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Comment: They're not serious about it. (Score 1) 67

by TermV (#41625389) Attached to: The Quiet Death of the Canadian Internet Survellance Bill

The conservatives have a history of tabling unpopular bills that die off prematurely. It took them 6 years and 4 attempts to pass a copyright reform bill. Those bills were conveniently tabled at inopportune moments where they were guaranteed to be killed off. I have a theory that they're doing this to earn checkmarks for implementing their agenda and then using the opposition as an excuse to their cronies as to why the legislation failed. We tried, but oh darn there was an election call. They don't take a political hit with the public and their cronies see them make a good faith effort.

Comment: Re:This guy is dumb (Score 1) 398

by TermV (#41625145) Attached to: Why Eric Schmidt Is Wrong About Microsoft Not Mattering Anymore

He's actually correct, but we're not there yet. I see a day when our PC will consist of a dockable smart phone. Eventually things will be miniaturized to the point where the phone actually has the storage and horsepower, but I can also see it working in a master/slave configuration where the PC acts like a dumb terminal that provides I/O and a more powerful CPU. Manufacturers are already experimenting with the idea. That doesn't mean MS is done for, it more likely means a change in how software is licensed. They'll probably start licensing based on the number of authorized host docks rather than on copies installed on individual devices.

Comment: Re:Error My Ass (Score 1) 1005

by TermV (#39589887) Attached to: NBC Apologizes For Editing Zimmerman 911 Call

That's why you call police and let them deal with it. A normal person would not pursue somebody they believe is a dangerous criminal unless they're armed. If you go out with that kind of frame of mind then the chances of violence go way up. Being stalked in the street by some aggressive stranger is an imminent risk to the target's life so again the threat of violence goes up again.

Comment: Re:Crazy numbers (Score 2) 473

by TermV (#39526875) Attached to: Canada To Stop Making Pennies

For crying out loud, people are so ignorant...You do realise that of the 9 majority governments in the past 50 years, only 1 managed to be elected with over 50% of the vote? The largest majority government in history was 53.66% popular vote back in 1958. Here, take a look at all the "illegitimate" Canadian majority governments.

2011 Conservative majority 39.62%
2000 Liberal majority 40.85%
1997 Liberal majority 38.46%
1993 Liberal majority 41.24%
1988 PC majority 43.02%
1984 PC majority 50.03%
1980 Liberal majority 44.34%
1974 Liberal majority 43.15%
1968 Liberal majority 45.37%

Comment: Re:If you enjoy your job, then why not? (Score 1) 948

by TermV (#38687428) Attached to: Do Companies Punish Workers Who Take Vacations?

So what you're saying is that you're insecure about being replaced so you made sure that your job is a difficult, time consuming complex endeavour maintaining fragile systems. You've shared just enough information on how to do your job so that people backing you up can only just scrape by. If anything goes wrong you're the only guy who can fix it which makes you look like a superstar and everyone else look like idiots.

The reality is that there is actually very little value in those technical machinations. That's like being an janitor who cleans up messes with a leaky bucket so that there will always be another mess to clean up. Maintenance is a cost. What really makes you invaluable is being able to make things robust enough so that they require little maintenance, and that maintenance can be handled by more junior people. Ironically your company would probably be better off by getting rid of you and replacing you with somebody who simply doesn't want to put up with all that crap. You want to be the guy who eliminates the chaos. The guy who simply reacts all day can easily be replaced (despite what you may think) or obsoleted if somebody goes in and takes care of the chaos for you.

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 282

by TermV (#37095694) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Laptop + DSLR Backpacks

Clearly you fall outside the target demographic that is able to answer, or even appreciate the question. This is a topic that generates a lot of debate even among professional photographers. Camera bags are specialized pieces of equipment that that must protect potentially tens of thousands of dollars worth of fragile and oddly shaped gear and provide efficient access for somebody who might be billing thousands of dollars for a job.

Space

Hayabusa Captured Asteroid Dust Confirmed 60

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the grats-to-everyone dept.
astroengine writes "It's been a seven-year roller-coaster ride for the asteroid sample return mission, but JAXA — the Japanese space agency — has confirmed that 1,500 particles of dust from the surface of asteroid Itokawa have been found inside the sample return capsule. The capsule parachuted to Earth shortly before the Hayabusa spacecraft reentered over the Australian Outback in June. Since then, scientists have been painstakingly analyzing the capsule's contents to make sure the dust they found wasn't terrestrial contamination. Now they are sure, making this the first time a sample has been collected from the surface of an asteroid (and only the second time a sample has been returned from a celestial object, the first being the Moon missions)."

Comment: So Facebook is serving targeted advertising... (Score 1) 196

by TermV (#33991788) Attached to: Facebook Ads Could 'Out' Gay Users

Isn't this the point of Facebook? Let's be honest, Facebook is a marketing platform that provides a social networking service in return for payment in the form of your personal information. You post information about yourself on the site, and the site serves you targeted advertising. If you tell Facebook your sexual orientation then you've outed yourself already. It would be a different story if they were analyzing your friend list and your "like" pages and deducing that you were gay. Then you'd have grounds for outrage.

Comment: UN geo-engineering treaties are a good thing (Score 1) 377

by TermV (#33938310) Attached to: UN May Ban Blotting Out the Sun

I watched an interesting TED presentation a while ago about geo-engineering. The presenter pointed out that we should develop international agreements around geo-engineering to prevent one country from unilaterally deploying a solution that may benefit them but be to the detriment of the rest of the world. Not that it would stop anybody from going ahead and doing it anyways...

Comment: Re:Thermal Receipts have the most BPA (Score 2, Insightful) 168

by TermV (#33923448) Attached to: Plastic Chemical BPA Declared Toxic In Canada

Bisphenol A is a coating painted on thermal paper that readily comes off onto your hands and will transfer onto anything you touch. This stuff must be coating everything near the cash registers at your local supermarket. There's apparently 60-100mg of Bisphenol A on the average receipt. At least in polycarbonate it's bonded into the plastic and doesn't just come out.

Comment: Re:Root of the Problem (Score 2, Insightful) 477

by TermV (#33886356) Attached to: FCC Will Tackle Cell Phone 'Bill Shock'

You are being charged for text messages because it's a service that you opt to use. The cell phone companies are under no obligation to offer text messaging, much less free text messaging. They've found a product they can produce for next to nothing that people buy like hotcakes at a premium price. Nothing wrong with that.

Comment: Re:Less protection for free speech? (Score 5, Insightful) 383

by TermV (#33619188) Attached to: In Canada, Criminal Libel Charges Laid For Criticizing Police

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees a Canadian's right to free speech, is inherently weaker than the US constitution because it contains a notwithstanding clause that allows a province to suspend many rights for 5 year periods. Quebec's language laws wouldn't stand up to a first amendment challenge in the US but it is allowed to violate the charter of rights and Freedoms in Canada because they used the notwithstanding clause.

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