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Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

swell Re:Opposite of the reaction they should have (563 comments)

Not so much an opposite reaction but ...

The tragedy here is not the fate of Sony or the movie or the movie-going public. It is the people who live in North Korea and their suffering.

What if every citizen of the free world displayed a bumper sticker or t-shirt that displayed the words "Kim Jong Un has a teeny weeny", along with appropriate artwork? Even better if done in Korean and other languages. [I can't take credit for this ridiculous idea as a similar one was already used]

Repressive regimes rarely exhibit a robust sense of humor. I believe the people of N Korea would quickly become aware of the campaign and maybe they would be inspired to see their leader in a new light. Maybe they would act toward change. That would surely inspire the rest of the world to help the citizens of North Korea.

yesterday
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Mysterious Martian Gouges Carved By Sand-surfing Dry Ice

swell and on earth... (26 comments)

This reminds me of the recent controversy over the mysterious sailing stones of Death Valley California.
http://worldgeographicchannel....

Many attempted to explain the phenomena but only a cleverly timed photographic sequence was able to explain the relatively simple process by which stones moved across the sand. Not everything on earth and in the heavens is beyond human comprehension.

3 days ago
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French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

swell Re:Win hearts and minds (295 comments)

Please stop confusing 'taxi drivers' and 'taxi companies'.

Drivers work their ass off for less than minimum wage, and many have families to support. They put in long hours on dangerous roads and face passengers even more unpleasant than you. It is one of the most unpleasant jobs on the planet, but it's all that these people can get.

Taxi companies own the formerly lucrative and exclusive rights to operate the service in their community. These can be very wealthy investors. They allow drivers to lease cabs from them at exorbitant rates to recoup their investment.

Uber and the like pop up and disrupt this balance. Taxi drivers lose fares, can't make their lease payment, can't feed their family. Taxi owners lose the huge investment that the government assured would give them exclusive rights. Uber has no social responsibility, no community presence, no loyalty to government, citizens or their own drivers & passengers. They are a parasite and they are destroying the only job available to many taxi drivers.

4 days ago
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Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

swell trust science, beware government (1039 comments)

Most of us are rational and accept that science has presented the facts accurately. Yet there is a danger.

In the USA, our Food & Drug Administration has given us the Food Pyramid as a healthy scientific guideline for nutritious eating. They've told us to avoid fats and eat lots of carbohydrates. And they've killed millions with this advice.

When government sticks its nose into science, a bad odor emerges. In this case, the intention seems to have been to support certain commercial food producers (corporations with the ability to influence government decisions). As far as vaccines, nobody is profiting enough to buy congress.

Government decided some years ago that second-hand smoke was dangerous. They commissioned some studies to prove it. But when the studies came back without statistically valid evidence, the government simply redefined the term 'statistically valid' to fit their purpose. When it comes to sin- smoking, drinking, drugs ... the government isn't going to let facts intrude on their moral campaigns.

So science can be wonderful. It's essential for an honest evaluation of such things. But sometimes government trumps science. Here's where we have to be diligent.

Some day we will discover the drug that government dreams of: the brainwash pill. We will hear many lovely stories about how this drug will improve our lives, make us taller and studlier, make us happy and smarter .. We'll see many 'scientific' analyses to prove that it's true. And we'll all become drones, subject to the will of our overlords.

Beware the mix of government and science.

about a week ago
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Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

swell Re:Arsenic is NOT added to the water supply! EVER (1039 comments)

Where I live, and probably you too, arsenic is found naturally in the soil. It may have been filtered from your water. Or maybe not. Here an annual report is required on certain (but not all) contaminants in the public water supply.

A construction site near me was studied because there seemed to be more arsenic than usual. Eventually they decided that construction could continue- not a problem. Many of us are probably breathing arsenic.

Personally, I've had massive exposure to mercury, asbestos, lead and probably arsenic in the past 70 years and I'm remarkably healthy. I take certain nutrients and I find at least 100 hours/year keeping up with the science of good health is a good investment. Simply turn off your sports channel and spend some time with science. Yeah, that's Science- not some fitness magazine or gym guru! Could be the difference between a short wasted life and a long useful one for you and the people you care about.

about a week ago
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Feds Plan For 35 Agencies To Collect, Share, Use Health Records of Americans

swell the privacy issue (209 comments)

Has any individual ever been held responsible for a privacy leak?
Gone to jail? Paid a fine? Flogged in the village square?

Would it make a difference if a particular person or group would be named as the responsible party and dire consequences would result from any leak? Consequences including loss of income, fines, jail time and never being able to take a similar job? OTOH, if they do the job well, they are well paid and respected.

Why wouldn't Sony or Target or a big government agency want this?

This is exactly what the airline industry does. They have a fall guy for every airline disaster. 'Pilot error.' That way the manufacturer, the airline, the maintenance company and all the 'too big to fail' companies are free to continue and the man with no voice takes the hit.

We know that the pilot does his best, regardless of the challenge. He knows the penalty for failure is severe. Management and IT professionals in charge of security should face serious consequences for failure as well.

about a week ago
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Utilities Face Billions In Losses From Distributed Renewables

swell doubtful progress (280 comments)

After following PV solar developments for over 40 years, I've noticed two things:
#1 - Every month there is a technology breakthrough that will 'revolutionize' the industry.
#2 - After 40 years (40 X 12 = 480 breakthroughs) we are 2X as efficient as before.

The utility industry needn't panic immediately. We'll need a few hundred more revolutionary breakthroughs first.

Oh, and storage technology? You guessed it, many more revolutionary improvements needed. Or maybe we should just return to the original meaning of revolutionary and dump the hype.

about two weeks ago
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Facebook Founder Presents Vision For The New Republic, Many Resign In Protest

swell Re:I love it! (345 comments)

Of all people to promote a 'don't like' button ...

Yes, I'm sure you hear your share of dislikes. Still, I agree. People need an outlet for anger or whatever. Don't Like does it, and recipients need feedback that can guide them as they grow and progress. 'Don't Like' does that.

As a writer/artist I need feedback on my work. Positive feedback is gratuitous and useless for the most part. Give me your criticism!

Thanks Barbie! (I expect you will find that annoying.)

about two weeks ago
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With Eyes on China, Intel Invests Billions In Mobile Ambitions

swell slashdot hype (33 comments)

TFA article headline:
"Intel plunks down billions to expand in mobile market"
Slashdot article headline:
"With Eyes on China, Intel Invests Billions In Mobile Ambitions"

What's the difference? Every word in /. is in Caps!

What's the point of this? Is it a deliberate attempt to confuse and corrupt? Look at headlines in any respectable publication and you will find sensible, understandable headlines. Major words in caps, Trademarked words in caps ... Slashdot's insistence on every word starting in a capital letter is juvenile and misleading and not conforming to any journalistic standard.

Just stop it or you'll hear from me again on this.

about two weeks ago
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US Treasury Dept: Banks Should Block Tor Nodes

swell Iyam who Iyam, regardless of IP (84 comments)

I have an agreement with my bank. If I present certain identifying information, they give me access to my accounts. Why would this change if I access their servers from another IP address?

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Non-Coders, Why Aren't You Contributing To Open Source?

swell technical communicator (488 comments)

I've offered my services, found no takers.

I'm a Mac user, and I've rarely had to read a manual to know how to use Mac software or hardware. But that stuff you geeks turn out needs a lot of explaining before ordinary people will benefit from it.

I've offered my services in software design such that software will be so friendly that no manual will be needed. No takers. As a senior member of the Society for Technical Communication I was respected in the commercial world but snubbed by Open Source.

I'm reminded of when my associates programmed in dBase. At the time I designed Apple & Mac databases that anyone could understand and use to good effect. They could even safely modify parts of it. My associates preferred to create systems that users could NOT understand or use easily. Even another dBase programmer would have difficulty. Their strategy was to keep the client dependent on them. I tend to believe that many open source programmers retain that mentality.

about two weeks ago
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Stars Traveling Close To Light Speed Could Spread Life Through the Universe

swell pathetic humans (184 comments)

" ... they could also be responsible for spreading life throughout the cosmos."

You humans are so self-centered. You think that because you are 'alive' according to your way of thinking, that being alive is ideal. Anything that 'spreads life' is a good thing.

