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Comment Re:Invasion (Score 1) 155

I think that I would fair fairly well, as the microbe in question would have only a small amount of resources to colonize me. Arsenic based life requires a substantial amount of arsenic to exist--same with sulfur based life or anything else (though there is much more free sulfur available than arsenic in the earth's general environment). This reference may be helpful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abundance_of_elements_on_Earth#Abundance_of_elements_in_the_Earth (there's also a section on the human body on this page).

I am happy to live on a planet where carbon is one of the most abundant elements--it means I have to put up with carbon-based bugs, but then, I am used to most of those I am ever around.

Comment Re:Take that Terry Childs (Score 1) 488

To put it other way, if your employee did something wrong, and you have a reason, you better fire him "without reason", or will face a discrimination case otherwise.

Good documentation is important. Firing with cause does happen and should, unfortunately, happen in some cases. Letting someone go for repeatedly making inappropriate remarks to clients or for repeatedly playing costly pranks on other staff (depending on the business and the work environment), among others, are reasons that, if you have documentation of individual events, firing with cause happens. General laziness could also be a cause, provided there were concrete examples of failing to fulfill a job description.

Why would a company bother? Unemployment benefits come out of a "tax" paid by the individual company--when the unemployment benefit account for a company is depleted when someone is let go without cause, they have to pay into it again. If someone needs to be fired, firing him or her with cause is the best way to ensure the financial stability of the company IF you have documentation.

Comment Re:Take that Terry Childs (Score 1) 488

By your own description, Canada is the country for those who (in a good way--escaping slaves or a bad one--deserters [there was the route of conscientious objection, but many who fled to Canada did so because it wasn't a matter of 'no war' but a matter of 'this war'] or a neutral one--general political/other dissidents) left the U.S. This is, of course, over simplifying things.

Comment Re:Multicast? What's that? (Score 1) 301

Sure they would--dedicated netflix boxes or something that are marketed to the MPAA and co. as "tamper resistant" (just use different screws like apple and since the CEO's won't be able to get into their gift netflix boxes, they'll assume no one else ever will either). From there, you have a contract drawn up that gives the various companies a penny more per film and voila, p2p netflix.

Comment Re:If you don't believe him... (Score 1) 623

If you have lots of money and a significant constituency, of course the Constitution means something. Let's check Amazon on that:

1. Lots of money? Yes. Market cap of some $88 billion (U.S.) at the end of Q1 2011.(http://www.wikinvest.com/stock/Amazon.com_(AMZN)/Data/Market_Capitalization) - yes, I realize that market cap is only part of the equation, but this still makes it a heavyweight.

2. Significant constituency? Yes. It is the 5th ranked site in the U.S. with the largest impact on people who have money too (age 35+) -- (http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/amazon.com).

Comment Did they really lie to most people? (Score 1, Interesting) 265

I ask the above question because I didn't start using Dropbox because I thought it was secure--I have class notes for teaching and notes for my personal studies in my account and these are for the most part publicly available anyway. I signed up because I was tired of having to fish out my backup CDs when my hard drives died on me (I still do a local backup though) and this part of their service is visibly not a lie and has saved me on at least two occasions in addition to the ease of sharing said notes with students when the file size is too large for our school's hosting service.

Did they lie to me about securing my data? Technically, yes, they did. Was this a factor in signing up with a cloud-based data storage service? Absolutely not. It never even occurred to me that they would actually secure my data to my level of satisfaction even with the claim that it was secure. It was in the cloud and accessible by whichever script kiddy wanted it. Since this was my operating assumption going in, I can't say I'm surprised that Dropbox has been caught in a lie, nor am I concerned (lying seems to be endemic in our society, unfortunately, but I've grown enured to it). On the other hand, now that they've been caught, I am interested in how they will respond--this could impact my use of their service.

Comment Re:Human after all! (Score 1) 537

Nobody cares what you do with your own life.

I hope someone does--after all, this is part of what relationships are about. If you've ever had the chance to parent / teach / etc., you'll know that molding the next generation is a significant draw... and a good one. It is not limited to the "religious" (as you note). People who care influence each of us, and they should--no one's perfect. Not only that, those who mold, if they truly care, are also molded themselves by those they teach (so it isn't just some insidious plot by the old to manipulate the young).

Comment Re:great idea (Score 1) 265

I am not aware of a single P2P program that is commonly available that lets someone download without also uploading. If there are, I would like to know about them.

For movies or music (yes, there is music there if you can demux)

Youtube+Firefox+Downloadhelper (or similar variant)

[insert random divx or flash or mp4 movie site found by google search here] + Firefox+Downloadhelper (or similar variant).

It turns out it's a way to have quick flicks right now and still save them. If you do this on a computer isolated from the rest of your network or in some fashion sandboxed, you reduce the risk of one of Adobe's countless holes causing you problems by going to the "wrong" site. Of course, you would then probably also want to keep it sandboxed, but then, most have separate media computers anyway, right?

Comment Re:Identify her, everywhere. (Score 1) 154

As a Christian and someone who self-identifies as "pro-life," we recently had to deal with whether or not to unplug a relative. Most who are jerks about the process have probably not had to go through it--there are tensions on both sides. Are we playing God by leaving the person plugged in? Are we committing murder by unplugging? Where is the line? Harvard (and I can't find the link) has a good list of questions to confront when determining whether or not unplugging is ethical or not--and this is not (anymore) a Christian institution (in case you are put off by my original statement).

We determined that "present normal level of care" was appropriate in our discussion of the situation (though at the last minute, the decision was thankfully taken from us)--would I have turned off the feeding tube in the Schiavo case a few years ago? I don't think I would have, but I wasn't there. With this said, there should definitely be a medical ethics board composed of members from different walks of life to approve such before any disconnecting is allowed (emotions run high and there should be a double check to any decision).

Comment Re:From TFA: (Score 1) 371

There is a reason there are limits. We could cite recent suicides tied to bullying or go for the more literary (slightly) Lord of the Flies . You are right to note that "race" as such does not exist in the ways originally understood. The fabric of humanity is much more complex with shifting ethnic and social boundaries, genetic predispositions towards certain traits (sickle cell anemia is tied to a positive genetic issue primarily impacting people of African descent, etc.). It is a problem when kids go beyond name calling to organized, pre-planned attacks on people's character. It is for this reason he was charged--and likely he was charged in order to deal with a larger problem or potential problem at the school (he gets to be the example).

Comment Re:Bad. (Score 1) 932

I am not advocating high tolls (I am troubled that the toll proposal has gone forward in the Dallas area, particularly in light of recent legislation at the state level against foreign toll management which tends towards higher tolls for some reason), but having major highways change over to tollways with only minimal tolls would help provide the state with missing revenue as more and more switch from gas to electric hybrid to electric, etc.

Comment Re:Bad. (Score 1) 932

Yep--and I am glad that the article discusses an idea that was just a debated idea that didn't make it too far (or at least hasn't made it too far yet--ideas have a nasty way of coming back). Tolls look like they are the way of the future for money raising--having higher taxes for gas guzzlers is already present in many states through increased registration fees and initial purchase fees. The only problem, though, is that toll raising is typically left in the hands of private companies--often foreign companies with oversight by the government not always working effectively (this is part of why the NTTA in the Dallas area lost its bid on the new project to a company from Spain).

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