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Comment Re:One of the benefits of reading (Score 1) 287

I've always felt like one of the big advantages reading has over other sorts of media is that it's intrinsically rate-limited. .

It's not for some people. I have a friend whose wife reads sci fi novels and she can easily read 100-200 pages a night. She finishes books in a few days. I have no idea what her retention is though. It could be that if you quizzed her a week later she wouldn't remember anything except the most basic overview of the plot. My experience is that speed readers always claim that they retain more than people who read at normal rates do, but I'm not so sure.

I suppose this kind of TV watching is inevitable. Too many of what people call the must see shows are now pushing an hour in length. I don't watch in double speed but I have to draw the line at picking up new shows if they are an hour long. People are all the time asking me if watch stuff like Game Of Thrones and I don't. Don't have HBO. Don't have the time for any more 1 hour shows. Maybe if all these shows everybody raves about weren't always an hour long I could watch more of them.

As far as "Modern Family" goes, all I can say is TV critics, Emmy voters and I have a different opinion of it than those who bashed it. Maybe the haters aren't smart enough to get the jokes.

Comment Re:An omen of a Trump victory (Score 1) 1569

This is why the UK is fucked. Too many xenophobic bigots, who would burn the place to the ground just to reach an arbitrary target of "tens of thousands" immigrating. I don't even want my fiancee to immigrate any more, such is the blind hatred she would receive. The country is economically fucked anyway.

Time to take my skills elsewhere.

I have a female friend from Asia who some years ago fell in love with a guy from an EU country (not the UK) and they got married. She's not Muslim by the way, so none of what I have to say has to do with religion. She legally immigrated to his country after they got married. I don't want to name the country because they have so few Asians there that it might actually be possible to identify her if I give too many details. She has told me that while the people in that country are outwardly nice on the surface, she feels pretty strongly that inside they are actually quite prejudiced against non-white people like her. She and her husband both really had enough of this so they moved to the UK thinking it surely had to be better. I don't think they even stayed a year before they moved back to his country. I'm positive they'll never consider living in the UK again. It was so bad with "xenophobic bigots" as you say that the problems in her husband's country seemed tolerable by comparison.

Comment So the UK is now USA 2.0 (Score 5, Interesting) 1569

There is more thorough analysis available, which basicly states, that the groups Remain and Leave have very distinct properties.

Remainers are younger than 45, live in large towns and have an university degree or are students at an university.

Leavers are older than 45, live in rural and small town regions, mainly in the East and North of England and in Central Wales, and have no university degree.

I found these comments really interesting because you're basically saying that the UK has now become just like the USA. We have the same issues here. People in small towns with no higher education have completely different values and desires from the educated people who live in cities. I can't speak to UK politics, but some of this in the US is the fault of the Republican Party, who in the past decade started embracing anti-intellectuals as a valued voting bloc. In fact, I'd point out that Sarah Palin has made her career out of promoting anti-intellectualism as the solution to all of America's problems. Sorry to hear you're now one of us, UK people.

Comment I can comment on how fast (Score 1) 136

I actually rode as a passenger on one of these electric bikes in Zhongshan, China. It was operating as a sort of taxi. My (at the time) Chinese girlfriend wasn't sure that they were strictly legal but you could use them go around downtown for short distances and they were cheap. I'd estimate that it got up to somewhere around 25-30 MPH which equates to 40-48 KMH. I didn't feel all that safe as a passenger in it and it's not something I'd do again, but she wanted to use it so we did.

Comment Re:Civilized societies (Score 1) 245

Good. We need less guns, not more.

Nobody should be able to walk into a Walmart and walk out with a cart full of machine guns and ammo.

No other "civilized" society accepts this nonsense and neither should the US.

Then you should get the constitution amended.

Not necessary. The Supreme Court made it clear in their last previous major gun ruling that just because the second amendment exists, it doesn't mean that there can't be any restrictions on guns. Supposedly it was Scalia himself who said that. Rights in the constitution are not absolute. Keeping people from buying machine guns is a far cry from saying nobody can buy any gun for any reason, but hey, don't let logic stand in your way.

Comment Re:self-justification (Score 2) 241

Just an observation.... I spent a good amount of time traveling in parts of the ex-USSR in the previous decade. I speak good Russian (not fluent, but pretty good) and I've been to places off the tourist track. Got to know several people there on a personal level. I can tell you that the justifications the scammer gave are exactly what someone from that part of the world would use to justify what they did. That doesn't mean that the scammer is from there, but if I had to bet on it, I'd bet that they were. You would not believe the tortured logic they can use over there to justify all kinds of immoral, illegal and unethical behavior.

Comment Why Craigslist scamming works (Score 1) 241

I have no rational explanation for this. It's just how things are. If you sent a "Nigerian prince" email to a bunch of people, few would actually fall for it. But for some reason many people, especially but not only people under 30 years old, believe that you simply can't be cheated on Craigslist - ever. Simply doesn't happen. But if it did, Craigslist would make you whole. Ha ha ha! If they only knew.. I really have no idea why rational people lose their minds on Craigslist and assume there is no risk to any transaction.

Comment Re:Because terrorists! (Score 1) 205

Or should I re-phrase that as "because bogeymen"? I mean, really, how many terrorists attacks, anywhere in the world, have been prevented as a result of the privacy we've already been forced to give up?

More than you might think. The FBI does stings all the time and arrests people who want to commit domestic terrorism. I'm pretty sure that some of this has been found by exactly what you bitch about.

I do just love (not really) negative logic on Slashdot where supposedly intelligent people argue that because something doesn't happen that it was never going to happen anyway when the fact that it hasn't happened may mean that it was prevented in the first place. For example, TSA screenings may actually have real value in preventing terrorism on planes even though most people here swear it accomplishes nothing. It may be that even with the TSA being incompetent that they are not 100% incompetent and being 5-10% competent in terms of finding weapons, bombs, etc. is enough of a deterrence to make the bad guys look for easier targets. The recent Orlando attacker didn't drive to the front gate of a US military facility in Florida and start opening fire. He went to a nightclub he was known to visit because he knew that the odds were high that nobody there would have a weapon that could stop him. Terrorists want easy targets with just about 100% chance of success. They're not looking for difficult targets where they may get stopped or caught.

Comment Worth noting with regards to Alicia Keys (Score 1) 479

If you follow a chain of links, it appears that she used this for a show at the Highline Ballroom in NYC. It holds about 700 people. The other musical act mentioned, The Limineers, is a group I've never heard of but they seem to be playing a ton of festivals and mostly smaller amphitheaters. Other users include various comedians. I'll be impressed when someone who can draw tens of thousands of people to see them is willing to do it and risk pissing their fans off. Let me know if Kanye ever decides to try this. I'll be really interested to see what the reaction is.

Comment The Chrysler 200 had a differently weird shifter (Score 1) 221

I'm really not understanding what the heck Chrysler is thinking these days. A few weeks ago I rented a car with Hertz and they gave me a Chrysler 200. It has a rotary shifter. Basically it's knob you turn to shift. I hated it. But I will say that it wasn't all that hard to get the car into the right gear. I just didn't like the shifter at all. Turning a knob to shift is weird.

Comment Crackpots are also claiming cold beverages are bad (Score 1) 274

Maybe a couple of years ago my step-mother found some crackpot pseudo-medical claim online that drinking cold beverages is also bad for you and causes cancer. She showed it to me to "help" me and if I remember, it claimed that any beverage not at a temperature close to the human body temperature was potentially very bad for you. It involved a bunch of ramblings about how your body has to use energy to warm up the cold beverage and using that energy is supposedly bad. So she stopped ordering any drinks in restaurants with ice and my poor late father started doing the same. I never asked him about it before he died, but I assume he decided that it wasn't a battle he wanted to fight and he'd just go along with her on it.

Comment Re:Interesting twist... (Score 1) 223

What if the company cut your salary before firing you?

"Hey Bill, you've had your salary reduced to minimum wage, but don't worry, we're firing you!"

Non-compete for 1 year price: ~$8,000

Or even better:

"Hey bill, we'll give you severance pay of $X, but you have to sign these papers..."

Included in that pile is an agreement to take a lower base salary for your last pay check, which is then used for non-compete salary calculations.

This. You totally nailed it. My previous employer was a company I don't wish to name because frankly, I don't want to give them any publicity. Few have heard of their North American office, who I worked for, and I'd like to keep it that way. During my final year or two there (not sure of the exact time) they forced us to sign a form that went to HR that said that if they laid us off, they agreed to pay us one month's severance pay for each 2 years we worked there but there was a huge catch. Until your severance period ran out (for example, if you worked there 8 years you'd get 4 months pay and your severance period was 4 months) they could hire you back at any time and they had to right to do so at a loss in pay to you, potentially as much as 20% less. If you refused the new job offer, you had to refund your remaining severance pay. If you accepted the new offer, you also had to refund the remaining severance pay. So with my example if you got 4 months of severance pay but 1 month into it they offered you a new job at 80% of your old pay, you had to return 3 months of severance to them whether you took the job or not. And you agreed that they could assign you to a work place as far as 45 miles from the previous work location. And if we didn't agree to those terms, we could quit on the spot with no severance. Yes, of course we could sue over it, but that costs money and time and there's no guarantee. We had a lawyer here some years ago tell people that he advised everybody not to sue an employer because the suits were so hard to win even when the employee was in the right. That company laid off a lot of people and then hired them back within 2-4 weeks for basically the same job. I don't know if they cut their salaries or not. The people who I knew that this happened to wouldn't talk about it. So it was a really sneaky way to get out of paying full severance. If you owe John Doe 6 months of severance, lay him off, hire him back after 2 weeks and then get 5 and a half months of the severance back, maybe hire him at reduced pay too, and bam! His employment clock now starts at zero and if you lay him off after one month, you owe him nothing in severance because he hasn't worked there 2 years since he was re-hired. Yeah, it was pretty bad. I was owed a pretty good chunk of change in severance when they announced layoffs in my department some months in advance of them happening and I quickly found a new job with another company. I gave up the severance (the deal was, if you left before you got laid off, you got nothing) but I figured that they were going to probably try to screw me out of it anyway by laying me off and offering me a new job after a month or so and I just wanted out and on the new job clear and free.

Comment Re:Just what Walmart shoppers need..... (Score 1) 117

Because Walmart shoppers already get so much exercise and are in such great shape that any form of exercise is not needed. I am saddened by the fact that we are now to the point where we consider pushing a shopping cart around the store to be too much work.

That was my thought too, although I certainly do understand that some people might have a very legitimate need for such help. Like you, I'm having a hard time feeling sorry for people who's only disability is that they can't say "No" to a second or third piece of pie. Maybe Walmart should instead look into home delivery for the people for whom even walking from their front door to their car is just way too much effort.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 301

I'm guessing from your comment that you're ignorant of the context here. Peter Thiel personally dislikes Gawker, and is now bankrolling third-party lawsuits against them. It's "news" because the very wealthy are openly perverting the United State's permissive litigation rules in order to quell disfavored speech.

I can only say that outside of Gawker's legal team, I think just about every lawyer in the USA would argue that the system is working perfectly and has no problem at all with what Thiel is doing and would not consider it perversion.

Comment Problem with this suggestion (Score 3, Informative) 170

This is just Apple following the model of all platform developers: let individual developers take the risk and initial revenues of developing a hot new app, and then build your own version of the most popular ones to collect all future revenues from that type of application.

Developer dude's app doesn't run on Apple Watch OS. It only runs on iPhones and IPads. Also, his app is free. Apparently there is some kind of special version of it you can pay $1.99 extra a month for. So yes, I'm sure that Apple saw the tons of revenue that this free app was getting from all 20 crazy people who actually think it is useful and decided that they just had to have some of that sweet cash for themselves.

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