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Why Are the World's Scientists Continuing To Take Chances With Smallpox?

SvnLyrBrto Re: Same reason we keep developing nuclear weapon (187 comments)

Why⦠what a fascinating idea. To hold in my hand that capsule⦠to know that life and death on such a level was my choice. Such power would set me up above the gods!

2 days ago

Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

SvnLyrBrto Re:cause and/or those responsible (665 comments)

> Btw. does anyone here remember the USS Vincennes?

Actually yes, I do. There were various discussions about at what point the crew knew they'd just shot down an airliner, or at what point they should have known that they were targeting one. There've even been various conspiracy theories that they knew it was an airliner all along and shot it down intentionally to kill someone or another who was onboard. But the US has always admitted that it was the one who shot down that airliner.

At no point has the US government tried to re-write history and disavow the blame by claiming that it not the US who pulled the trigger; but some bunch of locals who somehow managed to capture (and figure out how to operate) the Vincennes.

3 days ago

Was Watch Dogs For PC Handicapped On Purpose?

SvnLyrBrto I'm not surprised. (215 comments)

They've been dumbing down the gameplay on real games for years to make things easier the konsole kiddies. Look at Deus Ex: HR or the Xcom: EU vs. their namesakes for fine examples. It doesn't surprise me a bit that they'd cripple the graphics too. Can't let the children get jealous that someone else has something better, after all.

about a month ago

Man Arrested For Parodying Mayor On Twitter Files Civil Rights Lawsuit

SvnLyrBrto Re: Shut up and take my money (163 comments)

Or it could be old-fashioned racism. There are plenty of places in the US still where, if you're driving a Japanese car, the locals will see you as some kind of commie mutant traitor.

about a month ago

Theater Chain Bans Google Glass

SvnLyrBrto Re:Slashdot technophobes (376 comments)

Seriously? OK, I'll break it out. What part of:

"Cool... Terminator vision!"
"the ability to record is completely tangental to how I'd want to use the thing"

... was too difficult for you to understand?

about a month and a half ago

Theater Chain Bans Google Glass

SvnLyrBrto Re:This is Alamo Drafthouse - makes sense (376 comments)

Under the ADA, it doesn't mater how large or small the business is. "Reasonable accommodations" have to be made at places open to the public. And so long as someone is not actively using Glass to record video, it's perfectly reasonable for someone whose prescription lenses include Glass functionality to be left alone in peace as he watches his movie. And yes, it is possible for someone's vision to be bad enough to bring the ADA into play; but still be adequately correctable with glasses.

Personally, I look forward with glee to the day when Glass IS build into prescription glasses, some business discriminates against them, and said business is crushed under the ADA. Unfortunately, it does increasingly look like that may be what it takes to finally slap this particular platoon in the luddite brigade down.

And all that is completely aside from the point that it's ridiculous and narcissistic for people to assume that the only reason anyone might be wearing Glass to to secretly spy in them. It has "substantial non-infringing uses", and all that.

about a month and a half ago

Theater Chain Bans Google Glass

SvnLyrBrto Re:Ban them everywhere! (376 comments)

Do they even bother to do that at all anymore? I was under the impression that pretty much anything that hit the net before the official DVD/BR release came from Oscar screeners these days.

about a month and a half ago

Theater Chain Bans Google Glass

SvnLyrBrto Re:Slashdot technophobes (376 comments)

The part that baffles the crap out of me is the overbearing self-importance of the anti-Glass segment of the luddite brigade.

Their entire argument seems to revolve around the assumption that the only reason someone might want to own or wear Google Glass is to surreptitiously take pictures or video of them. There's a much smaller contingent that looks at its current form-factor and screams: "NERRRRRD!!!". But by far and large, the anti-Glass hate comes from the: "You're wearing that thing to take pictures of me, Me, ME!!!". That level of arrogance and narcissism both astounds and confounds me.

When *I* first heard about Google Glass, my thought was: "Cool... Terminator vision!". And shortly after, I thought: "Even cooler... Predator vision!!!". Yeah, the camera is a necessary part in generating the sort of informational overlays that I'm imagining. But the ability to record is completely tangental to how I'd want to use the thing. And yes, I do know that Glass doesn't yet come close to those capabilities. But one day it certainly will.

about a month and a half ago

Why Lavabit Shut Down

SvnLyrBrto Re:USA, the land of freedom (304 comments)

You'll probably want to drop Sweden from the list; considering they're acting as the bagman for DC's efforts to get their hands on Julian Assange.

about 2 months ago

Why Lavabit Shut Down

SvnLyrBrto Re:USA, the land of freedom (304 comments)

From the US side of the pond, it looks a bit more like Brazil than 1984.

But still, considering that China's not shy about rolling tanks in on their dissidents and Russia's fondness for the effects of ricin and polonium; we're still a few steps above the opposition.

about 2 months ago

Melbourne Uber Drivers Slapped With $1700 Fines; Service Shuts Down

SvnLyrBrto Re: Death sentence (255 comments)

Iâ(TM)ve lived in San Francisco since around a decade before Uber was even founded. And taxis were just as much crap then as they are now. The only difference is that Uber and Lyft are offering competitive options that provide a service that doesnâ(TM)t suck.

Thatâ(TM)s the particularly appalling thing about the taxisâ(TM) crusade against Uber and the like. They made their own bed by: pretty much never coming when and where you summon them; screaming bloody murder (and sometimes refusing entirely) if you ever want to goto, or be picked up in, the avenues; running various BS âoethe credit card reader is brokenâ scams; and often having their vehicles, or themselves, stink of smoke, vomit, or pee (There was even a bedbug infestation not long ago!). Now they need to just STFU and lie in that bed. If theyâ(TM)d offered a good service in the first place, Uber would never have had a niche to enter into the market.

about 2 months ago

How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

SvnLyrBrto Re:Let it die (510 comments)

A written guarantee that my uniform would be either gold or blue, and that I'd not have to accompany the captain on landing parties until my own rank is at least Lieutenant Commander; and I'm in.

about 3 months ago

Algorithm Challenge: Burning Man Vehicle Exodus

SvnLyrBrto Re:Solving the wrong problem (273 comments)

Unfortunately, that wouldn't work; at least not for reasonable people. Remember, Burning Man takes place in an otherwise uninhabitable desert. You're required to bring everything, including water, you need to live in that desert in with you; and cart it out, along with your trash, at the end of the week. That's not too difficult if you have a car. With a bus? Your 60-person bus just became a 12-person bus when you add in peoples' supplies and gear. It's not much of an improvement.

Of course, there's the option of NOT going prepared and being a parasite on those who happened to bring extra. And, yes, there are already bus services that cater to those people. But I, for one, would never, ever, join their ranks.

about 4 months ago

Algorithm Challenge: Burning Man Vehicle Exodus

SvnLyrBrto No point; BMorg doesn't want to solve the problem. (273 comments)

The Burning Man organization just doesn't want to solve certain problems with the event. Entry and exodus are big ones.

Entry has even more obvious solutions to the problems. But they are absolutely uninterested in solving it because it would involve making changes, and the entry procedure is "traditional'. Also, speeding things up would involve taking away certain peoples' ego trips; like the pointless and milquetoast "searching" of incoming vehicles that's not really a search and never uncovers contraband, but lets the "searcher" assert his au-thor-a-TAH over the "searched". Seriously... a friend of mine once entered with a crate full of illegal, and against BM rules, fireworks sitting openly in his van in full view of the people "searching" it, and they just waved him through! They could also cut out the, once again, "traditional" routine of making everyone get out of their cars AGAIN to ring the bell, get hugged by a hippie, and make the first-timers roll around in the dirt. But those people, too, have made their niche for themselves in the BMorg, and damned if they'll give it up, and to hell with the attendees who've just spent 14 hours stuck in their cars and would just like to get to camp and take a break.

I've never really payed attention and gotten all riled up at exodus; mainly because I've at atypical hours the years I went and didn't get stuck in major hold-ups. But I expect that there are similar improvements that could be made.

Hell, all they'd have to do is send the managers of entry and exodus down to Anaheim for a weekend and tell them to watch how Disneyland gets a Burning-Man-sized crowd in and out EVERY DAY, with hardly ever a delay, then bring back the knowledge and re-implement it. But there's no interest across the organization in fixing the problem.

about 4 months ago

OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

SvnLyrBrto Re:Are people not allowed to have opinions? (1482 comments)

You have your math wrong.

In most cases, it's actually disadvantageous, from a taxation perspective, for a couple to get married. There are other legal benefits which, obviously, many people decide are compelling enough to go ahead and take the tax penalty. But as a single taxpayer, you are not subsidizing married couples. The opposite is, in fact, true.

about 4 months ago

Malaysian Flight Disappearance 'Deliberate'

SvnLyrBrto Re:Worst Case Scenario (436 comments)

Cute. But 3 miles isn't going to be good enough if all you've got is a 22 kiloton airburst. The White House, the President, and even all of Congress would be just fine. All you'd do is kill a bunch of civilians in the suburbs.

Also, 777s don't have much in the way of visibility except directly ahead. The pilot wouldn't know that a Sidewinder had been fired to set off the flares. Also, an F16 carries an internal 20mm cannon that can't be distracted by flares or ECM. And a 777 is a fairly big and poorly-maneouvering target.

about 4 months ago

Environmentalists Propose $50 Billion Buyout of Coal Industry - To Shut It Down

SvnLyrBrto Kill coal, sure. Give them free money, NO! (712 comments)

I agree pretty much wholeheartedly that the coal companies need to die. But a 50-billion dollar payoff to an industry that is proud to poison the skies, destroy the landscape, and ruin the drinking water? Give free money to the people who want the USâ(TM)s environment to become more like Chinaâ(TM)s? Oh, HELL no. Put them out of business by any other means necessary. But letâ(TM)s not give those bastards a single red cent. Seriously. Screw those guys.

A better idea would be to impose (and enforce) strict carbon and particulate caps, deny permits for strip, open-pit, and mountaintop-removal mining, and crippling penalties for release of mining and processing chemical waste into the water supply. And you know what? If the coal companies are willing to reform themselves to operate within those constraint as good corporate citizens, fine. I will reform my opinion of them if and when they do. But otherwise? Screw âem.

And if weâ(TM)re going to spend 50-billion dollars on getting the US off of coal, letâ(TM)s do it the right way and use it to fund R&D on alternate, cleaner, energy sources: efficient photovoltaics, energy-positive fusion, thorium or fast-breeder fission, and so on.

about 4 months ago

Apple Demands $40 Per Samsung Phone For 5 Software Patents

SvnLyrBrto Re:How are those kind of things patentable? (406 comments)

Sorry, but you need better admins if they can't keep a BES up and running. That was the one good thing about the whole company, IMO (I always hated their phones.). When I was responsible for one, the only reason I ever logged into that box was to deal with user issues and the occasional scheduled software upgrade. Otherwise, I was pretty much able to just forget it was there. It was absolutely rock-solid; which, admittedly, shocked the hell out of me, considering the thing ran on windows server.

It's a crying shame that no one bought up BES and turned it into a device-agnostic activesync competitor.

about 4 months ago

Google Chairman on WhatsApp: $19 Bn For 50 People? Good For Them!

SvnLyrBrto Re:Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (303 comments)

Tech startups don't create the kinds of jobs that the 99% actually need. Oh, sure, many of them will eventually hire one secretary, and will pay into their building's contract for one part-time janitor.

That is demonstrably untrue. Both the US Census and the IRS publish income data; so it's not too hard to find where the 1% actually starts. Granted, the data is subject to interpretation. But even with the lower estimates, the bulk of workers fall soundly into the 99%.

According to, the 1% starts at an annual income of $506,553. The New York Times shows the 1% starting at "just" $383,001. (The latter is nationwide aggregate. The NY Times tool actually lets you select via state, or even metro area. The the Bay Area, for example, you'd have to clear $558,046 before leaving the bottom 99%.)

The handful who win the IPO jackpot notwithstanding; I'm pretty sure your average tech worker is not cleating half a million a year, even in the Bay Area.

about 4 months ago

Tim Cook: If You Don't Like Our Energy Policies, Don't Buy Apple Stock

SvnLyrBrto Re:And the Stockholders Don't Want the Policy Chan (348 comments)

To elaborate a bit, since you mentioned the Golden Gate Bridge:

As far as I can find on Google, it's thought that 46 people committed suicide via the Golden Gate in 2013. That number is probably low, because the combination of the fog and swift outgoing currents make it quite possible to do so unseen. That's ONE method of suicide in a city with a population of about 800,000.

What a lot of people don't get is the sheer scale of Foxconn's factories. According to Cnet, their Shenzhen factory alone employs 500,000 workers. Obviously, that's more than half of San Francisco's population. But to add a little more perspective: Take your pick of Atlanta, Miami, Oakland, Cleveland, or Pittsburgh. That ONE factory employs more people than *live* in any of those (considered fairly major) cities. And that is just one of Foxconn's factories.

Sure, they have other issues. But by the standards of any city... and let's not kid ourselves, Foxconn operates entire cities... their suicide rate is fantastically low.

about 5 months ago


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