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Comment: Cost savings (Score 1) 914

I agree that extending a prison sentence seems a little barbaric. But what about looking at this from a pure cost-saving viewpoint? Instead of sentencing a prisoner to 10 years (or whatever is normal for their offense) and keeping them in prison that long, use the drug and keep them in prison for only one year but make them feel like 10 years have passed. Huge cost savings to the public, right there.

Comment: Re:it **is** outrageous (Score 1) 299

it is completely outrageous...the people who make the laws about a thing not knowing the essential function of how a thing works...that's the definition of legislative incompetence!

This isn't limited to the high-tech stuff we all love and know. Witness the asinine bans on e-cigarettes being instituted around the country. They seem to be based on the idea that "it looks like smoking analog cigarettes, so it must be just as bad for you and everyone else." Or, "some e-cigarettes have candy flavors, therefore they are being marketed to children" which completely ignores the fact that some adults like those flavors, too. No e-cigarette bans are based on science, or evidence.

Comment: Downside (Score 2) 285

I worked for Apple in the early 90's, when they were opening their first sites in Austin. Our group was eventually moved there (and I'm still there, in a suburb) from Campbell, CA. Anyway, at the time there was a lot of internal marketing around "why you would want to move to Austin."

With perfect timing, the local San Jose newspaper ran a political cartoon captioned "There Are Problems Everywhere" or something like that. It had a drawing of the entire United States, with descriptions of the local problems. California was titled with "Earthquakes" and a little arrow. Florida had "Hurricanes."

The state of Texas was decorated with the word "Texans" right in the center, with little arrows pointing all around.

This is still very true today. I wish I had saved that cartoon.

Comment: Re:Niven short stories (Score 1) 293

New technology typically goes through a phase where it is really expensive when it is first released, and then it gets less expensive, right? The Jigsaw Man is set in that initial timeframe. Breakthroughs in the medical science gave doctors the ability to transplant every organ except the brain and spinal column, but the cost was still very high and only a few could really afford it.

Niven does explore the next phase, where the cost comes down (or the technology is replaced by something less expensive), in his novel A Gift From Earth. I think the novel was written before the story, in fact.

Comment: Niven short stories (Score 1) 293

A number of Larry Niven's short stories would be excellent examples of futurism:

The Jigsaw Man really stands out as a commentary on how power would be abused when organ transfers became nearly 100% successful (yet very expensive).

The Last Days of the Permanent Floating Riot Club talks about flash crowds.

Cloak of Anarchy deals with, strangely enough, anarchy.

Comment: Invisibly advance (Score 2) 161

by Lord Grey (#46163021) Attached to: Wozniak Gets Personal On Innovation

Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them.

- Alfred North Whitehead, Introduction to Mathematics (1911)

Technology that Woz describes is essentially invisible, because the user can focus on the task and not the tool. As tech people, creating such technology should be our goal. I imagine that the vast majority of us want to do that, anyway. What we need to do is convince the people in charge of the money to let us.

Comment: Amateurs (Score 1) 220

by Lord Grey (#44587227) Attached to: Excess Coffee May Be Linked To Early Death

Those of us under 55 who drink a lot of coffee – more than four cups per day ...

I'm a 48-year old card-carrying member of the Serious Coffee Drinkers of America. I drink my first four cups of coffee before I leave for work in the morning. My coffee cup at work is actually a travel mug, and it's never empty or contain cold coffee. I drink a full pot of coffee between dinner and bedtime. Most workdays, I drink 20-30 cups of coffee, easily. I cut back to only 10 cups or so per day on the weekends.

I just had a full health checkup. I have no -- zero, none, nada -- health problems. Sure, my knees are starting to ache and I now wear glasses to read, but as far cholesterol, glucose levels, triglycerides, etc. goes, I'm well within the normal range. My blood pressure was 106/70 and my resting pulse was 54.

Maybe I'll be one of those old guys that eats and drinks whatever he wants and lives to 110. Maybe coffee is the reason.

Mayo Clinic Proceedings, I laugh in your general direction.

Comment: Re: Douglas Adams was correct⦠(Score 1) 64

by Lord Grey (#44069435) Attached to: Developers Rolling Out Pebble Smartwatch Apps

Uhhh...unproven theories stated as fact? The world must still be flat for some people. The earth IS the most significant planet in the solar system, and we haven't heard of a single person pop into an ape, or a human into an amphibious form, for thousands of years. Crazy how some THEORIES make some people deceive themselves into believing they have something smart to say.

The sound you're hearing is commonly referred to as the "Epic Woosh." It is similar to the sound of a Boeing 747 flying approximately six inches over your head.

The other sound you're hearing, or will hear once you've recovered from the Epic Woosh, is the sound of millions of geeks around world rolling their eyes at your colossal ignorance of science fiction canon.

Comment: Home POTS (Score 5, Interesting) 329

by Lord Grey (#42647599) Attached to: When Was the Last Time You Used a Landline Phone?

I still have Plain Old Telephone Service at home, albeit with several fancy wireless handsets scattered around the house. I also have a cherry red corded handset (my wife refers to it as the BatPhone) that I can use when the wireless handsets die, like after a prolonged power outage.

Having this landline, in this configuration, is an intentional decision. It's separate from all my networking stuff, it survives power outages (when I haul out my BatPhone), and it generally works a hell of a lot better than any other technology for voice calls. Calls are clear, don't get dropped, I hear every word, and there is no latency.

I'm keeping my landline, thankyouverymuch

Comment: Re:I'm still not getting it (Score 2) 98

by Lord Grey (#42073845) Attached to: HTTP Strict Transport Security Becomes Internet Standard

It's been a very long time since I've messed with web technologies at this level, so I'm tossing the following out merely for discussion purposes: What about changing the default browser to behavior so that instead of first trying the http: prefix, browsers try https: instead and then fall back to http: only when necessary? Would that work around the 'ssl stripping' issue?

Comment: Fishing (Score 1) 340

by Lord Grey (#42039233) Attached to: On Nov. 22, 2012, I expect to be ...

My family started a new tradition a few years ago and plan to continue it this year. The day before Thanksgiving, we'll buy a bucket of chicken from KFC and stick it in the refrigerator. At dawn on Thanksgiving, you'll find us launching our bass boat on a local lake. We'll spend the whole day fishing, tying up at some point to eat our Thanksgiving dinner of cold KFC chicken and whatever else we've thrown in the cooler.

Good times.

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb

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