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Comment: Re:Percent. . .Percent. . . PERCENT! (Score 1) 64

by Mr. Slippery (#47968639) Attached to: London's Crime Hot Spots Predicted Using Mobile Phone Data

Any article citing statistics is invalid when they don't understand the difference between percent and per cent.

FYI: "The one-word percent is standard in American English. Percent is not absent from other varieties of English, but most publications still prefer the two-word per cent. The older forms per-cent, per cent. (per cent followed by a period), and the original per centum have mostly disappeared from the language (although the latter sometimes appears in legal writing).

"There is no difference between percent and per cent. Choosing between them is simply a matter of preference." --

Comment: Re:ask not for whom the bell doesn't chime (Score 1) 460

I guess you don't have any grandparents who live alone, but can no longer reliably identify their own children....You are so deep into denial about the reality of aging

The "reality of aging" does include old people completely destroyed by aging. And we need to get serious about dealing with that, letting people check out when their life ain't no more fun.

But that reality also includes 90-something karate masters who are still practicing.

The "functional limitations" of which the author speaks can, to some degree, be mitigated by lifestyle. So can the supposed "lack of creativity" -- the problem isn't aging, it's stale ideas. Learn something new. Change fields.

My maternal grandfather was still quite aware, oriented, and active in his church at 90. And the heart disease that ultimately did him in could quite likely have been partially prevented or reversed with better lifestyle habits. My paternal grandfather was a bit short of his 79th birthday when complications from coronary bypass surgery (again, largely preventable) did him in. He never really recovered, emotionally, from the loss of his wife (could have used better social support, more community connections), but he was in no way crippled or suffering from dementia in his final years.

So given the example of my grandparents, with good dietary and exercise habits, good social connections, and a little medical help I can hope to get into my 80s with my brains mostly intact. (If we don't completely fsck up the planet, and if we make a few medical breakthroughs, with a little luck I hope to see the dawn of the 22nd century -- I'll only have to reach 131 to do that.)

Of course, I could also get run over by a bus this afternoon, or diagnosed with some particularly nasty cancer next month. One never knows.

Comment: companies pay workers to develop software (Score 4, Insightful) 54

by Mr. Slippery (#47916661) Attached to: Industry-Based ToDo Alliance Wants To Guide FOSS Development

"It's not enough getting a free ride off of developers building great software, we want to shove our roadmap down their throats and get them to work harder for us â" without having to pay for it, of course."

Looks more like "We want to figure out how best to coordinate and share that portion of the work that the people whom we pay to develop software for us, do on free software." (Though they're not using that dangerous word "free", of course.)

"Free" or "open source" doesn't mean no one is getting paid to develop it.

Comment: Re:Great one more fail (Score 5, Insightful) 599

by Mr. Slippery (#47903149) Attached to: High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

If gun ownership were more tightly controlled, those 14000-19000 nonfatal injuries and the hundreds of fatal injuries from accidental shootings would be reduced by at least an order of magnitude - lives would be saved.

The number of firearms accidents is statistical noise. Anyone making a great hue and cry about them is clearly not actually concerned with gun accidents, but is trying to use them to veil a prohibitionist agenda.

If gun ownership were more tightly controlled, the 60,000 to 2,500,000 annual incidents of firearms self-defense (yes, huge error bars) would be reduced -- more people would be murdered, raped, and robbed from. Lives would be lost.

Also, of course, enforcing a prohibition law ipso facto means locking people in cages for acts that do not credibly threaten the rights of others. Liberty would be lost.

Here in the civilised world...murder rates and prison populations are proportionally tiny compared to the USA.

Folks in Mexico, Philippines, and Brazil might take exception to being called "uncivilized".

Yes, we have more violence than other wealthy nations. We also have more of a problem with an unaddressed legacy of slavery and segregation, ongoing racism, ongoing economic injustice, and lack of access to useful mental health care than those nations do. Those factors have far more to do with our violence problem than access to firearms does.

