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Hallowe'en is coming. Trick-or-Treaters who visit ...

keraneuology I give out glow sticks/bracelets (437 comments)

Everybody loves them and for most of the kids too young for candy it is the first treat they get - and even the six month old kids being hauled around in the wagon love them.

about 2 years ago

Web-Based Private File Storage?

keraneuology Re:Whats the surprise? (467 comments)

Nuh uh - I ROT-13ed everything and they can't see nuttin'

more than 4 years ago

Quant AI Picks Stocks Better Than Humans

keraneuology Re:Bullshit (446 comments)

And the USSR which didn't have a free market did so well. And Haiti. And Venezuela. And Greece. What you are intentionally ignoring is that a free market does not guarantee a steady increase, just a faster and greater increase. There will always be downturns - our entire economic mess can be traced back to one man: Greenspan. Appointed by the first Bush, Greenspan was calling the shots during the Clinton years. Rather than allow the market to take a natural correction and crash Clinton's popularity he cut interest rates when he should have let them stand pat. The economy burned more brightly but then faced an even worse collapse so the rates had to be cut again. The exact same thing happened at Yellowstone - if the government had just let the natural fires clean out the dead wood every few years instead of attacking every spark in the forest we wouldn't have had the soil-sterilizing fire storms of the late 80s. If Greenspan had let the economy cull the wounded gazelles in the mix we would have had 6-12 months of general unpleasantness and then would have gotten over it. Instead he spent a decade providing kiln-dried fuel for an economic firestorm, took a fat pension from the government and retired. The free market works, but only in the same way that the weather works. In the long-term it is best for everybody who isn't doing something stupid like planting pineapple in Idaho but sometimes one farm will get more rain than another.

more than 4 years ago

Quant AI Picks Stocks Better Than Humans

keraneuology Re:Bullshit (446 comments)

But they aren't taking that $0.01 from you, they're taking it from somebody who thinks that it is a good deal. And it is his penny. You have no right to tell him what he can or can't do with that penny - buy a gumball, squish it on the train tracks, throw it into a fountain or yes, even buy a share of stock that traded for a penny less 20 minutes earlier. It is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!!!! It does not destabilize the economy, it drives the economy. Such a novel concept - people able to buy what they want and accept responsibility for their purchases. This is called economic freedom - if you object to people being allowed to buy and sell what they want then there is a long list of nations where you are free to surrender your liberty.

more than 4 years ago

Quant AI Picks Stocks Better Than Humans

keraneuology Re:Bullshit (446 comments)

Why? How? By what authority? The free market is better than anything else - unless you like a system where they say "ok... we'll protect the little guys by setting up a tier system. If your portfolio $5,000,000,000 then you have to wait six seconds. Everybody in the middle, 1 month."

more than 4 years ago

Quant AI Picks Stocks Better Than Humans

keraneuology Where do I buy? (446 comments)

In for 1.

more than 4 years ago

The Lancet Recants Study Linking Autism To Vaccine

keraneuology Re:The debate is long from over. (590 comments)

Anybody who thinks that vaccines cause autism in 100% of the cases is wrong. Anybody who thinks that the argument is that autism is *ONLY* caused by vaccines is wrong. You clearly fall into the 2nd camp. In 2007 the federal "vaccine court" found that the MMR vaccination *DID* cause autism in a child by the name of Bailey Banks in that the vaccine caused an inflammation of the brain that led to PPD-NOS. In 2008 this same court found that in the instance of patient Hannah Poling the vaccine caused "autism-like" symptoms by aggravating a pre-existing condition. (Autism-like? If it quacks...) In the vast majority of cases the vaccine is safe - the numbers don't lie. HOWEVER the vaccine appears to be safe if and only if the child is neurotypical and, as there is no incentive, nobody is working on determining just how atypical one must be and in what manner before the vaccines are unsafe. The prevailing attitude is "sit down, shut up, you cannot decide what risks are acceptable for your child, we don't care if it is safe in this particular instance and if it turns out to destroy your family's life then oh well."

more than 4 years ago

Xbox 360 Update Will Lock Out Unauthorized Storage

keraneuology Re:Here we go again (435 comments)

