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Should Colleges Ban Classroom Laptop Use?

Millenniumman Re:Why not ban mandatory attendence of lectures? (804 comments)

This is pretty much it. Laptops for me are a way to distract myself through mandatory lectures, but still pay a little more attention than sleeping.

more than 3 years ago
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Officials Use Google Earth To Find Unlicensed Pools

Millenniumman Re:They collected $75,000... (650 comments)

Pools can easily cause neighbors problems. It's stupid to say we should let people do anything with property even if it has a high likelihood of affecting others. Sure, maybe you could sue them for damages, but that is a ridiculous, complex and uncertain burden on everyone, won't stop damages in the first place, and ultimately the owners are less likely to be the real problem than builders who ignore responsibilities. It makes much more sense to impose reasonable regulation.

Plus, pools incur other issues. Many communities set rules for how much land can be developed on any given home property, because people don't want to live surrounded by concrete. Minor and predetermined restrictions on property rights allow other people to enjoy their property rights in the real world. Just because something doesn't "physically" affect other properties doesn't mean it doesn't affect them in such a way that it needs to be regulated.

And again, many things you can't fix once they are broken, even if you can collect monetary compensation.

None of that justifies unreasonable regulation or red tape that is just a pain, of course.

Communities are allowed to develop rules about how land can be used. Not doing so would hurt everyone. Obviously, there's a scale between basic stuff like creating a giant fire hazard and HOA crap like painting your mailbox the wrong shade of gray, and different levels of authority that govern this stuff. Get involved if you want your voice to be heard. And live somewhere where your desires are compatible with the neighbors (or where you have no neighbors). If everyone around you wants to preseve the trees as much as possible, and you want to cut them all, tough luck, you don't get to ruin everyone else's scenery.

Personally, I don't like a committee deciding whether any minute aesthetic feature of a home is allowed based on how it affects property values, but I also don't want my neighbors to be able to totally trash their property or cut down all the trees or build right up to the property line.

With that said, this looks more like a tax than a restriction on pools. Which is fine, they do use a lot of water among other things, and so is enforcement. Eyes in the sky are rather creepy, though, but I don't really know if this is worse than Google Earth in general, and it's not really that big a deal to me, and is rather useful and neat.

more than 4 years ago
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SSD Price Drops Signaling End of Spinning Media?

Millenniumman Re:...Or an arms race (646 comments)

HDD is already affordable at 2TB, the best deal being about $150. 200GB SSDs are, on the other hand, $900. 7 cents per gigabyte or 4 dollars. They aren't remotely comparable. SSD has to come a loooong way to even compete, and it's not as if they have huge advantages over hard drives anyway.

more than 4 years ago
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Professors Banning Laptops In the Lecture Hall

Millenniumman Re:Get on with the times (664 comments)

Macs are deficient in a lot of software besides games. AutoCAD, just for example. Expose is just UI eye candy. The command line can be useful, but its presence in os x doesn't really offer an advantage over windows for most things, and it's not close to "all you need" for nearly anyone.

more than 4 years ago
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California Legislature Declares "Cuss-Free" Week

Millenniumman Re:working hard...or (262 comments)

Do you know that that was paid for by public funds? Even a lot of normal athletic programs where I am rely on fundraising. Someone might have just donated it to the school.

more than 4 years ago
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"Smart" Parking Meters Considered Dumb

Millenniumman Re:There must be a better way (863 comments)

Paper currency is printed by the government, specifically the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Both paper currency and coins are distributed to the federal reserve banks. People just haven't really used the coins, but they are trying the president ones now.

Do most meters actually take dollar coins?

Honestly, though, quarters aren't that tough to use. And they often don't actually want you staying very long anyway.

more than 5 years ago
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11.6" Netbooks Face Off

Millenniumman Re:More and more powerful... (238 comments)

The 7" ones just wasted a bunch of space around the screen. 9" (actually 8.9, I guess) ones were about the same size, so I think they were really the happy medium. I'd really like the cheapest 8.9" netbook with a good screen and keyboard and decent construction. Battery life is always a big plus. Thickness, OS, storage wouldn't really matter.

It'd be nice to have something to use working on stuff, cooking, etc and, my 17" MacBook Pro being too large and at risk of damage in messier environments (but far better for doing anything even remotely computer intensive).

more than 5 years ago
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The Best First Language For a Young Programmer

Millenniumman Try many languages (634 comments)

I think it's misguided to start out focusing on any one language. Using different languages helps you understand what's going on in the larger picture. I think once you can grasp the fundamentals of programming, and you can generally understand a variety of languages, then you might want to try getting more heavily acquainted with whatever language you like. C and Python are both very accessible, and they can help you learn things about each other. C gets you bare metal memory/pointer stuff and static typing, and Python allows you to branch out and do more complicated things more easily. Neither are necessarily my favorite language, but they are very common and reasonable.

Java might also be a good idea, to focus on OO concepts. It's not as easily accessible, though.

Another issue is the amount of flexibility in a lot of languages. C++ especially incorporates so many concepts in complicated in differing ways.

I do think the syntax differences help in grasping what the syntax actually means.

more than 5 years ago
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Windows 7 Pre-Orders Top Vista's In Just 8 Hours

Millenniumman Re:Don't get TOO "excited", & here is why... a (279 comments)

You're obviously a parody. Next time, try to pick a bizzarre complaint that could at least be real. It's just not believable that someone cares that much about shaving a few bytes off a hosts file, or seriously proposes using such a gigantor one.

more than 5 years ago
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Recovery.gov To Get $18 Million Redesign

Millenniumman Re:cash4cronies (434 comments)

This isn't really the case. No one remotely credible really believes that political donations by corporations are a protected form of freedom of expression. Some moronic commentators and the like spin it that way, but the political reality is that despite the obvious corruptions of the system few politicians want to change it because they rely on it, and, indeed, they wouldn't be in their position if they didn't.

more than 5 years ago
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New Video of Tesla's Mass-Market Electric Car

Millenniumman Re:Reality check can't be cashed (462 comments)

I don't think Tesla's offerings are targeted towards rural areas at all. Their locations are all near or in major cities.

I don't think the range is necessarily a real roadblock for most of the target market, but this kind of fundemental limitation is certainly quite unappealling, especially on something expensive and not at all designed as a city car.

more than 5 years ago
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Revisiting the Five-Minute Rule

Millenniumman Re:Not to be confused with (153 comments)

Normal floors are probably safer than your hands. If it's in your own home and you just dropped it or something, I can't even really imagine why it would be mentally bothersome.

It's not really an issue if you have a dog, though.

more than 5 years ago
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Bugatti's Latest Veyron, Most Ridiculous Car on the Planet?

Millenniumman Re:Guilty conscience? (790 comments)

Even if the exhaust is completely clean, you still can't breathe it, it lacks oxygen.

more than 5 years ago
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Pirate Party Banned From Social Networking Site

Millenniumman Re:I'm sure... (354 comments)

What party in Sweden wants to "tax and spend" less than the Democrats?

I'm also pretty sure the Republicans don't want to have ZERO taxes and totally dismantle all forms of government.

They might be disagreeable, but they aren't fake like the Pirate Party.

Not that our party system doesn't have problems, but that doesn't change the fact that the Pirate Party is idiotic. If it actually became popular outside of its little subculture it would indicate severe problems in Swedish politics, but that seems unlikely.

more than 5 years ago
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Pirate Party Banned From Social Networking Site

Millenniumman Re:I'm sure... (354 comments)

Copyright doesn't restrict the spread of knowledge. Knowledge can't be copyrighted, and isn't present in most of works pirated anyway. But any information in a copyrighted work can be shared, just not the verbatim content.

Patents also can't prevent the spread of knowledge, but only temporarily prevent it's commercialization by third parties. They actually help to open it up and limit trade secrets.

more than 5 years ago
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Pirate Party Banned From Social Networking Site

Millenniumman Re:I'm sure... (354 comments)

The party is not "also of the opinion that non-commercial file-sharing of copyrighted works should be legalized" in a way that is "secondary". That is the point. It is called the Pirate Party, not the free speech party. No one cares about wiretaps, etc. They care about free stuff.

And no, it doesn't take a totalitarian state to enforce a ban on piracy. I mean, yes, it takes a totalitarian state to actually 100% enforce any law (and even that won't work), but that's not really point. You don't even need to go after the downloaders. Just take down pirate bay, and a few other big torrent sites and it will go down a lot.

Or even better, don't really do anything about it, but don't pretend it's important or form some imbecilic party to defend it.

more than 5 years ago
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Pirate Party Banned From Social Networking Site

Millenniumman Re:I'm sure... (354 comments)

What is this nonsense about being against free culture? What do you mean by free culture? Being able to hear a song or watch a movie for free, regardless of the desires of the moviemaker, is not free culture, it's free stuff. Especially since the prices are quite reasonable.

Also, what is with the mantra crap?

There's plenty of free media, and you can make more. You and your Pirate buddies can go enjoy free culture all you want.

But that's not it. You just want free stuff.

more than 5 years ago
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Pirate Party Banned From Social Networking Site

Millenniumman Re:I'm sure... (354 comments)

The difference being that the Socialist parties, at least in parts of Europe, have real positions on issues that actually matter and have drawn honest support outside of a bizarre, fleeting subculture.

While many may just want to live off the system for free, it's not entirely a platform of "gimme gimme" like this stupid Pirate Party.

I don't agree with them, but there are real Socialist parties. The Pirate Party is a fake party.

more than 5 years ago
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Pirate Party Banned From Social Networking Site

Millenniumman Re:I'm sure... (354 comments)

It's still a fake party. That is not a well developed platform (copyright and patent just aren't all that important, especially with such an asinine stance and name), and intentionally joke parties have gotten more votes.

It's just a bunch of people who want to download movies and music for free, regardless of any other consequences, and despite the fact that they can already do so, they are still complaining because they want everyone to acknowledge and lend great important to this privilege.

more than 5 years ago

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