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Comment: Re:It's not your phone (Score 1) 578

Companies have been paying the post office to shove stuff in my mailbox for years. That actually causes physical annoyance, as I have to shovel it into the recycle bin and then toss it. Then there are those crazy people who hand out free samples on the street. I don't have to take it, but I still have to see them.

Whoever tagged this "first world problems" was dead on.

Comment: Re:It's not your phone (Score 1) 578

Then turn off automatic downloads. You can't hit a switch that says "download everything!" and then call it "jammed down your throat" when your phone does what you told it to and downloads the free song someone gave you.

I saw the fuss on Facebook and went to check. No U2 song. It was listed as something I could download if I wanted to. Whoopty doo.

Comment: VR is still pointless. (Score 5, Interesting) 181

by Seumas (#47905887) Attached to: Oculus Rift CEO Says Classrooms of the Future Will Be In VR Goggles

All the goggles are accomplishing is wrapping an image around your face. Until touch, movement, smell, and sound are also adequately reproduced, it's not virtual reality anymore than the Hard Drivin' arcade machine from the 90s was. And replication of those elements are not coming in our life time; likely won't come until we've figured out a way to trick the brain into doing the work for us.

Also -- holy shit, the pink eye this is going to cause. Gross.

Comment: Re:No, no. Let's not go there. Please. (Score 1) 860

by fyngyrz (#47900443) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

Agnosticism is about knowledge. the Theism / Atheism poles are diametric opposites: belief and non-belief. There's no middle ground definable by knowledge, or lack thereof.

Agnosticism is not a third position. You're either a theist -- that is, you hold some measure of belief in a god or gods -- or you're not, and you don't. From there, you can, if you like, assert a state of knowledge to bolster your choice, or a lack of a state of knowledge to do the same thing. But your position is still either you believe, or you don't.

The whole point about belief, or not, is that it is contingent upon faith. Knowledge is not.

Hope that helped some.

Comment: Re:What are the bounds of property? (Score 1) 160

by fyngyrz (#47899291) Attached to: Justice Sotomayor Warns Against Tech-Enabled "Orwellian" World

An interesting issue is, the photons that formed the image were not on their property at the time, nor do they have a legitimate claim to ownership of those photons just because they happened to bounce off their stuff. They probably bounced off a lot of other stuff, too. "My photon! MY PHOTON!" has more than a little bit of the ring of insanity about it. :)

If you don't want a photonic record of your actions, the sensible answer is to avoid photons that can form such a thing, i.e., stay inside your dwelling with opaque curtains drawn, erect a fence and a cover, etc.

Comment: No, no. Let's not go there. Please. (Score 5, Informative) 860

by fyngyrz (#47899243) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

The big challenge for atheism is not God; it is that of providing an alternative to Spock-ism. We need an account of our place in the world that leaves room for value."

Atheism is the lack of belief in a god or god. Nothing else. It's not about science, it's not about ethics, it's not about morals, it's not about values. When you say you're atheist, you're saying you do not hold any belief there is a god or gods. That's all. There's no dogma, no book, no set of "therefore we believe these here other thingamajigs", nothing.

If you want to know what an atheist thinks about something other than belief in a god or gods, you really must ask them, or you're simply letting your imagination paint a false picture of the world.

Comment: That's Cute. (Score 2) 108

by Seumas (#47894379) Attached to: Verizon Working On a La Carte Internet TV Service

Now that people aren't watching live television, probably aren't even watching *television*, and don't use television as the delivery method for their entertainment and are dropping cable, they want to roll out a la carte?

Thanks, but it's not 1999-2003, anymore. You need to deliver the content I want, when I want it, on whatever device I want it, through whatever delivery method I want it, for a very reasonable price. Cable subscriptions, live television, and television-bound viewing is something I ditched a decade ago and you're not getting me back.

I'd say you should look into these other demands from consumers, but frankly we all know that by the time you get around to delivering what we want today, *that* will be something we no longer care about, either.

Comment: Re:When can we stop selling party balloons (Score 1) 296

by Rei (#47883153) Attached to: WD Announces 8TB, 10TB Helium Hard Drives

Helium exists in the atmosphere not because of the helium reserve, but because the planet constantly outgasses it. It's a product of the radioactive decay chains within the planet.

And if it costs $7 a liter, you better believe people will consume it a *lot* slower. Mainly recapture, but also less frivolous usage.

Comment: Re:RT.com? (Score 1) 528

by Rei (#47880779) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

It's an important difference.

Fox News is a right-wing punditry operation. They spin everything that happens in a light that promotes the viewpoints of US right-wing policy. If right-wingers are in power, they spin to the government's favor, and otherwise spin against the government.

RT is a literal government propaganda outlet. They have a story of what they want to tell people happened (regardless of whether it did or not), and tell people that it happened, to the point of routinely hiring actors as interview subjects. (side note: the Russia media really needs to get a larger acting pool, though... it's funny but sad when the same actor claims to be several different people for different stations in the same week).

If you see something inflamatory claimed on Fox, it's almost certainly spun. Possibly outright false, but unlikely - generally just highly spun. If you see something inflammatory claimed on RT, it's almost certainly false. Possibly just heavily spun, but generally willfully outright false.

Example: Fox News will pick random true stories from around the country, overplay them, and tell you that there's a War on Christmas. RT will hire a woman to play a refugee from Slavyansk to weepingly tell you that the Ukranian army is crucifying children in the town square to torture their mothers before killing them.

Comment: Re:RT.com? (Score 1) 528

by Rei (#47880593) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

Well, I have to say, I've noticed something about Russia, and also about most (but not all) of the other former USSR states: the exact same sort of thing has kept happening under capitalism. Things like injecting a mother of a dead soldier with a tranquilizer on-camera when she spoke up during a press conference on the Kursk disaster, assassinating dissidents with polonium, arresting and outright assassinating journalists, sham trials to sieze assets either for the state or for Putin allies, heavy media censorship and the requirement for all major blogs to register as media outlets, elections so rigged that Chechnya went 99.59% for "The Butcher of Grozny", and on and on. It's no different today.

So, basically, the presence of these things says nothing about communism; it says that Russia has a history of strongmen leaders who confiscate peoples' belongings, outlaw dissent, condemn people without fair trials, and so forth. And when you look at these third world communist states, you usually find that their third world capitalist brethren rarely behave any better.

I think that communism, at least in its pure form, is terrible as economic policy. But one can easily run the risk of over-conflating.

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