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Comment: Libraries? (Score 1) 250

by Rastl (#48295317) Attached to: Free Broadband For NYC Public Housing?
Isn't this something that's available in the public libraries? Which is 'internet for free' since it's already being paid for by the taxes that support the library. They also have these nifty things called 'books' that people can read for 'free'. I can see requiring free broadband to the libraries since that has the greatest benefit to the city but to give it to individual households so they can watch Netflix and surf porn isn't quite .. quite.

Comment: Because they don't work well? (Score 1) 670

by Rastl (#45628349) Attached to: Diet Drugs Work: Why Won't Doctors Prescribe Them?

If you read the results when they publish stories about these drugs they're not effective for weight loss. Sure, losing 5% of your starting body mass in a year sounds great unless you can do simple math. If you weigh 300lb that means you'll lose 15lb in a year, just over a pound a month. Now read the pages of potential side effects and tell me that's a worthwhile medication.

Sadly the ONLY effective weight loss drug was amphetamine. They stopped using it almost 50 years ago. I think that it deserves another look as an effective weight loss drug. Yes it has side effects but all of them do.

For everyone doing the "eat less, exercise more" or "do this fad diet by cutting essential food groups" rhetoric - shaddap. I see weight loss drugs as a way to get a person down to near a healthy, maintainable weight and then they're done. During the assisted process is where counseling and monitoring come in. By the time they've lost the weight they have made lifestyle changes to keep it off.

Comment: Follow the Money (Score 1) 1440

by Rastl (#45029185) Attached to: Georgia Cop Issues 800 Tickets To Drivers Texting At Red Lights

Does the money for the 'texting while driving' fine go to the county or the state? It's a very important question.

Back when not wearing your seatbelt was a secondary offense (they couldn't pull you over for it but they could tack it onto another violation) a certain state had a record of dismissing the primary violation (money went to the state) while keeping the secondary (money went to the county). Revenue stream pure and simple.

There's such a thing as giving a warning. Texting at a red light isn't the brightest thing to do but it's also way down on the list of stupid things to do. The officer camping out at the intersection just waiting to pounce on these drivers isn't looking for the dangerous offenses, he's looking for the ones that make him feel important and show his authority to "those scofflaws".

Stick him on patrol duty somewhere out in the boonies on third shift for a few years and let him find ways to hassle people there.

Comment: Re:Not really (Score 1) 1532

by Rastl (#45002785) Attached to: U.S. Government: Sorry, We're Closed

While some congressmen need their salary, most don't. You generally have to be fairly monied to make it that far in politics, meaning that the pay isn't a big deal. Also the lack of pay is something of a hollow threat as in all cases I know of, they authorized pay for employees retroactively after the shutdown

OK - let's make them suffer for what they're doing to the government employees. Starting the first week of the shutdown and continuing every week they don't pass a bill (including getting it signed by the President) they forfeit their pay for that week with no chance of repayment AND they are penalized 1% of their gross personal income. That money goes towards paying for the federal employees who are without work while they play their games.

Hit them where it hurts and make them personally responsible for the mess they create. It might give them an incentive to play nicer.

Comment: It's their civil war. We weren't invited (Score 1) 659

by Rastl (#44798391) Attached to: Should the U.S. bomb Syria?

If they want to have a civil war it's their decision. No other country has been invited in nor have they decided to take action. There's no reason for us to do anything besides watch. Don't support either side and see where the chips fall. Then we can decide if we want to have friendly diplomatic relations with them or not.

There's always the option of trade sanctions after it's all over if that's the way we want to play it. Otherwise how about we solve a few of our own problems while we wait?

Comment: Re:You moved 1000 miles away? (Score 1) 337

by Rastl (#44690171) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Ideas For Creative Gaming With Girlfriend?

The statistics show that only about half of long distances work

The statistics show that half of all marriages (allegedly) end in divorce too. So that's about right.

So if half of long distance relationships work and half of all (first) marriages end in divorce it follows that a long distance relationship has a 25% chance of working out? Statistics class was a long time ago.

Are you willing to wager your future on a 25% chance?

Comment: Elegant vs Simple/Complex (Score 1) 381

by Rastl (#44125133) Attached to: Dr. Dobb's Calls BS On Obsession With Simple Code

Is the code elegant? Does it fulfill its requirements while maintaining flexibility and maintenance abilities? Does it take advantage of existing objects?

I don't care if it's 10 lines or 1,000 as long as it's elegant. Clever programming is not elegant - it's generally a hack because someone wants to show how much more they know than everyone else. Spaghetti string code is not elegant - it's lazy.

That's part of writing good code. Make it elegant. Make it something that when the next person opens it up you can't hear the frustrated groan from across the room.

That's my opinion and how I try to write my code.

Comment: LotusScript (Score 1) 276

by Rastl (#43781943) Attached to: Goodbye, Lotus 1-2-3

My old company used Lotus Notes and did use the 'application' function quite heavily. That's why we ended up stuck on it after a certain point. There were enough business unit functions built in Notes to make it cost effective to keep around.

Fast forward to when the company was acquired. I think it's been over 2 years and they're still trying to get migrated off Notes. I'm so glad I don't work there any more.

Amusingly we didn't have to pay much attention to the whole email virus situation. C'mon. Who would write a virus for Notes?

Comment: History provides some guidance here (Score 1) 201

Privacy concerns are nothing new. It may soon become the fashion again to disguise yourself. Masks to prevent facial recognition from street mounted cameras and gloves to prevent embedded fingerprint readers. Private businesses would have the right to ask you to remove the masks just as they do now but there's currently nothing to prevent you from wearing them in public.

Of course that's going to lead to new legislation preventing the wearing of masks in public but it will be a very obvious effort to show they're tracking and recording far too much. It may even be enough for the unwashed masses to turn off the TV and do something about it. Probably not tho.

Comment: It makes backwards-compatability sense? (Score 1) 243

by Rastl (#43743619) Attached to: Irish Judge Orders 'The Internet' To Delete Video

Sadly this is more of a commentary on the fact that legal professionals have not caught up to current technology. They don't understand that there is no single source for anything (unless it's behind a paywall and then there's only a chance that it's a single source point). It makes legal sense to require it be removed but there is no practical way to do this.

The best scenario I can come up with is that he ~meant~ for it to be removed from the major sources that can be identified as hosts and then the wrongly accused could work on a site-by-site basis to have the stragglers removed. That puts a huge burden on him after the initial purge but it does give him immediate legal authority to demand it be done.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"