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Comment Re:Lets see (Score 1) 736

My father did exactly that (build a scale replica of a trebuchet) as a gift to me, as well as help someone else he knows build a much larger catapult. He knows exactly why he did it: It's fun to launch objects into the sky with nothing more than wood and rope. Not because he can, nor to take pride in engineering acomplishment. Just because and only because the doing of the launching thing is fun, the building thing ain't so much fun but it's worth it.

Comment Re:If you want privacy then don't use (Score 0, Troll) 446

The rest of us have a more subtle approach to social networking. Sometimes we want to share things with some people and not with others.

The subtlety anti-social behavior is lost on me; essentially, wanting to be social with some people but not with others. True it can hardly be called strange behavior, I'd call it cordial behavior or maybe even personable behavior; but calling it social behavior seems disingenious.

Comment Re:Liar. (Score 1) 431

why not spell "dependent" as "dependant" when we have words such as "rampant, occupant," and attendant?"

Myself, I do so because I pronounce it that way, rather than as the others are pronounced. It's dee-pen-dent, not dee-pen-dant.

why do we persist in using "right" instead of "rite?"

Got me there. I think it used to have to do with making sure we don't confuse a direction and/or orientation with a ritual, but ever since I started studying the English language as an art and a science (and having a special fondness for phonetics and all languages in general) I've been unable to avoid the conclusion that English is a messed up language.

Comment Re:Once again, Apple shows themselves to be Evil (Score 1) 541

I consider that just like Microsoft. Apple's may be a bit easier to use but they suffer from the same primary flaw. You have no control over them.

Speaking as someone who learned how to completely control and automate both Apple and Adobe products, both software and some of the hardware, for print and web production by just looking at the code called AppleScript instead of studying a foreign (to me) discipline called programming in whatever flava of script, batch, or letter-plus language, I'd have to disagree. Apple's was way cheaper and way easier to implement exactly how I wanted and needed than either Microsoft's or Adobe's alone or together.

Comment Re:Chicken Little (Score 1) 205

Everyone loves to freak out about this, but the reality is that there is a safe harbor provision for doctors in the patent statute.

Yeah, but are medical thoughts the only ones that get "safe harbor" or do we risk breaking the law for coming up with other ideas (unless we first check that it's not really an inspiration and somehow was copied from a previous idea that has been "owned")?

Naturally, Prometheus Labs sees this whole story differently, arguing that the Mayo Clinic will profit from treating patients with knowledge patented by them.

Comment Re:I agree with the feds on this one (Score 1) 335

You say buying (or selling) a service is hardly a right, but then say you are not suggesting an sort of force or coercion stopping people from paying for any service they want. Which is it? How is encrypting a signal not a sustainable business model just because of an abstract right to "do math" translating into a right to "steal service" by reverse engineering their service and hardware? The article is about people who want to steal the service, not people who want to decrypt the signals sent into their home for academic reasons. Encrypting their service so that only paying customers can decrypt the signal with their receiver does not infringe upon your right to build your own dish, receiver, and all the math you want to do and no one is going to sue you or throw you in jail. It is your right to do what you want with what's in your home. But that doesn't extend into reselling the service or receivers or hooking up your buddies with free service. The ideal of "my rights" ends when it infringes on the rights of others, who do have the right to live where they want, buy what they want, sell what they want, and protect their interests against people who want to infringe upon them.

Comment Re:I agree with the feds on this one (Score 1) 335

Must suck for people who streets don't have cable or who aren't close enough to over-the-air broadcast for things like EBS, news, and other things they want to pay for just so you can precede their right to buy a service with your right to do math that destroys the service provider's ability to sell to them. But I guess preserving the right to allow piracy with the excuse of "just doing math" is paramount. FOR FUCKS SAKE how the hell can you twist this around into a rights issue? I want to buy a service, and delivering the content which advertising pays are costs that are in addition to delivering the service. You call that a privilege, fine, but it's just as much a privilege as paying for delivery of boxes of goods instead of driving to the manufacture to get them into my house. You're saying DishTV doesn't have the right to deliver content because you have the right to monkey with their equipment?!?!?