Comment: Re:Great one more fail (Score 5, Informative) 599

by Mr. Slippery (#47902307) Attached to: High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

According to CDC's WISQARS, there are about 14,000-19,000 nonfatal injuries stemming from accidental shootings per year in the U.S.

And according to that same source, for 2012, there were 8,974,762 non-fatal accidental injuries from falls. Floors are dangerous. 2,145,927 from cutting or piercing objects, 972,923 from poisoning, 423,138 from fire, 357,629 from dog bites...

Heck, there were 58,363 from "nature/environment", which includes "exposure to adverse natural and environmental conditions (such as severe heat, severe cold, lightning, sunstroke, large storms, and natural disasters) as well as lack of food or water." Nature will hurt you with more probability than guns will.

But yours is a common mistake people make when talking about guns, because they just don't know (or care) about the actual numbers.

Pot. Kettle. Black. Numbers are meaningless without context for comparison. By any rational comparison with other things that can hurt you, firearms accidents are rare.

Comment: not sharing but selling (Score 5, Interesting) 288

by Mr. Slippery (#47895153) Attached to: California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

"'s illegal for these ride-sharing services to charge passengers an individual fare..."

If you're charging for access to X (for any given X), you're not sharing, you're selling (or leasing). And you don't get to be exempt from consumer protection regulations just because you're doing your selling on the web.

Comment: Re:define "customer" (Score 3, Insightful) 290

by Mr. Slippery (#47888647) Attached to: German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

...but some European countries (France is another one) have all these stupid little "we're special...and we don't understand the internet" rules...

Sounds like these nations understand the internet quite well. They understand that it's not magic and does not relieve companies of their responsibilities to operate in an accountable manner. "But...we do it the internet!" is not a legal escape clause, as companies like Uber are finally being taught.

Comment: Re:QUESTION? (Score 1) 448

ISIS has been very clear about their desire to attack America and the West.

A desire motivated in large part by over a century of America and the West (mostly the thrice-dammned British Empire) screwing around with imperialist games the Middle East. Let's go pour some more gasoline on that fire, I'm sure we'll put it out eventually.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 1134

by Mr. Slippery (#47829335) Attached to: Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

If I ask for money or something else from YOU, as a payment for some favor, that's extortion and the burden of guilt is on ME.

No, it's not extortion. "Pay me or else I will do <unpleasant thing>" is extortion. "If you pay me, I will do <pleasant but illegal/unetical thing>" is soliciting a bribe.

Comment: Re:Habeas corpus (Score 1) 441

by Mr. Slippery (#47813165) Attached to: In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

Do you know how many courts have ruled it self-defense to react to the police with lethal force if they try to arrest you wrongfully? In America we have dozens of these cases at state and federal levels

Can you cite one from the 20th century? I've only seen 19th century cases on this. Thanks.

Comment: Re:Reports are still too sketchy (Score 1) 441

by Mr. Slippery (#47809151) Attached to: In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

What it does reveal is the attitude of the local reporters who appear to be somewhat supportive or at the very least neutral to the police action.

Maryland's Eastern Shore is an island (well, a peninsula) of old-fashioned ignorance.

If the author of a Tea Party manifesto were treated this way, local reporters would be up in arms. But here the author is a black man.

Comment: Re:Free speech but not trade (Score 2) 312

by Mr. Slippery (#47809049) Attached to: Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

I find it interesting how everyone emphasizes freedom of speech yet freedom to trade is heavily restricted but is not considered a basic human right.

Because it's not. Trade exists only where property exists. Property exists only where a state exists -- "ownership" is exactly and only the ability to call on state force to maintain your control of something. Trace any claim of "property" back and you find a state-issued piece of paper, a land or resource deed.

Used properly, property and trade are ways that we help protect basic human rights. They are not rights in themselves. Our neglect of that principle is at the root of many of the world's problems today.

Most public domain software is free, at least at first glance.