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Comment: Re:checking my coat pockets for money. (Score 1) 82 82

The bit of wire wrapped around the push-mower handle that keeps the engine brake from engaging the moment I release my grip on the handle.

Oh, it's for the safety of the children! Think of the puppies! No. Just, No.

Not only a hack but a macho-hack.

I bet you cut the seatbelts out of your car too.

Comment: Re:e-book prices HAVE been too high. (Score 1) 71 71

Every publisher believes that the e-books don't really compete against one another in price because each one is unique. They aren't interchangeable...someone won't say "wow, I bet I can get this same book cheaper somewhere else..."

But they are wrong. Lately, people have been able to get the same book cheaper by buying a used physical copy (still cheaper even after shipping costs). But, apart from that, when the price of a book exceeds the potential customer's sense of the book's value, they absolutely will buy a completely different book instead.

No product is immune to market forces, which is a good thing, and price-fixing harms the majority.

I don't agree. There are certain authors whose books I buy as soon as they are published. In the past this meant buying a hardback edition which is more than twice the cost of a paperback.

Books and other works of creative art are NOT fungible. You can't just replace a novel by your favourite author with a cheaper alternative in the same genre..

Comment: Re:How About the InTRAnet of Things? (Score 1) 51 51

The only vaguely plausible justificaitons I've heard for attaching your stuff to the internet is so that you can (for instance) interrogate your fridge while you're at work so you know what to buy when you go shopping on the way home, or turn off your central heating while you're five thousand miles away on holiday.

It all seems like utter bollocks to me anyway, but a home intranet seems even more pointless unless you live in Buckingham Palace or something. (How hard is it for a normal person to walk downstairs to the kitchen to turn on a coffee machine?)

Comment: Re:This is why we can't have nice things (Score 1) 665 665

Imagine, if you can, a world without war, it's easy if you try.

I can also imagine purple unicorns that vomit rainbows. The fact that I have a good imagination doesn't change reality.

The thing is, even given that there are conflicts in the world (a) wars are not the only way to deal with them and (b) whatever other countries do, your own can always refuse to initiate armed conflict.

The world would be a lot better with a reduced number of unnecessary armed conflicts, even if you can't avoid them entirely.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 1) 665 665

If it works it'll revolutionize aerial warfare and instantly make every Air Force in the world obsolete.

Yeah, IF.

History is full of revolutionary military technologies that will make armies/navies/air forces obsolete. The trouble is that the other guys don't just sit around twiddling their thumbs while you develop that technology. By the time your revolutionary technology is fit for service, the world has moved on.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 1) 665 665

See, that's the problem -- as long as they see themselves in either role, it won't work. Perhaps if they were isolated at youth, taught to fight each other, and then misled into thinking it was just a really good video game or simulation of some sort. I bet they could make a movie out of that.

No, it would suck as a movie, Hollywood would completely miss the point of the story. Better if it was a book. Or even a series of books - you could even narrate it from different points of view.

You appear to have omitted the word "terrible" before "book" in your post.

Ender's Game is perhaps the worst famous science fiction book I have ever read, and I've struggled through several Heinleins and A Canticle for Fucking Leibowitz.

Comment: Re:How do we know we've only discovered 1% of NEAs (Score 1) 51 51

Same way we "know" that 80% of rape victims never report it.

We pull a number out of our ass that will help promote the current agenda.

Yeah, those evil SJWs and feminazis with their "anti-rape" agenda. Whatever happened to free choice?

Oh, wait...

Comment: Re: We'd probably be more on protecting ourselves. (Score 1) 51 51

Civilization will probably be greatly affected by something sometime, but there's no way to know what. Asteroid? Pandemic? Solar flare? Nuclear war? So it's important to plan _wisely_. Don't choose one catastrophe and focus all your effort on it, because it won't be the one that gets you.

So, once we have identified all known possible catastrophes, we can discount them. And there's nothing we can do about unknown catastrophes, so we just don't do anything at all.

Comment: Re:Goodbye free speech (Score 1) 192 192

going on yelp to say that you got ripped off is NOT basis for a libel suit

Yes. It is. And unless you can prove it's true it's also the basis for a libel suit that you will lose.

Saying you were "ripped off" is pretty much saying you were robbed, and therefore tantamount to criminal libel (if you have such a thing). It's certainly a serious accusation.

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.