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Comment Re:Never was a reasonable conversation (Score 1) 112

I simply have the right to decide what I put into my body, regardless of what you think about it.

If you had the magical ability to not spread viruses, I would accept your statement, but you do not. When you have measles, it is exactly the same as walking around town with a handful of hypodermic needles, injecting random passers-by with viruses. You violate everyone else's "right to decide what they put in their bodies."

You live in a society, made of other people. Therefore, you have some responsibility towards the others who you interact with to provide you with food, gasoline, clothing, education, fire protection, etc., etc., etc.

The good news is that vaccines don't need to hit 100% of the population to be effective enough to prevent an outbreak. "Herd immunity" prevents the wide spread of a disease when most of your neighbors are immune. A level somewhere between 80-95% vaccinated is enough to stop an outbreak. But that's a very high level to achieve voluntarily. Vaccines are ineffective in some people. Some people with auto-immune diseases, or undergoing certain therapies, or are just too frail, can't risk taking some vaccines. And some people are so isolated by either geography, finances, or intelligence that they lack the opportunities to learn that they need vaccinations. Between those groups, there is almost no extra safety margin for tolerating people who think they deserve some special exemption because they "believe in" something divine, or think they have some special rights that they themselves violate on a daily basis.

We don't have a special "isolation island" to keep unvaccinated people from putting the rest of us at risk. Instead, we pass laws that enforce schoolchildren to put something in their bodies, or else we deny them schooling. But that's all the control we have, so far. Instead, we have to rely on public health education, and hope people voluntarily comply.

What we really could use would be swift punishment for the anti-vax deniers. Unfortunately, that crosses swords with free speech. So instead, we have to hope we can convince people that anti-vaxxers are stupid, hostile, anti-social jihadist monsters who are trying to destroy humanity with their lies and bioterroristic weapons. It turns out that a disturbingly high number of people are so extremely gullible or stupid that it's not as effective a strategy as we need.

Comment Re:So, the fascist douchehammers stepped back. (Score 1) 79

Isn't it about time someone came up with a printer that isn't based around proprietary rip off cartridges!

You mean someone like Brother, or Canon? I have never bought a printer from either company that had a DRM-chipped ink tank.

I stopped buying Epson printers when they came out with chipped ink tanks. And I have never bought HP printers because their older Windows drivers were always heinous pieces of crap, and by the time they figured out that drivers shouldn't cause clumsy on-screen popup dialogs, they had added chips to their cartridges.

That said, I've never had good luck with refills or third party ink, so I only buy OEM cartridges anyway. That's the reward Brother and Canon get for making high quality products that don't try to screw me.

Comment Re:Looking for the exit (Score 2) 51

A Google login, whether you get it via gmail or "G Suite", ties into all of the Android apps and keeps search history and integrates it into other Google products, and runs synchronization of most app data so they can see a great deal of what you do on the phone. About the worst that you can do is turn on device management. It will take about two days to turn off and during that time it will do its very best to force your email users to put their devices under your control. After that you apparently even have control over booting of the device. It's enough to make me want to support another open phone. Mozilla just gave up the ghost on that.

Comment Re:Good! (Score 1) 231

You might get an email, but that just tells you that they think it will be delivered that day, not that it will. Besides, what are you going to do, bring a chair to the utility room and camp out waiting for them to deliver a package? Even if you check a few times on that day, you still won't see it for three or four hours, and that's still bad.

Comment Re:And yet... (Score 1) 111

I had a similar thought, that these horrible amounts of pollution aren't doing a damned thing to reduce the net birth rate.

No, the net birthrate seems unaffected by this. It IS, however, affected by wealth. The wealthier societes (Japan, EU, US, places like that) are seeing declines in birthrates, to the point that Japan is already seeing negative population growth, with the EU and USA heading that way rapidly....

Comment Re:Doubtful (Score 1) 231

They don't need planes for the vast majority of their deliveries. Amazon has distribution centers in 21 states, within 20 minutes of something like 30% of the population, and within plausible single-day delivery range of probably the majority of the population. So for products that are frequently ordered (and thus are stocked at every depot), they can deliver to almost everyone on the same day by truck, or rent a few small warehouses in a few places and deliver the next day to probably 80–90% of the U.S. population.

Sure, they'll still rely on UPS/FedEx/OnTrac for deliveries that involve distribution centers in other parts of the country, or for deliveries out into the boonies, but that makes up only a small percentage of their deliveries. And for the ones that don't require all of that, there's no real advantage to using a third-party trucking service over doing it in-house.

Comment Re:USPS (Score 1) 231

The "free two day shipping" I get from Prime is "two day by 8PM". Do you know your mailman delivers as late as 8PM? I know they don't here, and neither does UPS or FedEx.

As I understand it, you'll get packages at 8 if you're near a depot, if you're in a city with lots of businesses, or if your calendar says "December".

Even in your area, they probably deliver things late around the holidays. There's a period around Christmas where the package delivery services hire lots of extra temp employees to handle the extra load, and the delivery hours tend to get extended as a result. I think I even remember seeing one of the carriers in my neighborhood after 8 on occasion.

Also, if you're close to a FedEx or UPS depot, they'll do runs even later. Their depots are both within half a mile of the edge of my neighborhood, so every FedEx and UPS truck in the South Bay literally comes around the back side of my neighborhood when they get off the freeway an exit early to avoid the last two miles of parking lot on the 101.

As a result, I routinely see FedEx and UPS out at six or seven at night making their rounds as they work their way back to the depot at the end of the day, and I've seen multiple trucks doing deliveries here—presumably because they know that they can just toss our packages onto pretty much any truck that goes out that day, and it will be close enough to their route to not be a problem. :-)

Finally, if you have a lot of businesses nearby, they'll deliver your packages after hours. They have to get all of their business deliveries finished by 5:00 (or maybe 4:00, I forget), which means that home deliveries usually happen either early in the morning or in the evening.

As always, YMMV.

Comment Re:Good! (Score 1) 231

I keep having trouble with carriers leaving packages on Saturday and not bothering to ring the doorbell, then going out to church Sunday morning and finding them. I guess that because no other houses in my neighborhood have a doorbell there, they don't bother to look.

The irony, of course, is that package carriers are the main reason I installed a doorbell on that door in the first place.

Comment Re:Good! (Score 1) 231

They both tend to leave random packages on my porch that don't belong to me, as does OnTrac (the other shipper that Amazon seems to use here). Basically, my neighborhood doesn't have consecutive numbering, thanks to me being on a section of street that was added between two existing sections of street, so every time any of the carriers gets a new driver, I end up with packages for the house with a number one below mine, which is approximately half a mile away.

When they do this, it often takes multiple calls over multiple days to get the package removed. One time I got lucky and was able to chase down another FedEx driver who happened to drive by just as I got cut off while on hold with FedEx to call them to pick up a perishable overnight package of food, but the median redelivery time is at least two or three days.

Thus far, they haven't lost any of my packages yet, which could be because the house number below mine is at the end of the road, or maybe it is just just lucky timing. That said, now that I'm employed at a company big enough to have its own shipping and receiving department again, I should really go back to getting all my packages at work. It is just a lot more reliable, in my experience. :-)

Comment Re: meh (Score 1) 459

Military meals are designed with attention to the morale factor. Even the modern MRE is designed to help the soldier feel human in unfavorable surroundings. Apollo 10 was the first to officially test real bread. Gemini Astronauts smuggled aboard a kosher corned beef sandwich but it was stale and thus had too many crumbs which went airborne. By Apollo 10 it was discovered that nitrogen-flushed bread would stay fresh for 10 days. I'll have to try that.

Comment Re:How do IoT manufacturers... (Score 1) 114

Only for an hour, though I guess you could send a new blocking request every 45 minutes.

It would also let me block those idiots who keep trying to sign in to my servers via SSH. You'd think that when they send the original request (for authentication-free login) and the server says that it only accepts private key authentication, they wouldn't send thousands of password-based login attempts, but apparently the people who write those bots don't understand the SSH protocol very well, or else they just like wasting my bandwidth.

And I do periodically block them with filtering rules manually when I notice them, but I don't have time to scan the logs constantly, and they shift IPs often enough to make that problematic. But if I could make it so that the first password-based auth from an IP caused their attacks to immediately get blocked at their own edge router for an hour, it would be worth writing a log scanner.

Even better, ISPs could monitor their networks for those packets, and if a customer keeps getting blocked, they could contact the customer.

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