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How, and Why, Apple Overtook Microsoft

KermodeBear Not a Control Freak? (409 comments)

Not because he was a control freak, but because he had a passion for perfection.

That is precisely what a control freak is - someone who believes that things should be a certain way and refuses to compromise. Everything must bow down to the vision of that person. You can try to spin it as a "passion for perfection" but ultimately it's exactly the same thing.

yesterday
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Local Motors Looks To Disrupt the Auto Industry With 3D-Printed Car Bodies

KermodeBear Re:Recycling Materials (128 comments)

Good to know. Where I live (semi-rural area) there's probably a half dozen junk yards within a 15 minute drive of me. Cars just go there and... sit around... Sometimes people will run in there and yank a part out for nominal amounts of money, but most of the time they just sit and rust away.

about two weeks ago
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Local Motors Looks To Disrupt the Auto Industry With 3D-Printed Car Bodies

KermodeBear Recycling Materials (128 comments)

What struck me as the most interesting part of this article was the concept of taking your car to the shop, removing the drive train, and melting the rest down to be used to print a new car.

This would be fantastic. All of a sudden, getting into a crash doesn't mean you have to junk the whole car. You can salvage the body and a lot of the parts (in theory). Wait a week or two and voila, you have a brand new product.

In theory we should be doing this with existing cars, but they just don't seem to be built for it, or there's no facilities that will take them for recycling. If you start out with this as part of the life cycle of the vehicle, well, that could be really cool. This could drastically reduce the price of a vehicle if people are recycling their car parts since you don't have to source nearly as many new materials.

Questions about safety and durability can be addressed over time, I'm sure, and hopefully they won't be so lightweight that they can't be driven in the winters up North.

about two weeks ago
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Facebook Will Let You Flag Content As 'False'

KermodeBear Re:Subject to the whims of the masses... (224 comments)

That was my immediate reaction as well.

"I don't agree with the political / religious / philosophical point of the article, so I am going to flag it as false, even if I know that it is true."

Just what we needed, yet another tool to promote drama and division among people.

about two weeks ago
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Steam Broadcasting Now Open To Everyone

KermodeBear Re:Pointless (93 comments)

So you're complaining that it isn't open to everyone because it doesn't support a browser that you like to use, even though you have complete freedom to use a browser which is supported by the site at zero cost to yourself. Zero.

As an alternative you can just use the Steam client itself, which supports everything you need.

That isn't Steam locking people out. That's you locking yourself out for no reason other than pure stubbornness and a need to bitch about a free service.

about two weeks ago
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Steam Broadcasting Now Open To Everyone

KermodeBear Re:Pointless (93 comments)

And you're prohibited from using Chrome because...?

about two weeks ago
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Google Thinks the Insurance Industry May Be Ripe For Disruption

KermodeBear Working at Primerica (238 comments)

In my younger, more vulnerable, far more gullible years, some representatives at Primerica asked me to sign up with them. They told me it would be a great Summer job in between college semesters and that I'd learn a lot.

Learn a lot I did.

They did pay for me to go to to state-required classes to become a licensed insurance salesperson. They were right, I did learn a lot about insurance there. The theory, how it works, lots of legal stuff and ethics, etc., etc. I was happy about that. It's good stuff to know.

I also learned about the company.

It didn't take long for a giant red warning sign to pop up in my head: "WARNING!!! PYRAMID SCHEME CULT. WARNING!!!"

That's exactly what it was. You see, the way Primerica worked was like this: You go out and sell an insurance policy and maybe a few other things. You get a commission. So does the person who got you to join. So does the person who got THAT person to join. And then the person above that person, all the way to the top.

I, being something like the 6th or 7th generation, would be feeding cash to the founder of that local chapter. Looking at the commission rates it soon became clear: If you're just working to sell insurance, you won't make much money. But if you can get 100 people under you then you don't have to sell insurance - all the dumb grunts would be doing the work for you. All you have to do is have weekly meetings and buy food and play music and do bizarre "team building" exercises and hire the occasional motivational speaker...

And then I thought, "So, people who are buying insurance and securities through this company are not only paying for my time and the service, but also all of this other crap... Including the person at the top who is just jerking off all the time at this point."

Well, it took all Summer to take all of the classes - passed with flying colors - and they even paid for me to take the state exam and get the license. I did both. By then it was time to go back to school and, though I was supposed to get back in touch with The Cult, I never did. I took my knowledge and ran for the hills.

Thanks for the education, Primerica, not only on how insurance works, but also what a truly abusive freak show your corporation is.

You were right. I did learn a lot.

about two weeks ago
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Regular Exercise Not Enough To Make Up For Sitting All Day

KermodeBear Re:Standing desks (348 comments)

I bought one of these a few months ago. It's pretty spacious, adjustable, and is regularly on sale for $450 or so.If you're in the market for one and don't want to spend lots of money for something fancy, this might be a good option for you.

about two weeks ago
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Innocent Adults Are Easy To Convince They Committed a Serious Crime

KermodeBear Re:The average human being (291 comments)

I wasn't familiar with the Reid Technique, but once I learned what it was, it struck me as an incredibly unfair and abusive interrogation technique. It's also the technique we see often on a lot of those police investigation television shows: There's a presumption of guilt, all of the questions are loaded. I never knew it had a name, I always called it, "The Asshole Interrogation Technique," because you have to be an asshole to use it.

For those who are interested, the Wikipedia has a short article but The New Yorker has a much more interesting one.

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

KermodeBear Re:a flaw in the popes statement (894 comments)

It's also important to remember that being offended is a choice. In a sense, there's nothing you can do to offend someone, even if you want to, if that person doesn't find your actions as offensive. So the responsibility of being offended really does lie at the person who feels the offense.

No, this isn't a "blame the victim" argument, because there is no victim here. There is no harm done. Someone printing a cartoon of Mohummad having anal sex doesn't hurt anyone. The only reason people get all pissed off about it is because they decide that they should be pissed off.

One always chooses one's reaction to any situation (unless you're of the school of thought that none of us have any choice in anything that we do because we're completely molded by genetics and environment, in which case one can argue that nobody is really responsible for anything that they do).

And then there is context to take into account, which is a whole other discussion.

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

KermodeBear Re:Therefore justifying the killing of others (894 comments)

Because when one single man has the ears of 1.1 billion people, what that man says has importance.

It doesn't matter if you are Catholic or not. 1.1 billion other people are, and many of them adjust their thinking and therefore their actions and their lives based on what this one man says.

about two weeks ago
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Best current live-action TV show based on comics?

KermodeBear Re:C-SPAN has some good programs (148 comments)

Unless you find the politicians to be so pathetic as to be funny, if only unintentionally.

about two weeks ago
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Rare Recalled NES Game Stadium Events On Ebay For $99,000

KermodeBear Re:God-damn. (138 comments)

Do you know how much better you could make the world if you go volunteer instead of post on Slashdot?

about three weeks ago
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Bill Would Ban Paid Prioritization By ISPs

KermodeBear Re:Gloriously Short Bill (216 comments)

That can often run into many thousands of pages, and they can change literally every single day. Regulated industries often have employees whose sole job it is to ensure that they're in compliance with the regulations. [...] This isn't necessarily a bad thing. The Congress aren't experts in the domain.

And when you have thousands of pages of regulations, so many that you need compliance experts, that drives up costs for the business and ultimately the end consumer. It raises the barrier of entry for new companies, and tilts things in the favor of large, established corporations, reducing potential competition. Want to help the entrenched monopolies? Pass regulations.

Don't get me wrong - not all regulations are bad. We need some regulations (don't dump radioactive waste into the water supply, for example), but our government goes crazy with them and we end up with a tangled mess.

I believe that regulations (which are just laws passed by an agency) should be voted on by congress. No, I don't expect congress to be an expert in internet communications, but they don't have to be an expert if we really do need them to do something. They don't need to know the contents of the header of an IP packet and they don't need to know what a subnet is. They just need to have the gasp of general concepts (communications carrier, content provider, etc.) that your average joe already understands (or can understand), and write some basic, simple laws.

I do believe that it can be that simple. No law or regulation should be so complicated and so complex that your average person is unable to understand what it means, and it shouldn't be so long that it spans a thousand pages or more. It sure as hell shouldn't be passed without being read on the floor. It's endemic of a serious problem in general in our legislative process.

What I think I'm arguing for, in essence, is a refactoring of our existing laws (to make them far fewer and more simple) and forcing them to be talked about and passed in the open, where it's easy to see what is happening, where the common person can (and should) be able to understand what is being proposed and offer input.

This does not mean that domain experts shouldn't be involved - of course they should be - but the end result should be short and simple and voted upon.

Okay, I'm going back to my world where politicians actually give a crap about the country. Bye!

about three weeks ago
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Bill Would Ban Paid Prioritization By ISPs

KermodeBear Re:Fuck the libs! (216 comments)

I believe you need a slight correction: Conservatives believe in the free market. Many republicans are not conservatives.

about three weeks ago
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Sony Thinks You'll Pay $1200 For a Digital Walkman

KermodeBear Re:MP3 is pants (391 comments)

Cymbals are even worse when you're listening to orchestras, and then there's gongs and whatnot. Encoding has gotten a LOT better over the years, but even today you need to encode at 192kbps at least for it to have an okay sound. Certain instruments just don't encode very well.

about a month ago
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The Missing Piece of the Smart Home Revolution: The Operating System

KermodeBear Re:I'm at a loss. And I RTFA (252 comments)

I also don't "get" Reddit. The pages give me a headache, it's a mess. The moderation system also sucks (just up and down) and looking at what gets modded up there... Slashdot is still way, way better.

about a month ago
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US CTO Tries To Wean the White House Off Floppy Disks

KermodeBear Re:From the summary (252 comments)

I remember sending mail to America Online requesting their installation disks. They had that hole removed so that you couldn't write to them, meaning you weren't able to use their disks for whatever you wanted.

Worked great - until I fetched a roll of tape. ~(o:

about a month ago
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US CTO Tries To Wean the White House Off Floppy Disks

KermodeBear Re:From the summary (252 comments)

BlackBerry phones are still the de facto gold standard for international travel. You can go just about anywhere and it will work. Those who travel between North America and Europe know what I'm talking about. If you're somewhat high level in the government I'd imagine there is a fair amount of international travel, so it's nice to have something that will "just work" when you head overseas.

I know, BlackBerry isn't considered trendy or sexy or cool or hipster, but their products work.

about a month ago
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Indiana Court Rules Melted Down Hard Drive Not Destruction of Evidence

KermodeBear Re:If it's good enough for the IRS... (181 comments)

One can have a little humor without making it into a political war, which I hadn't, nor was I intending to do so.

Breathe.

Smile.

Relax.

It's okay.

I hope the rest of your day goes well.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Google and NRG File For $540m Bailout on Under-Performing Solar Installation

KermodeBear KermodeBear writes  |  about 3 months ago

KermodeBear (738243) writes "After taking out a 1.6 billion dollar federal loan through the Department of Energy to build a new solar power facility, NRG and Google have now applied for a 540 million dollar bailout to help pay off the loan. The reason? The solar plant isn't producing as much energy as they predicted — and now they want the American tax payer to cover for their mistake."
Link to Original Source
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How Cattle Estrogens Persist in Waste Water

KermodeBear KermodeBear writes  |  more than 2 years ago

KermodeBear (738243) writes "In the absence of oxygen, estrogens from cattle gradually change from one form to another which stalls the bio-degradation process. These estrogens end up in waste water used to fertilize fields. This causes the overall free estrogen levels to rise in the soil and rain run-off, which affects nearby wildlife. Government regulations cover other contaminants, but there is no regulation for animal hormones."
Link to Original Source
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Dungeons and Dragons Links to Gang Violence

KermodeBear KermodeBear writes  |  about 4 years ago

KermodeBear (738243) writes "Dungeons and Dragons — originally Satan's Game — has now been found to encourage gang-like behavior. In a finding by a three judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, D&D "can mimic the organization of gangs and lead to the actual development thereof." From the ruling:

"during D&D games, one player is denoted the 'Dungeon Master.' The Dungeon Master is tasked with giving directions to other players, which Muraski testified mimics the organization of a gang."

"

Link to Original Source

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