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Comment Re:doom had a plot (Score 1) 102

Well, modern education is certainly dead if that's what passes for capitalization these days. (Zing!)

Seriously, though, of course Doom had a plot. A plot is a sequence of events in a narrative. A plot can be very simple, or very complex. And, yes, even Ms. Pacman had a plot, after a fashion, it's just that the player provided the plot during gameplay. Due to the nature of games, plot is generated during play to a greater or lesser extent by the player(s). Now, did Doom have a lot of backstory? That's different than plot, and I think most people would file that under "setting".

Meanwhile, War and Peace?? You're not even trying. The Dune series buries the needle, plot-wise.

Comment Re:It's about getting people to sign up for autopa (Score 1) 562

The alternative is to use your own bank's electronic bill paying service. It's usually not as shiny as the biller's, but it has the advantages of allowing you to control when and how much money is taken out of your account, letting you monitor spending from your own bank's website, and facilitates record-keeping if you need to dispute a bill. And, if you have a good bank (or, even better, a credit union), it's free.

Comment Answered your own question (Score 1) 848

You said that you were made to understand that there was virtually no chance that you would be compensated for this project; don't expect to be compensated now that you've completed it. What I don't understand is why you wrote it if, as you say, you feel that you shouldn't be asked to do so. If you want to try to sell it, that's fine, but having something so specific to your workplace already created and ready to go, and then holding on to it until the price is right, seems like a bad idea. It would be one thing if you were submitting a proposal for something above and beyond your job description. This is going to seem like you're not fully invested in your job, and you're looking to hustle something on the side. If I were a manager at your school, I would look askance at this. It smacks a bit of the old fire-fighting companies that would show up in front of a burning house and wait until the owner put up some money until they put the fire out.

Comment Re:Firefox - Too little, too late (Score 1) 330

Most people *who*. Sorry; copy editor.

I disagree. I think where you're going with this is that most people just sort of install what's easiest or whatever has the ad campaign that speaks loudest to them, but in my admittedly anecdotal, personal experience I have found that even "casual" users are pretty savvy when it comes to web browsers. In my experience, people tend to gravitate towards browsers that emphasize aspects of web use that are most relevant to them, and not always functional aspects.

I know several highly non-technical users who love Firefox because it feels like the least commercial browser. I know many people who use IE *because* of the anti-Microsoft sentiment, as a sort of statement of rebellion. On the other hand, I know a lot of web devs who grudgingly use IE because they have to develop to it, and since it plays fast and loose with standards they have to use it to test.

I personally use Chrome because I don't really bother with Facebook, don't really use extensions for anything, and like the launch speed. Same reason I use IE fairly often. I don't know if it loads pages faster than Firefox (I think it does, but that might be what they call "butt-dyno"), but I know it launches faster. Since I almost never leave a browser open when I'm not using it, that's a major selling point to me. Firefox is neat, and I have it installed, but the lengthy startup time is a killer. And the app tabs (which I found useful, but clunky) don't outweigh the startup speed.

Comment Re:Keep moaning and looking for brains SCO (Score 1) 208

Are you talking about the smartphone that I have to pull the battery out of every day or so because it hung while getting a text message and email at the same time? And the Windows PC that I'm currently playing Battlefield 3 on, that I haven't had to restart in a week? 'Cause if that's the comparison, you just sold me against Linux. Which is weird, because I dual boot.

Comment Anecdotal evidence (Score 1) 357

I owned my Droid for a year before the digitizer gave up the ghost. Actually, it's most likely the ribbon that connects the digitizer to the main board, but I haven't had the time or tools handy to get in and fix it. Supposedly it's a very common flaw. Mind you, my wife and I have the same model and both of our volume buttons no longer respond, and the mini USB port on both phones is very particular about cable placement. As far as I can tell, the metal has deformed to the point that it no longer holds the plug in contact with the...contacts. This is after pretty careful use of both phones, and no physical damage.

On the other hand, I've heard good things about HTC, and used one as a backup successfully for a while. Felt much more solid than the Motorolas. No one I know has ever had a problem with an iPhone, and I never had a problem with my Blackberry Curve.

Comment Re:No it doesn't. (Score 2) 800

Now, wait a minute. I think Lumpy makes an excellent point. Voice control is most useful in situations where it's dangerous or impractical to look at the phone, e.g. while driving. What benefit do I get from being able to "ask" a phone for information if I have to look at the screen to interpret the response?

