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Comment Re:If you don't like it.... (Score 1) 431

Since you are such a rational individual and by no way superstitious, you should have no fear to do the following: reply to this post by stating clearly that you hereby sell your soul to Satan for the price of a bag of Cheetos. If you have balls you will also include in this deal the souls of everyone in your family.

Sure, but first you have to let me take your photograph, to prove that you're not afraid that it's going to steal your soul.


Comment Yes, we do actually believe in the rule of law (Score 2) 519

A Massachusetts court applying laws as written, rather than making up some bogus progressive interpretation to satisfy their liberal bias? That IS news!

Examples of this?

We don't "make up bogus progressive interpretations." We take great pride in the commonwealth's constitution, which aside from being the first in the nation, predating the federal constitution, and in fact serving at its model, is also one of the most protective of individual rights.

Remember the whole gay-marriage thing, and how MA was one of the first? There's a reason. Our own constitution said we had to treat everybody equally. The courts said "yup, since the state holds the keys to marriage, we gotta treat everybody equally." Case closed. Done.

Also: stop abusing the term "liberal" in this context. Liberal, in a constitutional and individual freedom/liberty sense, usually more accurately describes the "conservative" side of the political spectrum. It's "conservatives" who keep trying to strip people of their voting rights, for example. It's "conservatives" who most often try to impose religion on others, violating separation of church and state (indeed, "god" was inserted into the pledge of allegiance by a republican, for example, in the mid-1900's.) It is "conservatives" who keep trying to advocate for an unequal tax base that vastly favors the rich. It's "conservatives" who keep trying to violate women's basic human rights (ie control of their bodies.) It's "conservatives" who keep trying to censor. It's "conservatives" who have presented the notion that some people are not deserving of the right of marriage. It's also usually "conservatives" who do most of the warmongering and have pushed a very aggressive foreign policy, especially around preemption.

All that is, constitutionally, quite "liberal"/radical.

Comment and further, the court agreed with legislating it (Score 1) 519

Further, the court specifically said they felt it SHOULD be illegal to take an 'upskirt' photo.

The hooplah over this is patently ridiculous and demonstrates the lack of ethics in modern journalism - or the desperation for pagehits, something we used to only see among bloggers.

My main concern is that in the rush to "fix" this, someone screws up the law and ends up making it unconstitutional or otherwise overly broad.

Comment Re:why the press don't generally report suicide (Score 1) 126

I said that mentioning a note (or the reason for the suicide) is the worst thing the media could do, not that it is commonly done.

Mentioning the reasons is an invasion of privacy, and validates suicide as a solution to problems others may be having. Very similar to why notes are not mentioned.

Comment why the press don't generally report suicide (Score 4, Informative) 126

WaPo stops short of outright *saying* she committed suicide, but that's certainly the conclusion they're leading their readers to.

There's a reason the press shies away from it. Mental health organizations have guidelines and recommendations on how to report responsibly on suicides.

The absolute worst is reporting on the contents of, or even mentioning, a note, because then people who are on the edge / suicidal think "Ah, I can get my letter published too!"

This sounds absurd, but it's well demonstrated that suicides are "infectious", and reports in the media about a suicide can cause others who are close to do it themselves. It's one of the reasons, after a suicide in a school/workplace/community, you see an immediate effort made to make resources available to everyone else.

Comment maintenance costs are much higher than you think (Score 1) 130

to more accurately ensure they spend most of their time accounting for the 2 cents it cost to use the device?

I assure you that there is very, very little scientific equipment which costs "2 cents to use." There's often both a substantial capital and operating expenditure. Depreciation isn't that bad on some stuff (a centrifuge, for example, I believe) but can be absurd on something like a new microscope system, as better optics and digital camera modules come out.

Microscopes are probably the most common equipment with horrible opex, aside from maybe genetics sequencing equipment. They're easily damaged, regularly need cleaning, their light sources are expensive and have limited lifetime, etc. Oh yeah, and MRIs...the LN2 and LHe bills, training, insurance, re-shimming for changes in the building that affect the magnetic field, etc...crazy.

Comment swipe to exit is a fire code violation (Score 1) 130

" Swipe card to leave." To enforce this requires using a locking mechanism works in both directions, like a magnetic plate lock. In order to maintain security in a power failure, you need battery backup for the plate lock. In order to maintain fire code, you need to have a tie-in with the building fire system, among other things. It's really not that simple.

Comment From working in labs: addressing common solutions (Score 5, Insightful) 130

To people who haven't worked in labs:

First off, generally the issue isn't tracking usage for the purposes of billing, or actual inventory (ie preventing people from walking off with things.) Most expensive stuff can and is plated and then cabled down to tables. The issue is often more tracking down who screwed up something so they're told not to do it again/given additional instruction, or their lab/PI is billed for the repair.

Why? All manner of equipment isn't cleaned after use, or toxic stuff is used on equipment that can't be cleaned of it easily, or equipment that is shared with other experiments that would be damaged by certain chemicals or contaminants. Centrifuges have the wrong rotors installed or mis-balanced loads, destroying the bearings or worse. Cryo vacuum traps don't get cleaned and can accumulate liquid gas and explode. Microscope objectives get damaged from impacting the slide or overuse of oil for immersion objectives. Microscope light sources get left on and burn out (some of them have lifetimes measured in hundreds or a few thousand hours.) The list goes on.

You can't always control power, because a number of instruments have long warm-up times before they stabilize, or require a bunch of parameters be entered on power-on.

Access control via keycards works until you discover that someone left the lab, dropped off their ID, security for some reason never cancelled their card, and now it's become a shared resource in the lab. This happens so often it's not funny, except in places that take access control VERY seriously, like hospitals that have research groups. Or people swipe others in.

It often really comes down to solving people problems with people, not technology...and having a culture of following procedures and policies. If someone can't follow procedure, lies, cheats, etc - they're a liability/danger to your lab/center/school reputation because they could be (and probably are) doing the same thing in their research. Why are you still employing/collaborating with them? Kick their ass to the curb.

That said, a lot of equipment manufacturers could recognize this need, and provide lockout contacts that can be interfaced with various access control and logging solutions.

Lastly, a reminder to Slashdotters: please think critically about the solutions you offer. If some random guy can think up a "solution", then chances are it's occurred to, and maybe even been tried by, someone with actual experience. At least recognize that possibility...

Comment useless in the wet, too (Score 2) 166

Tire-drive systems are useless in the wet.

If you're impling that shops are taking advantage of people and selling them a new entire wheel, that's way, way down the "low" scale. I don't know a bike shop around that would replace rear wheel instead of replacing the tube and tire, unless the person damaged the rim by riding on it for too long with a flat tire; if you chew up the edge of the rim, it'll slowly destroy the sidewall of the tire.

Another reason rear wheel replacements can become necessary: most inexperienced cyclists brake exclusively with their rear brake, falsely believing that braking with the front brake will result in instant death/them being thrown from the bike. On bicycles with rim brakes, braking wears the edge of the rim, especially in places where it rains or snows (road sand etc.) Eventually the rim wears past the safety limit (on most modern wheels, there is a machined notch half-way on the brake track. If you can't feel it, your rim is too worn.) If you're the second or third owner and a bike is a decade old, having to replace a rim isn't unreasonable, as it's one of the wear components, just like the brake rotors on your car.

If you've got a nice hub and spokes, you can have a shop just replace the rim. Labor can start to become a factor, although a hand-built wheel is usually better built than a lot of machine-built wheels (ie what they'll pull off the rack.)

For example, if I were to destroy the rim on my bike (in a way that wouldn't have damaged the spokes), which has a generator hub to power the lights, and double-butted spokes...I would almost certainly just have the shop buy a new rim and re-lace everything to the new rim.

Comment Re:Teenagers will do stupid things? (Score 3, Insightful) 387

The human brain doesn't fully develop until 25. We don't even hold teenagers responsible for their actions until they're 17-18.

Exactly. And so this (her actions) are her parent's responsibility. And so the fact that the information they agreed to keep private was out in public is the fault of the parents, and they are suffering exactly the consequences that they agreed to suffer for doing that exact thing.

Comment Re:Yes, fine, geez. There was once water on Mars! (Score 1) 41

How many times do we get to "discover" that bears actually do shit in the woods?

The point in this case is that they're suggesting that we're seeing evidence not just of water, but of biological activity. You are able to see the difference, right? It's like discovering that bears not only shit in the woods, but that they also have toilet paper and elaborate sewage treatment facilities hidden in their caves. Or would be, if this evidence actually points to more-than-just-water conclusion.

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