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Comment: Re: minivan dead? (Score 1) 180

by orgelspieler (#47501757) Attached to: New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids

You are absolutely right about the stigma thing. My wife used to swear up and down that she would never get a minivan. She toughed it out with her CR-V as long as she could. When the in-laws (or other visitors) came over, I would dutifully crawl in the back, while everybody else piled in. But once we had our second kid, it became increasingly impossible to safely get the whole family where we were going. Then when the older one entered grade school, there was the need to shuttle friends about, too.

So we've had a Honda Odyssey for over a year now. The mileage isn't bad. The thing handles better than my Accord. It has more luggage room and is more configurable than the Pilot would have been. My only complaint so far is that the windshield is so large that it distorts my field of vision giving me a slight headache on long trips. But my wife says it's just my imagination. She has embraced being a minivan mom. She'll probably be one until the kids are grown.

I liken a minivan to any other tool. Once you get used to using the right tool for the job, you wonder why you ever did it any other way.

Regarding the push-button fold flat seats, that is already an option for the back seat of one brand. Don't remember which, though.

Comment: Re:Some people are jerks (Score 1) 362

by orgelspieler (#47474151) Attached to: Sexual Harassment Is Common In Scientific Fieldwork

That's actually a pretty good point. Policies are set out to protect the company, while appearing to protect the employees. If an employee signs something saying they know harassment is not allowed on premises, it makes it a lot easier to fire them. If you don't have such a policy, it makes it a lot easier for the harassee to go after the company as well as the harasser.

Besides it isn't always so clear cut, which illegal activities will get you fired. How many companies will fire you for getting a speeding ticket? What if you get a DUI? How many companies will fire you if you smoke a joint (while not at work)? What about bouncing a check? Hell, some school districts have policies forbidding teachers from being seen drinking in public.

I don't think a company policy is meant to cover everything, just everything they are worried about getting sued over. I wonder if anybody has ever used the excuse "Well it wasn't in the policy, so you can't fire me for torturing my puppy to death," or some other heinous act.

Comment: Re:Christmas is coming early this year (Score 1) 702

by orgelspieler (#47458447) Attached to: TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

Terrorists seem to be just as irrational about their targets as we are about our fears. I'm not the one who singled out bombing airplanes as this weird, master goal. I can think of many, many ways to cause much more economic and human damage than to take down a single airplane. But that's not what gets people in a tizzy.

Hmm... That's actually the best argument I've ever heard for this whole TSA/airport thing. Well done!

Comment: Re:Christmas is coming early this year (Score 1) 702

by orgelspieler (#47408433) Attached to: TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

It is absolutely insanity. If the goal is to make it very unlikely, we were already there before naked scanners and confiscating water bottles. Using your own example of ever-shrinking Venn diagram intersections: The circle containing "people who just forgot to charge their phone" is probably 4 or 5 orders of magnitude bigger than any of the other circles you just told us to draw. Also the odds of the people building a bomb into an iPhone not being able to also make the phone look and act like an iPhone for some short amount of time is tiny.

Further, the act of blowing up the iBomb in the security line would be more dangerous and costly than actually blowing it up on a plane. Can you imagine? You'd get to shut down an entire airport and kill the hundred people in line. Back to my point, the continuing addition of rules at the checkpoints is insane. To think otherwise is willful ignorance.

Comment: Re:Repeat after me... (Score 1) 534

Actually, Title III of the ADA pretty much says they must let us bring in food. Space Center Houston is a "public accommodation." An allergy is "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities" (eating). They have to make reasonable accommodations to their policies. Since they do not offer any dairy free menu items in their food court, a reasonable accommodation would be to allow us to bring in a sandwich. The alternative is that they lose ALL the money I would spend in their food court.

Shit... now that I look more closely at this, I really should sue the Honolulu airport. When we went through there, they had all these signs saying that they don't serve people with food allergies. WTF? Of course, since it's an airport, you're kind stuck there without a lot of options. Anybody know any good civil rights lawyers?

Can you imagine if they had a sign that said "Sorry, no retards allowed."

Comment: Video Boo Hiss (Score 1) 42

At first I was surprised to see this article didn't have at least 300 comments. Look at the recent SCOTUS article. But now I see why. I can't believe they chose to present answers from Lessig in this format. How absurd. I was just telling my son how stupid it was that he wades through 7 minutes of Minecraft Youtube videos when the same info can be garnered in 10 seconds on the wiki. I'm appalled that they don't at least have a transcription posted here. Web accessibility is one of those touchstone topics for Mr. Lessig, so I am flabbergasted that they would have chosen him for a video-sans-transcript response.

Comment: Re:Repeat after me... (Score 5, Interesting) 534

Fuck security guards.

We were going to go to NASA Space Center, and they have a "security checkpoint" before you enter. You know what they're looking for? Food! I couldn't bring in a sandwich so my son with food allergies (yes the real, anaphylaxis kind) could eat lunch with us. All so they could make an extra buck at the snack counter. I guess they got enough complaints, because they allow bottled water now. I raised a big enough stink about it that they finally let me in, but what the fuck? If it's a goddam security check, look for guns and knives and forget the rest. If a little ham is going to cause the Mars exhibit to implode, why don't they have another checkpoint as you leave the food court?!

Anyway, I would have left, but my wife had already bought the tickets and was pissed at me for raising such a fuss. I was offended that she was not outraged. I mean this is complete bullshit, and she wants to raise our kids to just roll over and take it. More people need to get pissed at these "security" checks. I see it happening at more and more venues: football games, art museums, etc... At least the metal detectors in the courthouse came as a response to actual shootings. But come on, who is going to bother with a terrorist attack on the Duct Tape Museum of Greater Bumfuck? At some point the security measures cost more than what you're actually preventing.

Comment: Bad actors (Score 1) 248

I'll probably get modded down for this, but it looks like this is a case of a judge stretching the law as far as possible to try to enforce an order against some really crappy people. If the plaintiff is correct (AFAIK they are), then the defendants absolutely deserve to get struck from Google's search results. Hell, if they're really bait-and-switching customers, you'd think Google would be pleased as punch to give these guys the finger.

Look, it's nice to talk in absolute terms about freedom of speech, sovereignty, judicial activism, or what have you. But this is part of an ongoing trial, and the judge is trying to do what's fair while the underlying trade secret case plays through. I wouldn't want to be in her position. If the plaintiff goes under because all the Google results for their equipment point to these other asshats, then the judge will be blamed for not doing enough.

If one of my engineers started up a company in Canada using my technology, I would love for a judge to be able to enjoin Google to remove their search results. This is a feature, not a bug.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (9) Dammit, little-endian systems *are* more consistent!

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