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Comment: Re:They collected $75,000... (Score 1) 650

by Millenniumman (#33146486) Attached to: Officials Use Google Earth To Find Unlicensed Pools

Pools can easily cause neighbors problems. It's stupid to say we should let people do anything with property even if it has a high likelihood of affecting others. Sure, maybe you could sue them for damages, but that is a ridiculous, complex and uncertain burden on everyone, won't stop damages in the first place, and ultimately the owners are less likely to be the real problem than builders who ignore responsibilities. It makes much more sense to impose reasonable regulation.

Plus, pools incur other issues. Many communities set rules for how much land can be developed on any given home property, because people don't want to live surrounded by concrete. Minor and predetermined restrictions on property rights allow other people to enjoy their property rights in the real world. Just because something doesn't "physically" affect other properties doesn't mean it doesn't affect them in such a way that it needs to be regulated.

And again, many things you can't fix once they are broken, even if you can collect monetary compensation.

None of that justifies unreasonable regulation or red tape that is just a pain, of course.

Communities are allowed to develop rules about how land can be used. Not doing so would hurt everyone. Obviously, there's a scale between basic stuff like creating a giant fire hazard and HOA crap like painting your mailbox the wrong shade of gray, and different levels of authority that govern this stuff. Get involved if you want your voice to be heard. And live somewhere where your desires are compatible with the neighbors (or where you have no neighbors). If everyone around you wants to preseve the trees as much as possible, and you want to cut them all, tough luck, you don't get to ruin everyone else's scenery.

Personally, I don't like a committee deciding whether any minute aesthetic feature of a home is allowed based on how it affects property values, but I also don't want my neighbors to be able to totally trash their property or cut down all the trees or build right up to the property line.

With that said, this looks more like a tax than a restriction on pools. Which is fine, they do use a lot of water among other things, and so is enforcement. Eyes in the sky are rather creepy, though, but I don't really know if this is worse than Google Earth in general, and it's not really that big a deal to me, and is rather useful and neat.

Comment: Re:...Or an arms race (Score 1) 646

by Millenniumman (#31592898) Attached to: SSD Price Drops Signaling End of Spinning Media?

HDD is already affordable at 2TB, the best deal being about $150. 200GB SSDs are, on the other hand, $900. 7 cents per gigabyte or 4 dollars. They aren't remotely comparable. SSD has to come a loooong way to even compete, and it's not as if they have huge advantages over hard drives anyway.

Comment: Re:Get on with the times (Score 1) 664

by Millenniumman (#31432296) Attached to: Professors Banning Laptops In the Lecture Hall

Macs are deficient in a lot of software besides games. AutoCAD, just for example. Expose is just UI eye candy. The command line can be useful, but its presence in os x doesn't really offer an advantage over windows for most things, and it's not close to "all you need" for nearly anyone.

Comment: Re:There must be a better way (Score 1) 863

by Millenniumman (#29169291) Attached to: "Smart" Parking Meters Considered Dumb

Paper currency is printed by the government, specifically the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Both paper currency and coins are distributed to the federal reserve banks. People just haven't really used the coins, but they are trying the president ones now.

Do most meters actually take dollar coins?

Honestly, though, quarters aren't that tough to use. And they often don't actually want you staying very long anyway.

Comment: Re:More and more powerful... (Score 1) 238

by Millenniumman (#28958407) Attached to: 11.6" Netbooks Face Off

The 7" ones just wasted a bunch of space around the screen. 9" (actually 8.9, I guess) ones were about the same size, so I think they were really the happy medium. I'd really like the cheapest 8.9" netbook with a good screen and keyboard and decent construction. Battery life is always a big plus. Thickness, OS, storage wouldn't really matter.

It'd be nice to have something to use working on stuff, cooking, etc and, my 17" MacBook Pro being too large and at risk of damage in messier environments (but far better for doing anything even remotely computer intensive).

Comment: Try many languages (Score 1) 634

by Millenniumman (#28821217) Attached to: The Best First Language For a Young Programmer

I think it's misguided to start out focusing on any one language. Using different languages helps you understand what's going on in the larger picture. I think once you can grasp the fundamentals of programming, and you can generally understand a variety of languages, then you might want to try getting more heavily acquainted with whatever language you like. C and Python are both very accessible, and they can help you learn things about each other. C gets you bare metal memory/pointer stuff and static typing, and Python allows you to branch out and do more complicated things more easily. Neither are necessarily my favorite language, but they are very common and reasonable.

Java might also be a good idea, to focus on OO concepts. It's not as easily accessible, though.

Another issue is the amount of flexibility in a lot of languages. C++ especially incorporates so many concepts in complicated in differing ways.

I do think the syntax differences help in grasping what the syntax actually means.

Comment: Re:cash4cronies (Score 1) 434

by Millenniumman (#28654883) Attached to: Recovery.gov To Get $18 Million Redesign

This isn't really the case. No one remotely credible really believes that political donations by corporations are a protected form of freedom of expression. Some moronic commentators and the like spin it that way, but the political reality is that despite the obvious corruptions of the system few politicians want to change it because they rely on it, and, indeed, they wouldn't be in their position if they didn't.

Comment: Re:Reality check can't be cashed (Score 1) 462

by Millenniumman (#28597049) Attached to: New Video of Tesla's Mass-Market Electric Car

I don't think Tesla's offerings are targeted towards rural areas at all. Their locations are all near or in major cities.

I don't think the range is necessarily a real roadblock for most of the target market, but this kind of fundemental limitation is certainly quite unappealling, especially on something expensive and not at all designed as a city car.

Comment: Re:I'm sure... (Score 1) 354

by Millenniumman (#27798659) Attached to: Pirate Party Banned From Social Networking Site

What party in Sweden wants to "tax and spend" less than the Democrats?

I'm also pretty sure the Republicans don't want to have ZERO taxes and totally dismantle all forms of government.

They might be disagreeable, but they aren't fake like the Pirate Party.

Not that our party system doesn't have problems, but that doesn't change the fact that the Pirate Party is idiotic. If it actually became popular outside of its little subculture it would indicate severe problems in Swedish politics, but that seems unlikely.

When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried.