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Comment: Re:Why is that a problem? (Score 1) 123

by Locando (#49583781) Attached to: Crowdfunded Android Console Ouya Reportedly Seeking Buyout

What if someone is OK being a venture capitalist whose only return is to possibly get a cool product they would like to see exist?

Why should that be OK? That makes Kickstarter sound like an organization with a vested interest in getting people to act against their own interest. The whole point of spending money on a product is to get something tangible in return. With services, you have something measurable done to you. In the case of Kickstarter, there's a chance you'll get a product you want — but there's also a chance you'll just get the feeling that you participated in something that might have been when, in actuality, your money was pissed away and you never actually experienced anything outside your own goddamn skull. If all you desire is to feel good about something you're doing, why not just go masturbate? At least that's free and doesn't require any self-denial to enjoy.

Kickstarter, on the other hand, is what you get when you cross venture capital with those damn claw machines that were once ubiquitous at grocery stores. In order to care about the little plush toy you get at the end, you have to tell yourself you really had fun wiggling the joystick to drop the claw just so. The question is not one of legality, but rather of doing something worthwhile and encouraging others to do the same. For a better world and whatnot. I fail to see how Kickstarter figures into anything but the most circumscribed vision of such.

Comment: Re:Here's a suggestion (Score 1) 332

by Locando (#49460479) Attached to: California Looks To the Sea For a Drink of Water

but at least then there was the incentive to populate the (south) west coast for geopolitical/security reasons.

I'm on board with the rest of your comment, but I've just got to wonder what kind of security reasons could possibly have prompted populating the Central and Imperial Valleys in the late 19th century. The whole area is only part of the US because of the massive self-created security situation that was the Mexican-American War, and if it was Mexico that we needed to worry about then surely we wouldn't have been so cavalier about waiting until the 1920s to build a border control station (after the revolution south of the border, of course) and go full-on nationalistic with the Repatriation.

As for the coasts, San Francisco was bustling before the swamps of the Sacramento Valley were drained to any meaningful extent, LA paved over its farms with the suburban expansion that began early in the 20th century, and San Diego has had a naval base for nearly a century now. And there's still not much of anything between Marin County and the Oregon Coast — what's that, at least 400 miles?

Why don't we go with the much more obvious answer? That is, the grand old American tradition of democratically promoted profiteering, and to hell with considering externalities. The one that's biting us squarely in the ass today.

Comment: Re:'Sacred' is the magic word... (Score 1) 228

by Locando (#49434813) Attached to: Amid Controversy, Construction of Telescope In Hawaii Halted

Basically, university researchers wanted to insert a disease resistance gene into taro, a historically very important Hawaiian crop, so that the unique Hawaiian varieties could be preserved without having to hybridize them with other varieties.

I'm sure that's the only motive they could possibly have had.

Comment: Re:Last week ... (Score 1) 290

by Locando (#49109301) Attached to: How Walking With Smartphones May Have Changed Pedestrian Etiquette

Only as necessary, not on a whim.

We weren't talking about whims, now, were we?

When there's a bike lane, the cyclist is required to use it.

We weren't talking about places with nice, clean, broken glass–free bike lanes, either!

If a car were operating in the way most cyclists seem to, it would be recognized as a danger and the driver's behavior would be illegal.

But they're not cars, they're bikes! They're a lot smaller, have no blind spots, and require a lot more effort on the part of the user to kill people with them! Hence the danger is only on the part of drivers who don't have enough control over their vehicle and/or themselves to avoid hitting other road users. I suppose it's inevitable that a number of them will get behind the wheel anyway, but I don't see why we should act as if they aren't the ones that create the danger. If they hit a bike or pedestrian, they're not the ones who will be injured!

Comment: Re:List of folks with permanent rights of way (Score 1) 290

by Locando (#49109213) Attached to: How Walking With Smartphones May Have Changed Pedestrian Etiquette

8-9 / 10 asshats on bikes don't follow the rules of the road that they are legally required to.

You realize that laws are made by humans, and in many cases they are created for the benefit of only certain groups, independent of what is just or most practical, right? It's the same as with pirating music, smoking weed, or speeding on the freeway. If all you have to go on is "but it's the LAW!" then you don't have much of an argument, never mind an excuse to be as pissed off as you are. In other words, if you think there is some decent, equitable reason why bikes should be required to stop at stop signs, go on, explain it.

Sucks for the last 10-20% that actually are courteous, but then maybe THEY should start bashing heads of the rest if they want their image to look better.

There are more bad drivers, so can you start bashing their heads first? Oh wait, that's impractical, isn't it. Back to what you said: Since when did I become responsible for the actions of people I've never met simply because they use the same mode of transport as I do? Asshole bikers piss me off probably more than they piss you off, considering that I have to share bike paths with them. But if we're going to discuss this stuff like reasonable people, rather than screaming and expecting things based on feelings that the world owes us something, there's no place for talking about image. People feel that cyclists are dangerous and feel that SUVs are safe and feel that the economy is improving and feel that Jenny McCarthy can be trusted when she says vaccines might cause autism.

A lot of the best ideas in the world have bad PR. And we as a nation have a huge self-entitlement problem — especially on the part of those whose politics are the most self-proclaimedly selfless, good God — that I doubt is getting any better as the years go by. To assume that it's limited to just people on bikes (or whatever other smallish category you want to come up with) is to scapegoat on the basis of popularity, normality, or some other attribute of convenience.

Comment: Re:Last week ... (Score 1) 290

by Locando (#49109061) Attached to: How Walking With Smartphones May Have Changed Pedestrian Etiquette

Actually, I commonly see both where they explicitly do not have a legal right to be, like cyclists who can't be arsed to ride on the shoulder because it might harm their precious tires.

Sounds like a straw man to me. Usually the reason to not be all the way over to the right is that there's crap over there that isn't safe to ride over (protecting one's tires is a distant afterthought if it's enough debris to result in loss of control) or, more commonly, to maximize visibility when sharing the road with the self-important sorts of drivers who consider it beneath them to slow down until it's safe to pass. Even where the issue is merely about tire damage, how is using the shoulder reasonable if doing so pops your tires, i.e., makes it so you can't ride?

Also, I don't know about your jurisdiction, but in many it's perfectly legal in the absence of a bike lane for a rider to take the entire right-hand lane (unlike, of course, the illegality of crossing the double yellow line). Those laws were created in the interest of safety, an objectively more valuable concern than drivers' self-righteousness. If you live in an area with a lot of cyclists, and you're really concerned about making the roads more drivable, why aren't you complaining about a lack of bike paths? Or are you just trolling here?

Comment: Re:Teaching doesn't pay??!!!! BS. (Score 2) 120

by Locando (#49024241) Attached to: Arkansas Declares a High School CS Education State of Emergency

Teaching is one of the easiest jobs someone can get - you get 3 months off a year,

Between 2 and 2 1/2 (depending on the state). Unpaid.

you work at most 6 hours a day,

8-10, when you include lesson planning and grading papers (yes, this is "work")

you can't be fired,

Tenure only comes after several years of sucking up to the administration (five in the district I worked in), during which you can be fired, either at will or by nonrenewal of your (annual) contract.

and you get a tax payer funded pension at something like 80% of your final years salary.

This part is correct, at least.

Teachers pay absolutely nothing for healthcare.

Varies by district. In mine, I had to pick up 100% of the costs, and all the plans were crazy expensive because of all the old retirees who were also part of the group (and the expectations for how plush the insurance was supposed to be for them). Now in the private sector I'm paying a hell of a lot less out of pocket.

Picking up a worthless masters in education

I'll give you that. That's a problem with teacher training, though, not the school system. It's not exactly as if schools could just start taking unqualified people and plop them in front of 30 people without raising hell (unless it's Teach for America and the school is in the ghetto, of course).

(earned by sitting in a classroom in the summer for 5 days and taking a saturday test)

No idea where you got that from. It's easy as far as master's degrees go, but it still involves a thesis.

gives you a guarenteed raise.

