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Comment Re:And They Give Me Free Legal Help... (Score 1) 606

I used to work at a health clinic doing IT stuff. They were all on a piss-poor electronic health record system so I was pretty busy helping the doctors with navigating the system for them. On occasion, a doc would come into my office with an "urgent" problem that I needed to fix, which I would quickly remedy (usually). Before they left though, I'd say "Hey, wait a minute, now it's my turn. My foot hurts when I do X." And an impromptu medical consult would ensue, answering all my questions! Now THAT was a fair trade system.

Comment Re:Sony Should Shop At ThinkGeek (Score 1) 240

Quick! Somebody buy the Sony engineers a pair of these!

The warning for this "WEC" device reminds me of an old SNL skit:

* Warning: Pregnant women, the elderly, and children under 10 should avoid prolonged exposure to Happy Fun Ball.
* Caution: Happy Fun Ball may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds.
* Happy Fun Ball contains a liquid core, which, if exposed due to rupture, should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at.
* Do not use Happy Fun Ball on concrete.
* Discontinue use of Happy Fun Ball if any of the following occurs:
o itching
o vertigo
o dizziness
o tingling in extremities
o loss of balance or coordination
o slurred speech
o temporary blindness
o profuse sweating
o heart palpitations
* If Happy Fun Ball begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head.
* Happy Fun Ball may stick to certain types of skin.
* When not in use, Happy Fun Ball should be returned to its special container and kept under refrigeration. Failure to do so relieves the makers of Happy Fun Ball, Wacky Products Incorporated, and its parent company, Global Chemical Unlimited, of any and all liability.
* Ingredients of Happy Fun Ball include an unknown glowing green substance which fell to Earth, presumably from outer space.
* Happy Fun Ball has been shipped to our troops in Saudi Arabia and is being dropped by our warplanes on Iraq.
* Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.
* Happy Fun Ball comes with a lifetime warranty.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 238

I see what you are saying. But at least in theory, optical media such as CD/DVD, etc *should be* much cheaper than anything like a disk drive by virtue of the material components used alone. A DVD is largely plastic, whereas a disk has electronics and finely tuned mechanics and is much more complex; the media AND the drive for that media are all-in-one whereas with DVD, you have one drive for any number of media.

Ya, I'm not sure where we are going wrong there either...
Image

Dad Builds 700 Pound Cannon for Son's Birthday Screenshot-sm 410

Hugh Pickens writes "The Charleston Daily Mail reports that machinist Mike Daugherty built his son a working cannon for his birthday — not a model — a real working cannon. 'It looks like something right out of the battle at Gettysburg,' says Daugherty. The 700 pound cast iron and steel howitzer, designed to use comparatively small explosive charges to propel projectiles at relatively high trajectories with a steep angle of descent, has a 4-inch gun barrel that is 36 inches long mounted on a wooden gun carriage with two 36- inch diameter wheels and took Daugherty about two weeks to build at a cost of about $6,000. 'I've always been interested in the Civil War and cannons, so I thought it would be a good gift,' says Daugherty's 11-year old son Logan. Daugherty said he is not worried about the federal government coming to get his son's cannon because he spoke to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and found it is legal to own such a cannon because it does not use a firing pin and is muzzle loaded so the government does not consider the weapon a threat. Two days after the family celebrated Logan's 11th birthday, father and son offered a field demonstration of the new cannon on top of a grassy hill overlooking Fairmont, West Virginia and on the third try, the blank inside the barrel went boom and a cannon was born. For a followup they popped a golf ball into the gun barrel, lit the fuse, and watched the golf ball split the sky and land about 600 yards away. 'Any rebels charging up this hill would be in trouble with a cannon like this at the top,' Logan says."

Comment Re:Backwards (Score 1) 853

Actually, I'm suprised HAMs haven't created a resiliant point to point civilian network yet.

Well, depends on what you mean by "civilian network." However, a few interesting points emerge in the context of this discussion;

1) Ham (amateur) radio is still the best bet, "when all else fails" way to communicate in case all hell breaks loose, i.e., the "tubes" go down, or some such event. Ham radio will still be able to get the message through. Give me an HF transceiver, a decent antenna, a deep cycle battery and a few solar panels and I'll be able to make contact with SOMEONE, so long as a nuke did not go off down the block. Most every other means of non-local communication involves a system in some form; POTS, the aforementioned "tubes," cellular phone networks, satallites, etc, whereas HF radio is point to point, leaving the only vulnerability frequency jamming, which is difficult at best, or an unforeseen catastrophic solar event.

So such a "network" is possible and plausible, except for the following political reason;

2) Ham (amateur) radio is allocated and ultimately regulated by the government. A few regulations that would hinder a "civilian network" are a) you must have a valid FCC license to transmit, b) information transmitted on an amateur band must be in the clear (no encryption allowed).

So, it's entirely possible and would be cool as hell to have such a network, it's not possible if from a regulatory standpoint.

------

Perhaps a MUCH BETTER solution would be to create a private organization that collects "donations" which is then used to put up a few birds... then "philanthropists" could use equipment similar to Hughes Net to obtain Internet (and even MORE interesting INTRAnet) via these satellites. An autonomous and private Intranet... with multiple downlink sites, perhaps in other countries, over various ISP's.. that would be friggin' BRILLIANT!! -p

Comment Re:Were hot grits involved? (Score 1) 209

> Ok, this is many things but it is not a troll. Must we go through this every time a new set of idiots starts to get mod points?

You have cleverly replied to yourself as AC complaining of the moderation... then replied to your AC reply. Nicely done!

And for the record, I agree wholeheartedly with all of your posts... a story about petrified wood an the first comment referencing hot grits gets modded troll!? What is /. coming to...
United States

US Call-Center Jobs — That Pay $100K a Year 362

bheer writes "BusinessWeek profiles a call center company called iQor which has grown revenues 40% year-on-year by (shock) treating employees as critical assets. It's done this not by nickel-and-diming, but by expanding its US operations (13 centers across the US now), giving employees universal health insurance, and paying salaries and bonuses that are nearly 50% above industry norms. The article notes that outsourcing will continue and globalization will continue to change the world's economic landscape. 'But the US is hardly helpless. With smart processes and the proper incentives, US companies can keep jobs here in America, and do so in a way that is actually better for the company and its employees.' Now if only other companies get a clue as well."

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