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Comment Re:derp.... (Score 3, Informative) 270

Cutting salt out of a diet that includes non-synthetic substances is probably impossible. If it lived on earth, it probably has salt in it.

Salt is actually pretty important nutritionally and for osmoregulation. Way too much/little is bad for you, but some salt is required. It's so important that part of our taste mechanism is dedicated to salt. Alton Brown summed it up nicely saying (okay, I'm paraphrasing) that while many things taste sweet (good eats), sour (bad eats) or bitter (poisonous eats), only one thing tastes salty - salt.

Comment Re:derp.... (Score 5, Interesting) 270

But I um... thought... um.. it was good to um..... have a what's the.word Jenny? A diet low is salt. I may not be smart, but I know what high blood pressure is...

Just a note that, according to my doctor, and many articles I've read, excessive salt in the diet is NOT a problem for many/most people, but only those sensitive to it. Good explanations can be found:

Comment Re:Lenovo, stop destroying the ThinkPad Brand! (Score 1) 143

I had 2 work-issued E6400s which were nothing but headaches. Whenever the laptop would get even slightly above normal operating temperatures, it would under-clock itself to 1/2, then 1/4, then 1/8 of the clock speed. At 1/8 the clock-speed, the entire system was completely unresponsive. I can't tell you how many times I put the laptop in the refrigerator to get it back to a temperature which it would be responsive.

I haven't had this problem with my two E6400s, however I have read about this problem. I believe it was fixed by a BIOS update a long time ago. If you were using brand-new units at the time, you probably got bit by this bug. If you buy a used off-lease machine (which is now 4-5 years old), you're not going to have this problem.

Why is anyone taking the parent post seriously? He spends half his post complaining about these silly subjective things and offers nothing substantiate about the devices.

What's wrong with subjective values? If something is butt-ugly, I'm not going to buy it, whether it's a car, a laptop, or whatever. And I did offer something non-subjective: the screens on the new models suck, which you yourself admitted to. The older screens were better: they were higher resolution with a better aspect ratio. Plus, the two units I have have zero problems with randomly locking up; to me, that's a show-stopper issue. Why would you continue using a laptop that locks up once a day? That's like going back to Windows 95. So instead of paying $100-200 for an older used unit that looks better, has a much better screen, and doesn't have any lock-up problems, you've paid a boatload of money (I'm guessing at least $1000) for a brand-new unit that looks like shit, has a crappy screen, and locks up as much as Win95. Good job!

Comment Re:Better plots? (Score 1) 1029

Yes, they do. Which is why I'd like it to be done by an... independent movie company? Indie? Whatever.

Indie studios don't have much budget; that's why they always do character dramas set in current times, since it doesn't cost squat to film one of those as long as the actors are cheap. Indies can't afford a big-budget sci-fi production, and if it's not big-budget, a sci-fi movie usually looks ridiculously bad.

Why not? I mean, look at the bad press Enders Game is getting, because the author is allegedly anti-gay. You'd think a story by an author who wasn't anti-anything* would do well. *well, sexually speaking.

Sorry, no. Movies have to follow conventional morality, or else people will get pissed off. Currently, the conventional morality allows for homosexuality to a limited extent; however, there's still a lot of anti-gay sentiment among the population, so anything mainstream that tries not to offend anyone will mostly sidestep the issue, or at best show gays as an odd curiosity rather than focusing greatly on gay characters. Of course, there's a lot of anti-anti-gay sentiment too, which is why Ender's Game is getting bad press because of the political activists who are trying to push equality for homosexuals (which IMO is fine, but the conservatives certainly won't see it that way).

Open relationships and polyamory are outside of conventional morality at this time; people who do such things are seen as "perverts". Just look at shows depicting younger people in relationships; there's a ton of drama over who's "with" whom, what everyone's relationship status is, etc. These days, it seems that as soon as a young person starts dating someone else for more than 3 dates, they're considered "hitched" and it's somehow "wrong" if they date more than one person at a time. There are more and more people exploring open relationships (particularly in Portland and Seattle) these days, but they're still a very very small minority. A movie showing main characters engaged in such relationships would not go over well in mainstream America.

Comment Re:Proposal (Score 1) 147

Ok, let's be fundamental about this. Isn't it strange that we should consider "software" as different from other intellectual property? If X hours of work have been invested into the invention of a clever software routine, then, it would be strange if a patent could not be granted for that work while a patent would be granted for some physical apparatus that also took X hours to develop. (Don't think about the stupid "one-click-buy" software patents, but more along the lines of an ingenious differential-equation solver).

So, I don't think a law that says "patents are granted, but not for software" would be a good one. If we would abolish patents, we should do it in all fields.

I disagree.

First, patents are not granted on the basis of the effort expended to invent a patentable invention. The sweat of the brow theory is just as much bunk for patents as it is for copyrights.

Second, the purpose of patents is to encourage the invention, disclosure, and bringing to market of inventions which otherwise would not be invented, disclosed, and brought to market, and where the restrictions on the public are as minimal as possible in both scope and duration. Patents have an inherent negative effect on invention, disclosure, and bringing to market, and so it is important that the incentive is large enough to spur on more of this behavior than it inescapably deters. Further, patents inherently limit the freedom of the public to practice the invention, and tend to have negative effects on the market due to the monopolistic prices the patent holder can charge, so it it is important that the positive benefits of the patent for the public also outweigh the inescapable negative effects it has on the public.

What's interesting about the software and business method fields is that there are many natural incentives for invention, and bringing to market. And while formal disclosure could still be useful, the system is gamed to make disclosures unhelpful and at any rate obervation of the patents in practice in these fields usually reveals anything that disclosure would. This means that the incentive of a patent amounts to little in these fields, but the negative effects of the patent are not mitigated at all. Thus patents here act to harm inventive activity more than they do to spur it on. Combined with the negative effects on the public, software and business method patents wind up producing more harm than good.

Someday, perhaps, the natural incentives in these two fields will diminish and there will be more of a role for an artificial incentive from patents. By all means we should watch for that so that we can revisit the issue when th time is ripe. But for now, software and business method patents harm more than they help. That's why we need to be rid of them.

Comment Re:As a sortware patent holder... (Score 1) 147

You can legally obtain books, music, DVDs at the public library for free.

Well, for now. There are plenty of copyright holders who are opposed to public libraries, stores that sell used copies of works, etc.

And be glad the duration is 70+life years instead of hundreds of years. I mean imagine if you bought land or a house and you have rights to it only for 70+life years. After that, your children/descendants would have to vacate the place and it would be public property, perhaps a park. Does that seem okay to you?

The duration should be whatever, in conjunction with the other aspects of copyright (e.g. the breadth of the rights) produces the greatest overall public benefit. Due to the peculiarities of the markets for copyrighted works (they typically make the vast majority of all the copyright-related money they ever will make very shortly after being published in a given medium), long terms don't provide much of an incentive for authors, and thus ought not to be granted. A grand total of 20-25 years would be 99.44% as good for most authors as a term of a million years would be. Since a copyright is a grant of something public (a right to assert exclusivity against the public) to a private author, there's nothing wrong with the public setting the terms to suit itself. If the author doesn't like it, he's free to get a job at McDonald's.

And also life estates are far from uncommon in the world of real property.

Comment Re:Humans Co-evolved with Dogs! (Score 1) 181

The difference is purely semantic. The difference is that dogs didn't evolve from wolves through natural selection, they evolved via human selection (which may still considered natural), but it's still an evolution.

I've seen a few articles, like this one that suggests wolves domesticated humans ... or this one that wolves/dogs domesticated themselves ... to co-exist.

Comment Re:Sigh (Score 1) 445

Come to the Epping/Lee New Hampshire area sometime on a clear night other than a Friday. Then, come back when there are races going on. You'll see what light pollution does - you go from having Magnitude 6-7 visibility to having a night sky resembling Boston's, all because the lights throw >70% of the light into the sky rather than on the ground, because they are improperly aimed.

Submitter's problem is that the neighbor's light was installed by an incompetent asshole, so much of the light she is paying for is being wasted - shined on the neighbor's property and into the sky. If aimed properly not only do you preserve night viewing, and NOT piss your neighbors off, you get more for your money by concentrating all those lumens where it is actually needed- on the ground.

Comment The real problem (Score 4, Insightful) 445

The real problem with outdoor lighting is that fixtures are installed incorrectly probably 99% of the time. is there ANY reason that >50% of the light escaping the fixture should be going skyward? Aim the things properly and > 90% of the light pollution problem will go away (what remains is incidental reflection from the ground or scattering by water vapor). I have been in well-lighted gated communities where careful design went into outdoor lighting, and despite the ground being well lit, you still get a great view of the sky.

I am finishing a move to Lee, NH and in my backyard I can see the Milky Way very clearly, and for the first time I can actually spot the Andromeda Galaxy clearly without resorted to averted viewing.

Near me I have two NASCAR tracks and one drag track nearby (Lee Speedway, Star Speedway, and one New England Dragway). Lee Speedway is a short jog through the woods and Friday nights, sky viewing is crap; driving by I checked out the lights, and they're aimed at about a 30 angle, throwing 70%+ of the light up to the sky. I don't mind the noise at all from the track, but the light pollution is very annoying, because when those stupid lights are on I can't see much more in the sky than I can see in Boston. The problem can be solved very easily by aiming the lights correctly. It would still create a light dome from reflected and refracted light, but it would be very minimal.

Most of the problem is due to installer incompetence. There is no reason - no need for these lights to not be aimed properly. In fact, IMHO, it should be part of NEC to require outdoor lighting to be aimed as well as wired and sealed properly.

Comment Re:Totally yes... (Score 1) 258

"in that what is patentable is not copyrightable"

Wrong. Software patents, ring a bell?

No, the previous poster was right: patents and copyrights don't overlap. That doesn't mean that a single thing might not posses some qualities which are copyrightable and some other qualities which are patentable, however.

For example, in the case of software, a patent can protect the functional aspects of the program (so long as they're novel, non obvious, useful, etc.) while a copyright protects literal copying of the particular program as it has been written. If one wrote a totally different program from scratch which reimplemented the same functionality, it might infringe on the patent, but not the copyright. If one literally copied the nonpatented portions of the software (the parts that aren't novel, nonobvious, useful, etc.), that might infringe on the copyright, but not the patent.

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