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Comment: Processed foods (Score 0) 233 233

I suspect processed foods are not harmful

There are countless credible scientific studies that suggest otherwise. They're not even hard to find. Not all processed foods are bad. Some processing techniques like pasteurization are demonstrably beneficial. But there is plenty of evidence to suggest that moderation should be exercised in their use.

A raw food diet is a lot likely to be less optimal

It's not about raw foods. It's about what is done to the foods. Processed foods purchased from a store tend to have high amounts of sugar, salt, fat, preservatives, additives and other ingredients to make them more appealing and/or have longer shelf life. Some processing is fine and even necessary. But it's really easy to eat a very poor diet if you aren't careful with processed foods.

If you cook from fresh ingredients, guess what you're still eating processed food.

You are not necessarily however eating preservatives, ingredients of substandard quality, chemicals with unpronounceable names, excessive amounts of sugar, salt, fat and other needless additives.

Comment: Extrapolating from anecdotes (Score 2) 233 233

Yankees first baseman just gave up milk as well and says he's never felt better.

Good for him. That has nothing to do with me or millions of other people. I drink milk daily and I feel great. Times when I've gone without it had no effect on me positive or negative. So what exactly am I to learn from your anecdote?

even if you're not allergic to milk like I am, it's not very good for you after a while

And your evidence for this is what exactly? Unless you have a specific digestion problem with dairy (and many people do) every bit of evidence suggests it is a fine part of a balanced diet. It's on the food pyramid and every dietician I've ever met will tell you dairy is just fine. We're mammals so milk is one of the things that sort of defines us. It's basically the perfect food for a mammal nutrition-wise so long as you can digest it safely.

Comment: Effects of processed food (Score 0) 233 233

Really? Where? Just because canned food is "processed" it does not make it bad for you.

There are countless studies out there regarding the health effects of processed foods. Twenty seconds on Google should answer your question.

And i have never seen a study to support this assertion in any way or form.

Then you haven't looked. You might want to actually study the issue before discussing.

After all bread is processed foods!


Comment: Unsupported assertions (Score 4, Informative) 233 233

generally eating gluten free is better for your digestive system

There is no credible scientific study I am aware of that supports this statement. If you wish to assert this you need to provide non-anecdotal evidence, preferably in the form of a double blind study supporting this assertion. I am not aware of any evidence that gluten is measurably harmful to individuals without celiac disease, an allergy or other form of gluten sensitivity. This is a very small portion of the population (somewhere between 0.5% and 1%) that is known to be affected. The best available evidence appears to clearly show that if your aren't part of that population then avoiding gluten is a waste of effort.

if you want to stay young, avoid as many processed foods as you can.

Again you are asserting that "staying young" is linked to avoiding processed foods. While there is evidence to support that processed foods are frequently harmful if consumed regularly over time, you cannot automatically generalize this to link it to biological aging (versus chronological aging) without evidence. There may very well be a link but it is unproven at this time. I understand that it sounds reasonable but lots of things sound reasonable that aren't actually true.

Comment: Working from home is no panacea (Score 1) 280 280

I see it as a win-win; you're able to work in the home environment you are most productive in, and you can use the time you would've been commuting to work a bit longer for the employer

I've worked from home in years gone by. Speaking for myself I'm definitely NOT most productive working from home. Far too easily distracted. I also know several other people who have worked from home and had the same experience. Furthermore people generally do not use the commute time to squeeze in another hour of work in general. Some people can work effectively from home. I would say most are more effective in an office.

Not only that, but you're not adding to road congestion either.

True, though most companies really don't care about that much if at all. They regard that as your problem, not theirs and the marginal decrease of one car from the road is basically negligible.

Skype, etc. make communication with coworkers a snap these days.

It makes it easier but it isn't the same as being in the same building. Furthermore it is MUCH easier to have a quick group meeting in person than through video conferencing. There tends to be a lot of administrative overhead with phones and video. Now that isn't always a bad thing since too many meetings is possibly worse than too few. I've noticed programmers frequently think that a few skype calls is all that is needed to communicate effectively with coworkers and that often is not the case. A distributed team presents some very real challenges to work effectively together.

Comment: Buy what works for you (Score 1) 293 293

They were compelling reasons to me. The market obviously judged the player a colossal failure, but I loved mine.

Nothing wrong with that. I've bought some products myself that were a bit off the beaten path. You have to buy what works for you.

The truck I drive right now is probably the slowest selling pickup on the US market but it was excellent value for money and fits my particular needs almost perfectly. I've always been mystified why people aren't more objective about their actual needs versus buying something that is popular but a bad fit for them. For example the Ford F150 is the best selling vehicle in the US but most people that buy them would actually be better served by a different vehicle based on what they actually do with it. People want bad-ass off-road trucks but only something like 5% of drivers ever leave the pavement.

