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Comment Re:Child labor law (Score 1) 491

I had a job: maintaining my A minus grade point average in honors classes in high school. It paid not immediately in cash but instead years later in eligibility for a merit-based college scholarship. If you are trying to claim that every child ought to have two jobs, a first for scholarship eligibility and a second for cash, I fail to see how that's practical. Most nights, I was assigned too much homework to be able to complete first it and then a paper route before the subscribers expected to have their newspapers.

Comment Re:Child labor law (Score 1) 491

When I was 14 (or maybe 13) I had a paper route. Didn't need to ask my parents for permission, either.

Were you recommending sneaking out of the house, walking several blocks to the newspaper company, and putting in an application, in direct disobedience of my parents? It's been years, but I seem to remember that if I failed to let my parents know whenever I left the house, or if they vetoed it and I left anyway, I'd lose privileges once I returned home for having made them "worried sick" and "about to call the police". One such privilege was the privilege to connect my computer to their electric power and operate it on their land.

Just went and got it (actually, bought it off a classmate for $X a week until it was paid off).

With my (professionally diagnosed) social awkwardness and need to leave school immediately to catch the school bus home, I wouldn't have known how to find a classmate off whom to buy a paper route without disrupting the classroom. I wouldn't even have known that one can buy a route off someone else; in fact, I didn't know that until I read your comment.

And I'm sure that sidewalks needed to be shoveled in winter, so snow should have been an opportunity

I don't remember if this was the case when I was growing up, but nowadays, there's someone in our neighborhood who runs a snowblower on about four blocks' worth of sidewalk for free. It's hard to compete with free.

Comment Re:where's the safe space for apps (Score 1) 26

Let me make it more explicit:

Pay for a domain, web hosting, and advertising. Obtain a TLS certificate for your domain through the Let's Encrypt button of your web host's control panel. Offer your application as a self-signed apk file for download through your website, along with instructions for users to enable Unknown sources or use adb install to add the application to a device.

Comment Re:That's no moon... (Score 1) 206

It would take a lot more material than that for a Dyson Sphere. It would take far more material than we have in the entire Solar System.

If you compare to the fictional Ringworld in Larry Niven's N-space universe, a strip that's 1,600,000 km wide, fans have estimated the mass to be the mass of Jupiter, which is just over 2/3 of the mass of the Solar System sans the Sun itself, without respect for composition of the Solar System.

To look at something more practical, in David Weber's Honor Harrington universe, a superdreadnought starship weighs a little under 9,000,000 metric tons. If the entire mass of 16 Psyche is usable then one could build over two trillion of those fictional starships, asteroids like that would make for a sound basis as natural resources for a space-based economy, assuming that one could manage to perform the materials refining needed without landing the mined ore on a planet's surface.

Your Deathstar example would probably also work.

Comment I'll probably keep it (Score 1) 25

We canceled our cable subscription about a year ago, and while I was OK with it my wife hated not having certain live TV channels. We'd tried Sling, but it was hit-and-miss on the stuff we wanted. Some channels, like BTN, aren't available at all on Sling. DirecTV is only a little more and actually covers the live programming we want.

Make no mistake, the launch was rough. I don't think they allocated enough hardware or bandwidth to handle their initial demand, so streaming cut out constantly. It's finally getting to be pretty solid, though, and I'd much rather pay Sling a few bucks than have anything to do with Comcast.

Comment Re:Jumped the shark a long while ago (Score 1) 156

And maybe TOS was best because its three leads were archetypes; you had the brave and adventurous Horatio Hornblower figure in Kirk, you have the cold intellectual in the form of Spock, and you have the emotional and moralistic McCoy. Though the casting was never quite that intentional, it's pretty clear that by the first few first season scripts were being produced that Roddenberry and his writers understood the good fortune they had in the chemistry between Shatner, Nimoy and Kelley, and fleshed out those three characters to a point that by the mid-way point of the first season, we basically have the Holy Trinity in place. Thus, when you have the penultimate scene in The City On The Edge Of Forever, where McCoy is restrained from saving Edith Keeler, you have those three archetypal characters in one of the entire franchise's most dramatic moments.

And that really is the magic of TOS; some damned good stories matched up with actors with incredibly good chemistry (which is something you can't manufacture, but was just damned good luck on Roddenberry's part), and the rest just flows. Even awful episodes are redeemed by the fact that Kirk, Spock and McCoy are in it.

You can see through the other Star Trek series where the writers and producers tried desperately to reproduce that chemistry, but even when they came closest in the final seasons of TNG, it still felt somewhat stilted, as if the actors and writers were trying to show us what good friends they all were, without ever really convincing us emotionally that these people were more than just comrades. I suppose the friendship between Geordi and Data came closest, but even that felt one-dimensional as opposed to what seemed like genuine love and friendship between the three TOS leads.

And the brilliance of the TOS characters extends even past the three leads. The second tier characters; Scotty, Uruha, Sulu and Chekhov all were well enough written and portrayed (more the latter than the former considering how few lines these actors generally got) that you could feel some emotional attachment to them. Scotty, in particular, is one of my favorite characters out of the whole ST universe. A bit cranky, but brilliant and incredibly competent, he's sort of the archetypal engineer, to the point where I've read that a lot of people were inspired into technical fields because of Jimmy Doohan's portrayal.

Comment Re:Sounds like wrong approach... (Score 1) 156

Enterprise could have been incredible, and there were brief glimpses here and there, and particularly in the fourth season, when it became clear that it wasn't going to be renewed. If Enterprise had been about the founding of the Federation, if it had paid more attention to the cold war between the Andorians and the Vulcans, if it had spent some time on the human supremacist movement on Earth, instead of squandering so much screen time on that idiotic "Temporal Cold War" crap in the first three seasons, and in particular on the idiotic Xindi arc which made the third season into a pointless aside, then it would have been possibly the best Trek of them all.

I like to imagine an alternate Enterprise, where the first season is for the most part what was shown, minus any Temporal Cold War episodes. The second season could have been more about the Andorian and Vulcan conflict, plus run of the mill exploration episodes. Season 3 could have seen the founding of the Federation and then season 4 would have been the Romulan War, then I think you would have had a killer series. But I don't think Braga and Coto ever knew what to do with it, and just tried to turn it into another Voyager.

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