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Terry Pratchett Considers Assisted Suicide

LatencyKills Re:Alzheimer's is horrifying (838 comments)

Sounds hauntingly familiar - we went through all of that with my mother. Taking away the car keys turned out to be easy. When she asked we told her the car was at the mechanics, and astonishingly quickly she forgot about it. Showers became a hazard as she would sometimes turn on the hot water full blast. Installed a locked temperature knob. The biggest hassle came when she started wandering off. The police would return her - she was found roaming the neighborhood, going to visit a friend (said friend had been dead ten years, and lived 40 miles away when she was alive - far too far to walk). When it started happening at night we had to move her to a locked care facility. Oy. She cried not to leave her there on that first night, like a child being left at camp for the first time. The second night was no better, nor the third, nor the fourth, but she did eventually settle in at the new place, though went downhill quickly. One day she simply refused to eat. No coaxing could get her to, and we refused to have her fed intravenously. And maybe two weeks after that, it was over. Her death was not a sad time; we viewed it as a time of release. This was a woman who was a trained nurse, a grand master at bridge, and ace at the NYT crossword puzzle, and a voracious reader, reduced to making belts woven out of leather strips in a day room. The woman who was my mother had been dead more than four years before her body finally caught up with her. A death I would not wish upon my worst enemy.

more than 3 years ago

UK Gov't Wants To Block Internet Porn By Default

LatencyKills Re:Why is porn bad? (642 comments)

Crap, where's +6 insightful when you need it? As a person growing up in the USA I've been perplexed by the prevalence of violence in our media with little or no filtering beyond NC-17 (and violence has to really go nuts to get there), but the total filtering of sexual activity of all kinds. God forbid a teenager see a man give oral sex to a woman, but stabbing her 83 times - where's the popcorn!

more than 3 years ago

Game Reviewers Face Odd Bribery From Publishers

LatencyKills Re:I'm With the Author (148 comments)

I've been doing game reviews for almost a decade, and while I receive free games in abundance (and Microsoft has been trying to send me a XB360 for several years now, but I only do PC game reviews), I've never received cash or other swag. in fact, most recently, I get Steam download codes or similar, and I don't even get a physical copy of the game anymore.

more than 3 years ago

Selling Incandescent Light Bulbs As Heating Devices

LatencyKills Is it just me? (557 comments)

Or do other people similarly dislike CFCs? In the cold they take several minutes to come on. The light they give off is harsh. And, at least where I am, I have a hell of a time trying to get rid of them when they die - there's a single store in the area that takes them (though dozens sell them). Oh, and they don't seem to last any longer than incandescents, though they cost more, and at least on the box claim that they should. How am I saving the planet again?

more than 3 years ago

Google Announces Project 10^100 Winners

LatencyKills Re:FIRST (133 comments)

I work for a company that is involved in FIRST. It's an excellent opportunity for engineers to get out of the lab and hang out with a bunch of teenagers for a couple of days, there's a goofy competition, and everyone goes home. I'm not sure it is in the slightest fostering an increased interest in math and science as it claims (the students who do FIRST are already strongly on the math/sci track - it's not like the very existence of the program will attract more), but it does no harm (diatribe against NI above notwithstanding). Of course, if attracting more students into math and science with double-digit unemployment in some engineering disciplines and jobs being outsourced to other countries is a Good Thing (TM)is perhaps a debate we could have at another time.

more than 3 years ago

E-Books Are Only 6% of Printed Book Sales

LatencyKills Re:Different Metrics - Price, Units, Profit (437 comments)

As a guy who is trying to get a novel published, I have mixed opinions on self-publishing. On the downside, you get the needle in a haystack thing in that anyone can upload anything and pretend that they've written a book. The perception is that most self-published books are awful, and it's a reputation they deserve (though that is changing, slowly). On the upside, sure, I've gotten plenty of rejection letters, and the fact that there is another channel to readers (albeit one with an awful S/N ratio) that is removing the monopoly of publishers who are caught between a number of rocks and hard places (dwindling entertainment market share, increased printing costs, genre spreading fragmenting what existing readership they do have, down economy, etc) is a good thing. The lower price point of e-format self-published books may well allow unpublished authors to get a book out there and read by people. All that said, I feel that I'm pretty close to succeeding at the old-fashioned route, so I'm not prepared to say "I know a good book better than people who have been doing it for a living for decades, and my book is good, therefore I'm going to put it out there."

more than 3 years ago

When the Senate Tried To Ban Dial Telephones

LatencyKills Re:Luddites (506 comments)

Nope - I'm among that group who has managed to pump his own gas in NJ (at a turnpike gas station, no less). I had been driving up from FL to Boston and has little idea what state I was in. I got out of the car, pumped my gas, and went inside to pay. The guy inside was so slow/inattentive that he was probably willing to have me sit there all day waiting for him to pump my gas. When presented with my credit card he said angrily "You shouldn't have done that." To which I replied "It's done, you can either swipe my card and I'll leave, or I'll just leave - your choice."

more than 3 years ago

Hunters Shot Down Google Fiber

LatencyKills Re:Pretty common. (1141 comments)

I live out in the sticks, and my neighbor often shoots down my wireless packets. Bastard!

more than 3 years ago

72% of US Adults Support Violent-Game Ban For Minors

LatencyKills Web Sites (478 comments)

Every go to one of those websites that ask for age verification? They use a drop box to select the year you were born. I often pick 1901 just wondering if it will skew their demographics. I know, offtopic.

more than 3 years ago

Criminals Steal House Thanks To Hacked Email

LatencyKills Re:this is ridiculous (227 comments)

As a guy who just bought a house, someone shows up on the seller's side at the closing. Find that person, and throw them in jail - lawyer, shill, guy with power of attorney, whatever. When they tell you who sent them to the closing, find that person and throw them in jail. Wash, rinse, repeat, until you come up to a blind drop or a disconnected phone number.

more than 3 years ago

Patent Office Admits Truth — Things Are a Disaster

LatencyKills Software patents? (278 comments)

Don't get me wrong, I'm completely against software patents, but I'm way more offended by "business method" patents. And patents on something that someone did a hundred years ago, only now someone adds the line "on a computer" and suddenly that's a new patentable event.

more than 3 years ago

PR Firm Settles With FTC On Fake Game Reviews

LatencyKills Re:So tell me ... (105 comments)

There's a third group of people you missed in your post - those who review games because they genuinely love playing them and want others to find the good ones and avoid the bad ones, and maybe even in some Darwinian fashion improve gaming as a whole. I've been doing online game reviews for almost a decade - companies send me games, some ask for me to review them specifically - and I've always posted my honest opinion of them without dilution or pressure from my agent. I've had companies send me games that I subsequently slammed. They're probably not happy about that, but it allows my readers to know that I do write unbiased reviews (or at least biased by nothing more than my own opinions). Here's a hint to finding fake reviews - if you're reading a game review with a banner ad for that game across the top of it, it's probably not a real review.

more than 3 years ago

BFG Tech Sending Out RMA Denial Letters, 'Winding Down Business'

LatencyKills Re:Lifetime Warranties... (327 comments)

Only sort of tangentially related, but I have an Invisible Fence dog containment system which has a lifetime warranty as long as I'm the owner of the house in which it is installed. They still service it 12 years later.

more than 3 years ago

Google CEO Schmidt Predicts End of Online Anonymity

LatencyKills And to prove his point (591 comments)

I'm going to send Eric Schmidt 14 pictures of my ass.

more than 3 years ago

Intuit Still Fighting Government Tax Software

LatencyKills Re:Defining income is complicated (374 comments)

It's only complicated because we differentiate between different types of income. If the tax code were written such that you took this year's net worth and subtracted last year's net worth, the difference could be called income, and for something like 99% of the people it would be laughably easy to calculate (we would need some type of depreciation table for homes and cars, perhaps a few other valuable items, or just exempt one house and one or two cars per household). Lop off the first $20,000 or so (in my system it would be a year over year calculation, so cost of living would be included automatically), and flat tax the rest. With one house, two cars, a saving account, and a minor stock portfolio, my income tax return could be maybe four boxes.