Comment Re:I agree with the feds on this one (Score 2, Insightful) 335

Breaking encryption should never be a crime.

Agreed.

The satellite companies ahve a very weak business model. It involves sending information into everyoens house.

Then what could be a stronger business model that delivers information (television signal, both satellite and non-satellite) into homes in a manner that is cheaper than competitors which doesn't involve encryption so that people cannot receive their service for free and offer their service to consumers as a competitor just as (or only a little more than) free?

If consumers find another way to view the data in their house, then tough tits for the satellite company.

I'm think'n the chip inside the receiver needs to be covered in epoxy, like the Nintendo game cubes used to to. You're not breaking the law trying to decrypt the chip, but you are breaking the chip - which simply prevents people from stealing the service and making it extremely difficult to decrypt the signal by any other means (which is the whole point of selling the receiver with encryption in the first place). What's your idea? Other than to let all delivery of TV signals slip into an unsustainable business model of "free for all" ideology, of course.

Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 2, Interesting) 170

Ya, early G3s: but it's good for in-house web pages that I control for sharing access to data and low-level processes (one of the Macs runs FileMaker's Web Publishing, which does enough for my needs w/o javascript or flash or anything client-side) for serving up info on graphic art with thumbnails since their machines can't deal with EPS and TIF or even very large JPGs without freaking out.

I won't be able to use IT's web pages - but that's okay, they don't do it that way (proprietary system interfacing with databases and uploading Excel files via FTP - I know, I know, but that's what they do despite my offers of a better way).

Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 4, Interesting) 170

I've got three MacOS 8.6 that are the main production line for our company. Nice to know I still can use a web browser on those machines for solutions made to be used by all other computers (WinME, WinXP, MacOS X, etc..) since IE 5 crapped out a long time ago and nothing else would run half as well as it on the old Macs.

Comment Re:How soon we forget (Score 1) 493

Now, be honest. How many of us had our first computer experience with MS-DOS or Windows 3.1?

I see that many have replied that is not the case, and I assume that you are directing this question at regular users more than computer enthusiasts who by nature will have a much wider experience with different types of computers.

I'm a regular user. My first experience with a computer was, I think, in mid '70 with a Casio laptop that wasn't much more than a fancy calculator that my dad borrowed to see if I'd be any good with tech (I was 8 or 9 years old). In junior high school I played with the display model of a TSR-80 at Radio Shack, which was fun but pointless since I didn't want to slog thru programming (seemed far too tedious for me at the time), and in high school I tinkered from time to time on Apple's in the school's lab (tho really liked when I got access to the districts mainframe machine with it's platten disks, orange terminal displays, and stuff - kicked out quick for being able to figure out how to list everybody's locker combination). From there I got a Commodore 64 to write papers for college after having experienced a friend's HP word processor thingy (forget what it was, small screen and two 5.25" floppy drives, boxed up like a suitcase, LPR to a dot matrix printer), so maybe that was my first "personal computer" that wasn't for exceptional or computer-centric use. Then there was the itty-bitty Macintosh, which were new to the market now, the school's recording studio had controlling all the MIDI gear, and after all that I tried using Windows 3.1 to start my own graphic arts business while at the same time used an Amiga with Video Toaster at a wedding vidographer's attempt at being a production company.

All in all, no - neither MS-DOS or Windows of any version were my first computer experience. I feel lucky, to be honest, since had it been I might not have known that there are better systems for different applications than a "one tool for all" approach that is espoused by Windows.

Comment Re:But it's in CANADA (Score 1) 383

One of the best "diet systems" I heard about was, essentially, "Look into what your ancestors were eating 400 years ago, because that's what your body has evolved from and is best suited to convert into energy and nutrients." Made a lot of sense - so in the comparison to Japan I think that it would not be healthy for me to eat more fish and rice, since my ancestors ate more boiled meat and potatoes.

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