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Comment: Barren Landscapes. Related. Depressing. (Score 4, Insightful) 146

by bmo (#49607477) Attached to: Empty Landscape Looms, If Large Herbivores Continue to Die Out

Copypasta from FARK. Slightly cleaned up for formatting.

Rik01 4 hours ago
Folks have heard me biatch about changes in my own city in the State of Florida -- and changes in the State itself. Basically the response has been (1) progress old man, (2) change the onion on your belt, (3) yelling at clouds, (4) who cares -- it's Floraduh!

However, these changes have been going on in other states.

I've watched politicians promise Eco-improvements with one hand and sell the voters down the river with the other. [For example] We had a massive oyster bed in the Indian River placed off limits to the public for preservation and ecological reasons for close to 20 years. That thing had huge oysters in it and the water in its cove was nearly crystal clear. The local police arrested scores of people sneaking down there to poach oysters and the shores were dotted with piles of empty shells. The cove was absolutely packed with the things, no river bottom exposed. Then, during the Housing Boom, an upscale development went it around it. Since the cove was too shallow for wealthy owners to park their boats at the planned docks behind the cove-side homes, it was dredged. No warning to anyone who wanted to get these delicious oysters. Dredges came in, ripped thousands of them out and disposed of them. The cove is now full of dark water and few oysters, making a lot of folks like myself wonder why we preserved them.

Water use in the state has quadrupled. Florida used to be very swampy, but the water table was shallow. Now, after sucking so much out and changing the lay of the land, plus paving over every square inch they could, we're the capitol of the US when it comes to sink holes. Water shortages began to pop up years ago, where before, we never had any.

Millions of acres of wild woods have been developed, endangering a host of native species of animals we used to have and the amount of fish in the rivers has diminished to the point that you need a license and a fishing season for Mullet -- once so plentiful that it was considered 'garbage fish' and caught mainly for bait. Within the last 40 years, the Indian River has to be closed to shellfish harvesting and fishing periodically during the summer because of massive human fecal bacteria contamination.

The previously crystal clear air of my seaside town now shows signs of grey pollution. They stopped dump burning ages ago, along with burning huge piles of used tires. Land clearing agencies have to use these massive air blowers that surround burn pits to burn stumps and brush with, creating a hotter, less smoke making fires. However, the local traffic, even with more eco-friendly cars, has quadrupled and quadrupled again. Their lesser pollution has, by the sheer weight of volume, has surpassed that which was present in times of less pollution control, when you used to have 'smokers' rolling down the roads.

Major advertising campaigns have convinced the public that instead of one or two cars per family, everyone except the dog needs one, plus a couple of ATVs, a boat and a couple of those fast, small watercraft good for nothing except going fast on the water and making a lot of noise. Prior to that, dirt bikes were the thing, tearing up thousands of acres of wild woods and chasing out local animals for fun. To round things out for the macho man, we have air boats, running on aircraft engines, no mufflers, tearing up the diminishing acres of wild swamps and annoying the crap out of neighbors when the owners 'test' them in their yards.

We have fewer forest fires than when I was a kid, thanks to sophisticated fire equipment -- but then again, the acres of undeveloped woods has fallen by 3/4, so there's less to burn. Where lightening would hit decades old pine trees and forest floors thick with dry pine needles, it hits houses, paved streets, power poles and grassy lawns.

My yard has an 'old growth' pine in it. Around 60 feet tall and nearly three feet around. It was 6 feet tall when we moved in around 1958. Across the street used to be a forest of even older trees, around two miles square. Some reached 100 feet tall. That area is now made up of a couple of housing developments. 98% of the trees are gone.

The main drainage ditch in front of my home, which was shaded by Oaks along the banks, was more like a shallow creek, brimming with clear water, frogs, colorful minnows, several types of turtles -- including the irritable snapper -- gar fish and other freshwater versions. Us kids played in it, sheltered from the hot summer sun. Now it's a deep, sluggish stream of dark water, covered by algae, few minnows and most of the Oaks were removed when the housing developments went in. Their 'salvage ponds' drain into it. Even if I was a kid, I wouldn't want to play in that mess.

Yet according to statistics, we need more homes because rents are too high because people can't buy homes whose prices nearly doubled due to the Housing Boom.

We had a landmark here made by a great old man called Ralph Waldo Sexton, who did much for the community with his wealth and eccentric ideas. The land was deeded to the city with the restriction that it never be town down. The city agreed -- until explosive development hit and a business needed the tiny patch of land to add to it's parking lot. The city had let the landmark deteriorate anyhow (known as Sexton's Mountain) and as the value of the Oceanside land soared, that plot became worth much more than the hand built land mark.

