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Comment: More to the story. (Score 1) 1651

by violasvegas (#41524827) Attached to: To Encourage Biking, Lose the Helmets
The article makes a good point, and there are arguments on both sides. However, to say that Amsterdam and Copenhagen are places that have a significant portion of the population using bicycles on a regular basis, and they don't mandate helmets and yet everyone's safe is oversimplifying the point in a way that's detrimental to the discussion. Even if we grant that this is the case, which I have no reason to doubt, it's not like everyone woke up one day, ditched the helmets, grabbed bikes and rode around. If a majority of folks in a given place ride bikes, it's safe to say that's a culture that understands and respects bicycling as a mode of transportation, and has experience combining bicycle and motor vehicle traffic in a safe way. Cyclists are comfortable with cars and vice versa. One of the things that helps contribute to accidents is nervous drivers, nervous cyclists, or a combination of the two. I'd also be willing to bet there are more bike lanes in places like those mentioned in the article. Helmets may make cycling seem more dangerous, but living in a car dominated culture where many places do not prioritize bike safety actually does make cycling more dangerous. No, a bike helmet won't protect me much if I'm hit by a car. In that case, I'll be lucky to escape with just broken bones. However, a helmet certainly would protect me if I'm riding between traffic and a row of parked cars (like cyclists in many cities are forced to do if their bike is their main source of transport) and I have to swerve to avoid a car who doesn't see me. In that case, I'd rather be wearing a helmet when I hit the parked car or the pavement. And, I'd rather be conscious and able to get my bike and myself up out of the street rather than being knocked out in the middle of the street and causing a bigger problem because folks have to go around me or come out in the road to help. Helmet laws aren't there to force people who could care less about their skulls to put clunky helmets on. It's to protect the other folks who would be dragged into or affected by an accident that would be exacerbated by someone not wearing one. Bottom line, wear a helmet. Do it for the children.

Comment: That's not why teachers change (Score 1) 207

by violasvegas (#36779730) Attached to: Internet Use Found To Affect Memory
The way teachers teach by and large has less to do with what works pedagogically and more to do with educational policy in America, which is regrettably focused on "results" and "standards" and not on things like critical thinking skills and higher level mental processing. There needs to be a shift away from what is testable and quantifiable toward what is useful and productive, however, it's not going to come from Google, Apple, Microsoft, or really anyone else who has an interest in keeping people from making informed decisions about the technology they consume.

Comment: Re:Shut up with the "bigotry" nonsense! (Score 1) 917

by violasvegas (#35589828) Attached to: Apple Removes Gay Cure App From App Store
If your religion tells you not to be gay, and you don't want to be gay, don't be gay. However, you have to accept the fact that not everyone is Catholic. I have a lot of problems with the Catholic church, but the biggest problem I have is when it tries to tell people who are not in it how to behave, and passes judgment on those who engage in behaviors it doesn't like (what was that thing Jesus said about judging other people...?) The Catholic church is certainly welcome to make any rules it likes, and people are welcome to split with the Catholic church. After all, they don't have a monopoly on belief, they just pick out the songs and set rules about eating meat on friday and praying the rosary, etc. However, your religion is not mine. I do not follow its rules, and I don't like being asked or expected to. By the way, here's a thought experiment for you. Try to imagine the situation reversed, and those with heterosexual desires were called to chastity. Think long and hard (no pun intended) and ask yourself whether you could really do it. Could you really suppress that part of you, and do you really think a loving god would give you that urge, and then ask you to do so?

Comment: Re:Brick? (Score 1) 286

by violasvegas (#35221236) Attached to: TiVo To Brick All Remaining UK PVRs On June 1

In that case no devices are *ever* bricked.

Take a linksys router. Hook the power terminal directly (sans transformer) to a 220v source. Grats, you just bricked your router.

Holy moses! All of the interesting issues to discuss - who controls information and content? What do you actually get when you pay for a device? What rights do customers have in a situation like this? And yet, the most heated debate is over the use of a made up word. Good job folks, way to stay relevant.

Comment: Re:Why so discriminating? (Score 1) 1036

by violasvegas (#32756472) Attached to: Google To Add Pay To Cover a Tax For Gays
Wow. This would nearly make sense (sad though it may be that a majority of people in this country might still cling to the belief that it is somehow bad or wrong to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender) if the majority actually got what they wanted on most issues. If that were the case, we'd have universal health care (look at the volumes of data from places that do legit polling, like Pew, Quinnipiac, and Gallup, not the major news outlets that are really only good for showing pictures of people with health care protesting universal health care for others), we'd be out of Afghanistan (again, the majority of public opinion favors getting out), we wouldn't have given billions of dollars of bailout money to the banks that collapsed the global economy, and Bush never would have been elected in 2000 (remember, the larger number of votes, aka "majority" didn't vote for him.) And those are just the glaring examples.

Comment: Re:UNfortunately (Score 5, Informative) 171

by violasvegas (#31789882) Attached to: Bank Employee Plants Malware on ATMs
Actually, what some of these CEO's did was pretty plainly illegal. See - Lehman Brothers and the use of Repo 105. NY Times has a good breakdown. You can find it here: http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/12/the-british-origins-of-lehmans-accounting-gimmick/ Even their own internal legal review determined that the practice was illegal in the US, hence the need to do it secretly in England.

Comment: Re:Stop scaremongering (Score 1) 179

by violasvegas (#30309920) Attached to: FCC Lets Radar Company See Through Walls
Being informed about new technology and being aware of the possible negative/intrusive/liberty restricting uses of that technology is not scaremongering, it's called being a good citizen. Let's not put our heads in the sand just because the device has some positives. It also has negatives. To loosely quote Ben Franklin, Those who are willing to give up freedom to gain security will gain neither. The job of a good citizen to to be informed and engage in useful debate, not to try to sound witty or hipper than thou by tossing around terms like luddite and scaremongering to try and intimidate people. Perhaps that's the irony here, the use of the term scaremongering to, well, scare and intimidate people. Nice job.

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.

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