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Comment Re:All these bans are useless security theatre (Score 3) 244

If the point is to spread terror, the destroying an aircraft seems to be more effective than blowing up a queue. Not only is the visual of an aircraft crashing to the earth more vivid, but it demonstrates that security itself is ineffective.

Depends on the size of the bomb. Anything that could get through airport security is likely going to be somewhat limited in size. You could have multiple suitcase-size bombs in security at once and effectively blow up an entire airport with several of them. You don't think the "visuals" of that would spread terror?

The empirical evidence is absolutely clear -- if terrorists REALLY wanted to spread terror, they have opportunities EVERYWHERE to do it. And many countries which have actually had a terror problem have seen it: buses blowing up, people blowing up in a major city square, etc. That kind of stuff would be much more effective in spreading terror, because it impacts people's everyday lives... getting on buses or subways or going to work. Most people don't fly on planes everyday, but if they start worrying that going to the mall puts them at risk because people are congregating there, that starts to seriously disrupt everyday lives.

As we saw clearly a few months ago, if you really wanted to spread terror, it's just as effective (if not more so) to do it in an unexpected way -- e.g., rent a big truck and just drive through a crowd on a holiday. The fact that this doesn't happen on a regular basis (despite extremist leaders calling for people to run over people with trucks for nearly a decade -- seriously, look it up) just goes to show how small the number of mentally ill people willing to execute terrorist acts really is.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 4, Insightful) 244

Actually, the countries were singled out by the Obama administration.

Why do people keep saying this? Trump issued the ban. Trump has told us almost every day for the past year that he's smarter than everyone else, that he's the one "with the facts," that he's got "tremendous" people working for him who are the smartest and greatest, etc.

So why are you (presumably a Trump supporter) so anxious to "pass the buck" and claim this has anything to do with Obama? Surely the man who's smarter than everyone else and has all these "tremendous" people working for him should be able to make changes to a list of countries if all of his superior access to facts warranted a change, right?

(And regardless of what the Obama administration may have said or done about this list of countries, they obviously didn't think a travel ban was necessary, so claiming this is in anyway related to Obama is completely disingenuous. And I say this as someone who thinks Obama's presidency in general was a horrific disappointment, by the way.)

There are, however, travel restrictions that affect incoming flights from certain countries known to harbor large numbers of people who have threatened to kill large numbers of Americans in as spectacular a fashion as they can muster.

Hmm... and yet we don't get countries that actually are KNOWN to harbor terrorists and which HAVE actually been the origin of terrorist events in the U.S. on this banned list. Biggest example: Saudi Arabia, but there are plenty of others known to have large numbers of people who hate the U.S. too.

Oh wait, restricting travel with a place like Saudi Arabia might interfere with business deals and such.... well, we can't have THAT happening. Who cares if some more pesky terrorists get through from there, as long as our business deals are intact? (The true priorities here are very clear.)

Comment Re:Five years? (Score 2) 128

Five years worth of OS support? Really? That's totally impractical or very expensive for any non-Linux professional.

Well, you have a point. But I'd note that it was only a few years back that LTS was only 3 years for Ubuntu, and if you really wanted a functional system, you probably should be updating with every 6-month release (which would finally make some things work but inevitably break other things). This is one of the reasons I abandoned Ubuntu several years ago. It's gotten a lot better in the past 5 years or so, and the support for releases has been extended.

Not that this should excuse anything, but this is longer than it used to be.

Another important thing to note, however, is that Linux tends to be more stable across OS versions, so you can often upgrade after 3-5 years to the new OS version and carry most of your old stuff directly with little disruption in interface or problems with incompatibility between old and new software versions. (Of course, as with everything, YMMV.)

But it's NOT like, say, Windows, where you often get stuck learning a completely new interface every few years. Even if the default environment changes from release to release, you can generally still choose among the standard ones.

Comment Re:The BBC is not the FBI (Score 2) 122

I am also very sceptical to your claim that "FBI is allowed to distribute child pornography". To what end? Entrapment?

Yes. A quick internet search will clearly show multiple incidents where the FBI has run dozens of child porn websites. Generally, this seems to have happened when they've taken control of an illegal site, and then they keep it running for months to try to catch users, but frankly it wouldn't surprise me at all if this were sometimes expanded to blatant distribution for entrapment purposes.

It brings up all sorts of questions, and I'm really not sure how one can justify it legally. In the U.S., the logic seems to be that the mere act of possessing child pornography is a crime against the victims or against potential future victims (by creating a "market" for it). Unless the FBI could somehow completely control the distribution and limit it ONLY to people it could catch (seems unlikely), keeping child porn sites going for weeks or months seems to be going against the very legal principles the laws are set up under.

Anyhow, this is a well-known practice by the FBI, and there have been a number of stories about it over the past few years (including here on Slashdot).

Comment Re:"It's a feature, not a bug" - seriously (Score 3, Insightful) 469

But is it legal for a city to restrict public roads like that? I think there would be some legal road blocks with that concept(pun intended).

Yes, it is legal for a city to do such things, particularly in the name of public safety. Residential areas are frequently zoned, parcelled, and otherwise designed with an expected traffic volume. Increase that volume significantly with a bunch of frantic rush-hour drivers, and suddenly your school is no longer located on a "safe" street, and hazards are created by pedestrians, frequent driveways, kids playing, etc.

Controlling traffic on streets to try to keep it to its designed volume for safety reasons is no different from prohibiting you from parking near an intersection or next to a fire hydrant or whatever on a "public road," also in the name of safety.

Comment Re:Public roads? (Score 4, Insightful) 469

Are the roads paid for by public taxes? They're public roads.

Well, for one, commuters frequently are cutting through roads which aren't in their own community. So, unless it's a state road or something, they may not be paying taxes for these roads.

Second, neighborhoods are often planned and zoned based on assumed traffic patterns. For example, they may choose to put a school or tight residential areas farther away from heavy traffic commuter highways -- for safety reasons. If you suddenly start routing rush-hour traffic through there, it can create hazards with pedestrians, driveways, kids playing, etc.

The problem isn't new, though -- and many towns and cities even have policies on the books to deal with it. The difference is that in years past traffic patterns would change over years or decades, whereas now they can be altered quite suddenly with a map app's algorithm. Long before stuff like Waze, the city I used to live in had a series of progressive restrictions it would make on streets that exceeded their designed traffic load for the zoning, etc.

They'd put in more one-way streets to make it more difficult to navigate the area without a lot of turns, then introduce things like raised crossings to slow people down (and help point out places where pedestrians might be very common), eventually they'd covert some streets to cul-de-sacs, and in a worst case scenario might even put a mid-block barrier to stop traffic going through entirely.

These weren't actions undertaken by citizens -- this was official stuff in the municipal code of the city, authorized by the city's governing council, elected by the city's taxpayers who paid for the city's road maintenance. If you're a commuter who doesn't like those policies... drive on somebody else's "public roads."

Comment Re:Isn't is apparent? (Score 1) 160

Hasn't elinks been abandoned? The last unstable update was 5 years ago, and the last stable version was 3 years before that. Out of curiosity, I just checked the website and almost all the links to user forums, dev forums, etc. are dead. Lynx and Links (the latter having some features of elinks) are at least actively maintained.

Comment Re:Of course just knowing is gross, but... (Score 1) 215

Except that the filtration and *chlorination* systems are often NOT up to par, certainly not in a manner that will kill, well, shit, cholera, skin disease, etc.
If I don't smell chlorine in the air, i don't get in the pool.
If I don't both feel and taste the hints of chlorine in the pool, i get out.

What's hilarious about this comment is how utter ignorance actually results in the OPPOSITE behavior of what you desire. If you smell chlorine and the water stings your eyes, etc., it's chemical proof that (1) the pool is likely not be being treated correctly and/or (2) the pool has elevated concentrations of urine, sweat, and other bodily junk -- which produce the chemical byproducts that you smell. That's NOT the chlorine itself -- it's a sign NOT to go into the water if you're fearful of those things.

If the pool "stinks of chlorine," it's likely much more full of urine.

Comment Re:Poor on $100k? Sure (Score 1) 805

but is it realistic to imagine Bay area tech workers spending their weekends baking bread, peeling potatoes, cleaning resulting dishes and doing whatever else it takes to minimize food costs?

As others have said, there are "no knead" bread recipes which are well-known which literally take a couple minutes of measuring ingredients and stirring. With some recipes, you can even store the resulting dough in the fridge, cut off a piece for a weekday dinner, take 30 seconds to shape let sit on the counter for an hour, and bake for fresh bread any day of the week. Bread is one of those things that CAN take hours of attention if you want, but it can also be done with minimal time and attention.

Peeling potatoes? First, as someone else said, just leave the skin on. And don't these people with disposable incomes to get takeout every day have dishwashers?

There are lots of ways to make cooking and food prep more efficient, and plenty of books that can tell you how. The simplest thing to do for an exceptionally busy person is to learn several slow-cooker recipes. Many of these things can literally be dumped into a slow-cooker on the weekend in a matter of a few minutes, and then 8 hours later, you have a complete dish that can be frozen in portions for later use. Near instant "TV dinner," and generally for a tiny fraction of the cost. Do a different dish in bulk every weekend, and pretty soon you have a freezer of dinner options for the weekdays.

But that's for the person who literally has no time on weekdays. If you even have 10-15 minutes for prep, you can do a lot more variety and interesting (and fresher) stuff once you know how to be efficient with your time. It can often be faster than running out to the local take-out joint if you know what you're doing.

Comment Re:Don't forget about your government spending (Score 1) 805

Even in the Bay area, I can feed an individual human pretty decently for under $100/month

You can feed a person for that much. "Decently"? I would dispute that. They aren't going to starve if that's what you are saying but it won't be an ideal sort of diet.

Depends on what you mean by "ideal sort of diet." Will it have a lot of variety? Perhaps not. For example, a lot of beans, lentils, etc. for protein instead of meats. A lot of it is also how much prep you're willing to do (usually necessary if you want more variety -- you can still do it cheap and balanced if you just want to dump a bunch of lentils in slow cookers or whatever).

Anyhow, it's certainly possible to eat a nutritious diet with a budget like that. You just need to know a little about what you're doing.

Comment Re:Taste Score (Score 2) 242

Oh, and by the way, I want to be clear I'm not some "natural foods" nutter, nor do I have some sort of militant belief in avoiding anything "processed" because of some mysterious "chemicals" or whatever. I simply found over the years that I can make foods a lot better at home than most stuff I can buy that's pre-packaged. We didn't set out to make our kid this way. He just happened to be born into a household that just didn't buy a lot of stuff from the junk food aisles... and I think it significantly affected his default assumptions about food.

Comment Re:Taste Score (Score 5, Interesting) 242

Let's have a focus group of 5 years old and see if they prefer Doritos or fresh halibut.

What culture were the 5-year-olds raised in? What foods were they exposed to? Seriously: food preferences and cultural preferences start developing at a much younger age.

Even foods "all kids love" may not really be so. My son hated sweets until he was 3 years old. HATED them. We gave him a piece of his first birthday cake, and he spit it out and literally scraped the remainder off of his tongue with his hands. We never tended to have sweets in the house, so he was never exposed to anything like that before. I think he had the same reaction I do now to regular Coke -- it's so sickeningly sweet that I'm repulsed by it. It's positively unnatural.

My kid instead barely experienced refined carbs probably for the first couple years of his life. I baked at home for him the only bread he consumed. We weren't trying to "hide" sweets from him -- in fact, we offered them to him quite a few times. Inevitably, he'd take a small bite of the cookie or whatever and then put it down. We didn't eat a lot of the stuff either, so it didn't matter to us. One thing his mother really likes though is ice cream, so she kept trying to introduce that, and he'd spit it out.

His favorite foods when he was 2 included things like sauted bitter greens and eating beans basically right out of a can. Oh yeah, and bacon. And just about any kind of meat. But sweets? Absolutely not. Any kind of "chip"? Once he was old enough, we offered, and he hated them. It wasn't until he was 6 or so that he actually started to be interested in things like potato chips, but Doritos would still be summarily rejected.

He simply grew up without a lot of processed foods in the house, so they were unfamiliar and weird to him -- often with extreme and bizarre flavors, so he rejected them.

So weren't we shocked when for his 3rd birthday party he requested cupcakes! Huh? The kid who for years rejected every sweet thing we offered for years? Turns out that unbeknownst to us, his new daycare facility (the first time he had been in regular daycare) served cupcakes to all the kids as a treat on every kid's birthday. So he came to associate cupcakes with celebration, and that was finally enough to overcome his revulsion of things that were too sweet. It was the ASSOCIATION of sweets that made them appealing, not the flavor by itself. (Note that he loved stuff like fruits since he was a baby... it was only the stuff that was a lot sweeter like candy and cookies and cakes that he rejected.)

I'm sure not all kids would be like this, even if they weren't exposed to as many processed foods at a young age. But keep in mind that it's NOT flavor alone that makes processed foods appealing -- it's what they do to your body. They are cheap easy calories, often packaged conveniently with little or no preparation, and they cause metabolic reactions that often lead to overeating (especially stuff like Doritos, which fool your body with flavors that mimic savory stuff but only provide cheap carbs and fats, which leads your body to say, almost literally, "Where's the beef?" and thus encourage more eating....).

If you don't get far enough with processed foods to experience those reactions, the taste alone may not be enough to hook you. Try spending a few months away from the "junk food aisles" and learn to cook things for yourself, and see how much you really miss. Sure, there are a few specific cravings I still may get for the junk food stuff, but mostly I now find the flavors less significantly appealing than "real food."

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