They sold it and it was plowed under and paved over. Adding to the destruction of the beach itself from over development. Even the Great Red Land-crab Migration, that used to cover blocks in hundreds of thousands of the small crustations, covering the land for blocks in nearly a solid wave has stopped.

Their nests on a swampy salt marsh have been plowed under as houses went up and covered every square foot, which means a lot of cranes and other animals who fed on them are gone also. Plus their holes helped the ground absorb rain water, which filtered into the aquifer -- those hundreds of thousands of gallons of which now roll off the paved streets and manicured lawns and harder fill into the salt marsh waters and out into the sea.

Each time a politician enacts an eco-friendly program, he quietly passes two which undermine the efforts of the first and benefits development companies or other businessmen. When we had a good city manager who was not thrilled with explosive development, he didn't last long. Appointed by the Mayor, he was removed and his replacement arrived, all hyper about explosive development.
So, now you all can see the nationwide results -- and it ain't gonna stop anytime soon. We protected the birds -- and they tore down the forests. Gopher turtle nests could stop a development -- until no one noticed them until after the bulldozers had plowed them under. We built a huge, new eco-friendly dump, closing all of the others -- and then they had to sink huge pipes into it to vent the not-so-eco-friendly methane gas, making no attempt to even capture, compress it and use it. (You can smell our dump long before you see it.) Around the 4th of july, dump managers are secretly terrified some kids with fireworks might manage to ignite some of those vapor spilling pipes.

Crime, illness, irritability and cost have soared within my city. We went from a small Mayberry-type jail to a fortress-like prison, plus built a sprawling juvenile facility. Where you could walk the streets at late night with no fear, you need to go in groups now. Home burglaries have just soared. (I even got hit, for the first time in over 50 years.) We had 4 good schools. Now we have about 10 mediocre ones and they have chain link fences around them. Kids are no longer allowed to play on the exercise fields during summer vacation. Shootings are on the rise.

The cost of living keeps climbing. More and more funds are needed to keep the infrastructure going to maintain the city and county, while they keep reducing benefits for the workers who do the actual work. We now spend millions a year on keeping our beaches nice -- something they did for just a few thousand 30 years ago when thousands of folks didn't tear them up and build right up against them.

BTW, rents here are just obnoxious, unless you want to live in a place made up of termites and roaches holding hands. We were also a major citrus provider -- but the majority of the old, labor intensive groves which produced magnificent fruit have been sold and housing developments put in their place. (It takes 4 years of work to prepare the ground for citrus saplings then another 4 years to harvest good fruit. Working in a grove for the summer was almost every high school kids rite of passage. Old, established groves were gold mines.)

I once reported a new Sea Turtle Nest I found on a beach, not wanting the heavy, tractor-like sand groomers (yeah, we have to have those now) to roll over it and crush the eggs. The response I got from the Federal and State agency I contacted was 'what do you want us to do about it?' Yet had I dug up the eggs to move them, cops would have popped out of the weeds to arrest and fine me.

I think the beach groomers crushed the nest.

Comment: Re:Prior art (Score 1) 60

Unfortunately, their incentives are diametrically opposed to common sense. There is literally no downside for a USPTO examiner to rubber-stamp everything on his or her desk. They get to go home early to beat the traffic, while productive society is left to deal with the legal fallout. The net effect is to devalue legitimate IP while rewarding the trolls.


It's because of this and copyright abuse that I think, sometimes, that we should just chuck it all and rely on trade secrets and a free-for-all on copyright. These jerks are not just poisoning the well, they're throwing dead goats in it.


+ - UMG v Grooveshark settled, no money judgment against individuals

Submitted by NewYorkCountryLawyer
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: UMG's case against Grooveshark, which was scheduled to go to trial Monday, has been settled. Under the terms of the settlement (PDF), (a) a $50 million judgment is being entered against Grooveshark, (b) the company is shutting down operations, and (c) no money judgment at all is being entered against the individual defendants.

Comment: How we do it in Canada (Score 5, Informative) 36

by spaceyhackerlady (#49581061) Attached to: World-First Remote Air Traffic Control System Lands In Sweden

In Canada we have an intermediate step between untowered uncontrolled airports and controlled airports with towers, Mandatory Frequency airports. They have a ground station with whom you must communicate for arrival and departure. They dispense information and coordinate activities, but do not give clearances. As pilot you make those decisions.