more than 3 years ago

Massive EU Program To Study Three-legged Dogs

LatencyKills I owned one (85 comments)

I had a rottweiler mix that lost his front left leg to osteosarcoma. At slow speeds, he would move kind of like an inchworm, hopping his remaining front leg forward, then jumping both back legs forward, wash, rinse, repeat. He could do it while keeping his head on the ground, say following a scent trail. At higher speeds (and even after the amputation he was faster than his brother) he would do a run in which his two right legs would move, then the remaining left rear would move. His head would bob up and down as he ran. Oh, and when he peed, he would lift his left rear leg, and balance on his two right feet. BTW, the cancer came back and got him a year after the amputation - bone cancer of the back left leg, and we didn't want to try him as a two legged dog, though I understand some of those get around as well.

about 4 years ago

RIAA Paid $16M+ In Legal Fees To Collect $391K

LatencyKills Re:Good Heavens! (387 comments)

My dad always told me that a lawsuit is like two people setting themselves on fire and lawyers warming themselves with the flames.

about 4 years ago

Wikileaks Founder Advised To Avoid American Gov't

LatencyKills Re:Good on him (632 comments)

Weeeelll, yes and no. Could Afghanistan copy the F-35? No. Could they figure out how it is made invisible to radar and adapt their radar systems accordingly? Maybe. Could they understand how we defeat guided missiles and modify them with improved CCM? Probably. Could they decode burst communications channels and get data on missions, flight plans, troop movements, etc? Yes. So while I'm not in the least concerned with them building one, I am concerned that they will negate much of the advantage we gain by building it ourselves.

more than 4 years ago

Set Free Your Inner Jedi (Or Pyro)

LatencyKills Re:1 watt isn't enough to set skin on fire (463 comments)

Depends on how the beam is delivered (CW or pulsed), the wavelength (some are absorbed quite strongly in the skin, others not so much), the power density at point of impact. A 40W CO2 laser in long pulse mode might well not burn you - the peak energies are too low and the wavelength is off. In grad school I leaned and arm into a 5W Argon ion laser running CW at 514nm that left a blister on my arm 2mm wide and 10 inches long faster than I could say ouch. I also knew a girl working on a 2W short pulse YAG at 1064 that blew two 0.02mm holes in the center of her retina in one pulse per hole (left blank spots in the center of her visual field). Visible lasers are bad in general, both from a skin damage and an eye damage perspective, and given how many people wave laser pointers around carelessly, I'm less than thrilled at the prospect of this laser getting out cheaply into the public.

BTW, that 400mW red laser is a pretty unique animal - I've only seen one HeNe (I'm assuming it's a HeNe - a ruby laser would be too big and complicated to move) over 10mW in 25 years in laser work. It was a 600mW large frame unit used in holography and was over four feet long and weighed about 75 pounds. Surely there's an easier way to deal with wasps?

more than 4 years ago

Violent Video Games Only Affect Some People

LatencyKills Re:It's not violence (236 comments)

This has always been one of my hot buttons. Put bluntly, I can make a movie in which a guy hacks a woman's breast off with a machete and that's NC-17, but a couple having sex, oooh, can't have that - that's X rated. WTF?!?! Jumping Jesus in a chariot what message does that send to our kids?

more than 4 years ago



Supreme Court Strip Search Case Outcome

LatencyKills LatencyKills writes  |  more than 5 years ago

LatencyKills (1213908) writes "The Supreme court ruled that school administrators who strip searched a 13 year old girl for ibuprofen in a scene reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange were unreasonable, but are not liable for their actions (at least not in a court of law — perhaps her father and his friends Smith and Wesson will determine otherwise)."
Link to Original Source

Tubes running out of bandwidth

LatencyKills LatencyKills writes  |  more than 4 years ago

LatencyKills (1213908) writes "We all knew this day would come: experts predict increasing consumer demand for high bandwidth stuff from the internet is going to overwhelm the tubes. "Experts" are predicting we'll start to see serious data traffic problems around 2012. I read it in the London Times but Fox is mirroring the story as well. Better stock up on porn while you can."
Link to Original Source


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