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Comments

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San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

melchoir55 Re:San Francisco is just an extreme example... (334 comments)

There is a huge amount of land in California the middle class can afford: the Central Valley. The air is so bad you are almost guaranteed to experience asthma or allergies, but you can swing it on as low as 30k per year in my opinion. Those kids living in LA, SF, SD who make 30k per year? They basically live in squalor(for America). They value the coolness of those cities so much they are willing to live 4 to a 2-bedroom, or get their own place and live paycheck to paycheck, or live with their folks.

Middle class can't afford San Francisco. A cheap house there is 800k. It isn't a question of sacrificing on a cell phone plan. The values are stratospherically out of reach for middle class earners.

yesterday
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San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

melchoir55 Re:BS (334 comments)

Almost all problems experienced by groups of humans are self-inflicted.

yesterday
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

melchoir55 Re:Ability to design and write software... (578 comments)

The coworker of a friend of mine was hired because he had a masters in CS. One day my friend had to tell him about this great thing called "regular expressions".

4 days ago
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

melchoir55 Re:Right! (578 comments)

Do you seriously believe there is any reason for open floor plans other than that companies want to save money and don't see the connection between working conditions and the performance of their employees? No one wants to work in an open environment. Companies do it because they can put up four walls and a ceiling and call it done.

4 days ago
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Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

melchoir55 Re:It wasn't just private opinion. (824 comments)

It is sophistry to say that both gay and straight individuals have the same rights when pointing out that gay people can marry people of the opposite gender. Some people regard marriage as an institution which expresses their love for another human being in the strongest possible terms. Some of these people are gay. Some are straight. The straight ones have the right to marry the person they love. They are guaranteed the pursuit of happiness, in this pursuit at least. Gay people are not.

You might respond that this is not a "right". If you do, you would be forgetting the philosophical commitment underlying the enumeration of powers in the US constitution. There are an infinite number of rights, just as there are an infinite number of powers. It was an absurdly enormous mistake to title the first 10 amendments the "Bill of Rights", because many people mistake this for suggesting it is possible to enumerate all the rights which individuals possess. Rather, all people retain all rights and powers unless they are explicitly removed from them (in the case of rights) or reassigned (in the case of powers).

This is why those who appose the right of gay people to marry must pass laws to prevent it. Gay people's rights in this matter are being denied by law.

Again... you prove my point of intolerance from the left... and that one need only call something a 'human rights' or 'civil rights' issue until you make enough people agree through education & politics... or fear mongering and blacklisting.

It is not intolerant to call something a human rights issue. It cannot possibly be argued that gay marriage is a *civil* rights issue, but if someone wants to assert they think all humans should be guaranteed this right then those asserters are not being intolerant. They are expressing the strength of their conviction.

about three weeks ago
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NSA Can Retrieve, Replay All Phone Calls From a Country From the Past 30 Days

melchoir55 Re:Traitors (320 comments)

They aren't "our" spying capabilities. One of the reasons people are upset with the situation is that the NSA is indiscriminate in their targets. American citizens are just as open to attack as foreign citizens. Those spying capabilities belong to an organization accountable to no one with dirt on everyone alive. If their interests happen to align with those of the American People, great. If they don't, too bad for the American People, because it is damn hard to reign an organization with the sweeping level of knowledge now possessed by the NSA.

The NSA is only still associated with the American people in the sense that it funds itself in large part with tax money taken from those Americans.

about a month ago
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It's True: Some People Just Don't Like Music

melchoir55 Re:HEY (268 comments)

The reason I make the claim that it is unlikely any human categorically dislikes music of all kinds is because what we can consider music is incredibly broad. It is like making the claim that there are humans who don't enjoy art. It seems nearly impossible because the nature of art is such that it permeates all human endeavor. Medicine, for example, is art. Lots of science in there of course. But there is a lot of art as well. I don't mean "an art" either, I mean art. When people start doing things creatively according to their internal sense of aesthetics, they've made some art.

"I don't enjoy music" meaning "I don't pursue even a tiny interest in music" seems plausible to me. What seems implausible to me is the statement "I have never enjoyed a work of music in my life". I'll admit that it isn't really based on anything I know about cognitive science, so I could be wrong. There might well be people who actually don't like any combination of melody, beat, rhythm, or whatever. The reason I find it diffiult to believe is because music is just artistic expression, and artistic expression seems to be a part of what it is to be human. I would think that some form of music would resonante with anyone because by the definition of art there are nearly no limits to what one could consider music. If there was no music a person liked, I would think they could make some by just tapping their fingers on a table in a way they find calming/pleasing/whatever.

All the crap I just said in this post is unrelated to my training as a linguist. Like I said above, music doesn't preceed language, and linguists have no need to study it as a foundational sort of thing. I also happen to have a philosohpy degree, so the above is mostly me trying to make clear what we mean by our terms.

about a month ago
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It's True: Some People Just Don't Like Music

melchoir55 Re:HEY (268 comments)

I can't comprehend how someone could not enjoy ANY music, music is the fundamental pre-cursor to language, not only is it deeply ingrained into humans but species as diverse as whales and grasshoppers use music to communicate with each other.

IAAL (I am a linguist)

Music is not the fundamental precursor to language. Language is just a fancy way of diong communication. Communication itself is a common thing that organisms do. The likely precursor to human language would be symbolic rperesentation without things like syntax. "Music" doesn't enter into it.

Animals aren't doing "music", unless by "music" you mean a form of communication which depends on repetitive pitch patterns or something like that. If that is what you mean, then you havnen't managed to distinguish between language and music. Language does that too. Most people think of music as an artistic twist on language. Pitches are held longer than is "normal" in the dialect. A prosody pattern is represented with a guitar rather than a human voice doing actual speech. The list goes on at length.

Animals are communicating with one another, and they tend to do it in a very similar way to humans. Most animals aren't doing anything you can reasonably call music if you want the words "music", "communication", and "language" to have any distinction. Your example of a whale using music to communicate is anthropormorphization. Whale speech happens to sound like music to you because your brain is keyed to represent certain tones in certain patterns in certain ways. It isn't any different than an a squirrel chriping, it just sounds more beautiful to humans because the tones are low and held for long periods.

Language is a precursor to music. It isn't the other way around. All that being said, I am surprised there are humans who don't enjoy any kind of music at all at any time. I suspect the results are either being exagerated, the survey results were contaminated, or the people being surveyed had a tenous grasp on language in general

about a month ago
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Android Beats iOS As the Top Tablet OS

melchoir55 Re:And yet apple sells more tablets than anybody (487 comments)

What on earth is "premium android"? Do you mean "custom ROM"? Anyone can install a custom ROM on just about any android device. There is no appreciable software difference between a knockoff tablet maker and samsung. If anything, knockoff tablets tend to run better android mods than samsung devices. Of course this hardly matters since anyone can customize the OS however they like, or install an entirely different flavor of android.

The main difference is in the raw power of the hardware. I realize the power of the hardware isn't something apple people think about... but it is one side of two coins. Software and Hardware make a tablet. Every android user has access to the same software. Better hardware costs more money. Every apple user has access to the same software, and the same hardware.

You're complaining that Android is cheating by inflating its numbers. You are blind to the point that this is one of the very strengths of android. It is an open platform which anyone can employ. As such, a lot of people tend to employ it. To say Apple has less market share than android is surely true. Further, it is not a trivial thing to say. Apple once dominated the tablet and smartphone market when compared to Android. Now they are falling behind. The reason they are falling behind is the same reason they fell behind in the 90s. They sell closed, proprietary tech. This philosophy has been largely abandoned by the market in the 2000s because it has a lot of disadvantages to the consumer, which means the consumer eventually stops buying it.

Apple is going to lose relevance in the USA over the next 5 years and gain relevance oversees (though not at an equal rate). I'm betting that apple is going to start seeing a drop in revenue 5 years from now after revenue growth slowly peters out. They could avoid it, but they won't. Their philosophy doesn't allow it. When I say I'm betting this will happen, I mean it in the strongest possible sense.

10 years from now apple will be right back where it was in 1995. Clueless executives, inferior and overpriced product, and a market no longer willing to buy it because it is chic.

about a month and a half ago
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Apple To Unveil Its 'iOS In the Car' Project Next Week

melchoir55 Re:iPod connectors/compatibility since at least '0 (198 comments)

For my '07 S80-V8 an iPod connector and in-dash stereo integration was a factory option (which I added).

It works pretty well -- playlists, artists, etc. It's the "older" dock connector so a 30 pin iPhone complains about it and won't charge, but I just put in an old 60 GB iPod and leave it in there and run my iPhone off a ProClip holder with a lightning-30pin adapter run to a split USB/aux cable that connects to the AUX in, so I can have iPhone audio on the stereo, too. It's kind of a Rube Goldberg setup, but the cables are neat and its nice to do podcasts or Pandora if I want.

Bluetooth would be better overall (less stuff, less cords) but the bluetooth from that year isn't as nice as the iPod control is.

I wonder why Apple can't make AirPlay mirroring with touch to an in-dash display a standard. For makers, it would make it something Android could support with an additional protocol and it would eliminate the need for most of the horrible in-dash infotainment systems car makers come up with.

Apple's business philosophy has always been about total control. You will never find Apple sportingly participating in a market, even if it is to their advantage. They built their own maps system in order to compete with a completely free and very effective one(google), they are the last manufacturer of note clinging to using proprietary cables, the list goes one. Apple wouldn't want to do what you are suggesting because that means other systems could participate in the environment. They don't want that. They want all Apple, or they don't want to be involved.

about a month and a half ago
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Apple To Unveil Its 'iOS In the Car' Project Next Week

melchoir55 Apple maps... really... (198 comments)

Apple doesn't get it anymore. Five years ago they were cutting edge on trends (maybe not on actual tech). Now they are a little behind. The trend isn't looking good.

This nav system is going to be as popular as the facebook cell phone.

about a month and a half ago
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Ghostwriter Reveals the Secret Life of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

melchoir55 Re:oh noes (359 comments)

Maybe educated society is getting tired of the Ad-Hominem.

We can dream.

about 2 months ago
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Ghostwriter Reveals the Secret Life of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

melchoir55 oh noes (359 comments)

He's self centered and likes to flirt with younger women. Oh no! Our faith in the very integrity of wikileaks must be revisited!

Meanwhile an enormous personality cult continues around an asshole who regularly destroyed the lives of people working for him (Steve Jobs).

If I were going to pick someone to have a beer with, I would pick Assange any day. I don't give a fuck if someone has personality flaws. That means he is the same as every other human alive. What I care about is their effect on the world around them. Assange has had such a net positive impact with wikileaks that no amount of aggressive flirting or being-a-dick-sometimes(tm) is going to burn it.

about 2 months ago
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Silk Road's Ross Ulbricht's Next Court Date Set For November

melchoir55 rtfa (77 comments)

I didn't rtfa becase....

beta sucks. Clueless MBAs in tech companies suck. Clueless marketing and sales drones in tech companies suck.

Get a clue.

Boycott /. from the 10th to the 17th

about 2 months ago
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UK Government May Switch from MS Office to Open Source

melchoir55 Saving money, and security. (273 comments)

Saving money is great and all. Woopee. Wouldn't the real value in switching be to get away from a company that has been compromised by US intelligence services? It seems to me that having your entire government running software written by a company known to put backdoors into their software is negligent. If they are using office, a member of parliament makes an interesting powerpoint presentation and the US president knows about it 5 minutes later.

about 3 months ago
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Bitcoin Exchange CEO Charlie Shrem Arrested On Money Laundering Charge

melchoir55 Re:Doesn't scratch any itches (330 comments)

It actually does let you do stuff cheaper, faster, and safer. Cheaper because you don't have to pay money transfer fees. It is WAY faster than most forms of sending payment. It is also much safer insofar as a business cannot arbitrarily reverse the transfer.

Crypto currency is clearly better. The problem is that bitcoin is abstract. Most people don't realize that the money system they are using has no underlying foundation. Those pieces have paper are valuable because people agree they are, not because they are backed by any product or valuable ore. Bitcoin is no different in that respect. Only, it is very clearly abstract while people are able to lie to themselves (or just be ignorant) about the US dollar. People are uncomfortable with bartering using stuff they thing is "worthless" (not backed by anything). Bitcoin hasn't hit the threshold of adoption which most people require to believe something is safe.