No more than Lexmark had a monopoly on laser printers: the question is whether or not you are allowed to force a specific brand of products/consumables. The courts are very clear - it was illegal for AT&T to force their customers to use only AT&T phones. It would be illegal for Ford to require you to use only Shell gasoline under penalty of warranty cancellation. It would be illegal for Petsmart to sell you a kitten only on the condition that you never buy food from any other source or for Dell to sell you a computer and specify that you may only use Sony brand CD/DVD blanks. Microsoft does not have a monopoly among game players, but they are about to have a monopoly within XBox users.

more than 4 years ago

Xbox 360 Update Will Lock Out Unauthorized Storage

keraneuology Here we go again (435 comments)

See United States v IBM, 1936, USSC ruled that it was a violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act for IBM to require the use of IBM brand punch cards in their machines. Exact same thing here.

more than 4 years ago

Why AT&T Killed iPhone Google Voice

keraneuology Re:Cross Your Fingers (304 comments)

If google blocked search engine and gmail from iPhone users - or Macs - any guesses what the AT&T/Apple reaction would be?

about 5 years ago

Bozeman, MT Drops Password Info Requirement

keraneuology Now fire the city atty who defended it (1 comments)

According to their city atty this was the greatest, bestest decision for the city ever. He's obviously clueless. Fire him.

more than 5 years ago

FCC To Probe Exclusive Mobile Deals

keraneuology While you're at it... (159 comments)

Do something about Verizon saying "you may not use a smart phone without paying $30/month above and beyond your voice plan for data even if you don't want to use our data network". The phones have WiFi - that's what I want. Period. I don't want data. I want a smart phone and I don't want to sure the web using your network. That should be my right to choose.

more than 5 years ago

How Do You Greet an Extraterrestrial?

keraneuology Re:Our guns vs. theirs (803 comments)

Unless interstellar travel is nothing but a single "duh" moment away - maybe we're just missing something that will make everything simple and easy to understand. Like pipes or the wonderbra.

more than 5 years ago

How Do You Greet an Extraterrestrial?

keraneuology Re:Squids (803 comments)

Is "sharing genetics" a reference to all of the previously-mentioned pron?

more than 5 years ago

Google CEO Warns Newspapers Not To Anger Readers

keraneuology In other words... (328 comments)

1,500 newspapers all want to sue Google because it is now painfully obvious that all 1,500 papers in the country bought the same story from AP/UPI?

more than 5 years ago

US Electricity Grid Reportedly Penetrated By Spies

keraneuology Old news - real, but old (328 comments)

From time to time they have conducted mock attacks and it has been demonstrated more than once that an external agent could destroy various pieces of equipment by ordering them to perform out of spec. And there are other weak points as well - hack into the railroads and instruct the train to deliver the coal to the wrong place, for example. But here's a story from August 13 2001 in the LA Times

For two weeks last spring, hackers wormed their way inside a computer system that plays a key role in moving electrical power where it is needed around the state. The computers belong to the California Independent Service Operator, an agency that oversees much of the state's electricity transmission grid--including the massive complex of power plants and transmission lines. Cal-ISO patched the flaw that allowed hackers to roam through portions of its network before power supplies were affected. But the episode sent shock waves throughout the energy industry.
The crux of the issue is that the system is vulnerable - recall 2003 when a single tree branch killed power across several states for a week? That is not indicative of a healthy and robust grid system. And if the system is that vulnerable to an accident what would happen if somebody with malice aforethought (and a degree in EE) decided to spice things up a bit?
Unless the utility companies make explicit plans to correct things a macro-catastrophe is inevitable. Personally I think that a solar storm is more likely than a terrorist attack but it *WILL* happen and tens of millions of people will lose their grid indefinitely (probably several years to restore full access). (I further predict that the system will be rebuilt to the old specs because it will be cheaper and easier to do it that way, flushing an opportunity to build a hardened grid).
This is your transformer. (note that this company claims to be able to repair your transformer in less than 30 weeks - that means that)
This is your transformer after a solar storm. Yes, the sun did this.
This is the transformer with which most geeks are more familiar.

more than 5 years ago

Did the Netbook Improve Windows 7's Performance?

keraneuology Re:End justifies the means (440 comments)

Amen. Microsoft has *NEVER* been an innovator when it came to the consumer. True, they gave us Bob and Clippy, and provided the fertile grounds for Sasser, Blaster and Code Red to sprout, but they are too large to truly innovate and wield their legacy as the anchor around their own neck.

more than 5 years ago

Home Generators (or How DTE Energy Ruined My Holidays)

keraneuology Re:tips (695 comments)

Voltage doesn't kill - the 50,000V of a taser is much less dangerous than dropping a hair drier plugged into a 120V outlet is. Van de Graaff generators routinely approach half a million volts and they have kids touch the sphere to make their hair stand up. Again, VOLTAGE DOES NOT KILL.

more than 5 years ago

Last Major Supplier Calls It Quits For VHS

keraneuology Re:No players on the market (308 comments)

There's always Amazon. But Best Buy alone has 9 on their website at the moment. They are out there - slowly fading away, but they're still out there.

more than 5 years ago

Last Major Supplier Calls It Quits For VHS

keraneuology Re:No players on the market (308 comments)

I still see DVD/VHS combo units around fairly frequently....

more than 5 years ago




Defecit spending? You ain't seen nothing yet!

keraneuology keraneuology writes  |  more than 6 years ago If you think the shrub was big on deficit spending wait'll you see one of those jac... donkey-folk in power. Yesterday on the Ed Schultz show the intrepid host was gleefully boasting that soon we will (and this is a direct quote) "be able to spend whatever we want". The shrub is a moron. His $3 trillion spending plan is asinine to the core, reckless beyond comparison and represents the economic collapse of this nation. Here's the sad part - Hillary *knows* this. She also knows that she is personally immune to any economic, social or security hardships. Much ado has been made about her recently loaning $5 million to her campaign fund, less attention has been paid to the $20 million payoff that they just received from Dubai (reported in the WSJ 1/22/08). Her arrogance and contempt for the law are such that she is laundering illegal campaign contributions through her own personal checking accounts. It has also been reported that she is asking her campaign workers to forgo paychecks. She certainly has the money so it is equally likely that she just doesn't care about anybody but herself and is hoarding the cash as it is that she is paying them under the table to avoid IRS regulations (or to be able to make secret payments to campaign workers doing illegal and immoral things). Furthermore, about that campaign "loan" to herself. It is a legal form of money laundering - she "loans" herself $5 million and then friends and well-wishers who want to get money back to Hillary tax-free will "contribute" to the DNC general fund, which then gives the money to Hillary's campaign which then "repays" the loan to Hillary. I give it a 4:5 chance that regardless of the popular vote Hillary will get the party nomination - she has the support of all of the party bigwigs who act as "superdelegates" and have about 45% of the party votes to cast as they see fit without any accountability or regard for the will of the people. (This means, of course, that Hillary is wasting the taxpayers' money on primary elections that have no significance or consequence.) To win the nomination Obama needs to win -all- of the delegates through the primaries, while Clinton only needs to win 10-15% of them. And yet people -continue- to support the Democrat party. Why?


They can run the country but can they send an email?

keraneuology keraneuology writes  |  more than 6 years ago Here we are. 2007, about to elect another president, and close to 500 US Representatives and Senators, and countless other elected officials - governors, attorneys general, state representatives and senators, and all kinds of other individuals to guide our nation through these modern times.

But they all stink.

Let's face it - we have left the ages of stone and bronze far behind and are now well into the age of silicon. (No, Hollywood, I said silicon - that stuff that makes your hackable phone work, not silicone - that stuff with which you are probably more familiar.) We are living in the age of technology, but are being led by people who just don't get it and are throwing away opportunity after opportunity not only to score a victory for themselves but to actually do this nation some good for once.

It has now been about 10 years since I cornered then-governor John Engler at Cobo Hall and pitched my idea for bringing Michigan into the modern age. At the time most people were still on dial-up internet, and many if not most people thought that AOL was "the internet". Michigan's economy was starting to look a little tired but hadn't yet descended into freefall, the state attorney general held the opinion that spam was protected by the first amendment and people could get cheap internet through K Mart's blue light network. My idea was simple: turn Michigan into the state with the best broadband penetration in the country bar none. Make bandwidth so cheap and universal that companies would flock to the state to provide any and all of the wonderful promised services a reality. Not only would telecommuting be devilishly simple but companies that wanted to do biological research or high-precision engineering would have nice, fat pipes almost anywhere they wanted to be for even the most demanding data needs. I pitched the idea that broadband be treated as any other utility: passing the simple rule that you weren't allowed to sprawl yet another subdivision into existence without gas, electric, water, sewer - and broadband - would have ensured that every neighborhood in the state would be within 1/4 - 1/2 mile of a fiber backbone. Instead, Governor Engler came out with some pathetic broadband initiative that spent a lot of money and did absolutely nothing.

How many people are in office today that just don't have a clue? They didn't grow up using technology and think that the DMCA is just what is needed to ensure that next week's 45 single is going to come out on vinyl or that the westerns are still available in the talking picture show for a nickel - and I hear they even have air conditioning these days! Let's face it - people like Orrin Hatch and Dianne Feinstein just don't belong in politics these days. Too much has changed and they have refused to change along with, and we are all paying the price. Seriously - the generation filled with people who have their secretaries print out their emails because they can't figure out how to use a mouse is supposed to overhaul the patent system?

I have been an informal campaign advisor for a couple of campaigns. Most recently I sent a little unsolicited advice to Reposition Romney pointing out that if he was the first presidential candidate to try and connect to the slashdot (and other sites) crowd he could enjoy some serious positive buzz - as much as I disliked Clinton I have to admit that his going after the MTV set was a masterful stroke of genius. Like all of the other candidates, Reposition Romney wasn't interested. Technology to these people is still the domain of the geeks - the geeks who exist only to be exploited to turn a buck.

Out of the 435 US Rep seats up for grabs, can't we get even 20 people elected who know what an HTML tag is? Somebody in office who has even a token grasp of what the DMCA is actually being used for? Aren't we living in a day and age where candidates should think of editing text when they see the letters 'vi' and not Roman Numerals?

Please. It's the only hope we have. Whoever your elected officials are, just vote them out in favor of somebody who understands that not every website has to have www. to start the URL. And if none of your candidates fit the bill then run for yourself. We can't continue in the dark ages - we need new leaders who grasp the world as it is today. More importantly, we need new leaders who can see how the world should be but isn't - all due to lack of leadership.


Foes, fans and me

keraneuology keraneuology writes  |  more than 8 years ago In the mood to click on things I went browsing through the tabs in my user page and note that I have earned six freaks and twenty fans. I'm certainly honored by both because I never thought that people would think so highly (or lowly) of my thoughts that they would make a point of reading them or avoiding them as the case may be. So to both, I thank you.

For better or worse, here is a little bit of information about me, my thoughts, philosophies and political leanings. I've never blogged before so there is a learning curve, but if there is ever a point in my life where there isn't a curve in some aspect then I'll know it is time to move on.

First and foremost I believe that there exists a deity. On this point - that deity exists in some form - I will never waiver, never compromise, never deny. My thoughts on the nature, activity and deigns of said deity are always in flux and subject to review, modification, and evaluation, but I believe that the deity exists. Why is this important? Because I want people to know two things:

1. Some of my thoughts are based on my personal belief that there exists a moral yardstick in the universe.

2. Because to understand me it is essential to understand that I hold that my relationship with deity is my problem and I fervently hold that your relationship with your deity (or lack thereof) if your problem. I do not seek to convert anybody, to change their minds about god, the universe and everything. You believe whatever it is that you want to believe and never apologize: if I get bent out of shape because you hold other beliefs this is entirely my problem to deal with. Not yours. I hold that nobody should ever be forced to believe anything.

In all things I will present my ideas without shame or hesitation: all are subject to review and scrutiny. If my ideas can't hold up to challenge then they are ideas that I want to replace.

Above all, I want to live a harmless life as I see fit and expect you to do the same. If you ever feel that I express anything to the contrary please give me the benefit of the doubt and hold my expressions as other than intended and I will try to clarify.

