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Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 1145

by JubilantShank (#43819085) Attached to: White House: Use Metric If You Want, We Don't Care

If you have to create two separate production lines in order to have two separate labels on a product then you're doing something wrong. Do you also have one production line for French, one for English, and one for Spanish? Hell, you don't even need to use different labels - just say "x Liters (x Gallons)" or vice versa, just like pretty much every fucking company does anyway.

Yeah, Imperial is kinda clunky sometimes. So is the French number system. It makes sense up until 70, then 70 is (literally translated as) 60 + 10, and 80 is 4 * 20. In French, 99 is "quatre-vingt dix-neuf". That is literally translated as "4 80's plus 10 and 9". That's incredibly clunky and it doesn't even involve any type of unit conversion. (I took French this semester, and the number system really annoyed me. Nice language otherwise.)

Basically, quit whining. Why the hell should anyone else care what system is most commonly used in the US? There are no regulations that require you to use the Imperial system. Sell whatever you want in whatever units you want, no one is stopping you.

Comment: Re:It is a broken system (Score 1) 1145

by JubilantShank (#43818851) Attached to: White House: Use Metric If You Want, We Don't Care

But, even with international travel it's not difficult. I go to Europe, I rent a car. The car's speedo is in kph, so are the speed limits, and so are the road signs. So, that's not difficult at all. I don't care if I'm actually going 62 mph, the sign says the limit is 100 kph and the needle on my speedo is pointing at 100. Problem solved.

It would be far more advantageous to switch if we were a small country surrounded by other small countries which all used metric, like in Europe. But we aren't. Canada uses metric (I believe, but I have heard that they dual-label their signs (or used to)), but every car I've ever driven has dual labels on the speedo and relatively few Americans regularly drive their cars between the US and Canada. I'm not sure what system Mexico uses, but it's a similar situation. Those are the only two countries which actually share a land border with the US. Sure, you could conceivably take your car down through Central America, but if you do that you should really make an effort to know the local languages and customs of the countries you're in, and the metric system would be a part of that.

For international trade, yes, it's very useful. But, companies that participate in international trade need to convert units anyway.

Just because everyone else is doing it is no reason to switch if there's no real benefit to doing so.

Like you said, it *isn't* a broken system.

Comment: Re:Start here (Score 1) 1145

by JubilantShank (#43818767) Attached to: White House: Use Metric If You Want, We Don't Care

This, this completely.

Everytime I hear people talking about going to metric they start talking about the road signs. I mean, really, when was the last time you ever had to convert "exit in 3 miles" into feet? What do you gain by having the speed limits in kp/h? In my opinion, nothing. Sure, it simplifies conversion between units, but I have *never* needed to find out exactly how many feet until the next exit.

Right now, I think in feet, Fahrenheit, gallons, and pounds. Yes, metric would be very advantageous in the kitchen. It would be advantageous when mailing things. It would be advantageous for sizing out my house. But, road signs? There is no advantage.

You are absolutely right when you say that they're the death of metrication in the US. No one in their right minds wants to spend billions in tax dollars to go out and change road signs. Sure, maybe someday we can start putting in new road signs with speeds in both metric & Imperial. Until then, we just need to let it go.

Comment: Re:Whats the alternative? (Score 1) 863

by JubilantShank (#43476177) Attached to: ZDNet Proclaims "Windows: It's Over"

That's literally my biggest complaint with the new UI...

I can handle the new start menu without much trouble, the active corners are annoying, but tolerable, they massively improved windows explorer, but THE CONTRAST SUCKS!

I used Visual Studio 2012 for a while with the Win 8 Beta, and I just couldn't take it! I couldn't navigate or find anything! And, most of the Metro apps are the same way! The calendar is dark grey on light grey! I could barely see it on my screen, and I can't even imagine it in the bright daylight. It's simply awful.

Comment: Re:Whats the alternative? (none for business) (Score 1) 863

by JubilantShank (#43467707) Attached to: ZDNet Proclaims "Windows: It's Over"
I work in industry right now, and in this company (100,000+ employees), Microsoft products are the standard - Word, Excel, etc. My last assignment was to write a data-processing application in .NET (my first big project, I'm actually rather proud of it) (Oh, and don't worry, I use C#.net, not VB :P). We managed to reduce a 6-week process to 24 hours. Anyway, that was an extremely niche need. There are about 12 companies in the world who need the same type of application. Just the department I work in uses DOZENS of little programs just like mine, all written for Windows. We won't be changing our business software anytime soon.

Comment: Re:It's a bombing not an explosion (Score 1) 1105

by JubilantShank (#43455877) Attached to: Explosions at the Boston Marathon

The delay may not have been intensional. Other devices have been found which were not detonated.

Now, I'm not an expert on bomb-making, but I do know something about the cell phone network (currently working on a hackerspace project that involves sending data over SMS). When the cell system is congested, SMS messages can be delayed by anywhere from minutes to hours. Now, imagine that our bomber/bombers had used a cell phone for the trigger on the bombs - right as the marathon ends, he/she send the trigger text. However, as the marathon ends there are also hundreds of people, all in the same cell and therefore using the same towers as the bombs would, are texting, calling, etc with the exciting news about who won. Eventually, the cell activity dies down, and the trigger SMS messages get delivered. Boom.

Basically, if the bomber/bombers used the cell network as the method of controlling his/her/their bombs, the delay could have been completely accidental.

Comment: Re:Now then... (Score 1) 1105

by JubilantShank (#43455699) Attached to: Explosions at the Boston Marathon

Well... given what we know about their nuclear weapons program, this could very well be one of their bombs. It's about par. :P

I added the sarcasm tags to avoid being modded down by the challenged. I don't think this is the work of North Korea, but it wouldn't be too surprising if it was. Although, if it was I expect they would be taking some credit for it.

Comment: Re:Or not... (Score 1) 335

Yeah. The great thing about humans is that we're pretty damn adaptable, as a whole.

Things like the mini-ice-age in Europe a few hundred years ago, and the dust bowl in the 1930's, didn't mean the end of the human race, and even some of the worst predictions - more storms, higher seas, more rain where there was already too much, less rain where there wasn't enough, etc - won't mean the end. We'll adapt, because that's what we do.

There's a reason humans are on top right now - we can adapt more easily and consciously than any other creature. So, it won't be good, or it could be, or whatever. It won't be the end, just inconvenient.

Comment: Re:The Stupidity, It Hurts! (Score 1) 1006

by JubilantShank (#43278471) Attached to: Video Game Industry Starting To Feel Heat On Gun Massacres

This is a flawed analogy. A breathalyzer completely prevents a drunk from using a car, while allowing those who are capable of driving to use the car without restriction. What you're proposing by limiting magazine size is more like limiting all car gas tanks to 3 gallons, regardless of the driver, because if you need than 3 gallons to get where you're going, you obviously don't know what you're doing.

Either way, it should be obvious that there are no good analogies for the gun control debate.

The debate is far, far more complicated than {more gun == more murders}. Frankly, there are no truly good models to look at. Americans are different than Europeans, and Australians, and Mexicans, and Canadians. I'm not being racist, or nationalist, the fact is that every culture behaves differently. For example, it is often said that most of the guns used in Mexico are purchased in the USA, making it seem as if the US's relatively lax gun control laws cause the crimes committed in Mexico. This is a fallacy. Canada also borders the US, and the Canadian border is nowhere nearly as controlled as the Mexican border. Yet, Canada does not have a massive violence problem cause by US guns. Canada is, overall, a pretty safe place to live. So, the logical conclusion is that there are far more complicated forces at play.

Canada has a universal health care system, the US has a jumbled mess of different systems and compromises. Perhaps this has something to do with the lower violence?

Canada also has a lower population density. Perhaps that is also a factor?

Frankly, in my opinion, America has a health care problem. Specifically, a mental health care problem. It's hard for those who need help to get it. There is a very negative stigma attached to discussing any type of mental health issue. People will think you're weird, or strange, or dangerous (maybe in some cases you might be). I would wager that there'd be a lot fewer suicides if people weren't afraid to talk about being depressed. It's not about where guns are available - look at Japan, they have a lot fewer guns than we do, and a lot more suicides. It comes down to culture. I comes down to health care. It comes down to the stigma on mental issues. It comes down to the availability of weapons. It comes down to the response speed of the cops. It comes down to poverty. It comes down to class issues. It comes down to racism. There is no simple answer. Life is complicated, people are complicated, and the world is complicated. Make an effort to see without the blinders of fear on your eyes (oh no! Guns!).

I'm a gun owner, and I'm not saying that you're definitely wrong. Who knows, maybe reducing the magazine size will reduce the rate of violent crime? But maybe, just maybe, the issue is far more complex than you think it is. Who knows, maybe the gratuitous violence that tends to pervade parts of our culture is actually a factor? But I would wager a bet any day of the week that a change is the way we handle mental health issues and how we deal with poverty will produce a larger change in violent crime than just about anything else.

Try not to be so narrow minded. Before you attack anyone else's rights, why don't you take a look at the killers, instead of their tools. Because, let's be honest, if someone is seriously contemplating killing as many people as they can, but is unable to because they don't have the tools, we've still lost. It means that our society has produced someone so screwed up that they just want to kill people for no particular reason. Even if they can never accomplish their goal, something is seriously, seriously wrong.

Look at the killers. Look at the traits and issues they have in common. Then, try to make an informed decision.

Comment: Re:Reinstall Ubuntu. (Score 1) 573

by JubilantShank (#43264983) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: New To Linux; Which Distro?
The important thing here is to choose Ubuntu 12.04. I've tried several different Linux distros, although I am by no means an expert. One thing I noticed is this: I installed Ubuntu 12.10 on my laptop as a dual boot. Immediately afterwards, I regretted it. Nothing worked. I mean, the OS worked fine, but I couldn't get proper support for Flash Player, I couldn't get Skype to install right, the audio was screwy (jumping up and down almost at random, sometimes the audio icon would completely disappear), Chrome wasn't available for it (only chromium, if I remember, which is a fine choice, but I prefer Chrome), it didn't suspend correctly, in short - it was a mess. So, I nuked it and installed Ubuntu 12.04. I haven't had any problems since. I mean, sure, there's the occasional Linux quirk from time to time, and I hardly touch the software store - I just use apt-get. Basically, it's been a really good experience, but Ubuntu 12.10 was crap. This was a few months ago, so I'm sure it's working better now, but my advice is simple: Use 12.04 LTS.

Some people claim that the UNIX learning curve is steep, but at least you only have to climb it once.

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