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Comment Re:Not at all; completely on point (Score 1) 381

Some birds have the vocal capability for human style speed, I would argue that they too are incapable of supporting this mutation, simply because they are flying creatures. Brains are energy expensive, and heavy. If you've got a bird that can support the energy budget and weight of a brain capable running the thought processes behind speech (rather than simply mimicry), you've also suddenly got a bird that isn't going to be flying much. Which is also generally known as lunch. There are flightless birds of course, penguins and ostriches among others, but I don't know of any flightless ones with speech capability.

Comment Re:Derp, Meet Herp (Score 3, Insightful) 250

Anytime the laws are not reflecting the moral values of the society they're serving, it isn't healthy; it breeds a contempt for the law, the courts, and the government as a whole. Stupid laws need to be ignored, protested, and fought until they are brought back in line with social values as a whole, since after all it's society as a whole that laws are supposed to serve. The cases you pointed out serve to point this out actually; blacks were not being treated fairly with by the laws, and as a result still to this day don't particularly trust the legal system. The point is that when ever laws and society clash, the laws are usually the ones that need changing, the quicker the better.

Comment Re:Momentum Conservation (Score 1) 392

My understanding is that the virtual vacuum particles for an instant, act like any other particle, annihilate each other, and vanish. So this would essentially be "pushing" against the particles during the instant they exist, but as they then proceed to pop out of existence the next moment it's essentially as if the engine is pushing against nothing.

Comment Re:What's all the hub-bub? (Score 1) 90

In the case of Twitter, the only improvement that's happened here is that anyone with a decent browser can access it.

Maybe the cause of your surprise is that you're trivializing things that are actually quite important.

By making Twitter accessible via a web site, the effort required to follow a feed went from (minor, and slightly technical) to (nada). With something like Twitter, which is of only marginal value to most people, I'm guessing that using it needs to have just about zero degree of inconvenience, or else people just won't bother.

If people have such a low desire for something that they will only go for it when all (or nearly all) inconvenience is removed, that potentially tells me two things: 1) the people are lazy or unmotivated so when they say they want something, they do NOT mean they are willing to endure a small amount of effort or inconvenience to obtain it, and 2) Twitter's services were never very valuable to anyone or else near-zero inconvenience would not have been necessary for its explosive growth.

Either 1) is true, or 2) is true, or both of them are true. In all cases, that would mean I am recognizing that this is inherently trivial and would not mean that I am trivializing something that is inherently important.

What you are dealing with in the general public are flighty, fickle persons of the moment. They do not decide for themselves what they want. When they say they want something, they do not mean they are willing to take any and all actions which do not violate their legal/moral/ethical codes in order to obtain it. Instead, they wait for the next biggest thing to appear on the marketing stage and they jump on that bandwagon until the next biggest thing after that shows up. There is no lasting or enduring value for them, nor are there concepts like acting out of principle. Twitter has had some success because it has recognized this as its environment and has tried to adapt to that environment. That is a form of pandering and while I recognize the business case for it, it's also responsible for many of the reasons why I won't use their site and most of the other trendy sites. They are aiming themselves towards a demographic that does not include me.

Comment Re:curious situation: iphone more google than appl (Score 1) 326

Oh and incidentally, I was just thinking about why I thought that jailbreaking was such a boon, and there's a couple of reasons. First, winterboard just rocks my socks. I love screwing around with themes, fonts and icons. Second, the ssh functionality. Ever since Google released fuse for the mac I've been hooked. I now use rsync and sshfs to backup everything on my desktop, to make certain folders on my laptop mirror my desktop, and seamlessly share files with my home linux cluster, PC, and laptop that run debian. I just started using leopard lately and haven't even gotten around to looking at time machine because rsync works so well --it an incredibly good file sharing solution, much easier than AFS, SFTP, samba or anything else I've tried. By installing openssh on the iphone, I can extend all that great functionality to the ipod touch and it's just wonderful.

Comment Re:Apple's "End User Experience"... (Score 1) 326

Error addendum.

Where the following line was stated:
      'Replace "Google Voice" with "IE" for example in Apple's reply, and "iPhone" with "Windows".'
this should have read,
      'Replace "Google Voice" with "Firefox" for example in Apple's reply, and "iPhone" with "Windows".'

Dyslexia because of thinking too fast.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 4, Insightful) 205

You have no reasonable expectation of privacy in your email communication.

I think you don't understand the concept of "reasonable expectation of privacy". It's not a technical idea meaning "this data is secure". It's a social/legal idea, meaning "third parties are supposed to know that this data is private, and so they should keep out of it even if they are technically able to look".

By that measure, you certainly do have a "reasonable expectation of privacy" for your email. For example, if your ISP started posting your emails to a public web page, you would have grounds for a lawsuit. Therefore, you can "reasonably expect" that your ISP won't do that.

Comment Re:1M bail and 1yr in jail...? (Score 1) 189

We need special technical trials for things like this within which both the defence and prosecution are allowed to bring in technical witnesses to put the case into perspective for non-technical people (as opposed to "HACKER! Get the pitch forks!").

It's already possible to bring in such people, they are known as "expert witnesses". The issue here is more the lack of a prompt trial. Maybe what's needed is a rule along the lines that someone is automatically found "not guilty" if their trial does not start within a certain time of their being charged.

Comment Re:Decriminalization in Light of the Drug War (Score 4, Insightful) 640

A race is where people see it and racial divisions are certainly not a universal concept. Closer to a social construct if you ask me.

So we need to accept all of that "it means whatever you think it means" bullshit, merely because words like "race" and "ethnicity" and "nationality" and "religion" and the differences among them are too hard? Really?? How about we instead decide that if someone doesn't have a working understanding of what those terms mean, then perhaps that person is not qualified to speak about them. That's so much better than lowering the standards and this is one area that has a particularly low signal-to-noise ratio.

Comment Re:From TFS (Score 1) 144

and tavern "music" in the original

What is this TAVERN you speak of? Have you been watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy? Star Wars didn't have TAVERNS. It had CANTINAS.

Good god man, please take off your nerd badge, leave your pass at reception and go take a few crash courses to improve yourself back to a respectable nerd level.

Comment Re:Solution (Score 1) 67

There's a problem with this as being the only real solution. There are many sites I would like to support, and even by shear chance an ad sometimes that looks interesting. Both are times I'd like to be able to see that ad and be able to click on it. However, between ad based malware, tracking, and privacy concerns, NOT blocking them is annoying at best, a serious security concern at worst.

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