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Comment Buffy? Doctor Who? WTF? (Score 1) 116

How do you figure Buffy is Sci-Fi? I like the show (up to a point), and find it was well written, but sci-fi it ain't.

As for Doctor who, it has that veneer, but is mostly sciency, but not, strictly, always science fiction. And Netflix as a bastion of Doctor Who? Not so fast: they only really have the modern series from Christopher eccleson on, and one show each of the previous doctors.

When I can watch the Doctor from "An Unearthly child" on, then I'll go along and say Netflix carries the Doctor.

[end mini-vent]

Comment Re:Healthcare (Score 1) 356


First, let me handle the obvious: Your replies (bagorange and dbill) seem to indicate that you are under the illusion that I am a bible-thumpin’ Warrior of God who has forsaken sex that I might instruct you wicked men in the holy ways of our lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

Nothing could be further from the truth: Although I see some value in religion, its benefits are too often obscured by the sensationalist presentation of the dark lacunae therein. This post is not about that, so engage me on what I mean another time instead of hurling rage.

Now, on to the meat of your ignorant commentary.

My original post in this thread was a rebuttal to the notion that obesity rates were the result solely of a medical condition and should be treated as such. When the lifestyle and eating habits of the Japanese are compared to that of an American (as you did), you can see the difference: The Japanese culture has always been one to favor moderation and motion, the Americans favor excess consumption and sedentary lifestyle . This is made more clear when you factor in uniquely American phrases as “Couch Potato” “Supersize” and “Armchair quarterback” to describe a great mass of humanity that would rather sit on their couch—inactive and not burning calories—than go out for a walk with their (also fat) dog.

Oh, they could move if they wanted to. I, for one, know I should be working more on managing my lifestyle to include more “healthful” decisions, but ultimately, I choose where I spend my precious time. Sometimes I think it’s better spent replying to threads on slashdot in the hope blind hate gives way to understanding. In any event, the point is Americans are known for excess, and their exaltation of it despite possible consequence. A cure for disease or obesity is only an operation or pill away. And it’s sad that the mindset is “fix it down the road” instead of “keep an eye on the little shit before it becomes big shit” Zen way of thinking.

As evidence,I presented the words and actions of the person who is the face of the current healthcare debate in America. Actual words, spoken by the president, carefully researched because I wanted the quote to be accurate—Because it matters.

Words DO matter. Believe it or not, they are supposed to mean something.

What Barry clearly meant was that abortion should exist as a birth control measure. Read the words back again because I cross checked this quote a few times to ensure I got it right and couldn’t be accused of misrepresenting this position:

“I’ve got two daughters.” = “I have two kids”

“I am going to teach them first of all about morals and values” = “I will teach them right from wrong, and about paying for your actions”

“But, if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.” = If they ignore my teachings, and spread their legs at the wrong time, maybe even promiscuously, it’s cool with me if they scrape their innards or imbibe chemicals (organic food, but not people? Really, Barry?) to prevent a natural consequence of their action. To Protect them from The payment for their deeds.

Now, it’s bad enough B.O. equates a baby with punishment (I’m sure his daughters love that phrasing), and I suppose for a lot of people children are. The point I’m trying to make is that having a baby should NOT be a “punishment,” nor should pregnancy be taken lightly. It’s not just life, but the continuation of life, of human life, and to regard it as just so much bad tissue is abhorrent. I find it ironic that the crowd that generally loathes the death penalty has no problem with abortion as birth control.

What you read (“permitting abortion is handing responsibility to the state”) is absolutely not what I wrote, and the fact you read it that way loudly proclaims your inability to grasp the concept I am trying to convey, which is this: All kinds of risky behavior is given a nod and wink in our society, that behavior damages us all, and pretending that it doesn’t is only making things worse.

I admit the wording of my third paragraph is confusing, and I did conflate his actions on health care regulations with his infamous “baby as punishment” speech. For that I apologize, but I do not retract it. As previously stated, he has affirmed his belief in abortion as birth control, and now, in action, forcing abortificant coverage in “federally approved” insurance plans does, in fact, place abortion under state control.

Because, you see, federally approved insurance plans are eligible for subsidy. (A subsidy in this instance is money from the government to cover the costs the recipient cannot, not a two year contract for an iPhone 5s). By its nature, a subsidy is paid for by people who do not agree with what’s being subsidized. Some will, some won’t, but that’s what it is, and there is no evading that. The Action the Democrats, and Obama took is to force every insurer—and by extension, every coerced, unwilling consumer—to provide a service that not everyone agrees with, and that even less people agree is a valid form of birth control.

How would you feel if you had to pay a tax to ensure all gay people were sterilized and “cured” of their “disease”? Perhaps a proper use of your money would be to put down blind people because they are every bit as inconvenient (at this point, anyway) as Malia’s 2-month baby-bump. You are so concerned with what I think of abortion you feel the need to force your opinion as my law, and THAT is the moral hazard of Obamacare. Just because the guy you like now runs the country, things can turn on a dime and what you call a poetry slam today is tomorrow’s “terrorist militia.”

Now, you seem pretty certain I”m wrong about free condoms, but I notice you left out the part about banker bailouts. Aside from confirming your ability to see only what makes you mad, your choice in clippings demonstrates a willing ignorance to the existence of human nature, and what I wrote. As readily as a banker will take extra and bigger risks if she knows the government will bail her out, providing free condoms sends the message that it’s okay to throw down whenever. How much this affects people can’t be clearly determined (And, yes, I am aware of studies and have looked into it previously).

When you wail about how media is force-feeding people, then ignore that same media’s entreats to sexual care-free hedonism, you’re being intellectually dishonest. You can’t say people behave one way at media’s behest, but not the other way, it doesn’t fly. It’s human nature. In a similar misdirection, you, bagorange, have misrepresented what I wrote by ignoring the intention I had in linking risky banking to free condoms: If you think there’s a “free” way to not pay for your risky behavior you will more likely do it.

It’s human nature, and indeed, kind of a long standing theme in literature. Statistically significant, I’d say

In other words, your are more likely to jump out of an airplane if you have a parachute than if you don’t. Well, Duh. This goes for Banking and Banging. I don’t think the state—me—should have pay for the parachute. If you want to jump, you pay for it, that’s your cost of living, and why we’re all pissed at the bankers and their paid-for politicians.

As far as I know, there is no reliable statistic on “likelihood of risks taken when offered free condoms,” and that wasn’t the point of the original post. That being said, I do take issue with your straw-man: I never said access to contraception is a bad thing, nor have I implied it doesn’t help prevent pregnancy, and STD’s. And, really, where have I said that no one should have access to contraception, or abortion for that matter? The point here is FREE—as in beer— contraception, which isn’t really free but paid for by the state and, therefore, by people who don’t agree with the policy.

Hey, if YOU want to give out condoms, and YOU want to engage the community, by all means do so. I’m pretty cool about that, and glad you do because, as you say, it reduces STD’s and unwanted preggers. But don’t drag my wallet into it, I’d much rather have more money to spend on MY health—My responsibility. If I have money left over, or, more importantly, TIME, I’ll spend it on helping other people, preferably those that are actually working to raise themselves (in every sense of the word) rather than blindly throwing money to the wind.

Now, you prattle on about presuming I”m “Christian”, complete with scare quotes to indicate your settled prejudice. Aside from being bigoted and intolerant, this demonstrates even more your stubborn refusal to address the point of my comment: people who live badly should have to pay for it themselves. Why should your hypothetical less-well-off person, that “not rich” guy, have to pay for Slobbo Gorilla’s unnecessarily high healthcare costs?

Even worse, it removes the nobility of helping others. How sad. Instead of enticing good works by pointing out the need for it you rely on forcing people to do you bidding so you can feel good about yourself. Would you really appreciate being forced to subsidize the life-long HIV treatments of a hypocritical evangelist who should have know better? Really?

Finally, let’s revisit this whole “Socialist” thing, shall we? My critique on that point is about the Doctor/patient relationship, and how a third party in between will necessarily drive up price and reduce quality of care. Beyond that, you aver that Nixons expansion made things better? Just because Nixon expanded state involvement in healthcare doesn’t make it automatically better. He covered up a break-in of DNC headquarters at the Watergate Hotel, and severed our last connection to a gold standard, allowing the Federal Reserve to so wholly control the monetary supply. By your reasoning, you’re cool with that? I guess that’s why Obama continues Bush’s drone war in the mid-east, and expanded surveillance?

Saying that somebody else did it so it must be okay is a kid’s game. You bring up England, ignoring people who despise that system, you turn a blind eye to the countries that are hemorrhaging cash because socialist policies keep ‘em in the red, all to buttress your weakly made point. Those that do fare better for their citizens either forbid chewing gum or demand exorbitant taxes that would chafe the most die-hard liberal’s diet for iPads and phat rides. Or both.

But you ignore the elephant in the room: putting more bureaucracy in the mix will make it worse, not better.What we had just before the ACA was not only Nixon’s fuck-up, it was the HMO legislation of the 80’s, more meddling in the 90’s, and for god’s sake, George Freakin’ W Bush’s dipshit antics in the 00’s. And, Merciful Mohammed, you even completely ignored my commentary on the legal structure that enabled and enables insurance companies to do what they’ve been doing for years to come under the auspices of law.

Nothing says bigot more than ignoring outright the protestations of what you obviously consider an inferior class. Except, maybe, misrepresenting their position so you can feel like you got your digs in.

Kind of like a racist.

Comment Re:Healthcare (Score 0) 356

I have to comment here: obesity is not nearly as large a medical problems as the lack of self-control, responsibility and common-sense self-maintenance. That is, a physical problem (abnormally slow metabolism, for example) is different than an apathetic self-control problem, or even ignorance of proper nutrition.

In America there is a slow normalization of bad behavior taking place with the mindset that no person should be responsible for their bad behavior. This manifested itself quite clearly with Obama's reference to the abortion and birth control debate when he said "I've got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."

In essence he is saying, "if my guidance as a parent fails then I want the state to bear the price of my child's mistake. It is up to the state relieve the citizen of the burden of the consequences of their decisions." He not only says this, he and his party forged laws and regulations to this effect.

Banker bailouts and free condoms will encourage risky behavior no matter how you frame the issue.

The real problem in our healthcare system is cronyism, pure and simple. Laws like MacCarran-Ferguson that exempt insurance companies from monopoly and anti-trust(!) aren't made to benefit corporations or citizens, they're favors to friends. You must go through a middle man like insurance companies because laws and regulations force you to through the path of least resistance for doctors and patients.

No refutation of socialism is complete without mentioning the direct interests of the doctor/provider and patient/consumer. When a patient must pay directly out of pocket for their services they will be more sensitive to the consequence of their lifestyle choices, thus taking precautions (for those that would) to mitigate risks to their financial interests. The previous "system" and the ACA only put more complexity between the doctor/patient, driving up costs.

On a technical front, a computer model is as flawed as the people who programmed it, and cannot account for the human condition, among other things. Like life, everything touches everything, and a computer can't calculate that.

Comment What I found w/ BandN (Score 1) 330

Crap, crap, crap.

I first got the nook Glow over Kindle because I wanted to be able to root it and run the other android e-reader ware.

What I found was a clunky POS;

The dictionary sucked. B&N forgot that readers like dictionaries, and would like to get to them whenever. Through nook you had to go through the rigamarole of highlighting a word in a work just to get there.

With the capability to add a MicroSD card (what I also liked), you'd think they'd have an audio jack for audio books. Nope. Load your own screen savers? Nope.

My experience is the Nook was as anti-reader as they come. I was really shocked. The board at B&N likely looked to glom onto the "next big thing" instead of figuring out what it was that readers would want from an e-reader. As cheap as these things are, here's a clue: TO BE ABLE TO READ IN THE TUB!

Seriously—if they had it made it more durable and more comfortable to take to the beach, they would have had something. Instead, they focused on being an also-ran.

Comment What's wrong with licensing to DIY videographers? (Score 4, Interesting) 665

As video equipment explodes in variety and lower cost, and Joe Schmoe gets an idea for a "killer you-tube" video — or a wedding videographer edits last weeks video — I'm constantly struck by the complete lack of options for the DIY cinematographer.

When you post something on YouTube with a musician's music, you get the take-down; yet, people persist in trying it.

So, why hasn't the RIAA, who *supposedly* represents the better interests of content providers, come up with a licensing plan that would enable the would-be Spielberg to legally use music in the production of their comedy/sci-fi/drama/whatever video?

I've talked to a *lot* of people who don't keep up on copyright/patent/trademark issues, and overwhelmingly they say they wouldn't mind paying $25—or more—to license a song for their video. Baby showers, weddings, and other home-made content are ripe for a balance of producer and user, yet the music industry thinks suing people will solve their problems.

Dammit, we live in an age where setting up a system of home-user licensing commercial music should be easy. Not only that, but the mechanism for indie artists to profit from this system should be relatively easy to set up!

Why is this not happening?

Submission + - Why are hearing aids so expensive 7

solune writes: "Ipad 2 or 3: $399 or $499

Dell laptop computer: around $600

Smartphone, non-subsidized: $200 — $800+

Not to mention all the T.V’s, game consoles, etc, all around sub $1k prices... ...yet, a decent hearing aid for my mom will go upwards of $3000! WTF?

Excuse me if I sound a little pissed, but it seems to me with the shrinking electronics, better capabilities, and technological advancements, not to mention the rapidly increasing potential user base, quality hearing aids should be coming in a *lot* cheaper than what we can find.

Adding fuel to my fire is the fact, a hearing aid will greatly improve my mom’s—not to mention millions of others out there—life a lot more. Currently she suffers from frustration and isolation with having to ask people to “speak up”, and nodding her head to things her kids and grandkids say.

