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Comment This is such great news for son (Score 4, Interesting) 270

My son is 13 years old and has been training to be a pilot since he was 11. He has taken off and landed a small airplane (with the PIC in the airplane with him, of course) quite a few times. It just goes to show that landing an airplane isn't as difficult as some people think it is ... it just requires focus and passion. Both of which my son has in spades when he's flying an airplane.

This news story struck me as wonderful news. My son has wanted to be a pilot since he was three years old. If you are one of the lucky few (I am not) who knew what he wanted to be for his whole life, then I envy you as much as I envy my son for having a singular great dream. The notion of drones and computerized pilots scares me because it threatens that dream. Stories in which autopilots and drones are slandered make me happy.

Comment Re:Good. (Score 1) 761

Especially if your children are at the age where they instinctively put things in their mouths, you need to watch them at all times.

Spoken like a true non-parent.

There are NO parents who watch their children "at all times". How long does it take for a child to pick something up, put it in their mouth, and swallow it? About a second, perhaps. If you really "need" to watch a toddler "at all times", think about all the things that are difficult to do because you have to be hawk-like hovering over the child like a neurotic poltergeist without even one second of inattentiveness. Things like: cooking, watching the road (instead of the child) while driving, sex, and probably most importantly, watching your other children.

Comment IOS6 means surrendering some rights to free speech (Score 1) 143

I jailbreak my IOS device for one very important reason: /etc/hosts. This is VERY important to me. If I access an internet resource, there's nothing stopping it from telling my device, "Hey, also get this other resource without asking the user for permission!" In other words, it speaks on my behalf. My right to free speech also means freedom from compulsory speech. /etc/hosts means that I can control which resources are accessed on my behalf.

Apple (and all other money-making enterprises) hate this notion because it interferes with their potential profit. This is why we have to rely on jailbreaking to restore these free speech rights. My IOS5 device is jailbroken, but I cannot get an untethered jailbreak for IOS6.

IANAL. Doesn't matter. This is a philosophical issue.

Comment Users aren't that crazy about privacy (Score 1) 529

What a tragedy. Ubuntu's focus on ease of use was such a great leap forward for Linux usability. Now they've lost the plot and forgot about their constituency, instead trying to drive more and more revenue with things the user's don't actually want.

Does anyone want Facebook? How is it that Facebook is free?

When users want "privacy", they want to make sure that their location isn't tracked ... until they want to be able to share that with their friends and know where there is an available parking space. To say that by sacrificing our privacy we will have a much richer lifestyle is a tautology by this point. For example, it's happened more than once that I found someone on the Internet using a service that they didn't expressly consent to, and they were delighted that I found them because they had been looking for me and were unable to find me. What was more important -- that I respected their privacy, or that we have a newly-kindled friendship?

When RMS talks about "privacy", keep in mind the monk-like lifestyle he leads. http://stallman.org/stallman-computing.html

I'd be willing to accept an "apples and oranges" rejoinder.

Comment Coffee snobbery is real (Score 1) 584

I understand "sobbery" to mean "using one's experience or preferences as an excuse to abuse or patronize". There is no excuse; hence, I despise snobbery.*

The worst kinds of snobbery exist in things where the experience cannot be proven; i.e., it relies solely on taking the person's word and social proof. The number one candidate for this kind of behavior would be wine. There have been many scientific experiments performed on wine drinkers and even wine tasters and it proves that what people taste is money, not the "subtle nuances of crushed fruit". The "art" of "coffee appreciation" is still in its infancy when compared to that of wine, but it exists nonetheless.

The most important aspect of coffee is that it simply not taste bad. I drink it black, so I cannot tolerate any flavors of like dirt, mold, gym sock, or charcoal. But beyond that, I think most of the good flavors that people "detect", "get", or "pick up" are indistinguishable from the purely imaginary flavors that people "detect", "get", or "pick up". Expresso? French press? Whatever, as long as it doesn't taste bad.

* I have to own up to one kind of snobbery of which I am very proud: I am a snob snob. That is, I am a snob of other snobs. A snobboisseur, if you will. So far, I have found all other snobs deficient. Not a single one of them is good enough for the likes of me.

Comment Blaming the victim (Score 2) 386

Leaving his passport and money in an unsecured location was a stupid and idiotic move on *his* part (although I bet that that is probably somewhat offset by him being distracted for a moment). And yes I know that this sounds like blaming the victim, but there is a point where you have to take responsibility for your own actions.

If you just change a few specifics, but not the tenor, in your argument, you'll get a drastically different result. To wit:

"Leaving her hotel room dressed like such a slut was a stupid and idiotic move on *her* part. And yes, I know that this sounds like blaming the victim, but there is a point where you have to take responsibility for your own actions."

Comment Re:Ok then let's hear it (Score 1) 464

If you've got some magic fix for it, then let's hear it. If not then quit with the "America should be able to fix it!"

You can't fix stupid. So they will fail in every attempt to "solve homelessness". But OP wasn't talking about homelessness. Bitsy Boffin was talking about America and how much he hates it. The homelessness tack is incidental.

Comment Re:I really hate this article (Score 1) 464

Indeed! "What about the chiiiiiiiiildren?" It works for both conservatives and liberals.

There are millions of stories of stupid, lazy people doing stupid, lazy things that screw up their own lives and the lives of their victims. And then, once in a blue moon, one of these losers spawns a genius. It is the proverbial pearl in a mountain of shit. But if you stare deeply into that pearl, allowing it to fill your vision entirely, then you can feel inspired enough to write a heartwarming human interest story. Maybe that story will be so powerful that you will inspire people to say, "But what about the chiiiiiiiildren?" and ignore the masses of stupid, lazy people out there making life worse for everyone.

Comment Re:I really hate this article (Score 1) 464

I might add especially the 1%ers who inherited their wealth.

If everybody started from a level playing field the wealth disparity would be much easier to tolerate.

The way it is, the US turns into a neo-feudal society.

Yes, it sucks that other kids had a trust fund and we didn't. (Likewise, it also sucks that we were born in the US as opposed to, say, North Korea or Uganda, but let's stay focused on our first-world problems.)

How would you imagine "fixing" this problem? Ignore for the time being that you can no longer bequeath your wealth to your children, or to anyone else that you like, for that matter. When someone dies, all of their wealth is sized by the government to be "spread equally" among ... who exactly? Everyone? How do you imagine that working out in practice? Well, since we will elect angels, not fallible humans, to government positions, then they will be perfect and show absolutely no favoritism or individual biases about what is most worthy of "investment", right? Of course not, because angels don't exist, power corrupts, and we're talking about pigs who now have a individual's wealth to divvy up as best as they see fit. This is actually a much faster method of turning the US into a neo-feudal society, with all wealth from someone seized when someone dies (accidentally?) and spread out as best as our rulers see fit (Now! With GULAG!).

Maybe you should re-read the book _Animal Farm_ knowing that it was written by a socialist. Notice how I used the word "pigs" to describe our rulers? It wasn't a throwaway insult. It's a reference to that book.

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