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Comment My pick (Score 1) 481

Vampire. (Practically a ninja and a pirate!)

50% - World of Darkness (for the lore)
50% - Blade (to be a daywalker - sunlight is OP)
0% - Twilight (I have immortality, charm, super-human strength and speed - why be emo over someone who won't stand the test of time? Making said someone immortal usually backfires horribly.)
[Warning - I'm still young, and I think Twilight is an attempt at milking the vampire franchise with a new-age twist]

My choice is based really on the characteristics I associate with.
- I'm too used to thinking that mummies and zombies are mindless nevermind the smell.
- Necromancers are squishy, proud, and keep brooding on about how life is a circle etc.
- Werewolves seem too aggressive. I guess that would help with customer service, but hypnosis is more discrete.
- Ringwraiths never left a lasting impression on me. But then again, nobody has offered me crazy powers for my undying loyalty, so I wouldn't know.
- I don't live under a bridge (unless the Internet is a figurative bridge).
- Demonic penguins don't have thumbs. I like my thumbs.

Comment Re:anonymous (Score 5, Insightful) 543

Because a gangsters are the bad guys. People are alright with to accept bad people doing bad things (some people may refer to it as conditioning, but I like to avoid labels that have connotations). When soldiers - good guys - do bad things it bothers normal people because its outside their comfort zone. Soldiers and other members of the armed forces are heroes in the eyes of many - up there with firefighters if not higher - so the outrage scales similarly.

Personally, I have a deep respect for the armed forces and the sacrifices they make for civilians each and every day. However, it seems that the anecdotal soldiers don't ask questions and politicians don't answer questions has made the world a less safer place.

Comment Re:How is this ethical? (Score 1) 168

"Either you've done the research and are making it publicly available to all of mankind - or you are keeping it for yourself and only offering the benefits of the research to the select individuals who can afford it."

By patenting the invention, you are (1) motiviating a company to fund the research, (2) publishing the designs for your inventino, and (3) ensuring that after about 20 years anyone will be free to follow those designs with or without your approval or profit.

That may not do as much for mankind as you would like to think we would get were everyone an altruist, but in the real world the alternative is that the invention waits uninvented. (You are not going to create a bioengineered cancer drug without expensive equipment - i.e. without deep pockets funding you.)

Now specifically talking about medical research in the U.S., I do firmly believe the system is broken - but that would be the healthcare system, not the patent system. The wide disparity between brand and generic pricing for drugs is a symptom of a broader problem, and trying to skip the brand phase for new medicines will only change symptoms without addressing the root cause.

(And no, I'm not suggesting that a so-called public option solves it either... but I digress.)

The Nobel Prize should recognize and honor the acheivement, end of story. The acheivement will further mankind in due course.

Comment Re:After reciving an e-mail that appeared... (Score 1) 360

I'd agree, it demonstrates a classic misunderstanding of the problem by one of the leading law enforcement agents in the country.

"Online banking" is here to stay whether you personally go on the internet or not. If you write a paper check at a department store, it's electronically presented via ACH while you are in line. If you have Direct Deposit the transactions to pay you go online from your employer and they can be "broken" to take money "back" quite easily. IF you use a credit card for anything but the old stamped paper, it's transmitted over the internet by people you don't know from adam. Sure these are encrypted to various degrees, but things like ACH don't know Walmart from a 419 scammer with your checkbook.

You're already out there, "not using the internet" in no way means you're not at risk.. you're just ignoring the risk. Unless you use cash-only at which point you're automatically suspect (cash=criminal according to the FBI because you're hiding something from them)

I suppose you could use only cash + money orders/Cashier's checks for large/mail purchases but you're paying a premium and many places won't accept those payments from "customers".

Comment Re:Why do corporations have to be people? (Score 1) 371

Sigh. There are rights and rights. There is nothing that says the rights that are entailed by being human and those that are entailed by being a citizen are identical.

For example, the declaration of independence says:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

This document however says nothing about a right to privacy.

Where as the Constitution which enumerates our rights only applies to citizens and does talk about something that could interpreted as a right to privacy.

Comment Re:Incredible learning tool (Score 4, Insightful) 72

I had the pleasure of taking Human Anatomy and Physiology a few years ago. The professor was superb, but our school didn't have the resources to afford a cadaver lab.

Pictures and plastic models are OK, but there are times when being able to visualize something like this would greatly help the learning experience.

I agree that visualizing greatly helps the learning experience in science and engineering and that tools like this would be very helpful in the areas of medicine and biology. A cool next step to this would be some sort of "virtual surgery" that could pay attention to what both hands were doing at once.

Comment Re:I've nearly last count... (Score 1) 958

That would be a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act if you are over 40.

Only if the regulators are as literal as you are applying the law. I'm sure screening applicants for aptitude to travel is legal, and people with families happen to be less apt for this particular, required-for-the-job task.

Comment Re:Iapetus? (Score 1) 255

Let's see if I got this strait. The speculation is that when random space objects smash into the very-dark and powdery Phoebe, the particles form a temporary dust ring around Saturn. The solar wind slowly pushes the dust ring toward Iapetus, which is tidally-locked with Saturn. This means the same face always encounters the dark dust ring, and thus Iapetus is half-covered in dark Phoebe powder. It therefore has one "normal" side and one dark side, solving the long-standing pre-Voyager dual-color puzzle.

Comment Re:Seems low (Score 1) 272

That's what money is -- a convenient way of exchanging limited resources...When the money represents nothing, we may as well be pretending that we have infinite resources at our disposal, at which point one wonders why we're bothering with money at all.

Sort of. Money is (also) a representation of your labor, not just of your goods. Money (in the US) doesn't represent nothing, it represents the effort the laborers add to the economy. While that effort is intangible it isn't "nothing". The money supply is backed by the efforts of the people using that money. Ideally, the money supply should expand such that every product/service produced could be purchased. However, our numbers aren't quite that accurate and it is better to have a little extra money than not enough money so we aim for a small, but measurable amount of inflation.

I also want to mention that gold is also a "fiat" currency. It only has value as money if the parties to the trade declare that it has that value.

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