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The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

DutchUncle Re:Such a Waste (149 comments)

...and the extended commercial for the Elven Rafting Riveride at Universal Orlando

This. This is what has taken me out of the "suspension of disbelief" in each of the first two Hobbit segments - the feeling that I'm looking at the preview of a ride, designed for that purpose rather than designed to be a film.

yesterday
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35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

DutchUncle Re:Lies and statistics... (546 comments)

Similar problem with another health club, due to a merger/acquisition. They referred it to collections before contacting the customer (me).

yesterday
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

DutchUncle Re:Radicalization (829 comments)

Do you also remember Nasser saying things like “Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel." and "We will not accept any coexistence with Israel" and ordering the UN peacekeepers out of the way? And moving troops and tanks up to Israel's southern border?

Let's imagine your neighbor spends his days sitting on his porch steps, polishing his guns and cursing at you and your family every time he sees you. Well, that's his right, free speech, his property, yadda yadda. Then he starts pointing his gun at you and your family while he talks about how much he'd like to kill all of you. In the US there should be *some* kind of civil action one could take, but countries don't answer to policemen, so let's assume you can't call anyone. How tenable would you find this situation?

yesterday
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

DutchUncle Re:Radicalization (829 comments)

It's not a token. It's a freely elected representation. There are also Druze and Christian members. Are you suggesting that a government isn't free unless it's a minority in its own country?

yesterday
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

DutchUncle Re:Radicalization (829 comments)

Correction: They are able to exercise that right - they could marry one person of the opposite gender. The fact that they don't *want* to be married to a person of the opposite gender is their own limitation, and the fact that much of society has come around to the idea of changing those rules to remove the "opposite gender" restriction - thereby overturning centuries of tradition in order to make life better for a minority - shows that we are making progress.

yesterday
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

DutchUncle Re:Radicalization (829 comments)

Are you encouraging people to use hostages as shields? Are you encouraging people to deliberately endanger their own civilians by firing from within a crowd? Of course, nobody can tell who fired from within the crowd, because there are no uniforms or insignia.

Seems to me that the Palestinians belonging to Hamas put an unequal value on Hamas and non-Hamas life. Like a gang, or a movie Mafia family, only the members are "real people", and everyone else is just a nonentity to be used or risked at whim. They're almost as dangerous to their neighbors as to their enemies.

yesterday
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

DutchUncle Re:Radicalization (829 comments)

False flag? probably no need. I'll bet there are enough hotheads that they have trouble controlling everyone who has access to the various stockpiles. As for "laughable" . . . Those missiles may not be guided or accurate, but I still wouldn't want one coming my way. Neither would anyone want people in my neighborhood, 15 miles from the Hudson River, shooting them at New York City. The difference is that here, neighbors and witnesses would be calling law enforcement, and local and state police would come hunting down the troublemakers before the NYC police helicopters showed up.

2 days ago
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Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

DutchUncle Re:The programming language for the next 20 years. (309 comments)

I wish it were Pascal. Or at least some decent extensions, and some *real* macros, updating C. And maybe a little learning from history: I could do things in IBM Assembler macros in the 1970s that you still can't do in C++ templates. We spent too much time being cool and iconoclastic and "new" that we threw out the good with the bad - except C, which has hung around forever and you STILL don't know how big your values are.

2 days ago
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Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

DutchUncle Re:I don't... (309 comments)

I would have said 15 languages. Yes, there are differences, but not enough to justify so many different languages. Everybody has to make up their own freakin' language because that's where the entertainment value is, and that's what they thought their computer science degree entitled them to do. If we had a few less languages and a few more well-designed libraries and/or extensions that worked consistently, then maybe we could make more progress with static analysis and optimization tools. And maybe we could convince more people to leave low-level C behind for once.

I did my MSCS project in Snobol. I haven't seen a Snobol compiler since leaving academia, nor have any of my embedded systems needed it . . . until now, when it would be handy since we're serving web pages instead of just serving MODBUS records.

Religious wars about processors have pretty much died down since ARM took the best of most and put them together, with enough horsepower that clarity can count for more than absolute efficiency. I would hope that religious wars about languages could go the same way. (except Dijkstra was right about COBOL)

2 days ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

DutchUncle Re:Don't allow missils to be fired... (829 comments)

There are criminals. There is police action. (In New York City yesterday, a fugitive from California resisted arrest and shot at police; the fugitive was killed. It happens.) Israel isn't grabbing the land; they grabbed it multiple wars ago (when they were attacked), and handed it over in exchange for a deal.

2 days ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

DutchUncle Re:Radicalization (829 comments)

The Israelis would be much better at this if they wanted to be. Read their family history. Numbers 31, perhaps.

2 days ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

DutchUncle Re:Radicalization (829 comments)

Because any time it looks like some calm, one or the other side starts screwing with the other.

Which side has broken every cease-fire? Which side seems to lack the discipline to follow their own leadership's policy? - which makes it hard to make a contract, by the way, because every time over the years you make a contract with "leadership", another splinter group pops up and says "They don't speak for us!"

But you're right in one sense - this DOES go back thousands of years. One side has matured at least a little bit, and is at least *trying* to avoid doing what they did to the Midianites. The other side seems to still be in the dark ages.

2 days ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

DutchUncle Re:Radicalization (829 comments)

You're blaming all ... for a choice made by less than half of the voters, which is hardly fair.

Hey, it's worked in a lot of American elections. Badly, but it's worked . . . .

2 days ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

DutchUncle Re:Radicalization (829 comments)

The Hamas rockets have killed few because Israel has spent its time and money and human capital in development, including the education of its people, the construction of schools and businesses that can develop and construct active defenses, and the construction of air raid shelters as passive defenses. The Palestinians have spent their time and money on their charter's stated primary goal, destruction. (Well, they *have* constructed something - not hotels for their miles of Mediterranean coastline, or housing and safety for their people, but tunnels to sneak into their neighbor's territory while their neighbor was letting them alone.) While refugees in Israel become immigrants, generations of Palestinian leadership have manipulated their people as homeless refugees for three or four generations, with the additional disadvantage that their so-called bretheren will not take them in.

I completely agree that many Palestinians who do not want trouble, who would just like to live and work and feed their families, have suffered for the sins of the activist leadership. OTOH if that activist leadership hadn't started shooting rockets, nobody would be shelling them back; and if the rockets weren't positioned amongst living quarters and marketplaces and UN schools, then nobody would be shelling back at those positions. For the average Palestinian, it must be like the average suburban American realizing that a house down the block has been taken over by a drug gang and become a crack house, and there's nothing one can do as an individual to fight them because they'll kill you or your family, and the eventual police shoot-outs with the drug gang send bullets flying through neighbors' windows. Only a thousand times worse. They are at the mercy of the people THEY ELECTED, who in turn pushed out an earlier generation that did not serve them any better.

2 days ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

DutchUncle Re:Radicalization (829 comments)

They wouldn't even have to disarm, just stop shooting. And maybe somehow establish some discipline over their own people. Every cease-fire so far has been broken by someone on the Hamas side, possibly thinking that any "leader" who makes even as much of a deal as a cease-fire is a collaborator or quisling.

2 days ago
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Google's Mapping Contest Draws Ire From Indian Government

DutchUncle Re:Ignorance is no excuse ... (95 comments)

... a blanket law that is equivalent to saying you may not publish anything the government deems sensitive unless they give you a way to know what information that is

I take it that you've never dealt with people in real government security agencies. The very existence of such a law would be deemed sensitive.

2 days ago
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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

DutchUncle Usually as I pull onto the highway . . . (701 comments)

Can't remember the book this is from, or whether it's Gordon R. Dickson or Frederic Brown: "Stand by maneuvering . . . . 'Ware Gs!"

about a week ago

Submissions

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

DutchUncle DutchUncle writes  |  about a year 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 4 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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