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Comment This just in (Score 4, Interesting) 61 61

Newsflash: places with machine shops need to fabricate objects, so they use the latest technology available. Surprise to uneducated people: US Navy ships have machine shops on-board, because they often need to fabricate objects while at sea. The surprising twist: when you're at sea, you can't just order from Amazon, you have to make it right then and there. Crazy, eh?

Comment sigh (Score 4, Insightful) 185 185

This is a technical solution to a social problem. I learned this on Slashdot. The problem isn't urine, it's the fact that filthy people - sorry, MEN - are pissing all over the city. All the paint in the world won't fix that. Installing clean, publically accessible bathrooms would fix the problem permanently. Men who already piss everywhere aren't too worried about a little splashback.

Comment Blinding lasers are already here (Score 1) 83 83

I've been wondering for the past few years when the new wave of laser-caused blindness will strike the world. There are already plenty of lasers that won't burn a hole through you, but they will irreparably damage your eyes in a few milliseconds. Still, the rash of blindings hasn't happened. I'm not talking about airline pilots being temporarily flashed by some asshole on the ground, I'm talking about people being permanently blinded by lasers, either in war or criminal activity.

Comment Re:Yes. (Score 1) 128 128

It doesn't matter. What are you going to say, some random stranger on an internet forum explained things to you the right way, and suddenly you changed how you think about nuclear power? That's never, ever gonna happen. It's a deeply-seated belief, and you'll never give it up, because to do that you'd have to re-examine your entire self. Anti-nuclearism is a religion, plain and simple. It doesn't matter how many citations from Wikipedia I throw in, you'll never, ever change your mind. Hell, if you actually did, you'd be socially ostracized by friends you've had for decades. You might even get fired if you work at an NGO or somesuch.

Comment Re: Our value is community. Not the broken site. (Score 1) 549 549

Utf8 not being implemented is a feature, not a bug. We can communicate quite well in ASCII without having silly quote marks that face the "proper" way and those dumb Unicode drawing characters. It also helps a lot to keep the conversations in a language that all of us speak.

Comment Re:No Compromises (Score 1) 149 149

The argument against the physical keyboard is a designer's argument. We all know that today's design doesn't create more, it takes away, takes away, takes away. The physical keyboard annoyed these designers so they wanted to get rid of it entirely. This left only HTC as the last company to produce keyboards. Then, there was an internal power struggle in the company and the keyboard faction lost. And that's how we got to where we are today.

Comment Re:Sounds like you're a victim of the PRC's lies. (Score 1) 34 34

A highly popular episode of This American Life in which monologuist Mike Daisey tells of the abuses at factories that make Apple products in China contained "significant fabrications," the show said today.

"We're horrified to have let something like this onto public radio," Ira Glass, the show's executive producer and host said in a blog post today. "Our program adheres to the same journalistic standards as the other national shows, and in this case, we did not live up to those standards."

The 39-minute piece aired in January and TAL says after 888,000 downloads, it became its most popular podcast. The story is compelling: It tells of the awful working conditions of Chinese workers making shiny Apple products like iPhones and iPads at factories owned by a company called FoxConn, which also manufactures products for other electronics giants.

The piece essentially made Daisey Apple's chief critic and it also inspired a petition that collected more than 250,000 signatures demanding that Apple better the working conditions at the factories.

Comment Re: They misspelled "Hellhole of the world" (Score 4, Informative) 34 34

nope. Workers in Shenzhen are highly mobile and if they don't like something, they walk out and get another job across the street. Bosses moan they have to pay more and more to keep workers on the job. It sounds like you were a victim of the NPR fake story that said things were like that. Seriously, it was a total lie, the journalist just went there and told a story about what he wished were true instead of investigating the conditions on the ground. It was widely reported when it came out and we're going to be dealing with the fallout for years to come. Facts != narrative.

Comment Re:BBC / other state broadcasters? (Score 1) 132 132

Learn Dutch? Why? So I can watch more television? Is that really the argument you just made? WTF?

There are only 17 million Dutch speakers in the world and they all live in one tiny country. The payoff just isn't there. Moreover, having one language for everyone has tons of benefits, chief among them being fewer wars. The story of the Tower of Babel cursing humanity with thousands of mutually incomprehensible languages is a relevant myth.

I used to be impressed by people who spoke lots of languages until I moved overseas and became bilingual myself. Now, who the hell cares? Speaking another language doesn't mean you're super-intelligent or cultured or anything. It just means you can speak another language. If you set things up right, you won't have to. One of the worst pieces of human trash I ever met in my life was a Swiss who could speak seven languages.

Comment Re:What's their endgame really? (Score 1) 253 253

It wasn't just Tom Brokaw, it was Walter Cronkite declaring the Tet Offensive in Vietnam a horrible thing. It wasn't until well after I became an adult that I discovered the Tet Offensive was actually a decisive victory for the anti-Communist forces. The Viet Cong were totally destroyed. Yeah, it was a surprise to me as well.

There was an anecdote by a soldier that had helped in the operation. The Viet Cong had committed many atrocities in the areas it had briefly controlled, and the soldier wondered why a wandering TV crew wasn't covering any of it. "We're not here to help Nixon's war," replied one of the journalists.

Let's not even get into the hippy counter-culture scum who really did want to overthrow the US government and institute a communist system. For real. They weren't joking.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.