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Comment Re: Hmm (Score 1) 136

Actually, the kid was smart enough to figure out the unlocking thing and then ask Siri for help. I'm just surprised that dialing 999 (or 911) is beyond him.

He probably saw his mom unlock the phone and use Siri many times before. However, being as he is only 4 years old he might not have known to call 999, or which number on the keypad was 9 when it came up. Some 4 year olds can read the numbers 0-9 but not all. Stringing together the right 3-digit sequence of numbers is not a small task at that age.

Comment Timing went from bad to worse (Score 1) 166

This strike, had it been called while President Barack "Lawnchair" Obama was in office, would have likely ended in no progress for either side, with the workers going back to the same shitty situation they walked out from (ultimately a loss for the workers as they would see no raise while their cost of living increases). That would have been bad timing.

Now we have a GOP that is still drunk on power calling the shots in DC. These workers might as well go take a long walk off a short pier at this point. I would be surprised if they are able to return to any jobs at all. There is no protection left for them, and if they thought otherwise they will soon find how wrong they are.

Comment Re:Use a liberal definition of planet (Score 3, Interesting) 150

I actually really like this idea:
Define a Star as a body that has achieved a nuclear fusion reaction.
Define a Planet as a body that has enough mass to be spherical that orbits a star.
Define a Planetoid as a body that has enough mass to be spherical that does not orbit a star.
Define a Moon as a body that has enough mass to be spherical that orbits a planet.
Define an Asteroid as a body that does not have enough mass to be spherical that orbits a star.
Define a Natural Satellite (here's to you, potato shaped Phobos) as a body that does not have enough mass to be spherical that orbits a planet. Maybe call it a Moonoid?


Define Pluto and Charon as a binary planet; since they appear to orbit each other (and binary stars are already defined).
If this means Sedna and a few other bodies become planets -- fine. But at least the definitions are easy.

Comment Impossible! Re:30 year nuisance (Score 1) 163

Yep, you guessed it. I don't have social media either.

I have been told repeatedly by a large number of people that I am the only person on earth who is not on facebook. Surely by the power of numbers they are right and you are wrong, hence you must be on facebook. Sorry to break it to you. You might want to make sure your account is under control before you travel next time.

Comment Geometry is hard, as is geography (Score 5, Insightful) 319

To be fair, Mercator's projection - whether it had any kind of agenda in favor of minimizing Africa or not - ran up against some serious geography and geometry problems. Africa is the largest continent that crosses the equator, and a large amount of its land mass is relatively close to the equator. By comparison, North America does not traverse the equator at all, nor does Europe, Asia, or Australia. As it was pointed out in the summary, Greenland appears near the size of Africa in this projection but that reflects the projection itself more than anything.

As we were all (hopefully) taught in school, any map projection will be a compromise. After all, we're trying to take the surface of a round object and display it on a flat surface.

Comment Define "We", please (Score 1, Insightful) 554

The headline makes it sound as if Slashdot itself deserves credit for this. Hopefully readers here are smart enough to know that is not the case, but it should be made clear that "we" does not include anyone who works with or is affiliated in any way with Slashdot.

Comment Silicon Valley is like other places, then (Score 5, Insightful) 274

Wow, I'm shocked. CEOs in Silicon Valley have similar characteristics to CEOs in NYC, Washington DC, and beyond. Where's the news here? Did many people really think that the most valuable companies in Silicon Valley are actually still being led by the people responsible for their initial invention(s)?

Comment Only in America, Baby... (Score 1) 283

The civilized world has at least a base level of universal health care for everyone within their country. We find that gets in the way of profit so we won't allow it to happen. This isn't a partisan issue, either - the health insurance industry owns politicians of every flavor and invests heavily to ensure that this does not change.

Comment Only in America, Baby... (Score 1) 308

The civilized world has at least a base level of universal health care for everyone within their country. We find that gets in the way of profit so we won't allow it to happen. This isn't a partisan issue, either - the health insurance industry owns politicians of every flavor and invests heavily to ensure that this does not change.

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