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Comments

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A Physicist Says He Can Tornado-Proof the Midwest With 1,000-Foot Walls

sed quid in infernos Re:stupid comparison (501 comments)

You missed the change in units. 300 meters is 984 (that is, about 1,000) feet. Don't feel bad, it happens to the best of us.

about a month ago
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Theater Chain Bans Google Glass

sed quid in infernos Re:Alama being sensationalist again... (376 comments)

For example - (Thinks)"Ah good, my spouse is picking me up at the north side of the car park at 4.30pm". [Puts phone away.]

Why do you need to get that text before the credits roll?

about a month and a half ago
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A Look at Smart Gun Technology

sed quid in infernos Re: Camera gun (765 comments)

"Handguns" didn't exist in 1789, so if you're holding up a 1789 piece of paper, you should only get to use a 1789 gun! If you accept a gun made in 2014, then you have to accept ALL the technological features required. It's not that complicated.

Handguns existed at the time the Second Amendment was passed. They weren't nearly as good, no question, but they did exist. More importantly, though, I doubt you'd accept that kind of limitation with respect to the First Amendment, which would allow only handwriting, unamplified speech, acoustic megaphones, woodcuts, manual printing presses, and a few other, mostly one-off or impermanent, means of expression. No internet. No microphones. No audio recording and playback. No video or photographs.

about 2 months ago
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Lavabit Loses Contempt Appeal

sed quid in infernos Re:Way to lose an easy case... (128 comments)

No, they weren't. He had a lawyer when he talked to the FBI, then didn't have one in court (his choice), then had one later in court. There's a hell of a lot of misrepresentation about this case.

about 3 months ago
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Is Traffic Congestion Growing Three Times As Fast As Economy?

sed quid in infernos Re:GDP and employment (187 comments)

The highest federal income tax bracket was over 90% in the 50s, more than twice as much as your marginal rate. Not sure of the effective rate for the era.

about 5 months ago
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Invention Makes Citibikes Electric

sed quid in infernos Re:But, it is illegal (166 comments)

That's why the article says this: "For legal reasons, the ShareRoller won't engage when you're at a standstill, so I had to pedal a couple of times before I could engage the 1.0 horsepower motor with a handlebar-mounted throttle."

The law banning electric bikes does not apply unless the motor "is capable of propelling the device without human power." Here, it's not (although it doesn't sound like it needs much human power).

That still doesn't mean this is legal to use. It's possible the Citibike agreement bans (or will ban) their use. Probably won't result in a fine, but it could result in a ban. And money damages if the device does cause excess tire wear. But the general NYC ban on electric bicycles doesn't apply.

about 5 months ago
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Majority of Young American Adults Think Astrology Is a Science

sed quid in infernos Re:More likely (625 comments)

I tried to find the actual question wording, but didn't have time to do a thorough search. If the question was "Do you think astrology is scientific, sort of scientific, or not scientific?", then this could, as you say, simply be a problem of ignorance about the difference between astrology and astronomy. But if the question included a definition of astrology such as "that the position of the stars and planets have an effect on personality," then the issues raised in the summary come into play.

about 5 months ago
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A Ray of Hope For Americans and Scientific Literacy?

sed quid in infernos Re:Why even publish this study? (668 comments)

The irony of someone accusing the Tea Party of "Almost assassinat[ing] an American congresswoman" in the same post that decries "[d]ivid[ing] America to the worst point since the Civil War" is painful. The former had NOTHING to do with the Tea Party, and the accusations that it did were a prime example of the vitriol that's come to dominate political debate.

I don't support most of the platform that's associated with the Tea Party, but the accusation that they've somehow been more vitriolic is ridiculous (although they haven't been less). A simple scan of the comments here is the perfect counterpoint.

about 9 months ago
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Apple Sued For Dividing Final Season of Breaking Bad Into Two On iTunes

sed quid in infernos Re:$3? (458 comments)

Ever since I dropped cable and started buying shows individually, I've saved about 80% on my costs of video-viewing (which included cable, netflix, plus buying DVDs). Also, I watch less crap--no couch-surfing with the remote--and am happier for it. Sure, it's artificial willpower. But it works for me.

Basically, if it's not worth $3, then it's not worth an hour of my time.

about 10 months ago
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Apple Sued For Dividing Final Season of Breaking Bad Into Two On iTunes

sed quid in infernos Re:Amazon, others doing it too (458 comments)

Yeah, but Amazon is really clear when you buy a season pass that you're paying $(n * 2.87) for the n episodes that have already been aired and $2.87 for each future episode as it comes out. It's very clear there's a per-episode price, and splitting it into multiple seasons has no effect on the total price paid.

I have no idea if iTunes is as clear; I don't order from them.

about a year ago
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NRA Launches Pro-Lead Website

sed quid in infernos Re:The Romans found out about lead (780 comments)

No semicolon needed there:

Interjections
Show excitement,
Or emotion.
They're generally set apart from a sentence
By an exclamation point,
Or by a comma when the feeling's not as strong.

about a year ago
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Lenovo "Rips and Flips" the ThinkPad With New Convertible Helix Design

sed quid in infernos Re:$1800 !!!!! (143 comments)

Mine has a digitizer+stylus.

1 year,2 days
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Lenovo "Rips and Flips" the ThinkPad With New Convertible Helix Design

sed quid in infernos Re:Is there really a market for tablet-laptop (143 comments)

I went from a laptop + tablet to just a Helix. I like it. Web browsing is just so much nicer on a real PC in tablet mode than on either iPad or Android. I can access all of my docs in tablet mode. For reading, this makes sense for pretty much all of them, even using desktop apps. For some, editing in tablet mode makes sense, again using desktop apps. And I can pop it into the keyboard in a second if I need to do serious editing. It's more convenient to carry just the one item around, and I don't have to shuffle files around. And I have enough storage to get serious work done even when I don't have access to cloud storage. I never have to wish I'd copied a file to my tablet before leaving.

I wish the tablet mode were even lighter and thinner. I wish the battery lasted longer, although it's never run out on me. But it works as is, and I expect them to get better in the next year or two.

I don't use Modern UI except for a very few settings tasks. Until Modern UI Firefox comes out, I probably won't use it for anything substantive. I added a start menu that lets me boot to desktop. And Windows 8 desktop has some nice improvements over Windows 7. Win 8.1 promises even more, including different scaling factors for the device display and my desktop monitor. It ain't perfect. But neither are android and ios. For *me*, this works better.

1 year,2 days
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Supreme Court: No Patents For Natural DNA Sequences

sed quid in infernos Re:The bigger news here... (214 comments)

Justice Thomas has been on the court for more than 20 years (which, yes, is technically 10+, but still). During that time, he has authored more than 600 opinions.

about a year ago
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Federal Judge Says Interns Should Be Paid

sed quid in infernos Re:Genius judge (540 comments)

Reread the part where I said "bait-and-switch." In that scenario, they have broken their agreement. Company will provide educational opportunity. Intern will provide services related to that opportunity. If a bait-and-switch happens, they haven't provided the educational opportunity. Having failed to provide the promised form of recompense, they should at least provide a decent wage.

about a year ago
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Federal Judge Says Interns Should Be Paid

sed quid in infernos Re:Genius judge (540 comments)

No. I'm not sure why you think it would be. I was answering a specific question, the premise of which seemed to be there were NO jobs someone would want to do for free. I have no problems with the concept of laws protecting interns from bait-and-switch like you describe. I don't know enough about existing laws to know whether they are good or not. Basically, I was not talking about interns. I was participating in a more general discussion about unpaid jobs spawned from the intern discussion.

about a year ago
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Federal Judge Says Interns Should Be Paid

sed quid in infernos Re:Genius judge (540 comments)

I wasn't defending intern practices. I was answering a question, and posing at least two examples of jobs I'd like to be legally allowed to be performed for zero pay, in at least some circumstances.

about a year ago
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Federal Judge Says Interns Should Be Paid

sed quid in infernos Re:Genius judge (540 comments)

There are several comic books I'd write for in exchange for zero pay. I worked stage crew for several concerts in college for zero pay, entirely voluntarily. Both examples are for-profit enterprises.

about a year ago
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KDE Plasma Can Now Run On Wayland

sed quid in infernos Re:Predicates (29 comments)

There's still useful information in that sentence: It's possible Wayland could work as intended, but cause noticable changes in system behavior. This sentence tells us that the expected behavior is no noticable difference. And the sentence also filters out some useless information: of course you'd notice a difference if it doesn't work. That's the trivial case.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Supreme Court Limits Patents Based on Laws of Nature

sed quid in infernos sed quid in infernos writes  |  more than 2 years ago

sed quid in infernos (1167989) writes "The Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion yesterday holding that “to transform an unpatentable law of nature into a patent-eligible application of such a law, a patent must do more than simply state the law of nature while adding the words ‘apply it.’” The Court invalidated a patent on the process of adjusting medication dosage based on the levels of specific metabolites in the patient’s blood.

The opinion sets forth a “process for determining patent eligibility for patent claims that include a law of nature. The court wrote that the 'additional features' that show an application of the law must 'provide practical assurance that the [claimed] process is more than a drafting effort.' This language suggests that the burden will be on the patentee to prove that its limitations are more than patent attorney tricks.”"

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