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Don't Help Your Kids With Their Homework

Strange Ranger Re:And for the exact opposite effect... Homeschool (278 comments)

The Stigma and Social Effects scare me. Yes ideally I'd like to dismiss all that as trivial or superficial; shallow, or beside the point. But parents are weighing real effects, of real life, on our very real children. You can't teach a 6 year old to Be Yourself and Fuckitall.

How does one vet home schooling?

about a month ago

Amazon Hikes Prime Membership Fee

Strange Ranger Re:How is $99 prime? (276 comments)

How is Prime not better than Netflix? Unless you're an old kung fu and anime buff Prime is in a tie with Netflix. They're pretty close with the free streaming. But Amazon lets you rent all those new On Demand Titles that your cable company sells you, but in HD for a doller less.

Netflix seems beneficial if you have b-sides and/or foreign or specifically eclectic tastes. Otherwise if you're an On Demand User then Amazon Prime pays for itself. 8 dollars / movies per month plus free shipping easily buys the membership. And the delivery is beautiful and with a seemingly un-compressed 1080 stream. Something not even Verizon Fios seems to be able to deliver lately.

about a month ago

Whole Foods: America's Temple of Pseudoscience

Strange Ranger Re:Food. (794 comments)

What if the gold-plated ones actually sounded much better because they were better made, and more expensive, and didn't rust sitting on the warehouse shelves. What if they also didn't destroy as much groundwater in the making and the workers we're happer and better treated?
The gold/organic doesn't matter, it just makes things easier to find.

If we all demanded organic Orange Juice from Florida, the reduction in fertilizer alone could solve a lot of problems:

That's just orange juice, in one state. There are thousands of examples.

It often tastes better too, which is a bonus.

about 2 months ago

The Emerging RadioShack/Netflix Debacle

Strange Ranger Re:RS is liable (122 comments)

So you grabbed whatever was in their little geek bins in the back that worked for you and told us the details. Sure ok.

You could open a Pinball themed shop selling pinball machine parts too. But the front 98% of it better be a brew pub with working pinball machines, good food, and hot waitresses.

about 2 months ago

US War Machine Downsizing?

Strange Ranger Misleading in the grand scheme of things (506 comments)

Spending the money on killing machines doesn't win you anti-bloat points.
Shrink the budget. Shrink the percentage of budget based on adjusted GDP. We're becoming all brawn and no brain.

about 2 months ago

Dogs' Brains Have Human-like "Voice Area"

Strange Ranger Dog smarts (139 comments)

We've had carefully selected Golden Retrievers in our extended family for 30 years. For a point of reference this is a breed that's ranked #5 in intelligence compared to all breeds. Our family dog is amazingly human-like, even after carefully trying not to anthropomorphize him and our feelings about him.
He has a vocabulary of about 50 words. He understands short sentences, or at least enough words in them to understand what we mean. "Go upstairs and find your ball", "Hey I put food in your bowl", "Go see your mom" (since he's an adopted pet we're his adoptive parents, dogs are not things to own). He responds like a human. He can practically tell you a whole story with his facial expressions. He can roll his eyes sort of by looking at the ceiling and making a face when he thinks we're being ridiculous, and it's different than a similar face when he thinks we're being obtuse. He even has a favorite movie, Snow Dogs. He pays close attention to the dogs and has done the eyeroll to the ceiling thing when the humans start making out. He cracks us up daily.
We've all seen a dog lift an eyebrow and tilt their head to say "what the heck are you talking about?" Tip of the iceberg. When you have a really smart one for a decade it's like having a furry kid in the family. A very well behaved one, but there you go.
I sort of feel sorry for people who never get to be "dog people", call a dog "it" and think the rest of us are crazy and just anthropomorphizing our pet. Most of us "dog people" don't need these studies to tell us anything. But I'm still glad they're studying.

about 2 months ago

Your 60-Hour Work Week Is Not a Badge of Honor

Strange Ranger Stop inviting it (717 comments)

What I see is way too many people bending over backwards in order to get bent over forwards in return. Just because you have a smart phone and a laptop doesn't mean you have to reply instantly. It doesn't mean you have to give an ETA on a project or task that requires you to get it done with 60 hours in a week or 14 hours in a day.
    And once you start doing that everyone starts expecting it. Don't start! If you do work at home wait until the morning to send it out. Don't reply to email at 8pm. When your boss says "Where were you last night?" You say "Did we have an after hours appointment?" and make a show of looking at your calendar. The next time you say "Taking my son to xyz." Say it like it was wonderful and not like it's an excuse. Don't for a second feel guilty. Do this publicly as much as possible. Nobody else there wants to work 14 hour days either.

It's like an idiotic prisoners' dilemna. We all do it because everybody else is. Even your boss is sick of it, and has wife who is sick of it too.