Comment Sounds like you've got bigger problems (Score 1) 402

Frankly, if you can't trust your siblings to not impersonate you while you're alive, what makes you think you'll be able to rely on them when you're dead? The tasks you're describing following your farm purchase are typically handled by whoever you name as your executor. Failing that, it's your spouse, your closest relative, or, as a last resort, a disinterested third party referred to as an "administrator of the estate". That person then has the legal authority to demand access to your accounts. It takes time, and doubtless numerous faxes, but that's how it goes.

All you need to name someone an executor is a piece of paper stating same and witnessed by a notary. In some cases, if your spouse is your executor, you can give them power of attorney (limited to a given account) by just faxing a signed piece of paper, no witness necessary. It depends on the company, but I know that Bank of America only requires a signed statement, not a notarized document.

Your other option is to pick someone that you trust, and tell them your passwords (or reset information). If you don't trust anyone to the extent that you'd give them that information, why are you worried about leaving them with bills and so forth? F 'em.

Comment A fifth of all surveys are worded poorly (Score 2) 323

Obviously this depends on what you do for a living, but working less than an hour a day doesn't mean that you're not productive, or, more to the point, that you're not delivering a product to your employer that's worth what you're paid. I telecommute, and depending on what deadlines are approaching, or how much work across the entire project there is to be done, I might work anywhere from 1 to 10 hours in a day. I'm salaried; I'm paid to put forth a certain quantity of deliverables, and to a lesser extent, simply to be available. If I worked in customer service, for example, I could understand being worried about putting in X number of hours, but I've always felt that most of the point of telecommuting was the ability to make your own schedule, more or less.

Comment Re:Moody children (Score 1) 163

"No reasonable person would argue that "kid can't get a gun" implies "kid can't hurt or kill anyone". There's a big difference between that (flawed) argument and the argument that "kid can't get a gun" means "kid more likely to be caught before he hurts or kills someone" and "kid able to kill or hurt fewer people than if he had a gun"."

While I agree with you as far as that goes, you still have to make a distinction between a kid that's "troubled", and a kid that's homicidal on the level of mass murder. The latter is going to be dangerous in any environment, and will be motivated enough to find a way to kill people, guns or no. Obviously some societies get around that by making possession of any firearm illegal, or highly regulated, but that's a whole other can of worms, I think.

Comment Dear Mexico (Score 0, Flamebait) 627

Sorry that my country is strangely concerned about the idea of people smoking weed. All I can say is that, if marijuana was grown in Scotland, made in small batches, and aged for several years prior to sale, maybe things would change. Unfortunately, marijuana is associated with brown people in a way that is unacceptable to the WASPS in Congress. Also, making strange things illegal and arresting people for having, using, or asking for them is a job creator, and things are a little tight over here right now.

Sorry about the disembowelings, beheadings, and assassinations. Oh, and all the guns we keep selling your bloodthirsty cartel hitmen. Our bad.


PS. Thanks for keeping Cancun safe. It'd be really tough for us to have spring breaks and honeymoons if we all had to go to the Jersey Shore.

Comment Re:Moody children (Score 2) 163

I know this may come as a surprise given the stereotype, but Americans don't actually hand AK-47s to children just before they get on the schoolbus.

Also, shotguns are guns too, you know. The first time I met my friend's Welsh husband, he made a remark about Americans and handguns. Then, not two minutes later, mentioned something about his grandmother shooting rabbits in her front yard with a shotgun. She did not live in the country. He was not making a joke. I don't know where you're from, but if I walked outside with a BB gun right now and started popping off at squirrels, police would be called, and I would be hauled off for a serious talking-to.

My father was a deputy sheriff and a gun nut, and from the South, and so I grew up surrounded by guns. Loaded guns, in fact, because an unloaded gun isn't much use if someone's breaking into your house. I first shot a gun when I was 12, but knew about guns from about six. The first thing I learned about guns was that they are incredibly dangerous, and are not toys. Practically from the time I could walk I was taught to respect guns, to never point a gun at someone (even a toy gun) unless I was going to shoot them, to assume all guns are loaded, and knew where every gun in the house was, hidden or not. I also listened to death metal, industrial, was goth, and watched horror movies all the time. I did drugs, was dumped by girlfriends, and had problems with authority. To date, I have never shot anyone.

Parenting makes the difference. Taking guns out of the equation just means that Junior Sociopath will start googling "fertilizer explosive".

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