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Comment /Facepalm (Score 1) 449

This is my hometown, and I gotta say...I'm rather ashamed. I thought the town in general was more forward-thinking than that. Though I do agree with this point, at least:

Polygon also spoke with Joe Erardi, Southington School superintendent and a member of SouthingtonSOS:

"There are youngsters who appear to be consumed with violent video games," Erardi said. "I'm not certain if that's a good thing. If this encourages one courageous conversation with a parent and their child, then it's a success. We're suggesting that for parents who have a child or children who play violent video games, to first of all view the games. We're asking parents to better understand what their child is doing. Have a conversation about next steps."

I'm all for parents to be involved with what their kids are doing, especially videogames. They should better understand what their kids are into, and be there to tell them, "No, this game is not appropriate for you right now, but I'm happy to let you play it when you're older." The thing is, you don't need to have a drive where M-rated games are turned in in order to have these conversations. I have them with my eight-year-old son already. I explain things to him, and give him appropriate games to play as an alternative. Problem solved.

Comment Re:What I would do (Score 1) 423

Is buy parts for a PC off of some website, get a case with a clear side. Build it with him, teach him the importance of discharging static etc. Let him put the pieces together, tell him what each piece does.

You should be able to get parts for a standard PC relatively inexpensively.

Load the operating system with him, and explain what it does.


My oldest son is eight; a couple years ago I built a computer for him from parts bought from online, stuck it in an old mini-ATX case I had from a previous PC I built, and had him help me put in every single component. Not only did he have a complete blast, he learned from it, and he has loved working on them with me since.

It's only 'dangerous' if you let them do things they shouldn't without educating them first. Teach them to respect the tool (no matter what the tool is), walk them through it, answer the questions they have (and look it up with them if you don't know), and aside from the occasional accident that anyone could have, they'll be fine.

Comment Re:The whole thing is just staggering (Score 3, Informative) 168

From NASA's Voyager mission site (link here:

The sensitivity of our deep-space tracking antennas located around the world is truly amazing. The antennas must capture Voyager information from a signal so weak that the power striking the antenna is only 10 exponent -16 watts (1 part in 10 quadrillion). A modern-day electronic digital watch operates at a power level 20 billion times greater than this feeble level.

One ten-quadrillionth of a watt.

Yeah, "truly amazing" doesn't even begin to cover it. You're right; it IS mindblowing.

Comment Re:I sure hope they get this patent (Score 1) 342

The only thing that gives me confidence is the fact that even the almighty Apple would be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail if they tried to actually implement this.

Of course, I don't really see the need for a patent to prevent other people from doing it. None of the major OS vendors would be so foolish as to think they could actually get away with attempting to implement OS support for invasive ads such as described in the patent.

Comment Re:Explained by a Simple Formula (Score 5, Insightful) 944

Do not confuse capitalism with the free market.

You cannot have a free market once economic power starts to accumulate, as it will in the absence of regulation; nor you have a free market with regulation.

The "free market", thusly, cannot really exist, except for a very brief period at the beginning before clout accumulates and capitalism takes hold. It's a philosophical fiction; a Utopia by definition. Marxism is more realistic.

Comment I don't think he is attacking free software (Score 1) 944

He is attacking the belief by some that in a perfect world all software should be free. The fact is that while there should be freedom to provide and use free software, and there should also be freedom to make profit by selling software. Anything that encroaches on either freedom is against Libertarian principles.

Comment These guys aren't libertarian (Score 1) 944

Not by any consistent or sane definition of the term.

Like all political labels the term is abused (as is the term free market - most 'free market' advocates don't advocate anything close to it).

The most commonly accepted definition of libertarianism is political thought founded upon the Non Aggression Principle - that is, it is immoral to initiate aggression against another.

On those grounds, consistent libertarian thought opposes patents and copyright as arbitrarily enforced by an aggressive state. Free software on the other hand is a great example of decentralised, voluntary organisation - the very essence of any libertarian society.

That's not to say that there could not be software licenses - that's possible, but they'd probably be unenforceable.

For some more consistent libertarians who embrace open source/free software and apply it in their own work, try

Comment Re:Libertarians assume government the only evil (Score 1) 944

The government has a horrible track record against monopolies. The Sherman Anti-Trust act was used to great effect against the unions, though. They let a merger like AOL-Time Warner, but break up Santa Fe and Burlington Northern, BUT then let Denver and Rio Grande grab up BN. There seems to be no set rule as to what exactly constitutes a monopoly, except for Whomever has the biggest lobby group wins.

Comment Silly. (Score 1) 342

First, there's prior art for this of course. Second, it's just like the old con of putting "on the internet" on the back of any old idea and claiming it's new.

Is Apple going to get one upped when some super-genius comes up with the amazing idea of Advertising on the OS...on a netbook! or Advertising on the OS...on a laptop! It's ridiculous. Advertising on _anything_ is inherently an obvious idea.

Comment Another article that follows this (Score 1) 2

Linked from your site

Well DUH. Their "earnings" are only up temporarily as they no longer are paying all those salaries. Just like the analogy I have used before, some tradesman pawning all his tools friday night, so all weekend he looks like he got rich and his "earnings" went up. Then monday morning comes and no work and no earnings at all.

    These pseudo earnings, that have nothing to do with their core business and actually reflect failure rather than success, will disappear shortly and we will be experiencing a rather hard crash.

  Stocks are, for the most part, highly and irrationally over valued. BUT, they are because that's all the market knows, buy/sell/TRADE stocks. It can't do anything else, so that's what they do. If everyone went to rational buy today after careful consideration then hold forever and watch over the management like a hawk model, the market would collapse anyway, because it is predicated on trading, not holding. Speculation, not investing. Various flavors of charting voodoo and magickal incantations and "waving" your hands around in the air "theory". Gambling and the pet hot system of the day. No diff really from those little sucker pamphlets you see for sale at the quickstore checkout about lucky lottery numbers and various ways to beat random chance.

    Default is, spin and shill to keep that churn churning. We are probably at or damn near at peak in general terms, because jobless recovery is an oxymoron. The "greater fool" theory of taking profits out of the market and walking away from the casino table while still ahead will be kicking in soon, and we will be seeing who is more rational or not. There will emerge a few percent rational, and the bulk irrational. And a lot of the ones rational are "stealth rational", they are the same ones who keep running the shill games, because THEY know they will exit, and when, and by sheer volume of their trades, influence the rest.... but well after the fact of this being useful information to the "marks" or suckers.

Clear cut recent example: as the full blowout of the shilled and lying housing bubble got close, the players who caused it EXITED in advance of the rubes and went to basically more corn and oil trading, creating yet another huge fast spike and bubble, where they skimmed off trillions or some huge number. They got out early in housing and hedged by taking those fast profits and reshilling them again in another direction. The herds ALWAYS follow, so the big players can always stay ahead, because they cause and choose the direction in the first place.

You can't beat the house, you just can't, not forever anyway. They will *encourage you greatly to think so*, but that's part of the shill.


Submission + - cheatneutral - carbon offset parody, film+website

Carl Williams writes: "If you can offset your carbon emissions, why not your other indescretions?

The film (trailer here: 5) includes interviews about the film-makers' website, It's a very pithy send-up of the carbon-offset industry, cited by Alan Simpson (labour MP) in the British parliament to explain why "carbon offsetting" may not be quite the green panacea it's sold as.

In a masterstroke of irony, the film's author appears to have entered it into a film competition sponsored by Global Cool, a campaign charity which promotes carbon offsetting.

I think the contact address ( is a forward to that of the film's writer/director, Beth Stratford.

Usual disclaimers apply — no affiliation with 'em etc, just thought this was a rather nice application of a website just about on the plausible side of absurd, and I was tickled by the "biting the hand that feeds" element.


— Carl Williams"

Submission + - Star is found to be 13.2 billion years old

raguirre writes: reports that a star is found to be 13.2 billion years old . Recent cosmological studies show that the Big Bang occurred 13.7 billion years ago. The metal-poor star HE 1523 formed in our Milky Way galaxy soon afterwards, cosmologically speaking: 13.2 billion years ago. The primitive star contained the radioactive heavy elements uranium and thorium, and the amounts of those elements decay over time, each according to its own half-life. Today, astronomer Anna Frebel of the the University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory and her colleagues have deduced the star's age based on the amounts of radioactive elements it contains compared to certain other "anchor" elements, specifically europium, osmium and iridium.

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