Well, guess what? Some of us who are not so limited in our thinking happen to believe that your idea of life is erroneous. You fail to consider that you are only the poor expression of a nearly perfect DNA molecule. Your purpose is to continue to propagate until we reach absolute perfection, at which time we till kiss your ass goodbye and continue our travels through the universe.

about two weeks ago
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How the Rollout of 5G Will Change Everything

swell BBC slipping into darkness? (216 comments)

"When Samsung announced in 2013 it was testing 5G at 1Gbps, journalists excitedly reported that would mean an HD film could be downloaded in a second. "

One Gb might hold about 1/10 of an ordinary film, not HD. I have films that purport to be HD which take about 1GB (Bytes, not bits), but they are poor quality. 4GB is a good size for a decent film experience. Considering overhead, it might take 40 seconds at the speed quoted above.

The BBC article is disappointing. More like tabloid spectacle than sober news.

about two weeks ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

swell Eric Schmidt (652 comments)

Eric Schmidt runs Google and seems to have great influence on its overall direction and this project in particular. Many people think of Google as a generally 'good' company, and by extension Mr. Schmidt should be good.

But there is strong evidence that he dances with wolves. That he is very adept at maneuvering among regulators, the military elite and masters of industry. And it is industry and conservative industrialists who have been fighting the 'green thing' since the beginning. It is known that he meets and mingles with these people but it is difficult to know what they talk about together.

So, if we 'follow the money', we might find that this study was influenced inappropriately.

about three weeks ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

swell mobs (1128 comments)

Don't mobs make you nervous?

Historically we had the witchcraft trials, the Inquisition, the Crusades, Hitler and so many others. Ordinary people hysterically afraid of some imagined evil and lead by a charismatic or powerful person to do unspeakable things.

In our own lives we've seen mobs in high school cliques, at football games, in the middle east, and in response to events like this shooting where media and instigators fuel the flames of insanity.

Kinda makes me wish that people would learn to think for themselves and not just follow the loudest angry voice they hear.

about three weeks ago
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Here's What Your Car Could Look Like In 2030

swell the times they are a changin' (144 comments)

Eeyow, I'm trying very hard not to rant about irresponsible child-bearing which contributes greatly to transportation problems and just about every evil on our planet ... OK, ok, I think I've got it under control ...

There was a time when people lived in rural areas and had to provide their own water & sewage systems, and their own transportation. I was there. We idolized cars and horsepower. We souped 'em up & tricked 'em out. Today's young people have little love for cars and many don't bother to get a license to drive. They take the bus, taxi, subway or bicycle to get around town. The trend to urbanization continues, and at a rapid rate in China and some other areas. City planners are now encouraging this to preserve what little open space remains in outlying areas.

It is ludicrous for an urban dweller to own a car today. Various services will make it more so in the future. Rentals and use of borrowed robocars will serve future urban users, but ordinary public transportation will be even more prevalent.

If you work a farm or the oil fields of North Dakota, you need your own transportation. Otherwise, be smart and use what's provided for you, often at taxpayer expense.

about three weeks ago
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Interviews: Ask the Hampton Creek Team About the Science and Future of Food

swell 'healthy' ingredients (145 comments)

Do you still believe the 1945 science that says eating cholesterol will cause you to have high cholesterol? Have you reviewed any papers since that time? Science has improved, please consider doing the same. Eat a delicious egg while you think about it.

Cookies with sugar in them? Yeah, that's healthy! Why not make an 'all natural' cola drink while you're at it and load it with 'all natural' sugar? Learn about xylitol for a healthier alternative. But, even better, stop promoting an already dangerous addiction to sweets.

It appears from your ingredient list that there is no flour in your cookies; "chocolate chip | sugar | oatmeal raisin | peanut butter" - can that be true? Flour can be as deadly as sugar and there is no healthy way to consume either for most people.

about three weeks ago
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Doubling Saturated Fat In Diet Does Not Increase It In Blood

swell your choice: science or superstition (252 comments)

This is one study of thousands worldwide that essentially say the same thing. Reduce carbs, increase dietary fat. Over 30 years ago Dr. Atkins began that mantra and well over 30 million people have verified that it works. Atkins followers typically eat more calories than before they began the high-fat lifestyle. It's not just for fat people, diabetics or other sick people- this diet will make most people healthier and live longer. It is difficult to find any measurable health indicator that doesn't improve with low carb, high fat diets. As mentioned elsewhere, there are very large corporations that don't want you to improve your diet and they have elected officials on their payroll (thus the Food Pyramid, unlabelled ingredients, etc).

