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Comment But it's "free" (except when it's not) (Score 2) 128

For quite awhile, a lot of people seemed to have the "whatever, deal with it, that's the cost of a 'free' OS upgrade"

Except it was not a free upgrade for many people. More of a "I turned my computer on one day and WTF is this sh** where did my normal windows go and how do I get it back!"

And of course, on new PC's it comes with the cost of the PC, and some people also bought codes to install Win10 on home-built machine (which now anyone has to do if they want windows - as they've shelved Win7/8 - and the 'free' upgrade period is over).

So yeah, people paying hundreds of bucks for software that rams ads down their throat, direct from the manufacturer.

Comment I Explain This to Millennials Constantly (Score 3, Insightful) 62

Nothing on Google is free. Your choices, selections, opinions, cookies, bookmarks, contents of your email, YouTube habits are continually feeding their algorithms. They control your search results, and return to you that which makes the most profit to them. They'll keep it "correct enough" so as to still be useful and not piss you off. How could it be otherwise? And I am inevitably met with disbelief, as if I am telling them their beloved Uncle Bob has been a closet pedophile for years. We have somehow raised a generation of people who really believe there are free lunches and benign global corporations.

Comment Alternatives (Score 1) 145

Yeah, but it's a lot easier to offer alternative digital offerings on the internet than it is with something that requires a dedicated physical connection/hardware to customers' house (cable/satellite).

That, and the "piracy" alternative is always there too.

Competition - whether legal or otherwise - can help prevent bad behavior.

Comment Re:Not sure what to think.... (Score 5, Informative) 790

Actually, the Y chromosome only contains the code for the testes, which, if they work correctly, will produce testosterone, and testosterone, will, if other parts of the body work correctly, make them develop as male rather than female. Around 1.7% of babies that are issued with female birth certificates actually have XY chromosomes, and a condition that means the testosterone isn't produced, or doesn't work. They have testes where you would normally expect to find ovaries, but other than that, look exactly like girls.

There are other conditions that cause the kidneys to produce testosterone, so around 1 in 20000 babies that are issued with male birth certificates actually have XX chromosomes.

Another thing, thanks to microchimerism, around 22% of women have cells in their bodies with XY chromosomes. Being pregnant with a son increases the chance of this happening, 10% of women who have never been pregnant have cells with XY chromosomes, and many of them have an older brother.

You almost certainly have cells in your body that 100% match your mother's DNA, in addition to the majority that match 50% plus whatever your mother and father have in common.

Submission + - SPAM: It Can Power a Small Nation. But This Wind Farm in China Is Mostly Idle.

schnell writes: The New York Times reports on a massive wind farm in remote Gansu province that boasts more than 7,000 wind turbines but whose capacity goes more than 60% unused. The wind farm epitomizes China's struggles in its efforts to become a world renewable energy leader: the Chinese economy is slumping, leading to decreased energy demand; the country lacks the infrastructure to haul power from remote wind-producing regions to industrial centers; and government policies continue to favor the domestic coal industry. China has 92,000 wind turbines, more than double the US's capacity, but China generates only 3.3% of its electricity from wind compared to 4.7% in the United States.

Comment Re: This will never happen, even if I want it to. (Score 1) 273

There is an implicit admission of guilt in accepting a pardon

Well, he is guilty of releasing classified information. The pardon would be because it was the only way to do so (reporting structure shown to be a fail) and it was in the interest of the people to do so.

Given that el presidente just allowed even more spy powers on his way out the door, Snoden has a snowball's chance in hell of getting a pardon.

Comment Well yeah (Score 1) 67

Usually having your expensive equipment explode massively will have a fairly severe financial impact. I'd hope that this sort of thing is something they'd planned for, given the risks in this industry. Even small mistakes = big consequences, and there's a lot of room for unknowns.

Comment Editing and removing posts (Score 3, Interesting) 52

The whole "non-permanent" status of posts has been a long-term source of amusement for me. Even when it showed posts as "edited", deleted posts would just disappear.

So an ex of mine had a post about her big drooly bulldog. I can't remember my exact post, but I essentially posted something about my dog. Her husband - who rather dislikes me - pops up and posts something to the effect of
"well, you're probably just as stupid and ugly as that dog"

So I delete my post, and suddenly all that's left is her original post, and him replying "you're as ugly and stupid as that dog"

Good times :-)

Comment Re:Should have started with old videogames. (Score 2) 64

Now, if you're buying it for its 'collectability' shouldn't you feel some responsibility in vetting the vendor's credentials and/or enter in to terms by which you can return the item if you determine its fake?

Well, here's my experience as a non-collector with fraudulent merchandise.

Order DVD set. Price is actually pretty steep but less than some other sellers. Seller guarantees it's "not counterfeit" on their page, of course.
DVD set arrives. Nice box, good silkscreening.
Play first DVD. First episode subtitle translations are obviously bad fansubs (I've seen the same on online downloads). Second episode actually has scan lines where it was copied from analogue->digital
Report counterfeit merchandise to eBay.
Ebay says I must get the item certified as a counterfeit by an industry professional, despite the obvious signs, and within a fairly short time frame. As I was living in a shithole town at the time, this was a no-go, so I was out about $60-80 for a cheap piece of garbage which I could just as well have downloaded online.

So even if you're knowledgeable enough to vet something as authentic or otherwise, eBay pretty much makes it as hard as possible to get a return on counterfeit goods (or at least they did last time I dealt with them).

Same deal with fake USB/SD storage devices. Tons of counterfeit, and eBay seems to not give a flying f*** about it.

Comment Re:Roundup backpack=bad ? (Score 5, Interesting) 130

The problem is that neonicotinoids are about as close to an ideal insecticide as we could hope to have. They're effective on a broad spectrum of insects, they don't harm plants, and they're really quite safe around mammals. For example, dinotefuran has an oral and dermal LD50 in rats of > 2000mg/kg, is not known to be carcinogenic, and is not known to be a neurotoxin. It's also essentially non-toxic to birds, fish, and aquatic invertebrates (important because of chemical run-off.) I'm not saying I'd sprinkle it on my breakfast cereal, but I wouldn't get sick from it.

They just happen to be 50 times as lethal to bees as to any other insect. So even the lowest doses used to control economically damaging pests are still going to kill huge numbers of bees, because the tainted nectar and pollen that comes back with the bees feeds the colonies.

I really like the stuff for INDOOR control of greenhouse pests. Outdoors, I won't use it.

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Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian