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Comment: Not just jewelry (Score 3, Informative) 195

by AlKaMo (#46822391) Attached to: How Apple's Billion Dollar Sapphire Bet Will Pay Off

One of the largest uses for artificial sapphire is supermarket barcode scanners. No one's putting it there because they feel a need to bling-out the supermarket. It's there because any surface that has stuff dragged across it all day, every day either needs to be incredible scratch-resistant or replaced way too often.

Comment: Re:San Francisco: crazy again (Score 1) 371

by AlKaMo (#46695949) Attached to: Smart Car Tipping Trending In San Francisco

The inherent problem is that renters tend to be forced out of the gentrified neighborhood, so it tends to not so much clean up ghettos as relocate them to an area with cheaper (or still-cheap) housing costs.
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While this is still a net gain for the city, it tends to be distressing to the individuals that are forced out. Sure, rationally it doesn't make sense for a renter to feel entitled to the home they're renting. On the other hand, it's hard not to develop an emotional attachment to the place you've been living for 20 or 30 years,despite what it says on the deed.

Comment: Re:They shouldn't be banned. (Score 1) 805

by AlKaMo (#39267515) Attached to: Cell Phone Jamming Devices Enjoy an Increase In Popularity

Yet, here I am on the East Coast and I don't hear California radio stations.

Coast-to-coast no. However, it's not uncommon to be able to tune to a station 500 miles away (assuming an AM station and the right weather conditions). If you want to talk about interference, rather than reception, it goes much further. It's not uncommon for AM stations on the West coast to see interference from Asia.

After a certain distance they lose potency to still cause problems.

The distance at which the cause problems is significantly greater than the distance at which they block a signal entirely. You couldn't effectively block signals within a single building without also causing interference in the surrounding area.

Comment: Re:Right to not be annoyed? (Score 1) 805

by AlKaMo (#39265051) Attached to: Cell Phone Jamming Devices Enjoy an Increase In Popularity

I will never understand why, for example, restaurants and movie theaters (most of them) tolerate behavior this is, to say the least, boorish and disruptive to the experience of the other customers

As someone that's done it, I guarantee that evicting someone from a movie theater will be far more distracting than their cell phone. If they're obnoxious enough that theater management is involved, then they're probably also not going to politely get up and leave when someone asks them to. At that point, the management has two choices: let them remain or call the police. This won't be considered a particularly high priority, so you can expect a half-hour wait for the police. One they get there, they''ll want the house lights brought up (at a minimum; they may ask that the movie be stopped as well) before they escort the person off the premises.

That said, I have seen a "patron" carried out of a movie theater after being pepper-sprayed. It's a bad idea to lay your hands on a police officer when they ask you to leave...

Comment: Re:U.S. is established on religion, so (Score 2, Insightful) 900

by AlKaMo (#38507076) Attached to: America's Turn From Science, a Danger For Democracy

Science tends to look at the world in terms of numbers, technology and confirmed facts. Religion tends to tell the world has been made by some imaginary person in the sky, tells you to pray towards said imaginary person and completely disregards science in favor of what someone wrote on paper 1500-2000 years ago. They are not compatible.

Tell that to Galileo, Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein (to name only a few). They and countless other scientists, both historical and contemporary, held to religious beliefs while greatly advancing our knowledge of science. Religion and science are not the diametrically opposed forces that self-serving religious leaders and over-zealous atheists make them out to be.

Comment: Poorly Named (Score 2) 222

by AlKaMo (#37767798) Attached to: Flowchart Guides Readers Through the 100 Best SF Books

As has been pointed out numerous times already, it's really "The 100 most popular science fiction and fantasy books among listeners of NPR that could be bothered to vote".

As for the flowchart, which is really the point of the post, they did a pretty good job of it, considering what they had to work with.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn

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