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Comment USA perspective = bizarre (Score 1) 1719 1719

She had 2 handguns, completely reasonable for self defense. A standard .223 carbine... standard rifle you can get at walmart, fun to shoot and then a shotgun, pretty typical for hunting small game.

You do realise that to most people in most parts of the civilized/first world, this sounds completely insane, right?

Two handguns for self defence? Insane. Guess what I have for self-defence in the first world country where I live? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not even a bat or knife. Times I have been violently murdered or robbed so far: 0.

A "standard" .223 carbine... that you can buy at a neighbourhood variety store. Insane.

A shotgun, "pretty typical for hunting small game". Insane.

Even more insane, though, is this idea that your hobby/paranoia (which are the two reasons you implicitly think people should have guns) outweighs other people's safety.

Where I live, you actually don't see guns, other than small handguns, in holsters, carried by the police. That's it.

Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Guns just make people way more effective at killing each other. That's what they are for. Take up archery, buy a can of mace, and stop being so completely ridiculous about your weapon-infested society.

Comment Re:Cue stupid comments from non-Australians (Score 1) 452 452

1) The other one being Brisbane and Gold Coast at 100km apart, I would say we're just concentrated on the coast line, not at all huge.

I'm probably an ignorant southerner, but isn't "Gold Coast" just a fancy name for "the outer suburbs of Brisbane"?

Comment Cue stupid comments from non-Australians (Score 4, Informative) 452 452

Before there is too much stupidity, if you've never been to Australia, please realise:

1. It's huge. Really huge. I live in one out of two of the closer-together cities in Australia, and they're about 800kms apart. In the other direction, the next major city is 2,500kms away.

2. It's mostly empty (in terms of civilization). Think of driving through rural Utah or Arizona, which are quite similar to the Australian bush.

3. It's mostly flat and full of similar looking landscape.

4. National parks and non-national park areas often look quite similar.

5. There's usually only one or two ways to get around in the country.

6. Mildura is a small town in the middle of bloody nowhere. If I was driving there from here I'd expect to pass through a handful of tiny settlements on the way.

So if you are relying on your GPS to get you somewhere outside a major city, it's actually quite plausible and reasonable that you might not have much idea that you're being led off in the wrong direction until you (don't) get there.

It's also quite plausible that you can die - it has happened before. People get lost, they run out of fuel, they don't have water, the temperature easily gets up into the 40-50C range and - dead.

Comment Re:Proof at last! (Score 2, Funny) 780 780

It's not 1997 anymore...the kernel has 99% of the drivers you'll need, unless you need a proprietary one or something that's up for inclusion in the kernel that hasn't made it into the stable version yet.

Or unless you want to do something really bizarre like using wifi to connect to a network...

Comment Re:In the air? (Score 2) 381 381

Flying -- with the notable exception of lighter-than-air such as gasbags -- is too energy intensive to be consumer-level practical at this point in time. Leaving out the technological, mass production, and licensing hurdles.

You forgot the most important issue - we are currently doing a good job of causing climate change with a few billion of us using motorised land vehicles. There is no way known that the environment can sustain any significant fraction of the population moving to air travel as a commuting method.

We should be focusing on getting rid of the idea that individuals need 1+ tonne lumps of metal to get around, not finding new ways to pump out greenhouse gases.

Comment Re:... Because everyone is suing everyone ... (Score 1) 738 738

At that point, I thought we had arranged to nominate a certain group of citizens to cut through this kind of crap. Seriously, we must be at a point where government intervention is justified, rather than allowing billions of dollars of legal fees, court time and most importantly innovation to be wasted on this nonsense.

Comment Re:Every single industry that sells tangible produ (Score 1) 276 276

Well, the counter argument to this is that the, let's call them 'informational', goods don't depreciate with use like a tangible product does.

Of course they do.

Have you ever followed the price of a new release game? They start at, say, $70, then drop to $50, then $30ish, then end up in a "value" version for $15-20, then the value version drops to as low as $10 or so. You can see this in both physical releases and electronically distributed versions.

They don't depreciate in the sense that a particular copy doesn't rust or get "mileage" like a car, but their value is linked almost entirely to their novelty, so they actually depreciate more predictably than a car.

Comment Re:laws (Score 1) 1127 1127

This, 1000x this.

Making up a humourus punishment is acknowledging that something potentially illegal happened, and trying to institutionally laugh it off. You absolutely cannot do that. Not once. Not ever.

This is such an American attitude. By making out like this is an all or nothing situation, you actually make it an all or nothing situation when it doesn't need to be.

IMHO a mature workplace would permit someone to cross a line once or twice, and would in a good natured way pull them back onto the right side of that line. Instead of automatically making everything a life and death big deal, why not act like an adult and defuse the situation if possible?

This whole discussion is ignoring the difference between behaviour which is (perhaps) inappropriate in context and behaviour which amounts to sexual harassment, too. Another peculiarly American perception seems to be that any reference to anything of a sexual nature in any context can "harass" someone who hears it.

Comment Re:Wrap rage...? (Score 1) 639 639

Many people don't understand packaging is very important and your post, unfortunately, is no exception.

In the case of tablets and phones, packaging is the first personal encounter with what is intended to be a personal device. Getting this step right is crucial to shaping how a consumer perceives the product and too many companies neglect this simple but ineluctable point.

Underlying your post is an assumption that the person buying this device is sufficiently shallow, stupid, and lacking in perception that the way it is packaged actually alters their subsequent experience with it. Which might be true for people who buy phones etc. on the basis of image or "lifestyle" factors, but doesn't matter to people who buy things on the basis of what they actually do.

I had a Motorola phone which came in an amazing box - a crazy extruded metal lid which slid off to reveal the phone etc seated in a sort of display cabinet. The phone was still a piece of shit. OTOH I have a Sony phone now which came in a very boring white box, but the phone is a joy to use.

Or maybe the people you're talking about are the same ones who when given presents for Christmas as kids would play with the box and not the present?

As a few people have noted, the Kindle comes in amazingly simple, instantly disposable packaging. I don't think less of my Kindle because it didn't come in some kind of Russian doll box folded by ninjas like an ipad does. In fact it just confirms to me that what matters is what it does, not the box it came in.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten