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Comment Re:VCR with IR emitter (Score 1) 554

I remember the good old days when I was able to plug my cable box directly into my TiVo and have the latter control the former. Then RCN got wise and provided their own DVR and took the capability I loved away. IR emitters have never worked reliably for me no matter how many times I've tried to set it up. Somewhere there is a company that actually thinks about its customers -- I think.

Comment Re:$20/month DVR service? (Score 2, Insightful) 554

The DVR service is rental of their DVR equipment, not access to a service. They are renting you hardware that is a DVR. The DVR is also your cable tuner so you are only renting one device instead of 2. Digital cable boxes via comcast are $10/month, so in reality you are paying an additional $10/month for the more advanced box. Box breaks Comcast replaces it. You buy a DVR or build one something breaks and you may have to pay out more to replace/fix it than the $120/yr for the rental. When storage in Comcasts new boxes increases, you call Comcast and can get a newer box without doling out a couple hundred more dollars for a new box or upgraded computer system..

Comment Re:Bummer (Score 1) 370

Look around the thread for a more articulate explanation.. I'm not the only one who sees the power grab of meddlesome authority. If you actually believe this is to fight crime, or that it will have any effect other than increasing petty crime, or maybe not so petty, then an explanation is not possible, or worth the effort. I do however, have a couple of bridges up on the block, in case you're interested..

Comment Re:Not to sound overly nationalist (Score 1) 277

You are probably correct in that we do not have the flat-earthers around here - and, true - I've been in California, and mostly in academic circles around there, so I didn't meet too many of those in the US. We have our own brand of idiots around here, though, and those are not the overt neo-nazis. On the economic side, our focus on export is not perfect either. Our economic policy neglects the German markets for export numbers, which hurts the local workers. On the topic of test equipment, Tektronix ain't the worst brand after all - while I worked at university here, we used Tektronix scopes, and they did their job quite well. Incidentally, I am in the patent business now, and the firm I am working with is doing some of the European applications for Tektronix network analyzers - they ain't dead yet, at least I hope so, as they are paying a bit of my paycheck :)

Comment spending (Score 1) 419

Of course the other problem with what he said is that the money spent on the military (including the wars it has fought) doesn't come from a level of government that has any business being involved in education.

That is not compleatly true. If federal taxes weren't as high then states could raise their taxes, they'd thus have more money for education. Oh, and the federal government is in education. While I agree it shouldn't be the feds have entered into education, just look at the United States Department of Education to start with. The U.S. Department of Education 2010 Budget is $46.7 billion. Now that's only a fraction of the cost of the war in Iraq but it's still pretty big.


Comment Daley is the problem (Score 1) 419

Endless wars that divert hundreds of billions a year from schools and job training are also undermining America's competitiveness, Daley added, wondering where the public outrage is.

The public outrage was systematically misled and dismantled by the Democratic Party machine, which deliberately encouraged anti-war activists to believe that Democratic political candidates intended to end wars and withdraw troops, even as those candidates actually favored escalation. The Democratic Party machine spared no expense of time and energy on denouncing candidates who actually opposed the war, particularly Nader and Green Party candidates, for having the temerity to run against "anti-war" Democrats who were actually pro-war.

In short, Daley is not just part of the problem, he is at the core of the problem, and he's a damned hypocrite for blaming voters for doing exactly what he manipulated them into doing.

Comment Re:Americans..... (Score 1) 706

Yes, because kids are supposed to really understand that sitting in class for 12 years and learning will be really useful when they finish school and go to university or search for work. Yes, a 7 year old is supposed to understand that doing this boring stuff for an eternity (12 years by 7year olds standards) will be somehow useful.

Or maybe he just needs to do well enough so that the teachers don't yell at him and/or parents don't beat him up when he gets a bad mark. That could also make kids get good marks.

Comment To really solve Chicago's education problem (Score 1) 419

you have to prioritize the schools that cater to the very worst students;

To solve America's education problems it will take more than just spending money. One thing that needs to end is to stop allowing poor students to graduate when they don't know the material. Get rid of all this flunking students damage their ego nonsense. Then give the students who want to learn the resources to do so. Allow charter, public, and private schools to compeat for students. Allow magnate schools.

it makes no sense to spend more money on students who are already succeeding.

It makes no sense to hold students back because of lack of money. Money needs to be spent to improve education for everyone. Now what can help teachers with slow students is having those faster and brighter students help those who are slower. It also makes no sense to spend money on people who don't want to learn. I tutored one such student in college in algebra, almost every tyme we met she was drunk. I eventually had to tell the tutoring office I couldn't tutor her because of her drinking, after I asked her not to drink before meeting me. Of course she wasn't paying tuition herself, her parents paid. Along with taxpayers.


Comment Re:Gnome-screensaver still broken... (Score 1) 276

Call me when the $%%&$%#^ that maintains that part of it allows people to actually tune the Gnome-screensaver modules without ripping it all out and replacing it with xscreensaver.

If you had cared to, you'd know that the old way of doing this was wrong and sucked, and the gnome-screensaver maintainer is happy to accept patches to restore the functionality in a sane way.

Comment Re:Not to sound overly nationalist (Score 1) 277

The secret is only in wrecking the environment and abusing your workers if you are in the cheap-ass consumer product market. Germany gets around that problem by producing high-quality, comparatively low-quantity goods as machining tools, scientific instruments, medical technology, power stations, pharmaceuticals and stuff like that. And, cars, of course. All the easily mass production goods we used to make (e.g. textiles in the region where I am from) are long since outsourced to Asia, too.

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