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Comment Re: Any sufficiently advanced technology... (Score 1) 166

We used Oraquick as part of a study of high-risk individuals, and would confirm positive results. It's also a fairly economic way to do quarterly screenings for people who are in high risk categories. Of course, an individual with the means, would opt for a full screening if they were worried about exposure from a particular event.

It's used in developed nations primarily in the same way it's used in developing nations - for people who do not necessarily have the resources for and access to medical care. Inexpensive and better than nothing.

Comment Re:Any sufficiently advanced technology... (Score 1) 166

In general, people in Africa probably have a lot more understanding of HIV/AIDS and the testing procedures than people in the West do. For example:

You say that HIV testing requires drawing blood and testing at a lab. Nope - HIV testing can now be done with saliva, in a cheap ($40) device, and give you results in about 15 minutes. A person in a country with a high rate of infection would very likely be at least somewhat familiar with such a thing considering that those tests are vastly cheaper than the old blood tests. Moreover, as far back as 2015, there was a smartphone dongle that came out that can test for HIV.

Given that we have gone from tests that required a doctor visit, could take days for results, and required blood to tests that can be done anywhere, require a little spit, and 15 minutes to get results, it absolutely wouldn't surprise me that someone would think that advances made it so that perhaps sweat from a fingertip could be analyzed to give a diagnosis. Given that we have gone from gigantic, hideously expensive satellite phones that didn't do anything but allow you to (barely) make and receive calls, to tiny, dirt cheap, and ridiculously capable smart phones, it absolutely wouldn't surprise me that someone might think that a phone could now be capable of performing that analysis.

And finally, she probably knows many, many, many people who have HIV or have died from AIDS. In many countries in Africa, HIV/AIDS is a common, everyday thing that many people deal with, either as having it or having people close to them who have it. To say someone is stupid because they allow a prank app that's just shy of feasible and that preys on an omnipresent threat - that's not just ignorant, but cruel.

Comment Whole lotta wrong in that. (Score 1) 313

The golden path should be:
1) User reports a problem to the service desk.
2) Service desk looks into the problem and either addresses it if it's user error or punts it to QA/testing.
3) QA/testing investigates and documents as much as possible about the bug - replication steps, affected screens, whatever. They would do this both in production and a staging environment to see if it's an environmental issue.
4) Developer takes the bug and figures out the issue, creates a fix, which is then sent back to QA/testing.
5) QA/testing tests the fix in a staging environment and signs off on it.
6) Fix gets deployed to pre-prod staging, QA tests it.
7) Fix gets deployed to production, QA tests it.

I get that in smaller shops devs tend to just push stuff out (I worked in a few of those) but that's really not a great way to do things.

Comment Re:Raise your hand if... (Score 1) 366

Mistake in phrasing on my part. My comment should have opened with "I would imagine that most places that take plastic only advertise it when you walk in."

But you're mistaken about any establishment being forced to take cash to settle a debt. From the US Treasury website:

There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in pennies or dollar bills. In addition, movie theaters, convenience stores and gas stations may refuse to accept large denomination currency (usually notes above $20) as a matter of policy.

Based on this, a merchant is free to require plastic only. Your offer to pay cash may be rebuffed, but your debt is still open unless and until you find a means to pay the merchant in the merchant's preferred fashion. Failure to do so opens you up to legal action.

Comment Re:As long as it's just apostrophes... (Score 1) 158

Acronyms are abbreviations made of the initial letters of other words and pronounced as separate words themselves. Examples: NASA, FUBAR, SNAFU.

Initialisms are abbreviations made of the initial letters of other words but pronounced by speaking each letter in turn. Examples: UN, US, UK, NSA.

"SKU" is sometimes treated as either. It can be pronounced "S-K-U" or similar to the word "skew."

Anyway, whether you add an apostrophe before the 's' in a plural form depends on the style guide you choose to follow. Oxford says not to use it (except in the case of a single letter or digit), as does the Chicago Manual of Style. However, the NYTimes guide says it must be used.

Comment Re:Raise your hand if... (Score 1) 366

I would imagine that most places that take cash only advertise it when you walk in. You know going in that you need plastic. If there's no notification, then there's a reason to argue.

Most restaurants, though, are understanding about a temporary inability to pay, and will let you come back later to pay, especially if you can leave some information behind like a driver's license number or some form of collateral. They could also allow you to call someone to bring payment and let you settle things with that person later.

But going into a store, you're generally paying for the merchandise before you leave. No payment, no merchandise. It works that way in the US, Europe, and Australia.

