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Comment: When opposing sides agree to something... (Score 1) 2219

by quacking duck (#46182355) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

Having gone through all comments ranked 3 and above, and a random sampling of those at score 2, there wasn't one that definitely supported the beta. At best there were a bare handful of lukewarm "wait and see" and "it's not that big a deal," which is not support, merely acceptance.

So close to 99% of comments actively dislike or outright hate it.

There's a cynical adage in politics, which is roughly this: if all parties who normally disagree on everything, suddenly and overwhelmingly unite very passionately on a particular topic, then it's a very, very bad thing. No the analogy doesn't quite hold, but I hope the point is clear.

I tried the beta. It sucks, for all the reasons others have mentioned, but particularly the broken comment thread/thresholds and enormous waste of space. You already drove my visits down 50% when you released the horrible mobile interface (with "filtered due to preferences" often taking up more space than comments themselves, wtf?), take away the current/classic and I'm done with this site. The "disable advertising" option has been unchecked for a long while now, but as of today that box is ticked in protest.

Comment: Re:Controlled for minimum driving age? (Score 1) 635

by quacking duck (#46007729) Attached to: U.S. Teenagers Are Driving Much Less: 4 Theories About Why

I see why there's an 18-year-old cutoff for Michigan's GDL system... GDL and Driver's ed is very different in the Canadian province just north and east of Michigan.

The very first step in getting a G1 (i.e. graduated general licence, level 1) is the written test. You can drive with restrictions for 1 year before you can take your first road test, or 8 months if you take a driver's ed, which was maybe 20-30 hours class/assignments and 10-12 hours behind the wheel with instructor (so . After you get the G2 (less restrictions than G1, e.g. now able to drive without an experienced driver present, and no freeway restrictions), you have the remainder of the 5-year period to do the road test to get a full G licence.

Comment: Re:Driving isn't fun anymore (Score 1) 635

by quacking duck (#46007191) Attached to: U.S. Teenagers Are Driving Much Less: 4 Theories About Why

Another factor - most driving is no longer 'fun' - It's fighting traffic. it's a job.

Indeed, it's almost like flying for most people. Between the hassle of going through security, dealing with delays/rebookings, and sitting in cattle class for the flight, for many people it's no longer fun and instead a chore to grit your teeth and suffer through it. I have childhood memories of visiting the cockpit during a flight, even that's been taken away in the name of security.

Fortunately, as an aviation enthusiast and someone who loves takeoffs, landings, looking down from high up, and can fall asleep to turbulence, just give me a window seat behind the wing and I'm set for the trip (with apologies to those I have to climb over to go use the washroom).

Comment: Re:Controlled for minimum driving age? (Score 1) 635

by quacking duck (#46007099) Attached to: U.S. Teenagers Are Driving Much Less: 4 Theories About Why

That seems like an enormous loophole in Michigan's graduated driver's licensing system, the whole point of which should be to make *all* new drivers go through it. A 30-year old learning to drive for the first time might not be as brash and cocky as a 16- or even 18-year old because they have no illusions of invincibility anymore and/or they have dependents, but they're also probably not learning new skills as well as a younger one.

I have one friend, mid-30s, who just passed her 5-year window to fully graduate, so she'd have to start all over as if she were a new driver. Minimum time to full license is 20 months, if you took a driver's ed course, so it's obvious she really didn't care and just needs the license for ID purposes.

Comment: Re:Gas price probably has more to do with it. (Score 1) 635

by quacking duck (#46007017) Attached to: U.S. Teenagers Are Driving Much Less: 4 Theories About Why

When I visited friends and family in the Bay area, LA and San Diego, almost every car trip was at least half an hour (2/3 full speed on freeways + 1/3 stop-and-go city driving) each way. Didn't matter whether it was for food, movie... hell one night just going to the nightclub was 40 minutes of freeway into San Francisco. Sure there were plenty of similar places much closer but they had their preferred places, especially for food.

And yes we did drive two, maybe three counties away for a movie, it was the closest one that was showing what we wanted to see. So I can totally see how outings for some people can regularly be 2 gallons of gas, after less fuel-efficient city driving portions are also included.

Comment: Re:The beta will kill Slashdot if it goes live. (Score 3, Insightful) 205

by quacking duck (#46005627) Attached to: Actually, It's Google That's Eating the World

On the whole I don't mind the current "Web 2.0" desktop version, but if beta is half as bad as the mobile version they forced us into a year or so ago, /. is toast.

