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Comment Re:Baloney (Score 2) 467

I am an atheist and argue that it does not take any more "leap of faith" to state "There is no God" than to state "There are no unicorns in California".

I find that when someone is arguing that "There is a God", they are actually arguing that their own God exists. They are imagining some human-centric interfering omniscient being who controls matter at the microscopic level, is telepathic, and predicts accurately the outcomes of complex chaotic processes. When I argue back, I'm arguing that "There is no God as you describe."

The typical American Christian professes belief that "There is an omnipotent, omniscient, loving God, who interferes in modern politics, finance, and sporting events, is biased on behalf of "western countries", who created the malaria parasite and the corresponding Sickle-cell mutation, who designed the mammalian retina backwards, who created both heaven and hell to act as eternal sorting bins for 0-100 years worth of individual behavior and thought regardless of environmental circumstances, who listens to the prayers of his believers, who sent his only son to be slain by the Romans to bypass his own rules & regulations, who destroyed the first born sons of an entire nation out of spite (he did harden the Pharaoh's heart), who insists that all love him or suffer eternally..." Well, that is a testable statement, and is provably false.

If you're the rare sort that wants to argue that "There is an uncaring, unmeddling, uninvolved, undetectable, and limited extra-universal entity", to you I say, "Meh. So what."

Comment Re:Sad, sad, sad. (Score 1) 514

You're thinking of Agilent.

HP spun off all the cool engineering stuff into a separate company because it was like "too hard to compete with IBM and Dell when the CEO has to spend precious time on 'worthless stuff'" like cesium clocks, heart defibrillators (though maybe sold off by now), inkjet-printed DNA Micro-array scanning chips*, satellite testing equipment, optical "bubble" network switches, and way, way, more, all of which went to make Agilent in 1999. I've always been a little disappointed that the calculator division stayed with HP.

HP may have kept the name, but little else of value.

* The DNA micro-arrays probably didn't exist then, but they are at Agilent now.


Man Sues Neighbor For Not Turning Off His Wi-Fi 428

Scyth3 writes "A man is suing his neighbor for not turning off his cell phone or wireless router. He claims it affects his 'electromagnetic allergies,' and has resorted to being homeless. So, why doesn't he check into a hotel? Because hotels typically have wireless internet for free. I wonder if a tinfoil hat would help his cause?"

Comment Re:What do people use Perl for? (Score 2, Insightful) 235

I use Perl for one-time jobs... Repairing badly-formatted 80GB data files. Splitting flat files into multiple output files. Testing uniqueness of various fields. Finding the line(s) in a 250GB file that is crashing the sqlload program, and fixing it, because you have two hours or we'll lose the project. (nevermind it's the client's data). Editing several files to purge or excise fields or characters before doing serious work with them. Most of these I do via the command line. I'll write actual Perl scripts to crawl throughout our network and gather statistics on files and projects, to test patch status, to download files, process them, and email the results.

Quick! The boss is standing over you demanding that you convert a flat file into csv, add a header, prepend a unique id, and spit any lines with weird characters into a separate file. Here's the printout of the layout. You have ten minutes. There's a million lines in the file and they've got to build a marketing model before the client meeting in one hour.

Comment Re:I'm on the Mall right now (Score 0) 212

Bush was on vacation clearing brush 1/2 of his presidency until 9/11, and as we found out later, he'd been gunning for invading Iraq since he became President. Plus, Bush flatly ignored the report that Bin Laden was going to attack the US.

There's no fucking way that Al Gore would have sent our military to invade Iraq, pushed for torture, greatly expanded the secret prisons. That war drained our military, drained our economy, and filled our hospitals with vetrans who will be on healthcare for the rest of their lives.

Al Gore's big thing was fighting climate change, which would have resulted in a new technology and research boom in America, NO NEW WARS, and he would not have pissed away the goodwill of the foreign nations, if he'd been unable to prevent 9/11. Plus, fighting climate change has the side-effect of reducing our foreign energy dependence. I have no doubt that Al Gore would have had a better pick for FEMA head, and a better response for Katrina. He wouldn't have been the second coming of Christ, but at least he wouldn't have been indifferent and snarky and intentionally destroying government effectiveness.

Bush and his team were fucking awful for the US.

Obama's pretty fucking decent. He can actually write his own speeches, and he reads the newspapers, and he can effectively lead and organize. That'll be a shit-load better than Bush. If people are treating Obama like the second-coming, it's only because we've survived eight-years of Bush.

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