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Comment: Drama Queen. (Score 1) 132

by westlake (#48435395) Attached to: Aereo Files For Bankruptcy

Do not buy anything these companies offer. No cable, no movies, no music. Nothing. Do not feed their useless parisitism on our culture and public domain.
If you must be entertained, find alternative sources, from indie stuff all the way to pirating.

Disney has been taking significant risks with films with serious geek cred --- Wreak-It Ralph. Guardians of the Galaxy, Big Hero Six --- and has been handsomely rewarded in return.

The geek is defined by pop culture and his talk of boycott is hot air. ThinkGeek

The paying customer gets programming like Sherlock and The Game of Thrones and a voice in future productions.
The pirate gets whatever crumbs he can sweep off the floor.

Comment: 700,000. (Score 2) 145

by westlake (#48432077) Attached to: Greenwald Advises Market-Based Solution To Mass Surveillance

Representatives in the House are elected every two years, and their districts are small enough that the number of politically active people is limited, especially in midterms. By politically active I mean people who directly affect the local. vote, not those of us who only post on Slashdot.
So the House is completely doable. It just requires a few people _in_each_district_ who care enough to study and understand beyond the headlines, then put in a few hours of time.

Political effectiveness demands a serious investment in time, money and manpower.

It can't be done on the cheap.

There are 435 congressional districts in the United States House of Representatives, with each one representing approximately 700,000 people. These are not small numbers. Congressional district

Comment: The Empire Strikes Back (Score 1) 145

At 17 years of age, you do not have enough life experience to say anything of real importance about anything involving the greater issues facing society.

How perfectly appropriate that these choice lines should be posted by to Slashdot by an Anonymous Coward.

The timing couldn't be bettered as well.

We should certainly laud Mattel for deciding that 2014 is the year Barbie strikes out on her own as a career woman after 55 years and 150-plus jobs (including hating math and babysitting, with a welcome stint as a computer engineer in 2010).

But Entrepreneur Barbie reminds us that --- like every other ostensibly inspiring incarnation of the doll --- her main role is to look pretty and wear lots of pink.

In the end, both [Supermodel Barbie and Entrepreneur Barbie] are part of the same old problem. As 16-year-old feminist and former TED speaker Adora Svitak told Forbes' Denise Restauri this week:

''She encourages an unrealistic expectation of beauty grounded in narrow ideals --- whiteness, thinness, a lack of hair and an abundance of breast tissue --- instead of kindness, smarts, self-confidence, or athleticism.''

Mattel's Latest Affront To Little Girls: Entrepreneur Barbie [Feb 2014]

I have nothing against padded bras in general. But my immediate thought in the store was, Why the hell does a teenage girl need one?

The issue of the over-sexualizing of girls from an early age has come to the forefront with a recent news story about model Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau posing suggestively for the cover of Vogue magazine. Over a series of photos, the ten-year-old is shown sprawled on leopard-print cushions, wearing a skimpy gold dress, stiletto heels, and posing heavily made-up, with rouge and lipstick. She's ten years old, yet she looks scarily adult in the photos.

By creating so many illusory images of physical perfection, whether on store aisles or storefront ads, magazine covers or TV shows, we speak more to the profit margins of companies than the self-esteem of today's girls. The unsaid message of that endless rack of juniors' pushup bras? No matter what size you are, it still isn't good enough.

Would You Buy This for Your Daughter? [Aug 2011]

Comment: The Great Big Rock (Score 4, Informative) 493

by westlake (#48423525) Attached to: What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

And if that comet then hit earth, do you know what a huge catastrophe that would have caused?
Then we would be saying 'ah but couldn't they just use solar power?'

The mass of the Churyumov---Gerasimenko comet is roughly 1 x 10^13kg. Should it ever fall to earth, I wouldn't expect the dispersal of U-238 from an aging Rosetta-class probe to be my biggest concern.

Comment: Re:Yahoo! is cool again? (Score 1) 382

Once upon a time, when we talked about things like "Web Portals," and people knew who Jerry Yang was, Yahoo! was cool.

The walled gardens of the app world have taken much of the steam out of the browser wars --- and threaten to make the browser itself irrelevant.

Searching Google for "live jazz on the net" will return 40 million hits, "live jazz streams," 9 million hits, "live piano jazz streams", 840,000 hits, which is no more useful. The point being that the open web the geek so admires has become unmanageable.

I don't want to wrestle with a search engine, I simply want to listen to the music.

Comment: Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 164

by westlake (#48422141) Attached to: Bicycle Bottle System Condenses Humidity From Air Into Drinkable Water

So, a small wind turbine (or taking turns on a bike), and any hot humid area where clean drinking water can be scarce is a good fit for this.

A few years back, a long and brutal heat wave driving both temperature and humidity close to the century mark lead to the closing of our local recreational and commuter bike paths after the collapse of cyclists who would have been considered young, fit, and adequately prepared.

Comment: Re:Capitalism does not reward morality (Score 1) 194

by westlake (#48421977) Attached to: Is a Moral Compass a Hindrance Or a Help For Startups?

I think you're equating capitalism with avarice. It is possible to run a business while maintaining a sense of morality.

When you are playing fast and loose with your customers, your suppliers, your employees, your financial backers, the press, the government --- what do you think is happening inside your start-up? Most likely, the rot is spreading everywhere.

Comment: No magical flying cars or hoverboards here. (Score 1) 495

by westlake (#48415037) Attached to: Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

this reminds me of the states that are passing taxes on electric vehicles because they don't pay gas tax.

But they are using the roads, bridges, and other services the gas tax helps pay for.

Several counties in upstate New York are currently experiencing blizzard conditions, with deep cold, strong winds and up to five feet of snow. The worst possible environment for an electric car.

Comment: Re:"eye sore" (Score 3, Interesting) 495

by westlake (#48414867) Attached to: Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

You know they're desperate when the only argument against new technologies they can come up with is that they're ugly.

A lot of money is being spent here to reclaim waterfront property for green space, nature reserves, parks and recreation. Ugly comes at a price that not everyone is willing to pay anymore, and the geek needs to see that clearly.

Comment: The California Superior Courts (Score 1) 137

by westlake (#48412357) Attached to: Court Rules Google's Search Results Qualify As Free Speech

It isn't always clear at a distance where a state court stands in the larger scheme of things and how much weight should be given its decisions.

In California, a Superior Court is simply one of 58 consolidated county and municipal trial courts.

Before June 1998, California's trial courts consisted of superior and municipal courts, each with its own jurisdiction and number of judges fixed by the Legislature. In June 1998, California voters approved Proposition 220, a constitutional amendment that permitted the judges in each county to merge their superior and municipal courts into a ''unified,'' or single, superior court. As of February 2001, all of California's 58 counties have voted to unify their trial courts.

Superior Courts

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.