An example MF airport I've flown to is Kamloops, BC (CYKA). On initial contact the ground station told me the wind, altimeter setting and active runway, but also advised me of skydiving activity north of the airport. Since this might conflict on the usual left-hand circuit pattern, they suggested I fly a right hand circuit on approach. I did, and landed. This wasn't binding on me - the decision and responsibility were mine - but it was a good idea.


Comment: Re:Seems he has more of a clue (Score 1) 702

by bmo (#49580217) Attached to: Pope Attacked By Climate Change Skeptics

The difference is that creationists deny science because of their faith. These guys deny science because of greed.

There really isn't any difference when your faith consists of greed.

"Mammon, n. The god of the world's leading religion. His chief temple is in the city of New York"

-- Ambrose Bierce "The Devil's Dictionary"


Comment: Re:Coming to North America? (Score 1) 22

by bmo (#49570833) Attached to: China's Tencent Launches Smart Hardware OS To Rival Alibaba

>stealing technology
>china is "guilty" of this "crime"

The entire Industrial Revolution in the States was because people stole "intellectual property" from England. Samuel Slater, and the rest of the gang up and down the Blackstone River got all their tech from England.

And it's hailed as an achievement here in the US.

Somehow it's bad when someone else does it.

>Calling the F35 good technology

No, no it is not. It is a boat anchor. A very very expensive boat anchor. It's the exact same thing that happened with the F111 at the demands of Robert McNamara but /worse/. A jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none-but-with-vtol and maintenance nightmares.


Comment: Re:Remember Hypatia (Score 1) 493

by bmo (#49557057) Attached to: Woman Behind Pakistan's First Hackathon, Sabeen Mahmud, Shot Dead

Go ahead and find a news article of radical Christians killing thousands of innocent people every month in Africa with gasoline, matches, and machetes

They do.

Or have you completely fucking ignored what's been going on in Uganda?

Engineered by guess who? "Christians" in the US.

People like you disgust me.


Comment: Re:Remember Hypatia (Score 1) 493

by bmo (#49556347) Attached to: Woman Behind Pakistan's First Hackathon, Sabeen Mahmud, Shot Dead

I love how you have to go back 1600 years to find an example of Christians being assholes

No, all I have to do to find examples of Christians being assholes is to open the fucking newspaper and read current events.

The Christian Taliban, aka the Dominionists, Reconstructionists, "Christian Warriors", "Joel's Army" et alia, surely do exist. And they are frightening.

Read this take-down of Joel's Army: http://www.discernment-ministr...

The greatest weapon against religious fanaticism is education

Fixed, but only to a point. Many of the most loudest "kill all the fags" and "America is a Christian Nation" dolts that have a following have college educations. Fred Phelps was a lawyer and so is the rest of his family.


Comment: Re:Correctly incorrect units (Score 2) 172

by spaceyhackerlady (#49545459) Attached to: I spend most of my time ...

If they used reasonable numbers of significant figures I wouldn't mind so much. Since the altitude is specified to three significant figures (FL350), how about 10.7 km? The Air New Zealand system only did metric, BTW.

A later flight (Air Canada) had the bilingual in-flight thingy giving U.S.-bastardized units in English, and metric units (with, as usual, too many significant figures) in French.


Comment: Correctly incorrect units (Score 1) 172

by spaceyhackerlady (#49540963) Attached to: I spend most of my time ...

I just got back from a vacation in Australia, and was annoyed that the in-flight display thingy insisted on displaying everything in "correct" units.

Showing the plane's altitude as 10,668 meters is all well and good, but is missing the point. Even a pilot from New Zealand (I was flying Air New Zealand) would have given the altitude as 35,000 feet. Flight level 350, strictly speaking, but few non-aviators would know what that meant.

Yes, I know they use metric altitudes and flight levels in Russia and China...


Comment: Re:And the vendor response will be... (Score 1) 286

by bmo (#49531183) Attached to: German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal

They replace the ad space with a message like this: "You're running Adblock. Please consider whitelisting us so we can pay for this website. Thank you."

Fark does this. I wish more sites did. Fark also has subscriptions for the private side (TotalFark 5 bux/mo). Value added selling works when there is actual value added.


Comment: Re:And the vendor response will be... (Score 5, Insightful) 286

by bmo (#49527021) Attached to: German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal

I suspect the vendor response will be more along the lines of, "We've detected Ad Block on your computer. You will be unable to view content on this site while this is active."

Some already do this.

My response is always "fuck you, I'll go elsewhere then."

And the "elsewhere" where they don't do that is typically better.

I also run the EFF's Privacy Badger.


A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems. -- P. Erdos