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Comment: Re:This was done by a journalist, not a scientist! (Score 1) 215

by alvinrod (#49795277) Attached to: How a Scientist Fooled Millions With Bizarre Chocolate Diet Claims
It's not a controlled experiment, but it could be called a case study of sorts.

Really though, this kind of thing should be publicized. It draws attention to the issues with science reporting and hopefully the people who latched onto this take a little time to look into what they're reporting on and avoid sources that will publish practically anything.

It also lets consumers know which journalists they may want to be more skeptical of when choosing what the read or believe.

Comment: Re:Not the Issue (Score 2) 164

by alvinrod (#49755273) Attached to: 'Prisonized' Neighborhoods Make Recidivism More Likely
That sounds like a really, really inane conspiracy.

It's crime mixed with idiotic politics that come as a result of politicians trying to look tough on crime rather than determine how to solve the actual problem. The prison system doesn't help do much in the way of reforming anyone so a lot of people just go back to crime again. When you make a lot of victim-less activities illegal is it really any wonder that you end up with a lot of criminals.

Not really sure what locking up the nation's poor has to do with preventing some kind of revolution, whatever that's supposed to mean. Realistically it would be much cheaper to pay poor people $25,000 a year to just stay at home than it would to lock them up, which is vastly more expensive.

Comment: Re:Obsessed with keeping government out of busines (Score 4, Insightful) 289

by alvinrod (#49719547) Attached to: North Carolina Still Wants To Block Municipal Broadband
I really don't understand it either. If the government entity receives no unfair treatment and has to play by the same rules as every other company, there's no reason why a local municipality shouldn't be able to collectively decide that they want to take a crack at creating something better.

It seems that some people are more anti-government than they are pro-market or have become so accustomed to making the same argument that they're not even bothering to look at the issue at hand.

At least it makes sense for the politicians to oppose it. They probably get all kinds of brib^H^H^H^Hcontributions from the companies that are paying for these monopoly rights.

Comment: Re:Not sure if smart or retarded (Score 5, Insightful) 204

Are you kidding? These same people will be back again, which means they have to buy all new copies of the game to get a fresh set of keys which is even more revenue for Blizzard. I imagine that a lot of them are accounts to farm and sell gold or other items so it's not as though they're just going to close shop and go elsewhere when there's still a demand for their services. One could argue that there's even more money to be had right now if the number of sellers has seriously decreased so there's a lot of incentive for these people to get back in the game.

Comment: Re:This will be a historic mission. (Score 1) 190

by alvinrod (#49710477) Attached to: Arab Mars Probe Planned For 2020
While in the long run it would be better for them to develop the capacity in their own country for these kinds of endeavors, this still does benefit humanity and the space industry as a whole and it's oil money far better spent than Saudi Arabia, which seems to dump a lot into financing extremism and human misery.

Comment: Does it actually matter (Score 1) 121

I dislike the ridiculous copyright laws as much as anyone else, but does it really matter much in reality? The internet has made it so easy to access all manners of information and the average person really doesn't care much about copyright laws as far as their own personal use goes. Much like more and more people really don't care about others smoking pot or two men getting married, I think we'll eventually reach a point where the general population will collectively not care about personal piracy and it won't be cost effective for the record industry to try to enforce any laws.

I suspect that within 30 years most of the music labels will have ceased to exist as we currently know them. They have no real purpose any more and creating and publishing your own content is only going to get easier and cheaper as time moves on. I would imagine that we'll also see payment systems mature a lot as well and it will probably be easy to cut out the big sellers like Apple and Amazon as well because it will be no less difficult to transact directly with the artist. They'll probably exist, but mostly as agents to handle some of things that the artists don't care to oversee themselves.

Comment: Re:OSS needs technical writers more than coders (Score 1) 244

by alvinrod (#49689603) Attached to: RTFM? How To Write a Manual Worth Reading
I wouldn't say it's hard to code well either, but it may take some individuals a lot of time to reach the point where they write elegant code. I think the same is true of writing as well. The average person could become sufficiently skilled to produce useful documents.

The hard part is being able to design really great software or meaningful written works. I'm more than capable of learning the writing skills necessary to produce a novel, but honestly I don't think I could actually write one that anyone would consider worth reading just like there are a lot of people who can learn to write nice, clean code, but can't envision the software that should be created or how to construct the algorithms to reach that end goal.

Comment: Re:Surprising to those unfamiliar with mathematici (Score 1) 170

I don't follow football a lot, but my understanding is that players on the offensive line are a lot less susceptible to this problem. They don't tend to tack other players or collide at high speeds. They're almost right next to the opposing player who needs to be stopped and usually just end up grappling with this person. Contrast this with other positions where the player needs to tackle someone or ends up getting tackled a lot.

Players on the line are more likely to have their knees worn out. Carrying that much weight around is going to be hard on the knees already and the constant up/down motion doesn't help matters at all.

Comment: Re:"clinging to dialup" (Score 1) 153

by alvinrod (#49675033) Attached to: Closing This Summer: Verizon To Scoop Up AOL For $4.4 Billion
I think there are a lot of AOL customers who don't actually use their service, but for some reason think they need to keep paying to use the internet or to keep their AOL email address. People seem to forget how prominent the AOL brand was back in the day. It was the first internet provider for a lot of people and among the less savvy computer users it wouldn't surprise me if they think of AOL as the internet and something that they need to keep paying for so their broadband connection will work.

Most people who are stuck on dial-up are probably going through a local telco rather than a big-name provider. Up until a few years ago my parents who live in the country were still using dial-up access from the local co-op because that's all that was available. They could have conceivably used AOL, but would have had to pay long-distance charges.

Comment: Solution (Score 5, Insightful) 612

by alvinrod (#49658029) Attached to: To Laid-Off Southern California Edison Workers: Boo-Hoo
Here's an easy solution to this problem. Make H1-B a path to citizenship (and really we want as much intelligent and highly-skilled labors as possible to stick around) so that eventually companies can't hold the H1-B over an employee's head to keep wages down. Next, keep track of former H1-B workers who are currently unemployed and do not allow for any addition applications until there there are fewer than say 10% who have been unemployed for more than a year. Additionally, count any citizens who were displaced by an H1-B worker (would need to follow companies using H1-B workers more closely, but that's part of the trade-off) as part of this pool as well.

If a company can't find enough skilled workers, they need to raise wages to attract better candidates and let the companies who aren't willing to pay as much draw from the pool of applicants who are less qualified. Otherwise they can pick from what's available and spend some time training their hires.

Comment: Re:It's the same old lies from these H1B advocates (Score 3, Interesting) 612

by alvinrod (#49657961) Attached to: To Laid-Off Southern California Edison Workers: Boo-Hoo
And it's really not the government that's to blame, but the people who voted for them.

It's it not really the people's fault either, but the powerful few who manipulated them.

I'm sure we could make an excuse for them as well (or we'll have just come full circle) but the buck has to stop somewhere.

Comment: Re:If I hear "eSport" one more time... (Score 1) 113

by alvinrod (#49638429) Attached to: Counter-Strike Finally Gets the League It Deserves
While it's not a sport in the traditional sense that it requires significant athletic prowess, it is still something that's played competitively so it is functionally equivalent in most other aspects.

The fact that the supposed "league" is rife with cheating/hacks with no real way to catch creative cheaters simply detracts from the notion of "sport" even more.

Sounds like baseball, cycling, and just about every other high-level sport out there.

Comment: Re:Hahah (Score 1) 246

I don't know anything about the kid (other than he's stupid and impulsive enough to try something like this) but locking him up won't make anything better in the long run. When he gets out the only thing he'll be able to do is crime and he'll probably have met plenty of other enterprising individuals who can give him some tips.

All we're really doing is setting this individual up to be a lifelong drain on society.

I'd rather see massive amounts of community service to repay the debt he owes to society. I don't know what this individual's home life is like, and I can't imagine it's great given what he's done, but his punishment should be get an education and then work his ass off to pay for what he's done. No sports, no video games, and no screwing around.

He might not like it, but I suspect he has at least a small chance of turning out to be a decent person and contributing to society if the second approach is followed.

Good day to avoid cops. Crawl to work.