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Comment Re:smoking and atheism (Score 1) 910

One would expect an atheist taking more serious approach to his health.

Why? Being atheist doesn't require the wish to live longer - I can see a valid reason behind "Better live less but intense than be bored to death for a century".

Based my personal experience with several people who died or who are clearly dying of their smoking habit, or wwo quit, I would say the only intensity smoking gives is an intensity of coughing; amplification of bronchial illnesses; stale smoke stench; loss of resale value on house and car; muted taste and touch sense (limited cases); and a really horrible death, way worse than boredom, in my opinion.

Comment Re:Not all religions are bad (Score 1) 910

The whole "be nice to people" is a small part of Christianity. Furthermore, it is not in any way necessary to have Christianity (or any religion at all) to want to "be nice to people". While Christianity might implore you to be nice, it also carries with it severe baggage; homophobia, misogyny, intolerance, and fear. Seriously; if you told your child that you were going to throw her in the furnace for being bad, it would be child abuse; tell your child that God will throw her in a furnace for all eternity and all of a sudden it's OK. Christianity is a festering sore on our moral development, the sooner we can be rid of it, the better. I will close by passing on Hitch's legacy in the form of a question that he was fond of asking believers: Name one good, moral action that could not have been conceived of by a person of no faith. Tough question, right? Ok, here's an easier one: Name me one wicked action that was committed in the name of religion. Chew on that one for a little bit, and the cognitive dissonance might wake you up from your intellectual coma.

Throwing your child in a furnace is child abuse; threatening that you will is just bad parenting. But that is a pretty fair comparison.

So, one wicked action in the name of religion makes religion bad, but clearly you don't feel that one wicked action in the name of something other than religion is bad, so only religion is bad? I suppose if you believe that right and wrong exist only with respect to religion then a non-religious person can't possibly do anything wrong because there is no wrong.

Now, has religion - Christianity or otherwise - been used to commit horrible atrocities? Absolutely. Does that mean religion is bad? Well, if one is in the practice of ascribing evil to inanimate objects, then I guess it is. I, on the other hand, think people are to blame. And "most people" are nothing. Rather, we are just inundated with bullshit from a very loud few. When a person blows up an abortion clinic for Jesus or blows up a crowded disco for Allah, their ignorance is projected onto the lives of many innocent people, and that is truly a tragedy. But once again, let's not lose focus on the fact that people do this shit, not their religion. If any of you religion haters spent any amount of time with typical religious people, you would find they abhor blowing shit up as much as you do. Yes, even the nice ones often let their belief cloud their otherwise intelligent minds into ignoring some really good science. And yes, sometimes large groups of people get stirred into a frenzy (crusades, witch trials, jihad), but other than jihad we are pretty much passed those days.

For the record, I am not religious or christian or anything. Since there is no way to prove the existence of god, I think believers and non-believers alike are both wrong. It's not that one has the wrong answer; it's that neither is answering an answerable question.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 396

The thing is (coming from an IT guy who works in HS education), everything is going touch screen and simplified interfaces. On one hand I completely agree that children should be educated in typing before anything else but the reality is, with smartphones, most children can text/type quicker on a touch screen than on a keyboard. On the comment about the file system....in its essence a file system is a series of folders which is exactly what the organization unit is on smartphones and tablets and of course traditional OS's.

It is kind of like saying...when I was a lad...but maybe they just don't NEED to know all the complexities anymore....when I started webpage design for example about 15 years ago I wrote the code as WYSIWYG editors really did not exist - now I do 99% of my work in DreamWeaver and just touch the code to double check things but I would not need to use the code at all if I had not learnt it to begin with - things move on.

I agree and I do not agree. It is hard to find a plausible reason that someone will ever need to pull a Gates or a Woz and assemble a computer out of spare parts in their garage, but what happens when this knowledge is completely decentralized and everyone is so specialize that no one can?

Likewise, most kids these days may never need to interface with a computer the way we did twenty years ago, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't learn.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 4, Insightful) 396

Oh good, Apple took a trick from Microsoft on indoctrinating the next generation.

