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Secret Service Investigating Small Drone On White House Grounds

DutchUncle Re:Jackpot! (137 comments)

That's not "false flag", that's "backfired shortsighted policy".

9 hours ago
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Verizon About To End Construction of Its Fiber Network

DutchUncle Re:Why lay fiber at all when you can gouge wireles (194 comments)

The sweetheart deals should have been considered regulated utilities. But that would be socialism, or some other hysteria-inducing buzzword. Somehow it was obvious years ago that it would be inefficient to have multiple water companies with multiple sets of pipes, or multiple power companies with multiple sets of wires, so it became a monopoly - but regulated. By the time we got around to cable, the politics had changed - not the economic realities.

9 hours ago
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Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

DutchUncle But what will Jeremy Clarkson have to review? (793 comments)

Jeremy, on Top Gear, is so fond of the "symphony of power" and comparisons to fighter planes. The idea that external sound represents wasted power is so . . . . abstract.

4 days ago
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User Plea Means EISA Support Not Removed From Linux

DutchUncle In the real world, installed base 'just works". (188 comments)

It is obvious that nobody would install a brand new system with such old technology. It should be equally obvious, though, that just as one expects old buildings to "just stay up" (with a little maintenance), there are plenty of old technology systems still up and running just fine for whatever they do. Lots of people in big cities have 75-year-old telephone wiring which works fine for what it always did (though it can't handle DSL), and the same thing will happen to the brandy-newest fiber optic cable when someone comes up with an LED laser frequency that needs a different glass with different chromatic aberration. There are lots of industrial and scientific devices out there that never got updated drivers past (whatever release of whatever system), and they cost a lot of money at the time, and they still work. (Though I admit that, while they may be worth maintaining, at some point one has to give up on trying to update them.)

4 days ago
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Illinois Students Suspected of Cyberbullying Must Provide Social Media Passwords

DutchUncle And of course they'll suspect *everybody* . . . (321 comments)

"Round up the usual suspects!" So the school will require everyone's passwords . . . in a sealed envelope, of course, "just for emergencies". And then they'll get lost or misplaced or stolen. Or even better, some prankster will set up a fake account in someone else's name. Hey, what are people supposed to do if they don't have accounts? Of course the school won't believe that.

5 days ago
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Drug Company CEO Blames Drug Industry For Increased Drug Resistance

DutchUncle Re:Pot, meet kettle. (He's in denial today.) (136 comments)

Doesn't have to be evil. Could be more along the lines of, "Hey, we have to treat our waste water in the US and Europe, but our competitors are cheaper partly because they don't have to spend on that treatment, and look at the mess they're making!" Not "We need subsidy and protection", more like "They're cheating!"

about a week ago
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Best Cube?

DutchUncle Re:The Ubiquitous D6. (265 comments)

Why are we here?
Because we're here
Roll the bones
Why does it happen?
Because it happens
Roll the bones

about a week ago
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Radio Shack Reported To Be Ready for Bankruptcy Filing

DutchUncle "You've got questions; we've got blank stares" (314 comments)

... which I remember was a post on Slashdot when Radio Shack failed to modernize to some *previous* definition of modern.

about two weeks ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

DutchUncle Re:Streisand effect (890 comments)

Or are you just pathetically weak of mind that you would fall for that tripe again?

Past behavior is not necessarily a guarantee of future behavior, but it's certainly a useful starting point . . .

about two weeks ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

DutchUncle Re:Fuck the pope. (890 comments)

Politeness, please. I can agree with your statement while still suggesting that the expletive is unnecessary.

about two weeks ago
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Pope Francis: There Are Limits To Freedom of Expression

DutchUncle Re:Ideas are not persons - and the converse (890 comments)

One would like to restrict what one says to "That's a stupid idea", and - if only out of politeness - refrain from the next step of saying "You are a stupid person (for holding that idea)". However, I bet every single person who hears "That's a stupid idea" infers the latter part immediately.

Politeness does count. One can say "I do not follow (insert religion name here), and I feel that extremism in the cause of *any* religion contradicts and denigrates, rather than supports, the religion" without saying "(insert founder name here) did naughty things with (insert inappropriate animal name here)". This is TOTALLY SEPARATE from the idea that anyone perpetrating criminal violence should be opposed violently at the time, and punished violently afterwards.

about two weeks ago
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Lawrence Krauss On Scientists As Celebrities: Good For Science?

DutchUncle Re:Scientists are human beings too (227 comments)

Unfortunately, when scientist and engineers say things like "science is never anything but a best guess", meaning to be modest about how humans can at best asymptotically approach the truths about reality, anti-science and religionists pounce and say "See? They admit they don't know for certain. WE know for certain, so WE have a better answer." Besides, it's a lot better than a "best guess", it's a carefully researched and analyzed best fit solution. Plus, XKCD. http://xkcd.com/54/

about two weeks ago
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Lawrence Krauss On Scientists As Celebrities: Good For Science?

DutchUncle Re:Yes. (227 comments)

No, as in Carl Sagan and Niel deGrasse Tyson doing more harm than good ...

Umm . . . How so? Sagan was melodramatic, but at least he gave mundanes the idea that people should get excited about complicated ideas. Tyson explains things well, speaks well, shows that one can be a science geek and entertaining all at the same time, and is a living poster child for rational thought (not to mention being a poster child against various forms of prejudice). What do you not like here?

about two weeks ago
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Several European Countries Lay Groundwork For Heavier Internet Censorhip

DutchUncle Re:Islamists don't need the internet (319 comments)

Ah. Then I did not state my position clearly. I think he does believe this position, and I also think that he has multiple reasons for believing it - some religious, some secular and practical, some political. In order to modernize in the secular world, one must modernize people's attitudes about the world in general, and since religion is a serious component of those attitudes, religion faces (as I see it) two options: it can modernize as well, or it will be left behind. Young people in the US do not explicitly "leave" their parents' religious teachings; but they make less and less effort to follow them actively, or to belong to religious organizations - EXCEPT for the most fervent, who seem stronger than ever. Extremists in ALL religions seem to do well because they offer certainty and simplicity in a complex world. But those certainties tend to be rooted not just in old ideas, but in old interpretations of those old ideas. Old ideas may be perfectly valid - many of Plato's quotes still resonate - but old interpretations and attitudes may pass from usefulness, yet be maintained simply out of dedication to "tradition". "Women must be protected" - yes, very chivalrous, but "protected" doesn't have to mean "restricted", and in a knowledge economy where mens' physical strength is not the only form of labor and value, a society can't afford to handicap itself by eliminating half of its potential brain pool. So the interpretations of five hundred years ago - which are *only* interpretations, not the original text! - could be reviewed, and rethought, and reinterpreted . . . except that the elders of ALL religions always deprecate ANY thought of changing "sacred tradition", whether it comes from the original text, or some one particular scholar's thinking about one particular case at one particular time and place and social situation. Many cultures used slavery, and thought it was acceptable, if only for prisoners of war; most societies decided over time that it was not acceptable. If "religion" is about living a good and moral life, then so many issues of ritual and tradition should be similarly reviewed in the light of changing times and technology. So . . . to somehow come back to the original point . . . it is completely sensible to take a position for modernizing religion based on both religious, and secular, and even political BENEFITS to the society, rather than allow "tradition" to be a straightjacket locked to the past, *and* rather than allow all tradition to be discredited and lost. We can still cook Grandmother's recipe, but now we can do it with stainless-steel pots and utensils, with pure water and pasteurized ingredients; just so we can still give honor to ancient texts and traditions, in a manner consistent with modern understanding.

about two weeks ago
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Several European Countries Lay Groundwork For Heavier Internet Censorhip

DutchUncle Re:Islamists don't need the internet (319 comments)

Ummm . . . Not sure why you're attacking *me*. I'm not even disagreeing with you; just pointing out that in this society where religion is such an integral part of society and authority, there are both religious and political angles to consider. As it happens, I'm a member of a religious minority in my own country, and very used to going along with (for example) the public school chorus that I was in singing lots of songs for the majority religious festivals - of which I was an unbeliever.

about two weeks ago
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Education Debate: Which Is More Important - Grit, Or Intelligence?

DutchUncle Re:Neither -- And the question is stupid (249 comments)

Of course not, they're totally different scores, you can find the discussion on any RPG site. "Intelligence is knowing a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad!"

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Slashdot finds a way to keep me from bothering to check it today

DutchUncle DutchUncle writes  |  about 2 years ago

DutchUncle (826473) writes "By making everything unreadable without lots of extra effort, Slashdot has found a way to keep me from wasting as much time today. Thanks!"
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Can you patent a steak?

DutchUncle DutchUncle writes  |  more than 2 years ago

DutchUncle (826473) writes "Someone at Oklahoma State University has "discovered" a new steak. By now I would have thought that every possible part of a cow was already discovered, not to mention used for something. I can understand trademarking a name for a particular cut of meat; I can understand copyrighting the published instructions on what to cut where; but can this be novel enough for a patent?"
Link to Original Source
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No termination fee if Verizon terminates *you*.

DutchUncle DutchUncle writes  |  more than 5 years ago

DutchUncle (826473) writes "Just received the following email announcement from Verizon. Nice to know that if they cut off my service, I won't have to pay extra:

"The following is an outline of an important change to the Verizon Online
Terms of Service, which is effective as of November 30, 2009. ...

1. If you are on a term plan and Verizon ceases offering service to
your location prior to the end of your term commitment, you will not
have to pay an Early Termination Fee.

Please take time to review the complete Verizon Online Terms of Service.
Thank you for being a Verizon Online customer."

To which I add: For now."

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