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The Avengers: Why Pirates Failed To Prevent a Box Office Record

RussellSHarris Re:Look, it's a big screen movie. That's why (663 comments)

I want that big screen, big sound experience.

I don't, at least not enough to pay for it. I do occasionally enjoy going to a movie with my friends, but that's because I enjoy being with my friends enough to occasionally pay for a movie.

more than 2 years ago
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Astronomers Find Most Distant Protocluster of Galaxies

RussellSHarris Re:Big Bang == Creationism For Nerds (129 comments)

According to one theory that I've heard, the lensing effect that gravitational fields have on light also alters its local speed, sort of increasing the density of the space/time fabric. Just as a dense material such as water, glass, or diamond will have a dramatically lower local speed of light, so too is the speed of light in proximity to a gravitational field lower than the speed of light in deep space. According to this theory, the true speed of light in the absence of any gravitational field would be infinite.

So you get light accelerating (causing a red-shift) as it shoots off into deep space, far from any gravity sources, and then decelerating again (causing a blue-shift) as it approaches another gravity well. If the net effect is a red-shift, it basically means that the galaxy the light originated from is more massive than your own - which would explain why pretty much every distant galaxy which is bright enough for us to see is red-shifted. (A puzzle for the Big Bang, in fact, which has led to further theories of the universe expanding to explain the fact that it looks like everything is moving away from us.)

more than 2 years ago
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1 World Trade Center Becomes the Tallest Building In NYC

RussellSHarris Re:Flipping great! (407 comments)

Consider it a deal. Kill yourself.

about 2 years ago
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WW2 Vet Sent 300,000 Pirated DVDs To Troops In Iraq, Afghanistan

RussellSHarris Re:That (650 comments)

Ever think that poverty and other factors weigh heavily on someone being a troop?

Yeah, I have. Other factors like "not being particularly bright".

Grades were A/B, but not enough to get a full scholarship. ... I'd be willing to bet that my IQ is higher than yours.

Well, I did get the full scholarships that you admittedly weren't bright enough to get.

more than 2 years ago
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My most recent tax bill was ...

RussellSHarris Re:I'm always happy when I have a tax liability (394 comments)

yes, using the government as a sort of "intrest free savings" is entirely valid... no, being smart and putting it into a real savings account is not actually being smart

The only difference between the two is that the government won't give it to you until the end of the year.

Which, for most poor people, is an excuse not to stick it in the savings account where it belonged, but rather to take a vacation you can't afford, buy a TV you can't afford, etc., depending on the size of the return. Because if they did stick it in a savings account, they'd just piss it away, exactly like the rest of their money.

The problem is that poor people simply can't not spend their money. They have to be faced with the imminent threat of homelessness and starvation before they'll give up the overpriced stuff that they buy because they think it makes their lousy life a little better. If they saved it, something might come along and they'd actually need it, and then they'd not have it and not have any fun. So they might as well have the fun now, and scrape up whatever they can when the actual need comes along.

more than 2 years ago
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My most recent tax bill was ...

RussellSHarris Re:I'm always happy when I have a tax liability (394 comments)

As a matter of fact, I'm paying about $10/mo. so that poor people can use the library. It's line-itemed in my property tax.

I'm not complaining, but it's almost ungrateful to pay hundreds of dollars that you really can't afford on cell phones, cable TV, and other ridiculous expenses when hundreds of people are paying for libraries that are provided to you for free.

more than 2 years ago
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My most recent tax bill was ...

RussellSHarris Re:Comes with every paycheck (394 comments)

We're not paying off the debt. Nobody's even talking like that's a sane possibility. We're barely even "reducing the deficit". And we're patting ourselves on the back when we manage that.

Time for another simple math lesson. "Reducing the deficit" still means "increasing the national debt". If you could even just swing the deficit all the way into a surplus and actually start reducing the national debt at all, that would be a step in the right direction. Never mind that it would still take hundreds of thousands of years to actually pay off the debt completely. (Plenty of people say that having a national debt is actually beneficial to trade, so there's actually some room for argument there. However, pretty much nobody is trying to argue that out-of-control debt growth can continue in perpetuity.)

more than 2 years ago
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My most recent tax bill was ...

RussellSHarris Re:Anyone who votes negative doesn't understand ta (394 comments)

Or they understand taxes perfectly well and voted "negative" because their most recent tax bill, i.e. the one they're supposed to mail by today or file for an extension, was negative.

more than 2 years ago
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My most recent tax bill was ...

RussellSHarris Re:I'm always happy when I have a tax liability (394 comments)

That's typical poor-person mentality. Every last penny is spent on "surviving".

Needless to say, if they didn't have that last penny, they'd still manage to survive, and with an enviable standard of living compared to hundreds of millions of people who actually struggle to survive - people who subsist on staples such as beans, rice, potatoes, cabbage, and who use meat as a garnish rather than the main course.

Exhibit A: income taxes are withheld. And people survive. They didn't really need that money for survival. It follows that your statement is false: they didn't need the money to survive, so if they blow it, it's not on "surviving".

It's on "poor planning", "poor decision making", and/or "keeping up with the Joneses"... but Jones makes $120,000/year and you make $12,000, and you think you need a $90/mo. cell phone plan, and as soon as you have enough for the down payment you get that big-screen plasma TV that you've been wanting from the pawn shop or Aarons' where you end up paying above its real worth. Etc.

more than 2 years ago
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Kim Dotcom Alleges Studios Wanted to Work With Megaupload

RussellSHarris Re:Sun Tzu (139 comments)

Here's a way we might be able to work together and both make money ina a cooperative way...(and succeeding that, we'll see your butt in jail and make all the monies for ourselvesies, my precious)

FTFY. The music industries wanted Kim Dotcom on a leash so that they could better drag him to Shelob's lair.

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft Blocking Pirate Bay Links In Messenger

RussellSHarris Re:algorithms, third-party sources, or complaints. (198 comments)

I'm much more concerned about Ron Paul than Santorum.

The President can do jack shit about people's religion. Really. I'd like to see him try to outlaw porn. It'll be a cold day in hell before he does. But the President has quite a bit of control over the military and a fair amount of say in what the Federal Reserve decides to do (well, it's its own thing and can pretty much do its own thing, but the President can tell it what he wants it to do and it can get spanked if it doesn't).

See, I'd rather have a President who has batshit crazy notions about religion than one that has batshit crazy notions about foreign and fiscal policies. You can't win them all, but if you can pick the ones you want to win, those are the ones I want to win.

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft Blocking Pirate Bay Links In Messenger

RussellSHarris Re:algorithms, third-party sources, or complaints. (198 comments)

A "banner ad" is a block of HTML which is supposed to stay within its allotted "banner" area.

As such, it can contain anything that HTML can contain and which doesn't clearly (i.e. noticeably) break out of its rectangular frame when the site's admin tests it out.

Scripts, Flash, Silverlight, Java, you name it; if it's installed and can be embedded in HTML (or included by the HTML referencing another file), it's possible. But the only reason the banner's HTML would really ever contain a Java embed would be if the banner's designer wanted to execute a Java exploit on visitor's computers. And a conscientious site's admin would delete the offending banner in short order if this was discovered to be the case.

Does that clear up your question any?

more than 2 years ago
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16-Year-Old Creates Scientific/Graphing Calculator In Minecraft

RussellSHarris Re:16-year-old kids have too much free time (160 comments)

It wasn't pure musical notation. (I was thinking along the same lines when I enrolled.) It was rote memorization of the names of dead people and the classical pieces which they had composed. I was bored, and got an F. And as I said, the art class was much more rewarding, so I'm glad I didn't just skid through with a passing grade in the class that I had hated.

more than 2 years ago
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16-Year-Old Creates Scientific/Graphing Calculator In Minecraft

RussellSHarris Re:16-year-old kids have too much free time (160 comments)

Hard classes? Bah. It wasn't the hard classes that got me. It was the stupid and/or pointless ones. I got As in calculus and physics, and an F in music appreciation. (I learned my lesson and took a class in digital media instead - PhotoShop, Flash, and iMovie. At least then I was learning stuff that I could actually find a use for. I still tinker in GIMP quite frequently.)

The hardest classes that I had to take were the advanced circuits classes, and those were B grades in classes that most students took more than once before passing. And I blame the instructor partly; brilliant guy, but he sucked at explaining why we did things the way that we did them. I still haven't the foggiest notion of how to calculate the amplification of a MOSFET or FET amplifier stage with feedback. There were two different formulas and I never understood why either formula applied, or why they had to be different.

more than 2 years ago
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Interview With Suren Ter From 'You Have Downloaded'

RussellSHarris Re:Nobody has a right to a monopoly (366 comments)

Actually the right to vote is revokable.

No, it most definitely is not. It can be and is infringed upon, but it cannot be revoked.

Cutting off someone's ability to have a hand in the civil elective process is just as barbaric and unjust as the old laws which dictated cutting off the actual hand of people who were convicted of stealing.

Laws cannot break the law, and the Constitution is law. However, they can and do. For instance, the laws in D.C. illegally broke the law for decades by infringing on people's second amendment rights. The only recourse is to have those illegal laws repealed or struck down.

There is probably only one crime which I would even consider worthy of removing someone's access to the democrative process: I would permit those convicted of election fraud to be barred from voting. This is not because their right to vote can be taken away; I'd even say that they still have the right to cast a single vote, but they can't be trusted to do that. And even this smells sourly of cutting off the thief's hand. If it was possible to allow them to vote, with full confidence that not only they wouldn't but that they in fact couldn't corrupt the elective process by their involvement, I'd be in full support of letting them vote.

more than 2 years ago
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Interview With Suren Ter From 'You Have Downloaded'

RussellSHarris Re:Right, because BS is a thorough refutation (366 comments)

Let say someone downloads a copy of a popular movie, burns a 1000 copies with official looking prints and seals them in original looking wrappers, and takes them and gives them out for free in front of a store where the movie has just been released for initial sale. Does that still not cause harm to the author, distributor, performers, etc.? After all the copies don't cost them anything, they haven't lost anything.

Red herring.

Let's say someone downloads a copy of your menu and opens up a restaurant cattycorner to yours which boasts the same entrees as yours and undercuts your prices. Does that not cause harm to you, as the owner of the first restaurant?

Why yes, it does. And it's not illegal. And if you complain to me, you will be told to put on your big boy pants and deal with it. This isn't kindergarten.

Now, let me ask this question, because I'm really curious to an answer.

Does everything which causes harm necessarily need to be made illegal?

more than 2 years ago
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Interview With Suren Ter From 'You Have Downloaded'

RussellSHarris Re:Right, because BS is a thorough refutation (366 comments)

Why is computer generated graphics of child porn illegal? Because of some fallacy that legality == morality??

But that is the only reason that child porn is illegal in the first place.

All sorts of other crimes create an "injured party". Photos of the injured party are only illegal if the injured party happens to be an inadequately-dressed child.

more than 2 years ago
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Photographing Police: Deletion Is Not Forever

RussellSHarris Re:Privelege (482 comments)

You, otoh, are considered guilty unless you can prove yourself innocent.

FTFY.

more than 2 years ago

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