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Comment: Re:Not going to register. (Score 1) 720

by mendax (#46722665) Attached to: Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

Oh, what sort of trouble? Court action? Are you going to spend huge amounts of money to fight the IRS seizing your assets for failure to pay the tax for not having the coverage when you had the opportunity to have it? Are you going to risk a prison sentence for tax evasion? Are you going to risk having liens placed on assets, have your house sold from underneath you, all because you have this weird notion that you don't need to have health insurance coverage? If so, you are a fool.

Sure, the government cannot MAKE you do anything. You have free will and while the law can compel you to do something, you can simply refuse to comply. But if you do so, there are consequences. In this case, it's 1% of your gross income or $95 whichever is more. You can refuse to pay the penalty but if you don't, the government will come and take it eventually... and if you refuse to do it often enough, they may eventually come after your physical body as well.

Frankly, if you qualify for health insurance coverage, especially for subsidized coverage, and you can afford it and you come down with some horrid disease like cancer, you will get no sympathy from me and thoroughly deserve to be driven into bankruptcy because of your foolishness. Let's face it, healthy people can get very sick, get hurt in accidents, etc. etc.

Comment: The Eye of the Beyolder (Score 1) 469

As with all artistic judgments, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The same applies to the sound of a Strad vs. a fine modern violin, or even another 17th or 18th century violin. I am not a violinist or not even that much of a musician but I know a good sounding violin when I hear it. The finest sounding one in my opinion is not a Strad, it's "David", the Guarneri that Jasha Heifetz owned and preferred. The rest of you may disagree.

Comment: Re:Article Is Wrong (Score 1) 469

Exactly, mostly. All instruments need tuned prior to playing because chances in temperature and/or humidity change their physical characteristics. But I suspect that someone who has been loaned a Strad can change the strings. Strings wear out and occasionally will break while playing or tuning. I suspect the loan terms dictate the kind of strings that can be installed.

Comment: Cosmos (Score 1) 509

by mendax (#46656077) Attached to: The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

A good dose of the Cosmos mini-series, both old and new, may be in order. Countless people of my generation were enlightened and educated by the first series. I would love to lock both houses of Congress in the House chambers, lock the door, and make them watch both series. Many scientific ignoramuses there may be enlightened, especially when they learn just how much good science has been government funded. But then there will be the religious fundamentalists who are thump their bibles and declare it all to be blasphemy. Those who are enlightened should be congratulated; those who cling to their religion despite the facts before them need to be put into a nuclear fusion torus and vaporized. That'll give them a bit of religion!

Comment: Re:The double standard at work (Score 2) 824

by mendax (#46597107) Attached to: Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

End result - people's will overturned by a few activist judges.

Wrong. It was overturned because Prop. 8 was clearly unconstitutional. Study civil rights law as I have and you'll understand. These are the facts: Marriage may be considered by some people as a holy thing but as far as the government is concerned, it's nothing more than a civil contract. When the government prohibits certain persons from entering into such a contract simply because of their sexual orientation or gender without there being a rational reason for that prohibition, it's unconstitutional because it's then considered to be arbitrary. There is no good reason for that prohibition that makes any sense. The excuses used by religious conservatives in the past have been shown to be crap. Gay marriage is almost a fait accompli in the U.S. and there is very little anyone can do about it.

Prop 8 was a slam dunk vote in which CA clearly voted in one direction, despite being pro Democrat since Reagan stopped being president.

Incidentally, recent polls show that California voters would not pass an initiative like Prop. 8 today and that a majority support gay marriage.

+ - Why Movie Streaming Services Are Unsatisfying — and Will Stay So->

Submitted by mendax
mendax (114116) writes "A New York Times op-ed reports:

A team of web designers recently released an astonishingly innovative app for streaming movies online. The program, Popcorn Time, worked a bit like Netflix, except it had one unusual, killer feature. It was full of movies you’d want to watch.

When you loaded Popcorn Time, you were presented with a menu of recent Hollywood releases: “American Hustle,” “Gravity,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “12 Years A Slave” and hundreds of other acclaimed films were all right there, available for instant streaming at the click of a button.

If Popcorn Time sounds too good to be true, that’s because it was. The app was illegal — a well-designed, easy-to-use interface for the movie-pirating services that have long ruled the Internet’s underbelly. Shortly after the app went public, its creators faced a barrage of legal notices, and they pulled it down.

But like Napster in the late 1990s, Popcorn Time offered a glimpse of what seemed like the future, a model for how painless it should be to stream movies and TV shows online. The app also highlighted something we’ve all felt when settling in for a night with today’s popular streaming services, whether Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Hulu, or Google or Microsoft’s media stores: They just aren’t good enough."

Link to Original Source

Comment: The Lunatic Fringe (Score 1) 667

by mendax (#46552461) Attached to: Creationists Demand Equal Airtime With 'Cosmos'

Some believe that it's not possible that life arose from simple organic compounds. Sure, there are people who believe a lot of things. There are the Mormons and the Scientologists who have their space alien fantasies. There are those who think that Jews and black people are inherently inferior to those of "Aryan" ancestry. There are those who still cling to the idea that Obama was not born in Hawaii, that he is a Muslim, etc. etc. etc. Yet, nearly everyone to actually analyzes such beliefs can find no credence for them. "Cosmos" is science, after all, what has been demonstrated to be true or seems to be so based upon the evidence.

If the lunatic fringe want equal time, they can make their own damned show and show it on one of the Christian nutcase cable channels.

Comment: Re:We've learned nothing? (Score 1) 290

Those companies better be careful when pouring sludge containing heavy metals like lead over poor, easily irritated people. Those people might send back the lead in a more refined form.

Oh yes. Such as being asked to give someone a gun and the person complies, starting with the bullets.

Comment: Typical government stupidity (Score 1) 185

by mendax (#46471153) Attached to: Mars Rover Opportunity Faces New Threat: Budget Ax

This rover has been running ten years and has been used to do great science, far more than anyone ever anticipated. All the rovers have far exceeded their intended lifetimes. In other words, they're cheap. X number of dollars was spent to delivery Y amount of science and they got far more than they bargained for. Continuing the funding for the the rover means that this science gets even cheaper.

What Congress really ought to do is give NASA $10 billion, tell them to build and launch more rovers of this type, and send them all over Mars. $10 billion will pay for a lot of rovers.

Comment: Why airlines won't install this device (Score 1) 461

by mendax (#46460119) Attached to: The $100,000 Device That Could Have Solved Missing Plane Mystery

Well, more specifically, why airlines won't install this device unless they're made to do it... and they won't.

If you were Malaysian Airlines right now you might wish you had one of these devices installed on the plane because it would resolve much of the public relations headache they are currently facing by letting them know NOW what was happening to that plane before it disappeared.. But that's about all it would save them. It won't save them anything else.

An airline is only going to want to install such a device if it directly benefits them financially and this device offers very little.

I doubt the FAA is going to require US carriers to install it because it offers very little the black boxes don't offer. It doesn't happen very often that a black box is unreadable or unrecoverable after a crash. It happens, but probably not often enough for installation of this device to be worth the cost and the trouble, especially that when those boxes are unavailable investigators have almost always been able to figure out what went wrong by using other evidence.

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