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Comment Re:Hovered over property for only 22 seconds .. (Score 1) 664

How do you judge the intent of a drone flying over your property?

I grant that's non-trivial. But there is a way to at least reasonably guess. The only prerequisite is being human.

What is the intent behind the quadrocopter that's currently over my property?
A} Its owner intends to irradiate me and kill me with an experimental weapon system.
B} Its owner is hoping that I take my pants off so they can film my genitals and blackmail me.
C} Its owner is hoping that I work on some secret invention in plain sight so they can steal it.
D} Its owner is a random neighbor who is flying his new toy for random fun and it has NOTHING to do with me.

Did you guess D? Because ninety nine times out of a hundred, if the drone's operator is a human being, that's the correct answer. I mean, yeah, maybe they're going to get some footage of you picking your nose or scratching your balls or something silly but people being people, these things aren't being bought by-and-large for nefarious reasons. Because there aren't that many truly nefarious ones.

I see a drone flying over, I take it out. Period.

Why? What - in short - does it matter to you? I don't mean in this in the sense of police stopping you and searching your car without cause and "if you don't have anything to hide, it's okay" but rather in the sense of "where is the harm?" Note, I'm not talking about prolonged, patterned, or heavily repeated traffic that signals something specific... I'm talking about the once-in-a-while zip over your property line.

There's something I just can't grasp about this degree of territorial behaviour.

The asshole flying the drone can then present is case to the local judge and explain why I have his drone in my yard.

Wow. Just to be clear, if your neighbor's seven-year-old is gifted a drone and flies it over your property a few times, getting it somewhere interesting or just generally goofing around, that kid is inherently an asshole? I mean, I grant that respect for another person's property (physical and land) is a good thing, but I'm a bit taken aback by the intolerance of what most likely is the equivalent of "oh, darn, my ball just fell in Mr. Wilson's yard... I'll just climb the fence and go get it."

Comment Re:Hovered over property for only 22 seconds .. (Score 1) 664

So what, nobody should have the right to fly a spying machine over your house.

Meh. Maybe something's wrong with me, but personally I think intent matters. As it happens, nobody does have the right to fly a spying machine over my/your house.

It's just like my lawn. I mean, yeah, those kids legally better get off my damned law, but I'm a curmudgeon if I yell at them and a psycho if I start breaking their crap because they stepped over the property line. HOWEVER, when the intent is abuse, I'm on your side; if the kids in the area decide it's time to start playing soccer in my yard without my permission, or generally start loitering without permission, then I'd not be a curmudgeon for asking them to move on.

In this case, if the drone pilot really only flew over once or twice and really only hovered for 22 seconds, well 22 seconds is... "crap, my girlfriend just texted me... gotta reply or she'll think I don't love her any more". Point is it's really hard to judge intent from where WE sit, with nothing but news stories to go by. Maybe the drone pilot was a perv. Maybe the property-owner is a psycho. Probably the truth is somewhere in between.

Comment If you don't have riveting hero(s).... (Score 5, Insightful) 168

If you don't have riveting hero(s), you darned well better have an awesome presentation.

Iron Man is kind of interesting. Batman's cool. Spiderman even, and many of the X-Men. The general public will usually risk those.

But when you start getting into "WHO?" territory, like Guardians of the Galaxy or the upcoming Deadpool, you need an incredible presentation to draw attention. GotG had that. Deadpool looks like it's going to be great. Point is, the further you stray from well-known characters into comic culture, you need a movie so cool that people who don't care about the characters will find it interesting. I still only know GotG as "Starlord, Groot, the funny raccoon, green Zoe Saldana and some red guy. But I'd pay to watch a sequel in a heartbeat.

I don't see F4 having that... zing.

Comment Re:Major change? No. (Score 4, Insightful) 270

The total change from the Windows 3.1 Start button to the subsequent Start buttons was making the Start menu a 2-column menu, putting the contents of the former Programs menu in the left pane and putting the rest of the Start menu items in the right pane. That's it. Oh, and making the initial view not show all the Programs items but only a subset, with an extra item at the bottom to show everything in the same form as it was under the Programs menu.

