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Comment: Re:Spoken like an American; come to Europe instead (Score 1) 449

by shadowfaxcrx (#46622705) Attached to: WSJ: Prepare To Hang Up the Phone — Forever

And BTW, while we are discussing American "freedoms", what's all this about about allowing people to ask for your receipts and inspect your bags when exiting a supermarket in the US even though you are not suspected of doing anything wrong?

With the exception of stores where you buy a membership and in so doing enter into an agreement that they can inspect your purchases, that's not allowed here unless the shopper agrees to it.

It's perfectly fine for a merchant to ask a shopper "Can I look in your bags?" It's just as perfectly fine for the shopper to tell the merchant to go pound sand, but a lot of Americans are unaware that they have that right.

Unfortunately, sometimes the merchants and law enforcement are equally unaware of these points of law, and so inappropriate things happen, but that's reflective on the particular idiots violating peoples' rights rather than our law as a whole. is a pretty good summary of how it works over here, if you're interested.

Comment: Re:Thank you! (Score 1) 50

by shadowfaxcrx (#38530324) Attached to: Sun Storms May Affect Radios, Cell Phones Today

Are you trolling, or are you feeling pissy but are unsure of who to be angry at? The article was about current solar flares. The mention here is not to suggest that we don't know about solar flares, but to tell us that current solar flares are intense enough to be potentially disruptive.

Your rant is rather like going to wunderground and getting pissed that they're telling you it's going to snow today because we all know what snow is.

Comment: Re:Not to be too pedantic (Score 4, Insightful) 631

by shadowfaxcrx (#38298136) Attached to: <em>MythBusters</em> Bust House

Saying their 3rd overall priority for the entire series is a tie between Rogen and "shitty promos of Obama" based on the fact that they had *one* segment of *one* episode about Obama pretty much proves that you're irrationally attacking them because you, personally, for whatever reason, hate them.

As for them testing myths that are clearly true or false to anyone who understands Newton's laws. . What's your point? The show puts myths to the test. It wouldn't last very long if every segment was Jamie saying "Well this would be fucking obvious to you viewers if you weren't science retards."

A lot of myths are obviously bullshit to people who are well-versed in whatever subject the myth is about. The show is aiming at people who are not well-versed in those subjects, but who are interested in learning something about them (and who like something to blow up from time to time, which really is most of us ;) ). It's pretty obvious to me that if the powerful radar in the nose of an airplane, not to mention the air-to-ground phones installed in the plane, and the radios, and all the other emitting electronic devices don't screw up the instruments in the cockpit, then my cell phone certainly won't. But to people who don't have experience with radio communications, or who don't even know that airplanes have all those things installed in them, it might not be quite so clear. Doing an episode about that myth, therefore, makes sense - a lot more sense than opening and closing the segment with "Do cell phones interfere with airplanes? No. Duh."

Rather than insulting viewers by telling them that if they actually knew something they'd know the myth is BS, this show presents the information in a more entertaining and accessible way. I feel fairly safe in guessing that you'd agree with me that science education in the US is largely crap, which is why so many people fall for bullshit like life force bracelets and other stupid products. As we therefore have a large population of people who might be perfectly fine in the intelligence department, but nonetheless ignorant about aspects of science, a show that gets people interested even in a peripheral way about science or, at the very least, the scientific principle that you don't just randomly believe any crap you hear about, but test it out to see if it's plausible, is in my book a pretty good idea.

Plus, being pissed off at the 2 cohosts for not being physicists when they never claimed to be physicists, and specifically state in the intro to the show that they're movie prop makers, is kind of silly. They're two reasonably intelligent people who are very good at making custom devices and are therefore ideally suited for an "average joe wants to know about this myth" show.

I certainly don't make the claim that the Mythbuster crew is composed of scientists or that the show is about rehashing science that everyone should, according to you, already know. But Mythbusters doesn't make that claim either.

I suspect your version of the show would be very much more scientifically rigorous and educational, and thoroughly grounded in whatever discipline the myth-of-the-day required.

I also suspect that no one would watch it.

Comment: Re:Not to be too pedantic (Score 3, Interesting) 631

by shadowfaxcrx (#38295394) Attached to: <em>MythBusters</em> Bust House

You seem awfully angry.

The show has evolved into 5 people getting paid to blow crap up. If someone walked up to you and offered you a mind-boggling amount of money, plus side income from speaking engagement fees, etc, to set fire to things, blow stuff up, and to build and play with large and dangerous equipment, are you saying you wouldn't jump at the chance?

For 90% of the myths that they test to demonstrate a lack of understanding of basic physics, at least 90% of the myths they test would have to require such an understanding. I would submit that many of the myths they test require no such understanding, and so your statistics are called into question.

