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Comment: Re:Boorish (Score 1) 660

by SvnLyrBrto (#49347155) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

My first two cars were American (A Chrysler and a Ford). Then I bought my first Japanese car (A Subaru). It outlasted both American cars combined, twice over, and then some.

So yeah, in my own experience as well, American cars are rubbish. Going forward, if the VIN doesn't start with the letter "J", I want no part of the thing.

Comment: Re:The BBC doesn't have much latitude here. (Score 1) 660

by SvnLyrBrto (#49346861) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

> Have you ever watched any of the spin-off Top Gears, like Top Gear US or Top Gear
> Australia? They've already tried to "reinvent" the show, multiple times. It's yet to work.

> The simple fact of the matter is that Jeremy Clarkson is the reason people watch Top
> Gear. Without Clarkson, there's no reason to watch.

I've tried to watch the spinoffs. They are dreadful. To be fair though, I don't think it's *just* Clarkson that makes Top Gear work. I think it's the combination of him, May, and Hammond altogether. They just have a chemistry that makes for some of the most entertaining programming on television and which is unmatched by any of the other random clusters of people that have been thrown together to try to present the spin-offs.

The most entertaining episodes are not the ones where one on the three presents a car and hands it off to The Stig. The best of the best are, IMO, the specials (Vietnam, Bolivia, Botswana, etc.) where the three of them are thrown together in some awkward situation. Clarkson, May, and Hammond suffering, competing, pranking, complaining, and triumphing together is what really makes the show for me... far more than seeing cars that I will probably never own driven around that airport.

And I'm pretty sure they all know that they're a package deal as well. Remember when Hammond was injured in that rocket-car crash? Clarkson and May refused to go on with the show until Hammond had recovered and could return so the three of them could be together.

Comment: Re:Missing the point (Score 1, Insightful) 155

Also, I've never gotten into an Uber and smelt the stink of smoke, vomit, or pee. No Uber driver has whined or refused when I asked to be taken out to the avenues, bayshore, or the outer mission. And I've always been able to get an Uber in those neighborhoods with no more than about a 15-minute wait.

None of that is true of taxis.

Comment: Re:Experience (Score 1) 155

> I don't know where you get your 'facts' from about Uber, but you sure as hell
> don't normally get a higher-end car or SUV. You usually get a Prius or
> Camry or something of that ilk.


You may get an economy cat like that if you request UberX. However, If you summon an Uber, it will be a Towncar or something similar.

Comment: Re:System worked, then? (Score 1) 163

by SvnLyrBrto (#49228123) Attached to: On the Dangers and Potential Abuses of DNA Familial Searching


The notion that one should bear the blame for a crime based on the notion that a family member may have been present is just disgusting. This is not Star Trek, and we are not Klingons.

This should have been a career-ender for everyone involved... cops, judge, their supervisors; the whole bloody lot of them should be tossed out into the cold as unfit to serve the public under any circumstances.

Comment: Re:Ok then... (Score 2) 247

by SvnLyrBrto (#49199025) Attached to: How Activists Tried To Destroy GPS With Axes

It's not really hard at all to defend Assange. In fact, he should never have needed a defense in the first place. Though he may be something of an attention-seeking douchebag; he's also never, to my knowledge, been either a citizen or resident of the United States. So there's no legitimate reason for him ever to be subject to our laws or for him to pay heed to them in any way whatsoever. Our government's subversion and manipulation of both the Swedish and British justice systems in order to (try to) get their clutches on him is overreach and abuse of the highest order.

And while they may not be quite so heinous as the abuses revealed by Snowden (Though the collateral murder video is particularly damning of its participants.), there are plenty of wrongdoings that were revealed by Wikileaks well before anyone had ever heard of Snowden.

Comment: Re:What is the point? (Score 5, Interesting) 340

Border/customs agents have the au-thor-i-tah to cause massive grief for just about anyone, on nothing more than a whim, with no checks on their power (In the US, for example, the constitutional requirement of probable cause and protecting against unreasonable search and seizure and such don't apply to their kind.), or recourse for their victims. Given the nature of the position, I'd expect it to attract the sort of people who would revel in that abuse... ie. raging assholes... no matter what country they work for.

