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Comment Re: Suicide By Jet Plane (Score 1) 436

For the past several years, most suicide bombers have been involuntary, as the terrorism org ran low on angry young men and switched over to strapping bombs to people that couldn't fight back or fully understand due to psychiatric illness, cognitive disability, or youth. The ones that do it voluntarily are typically angry young adults that see themselves as having no future and relatively easily convinced that they'd be respected &revered as a hero for their sacrifice -- the same sort of patriotic bullshit that was common in the US up through the Vietnam War, as songs like I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin-To-Die-Rag parodied.

Comment Re:Having lived in Sausalito and Mill Valley, let (Score 1) 250

Thank you for making me choke on my soda with unexpected laughter -- I'm from the North Bay (Sonoma County), andmost of the longtimers are tired of both hearing how awesome SF & the wealthier parts of the South Bay are and with having outsiders assume that we share their belief. Insipid articles over-glorifying SF that use "Bay Area"as a synonym don't help.

Comment Re:agree (Score 1) 74

I agree, but it's too easy to ignore email, so we should also all repost it to our journals with "publicize"checked (and be sure to vote for others doing the same); if enough of us do that, our angry complaints will fill the queue and hopefully part of the front page. That would be much harder for /. Admin & Dice to shrug off, especially as Idoubt advertisers will be happy at seeing the userbase openly planning to implode.

Comment F topics (Score 1) 237

Well, Usenet is slowly growing active again, and public servers for folks whose ISPs don't offer it still exist. (It's probably coming back because it's not controlled by a government or corporation, doesn't require 'real' names, the user controls what it looks like to them, stuff like that.)

I don't know which groups were used for discussing science/tech news articles in the past, though. :-/

Comment No real reason to hope, TBH (Score 2) 237

" least stick around for a while to just see what the final version will be."

They've been working (and receiving near-universal negative feedback) on the Beta for *months* with no sign that they're paying a lick of attention to feedback. Also, website "beta-testing" is, by nature,effectively just a test of the final version under a full load so they can fix any remaining critical bugs.

Comment Re:Non-Drm'd? (Score 1) 304

Corporate rights-holders like Disney are the ones that want over-long copyright periods. The actual creators just want the right to earn an income from their own work during their lifetime, and many would be happy with 10-20 years.

Ifavor an altered form of lifetime rights, as I'll explain quickly in part:
-- The creator should not be able to sell or transfer ownership of the copyright. Instead, they would 'rent' non-exclusive licenses to companies for a limited timespan, with a certain guaranteed profit percentage for the creator (so they couldn't be screwed like writers & musicians are now).
-- The company would have the right to full sell those copies, not rent them. If it sold copies it didn't have a license for, it would then be required to pay the creatorthe full cost plus a fine and any legal costs the creator would incur handling the matter.
-- Ideally, the companies would compete with one another on cost, quality, and speed/ease of delivery. Few people with any money will pirate if they can get a high-quality copy to their device(s) in an instant by clicking a button.
-- DRM wouldn't exist within ebooks. Instead, since many people just do whatever is easiest and don't care about DRM, allow store owners that produce their own branded e-readers have the default software place limits on lending out or reading lent-out books. (People willing to root their device to install third-party e-reader apps or that pick non-store readers could avoid it, as they're the ones motivated enough to crack DRManyway.)
-- Rather than wasting resources fighting it as a blanket criminal issue, a tiny fraction of those funds could be used to stigmatize impersonal 'sharing' (obtaining from a stranger as opposed to a friend) as being on par with accepting the free lunch at school or being on welfare.

My logic:
-- If someone does the hard work of creating something, IMHO they should be in control of it. Not a corporation, their neighbor, or their relatives.
-- If copyright will expire within the creator's lifetime, the companies (Hollywood studios, game studios, publishers, etc.) will all refrain from touching the work until it expires in order to avoid having to pay up.
-- Copyright is essentially an attempt to compensate for the fact that creators are paid by a lot of people over a long time period rather than an equivalent amount all at once by one person/group. These days, it takes far longer to reach that point than it used to.

