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Comment Re:He is Mormon. He was in my Mormon congregation. (Score 1) 1475

You can think and believe whatever you want to think and believe. I have no problem with that.

The problem comes when you try to hijack the U.S. legislative system to force people who are not members of your religion to follow your religious strictures.

A church should be able to determine under which conditions it's own members get married in (as long as they still have freedom of religion to leave the church if they choose.) It should NOT be able to determine whether non-members of the church can get married.

How would you like it if your marriage was annulled because, say, the Catholics didn't approve of it?

Comment MOD PARENT UP (Score 1) 674

My point is that techies gab gab gab without making it simple to understand and digest. People want to learn and understand, but they need to be explained in simple terms. I find financial calculations a piece of cake and have no problem creating the derivatives that are causing problems. Yet most people consider this stuff mumbo jumbo and fake. (BTW its not!)

I ran out of Mod points yesterday.

I've found that people are actually quite interested in understanding things, when I explain them well in a way that makes it clear how it affects them. (When I just blab on about a pet topic, not so much. But taking the time to figure out what needs to be conveyed, and conveying it well in an engaging manner can work wonders.)

Worse, if you come into it with the attitude that the person that you're talking to is dumb for not already getting it? They will pick up on that whether you actually say it or not. And it will not make them inclined to really hear your point.

Comment Re:Old News (Score 1) 242

I have no words. Easily one of the best comments in a while! And due to your complaints, Verizon has decided that next month they will only take your appendix. I mean, it's useless, right?

Actually, I've read that for about the first 20 years of your life, your appendix helps train your immune system. It collects nasty gunk, and uses it to build anti-bodies against whatever trace elements of pathogens are in the nasty gunk. So it's propensity for collecting nasty gunk and letting it sit there actually has a valid purpose.

Comment Re:You keep using that word, but... (Score 1) 391

I agree that they shouldn't have used "censorship". Not even "censorship-like". But if you get past that and realize what they are saying is (or should be), "How can we get the BEST results to rise to the top, instead of just the most popular results (since the two are often not the same)?" then you have an interesting (and more accurate) discussion.

However, while using loaded words like "censorship" gets peoples' attention, when the word is misapplied, you're going to have a hard time drawing people away from the word to the subject at hand

Thus, instead of a productive conversation about how good information can get lost in the flood, we're instead going to discuss why that doesn't constitute censorship. Good opportunity wasted by the misuse of a loaded word.


Acorns Disappear Across the Country 474

Hugh Pickens writes "Botanist Rod Simmons thought he was going crazy when couldn't find any acorns near his home in Arlington County, Virginia. 'I'm used to seeing so many acorns around and out in the field, it's something I just didn't believe,' said Simmons. Then calls started coming in about crazy squirrels. Starving, skinny squirrels eating garbage, inhaling bird feed, greedily demolishing pumpkins. Squirrels boldly scampering into the road. And a lot more calls about squirrel roadkill. Simmons and Naturalist Greg Zell began to do some research and found Internet discussion groups, including one on Topix called 'No acorns this year,' reporting the same thing from as far away as the Midwest up through New England and Nova Scotia. 'We live in Glenwood Landing, N.Y., and don't have any acorns this year. Really weird,' wrote one. 'None in Kansas either! Curiouser and curiouser.' The absence of acorns could have something to do with the weather and Simmons has a theory about the wet and dry cycles. But many skeptics say oaks in other regions are producing plenty of acorns, and the acorn bust is nothing more than the extreme of a natural boom-and-bust cycle. But the bottom line is that no one really knows. 'It's sort of a mystery,' Zell said."

Comment Re:Speaking of losers... (Score 2, Interesting) 265

What about all those companies that paid those don't-sue-us fees to SCO back in 2002? Are they going to step forward and demand their money back, now that the entire basis for this shakedown has been invalidated?

Blood. Turnip.

Doesn't do a lot of good to go to the effort of suing someone who doesn't have a dime to give you for your efforts-- they'd be in line behind the people who SCO has already been ordered to pay, and SCO is already insolvent.

Comment Re:Color is hard to do (Score 1) 398

You're mistaken, all displays use RGB.

Nope. E-ink displays pixels aren't made of light. The pixels are opaque black and white spheres-- the only "light" involved is the sun, candle, or lamp that you're reading by. Hence, subtractive color, (rather than additive color like a monitor.)

That's why it only needs power to change the display, not to maintain it-- and a big part of why it's so much easier on the eyes than a monitor is.

Comment Re:i like the idea of the kindle (Score 1) 398

Because Sony and Amazon are making their money on the books, but Illiad is just selling you the hardware to do whatever you want with.

In other words, for the same reason that a Cannon printer costs a ton more than a Lexmark-- but the Lexmark is more expensive in the long run because they sell the printer at a loss and then gouge you on ink.

Comment Re:Related Studies (Score 2, Informative) 193

Even those who aren't actively watching television tend to show negative side-effects if a TV is on in the same room. I recall this one study about background TV causing abnormal development in attention spans.

This doesn't surprise me. I grew up constantly bombarded by TV and I hated it.

I also found it mesmerizing and addictive. Which only made me hate it more. And even if it was a show I hated, I often couldn't get away from it, because I could hear it from my bedroom-- or, when visiting my dad's house, my "bedroom" was the livingroom with the TV in it, so there was nowhere I could go to escape when the damn thing was on. And I couldn't even go to bed until everyone else in the house was done watching TV for the night.

Yes, I know there are a lot of good shows that I miss out on by not having a TV. But having finally, finally escaped it's tyranny, I have never in my adult life been able to bring myself to set one up in my house.

I wasted enough hours in front of the TV growing up-- sometimes willingly, sometimes not-- to last a lifetime. I'm DONE.

Comment Re:these sorts of interfaces worry me (Score 1) 54

If we come to expect interfaces to devices to be hidden and embedded in desktops and surrounding walls we are going to spend half our lives scratching and poking at inanimate things.

I am all for integration of technology but things like this and the hidden table things will just make us look stupid.

Nah, it'll just be like Bluetooth


Ten years ago, someone walking down the street talking loudly to themselves was assumed to be crazy. Now they're assumed to be talking on the cellphone.

So it this catches on, there will be a brief period where people using these devices look like they have some sort of nervous tick, followed by a long period of time in which people with certain kinds of nervous ticks blend in better because everyone just assumes they're writing a note to themselves

Comment Re:Quite a show (Score 1) 128

I lived near Fenway Park during the 2004 world series. You know the flyover with the supersonic jets that they did during the opening ceremonies for the series? Um, yeah. Huge boom, windows of my apartment rattling like there had been an explosion, every car alarm on the street went off simultaneously, every dog on the block started freaking out at the same time. People sticking their heads out windows or standing on the sidewalk looking around trying to figure out what the fsck just happened.

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The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford