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Comment: Re:It's the newest political weapon (Score 1) 371 371

until politicians learn to trim their twitter and facebook timelines when they run for office

The internet never forgets. Even if they learn to purge/hide their stuff, it's extremely likely that it's referenced or stored somewhere else, especially if the person had some level of notoriety before running for office.

Comment: Re:What were they thinking? (Score 1) 177 177

there is fuck all reasonable people can do about it.

I disagree. The way that you deal with one of those types of people, who I deem "assholes", is a simple idea that is hard for many people to do: Be an asshole in turn.

Assholes are not going to listen to reasonable people, to polite requests. Certainly try these first, but do not expect them to work and be ready to up the ante. See someone throw a cigarette butt on the ground? Ask them to pick it up. They refuse? Pick it up and stick it on them.

Nice people don't want to be assholes, of course. This is a good thing. But the only way to deal with people like this, from the guy who cuts in line to the fanatic priest that wants to legalize stoning adulterers, is to puff up your chest, boost up your voice, and lean right back into them. Asshole and evil people get away with a lot today (and in history) because reasonable people don't want to be assholes themselves. But reasonable people need to be willing and ready to be a calculated asshole, causing grief only to those who already cause grief, or those assholes will continue to shit all over us.

Maybe groups of friends should have a designated asshole. Like a designated driver, the designated asshole is the one who steps to the front when someone in the group is faced with regular assholes. Someone who can turn it on and off as needed.

Comment: Re:Good Grief - The US is a Thought Control Police (Score 1) 815 815

These are "private" companies overreacting in (knee-jerk) response to an extremely low-hanging fruit, not the US government imposing it upon them. Where the government is talking about removing the flag, it's only where the flag is flying/hung on government property. NPR had a piece that talked a bit about flag-making companies that are not stopping production and expect their sales of the flag to jump by two magnitudes or more over the next few months.

It's a mad scramble to disconnect themselves from the flag in any way, trying to convince stupid people (the same ones who think a politician is unpatriotic if they don't wear a flag pin) that they don't support white supremacy, racism, or any related idea in any way, nevermind that they've never expressed such support in the past.

Once the furor dies down most of these things changes will silently be relaxed. At least, I hope so, because otherwise I agree with you.

Comment: For sale: Tiger-repelling rock (Score 1) 207 207

I think I'll take my business of Tiger-Repelling Rocks to China. And I even have data! I have carried my own Tiger-Repelling Rock for over 2000 hours without any encounter with a tiger. To my knowledge, no one I have given--er, sold one to has encountered a tiger.

I'm sure I can find a priest who will bless my inventory as well, so people will be able to buy Holy Tiger-Repelling Rocks! Every person needs one, you never know when there will be a tiger!

Comment: Re:We've only got ourselves to blame (Score 5, Insightful) 381 381

the average American employee's mentality is to just accept and give in to whatever employers do to you without any questions or push back at all

Americans, for the most part, have bought into the "American Dream". Whatever it was before, the American Dream is now:

If you work hard now, completely on your own, you will be extremely successful later.

It's not might, it's not could, it's will. Despite the fact that anyone can look around them and see it's not true, they've bought into this idea that working long hours, for free, will rocket them up the chain into power and money, and then they can work short weeks and command others to work long weeks. It's the same reason that ~50% of America keeps voting for Republicans who promise tax cuts (for the rich) and end to subsidies (for the poor), even when those same voters don't benefit from the tax cuts and would be hurt by loss of those subsidies.

And, on top of that, the promises pit those voter against themselves: if you don't do your expected 80hrs/week, the other guy might, and then he'll become rich and powerful. And who will you have to blame if that happens? That's right, no one but yourself.

We have this weird lust for capitalism, making excuses when it beats us down. "Oh, that's out of love. Capitalism knows we need to hurt in order to get better." The outcome of this is profits > people, even when someone who seriously spouts such nonsense is harmed by the very policies. Because, in the end, we're told that we're just temporarily embarrassed millionaires, and we're willing to hurt ourselves in the present if we can benefit from those same policies in the future.

I think that America has immense potential, but at the moment the majority of us are stupid crazy.

Comment: Re:The problem is that landfills are too cheap (Score 1) 371 371

For some items you actually can get the tax back, e.g. for plastic bottles and beer cans. You bring them to the supermarket, feed them to a robot and get a receipt (one dime for small bottles, three for larger ones) and redeem it at the cashier. It's smal enough that people don't mind the extra price, but high enough that you see bums scavenging trash for bottles.

Many states here in the US have the same kind of program, but often they're aimed at sugary drinks instead of recycling (so a bottle of soda will have that tax, but not a bottle of water, which I always found odd). It's not nation-wide, though, and some states that are more "outdoorsy" like Colorado don't have a Return system.

I personally like such systems, and wish that all states would implement them.

Comment: Why not just declare all variables as strings? (Score 1) 1067 1067

A few years back I made a pretty important report that listed percentages. At the time it didn't seem to matter what happened when data was missing, so I created a function that would take a numerator and denominator and spit out 0 if the denominator was 0. (This was in SSRS, so I couldn't use IF since it processes every part of the function regardless of the boolean outcome.) Looking back, while this hasn't caused any problems that I'm aware of, I regret the decision. Displaying -- is actually more informative than 0%, because it tells the user that the data is not available, not that it's 0%, which can be misleading.

Some day I'll fix it when I have time (and am not browsing Slashdot), but my word of warning to you is: don't. /0 is a special case, and should be treated specially. Don't care about the output? Check for a 0 denominator and just return 0 immediately. But don't try to do this globally, because one day you will need to handle /0 specially, forget to, and that kind of setup will bite you in the ass.

Comment: Re:Bugs? (Score 1) 1067 1067

Slashdot was in "read only"/maintenance mode earlier today (at least, that's what the site told me.) I assume it's still trying to catch up.

I can't recall Slashdot going into maint. mode during the day even infrequently before Dice purchased them. Now it seems they do it once or thrice a week.

Comment: Re:Excellent. Now how about High Fructose Corn Syr (Score 1) 851 851

Why a tax? My understanding is that farmers get subsidies based on crops, particularly corn, in order to keep prices low. But the price of corn has been kept so low, apparently, that we can turn it into ethanol and a sugar substitute.

If my understanding is correct, just remove the subsidy (not instantly, but a gradual removal over three years.) Then all the other stuff you say will happen anyway.

(It also creates a nice paradox for Republicans: Stick to your guns about smaller government by removing subsidies, or lose the support and money of the ag lobby. At the moment the ag lobby would win that, though.)

Comment: Re:Welcome to Fascist America! (Score 1) 413 413

How is that Utopia working out for all of you people that keep thinking more Government will solve all our problems?

I imagine about the same as we're seeing right now, as people try to push through less government. (Well, less government except where it concerns a woman's uterus or homosexual people wanting to get married.)

Perhaps the problem isn't more or less government? Perhaps the problem is religious indoctrination coupled with corrupt government and the people we elect, regardless of its size?

Comment: Re:Trade authority (Score 2) 413 413

It also means there's far less time for the American people to actually read the bill and respond, assuming the administration even releases it after Fast-Track is approved.

Not that many care at the moment, but there's a chance that with the full text out there a few of the talking heads on each station might call it out for the crap that it is.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming