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Putting a Panic Button In Smartphone Users' Hands

AxemRed it's easy on a Moto X (175 comments)

"Ok Google Now. Call 911."

about 10 months ago
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Would-Be Tesla Owners Jump Through Hoops To Skirt Wacky Texas Rules

AxemRed Re:This is a democrat anti-big-business law from 1 (470 comments)

That's part of the reason that overturning it doesn't get as much voter support as one would expect. But they are also sticking with it because the people who profit from it (car dealerships) are lobbying to keep their unfair advantage.

This is sort of like the shenanigans happening with alcohol laws in my home state. Alcohol can't be sold at stores on Sundays, but it can be sold at restaurants and bars. The main push against changing the law isn't from religious people. It's from the liquor store association who doesn't want to have to be open an extra day to compete with groceries and the restaurant association who wants to keep their monopoly on Sunday alcohol sales.

1 year,2 hours
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Don't Fly During Ramadan

AxemRed Re:don't fly during ramadan....? (1233 comments)

Unfortunately, it IS normal. (Not this guys particularly bad experience, but walking through scanners, getting felt on, etc.) I don't like that it's a part of air travel, and I don't think that it's acceptable. But it is what it is. I avoid flying if at all possible, and I've written my reps to let them know my opinion. But when I have to (or choose to) fly, my only real options are to jump through the TSA hoops or run the risk of having a really unpleasant time at the airport.

about a year ago
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Don't Fly During Ramadan

AxemRed don't fly during ramadan....? (1233 comments)

If this man's story is accurate, it's a shameful scenario indeed. But I've read a lot of these well-documented horrible TSA encounter accounts, and most don't involve Ramadan. However, most DO have one thing in common: the person opted-out of the scan and/or argued about the pat-down.

I'm in no way saying that a person deserves this kind of treatment for opting-out of a scan, and I think that the current security procedures border on reprehensible. But people need to understand that they are part of air travel nowadays. Consider them to be a travel risk. If you want to fight them in safety, quit flying and write your rep. And if you decide to fight them in person, prepare to be a martyr. And if you want to get from point A to point B with as small of risk of problems as possible, prepare to consent to being scanned, groped, or whatever else they want to do.

about a year ago
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Should the Next 'Doctor Who' Be a Woman?

AxemRed Re:Ever notice (772 comments)

Not everything has to be "important" or has to teach people something. And that goes double for teaching them something specific. If we're going to have a female Doctor specifically for the purpose of "teaching," why not have a black or an Indian or a middle eastern Doctor? Or we could teach people about other social issues of the day... drugs, poverty, etc. Or maybe the Doctor could come out of the closet?

People watch Doctor Who primarily for entertainment. When you start forcing changes, it feels forced and takes away from that entertainment value. The story is never going to work out right when you say "we need to do ___ for political/social/whatever reasons, now let's write the story around it."

about a year ago
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UCSD Lecturer Releases Geotagging Application For "Dangerous Guns and Owners"

AxemRed horrible idea (976 comments)

Identifying gun owners not only screws those gun owners, it screws the non-gun owners as well (if the list is comprehensive.)

By identifying gun owners, you give criminals who want illegal guns a definite target. Maybe they know that the risk would be great by breaking into the house when someone is home, but it gives them the information they need to have a better chance at a payoff if they wait around and watch the house until everyone is gone before breaking in. This by itself puts everyone at risk by making it easier for criminals to know where to steal guns.

The other problem is that if a comprehensive list is available, they would also know who doesn't have a gun. This could make non-armed households greater targets for criminals who don't want to waste their time staking out a house first and would rather just break in steal when they can carry, and assault whoever gets in their way.

about a year ago
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The Average Movie Theater Has Hundreds of Screens

AxemRed Re:I go to a fair amount of movies (924 comments)

People need to understand that phone use, even silent phone use, distracts some people, and it should be kept to a minimum. But on the other hand, people also need to understand that when they're in a room with 200 other people, there are going to be distractions. And there are some scenarios where, in my opinion, it's perfectly acceptable to turn on your screen for 10 seconds to see who is calling and then either turn it off or excuse yourself to the lobby. There has to be compromise and understanding on both sides.

about a year ago
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The Average Movie Theater Has Hundreds of Screens

AxemRed is it really that big of problem? (924 comments)

I go to the theater about 5 times a year. I admit that I'm not an avid movie goer. But out of my limited experiences at the theater, I don't think I have ever been so annoyed by someone else's phone that I gave it a second thought after the movie. I see a lot of people talking and texting through the previews, but once the movie starts, people seem to stop. I have seen one person answer their phone and run out of the theater. And I see people checking their phones or texting here and there but not constantly and not with sound. Sometimes I wonder if I just live in a more polite region or if people are just anal.

about a year ago
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The Average Movie Theater Has Hundreds of Screens

AxemRed Re:Too Bright (924 comments)

No no no. People still need the ability to call 911.

about a year ago
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Canadian Couple Charged $5k For Finding 400-Year-Old Skeleton

AxemRed Re:They got off lightly compared to others (601 comments)

From the article you linked:

"If society is benefiting from whatever the government is doing, society should pay for it, not the landowner," said CEO Robert Laing. "The cost can be horrendous. And it isn't fair."