It's not easy to avoid donuts, bread, cereal, rice, potatoes, bananas, candy, etc. But what value do you put on your health and the health of your children?

If you choose to believe the Food Pyramid or the 'common sense' that eating fat will make you fat, it's your choice. But do consider science, which has offered this correct answer for many decades.

about a month ago
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The Dutch Village Where Everyone Has Dementia

swell "I am not a number!" (231 comments)

Shades of another quaint and serene Village from 1967, where The Prisoner (- a Secret Agent, played by Patrick McGoohan) was kept in a surreal setting among people who sometimes behaved as though brain dead. The quote reflects the prisoner's anger that nobody in the Village would call him by name; only his assigned number 6.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... [Wikipedia]

Still, everything was provided to the inmates. If The Prisoner wasn't so stubborn he might have enjoyed it. (Youngsters rejoice; if you missed the original Prisoner TV series, you may have another chance- director Christopher Nolan may be planning a movie version.)

about a month ago
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Group Tries To Open Source Seeds

swell seed banks (100 comments)

This is a good place to discuss the seed banks around the world where the genetic diversity of endangered (and extinct) plants is protected. I'm not expert but perhaps you are.

Also, it seems that the opensourceseedinitiative site hasn't seen any activity for many months. Are they endangered too?

about a month ago

Submissions

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CIA torture report due- criticized by Republicans

swell swell writes  |  about two weeks ago

swell (195815) writes "On the eve of the release of a long-awaited Senate report on the use of torture by the U.S. government, the Obama administration and its Republican critics clashed Monday over the wisdom of making it public..."
Link to Original Source
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don't say "42"

swell swell writes  |  more than 2 years ago

swell writes "I'm preparing a concise video that considers the question "What is the meaning of life?" I've read some historical perspectives (see Wikipedia) and some modern ideas, but you, an enlightened member of the Slashdot elite, are bound to have a more interesting angle. If you can link to sound, pics, video or essays that illustrate your thoughts, so much the better. If you have the ultimate answer we will all be grateful and worship at your feet."
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time is relative

swell swell writes  |  more than 2 years ago

swell writes "Again I am confused by the dates posted with /. stories and elsewhere. I know that Euros and Amers use dates differently but that's no excuse. There is a logical way to present dates that is universal in the digital age: YYMMDD. No need for hyphens or slashes. Add HHMMSS if you like. This works well for me and my file storage system that unerringly sorts dates correctly while minimizing keystrokes and character counts. It will work well for you if you take a few minutes to think about it. So let's get our sh*t together around the world and do the right thing."
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Apple does it again

swell swell writes  |  more than 5 years ago

swell writes "The Onion reports on a dramatic new development from Apple — the keyboardless laptop. A step forward from the traditional iPod interface and the multi-touch iPhone screen. But wait, there's more!

The keyboardless laptop is just a temporary measure while Apple and an unnamed government agency work out the bugs in the Macintosh brain implant still being alpha tested on some Guantanamo 'volunteers'.

Currently it is limited to blasting punk music into their brains 24 hours a day but they expect to be able to add raunchy porn mixed with humorous depictions of Mohammad in the near future.

Game developers are already preparing some vivid shoot-em-up adventures for the US release of the MindBook. With a high speed internet connection it will be possible to incorporate a select 38% of the entire internet into a normal human brain. Email will not be necessary as users will have direct and continuous access to the minds of other users.

Add to this an intuitive Google search function for instant access to The Onion and similar life enhancing knowledge and you have the next evolutionary step in the addictive Mac experience.

Compulsory use of the MindBook will not be required until approximately 2011 according to current Dept. of Homeland Security plans. The IRS is pushing for an earlier mandate. Exemptions will be allowed for government authorities, of course."
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'surveillance society' explored on PBS TV

swell swell writes  |  more than 6 years ago

swell writes "In the US, Public Broadcasting will air "The Last Enemy" set in London & Romania. Personal drama mixes with social paranoia. Episodes run from Oct. 5 — Nov. 2, 2008 and can be seen online shortly after each airing. UK & other viewers may have additional local options. I thought it would be nice to announce this BEFORE the first episode despite the risk that it might stink.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/lastenemy/"

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