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Comment Re:I don't know the answer (Score 1) 392

You say that like it's a bad thing. Washington State has never met a tax it didn't like. The state feels ENTITLED to your money, and Microsoft's. Why should we give money to Washington so they can turn around and hire an office full of overpaid bureaucrats to teach elementary students how to recycle? Tax avoidance is an obligation for every citizen to do as well at it as he or she possibly can. Washington State is bloated and fat at our expense.

Comment Yeah, sure. My father had great ideas. (Score 1) 154

He sure thought so. He could have been the poster child for the "Good Ideas, Only Rejected by the PHB" crowd. Every day he would have a new idea that would "revitalize, invigorate, and make the company (in his profession) excel."

Only problem was, they were exceedingly stupid, painfully ignorant ideas. Sorry, Dad.

Comment Re:" it was even a Boeing aircraft" (Score 5, Informative) 139

Not the point. He knew how to lower the stairs. He was familiar with THIS aircraft, a 727. The whole thing took place between Portland and Seattle, where the SST manufacturing plant was located, which is a valid and rare source for the material found on the tie. The government had just cancelled the SST program and Boeing laid of thousands of workers in the midst of the Boeing death-spiral recession that was happening at the same time where Boeing went from 130,000 employees to 35,000 in 18 months. That's when the billboard went up: "Will the last one to leave Seattle please turn out the lights?" That points to someone who worked at Boeing or at least had inside information.

Comment An age-old argument (Score 1) 258

Should public libraries be repositories like museums and "save" old books pretty much no one wants to read? Or should they be modern collections of contemporary material people do want to read? It is a sound management practice for a library to have a policy that books not checked out in one or two years ought to be candidates for replacement. That doesn't mean EVERY book so classified will be purged. Nobody is going to throw away the last copy of "Tom Sawyer." But particularly in a "branch" library which is part of a library SYSTEM that has many branches and very likely a "central" library where "last copies" are stored, it makes infinite sense to keep branch collections fresh.

What we have here is a clear case of insubordination by a Branch Librarian who has decided in his or her infinite wisdom that his or her judgment is superior to the overall library policy. Her excuse is that "other libraries do it, too." without any proof of that. But I can verify that it does happen. I worked in public libraries for forty years (most of it in IT) and I know we FIRED one librarian who had that attitude (for that and a lot more) because her acquisitive OCD tendencies drove everyone else crazy to the point that the branch and staff morale suffered.

Libraries have a hard-enough time staying relevant in a world where people believe Google substitutes for a good research librarian. Even considering the Library is just about the only public place with hundreds of computers for the public to use, free databases that otherwise charge, and even classes for the public to teach them the basics, it's still difficult. Yet around the entire country circulation is at record levels because the general public still sees the library as important to their daily lives and an excellent value for money spent. You don't get there by being a collection of old, musty books no one wants to read.

Comment Pretty good for dishwashers, but computers? Meh? (Score 2) 212

Consumer Reports is what it is, and for lots of stuff it is great, but because they do pretty well with appliances does not make them experts anywhere else. A very old joke in Motor Trend (or the equivalent; I forget.) has white lab coated guys in beards and spectacles carefully taking notes on clipboards as they push cars off a cliff. To one man's query another guy says, "Oh, that's just Consumer Reports testing cars again."

Comment I feel sorry for them (Score 1) 406

I quit as soon as I became financially independent and never looked back. It's been a dozen years of pure bliss so far. It's possible I will get into trouble, but very unlikely. If everything upon which my early 'retirement' is based were to fail, I would have a whole lot of company. If the actuarial tables are accurate, then no worries. I'm really sorry people need the daily grind to feel fulfilled and happy.

Comment Lifelock is useless (Score 2) 41

A couple of years ago I got caught in the Stratfor hack. They waited a couple of weeks before telling customers. I verified my info was in the wild. A full month later Lifelock informed me I might have been hacked. By that time I had replaced everything. Useless service.

Comment No, they should not (Score 2) 1081

This is the United STATES of America, not the United PEOPLE of America. It's not all about you. I know that's hard to take because you think you're so important, but that's the way it is. Lots of people are under the mistaken impression that the Electoral College was put in place to "protect slavery." That's not true at all. It was the exact opposite. When the original 13 colonies decided to band together the southern slave-holding states dominated the landscape both in terms of land area and population. Virginia was HUGE and, in fact, for the first 50 years most every President came from Virginia.

But it was the NORTHERN states that were small with small populations: Delaware, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, New Jersey, Massachusetts. Compared to southern states they are all TINY, so they are the ones who lobbied for a Senate where every state was equally represented, and in matters of voting, was the same size. The House was left to be "The People's House" based solely on population.

In real-life terms what this means is that the presidential campaign must take into consideration ALL states because any one of them could turn out to be a decisive one in terms of the Electoral College vote. If this were NOT The case the candidates could concentrate on both coasts and ignore most of the country. But as it stands the Electoral College gives a very slight advantage to the less populous and smaller states. Look at the Electoral College Map for this election. It's available nearly everywhere. What you see is a mass of red states all across the country with a smattering of blue on the West Coast plus Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico, and the northeast plus Virginia, Minnesota, and Illinois. That's all. 20 states are blue; 30 states are red. And most of the really tiny sates that the Electoral College was designed to help? They're all blue.

The United States was set up as a Republic ("What have you given us?" "A Republic, madam, if you can keep it."--Benjamin Franklin), not a "Democracy," where you suffer under the illusion that all voters are equal, when half of them are stupid and easily led, as every election shows. "Democracy" is Mob Rule, two wolves and a sheep voting for what is for dinner. God save us from that. The Electoral College was set up to provide for a majority of people AND STATES to elect the President with as broad a mandate as possible from the entire United States--not just the population of a minority of states on both coasts. Trump won the state vote 30 to 20, even though those small states had the advantage of their senatorial electoral college votes.

Comment You needn't go yourself. (Score 1) 222

Every time this subject comes up on Slashdot there is an overwhelming amount of negativity. âoeWe canâ(TM)t go.â âoeWe shouldnâ(TM)t go.â âoeItâ(TM)s impossible!â âoeYou would die there.â âoeIt will never happen.â âoeItâ(TM)s all smoke and mirrors.â âoeSolve Earth problems first.â âoeItâ(TM)s too expensive!â On and on and on you go, whining all the way. And your objections are silly. âoeWell, has anyone thought about food?â Seriously? You think no one has THOUGHT about food? âoeBut thereâ(TM)s no atmosphere!â Really? Like they donâ(TM)t know that?

What the Hell is wrong with you people? You need to turn in your Slashdot membership cards and decoder rings. Where is your sense of adventure? Where is your sense of a future? Staring at screens in the basement writing obscure code? If the ancients had attitudes like yours no one would ever have dared to cross a raging river, much less a vast ocean. It would have been deemed âoetoo dangerousâ with âoeno useful outcome.â They would have stayed in their caves and never ventured forth, never left Olduvai Gorge because, you know, something bad might happen or we havenâ(TM)t figured out all the angles yet. Besides, there might be dragons.

Every single one of the objections here is a solvable engineering problem. ALL of them. Technically there is nothing that cannot be solved here. Itâ(TM)s all possible. If you donâ(TM)t think so, then I feel sorry for you and your lack of vision and faith that these issues CAN be solved even if they are unsolved today. As for your attitudinal problems, those people who say, âoeI donâ(TM)t want to go therefore you shouldnâ(TM)t either.â Please get the fuck out of the way. Itâ(TM)s not your call. There are plenty of people who want to go regardless if to you the circumstances would result in death on a distant planet. Whatâ(TM)s the difference? Youâ(TM)ll die, too. If youâ(TM)re atheistic, youâ(TM)re dust in both places. If you believe in the hereafter, it shouldnâ(TM)t matter. Whereâ(TM)s the beef?

Thereâ(TM)s one simple reason we should go no matter what the odds, no matter what the opposition. It will double our chances as a species. If youâ(TM)re one of those self-loathing humans who think we all deserve to die, well, go kill yourself first. We need to get off this planet before the next asteroid hits. No, not everybody. Most everyone will die. No equality here. If a few survive, we did it. And thatâ(TM)s not all. We need to get out of this solar system. That makes Mars look like a holiday drive to the ocean cabin, but ultimately, unless we can harness the Sun to do our bidding, thatâ(TM)s what we have to do.

If you donâ(TM)t want to do that, if you donâ(TM)t want to participate, thatâ(TM)s just fine. Itâ(TM)s not required that you have the vision and the drive to get there. You can just stay here and whatever it is that makes you happy. But the first rockets to leave for mars will surely do so within our lifetimes, so you can go from saying, âoeIt will ever happen.â To saying, âoeThis is sheer folly and will never work.â So when you lay dying knowing full well that the first ships made it, and there are people on Mars, you can console yourself for being so very smart knowing you had the presence of mind to stay on shore.

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Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984