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Comment Re:Switzerland (Score 1) 674

One of the "unspoken rules" of society though is that any outlet exposed in a public place is fair game. And some of the "actual laws" cover the fact that any outlet must be safe to plug into, and any device sold must be standards compliant to safely plug into any compatable outlet. Seriously, the outlets aren't safe to plug into when the train is moving? Why the hell are they on and available? Someone with bad eyesight, or illiterate, or not English-speaking, or seriously drunk could be plugging in. It should be an electrical code violation to have a socket that isn't safe for any (standards compliant) plug to connect to.

Comment Re:Unacceptable... (Score 1) 333

Democracy is about convincing the voting public. If you annoy the voting public so much, that they call on the government to give in just to shut up the protesters, then it's a job well done!

I don't think that could ever really happen. Leaving aside the fact that I don't think it's morally acceptable to interfere with other people's rights to advance your own (two wrongs, etc.), I don't think it could ever be effective. If you block someone from going about their normal life, their emotional response is to hate you. Even if they would have been sympathetic to your cause, they will now start rationalizing why you are "wrong". If they start calling on the government, it will be demands that they put a stop to your group. The best you can hope for is they will think "I agree with their goals, but these jerks go too far!"

Comment Re:Excellent. Now how about High Fructose Corn Syr (Score 2) 851

This is what pisses me off every time HFCS comes up in a debate. You're not supposed to replace HFCS with sugar. You are supposed to replace it with fresher, less processed foods that don't need added sugars.

The problem I think was that 2 different anti-HFCS groups got some publicity at the same time. One was Dr what's-his-name who called HFCS "poison". But he really meant all sugars. It's just that HFCS was the main one found in everything at the time (because it's cheaper, easier to add since its liquid, and the corn supply is more stable than the sugar supply).

At the same time, the "Passover Coke" crowd was making noise about how much better CocaCola tasted with cane sugar, compared to HFCS. I agree that it does taste awesome, but that has nothing to do with health.

Unfortunately, these two movements collided in the public conscienceless and became "HFCS is really bad for you, and should be replaced with sugar". So now you have idiotic things like Raisin Bran that proudly says "No HFCS" on the box but is full of added sucrose. Raisins are supposed to be the sweetener in Raisin Bran, the only other ingredient should be bran.

Comment Re:Arab? (Score 1) 190

I've spent significant time in Europe and Asia and "America" is universally understood to mean USA and "American" to mean people from the USA, even by people who can barely croak out an English sentence. They might understand "USA", but "U.S." or "United States"? Forget it.

The only people who take issue with that usage of "America/American" (aside from internet pendants) are Spanish speakers who rather arrogantly insist that the English word "American" needs to match up with the Spanish word "Americano".

Personally, I say we adopt "Americano" into English as a word meaning "person from the Western Hemisphere" and end the debate.

Comment Hospitals need to employ people (Score 3, Insightful) 532

What bugs me about medical billing is apparently hospitals don't have any employees. Hospitals are apparently just flee-markets that provide space to hundreds of independent individuals and companies who all send separate bills for their services whenever they get around to it.

The hospital sends their own bill. Then the doctor sends a separate bill (WTF? The doctor isn't even employed by the hospital?) The EKG tech, sonogram tech, x-ray tech, all send there own bills (often months later). Anesthesiologist, separate bill.

What exactly is the hospital bill for? Apparently, the only employee the hospital has is the billing co-ordinator, who makes sure all these separate entities know who to bill.

Comment Re:Future? (Score 1) 451

I've already seen self-driving forklifts in some factory environments (they've existed for at least a decade). The process lines summon them when a large roll/bin/whatever is almost complete and they (slowly) drive over just as it finishes and take the product over to the warehouse. The vehicles automatically stop if you get within about 2 feet of them. When not summoned anywhere in particular they drive themselves over to a designated out-of-the-way spot and line up in a neat queue to wait for orders.

Comment Re:Storage (Score 1) 197

Wait what? Gas (combustion) Turbines have way higher efficiency than steam turbines, mainly because they operate at much higher temperatures than steam turbines.
Gas turbines these days are getting close to 40% efficiency, and close to 60% if you put them in combined cycle (where you use the exhaust heat to boil water to run a steam turbine).

Comment Re:Correlation is not Causation (Cliche) (Score 1) 305

Count me in that group too. I used to be all uptight about alcohol, but I got over it with age. Now that I'm theoretically ok with making oneself stupider, I've tried to take up drinking. But I find that all the alcoholic beverages I've tried to drink taste horrendously bad. I've so far been unable to drink enough alcohol to notice any effects on myself (it takes me about an hour and a half to choke down a bottle of beer). I don't know how you all manage to consume that stuff.

Comment How does deflating even help? (Score 1) 239

What I really want to know about "deflate-gate" is how does it even work? What's the advantage of an under-inflated ball? It seems like it would be harder to throw an under-inflated ball accurately. It might help you grip a ball better, but how often do NFL players fumble (enough to really make a difference?)?

And how would the Patriots keep the other team from getting the same advantage? The deflated balls would end up being used by both sides right? Even if the Patriots were stealthily deflating them on the field wouldn't the other team get the same ball after the next turnover?

Or do they change balls after every turnover? If so, how would the Patriots rig it so only they got the deflated ones?

Comment Re:What? (Score 1) 440

Most illegal immigrants could not ever qualify for any of the existing visa categories, no matter how many hoops they were willing to jump though.
That's why they come illegally, the vast majority would never be able to get even a tourist visa into the US, let alone a work authorization.

"What people have been reduced to are mere 3-D representations of their own data." -- Arthur Miller

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