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Comment: Re:Where are the buggy whip dealers? (Score 1) 516

The proportion of people who want slide-out keyboard phones might not be zero, but manufacturing slide-out keyboard phones requires monetary investment (design the phone, manufacturer it, ship it to stores, market it, etc). If the market for these phones is too small, the money spent on creating one might not be made back by sales. Therefore, manufacturers would be more likely to invest in a virtual keyboard model which has a bigger market.

No, the market might be non-zero, but if it is small enough, it may as well be. If a market is too tiny to be profitable to serve, you can't blame the manufacturers for not serving it. The horse-and-buggy demand is non-zero (Amish still use them). Does this mean that all car manufacturers should come out with a horse pulled buggy model? (The new 2015 Chevy Tahoe Buggy!)

Comment: Re:The Muslim world cares so much for the Palestin (Score 3, Interesting) 499

Bit of history in the "creation" of the Palestinians (as they stand today): When Israel was formed and the Arab nations that surrounded it declared war, the Arab nations told the Arabs who lived in Israel: "Flee from Israel to us. When we drive Israel into the sea, we'll give you your land back."

Many fled, but not all. When Israel won the war, the Arabs who fled found they were blocked from returning. (Would you allow someone back if they supported the people who just tried to destroy you?) The Arabs who stayed, though, kept their land and businesses. Today, they (or their descendants) own businesses, are full citizens, and one even is on the Israeli Supreme Court.

The idea that Israel kicked the Palestinians out is completely false.

Comment: Re:Meta-problem (Score 1, Informative) 499

Another piece of evidence towards this point: After the wars with Israel, Jordan found itself with a good amount of Palestinian refugees. Publicly, Jordan bemoaned the horrible fate of these Palestinians. They were living in tents and looked horrible. However, Jordan could have easily settled them within their territory. They chose not to because - for all of their claims of caring about the Palestinians - their "care" was about how the Palestinians could be manipulated to make Israel look bad.

This conflict has not only been exasperated by people on the Israeli and Palestinian sides, but it has been egged on by Arab states who either hate Israel or who use hatred of Israel to distract their populace from their own misdeeds. (Or both.)

Comment: Re:Meta-problem (Score 0, Troll) 499

Hamas hides military weaponry in schools, hospitals, civilian homes, etc. They use civilians as cover.

When Hamas launches their rockets, they don't give any warning. The rockets just rain down and it is up to the Israeli defense systems (both the missile defense system and the alerts/bunkers) to protect their people. Hamas also doesn't target just military locations, but anywhere their missiles can hit.

When Israel launches a rocket, they give warning. They send out text messages, drop leaflets, announce in any way possible that X compound will be hit at Y time for Z reasons. They warn everyone to clear the area. It might seem counter productive to warn your enemy that you are coming, but when your enemy is hiding in a hospital, there is no way to get to him without hurting civilians. So Israel warns the civilians ahead of time and tries to target their strikes to just the areas hiding Hamas rockets.

When the cease fire was in effect and Hamas stopped firing rockets at Israel, Israel stopped firing rockets back. If Israel stops firing rockets at Hamas, Hamas doesn't stop their attacks.

Let's be honest here. Suppose here in America, some native American group got a hold of a bunch of rockets and began firing them from their reservation onto American cities. Suppose those rockets were housed in hospitals, houses, places of worship, etc. Would the American government sit down and ask the group nicely to stop firing? Or would they send in the troops? Even if they tried diplomacy, how long would the politicians hold out against the populace who would be screaming for some kind of action to stop the rockets?

Is Israel perfect? Of course not. There's a lot of policies of theirs that I take issue with. (e,g, Tolerating settlers who venture into the West Bank/Gaza/etc to set up "claims" for that land to be part of Israel. Those settlers should be forcefully removed and imprisoned for inflaming the conflict and thus risking people's lives.) However, when it comes down to Israel's reactions to the rockets heading towards them, there is no perfect response. There is no way for them to respond that a) stops the bombs, b) stops future bombings, and c) doesn't hurt innocents. They have a system in place to reduce collateral damage as much as possible, but it doesn't help when Hamas acts in a manner designed to intentionally INCREASE collateral damage.

Comment: Re:An excellent book... (Score 5, Funny) 86

by Jason Levine (#47541321) Attached to: Nightfall: Can Kalgash Exist?

The short story ends as Nightfall is starting. The book extends past into the nightmare of the stars.

