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Comment: Not a Control Freak? (Score 2) 384

by KermodeBear (#48946165) Attached to: How, and Why, Apple Overtook Microsoft

Not because he was a control freak, but because he had a passion for perfection.

That is precisely what a control freak is - someone who believes that things should be a certain way and refuses to compromise. Everything must bow down to the vision of that person. You can try to spin it as a "passion for perfection" but ultimately it's exactly the same thing.

Comment: Re:Recycling Materials (Score 1) 128

Good to know. Where I live (semi-rural area) there's probably a half dozen junk yards within a 15 minute drive of me. Cars just go there and... sit around... Sometimes people will run in there and yank a part out for nominal amounts of money, but most of the time they just sit and rust away.

Comment: Recycling Materials (Score 1) 128

What struck me as the most interesting part of this article was the concept of taking your car to the shop, removing the drive train, and melting the rest down to be used to print a new car.

This would be fantastic. All of a sudden, getting into a crash doesn't mean you have to junk the whole car. You can salvage the body and a lot of the parts (in theory). Wait a week or two and voila, you have a brand new product.

In theory we should be doing this with existing cars, but they just don't seem to be built for it, or there's no facilities that will take them for recycling. If you start out with this as part of the life cycle of the vehicle, well, that could be really cool. This could drastically reduce the price of a vehicle if people are recycling their car parts since you don't have to source nearly as many new materials.

Questions about safety and durability can be addressed over time, I'm sure, and hopefully they won't be so lightweight that they can't be driven in the winters up North.

Comment: Re:Subject to the whims of the masses... (Score 5, Insightful) 224

by KermodeBear (#48864909) Attached to: Facebook Will Let You Flag Content As 'False'

That was my immediate reaction as well.

"I don't agree with the political / religious / philosophical point of the article, so I am going to flag it as false, even if I know that it is true."

Just what we needed, yet another tool to promote drama and division among people.

Comment: Re:Pointless (Score 1) 93

by KermodeBear (#48862691) Attached to: Steam Broadcasting Now Open To Everyone

So you're complaining that it isn't open to everyone because it doesn't support a browser that you like to use, even though you have complete freedom to use a browser which is supported by the site at zero cost to yourself. Zero.

As an alternative you can just use the Steam client itself, which supports everything you need.

That isn't Steam locking people out. That's you locking yourself out for no reason other than pure stubbornness and a need to bitch about a free service.

Comment: Working at Primerica (Score 1) 238

by KermodeBear (#48858867) Attached to: Google Thinks the Insurance Industry May Be Ripe For Disruption

In my younger, more vulnerable, far more gullible years, some representatives at Primerica asked me to sign up with them. They told me it would be a great Summer job in between college semesters and that I'd learn a lot.

Learn a lot I did.

They did pay for me to go to to state-required classes to become a licensed insurance salesperson. They were right, I did learn a lot about insurance there. The theory, how it works, lots of legal stuff and ethics, etc., etc. I was happy about that. It's good stuff to know.

I also learned about the company.

It didn't take long for a giant red warning sign to pop up in my head: "WARNING!!! PYRAMID SCHEME CULT. WARNING!!!"

That's exactly what it was. You see, the way Primerica worked was like this: You go out and sell an insurance policy and maybe a few other things. You get a commission. So does the person who got you to join. So does the person who got THAT person to join. And then the person above that person, all the way to the top.

I, being something like the 6th or 7th generation, would be feeding cash to the founder of that local chapter. Looking at the commission rates it soon became clear: If you're just working to sell insurance, you won't make much money. But if you can get 100 people under you then you don't have to sell insurance - all the dumb grunts would be doing the work for you. All you have to do is have weekly meetings and buy food and play music and do bizarre "team building" exercises and hire the occasional motivational speaker...

And then I thought, "So, people who are buying insurance and securities through this company are not only paying for my time and the service, but also all of this other crap... Including the person at the top who is just jerking off all the time at this point."

Well, it took all Summer to take all of the classes - passed with flying colors - and they even paid for me to take the state exam and get the license. I did both. By then it was time to go back to school and, though I was supposed to get back in touch with The Cult, I never did. I took my knowledge and ran for the hills.

Thanks for the education, Primerica, not only on how insurance works, but also what a truly abusive freak show your corporation is.

You were right. I did learn a lot.

Comment: Re:The average human being (Score 4, Informative) 291

by KermodeBear (#48844171) Attached to: Innocent Adults Are Easy To Convince They Committed a Serious Crime

I wasn't familiar with the Reid Technique, but once I learned what it was, it struck me as an incredibly unfair and abusive interrogation technique. It's also the technique we see often on a lot of those police investigation television shows: There's a presumption of guilt, all of the questions are loaded. I never knew it had a name, I always called it, "The Asshole Interrogation Technique," because you have to be an asshole to use it.

For those who are interested, the Wikipedia has a short article but The New Yorker has a much more interesting one.

Comment: Re:a flaw in the popes statement (Score 1) 894

by KermodeBear (#48822721) Attached to: Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

It's also important to remember that being offended is a choice. In a sense, there's nothing you can do to offend someone, even if you want to, if that person doesn't find your actions as offensive. So the responsibility of being offended really does lie at the person who feels the offense.

No, this isn't a "blame the victim" argument, because there is no victim here. There is no harm done. Someone printing a cartoon of Mohummad having anal sex doesn't hurt anyone. The only reason people get all pissed off about it is because they decide that they should be pissed off.

One always chooses one's reaction to any situation (unless you're of the school of thought that none of us have any choice in anything that we do because we're completely molded by genetics and environment, in which case one can argue that nobody is really responsible for anything that they do).

And then there is context to take into account, which is a whole other discussion.

Comment: Re:Therefore justifying the killing of others (Score 1) 894

by KermodeBear (#48821277) Attached to: Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

Because when one single man has the ears of 1.1 billion people, what that man says has importance.

It doesn't matter if you are Catholic or not. 1.1 billion other people are, and many of them adjust their thinking and therefore their actions and their lives based on what this one man says.

Comment: Re:Gloriously Short Bill (Score 1) 216

by KermodeBear (#48759577) Attached to: Bill Would Ban Paid Prioritization By ISPs

That can often run into many thousands of pages, and they can change literally every single day. Regulated industries often have employees whose sole job it is to ensure that they're in compliance with the regulations. [...] This isn't necessarily a bad thing. The Congress aren't experts in the domain.

And when you have thousands of pages of regulations, so many that you need compliance experts, that drives up costs for the business and ultimately the end consumer. It raises the barrier of entry for new companies, and tilts things in the favor of large, established corporations, reducing potential competition. Want to help the entrenched monopolies? Pass regulations.

Don't get me wrong - not all regulations are bad. We need some regulations (don't dump radioactive waste into the water supply, for example), but our government goes crazy with them and we end up with a tangled mess.

I believe that regulations (which are just laws passed by an agency) should be voted on by congress. No, I don't expect congress to be an expert in internet communications, but they don't have to be an expert if we really do need them to do something. They don't need to know the contents of the header of an IP packet and they don't need to know what a subnet is. They just need to have the gasp of general concepts (communications carrier, content provider, etc.) that your average joe already understands (or can understand), and write some basic, simple laws.

I do believe that it can be that simple. No law or regulation should be so complicated and so complex that your average person is unable to understand what it means, and it shouldn't be so long that it spans a thousand pages or more. It sure as hell shouldn't be passed without being read on the floor. It's endemic of a serious problem in general in our legislative process.

What I think I'm arguing for, in essence, is a refactoring of our existing laws (to make them far fewer and more simple) and forcing them to be talked about and passed in the open, where it's easy to see what is happening, where the common person can (and should) be able to understand what is being proposed and offer input.

This does not mean that domain experts shouldn't be involved - of course they should be - but the end result should be short and simple and voted upon.

Okay, I'm going back to my world where politicians actually give a crap about the country. Bye!

"Now here's something you're really going to like!" -- Rocket J. Squirrel