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Comment Re:Nor shipping (Score 1) 110

Whenever I buy a prime item, it always says -"Expected Ship Date" ..., or "Usually ships in ..." if the item is not going to ship same day or the next day. The only times that I can remember not receiving my package by the promised date was either during the Christmas rush 2 years ago and packages that come through the US Post Office where the package didn't reach the post office by the time that the driver left the main office. And that problem has largely disappeared with Amazon putting pressure on the post office to get their act together when delivering their packages. I get a lot of value from my prime subscription, even if the Amazon Prime price is somewhat higher than what I might pay elsewhere. The sheer convenience of being able to order something and have it show up at my doorstep 2 days later is worth a lot. And their return procedures are about as easy as can be imagined. I don't know about Android tablets and amazon video streaming, but it is certainly available for the iPad. I routinely download for later viewing movies and shows from Amazon to watch off line when I'm somewhere wireless is not available. Amazon music is pretty good as well.

Comment Re:Non-lethal instead! (Score 1) 1388

The goal in shooting in self defense or in the defense of others (the only legal way to shoot someone) is to stop the attack. I wouldn't expect anyone (police or civilian) to intentionally try to shoot the bad guy in the leg in an attempt to only wound. Even in controlled situations such as IDPA competations at relatively close range (10 yards) it is hard for new shooters or shooters that don't shoot much to put "two in the black". Trying for a smaller area (arm, leg, hand) greatly reduces the likelyhood of a hit so most shooters aim for the center of the chest simply because it's the biggest target. My understanding of the rules of engagement for law enforcement is that they are prohibited from intentionally "shooting to wound" which is somewhat different than a mandate of "shoot to kill" although the effect may be the same. I shoot regularly in competetions and from that I know how difficult it would be to shoot accurately in a real life defensive situation. There's no way that someone that doesn't practice combat shooting on a regular basis (and that means daily or weekly) is going to be able to shoot accurately enough to routinely hit the bad guy in a less lethal area when it's for real. I'm not a big fan of people that conceal carry on their person for that reason.

Comment Re:Not saying I don't care...but... (Score 1) 316

How many times does this stupid argument have to come up? Medical insurance is not like car insurance or property insurance. No one gets to choose their genetic make up. I can choose not to build my house in a flood plain. I can choose to obey traffic laws not drink and drive, not text and talk on the phone while driving. All those things are within my control. My genetic predisposition to disease is not. Are you really so self satisfied that you would tell a parent "Sorry, your child has a 15 percent chance of developing childhood leukemia. We'll provide you with health insurance, but it will cost you $5000 a month"

Comment Re:Great plan there (Score 4, Interesting) 515

This may well be related to a funding issue. In my state, schools receive money based on the average daily attendance, not the actual enrollment. In any case, it seems that having a draconian excused absence policy only serves to teach both parents and kids to lie effectively. My son's high school had a fairly strict excused absence policy. When one of his friends was killed in an automobile accident the school told us that if he missed school to attend the funeral, the absence would have been unexcused. I had no problem at all telling the school that he was absent due to a scheduled doctors appointment. Had the school asked for proof that he had actually seen the doctor I would have had no problem mocking of the letter on official looking stationary stating that he had been seen on that day and scrawling a doctors name at the bottom. Even if the school were inclined to verify the excuse with the doctor, medical privacy laws in general prohibit medical practitioners from disclosing information about the patient so the risk of detection would be minimal. Even if we were found out, there were essentially no negative consequences to lying to the school. There were a couple of other instances when I felt it was reasonable and proper to keep my child out of school but the school would have defined the reason as an unexcused absence. I felt no obligation to be honest with the school under the circumstances. In some ways I guess that the schools are teaching a valuable lesson. Sometimes it's just best to tell the convenient lie rather than the truth. Honesty is not always the best policy.

The Real 'Stuff White People Like' 286

Here's an interesting and funny look at 526,000 OkCupid users, divided into groups by race and gender and all the the things each groups says it likes or is interested in. While it is far from being definitive, the groupings give a glimpse of what makes each culture unique. According to the results, white men like nothing better than Tom Clancy, Van Halen, and golfing.

Big Brother In the School Cafeteria? 425

AustinSlacker writes "An Iowa school district's lunch program asks children as young as 5 years old to memorize a four-digit PIN code so it can monitor what they eat in the school cafeteria - prompting some parents to claim it's an unhealthy case of 'Big Brother.' An over reaction by parents or an unnecessary invasion of privacy?"

Comment Re:White Cardboard. (Score 1) 343

poly-chlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin the generic name for a class of chemicals, and 2,3,7,8 tetrachloro-dibenzo-p-dioxin, the chemical most commonly referred to as dioxin are produced as a biproduct of combustion of organic material in the presence of chlorine, and in some manufacturing processs. The herbicide 2,4-D and 2,4,5 T (Agent Orange) contained low levels of dioxin as a manufacturing biproduct. I've been out of the field for several years now, but in the early 2000's much of the dioxin released into the environment came from disposal of trash by "back yard" burning. Dioxin released into the environment through other routes such as chlorinated herbicide production, paper bleaching using chlorine, municiple incinerators etc. declined significantly throughout the 1990s. Total body burden of dioxin in a 70 kg person is less than 5 ug (very low part per trillion levels). The levels of dioxin are the environment seem to be dropping as industrial processes are improved. Reducing levels a lot more will require significant changes in personal behavior (no more backyard trash burning) and further improvements in industrial incineration.

Comment Re:Crime rate is lower in facilities... (Score 2, Insightful) 219

Seems that the appropriate response would have depended entirely on the contents of the 911 call. If there was specific, actionable information in the 911 call, then that would be one thing. If the caller said "Help me, my boyfriend is beating me and I can't get away." it seems reasonable to enter without the owner's permission. If the call was simply a hang up, or a call for a non-criminal emergency, then there should be no reason for the police to enter without permission. In many places, 911 calls are a matter of public record. Seems like it would be reasonable for the GP to find out exactly the contents of the call. If the police were unreasonable or acting outside of policy, then it would be reasonable to complain, and seek appropriate restitution.

Comment Re:Could've been the Anarchist's Cookbook.... (Score 1) 418

Surely for something like this, it's not even the case that you'd need instructions. A quick hit on Wikipedia tells me that Ricin occurs in Castor beans and the pulp of about eight beans contains enough to kill an adult human. Well I thought ricin came from rice (don't know why), but once you've crossed that bit of ignorance, it surely can't be that hard to derive ricin, can it? Buy castor beans, pulp them up and try a few experiments at getting a solution out of them. You can test it on mice bought from any old pet store. (I wouldn't, I'm vegetarian, but I'm presuming some terrorists have fewer reservations about animal testing). That's assuming that the information isn't already out there. I quick search finds that the process for extracting ricin is actually FILED AT THE US PTO. It's a matter of public record! Hillarious! :D I think every other student has a copy of the Anarchist cookbook. Big deal. Terrorist used to mean someone that scared people to get their ends from the government. These days "terrorist" means someone used by the government to scare you with.

The devil is always in the details. Dealing with any extremely toxic material is not just a matter of following a cook book recipe. If you think that your lab technique is good, try weighing out a few samples of silver nitrate on the bench top. Unless you do chemistry for a living I expect that you will find little black specs on your hands the next day, no matter how careful you think you are. I can't imagine extracting ricin anywhere but a well equipped laboratory with serious safety precautions. It's not something any sane person would consider doing in the kitchen.


New Linux Petabyte-Scale Distributed File System 132

An anonymous reader writes "A recent addition to Linux's impressive selection of file systems is Ceph, a distributed file system that incorporates replication and fault tolerance while maintaining POSIX compatibility. Explore the architecture of Ceph and learn how it provides fault tolerance and simplifies the management of massive amounts of data."

NASA Space Habitat Research Goes Undersea 55

PSandusky writes "NASA is preparing to make use of Aquarius, the underwater laboratory off Key Largo, for an extended period of time to research the effects of isolation in habitats situated in extreme environments. Planned areas of research include extravehicular activity logistics and crew health and performance. According to NASA's factsheet (PDF), the mission will include some communication with schools and social media sites. "

Porsche Unveils 911 Hybrid With Flywheel Booster 197

MikeChino writes "Porsche has just unveiled its 911 GT3 R Hybrid, a 480 horsepower track vehicle ready to rock the 24-hour Nurburgring race this May. Porsche's latest supercar will use the same 911 production platform available to consumers today, with a few race-ready features including front-wheel hybrid drive and an innovative flywheel system that stores kinetic energy from braking and then uses it to provide a 160 horsepower burst of speed. The setup is sure to offer an advantage when powering out of turns and passing by other racers."

Comment Re:Odd, to say the least. (Score 1) 490

sadly not the case.. for NC .. instate tuition goes to people whom have lived here (while not in college ) for 6 months in a permanent residence (showing of bills or your legal guardian showing them as proof of residence is enough).

Basically i know several people from Brazil who came up here for 1-2 years of High school - on the student visa got an apartment - and enrolled in college with instate tuition.

By now they have gotten green cards - but the didn't have that originally when they where getting instate tuition.