I remember reading the book once and I was completely absorbed in the story. I finally looked up and noticed it was dusk. For a brief moment, I felt panic rising because the stars were going to come out soon. It took a moment to disentangle myself from the story.

Being able to completely lose yourself in a book can be a good thing most times - other times, it can backfire.

Comment: Re:Whelp. (Score 2) 139

My in-laws have a cockatoo thus my choice of that bird. (They used to have two but one died about 10 years ago.) These birds' jaws are powerful enough to crush bone and intelligent enough to plan out actions. Like you said, a reptile might strike you but you'd see it coming. My in-laws' cockatoo does what that macaw you mentioned did. She will act all sweet and want you to pet her... until she decides to bite your finger off. She hasn't succeeded yet, but that's because we're extra cautious about body parts in cockatoo range. They've also broken small metal locks with their beaks and escaped their cages.

My wife was once on jury duty on a rape case. The defense attorney made a point of how the woman, after the perpetrator fled, took her cockatoo out of its cage. My wife knew just why she did this. The bird had witnessed the crime and the rapist was someone who lived in her building. If he decided to come back before the police arrived, having the bird free would mean the rapist might just lose some precious body parts. (The defendant was convicted. The evidence against him was overwhelming.)

I'd rather face and angry dog than an angry cockatoo or macaw. The idea of a 15 foot tall cockatoo with huge teeth and a taste for meat? That would be frightening beyond comprehension!

Comment: Re:Whelp. (Score 3, Funny) 139

You think a T-Rex "chicken" wouldn't be scary? Imagine a 15 foot tall, 40 foot long bird of prey with a 4 foot jaw and 9 inch long teeth. Your average adult human would be finger food - a bite or two and then gone. This gets even more terrifying if you imagine them as giant cockatoos (and if you know how nasty cockatoos can be).

Comment: Re: Hmmm (Score 1) 205

by Jason Levine (#47500171) Attached to: New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids

We have a minivan. We got it just before our first child was born 11 years ago. It was quite handy during the years when the kids required a ton of stuff for trips (stroller, seat to eat in, portable crib, ton of diapers, etc). Now it is overkill and the low mileage makes it expensive to drive on long trips. When the time comes to replace it, we're definitely getting something with better mpg.

Comment: Re:I disagree (Score 1) 390

by Jason Levine (#47482697) Attached to: Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

That's a good point. Verizon is complaining about the asymmetric nature of their peering, but it's really their own fault. If you give your customers connections with vastly greater upstream speeds than downstream speeds, you shouldn't act surprised when you're pulling more data from your peering connections than you are sending. (Same goes for not allowing customers to run servers.)

Comment: Re:I really really hate (Score 5, Interesting) 383

by Jason Levine (#47474141) Attached to: Microsoft CEO To Slash 18,000 Jobs, 12,500 From Nokia To Go

You should listen to a song on the latest Weird Al album: Mission Statement. Sung in the style of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, it's a perfect parody of those managers who love to speak in "corporate talk." Next time you go to a meeting with one of those managers, recite some of the lyrics (spoken, not sung, of course) and see whether they nod their heads in agreement.

"We'll set a brand trajectory
Using management philosophy
Advance our market share vis-à-vis
Our proven methodology
With strong commitment to quality
Effectively enhancing corporate synergy"

Comment: Re:Cars without passengers that are the problem (Score 2) 435

by Jason Levine (#47468717) Attached to: FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

Bad guys can program computers to do bad things without any human involvement (beyond the initial orders from the bad guys). Should we give the police kill switches for computers so they can turn off any computer they suspect may be involved in a crime?

Bad guys can also park cars near sensitive locations, pack the trucks with explosives, and detonate them remotely. Should we make all cars with special locks that the police have master keys to? This way the police can open any car at any time if they decide that car might possibly be suspicious.

Comment: Re:In ... the New Your State? (Score 1) 41

by Jason Levine (#47468555) Attached to: Breaches Exposed 22.8 Million Personal Records of New Yorkers

Yup. I usually vote for the Democrat candidates, but I won't vote for him again. The problem is that I don't like the Republican candidates either. So I'll likely vote for a third party candidate. I know they won't have a realistic chance of winning the election, but it will be a protest vote. If enough people protest by voting third party, maybe the two major parties will pay attention.

"Success covers a multitude of blunders." -- George Bernard Shaw