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Curiosity Detects Mysterious Methane Spikes On Mars

Jhon Re:Climate Change (67 comments)

We keep flying in those gas-guzzling SUV rovers to take snapshots for our albums...

3 days ago
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Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

Jhon Re:Fire all the officers? (515 comments)

"Would you really start at step 1 when this is an issue which has been happening with other officers "

I'd say that "step 1" should have started a long time ago and that discipline really hasn't been enforced, so yes.

If the problem doesn't go away, then start disciplining their supervisors.

The answer isn't to go from zero to "jail" in 15 seconds for something that is most likely due to piss-poor training.

about a week ago
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Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

Jhon Re:How can people restrain government agents? (515 comments)

"Has anyone ever been convicted of the crime of violating the 4th Amendment? Ever?"

It doesn't really work that way. Actions taken by the government which violate the 4th amendment can be reversed and penalties applied via civil law suites. Has that happened? Yes. Countless times. If you pay federal taxes, you are helping to pay for those "mistakes".

about a week ago
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Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

Jhon Re:Fire all the officers? (515 comments)

I disagree. There should be an elevation of discipline that should start with a written warning and ending with suspension and/or loss of their job should the issue be repeated. The loss of their pension and benefits will be intensive enough to keep it from happening.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

Jhon Re:America, land of the free... (720 comments)

"Yeah, what it actually does is permit the flyover states to leech money from the populated states, and also permit gaming the vote."

Of course you would like to dictate cookie-cutter one-size fits all laws and regulations that would alienate that segment of the population right? Laws that dont line up with their economic/ethnic/religious interests? It's also known as a tyranny and will make governing a nation that is spread over a wide geographic area and has a varied population impossible. We're already seeing the effects in CONGRESS being locked and indecisive and you are beginning to hear the non-wack-job rumblings of session talk.

"Oh yeah, they were so against tyranny that they left back doors in the constitution that let them write new laws at will in the future."

It's statements like this which demonstrate your ignorance of the history the US and of the Constitution. Claiming you are ignorant isn't an insult -- that can be fixed. Read.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

Jhon Re:America, land of the free... (720 comments)

"My argument is that it worked as designed, and the design was not to prevent mob rule, but to prevent the popular vote from ruling."

Which is wrong. It was designed so that states like New York or Virginia and THEIR interests did not dominate the union over the interests of the smaller states. The interest was how to govern a varied population (both economically, ethnically and religiously) without creating a tyranny.

Again, I recommend A Constitutional Journal. Its fairly short and the author does an excellent job presenting the information to the average layman.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

Jhon Re:America, land of the free... (720 comments)

Why be a prat? You asked a truly irrelevant question which I ignored (rather than ridicule). I, however, corrected a factual error of yours and provided you with a suggestion to follow up should you be so inclined.

BTW, there's a strong argument argument that Nixon actually one the popular vote in the 1960 election against Kennedy -- so your answer should have an "*" by it to include that little factoid.

And why was your question irreverent? Because the system was designed so that the STATES choose a President (by popular vote), not people directly. When a candidate wins the popular vote (say, like Gore in 2000), all that means is states like California wanted him by a large percentage which over-shadowed the wins of other states.

That it worked as designed isn't interesting or useful in your argument.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

Jhon Re:America, land of the free... (720 comments)

"Yeah, a serious threat to their wealthy, racially privileged position at the top of the pyramid."

While there may have been a few present at the constitutional convention with that rationale, they were very few. Most representatives were much more altruistic than that. The argued reasons were that PASSIONS were a threat to the stability of any government. The sudden swings and moods of the people can destroy a country. Read Federalist 10.

To get a better understanding of what transpired I would highly recommend A Constitutional Journal (by St. John). It's an excellent laymens account. I prefer the notes of Madison as well as various journal entries and letters from the members, but St John is not only informative, it's entertaining.

Another serious thread was noted by Franklin: “When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic."

 

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

Jhon Re:America, land of the free... (720 comments)

"Democracy means any government the people vote on. "

I'm sorry, but you are incorrect. Democracy is a form of government where those ELIGIBLE can vote. And my point about this (the US) *NOT* being a democracy is accurate. While most offices/posts are filled democratically, not all are -- and each of those posts are for representatives who will decide upon the direction government takes. The people take no direct roll in the direction of government.

What actually weakens the "vote" are uninformed and irresponsible voters.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

Jhon Re:America, land of the free... (720 comments)

" If you don't have a job, I guess you have a lower threshold for crime. "

I've been homeless and I've been jobless and I cannot disagree with you more. I think the reason it MIGHT appear that way is that people are willing to risk potential punishment for quick rewards rather than put in the work necessary to earn them. It's really as simple as that. There is virtually no place in the US where someone who is homeless and jobless cannot get enough assistance from city/state/private agency to change their situation. The exceptions are those in similar circumstance who are UNABLE to work or manage their own care/life due to mental illness or substance abuse.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

Jhon Re:America, land of the free... (720 comments)

" It's a fundamental right to participate in democracy, "

Two points... (1) The US isn't a democracy. It's a republic ("...and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands..."). (2) Voting isn't a "right" in the US. It's a privilege.

about two weeks ago
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Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing

Jhon Re:Fantastic! (523 comments)

" Stroke of fucking genius."

I think we're on the same page as this being a bad idea -- but I'm no where near as far along that page as you.

They most likely won't be able to read/write CURSIVE. They'll be able to read JUST fine. They'll be able to WRITE (print little letters that look like the letters they read). Will they be able to write quickly? Probably not, but they'll be able to write just fine.

about three weeks ago
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Conglomerate Rock From Mars: (Much) More Precious Than Gold

Jhon Re:Hmm (65 comments)

"I haven't read how they know it's from Mars, just how exactly do they know?"

When they turned it over, there was a little sticker that said "Made on Mars".

about three weeks ago
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Conglomerate Rock From Mars: (Much) More Precious Than Gold

Jhon Re:Go get more? (65 comments)

I read the article. The rock didn't leave Mars 4.4 billion years ago.

"It began its journey to Earth more than 5 million years ago, about the time humans and chimpanzees were splitting from a common ancestor. That is when an asteroid struck Mars, catapulting the rock into space. "

5 million years is still a long time but is really a drop in the bucket and I doubt the rocks would have changed much.

about three weeks ago
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People Trained To Experience an Overlap In Senses Also Receive IQ Boost

Jhon Re:IQ is not a simple measure (68 comments)

Kind of a cross between "Transcendence" and "Limitless".

What could go wrong?

about 1 month ago
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Internet Sales Tax Bill Dead In Congress

Jhon Re:Why not get rid of states as taxing entities? (257 comments)

"And states should be allowed to legalise (sp) slavery. Because that worked so well the last time."

Sigh... Why not look at the history of the world as a whole. What nation ever fought itself over the issue of slavery? To the tune of over 600k dead?

Many of our abolitionist founders believed that slavery was a dead end doomed to end in the near future but elected to allow the south to maintain it for the interest of the union. It was essentially the cotton gin's invention which allowed slavery to remain economically viable far longer than they expected.

Without that economic leep after the 1790s, attitudes would have changed in the south as much they had in the north regarding slavery and it would have ended -- WITHOUT bloodshed. You've effectively made my point -- when a powerful central government makes a uniform law across a heterogeneous population, someone's rights are going to feel violated and they could very well go the route of the US in 1776 or the South in 1862.

I'm not saying that slavery or the south was in any way honorable. That war needed to be fought and is an exception brought on be a dramatic and swift economic change..

about a month ago
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Internet Sales Tax Bill Dead In Congress

Jhon Re:Why not get rid of states as taxing entities? (257 comments)

"thanks for letting us know you don't know what average means."

Your example shows you don't know what an IQ measures. Thanks for letting us know.

It's pretty apparent he meant half are below an IQ of 100, assuming 100 as the average (mean) and intelligence is evenly distributed (which basically defines an IQ test score) .

While an IQ of 99 isn't REALLY below average, his statement about expectations is appropriate.

Still, with a REAL number of about 25% below average intelligence (90 and below) we are left with about 80 million dullards out of about 320 million fellow citizens.

about a month ago
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Internet Sales Tax Bill Dead In Congress

Jhon Re:Why not get rid of states as taxing entities? (257 comments)

"Ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. It's forcing one person religious beliefs on another.
Banning gay marriage is no different then banning a religion."

I don't believe in rights magically appearing to be constitutional where they never have been before. I believe that if they can magically appear, they can magically disappear using the exact same mechanism. Living in such a world might appeal to you but it does not appeal to me. In fact, it scares the bejeezus out of me.

"We aren't that heterogeneous any more.
Drive around the country. Same strip malls, same gas stations, people watch the same set of entertainment.
Hell, do to TV, regional accents aren't as strong as they used to be."

Of course we are. I've driven across the country numerous times and lived in several states. Without listing countless examples, I'll cite one. Red states vs. blue states. Different political and economic philosophies.

"Also, thats not why it was set up that way."

Of course it was. Read Federalist 10 and 28. Federalism was set up to aid in preventing tyranny (and thus a civil war) by keeping all power in a central government, as well as to allow various other ideals to be tested and tried. A central authority is not by definition "tyrannical", however when trying to apply the same laws on an entire heterogeneous population with different economic religious beliefs a central single authority will by definition become tyrannical. Example, forcing a business owner to serve a customer for a service of which he has a moral objection violates his religious rights while the customer's civil rights may viewed as being violated. How long until the one who's rights are being suppressed follow Jefferson's observations:

"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness" -- Jefferson

about a month ago
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Internet Sales Tax Bill Dead In Congress

Jhon Re:Why not get rid of states as taxing entities? (257 comments)

"All the Federal courts have said is that if the states wish to have a legal institution of marriage that it must be compatible with the 14th amendment, and States which do not allow gays to marry do not meet that requirement."

That statement is profoundly inaccurate. There have been federal courts that have decided on both sides and SCOTUS has yet to make a final decision. Hell, Prop 8 (California) was tossed out because the SCOTUS found the petitioners had "no standing". That was honestly a poor decision and a deliberate dodge. A liberal court may likely decide that the 14th amendment applies, but a conservative court would not. We have a 5/4 SCOTUS right now that have deliberately been trying to avoid making the decision you cite. I think it's inevitable that they will take up a case where they'll need to decide, however.

This is exactly the type of of issue that SHOULD be left to the states until society is more agreeable to it. I believe it's inevitable. If the far left state of California time and time again passed legislation against same-sex marriage and even added an amendment to it's State Constitution to forbid it then it should be painfully obvious that the doesn't come anywhere near the level of acceptance that interracial marriages had in the 60's. Note that Loving v Virgina was a UNANIMOUS decision.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Goodbye Spirit!

Jhon Jhon writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Jhon (241832) writes ""Last night, just after midnight, the last recovery command was sent to Spirit. It would be an understatement to say that this was a significant moment. Since the last communication from Spirit on March 22, 2010 (Sol 2210), as she entered her fourth Martian winter, nothing has been heard from her. There is a continued silence from the Gusev site on Mars."

Goodbye, and thanks for all the bits!"

Link to Original Source
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"The Olympics Stole My Game"

Jhon Jhon writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Jhon (241832) writes "
What should the original author Cadin Batrack receive (if anything) for his stolen work, considering the penalties the Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee threatens for anyone violating THEIR intellectual property and how Batrack backed up his claims of piracy?

What court would he appeal to?"

Journals

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Jhon on Text Messaging

Jhon Jhon writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Isn't modern technology amazing? We're able to take a simple conversation which would take about 2 minutes and extended it out to 2 hours by just using our thumbs!

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Godiva Chocolate

Jhon Jhon writes  |  more than 7 years ago

For Valentine's day, part of my "husbandly duty" was having a box of my wife's favorite chocolate arrive for her at work -- Godiva Chocolatier.

I placed the order on Feb 11th. It was shipped Feb 12th (2nd day air) and was scheduled to arrive at my wife's work on the 14th (along with flowers, a CD and cards from our kids -- all different vendors). UPS screwed up and shipped the Chocolate 90 miles north by accident. They rescheduled delivery for the 15th.

I was ticked off, but I understand mistakes happen. I call up Godiva on 02/14 at 11:25 am to request a refund of the SHIPPING -- I paid for 2nd day air and wanted them to credit me the difference for standard shipping.

I was shocked and surprised when while on the phone, the Godiva rep called a local store and had a box couriered over (which arrived at 2 pm on Feb 14th)! Fantastic customer service. They made me a customer for life (more of a benefit for my wife -- I'm not a huge chocolate fan).

The only problem was billing. I needed to make 3 separate calls to customer service after that to resolve the two items I was billed for. Not the end of the world -- and I was never on the phone more than 10 mins. It was resolved to my satisfaction.

Forget See's Candy -- go with Godiva. It's more expensive, but the quality of the candy AND service is far greater.

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Netflix

Jhon Jhon writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I finally broke down and subscribed to Netflix. I've been a "paying" member for about two weeks. That's added to their 2-week trial membership.

So far, I'm very pleased with the service. I'm impressed with their turn-around-time and surprised that the DVDs aren't scratched up beyond use by the time I get them.

Benefits:

  1. Cheaper than local rental (which is around $4/movie)
  2. Cheaper than PayPerView (around $4)
  3. Huge selection
  4. Haven't come across a movie yet that is "rented out"

Hassles:

  1. Regular trips to the local MailBox/PostOffice
  2. Anxiety that a movie will get "lost" in the mail
  3. Anxiety that when something HAPPENS that requires I speak with 'customer service' that it will be a nightmare

For me, the benefits out-way the hassles.

For the record, We got 8 movies over 1 month. At that rate, the cost is $1.25/movie.

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Life is full of little bits of self discovery.

Jhon Jhon writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Tonight I was putting all my DVDs (and a few tapes burned to DVD) in order. I don't have a huge collection, but it's full of mostly movies I've enjoyed and thought were worth owning.

What I noticed was quite interesting. I have a facination for court-room themes. Here's a list of courtroom-related movies in my collection:

12 Angry Men 1957
Anatomy of a Murder 1959
Inherit the Wind 1960
Judgement at Nuremberg 1961
To Kill a Mockingbird 1962
And Justice for All 1979
From the Hip 1987
A Fish Called Wanda 1988
My Cousin Vinny 1992
A Few Good Men 1992
Philadelpha 1993
Primal Fear 1996
Red Corner 1997
Liar Liar 1997
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil 1997
Devil's Advocate 1997
Liar Liar 1997
A Civil Action 1998
The Insider 1999
Erin Brockovich 2000
Hart's War 2002

Each one of these movies has a 'courtroom' themes. What I find interesting is that I never realized I was drawn to such movies.

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On Adolescents and Cell Phones

Jhon Jhon writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I have often wondered why I see younger and younger folks with cell phones. Is this just parental doting? Or is there a real need?

I'm a parent of two young children (age 5 and 2). My recent experieces have led me to doubt if I ever will dote on my children in such a fashion. I have come to the conclusion that cell phones should NOT be in the hands of children (younger than 21 who do NOT pay for the service).

Why? I have recently taken over many mondane tasks for my sister -- who suffered a stroke a few months back. Including her cellphones/bills. Her two children (16 y/o girl, 14 y/o boy) each have a cell on the plan.

Their usage has been unbelievable. Some 800+ text messages each (at $0.05 each), 100+ hours each on the phone. Staying on the phone until 2am, 3am or even 6am on school nights. It has taken some serious effort to cut them down to what I consider to be 'reasonable'.

The 14 y/o has lost his cell phone all together. Consistent lying and late-night usage on school nights we well as stealing a cell phone out of his grandmothers purse, left me what I consider no alternative. He is unable to use the phone responsibly.

The 16 y/o lost her cell usage for about 2 weeks (I shut it off). She's allowed 1000 minutes per month TOTAL. 300 text messages per month TOTAL. As much as I would like to remove her cell phone completely, she has shown enough self-control -- particularly when I check the usage every day and see how long and how often she has used the phone.

Between these two kids, they have cost me close to $400 on cell phone abuse. The 16 y/o is paying me back her share and I've enslaved my nephew on all saturdays and some sundays to work it off at $5/hour.

Post Script: My niece almost lost her cell phone usage for the remainder of the month. She went over her 1000 minutes by a half-hour. I told her as long as I see NO usage (other than checking voice mail), it'll stay on.

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Big time scare.

Jhon Jhon writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Two weeks ago, my sister had a stroke.

She's 49, mother of 2 children (16 y/o girl, 14 y/o boy), very active and independent.

I was the first to arrive at the hospital -- about 10 minutes after she arrived. This was about 30 minutes after the stroke. She was lucky that it happened in public and it was recognized quickly.

I can never adequately express the fear and anxiety I felt as I received the phone call from my neice. She said that she just got a call that her mother was taken to the hospital and she wasn't talking. I don't know why, but I immediately thought STROKE. When I arrived at the hospital, they were asking me questions about my sister that I knew she could answer. This increased my fears. They told me she was receiving an MRI and an asprin enema. That essentially confirmed it, for me.

Before my sister returned from her MRI, her Dr. approached me and told me that he suspected a stroke, and "a massive one, at that", he said.

They wheeled my sister back in. She looked asleep. I took her hand and spoke to her. She squeezed my hand.

Over the next 30 minutes, my sister regained consciousness. She couldn't talk, she was paralized on her right side and it wasn't clear if she was understanding anything that was said to her. I kept reassuring her that I'll make sure the kids would be fine, the bills would be paid, the pets would be fed, etc -- until she was better.

After the first hour, she was actually lifting her head and looking around. She was able to nod and shake her head in responses to questions -- but not always consistant in her answers.

I'll fast-forward a bit and skip where I passed the news to my mom and my sister's kids...

The first day saw the most dramatic improvement. She was moving her right side (albeit barely) and she was more consistantly nodding and shaking her head. From then on, she has make significant improvement every day.

As of yesterday, she can speak -- but her words are haulting. She's stuck on about 10 phrases. "Yes", "No", "I don't know", "I know", "Maybe", and a few others. She can fully understand everything spoken to her. She can't find the words yet, and she has trouble reading. She KNOWS the words, and can clearly identify their meanings when shown pictures of things and actions -- but when the words are put in sentences, she can't make out the meaning.

Also, she is nearly paralysis free. You can see a SLIGHT droop in her lip when she smiles and she's just a little weak on her right side. That's it. She's able to do EVERYTHING should could before (except drive -- but that's by Dr's order -- she'll need to be evaluated for that in the future).

I've taken care of all her bills and will continue to do so until her disability kicks in. Money will be a little tight for her, but I can supplement it as needed.

She's home now. Last week, she was released as an in-patient at a local rehab clinic and then released for home just yesterday. Her insurance will pay for at-home speech therapy and I'll be working with her on that, too. She's going to get annoyed with me pushing her to read/talk -- but hey. I have a thick skin. I post on slashdot!

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