This is BS. If you answer the questions on the application for residency status truthfully, establishing residency for tuition purposes in North Carolina is actually pretty difficult. The situation described in the parent post, students coming to the US on a student visa for the last 1-2 years of highschool and renting an appartment wouldn't cut it. The only way these people from Brazil might have been able to qualify for in-state residency was if they moved in with relatives who were permanent North Carolina residents and the relatives became their legal guardians. From the NC State web page: For any person under 18 years old, the traditional common law generally presumes that minors share the same legal residency as their parents. Thus, if both parents have established legal residency, the minor will also have legal residency in N. C. If the minorâ(TM)s parents are divorced/separated with one living in N. C. and one living out-of-state, the minor may be presumed to share legal residency with the in-state parent if the in-state parent claims the minor as a dependent for tax purposes. Some exceptions exist (see GS 116-143.1(j) and k). If anything, it is more difficult to establish residency if you are over 18. North Carolina requires that you live in the state for 1 year (not six months) before you can be eligible to enroll as an in-state student. In addition, you can't just live here on daddy's dime, you have to show that you have the resources (generally a job) to stay here without assistance from parents, or other guardians that live out of state. If you leave the state for traditional school holidays (spring break, Christmas break, summer break etc.) you pretty much lose in-state residency for tuition purposes. If you have an out of state drivers license, you don't get in-state tuition. If your car is registered or insured in another state - no in-state tuition for you. The list goes on. For non-US citizens, you must provide proof that you are eligible to remain in the United States permanently. Anyone that is at the university on a Student visa (like the hypothetical Brazilian students in the parent post) are automatically disqualified from receiving in-state tuition. And they do read the application for in-state tuition. I've been a North Carolina resident for my entire life, but prior to when I started graduate school in the late 1990s my job had me out of state for six consecutive weeks. One of the questions on my in-state residency application was "Have you been out of NC for more than 30 consecutive days in the last year" The yes answer was an automatic denial of in-state residency. I had to appeal the decisioin, provide proof that I had maintained a legal residence in NC, that I never changed car registration, etc. before I was able to get in state residency for tuition purposes. Here's a link to the NC State page describing the process for establishing NC residency for tuition purposes. No argument that there are lots of problems with immigration, student visas and so on. This just isn't one of them

Comment Re:A lot of geeks are libertarian leaning (Score 5, Informative) 445

This is a dangerous myth that way to many people believe. The fact is, it's just not true. All hospitals that accept federal funds of any kind, including medicare and medicaid payments must provide an evaluation and appropriate emergency treatment. If a woman presents in active labor, they either have to treat her, or if they can't safely treat they must arrange for appropriate transportation to another facility. If a patient presents in the emergency room with a condition that will, in the short term, become life threatening, the hospital must treat. Other than those 2 cases, the hospital has no obligation to provide treatment.

Have strep throat. The hospital must evaluate, but are under no obligation to run a strep test or provide antibiotics to treat the problem unless it has progressed to sepsis.

Present with a blood glucose level of 250. Might not even be diagnosed, depending on the acute symptoms. No obligation to treat, no required follow-up for diabetes education, no requirement to provide a blood glucose monitor or test strips, no requirement to provide medications that control the condition.

Present with asthma. Most of the time, this gets you to the front of the line right up there with the cardiac patient. They have to get you stable, might even have to admit you for a day or two to get the symptoms under control, but the hospital has no obligation to treat after the crisis has passed.

Show up with an obvious 1 cm melanomia on the back of your hand. Don't expect a dermatologist to come down, remove the cancer and do a biopsy and provide on going treatment. At best you'll get a refereal from the ER doc and an admonition to see a specialist as soon as possible.

Bottom line, unless the patient is in active labor, or the condition is such that there is a significant possibility that the patient might die in the short term, there is no legal obligation for the hospital to provide any treatment whatsoever.

I am sure that there are clinics and hospitals out there that provide on-going treatment for chronic conditions and will work out a payment plan for you. But no one should believe that there is a legal requirement for any health care organization to provide routine care if you have no means to pay for it.

The Courts

Non-Compete Clauses Thrown Out In California 375

drfuchs writes "If you signed an employment agreement in California, any non-compete clause in it is null & (void*), says the state Supreme Court of California (ruling PDF). Better still, the San Francisco Chronicle opines that the US Federal courts are likely to fall in line with the decision in the way they interpret California law. (Most other states still have non-compete laws on the books and it's not clear this ruling will affect them.) Turns out it wasn't a high-tech case at all, but a CPA who had worked for the accounting firm Arthur Anderson (now disgraced due to their complicity in the Enron case)."

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