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Comment: Re:Prices (Score 1) 538

by Samgilljoy (#31031412) Attached to: Murdoch Says E-Book Prices Will Kill Paper Books
to which I should add, these functions are just carried out by staff whose salaries that are not astronomical. Believing publishers about how much these services cost is about as smart as taking pharma at their word, when they quote enormous research costs but refuse to tell you how much they spend on direct marketing to consumers.

Man Sues Neighbor For Not Turning Off His Wi-Fi 428

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-you-never-wondered-why-I-drink-only-distilled-water-or-rain-water-and-only-pure-grain-alcohol dept.
Scyth3 writes "A man is suing his neighbor for not turning off his cell phone or wireless router. He claims it affects his 'electromagnetic allergies,' and has resorted to being homeless. So, why doesn't he check into a hotel? Because hotels typically have wireless internet for free. I wonder if a tinfoil hat would help his cause?"

Comment: Re:"Playing Nice" is Not Considered a Virtue (Score 1) 736

by Samgilljoy (#30599786) Attached to: Why Do So Many Terrorists Have Engineering Degrees

I think you're on the right track. What's interesting is that in other odd areas, e.g. the occult, fringe religious movements, etc., engineers are also extraordinarily common. I think in part this concerns personalities that look for simple answers to complex problems, but the reasons are not all negative. Most of these pursuits require an above-average intelligence, but they concern matters that an engineering education does not prepare one to tackle. So, a young engineer, whose life experience has yet to expand his intellectual horizons much, can pretty easily get caught up in a world view that ignores a myriad of other considerations and data.

In most cases, it's a phase, and let's face it, undergraduates and recent graduates of all disciplines are, well, idiots, but in situations where people are exploited by those who know how to limit a person's awareness and make it look like they are making their own choices by controlling what choices are available, we can get extremely negative results.

Comment: Re:Does the state of California come with it? (Score 1) 256

by Samgilljoy (#29956644) Attached to: Terminator Franchise To Be Auctioned Off
It's not just the legislature; it's the stupid freaking proposition process. Time and again demagogues convince the ignorant populace to mandate a certain amount of spending on this or that. Often, annual increases in spending are mandated regardless of changing revenues. Just brilliant. So, at this point, about 85% of our budget is locked without any legislation. You simply cannot govern with so little control.

Comment: Re:Where was this class for me? (Score 1) 1021

by Samgilljoy (#29652271) Attached to: What Belongs In a High School Sci-Fi/Fantasy Lit Class?

I had a SciFi reading class in my Sophmore Year of HS back in the 80's. Haven't thought about how fortunate I was until now. Of course, my HS was lousy overall, but we got to read Science Fiction and finish the course by watching Blade Runner. I even got to host the movie, seeing as I'd watched it 30 times by then.

I probably shouldn't mention that the girl who sat next to me had...well...it was a stimulating class in many respects.

Comment: Re:is the world ready for another Star Trek series (Score 1) 829

by Samgilljoy (#29646707) Attached to: Stargate Universe

I don't think implementation was Roddenberry's forté. He had a large number of rather vague and disconnected ideas about things.

I think Star Trek on television is pretty much dead. For all its cheeziness, DS9 was a real step forward, having embraced the concept of long story arcs. Enterprise just took things backwards and nosedived. The writers seemed to resent the idea of long story arcs or consistency. They constantly gravitated towards the episodic and attempts at striking moments.

Comment: Re:Echos thoughts of others after the demo (Score 3, Informative) 336

by Samgilljoy (#29613247) Attached to: Initial Reviews of Google Wave; Neat, but Noisy

It's the way the information is structured. It's linguistic convention, and it has a point; it's not a matter of "social niceties." Information is transmitted in the way language is structured as well, and structure facilitates its reception.

More importantly you clearly have difficulty imagining any form of written communication other than the few you regularly come across. A single-page business letter that is magically attached to it's envelope for all time is one possibility. It's a rudimentary example.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.