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Comment: Re:My wife just died of cancer this week (Score 1) 138

by ncc74656 (#47903857) Attached to: If We Can't Kill Cancer, Can We Control It?

My wife just died of breast cancer this week -- she did not live to be 40 -- so articles and research like this give me hope that, when our child grows up, cancer will not be something that takes people's lives away from them so quickly and so young.

Mine passed a year ago last Saturday of uterine cancer; she was 33. You're probably feeling absolutely gutted right about now. Things will improve slowly, but they will improve. Just yesterday, I was looking through photos for something to illustrate a fundraising page for a run benefiting cancer research. I got a bit choked up on an engagement photo, but that only served to tell me that was the picture to use. Those kinds of things will most likely keep happening for a long time to come...probably forever, at some level. They'll come along less frequently, though, and mostly around things like birthdays and anniversaries. Keeping busy—with work, friends, hobbies, etc.—might help; it seems to have helped me out, at least.

Comment: Re:If it happened in China or North Korea or Iran (Score 1) 223

by Pharmboy (#47893669) Attached to: U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

As you point out, not all birds of a feather stick together. I'm not a Tea Party guy. I'm just not closed minded enough to judge a friend by their politics. If you only have friends that agree with your politics, you are probably narrow minded or take politics too seriously.

Comment: Re:If it happened in China or North Korea or Iran (Score 1) 223

by Pharmboy (#47890547) Attached to: U.S. Threatened Massive Fine To Force Yahoo To Release Data

Has the United States of America become a member of The Totalitarian Club ?

Yes. Each President has been moving in this direction more and more, but Obama has managed to overreach even more than those before him. Take the IRS, for instance. I personally know of people who have been getting involved with Tea Party politics and now are getting audited. Like their politics or not (it doesn't matter), that is totalitarianism, which means the next time a GOP'er gets in, he can do the same thing. It isn't a good time to be an American.

Comment: Re:it's not a technical problem (Score 1) 116

by ncc74656 (#47840853) Attached to: E-Books On a $20 Cell Phone

Your suggestion assumes all American kids have either 1.) A library within walking distance, 2.) Access to transportation.

The schools they attend have libraries, don't they? If they're not within walking distance, there's a bus that will take them there. For ~9 months of the year, your "problem" is sorted.

Comment: Re: TI calculators are not outdated, just overpric (Score 1) 359

by ncc74656 (#47839513) Attached to: How the Outdated TI-84 Plus Still Holds a Monopoly On Classrooms

You can't use a tablet on the SAT

Back when I took the SAT, they didn't allow calculators. No scientific calculators, not even basic 4-function jobs. Graphing calculators weren't even on the market when I took it the first time in junior high, and they had only been around a couple years or so when I took it again in high school. Now get off my lawn!

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 116

by ncc74656 (#47839105) Attached to: E-Books On a $20 Cell Phone

Reading e-books two or three lines at a time on a 3.2-inche screen would turn anyone off of reading.

I did just fine reading ebooks from an iPhone 3G back in the day. If you can only fit two or three lines at a time on-screen, you're doing it wrong. It'll be less than you can get with a tablet screen, but it's certainly usable. The iPhone 4 was a nice step up (smoother text), and the tablets I've since picked up are better still (7" is plenty...I do most of my reading on a Galaxy Tab 2 7.0), but I still keep ebook apps on both tablet and phone, with bookmarks synced between them so I can get a little reading in if I have some time to kill.

Comment: Re:Define technology (Score 2) 230

by Pharmboy (#47833829) Attached to: Did you use technology to get into mischief as a child?

Slingshots (ie: wrist rockets) are better for squirrel, faster projectile. You need perfectly round projectiles, like marbles, so they don't wobble in flight. And yes, I've eaten squirrel, usually "Squirrel and dumplings". Not bad if the squirrels aren't too gamey, it just takes a lot of squirrels to make a pot. We ate normal food most of the time, but my parents made sure all 7 of us tasted squirrel, turtle, rabbit and lots of deer, dove, quail, duck, lake fish, wild turkey and other game. Most parents don't teach self-sufficiency and basic survival skills, except those that the majority snidely call "rednecks".

And the "wrist rocket" IS technology: the taking of an old concept, and updating it with the most modern materials. You can do some serious damage with one of those.

Comment: Re:Discrimination (Score 1) 579

by Pharmboy (#47809923) Attached to: Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

That is a Foundation issue, not something we at WER can do much about. I think they have spent a great deal of money and resources on the issue, but I've yet to see anything come of it, to be honest. Child rearing is probably to blame in part, if we are honest and accept that our culture still has a divide between the genders. Men tend to have a bit more free time, and perhaps that is the threshold: free time. I notice a lot of unemployed people editing, for example.

Comment: Re:Discrimination (Score 1) 579

by Pharmboy (#47785875) Attached to: Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

Wikipedia's WikiProject Editor Retention has looked at the same problem, but from a retention point rather than the perspective of attracting new women. There were no real answers, just lots of speculation. Lots of people blame the culture, or say the place is too "rough and tumble" but I found that conclusion rather sexist, as it says that women can't compete for ideas in the same environment as men. There doesn't seems to be a difference in retention of men and women, they just aren't coming to Wikipedia to begin with.

Comment: Re:Yes it is (Score 1) 167

Getting 240p to display properly on HDTVs is a huge pain for retro gaming enthusiasts.

It largely comes down to the quality of the scaling hardware within the display and the assumptions it makes about the signal. I knocked together an RGB-to-component converter for the Apple IIGS recently and tried it out with the LCD displays I had on hand: three TVs (two name-brand and one not-so-name-brand) and a monitor that also has component input (and S-video and composite, in addition to the usual VGA and DVI). The monitor kinda worked, but it chopped off the first line of text IIRC. The not-so-name-brand TV didn't work at all. The other two TVs worked: the entire screen area was visible. Color quality and 40-column text were pretty good. 80-column text was usable, if a bit fuzzy. I had hoped to use it with the monitor in the computer room, but the missing line of text would be a bit of a problem (it's like it's not syncing up until it's too late). None of them are as clear as the ancient NEC MultiSync 3D I normally use with it, but who knows how long that will continue to work? It already takes several minutes to settle down and run right after a cold start. I suspect a CRT TV with component input would be better than the LCDs, but I haven't had one of those for several years.

(While the adapter is intended to plug straight into the IIGS's RGB output, you could lash up an adapter to use it with other devices. In addition to red, green, blue, and composite sync, it also needs +12V and -5V. It only cost me about $50 to build, and maybe $20 of that was two extra boards from OSH Park, which ships in multiples of 3.)

If it smells it's chemistry, if it crawls it's biology, if it doesn't work it's physics.