As for Win3.1 being complicated, every secretary I knew managed to get a handle on it within a few days so it couldn't have been that complicated. The only people I know of who couldn't figure out Win3.1 are the ones who to this day need repeated reminders of how to get to anything that's not directly on their desktop, so methinks the problem doesn't lie in Windows.

Um. You know that Windows 3.1 didn't actually have a Start Button, right?

Comment Re:Should have left the crypt unopened (Score 1) 109

Good point. Can I say simply that I believe that once something is over, it should stay that way?

You can, you have, and I respect and thank you for it.

Now comes the discussion and debate. I'd counter by pointing out meals are an excellent thing to revisit once they're over. To never order pizza again because the first box is emptied is a sad, sad thing. I'd point at orgasms as another excellent thing to strive towards recreating as soon as one is done.

All I'm saying is that there are exceptions to your guideline. Some artistic works shouldn't see sequels, remakes, or revivals. I think we can all name movies, books, TV shows, and even songs where things should've ended. But then there's... oh, say Pink Floyd's last album, released in November. First in 20 years, and it's mostly ambient snippets and sounds. But I'll tell you, while it's nothing like The Wall or any of their other major works, it's absolutely like getting one last hug from a beloved one you thought you'd never see again.

Some things are better because they were paused instead of carried on. That's why orgasms are better than the Simpsons.

Comment Re:Should have left the crypt unopened (Score 3, Insightful) 109

I *loved* Bloom County and read it from when I first discovered it in 1982 while I was in university. It was funny, relevant and smart.

It continued to be right up until Mr. Breathed ended the strip. But it ended, I've (and I think most people have) moved on and, now that it's 25 years later, Mr. Breathed should be looking at new avenues for his considerable talents.

Now, having said that, the example panel is pretty vintage but I still think it's time for Mr. Breathed (and us) to move on.

It's traditional to include some sort of reason for your opinions so people can debate and discuss them. You've said what you think, but not why you think it, or even why you think you think it.

Comment Re:Dammit (Score 5, Insightful) 106

I botched up my disk drive's EFI partition while trying to install Windows 10. By the time I resolve all my problems, I may not be able to activate the damn install!

Fortunately you weren't trying out a beta on your production machine, so the two weeks without Win10 won't matter, right?

Comment Re:Misconception about space "pollution" (Score 4, Interesting) 41

Of course.

my point is that most of the people that are going to check will do so only to see how "polluted" space is.

Which is... very.

Would you stake your life on being able to run a Kerbal Space Program moon-landing mission without hitting any of the DEB (debris) objects? Would you stake your life on being able to run a KSP to launch something into a stable LEO that could loop around the planet 100 times without hitting any? How about a thousand times?

Communications and navigation satellites - to say nothing of the ISS and its resupply missions - require orbits that never intersect any of the crap up there. And while obviously there are hundreds of miles between each item you see at any given time, sit and watch the display for a while and try to predict somewhere that's "safe".

LEO is polluted, heavily. Space programs are mandated to be safe these days, with very little tolerated risk. Every GPS satellite or comms satellite we launch makes things significantly harder, and it's not a linear progression. Worse, the delta-V required to actually DO anything about this problem is hugely problematic as well. So we're screwing up our gateway to not-here, and doing it in a manner that makes it massively difficult to fix.

Yes, lots of this will de-orbit. In decades, or longer.

Comment Re:what EVER could we do? (Score 1) 292

Here's a crazy idea: let's have everyone vote, and then see what the results are before we report on it?

I expect that wouldn't work. The "have everyone vote" part, specifically. If you're not riled up being told that those guys with the wrong-coloured-signs are going to win, what motivates you to go out and vote?

Comment Re:Could you tell a difference at distance? (Score 1) 535

Imagine you are on school grounds and you can see this guy on the street, distance of maybe 200 feet. Would you be able to be sure the black gun shaped thing was a toy from that distance?

If the "gun" is at such a distance I can't, then maybe* I shouldn't be pissing my pants.

*Maybe as in, unless I hear shots and see bodies dropping, no.

Comment Re:Okay... (Score 1) 461

"...an odor of gasoline was detected"

In a fucking gasoline-powered car. Where do they find these geniuses?

I'm kind of concerned about that line as well. The implication is that that the odor of gas was suspected to be related to the presumed explosive device. Thing is, the pressure-cooker turned out to not be an explosive device. So... it turns out the odor of gasoline was either fabricated or as you say, due to a defective car. A huge part of police responsibility is being able to determine truth. It's not hard to figure out that a car is leaking gas. Unless you're making shit up, which is what this particular instance sounds like.

Comment Re:Fuck you. (Score 1) 618

Seriously? It's actually that easy to part you from your money? It's pretty clear the problem here is you, not the people trying to sell stuff. You make the decision, if what you really want is your money then why are you trading it? You already have what you want.

What are some actual examples of when this has happened to you?


It is exactly as easy to part me from my money as it is. No more, no less. When advertising doesn't work, there's no issue. It's when it does - and you KNOW it does, else it wouldn't exist - that something has gone wrong.

Are you trying to pretend that (all) the debt-load people in developed nations have is because they've just fallen behind temporarily? Or do you actually get it that people buy crap they don't need? Specific itemized examples from my life aren't useful... they're just anecdotal evidence. That advertising exists, and has existed for a long time, is empirical evidence that the practice is profitable on average. And that's not acceptable to me.

It doesn't matter who is, or is not "too weak-willed to spend wisely". What does matter is that active advertising is an inherently predatory act. You know it, I know it, and the rest of the people asking "really? WTF's wrong with you. I just save my money, you sub-human schlup!" know it.

Finally, yes, I get it that there are shades of grey here and that we're not talking about human sacrifice or something 10/10 for evil. But some guy with a vested interest in advertising has decided to spout off on the morality of ad-blocking, which makes looking at the morality of advertising itself fair game. So while this isn't a huge deal, it's on-topic.

Comment Re:Fuck you. (Score 1) 618

You read something, then you decide to buy something. "In some circles, that's theft." Umm, no, it's not. You made a choice to spend money. That's not "theft" by any stretch of the imagination.

Did I? Did I make the choice or was that choice made for me? You know why you see signs saying "limit 10 per customer" over a stack of crap? Because the way the human mind works, you deviate off the most recent number you've seen to make estimates. So, if you see a stack of crap at a "good" price, you'll start asking yourself "how many do I want", and you'll get the answer right. But if you see that sign, you'll start at 10 and work your way down to a number you can settle for, which is almost always higher than the number you actually want. That's how marketing and advertisement works. Massive studies have been undertaken to figure out how to manipulate buyers. This is not news. The choice is not mine.

See, all of those words mean different things. "Coercion" is generally immoral and often illegal. "Enticing" or "encouraging" are not. "Manipulating" is usually immoral, but whether it's illegal depends on context.

Difference without a distinction. When your target goal in coercion, enticement, or manipulation is to cause a person to act against their benefit, it's wrong. Enticing a suicide off a ledge isn't because it's in their best interest to be convinced not to jump. Encouraging a person to spend more than they want to is wrong. That's my premise.

I hate advertising probably as much as you do. And I agree with you that it sometimes exploits people psychologically in unfair ways. I wish there were less of it. But as long as you don't have a significant mental deficit and the advertising is basically true (not false or misleading), I cannot possibly see how you say that someone choosing to spend money is "theft."

One: hyperbole makes a point.
Two: as you mentioned in your post, there's significant grey-area in what "theft" means. If it's applied to copyright infringement (and it is, linguistic purist desires be damned), then it can be applied to purchases influenced by active advertising. While yes, I get something for my money, it's not what I really want, which is my money, which I would still have were I not advertised to. You can steal a house out from under the nose of an unwary elderly person, yes? Just because someone agrees to a purchase/sale contract doesn't preclude it being theft.

"You need tender loving care once a week - so that I can slap you into shape." - Ellyn Mustard