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Comment Re:Who builds a clock that doubles as a briefcase? (Score 1) 657

An interesting link I found

Turns out the briefcase was smaller than I thought. It also turns out the "invented" clock was just a clock taken out of a plastic clock body and put in a case.

Anyways, calling the police was the right thing. They didn't call the bomb squad because they knew relatively quickly they were dealing with a hoax bomb. "Something is beeping. It's in a case. It's looks like a bomb. What is that?" "Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" "It's looking like a hoax bomb."

Surely, you can forgive them for not having "IRA bomb identification" classes until junior levels, right?

Comment Re:Who builds a clock that doubles as a briefcase? (Score 1) 657

Maybe I'm tilting at windmills but I refuse to ever accept this.

Then you're a fool. I don't mean that as an insult, but as a classical fool. Honestly, we were all worse 20 years ago. But school administrators had leeway and common sense but not the ACLU, 24 hour news, and every lawyer breathing down their neck.

Things have changed. I remember my dad bringing home a container of mercury and me bringing it to class. Think that could happen now? They would call the local HazMat team to the school and at least suspend if not expel me. I remember riding in the rear window shelf the family car. How fast do think every busybody on the road would call the police upon seeing that? Times have changed and schools have become terrifyingly politically correct and zero tolerance.

You do know how they found the device, right? It started beeping in class which alerted, startled, and frightened the class & staff. So why did he build a briefcase clock that had an alarm during class? I don't think he meant to but I also think he realized the severity and scope of his actions when he couldn't tell the authorities what it was & why he built it.

You can also say that it looks nothing like a bomb but you're wrong. It looks exactly like a suitcase bomb because his clock and a suitcase bomb look exactly alike except for the explosives because they use the exact same parts. Sure, you can say "BUT THERE WERE NO EXPLOSIVES" and you're right. There were none. But that's after examining it. On first glance, the school did the right thing.

Anyway, it looks like everyone falls into two camps. One camp thinks the authorities overreacted and the kid is 100% blameless. The other camp thinks the authorities overreacted and the kid is somewhat as fault as well. I think the kid should have known better in this day and age. This isn't 30 years ago and you know that as well.

Comment Re:Who builds a clock that doubles as a briefcase? (Score 1) 657

I've replied to the other points and I'll just say again "Everyone acted stupidly, including him. He should have known better."

Anyone saying "It's just a clock" know they are being ridiculous. Things don't happen in a vacuum. Time and place. This isn't 20 years ago and all of the pundits saying "I was this kids 20, 30, 40 years ago" know this as well.

Yeah, 30 years ago things were different. I had full run of the school office & computers because I maintained them. Now do you think some kid could just sit down at a schools computer at any time of the day and just type with no one asking questions? I brought a bayonet to my elementary school. Kids carried knives.

It's a completely different time and place and EVERYONE, including you, knows that. Everyone over-reacted, but again, there is nothing wrong with saying the kid should have been more self-aware.

Comment Re:Who builds a clock that doubles as a briefcase? (Score 1) 657

It doesn't frighten me. I'm not even going to go into a detailed reply because you're not looking for one. Again, time and place and now is not the time to bring something that can be easily confused with something else.

Is it unreasonable that a kid could bring a bomb to a school? No. Is is reasonable? Well, not really. But the way the culture is now, scared, nosy, and some people generally concerned but generally just wanting to get on TV, all it takes is ONE person to over-react and public service HAS to kick in. Because if they don't, news services, TV commentators, and politicians are going to crucify everyone.

So what would have happened 15 years ago is completely different from what happened today. Also fourteen year olds while still fourteen, are worlds more sophisticated than they were 15 years ago as well. I'm not placing the blame on him for what happened, but come on, he isn't completely blameless. He should have known better and people asking with are "straight" face and hands up in the air "Whut? He just brought a clock to school?" know better as well.

Comment Re:Who builds a clock that doubles as a briefcase? (Score 1) 657

Zero tolerance of anything that disrupts school. Maybe you haven't noticed but there has been a rash of school arrests of preteens (meaning cops are being called at any disturbance), pre-teen kids threatened with expulsion by making a gun with their fingers, elementary school kids being threatened with expulsion for a "paper gun" (imagine a tic-tac-toe grid with a corner square missing), wearing an NRA shirt, and a whole host of other sad situations if you want to search for such things.

Let's not forget that schools have been targeted as well so teachers, administrators, and guards are already very sensitive.

As for the clock, no clocks aren't against school rules, but dude, come on now, that was the shittiest clock I've seen in a long time. That wasn't something analog, or even remotely looked like a clock. It could easily be confused as a bomb by a a school worker who has to be on the look out for such things because once again WHO BUILDS A CLOCK IN A BRIEFCASE? It had giant numbers, a large circuit board, wires EVERYWHERE. Seriously, teach that dude to cut some wire and solder.

I'm not saying what they did was the right thing. They over-reacted. But again WHO BUILDS A CLOCK IN A BRIEFCASE? It's like someone building a telescope on to a rifle stock for portability and stability.

