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Comment: Re:Update cycles (Score 1) 66

by Pharmboy (#47569737) Attached to: How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

I tend to buy boxes with fairly high end parts (not expensive, just high quality), and when I built them I did the same. High end enough that I really didn't have to upgrade until everything was no longer "state of the art", so no parts to recycle in.

My ooold computer has a Q9550 and 8 gigs of ram, just as I ordered it. It is still pretty usable as a daily backup video player, and not bad for midline gaming like Portal 2, Goat Simulator, etc. Upgraded the video 3 years ago, $150-175 for what was then a steal.

5 years old, and the CPU is still on the front page of Passmark, at >4000 pmarks. Not bad. Paid around 1800 without monitor. Upgraded to 7 Pro over Vista, but even the original install is intact. Hard to beat that kind of stability, and not convinced you can build it by hand anymore.

Comment: Re:Lies and statistics... (Score 1) 480

by Shakrai (#47568823) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Pre-existing condition exclusions are required because of adverse selection. Flood insurance works the same way; you've got no coverage at all until the policy has been in effect for 30 days. If your house washes away on Day 29 you're SOL.

In any case, I didn't share my story to indict the insurance companies. It was more of an indictment of the healthcare system in general. There was one unavoidable expense: the $4,500 immunoglobulin shot. Why then did the total bill come to nearly $7,000? It came to that much because treatment was routed through the most expensive delivery system (the ER) available in our healthcare system. Why is that? The rabies series is not time sensitive, waiting a few days causes no ill effects. The taxpayers ostensibly pay for it anyway so why not just have it at the County Health Department Monday through Friday?

I try to route my healthcare through my PCP, because 1) I like him, 2) It's cheaper (both for me and society) than the alternatives. Of course, we're killing the PCP providers, they're barely paid cost as it is (less than cost for medicare patients) and there's no incentives for med students to pursue primary/family medicine as a specialty. The ACA didn't do anything to address this either, a fat lot of good having insurance for the first time is going to do you when you can't find an MD that's taking new patients.

Comment: Re:Lies and statistics... (Score 1) 480

by Shakrai (#47566549) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

That's a valid point but you kind of missed the bigger picture. With my history and health status they shouldn't be on the hook for more than $300-$500 annually. That's the cost of an annual physical and standard blood/urine lab work. All it took was one incident to largely wipe out their earnings on me and in this case the costs really weren't inflated all that much. Despite what the other poster thinks, the immunoglobulin really is that expensive. It has a very short shelf life, production is a bitch, and there's little economy of scale because it's so rarely needed. Socialized medicine won't fix any of that....

Comment: Re:Such a Waste (Score 5, Informative) 140

by Kjella (#47563761) Attached to: The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

Gandalf knows that Sauron is back. This directly contradicts LotR. In fact, there's no reason Gandalf would let Bilbo keep the ring once he knew Sauron existed.

Actually this is exactly like in the books.

The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond", p. 261

'Some here will remember that many years ago I myself dared to pass the doors of the Necromancer in Dol Guldur, and secretly explored his ways, and found thus that our fears were true: he was none other than Sauron, our Enemy of old, at length taking shape and power again. Some, too, will remember also that Saruman dissuaded us from open deeds against him, and for long we watched him only. Yet at last, as his shadow grew, Saruman yielded, and the Council put forth its strength and drove the evil out of Mirkwood and that was in the very year of the finding of this Ring: a strange chance, if chance it was.

As for the ring, Gandalf did not know it was the One Ring.

Then for the last time the Council met; for now we learned that he was seeking ever more eagerly for the One. We feared then that he had some news of it that we knew nothing of. But Saruman said nay, and repeated what he had said to us before: that the One would never again be found in Middle-earth. (...) [Gandalf] sighed. `There I was at fault,' he said. `I was lulled by the words of Saruman the Wise; but I should have sought for the truth sooner, and our peril would now be less.'

He finally found an ancient scroll to test if it is the One Ring, because on the surface it looks like any other minor magical ring.

And then in my despair I thought again of a test that might make the finding of Gollum unneeded. The ring itself might tell if it were the One. The memory of words at the Council came back to me: words of Saruman, half-heeded at the time. I heard them now clearly in my heart.
` "The Nine, the Seven, and the Three," he said, "had each their proper gem. Not so the One. It was round and unadorned, as it were one of the lesser rings; but its maker set marks upon it that the skilled, maybe, could still see and read."

This is where it all starts in Fellowship of the Ring.

Comment: moof (Score 1) 24

by Bill Dog (#47563685) Attached to: So this problem isn't new, or owned by either party

> We can impeach our way through the whole federal government,


<devil's advocate>
We don't like it when the Left tries to get technical with certain language, where we suggest that original intent should win out. Could it really have been the bill authors' intent to only sport subsidies in certain states?
</devil's advocate>

In any case, a part of me says the American idiot people voted for this guy, twice, and he gave us Obamacare, so that's what we should have. Attempted scratching away at by a few cuts seems to fly in the face of respect for democracy and representative self-governance. Get a majority by a healthy margin wanting it stricken from the law books (and indicated indirectly by their voting, and not what they may say only in telephone surveys), and that's when action against it would seem legitimate to me.

Comment: Re:My $0.02... (Score 1) 21

by Bill Dog (#47563575) Attached to: it boggles the mind

> ... 12 gauge shotgun ... .45 ACP ...

Ouch, I'm not 6' 200 lbs; meassumes the kick on those kinds of things would be a skosh jarring in my as-yet-un-powder-burned hands. Besides, even with practice I don't assume I could really hit anything whilst in freak-mode. But I've got a decent flight of stairs between two walls barely 3 feet wide, that I ought to be able to spray some pain down if need be across most of its width, I'm hoping.

