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Comment: Is it too much to ask... (Score 4, Insightful) 143

In an article about a breakthrough in molecular topology, I'm currently seeing, while browsing at 2,

-7 comments about the relative merits of the soccer balls that inspired this discovery,
-6 comments condemning sports fans in general and soccer ball buyers in particular,
-4 comments whining about the fact that the U.S. doesn't have the same regional dialect as the commenter,
-1 terrible almost-pun,
-1 comment that is completely incoherent and incomprehensible,
-1 complaint about religion,

and a grand total of 1 comment about molecular topology. Is is too much to ask that we could have some comments from posters who are interested in, you know, math and science? Here I was getting ready to dredge up all that symmetry and topology that got drilled in to me in grad school. Oh well.

Comment: Re:the real reason? (Score 4, Funny) 220

If you read up on the IeSF, it becomes much more clear what is going on.

-The IeSF is a South Korean organization; it is not Finnish. Ok, technically, it has a number of "member nations," but it is dominated by South Koreans. This tournament in Finland was a local qualifier for a larger international tournament. The local (Finnish) tournament organizers protested against the male-only rule, but couldn't convince the IeSF to relent until the media backlash started.

-The people who run the the IeSF aren't young male hormonal gamers. They are, by and large, middle-aged male executives at media and marketing companies. Their ultimate goal is to become the equivalent of the International Olympic Committee of e-sports, so that their companies can commercialize e-sports in the same way the Olympics were commercialized. However, they haven't been all that successful yet - they don't control any big-name tournaments in any of the games that I follow.

-As I mentioned already, the guys making the rules are older Koreans. I'll quote an interesting anecdote I saw on Ars Technica's comments:

Koreans can be remarkably thoughtlessly sexist (and racist, etc) without thinking about the broader implications. This is highly visible every time you park a car in a modern shopping center - there are reserved spots for women. The parking lanes (marked in pink) are wider and closer to the entrances. These aren't parking spots for expectant mothers or women with small children. These are parking spots for all women, with forethought that they're doing women a favor because they can't park cars as well as men. Westerners see this kind of thing and are instantly offended by the blatant sexism. A Korean will be confused as to why you don't see that women are obviously better off this way.

Comment: Re:Company scrip returns... (Score 1) 162

by hendrips (#47350161) Attached to: California Legalizes Bitcoin

Actually, many companies do issue shares of stock. It's common at many companies to match 401(k) contributions with company stock. If I put in 5% of my salary to my 401(k), and the company matches it with stock, then the company is effectively paying 4.762% of my salary in directly issued stock. Then there's all sorts of other wacky stock-based compensation programs like ESPPs, non-qualified options, restricted stock grants, etc.

And there are some companies that still issue actual shares instead of incentive options, even to executives. I may be wrong, but I have heard that it's fairly common in the utility industry to do restricted stock grants instead of options, because options encourage a level of risk taking that utilities can't handle.

Comment: Re: Remind my why they are being sued (Score 1) 484

by hendrips (#47316129) Attached to: Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

As a non-UK citizen, all I ever hear about anyone watching in the UK is Hollyoaks, Eastenders, Doctor Who, Top Gear, Midsomer Murders, and Sherlock. I'll grant you Doctor Who is pretty good, but the rest just seems to be roughly the same mix of shows the U.S. has.

Of course, if this is just a problem with my perceptions, I'd be happy to have someone from the UK correct me.

Comment: Re:One disturbing bit: (Score 4, Insightful) 484

by hendrips (#47315217) Attached to: Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

He almost certainly means that from a strictly legal standpoint, rather than as a general statement. It's somewhat common for the Supreme Court to put a disclaimer in an opinion stating that the opinion was so narrowly focused that it shouldn't be used as a precedent in other seemingly analogous cases. Presumably, this comment is more of a command to the lower courts, rather than a prediction of the future.

So, if Company X wants to start a business that is similar to, but not exactly the same as, Aereo's business, any legal challenge against Company X would still have to be upheld on its own merit. Challengers couldn't cite this Aereo decision as legally relevant.

Now, whether this ruling will have chilling effects, other than its legal precedent, is a different question.

Comment: Re:What do you think "secular" means? (Score 5, Informative) 254

by hendrips (#47300261) Attached to: The Bursting Social Media Advertising Bubble

In English, it means "from age to age" or "generational." This meaning is actually older than the meaning you're probably thinking of.

It ultimately comes from the Etruscan word saeculum, via Latin. In Etruscan & Latin, it meant the amount of time needed for a complete renewal of the human population, and if I'm remembering correctly, it was eventually standardized at 110 years.

I believe that all Romance languages use some variant on seculo as their word for century.

Comment: Re:Major source of corruption is Tax Code not PACs (Score 1) 209

by hendrips (#47284827) Attached to: Steve Wozniak Endorses Lessig's Mayday Super PAC

It's a common misconception to think so, but a flat income tax would either 1) not tax dividends and capital gains at all, or 2) would not tax business income at the corporate level. If both were taxed, then the tax rate on corporate income would be doubled (actually not quite doubled, it would be 2*tax_rate - tax_rate^2) when all other sources of income were taxed only once.

In fact, that's basically what happens now in the U.S.; we tax business income at 35% but capital gains and dividends have a very low tax rate (15% iirc) with many exemptions - you don't have to pay if you buy through an IRA, if you make less than ~$70,000 per year, if you run a retirement fund, etc.

Comment: Re:Not so fast ... (Score 1) 646

by hendrips (#47271179) Attached to: Washington Redskins Stripped of Trademarks

You may be thinking of Florida State University. They have a well developed relationship with the Seminole tribe. I believe that members of the tribe actually perform at FSU football and baseball games, and the university gives some money to the tribe and its charities as a goodwill gesture. I don't remember other details off the top of my head.

Comment: Re:Speculation... (Score 5, Insightful) 455

by hendrips (#47268341) Attached to: NADA Is Terrified of Tesla

Indeed, I moderately dislike Tesla generally and Elon Musk specifically, and I'm neutral on both electric cars and luxury cars. Nevertheless, I'm cheering myself hoarse for Tesla in this fight. I'd cheer equally for just about anyone who would make a similar effort to reduce the amount of sliminess involved in car purchases.

Genius is ten percent inspiration and fifty percent capital gains.