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Comment: Re:WSJ is owned by NewsCorp now, right? (Score 1) 222

None of those statements are tautologies. A tautology is more along the lines of "If this statement is true then this statement is true."

Also, tautological statements need not useless outside of formal logic / math. The theory of evolution by natural selection hinges on the ramifications of the statement "that which survives and reproduces, survives and reproduces" (and its negation.)

Comment: Cold Brew FTW (Score 1) 85

If you dislike acidic coffee, use a max dark roast (note that for darker roasts the quality of the beans doesn't matter quite as much, though Arabica will still be smoother) and cold brew that stuff overnight (you can buy a kit from a company like Filtron for pretty cheap, or just a DIY setup.)

The stuff comes out like motor oil--thicker than espresso. You store in the fridge, mix a shot of it with water and nuke it whenever you want a cup. Incredibly convenient, and in my experience it really cuts down on the acidity. The end result, when drunk black, has a "crisp" bitterness... not unlike a good beer.

Comment: Don't want to, sometimes need to (Score 1) 67

by foreverdisillusioned (#49761167) Attached to: Death In the Browser Tab
I would say that I needed to see the people jumping off of the World Trade Center. I didn't especially want to, it did not cause me to have a spring in my step for the rest of my day (it was more of a "howling cold wind blowing through your soul" sort of thing) but in an instant it solidified some very important things in my mind.

First, like a bolt of lighting I felt the full weight of human suffering involved and I mused deeply about how depraved someone would have to be in order to inflict this atrocity.

About a minute or two later, I realized that the Patriot Act was coming (of course I didn't know at the time that it would be given such an Orwellian name), and this realization colored every single discussion I had about 9/11 from then on.

Comment: Re:No comparison (Score 1) 67

by foreverdisillusioned (#49761091) Attached to: Death In the Browser Tab

Airing the former on the world stage only aids the terrorists' cause

I'm not sure where this "repeating propaganda only serves to reinforce it" meme has come from, but it's dumb. Reading Mien Kampf can and does serve a purpose other than creating more Nazis. There are many different arguments for the execution videos to be shown, but I think that they are most important as an illustration of ISIS's attitude towards human life, psychological warfare and financing--do not forget, these people were beheaded because a ransom was not paid. Other countries caved in and paid a large ransom and got their hostages back.

The morality of ransom-paying is an extremely important issue that deserves as much examination and exposure as possible, and it's even more important when the kidnapper is a powerful proto-state.

Comment: Re:Force his hand..."Sue me! Sooner than later..." (Score 5, Informative) 372

by Shakrai (#49746761) Attached to: Student Photographer Threatened With Suspension For Sports Photos

they couldn't possibly hope to recover the $100k+ in legal fees.

$100,000? That's just a tiny bit inflated. My legal fees for two felonies were slightly more than $5,000. It's not going to cost six digits to get judicial relief in a circumstance like this. It probably doesn't even get the lawsuit stage, a demand letter sent to the school district and reviewed by their attorney would probably suffice. "Yeah, we're going to lose this one. Wipe the student's record clean, tell him you're sorry, and move on."

There's plenty of stupidity in the American legal system to make fun of without making stuff up.

Comment: Re:But...batteries? (Score 1) 85

If my phone could mine enough Bitcoin overnight, when plugged in anyway, to cover micropayments for some paywalled articles for me to read the next day, it might seem worth it - even if I was paying more for the electricity than the mined Bitcoin was actually worth.

Won't work. Cell phones and most tablets lack any sort of active cooling system; the CPU is not designed to run at 100% for any significant amount of time and will throttle itself soon it reaches a certain temperature. Heat also degrades li-ion batteries; running the phone "hot" overnight will slaughter the longevity of your battery just as effectively as leaving it in a car on a hot summer day.

Comment: Re:ICBMs were progress (Score 1) 190

by foreverdisillusioned (#49727935) Attached to: Arab Mars Probe Planned For 2020
I didn't say you were Arabs and I know you don't have ICBMs (yet.) However, the anti-Israel movement has already done very well appealing to other non-Arab Muslims (particularly the Persians) and unlike Iran it doesn't seem like Pakistan is becoming more liberal or less religiously obsessed anytime soon. The Taliban and other fundamentalist groups seem more focused on local rule, but that can change, particularly as the situation re: US foreign interference in your government (read: the billions of dollars in bribes we spend to try to keep less-insane--although just as corrupt--people in power) and/or the rivalry with India evolves over time.

Comment: Re: Well that was an incoherent metaphor (Score 1) 263

by Shakrai (#49725503) Attached to: Book Review: The Terrorists of Iraq

I was actually referring to the entire geopolitical situation, not just Iraq. Russia is slicing off parts of neighboring countries, we decapitated Libya (after the guy gave up his WMDs, incidentally, great message to send there....), threw Mubarak under the bus, did nothing while the Iranians crushed a reform movement, the list goes on and on.

The only good thing BHO did with foreign policy was to begin to normalize relations with Cuba. That was long overdue and he deserves some credit for that. The rest has been an unmitigated disaster. The World now looks a lot like it did before WW1, except instead of mustard gas we'll now get to contend with nuclear weapons when the shit hits the fan.

Comment: Re:The goal hasn't changed. (Score 2) 185

by Shakrai (#49725461) Attached to: Navy's New Laser Weapon: Hype Or Reality?

The USN's anti-aircraft weaponry was extremely effective by the standards of the era. It turned the Japanese "victories" at Santa Cruz and Eastern Solomons into pyrrhic disasters that cost them dozens of their best pilots and whatever slim chance they had of winning of the war. That was in 1942. It only got better as time went on. We also had proximity fuses and other technology that the Axis never developed.

Personal anecdote: A friend of mine was a gunner on the 5"/38 mounts aboard USS Antietam. During gunnery practice they wouldn't aim at the target sleeve being towed through their gunnery range, rather they would aim at the cable connecting it to the aircraft doing the towing. More often than not they could hit it.

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