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New Service Lets You Hitch a Ride With Private Planes For Cost of Tank of Gas

PhxBlue Re:Having a private pilots license (269 comments)

99% of the time that I'm flying a plane, I'm more than a mile from anything else in the sky and at least 1000 feet from anything on the ground.

99% of the time that I'm driving a car, I'm within 50 feet of another car and less than 10 feet from something else I can hit. And my car's not going all that much slower than a Cessna.

It's that other 1 percent you have to worry about.

about two weeks ago

Minnesota Teen Wins Settlement After School Takes Facebook Password

PhxBlue Re:Not trying to steer the car this car off the ro (367 comments)

When a citation is requested and provided, the proper counter-argument is not to ridicule the source of the citations

If the "citation" here had any intellectual integrity, you would be right. The Daily Caller does not.

about two weeks ago

Minnesota Teen Wins Settlement After School Takes Facebook Password

PhxBlue Re:Felony Charges? (367 comments)

Every time I hear Americans talking about the "freest country in the world", I compare my school days with what I hear about school days of American children, and I don't know whether to laugh or to cry.

Option C: Move to Canada. Or Germany, maybe.

about three weeks ago

How Farming Reshaped Our Genomes

PhxBlue Re:At the time .... (144 comments)

Possibly the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup into everything that's artificially sweetened.

about 3 months ago

Great Firewall of UK Blocks Game Patch Because of Substring Matches

PhxBlue Re:Wrong name? (270 comments)

You're not kidding. "Orgy planner" was a valid career option in the days of Rome.

about 3 months ago

Who Makes the Best Hard Disk Drives?

PhxBlue Re:I was shopping for one recently (444 comments)

Pick up HDDs locally and burn them in so that you aren't stuck paying return shipping for the DOA ones.

I'm pretty sure you don't pay shipping on RMAs.

about 3 months ago

Court Rules Against Online Anonymity

PhxBlue The future of online reviews? (314 comments)

Maybe in the future, all we'll see in online reviews is, "Fast, neat, average, friendly, good, good."

about 3 months ago

Researchers: Global Risk of Supervolcano Eruption Greater Than Previously Though

PhxBlue Re:Can eruptions like the be averted? (325 comments)

Willing to take that gamble?

What gamble? Just outsource it to BP and everything should be fine.

about 3 months ago

Is Earth Weighed Down By Dark Matter?

PhxBlue Re:geostationary GPS satellites (247 comments)

The problem is that GPS satellites orbit the Earth at 12,500 miles, rather than the 23,000-mile geosynchronous orbit.

about 3 months ago

Battlefield 4 Banned In China

PhxBlue Re:cultural aggression (380 comments)

I love how I am suposta bend over backwards and make everyone's lives better, but yet I dont see it happening for me

You don't have to "bend over backwards" to make other people's lives better. The cost to pay fast food workers a living wage works out to less than 50 per combo meal; is that "bending over backwards"?

What we as a nation have to realize is that if we took the resources we currently put into killing people halfway across the world and focused instead on improving the lives of our own citizens, we'd be far better off.

about 4 months ago

Battlefield 4 Banned In China

PhxBlue Re:cultural aggression (380 comments)

I'm sorry if anyone is offended ...

And that's how we know for a fact you're Canadian. ;)

Seriously, though, don't apologize if your statements of fact offend people. American (corporate) values are bullshit, and we've seen example after example of how they do cause harm to the American middle class. And yet we, as a nation, continue to let ourselves be distracted by "horrible" health care website rollouts and the like.

Because of this, one of my long-term goals is to move out of the United States. American hegemony is going to end, and while I'd love to see the United States gradually settle into national maturity, I fear what's coming is far more violent.

about 4 months ago

Battlefield 4 Banned In China

PhxBlue Re:What about Russia and U.S.? (380 comments)

To be fair, AAFES' video game selection is piss-poor already. I'm not sure anyone would go to a base exchange looking for a video game unless it's at least two years old.

about 4 months ago

Battlefield 4 Banned In China

PhxBlue Re:First Shot (380 comments)

Sounds like the plots of most of the Command and Conquer series.

about 4 months ago

How long do your computer mice last?

PhxBlue Re:Pop them in the TARDIS every 10 years (361 comments)

Paradoxes largely resolve themselves.

This. Statement. Is. FALSE!

(Don't think about it don't think about it don't think about it ...)

about 3 months ago

Red Light Camera Use Declined In 2013 For the First Time

PhxBlue Re:Drivers are responsible for accidents, not came (348 comments)

I can slam the brakes in a Subaru Impreza WRX and virtually assure that whoever I'm brake checking hits me, on account of the 125' stopping distance.

Horseshit. If the person behind you keeps a reasonable following distance, they'll have plenty of time to slam their brakes or switch lanes.

about 3 months ago

Red Light Camera Use Declined In 2013 For the First Time

PhxBlue Re:money-making scheme (348 comments)

We either want laws or we don't. If you think less government is best, move to Somalia.

I'm pretty sure we can establish a middle ground somewhere between Somalia and North Korea.

about 3 months ago

RF Safe-Stop Shuts Down Car Engines With Radio Pulse

PhxBlue Re:Pros vs Cons (549 comments)

1: As mentioned above, if it fries pacemakers, insulin pumps, or heart plugs, how will wrongful death lawsuits be handled?

If the wrongful death lawsuits surrounding Tazers are any indication, probably not too well.

about 4 months ago



Lawsuit alleges Scientology just 'taking people's money'

PhxBlue PhxBlue writes  |  about a year ago

PhxBlue (562201) writes "NBC News' Erin McClam writes that a couple who left the Church of Scientology in 2010 is suing the church for misusing more than $400,000 that they donated in the 28 years they were members:

The lawsuit alleges that the church has used contributions to “stifle inquiries into the Church’s activities and finances, to intimidate members and ex-members” and “to finance the lavish lifestyle of [David] Miscavige.”

It's probably worth noting here that the church's motives have probably never changed. It has always been about "taking people's money," but now the money goes to Miscavage instead of to founder L. Ron Hubbard."

Link to Original Source

Digg signs 'deal with the devil'

PhxBlue PhxBlue writes  |  more than 6 years ago

PhxBlue (562201) writes "Google is out, and Microsoft is in for advertising at SlashDot rival Digg, according to an Associated Press report published to Forbes Magazine's Web site:

"We at Digg couldn't think of a better partner to get to where we need to go," said Jay Adelson, the company's chief executive officer. "They're a young ad service, they're innovative, they're willing to work with us on the cutting edge."

Neither Microsoft nor Digg revealed the financial details. Google declined to comment for the report."

Link to Original Source



Have you checked your credit lately?

PhxBlue PhxBlue writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Do I need to spell out, in this day and age where identity theft runs rampant, how important it is to check your credit regularly?

I checked mine today, through Equifax's $9.00 report. It only gives me the record as Equifax has it, but it's my experience that the three credit reporting bureaus will match in terms of actual credit information. I'm happy to report that my credit still looks good, at least as far as I can tell.

I also noticed that a lot of companies requested information on my name and address through Equifax, via what the company calls "PRM," or promotional inquiry. It defines the PRM as, "A promotional inquiry in which your name and address were given to a lender for credit offers, such as credit card solicitations."

Not cool. I don't need any more credit cards than I have already, nor do I need to refinance my home mortgage. I don't need deceptive mailings that are made to look like checques (ie., "Pay to the order of..." with amounts of $50,000, etc.).

Fortunately, as a bonus for ordering the report, I glommed some information on how to--theoretically--stop Equifax from sharing this information: write a letter to Equifax's Options office with a request to opt out. Include your name, mailing addres, and SSN/Tax ID (it won't kill you, they already have it anyway). The mailing address is:

Equifax, Inc.
P.O. Box 740123
Atlanta, GA 30374-0123

They also included instructions on how to opt-out from mail sent through the Direct Marketing Association, though their instructions are a bit out of date. For best results, hit this link and either mail in the form (37) or have it filed electronically ($5). Again, I'm not 100% sure how well this will work. I'll come back in a month or two, once I find out for myself.


Matrix Reloaded Analysis (Spoilers)

PhxBlue PhxBlue writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I saw "Matrix Reloaded" for the second time last night. The first go-round was fun, but I was more there to enjoy the film, special effects, etc., than I was to really analyze the movie. This time I got to do a better analysis of the theme, the dialogue, and a few of the smaller details that I hadn't really thought much about the first time around. I've also played through "Enter the Matrix," which I think helped.