I was amazed recently to see my 15 month old niece playing with an iPad. As I watched my first thought was how lucky she is to be creating those connections in her brain at such a young age, but then I realized we are raising a generation of newly-born children who may very well reach a significant age (say, 8, when I started using computers [in 1980]) before they ever need to touch a real keyboard. Their expectations of a user interface will far exceed ours, and at the same time they may be more a prisoner to the technology because - forget about command line - they'll barely know how to use access a file system using a GUI and a mouse.

At least they will be inside on their computers and not trampling all over my lawn.

Comment Re:Time to check again (Score 1) 99

Ha ha, Viewing the source code is even funnier: if (!(typeof worldHasEnded == "undefined")) { document.write("YUP."); } else { document.write("NOPE."); }

That code obviously isn't peer reviewed. Shouldn't it say if(!(typeof theWorld == "undefined")) ...? The variable worldHasEnded will require updating to indicate that it has ended, which will be impossible once it actually ends.

Comment Re:Maybe we'll get lucky (Score 2, Interesting) 107

and Silverlight will go the way of mobile Flash. Plug-ins simply must die for the web to thrive in the future.

Silverlight is actually a pretty cool way to handle data in ways tedious or unwieldy in HTML or Xml/Xslt. And if you work for a company totally wrapped up in Microsoft technology and you find you have this requirement for an internal application, I say run with it. I do agree, however, that requiring plug-ins for end users, particularly infrequent or uneducated ones, is a bad practice. But give the browser market two or three years - in which time I expect a radical shift in consuming web-based content - and plug-ins may be a moot point.

Comment Re:No way... (Score 1) 138

Sounds like paleo. My wife's lab is always covering up bones and such when people visit because apparently in that field you can publish based solely on what you remember seeing at someone else's university. Maybe, the more imaginary the discipline, the more likely that shenanigans comes into play? So, psychology, paleontology, string theory...

Comment Re:I don't get it (Score 3, Informative) 90

How can there be a book on HTML 5 when it isn't even a finished specification yet? This book is a waste. At any moment the spec can change drastically and render this book useless. I'm sure half of it is just hacks to get it to render the same HTML 5 and CSS3 content across FF, Chrome, IE and Opera since they all have their own versions of HTML5.

There is enough that won't be changing - conceptually and literally - to warrant a thorough treatment of HTML5; however, I doubt it is worth the cost of this book given the volume of people writing about it for free on the intertubes. And for the truly masochistic, there is always w3c.org, where you can read the entire specification for free.

As for how browsers interpret the standard, that probably changes faster than the specification itself, so one is better off looking to quirksmode, et al, for how browsers handle various elements of HTML and CSS. Or better yet, just experiment with it.

Comment Re:Dunno... (Score 1) 422

I disagree with your disagreement of his disagreement. There is a such thing as looking too real, at least at the current level of CG technology. But then, if we are talking about a Camaro turning into a two-story building I say all bets are off (no, not strictly sci-fi in the outer space sense). Perhaps a more apropos example is the shiny silver space ship in Star Wars The Piece-of-Crap Prequels.

The other aspect of this discussion is, what happens when CG is so good it is impossible to tell from the real thing? Particularly, when human interaction with generated elements becomes completely fluid?

People still do stop-action animation as an art form; however, at some point it will so completely be for the sake of the art that one wonders if there will be a point to doing it the "old way."

Comment Re:WOW (Score 0) 230

We can spend billions of dollars for useless weapons, but can't bother to spend the necessary money to keep our infrastructure from crumbling. What a fine use of our tax dollars!

I won't argue whether or not the weapon is useful (in fact, that is unknowable - either we use it one day and thank [insert favorite deity here] we developed it, or we never use it, which takes an awfully long time find out), but I will argue that we waste - provably waste - far more money than the development costs of this weapon. It is sad that the majority of people (or at least the vocal minority) focus so hard on symptoms that they completely miss the problem.

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