Comment Re:Non-Drm'd? (Score 1) 304

I personally think electronic data should be free ...

'Free' is fine for people that are happy with the amateur work found in fan fiction and (to a slightly lesser degree)that still dominates the self-published arena. The problem is, producing a high-quality novel takes a massive amount of time, hard work and frustration:

-- author dedicates 6-9 months worth of full-time to write the best they can on their own
-- editor aggressively criticizes potential flaws, demanding drastic cuts & changes
-- author picks up ego, spends another 2-3 full-time months rewriting based on criticisms
-- editor criticizes that copy &suggests still more changes
-- author (who by now hates the book) spends another1-2 full-time months rewriting it yet again

Writers that are working just from the joy of using their craft (e.g. for free) are very unlikely to go through the painful & frustrating chore of the editing stages (particularly as that would cost hundreds of dollars), will drop that particular story when they lose interest, and most will only share completed work with a small limited group. The ones that do earn some money but not enough to quit their day job don't have remotely as much time to hone the quality of the initial book or the rewrites, so the results end up subpar.

Comment Re:"humbled"? (Score 1) 293

That's not a new, cavalier usage: "humbled"has been used that way for a very long time, enough that it appeared more than once in 50-150 year old literature Iread as an English major in college.

The phrase also matches the more nuanced definitions for the term 'humble' and its root in humility, both referring to an individual that doesn't overestimate their worth or believe they're worthy of accolades or adoration. When people are given a powerful show of confidence -- nomination for a prize or position, admission to a highly competitive university, etc. -- many initially feel lucky that others believe in them that much, less worthy than others that weren't chosen, and worried they won't live up to their supporters' expectations. In other words, no matter how arrogant and proud they were when secure in their old position, being pushed towards the new one humbles them, thus the "Iam humbled by" phrase.

Comment Re:NOOOOOOOOO (Score 1) 293

If you're going by old stereotypes, why not a gay guy? After all, they're chock full of girly traits...

Yes, I'm being facetious, because the female geeks I've known had the same range of interest/ability in aesthetics or fashion as our male counterparts.

Your post reminds me of an incident in Radio Shack a couple of years ago... I was in my usual loose unisex t-shirt, jeans & ponytail (no makeup/jewelry), and hung out comparing circuitboard components before grabbing a soldering iron stand. When I paid, even though he'd been watching me part of the time, the manager/clerk asked with an amused condescending tone, "making jewelry?" When I answered cheerfully, "nope, learning to replace bad parts on PCBs" he was visibly dumbfounded. I guess he was so focused on his idea of what women are like that it didn't occur to him that we might not match it...

Comment Re:Not written for the Guardian (Score 1) 118

I can't imagine he's all that surprised, since his website says people are "actively encouraged" to syndicate its content.

The syndicated columns of our youth were a bit different, though. Newspapers had to contact the syndicating companyto seek permission and pay money for the right to reproduce the column for a certain period of time, and some writers (like Dave Barry) had their home paper mentioned at the beginning or end of each column. It wasn't a free-for-all where for-profit papers just copied the columns each week without contacting or compensating the creator, as is becoming the norm now.

Comment Re:The real point of what Detroit has to offer... (Score 1) 398

It's only Southern California that is normally dry and lacking on fresh water -- Northern California has lakes, rivers and springs all over the place providing fresh water to residents/businesses. We've just been in a drought for the past year or two, as shown in the satellite images of the Sierra snowpack on the same day in January 2013 & 2014.

Beyond the drought, our problem is twofold... We have to share the water with the Central Valley farms (which IIRC now raise water-intensive crops that sell well, rather than drought-tolerant ones) & heavily-populated/theme-park-filled SoCal, which sucks a *lot* of water. Also, greed among local politicians, landowners & developers over the past decade has led to a huge boom in residential, business & vineyard development, so we go through reserves during dry periods *much* faster than we used to.

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