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Comment Relatives from out of town. (Score 1) 156

I had a cousin and her family come to town from Maryland and when it was time for them to go home, I tried to give them directions to the Turnpike. It was literally take the next four right turns and then drive about 6 miles, you'll see the signs.

She was like Nope, I'm GPSing it. The GPS gives her valid directions but they were longer and more complicated.

I was amused but she got home safely.


Comment Re:Liability (Score 1) 489

Whomever performed the modification, if that modification is the cause of the incident.

It's not like we're discovering new issues here.

In 1968, if you took your Buick to your neighborhood fix-it guy and he used sub-standard wheel bearings and they caused the wheel to fall off and kill someone, Mr. Fix-it would be liable.

Really, this isn't rocket science just because the story includes the word "firmware".


Comment Instinctively, I have avoided opiates. (Score 1) 181

I have always felt that pain killers should be used sparingly and that one should only take the minimum level necessary to make the pain tolerable.

For me, it wasn't about avoiding addiction. I don't like the feeling of having my mind feel cloudy.

When I had my wisdom teeth removed, the doctor gave me a prescription for Lortab. I declined to fill it. I said that if Tylenol or Aleve made it tolerable, that's what I would use. Even though I had already made my decision, when a friend offered to buy them from me, I was even more certain that I made the right choice.


Comment Re:Pittsburgh is losing its identity (Score 1) 125

You don't know anything about the city, and probably weren't born there.

I was born out of state but I have been here in Pittsburgh since I was an infant, more than 40 years.

I bike year round in Pittsburgh, with studded tires for use in the winter.

I'm sure that you and the three other people who will face sub-zero temperatures on their bikes appreciate it but those lanes would be more useful with cars in them.

The chairs at Market Square were removed due to issues with loitering and drug use

I believe that those excuses were pretexts.

How does removing amenities make "more room" anyway?

By providing more space for outdoor dining areas for the restaurants. When (not if) they expand, that seating will be private property that can be limited to paying customers.

Gentrification of the Hill District is a strange thing

It's not just the Hill District. It's Homewood and East Liberty too. 10-15 years ago, it was Lawrenceville. I suspect that the Hazelwood/Glenwood area will be next.

The drug problems are real, but they were real in the 1980's too, it's just white people didn't notice except when they saw them on Hill Street Blues.

Nice try but it's not going to work here. I'm not white. I lived in the Duquesne projects back in the 1970s. I was harassed by cops during the drug wars in the 1990s. There is a black middle class in the region and most of us moved to the suburbs to escape the problems of the city. Now the city is sending those problems our way.


Comment Pittsburgh is losing its identity (Score 1) 125

So much is being done to attract people to the region that it is making it unbearable for those of us who have always been here. We're giving up lanes on major city streets to make room for bike lanes that are only usable for 5 months out of the year.

The city just removed the chairs from Market Square to make more room for the patrons of the upscale restaurants that surround the place.

The glut of well-to-do out of towners has led to the gentrification of several areas like Homewood, The Hill District and East Liberty which is in turn creating problems out in the suburbs. Basically, people are going in and buying blocks of low value property, renovating them and charging more for rent than the current occupants can afford. Those people move further and further away from the city and when you have an influx of low income people, a small but extremely destructive minority of drug dealers comes with them. We have had numerous heroin busts just a few miles from my house in an area that never saw that kind of activity before.

When people like me complain about it, we're met with the response that this is how things go in other cities. My reply is that if I wanted to live in those cities, I'd move there. I live in Pittsburgh and I like it.


Comment Re: Rank reputable sources (Score 1) 183

If you read the IPCC summary, it labels every prediction with how confident the IPCC is in it, so it sure isn't climate scientists.

You are, of course, assuming there's nothing political going on with the IPCC recommendations in the first place and all the conclusions are honestly driven by nothing more than altruistic desires for the betterment of the human race. Pardon me if I have slightly more skepticism about the UN's motives given their manifestly anti-Western, anti-capitalist, pro-globalist stance. Add to that the prevailing "I don't need to explain it to you because you're too stupid to understand" mantra and what seems "settled science" to you seems anything but for those of us who are actually have to sacrifice for whatever the UN IPCC decides we have to do to satisfy them.

