jasiu1108 [at] gmail [dot] com

Person #3427: 90 Posts

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  1. patents as currency (1 Reply)

    When I was still in (networking, communications) tech, at both small and large companies, we were encouraged to do the patent application process for just about anything we could think of. As it was explained, having a thick patent portfolio was important for deals between companies and, in the case of being sued for patent infringement, one could then counter with “license yours to us and we’ll let you use this bunch that we have.” No money would have to change hands – well except all of that money that went to the patent lawyers (an increase in the cost of doing business).

    Patents are important, but there is substantial abuse in practice.

  2. this is different (1 Reply)

    I wouldn’t necessarily ask whether you are comfortable doing yourself. There are plenty of things with both positive and negative connotations that need doing, but we may not be comfortable doing them.

    This isn’t asking someone to clean your gross shower drain. It is the taking of a human life. Would you be able to act as executioner for Tsarnaev? Are you OK with your government doing it in your name? My answer is no to both. I can understand someone answering yes to both, but I can’t understand yes for one and no for the other.

  3. a few thoughts (1 Reply)

    Realize that I just finished re-reading the Wolf Hall books, prompted by the Masterpiece mini-series on PBS. So I have that in my head right now.

    1) What it all comes down to with me is that I, personally, could not pull the trigger, flick the switch, turn on the injection, swing the ax, or whatever action it would take to kill a condemned killer, so I can’t morally weasel out of that responsibility and ask my government to do it for me. And if, for whatever reason, I was able to do it, I’d expect consequences, as every human life taken by another human should have consequences. I come at this from a humanistic point of view, not via any religious text.

    2) I find the phrase “Cruel and Unusual” as problematic as both are relative. What is cruel and/or unusual varies by person, by time, by culture… A clean beheading (again, I just re-experienced Anne Boleyn’s death) might be less cruel than the electric chair or a botched fatal injection. And it certainly wasn’t unusual when it was used. Neither was burning (which is certainly cruel in my book). I think today it is more of a matter of how “clean” the execution is to the witnesses and how well we can live with how it was done afterward. A quick beheading that might result in little to no pain for the deceased certainly isn’t pretty to watch.

    And how any of these methods compared to the cruelty of a Supermax type of confinement… I’m sure there are many opinions on that.

    So I’m just not sure how helpful that phrase is as a guideline regarding what can and can’t be done to someone convicted of a crime.

  4. sign outside the court (1 Reply)

    Someone told me that a sign held outside the court last week said (paraphrased): Why do we kill people who kill people to prove it is wrong to kill people?

  5. snow slide (1 Reply)

    Wow, what a great thread. The editors can use some of their spare time (HAH!) to dig more of these up! :)

    One note on snow slide, since kirth mentioned it here. The very dry, powdery snow that fell in February did not slide off my panels for weeks. With the usual wet snow, my panels are clean a couple of days after a storm. I average over 500kWh for February and have produced as much as 700. Because the panels were covered for most of the month, I didn’t even hit 200.

  6. are we talking about TPP or the Olympics? (0 Replies)

    Seems like there are a few parallels.

    - Put together by top 1%-ers with most of the details kept from the public.

    - Track record of similar deals not working out well for the general public but quite well for the 1%.

    - When confronted by critics, the defense never rises much above “you’re just wrong” or “trust them”.

  7. seems like I've heard this whole story before... (0 Replies)

    … in regards to soda, where Pepsi and Coke replace A-B and Miller. If I remember correctly, part of the reason of expanding the big brand selections (Coke Zero, Coke w/ Lime, Cherry Coke…) was to take up more shelf space.

  8. that was marijuana (1 Reply)

    (though now that I think of it, didn’t we already decriminalize by ballot question)?

    We’re talking about addiction here. Opiates.

  9. a little local flavor from Borowitz (0 Replies)

    N.F.L. Sentences Brady to a Year with the Jets

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (The Borowitz Report) – In what football insiders are calling an unexpectedly severe punishment, the National Football League has sentenced the New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady to a year with the New York Jets for his role in the so-called Deflategate scandal.

    The punishment drew howls of protest from Patriots fans and management, with many calling it the harshest in league history, but N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell defended the decision as “a necessary deterrent.”

    “We need to send the message that this league has zero tolerance for cheating,” Goodell said. “We believe that a year of playing quarterback for the Jets sends that message loud and clear.”

    Brady was reportedly in a state of shock when he heard the news of his punishment. He later met with reporters in a hastily called press conference during which he frequently seemed on the verge of tears.

    “I am going to fight this decision with every fibre of my being,” Brady said. “This is America. You can’t force a person to play for the Jets.”

    At a sports bar in Manhattan, the reaction to the impending arrival of the Jets’ longtime nemesis was muted. One Jets fan observed, “Look, Brady’s a dick, but even he didn’t deserve this.”

  10. remember my first visit (1 Reply)

    I didn’t know anyone directly who had died in the conflict, but the first visit to the memorial was quite emotional for me. The way it starts with just a few names on one end, where you can read each one as you slowly move, until you get to the point where the list gets so much bigger and seems to stretch on to infinity – and realizing that there was a person, a family, a story behind each name. It was tough. Art at its best.

  11. but... (1 Reply)

    I don’t see a “text” entry tab in this little comment box.

    My options are bold, italics, insert a link, blockquote, Preview.

    And Submit, which I will press right…

  12. Daily Show take (1 Reply)

    Daily Show’s version of this by Aasiv Mandvi (can an editor embed??).

  13. *too* easily (0 Replies)

    Dang lack of edit function…

  14. symbols like this let people off the hook to easily (1 Reply)

    My issue with flying a flag like this or putting the ribbon magnets on the back of the car is that it lets someone feel that they are honoring the troops with little actual benefit going to the people they think they are honoring. I get particularly annoyed when I’m at a sporting event and, during a break, one or more active or retired military personnel are brought out. They show them on the big screen, everyone stands and applauds. Then it is, “OK, took care of that, back to the game”.

    Meanwhile we still find ways to create more veterans and don’t provide for them properly when they come home. I’d be more impressed if I were at a game and they brought someone out and explained that she or he has an outstanding medical problem as a result of their service yet have not been able to get treatment from the VA. People working the aisles would hand you contact sheets for your reps and those of the veteran and you’d be encouraged to get in touch and demand some action. THAT would be some serious “honoring”.

    The bottom line is displays of “support” are necessary but not sufficient and IMHO they let people off the hook way too easily.

  15. agreed (2 Replies)

    A couple of Verizon links regarding TV and phone service over FIOS.

    While traditional cable TV networks use mostly coaxial cable to deliver service to your home, Verizon FiOS is 100% fiber-optic all the way to your home.

    With FiOS, hundreds of thousands of these strands are bundled together to make the fiber optical cable that is connected to your home.

    When I’ve talked to them about the transition, they have indicated that the FIOS equipment for phone needs power from inside the house, unlike the current NID I have which is powered from the street (and stays up even if I lose power).

  16. depends on where you live (1 Reply)

    I know this is getting really tangential, but…

    Even today, if you buy a landline, you get copper.

    I don’t believe that is true if you have FIOS available in the neighborhood. All of the new installs in my area have been FIOS and I don’t think copper is an option as Verizon is trying to eliminate it completely, where it can, in the existing customer base. I get several letters and calls (which I don’t answer) a month asking me to set up an appointment to change my copper line to fiber – no charge.

    Of course, from the FIOS box to the phone itself is still copper.

  17. not so much the IOC in this case as the international sports orgs (0 Replies)

    … such as the IAAF. They just aren’t going to have an Olympics where someone breaks a world record and, well, it isn’t recognized as an official world record.

    Baseball isn’t comparable because there are not fixed dimensions for a baseball stadium.

  18. custom-built rowing venues seem to be the rule (1 Reply)

    If Wikipedia can be believed, Atlanta (1996) was the last summer Olympics that used an existing body of water (Lake Lanier, which is actually a reservoir created in 1956). All of the subsequent sites had venues built specifically for rowing. All except London were built specifically for the Olympics.

    Rio de Janeiro will use an existing lagoon.

  19. Boston Marathon, Charles do not meet international standards (2 Replies)

    Somewhere upthread somervilletom says something about doing homework.

    Boston Globe article:

    The Boston Marathon, which began in 1897, is the world’s most fabled footrace. The Head of the Charles Regatta, which marks its 50th anniversary this year, is the planet’s biggest annual two-day rowing event. But neither of the famous courses could be used as an Olympic venue should Boston host the 2024 Summer Games.

    The overall decrease in elevation of the classic Hopkinton-to-Boston Marathon layout exceeds international standards, which is why Geoffrey Mutai’s historic 2011 run was not considered a world record by the international track and field federation. And the Charles has too much current, too much wind, and bridges across its straightaways.

    IAAF Rules and Regulations:

    the overall decrease in elevation between the start and finish should not exceed 1:1000, i.e. 1m per km (0.1%).

    The Boston Marathon, if my sources and calculations are correct, drops 480 feet over 26.2 miles, which is .35%.

  20. daylight for bills otherwise buried (1 Reply)

    Some bills that never would get out of committee before would have a debate and vote in the Senate. And then (at least theoretically) it would become more difficult for the House just to say they will just ignore it. A lot might depend on how much media exposure and public pressure there is for such bills.