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Comment Re:The readability seems to be questionable. (Score 1) 355

The fact that there may be other elements besides the sign that influence whether or not parking is truly allowed is not the point. The point is that the sign "No parking between 7pm and 7am" is implicitly telling you that parking IS allowed between 7am and 7pm.

Is the sign giving you details about what type of parking is allowed? No, it is not. Could other signs offer more or even contradictory information about parking? Yes, certainly. Could the sign be completely and totally wrong in both the explicit and implicit information it conveys? Absolutely!

The phrase "the exception proves the rule" is not referring to mathematical proof that a rule exists and is valid. It is referring to the fact that we can deduce that the writer of the sign had an underlying rule in mind because of how they wrote the sign. We may, of course, be wrong...our understanding of the sign may be faulty, the sign writer may not have intended it as an exception. However, IF the writer did intend it as an exception, then our deduction must be correct--the writer MUST have had an underlying rule in mind.

Human communication contains gaps and unspoken assumptions--especially when it comes to norms. We don't tend to explicitly state what "everybody knows." However, this unstated information makes it very hard to have a rigorous discussion of human knowledge and behavior.

Thus, we are often left in the position where we need to explicitly state what "everybody knows." This can be quite difficult, since, sometimes, we are looking across time and outside of our cultural context--we aren't privvy to what a given speaker assumed his or her listeners shared as common knowledge. How can we find and delineate this information? Well, one useful way to identify unspoken norms is to look at stated exceptions to these norms.

Is this a useful thing to do? Well, that is like asking "Is division useful?" It depends on what question you are trying to answer and the type of analysis you are undertaking. It isn't hard to imagine someone misusing division to come up with an answer that is wrong or at least not useful. However, we know that division can also yield a useful answer. Similarly, there are problem domains where an analysis of unspoken norms, conducted carefully and properly, can yield useful results. It can also yield garbage if misapplied.

Comment Re:The readability seems to be questionable. (Score 1) 355

Either your lecturer is using "the exception proves the rule" improperly, or you should pay more attention during those "blah blah blahs." A sign that said "Emergency vehicles may use breakdown lane" implies that non-emergency vehicles cannot...the fact that the sign writer felt the need to state the exception implies there was an underlying rule or norm that was being excepted (the sign writer would still be being needlessly obscure, of course).

For example:

cop: you can't park there!

me: Yes I can, the sign says "No Parking on Sundays"

cop: But today isn't Sunday!

me: Right, but the sign is the exception that proves the rule. "No parking on Sunday" implies parking is allowed on other days.

cop: Oh...okay, you have a tail light out. Here's a ticket.

Comment This may merely be an allocation scheme (Score 5, Insightful) 420

What you may be seeing, especially if you are working for a very large company, could just be a cost allocation scheme, not a real money cost as you are thinking of it. If your department brings in revenue, the organization needs to match expenses to it for purposes of Management Accounting.

For instance, imagine you know it costs $X to run one of your cost centers. That dollar amount includes everything from the manpower, the equipment, the facility...everything. Now, they need to assign these costs to the departments that actually make money in a way that makes sense. They could do this by carefully costing out each service they provide and assigning an overhead rate, blah blah. That tends to be a pain. You do it if you have to...but you try not to have to. Another, easier, way of doing it is determining a usage metric (CPU hours, GB of storage, number of tickets) and using that to determine each profit center's percentage allocation of the overall cost.

So, the $60 per GB may not even be close to a market rate for storage. However, if all the departments used twice as much storage next year, the per GB cost might fall to $31 per GB (slightly more than half to account for the fact that there would obviously be more real costs). Conversely, if you convinced your management to contract externally for storage, everyone else might find their per GB cost rise, since the fixed costs would be static.

Comment Re:This is his standard disclaimer guys (Score 1) 676

A notice isn't required, no (so "need" was a poor choice of words on my part). But there are some very good reasons to include fact, I think you will find most publishers include one. If you don't include it, it makes it easier for someone to claim innocent infringement. And if you are asserting copyright on a portion of a publication that includes major portions that are well-known to be public domain, it never hurts to notify folks that a copyright is being asserted.

But I think the copyright notice in question should be revised to make clear which portions are covered and which are not. I don't think the distributor and publisher are trying to pull a fast one, though. Who would honestly believe that they owned the copyright on the Constitution? It could be clearer, but clearly it isn't fraud.

Comment Re:This is his standard disclaimer guys (Score 1) 676

Well, okay, that is a legitimate point, I think it does create a false impression that he holds a copyright on the entire piece. Now, while folks are probably smart enough to figure out that he doesn't actually control distribution rights for the Declaration of Independence, that might not be quite so clear for an old Tom Swift book.

I guess I could say that he is copyrighting his disclaimer so that nobody else can use it.

But seriously, I think he needs to include a standard copyright notice to protect elements he did create (covers, etc.). But now that he will undoubtedly be reworking his standard disclaimer, maybe he should consider adding a bit about it only applying to portions "not in the public domain."

Comment This is his standard disclaimer guys (Score 5, Insightful) 676

Hate to break up of the controversy with facts, but this disclaimer is just boilerplate the distributor puts on all of his products. He publishes lots of public domain works and he got sick an tired of people complaining about the language or mores.

You can get the full story on his blog:

I've known Warren for years. If he had been trying to make a point, he would flat out say that was what he was doing.

Comment Re:W...T...F..... (Score 1) 119

I believe they meant that "Matter of Trust" is a non-profit. The original post suggested that they ask BP to buy a textile mill and I think that Interkin3tic misunderstood that meant that this was a suggestion that BP take over "Matter of Trust." You then misunderstood Interkin3tic's message because you didn't share the same original misunderstanding.

What we need is a third misunderstanding to bring us back around to all being on the same page. Much like 3 lefts make a right, 3 misunderstandings make agreement!

Comment Re:Multi-page article (Score 3, Informative) 55

Maybe you're thinking of the wrong brand?

No, I'm mocking the Energizer Bunny campaign of ads a robotic bunny left the set of its own ad and started interrupting other ads for fictional products.

Whether you recognize the Duracell Bunny or the Energizer Bunny as a simple of everlasting battery life depends on where you are from. In Europe and Australia, Duracell has trademarked the use, in the U.S., Energizer did (they were the jonny-come-lately).


Comment Re:quality (Score 1) 341

How was the Pinto a death trap? Especially when compared to other subcompacts of the time, it had fewer deaths per million vehicles on the road. It even had a lower rate of fatality due to fire than other sub-compacts.

It is only for fires caused from rear collisions that it had a higher fatality rate.

It had a design defect, to be sure. But the overall safety of the car was pretty much average for its class.

Now, the VW Beetle was a deathtrap! It had a 10-20% higher fatality rate than the Pinto.

Damn Germans!


Submission + - Team to Use PS3,YDL in DARPA Urban Challenge

fistfullast33l writes: "While the PS3's Linux distribution has taken some hits for running inside a hypervisor that limits access to some hardware, the Axion Racing team has announced they will be using a PS3 running Yellow Dog Linux in their entry for the DARPA Urban Challenge in November 2007. "We felt having cars drive themselves was getting a little too easy, so we threw the Sony PlayStation into our bag of tricks," joked Bill Kehaly, Axion Racing's team leader. The PS3 will be in charge of examining information from an RGB road finding camera, and will be utilizing the Cell processor's multithreading capabilities to do so."

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