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Comments

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Alpha Centauri Has an Earth-Sized Planet

NeMon'ess Re:Quite a discovery... (152 comments)

Exactly. What is the temperature on the side away from the sun? I'm guessing the atmosphere has been blown away by stellar wind. If not the convection could make it a furnace anyway.

about a year and a half ago
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Xbox 720 a No-show At This Year's E3

NeMon'ess Re:Protip: Teased at E3, Revealed in Fall 2012 (182 comments)

All three models will come with Kinect 2. It would be stupid to split their market. A bigger question is will there be an optical drive? 16 GB flash memory will be even cheaper in eighteen months, and games could come on cards. The two more expensive models might still include an optical drive for playing 360 games and use as a media center.

more than 2 years ago
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Earth Officially Home To 7 Billion Humans

NeMon'ess Re:Peak Population crisis? (473 comments)

If the population was 3.5 billion, would innovation and invention happen more than twice as slowly? I see no reason why it would. After a certain point, there are more than enough people to fill all the roles and industries and have economies of scale. Further population brings much fewer benefits.

more than 2 years ago
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Earth Officially Home To 7 Billion Humans

NeMon'ess Re:Overpopulation is not a problem (473 comments)

An article in The Atlantic suggests the infrastructure being built is only for the extraction of natural resources, and for some roads leading to the homes of the rulers. Sometimes the infrastructure overlaps with where it will help the local population, but far from always. The Chinese are bringing in their own workers and not training Africans. So unless the African countries push back for better deals and training and employing their own citizens, no China won't do it.

more than 2 years ago
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Sprint Bets Big On the iPhone

NeMon'ess Re:Why would Apple do this? (366 comments)

Sprint pays them extra for exclusivity while Apple ramps up production.

more than 2 years ago
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Oracle: Proud, Self-Reliant, Increasingly Isolated

NeMon'ess Re:Perspective (119 comments)

It's not about the next year. It's about the next five years.

more than 2 years ago
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Google+ Enters Open Beta

NeMon'ess Re:Google+ is a success (188 comments)

How many potential converts from facebook care about the real names policy? I say no more than fifteen percent, and probably less than five percent. The real names controversy only matters to a teeny, tiny minority.

more than 2 years ago
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HD Transfer of Star Trek: TNG To Arrive This Year

NeMon'ess Re:End of the HD era? WTF are you talking about? (267 comments)

I've heard the looks-like-video argument a hundred times. Maybe when we think of video we're thinking of typical video production values. As in lower quality sets, lighting, acting, stories and writing. All things that give video a bad name. If you'd agree the best stuff on TV is as immersive as good film, then The Hobbit should be great.

BTW I don't think all movies need to be 48, like many dramas, but fantasy, action, and sci-fi visual feasts will look better and have a bigger wow-factor than at 24.

more than 2 years ago
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Global Mall Operator Starts Reading License Plates

NeMon'ess Re:Slippery slope? (301 comments)

Sorry but you misunderstand my point. The dash-cam network won't be as effective at catching and also at deterring crime for the reasons you identified. I brought it up to point out it's coming. That degree of privacy will be lost anyway. I hope when the police system shows a crime just happened, that people will upload or set their dash system to automatically upload what it saw driving through the area. I'm still in favor of a government system that works better. Also if the system starts sending out tickets for breaking the average speed limit like in Britain, unlike there, Californians can and will pass a proposition that raises the speed limits five or ten miles per hour. I can't help it if other states fail to change their government.

So again, if the government knows where you are and guesses what you're doing, how is that going to harm you compared to how the government can already cause you harm?

more than 2 years ago
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HD Transfer of Star Trek: TNG To Arrive This Year

NeMon'ess Re:End of the HD era? WTF are you talking about? (267 comments)

I chose 4K at 24 since the existing theater standard supports it. Also the bandwidth required is equal to 3d 2K at 48. Personally I definitely see the difference between 3d and 2d and the extra dimension makes things look better to me. Of course I'm not talking about stuff that's been converted, but actually filmed in 3d.

From my understanding, the detail of 4K is largely lost when projected onto perforated screens most theaters use to put speakers behind them.

According to this chart, once people are four feet from a 32" 4K screen, they won't be able to see the difference between it a 32" 2K screen. Was there a standard HD screen next to it for you to compare and see at what point they looked the same?

more than 2 years ago
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Global Mall Operator Starts Reading License Plates

NeMon'ess Re:Slippery slope? (301 comments)

What are you worried about the government setting you up for? Seems to me they already have more powers than they should and if they want to render you to Iraq for interrogation they will. I'm heartened by the pushback against these powers, and also by court victories that are likely to affirm we have the right to videotape police. Abusive police are on the decline and our right and ability to tape them will frustrate and limit those that remain. In general, government corruption in many states is declining.

I think my chances are much higher that I'll be the victim of ordinary criminals than of the government. Not to mention my chance of being hit by a car. I think in ten years the good, defensive drivers will have wide angle cameras on the dash and out the rear window recording the last five minutes in a loop. Soon enough drivers will have them that many accidents are caught on tape along with plates and faces. Bad drivers will have to shape up or be reported and caught. If the loop is longer, like 30 minutes, police will have an app for smartphones. The app could check every fifteen minutes to see if there's been a police request for video footage from people driving on certain sections of streets where a crime just happened. Then the car cameras could help convict criminals for what they're doing along side the roads. So it's possible the public, wanting to defend themselves and help catch criminals, will set up a surveillance system of its own.

more than 2 years ago
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HD Transfer of Star Trek: TNG To Arrive This Year

NeMon'ess Re:End of the HD era? WTF are you talking about? (267 comments)

Does 4K at 24 fps look more real than 2K at 48 fps? I'm looking forward to The Hobbit shot and projected like that. Also James Cameron has suggested some of the eyestrain 3D causes is due to the low frame rate. So 3D 2K at 48 could be more real and impressive than 4K at 24.

more than 2 years ago
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Global Mall Operator Starts Reading License Plates

NeMon'ess Re:You folks have no idea what you're getting into (301 comments)

Isn't MADD a bad example? Sure they want to make driving with any BAC illegal, but they don't have have the support for it. But if someone's driving is impaired causes a problem or worse, shouldn't they be held accountable for it? In a divorce case, if one party has been adulterous, aren't they typically at fault for it?

Defense attorneys create reasonable doubt all the time. I see no reason why they won't still be able to do so here. What I do know is with enough plate and facial recognition cameras, crime will plummet when criminals can't get away with it. That frees up resources to once again spend more on education than on crime.

more than 2 years ago
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Global Mall Operator Starts Reading License Plates

NeMon'ess Re:Slippery slope? (301 comments)

Our species survived without fingerprints and DNA testing, but they've done great things for solving crimes. Plate readers and facial recognition cameras will make getting away with crime even more difficult. Wearing latex masks won't fool an intelligent system either that identifies a face with odd infrared or UV coloring and is walking a number of blocks to put distance between an owned or stolen vehicle and the criminals destination.

While it's only fiction, as Captain Picard said to the holographic Moriarty, "Professor, I feel it necessary to point out that criminal behavior is as unacceptable in the 24th century as it was in the nineteenth - and very much harder to get away with."

This technology could nearly stop carjackings, burglaries, identify suspects near the scene of arsons, rapes and murders, and catch all those and muggings on camera. We as a society lament spending more on police and dealing with crime than we do on education. Imagine if crime becomes so difficult to get away with, that many criminals give it up? Then we really could spend freed up resources on education, rehabilitation, and job training to turn our society around.

more than 2 years ago
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HD Transfer of Star Trek: TNG To Arrive This Year

NeMon'ess Re:End of the HD era? WTF are you talking about? (267 comments)

That clarity will be ruined by way too much compression from the cable and satellite providers. Only on Ultra Blu-ray might you get it.

more than 2 years ago
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After Cell-Phone Switch-Off, Anonymous Promises BART Protest

NeMon'ess Re:Oh, they can fuck right off. (258 comments)

Well there's the released stills from the surveillance video that doesn't capture the dead man but shows an object flying through the frame. Moreover BART police haven't released their own report, which is why it's premature to protest. At least wait for their report and hopefully the video before automatically doubting everything they say. There were civilian witnesses on the platform who saw it. But perhaps you think they've all been threatened if they tell the truth?

more than 2 years ago
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After Cell-Phone Switch-Off, Anonymous Promises BART Protest

NeMon'ess Re:Was that part of the fare for BART? (258 comments)

Haha. Until a year ago the underground stations outside of SF didn't have cell service at all. The SF stations only got service a few years ago. Thank goodness texting has supplanted talking, because lots of people were dreading hearing yakkers and yellers on their phones in the tunnels.

more than 2 years ago
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After Cell-Phone Switch-Off, Anonymous Promises BART Protest

NeMon'ess Re:The backstory - for those not in the US (258 comments)

Why'd you leave out the part where he threw a knife and was allegedly winding up to throw a second one?

more than 2 years ago
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After Cell-Phone Switch-Off, Anonymous Promises BART Protest

NeMon'ess Re:Barring access to emergency services (258 comments)

Those stations have had cell service for about three years. Before that people used the intercoms, or went up to the agents at the entrance level.

In this situation, BART was well aware of the protests and had officers at the platform level. Medical emergencies would have been called in even more quickly and calmly than a civilian with a cell phone.

more than 2 years ago
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After Cell-Phone Switch-Off, Anonymous Promises BART Protest

NeMon'ess Re:Oh, they can fuck right off. (258 comments)

The guy was shot as he wound up to throw a knife at the police. No surprise he was mentally ill. The protestors need a far better case than this to fuck with 100,000+ people trying to use BART and the bridges to get places. Some of those people are going to catch flights, or see sick family members, or get home and sleep for a few hours before returning to work an early shift.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

NeMon'ess hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Z1 is awesome! I want it on the iPhone or it's competitor

NeMon'ess NeMon'ess writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Z1 is a simple, intuitive system for very rapid text input on a soft "qwerty" keyboard. The user simply traces a quick "connect-the-dots" path, roughly aiming to pass through each letter of a word.

The page after the first link has the videos.

The way I see it, this really is the replacement for 26-key keyboards on cell phones. Z1 comes from the same brains that made the T9 system for text messages. If handwriting recognition never becomes good enough, this will suffice and be faster anyway.

Now what I really want is these lengthwise-slider phones or a clamshell like the Nokia 9500 to get dual touch screens so I can properly surf the net or write stuff. The iPhone's screen is 480x320. What's really useful is 480x640.

How long before a reverse-clamshell phone comes out? Put two screens on the outside, rather than in. Then it folds out on a hinge for double the screen real-estate. If Apple thinks they can make one screen scratch resistant enough, then someone needs to do that to both screens.

Advantages:
1. Can check the time without having the flip the phone over.
2. Can use the camera for video conferencing or seeing what it sees when pointing it away from the user.
3. Hinged design means more space for the screen than on a slider.

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Bill Moyers' Roundtable On Impeachment Of Bush & Cheney

NeMon'ess NeMon'ess writes  |  more than 6 years ago

"PBS' Bill Moyers sits down with The Nation's John Nichols and conservative constitutional attorney Bruce Fein from the American Freedom Agenda to discuss the crimes and abuse of power by George Bush and Dick Cheney and the need to impeach them both. While Nichols and Fein come from different ends of the political spectrum, they are in total agreement on this issue. Congress must put impeachment on the table because if they do nothing to stop Bush and Cheney now, we will see future presidents follow in their footsteps which would be a disaster for our country." - Crooksandliars.com

JOHN NICHOLS: "the Scooter Libby affair gets to the heart of what I think an awfully lot of Americans are concerned about with this administration and with the executive branch in-- general, that it is lawless, that-- it can rewrite the rules for itself, that it can protect itself.

And, you know, the founders anticipated just such a moment. If you look at the discussions in the Federalist Papers but also at the Constitutional Convention, when they spoke about impeachment, one of the things that Madison and George Mason spoke about was the notion that you needed the power to impeach particularly as regards to pardons and commutations because a president might try to take the burden of the law off members of his administration to prevent them from cooperating with Congress in order to expose wrongdoings by the president himself. And so Madison said that is why we must have the power to impeach. Because otherwise a president might be able to use his authority and pardons and such to prevent an investigation from getting to him."

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22" monitor at CompUSA vs. others?

NeMon'ess NeMon'ess writes  |  more than 6 years ago

CompUSA has the wide screen Envision G22LWk 22-inch LCD monitor for $220 after two rebates totaling $90. After taxes it should be $260. My friend bought one yesterday and I went with him to compare. I'm need a new monitor and might get one today.

So far I'd rate if four out of five at the $250 price. Compared to a Samsung next to it I'd say visually they tied. That's after turning off color enhancement on the Samsung, and using paint.exe to draw blocks of colors. It has a very poor viewing angle though. Two people standing side by side three feet from it will see the same colors, but three people would not. Especially if there's a height difference. Tilting the monitor a bit up or down from the viewer noticeably darkens the colors. My friend bought it because he's going to sit at his desk and face it just where he should. HP has one for about $350 with a viewing angle that lives up to it's claims much better. So does Apple's 23" but it's hundreds of dollars more.

We checked in the store and found no dead or stuck pixels. At home next to my six years old 19" Viewsonic PF790 CRT I hooked it up digitally and messed with the controls on it and my Radeon for an hour or so before getting it remarkably close to match my screen. In fact I'd say it looks like the dark greens on my screen are a bit weak.

I made up the blocks of color test pattern again. On the Envision the blue and red match pretty well, the green is maybe a touch strong. But after playing The Rundown simultaneously on both and comparing the flesh tones as well as the jungle, I think it looks really good. I turned the brightness on the LCD down to 7 out of 100, the contrast to 66, and on my Radeon the brightness down to -69 on a scale of -100 to 100. At those levels the white wasn't causing eye strain on websites, and black was acceptably black. There's a little bit of light-bleed mostly in the bottom half-inch, but when watching a movie that's a black bar that wouldn't bother me.

So I'm wondering if anyone has opinions on, seen, heard, or read about the competition? I know there's 19" models with better colors and probably contrast too. I really like the 22" size, but if someone knows of a 19", or 20" that's visually great and has a fast refresh, I'd like to hear about it.

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UNwatch video criticising the human rights commision

NeMon'ess NeMon'ess writes  |  about 7 years ago

The video.

Has Israel been disproportionately targeted for criticism compared to other human rights issues going on around the world?

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Successes and failures with thermal adhesive on video cards?

NeMon'ess NeMon'ess writes  |  about 7 years ago

The fan on a friend's 7600GS is dying. I added a drop of oil but that's not good enough. It's a tiny 30mm surrounded by almost 60mm x 60mm of aluminum. I have a quiet 60mm fan but I don't think it'll stay on the existing heatsink, which is held to the board with two spring-loaded pins. I'm considering removing all that, then gluing to the chip an unused Athlon 1.2GHz heatsink. The quiet fan can go on that. Clearance shouldn't be a problem, but I'm concerned about weight pulling on the chip since the assembly will hang upside down.

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Straight Talk on Palestine's New Unity Government

NeMon'ess NeMon'ess writes  |  about 7 years ago

Wednesday night I went over to UC Berkeley to hear this guy speak for about forty-five minutes and thirty minutes of questions. He didn't have encouraging words though.

Currently the Palestinian government needs funding and aid from the US and European countries. These countries essentially give the money while saying "won't you please change some things to help your people and the peace process?" Then the Palestinians say they'll see what they can do. The money runs out, and the cycle repeats. The way Khaled Abu Toameh sees it, the Palestinian government won't change until the West firmly refuses more money until changes are made. For one, it needs to plainly acknowledge Israel's right to exist. Unfortunately, he sees no indications the Western countries are going to do that.

He also explained that that Fatah won the elections with promises of ending corruption and bringing change. Then they proceeded to abandon those campaign promises. Hamas won because their campaign was basically the same promises and voters figured they might as well see if anything would change this time, because Fatah sure didn't.

Just maybe the new Wasatia party will deliver on some of its promises.

Straight Talk on Palestine
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
March 20, 2007;
Wall Street Journal - Page A19

Even before the Palestinian "unity" government was sworn in Saturday at least five European countries announced that they would resume their business with the Hamas-led coalition.

The U.S. has endorsed Israel's position on the Palestinian government -- namely, that its political platform does not meet the conditions set by the so-called "Quartet" of the U.S., EU, U.N. and Russia for ending the boycott. Washington is now under heavy pressure from its Arab allies in the Middle East to deal with it.

But the U.S. should stand firm. The Palestinian government is not committed to the Quartet's demands that it renounce violence, recognize Israel and abide by agreements signed with Israel in the past. The speeches delivered by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his new Hamas partner, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, at Saturday's parliamentary session show that the Palestinians are determined instead to continue their strategy of double-talk.

Neither the president nor the prime minister openly called for an end to terrorism or for recognizing Israel's right to exist. And to add to the confusion, the two men came up with a political program that contains many contradictions and ambiguities.

The wording of the program was drafted in such a way as to allow both Hamas and Fatah to argue that neither party had totally abandoned its traditional position. The equivocal tone is also designed to appease the Americans and Europeans. After all, the main goal of the new coalition is to get the international community to resume desperately needed financial aid.

With regard to the three main demands of the Quartet, the program leaves the door wide open for different interpretations.

On the issue of terrorism, the program states that the new government "stresses that resistance is a legitimate right of the Palestinian people . . . and our people have the right to defend themselves against any Israeli aggression." But the program also says that the new government will "work toward consolidating the tahdiya [period of calm] and extending it [to the West Bank] so that it becomes a comprehensive and mutual truce."

The program sets a number of conditions for halting the "resistance" -- ending the "occupation" and achieving independence and the right of return for Palestinian refugees, as well as an end to Israeli security measures in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (including the construction of the security fence). In other words, Fatah and Hamas are saying that the violence will continue as long as Israel does not meet these demands.

Regarding Israel's right to exist, the program does not even mention the name Israel. Instead, it refers to Israel as "The Occupation." It also makes no mention of the two-state solution. Rather, it reiterates the Palestinians' opposition to the establishment of a Palestinian state with temporary borders.

Although the document declares that the "key to peace and stability is contingent on ending the occupation of Palestinian lands and recognizing the Palestinian people's right to self-determination," it does not specify which "lands" -- those captured by Israel in 1967 or 1948.

Fatah representatives, of course, argue that the program refers only to the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. Hamas, on the other hand, will be able to argue that the phrase "Palestinian lands" applies also to all of Mandatory Palestine.

Referring to the third demand of the Quartet -- abiding by agreements between the PLO and Israel -- the political program states that the new government will only "respect" agreements signed by the PLO.

Hamas leaders have already explained that there is a huge difference between "respecting" an agreement and making a pledge to fulfill it. In other words, Hamas is saying that while it accepts the agreements with Israel as an established fact, it will not carry them out.

Elsewhere in the program, the new government says that it will abide by unspecified U.N. and Arab summit resolutions, leaving the door open for Fatah to claim that this is tantamount to recognizing the two-state solution and all the agreements with Israel. Fatah will cite the 2002 Arab peace plan that implicitly recognizes Israel.

Hamas, on the other hand, can always claim that among the Arab summit resolutions that it intends to abide by is the one taken in Khartoum, Sudan, in September 1967. The resolution contains what became known as "the three no's" of Arab-Israel relations: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel.

Although the program makes it clear that the PLO, and not the new Hamas-led coalition, will be responsible for conducting negotiations with Israel, it also seeks to tie the hands of President Abbas by stating that any "fateful" agreement must be approved by the Palestinians in the PA-controlled areas and abroad through a referendum.

The program, moreover, closes the door to any potential concessions on the problem of the refugees by emphasizing their "right of return to their lands and property [inside Israel]."

The international community must demand an end to the era of ambiguity and double-talk. If the new government is opposed to terror, there is no reason why it should not state this loudly and clearly.

If it recognizes Israel -- as some of its members claim -- then why not announce this in unequivocal language? The international community must insist that the messages coming out of the Palestinian leaders be the same in both English and Arabic.

There is no point in pouring millions of dollars on the "unity" government as long as it's not prepared to make a clear and firm commitment to halt terror and recognize Israel's right to exist.

Mr. Toameh is Palestinian affairs editor of the Jerusalem Post.

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Is it hard to bold or note new comments in a thread?

NeMon'ess NeMon'ess writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I remember how some forums used to show posts and replies in a threaded Usenet-style. Only the title was visible until clicked on and unread ones could be in bold.

I can't remember any recent forums letting me easily see which replies are new since the last time I viewed the page. I find it hard to believe people wouldn't like this feature. I'd like to see which are the new comments on multiply, slashdot, fark, and so on.

So why doesn't this exist? It doesn't have to add work to the server. The server doesn't have to keep track of when a page was asked for. The client can do that, say for the last seven days (changeable), and bold the title of new posts.

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FF 2: ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^ And an idea.

NeMon'ess NeMon'ess writes  |  more than 7 years ago

edit: I overlooked a simple checkbox.

Just upgraded from Firefox 1.5 to 2, and Tabbrowser Extensions don't work anymore. I found Tab Mix Plus, which is almost as good. [Edit: cut, snip, delete.]

I just found the MileWideBack add-on. Just slam the mouse to the left edge of the browser page and scroll up or down to cycle between tabs, or middle-click to close a tab. Unless the cursor is already positioned over the tab bar, it's probably even faster and more convenient than having to accurately position the cursor along the bar.

Waitasecond. In the pursuit of further speed and convenience, how about if the user could just right-click-and-hold and scroll or middle click to do what MileWideBack does? Can anyone think of a problem with this? When I right click there's no menu until I release. With an extension, if I scroll or middle click those actions would cancel the menu from appearing. Or does this already exist too?

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Late season shoppers

NeMon'ess NeMon'ess writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Specifically people from the Bay Area going up to the snow for the first time this winter. Until last week the snow was crap so I can sympathize. No sense buying snow clothing and boots for your kids in December if there's the chance you just won't go this year.

Nevertheless, outdoor retail functions a month or two ahead of the season it's targeting. Meaning that my store shifted to fall clothes in mid-August, replaced bikes with skis in October, and this past weekend was the start of our super clearance sale so we could have room for spring-wear. The sale runs through Monday, but 75% of the merchandise was sold last weekend.

So especially for kids, there is zero ski and snow-wear left. This has led to sad and frustrated parents. One solution is combine a rain jacket and pants with warm fleece leggings and jacket underneath. If the kid(s) have a jacket or fleece already, it won't cost so much, and the separate garments are useful in Bay Area weather and temps. Some of the parents get it. Those used to getting what they want take more time, or walk out to try another store that they'll find also has nothing. I experience a slight bit of schadenfreude when they break down and buy the rain-wear/fleece I suggested.

Alternatively, I know stores in the towns around Lake Tahoe keep plenty of stock on-hand longer than the Bay Area stores. Since there's basically no gloves and boots left, these parents will have to stop in to the Tahoe-area shops anyway and pay extra.

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What's wrong with Boot Camp for gaming?

NeMon'ess NeMon'ess writes  |  more than 7 years ago

There must be something wrong with it, because I looked over Apple's hardware, and I don't see anything particularly wrong for casual gamers except the graphics cards are crap. Is it not worth it to Apple to get get the gamers onboard and another 2% market share?

I can buy an iMac with a Radeon X1600? That card retails online for $90. For $180 I can get a GeForce 7900 GS that has around three times the performance. More importantly, it will run today's and tomorrow's games satisfactorily. The X1600 will not. Furthermore, the X1600 only comes with 128MB, unless I pay Apple $75 for 256MB. The 7900 GS of course comes with 256MB.

Or I can buy a $2000 iMac with a GeForce 7300 GT. Too bad the 7900 GS is still twice as powerful. And that's still the 128MB version. If I want it with 256 I have to pay Apple $125. Wait. WHAT? According to pricegrabber.com, I can buy the 256 version today for $100. What a way to screw the customers.

It's such a waste. Macs could be fine gaming machines. The pieces are all there except for the video card. Damn it Apple. PC users already have monitors and most don't need a new one. Please sell a mini-tower headless iMac with power in the $900 to $1400 range.

The boxes wouldn't even have to be that big. As tall and deep as a 17" iMac, but wide enough for a replaceable PCI-E card and two quiet 120mm fans in the front and back. If not used for gaming, the fans would run silently.

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I'm in Israel

NeMon'ess NeMon'ess writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I wrote a JE a week ago, but the browser ate it since I logged in with the Public Terminal option.

I went on a Birthright trip for ten days with 40 18-26 year-olds. We're all Jewish by birth, but most of us were secular. Our program had four mountain bike rides, aparently the first tour to try that. Some other tours are for Hillel or Orthodox groups. Tuesday night the official tour ended and about 30 people flew back to New York. For $200 I extended my stay until Monday night to see my Mom who has been living here for two years.

I've had a great time going around this New Jersey-sized country. We traveled just over 1000 miles in our bus. Now I'm more rested and seeing a few things there wasn't time for before.

The rules for extending tickets are both flexible and strict. For the same fee I could have flown back up to 90 days after the tour. However I have to fly back from Tel Aviv to JFK no matter if I lived in New Jersey or Miami. (One tour departs from Miami) A few of the ~10 who extended are flying to Egypt or eastern Europe to sight-see before coming back to Tel Aviv for the flight home.

Of course I live in the Bay Area, and I before this trip I hadn't been to New York. So I"m spending Tuesday through Friday afternoon in the city. Tuesday morning at 01:00 my eleven hour flight takes off and I'll be in JFK around 06:00. I'll sleep on the plane, giving me a long day, but maybe I'll nap before seeing Rent at 8pm. Thursday night I'm seeing Avenue Q, but the rest of the time I've left open.

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For a better looking photo

NeMon'ess NeMon'ess writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Make sure your drink matches your tie. (Right down to the lemon wedge going with the handkerchief!)

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[videogames] F***ing Christmas

NeMon'ess NeMon'ess writes  |  more than 7 years ago

If there wasn't a Christmas shopping season, hundreds of games would have been allowed to develop further instead of getting dumped on the market prematurely. So many glaring flaws would have been fixed and the games would have been so much better.

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(UPD Solved) Ignorant Win2K ?: removing history links?

NeMon'ess NeMon'ess writes  |  more than 7 years ago

When saving files, I never got in the habit of using the History button. Now I want to, and I have hundreds or thousands of links such as "My Documents (35)". I don't want to delete them one by one. I searched for "History" and "Recent" and haven't found them yet. Googling is a PITA since I don't know what to search for that won't bring up stuff for Internet Explorer. Help?

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BART replacing carpeting with composite

NeMon'ess NeMon'ess writes  |  more than 7 years ago

BART Pulls the Rug Out: Agency Will Swap Out Dirty Carpets For Easy-To-Clean Plastic Floors In 80 Of It's Cars Before Gauging Whether To Revamp Entire Fleet

So in the first group there are insensitive people who stain the carpets as they eat and drink in violation of the rules. In the second group there are the sensitive people who are more concerned with how the carpeting looks than how it functions. Functionally carpeting feels softer and absorbs more noise from the loud ride.

Well if the stains are so bothersome, I propose BART keep the carpeting, but change the color to dark mud. This will hide the stains. If the seats are also reupholstered in forest green, the cars will have a natural color scheme so appropriate for the environmentally friendly Bay Area.

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Is it still possible to out-do a google or yahoo feature?

NeMon'ess NeMon'ess writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I don't mean come up with a better search engine. I mean one of their features like orkut or flickr? So now you can presume the idea I have isn't in those departments. But I have an idea for what I think is the missing killer feature in an existing app.

It actually turns out the company that comes closest to my idea isn't yahoo or google, which makes me think those two are either working on it already, or seriously missing out. It's a missing piece that would unify, compliment, and or augment two or more of their existing apps.

So I think my site would kick ass and the competition would be sluggish to respond or wouldn't want to completely duplicate my idea as it would force them to change their simplified approach. Except then I figure if I had any real success they would modify their sites to get users back. I wouldn't at all mind being bought by them though.

That's my million dollar idea with loads of risk. I have another I'd like to think is worth five or six figures a year, but from my research no one is doing it yet, at least not in English. I'm leaning towards working on the second site.

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Calling for Jerry McNerney

NeMon'ess NeMon'ess writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Jerry McNerney is running for California's 11th Congressional District against Republican incumbent Richard Pombo. McNerney polled 48% to Pombo's 46% in a district where 43% of the voters are registered Republicans, and 37% are registered Democrats.

So today I took a shift in Oakland calling people over the East Bay hills in Danville and San Ramon to encourage them to vote. No leaving answering machine messages. People we couldn't reach will get callbacks tomorrow, Monday, and Tuesday. If they're undecided, we give them a few statements or ask what issues they're concerned about. If they're voting for McNerney, we offer to remind them where their polling place is.

Turnout campaigns are said to be worth 1-2% of the final results. I'll be ecstatic if that's how close the margin of victory is for McNerney. Monday I'll do another shift of calling, and Tuesday go out walking a neighborhood and knocking on doors.

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Remember Richard Dawkins vs. Ted Haggard? UPDT!

NeMon'ess NeMon'ess writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Dawkins vs. Haggard.

Key Evangelical quits amid gay sex claim
By CATHERINE TSAI, Associated Press Writer
29 minutes ago

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The leader of the 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals, a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, resigned Thursday after being accused of paying for sex with a man in monthly trysts over the past three years.
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The Rev. Ted Haggard, a married father of five who has been called one of the most influential evangelical Christians in the nation, denied the allegations. His accuser refused to share voice mails that he said backed up his claim.

Haggard also stepped aside as head of his 14,000-member New Life Church while a church panel investigates, saying he could "not continue to minister under the cloud created by the accusations."

"I am voluntarily stepping aside from leadership so that the overseer process can be allowed to proceed with integrity," Haggard said in a written statement. "I hope to be able to discuss this matter in more detail at a later date."

He also told KUSA-TV late Wednesday: "Never had a gay relationship with anybody, and I'm steady with my wife, I'm faithful to my wife."

The allegations come as voters in Colorado and seven other states get ready to decide Tuesday on amendments banning gay marriage. Besides the proposed ban on the Colorado ballot, a separate measure would establish the legality of domestic partnerships providing same-sex couples with many of the rights of married couples.

Mike Jones, 49, of Denver told The Associated Press he decided to go public with his allegations because of the political fight. Jones, who said he is gay, said he was upset when he discovered Haggard and the New Life Church had publicly opposed same-sex marriage.

"It made me angry that here's someone preaching about gay marriage and going behind the scenes having gay sex," said Jones, who added that he isn't working for any political group.

Jones, whose allegations were first aired on KHOW-AM radio in Denver, claimed Haggard paid him to have sex nearly every month over three years. Jones also said Haggard snorted methamphetamine before their sexual encounters to heighten his experience.

Haggard and his attorney, Martin Nussbaum, did not return calls Thursday night from the AP.

Jones said that he had advertised himself as an escort on the Internet and that a man who called himself Art contacted him. Jones said he later saw the man on television identified as Haggard.

He said that he last had sex with Haggard in August and that he did not warn him before making his allegations this week.

Jones said he has voice mail messages from Haggard, as well as an envelope he said Haggard used to mail him cash, though he declined to make any of it available to the AP.

"There's some stuff on there (the voice mails) that's pretty damning," he said.

Haggard, who is about 50, was appointed president of the evangelicals association in March 2003. He has participated in conservative Christian leaders' conference calls with White House staffers and lobbied members of Congress last year on
U.S. Supreme Court appointees after
Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement.

After Massachusetts legalized gay marriage in 2004, Haggard and others began organizing state-by-state opposition. Last year, Haggard and officials from the nearby Christian ministry Focus on the Family announced plans to push Colorado's gay marriage ban for the 2006 ballot.

At the time, Haggard said that he believed marriage is a union between a man and woman rooted in centuries of tradition, and that research shows it's the best family unit for children.

"Homosexual activity, like adulterous relationships, is clearly condemned in the Scriptures," the evangelicals association says on its Web site. The Bible says homosexuality is a sin that "brings grave consequences in this life and excludes one from the Kingdom of God."

Haggard's resignation from the NAE seems unlikely to do lasting damage to the organization, an umbrella group for a diverse and independent-minded membership. At his own church, Haggard's decision to step aside -- if it became permanent -- would have a more profound effect.

"One would hope and pray that this matter would be resolved expeditiously and quickly and he can be restored back to being the pastor of the church and the leader of the NAE," said Michael Cromartie, vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative Washington think tank.

New Life Church member Brooks DeMio, 44, said he thinks Jones is a liar and can't believe Haggard would engage in sex with a man.

"He loves the Lord, homosexuality is a sin and that's not Ted," DeMio said. "His desire is to serve other people and uphold the word of God. ... I don't know him well enough to give a complete character description, but I know him enough to know it's not true."

Carolyn Haggard, spokeswoman for the New Life Church and the pastor's niece, said a four-member church panel will investigate the allegations. The board has the authority to discipline Haggard, including removing him from ministry work.

"This is really routine when any sort of situation like this arises, so we're prepared," Carolyn Haggard said. "The church is going to continue to serve and be welcoming to our community. That's a priority."

___

Associated Press writers Dan Elliott in Denver and Rachel Zoll in New York contributed to this report.

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Taj Din al-Hilali's message in plainer English

NeMon'ess NeMon'ess writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Metaphor hides mufti's real message

Caroline Overington
October 28, 2006

WHEN you cut the colour out of the mufti's speech - when you drop the references to cats, to uncovered meat, and even to Satan - his message doesn't become more palatable, it is horrific.

Cut back to basics, what is the mufti saying - that men cannot be trusted in the company of women? That they are so driven by sordid, sexual urges, they will pounce upon any female who, for instance, bends down to pick something up off the floor?

Does he mean that women are vixens who flirt and flaunt themselves until men are forced to commit violent acts upon them? Or that men are like horny dogs, waiting for a bitch on heat to wander into their orbit?

While some women cover up as part of their religious experience, there is no doubt that some Muslim men order their wives to wear the hijab or burqa as a form of control.

Tanveer Ahmed is a Sydney-based psychiatrist who is writing a book about Islam in Australia. He says the great shame is that "many, many" Muslim men, young and old, regard women - particularly Western women - as "less than ideal".

"The mufti meant exactly what he said, and those views are widely held," Dr Ahmed said.

"I did my own little poll this morning, of a security guard and others who are Muslim, and all said they agreed with the mufti, that he is absolutely right.

"It comes from households, where young Muslims get the message that white girls are different, and that women in general are a corrupting influence."

Dr Ahmed said it was "an opinion I've heard throughout my life, that women can tempt you into trouble. Even otherwise sophisticated people will say this, and slur white women.

"My own theory is, when they are growing up, they are told they are not allowed to participate in much of Western life, they cannot drink, they cannot go to parties.

"And when they are very young, I think they would love to participate - but then they get older, and suddenly, they find they have developed a contempt for the society in which they live."
Dr Ahmed rejects the argument that women wear the veil because "it's their choice". "You see children aged five wearing it. Are we seriously arguing there is an element of choice, when you sexualise a child in that way?"

The writer Salman Rushdie cut to the quick of the argument last week when he said: "Veils suck. They do. I think the veil is a way of taking power away from women." Mr Rushdie, a Muslim, said none of his three sisters "would've accepted the wearing of the veil. The battle against theveil has been a long and continuing battle against the limitation of women."

It is a view that would be strongly resented by Muslim women such as Zuleyha Seyit, a devout mother of a three-year-old boy, who started wearing the veil about four years ago.

She does not feel oppressed by the garment.

"When I was growing up, there was no pressure from my family to wear it. I simply had a very strong, quite amazing experience one day, when I was reading the Koran, and I thought, I must put it on," she said.

There was nothing suitable in the house, so she attached a cloth with pins "and it was very uncomfortable at first, and I suppose people were surprised when I went out".

She rejects as nonsense the idea that she must wear the veil, or tempt men into violent acts.

"Everyone is responsible for their own actions," she said. "If a man commits a crime against a woman, that is his responsibility, not hers. I wear the veil because I choose to wear it, as an important part of my identity as a Muslim woman."

For Karen Green, the debate over the status of women is both personal and philosophical. She has a sister who converted to Islam.

Dr Green, whose Phd in philosophy is from Oxford, said she initially accepted her sister's view, when she argued that women were liberated by the veil.

But over time, Dr Green concluded that women were so sexualised within Islamic society "that it is assumed that any private encounter between a woman and a man will be sexual. Women are thus assumed to have two functions, and these are sex and child-bearing.

"By submitting to headscarf, chador or burka, women allow men to divide and conquer. Women are either 'good' - which is to say obedient - or they are 'bad'."

Dr Green said she simply could not understand the underlying assumption "that women who are not covered (wearing a veil) are somehow not deserving of respect."

A moderate's response.
Editorial: Sheik's values out of step with modernity

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