The theme of the Matrix is control. . . always has been. But this time, I think it's more strongly emphasized than it was in the first film. There's a direct relationship between Neo's conversation with the Councilor at the beginning of the film, and his conversation with the Architect near the end. Both conversations are about control, and both attempt to define what control really means. Neo at first defines it as the ability to decide whether something lives (is turned on) or dies (is turned off); but the Councilor refutes that by pointing out the consequences of "killing" the machines that support Zion. Later in the movie, the Architect realizes the same consequences and says, "We are prepared to accept a lower standard of survival." Just as the people of Zion need their machines, so do the controllers of the Matrix need humans. The Architect doesn't admit this "weakness," though; and the movie doesn't make entirely clear just how deeply that symbiosis goes. I hope we'll get to explore that with "Matrix Revolutions."

Agent Smith has evolved as well, in a manner that seems to parallel Neo's own evolution. At the end of the first Matrix, he's incapable of harming Neo in any way. In "Reloaded," he actually does manage to land some blows. While it's true that Neo does hold his own against a virtual army of Smiths, that only adds weight to this point (no pun intended): one Smith could not beat Neo, so Smith evolved into a form which would make him a match. Smith's evolution is also evident to other Rebels: Bane's last words are a comment along the line of, "Have you ever seen anything like that?" He'd encountered Agents before, but none as fast or as powerful as Smith had become. Finally, Smith's new-found ability to exist *OUTSIDE* the Matrix gives him rough parity with Neo. The trailer for Revolutions promises an epic conclusion to this conflict.

Another thought re: Agent Smith: when did he develop a God complex? In "Reloaded," when Bane gasps, "Oh, God," Smith replies, "Smith will suffice." This quip wouldn't have caught my attention except for a line he says in "Enter the Matrix": "I am the Alpha. . . of your Omega. I am the beginning. . . of your end." I see this as a biblical reference despite the fact that I'm not Christian; but if that's the case, what would be Smith's role within the Christian mythos? I don't think this has an answer; therefore, I think this is just a reflection on Smith's psychosis.

Morpheus' role changed drastically in the final few minutes of the movie. In a very short span of time, Neo blows away the foundation of his beliefs, and then Sentinels blow away his ship, the Nebuchadnezzar. As the Neb burns, Morpheus says, "I have dreamed a dream, but now that dream is gone from me." Classically, Morpheus is the Greek god of dreams; without his dream, Morpheus no longer has a purpose. What shall become of him without it?

Purpose is also a major theme of the film: almost every program speaks of it. The Merovingian speaks of the Keymaker's purpose as "a means to an end." The purposes of the other programs are similarly straightforward: the Oracle determines the future; Seraph ("Angel," originally from Hebrew) is the Oracle's guardian; the Agents are best compared to virus scanners. The exiles, in contrast, seem to have no specific purpose other than to serve the Merovingian, whose purpose is to collect information. Persephone is an enigma--as far as I've determined, she once had a purpose but lost it, and exists now only to kiss people. As for the humans. . . Morpheus had a purpose, only to lose it. Neo had a purpose, though until the very end he did not know what it truly meant. The Merovingian points out that neither Neo nor the others knew why the Oracle directed them to him; therefore, they had no real power. This makes sense: if Neo and Morpheus knew that the risks they were taking would only lead to a new "incarnation" of the Matrix and a perpetual illusion of freedom, would they still have chosen to undertake the plan that enabled Neo to meet the Architect in the first place?

"Revolutions" may or may not answer all these questions. I suspect it will answer some, leave the rest unanswered, and raise entirely new questions all its own. Either way, I'll be in line to see it.

Now for a couple other random thoughts. . .

* Morpheus and Trinity both engage in hand-to-hand combat with Agents (other than Smith) during the course of the movie. It's not Morpheus' first attempt at fighting an Agent, though at least Morpheus "won" this time around (albeit with a little help from Niobe). But Trinity chose to try and fight--and I'm not entirely sure what motivated her to do so. At least other Rebels still have the sense to run like hell.

* I found the scenes from the party in the temple more erotic than the Neo/Trinity sex scene. I think this is because Carrie-Anne Moss is too masculine. I'm not at all sure why so many Slashdotters dig her. . . if I'm going to get excited about a woman, she at least needs to have a woman's figure.

* How many ships survived the slaughter? The Logos and the ship that picked up the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar make two. . . are they it? If I had to guess, I'd say there're probably a couple others, but not more than four or five total.

Oh, well, those're my thoughts. :) Take 'em or leave 'em. I welcome comments.

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