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Comment New? Or just a shock for 'old' neighborhoods? (Score 1) 867

Wow! Really? At my parents house they had 'curbside' delivery to a mail box and had to walk all the way from their front door to the mail box at the street (gasp!) since 1959 until present. Where I live, we have had the neighbor mailbox cluster since 1984. So, this is new? I guess maybe in urban areas they still have door to door, but it's not been that way in the suburbs I've lived in for a very long time.

Comment The rest of the story. (Score 1) 371

Bruce Perens said "that would allow the use of Amateur frequencies in the U.S. for private, digitally-encrypted messages" but then he FAILED to include the rest of the story, which is that this request only covers the case where ham radio is being used in support of emergency communications. That is an important restriction to be aware of, as another poster mentioned.

Comment Look what speaking out did to the Dixie Chicks (Score 1) 1174

One remark by Natalie Maines and "one of the most popular acts in the country became its most hated. Its music was banned from radio, CDs were trashed by bulldozers, and one band member's home was vandalized."

If you are in the entertainment industry (write, sing, dance, act, etc) and you make controversial remarks, be prepared to have your career negatively impacted.

Comment Missing the point (Score 5, Insightful) 158

Andrew Hacker and nearly everyone else is missing the point.

Taking an algebra class for many students is not about the algebra, it's about learning to think. Even if you never use algebra again, the process of learning algebra is mental exercise that improves the mind. Taking a foreign language, studying biology, learning economics, studying history - it doesn't matter what the subject is, merely the more you learn the better a learner you are, and the better thinker you are.

In sports we see athletes perform all kinds of exercises that help develop skills used in their sport, but are never used directly. Ever see footage of a football player stepping through tires? Ever see one do that during the game? Ever see footage of a quarterback or pitcher throwing the ball through a hanging tire? Ever see them do that in a game? Athletics is filled with examples of training exercises done to hone one's skills for a game, yet we have difficulty accepting that mental exercises hone skills we need for life.

Comment Re:The tweet (Score 1) 172

"Then there is no free speech". Exactly. There is not now, nor has there ever been, such a thing as free speech. Sorta like the old line, "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?" The only place where 'free speech' exists is a place where no one can hear me speak. If I am in a room with a man and say "You are an f'ing a-hole" and as a consequence, he pulls out a gun and kills me, then I'd say I wasn't able to speak freely. As long as my words can have an adverse consequences to me or others, while I may, by LAW be free to speak them, by REALITY I am not. That is the real crux of these 'free speech' debates - some people, when saying 'free speech', mean "legally protected right to speak" while others mean "free to say anything you want". The two are not the same thing.

Comment Re:Maybe, maybe not. (Score 1) 243

Not likely... every election folks are very disappointed with the job CONGRESS is doing, but they think their own district's representative is just fine. So they re-elected their guy, and that happens across all districts, with the results that the success rate for incumbents is pretty high.

Comment Not just movie theaters (Score 1) 370

Last night I was a volunteer at a 3 hour long dance recital held at a theater (you know, a building with a stage down front, seats, and darkness...) Parents were told in writing, at rehearsals, and at the beginning of the performance - no electronics. No phones, iPads, Nooks, Nintendo, MP3 players, DVD players, etc, etc, etc. In fact, they were told that if a small child needed electronics to be entertained, they child should be left at home with, gasp, a baby sitter. And, of course, there were countless people who ignored the rules, including parents trying to keep small children quiet by using small DVD players. And, when I politely asked them to turn off their devices, they gave me crap.

The problem more universally is that people no longer know how to behave, and no matter how well the rules are promulgated, they believe the rules surely apply to everyone else, but not to them.

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