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Comment Re:Headline Is So Very Wrong (Score 1) 1193

This statement is moronic. The bottom 1/2 of all earners in the US pay NO taxes, while the top 10% pays 50% of all of the taxes. The top 1% pays 21% of all taxes. Please don't mod dimwitted political agendas up because you don't have the time to research their truthfulness.

Comment Re:Why a decade later (Score 1) 629


Because being a teenager in puppy-love is a perfect reason to slaughter a hundred kids with a sword and then undertake an endeavor to enslave the entire universe. The three prequels were horrible for so many, many reasons that it is difficult to pick just one to label their primary failing. Here is a short list...

1) Darth Vader - the archetypical evil incarnate character - becomes an infatuated teenager (this, I believe reflects Lucas's own experience with relationships)
2) Yoda - the zen master archetype - becomes a flexing action hero with a big sword and something to prove
3) Every action scene panders to the forthcoming video game
4) The comic relief is handled by two dimensional racial stereotypes

For the record, I am not now, and never have been the biggest fan of the original movies... better sci-fi is pretty common these days, and even back then there was much to celebrate that was not Star Wars. But, the first three movies were enjoyable, consistent, well acted and reasonably well directed. The prequels? Utter S#!t.

Comment Re:crap (Score 0) 297

I know that this will be off-topic, but I just wanted to say that insinuating that exponential economic growth cannot continue (as your sig does), shows a lack of understanding about what it is that people buy. Every year, more and more money is spent on things that don't actually comprise finite resources. Much these days is spent on software and other digital reproductions of things. I will agree that the population cannot grow exponentially forever, as each person requires a minimum amount of the finite resources in the world, but this does not mean that economic growth cannot continue unabated forever - it likely won't, but not because it can't. It is much more likely that it will come to a halt because of a catastrophe (or Socialism - but wait, I am redundant) than because it will run out of products for people to want.

The natural resource limitation would only apply to economic growth if people only bought natural resources. Most money is spent on shiny new stuff made out of progressively less real material. For instance, I spent more than $350 on an iPhone.


Comment Re:You Just Don't Know When to Shut Up, Do You? (Score 5, Insightful) 705

And how do the corporations originally acquire the power to regulate themselves into monopolies?

I'll concede that much of it has to do with being profitable enough to afford great lawyers and lobbyists to effect change in Washington. But the reason that they get into that game in the first place is because of regulation of their own business sector, and once in that position, they use their regulatory power for the express end of reducing competition, which is the only thing that businesses truly fear.

Here is an example of how it works. I am a linoleum floor manufacturer in the midwest, whose business scope is the entire US. There are about 4 other manufacturers that make linoleum with whom I compete. One day, one of my competitors makes a product using too much of a particular chemical and his floors poison house-pets; someone figures out that it is the floors, and "pop!", a new regulatory body comes into existence to regulate my industry. The first generation of regulators is made up entirely of goody-two-shoes bureaucrats whose mission in life is to stop the big bad corporations from poisoning fluffy, and so they put a few regulations in place to ensure that the manufacturing process is clean and healthy. While they are at it, they also put some specific regulations in place about supply chain, materials, and labor, driving up the cost of making linoleum, and therefore making it more expensive. Fast forward ten years. The first generation of regulators has been mostly replaced by new faces, and now that the poison scare is off the front page, and fluffy is once again safe, the primary interested party in linoleum manufacture regulation is, well, me and my industry. Because of this, we have put many of the second-gen regulators on the payroll, and or, put our own employees into the regulatory body, if possible. By the third generation of regulators, the industry magnates can put any regulations that they want in place, and use this power to stifle competition, artificially keeping linoleum prices high, and ensuring that any linoleum-making startup will have to have enormous capital, just to pay its attorneys to spelunk through the now fifteen books of regulations for its manufacture.

This is what most modern Socialists call unregulated free market capitalism. But it isn't. The fact that we have a political/social climate so willing to regulate industry is, ironically, the reason why industry is so notably ungoverned. The best, in fact, the ONLY way to regulate business is with demand. It isn't pretty, and it isn't proactive, but it is the only thing that works.


Comment Re:Good Job guys (Score 1) 783

I get offended by both equally... that being not at all for either.

Politicians (and by extension, their families) have all signed up for being the subjects of ridicule when they take the job. It is a small price to pay in exchange for the near limitless power conferred by their posts - especially the post of President of the United States, and especially in our post-constitutional-checks-and-balances political environment.

Comment Re:A better alternative (Score 1) 234

Hyperbolic fear-mongering.

If this were true, then the historical trends of the standard of living, human longevity, infant mortality, availability of technology - they would all be flat. Resource abundance tends to get used by intelligent people to secure advantage - by selling (or using for production) any product amount that extends personal utility. This is more true for energy than it is for any other resource, as there is no other resource whose utilitarian ubiquity is anywhere near comparable. While it is true that falling resource prices do create the incentive for greater waste, they have never appreciably changed the proportional amount of waste to additional production.

Anyone here still riding an ox to work?

Comment Encrypted vim and shorthand (Score 1) 1007

I use an encrypted file (to which I remember the encryption key) which has all of my logins and URLs, and the first 3 or 4 characters of the associated password. Between the file encryption and the fact that only a 25-30% fraction of each password is listed, I feel that I am pretty safe. My passwords tend to look like this:

$uns#!n34tn!t3 (sunshine at night) a typical entry would look like this: PunXX0r $un

Comment A very simple start... (Score 1) 432

Apple could allow the use of voice to text software for SMS on the iPhone. As one of the most popular handhelds, with no kinaesthetic feedback from the keyboard, it turns driving while texting from careless and foolish to completely reckless. Allowing 3rd party softwares to input text based upon voice recognition would seriously reduce distraction for people who, in spite of local prohibitions and good sense, continue to use their iPhones to text on the road. --PunXX

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