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Comment: Re:Must be an american thing ??? (Score 1) 65

by mcgrew (#47960513) Attached to: More unsurprisingly conservative ads on slashdot

If you get a cataract, spend the extra money on a CrystaLens. Unlike 45 year old natural lenses and implants available before 2003, they will actually focus. Of course they're under patent so they're about a thousand dollars each more expensive than other implants. I'm sure I'll have a cataract in the other eye not too long from now, the last eye doctor I saw said "a couple of years" and it's been longer than that.

I think I'll wait until 2023 when the patent runs out and everybody makes them, the ones like my mom has will be obsolete. I only use that eye to look at tiny things, anyway.

Insurance paid for all but the extra thousand, it was the best thousand dollars I ever spent. The device inside my eye is my favorite device of all.

Comment: Re:Must be an american thing ??? (Score 1) 65

by mcgrew (#47953295) Attached to: More unsurprisingly conservative ads on slashdot

The whole "needles in the eyeball" are just a stepping stone to something truly amazing.

Indeed. I was severely nearsighted all my life, after the cataract surgery I no longer need corrective lenses at all, not even reading glasses and I'm 62. My vision in that eye went from 20/400 to 20/16. Truly a miracle.

BTW, my retina surgeon said that my retinal detachment was a result of being so nearsighted; a nearsighted eyeball isn't perfectly round like a normally sighted person's eyes.

Comment: Re:Credit cards? (Score 1) 77

by mcgrew (#47948599) Attached to: Home Depot Says Breach Affected 56 Million Cards

I'm fine with the chip; that protects me, the bank, and the retailer. I am NOT fine with the PIN. My signature can't be stolen; if someone steals my card, the signature on the sales slip proves it's not me. But if someone steals your PIN they have your every penny.

It happened to me with a debit card. I welcome the chip, but of they add a PIN I'll cancel all my cards and go back to cash and checks, even though they're nowhere as convenient.

Comment: Re:Must be an american thing ??? (Score 1) 65

by mcgrew (#47948525) Attached to: More unsurprisingly conservative ads on slashdot

I hadn't had any of the accounts I'd used, either, and wasn't sure which one it was. Still got the account back, give 'em a try.

I had cataract surgery on that eye two years before the retina came loose. I did know a couple of guys who had vitrectomies followed by cataract surgery, but the needles don't go through the lens, they go in through the whites (photos at wikipedia). I suspect that a vitrectomy involves steroids; steroid eyedrops for an eye infection caused my cataract.

Comment: Re:Must be an american thing ??? (Score 2) 65

by mcgrew (#47935755) Attached to: More unsurprisingly conservative ads on slashdot

You can get your old account back if you can remember what your email address was. Send a note to help@slashdot.org.

I'd lost my account and they were very helpful about it.

As to your surgery, LISTEN TO THE DOCTOR!!! Helping that one person could prevent you from helping others in the future. Oh, and I empathize; I had a vitrectomy in 2008. Not the least bit fun.

Comment: Machine intelligence (Score 1) 9

by mcgrew (#47901717) Attached to: Turing "Test" was Really Alan's Attempt at a Joke

I had an idea that might not be so dangerous and pulled out my fone. âoeComputer,â I said, âoewhat's the best way to knock that bitch out?â
        The fone said âoeParse error, there are no female dogs on board and âknockâ(TM) is not in context. Please rephrase.â
        Who programs these God damned stupid things, anyway? Back when computers were new, science fiction movies had computers that could think. These stupid computers sure can't. God damn it, I was going to have to talk like I went to college... only I ain't went to college, damn it.

User Journal

Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Fifty

Journal by mcgrew

Mars!
John and Destiny left the houseboat parked on a space port pad they had rented at the spaceport at the Meridian Bay dome and got in a cab. Destiny said "I don't want to shop on an empty stomach. Taxi, take us to a restaurant that serves eggs and pork sausage this time of day."
"Wow," John said. "That's going to be an expensive place."
"Well, I'm buying. You said you never tried pork sa

Comment: Re:Look to other jurisdictions (Score 1) 364

by ancientt (#47877441) Attached to: Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

There are a lot of people who think drunk driving is equivalent to drive-texting, but that's illogical since people can set a phone down and ignore it, but they can't undrunk. I think the comparison is bad because it makes drunk driving seem less dangerous than it is and it makes it sound like you don't understand the difference between being in an diminished state and avoiding a distraction.

That said, making it illegal to operate electronic devices while driving a motor vehicle is a pretty reasonable start. It doesn't matter *why* a person is driving unsafely, what matters is that they are. I find the specification of "electronic" a little silly since that makes any car with a battery (all of them in production) technically illegal, but I like the consistency. Do something that distracts your attention from an inherently dangerous activity (driving) and you break the law? Logical. Even if I don't personally like it. (I like lots of things that aren't logically supported by my long term goals; naps, beer, webcomics and cheetos spring to mind.)

"Ban cheetos! They make people fat!" Fine, I'll switch to pringles and vote against you in the election. "Ban naps and beer!" I'll drink wine and sleep in and vote against you in the election. "Ban snacks!" you say? I'll attend your funeral and eulogize "Here lies Silvrmane, at least his argument was consistent."

Comment: Re:Need harsher penalties. (Score 1) 364

by ancientt (#47877335) Attached to: Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

Fair enough. I hope you do "buy a dash cam, record these knuckleheads and then post shame videos on youtube," but please don't just limit it to the people you know or suspect are driving badly due to texting. Driving unsafely is and should be against the law. We're in complete agreement on that.

Please don't suggest that texting while driving is "just as dangerous as drunk driving" though, as that's an illogical comparison and it weakens your position. I can set a cheeseburger down, I can leave the radio alone, I can let the obnoxious gps navigator be wrong, I can ignore the fighting children in the backseat, I can ignore the ranting of my passenger and I can choose to give my full attention to the road. I can set a phone down. What I cannot do is undrunk myself because traffic demands it.

If you're convinced that texting while driving should always be illegal everywhere and in every situation, then you have a perfectly logical argument. Don't diminish it by conflating it with driving intoxicated. It makes drunk driving seem less dangerous than it is and it makes it sound like you don't understand the difference between being in an diminished state and avoiding a distraction.

Comment: Re:Not severe enough (Score 1) 364

by ancientt (#47877247) Attached to: Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

Fair enough. I agree the tone of the reply you're commenting on was silly, so allow me to present a counter argument, hopefully slightly more logical.

It's very hard to put a drunken state down because traffic demands it, while it is easy to put a phone down.

I routinely take calls while driving, and as the evidence indicates, I'm typical in my response of driving much more conservatively when that happens. Personally, I'm probably safer when I'm taking a call than I am normally, because I back way off and try to stay well away from other cars when I'm on a call. If I'm going to reply to a text, I'm going to wait until I'm pretty lonely on the road and start paying a lot of attention to the driving when otherwise I'd normally be pretty much on auto-pilot. If there is heavy traffic and I need to use my phone for some reason, I find an exit and pull off. If I'm averaging 5mph and take a call and traffic picks up, I switch to hands free or if it looks like it is resuming normal speeds, say I'll have to call back.

Contrast that with driving intoxicated. If I'm behind the wheel, there is nothing I can stop doing as a result of my analysis of traffic. I can try to drive slower, but cause a whole set of different problems by impeding normal traffic flow. There is no "set it down" or "I'll have to call you back" option.

None of this means that texting or talking on the phone while driving is as safe as not doing those things. I don't think anyone is suggesting that a driver should do things that decrease the safety of the situation. All I am saying is that there are clear differences between driving intoxicated and engaging in texting while driving.

If I *had* to text while driving, my driving would be significantly impaired, just like it is in a study comparing reaction times. The fatality rates of motorists has actually decreased while mobile phone use has increased. (Look it up. I had to before I believed it.) The corollary is obviously NOT an indication that mobile phone use while driving improves safety, there are a lot of other things offsetting the hazard posed by texting while driving, but the idea that texting drivers is making the roads more dangerous than they used to be is false. The idea that texting drivers is making the roads more dangerous than they need to be is fair. There is a difference.

I hate it when people confuse improper and immature behavior with the technology they're using. Bittorrent is a very logical and quite useful protocol and it has a bad name because it is associated with the behavior of many people who use it. Outlawing the bittorrent protocol is just as reasonable as outlawing texting while driving. Unsafe driving should be (and is) against the law, just as copyright infringement is against the law. The technology isn't *ever* the problem, the people making bad decisions are the problem.

User Journal

Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Forty Nine

Journal by mcgrew

Landing
The alarm woke me up. Still asleep I thought "damned whores" out of habit, thinking we were having an emergency before I remembered that we were due to enter orbit and I'd set the alarm myself the night before. We had been on approach since late yesterday afternoon and would be in orbit and docking with the maintenance facility at nine this morning. The landing boats would already be docked there and we would be on Mars' surface by late this afte

Adapt. Enjoy. Survive.

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