Is this a problem? Teaching is one field in which extra knowledge is inherently directly applicable to your day-to-day work. In any case, what of all the analogous opportunities in the private sector?

And finally - teachers DON"T WORK. 15 min of lecture and then assign homework which isn't graded.

Watching the kids and keeping them at work is much harder than actually presenting the material. (Planning out the lesson also involves a fair bit of work.) Have you ever tried watching 30 kids at once, never mind teaching them anything?

Jesus Christ - teachers even dress like slobs now!

This is mostly the case with those whom the kids walk all over. Either that or they're old, have been there forever, and can do whatever the hell they want because no one's going to give them shit for it. Again, same as in the private sector.

Teachers are completely overpaid!

And how would you recommend we come up with a more equitable way to determine teachers' salaries? Regardless of your own ideas about fairness, how do you reason that lowering teachers' salaries will improve American education? Do your ideas about salary reductions only apply to teachers, or do they apply also to your own field?

Finally, if teaching is such easy money, why didn't you pursue it?

Comment: Re:Simple (Score 2) 481

by Locando (#48986811) Attached to: DOT Warns of Dystopian Future For Transportation

That's not a citation, that's a dollar amount. You haven't even connected that figure to corruption in the first place aside from saying it's "obvious". Do I get to say I'm right because it's "obvious" too?

Corruption is "dishonest or illegal behavior especially by powerful people (such as government officials or police officers)" (thank you, Merriam-Webster). I'm asking for proof of that. Put up or shut up. Grandstanding just makes you look like you have no argument.

While you're at it, why don't you answer the other two paragraphs of my last comment? Or do you not have anything to say to that?

Comment: Re:its almost as if theyre trying. (Score 1) 227

by Locando (#48986797) Attached to: Canada, Japan Cave On Copyright Term Extension In TPP

Your analogy makes sense but doesn't account for the assumptions about value and the nature of optimization upon which capitalist economics is predicated. I would argue that we are so locked into seeing capitalism as the normal, natural way of conducting domestic and foreign affairs that barely anyone has spent time drafting credible alternatives, never mind trying to build the political power to implement them.

The half-assed systems that have been attempted after certain revolutions (Leninist Communism, Fascism) are not numerous and didn't square well with the pre-existing values of liberal democracy in the industrialized West. Of course they would clash with the capitalist systems already in existence and prosperous, and fail in the face of continued pressure both internally and from abroad to liberalize. Now what if we were to try to develop systems around these constraints? I don't know about you, but I think we could get some interesting results. Too bad that's not a sphere in which serious great minds are generally operating these days.

Comment: Re:Simple (Score 1) 481

by Locando (#48986601) Attached to: DOT Warns of Dystopian Future For Transportation

the obvious corruption that wastes this money

Care to name what that is? With citations so I know you're not making it up.

Also, how much do you think new highway projects (or even highway widening) ought to cost per mile? How do you account from the difference between your ideals and reality? What solution do you have that will build new highways, mass transit lines, etc. for a price more in line with your ideals?

I say this not out of any love for the state, but out of a lover of realism. Our current reality has a state which controls transportation, and has done so for a long long time as (among other things) a means of benefitting property owners and capital investors. All developed countries have a strong central state. If you want to talk about changing this, talk about your alternative and why we should get on board with it. Otherwise this just sounds like whining.

Comment: Re:Other sources for music (Score 1) 196

by Locando (#48966305) Attached to: Music Doesn't Feature In the Pirate Bay's Top 100 Biggest Torrents

Everything, really? Get away of the overrated composers of the Classical/Romantic eras and listen to the people who kept pushing boundaries after the piano was invented and the orchestra took on its modern aperture. Debussy? Janacek? Vaughan Williams? Prokofiev? And that's even without touching anything from the 20th century that can be an acquired taste. I say this as a huge fan of Bach, mind you.

As the trials of life continue to take their toll, remember that there is always a future in Computer Maintenance. -- National Lampoon, "Deteriorata"