The day /. pushed out the "updated" mobile version, where all the "Filtered due to preferences" take up more of the page than actual comments, was the day my /. visits dropped by at least half. Seriously, just hide/collapse the damn thing entirely, there isn't even a way to actually view it anyway if I wanted to see what an unfiltered comment was replying to, it's a total waste of space.

On the upside, I'm far more productive and/or social when I'm out of the house.

Comment: Re:Windows keys? (Score 1) 459

by quacking duck (#46000253) Attached to: Stop Trying To 'Innovate' Keyboards, You're Just Making Them Worse

Does anyone actually use the damn Windows Key? I have a Microsoft keyboard (the "split-in-half" one, tilted and all). It has a "Windows" key and another one on the right the is for - menus or something? I never touch either one. Hell, I rarely even hit any of the function keys.

Windows key: all the time at my last work (my home computer has always been Mac). It isn't just a "bring up start menu" key, as part of a keyboard shortcut combo it can do lots of other things.

Examples: as of Win7, Win+R = run prompt, Win+L=lock system, Win+D=show desktop (minimize all other programs), Win+E=new file Explorer window, Win+arrow keys=maximize, restore, window snap-left/right/move to other screen... There's others I forget right now, and there's others I never used but are listed somewhere online.

The context-menu key is far less useful in that you can't do key combos with it (AFAIK), but still handy when navigating or operating by keyboard alone and don't want to waste time moving hand to mouse/trackpad and back again repeatedly.

Comment: Re:PHB's strike again (Score 1) 207

by quacking duck (#45981781) Attached to: Previously-Unseen Photos of Challenger Disaster Appear Online

This is why every mission after Columbia had an 'Abort to ISS' option that would allow the shuttle to dock with ISS and wait for the relief shuttle (which was sitting at a 48 hour to launch stage IIRC) to return them home.

The remaining shuttles had that option, Columbia could not have. As the first spaceworthy shuttle, its construction included a lot more mass before they figured out they could safely reduce it, so Columbia could never reach the ISS with any payload.

Which raises some interesting, purely hypothetical questions: If a different shuttle (Discovery, Atlantis or Endeavour) had been lost, would NASA have continued using Columbia for regular space missions? The contingency option used for the Hubble servicing mission would've been a significant logistical problem, if every time Columbia went up a rescue shuttle had to be on immediate standby. And with the fleet reduced to two ISS-payload-capable shuttles, would the ISS have been merely delayed several years, or simply cancelled?

Comment: Re:Vista/7 (Score 1) 1009

by quacking duck (#45946963) Attached to: Windows 9 Already? Apparently, Yes.

You aren't alone. A computer engineering friend bought a Win8 laptop/tablet two weeks ago and despite it detecting almost 100 updates could not for the life of him get them to actually download and install. Didn't help his impression of the machine that apps were crashing left and right, either. He returned it and got an open-box sale Macbook Pro for almost the exact same price he'd paid for the Win8 machine. That's a pretty stinging fail for both Windows 8 and the OEM (Lenovo).

Comment: Re:This is the problem with religious people. (Score 1) 903

by quacking duck (#45838903) Attached to: US Justice Blocks Implementation of ACA Contraceptive Mandate

Religious people can't simply leave it well enough alone, and just say "Well if you think contraception is wrong, just don't buy it." Instead, they have to dictate to others what they may or may not do. "We can't allow you to get contraception through our health plan!"

This kind of thinking is wrong and needs to be abolished. Let each person decide what they think is best for themselves. If someone wants to believe a person will "go to hell" if they do something, that's fine. That someone can simply not do it. But don't try to legislate or make it more difficult for others to do what they like to do, provided they're not hurting others.

Absolutely. Until and unless recognized churches and affiliated groups give up their "non-profit" tax-exempt status, the government should tell them to shove their demands for "we believe it's wrong" exemptions where the sun don't shine.

Comment: Re:Jailbreak vs Rooting (Score 2) 210

by quacking duck (#45775313) Attached to: The iOS 7 Jailbreak Fiasco

Google gives you (the option) of control, and supplies ample warning before the user chooses to this, it is an option on some phones...even a selling point, mainly used to load none play applications (Android is Eden...with gates).

Basically nothing like each other.

That's for darn sure. Android still doesn't let users override an app's demand for permission to access stuff like GPS, contacts, cell data, photo album, etc.

Sure, you can simply not download an app based on what it says it demands when you try downloading it, but that's beside the point; for all Android's claim to empower the user, why is this of all things not a user option, years after iOS started doing it?

Comment: Re:Jailbreakingg (Score 1) 210

by quacking duck (#45775121) Attached to: The iOS 7 Jailbreak Fiasco

iBlacklist is another useful feature, only available by jailbreaking. Yes, I can block callers by creating contacts, but it gets old having a bunch of "zzzzRoboCaller" entries in my contacts as opposed to just one blacklist that does the job in a few taps.

Glancing quickly at the iBlacklist app, you need to create contacts to blacklist (or whitelist) them anyway.

In any event, you don't need to create separate contacts for every robocaller. I'm still on iOS6 and don't have the proper call block function that was added in iOS7, but I have a single contact for them called "spammer", every time an unknown number fails the / lookup test it gets added to this contact in just a few taps as well. It has a silent ringtone and custom vibration pattern so faint I never feel it. I have about three dozen numbers listed in that one spam contact.

Comment: I accept your surrender (Score 1) 214

by quacking duck (#45729009) Attached to: Former Microsoft Exec To Lead

So you agree they are the worst wait times in the world, roughly speaking. I'd say that's enough to make it clear that the Canadian system is in no way perfect. Are we in agreement on that, there are some significant disadvantages known?

If so, I don't see a need to go back and try to find the exact document I read a year ago. The point has made and agreed to.

Don't put words in my mouth. I said very clearly said the first time:

No, of course it's not perfect, I wouldn't even call it great, merely adequate

so of course there are significant disadvantages known, just as the US system has its own. And Canada was dead last on this one metric, compared against 11 developed countries, not the entire world.

The *only* real issue I had with your original post was that the title "30 day wait to see a doctor in Canada" is a clear lie of omission, barely improved when you clarified "For a GP, most wait less than 30 days." 2 days wait is a whole order of magnitude difference from 30 days. It's like me claiming "most broken arms cost less than $9,000 to take care of in the US" even though average out-of-pocket expense might be only $300-500.

Since I've cited sources for my key point about GP wait times, and you're using a flimsy excuse not to look for even a single credible source to back up your claim that 20-30% of Canadians wait 30+ days to see their GP, I accept your surrender.

Comment: Re:let's try reading the ENTIRE sentence (Score 1) 214

by quacking duck (#45727445) Attached to: Former Microsoft Exec To Lead

My beef is not with your pointing out the waiting period to see a specialist.

Per this report, of the 85% of Canadians with a family doctor, the average wait time to see the GP was 2 days. The report also ranks Canada dead last among countries compared on this metric, with only 45% able to see their doctor within two days for an illness.

But, when you first wrote "for a GP, most wait less than 30 days" you implied that a significant minority (which you've now explicitly stated as 20-30%) face 30+ days to see a GP.

Please quote the text and link to source (if not the wiki article) that says 20-30% had to wait more than a month to see a GP, or at least give me the actual number they used so I can search for it. I'm not seeing anything that could be reasonably interpreted the way you have.

Comment: Re:yes, 30 day wait for Dr. appointment in Canada (Score 1) 214

by quacking duck (#45723005) Attached to: Former Microsoft Exec To Lead

SOME Canadians go to the US for medical care, for more urgent medium/long term health issues.

You are misrepresenting the "see a doctor within 30 days" metric, the 30 days stat is *specifically* to see a specialist. To see a GP? Sure, waiting a few days is "less than 30 days" but that's a severe misrepresentation.

For more mundane matters, I can see my doctor or nurse practitioner within 48 business hours, sometimes the same day if I call in the morning. Getting a family doctor is an issue for some, but they (or I) can go to a walk-in clinic, with average wait times of maybe an hour (I was seen at a walk-in after a mere 15 minutes when visiting another province), but can walk out with a prescription or doctor's note. For broken limbs or moderate emergencies like appendicitis, you're seen within hours at a hospital, and major emergencies like heart attacks, strokes and car accident trauma it's immediate. And it's all "free".

Yeah, yeah, let's be pedantic and admit it's hidden in taxes, but when a broken arm in the US can cost some people over $1000 *after* insurance, I'm pretty confident I could suffer a broken arm, heart attack and appendicitis at different times in the same year and will have paid far less into the health care system than it would cost the average joe American who suffers a single major emergency. Never mind we don't have to fill out all those insurance forms.

No, of course it's not perfect, I wouldn't even call it great, merely adequate. But it's very hard to argue the average Canadian is worse off healthcare-wise than the average American per dollar spent.

Why did the Roman Empire collapse? What is the Latin for office automation?