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Comment Evidence? (Score 1) 368

A friend of mine floated the theory that there were no actual drones, but that the story of "4 drones" was made up as an excuse for letting the road full of cars burn.

I don't think I would have arrived at that same conclusion myself, but come to think of it, the whole story doesn't really make much sense. If drones were in the area, wouldn't they have just dumped water/flame retardant on them? Wouldn't there be some photographs or other evidence of drone presence?

This on the heels of the "drone with a gun" video making the rounds of the Internet. Seems like a convenient excuse to quickly pass drone legislation.

Comment I, for one, welcome our new overlords (Score 1) 177

Privacy concerns aside...

We have owned a Nest thermostat for a couple years and it has saved us a ton of money in utility bills, as well as making our home comfortable when we need it to be and conserving energy when we don't.

My family cooks a lot, and smoke detectors are a pain in the butt for the occasional burnt meal. We already have the "Home Hero" locally mesh-networked smoke alarms (, but the Nest functionality is even better. I have no intention of upgrading, unless my current smoke alarms stop working, but if these were available a couple years ago, I would have bought them.

Back to the privacy concerns... I want to care, really, but as far as the lack of privacy is concerned, the genie is already out of the bottle, so I abashedly admit that I am willing to risk possible further loss of privacy in return for actual convenience.

It's a simple cost-benefit analysis and, for me at least, the benefit outweighs the unlikely potential cost in terms of loss of privacy.

Comment Re:Philosophy... (Score 1) 630

I majored in Mechanical Engineering while minoring in Philosophy. The classical Greek philosophers and political philosophers of the 1800's such as John Stuart Mill and Karl Marx actually had a lot of interesting and valuable things to say about the origins of civilization, law and religion.

I agree with the poster regarding his take on "common-day" philosophers. After enjoying several course sequences on classical philosophy, I had a professor who was supposedly a world-reknowned philosopher. The day we spent discussing whether we could take for granted that we exist here on Earth, instead of being mental projections from gelatinous blobs living on Alpha Centauri was the day I dropped the philosophy minor. Contemporary philosophy, from what little exposure I had, seemed to be nothing more than mental masturbation. A total waste of time that left me no more enlightened.

I got the ME degree, though, and am grateful for what I learned from classical philosophy. What has been most enlightening in my life, however, has been a solid understanding of physics and the scientific method. As far as I'm concerned, people who dismiss science offhand are complete idiots who lack the mental capacity, education - or both - to understand how it is that we have been able to create things like microchips and MRI machines.

These people dismiss scientific theories like evolution as they are just something someone dreamt, not realizing that gravity is also a theory (if I deny it, does that mean I can fly?). These are the same people who are afraid of putting Wi-Fi in their homes, but talk on their cell phones while driving their SUVs to attend the Texas State Board of Education meeting.

Submission + - Pre-order availability of The Boxee Box (

goto11 writes: I am an occasional Boxee user on my HTPC at home and just received notification of pre-order availability of "The Boxee Box by D-Link." I checked out the product description and am sad to see how their "team" (if they have one) just doesn't get it. I won't even talk about the almost-smooth, but often klunky UI that all-too-frequently requires me to bust out my keyboard (and apparently the "Boxee Box" has a keyboard on the remote, so I assume it's the same as my HTPC), the physical design is YAFF (yet another form-factor) that won't fit in my media cabinet. But what's most sad of all is their wannabe-haxor-marketspeak, "Get lost in Internetland. It just got easier, and comfortablier." Or how about this gem, "You're [sic] friends will be impressed, or jealous. Probably jealous." Barf.

Comment Fugly (Score 1) 138

Agree. Could never pass the WAF (wife acceptance factor). WTF?
And while I'm at it, could Apple please make a Mac Mini, AppleTV, whatever, that was the proper width for my stereo system? Or somebody make me a box I can put my Mac Mini into, and add a 3.5" SATA HD.... but I digress...

And the same fugliness applies to my friggin' silver, half-width cable box (black, please). This crap has got to go. Make it matte black and 17-1/8" (435mm) wide or it will look hideous on my AV rack. It's not rocket science.

Adapt. Enjoy. Survive.