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Comment they never have been. (Score 1) 482

As a consumer in america ive always had the choice of locking into a 2 year contract and receiving my phone at a subsidized price, or paying full price. the first month is still prorated but i always choose to pay a little extra for the privilege of actually owning my device instead of the plan, which feels more like renting. your ultimate penalty for shunning a wireless carriers extreme savings deal on a bundle of contractual nonsense is add-on fees from hell and quite a bit more marketing than normal. I've been charged $25 just for the SIM card, $45 for activation, and another $18 for some amorphous 'network initialization.' Theyll even try to sneak insurance and free replacement in. since cellular jocks in strip malls are payed a commission for contracts they rope people into, you're also going to get some pretty lousy service once they realize you chose financial independence instead of indentured servitude.

yeah, Haselton is right. cellular isnt about the phones or the cases or extras, its about contractual service agreements that ensure repeat business. companies use nice electronics and catchy tv commercials; whatever it takes for the dog to bite. you can stick it to them by being a lousy customer. refuse to upgrade every 4 years as youre instructed to by the moving pictures. use an adblocking hosts file. root your phone, and use its data monitor to ensure your data plan, which should be 500mb or less, is never exceeded. use wireless access points and VoIP across them. disable opt-in advertising by sms and opt out of mail flyers.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1) 600

It matters in the sense that the "young-earth creationists" are easily ridiculed and the mountain of evidence against them is strong.

It matters because it's easy, in the soft minds of so many, to represent all creationists as young-earth creationists who believe things that are easily and trivially falsified by geological, astronomical, and nuclear-physics data. So precious few people are willing to do a little reading and learn that in the hundred years prior to the 1960s almost all creationists were ancient-earth creationists, that a handful of charismatic, vocal, wrong religious people are the only reason we even know of such a thing as a young-earth creationist (oh and the idea of a pre-flood canopy of water vapor is frickin impossible as well, and not even Biblical).

If you have ever actually met and talked to a number of atheists, they tend to have a lot of anger and resentment towards established religion and the more nutty followers of it. Some of them even have victim/persecution complexes. They tend to paint with a very broad brush and deny entirely that reasonable spiritual people exist. That would, after all, get in the way of their resentment. I don't believe I have ever met a pro-atheism atheist, but I have met a lot of anti-fundamentalist atheists. The common trait most of them have is that they cannot disagree with something without also trying to destroy it, which could be a lot more effective if they made any attempt to understand why those beliefs arose in the first place.

All of this is readily understood by those who simply want to objectively understand the beliefs in question, both scientific and religious. It tends to be lost upon those whose primary concern is winning converts.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 171

Fact: Polycarbonate is made using bisphenol. BPS leeches much more than BPA. BPA-Free polycarbonate uses BPS, so banning BPA will expose us to greater toxins. Enjoy your toxic non-BPA baby bottles.

Actually as I said in another post in this same discussion, my preference is for stainless steel containers. No plastic -> no need for plastic softeners -> no exposure to BPA or any other chemical serving its purpose.

But many people here do feel a need to show everyone how clever they are and how dumb everyone else is, even if they have to make baseless assumptions to try it, don't they?

Comment Re:Almost there (Score 0) 171

You know if you take the position that people who can't do what you can must therefore be useless and lame, then that means the only things that you can do just barely require mediocrity.

The thing is, anyone who can read and follow instructions can install an under-sink water filter. It's not fucking rocket surgery. The only people who can't do it are people who have been convinced that they can't do it, or people with no arms. Even some of them could probably manage it, but I'll go ahead and accept that they are probably in the minority.

I still try to do what you are doing here, in the hope that it might make some kind of difference, and because it's the fucking truth that needs to be said ... but you will find (and probably have found) that people will cling dearly to their victimhood and closely embrace their conditioned helplessness as though it were precious to them.

Expecting a literate adult with no disabilities to be able to follow simple, clearly written instructions is some kind of heresy in our society. In the context of things like computer security, you will be accused of blaming the victim when you tell them there are ways they can stop being exploited. In the context of tasks like installing a filter or configuring a system, you'll be told that "not everyone is an expert" and treated like you are making unreasonable demands.

People just love to limit themselves and avoid learning new things. The society in general has become childish and self-centered to its core, and such people have one primary concern: avoiding blame. If you are a helpless victim then you can't assume responsibility for your life, your decisions, and your problems. If you are a helpless victim then nothing could ever be your fault. That's the appeal. Just as a cell infected by a virus never "intended" to become a virus factory, so also do these people believe their own bullshit. They fear the introspection and lack the objectivity to do otherwise.

Trying to convince them of the truth, that they CAN in fact do it, is tantamount to convincing them to accept responsibility for all the things they could have done differently. Over a lifetime the cumulative number of such things can be quite large. They have to get upset with you and invent faults with your truth because they're cowards who are not prepared to do that and don't even understand the value in it. If something is your fault, that's good! It means you can change it by making better decisions. It means you are not really so helpless. But again you have to be mentally and emotionally mature enough to value this more than avoiding blame.

Comment Re:Pointless? (Score 1) 171

While I use soap a bit more often than you indicate, I am right with you on the antibacterial soap.

I am not a doctor and this is definitely not medical advice. But If I were worried about bacteria I personally (deciding only for myself) would take a probiotic. About 70% of the immune system is in the gut.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 4, Informative) 171

BPA is harmless. It's toxic at levels far above normal intake and concentration in the blood. BPA-Free polycarbonate now uses BPS, which is exactly as toxic as BPA but leaches at a rate 20 times that of BPA. It breaks the toxicity barrier with gusto, so enjoy your new toxic world.

Water bottles are most often PET or LDPE. These plastics aren't made with BPA or any analog.

It's not just humans. You may find this interesting to read, as well as this. Male fish are definitely not supposed to have female characteristics.

As far as humans are concerned, you may find this an interesting read. It indicates that humans may be more susceptible to such endocrine disruptors (like BPA) than previous studied using rodents initially indicated.

So then we're back to what constitutes good decision-making. Fact: I have no overriding reason why I absolutely must use containers made with BPA. Fact: not only are alternatives to such containers readily available, I also happen to like them better for aesthetic and durability reasons. Conclusion: exposing myself to BPA is an unnecessary risk.

Still, if you think it's harmless you are free to continue using it. At one time people were told (by doctors no less) that cigarettes were beneficial. Now if I had some dire need (as in my life and well-being absolutely depended on it) to use BPA-containing plastics, perhaps I'd take my chances. But I don't.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 171

refilling plastic bottles in public places spreads diseases. our work place had 4 water coolers on each floor and they had to be regularly sanitized because people were getting ill from refilling their bottles

Not to mention the long-term effects of BPA exposure. If you don't know about this, I'd recommend researching it.

Besides, I think stainless steel just looks better and I know I'm not going to break it. When you have and regularly use an electric kettle anyway, you can quickly sanitize a steel container too.

Comment Re:Oblig. (Score 1) 141

Wow. just took a look at both sites, as I am always in the hunt for new sites.. 10 comments on a story was one of the more active ones. Not really a big crowd over there yet...

Most of the time you must choose between quality and quantity.

Having both has been known to occur ... for a little while ... but it's very rare.

Comment Re:Oblig. (Score 2) 141

No, I got the joke, I just didn't consider it very good.

Slashdot is odd. Most other places, jokes are considered good if they are clever, unexpected, witty, amusing, and most of all, ORIGINAL (around here, most jokes like that will offend someone's sacred cow and get modded as -1 Troll).

Here, jokes are most likely to be enjoyed, encountered, and/or modded up to +5 Funny if they are repetitive, predictable, expected, tiresome memes.

This pattern is so consistent and observable that I think a conclusion about it can be made: slashdot is filled with insecure (and perceived or real) outcasts who have a certain desperation to feel like they fit into a culture of likeminded people. If you view it that way, suddenly the irrational celebration of the ten millionth "sharks with lasers on their heads" joke makes sense. If you view it that way, the hostility they often show when you reject or even question their brand of humor also makes sense.

It's sort of like when you were in high school and the more "average" people suddenly adopted the mannerisms, gestures, and speech patterns of the latest big movie or TV show, all the time pretending that they have always expressed themselves that way. The terror of being an individual! No meme is too repetitive, no joke too lame if it offers even a phony escape from that!

Comment Pointlessly shocking the sheep. (Score 1, Redundant) 164

Anyone who has a legitimate concern for their privacy and personal security has absolutely rid themselves of google plus and facebook. It didnt take a clever app to convince us, foiled fedoras or not, that we were as much a product as a herd of free-range cattle. our cud would be our status, the apple our friend request. We were to spend lazy afternoons basking on the hillside in the glow of farmville and grow strong and fat on content from friends and our mobile devices. This app is the same as working a stun bolt in front of a heiffer. Sure its loud and gets a response every time, but one must wonder if the audience ever truly understands its ultimate implication.

Comment assuming we mean engineering analytics. (Score 3, Interesting) 74

There are a number of reasons why analytics is kinda a hard nut to crack. For poeple who genuinely enjoy physics and math as a discipline its frustrating to find yourself pidgeonholed in a single process as most analytics firms are outsource sweatshops for larger players like Boeing. Many firms just do one thing, like structure or fluid thermodynamics, and sometimes only on a single part or mind-numbingly enough a single subcomponent. Finding yourself staring at a combustor model or a bottle thread for 5 years is depressing and these firms will generally understand that. Expect to get short changed on licenses for software you use and your workstation wont come with super helpful things like a spaceball (navigation tool for 3d simulations)

the other problem with these outsource firms is theyre practically the only way to get a job at a larger firm, so youre going to have to do time in the trenches and hope some customer thinks highly enough of your understanding of their processes to steal you from the firm youre in. Until then expect a rather meager paycheck to be spent on your college debt. Your "laureate" or upper level engineers in some of these firms literally only work there for 30 years because theyre borderline incompetent and can simply go through the motions of bullying the IT department to help them launch simulation software. They know the customers products and terminology inside and out, but are too incapable as engineers to make it beyond approving your timesheets.

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