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Comment Dilbert? (Score 1) 290

I didn't realize the show was supposed to be about geeks. I thought it was ironically portraying the disconnect between the academic pursuit of science and things that happen in the real world.

I've never seen it.

I take it they intended to do "Dilbert in hard-science academia" but were about as effective as liberal artists usually are when they try to portray anything on the physics or engineering side of the fence?

Comment Re:Safety (Score 1) 412

The reason for keeping weapons such as knives out of schools (or anywhere else) is to reduce the chance of fights escalating and becoming deadly.

What has been shown to reduce the chance of "fights escalating and becoming deadly" is training in the use of knives and guns, not bans on their possession. Children and young adults who have had such training have about the same rate of "delinquency" - but the "crimes" they commit are almost never violent. (They also know what they're dealing with and what to do about it if someone DOES start misusing a knife or gun.) Kids who learn about guns and knives only from entertainment media (where blood and agony are not shown) and other kids are the ones who commit the violence.

On the other side of the world, I did not need any sign or rule to know that if I sneaked my dad's shotgun into school, I'd be facing certain suspension.

On this side of the world young adults used to bring guns to school when they were going to the range or hunting after school (or had been hunting at dawn before school) with no perceptible problems - up to the latter half of the 20th century. Interestingly, that's when the child-rearing fads started "protecting them" from information about weapons.

Comment Man bites dog. (Score 1) 391

The rest of us keep being treated routinely like criminals without the media getting interested, because we aren't the mayor of Stockton. Why should this guy get special treatment (by [...] the press) just because he's a minor elected politico?

Dog bites man isn't news. Man bites dog is news.

They slipped up and used the tactics they usually use on civilians on a civilian official. They don't usually do that, so the event was newsworthy.

Whether it leads to action against the TSA, just a little more care on their part to identify VIPs, or squat is yet to be seen.

Comment The problem wth tyrants is they're friendly ... (Score 1) 245

Until someone decides ... That being evil is the right thing to do. You know, ends justify the means and all that jazz...

(At the risk of precipitating a storm of posts misapplying Godwin's law...)

One of the big problems with tyrannical systems and the tyrants who end up running them is that they're attractive. The rhetoric sounds nice. The people setting then up and running them are sweet, reasonable-sounding, and persuasive (at least at first and/or to those they need to support them to obtain and keep power), and so on.

Then, after they've driven their "nice" ideas into their horrible, but inevitable, ramifications, and (if they) are eventually stopped, the historical record ends up showing you just their opponents' propaganda, painting them as obviously hateful. So people get the idea that bad uses of power LOOK repulsive. Then they don't recognize similar stuff when it develops in the future (or even the SAME stuff if it reappears - as one high-school history teacher showed by using Hitler Youth techniques on his class for a week, with just enough deltas to make their origin not recognizable until after the great reveal.

IMHO the change in motto from "Don't Be Evil" to "Do the Right Thing" is a (probably accidental, but nonetheless actual) giant leap down "The Road Paved with Good Intentions".

Comment So maybe it's a feature? (Score 1) 143

You can open it, yes. But unlike for any book that is indexed, such as the books on an e-ink Kindle, it loses your place in a manually opened book from the SD card as soon as you close it.

So you CAN read the book. But it FORGETS WHERE YOU WERE LOOKING when you close it, because it doesn't run an "index feature".

That sounds like the "index feature" consists of the tablet remembering:
  - What books you read.
  - Where you were reading them.
even after you delete the books themselves - or remove the read-only media containing them.

How convenient for government security agencies looking for readers of banned books, police looking at whether you read something about a technique that happened to be used in a crime near you, and so on.

Seems to me that having your book reader NOT keep a record of what titles you've read is a feature, not a bug.

Comment Re:While we're at it: Democrat... (Score 1) 1146

Sounds like you are regurgitating some hate-talk-radio host's flawed hateful email.


My wife researched this some time before that article came out. She noticed that news media would spend days to weeks claiming various mass-murderers were right-wing, then have to retract it. So she dug into online data - from sources such as media even lefties would trust, or public records, and was amazed at the high percentage of Democrats and non-party-affiliated progressives, and the near total dearth of conservatives.

She welcomes you to do your own research, but assumes you will agree with her that signing out with "Peace out!" is not exactly a Republican or conservative trait.

Chris Harper Mercer is no exception. His facebook page was still up as of 5PM pacific time and was full of rants for the Cascadia independence movement, a west-coast, left-wing, eco-freak, secession movement (though some authors are now trying to tie him to a similarly-named neo-NAZI operation far to the east of where he lived). (The conservative secession movement in the area is the "State of Jefferson" proposal - floated intermittently since a few years before WW II.)

Comment Re:While we're at it: Democrat... (Score 1) 1146

Sounds like you are regurgitating some hate-talk-radio host's flawed hateful email.Cascadia independence movement, a west-coast, left-wing, eco-freak, secession movement (though some authors are now trying to tie him to a similarly-named neo-NAZI operation far to the east of where he lived). (The conservative secession movement in the area is the "State of Jefferson" proposal - floated intermittently since a few years before WW II.)

Comment The answer was right - the presentation horrible. (Score 1) 488

The Q was: Should the children of illegal aliens get government funded emergency treatment at hospitals.

As I hear it, Ron got tongue-tied because he was trying to provide a multi-part answer under pressure.

The answer (as I heard it) was:

  - Government shouldn't force hospitals to give emergency care to ANYone, legal, illegal, kids of illegals, etc.

  - Government should ALSO not put roadblocks in front of those (such as the Catholic Church) who do want to operate emergency rooms and give care to all comers, and historically have done so (but have to a large extent been driven out by these government interventions).

  - We should get government out regulating (screwing up) and (under) funding emergency room and other medicine, go back to what we had before they meddled, which did a much better job providing emergency care, and move on from there.

The answer was pretty clear to me, but I can easily see how it would be misheard as "the kids of illegals should not get medical care".

I note that the anti-Ron Paul propagandists tried really hard to paint him as an anti-black racist, too. That ground to a halt after the husband of a patient came forward and started campaigning for him.

Seems his wife was at a hospital E-room, bleeding out from pregnancy complications, and on infinite wait, getting no service. He tried to bring her condition to the attention of the medical staff and they had called security, which was about to take them away. Then Ron (a gynecologist on duty) walked in, saw what was happening, and intervened, getting the wife the immediate emergency care needed to save her and the baby's lives, and getting the security off the husband's case.

Comment Re:It means anti-gun propaganda. (Score 1) 1146

The Australian anti gun laws said hi and proved you are fucking full of shit.

You mean the one that reversed the previous downward trend of crime in Australia, while producing scholarly quotes such as this one?

In 2006, the lack of a measurable effect from the 1996 firearms legislation was reported in the British Journal of Criminology. Using ARIMA analysis, Dr Jeanine Baker and Dr Samara McPhedran found no evidence for an impact of the laws on homicide.

Comment While we're at it: Democrat... (Score 0, Troll) 1146

You left out WHITE... Most of these idiots are white.

You also left out Registered Democrat. Most of these idiots, it turns out, are either registered Democrats or left-wingers who didn't register, didn't register a party affiliation, registered with some left-wing minor party, or weren't old enough to register yet.

There are a few exceptions, such as Timothy McVeigh.

Comment Re:Description of Shooter (Score 5, Interesting) 1146

You left out WHITE... Most of these idiots are white.

Actually, not. It turns out non-white, non-Asian, people are (currently in the US) more prone to mass murder, both offenders as a percentage of their population and as a victim-count per-capita of offender's group's population.

But their victims are more often also non-white, non-Asian, and the attacks generally "aren't news". (When was the last time you heard the national media do a big news event on a drive-by or other mass shooting in the poorer residential areas of Chicago, Springfield, New York City, Philadelphia, or DC?) It's another example of how black (or Chicano, etc.) lives DON'T matter - to the news media.

Comment It means anti-gun propaganda. (Score 3, Insightful) 1146

What does "technically a gun-free zone" mean?

It means the news media is trying to stretch the "gun-free is safer" anti-gun propaganda in the face of the public becoming aware that gun-free zones are an invitation to mass murder and virtually all mass murders (and much other victimization) now happen in them.

"Gun-free zones" disarm the law-abiding people in them (so they can't shoot back and limit the carnage - and deter it from starting in the first place, turning them into helpless victims, but don't stop the attackers. Legislation (or private decision) to make an area into such a zone makes it a magnet for both nacent mass-murders and other victimizers.

A better term for such zones might be "free-fire zone" or "victim-rich zone".

By prepending "technically a", to "gun-free zone", they can make it sound different from the "gun-free zone" of the legislation. They pay lip service to the laws' unenforceability on bad guys. They recast the zones' danger into an enforcement problem, rather than a fundamental flaw in the concept. This helps to slow the propagation of the understanding that such zones are inherently more dangerous than unrestricted areas, that "The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.".

That helps the anti-gunners in their efforts to pass MORE restrictions, making MORE areas dangerous, and to give the police more power to search and otherwise oppress people in the name of solving the problem they created.

Comment IMHO that may be even more important. (Score 2) 146

The DVD-burner graphene etching technique to produce supercaps is several years old -- but it looks like they're continuing to work on it. Good to see the technique hasn't been abandoned.

I'd never heard of it.

Using a DVD burner for constructing microcircuitry is a GREAT hack. Should be trivial to do resistors and wiring with it. If somebody can figure out how to do fast thin-film transistors it would put microcircuit fabrication within easy reach of hobbiests.

Sure the scale would be far larger than microchips. But for a lot of stuff that's just fine.

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A guinea pig is not from Guinea but a rodent from South America.