So yeah, I figured I'd need to practice, so the tip on cheap ammo to do so with is appreciated. As long as that stuff has roughly the same "feel" when firing as the home defense load you mention.

For myself, I would probably never own a handgun, just because of that form factor's association with crime. Like (part of) the reason I gave up alcohol in my late twenties, with all the negative stuff associated with its use/abuse. Just a personal quirk of mine.

My sis and her hubby just bought a place out in the country, and I want to go build a berm on that land and do my practicing there. It's a bitch getting there I'm told, but I don't know if gun ranges in town let you bring in a shotgun, and outdoors seems more fun anyways.

Comment: Re:It's only gone 25 miles? (Score 3, Interesting) 42

by Kjella (#47563569) Attached to: Opportunity Rover Sets Off-World Driving Record

They had their own goals and all that, but my first goal, if I was sending something millions of miles away (I don't know how far it traveled when it went to Mars, but the closest approach between earth and mars has been 34.8 million miles), I'd certainly want the ability to move it more than XXX feet per day.

And a free pony, but the problem is the power budget. Going faster -> more power required -> bigger solar panels -> more weight -> going slower. If you got a solution for that, I'm sure NASA would like to have a talk with you. Also consider that it might be very hard to travel a significant distance, it's easier to drop two rovers on opposite sides of the planet than design a rover that can drive 5000+ km.

Mars has areas with really sharp rocks and Curiosity has already taken more wheel damage than expected. Soft soil is almost just as bad, potentially trapping the rover as it happened with Opportunity. And there's no tow truck coming, so if you screw it up the mission is over. Personally I imagine it's the scientific equipment that mostly limits the rover, if we haven't got the tools or sensors getting there faster won't do us any good.

Comment: Re:Grab 'n dash (Score 1) 21

by Bill Dog (#47563439) Attached to: it boggles the mind

Ouch, but this was back in the "eye for an eye" days. I would interpret that and it's immediately following "on the other hand" verse as, if you strike out at an intruder in the dark, you can't see well enough what you're swinging at to consciously avoid trying to kill the intruder. Nowadays we have implements of instant light. (Altho I suppose one could intentionally leave it dark so as to be able to exercise said loophole! ;)

But then there's the whole thing about the OT times being pre-JC, and all they had was the Law, until its ultimate fulfiller came. I kinda see the OT as trying to teach us (among other things) that God is resolutely about justice, and then the NT that God is also firmly about love. I see the lesson of the OT being over, and as followers of Christ we should be looking to forgive others as much as we can, and strive to turn the other cheek to the extent feasible.

But I don't doubt your perspective is highly motivated by your having a family, and can't rule out that mine might be different too if I wasn't only responsible for myself.

Comment: Re:Such a Waste (Score 1) 140

by Kjella (#47563397) Attached to: The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

While far from perfect, I felt that Peter Jackson at least made an attempt to stay true to the original story in Lord of the Rings. For the Hobbit he didn't hold anything back as sold out to the suits at Warner Brothers. Both he and the Tolkien family should be ashamed they agreed to this abortion screenplay.

LotR is a story worth telling, it's a grand epic. The Hobbit is... well, a children's tale about a dragon's treasure. In LotR it's obvious why Frodo must be the reluctant ringbearer, while in the Hobbit you have Bilbo making this insane leap to join a crazy bunch of dwarfs and a wizard to go steal treasure from a dragon. Totally credible. And being caught by big dumb trolls who want to eat them is totally cliche. All the characters are either good guys or bad guys, there's no conflicted characters like Gollum. There's no sacrifice like Boromir. And not a single female character to bring up the wife acceptance factor, it's all about the bling. Trying to use the Hobbit as follow-up to LotR is total folly, I know because I read them in that order and it's weaker in every respect for everyone above the age of ten.

Yes, they're totally molesting the story of the Hobbit but mainly by ret-conning in as many things related to LotR as possible to cover over its own pathetic plot. Like the whole story with Dol Guldur, in the book Gandalf is simply away but in other bits and pieces Tolkien does describe that and as a LotR prequel it's just as important as the main story line. I mean Bilbo already has the ring, at the end of the story he has the ring - the rest of the tale doesn't really affect the LotR story line in any significant way. The book had to stand on its own legs. The end of the Hobbit will just be a waypoint to the first LotR movie. I mean this book ends with a hobbit returning home to the Shire with two small chests of gold, a mithril chain mail and a ring, it's not exactly a grand finish like destroying the One Ring and it never will be.

Comment: Re:Grab 'n dash (Score 1) 21

by Bill Dog (#47563335) Attached to: it boggles the mind

> I ask you to make fewer assumptions in the future based on the author's name alone.

No, it's still overall a sound policy, it's just that you're so bonkers in politics, it's easy to forget that, as far as I can recall, you seem like a pretty normal guy when it comes to everything else.

> Now granted some would say that if you wait you are foolish, and gambling with your life or whatnot.

Luckily for me it's my life to gamble with. I'm perfectly satisfied with cowering upstairs with a shotgun while I'm being burgled out of my entire downstairs' possessions, if it means not risking killing someone.

Comment: Re:Such a Waste (Score 2, Insightful) 140

by Billly Gates (#47562609) Attached to: The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

What's so horrible about The Hobbit?

LOTR all had battle scenes that took up half the movies that were too long. Songs were not included and plot from the book cut to make room for action and Hollywood.

The Hobbit has songs in it and has more of a personal story and A LOT MORE of what is in the books and material from The Silimarian. The 1st hobbit was a little long, but I liked the 2nd a lot and I loved Misty Mountains which had a nice theme to it that I found lacking in LOTR.

"The only way for a reporter to look at a politician is down." -- H.L. Mencken