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Comment: OT rant (Score 0, Offtopic) 188

by orgelspieler (#46825071) Attached to: You Can Now Run Beta Versions of OS X—For Free

This is totally off topic, but I'm posting it anyway because I need to vent.

My wife recently upgraded her iPhone to iOS7. Of course nobody* told her it requires iTunes 11 to run. But her laptop is an old one running on 10.5.something. And guess what, iTunes 11 won't install on anything less than 10.6.8 or so. Of course an upgrade costs $20. So now a supposedly free upgrade is going to cost $20, or else my wife won't be able to get pictures and stuff off her phone. Luckily it's not a PPC, otherwise she'd be really screwed. Just missed that by a few months.

All the comments on are basically full of rude people asking why anybody would be so stupid as to still be using a 6 year old computer or whatever. It totally misses the bigger picture that Apple is defrauding people $20 at a time. Granted even if they have a million such suckers, it's not a lot of money. But I can guaran-damn-tee ya that the next laptop in my house will not be a Mac. My PC laptop can communicate with her iPhone just fine. Seriously.

*and by "nobody," I mean "nobody besides me" since I'm apparently just a paranoid lunatic.

Comment: Re:Losing good men to the war on pretend violence (Score 1) 250

OK, so I need to recalibrate my humor detector. I totally missed the "pop tart" bit. D'oh!

But just in case anybody else takes you seriously, I'd like to interject. In Texas it's quite common for families to supplement their food supply with fresh game and fish. A buddy of mine gets over half of his protein budget from stuff he raises, catches, or shoots. He grows most of his own veggies, too. The Wild West might be long gone, but feeding your family the old fashioned way is still appreciated around here. Even in the suburbs where I live, we have neighbors who eat quite a bit of fresh-caught fish and venison.

Comment: Re:Lobbying aside (Score 1) 422

If this was in 2007 or something when you could get a 5% account, things would be different. (That'd be $387.)

I've done this intentionally a couple of times. Once the year my wife started working and once the year she went back to work after our son was born. I made something like $500 bucks back in '05, a lot less in '08 (fewer safe options). It sure felt good to write that four-figure check to Uncle Sam, though. The trick was withholding the same or slightly more than I did the previous year (with one income). Then penalties don't kick in.

Comment: Re:Paper and US Postal Service (Score 1) 386

by orgelspieler (#46758671) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

I do everything by hand as well. I find it somewhat fulfilling, although it's always a bit crazy. I messed up one year and didn't take a credit I was entitled to. The IRS gave it to me anyway.

The math isn't the hard part. Knowing what goes in what box is a nightmare, though. My wife runs a small business that loses money each year, and she doesn't keep very good track of her P&Ls. To get that extra hundred bucks or so, there are instructions that refer to publications, which in turn refer to other instructions, which have worksheets that require you to input something from the original form that you haven't calculated yet. Whee!

Don't even get me started on the lines that say things like "other gains (losses)" or "other credits." Really?

Comment: Re:Let it die (Score 1) 510

by orgelspieler (#46728773) Attached to: How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture
Hmmm... it depends on the bulb. Most glow purple more than in that photo, but I don't know about "bright." You may check with somebody you trust with the prism-sticky note test in the article. Just have them put a sticky note where they cease seeing color and compare it to your own vision. Not exactly scientific, but it could be interesting.

Comment: Re:Let it die (Score 1) 510

by orgelspieler (#46728701) Attached to: How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

There are thousands of things that reduce your chance of survival. Kids drive like idiots, jump off of buildings, huff paint, sleep around, all sorts of stupid shit. We parents have to prioritize what we feel is most important for our family. Decreasing morbidity is not a valid argument for requiring parents to take some corrective action. I'm sure you don't allow your kids to do anything that puts them at a lower risk of survival, like swim, drive, or be left-handed.

I'm sure that getting cancer from unseen UV sources is also bad. So should we expect parents to get cataract surgery for their children? Getting electrocuted is no good either, should we require surgical implants for that hazard as well? People have tubes put in the ears of their kids to prevent nuisance ear infections. My ENT just had us put my son on a healthy round of saline rinses for a year. But I'm not going to call a parent that chooses tubes unfit.

Look, unless it's your kid, you should butt out. That goes for the big D Deaf community, too. They should stop complaining about parents who choose cochlear implants for their kids.

Comment: fat/fit (OT) (Score 1) 510

by orgelspieler (#46714881) Attached to: How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

We've actually got something akin to that in body-image discrimination: different healthy body types are usually adept at different kinds of physical activity, but we tend to call e.g. the stocky guy who can lift a car or walk for many miles without even tiring "fat", because he doesn't have a lean body built for running and jumping that we think of as "fit"

Interesting choice. There are some cultures (especially in the south) that use "healthy" and "thin," rather than "fat" and "fit," respectively. And "thin" is almost always said with a derisive tone implying that the person is too obsessed with body image to eat properly.

Comment: Re:Let it die (Score 1) 510

by orgelspieler (#46714739) Attached to: How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture
This. I'm gonna bring a sound meter and a pair of earplugs next time I go to the theater. WTF guys. Especially at kids movies. My eardrums were about to bleed at Frozen and the Lego Movie (I don't get to see grown up movies anymore). I already bring earplugs to pop concerts. good god that shit is loud. At least with movies there are quiet parts.

Comment: Re:Let it die (Score 1) 510

by orgelspieler (#46714653) Attached to: How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

There are people who can see UV. This can be a side effect of having certain parts of your eye removed during cataract surgery. So would not being able to see UV when some people can be considered a reduced sense or impairment? Most people would argue not. But it does make you think... What if non-deaf people got cochlear implants to hear better, or have more control over what they hear? If optic implants become common (or even wearables like Google Glass), would it be an impairment not to have them?

You could even go further, citing cell phones, warm clothing, SCUBA gear, and other technological advances as being "super powers," right? How far down does that rabbit hole go? When my friends pull out their smartphones to look something up on Wikipedia, I feel handicapped by my meager meatbrain. Yet I militantly choose to have a 2007 flip phone and deride people who insist on augmenting themselves like that. Call it meatbrain culture, I guess. Ironically, when I was given the opportunity to artificially improve my vision (glasses), I did it without hesitation.

I don't disagree that hearing is great (I'm a musician, so it's particularly special to me). But I don't think we should criticize parents who choose not to give their children superpowers or even normal powers. Bear in mind that cochlear implants are (or at least used to be) very invasive. A long time ago I used to volunteer at a deaf school, and it was obviously a struggle for the kids to get used to them. There was also risk of infection or other complications. I'm sure things have gotten better, but surgery is still surgery.

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