I have yet to see promos for Obama (care to link to that?), and of course they put zany antics high up on the list. It's a TV show. People skip physics class to watch TV because most people find TV more entertaining than physics class. If TV just broadcasts a physics class, people are going to change the channel. After all, the show is called Mythbusters, not Science Hour. Without ratings, the show goes away and gets replaced with another iteration of Ice Road Truckers. Which would you rather have on the air? Even Ed Murrow had to do stupid entertainment celebwatch pieces in between his good journalistic pieces in order to keep his show on the air.

As for the comment you replied to, yes shit sometimes does happen despite all best efforts to prevent shit from happening. As others have noted, this scene was undoubtedly signed off on by the fire department, the cops, the insurance underwriters, and probably ordnance/explosive experts. It isn't as though these guys wandered out and began blindly firing canons toward houses without thinking the situation through, which is what you're implying in your eagerness to crap all over the show.

Comment: Re:Not this shit again... (Score 1) 392

by shadowfaxcrx (#38219120) Attached to: Why Was Hypercard Killed?

I have contempt for anyone who is unwilling to learn to use a tool in order to benefit from it. I have contempt for people unwilling to explore. I have contempt for people who expect new tools to be handed to them on a silver platter.

Yeah, me too. But that doesn't mean Apple was dumb to kill Hypercard. They're trying to market to the average user for whom we share (contempt is a strong word. . annoyance? Pity? ;) ). Their whole niche is making the computer that's supposedly geared for non-computer people. "You're creative, so your computer should allow you to create rather than requiring you to learn how to operate it."

Whether we believe that OSX is easier than Win7/Ubuntu/Whatever is immaterial. The important thing is whether Apple's customers believe it. And, apparently, they do.

So now that they've got these "be creative!" artists and musicians and writers, the quickest way, from Apple's perspective, to piss them off is to tell them "so if you want your computer to do something, you have to build the tool." These people want the tools handed to them, as you say, on a silver platter because the tools don't interest them - the stuff they create with the tools does.

From a business perspective, I can have contempt for my customers all day long and no one will care, until I let that contempt dictate that what I produce isn't what those customers want. This holds true whether you're talking about computers or any other industry.

Get a world-renowned chef who's the best on the planet at what he does to run McDonald's and the place will fail because McDonald's customers don't want herb-crusted salmon fillets on a grilled ciabatta roll with a balsamic reduction glaze and au gratin potatoes with truffle flakes. They want a Filet-O-Fish and a paper box full of machine-cut fries, and they want it cheap, and they want it fast. Even though this chef is turning out a product that is an order of magnitude better, and even though he'll delight foodies with it, the foodies aren't McDonald's core customer base.

And the type of person who appreciates what Hypercard could do is not Apple's core customer base either.

Comment: Re:The article is much too kind ... (Score 3, Interesting) 381

by shadowfaxcrx (#38158338) Attached to: Dell's Misleading Graphics Card Buying Advice

They've been doing that since long before the Monster crap. I worked there many years ago in high school. They'd purposely adjust the lower-priced TVs so that the color was off or the image was blurry, or sometimes they'd even futz with the vertical hold settings to introduce a slow roll (this was long before non-CRT tvs were available), and meanwhile they'd have the higher priced ones set perfectly to get people to pay more.

Comment: New Mexico stuff (Score 3, Informative) 363

by shadowfaxcrx (#38157822) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Science Sights To See?

You said you'd be in New Mexico. There are lots of geek places to visit. Geologically, Carlsbad Caverns is incredible. By far the most impressive public-access cave I've ever been in. In addition to the VLA, there's Los Alamos (several museums dedicated to nuclear stuff), Cloudcroft (the solar observatory near there in Sunspot), Alamogordo's Museum of Space History, White Sands (largest gypsum-sand desert in the world. Nothing but blinding white as far as you can see), Valley of Fires - a huge ancient lava flow that you can walk around in/on. There's Bandelier outside of Santa Fe - the 10,000+ year old human cliff dweller settlement. Check their website before you go though - they've had issues with wildfires and flash floods, so what's open at any given day is in flux right now.

If you want different geek fun, Roswell is always amusing with all their UFO stuff. Even the McDonalds is shaped like a flying saucer.

There's more in the state too, like the lightning field, etc, but those suggestions should keep you busy for awhile.

Comment: Re:Groklaw has a pretty good article. (Score 2) 472

by shadowfaxcrx (#38148820) Attached to: Bill Gates Takes the Stand In WordPerfect Trial

Gates' claim that they wanted to clean up 95 and that meant leaving out file naming stuff that WP relied upon, though, is disingenuous and a lie.

I agree. I think even a non-technical person might be suspicious of that claim. "Yeah, by astonishing coincidence it just happened to be that the thing that you say was broken and had to be removed was the one thing that kept your competitors from being able to run on your platform. Right."

How much net work could a network work, if a network could net work?