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Comment Pratchett's Rule. (Score 1) 191

“Scientists have calculated that the chances of something so patently absurd actually existing are millions to one.
But magicians have calculated that million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten.”

  Terry Pratchett, Mort

So the internet has made Pratchett's rule a reality. Now all I want it to do is give us giant turtles and ambulatory luggage.

Comment Re:What the what what? (Score 1) 270

Not sure what 'twilight sedation' is. I was given a chemical that the doctor said would not put me to sleep but I wouldn't feel nor remember anything...and I didn't. That probably doesn't meet the technical definition of 'general anesthesia', but from my perspective I was out like a light.

Comment Satellite imagery of wildfires is so 1990. (Score 1) 289

Seeing wildfires from space is not unusual. All wildfires are visible from space, and we have several monitoring programs going on right now that use satellite imagery to track wildfire appearance and growth.

The most dramatic imagery I remember doing was the Rodeo-Chediski wildfires in 2002, which burned half a million acres (compared to the 50,000 acres burning in Australia so far, although they might get larger.) There are also a few good pics from the Alaskan wildfires in 2004, which burned 6.6 million acres. That was such a large-scale disaster that it was almost too big for the satellites to view; smoke obscured almost the entire state.

The bad news for Australia is that the climate is getting hotter. The good news is that there ain't a whole lot in central Australia to burn.

Comment Re:What the what what? (Score 1) 270

Just as a note, I had an upper GI tract study done with barium sulfate about fifteen years ago to diagnose a hiatal hernia. They showed me a clear X-ray video of my swallowing and the pouch in front of my stomach that was causing my reflux and pain. For such a simple test, it's a great visualizer of stomach problems.

(The next two bowel movements I had were literally like lead bricks. If you want to mine more barium, I'd say check the sewers.)

I expect that without barium sulfate, the upper GI study will be replaced by endoscopy, where they put a camera on a tube down your throat to video the stomach from the inside. I've had that procedure done also. It's more invasive, more expensive, and requires general anesthetic.

Comment Re:Can't America get its acts together ? (Score 1) 1059

If the top 1% earns 40% of the countries income, they are going to need to pay 40% of the taxes.

Ummm, you know that the top 1% contributes more than 35% of taxes already, right?

If we want to keep spending like crazy monkeys then we need to tax everyone like crazy monkeys.

If they make 40% and are taxed 35%, that's not enough. You know that the top 1% own more than 90% of the wealth in this country, right?

A fair tax system would tax based on wealth, not income. Because if the system is just a little regressive, just a little biased in favor of the rich, there will be a gradual process that distributes all the wealth to the top. That's what's been happening and it's not healthy for our economy. Now the poor need their entitlements just to survive, and the rich are hanging on to their ill-gotten gains like a dragon's horde.

If you redistribute that wealth we won't have to spend like crazy monkeys because people will make enough honest wages to survive on their own. It's the greed of the rich that is the problem here.

Comment Re:Web (Score 1) 453

Correct me if I'm wrong -- I'm not a web developer -- but aren't Perl, Python, and Ruby all run on the server-side? There's a need for client-side implementation, and Javascript is it. (The only alternative I'm aware of is ActiveX, of which the less said the better.)

Comment Re:Saw what he wanted to see. (Score 1) 1110

Windows 8 is now about giving each application your full attention

But I don't work that way. Does anyone?

When I'm writing, I have my draft in one window, my notes in another, and a browser open so I can research. When I program I have one window for the editor and one in a shell ready to compile and run. When I work with spreadsheets it's rarely one sheet at a time, and usually I'm getting the numbers from a shell or browser window. About the only applications I use on their own are games. I need multiple document windows for almost every productive task. It sounds as if Metro disables this basic, necessary work environment. I just can't see myself ever using that part of the OS.

If I'm not ever, ever going to use Metro, why would I want Windows 8?

Comment Re:Amnesia as you go through a doorway (Score 1) 1110

Third, I've known gamers to pry off their Windows keys or buy Windows key-less keyboards because accidentally pressing the Windows key while reaching for Ctrl or Alt or Z during a full-screen game makes certain games fail.

This. I've pried the Windows key off my keyboard because it breaks out of games and it's inconveniently located between two keys that games use often. I can get a new keyboard, but I'd rather just stick with an OS that works the way I want it to.

Comment Re:Lousy ideas (Score 1) 1013

The fear is not that invaders will take your stuff. The fear is that they are there to kill/rape/imprison you and/or your family. (And yes, 'imprison' is a factor -- many gun owners expect their personal defense to protect them from the government.)

Whether it is a useful deterrent or not is in doubt. Most home invaders are either well-armed or on heavy drugs, or both.

Blame the existence of the second amendment for giving citizens that they have a chance, solo, against government forces. Also blame television for making people think that violent home invasions happen once a week.

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