This this this.

about a year ago
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NHTSA and DOT Want Your Car To Be Able To Disable Your Cellphone Functions

AxemRed Re:Tech solution for a social problem (405 comments)

The solution is to fix the culture to make it socially unacceptable.

This, right here, hits the nail on the head. I'm not sure about the mandatory jail time, but making it socially unacceptable is the key. Right now, playing with your phone while driving is kind of like speeding. Lots of people do it, and most people don't really care that you do it. Or even if they care, they don't really say anything to you. If we could get to the point where admitting to texting and driving was similar to admitting to reading a book while driving... where your friends would act like you're insane... then most people wouldn't do it anymore.

about a year ago
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Scientists Recover Wooly Mammoth Blood

AxemRed Re:Photo Op (190 comments)

You mean deliciously close to raw.

about a year ago
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AT&T Quietly Adds Charges To All Contract Cell Plans

AxemRed dumb (338 comments)

I understand the need to add fees or increase rates. But it would have been a lot smarter just to add the fee to all new contracts or at contract upgrades rather than sticking it to everyone at the same time.

about a year ago
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Amazon, Google and Apple Won't Need To Pay Tax, Despite Goverment Threats

AxemRed Re:You voted them into office, now suck it up. (327 comments)

There were more than 2 choices. The Republicans and Democrats have everyone convinced that if you vote for a 3rd party, you're throwing your vote away. They rally people around hot-button issues to distract everyone from the fact that they are 90% the same. If people want change they need to stop voting for Republicans and Democrats, especially at the national level. Even if you don't care, go out and vote for a 3rd party candidate. Barring a miracle, they're not going to win any major elections right away. But as their vote tallies steadily increase, it will drive the point home to the politicians in both of the major parties that we are sick of their shit. They're not going to change until their jobs are threatened.

about a year and a half ago
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Robotic Bartender Assembles Your Drink, Monitors Alcohol Consumption

AxemRed no thanks (138 comments)

Ok, this might be useful at the airport or something. But I actually like to talk to the bartenders at my favorite bars.

about a year and a half ago
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Florida Teen Expelled and Arrested For Science Experiment

AxemRed Re:Playing the race card again (1078 comments)

Agreed. However, I think the biggest factor here is: one of these happened at a school and the other one did not. Possessing a BB gun or even a butter knife at school can get you arrested. And "works bombs" and the like are already in a pretty gray area outside of school. I think that the felony is overkill, but I would find it pretty surprising for any student to do something like this and not get charged with a crime these days.

about a year and a half ago
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When Your Data Absolutely, Positively has to be Destroyed (Video)

AxemRed disassemble (295 comments)

The way I handled it while working an IT in college: disassemble the drives. After everything was taken apart, I would destroy the platters by shattering them or bending and breaking them into multiple pieces (depending on the material.) I would also break any circuit boards. Then I would throw all the scrap in the trash and save the magnets (because they're awesome.) It was a good way to kill time while waiting for a disk re-image to finish.

about a year and a half ago
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Can You Really Hear the Difference Between Lossless, Lossy Audio?

AxemRed sometimes, but lossy audio isnt the worst problem (749 comments)

I don't think that lossy audio compression is inherently hurting recorded music. Lossy is fine as long as good encoders and sufficient bitrates are used. At a certain point, no one can tell which is which (lossy or lossless) in a blind test.

I mostly listen to MP3 encoded rock music. The loss of quality is very noticeable to me at 128kbps. The loss of quality is much harder to discern at 192, especially if a quality encoder is used. I use LAME -V 2 when I rip CDs and usually end up with average bitrates from ~190-215, and I can't tell the difference between those MP3s and the original CD.

IMO there are bigger problems facing recorded music anyway. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war

about a year and a half ago
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Should We Be Afraid of Google Glass?

AxemRed interesting times (307 comments)

I'm not afraid of Google Glass.

If Glass becomes ubiquitous, the ramifications could be amazing. However, they could also be quite scary. But just because Glass could become scary doesn't mean that it will. I think that now would be a good time to reexamine our privacy laws and define what is ok and what is not.

about a year and a half ago

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