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Comment Re:Macs, not just for product placement (Score 1) 165

Computers get greeked either because you do not have permission to feature the product, are using a differnt brand elsewhere in the project (or as a sponcer), or there was going to be product placement, but then it fell through.

The computers chosen (as well as other props) are either carefully picked by the art director and props to fit the character and scene, or are simply just whatever they happen to have on hand and used because it was cheeper than buying something just for the project.

Another reason is that sometimes software is ran on the prop computer that makes it look like the actor is doing something. Sometimes the software used will only run on a pc or mac, often it is mac only, so a mac is used but left generic looking.

Comment Re:case in point (Score 1) 382

Bingo. I disable ads on desktop, but that feature is missing on mobile. Not only that, but I often find myself accidentally tapping an ad that hasn't loaded (why no width/height tags???).

At the verrrrry bottom is a "switch to full site" or something, but it only lasts so long, and oddly isn't tied to your account settings...

On many sites, I've found that disabling images in the mobile browser will prevent the ads from loading. This isn't an ideal situation for every site, but it is sometimes useful.

Comment Re:As if democracy wasn't bad enough (Score 1) 730

If you think we got corrupt, selfish, self absorbed and self centered cretins for rulers, ponder how much bigger cretins you get if you give them the feeling that they're entitled to it.

In the US, our politicians and various political leaders already believe they are entitled to lead. Being elected by "the people" only bolsters their sense of entitlement.

Comment Re:A "smart watch"... (Score 2) 365

"I'd like to hear from more people with smart watches who are happy with them, to better understand the appeal."

The appeal was the idea of a watch that was also a freakin phone! That is just cool. That is something many a geek has wanted since they were little geeklings.

However, that is not what the Gear is. That is what the Gear was advertised and sold as, and hence the high return rate. They advertised a watch phone like the ones from TV and comics. What people got was a glorified phone accessory that only works with a handful of phones.

Comment Re:Coding is a niche, mechanical skill? (Score 1) 453

The problem is that coding is treated as a STEM course instead of the langauge course that it is.

Coding should be treated more like a language class than a science class. Yes there is some math involved, but the amount needed varies greatly depending on the language used and desired outcome.

If schools looked at programing like a language, they might see more people choosing to code. Start with a single coding language and work from there. Think of it like trying to first teach someone to read and understand English or Spanish. Learn to read code written in a language, then learn to write it. Follow a process similar to that of child learning their alphabet then words and sentences and eventually going on from there. It takes time to go from learning your ABC''s to write poetry or a novel. For many it will take that same amount of time to learn to code.

Teach a single language as the core language, and then have other coding languages be available to learn much like other languages are now in schools. I would suggest Cobol as it is used in a large number of businesses, has many dialects and variations for covering various programing concepts, and more importantly the syntax was designed so that non-programmers could read and understand the code.

Part of the problem is that we are trying to teach "coding" instead of teaching a language that will allow people to code.

Comment Re:It failed because they went with the lowest bid (Score 5, Informative) 307

Management is the reason why healthcare.gov has been such as disaster. Open source or not, it wouldn't have mattered. They didn't even get to start coding until this spring, because the government was so slow in issuing specifications for the site. Then as if the tight deadlines were not enough, Administrators kept issuing changes to the site up until last few weeks of September (despite an October 1st launch date). It wasn't little a change here or there either.

One of the last big overhauls was making it so people had to register before they could browse the plans. This was apparently becasue they wanted people to see what the price would be with the subsidy. The idea being that for many people the price before the credit would scare them away from buying in.

There is also more info on this at the new york times

Comment Re:military applications (Score 2) 76

My first thought was to use it in search and rescue. It would be very useful to be able to detect people trapped under rubble or inside a burning building. Send in a small robot with its own wifi and find out where people are trapped. With a little refinement, maybe it could be built into first responder gear or firefighter helmets.

Comment Re:Computer ? Website ? (Score 1) 516

If you or someone you know does not have access to a computer (or the site is stillf fubar) they may call 1-800-318-2596. There are usually some long wait times.
Most pharmacies should have phamplets about the ACA and that state's Marketplace (if the state has one). RiteAid is offering free Affordable Care counseling, no appointment or website needed. They are also offering a number to call if you need help understandin the ACA or do not have a RiteAid near you: 1-855-880-8777.

Comment Re:It's a shame, but... (Score 1) 249

Buying cow power subsidizes the cost of cows resulting in more cows.
Cows generate a lot of methane that is not captured.

I recently worked on a documentary about Cow Power (http://cowpowerfilm.com/).

Actually the biggest costs of Cow Power to farmers are the Digesters and Generators. Buying Cow Power does not subsidize the costs of the cows, but rather the loans for buying and mainatining the equipment, as well as the fluctuations in milk price.

Even though not all the methane in captured (yay cow farts) more methane is captured than would be otherwise. Cow Power also has byproducts such as fertilizers that do not have harmful runoff and bedding for cows.

Farmers are not getting rich off cow power or buying more cows to fuel the digester. They are using the digesters to better use and take care of the cows they have.

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