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Comment Re:Obligatory Steve Jobs quote (Score 1) 208

I'm certainly not going to defend everything they've done as awesome -- but before the iPod came about, you probably couldn't explain to most people what an MP3 player was or why you'd want one.

iPod release date, October 23, 2001. The original Napster was shut down in July 2001, with a peak registered user base of 80 million. I suspect most of them thought, "I wish there was a way to take this collection of music with me, just like with cassettes or compact discs." I'm not saying that Apple wasn't instrumental in popularizing MP3 players, but they didn't create the market, or the desire in people.

Comment Re:That popping sound (Score 2) 270

And again, you miss the point that that has been calculated for already. The field you're studiously ignoring is called Statistical Analysis. The only part that is difficult to calculate is how much the cleanup will ultimately cost. The deaths from radiation (whether from exposure in the greater environment or directly at the accident site), the projected damage to the local environment, etc., can all be determined with degrees of accuracy similar to those in the renewable energy field. People have spent a lot of time over the last 100 years looking at these things, and have a pretty good idea of what will happen to a pound of a particular cesium isotope over the next few hundred years.

Comment Re:Fundamentalist Religions: Oppressing Women Fore (Score 1) 408

Since like forever, the old men who are afraid of their womens getting loose have used the Korans, Bibles, Talmuds, etc to control their womens.

Fear and Freedom don't mix well. Let's all be a little more brave and learn to tell all the batshit religious crazies to fuck off. I don't care if they do raise hell and blow stuff up - eventually there won't be enough left of them to matter.

Free your mind, and your ass will follow.

Ah yes, that conservative wellspring, the Bible. Proverbs 31, verses 10 and onwards has much to say about the place of women. Typical fundamentalist things, like owning land, buying and selling the produce from her land, having money to spend at her own discretion, being praised by the men of the household, and all these things being a source of pride and esteem for her husband. Or was that not what you were expecting? Sure, it mentions a bunch of other, more traditional things, too, but the roles aren't much different from what you'd find in a farming household of today.

I will grant you that far too many people who profess to follow the Bible happily neglect verses like these and others of equal value. But how is that different from any other ideology out there? One could say that the American Declaration of Independence and Constitution are much shorter documents, and it appears the majority of people who profess to uphold that will happily go against one or more of its tenets on a regular basis. Hell, I can pick just two elements of the constitution and probably get 75% of the population to disagree with at least one.

People like to bash religion, and there is good reason to bash it. But the core issue is people. People will do stupid and evil things, and they will use whatever tools most closely fit their beliefs to achieve the ends they desire. That doesn't necessarily say anything about the tool used.

Comment Re:Execution not ideas. Get it in writing. (Score 1) 131

Having the ability to execute the idea isn't required to get a patent. By leaving off one of the inventors, they committed perjury.

I disagree. Think about it rationally. If you can't actually describe how to perform the task or create the machine, what you have is a pie-in-the-sky idea. You can't file for a patent without describing how it works (supposed to, anyway). I'm sure reality doesn't completely follow this, but clearly if the people who are filing for a patent, and the purported inventor can't explain what is going on, shenanigans are likely to be found. What surprises me most about this is that that actually made a difference.

Comment Re:On the plus side... (Score 1) 261

Yes, I turned all those effects off, and it was still making me feel nauseous.

It's now been replaced, with a brand new phone of the same configuration at no cost to myself. That is brilliant customer service, Apple. Cheers.

Ah, that reminds me of the old line: I said it was an upgrade, not an improvement.

Comment Re:Lightsaber! (Score 1) 175

The journalist could not say their finding will cure cancer or obesity in several decades, therefore they sold it as a potential path to lightsabers!

We would probably not accept such bold tactics from politicians, why do we accept it from scientific journalists?

From what I've seen, we do accept such outrageous tactics from politicians. Journalists seem to have realized that they can do the same.

Comment Re:logic (Score 2) 299

...and so if you know how to program you've probably got a better paying job not at school.

My wife is a grade school teacher and I am a programmer. She couldn't do my job and there's no way I could do hers. Even if the two professions paid equally, I don't believe that someone who can program can also teach, or that someone who can teach can also program.

Saying that being able to program means you can't teach is like saying being able to program means you don't have fashion sense, being able to program means you aren't good at sports, or being able to program means you have poor social skills.

...I'm not sure which side of the argument I'm on, either.

Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 245

Also.... one disagreement I have with the article is that this is such a huge change, or will change terrorism. It has ALWAYS been a media stunt. Terror attacks are not serious existential threats, they are media grabs. This is just taking it to its next logical step.

But it is a huge change...for the media conglomerates. This is the same terrifying spectre the buggy whip manufacturers saw when cars were invented. In fact, it's a change that is so significant that it may require that news organizations do something different from the other information outlets if they want to stay relevant. One such thing would be to actively attempt to provide clear, understandable, and unbiased reports of newsworthy events. One can hope, anyway.

Comment Re:And? (Score 1) 245

At first I was thinking it's no different -- television and radio have been abetting terrorists forever by sensaltionalizing on their attacks and keeping the stories in front of the public for weeks -- but then I realized there is a difference: editorial control. Independent media can filter and spin the message in the way that serves the media's interests (keeping people glued to their televisions). The terrorists want that control for themselves, to serve their own agenda.

The nice thing about the terrorists providing their own media feed on an action is that it allows us to concentrate our hate. We'll no longer have to divide it between the terrorists and the media who sensationalize them and their actions. We can save it all for the terrorists.

Comment Re:Some people... (Score 1) 621

The word you're looking for is ethics. No, not many people are aware of what they are, let alone have them any more. But yes, having a sense of ethics may make you inclined to point out that there is a reason why the game has an M rating to an adult clearly buying the game for a young child, and give them some examples.

Comment Re:Put it in perspective (Score 1) 347

Big businesses already have cheap methods to print plastic parts in quantity. Here's the part you're missing: And then what price do they sell it to you for? People elsewhere in the comments are talking about tiny pieces of plastic being sold for $100 a pair, simply because most of us can't print them. It's going to be quite a while before even 20% of the population has easy access to a 3D printer. Do you think they're going to lower their prices to something more reasonable when the alternative is to keep their $90+ profits per item and lost 5 or 10% or their market?

Comment Re:Risks of Investment, Rewards of Retail (Score 2) 124

This is particularly bothersome to me when people like Neal Stephenson and Zach Braff who have money themselves, as well as access to investors. Kickstarter ought to be the place where small time folks who've completed the product but don't have access to the funds to get the initial batch made.

While I agree with this statement in principle, there are apparently thousands of people who disagree, and I'm not going to tell them what to do with their money.

Comment Re:Put it in perspective (Score 1) 347

The majority of what you say is correct. But here's the problem. Materials for a part you've designed cost about $0.50. The research and design cost about $5,000. The mold costs about $5,000. They plan on making about 20,000 of these items. Total cost per part is $1.00. The part retails for $10.00. For you to print it on your 3D printer will cost you about $5.00. All of a sudden, that printing cost isn't such a big deal, for you anyway. For the business, it's the loss of a product line with a net 70% profit.

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I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman