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Comment Re:Headers (Score 1) 562

Except that now they have pumps that are smart enough to correct for the volume change on cold days... while ignoring it on warm ones.

At least they have the decency to also tell you this is what the pump is doing (albeit the notice is written on a little tiny sticker placed as inconspicuously as possible on the pump) as a CYA measure to head off the inevitable lawsuits if people realized that they are now getting sucked for a few extra cents on every tank.

Comment Re:Businessmen (Score 3, Informative) 400

dirty criminals indeed.

Check out the last couple paragraphs of the article linked in the original post:

She recently took an economics course that required paying about $110 for a printed book and access code to a digital system ... She could have purchased just the access code without the book, for about $90

So, by the publisher's own admission, the durable goods -- the printed book itself -- is only worth *at most* $20. While the remaining $90 is purely profit going back to the publisher for access to some canned system that cost significantly less per-student to develop and deploy.

Soooo glad I'm not in school anymore and having to deal with this sort of racket. But if I was, the first time I ran into a professor insisting that we pay up some arbitrary amount of money just to submit homework for grading, I'd be really tempted to go all Martin Luther on 'em and staple my dead-tree submission to their door/desk/face just to protest the ridiculousness of the whole thing.

Comment Re:Take a diuretic, become a different person (Score 1) 64

That's what I was wondering too. Or what happens when someone has a significant weight loss or gain? Lots of geeks tend to have a good layer of natural insulation. Plenty of ways for the body's electrical signature to change.

I suppose it might be an incentive to get fit and stay fit, though. "Sorry, the fat (errr... electrical) signature of the person attempting to access this computer does not match our records. Go work out some more and try again next week."

Comment Re:First my beloved Viper fighter, now this (Score 0) 820

While you are correct in asserting that Planned Parenthood is not government-forced abortions, all the stuff about women's healthcare really IS just window dressing, at least as far as the current incarnation of the organization is concerned.

What Planned Parenthood is actually about, is making obscene amounts of money. If PP truly cared about women's health, they wouldn't demand payment for the abortions up front in cash, nor would they only provide ultrasounds for the sole purpose of determining just how much the abortion is going to cost (the bigger the baby, the more expensive the operation, even if the actions used to perform the abortion are the same). If they truly cared about women's health, they would openly discuss all options for dealing with a pregnancy and disclose the significant physical and mental risks that abortions create, instead of pressuring the women into the one option that is most profitable for the company. If they truly cared about women's health, they would be much more proactive about pregnancy prevention than their current focus on pregnancy termination.

Planned Parenthood exists solely to profit by taking advantage of women who are too poor or too embarrassed to go to a real doctor for help, offering an expensive solution to an even more expensive problem, because they know that desperate people will pay through the nose to fix certain "mistakes." All the stuff about "freedom" and "healthcare" is just a smokescreen to keep from having the lucrative money cut off.

Comment there's hope yet! (Score 1) 266

great news. was kinda bummed the last time I read an article on rising sea levels to learn that even if the entire polar caps melted, it wouldn't actually flood all that far into the east coast. But, coupled with this phenomena of uneven level rise, that stain may be washable after all!

Mod me to hell if you want, but I still say that if it takes ten dead polar bears to drown one NYC hipster, those noble bears will not have died in vain! C'mon global warming, let's get to work!

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 144

Interestingly enough, spider silk and the shrimps hammers are both resilient for the same reason: they're comprised of an oriented ceramic/amorphous composite.

Engineering these types of materials is challenging because you can't just mix together some micro-crystals and binding glop. The crystals need to line up with each other in one direction to provide the strength, while the glop stretches and squishes in another to enhance the toughness. Figuring out how to mix the materials so they properly self-assemble on the micro scale isn't easy, but when it's done right (as the shrimp and spiders have) the results are simply amazing.

Comment Re:Lex Luthor was on to something. (Score 1) 90

I like this idea! Especially since even the 60m increase isn't enough to really cleanse the US of all the east/west coast crap. At least it would do something about Florida (aka South New York).

Of course, the problem with waiting on global warming to wash away the coastal stench is that it's still too slow of a process, and all the rats would just climb higher and infest the rest of the country. Fracking induced quakes though... gotta get working on that, pronto!

Comment Not gonna happen with this tech (Score 1) 199

As nice as it would be to have windshields and drinking glasses made out of the "super" glass, in reality, it won't be happening, at least not for a very very long time.

The fatal flaw in this "new" technology is that it requires precise and specific nano-scale texturing of the glass, but the only texturing methods that work on that scale right now are limited to very small flat surfaces. Eyeglasses *might* be possible, but at such an exorbitant price it would be entirely unpractical compared to glass/polymer composites that provide the same effect.

And even if they did manage to develop the mythical nano-scale rollers that would allow for production of the "super" glass in bulk, it would still be limited to just flat panes. Any sort of forming process (pressing or blowing into molds for cups, sagging sheets for windshields, etc) would also quickly destroy the fine surface micro-structure.

Comment Re:Excellent... (Score 5, Insightful) 188

too true. What would be really shocking news is if we found that for once greenpeace was NOT lying to get attention. And it's not just Apple. Basic M.O. for these schmucks is to simply pick whatever company is big in the news at the moment and then give that company a bad "rating" based on some imaginary numbers on some arbitrary scale.

For several years in a row when the Wii was at it's popularity peak, the greenpeace "report card" gave Nintendo a failing grade -- for the sole reason that Nintendo had the common sense to ignore them, and refused to give any detailed information about their business operations. Thus, in the mind of the eco-nuts the company *had* to be hiding something horrible, and thus was *clearly* an eco-failure.

Comment Re:I think it's solvable. (Score 1) 93

Nice record. The kicker is when you have a streak like that going, and then some family member using your computer decides to try a game or three and loses for you.

After that happened to me a couple times, I realized how easy it was to just go into the system registry and "fix" their mistake, but at that point the game lost its challenge because I also realized that I lacked the willpower to keep from "fixing" my own errors as well.

Comment Re:the bat (Score 1) 183

Nice to finally see an on-topic comment in this article.

anyway, back to the paper airplanes... I've been folding the "harrier" design (linked in the original post) for years now. Only two modifications I'd suggest:

1) For more of a glider, the final fold to form the wings should bring the edge of the paper well BELOW the bottom of the fuselage, so you have nice big wings and a smaller vertical portion. Just remember that as a glider, it needs a softer launch. experiment a bit to find the right balance between wing size and launch speed for the room you're in.

2) for increased stability, put a good curve (or a light crease) in the wings, parallel to the fuselage.

Comment Re:Only choice (Score 1) 513

Does it really hurt me? Yes, it does, because it rewards unethical and lazy employees who did nothing to deserve a cut of the purchase. Employees actually doing their jobs then have to work harder to stay ahead of the freeloaders, and eventually burn out, leaving the scum behind. Last thing I want is to see one of the few decent electronics chains out there turn into another Circuit City.

Comment Re:Only choice (Score 1) 513

Stickers at microcenter have been an issue for years, and I've had the exact same experience there as well.

After going to the store and finding what I need without getting any help from the sales staff, they then start swarming to ask if they could put their stickers on all the items I was holding. Finally let one guy do it just so he'd go away. I then returned the items to the shelf and picked up unstickered ones. Got to the checkout counter and the cashier, seeing that it wasn't tagged, put her sticker on the package before ringing up the purchase. quite annoying.

Comment Re:This is Sony (Score 1) 293

Yeah, Nintendo doesn't jerk their customers around quite like SONY, but they're not perfect either. The problem with Nintendo is that they're instead obsessed with controlling their image.

Friend Codes, poor network support, rejected games for the download stores -- Nintendo would rather pull out system functionality than allow someone to possibly be offended by the actions of another person and somehow associate that offense with the hardware rather than the user.

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