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Comment Re:Smoking or not, that's the question. (Score 0) 175

Nicotine is a poison. The reason smoking is so bad for you is that nicotine increases the risk of cancer throughout one's body due to the way it disrupts apoptosis. It actually amplifies the negative effect of the other components.

If nicotine had any medicinal properties, why is it not a pharmaceutical? Why do we use it as a pesticide?

Comment Obvious solution is obvious (Score 1) 181

Make US regs match EU regs, along with an agreement to change regulations together in unison. The problem with the US has always been that our regulations were far behind, incompatible with others, and enshrined strange requirements (literally over a century of cruft). The list is immense: Headlights (sealed beam lights were required for decades after the industry moved on in every other country), the corner reflectors we still have that nobody else requires (you probably don't realize they are there, but they require design changes just for the US on many cars), the weird lighting rules (red signal indicators, for example), bumpers (they have learned to hide them with enormous fake grilles), and the list goes on... All these weird regulation differences make cars more expensive for everybody.

Comment Usually by task domain (Score 1) 125

Main task on the primary, secondary tools for the main task are on another, terminals/utilities in another (sometimes a couple), then low-importance things as far from me as necessary. Usually terminals/utilities are "left" and secondary tools are "right". Low importance things are the greatest difficulty to access as they are of low importance.

At least, that's how I've always done it with XFCE, fluxbox, and most other window managers I've used. Sadly, I suffer through using Win8 on most of my computers that aren't in VMs these days.

Comment Terms for elected officials are from another era.. (Score 1) 263

Technology moves so quickly that any investment in voting equipment beyond the bare minimum to produce decent results in a reasonable amount of time is not worth wasting money on. At no more than one or two uses a year, voting machines are extremely under-utilized equipment. Even paper ballots that don't have alternate uses are a waste of effort.

The only way to get sufficient use out of voting equipment would be to shorten term limits to days and/or change the role of representatives so their purpose is to vote on whether or not a potential law should be presented to the voting public. That should keep them busy and increase the value derived from voting equipment investments.

Comment Re: And there will be no mainframes or COBOL eithe (Score 1) 233

This is merely because hardware has been fairly stagnant for years now. Cycles are turning into a fungible commodity again and therefore hardware prices are being driven down. In the 1970s it was similar, but Moore's Law was devaluing it at a rapid pace, while network connections were still slow. Eventually the Big Iron that was managed by groups of highly trained people in clean rooms couldn't compete.

However, you're deluded if you think fast and reliable lines are cheap. They're not. This is why anything involving large quantities of data is staying local... The easy stuff that was designed decades ago for those slow links are the only low-hanging fruit that have experienced a strong shift to outsourced service ("cloud") providers due to the fact that they do not depend on a big pipe. Email, documents, and spreadsheets are one thing; terabytes of data are completely different... "Cloud" services are only good for easy problems.

Comment This makes no sense (Score 1) 508

Unless they are literally in abject poverty and/or homeless, I can't fathom even $300 being a huge deal for anyone financially able to raise a child. There's no way a parent couldn't kick back a few less beers or smoke a couple fewer packs so they could afford a decent computer. We're not talking the third world where people get by on lard and beans here; these are people that drive cars and probably spend money on vices.

I grew up in, by American standards, abject poverty. My parents owned an unreliable 20+ year old car that was given to them. Gas was so expensive that riding in a car was an exciting luxury to me. My clothing had patches and my siblings would be wearing those clothes when I outgrew them. We're talking so poor that I got free school lunches and ate government cheese. I still had a pocket calculator.

Now, let's get real: If you can't cobble together a computer out of 5+ year old parts for somewhere between cheap and free, you're way too picky. I guarantee every one of you either sells all their old tech or has some working old computers in your closet gathering dust. A quick search of ebay turns up decent workable tablets/netbooks for under $20. Full laptops for under $40. We're talking pocket calculator money here, less than I spend on a cheap dinner out, less than a single trip to the movies for two, less than it costs to fill my car with gas, less than buying a latte every day for a week. How do you even afford to have children if you can't afford a computer? What happens to these children that grow up in a home and world without technology? There's simply no excuse.

Comment Re:Good luck with that (Score 1) 319

Unless grocery baggers are hired based on their lack of education (ex: 8th or 10th grade being the last completed), we're already massively wasting education. They are not using any skills they have in any subject taught in a school that cannot be taught in five minutes. However, most of these companies require a high school diploma, GED, or similar, for a job requiring none of the implied skills.

There's no reason that the VP of Manufacturing in my company refuses to hire anyone without a BSME to work as a clerk managing paperwork that comes from Engineering, but they always fill that position with someone with a BSME that eventually leaves unless we poach them into our department first. However, it does prove that their employment options are limited even with a STEM degree, so they're willing to make $28k/year doing something that technically doesn't require their skills just to get their foot in the door somewhere. The mentality is spreading, with many other menial jobs within the company requiring as least a 4-year-degree in a STEM field. Our Field Service department recently started demanding a degree for glorified plumbers and their secretary has a masters in some hard science field.

Nothing opened my eyes to the situation more than this. It's clear that degrees are moving downmarket.

Comment Re:Way to sensationalize! (Score 1) 202

You're crazy. Watches are already dated-looking "jewelry". They'll be melted down to recover their constituent materials and some particularly-unusual ones will be stored in museums. The styles have changed very regularly, although they have been pretty stabilized since the advent of the cell phone because they're dying.

Your belief that people will still pay a lot of money just because their bracelet has some mechanical components is very short-sighted. One day people will realize that a bracelet is just as useful for showing off wealth and far more flexible in design if it isn't based around an archaic and redundant mechanical assembly.

Comment Re:Way to sensationalize! (Score 1) 202

I'd argue that wristwatches, particularly analog ones, are a multi-generational fad. They are simply approaching the end of their fad stage as their proponents die out. They haven't been a necessity at any point in their history, but were quite popular and expected in certain contexts, which reflects their fad status. Some might argue they're jewelry, but those people are deluded. They're only jewelry in the sense that bracelets are jewelry, but just as bracelets are subject to social fads and some have died out, so too will the wristwatch.

There are plenty of similar fads that will eventually be supplanted. Those in these industries are just too oblivious to realize that is what they are peddling.

Comment Re:Keep Trump, Dump Hilary (Score 1) 686

You know, I'd like to see this. I have a twisted internal dichotomy: While I am strongly libertarian by nature, I believe purists in their belief system would do a better job than those that compromise, so I also think unwavering communism is a good political system. A solid uncompromising socialist wouldn't allow a mess like Obamacare to get through with the unconstitutional requirement to purchase insurance from private companies. Obama compromised too much and that's what's wrong. If you're going to go socialist, go all the way, you can't go part way making concessions and expect it to work properly.

Comment Where is the obvious choice? (Score 1) 686

Please, please, please, someone abort that trainwreck that is all over the news (Trump). Please. You can't even walk near a TV or turn on a radio without suffering through more stupidity and hand wringing about said stupidity.

Also, let's get real, aside from Hillary the Dems have nothing. The Reps have so many options, all pretty shitty, that they don't know what to do, while the Dems are just floundering.

I thought it was bad last time. This country and their stupid two-party obsession (created by those stupid parties and their media buddies). No real difference between the two, aside from their destructive obsessions.

You are in the hall of the mountain king.