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Comment Foreign characters (Score 1) 763

I forgot to mention this in the survey itself, and it's been slashdotted now anyway (ha ha!), but I find it downright embarrassing that /. still doesn't allow unicode beyond the basic Latin set. Yeah, yeah, some pranksters can make the page's text run backwards by using some special character. Solution: Exclude that/those character(s). I've lost count of the times I've seen someone's touche with the proper accent mark get butchered into touch, or seen an attempted discussion of Chinese or Japanese language severely stifled by the inability to just fucking show people what you're talking about. And let's not even mention how much easier it could be to convey some mathematical concepts. This goes beyond /. being America-centric and into a whole new level of head-in-the-sand, and I don't understand how it's stayed this way so long.

Comment Re:But NO IRISH promised Marvel (Score 1) 608

This reminds me of the time I was in line at a con and the people next to me were trying to answer the question: Is Superman cirumcised? They argued for over an hour without reaching a firm conclusion. It was one of the most fascinating and hilarious conversations I've been party to in my lifetime of geekery.

Comment Hyperbole and Male Language Use (Score 1) 350

One of the gender differences in English uses that has interested me most is the male tendency to use absolutes more often. A lot of it seems to stem from the sort of "fish story" and humor-based phase of social bonding that begins for most boys in grade school. Men are more likely to say "always" when they mean "usually", "never" when they mean "rarely", etc... which tends to mean that those pedants among us who try to use more precise language sometimes end up appearing more effeminate, or weak (i.e. "You talk like a fag, and your shit's all retarded.") I often wonder how the social interactions between geeks and non-geeks, including bullying, are affected/effected by linguistic cues like these.

Comment Re:Did you *really* count them all? (Score 3, Interesting) 248

I just counted 5 at first, then remembered the window to my left that's covered in blackout fabric with a 1cm diameter hole in it. In a few weeks the trees outside will have too much foliage to let through much light and I'll put it up again till fall, but for now I'm still enjoying the upside-down streetscape on my wall.

Comment Re:Cherrypal scam? (Score 4, Insightful) 168

I ordered their Africa netbook as a gift for someone last spring. The "Linux" version was actually Windows CE with all the windows logos scrubbed. Cute trick :P

Also it loaded from flash instead of having an actual BIOS, so attempting to install my own OS was non-trivial. They're false-advertising bastards to be sure.

Comment Re:Thank you (Score 1) 718

From what I've seen, Japanese input through IBus seems to work more smoothly on the last couple versions of Ubuntu than SCIM does.

Here are instructions from the Ubuntu forums that worked for me:

you need to go to system->administration->language support

then install the Japanese.

Next go to system -> preferences -> ibus

and configure your preferences.

then under preferences add "ibus-daemon --xim" to your startup programs.

It should work like a charm then.

Comment Zoos have been using Obsession for ages (Score 4, Informative) 63

It's apparently common to use fragrance (either sprayed perfume or scented magazine inserts) for "enrichment" of zoo animals so they don't get bored. A zookeeper maybe spritzes a log in the course of cleaning the tiger enclosure, and when the tigers come back in, they go nuts over this new smell, sniffing it repeatedly, rubbing against it, clawing at it etc.. I recall hearing that tigers go especially mental over Obsession and Charlie (probably all the musk).

Comment Youth Hostels (Score 1) 507

I don't disagree that there are more examples of institutional age discrimination against the young, but I feel I should mention that I've stayed at my share of hostels around the world that didn't allow anyone over 30. I'm sure I'm going to miss having such cheap accommodations available when I start traveling again.

Comment Old News? (Score 2, Informative) 264

I seem to recall reading an article many years ago about a trial in the UK in which this same technique was working quite well on humans. Of course I can't seem to track down the article now, and the closest thing I did find was this article from five years ago about a business providing this service. Unfortunately, it only muddies the waters further by including the line "To date, no companies or research groups in the world have been able to demonstrate the formation of a living, natural tooth." Does anyone else remember the trial I mentioned or am I just imagining things again?

Comment Re:GTA Effect? (Score 1) 520

To hell with 3d, I remember being head and shoulders above my elementary school classmates when it came to first reading maps due to games like Zelda and Kid Icarus. Of course, it also probably helped that my Mom and brother and I drew great big detailed maps of all the dungeons in Kid Icarus so we'd know where healing pools, centurions, eggplants, etc. were. This was when I was about 4.

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