Comment: Solar panels and useful rooftops (Score 1) 255 255

Where are we gonna put the solar panels?

How about on the roofs that don't have gardens on them? Not like we're going to put a garden on every roof. At some point there is really no excuse for not putting solar panels or gardens or something productive on rooftops.

Comment: Put away the tinfoil hat (Score 0) 293 293

I listen to music on my iPod and I happened to own a dumb phone.

Your choice and that's fine but it puts you firmly in the minority these days.

And while a new phone would be great, not only can I not afford it, the amount of eavesdropping that can be done on a smart phone really makes it a stupid purchase this day & age.

Strange that I have nearly minimum wage employees working for me that somehow manage to afford a smartphone. Maybe you should use some of your time to seek a better job instead of posting here. Anyway it's quaint how you think that not having a smartphone makes you immune to eavesdropping. I think you might have a little of the paranoia. Here's a clue, "dumb" phones are just as easy to track as smartphones.

The convenience of a smartphone, does it really outweigh the negative aspects of having a device that records everything you do?

Once you put away your tinfoil hat the answer is yes.

Comment: Zune was a bad value not a bad product (Score 1) 293 293

I loved the brown version. It was beautiful. Whether it was ahead of its time, or behind its time, or just too niche, I don't know. I just know it looked fantastic in person and literally like crap in pictures.

The Zune wasn't a terrible product. It was a terrible value. The iPod rules the market at the time. For Zine to matter it either needed to be substantially better than the iPod or substantially cheaper to get people to care about it. It needed to be a better value proposition. Instead it was roughly comparable for a similar price. If your choice is between two effectively identical products, people are generally going to pick the one that is more popular and better known. People already knew the iPod worked pretty well and it already had the mind share. Microsoft hugely overestimated the value of their brand and provided nothing more than a me-too product with little to set it apart.

As for other compelling reasons: the Zune had better sound quality, better software, and a better screen than the iPod.

I think it's pretty much safe to say that almost nobody agrees with you on this. Even if all those things were technically better like you claim, they weren't enough better that it mattered. The sound from an iPod and the screen quality was more than good enough for all but the pickiest of customers. Zune did not change that. As for the software Zune being "better", I think you'll have a hard to proving that objectively even allowing for the fact that iTunes is widely regarded as rather poor quality. It certainly wasn't better enough to matter and I cannot recall any press proclaiming it to be even the slightest bit revolutionary or superior.

Comment: Re:Why nobody cares about Zune (Score 2) 293 293

I can't figure out how people use a phone for music; my phone has 16 GB capacity, and I have 105 GB of music

Really? You can't figure that out? My phone as a 128GB capacity and my music library is less than that. No disrespect intended but you have what is basically a cheap phone by today's standards. I never, ever need to sync my phone to change the music on it and honestly I couldn't be bothered even if storage capacity were an issue.

Constantly re-syncing my phone based on what I feel like listening too gets to be very tiring.

So don't. I never have. Buy a phone with a large enough capacity and get on with life.

Comment: Where is the irony? (Score 1) 293 293

1970s fashions? I think this got embraced by hipsters early and became very mainstream.

Where is the irony? There are all sorts of resurgences of old fashions all the time. But it isn't obviously ironic. I was alive during the 70s and trust me when I say that they haven't brought back 70s fashions in any meaningful way. Fashions cycle in and out all the time and I've seen stuff from previous decades brought back multiple times. Thin ties were in during the 80s and they are back again now. Happens all the time but it's rarely ironic.

I have a friend who was in the vintage clothing business and he can define where he could buy 1970s fashion clothes in bales by the pound one month and the next he was having to negotiate prices by the item from his suppliers. Not long after that they become unobtainable except as yard sale or Goodwill finds and new iterations of the same fashions were showing up new in department stores.

That's the way fashion works but I'm not seeing the irony here. Throwback fashion is routinely a thing. There's even old jokes about wearing something so long it comes back into fashion.

Hipster bars of the era tended to focus on "vintage" brands like PBR or Rolling Rock and this embrace of older, niche products seem to have something to do with the rise of craft alternatives (well, and quality, too..).

PBR and Rolling Rock are just cheep beers. There may be a bit of irony going on with PBR though I'm not entirely convinced.

Comment: Ironic use of vintage? (Score 1) 293 293

How about Pabst Blue Ribbon beer?

Not obviously ironic though a reasonable example if true. The evidence is ambiguous and seems mostly anecdotal. Still I'd need a LOT more evidence to start to buy the notion that ironic embrace of vintage is a meaningful way to cause old products to see a resurgence. Not saying it can't happen but I just don't really see examples of it happening in the real world.

Or the otherwise inexplicable growth of vinyl record sales?

Nothing ironic there that I can see. There are people who earnestly believe that vinyl sounds better and the audiophile crowd is willing to spend absurd amounts of money chasing even the chance of "better sound". Personally I think that the supposed superiority of vinyl wouldn't stand up to double blind testing like so much other nonsense that comes from audiophiles but that is a separate issue.

Comment: Popularity matters sometimes (Score 1) 293 293

The Zune as a product was solid. It played MP3's as intended, offered all of the correct features, and the UI wasn't unpleasant. Battery life was good.

That's the problem though. Nobody ever really claimed that Zune was terrible. But there were very few reasons to buy one instead of an iPod. It wasn't better value for money for most people. It didn't have meaningfully better features, didn't cost a lot less, and by the time it came out many people who really wanted an MP3 player were already locked into Apple's ecosystem. Microsoft didn't make a horrible product but being solid isn't good enough when you are that late to the party. You have to be substantially better or substantially cheaper and Zune was neither.

Thinking about this as a larger point, I at least look at a product to fill a need. generally I do a lot more research than most, to find the product that checks all of the boxes without glaring reliability or quality issues. I rarely buy crap, but it's not always popular.

I do the same thing but I do consider whether the popularity of the device or feature will matter in time. For example I could get a cordless drill from a no-name manufacturer but then 5 years later I won't be able to get replacement batteries most likely. Sometimes popularity and the network effects it generates matter as much or more than the more tangible aspects of the product design. Sometimes it doesn't matter but you have to consider whether it will.

Comment: Hipster tactics (Score 1) 293 293

I think you have the concept of hipster exactly backwards.

Not really. I'm just querying whether this is a particular subset of the use of the term, particularly with respect to those who intentionally pick products slightly outside the mainstream. If someone bought a Zune in a (lame) attempt to be trendy that would seem to be "hipster" behavior. Buy the unusual product which is likely doomed to failure and look down your nose at people who buy the more mainstream products. More of a social tactic than a demographic.

Usually hipsters seem to cluster around emerging trends and often seem to be influential enough that an ironic embrace of vintage/past products often produces a resurgence of that product.

Aside from maybe some tshirts I really cannot think of any "ironic embrace of vintage" that resulted in a meaningful resurgence of a product. I've seen some legitimate attempts to bring back old products or aspects of them but the successful ones are pretty much never ironic.

It's debatable whether hipsters even exist, or whether it's a group that identifies products before they become popular or whether it's a group that's defined as clustering around products that became popular.

I think aspects of what we call "hipsters" exist in society though I think you'll have a hard time finding a canonical example of one. People who are seriously into fashion sort of fit the bill. They're always looking for the next trend to jump on. You can find corollary examples with other products - movies, technology, etc. But I don't think I've ever seen anyone who adopts that worldview for everything they do.

Comment: Capability and ease of use (Score 1) 311 311

So perhaps then it isn't the design of the software or the hardware, but the overall aesthetic. Both the Air and OSX are "pretty", but lacking in functionality.

OS X is basically a riff on BSD unix underneath. It's roughly as capable as any other version of unix so I'm not sure why you think that. OS X on the Macbook Air is the same as any other Mac. You can argue that you don't like Apple's operating systems and I wouldn't quibble but to say the software lacks functionality is just false.

If you don't like the hardware on the Air, I get that. It's necessarily a design with some tradeoffs that don't work for everyone. When you go as light as possible you have to leave some stuff behind. But that gets back to my point which is that Apple is really a software company. They put the software in a pretty box but (almost) nobody would give a shit if it ran Windows instead of OS X.

There's also an (undeserved) reputation for ease of use to consider, which ties back into the lack of functionality/flexibility.

Disagree that Apple's products haven't earned their reputation for ease of use. I've used Apple products on and off since the early 1980s and I've spent even more time with their competitor's products. As a general rule Apple products tend to be easier to teach to the technologically impaired, require less support and generally work more consistently and with less fuss than the competition. There are exceptions of course but on average it's usually true. That's not to say their products are perfect by any means. But having used, watched and supported others I have to say that the evidence largely points to Apple products being above average in ease of use.

When someone who is not a geek asks me whether to get a mac versus a PC or iPhone versus Android, I usually point them at the Apple product (budget permitting) because it will be less painful for them 95 times out of 100. When I converted my parents over to a Mac and iPad from Windows machines the number of tech support calls I got went from 1-3/month to 1-2/year. Furthermore if you live vaguely close to an Apple store it's a LOT easier to get support for a Mac than for most PCs.

"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost