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Comment Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (Score 5, Informative) 231

Exactly this.

I've used this very tactic at home; I started out telling my wife that our entire AV setup is outdated, the larger living room in our new home necessitated a 70" TV and surround sound to fill the room, as well as my aging computer no longer being able to handle the demands of a home theater PC server...

What I actually really wanted: The green-light on building a new computer. We negotiated down from the TV, surround sound and new computer to just the new computer. My wife feels that that she managed to put the breaks on a lot of needless spending and I got exactly what I wanted short-term. In truth, I eventually want all three, but I have the patience to wait a while before complaining loudly that I can never hear the TV properly because of the crappy speakers, and the game will be afoot again. I wonder how long after the passage of SOPA or OPEN before they start complaining loudly that they can't fully protect us without expanding their reach to U.S. sites as well...

Comment Re:Splitting hairs (Score 1) 195

No cynical "pay-to-win" options will be implemented, he assured.

No, it's more of a pay-to-not-lose.

Simply wrong; you don't have to spend a dime to be competitive. Even new players can acquire the "key" weapons within a few weeks between earning weapons through (mostly) easy to accomplish class achievements and through the random drop system. The quality of your team-mates will be the determining factor in whether or not your team wins more than any gun you have ever will.

With achievements and random drops, you will either get what you want/need or you will have the raw materials to craft most of what you want/need. Any gaps in your arsenal can be filled by trading, all of which can be done at the cost of $0.00. I know this because I had the complete list of weapons right before the latest update and I spent no money to do it. In fact, I'm now using my pile of duplicate items to start crafting the most recent releases.

The only items that I've seen command high trading values are typically vanity items: Vintage weapons (when the non-vintage are exactly the same except they don't say "vintage", hats (no change to game play in almost all cases) or paint, none of which you need to play well and have fun.

It's a game that is now free; download it, play it and enjoy; but if you feel COMPELLED to pay money to have all the toys immediately yet REFUSE to do so, uninstall TF2 and move on. There's certainly nothing to be cynical about here.

Comment Re:Hmmm (Score 2) 838

Conan the Barbarian and most of the characters of discworld would disapprove. If you're going to die, do it AWESOMELY.

Cohen the Barbarian would probably be much more upset about you messing up his name, and for my money, dying on your own terms and in a method of your own choosing IS dying awesomely. I applaud you, Sir Terry

Comment Re:Now there are two gaps .. (Score 1) 194

We had canines for instance, that if we knew nothing about them other then their fossils, we would probably call different animals. So evolution as in one species becoming another and splitting and become yet another in the fossil record is a little of semantics to begin with.

So there was a time when it was believed that different breeds of dogs were so varied that they could not all be the same species. Then scientific investigation into the matter found that not only are they all part of the same species, they all descend from a common progenitor akin to wolves. An example of people absolutely believing one thing (as you imagine above) that was ultimately undone by sincere scientific inquiry, not leaps of faith and certainly not "semantics" either.

Without the complete chain, it's literally someone's imagination building off the available evidence to come to a conclusion.

Utterly ridiculous. You're claiming that without an absolutely exhaustive display of every conceivable piece of evidence that evolution can be dismissed? Scientists hypothesize based on available facts. They then work to see if those hypotheticals point to new discoveries, and if new discoveries are made that relate to the hypothesis, they test those notions against newly acquired facts. If the hypothesis holds up for long enough in the face of repeated testing it becomes a theory (still open to review and disproving). What doesn't happen is one bloke finding a fossil that appears to be of a fish-like creature going around trying to convince Christians that fish used to live in rocks since fossils are quite 'rock-like' in their consistency just because he's using his "imagination" to determine what he'd like to think is true.

You are essentially asking creationist to trust your imagination over their own because you said so and lots of others agree despite the fact that some other book said so also and a lot of others agree.

Creationists are being asked to do nothing more than be open to the notion that as new information and facts come to light that old beliefs may come crashing down. Sometimes that's in the form of people learning that birds are more closely related to dinosaurs than reptiles are, sometimes it's learning that the fantastic things you were taught about your super-powered invisible friend in the sky are bollocks.

Believe whatever you want to believe, but don't try to suggest that the faithful are entitled to invalidate scientific inquiry because it doesn't have every possible shred of evidence on everything, when they do not require ANY shred of evidence to justify continuing to cling to their childish superstitions.

Comment Re:Criminal Activity is IMPORTANT!!! (Score 1) 349

... set up an area of the border that is a DMZ...nothing human should cross into it...anyone that does, is a criminal, and BANG...taken care of....

So... someone who is crossing into the U.S. illegally to pick fruit for $4 an hour for a couple of months before going back deserves to die now? Perhaps those of you who see life as such a trivial thing to be extinguished for a wide array of offenses ranging from the trivial to the serious are the ones whose lives should be ended. I am not an advocate of the death penalty in any form, but if people need shooting as you seem to suggest, getting rid of the people like you with such violent tendencies is probably a huge step towards reducing a lot of our violent crimes.

Comment Re:Just a thought. (Score 1) 375

We, collectively are SO FULL OF SHIT.

The Catholic church is one of the most scientific religions out there

They may be "one of the most scientific religions out there" but they're way... way far away from being scientifically credible in their beliefs:

  • Transubstantiation
  • The flood drama
  • The immaculate conception
  • Only publicly acknowledging the validity of heliocentric theory in 1992; the earliest known examples of this theory date back to the 3rd century B.C.E.
  • The whole "invisible omnipotent ever-lasting man who listens to all our prayers and made everything" belief system, and so on...

Science tries to find theories to fit the facts; religions try to find facts to fit their theories. Being the most scientific religion is kind of like being the most "pro-nerd" bully in school. You may not hold the record for kids stuffed in lockers in a single semester, but no mathlete should ever let down his guard enough to turn his back on you...

Comment Re:That was easy! (Score 1) 250

Sheesh, leave your kids alone. Teach them guitar or the violin, don't geekazoid their ass.

They're going to be learning math no matter what; so what do you care if my kids learn this system as well as the (woefully inadequate) math taught in schools?

In addition to that, I never said that math was all I would teach my kids. Maybe it's your intention to teach only one thing to your children, but it's not mine. For example, I'll be teaching them that acquiring knowledge is nothing to be ashamed of and that people who believe that being a geek is a negative are worthy of nothing but contempt. Enjoy raising your musically inclined mediocrities.

Comment Re:That was easy! (Score 2, Informative) 250

While your grandmother may have had her own way of doing this, complex calculations can be done very quickly using the Trachtenberg system of mathematics.

I actually have the book and swore to myself that (while I didn't need those computational skills) my kids would be taught it... my first is on the way now so I guess it's time to dust it off (the book... not the child).

For anyone interested in learning these skills, here is the Amazon search result page

Comment Re:Obama should just call for elections (Score 0) 1530

Many of them are the people who just did they annual enrollment and discovered how much more their premiums went up because of it.

Even insurance companies are admitting that the new healthcare reforms will be responsible for maybe a 1 - 2% increase in their yearly costs. If your premiums jumped up a lot, blame your employer for providing such crappy insurance.

If you have a decent enough insurance plan (and mine is decent enough, not steallar) you won't see much of a shift in premiums. My health insurance cost went up by a lower % this year than last, before the health care bill passed. Guess why? Because my insurance already featured the benefits that the health care bill now requires everyone have access to (no charge for preventative care for example). The new law isn't increasing my insurance company's costs for me, so isn't increasing my costs to them.

As far as the majority opposing the health care reform, I haven't had a conversation yet with one person who opposed the new bill that actually had a lucid argument for opposing; they like the actual benefits (kids covered to 26, no charge for preventative services, children not being excluded due to preexisting illnesses, etc.), they just can't help but use words like "socialist" and "communist" when describing any effort to help the least of us get what should be a guaranteed right in any civilized country.

There may be a cogent argument for repealing the health care bill out there, but I haven't heard it yet. Every objection I've heard so far is the ranting of people who would rather cut off their own nose to spite their face.

Comment Another approach... (Score 1) 303

would be to focus on the real problem; the kids that are using these methods to pose as other students need to be charged with and convicted of identity theft! It's only when they have been punished to the fullest extent of the law that they will truly appreciate the value of a good education. I'm sure there are high school graduation programs available in Australian prisons and at least there we can be sure they will actually attend.

Comment This definitely won't lead to less freedom... (Score 2, Insightful) 76

How long before there's a false-positive (I don't believe that the skeletal structure is so unique that a body scan from a distance will NEVER make a mistake)? And following the false-positive, a plea for all good citizens to submit to a scan for the database, or to sign a release stating the government can have access to your medical records for the purposes of security and to prevent "unfortunate" mix-ups.

Once you're in the system, you're in it; making the notion that you have "paid your debt to society" when you are release from incarceration nothing more than an illusion. You can make whatever arguments you like about the usefulness of databases for certain types of offenders but systems like these mean that if you ever offend and serve time, for anything you will forever be watched; you won't have to be a terrorist or a pedophile.

I'm just glad this is being done in the name of safety, that's gotta be worth a whole bunch of anyone's liberty...

Comment Re:The expense of the interlock... (Score 1) 911

$70-125 to install and another $70-110 per month isn't cheap, especially on top of the major bump in car insurance that they already ate. Given that drunk driving convictions skew to lower income, this has real potential to put even first-time offenders into bankruptcy.

You know what costs more than these devices asshole? Funerals. My parents would have gladly gone bankrupt if it meant my brother wouldn't have died because of some cunt drunk driver. Instead they came closer to bankruptcy burying my brother than the bastard who killed him did.

How the fuck can you have an opinion that the same people who are contemptuous of both the DUI laws and the lives those laws are intended to protect deserve any consideration? You couch this in "anti-prohibitionist" rhetoric; this measure isn't prohibitionist, if anything people who demonstrate themselves to be irresponsible to the point where they will make decisions that threaten the lives of others should not be permitted to drive with ANY alcohol in their system.

The moment alcohol enters your system it begins altering your judgment for the worse; I don't want people who are willingly diminishing the quality of their judgment to be permitted to make the decision for themselves whether or not they are safe to drive. You should either drive, or drink; if you need to drive and you honestly feel that you need to drink too, well that need to drink should tell you something; get some help and stay the fuck off the roads

I stopped just short of wishing that you could learn like my family learned why people with DUI convictions don't deserve consideration when it comes to preventing repeat offenses, but no one should have to know what that is like. Instead I'll hope you never find out but somehow manifest the good sense to realize either people with DUI convictions can be monitored more to prevent at least some senseless loss of life, or they can be let do as they please in the name of "liberty" and the price can be paid by the families of others... again.

Comment Re:About time. (Score 3, Informative) 659

The SAS were called in once, to storm the Iranian Embassy, but even then the SAS report to the Home Office directly and are not strictly part of the regular army.

The Iranian embassy is not technically on British soil, just as every embassy in every country is considered to stand on their own soil and not the soil of the hosting country. That being the case, the use of police would not have been justified (police not having international jurisdiction). A military force to rescue hostages would be entirely in keeping with the separation of police and military duties.

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