently send the same message).

Smelling a skunk, I did some digging. Turns out that "Mohammed" goes by "Noure"--but, of course, they had to give the full name when referring to him, just like far-right wackos always say "Barack Hussein Obama." And, of course, many of the allegations made are apparently not true.

His competitor's reaction to any backlash against the anti-Muslim attack ad, and that an insinuation was made that Boyce was Muslim? He plead innocent. "Again, that I know of, I don’t think the word Muslim was ever in it.” And I'm sure you had no intention of scaring away voters by creating an attack ad criticizing Boyce's friendships with Muslims, either.

Before I received the ad, I didn't really care too much about who won this particular fight. But now I'm definitely rooting for Boyce. We don't need anymore racist, xenophobic fearmongerers in political offices. We need rational, thoughtful people. People who don't fear and hate American Muslims, and people who don't use the public's fear of American Muslims to get votes.

Friday, October 08, 2010

When a word matters

Some of you were a bit stunned by Elder Packer's talk in conference where he said "Some suppose that they were pre-set, and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not so. Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember, he is our Father."

Fortunately, it looks like you weren't the only ones a bit surprised by the language. I'm not sure if his words were just a mistake or his personal opinion, but the words of his talk have changed, just slightly, on the church website. The changes alter the entire meaning of that section of the talk. The revised talk reads: "Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn temptations toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Remember, God is our Heavenly Father."

Besides getting rid of the "Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone," the change gets rid of "tendencies" and replaces it with "temptations." Granted, it doesn't make as much sense anymore (what are inborn temptations?) But the underlying message--that all homosexuals can overcome their homosexual tendencies--has changed.

Unfortunately, whether accidental or intentional, considerable damage has already been done. Many people who heard the talk (or who read about it elsewhere) will never read the version on the church website (or the version that will most likely appear in the Ensign). But at least we have those resources to counter people who argue that the church states that homosexuals can overcome their homosexual tendencies. The church does not state that. Elder Packer said it in conference, true, but it appears as if the church officially disagrees with him or that his words came out wrong.

See here for the revised talk. I'll let you find the original language on your own.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

What I'm Watching

Justified--unfortunately not back until January, but my favorite current show. Cop show based in Kentucky--and very smart.

White Collar--also taking a break. FBI agent and a con-artist on a leash solve crime.

Chuck--Goofy fun.

Nikita--a U.S. spy organization goes rogue, and one of their ex-employees starts sabotaging their missions. Just three episodes so far--we'll see if it keeps my attention.

The Event--the first episode plays like the first episode of Flash Forward. This is the only new sci-fi I've seen this season that's decent. I'll keep watching and see where it goes.

Rubicon--slow-moving thriller. I am a fan. Unfortunately, you have to buy to see more than 2 episodes. My favorite new show--and I'll probably actually end up buying it. Second only to "Justified" for my favorite current TV.

Recommendations: watch the first 2 episodes of Rubicon. And then watch Justified when it comes back on.

Any other recommendations?