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Comment Re:health insurance is like auto insurance now (Score 1) 2424

Find me someone who’s happily living high on the hog in a housing project in NOLA, who isn’t drug-addicted or crazy, who wouldn’t rather be working, who doesn’t struggle to scrape by every day, and I’ll give you $1. I’m not saying there aren’t people on welfare, but I’ve never heard of anyone, who was relatively sane, who thought it was preferable to working.

Comment Re:Incorrect premise (Score 1) 945

Agreed. I had a photography teacher in high school who used to say that photography was 50% science and 50% art — that you needed to master the technical stuff (chemical temperatures, film speeds, aperture size / shutter speed etc.) in order to be able to forget it and concentrate on the art. Apple has worked hard to shorten the initial learning curve on most of their products — osx the iphone, the ipod all tend to be easier to learn initially than comparative products. That’s pretty much why most artists I know (and I’m one of them) like to use them. It has nothing to do with their technical power. In fact, I think most artists wouldn’t disagree that Windows machines, for instance, are probably more powerful and ultimately able to do more than Mac. But apple computers are very easy to use, and allow you (with some major exceptions) to do what you want on them — whether it’s edit photos, or record music, or make movies. So you can get through the technical stuff a little faster, and get to the art — the stuff that most artists are more interested in. I personally like mac machines and I recommend them to friends. I don’t think much about what it “says” about me. If there were a cheaper PC that was as easy to figure out, as free from hassles, viruses, spyware, adware, and crap, and had all the software I wanted, I’d use it.

Comment Re:Political reform? (Score 1) 94

OTOH, if the "shock" of the affair happens often enough, it will finally get to the point where no one actually cares (this is starting to happen, I think) and then hopefully, people will remember that being faithful to your spouse isn't actually a necessary job qualification for being a politician. At least, we can hope.

Submission + - Google Books Antitrust Issues (

heyitsgogi writes: "NYTimes is reporting that the Justice Dept. is looking into Google's huge book search settlement for antitrust issues. Is this too much power for one organization to hold, or is Google speeding up the inevitable "all information online" goal? from the article:

The inquiry does not necessarily mean that the department will oppose the settlement, which is subject to a court review. But it suggests that some of the concerns raised by critics, who say the settlement would unfairly give Google an exclusive license to profit from millions of books, have resonated with the Justice Department.


Comment Re:So something which we can't define... (Score 1) 267

In other words, any non-contrived definition of life that includes the mule must also include fire. Here is a very basic explanation:

Right. Except that fire can be spontaneously created and mules can't. So the trouble is not that mules aren't alive and fire is, the trouble is the simple wikipedia definition is wrong.

The Courts

ACLU of Ohio Sues To Block Paper Ballots 243

Apu writes in to inform us that the ACLU is trying to block an Ohio county from moving from touchscreen voting machines back to paper ballots. While it may seem like Cuyahoga County — which includes Cleveland — is moving in a good direction from the perspective of ballot security, the system chosen tabulates all votes at a central location. This means that voters don't get notified if their ballot contains errors, and thus they have no chance to correct it. The ACLU of Ohio is asking a federal judge for an injunction against any election in Cuyahoga County it they move to the new system.

Submission + - Men allegedly Googled 'how to blow up ATMs'

An anonymous reader writes: THREE Sydney men charged with conspiring to blow up ATMs with powerful homemade explosive, allegedly obtained information on how to do it from the internet, police said today. The men, who were among five arrested yesterday in a joint operation by federal and NSW police, were denied bail by a Sydney court today. Fadi Bassil, 20, from Lakemba, Elias Taouk, 19, from Kingsgrove, and Badawi Nassour, 20, of Greenacre, were all remanded in custody until October 23. A fourth man, Linley Desire Jose Anthony, was refused bail when he appeared in the same court yesterday. The fifth was released after questioning by police. Police said the arrests followed a tip-off from Northern Territory authorities about the purchase of otherwise legal chemicals that could be used in the manufacture of nitroglycerine. Police documents tendered in Sydney Central Local Court said the men bought 23 litres of chemicals as well as mixing equipment such as beakers, thermometers and droppers from a Darwin company. The products could have been used to manufacture up to 40kg of nitroglycerine, police said. Police said internet surveillance revealed that Mr Bassil had Googled "how to blow up ATM machines" and "how much money is kept in bank ATMs". The men also had Googled a recipe for the explosives, and eventually gained all they needed from the internet in terms of knowledge and know-how to carry out the job, police said. They said the men discussed by mobile phone and SMS how to best mix the chemicals to form the explosive and when and where to carry out tests using fireworks as detonators. Mr Taouk was allegedly intercepted fantasising about what he would do with the loot from the planned roberies. "Taouk said he couldn't wait to be on video and couldn't wait until he parked his Porsche in front of Roxy's (nightclub) in Parramatta," the police documents stated. When refusing bail today, Magistrate Paul Lyon said: "the sheer volume of the substance takes it into the serious category". Looks like Google is giving up search history to the man.,22884,22327 716-5005940,00.html
Desktops (Apple)

Submission + - Essential Mac utilities (

jcatcw writes: Computerworld's list of tools that should be installed on every Mac but that Apple didn't include. For example, your Mac sends a lot of information to other computers on a regular basis — that's how it knows that updates are available. Little Snitch will let you know when it tries to send information off to another computer. Inquisitor provides likely matches in a drop down as you type into Safari's search bar. Perian is a sort of universal translator for QuickTime that adds support for almost any video format. MacPilot provides customization, including the ability to have all windows re-opened at next logon. In all, 26 apps in 11 categories.

Submission + - Microsoft Announces Plans to Upgrade LIVE

Mitchell McEwan writes: "A big announcement came from Microsoft camp today with plans to increase the official size limit of Xbox LIVE Arcade games from 50MB to 150MB. To support the change, on April 3rd Microsoft will be releasing a 512MB Memory Unit worldwide for the Xbox 360, set to retail in the US for $49.99. Eight times larger than the current 64MB unit (which will simultaneously drop in price from $39.99 to $29.99), the 512MB unit will come with Bizzare Creations hit LIVE title Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved preloaded for a limited time. For the full story, go to ft_Announces_Plans_to_Upgrade_LIVE.html"

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This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.