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Comment Re:American problem is American (Score 5, Informative) 431

Driers are useful when the conditions outside aren't amenable to drying clothing. For example, if the outside temperature is below freezing, which is common in many places for at least one month out of the year, clothing turns into icicles. Or if it's raining outside. Or if it's early spring and the local farmers are spreading manure in their fields in preparation for the spring harvest, and you don't want your clothing to smell like manure after a few hours outside. (For the record, I have no objection to living near farmers who use manure. I just keep my windows closed at certain times of the day and don't hang my laundry out to dry.)

As for interior, my current apartment doesn't have room for me to put a drying rack anywhere that I won't trip over it.

There are valid reasons for someone to own a drier and not hang their clothing outside.

Comment Re: More US warmongering (Score 5, Insightful) 755

The first gas attack in Ghouta in 2013 was confirmed by the UN to be initiated by the (US backed) rebels.

Incorrect. The UN report only confirms that chemical weapons had been used, but said nothing about responsibility. This is the conclusion from the UN report on Ghouta:

108. The United Nations Mission concludes that chemical weapons have been used in the ongoing conflict between the parties in the Syrian Arab Republic.
Ghouta, 21 August 2013
109. The United Nations Mission collected clear and convincing evidence that chemical weapons were used also against civilians, including children, on a relatively large scale in the Ghouta area of Damascus on 21 August 2013.
110. This conclusion was based on the following:
(a) Impacted and exploded surface-to-surface rockets, capable to carry a chemical payload, were found to contain Sarin;
(b) Close to the rocket impact sites, in the area where patients were affected, the environment was found to be contaminated by Sarin;
(c) The epidemiology of over 50 interviews given by survivors and health-care workers provided ample corroboration of the medical and scientific results;
(d) A number of patients/survivors were clearly diagnosed as intoxicated by an organophosphorous compound;
(e) Blood and urine samples from the same patients were found positive for Sarin and Sarin signatures.

The US, UK, France and Human Rights Watch blame Assad based on the trajectory of the rockets and type of rocket used (see Appendix 5 of the report). The Russians claim the Syrian government handed them material proof that the rebels carried out the attacks, but to my knowledge neither Russia or Syria ever made that evidence publicly available.
You're free to believe what you like, but don't misrepresent what's in the actual report. We're Slashdot and we're better than that.

Comment Re:Note to self (Score 1) 227

I concur. I stopped buying Sony products after the root-kit debacle in 2005. I don't by Apple products because I don't like their walled garden model. Samsung was my go-to for a while since they made decent products and didn't seem to view their customer base as chattel, but the recent incidents with the Galaxy Note 7 are making me wary of purchasing anything else from them.

The usual laissez-faire counter-argument is "go make your own" but most of us don't have the time or expertise to build our own printers (or cellphones, or cars, or tractors, or....). Fair Phone seems to be making a stab at on the cell phone front (though that does nothing to alleviate the service provider problem) but I'm not aware of many other companies or outfits doing anything similar on other fronts.

Comment Re:What about electrical, plumbing etc? (Score 1) 315

While joining copper pipe is a PITA, cutting copper isn't all that difficult if you've got a half-way decent pipe cutter. Shouldn't cost you more than $10 at your local hardware store.
If you're not familiar w/ PEX piping, I can't recommend it highly enough. I bought a fixer-upper some years ago and used PEX to re-route several water lines as part of the remodel. Connecting PEX to existing copper lines isn't terribly difficult, you just have to make sure you have the right-size compression fitting.

Comment Re:What about electrical, plumbing etc? (Score 1) 315

I didn't see a geographic location mentioned in the story, but building regulations vary from state to state here in the US. Some states require you hire a licensed specialist for particular types of constructions. In other states, anyone can do any type of work but are required to have it inspected by a licensed professional or building inspector prior to moving on to related jobs. For example, you can do your own electrical work but you're required to have the box and wiring inspected before you start attaching outlets and fixtures.

Comment Re:Won't work in America (Score 1) 630

I heartily agree with resurrecting the CCC and/or WPA. Unfortunately I see two major political obstacles to their return. The first would come from the private construction sector who would argue the government would effectively underbid them on all public construction projects and thereby force them out of that market. The second would be the http://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cpsee_e16.htm). I could easily see someone like Ta-Nehisi Coates claiming such programs were inherently racist, due to the kind of work being done.

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