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Comment 38 States (Score 1) 832

People will live where there are economic opportunities, and state lines, where there is a steep gradient in the price or availability of certain items or services due to different state laws, provide those opportunities.
The boundaries of Minnesota are pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but moving them will not remove the incentives for liquor stores open on Sundays on the Wisconsin side and fireworks stalls on the South Dakota side (I believe the laws may have changed since I left, but the principle is the same).

Comment Re:DEFINE: Subjectivity (Score 3, Insightful) 834

I discussed this with my wife the other day, after she'd been watching the Fashion Channel. The audience for catwalk fashion shows is buyers (mostly commercial) of clothing, and that audience is dominated by thin women and gay men. Whatever the models on the catwalk look like, it doesn't tell you anything about contemporary tastes of heterosexual men.

Comment Paley beat you to it (Score 1) 921

He compared the watch on the heath with a rock. Paley was no geologist, and didn't have any idea that you could actually inspect the structure of the rock, and get a very good idea of how long it had been there, how recently and how many times it has been buried, subducted, uplifted and exposed.

Rocks are beautiful and intricate. They're every bit as designed as life.

Comment How to do it wrong (Score 1) 585

Like they've done it on the new Orewa-Puhoi toll road north of Auckland:

* don't allow credit cards;
* don't allow any form of payment except cash at the toll booths;
* don't put in enough toll booths;
* make the toll booths hard to get to;
* make it hard to get back onto the motorway from the tollbooth;
* don't allow texting your licence plate number to a short code phone number (this is a particularly egregious omission in a country with more cellphones than people);
* put up far too many signs explaining how to pay, but don't *actually* say which forms of payment are accepted where;
* don't allow people to use their own bank's website to transfer money to you, but insist on them giving you their bank details, and promise to keep it secure.

For bonus points, spend 1.2 million dollars on a bridge connecting two dirt roads on private land, and put a gate at both ends.

Comment Thanks for the panic attack (Score 1) 128

So, if you maintain any sort of reasonable looking website secured by any SSL certificate (Sorry Rupert, you lose on both counts)

OK, when did it become funny to put the contents of my cookie in TFA?

Oh, and I am not responsible for the CSS on the sites I develop for my employer. Don't blame me for the dark blue text on a medium blue background.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Next sig

It's not quite time to change sigs yet, but here's a statistical anomaly from Phil Plaitt:

"One man's mean is another man's poisson."

I've found it attributed to both Anon and J.W. Haeffner, but Google knows nothing about the latter person apart from a single attribution of this phrase.

I might leave it attributed to the Bad Astronomer, just because it's a more /.y link.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Culture sig 2

I've been re-reading some Iain M. Banks, and there are a couple of mottos that fit the .sigspace nicely.

I did toy with "Perfect AIs always Sublime" as being fairly /. relevant. I eventually decided on the more pithy .sig you now see on my posts.

Previous .sig pointed to the previous journal entry.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Spam 2

Who knows the minds of spammers? I've noticed a trend lately: about 75% of my spam (~30 emails a day) are "apparently from" either "National Refinance Exchange" or "Western Advisory". The actual "From" field generally looks fake (, and so on).

Blocking those two strings at my ISP has cut the amount of email I have to download by 2/3 (I don't get much real email <sniff>).

User Journal

Journal Journal: Total lunar eclipse on Tuesday 1

The moon has decided to protest against Slashdot's North American bias. The lunar eclipse on May 4th will be visible everywhere in the world except North America, and the extreme eastern parts of Russia. NASA has a map of where the eclipse can be seen.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Another new sig 1

OK, so the Bush joke wasn't funny. Maybe I should have said "Bush managed to avoid a war in Vietnam".

New sig:
<br>-- <br>
If I use parts from Autozone to mount a Thinkpad running Suse into a Jeep, how much do I owe the Sco Group?

User Journal

Journal Journal: New Sig

This political joke occurred to me during Shrub's press conference on 4/13.

<br>-- <br>
What's the difference between Iraq and Vietnam?<br>
Bush has been to Iraq.

old sig was:
<br>-- <br>
<b>Karma:<b> Curate (mostly due to parts of it being excellent)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Would the real la donna e mobile please stand up 4

So I was singing in the shower the other day, and it struck me that "donna e mobile" could be the kind of person that calls into talk radio: Donna E. from Mobile, AL. So I checked on for people called Donna in Mobile. Unfortunately, the only searches I could get to work are "E, Donna" (there aren't any) and "Donna E. *", which listed the following candidates:

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