Politcally I loosely associate with the GOP but I hold leanings far more libertarian than the body general. I believe in a weak federal government (a la Jefferson and his anti-federalist thoughts), minimal government intrusion and a generally free market society. I believe in a restricted rule of law defined by strict readings of a rigid, inflexible constitution that is subject to political review and modification: if the Constitution says X then it means X and all judges must make rulings based on X. No authority creep, no "what they really meant" and absolutely "well, the Constitution says this but we really need to do this instead". If you don't like the way the Constitution reads and governs then change it.

I believe that laws should restrict the government as much - if not more - than the citizenry. The government should be given a clear line and any who push the limit should be removed from authority.

I believe that a government should be perfectly ready, willing and able to let you fail. I am not opposed to charity, safety nets, handouts or giveaways. I am opposed to public charity, safety nets, handouts and giveaways. The private sector can meet needs far more efficiently and effectively than the public sector ever could. This also applies to corporate welfare. If you can become rich then good for you: but don't demand that my tax dollars be used to keep you in business. There is nothing wrong with being rich: I wouldn't mind being rich myself. But pull your own weight on the way up and don't demand that I give you a boost with my collected-at-gunpoint tax dollars.

When you are in your house with other consenting adults I don't care what you do. If you want to blare loud music with offensive lyrics the only demand I present is for you to apply adequate soundproofing to your walls to ensure that your freedoms from waking me up in the middle of the night. If you want to screen violent movies or play violent video games, go for it. As long as your activities don't spill over into my yard you don't need my approval - the fact that there are many activities for which you would never get my approval, that's my problem and not yours. As long as you aren't bothering me and not hurting anybody (who doesn't agree to being hurt if that's your thing) I'll bite my tongue.

Someday I'd like to host a libertarian-based talk radio show. Before that, I wouldn't mind a regularly posted and (more important) regularly read blog, but I don't know if enough people would actually want to read the random spewings that I cast into the maelstrom.


Freedom OF religion, freedom FROM religion

keraneuology keraneuology writes  |  about 9 years ago I recently added as a sig the line "If freedom OF religion means freedom FROM religion do you mind being silenced to protect others FROM your free speech?" - I certainly wan't expecting anybody to notice, let alone comment on it (and one individual has apparently foe'd me over it), but since this is my dev/soapbox (which is probably routed to dev/nul anyway) I shall pontificate a tad.

First, however, my belief is that God exists in some form. There are other beliefs kicking around, all of which are subject to change without notice. I hold involate my right to form, hold, reject and/or discard any belief as I see fit without notice. My existance - whatever that happens to be or mean - and my relationship with god. No debate.

HOWEVER, I also hold inviolate your right to believe or not believe anything you feel like. YOUR relationship with god, the universe or the redhead down the street is yours, none of my business, and quite frankly outside of my circle of concern.

I claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of my own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may. Or not. Not my problem or concern.

So where, exactly, is my beef? I object to a fundamental misapplication of the 1st amendment of the Constitution of the United States, specifically the part which reads "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". Even though the same restrictions are clearly applied to to speech and the press the courts and various others have consistently held the free exercise of religion to a a different standard than the others.

Most recently a judge declared the recitiation of the Pledge in schools to be unconstitutional. In protecting one group of people FROM religion an unreasonable and burdensome restriction is slapped on the freedom of speech of others. If Johnny wants to stand up in front of class and demonstrate his memory skills by reciting the pledge then he should be allowed to. FORCING children to recite the pledge is wrong. Punishing them for failing to do so is wrong. Preventing all children from reciting the pledge is equally wrong.

There are many classical works of music which reference god in some fashion. It is an unjustifiable restriction against free speech to ban these songs from school choirs. I am not Jewish, but in my mastersingers ensemble back in high school we sang jewish songs at the winter festival. We also sang Handel's Messiah, and some old southern spirituals. We also sang a ditty about kiwi fruit, some song about coffee, a Beach Boys medley, a showtune or two and a song in Latin with the only lyrics being "vanitas vanitas, tum et omni vanitas". I did not feel uncomfortable singing any of them, even if the cultures those songs represent are foreign to me. Parents who teach their children to resent even -hearing- songs representing other cultures are as intolerant as anybody I ever encounter.