And all national stereotypes aside, I'm pretty sure that no country on this earth has a monopoly on, or shortage of, raging assholes.

Comment: Re:confused (Score 1) 106

With telephone service, it's fairly simple. In the US, it wasn't a case of the government looking at AT&T and thinking to themselves: "That looks nice, I want it.". AT&T was granted a legal monopoly on telephone service in exchange for being regulated as a public utility, providing universal lifeline service, and all that. Many other nations followed the US's lead and set up similar telephone monopolies.

In the '80s... during the Reagan administration no less... the US government finally realized how stupid a move that was and broke AT&T up into the "Baby Bells". Unfortunately, the government seems to have regressed to 1900's thinking and has been letting AT&T reassemble itself and to allow the other bandwidth companies to follow suit; leading to the sack of crap that our telecom infrastructure is and the reason that net neutrality is even an issue.

That aside, you're right. It is absolutely ludicrous to suggest regulating Google or Facebook as though they were utilities. Will they be granted similar legally-mandated search engine and social network monopolies in exchange for having their destinies essentially stolen from them? Either way, it's be the death of both companies. AT&T may have had Bell labs turning out some neat technologies. But the pace of innovation and upgrades of their network was appallingly lethargic. Any tech company forced to labor under the same conditions would just die the second the monopoly was broken, and no longer legally-mandated, under a more enlightened administration. (To be fair, that may be these particular regulators' goal.)

Comment: Re:And so it begins ... (Score 1) 158

Modern datacenters may not necessarily create a great many old-style rank 'em & stack 'em manual labor jobs. But if you know what to do said servers... Well, my year-and-a-half old resume version that's still in some databases from my last job hunt still gets me daily emails and not-infrequent phone calls trying to recruit me.

Also, I have my doubts about that "only one employee" claim. 24/7 on-site security, for example, should count for at least a dozen staffers, probably more. Services like this are probably contracted and don't technically count as "employees". Still, it's misleading at best to make the "only one employee" claim.

There are certianly hundreds, maybe thousands, of jobs in businesses that utilize the gear in that data center. Maybe that one small town in Oregon didn't consider that you can operate computers remotely and got themselves a bad deal. But to say categorically that (many) jobs are not being created is profoundly ignorant.

Comment: Re:Submarines are the undisputed... (Score 1) 439

by SvnLyrBrto (#49058295) Attached to: Will Submarines Soon Become As Obsolete As the Battleship?

Another wannabe here... in my case I was trying to decide between the Navy and the Air Force when cancer made the decision for me.

There are some really good books coming out now about submarines that are not the usual Tom Clancy-ish rah rah America Fuck Yeah fare; but give insight into what it really was like for the average nuke.

I just finished reading one called Rig Ship for Ultra Quiet. It was written by a mid-level enlisted guy who served at the tail end of the cold war and covers the final deployment of the USS Plunger, one of the old Thresher/Permit class. It's non-fiction, no great adventure or drama, just an account of the author's experiences and feelings during said deployment and naval service. I found it quite good.

Comment: Re:I blame the FDA (Score 2) 365

by SvnLyrBrto (#49055301) Attached to: Smoking Is Even Deadlier Than Previously Thought


It's not about what drug you care to consume or how much pleasure it gives you. It's about the method of ingestion. The problem with "vaping" is that, like smoking, it is a means of ingesting your drug-of-choice that inflicts it on others as well as yourself.

Swallow a pill. Have a drink. Chew some gum. Have an edible. Slap on a patch. Stick a sugarcube or piece of blotter under your tongue. Use a straw (or $100 bill) to suck some powder up your nose. It's all 100% A-OK hunker-dorey in my book. Smoking "vaping" are not, because in addition to ingesting the for yourself, you are also imposing it on others.

And if you look at the restrictions being put on "vaping" in California, there have been no outright bans on the drug or equipment. It's basically cannon-sence rules pretty much identical to those that are there to protect non-smokers. Restaurants, workplaces, schools, public transit... go outside to "vape" and you're in the clear, just like the smokers.

Real programmers don't bring brown-bag lunches. If the vending machine doesn't sell it, they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche.