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Comment Won't help as long as the stores aren't up to code (Score 1) 147

Given that at least 2 of the Seattle-area restaurants were immediately shut down again by the health department for health code violations, this is beyond ingredient suppliers -- they need to hire managers who actually pay attention to what their employees aren't doing (e.g. washing hands, keeping food hot/cold enough, etc).

Comment You're making it more complex than it is (Score 4, Informative) 84

You should be able to find some pretty straightforward documentation on HTTP cookies, flash data storage, HTTP Local Storage, and browser fingerprinting (see https://panopticlick.eff.org/ ). The tracking services aren't doing anything fancy -- they're just sharing that identifier behind the scenes. When you visit website1 they assign an id to your browser (via a cookie, or whatever). When you visit website2, it loads a script from website1 that puts your id somewhere into the DOM that website2's scripts can read and website2 assigns that id to your browser as well. Website3 does the same, and so forth. Then, websites 1 through N share the browsing habits of your id amongst themselves and gain some insight into what your browser is doing.

Comment Lucky break (Score 1) 234

Something like this happened to me with MCI when I was in college. Not originally from a state with "local toll" charges, I even asked the MCI rep ahead of time to confirm a no-toll number from my ISP's list. A month later, I had about $850 in toll charges and absolutely no way to fight it. Not quite $24k but it was a big dent in my budget. Let's just say I wasn't sad when I Worldcom got into so much trouble a year or two later.

Comment Kids and carseats (Score 2) 140

I wonder how accurate it is in detecting non-adult profiles. In WA, the HOV lane counts total people, with no requirements on age. This means that a baby sleeping in a carseat counts as a 2nd occupant. I agree with others -- I'm all for HOV lane enforcement but the false positives around automated detection just sound too sketchy.

Comment Speed of traffic? (Score 1) 287

It's been a couple of decades but I recall my drivers' ed teacher making it pretty clear that speed of traffic was usually more important than any speed limit signs, going so far as to point out that you could be ticketed for unsafe driving (or impeding traffic) if you were driving the speed limit (e.g. 60mph on the freeway) but the rest of traffic was going 90. Even in that absence, pretty much everywhere in the US drives at least 3-5mph above the speed limit, even in the slow lane (that theoretical/alleged margin of error for radar guns, even though police are all using super accurate laser-based systems now).

Comment Include a player. (Score 1) 169

Get some archival-grade DVD or Blu-ray media and then include one of those little portable DVD players (with a wall plug). Include a few extra pure-digital formats like theora, mp4, etc on separate media, just in case. Put it in a separate airtight container and make sure to include lots of silica gel.

Comment Re:Steam Engines (Score 1) 790

Steam engines are all over the place (e.g. in every nuclear power plant). But since you're probably talking about steam locomotives, you're just not hanging out in the right place (or don't have a young child in the house to insist you go to the right place). There are still steam locomotives running all over the world, though I'll admit they're more of the hobby/tourist variety than actual "working" locomotive hauling freight/passengers. I'm partial to http://www.mrsr.com/ and can assure you they make a lot more kinds of sounds than just that chuff-chuff-chuff---wishhhh. There's also not much to compare to the sound of a steam whistle from about 10 feet away, either.

Comment Terms of Service? (Score 0) 790

One would assume that Google has the right to make sure you're complying with their terms of service, and if in that (presumably automated) scan they find illegal activity, is it not their prerogative to report it to the authorities? On the flip side, is this much different from your leaving a stash of cocaine on the back seat when you take your car in for service? Do you expect that the mechanic wouldn't report it to the cops?

Comment It's not just about the money. (Score 1) 397

A lot of smaller breweries don't produce enough grain to sell it, but still give it away because garbage fees aren't cheap, either (some cities even charge additional fees because of the need to buffer the pH in to protect groundwater and other runoff). Or a thankful small-time pig farmer might share some bacon. That and it's good for the environment and local economies, and most micro-breweries are sensitive about both issues.

Anyway, this isn't just about money -- it's about the FDA proposing legislation/paperwork/hassle to fix a problem that doesn't exist. Thankfully, not in a small part due to the actions of brewers and farmers across the country, the FDA has backpedaled and is now re-evaluating the proposal to hopefully come up with something a bit more sane.

Comment Re:So I speak four languages now? (Score 2) 426

As someone who grew up bilingual, I used to list computer languages along with the bits and pieces of a few other languages (spoken and signed) when applying to college. I remain convinced that my experience with human languages has made me a better programmer, and am willing to bet the reverse as well -- grammar and syntax are two sides of the same coin. I think that it's *culturally* important to learn more human languages, but from a purely academic standpoint I'll take a student with French or C++ over one with neither.

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