In art class students wish to create a work reflecting something that is important to them. There is nothing wrong with allowing a 15 year old to paint an angel and hang it in the hall - no reasonable person could ever find any sort of endorsement in this, yet one's freedom of speech is clearly limited to protect somebody else's freedom from religion.

And so I state it again: if you have a constitutional right to be protected FROM religion then you are claiming that you must be protected FROM the free speech of another person. If you believe that you have a right to be protected FROM the free speech of another then I have a right to be protected FROM your free speech.


~rant~ internet access is expensive

keraneuology keraneuology writes  |  about 9 years ago In the process of buying a house (first real house to call my very own) and I am struck again with how obscenely expensive it is to get internet access.

Some time ago I got tired of paying $45/month for a dialtone when nobody ever called me so I ditched the landline and went cellular only - one less thing to deal with during the move is always an added bonus.

In the new digs I have the following options for internet access:

  • Pay $40/month for dialtone + $20 for dialup
  • Pay $40/month for dialtone + $40 for DSL
  • Almost $60 for cable modem
  • Some obscene amount for satellite

There is exactly one option for cable access. There are two choices for DSL, both of which require an active phone line. There are no options for wireless (except for satellite) and no fiber anywhere near the new neighborhood.

To make things better, the state's utility commissioner recently removed any and all price oversight from the state claiming that the competition of the marketplace would keep things under control. While I am a staunch advocate of the free market, I can't help but be annoyed that there is only one cable option because the city signed an exclusive service agreement explicitly prohibiting competition and the telephone company lobbied the government into allowing competing DSL companies to be banned from public subsidized wiring located on public land.

My needs are modest: 2Mb down and 256kb up would make me perfectly content. I surf a handful of websites. I /. I occasionally download a linux .iso to load onto my sandbox machine and randomly push buttons. I check email. That's about it. I think $35/month would be a reasonable price to pay.

But my options are clear: At least $720/year or nothing at all.

I'm a little annoyed.


Just throwing out an idea about the Katrina bailout

keraneuology keraneuology writes  |  about 9 years ago CBS News reported this morning that the current estimates to recover are at $200,000,000,000 and rising. The first few billion will be covered by insurance companies, the rest by private loans and government grants.

In the past week the US Government has authorized $62,000,000,000 in relief efforts. All of the sources I checked placed the population of New Orleans at around 500,000.

The cheapest solution _by far_ would be to take that $62,000,000,000 and divide it up among the 500,000 residents of New Orleans. Every man, woman and child could be given a trust fund seeded with almost $125,000. Allowing them to withdraw $2,000/month would give them an acceptable standard of living (certainly one better than many of them had in New Orleans) almost anywhere in the country for five years (assuming no interest) - ample time to get them back on their feet: most people don't start out into the world with even a sliver of this kind of head start. And many of those people were minors who wouldn't need to touch the money for years to come. The vast majority would certainly be set for life and a few hundred thousand would be forever removed from the welfare rolls.

And this $62,000,000,000 doesn't include any of the millions/billions of private donations.

Then just abandon the land as far as the government is concerned. Invest no more public funds into the area. If people/companies think they can make it work let them invest private dollars to rebuild the area at their own dime with their own incentives to make the area safe.

This would be a much more efficient way of showing compassion for the displaced, prevents the taxpayers from being ripped off by contractors who will absolutely and unquestionably overcharge the government for rebuilding efforts, cuts the welfare rolls, puts most of the money in the hands of those who need it right here, right now, instead of paying for administrators and bueaurocrats for years of explaining why they don't have enough money to provide aid...

Best of all, it leaves the decision of rebuilding New Orleans up to the free market: if the city has value then it will attract growth and repair by those who can pay for said growth and repair. And if the city is rebuilt by people who put their -own- money into the system then again (and this is the most important part) they will have the incentive to protect their investment without looking to a dispassionate government that would rather build freeways in the middle of nowhere to name after themselves than prevent a city from being wiped off the map.

And the taxpayers aren't burdened with almost a quarter of a trillion dollars that will never be paid off.

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