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Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

general_re Re:selective enforcement at it's finest. (325 comments)

To people outside of Arizona, we've got 35 (!) choices for our plate outside of the default, each costing $25 extra, and $25 extra-extra if you want it personalized.

Amateurs. Here in Virginia we have over 200 choices, not including the ability to have your own custom business logo on the plate if you have a large enough fleet. You can't tell me some of those don't get you a little special consideration when you get pulled over.

about 4 months ago
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Antigua Looks Closer To Legal "Piracy" of US-Copyrighted Works

general_re Re:Time to shut down the WTO (327 comments)

The Senate votes to modify or repeal it, and the President signs off. Same with any time the US does anything with a treaty.

Difficulty: Being a part of the WTO has, on balance, been extremely beneficial to the US, even accounting for this ruling. Seriously - the US has been a party to more winning cases in front of the WTO than any other country, by far. Should we just poop all over every other industry in order to maintain some sort of neo-Puritan approach to gambling?

about 9 months ago
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Antigua Looks Closer To Legal "Piracy" of US-Copyrighted Works

general_re Re:Time to shut down the WTO (327 comments)

The difficulty, of course, is that the US signed a treaty saying it would abide by this sort of ruling. So now what?

about 9 months ago
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Multi-State AT&T U-Verse Outage Enters Third Day

general_re Re:They should give people 1mo free HBO to make up (202 comments)

I used to have a housemate who had a constant problem with the handset Optus (Australian Telco) sold to her. She was on Pre-Paid (Pay As You Go) so she paid for the handset outright. Every month she'd ring up and complain, every month they'd offer her $10 credit to get her off the phone and every month I'd ask "but did they fix your problem". She didn't get it and continued to get constant call disconnections.

Companies offer free shit because it's easier than fixing the problem. When you take the free shit, you give them a free pass not to fix the problem.

The other side of the coin is that there are plenty of people who call to complain, but don't really want the "issue" fixed, because they don't actually consider it to be all that serious of a problem. They'd rather just use it as leverage to get free shit.

about a year and a half ago
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Prices Drive Australians To Grey Market For Hardware and Software

general_re Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (280 comments)

Also, in Germany, 20% tax is included in the price. In the US, tax is added to the price.

So a $1,200 computer in Germany is actually the same price as a $1,000 computer in the USA, before tax.

Since there's no place in the US that charges anywhere near 20% sales tax, that's small comfort. The price you pay at the register is still going to be less in the US as a result.

about 2 years ago
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Free News Unsustainable, Says Warren Buffett

general_re Re:He doesn't get it (198 comments)

He made his money by being smart, and he's done good with it now that he's got it.

Buffett has made a fair chunk of change by investing in some fairly shady outfits. The perpetual motion ripoff machine known as Kirby Vacuums is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, for one example.

more than 2 years ago
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FDA May Let Patients Buy More Drugs Without Prescriptions

general_re Re:Let patients test themselves. (392 comments)

You should be able to walk into a lab and receive a test, any test, just as long as you pay for it. To deny patients this ability is to deliberately increase both risk and cost.

What should be and what is are very different things. I was getting a blood test in a lab, and realized I didn't know my blood type. So I walked up to the counter, plunked down my credit card, and said I wanted my blood type tested. Sorry, no can do, you need a prescription.

Go donate blood at your local Red Cross. It's free, you're doing a good deed, and you'll get a cool donor card that has your blood type printed right on it :)

BTW, I agree with everything else you said.

more than 2 years ago
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Smartphones Invade the Prepaid Market

general_re Re:Indeed (173 comments)

Chickety-china, the chinese chicken.

I'm fairly certain that people in the computer/IT world eventually go insane once they hit a critical age. Every once in a while you see bat-shit crazy posts. They usually come from ACs or users with really low UIDs. Someone should do a study on this; with government funding of course.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fC_q9KPczAg

more than 2 years ago
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Dharun Ravi Trial: Hate Crime Or Stupidity?

general_re Re:wow, you have no idea about GLBT issues (671 comments)

For that matter, India's views on just about every social issue are extremely hostile. They make the US look like a bastion of liberal tolerance.

Comparatively speaking, given the state of most countries, the US is a bastion of liberal tolerance.

more than 2 years ago
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Television Next In Line For Industry-Wide Shakeup?

general_re Re:"Smart" TVs? (381 comments)

but ALL cableTV and ALL satellite TV is 720P heavy compressed. I dont care what your settings on the receiver are, the signal is 720p and will stay that way for a very long time.

Umm, no it's not. I don't know of any provider that doesn't pass the channels along in the same format the broadcaster sends it. HBO and CBS are very much displayed in 1080i on my system. They may be recompressed and muxed, but that's not at all the same thing as downconverting from one format to another.

more than 2 years ago
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US Watchdog Bans Photoshop Use In Cosmetics Ads

general_re Re:I think we should ban cosmetics completely (383 comments)

Yeah, the trouble is, the people who want to walk around naked are generally the ones you'd least like to see undressed...

more than 2 years ago
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Siri Envy? Iris Brings Some Voice-Assistant Features to Android

general_re Re:Very much a work in progress (402 comments)

Right, Voice Search on my Samsung does the same thing, but Siri/Iris is touted as being more than that, so I wanted to see how it would handle a reasonable natural language query. Not well, it turns out, but perhaps improvements are in store.

more than 2 years ago
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Siri Envy? Iris Brings Some Voice-Assistant Features to Android

general_re Re:Very much a work in progress (402 comments)

Good point. I cleared the history and asked it the same question, with no other questions. That time, I ended up asking twice:

Q: Where is the nearest Wal Mart?
A: Nearest what?

(Then I asked again)

Q: Where is the nearest Wal Mart?
A: In Europe.

So I dunno. Maybe it's a problem with how it's parsing the question, rather than the lookup method for the answer.

more than 2 years ago
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Siri Envy? Iris Brings Some Voice-Assistant Features to Android

general_re Re:Very much a work in progress (402 comments)

But it wasn't the right answer - yesterday's high was 61F, which I should also have posted, so it was way off. I don't know where it got the data, but it looks like a forecast that would have been accurate about two months ago, not yesterday.

more than 2 years ago
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Siri Envy? Iris Brings Some Voice-Assistant Features to Android

general_re Re:Very much a work in progress (402 comments)

You do realize that range of temperatures is from the low point at night to the high point during the day, right? I see nothing "impressive" about the range of temps. It looks like a perfectly normal forecast. Perhaps you're just not acquainted with how weather is predicted and reported?

I should perhaps have been clearer about the actual temps at the time - yesterday's high here was 61F, which is far lower than the low end of the range Iris gave me, never mind the high end.

more than 2 years ago
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Siri Envy? Iris Brings Some Voice-Assistant Features to Android

general_re Very much a work in progress (402 comments)

Some sample queries I fed Iris:

Q: Where can I get a cheeseburger?
A: The bank.

Q: What's the weather like in (my town) tomorrow?
A: Now in (my town) the temperature varies between low points of 26C and highs of 36C (79F and 97F). The conditions are light rain showers during the day. The day after that the temperature will vary between 26C and 37C (79F and 99F) and the conditions will be sunny weather.

(It didn't rain today, and despite the impressive range of temps - way to cover your bases, Iris - it still muffed the highs for today and tomorrow.)

Q: What time is it in Hong Kong?
A: October 23rd 2011, 8:24:52 HKST

Q: Where is the nearest Wal Mart?
A: Probably Washington. It's a state border.

(I live on the east coast.)

Q: What's the population of Canada?
A: The population of Canada is approximately 33,100,000.

Q: How far is it from Chicago to New York?
A: 1,145.16 kilometers (711.57 miles).

Q: Where can I get a recipe for cheesecake?
A: En la esquina, con minifalda.

(Yes, it really said that in Spanish.)

So, yeah - a work in progress. It had no trouble recognizing every single question, it just fell down on many of the answers.

more than 2 years ago
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Who Killed Videogames?

general_re Re:same as with everything else (401 comments)

Considering that the US is neither fascist nor controlled by corporations, your declaration that capitalism "always" ends in such is rather suspect. One simple counterexample invalidates such a sweeping generalization. I suppose you will now follow with a diatribe intended to display the corporate domination of the US. Carry on.

more than 2 years ago
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Who Killed Videogames?

general_re Re:same as with everything else (401 comments)

It happened many times over the course of history.

Name three instances. Be as specific as possible.

more than 2 years ago
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Teacher Union Tries To Block Online Courses

general_re Re:its not 'unions'. (608 comments)

I think not.

more than 2 years ago
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Teacher Union Tries To Block Online Courses

general_re Re:its not 'unions'. (608 comments)

Perhaps it says something about the system that its practitioners tend to be brain-damaged megalomaniacs.

more than 2 years ago

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