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Comment Re:like the lightbulbs that last virtually forever (Score 1) 155 155

I had three of the 40w TW Cree bulbs crap out with flickering and eventually dying. I contacted Cree support, took a photo of the packaging, and they, no questions asked, fedexed me three new bulbs. I didn't have to send the old ones back. Worth a shot.

Comment Re: You have got to be kidding me (Score 1) 727 727

I would think that Jenner is an outliner,

... As I said before, a trans person is one who adopts (through a lot of work) a very defined hetero normative sexual identity.

I really think you are way out of line here. Of the relatively few trans people I can think of.

Burger Heineman, a transwoman, is married to a woman. There's actually another programmer I remember--and I can't for thel ife of me remember her name, or find her page via google--who ported a lot of games to Mac over the years (and worked at one of the porting companies) who transitioned quite awhile ago and also identified as a lesbian.

Here's an article for you: http://mic.com/articles/74169/trans-women-can-be-lesbians-too

Comment Re:You have got to be kidding me (Score 1) 727 727

Hah, that's hilarious. "Curating a list of idiots who jumped at the bait." That's rich.

Do you, out of curiosity, have any connection to Brianna Wu (or anyone else directly involved in GamerGate?). I'm asking because you seem to be taking these slashdot threads really personally, and it seems a bit suspicious.

Comment Re: You have got to be kidding me (Score 1) 727 727

It is not strange. Every trans person assumes a very well defined *hetero* sexual identity.

That's not true at all. Caitlyn Jenner is dating a woman. She is both a transwoman and a lesbian.

More to the point, if religion claims that you are created in God's image and also proscribes a particular way to live (e.g. as a heterosexual even if you experience homosexual urges), why is it ok for you to ignore homosexual desires but embrace a desire to change your body and gender. Both are doing things that your body as constructed by God wasn't originally intended for.

Like I said, I don't get it.

Comment Re:Automation Tax Proposal (Score 2) 391 391

It seems to me that the real problem with this is immigration. Our immigration system now--specifically lack of enforcement--encourages bringing in lots of low skill labor. The next is all IMHO, so take it cum grano salis! Big agra and big business (aka republicans) likes this because it keeps labor costs down. Democrats like this because it's importing new democrat voters, and the idea of America as welfare state to raise up the poor from around the world. Economists like immigration because all they care about is economic growth. People care about individual or per capita economic growth, economists care about aggregate growth.

Can we afford something like a basic income while at the same time allowing in hundreds of thousands of low-skill workers every year?

I prefer to take the view that the US could be like a really selective college--say a Harvard or Yale. Harvard or Yale could fill up their freshman class with absolutely anybody they wanted. All 1600 SAT scores--no problem. Asian engineers only? No problem. People with 4.0 GPAs who graduated 1st in their highschools classes and took 18 AP classes--get in line. The US could be equally selective about who we let immigrate in. I don't understand why we aren't.

Comment Re: You have got to be kidding me (Score 1) 727 727

In my experience most people are supportive of transsexual, just not those who are lying assholes.

note ... I was outed on Slashdot a decade ago, and overall the experience was very positive. Being open about it has presented opportunities to help others reach a better understanding of who we are.

That's interesting that that's your experience. I've found it interesting that it seems like many religious conservatives don't object to trans* the way they do to homosexuality. Iran, for instance, punishes homosexuality but performs a huge number of transexual surgeries every year. Being trans is seen as being preferable to being gay.

In the US, even Rick Santorum, poster child of the (IMHO) nutbag religious conservatives, said that if Bruce Jenner said he was a woman, then she was a woman. Santorum has been infamous for his idiotic statements on homosexuality (agree or disagree on state-recognized gay marriage, Santorum is a fool).

Strange world we live in.

Comment Re:You have got to be kidding me (Score 1) 727 727

Let me make sure I've got this right. Are you saying that skin color is the same as gender?

No. They are different. One is skin color and the other is gender.

It sounds like you're trying to imply that transgenderism isn't a real thing. You're welcome to think that if you want, but keep in mind that if you're trying to say it's not real and she isn't really a woman, all you're going to do is attract people who will defend her purely on that basis, and criticisms of her actual behavior and ethics will get pushed under the rug.

Not at all. The way I view it, identity is pretty much the most personal thing we have. It's maybe the only thing that is entirely self-contained within "me." I control how I present my identity to the outside world, and so do Brianna Wu and Rachel Dolezal--everybody does. I have no interest in judging whose identities are valid and whose aren't--they're identities! They just are.

My point, rather, is that if you build your public persona on being one thing, on your past experiences, etc., and that if you embark on a public campaign in which you talk about your childhood, past experiences, etc.--be prepared to come clean with the truth.

Comment Re:You have got to be kidding me (Score 3, Insightful) 727 727

For the record, I had never heard the claim that Brianna Wu is a transwoman before today, and I have no idea if it's true or not. I have followed GamerGate only minimally and can't say I understand all the issues.

BUT, if it's true that Brianna is a transwoman, that is certainly not off-topic. It's the same as Rachel Dolezal claiming to be black, and to have suffered her whole life for being black, when she is white and grew up in a racially accepting family. If Dolezal wants to make herself look black and claim to be black, that's fine with me, but it stinks of hypocrisy for her to lie about her past, her experiences, and her identity while at the same time claiming to be a spokesperson for people with that identity!