We’ve tried the cheapies, and they’re fraught with problems.

So, can someone tell me why a hearing aid should be so expensive?"

Submission + - What's the deal with 855 area code? 1

solune writes: "A lot of friends have been asking me what the deal is with the 855 area code.

It seems they’ve been getting calls from there, with no dicernable reason. A google search turns up a lot of questions about it, from scammers that seem to know a lot about the callee, to a possible reverse-charge scheme.

I had a thought it might be scam wherein the target searches for the skinny on 855 and lands on a malicious website.

Either way, it’s driving a lot of people nuts, and we want to know.

Your Rights Online

Submission + - Can you resell your smartphone or computer, federal court says no ( 1

schwit1 writes: The Supreme Court will soon hear a case that will affect whether you can sell your iPad — or almost anything else — without needing to get permission from a dozen "copyright holders." Here are some things you might have recently done that will be rendered illegal if the Supreme Court upholds the lower court decision:

1. Sold your first-generation iPad on Craigslist to a willing buyer, even if you bought the iPad lawfully at the Apple Store.
2. Sold your dad's used Omega watch on eBay to buy him a fancier (used or new) Rolex at a local jewelry store.
3. Sold an "import CD" of your favorite band that was only released abroad but legally purchased there. Ditto for a copy of a French or Spanish novel not released in the U.S.
4. Sold your house to a willing buyer, so long as you sell your house along with the fixtures manufactured in China, a chandelier made in Thailand or Paris, support beams produced in Canada that carry the imprint of a copyrighted logo, or a bricks or a marble countertop made in Italy with any copyrighted features or insignia.

Here is what's going on.

The Supreme Court case concerns something called the "first-sale doctrine" in copyright law. Simply put, the doctrine means that you can buy and sell the stuff you purchase. Even if someone has copyright over some piece of your stuff, you can sell it without permission from the copyright holder because the copyright holder can only control the "first-sale." The Supreme Court has recognized this doctrine since 1908.

The first-sale doctrine is one thing that makes it lawful to sell almost any good. The companies that have gone to court and sued over selling their "copyrights" include a watchmaker and shampoo producer. They have gone to court arguing that one part of the Copyright Act — which gives them a right against unauthorized imports — invalidates the first-sale doctrine.

In 1998, the Supreme Court ruled that the first-sale doctrine applies to any product manufactured in the United States, sold in the U.S., even if the first sale by the copyright holder was abroad and the item was imported back into the U.S. This decision was unanimous and rejected the interpretation preferred by the U.S. government's lawyer — and the biggest copyright holders.

The legal confusion today concerns only products made abroad.

Continuing a long string of similar cases, the Supreme Court will review a New York federal court decision that decided, in short, that the first-sale doctrine does not apply to any copyrighted product manufactured abroad. That case concerns textbooks.


Submission + - Steganography with Lolcats (

mpawlo writes: "At the Swedish 24 hour business camp you are supposed to develop and release a project during a 24 hours hackathon. Myself and friend Niklas released #LOLsecurity. You may encrypt your message with AES 256-bit and hide it in a picture of a funny cat (a LOLCAT!). Yeah, we hate them too. Four cats are for free, any picture can be used with the 9 euro desktop version (we had to have some kind of business model for the competition — which we lost, by the way. The jury obviously did not like catz). We are not helping the terrorists, but perhaps ze dogz on the interwebz. We thought you might enjoy this. Have fun!"

Submission + - Verizon Share Everything (

Githaron writes: Verizon's new pricing model is coming June 28th. The new plans will include unlimited talk and text with a limited shared data pool. Up to 10 devices can be added to the plan.

The base cost per device varies with the most expensive being $40 for smartphones and the cheapest being $10 for tablets. In addition to the base cost per device, the plan requires the unlimited talk, unlimited text, and shared data pool to be purchased at $50 for 1GB, $60 for 2GB, and $10 per 2GB at each level thereafter up to 10GB. Overages will cost a hefty $15 per 1GB. With Verizon's still ridiculously high prices, one upside is that tethering is now included in the cost.

For those of you grandfathered into unlimited data plans, you can keep your plan as long as you do not purchase any more subsidized phones.

Submission + - Your own Radio Telescope

solune writes: "I was throwing some trash in the dumpster the other day when I noticed a few DirecTV satellite dishes in the dumpster.

Over the last few days I got to thinking: is it possible to set up a distributed radio telescope array? Surely, by now, there's a way to synchronize countless small dishes to probe the skies.

Of course, it's entirely possible I have no clue as to how arrays work, and/or the frequencies involved."

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