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Comment: Stupid question (Score 1) 394

by shrubya (#28360935) Attached to: Anonymous Newspaper Commenters Subpoenaed In Tax Case

Sheesh. Why a whole article? This is not a difficult question.

Anonymous comments are a great choice for speech that is legal, but might expose a public speaker to social consequences: reviews, dark humor, political criticism, whistleblowing, etc.

Anonymous comments should not be a shield for speech that is an illegal attack on others: libel, threats, intimidation, etc. If you want to say that kind of stuff, be prepared to own up to it.

Comment: Re:The web (Score 1) 345

by shrubya (#28268947) Attached to: AT&T Dropping Usenet Netnews; Low-Cost Alternatives?

Yep. NNTP discussion groups have been rather thoroughly replaced by web-based discussion sites, like Slashdot. And if you really need Usenet there's Google Groups. (yeah, there's a couple newsgroups Google doesn't cover. I'd give you a URL but I'd rather not risk slashdotting them.)

And as for NNTP binary groups, Bittorrent and Redtube have them covered.

Comment: Re:Well (Score 0) 413

by shrubya (#28268001) Attached to: Security Flaw Hits VAserv; Head of LxLabs Found Hanged

They only hire illegals around here. Better learn Spanish and temporarily "lose" your proof of citizenship. The preceding is a cold statement of fact, nothing more.

You're lucky I don't have mod points right now. Personally I despise McDonalds for both their food and their corporate behavior, but the REAL cold hard fact is that they prefer to hire people who will show up on time and work hard. It is extremely hard to find USians, either inner city or suburban, who are willing to do that for minimum wage.

Comment: neurological, not behavioral (Score 5, Insightful) 156

by shrubya (#27435223) Attached to: Asperger Syndrome Tied To Low Cortisol Levels

If I'm reading them correctly, the studies being quoted (BTW, here's one of them if you have ScienceDirect) are NOT saying that Asperger's can be cured or prevented by altering a child's exposure to stress. They're saying Asperger's brains have a different neurochemical reaction to sudden changes than ordinary brains do.

1: This may (or may not) point toward changing how Asperger's kids are trained to deal with stress.
2: More interesting to me, this may point to targeted pharmaceuticals able to provide long-term remission.
3: This may just be a side effect of Asperger's, and the actual cause is somewhere else entirely.

Comment: Re:Let's clarify something... (Score 1) 406

by shrubya (#27422897) Attached to: ACLU Wins, No Sexting Charges For NJ Teens

The point that he's making (and you're agreeing with) is that if the right to bear "arms" is conditional (e.g. no mortars or machine guns), then deciding exactly which ones to allow is not necessarily a Constitutional crisis. Drawing the line anywhere north of flintlock muskets could plausibly be said to meet the framer's intent.

Comment: Re:Cue the following: (Score 5, Funny) 1306

by shrubya (#27317787) Attached to: Texas Vote May Challenge Teaching of Evolution

* only applicable for sufficiently small values [of] truth(**)

(**) where "sufficiently small" means "90+% of all human activities that benefit from knowledge of physics".

Yeah sure, you can complain that GPS satellites wouldn't work without accounting for relativistic effects. But when I throw my Garmin at your head, it will travel in a parabolic path (minus air resistance) with sub-millimeter accuracy. Then I will write "annoying pedant" on your face in magic marker while you're knocked out.

Comment: Prolonged & Painful vs Short & Serene (Score 4, Interesting) 921

by shrubya (#27245019) Attached to: Study Finds the Pious Fight Death Hardest

A few notes to remember about this study:

  1. None of the patients "got better". The only difference was that being stuffed full of plastic tubes sometimes postponed death by a number of days.
  2. On average, the highly religious were much less likely to have end-of-life planning (advance directives, durable power of attorney, etc)
  3. On average, the families of people on intensive life support were more traumatized by the death than the others. That's a "no duh".
  4. All that machinery and medical labor is REALLY expensive.

Personally, I would much rather go for hospice care. Aside from being more comfortable for the patient, it also gives them a chance to say goodbye to everyone properly, rather than just gurgling at your horrified visitors from inside a torture chamber.

Comment: As a representative of ... (Score 5, Funny) 312

by shrubya (#27056277) Attached to: Portugal's Vortalgate — No Microsoft, No Bidding

... I must object to these allegations in the strongest terms. Our QA department went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure compatibility, by testing our software not only on HP and Dell computers, but also Lenovo, Sony, and Acer. Whatever objections these critics have are clearly spurious.

Comment: homophobia very often *IS* a phobia (Score 1) 1182

by shrubya (#26998349) Attached to: Gamer Claims Identifying As a Lesbian Led To Xbox Live Ban

Whatever else you wish to say about opponents of homosexuality, they don't have a phobia

You are ignoring the dozens of publicly confirmed cases where anti-gay politicians, preachers and activists have been caught trying to hide their homosexual trysts. Deathly afraid of their own inner urges, they try to mortify everyone like themselves. And those are just the ones that we hear about because they're famous enough to make the news. At a conservative estimate, there are tens of thousands of self-repressed genuine homophobes in the USA.

The Military

+ - F-35 Fighter to use speech recognition 1

Submitted by
Gary writes: "The U.S. Air Force revealed that the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, which will be out in 2008, will be the first U.S. fighter to respond to voice commands. The Air Force Research Laboratory's Human Effectiveness Directorate has been deliberating on the idea for some time, and has even tried out different systems from a variety of companies. The system hooks on to the plane's onboard computer. It will be used to give commands for both communication and navigation. The requested data will then come up in the pilot's helmet display."

Do "Illegal" Codecs Actually Scare Linux Users? 510

Posted by kdawson
from the hardened-criminals-listening-to-music dept.
jammag writes "In this article, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes points out why he keeps giving money to Microsoft and Apple despite the clear advantages of Linux: the scary legalese dialogs you have to click through to install codecs for common multimedia formats. Quoting: 'Despite strong points that go far beyond price, Linux falls short when it comes to legally supporting file formats such as MP3, WMA/WMV and DVDs.' He talks about using Ubuntu and booting up Totem Movie Player, only to be confronted with a burst of legalese about what a hardened criminal he'll be if he uses Totem without a license. This problem is 'a deal breaker' for him."

The other line moves faster.