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The 69 Words GM Employees Can Never Say 373

Posted by timothy
from the ok-and-you-can't-say-that-number-either dept.
bizwriter (1064470) writes "General Motors put together its take on a George Carlin list of words you can't say. Engineering employees were shown 69 words and phrases that were not to be used in emails, presentations, or memos. They include: defect, defective, safety, safety related, dangerous, bad, and critical. You know, words that the average person, in the context of the millions of cars that GM has recalled, might understand as indicative of underlying problems at the company. Oh, terribly sorry, 'problem' was on the list as well."

Comment: vending machine pricing (Score 5, Informative) 105

by Virtex (#46978749) Attached to: FCC Chairman Will Reportedly Revise Broadband Proposal
I'm reminded of a story about a company that made soda vending machines. The company had a new vending machine they were marketing to amusement parks which would raise prices when the temperature got above, say, 80 degrees. A lot of amusement parks liked the idea and started buying the new machines, but the word got out to the public and there was a huge backlash of people complaining about deceptive pricing and basically cheating the customers. In order to save themselves, the vending machine company explained to the public that their machines were really lowering the price of their sodas when the temperature dropped below 80 degrees. Somehow that just sounded better to the general public. This thing with fast and slow lanes sounds a lot like the vending machine company. Allowing fast lanes and allowing slow lanes are the same thing, just worded differently.

Comment: Do a proper threat assessment there. (Score 1) 1374

by Valdrax (#46902519) Attached to: "Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention

Because any place that is designated as a "gun-free zone" thereby becomes a place of danger. Nowdays they are refered to as "Rob Me zones".

Generally speaking, bars are rather filled with people, so robbing people inside is impractical and a bit silly of an idea even when everyone is supposed to be disarmed.

Robbing them in the parking lot is a possibility -- bars seem to attract crime of all sorts -- but the typical target you want to mug is someone who can't defend themselves. For a bar, that most likely means drunk people, who would be in no condition to defend themselves if they did have a gun; you'd just end up with an escalation of the situation that would most likely work against the armed patron by encouraging the mugger to attack while the patron attempts to draw.

On the other hand, the threat of impulsive, alcohol-fueled murders in a flash of anger is massively increased when you let someone carry a weapon into a bar. 50% of all murders are committed under the influence of alcohol. Allowing guns into bars is a recipe for raising the local homicide rate.

Just look at what happened to the schools !

Over 99% of schools will never have a school shooting throughout their lifespan. There were 38 school shootings in 2000-2010 resulting in the deaths of 33 victims (not including the shooter). This number does not include colleges but does include a handful of non-public schools. There are just under 99,000 schools in America, meaning that around 4% of 1% of schools had a shooting, and of those most were single-target attacks or very short opportunistic attacks rather than the slow, deliberate Columbine or Virginia Tech style massacre that people hold up as an example of where a gun might help.

On the other hand, 606 people died of firearms accidents and 19,392 people died of suicide just in 2010 alone. So with that in mind, what exactly do you think would have been solved by bringing guns to a building filled with curious children and emotionally wrought teens other than a lot of opportunities for tragedy.

You have to do a fair threat evaluation. Guns in schools are a far bigger threat than they are a threat neutralizer.

Comment: Re:Gun nuts (Score 1) 1374

by Valdrax (#46894827) Attached to: "Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention

On the other hand, I would exercise self-restraint and not go to bars full of guns.

Kind of like avoiding smoking in bars, you may find that the choice simply becomes "don't go to bars." On the other hand, you can tell a smoky bar upon stepping in the door, so those are easy enough to avoid. However, with concealed carry laws, you have no idea if anyone is carrying while drunk until it has become a situation unless the bar has a very clear sign on the door.

Comment: Re:Gun nuts (Score 1) 1374

by Valdrax (#46889967) Attached to: "Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention

If you wish to live in community that heavily regulates firearms, then band together and do so - nothing restricts a locality/city/region from banning the things of their own initiative (see also Chicago, D.C, New York City, etc.) However, please do not try to impose such things across the whole nation. There is no "reasonable" restriction in the eyes of those who wish to promulgate these laws, save for complete abolition.

Due to a number of court challenges, there is no local governments that are allowed to practice such restrictions anymore, because "there is no 'reasonable' restriction in the eyes of those who wish to [oppose] these laws, save for complete [legalization]." See Heller vs. DC, et al.

Okay, maybe that's a bit too far. Most gun-enthusiasts support restrictions on felons and the mentally ill owning guns, but there are a good number of true gun-nuts that don't, and politics over the last decade has pushed further and further to the fringe on the right. Witness the latest law in right-leaning Georgia to allow concealed carry in bars where people will be intoxicated while armed.

I mean, why did anyone think that was a good idea?

United States

"Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention 1374

Posted by timothy
from the or-maybe-that's-exactly-the-right-kind dept.
R3d M3rcury (871886) writes "How's this for a good idea? A gun that won't fire unless it's within 10 inches of a watch? That's the iP1 from Armatrix. Of course, don't try to sell it here in the United States." From the NY Times article linked: "[Armatrix employee] Belinda Padilla does not pick up unknown calls anymore, not since someone posted her cellphone number on an online forum for gun enthusiasts. Then someone snapped pictures of the address where she has a P.O. box and put those online, too. In a crude, cartoonish scrawl, this person drew an arrow to the blurred image of a woman passing through the photo frame. 'Belinda?" the person wrote. "Is that you?" ... "I have no qualms with the idea of personally and professionally leveling the life of someone who has attempted to profit from disarming me and my fellow Americans," one commenter wrote." The article paints a fairly rosy picture of the particular technology that Armatrix is pushing, but their ID-checking gun seems to default to an unfireable state, which might not always be an attractive feature. And given that at least one state — New Jersey — has hinged a gun law on the commercial availability of these ID-linked guns, it's not surprising that some gun owners dislike a company that advertises this kind of system as "the future of the firearm."

Comment: Re:I can't do it; I've tried before. (Score 1) 466

by Valdrax (#46862103) Attached to: Bill Gates & Twitter Founders Put "Meatless" Meat To the Test

Right, the no-meat version is better ;) If its cooked well, which the Chinese can do since they've been cooking this way for 1000's of years, then you get a very good result.

In your opinion, but you've already established that meat wasn't something you really cared for to begin with.

Don't get me wrong, there are a few Chinese vegetarian dishes I like and many more Indian dishes, but any good dish is a celebration of its ingredients. No dish should be able to taste the same if you add or remove any one ingredient, because if done properly, a dish enhances the flavors of all of its components. If it does taste the same, then there's probably just some component smothering the other flavors, and I can't imagine that any such dish treats its vegetables any better.

I think people mostly don't want to enjoy their non-meat meals, they COULD, but they'd feel like maybe they weren't eating well before. Its scary.

I think you should talk to people who have different life experiences from you rather than just imagine motives for them that cast them in a scary light. I've wanted to go lacto-ovo vegetarian for health and environmental reasons, but I've failed three times. It's not that I didn't want to like vegetarian dishes; it's that I just never stopped wanting the meat dishes too. It's far harder to give up something you enjoy than it is to find joy in other things, and when it comes to food, nothing is quite as tempting as the dish you can't have but want.

Just ask anyone on a diet.

Comment: Re:I can't do it; I've tried before. (Score 2) 466

by Valdrax (#46858241) Attached to: Bill Gates & Twitter Founders Put "Meatless" Meat To the Test

I know of a few authentic places, where they have the Chinese-only menu, but that's not the point. Meat has a distinctive flavor. Unless you do something absolutely horrifying to it to suppress it, you are simply never going to make a dish where it tastes the same with or without meat.

Comment: Think of carob & chocolate (Score 2) 466

by Valdrax (#46855567) Attached to: Bill Gates & Twitter Founders Put "Meatless" Meat To the Test

Because people like meat, and you aren't going to get some people to switch until they can get the experience of meat. The problem is that the primary consumers of vegetarian meat substitutes are people who don't like meat.

Imagine if we were talking about giving up chocolate. People could tell you that there's all sorts of yummy, fruit flavored alternatives out there that have "great flavors and textures all their own" and "can satisfy the appetite." But none of them are chocolate. They don't compare at all when you've got that craving, even if they are nutritionally equivalent or better.

So then someone invents carob bars, and all the chocolate lovers look askance at it, while the non-chocolate people are split between those that embrace the new "tastes just like chocolate" treat (which it doesn't) and others are just so puzzled why anyone would want chocolate in the first place. Is it any wonder it fails to attract people who are okay with chocolate?

It's the same with meat substitutes and meat.

Comment: I can't do it; I've tried before. (Score 4, Informative) 466

by Valdrax (#46855531) Attached to: Bill Gates & Twitter Founders Put "Meatless" Meat To the Test

I find that not eating meat is pretty trivial ...

Good for you. I'm reminded of a quote from a comic I read when someone expressed shock and incredulity that another character had not seen Star Wars. Her response was simply, "Your life experiences are different from my own." What you are basically saying here is that you don't really like meat all that much and it was no big sacrifice to give it up. That's not the case for everyone.

I find the switch to a meatless diet extremely hard, and I become just absolutely ravenous when I go more than a few days without it. I've tried three times for all the good reasons that you mention, and I just get a craving that cannot be satisfied by anything else.

Almost any garden variety restaurant in China can make you a dish that usually can't be distinguished from a meat dish, and if I wish I can make several of them myself.

As someone who likes meat, I find that statement laughable. If the vegetables in the dish are the most interesting and delicious part to you, then that's probably true for you. However, while I do enjoy many vegetarian Chinese and Indian dishes, I will NEVER confuse them for those with meat. The taste of the meat is not found in the meat itself but also in the sauces.

Comment: Re:Bank them (Score 1) 333

by Valdrax (#46841661) Attached to: Blood of World's Oldest Woman Hints At Limits of Life

My thought upon reading this story was, "Oh, thank God!!"

I had been hoping there was a definite end that science could not trick. I was beginning to fear that the medical community was going to try to force any level of existence to continue without regard to quality. Death is a part of life. I'd rather live with that than trying to force a 100 year old body to keep it's heart beating just because some family member doesn't know how to cope any other way.

That is a view and a choice that I can respect, but why should you cheer the possibility that no one be able to choose any other way? That those who want more life be denied it?

Like a lot of the elderly people you mention, I think I too would choose death over prolonged suffering, helplessness, and a lack of ability to accomplish much more than running the bills up for my family. But I don't think I would choose death until that was all I had to look forward to, and I would be happy for any medical advancement that pushes that inevitable time back and that preserves health into those latter years.

And if the generation after me is able to live forever, I will not begrudge them that just because it was too late for me. (Okay, maybe I'll be a tad jealous.) However, I'd oppose any efforts to stop it with what's left of my life.

Comment: Re:Not Uncommon for Portland (Score 2) 332

by Valdrax (#46802163) Attached to: Why Portland Should Have Kept Its Water, Urine and All

We Portlanders greatly appreciate our open air reservoirs however the City Water Bureau does not. Despite a large public outcry to keep our open air reservoirs our water department despite saying that they were working to keep our reservoirs, did not file for a waiver from the department of homeland security to keep the reservoirs open air.

What the hell... WHY?

I used to live in Portland for about three years and regularly drank the tap water The idea that I was drinking water straight from an open-air reservoir post-treatment nauseates me. Why would anyone want this?

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 1633

by Valdrax (#46772825) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

The rights protected by the 2nd amendment are rights retained by the people and, in my opinion, are not subject to regulation by states under their powers.

In your opinion. I clearly disagree, finding more agreement with Breyer's dissent in McDonald v. Chicago (2010) that incorporation under the 14th was inappropriate because it is not a fundamental, individual right.

The Second is the only Amendment in the Bill of Rights that explicitly explains the intent behind the right enumerated there -- that the ownership of firearms is intended for the establishment of well functioning militias. That means the right is limited and not fundamental, and the government should have a free hand to regulate so long as that purpose is not thwarted. To hold otherwise is to regulate the militia clause meaningless. I do not think any phrase in the Constitution should be treated so.

If you're implying that the 2nd amendment grants a power to the states then I'd like to understand what structure in the Constitution would give you the impression that anything in the Bill of Rights grants any power to a state.

Well, if you're going to completely disregard the Second, then you must at least look to the Tenth, which held that powers not reserved by the federal government belong to the States or to the people. Note that "the States" is capitalized as a formal term in the same way that "State" is in the Second and in the rest of the Constitution. Once again, this points to the explicit, focused intent of the Amendment to address state and local concerns.

Furthermore, its very clear from the rest of the Constitution that the founders intended the States to still have a large role in the life of their citizens. The structure of the Senate is the clearest expression of that intent, giving an entire house of the legislature over to (originally) state-appointed representatives, balanced between the states.

They are relatively good but absolutely terrible. -- Alan Kay, commenting on Apollos

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