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Comment Re:Google's response (Score 1) 130

That's what I'm thinking.. Paying out $500k for images and whatever data they can collect is worth it to them. Hell, if that's the cost, it would be worth it for them to capture absolutely everything they can while driving. Why limit to images and wifi? They should make the street view cars broad spectrum receivers.

Comment Re:Outright bans are not smart (Score 1) 376

When I was a kid, I grew up on a farm, so I had the luxury of fresh meats that I knew the entire lifespan of the animals. Smaller animals, like chickens and turkeys, we could slaughter on property. Larger ones like cattle and pigs, we had to send off to a local butcher. They'd keep a percentage of the total wrapped meat as payment, which they sold in their shop. When the were done, we'd go pick up a few hundred pounds of meat.

The local farmers didn't generally use growth hormones, but we all used antibiotics of some sort as needed.

There was no such thing as "pink slime", or other highly reprocessed meat there. Scrap meat was scrap meat. It was usually sold off for pet food. As I recall, not much of anything was thrown away. Someone would want almost every part for some reason. Like hides went off to be made into leather. Some people liked tongues, hearts, and other parts. I believe entrails were also cleaned and processed, but I'm pretty sure the went off as scrap meat. It's been a long time, so I could be mistaken on that.

Now, I'm in a metro area. There are no small butcher shops around here, that actually do the slaughtering. I can't honestly say I've seen a whole or half carcass anywhere being processed in quite a while.

In talking to people, apparently I'll be one of the few who will be able to eat after the apocalypse. :) Most people don't like knowing the middle part between a cow grazing in a field, and a steak laying on their plate. I won't claim I know anything about how to butcher an animal properly (like making the right cuts of meat), but I'll sure as heck try to slice off some nice steaks of some sort.

We also made a lot of our own food stuffs. Vegetables are probably more of a pain than animals. If it doesn't rain enough, or rains too much, or is too hot or cold out, can leave you with a good crop, or nothing.

If living on a farm didn't suck so bad, I'd probably consider doing it again. :)

Comment Re:Outright bans are not smart (Score 2) 376

I don't disagree with that. It's a food stuff. If I want cut rate meat filled, great. The FDA is still allowing up to 15% pink slime without additional labeling.

My complaint is, what I buy should be what it says it is. Should old re-labeled meat treated with carbon monoxide still be sold? I've bought good looking meat, but when I got it home and opened the package it was clearly bad.

When I buy a chicken or turkey, is it really fair to pay extra because they injected saline, increasing the weight by 15% to 30%? No.

When I buy salmon (I usually don't, but...), do I really want it dyed the appropriate color? No. If I want dye, I can find an old bottle of red dye #2.

And my biggest annoyance, [beef|sausage|chicken] [ravioli|tortellini].

Since most people won't read the next paragraph, here's the executive summary. You're eating breadcrumb ravioli with meat flavoring, and high fructose corn syrup with some tomato flavor.

Quite a few years ago, I could buy them, where the meat filling was actually meat. Now every package I find is mostly fillers, with a little meat for flavoring. They're usually filled with breadcrumbs and cheese, even though the package clearly says meat on the front. The only way to make a decent ravioli or tortellini is to make it myself, and if you haven't tried, handmade tortellini takes all freakin' day. That's not enough though, virtually all pre-made tomato sauce has high fructose corn syrup, which is absolutely not necessary for great sauce.

I think I was better off wondering why food didn't taste great, before I started really checking the labels. And that only tells me the labeled contaminants.

Comment Yes... (Score 4, Interesting) 292

Evaluating Elop with respect to good/bad done to Nokia:
-Good: ditching Symbian
-Bad: Picking MS, the last place platform
-Bad: Focusing on higher end, North American market and neglecting Nokia's thriving global market.

Basically, the only measure by which Elop was 'good' would be microsoft's measurement of loyalty, willingness to sink his company for the sake of giving microsoft more of a chance.

Just imagine if Nokia had been the provider of things like Lumia 520 but with Android on it....

Comment It is the credit card companies fault... (Score 1) 157

50 years ago, it was understandable that people were flinging account numbers back and forth because there wasn't much else feasible.

Now, probably 95% of transactions could easily be handled using a scheme where private key is used to sign transactions and the merchant is never ever privy to info that could be used multiple times.

If credit card companies did something to encourage point of sale equipment, internet merchants, and so on to work toward a scheme where private keys are kept private to the consumer rather than a loosely shared 'secret' scheme as it exists today...

Comment Re:Outright bans are not smart (Score 4, Insightful) 376

Food producers were given ample opportunity to reduce trans fats. I don't know if they've threatened the outright ban already, but I doubt this is a big surprise to major food corps.

It seems that they're targeting fast food and frozen food products. I don't know that a ban is a great thing. A stronger push to reduce would probably be better.

Banning foods that aren't good for you is a slippery slope, and wen it impacts particular food stuffs, the people will get very upset. You can use the New York soft drink ban as an example. It was voted upon ont Sept 13, 2012. It was invalidated by the New York Supreme Court on Mar 11, 2013.

The government should not be deciding if a food is good or bad for you. The exception is carcinogenic foodstuffs that you may not be aware of (like red dye #2 and #4 and orange dye #1).

Honestly, they have bigger issues that they could be addressing like "meat glue", "pink slime", false label "honey" and "maple syrup", and fish that could be anything but what the package says.

Actually, I'd love to see them enforce what the package says or implies is actually true of the product. If the front of the package says "all natural" with a tiny asterisk, but the back of the package has a microprint line that says "may contain up to 10% real [product]" or "may contain arsenic and/or cyanide", really isn't doing anyone any good.

And fucking hell, I want "Pringles Light potato crisps" to have in big bold words across the front "Contains Olestra! You may shit your pants while eating this!" Mmmm.. Can't eat just one, eh?

Comment Re:Flagrant Flatulism Posing as Reporting (Score 1) 449

It all depends on where you live. Let me rephrase. If you live in a metro area, and you have taxi, bus, and/or train service, you will still find most people drive. The only real exceptions are the seriously overcrowded metro areas like Manhattan, where the parking spot for your car can be just as expensive as your tiny apartment.

In the greater metro area where I live, we have 3 bus systems (one per county), which all have interchange points. That includes an approx 50 mile x 50 mile area. If you're going out of area, Greyhound (bus) and Amtrak (train) are available. We also have two International airports, and two more in neighboring metro areas. That's not implying that we are any great wonder. Most metro areas have good transit systems in place.

You have to consider *all* the expenses with a car. It's not just fuel from Point A to Point B. I'll include some ballpark yearly numbers. You can obviously go higher or lower depending on your circumstances.

  • $4,700 - The vehicle itself ($30k car, 5 years payments @ 5% interest, -$8,000 trade-in value prorated across 5 years, probably calculated low)
  • $1,000 - yearly insurance
  • $1,935 - Fuel 15,000 miles @ 25mpg @ $3.225/gal (national average today)
  • $1,000 - insurance deductible when someone bashes into your car.
  • $150 - maintenance (oil change every 3k miles @ $20/ea )
  • $133 - maintenance (4 tires every 3 years, prorated)
  • $8,918 - year total

My metro area is 3 counties, each with their own bus systems. We'll go under the assumption that you need unlimited rides in all 3 counties. In reality, most people only regularly travel in one or two counties, so just paying normal fare for the occasional trip to the third is reasonable.

  • $780 - PSTA 31-day Full Fare pass @ $65/mo
  • $450 - PCPT 31-day Regular Fare pass @ $37.50/mo
  • $780 - HART 31-day Unlimited pass @ $65/mo
  • $2,101 - year total, all 3 metro lines.

Comment Re:Weighing the possibilities (Score 1) 261

Well, we don't seem to have a lot of African warlords around here. ATF employees though, we have plenty. I keep calling asking to buy, but they always laugh and hang up. Should I be telling them I'm willing to spend up to 10 whole dollars? :)

Comment Re:Weighing the possibilities (Score 4, Informative) 261

There is the glaring privacy hole.

At some point, the physical package will be shipped from Point A to Point B.

It's obvious that carriers like UPS and FedEx already track every detail of a package from pickup to delivery. You can get those details from their web site with the tracking number.

Shipping using USPS seemed "safer". It came out a few months ago that it isn't.

A private courier is more expensive, and adds the ability to track the package closer, especially if the feds are the sending party.

Even in the case of the Dread Pirate Roberts hiring a hitman, there is a real-world endpoint. They know who has the contract on their head, they'd only have to investigate why to find out who ordered it.

So even if TOR was perfectly anonymous (It's good, but...), and if bitcoins were anonymous (again, good, but...), it's still easy to catch one or both ends of the transaction.

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I cannot conceive that anybody will require multiplications at the rate of 40,000 or even 4,000 per hour ... -- F. H. Wales (1936)