Comment Re:Only viable if all planes land themselves (Score 2) 340

You did it alone, which makes it far more difficult. A real 747 has, depending on the age, one or two other people to help handle all of the operations on landing. The pilot who has the controls is responsible for only the basic controls and monitoring airspeed and sink rate. The other pilot (or the computer) handles everything else.

Still, as a pilot, I'm really not keen on this idea. One of the benefits of the straight runway method is an extremely predictable location of all aircraft. You know where traffic is supposed to be based on factors other than what you hear over the radio or see on the TCAS or radar. The variability that the circular runway introduces is useful in concept, but while GPS also removes the rigidity of defined flight paths, it does so away from the congested airport airspace.

Comment Re:Raise your hand if... (Score 1) 366

No one is obligated to accept cash. Most apartments refuse cash payments because they don't want to deal with having thousands of dollars in cash on-hand at predictable times. Major airlines don't accept cash for purchases during flights. Several restaurants in New York are cashless, and the trend has been expanding slowly to other locations. Some stay cashless, some allow cash later.

A place not accepting cash doesn't mean that you can just walk out with the merchandise, though. Your perception that you've created a debt by attempting to purchase something is off. There's no debt because the transaction hasn't been completed, and there's no contract, verbal or written, setting up payment at a later time. What you're talking about is theft, and the police can arrest you for that. The judge will find you guilty of theft. The only thing you can do is leave your coffee behind and walk out to find a place that does accept cash.

Comment Re:A point here? (Score 1) 366

Cash does not have an inherent value. If it did, money markets wouldn't exist because all cash would have an inherent value, and that would not change. Even gold and silver don't have an inherent value. If I'm starving and I have something to trade for food and you're the only person around, I'm not going to trade for your silver or gold if I need food. At that time, food has a value to me, while precious metals do not.

Valuing something in a given currency a learned skill. When aboriginal tribes were forcibly assimilated into Australian society, one of the most difficult things for many of them to learn was how money worked. I read a while back about one person who walked into a grocery store soon after being brought into the city, picked up a couple of things from a shelf, and walked out, not understanding why people were shouting at and chasing him.

Similarly, what if I plopped down a coin made of palladium. Could you spot its inherent value if the language on the coin wasn't familiar to you? Would you place its value higher or lower than silver if you didn't know it was made of palladium?

Your coworkers were probably just amazed to see some silver coins only because they're not used to seeing them. If you took them into most stores, you wouldn't be able to spend them, even if they were US silver coins because people wouldn't be familiar with them. Hopefully, they wouldn't call the cops on you like some do for $2 bills, but they might refuse the transaction to avoid the risk of falling for a scam.

Comment Re: Exchange in precious metals (Score 1) 366

All it took was one signature on an old-fashioned piece of paper and private possession of gold currency became illegal, too. Sure, you could probably deal in shavings carefully measured on a scale, but that takes a much longer time to do, is subject to manipulation, and raises the risks of collecting the metals such that most places wouldn't do it.

Comment Re:The best one... (Score 1) 141

Have you considered that maybe your brain and eyes are damaged or inferior? I put it in that way because you seem to have anger at people who don't get motion sickness from VR and went out of your way to preemptively belittle and insult.

I've had a dozen or so people over to play with my Rift ad Sony VR systems, and only one person indicated discomfort, and that was at the teleport mechanic in a couple of games.

Mostly I find games are substantially more immersive, and the only issue I have is when I run into a real-life obstacle that isn't visible in VR. I have scraped knuckles from smacking into a (very real) wall when trying to pick something up in VR.

Comment Re:clearly the truckers are right (Score 1) 331

What the intent was is actually completely irrelevant in any law. The courts do not decide on intent.

That's not always the case. Where the law has a clear and obvious meaning, legislative intent does not enter into the discussion. However, when there is ambiguity, courts may turn to legislative intent to get an idea of what the law should mean. In Johnson v. United States, 529 U.S. 694, 723 (2000), the majority (six justices) opinion and one of two concurring opinions held that because a plain reading of the law resulted in an absurdity, the intent of Congress in passing the law must be examined. Thomas concurred in the result but disagreed with the need to use legislative intent, and Scalia disagreed with using legislative intent and with the Court's choice of definitions.

This has become less common in the last few decades, as discussed in this William and Mary Law Review article but it's still around at various levels. In general, the more conservative the judge or justice, the less likely they are to rely on legislative intent, while more liberal judges and justices are more likely to rely on it. However, use of it has decreased across the spectrum.

Comment Re:Know how else users can get faster load times? (Score 1) 83

If sites are using a CDN rather than hosting the Javascript libraries and generic CSS themselves, there is a good chance that it is in your cache already.

Depending on the source used, it may also have a more recent version of the JS library than might be otherwise used, as some of the CDNs that maintain the libraries automatically update to the latest compatible version.

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