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Comment: Re:Even for desk jockeys not good (Score 1) 97

by pauljlucas (#46621033) Attached to: What Apple's iWatch Can Learn From Pebble
I agree with the annoyance part, but I also find that it's far easier to glance at a watch than pull my phone out. While I don't wear this particular watch, I wear one like it. An additional benefit is that I can be sitting at a table and glance down at my watch more stealthily than looking at my wrist.

If Apple sells an iWatch, I hope it has a detachable band so I can swap the watch into a belt clip like the one shown.

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 1) 362

by pauljlucas (#46385367) Attached to: Google Funds San Francisco Bus Rides For Poor

On the other hand replacing private cars with corporate shuttle busses probably reduces general road congestion which also costs the city money.

SF is supposed to be a transit-first city. The goal is to make public transit an attractive-enough option to persuade people to use it rather than private autos. Therefore, anything that hinders public transit is bad.

The congestion in SF would also be less if those who worked in Mountain View also lived in Mountain View (or at least within a 10-mile radius).

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 1) 362

by pauljlucas (#46385347) Attached to: Google Funds San Francisco Bus Rides For Poor

Google using a community resource in this way has the side effect of making it convenient for Googlers who would otherwise choose not to live in the city. That bolsters its tax base while contributing to a reduction of traffic and vehicle emissions during the daily rush hours.

Some would say that therefore not having the resource would mean they would leave the city. If they moved closer to work (and Google ran local shuttles) that would also reduce emissions.

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 3, Insightful) 362

by pauljlucas (#46381379) Attached to: Google Funds San Francisco Bus Rides For Poor

How does Google employees waiting at bus stops cost the city money?

On the one hand, they generally don't cost the city money; but it does give tech shuttles a free pass at using city bus stops that, if you or I stopped at (and were caught), we'd have to pay a fine.

On the other hand, they do cost the city money in that that can (and do) delay the actual city busses from stopping at the stops and, as the adage goes, time is money. (The slower a bus goes, the more potential overtime the city will have to pay and the more busses the city will need to use for a given route to maintain the same headway.)

Comment: Re:First blacks, (Score 1) 917

by rmckeethen (#46353753) Attached to: Apple Urges Arizona Governor To Veto Anti-Gay Legislation

The real question is whether you think a restaurant should have the right to discriminate against gays, black people, jews, swedes, poor people, poorly dressed people, etc. I think they should. It's not because I think discrimination is ok.

I see two problems here. First, you seem to be contradicting yourself. Either you believe it's OK to discriminate or you don't. If you think a restaurant should have the right to discriminate based on sexual orientation, race, religion or attire, than you believe discrimination is OK. You may not practice such discrimination yourself, but your statement makes it clear that you don't have a problem when other people do practice such discrimination.

The second issue I note is a little more subtle, but I think it too deserves attention. Specifically, discrimination based on something like attire, which is relatively easy for anyone to alter to meet a businesses' requirement, is inherently different from discrimination based on an inflexible aspect like ethnicity. In other words, I can change my shirt and tie without too much trouble, but I can't ever change the racial makeup of my parents, grandparents, etc. Conflating these two types of discrimination is, in my opinion, intellectually dishonest. It leaves people with the false impression that restrictions on 'discrimination' are simply trying to limit or curtail the ability of businesses to make *any* choices regarding their clientele, customers, policies, etc. That's not what's going on here. The question at hand is, "In Arizona, will a restaurant be able to post a sign that reads, 'We refuse to serve gays.'"

Comment: Re:Airport wifi (Score 1) 159

by pauljlucas (#46121039) Attached to: Canadian Spy Agency Snooped Travelers With Airport Wi-Fi

I plugged my iPad into the USB charger in the plane ...

What planes/airlines have built-in USB ports? That aside, it's interesting that it's more than just a dumb USB-shaped port (akin to the wall dongles that merely convert a wall-outlet into a USB port). The fact that you got that message implies there's actually a computer on the other end in addition to just power.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 544

by rmckeethen (#46088881) Attached to: Map of Publicly-Funded Creationism Teaching

Throwing invalid and in many cases demonstrably false claims at students who don't have the background to see the invalidity is ludicrous.

But the real world throws-out false and misleading claims all the time. If we don't teach students how to think critically, how to weigh evidence-backed claims against claims based solely on authority, culture, religion, etc., than how are students ever supposed to gain the skills required to make reasoned choices when encountering conflicting 'facts' for the first time?

I mean, why single science out? Why not teach Holocaust denial in history class? After all, wouldn't that challenge students too? Perhaps you could also teach 2+2=5 and French verb conjugation in English class.

I dearly hope schools teach Holocaust denial in history class, and the conjugation of French verbs in English class. Examining the reasons why Holocaust denial persists against overwhelming evidence to the contrary can teach far more about why the Holocaust happened in the first place than any mere regurgitation of the historical facts involved. In the same vein, comparing and contrasting English verb conjugation against the French equivalent can serve as a stepping-stone to understanding how language actually works, which can in turn lead to a whole host of fascinating ideas you might never have even imagined existed otherwise. So yes -- I do hope schools are teaching exactly these kinds of things.

Schools are supposed to teach science, like any other subject, to a reasonable degree of accuracy. Teaching students that somehow just because someone calls some nonsense claim a "theory" is not teaching at all.

You're talking about teaching science instead of religion in the classroom; what I'm suggesting is that we'd be better off if we simply taught the scientific method instead. Ultimately, I don't believe that science lies only in facts like the weight of an electron, or the density of water at one atmosphere, or concepts like the Theory of Evolution. At least as I understand it, what science is truly about is a way of looking at the world around us, thinking about how that world is actually put together, and then testing those thoughts to see if there's any evidence to support them. I think if you can teach core concepts like that to students, and get them to understand what it really means, than you'll have armored those students against the myriad of dogmatic 'truths' the world is all too likely to throw at them.

Comment: Re:A message from Facebook that earns my respect? (Score 1) 193

by pauljlucas (#46056473) Attached to: Facebook Mocks 'Infection' Study, Predicts Princeton's Demise

I guess it's good to know that I can respect a well-crafted response, even when it comes from a source I don't respect.

That should have been obvious. Occasionally, people I generally strongly disagree with say or write something I do agree with -- just like a broken clock is right twice a day.

Comment: Re:The problem with Google Bus (Score 1) 692

by pauljlucas (#46046335) Attached to: Protesters Show Up At the Doorstep of Google Self-driving Car Engineer

More likely that Google would build an office in SF (raising land prices even higher). Some tech companies have done that already.

They've already done that but it's nowhere near as big as the Googleplex in Mountain View. That aside, at least then they're paying SF city taxes. Also, I don't know if they have employee shuttles for their SF office or if their employees just take Muni like everybody else.

It would be ironic if a Google employee waiting for a Muni bus on his way to the SF office was delayed by a Google bus blocking the bus stop while picking up for a trip to Mountain View.

Comment: Re:The problem with Google Bus (Score 3, Insightful) 692

by pauljlucas (#46041343) Attached to: Protesters Show Up At the Doorstep of Google Self-driving Car Engineer

It easily beats having those people all driving themselves.

True, but what I think the protesters are thinking is that if companies eliminated the shuttles (or shrank their radius so that SF was outside of it), then most workers, rather than endure a multi-hour commute each day, would simply move closer to work (and, more specifically, outside of SF city limits). It might increase traffic in/around Mountain View, but the companies could run local shuttles with a 10-mile (instead of 35-mile) radius to alleviate that problem. But it would no longer be SF's problem.

Save a little money each month and at the end of the year you'll be surprised at how little you have. -- Ernest Haskins

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