Comment Re: Rank reputable sources (Score 1) 183

I'm assuming nothing. I'm saying I've not seen any major studies whatsoever addressing the actual impact of the subject beyond "climate change BAD!' Climate has changed since the planet first developed an atmosphere to have climate. It will continue to change at its whim until we develop technology capable of utterly controlling it at our whim. Mankind has always adapted. We will adapt to this. The questions that remain are (a) are we capable of affecting the climate in any meaningful way in the first place and (b) is the cost of attempting to pin the climate to the 20th-century norm higher, lower, or equal to the cost of adapting? If the answer to (a) is "no" then it necessarily negates the second question since our only practical option is adaptation.

Comment I still kind of like hints (Score 1) 498

I understand how they can be a security risk but I think the way I use it won't help an attacker.

Here's an example. My mother's godfather had a nickname that he used to call me. I haven't talked to anyone about this in over 30 years. If my password hint is "D. W. nicknamed you this", I would immediately remember what the password is but no one else would have any idea of what it is.


Comment Re: Rank reputable sources (Score 0) 183

In science, the facts are not opinions. They are the experimental results.

Except what you're referring to is not even remotely equivalent to "experimental results." We do not have the capability to "experiment" on a global climate under controlled, observable, repeatable conditions. Instead we build computer models based on how we think the climate actually works, all of which are only as accurate as our understanding of climate -- and that understanding is woefully inadequate. Thus the models are gross simplifications of the actual climate, some of which start with the presupposition that climate change is due to man-made CO2 and work backwards from there to make the data and models fit. The results have been models that accurately predict the past but inaccurately represent the present, or if they accurately represent the present they do not match the past. Over time the models get "massaged" to make things fit, always with the assumption it all must be man-made CO2 at the core of it.

I have a built-in distrust for such procedures because there are no effective ways to challenge or prove them experimentally. Additionally, the core climate community has become largely homogeneous by self-selection, where dissenting voices are banished in order to achieve the desired consensus. Grant money is doled out or withheld depending upon whether the findings will support the agenda of the giver. When big business does this it's called astroturfing, being a shill, etc. and is not to be trusted. When government and "big science" does it it's called "consensus" and questioning it is blasphemy of the highest order. Publishing is similarly segregated with any dissenting voice being treated as a pariah.

Do I believe the climate is changing? Absolutely. It was changing before humans arrived, being both significantly warmer and colder than it is today. It is changing while we're here. It will continue to change despite our wishes because we lack the technology to effectively stop it on short timescales. It's the height of anthropocentric arrogance to think the planet's climate is going to sit still for us just because we happened to develop opposable thumbs at this point in Earth's history.

Do I believe human activity is contributing to climate change? At some level it must be as any activity by definition has some kind of impact. The question then becomes how much are we affecting it and, if we reverse course, will the anticipated benefits outweigh the social and economic upheaval such a reversal would cause? Keep in mind sometimes it is better to adapt to change rather than fight it. Some areas currently too cold for agriculture would become more suited to it while other currently-arable areas would become too hot or dry. Certainly it is disruptive -- any change is -- but is the net result positive, negative, or neutral? Nobody has answered that question. To my knowledge the question isn't even being studied on any reasonable scale. Everything's being thrown into the we-have-to-stop-the-climate-from-changing bandwagon, a fool's errand if there ever was one because climate will merely laugh at our puny efforts.

There used to be a time when scientists welcomed questions and opposing ideas and were eager to put their hypotheses to the test. Today...not so much. "There's too much at stake" they say, to entertain skeptics or those that question. Instead they're labeled as "deniers" and treated like knuckle-dragging inbred simpletons at best or traitors to humanity and murderers at worst. The "we have to do something!" crowd is the loudest, saying we can't wait to get firm data and must enact sweeping changes regardless of what it does to anyone. That the worst effects would be felt by prosperous Western nations while third-world and far East polluters would suffer less or not at all. As that fits the current "punish the West for all ills" popular mantra is more than a little suspect so I'm similarly not inclined to believe or support anyone pushing such "climate reform" that doesn't call for all who benefit equally to pay equally as well.

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