The only way to win is not to play. If that means moving on to another job so be it. Keep moving until the tide around you moves with you.

about 2 months ago

Most Drivers Would Hand Keys Over To Computer If It Meant Lower Insurance Rates

Strange Ranger False dichotomy (449 comments)

What if I could get to all the boring places much faster, and also have a car for "getting away"?

about 6 months ago

Genome Hacker Uncovers 13-Million-Member Family Tree

Strange Ranger oblig (61 comments)

"It started to go downhill with the whole "lifehacker" meme."

You must be new here?

about 6 months ago

Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta)

Strange Ranger pluses and minuses (1191 comments)

Well it certainly looks more modern and pretty.
But the part where 70% of my monitor is blank white space sure isn't a step forward.
And not being able to see any comment info on the home page is another step backwards.
But it doesn't look antiquated. That's sure a plus. It looks like the default wordpress theme.
Hey it's like a hot sorority chick! Sexy as hell for an hour. Then frustrating and mostly empty. But hey it shows real well at homecoming.

about 7 months ago

Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta)

Strange Ranger Nice! (1191 comments)

beta.slashdot.org redirects to slashdot.org.

Perfect. The new beta site is going to be just as popular as ever!

about 7 months ago

Adults Make Riskier, More Inconsistent Decisions As They Get Older, Study Finds

Strange Ranger Why not? (225 comments)

Heck when I turn 75 I think I might try heroin, start smoking cigarettes again, and have unprotected sex with 28 year old hookers. Why the hell not?

about 7 months ago

Disney Creates New Mid-Air Haptic Technology

Strange Ranger Disney is a conundrum (62 comments)

Disney has such cool technology and amazing implementation from their theme parks to their cruise ships. It's fascinating to watch how they do things.
Meanwhile, the Disney Channel is so full of terrible awful nauseating acting and relentless fake laugh tracks that I can't stand when my kids have it on the other room. I make them turn it off. 5 other things on TV at any time that are much better for them and that they like (And yes OFF is the best setting). Yet you turn to any full length animated feature and it's usually pretty darn good.
Disney is ruining their name with their daily TV. Pre-teens "acting" worse than any 6th grade talent show, with dialogue that would choke a normal kid.

It's hard to understand the total disparity in quality.

about 9 months ago

How Verizon's 'Six Strikes' Plan Works

Strange Ranger Re:can someone please explain to me (505 comments)

How about this - Prices on old movies are INSANE. Want to rent Ghostbusters in HD for your kids? 4.99 to view it Once.
The new stuff, yes I agree with you. Something released this millenium - 4.99 for HD isn't bad. For an 80's movie, they're all on crack.

about a year ago

Pakistan Lifts YouTube Ban For 3 Minutes, Finds More Blasphemy

Strange Ranger Re:Who cares? (275 comments)


about a year ago

Hacker Behind Leaked Nude Celebrity Photos Gets 10 Years

Strange Ranger Re:Open Source information? (346 comments)

It's open-source, not Open Source.
Which is a good argument to capitalize it if you want to own a piece of that phase.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: What Were You Taught About Computers In High School?

Strange Ranger I was taught (632 comments)

-How to make it say hello in Basic once, or use a goto command to make it repeat forever.
-How to hit ctrl+c to make it stop
-How to use basic commands like catalog ("cat", eventually this because "dir"), list, run, save, and print.
-The difference between a KoalaPad and a mouse.
-And eventually how to play Zork and Oregon Trail.

about a year and a half ago

In America, 46% of People Hold a Creationist View of Human Origins

Strange Ranger Re:Really? (1359 comments)

I respect and learn from thoughtful people with opposing opinions. I enjoy debating things to challenge my own ideas as much as others.
However, there are many many people who employ magical thinking, strong emotions, horribly broken logic, and herd mentality to arrive at their opinions. It is scary that these people vote. No matter what their beliefs or opinions are, they are incapable of post-Dark Ages thinking.
And then we pass laws preventing public schools from trying to cure the problem. Here in 2012 it's still "What you can regurgitate" that determines success in public schools. How rational you can think, how abstractly you can think, or how deeply you understand something are all of little consequence.

about 2 years ago



F.C.C. Agrees to Open Radio Spectrum

Strange Ranger Strange Ranger writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Strange Ranger (454494) writes "From the New York Times: Today the FCC "Over the objections of the nation's television broadcasters and other groups...set aside a disputed slice of radio spectrum for public use, hoping it will lead to low-cost, high-speed Internet access and new wireless devices.

A coalition of powerful groups, including broadcasters, Broadway theater producers and sports franchises, hoped to derail or delay the decision. They have argued that their own transmissions — whether of television signals or from wireless microphones used in live music performances — could face interference from new devices that use the white spaces.

...FCC commissioner Michael Copps echoing the views of other commissioners, added that the measure could lead to development of a new generation of devices that use the spectrum to provide Internet access. Commissioners said that such access could be more reliable than over Wi-Fi, which also uses unlicensed frequencies but does not reach as far."

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