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Comment Re:Oh, Com'on Robin (Score 1) 187

The very best thing you could have done with that particular posting of Eric's would have been to ignore it, and run the story about that nice woman without mentioning it. She can stand on her own and nobody but Eric should be held to account for what he said.

This x 1000.

I wish I'd read it before I posted on this article, though - I've actually got mod points today.

Comment Re:Nurses or teachers? (Score 1) 224

Oh yeah, I agree they deserve all the money they can get (and not just because my wife is one!).

When we were first married, she worked on a medical floor - so she tended to see the same people over a long period of time. AND many of them were dying (cancer, AIDS, stuff like that). She got a lot of fulfillment from helping them, but sometimes it was brutal when long-term patients passed away - try as they might, nurses can't help but become at least a little emotionally invested in the lives of people they take care of for hours at a time.

Comment Variable record format? (Score 2) 37

Is that referring to data stored on a magnetic tape using varying record lengths? This used to be pretty common. The first record would be a text file telling you how the rest of the tape was formatted (although sometimes that descriptive "record" was a separate piece of paper attached to the spool).

Ah, those were the days, having to load reel-to-reel tapes by hand, hard drives the size of washing machines...

Comment Re:Why is this a problem? (Score 1) 246

My former newspaper's former comment system was (loosely) tied to your actual newspaper subscription - it's possible that's the case here as well.

As an aside - the reason the Tacoma News Tribune is my "former" newspaper is actually slightly related to this topic. They also had a perceived issue with online commenters behaving badly. Their solution was to move to a comment system that requires Facebook authentication. At that point I'd been a print subscriber for over 20 years, but I ended my subscription. Ahead of the switchover, I had an email exchange with Karen Petersen, who runs the paper. I told her companies like Facebook were exactly what newspapers needed to keep an eye on, and that there were plenty of other discussion board products (e.g. Disqus) that would accomplish what she felt needed to be done. It was pretty obvious she was just parroting back some sales pitch someone had given her when she replied ("we need to require real names to prevent abuse, and Facebook will accomplish that") - it wasn't surprising, but it was disappointing.

It was probably for the best anyway. They were already becoming less and less of a real newspaper, filling more and more space with entertainment twaddle, and, even when they did cover actual news, the stories kept getting shorter and were mostly devoid of real content. It was pretty obvious they weren't thinking about what their remaining subscribers wanted - they were following some consultant's advice about "attracting the kids" or whatnot.

Comment Sports commentaries? (Score 1) 40

I can't speak to cricket, but I watch a fair bit of American football and (especially) baseball. A good bit of the commentary seems to have very little to do with what's actually happening on the screen - so I'm not sure whether analyzing that will help or hurt! Perhaps adding a pre-filter so anything said by the "color guy" is blanked out before import would be beneficial.

Artificial intelligence has the same relation to intelligence as artificial flowers have to flowers. -- David Parnas