Everyone has to be cognizant of the date and times we live in and there are just things we can't do now. I took a bayonet to school to show my friends. No particular reason other that's where and when I could show it to them. Certainly can't do that now.

So yes, they over reacted. But he acted stupidly as well. Again, time and place.

Comment Everyone jumps to conclusions. Face tracking works (Score 3, Informative) 80

This isn't a full review, but I wanted to mention a few things about the much misaligned "3D useless gimmick."

It isn't a gimmick and it's pretty useful.

Ok first, the "home screen" with 3D icons. Ok, that's a gimmick. But the face tracking goes past that.

There are cool little uses like the status bar not showing unless the user slightly turns the phone. Another is showing extra info that would look cluttered normally. Mainly text labels and such. So you can work with a clean interface but if you need to see the labels, simply slightly turn the phone horizontally and the text shows. It's a neat concept.

There are other HUGE interface concepts like their home screen. It's called the carousel and it's a live "recently used" list that scrolls horizontally. The cool thin is it shows the most recent used or live items under each icon. So you can swipe though the carousel and see recent photos, email, messages, even the menu selections you used on the "Settings" app. It's a smart idea and it much faster than widgets.

Another cool thing is the three screens concept. Each app has three screens; the main center one, the once on the right that show often used items for the app, and the one on the left that shows a menu. A quick flick brings down a "system's quick menu" for things lie airplane mode, flashlight, and such.

It's has a nice camera and firefly.

And to be honest, the 3D lock screens are cool to look at and it's a nice difference to have.

The Fire is in no way worth what Amazon wanted when it was released. But for the $130 I paid, including a years extension of Prime, it's a steal of a deal.

It's a good phone.

Comment I got one heavily discounted and it's fantastic (Score 4, Informative) 80

It has some interesting concepts and it isn't a "me too" iPhone & Android. Amazon was stupid as to think the average consumer would pay the same for the fire phone with a non-existent ecosphere as he would for a new iPhone with a rich and featured ecosphere. If they had just taken half the current write-off and put that upfront to sell these phones heavily discounted to get a foothold in the market, I have no doubt they would have sold well.

What does giving away a free year of Prime does? It pretty much traps the person into keeping Prime and buying a ton of stuff from Amazon.

I'm enjoying my fire phone. Would I have purchased one at $600 or $200 + 2 years of service? Hell no. However, when I saw it at $130, and it's been as low as $110, plus a year of Prime I purchased it instantly.

Comment Why is is always the "IT Computer Expert"... (Score 3, Informative) 297

that writes these "I lost everything hard drive failures"? You would think people who have been in the computer industry for a decade or longer would understand the importance of backups.

Simple rules

1) Automatic. Because if it is a manual backup, it won't happen.
2) At least 2 backups
3) One copy offsite

Comment Re:To be more precise, Amazon will collect on taxe (Score 1) 243

God, can your math really be that bad? If the state raises taxes on car dealers by 30%, as you say, and the tax goes from 3% to 4%, why would that require the car dealers to raise the prices of their cars 30%?

How did you get "the tax goes from 3% to 4%" from "the state raises taxes on car dealers by 30%?"

About your other point, sure some of the dealers may only raise prices by 29% and absorb that other 1%, but you're still missing the point. The consumer is still paying the full amount of the tax. So the dealer is taking less of a profit. He isn't PAYING any of the tax unless he's running that business at a loss. The consumer is the only one putting money into the equation unless the business is being run at a loss.

If you don't think only consumers pay taxes, let me leave you with this "If that car dealership doesn't have any customers and no business for a month, why are the taxes '0' for the month?"

Comment Re:To be more precise, Amazon will collect on taxe (Score 1) 243

The first rule of economics is "Businesses do not pay taxes. Businesses collect taxes."

No, the first rule of economics is "don't talk about economics".

Seriously, as long as you have companies in competition in regard to pricing, then yes, businesses do in fact pay taxes. They can not in fact just raise prices to cover taxes, because if they could raise prices, they already would have done so.

There is no law in economics that says "Businesses do not pay taxes. Businesses collect taxes." That's an old conservative trope that gained currency when Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were busy rodgering the working people of their respective countries.

Sure, individual businesses would raise prices if they could. But you're missing the point of a tax.

Example 1: There are 50 auto dealers in a state. One dealer decides to raise his prices across the board because like you said "If they could, they would." He goes out of business.

Example 2: There are 50 auto dealers in a state. The state raises taxes on car dealers 30%. Now all dealers raise their prices 30%.

Now I ask you "Who is paying that 30% increase?"

Businesses can't print money. Well, other than the Reserve. But that's a different matter. Any money a business pays out for any reason has to originally come from an individual somewhere.

Comment Re:To be more precise, Amazon will collect on taxe (Score 1) 243

Raise the tax rate to 75% of the corporate profit and see what happens...

Companies will reinvest revenue rather than pay it out as dividends. Also, stock prices fall as future expected dividends are cut by 75%, and then rise again as said reinvestment makes economy grow faster.

Actually, this could be just the stimulus economy needs...

Oh dear Lord.

Raising the tax rate to 75% is a stimulant to the economy?


FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A guinea pig is not from Guinea but a rodent from South America.