Likewise, if Brianna Wu is a transwoman but also claims to speak towards a personal history of suffering gender prejudice and so forth, it doesn't exactly look kosher.

Comment Re:Chapel Hill/ Carrboro North Carolina (Score 1) 654 654

1. You are correct about suburbanization in Durham and Chapel Hill (Not in Carrboro because it is built out)
As population and traffic increases, travel slows down on roads. But light rail does not slow down as passenger volumes increase. It's easy to add more cars to the train. So the more pressure there is for transportation, the bigger advantage light rail has. Light rail gets MORE economical as demand increases.

I would think Carrboro is pretty much the definition of suburban (barring the few contiguous to Franklin/Chapel Hill parts).

I hope you're right that the light rail as planned helps. God knows we need it. I, personally, cannot see any reason why I would ever ride it. Going from UNC hospital to Duke hospital is not a major need of mine. Now, open a stop on Franklin, one on 9th, something in downtown Durham, go out to the airport, etc, and now it might be useful. I'm afraid given the pace of development, we're literally limiting what is possible to be built by not acting now.

2. Development is already beginning to aggregate around the announced light rail stations, even though the system will not begin to operate until 2026. If development is randomly dispersed, centralization of transportation is difficult. But if you plan your transportation system in advance rather than just reacting to the sprawl, development will adjust to maximize use of transit.

The line, as planned, seems totally reactive to me. I say that as someone who owns a property within 1/2 mile of one proposed stop!

Comment Re:Chapel Hill/ Carrboro North Carolina (Score 2) 654 654

I frequently ride public transit in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. It is the largest fare free system in the US. It is used by many people but growth in usage depends on many factors. Park and Ride lots make a big difference for people who live outside of town and must drive to get even close to their destination. Sidewalks make a difference because people who live close enough to walk to a bus stop have to have a safe place to walk. The Chapel Hill buses have bike carriers on the front so that bike riders can take the bus for part of their trip.

Chapel Hill is also infamous for the number of people who commute into Chapel Hill (and even Orange County more general) from places like Durham, Mebane, even Raleigh. I don't know numbers, but I would assume--especially given the traffic on 15-501--that the vast and overwhelming majority are car drivers. One of my coworkers commutes to Durham every day from Carrboro. The trip takes around 20-25 minutes. She takes the bus sometimes, but my recollection is that it takes about 1.5 hours.

Light rail seems highly unlikely to substantially change any of the numbers.

Chapel Hill/Carrboro also has the big advantage of being a geographically compact area (though located in an ever expanding metro area), and a highly affluent population that is--compared to surrounding areas--very racially and economically homogenous. It strikes me that many areas around the country that have high rates of public transportation (and bicycling rates) meet similar criteria.

But one of the biggest factor is how easy it is to find parking. Cities use a huge amount of their space just to store cars during the day. The more expensive and hard to find parking becomes, the more people will use free public transit.

That's the balancing act. It really is purely a calculus of time and effort. I can drive to work work in 14 min (std dev ~1 min--roughly!). I can park in my driveway and immediately behind my office building. Public transportation is never going to be able to compete with that in time or convenience.

And all of this takes time. People have to adjust to the new reality of bus transportation being easier and cheaper than owning and driving a car. Over time, people will make decisions about where to live based in part on the presence of public transit. And if businesses also locate in areas served by transit, then it's easier for people to live and work on a transit line.

It seems to me that the "new reality" you're talking about is really called "urbanization" whereas in the Piedmont we have "suburbanization" with pockets of denser development surrounded by sprawl. I don't remember where I read this, but a list of the worst examples of suburban sprawl nationwide featured The Triad, The Triangle, and the Charlotte Metro area as three of the worst. Tons of awful and non-sustainable development is going in all around Chapel Hill, Durham, and the Triangle as a whole. I think it's going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better!

Comment Re:Methamphetamines age you prematurely. (Score 2) 285 285

Seven! That's such a rarity now... If you don't mind my asking, how do you like it? My wife and I both came from two-child households, and we have three kids (all under the age of 6). Our parents all thought it was bizarre and that we were crazy to have three kids. I kind of want more while my wife--who admittedly has to do most of the work of creating the child!--is not so sure right now. I'm always curious to hear other people's takes.

Comment I don't like Wired (Score 1) 44 44

Am I the only person here who doesn't like Wired?

I remember back in the mid-to-late 90s when a friend had a subscription. It seemed like bunk to me--full-color glossy pages and a kind of self-congratulatory almost outside-in look at computers and geek culture. My friend (an artist and self-avowed geek) loved the magazine, while I (a programmer) just never got the appeal. I liked the programming magazines that gave code samples!

I can't say I've seen an issue of Wired in probably 10 years, but judging from the Wired blog sites like "GeekDad" it seems to me that it's still full-on geekporn rather than a real technical magazine. I'm quite sure that my experiences 15 years ago have biased me against Wired, but are my impressions at all correct?

Time-sharing is the junk-mail part of the computer business. -- H.R.J. Grosch (attributed)