This is entirely separate from all the other problems such as volatility, the 51% exploit, and etc.

about 3 months ago
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Why the Major Labels Love (and Artists Hate) Music Streaming

melchoir55 Re:Who makes the product? (164 comments)

My undergraduate degree is in philosophy, so it is difficult to accuse me of not appreciating knowledge for its own sake. I, however, did computer programming as a hobby because I knew I would need something to get by in the world. My post was mostly directed at the kids who live in a bubble their whole lives constantly being told they can be "whatever they want", even though their parents can't afford to pay their tuition in college. The result when such a kid pursues music and only music through undergrad and *shudder* even grad school? Someone with a lot of debt who is eventually going to feel like walls are closing in around them.

You would rather die pursuing music than instead pursuing a valuable skill while doing music as a hobby on the side? You would rather DIE than that? You can't have it all so you don't want anything? You're taking your ball and going home? The point is that they end up having to pursue the valuable skill anyway to survive. Few people chose death over math.

about 3 months ago
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Obama Announces Surveillance Reforms

melchoir55 Re:Snowden: 1 Obama:0 (359 comments)

The United States doesn't have a two party system. I believe a voter can write whoever they like in to the ballot. US citizens have convinced themselves they need to be on a winning "side" in an election. So, rather than vote for the person they think would best serve the office, they vote for the "side" they would prefer to win. US citizens have basically been rolled by game theory. That is, they all think they are all accomplished game theorists but are in fact *terrible* at it. They hate their leaders, they have the power to change it without violence, and they refuse to vote for anyone else. This isn't new. It has been this way so long that current young adults have never experienced a sane voting environment.

It's actually kind of funny. Like a sad clown.

about 3 months ago
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Why the Major Labels Love (and Artists Hate) Music Streaming

melchoir55 Who makes the product? (164 comments)

Let me preface this by saying I am totally on board the RIAA and record company hate train. I'm the guy pulling the whistle even. Choo Choo! They are greedy organizations who will ruthlessly do anything for profit.

That being said, I have become convinced over time that the artist-record company relationship is actually fair. Artists don't make the majority of the money that gets plunked down for their songs. But, you know, what? They aren't really doing much of the work either. Artists write and perform the song.This takes work, surely. Let's be generous and say each individual song takes a full person year to write and get good at. Record companies dump enormous resources into promoting it. This includes the work of hundreds (thousands?) of people resulting in the expenditure of many years of person effort. It seems to me like the record company is actually the one contributing more value. What happens to artists who try to succeed without record companies, or grants from universities? A tiny percentage of them earn enough to subsist. There is a reason for this.

To be frank, at the end of the day professional musicians who make a good living aren't really any better than many of the ones who are struggling. I've seen so many really talented musician friends go through school to finely hone their skills, only to find no one in the real world cares (ie they can't make money). The reason no one cares isn't because people don't value music. They do. That is why so much money goes into buying music. The problem is that reaching the threshold at which most people consider you "good" is attainable by a VAST portion of the population. Probably roughly the same percentage of the population who can be considered good at physically lifting things and then setting them down elsewhere. Good musicians are a dime a dozen.

I know the musicians out there are going to crucify me for this. You'll all point out it is possible to discern the difference between the violinist who makes 10 mil and the one who can't get a job. I'm sure you can. The point is that most of society can't, and doesn't care to. This is why most of you make nothing and have to pursue other careers. I wish you would all wake up to it before dumping a decade or more into it. Unless of course you are wealthy enough to pursue it whether it brings you income or not.

Music and the arts are for everyone, as a hobby, because any human can be good at them to some degree. The skills it takes to do them are part of what it is to be human. They have been pursued professionally by the rich, or friends of the rich, historically. This is because the rich can afford to spend 20 years getting good to maybe get paid well at the end. If you are a middle or lower class person trying to pursue music you are being irresponsible. You are more than likely wasting your time, except for the rare people who value the honing of skills higher than standard of living.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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State Department takes down 3D printed gun plans

melchoir55 melchoir55 writes  |  about a year ago

melchoir55 (218842) writes "The US Government has sent a cease and desist to DEFCAD. DEFCAD is the company which has been raising a lot of eyebrows worldwide through its development of 3D printable guns. DEFCAD has responded by complying with the C&D. The plans have been removed from their website. However, CNN (and other sources) report the files to already have been downloaded over one million times and continue to be shared via third party methods such as bit-torrent."
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